Our Incredible Adventure to Sandals Royal Barbados
In July, my husband and I had the pleasure of a vacation at Sandals Royal Barbados; one of two Sandals resorts in the country of Barbados. The other resort is Sandals Barbados which is right next door. When you stay at one of them, you can play at both!
In case you don’t know, Sandals resorts are all-inclusive, adults-only resorts on 6 different English-speaking islands in the Caribbean. There are 15 different Sandals resorts and I’ve been to every single one of them.
At Sandals resorts everything is included. That means all your food, all your drinks, daily and nightly entertainment. Activities at the resort, like Hobie cats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboarding, are all included. Even scuba diving is included at Sandals resorts. If you want lobster, and it’s in season, you can have it every day. If you want to try every type of drink they make, no problem. If you want to go scuba diving every day, you can do it.
Right now, when you go to Barbados, you have to get a negative covid test before getting on the plane, again after you arrive, and a third time for your return to the US. Sandals makes the testing in Barbados very easy, but I for one, can’t wait until all of this is over. To keep it simple, if you’re fully vaccinated and you get a negative on that test after you arrive, you’re free to enjoy the resort, tours, and venturing out into the country. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll have to quarantine in your room for five days before you can do so.
We enjoyed a Royal Seaside Crystal Lagoon One Bedroom Oceanview Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub. Sandals loves their long names. Our room was near the ocean, which we could see from our balcony. It was huge with a king-sized bed, big, walk-in shower that you could almost fit a Fiat 500 in, double sinks, a spacious living room with a couch, and a tub big enough for two on the balcony. Our room included butler service and 24-hour room service. Not bad for two kids that met in a trailer park.
Even though we were exhausted from traveling overnight, we didn’t crash on that huge bed just yet. Instead, we had dinner at Schooners Seafood Grill where I had one of the best lobster tails of my life. Hubby had the surf and turf. We were starving, after only eating horrible airplane snacks all day. This delicious dinner hit the spot.
After dinner, we heard something interesting going on by the resort entertainment area, so we went to check it out. Have you ever heard of Silent Disco? There are two DJs (could be 3) and they’re each playing different music. Instead of playing over speakers, the music is played over individual headphones. The listener chooses the DJ they want by switching to the red, green, or yellow channel and dancing to that music. People dance together but to a different tune. This adds an element of fun.
We wandered around, just exploring. We found the bowling alley, video gaming tables, and an ancient banyan tree. The sing-along piano bar is very popular, because of a fun and friendly piano player named Josh. Finally, after a super-long day, we were ready for bed.
Sandals resort beds are so comfy. We slept like the dead. Luckily, we woke up though, for another day of exploring and relaxing.
Since we had a butler, we didn’t have to worry about much. We had three butlers; Rashida, Shontelle, and Shaakira. These ladies were amazing. They took care of reserving loungers by the pool, bringing us pizza and drinks at the pool, making our dining reservations, and running to the watersports office to ask our scuba questions. They even made some nice decorations on our bed several times; such as L-O-V-E spelled out in glass beads and He Loves U with flower petals and a towel.
Dinner on our second night was at Butch’s Chophouse. How much would dinners with a big 30-day aged rib-eye steak and a Wagyu Boston Cut strip loin, including appetizers, sides, drinks, and desserts cost? Maybe $300 or more? Here at Sandals, it’s all included.
One of the things I love about Sandals resorts is the lush foliage. There are so many beautiful flowers here and I go nuts for that kind of thing. I have an app on my phone I can identify plants with, and I reached new levels of observations in Barbados. There are flowers of almost every color of the rainbow. So many kinds of palms trees and bushes. Completely lush and gorgeous. Shaakira showed me a night-blooming Jasmine whose flowers open at night and have the most beautiful scent. I told one of the gardeners, Rohan, how much I loved the gardens, and he was so proud and appreciative that I had noticed.
You don’t lack dining options at Sandals resorts. We had lunch at The Jerk Shack on our third day. Jerk is a sweet and peppery sauce used to flavor pork and chicken. My husband said the jerk chicken here in Barbados was the best he’d ever tasted! I tried fish-in-foil with hell-fire sauce and Festival (fried dough).
We went out for a little walk outside the resort in St. Lawrence Gap. There are small restaurants and shops. We came back with new hats. The shopkeepers will give you a price in Barbadian dollars which is worth half the US dollar. Something that costs 20 Barbadian dollars would cost $10 US dollars.
Sandals Royal Barbados even has a bowling alley called Lover’s Lane. Cute, huh? We bowled a couple of games. There is also a full bar that has several varieties of beer. You’ll have to wait to wet your whistle, though, because the bar doesn’t open until 6 PM. They had a tournament right next to us and the #3 bowler from Virginia won it! This resort would be great for bowling leagues to come for a fun trip with some friendly bowling competitions. These groups usually go to dried-up Las Vegas, but what about going to the luscious Caribbean instead!?
Our dinner reservation for our third night was at Kimono’s which is cooked on a Teppanyaki grill by a chef who does all sorts of tricks, such as a flaming volcano, flipping food for you to catch in your mouth, and writing I LUV U on the grill with fried rice. We snuck in a sushi roll at Soy next door before dinner, because they have the best sushi.
After dinner, we took a romantic stroll across the beautiful beach under the full moon. Then, we caught the Bajan show in the entertainment spot with singers, musicians, and interactive dancing.
In the morning, we had a scuba refresher course scheduled, because it had been a couple of years since our last scuba dive. When we finished, we found the shady “bird’s nest” that our butler had reserved for us on the beach, stocked with cokes, waters, and beers in a cooler. Great way to relax for the rest of the morning. I had a long swim in the ocean. It was the perfect temperature and even though it was a bit windy, the water was calm. I love how Sandals resorts have placed two breakwaters in front of the resort, which has created a safer swimming space. It has made the waters calmer and shallow in front of the breakwater. Most of the other resorts in Barbados do not have this, so kudos to Sandals for putting them in. There was some dark seaweed on the beach in spots, but it did not smell or cause any problems.
I wandered the gift shop a while and found the cutest Christmas ornaments. One was Santa in front of palm trees holding a scroll that says “Santa’s List: A Vacation on Barbados”. Does that give you any ideas?
Shaakira was able to let me in to tour one of the Rondoval Suites. These are unique round Love Nest suites with conical thatched roofs and a private pool you can jump into right from the bedroom. My husband and I had one of these at the Sandals resort in Antigua and it was the most romantic place we had ever stayed; our private sanctuary. It brings out the romance in a couple, for sure.
Dinner on this night was at La Parisienne, a French restaurant on the top floor of the building where our room was located. You have a gorgeous view of the ocean and sunset from here. Our butler got us settled in for dinner and took some great pictures of us. The food was delicious, as usual, and the service by our waiter Charise was excellent.
Day five was our scuba diving day. The dive boat departs from the Bridgetown Marina, which is a 20-minute drive from the resort. We didn’t mind, as this gave us the chance to see more of the island. We did a two-tank dive and saw a baby hawksbill turtle, a moray eel, a barracuda, 2 wrecks, and lots of different fish. Sandals resorts are perfect for divers that want to enjoy life above the water, too. You can dive just once during your stay and feel great like you got your money’s worth. Or, you can dive every day and feel like you got a huge bonus for your vacation.
This night was our special romantic dinner on our balcony. Our butler, Rashida, did all the preparation and planning for our dinner. She found out what we wanted to eat, had champagne chilling beside our table, decorated with flowers and LOVE signs, and lit a path of candles from our room to the balcony. We dressed up and went out for cocktails before dinner. She let us know when she had everything ready and we came back to wait for dinner to be served. We played romantic Dean Martin songs from my phone. She brought our dinners, poured us champagne, took our pictures, and then left us to enjoy our evening. It was wonderful.
We capped off the night by going to the rooftop jacuzzi for a relaxing soak before bed.
Luckily, even though the next day was our departure day, because we had a later flight, we were able to enjoy half a day more at the resort, leisurely packing, having a nice lunch, and relaxing before it was time to leave for the airport. This trip truly reminded me how special Barbados is and how lovely these two Sandals resorts are. I will return and it will be one of the islands I recommend when asked which are my favorite.
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