Birthday Trip Review to Sandals Royal Barbados
We went to Barbados last year in January for my husband’s birthday. There is a few things you need to know about him. He loves the Caribbean and his perfect vacation involves a stunning beach, a drink in his hand and an all inclusive resort. After some research, we decided to stay at the brand new Sandals Royal Barbados. It had opened 2 weeks before our check in date. For those of you not familiar with Sandals, it is a couples only all inclusive resort chain in the Caribbean. This was our first time to one of their resorts and with all the commercials I’ve seen and everything I’ve ever heard about the brand, my expectations were set pretty high. Below I’ll try to provide a pretty detailed review of our experience at Sandals Royal Barbados
Flight and Transfer:
The journey to Barbados from the West Coast of USA is quite long (13hrs) with one layover in Miami. We arrived at Barbados on a rainy day around 1pm. Security at the airport was quick and within an hour we had our bags and were headed towards the Sandals desk. One great thing about Sandals is that they provide transportation from and to the airport. Most will get a shared transfer (we had 2 other couples in our air conditioned van) or if you are in one of the top tier suites you will receive your own private transfer in Mercedes or Rolls Royce. The journey to the resort was only about 20mins.
Check in: Check in at the resort was a little chaotic. The property had just recently opened so I’m sure they had some kinks to work out. After a little confusion on check in process, we left a card on file and were escorted to our room.
Rooms at Sandals Royal Barbados
We stayed in room category Royal Seaside Oceanview Crystal Lagoon Club Level Barbados Suite w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub – OSLB. Our room was absolutely beautiful. Brand new, clean and modern, very comfortable king size bed and a stocked drinks bar. We also had a large shower in our bathroom, double vanities and a tub on the balcony. Our balcony also offered a peekaboo of the ocean. So not to the best ocean view we’ve ever had but nothing really to fault with this room.
I mean how beautiful is this beach? When the sun hits, it’s a perfectly clear turquoise water, no seaweed while we were there and the sand is my favorite out of all the places I’ve visited. Soft and if you look closely it has a beautiful pink tint to it.
This beach seems to get a bad rep though. I’ve seen some complaints about the waves in reviews, but we honestly loved them! There wasn’t a strong current, just playful waves that were fun for jet skiing and we wished they were a little bigger for the boogie boards. There is quite a few included beach activities with Sandals and we had a lot of fun taking out the Hobbie cat. My only complaint about the beach is the lack of shade. Waking up early on vacation is not my idea of fun so Sandals should really add some more umbrellas.
Grounds: So when you stay at Royal, you have full access to the original Sandals Barbados. The resorts are right next to each other with a convenient pathway in between the two so it is basically one big resort. The grounds are absolutely beautiful! You will see the staff working hard all day long to keep everything looking immaculate!
Restaurants at Sandals Royal Barbados
Food at this resort was some of the BEST out of the all inclusive we’ve been to. Between the two resorts you have the options to dine in at any of the 18 restaurants. We had trouble getting reservations when we first arrived, but our concierge Derika was extremely helpful and made all of our dinner reservations for us. Now with this being all inclusive when it comes to the food, everything really is included. Order as much as you want, whatever you want and we really took advantage of that.
Our favorite restaurant was Butch’s Chophouse. So much so that we dined here twice. Our favorite appetizers were the dungeness crab cake and shrimp cocktail. For main the Wagyu Boston cut Sirloin is a MUST. Cooked to perfection and beautifully seasoned. The steak can stand on its own but their peppercorn sauce was also really good addition. For sides we loved the lobster mac and cheese and the roasted potatoes with prosciutto and parmesan. Finally for dessert, definitely try Jim Beam creme brulee was so creamy and delicious.
For a great sit down breakfast head over to La Parisienne which is the rooftop restaurant. You will have fantastic view and can enjoy Eggs Benedict, french toast topped with bananas and rum sauce and steak and eggs.
Every restaurant has their own specialty drink so just ask your waiter and try them all! Our favorite drinks were BBC and the chocolate monkey.
Service: There is no tipping when you are at Sandals (for the most part) so I was curious to see how that impacts the service. Everyone was fantastic. As with most islands, the pace is slower but everyone was very friendly and attentive.
Spa: The Spa at this Resort is incredible. As soon as you enter it, you completely relax and feel like you are in Paradise. We very much enjoyed our couples aromatherapy massages in one of the outdoor huts.
Entertainment: This resort really has it all. From rooftop pool with a late night bar, to the bowling alley, there is no way you would be bored here. Sandals also does a lot of fun events like a White/Chocolate Night, beach party, couples quizzes and so on. They give you their newsletter for the week with all the events so you can plan accordingly.
In conclusion: Based on this glowing review, I’m sure you can tell that we had an unbelievable stay at Sandals Royal Barbados. Sandals definitely lived up to my expectations so much so that we’ve already visited two more of their resorts. But more on that later. This property checks all the boxes. Adults only ambiance, modern rooms, beautiful island and beach, incredible food and drinks and fun entertainment. There is really not much else you would want when it comes to tropical paradise. I highly recommend and we plan on returning in the future after we try some more of their resorts.
For the excursions we did during our stay at Sandals Royal Barbados check out my post Breathtaking Barbados – Island Adventures