Voted top luxury destination of 2017, it’s not hard to see why Barbados has a reputation as a playground for the well-heeled, it’s definitely not the whole picture, as you can still visit this glorious paradise island on a budget, but we’re not here to talk about budgets because we’re talking about the island’s swankiest hotel – Sandy Lane.
Lounging around by the colossal swimming pool set amid coral-rock walls complete with underwater music speakers, I couldn’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I’m in real-life heaven.
And of course you’d be a fool for thinking that an idyllic island resort like this is just for us “normal folk”, no, no, Sandy Lane has become rather synonymous with the rich and especially the famous – big names such as Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna and Kylie Minogue are known to be spotted frolicking in this opulent setting. We weren’t so lucky as to spot any members of the A-list club but I did do my share of scanning every room we walked into and each lounger within close proximity!
Let’s start with where this paradise is based, shall we? Located on the western coast of the island, also known as the “Platinum Coast”, the Sandy Lane Resort sits on over 1,000 feet of the most perfect soft, white, coral sand beach with lots of lovely shade provided by rows of mature mahogany trees.
Although the beach is public (as all are on Barbados), the resort is still extremely private, with access to non-residents not being particularly easy. This making it a real magnet for the famous.
Originally built on the site of an old sugar plantation, this Leading Hotels of the World member still manages to retain plenty of the authentic charm that led to it becoming an instant hit more than half a century ago. From furniture and decor that has a real plantation feel to it, to the food and drink.
With the property being only a short 40-minute drive from Grantley Adams International to the luxurious island, it’s a real time saver for those on a short stay or wanting to really maximise their time. The island is so compact that it can be explored in just 45 minutes from one side to the other.
The luxury and exclusiveness of the Sandy Lane resort is clearly reflected in its prices, with the cheapest rooms starting at an average of £730 per night and ranging up to an eye-watering £23,000 per night for the 5-bedroom villa (complete with its own butler service).
Set in an ancient mahogany grove, the hotel boasts 112 luxury rooms and suites, which are, of course, all decked out and decorated with the finest and most tasteful of interiors, with the hotels’ pink theme running throughout the property.
All rooms are super spacious and each boasts unique features including Italian marble floors, plantation-style furniture (which pays homage to the hotel’s history), large private verandahs, a personalised private bar and parabolic speakers on the verandah and inside the bathroom.
Breakfast is also included, along with transfers from and to the airport in an executive car – transfers in the hotel’s Rolls Royce do cost extra!
If you’ve got extra steep pockets, then there’s The Villa at Sandy Lane. A five-bedroom stunner, set in lush tropical gardens. This is essentially a staffed private home with all the facilities of the hotel on its doorstep.
The Villa comes with a butler, housekeeper and chef. Other included amenities feature a luxury vehicle, daily afternoon tea, complimentary golf and unlimited access to water sports and the fitness centre. As mentioned above, The Villa costs around £23,000 per night!
Well, I think it goes without saying that the service at Sandy Lane is pretty darn phenomenal – whether you’re an A-list celeb or just a regular Joe on holiday, the well-trained staff treat you like you’re royalty. No request is too big at this seven-star resort. Sandy Lane offers everything you can think of, and more.
Included in the rates is fast-tracking through the airport as well as a rather hand packing and unpacking service – hello more time on the beach! Staff are also always on hand to top guests up with refreshments and snacks, as well as wet towels and a helpful buffing of sunglasses.
If you’re lounging by the beach and you want service, you’re given a little flag to raise so staff can see you! How handy!?
Where to begin?! This resort isn’t just for those that want to lounge by the beach for 7 days straight (although there’s really nothing wrong with that), but for those like my partner, that fancy getting a little active there’s a plethora of fantastic facilities for all ages.
Most notable is the resort’s three golf courses, complete with golf carts kitted out with GPS systems! There’s also a multi-layered swimming pool, various water sports on offer such as windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling, as well as a state of the art gym and nine floodlit tennis courts.
Last but definitely not least in the impressive scale, there’s the elaborate 47,000 square feet spa complex with 11 treatment rooms, all with their own private gardens and outdoor plunge pools. There’s also a sauna, a steam room and communal hydrotherapy pool. Blending traditional therapies from around the world from the Caribbean to the Far East and Europe, this spa and its state-of-the-art facilities sure are hard to beat.
For those travelling with kids, there’s The Treehouse Club, which has plenty of creative and exciting on-and-off-site activities for your little ones. Teenagers can also enjoy a well-equipped Den that includes a jukebox, table football, table tennis and more. Dinner is included for children up to 12 from mid-April to October.
Food & Drink
The resort has a whopping seven bars, each one as fantastic as the next – covering everything from a gelato bar to the stunning Monkey Bar, decorated with monkey themed murals and a bar top in the shape of a monkey’s tail!
The hotel also has four restaurants which celebrate all flavours from around the world, but the two main restaurants are fantastic options for those that don’t fancy venturing out for dinner.
Bajan Blue puts on the biggest spread of indulgent buffets, with all the options you could wish for – this is also where guests come for breakfast. Bajan Blue is the relaxed beachside option, which offers all-day dining with the most amazing Sunday brunch. There’s also a stunning fine dining option in the Pillared L’Ajacou restaurant.
Sandy Lane sure does live up to its Forbes five star, AAA rating. With the perfect mix of polished service and warm Bajan hospitality, the team at Sandy Lane bring to life this incredible resort in a way that is truly one of a kind. I am already dreaming about my next visit!