Background: Canadian couple in our 60’s with 38 year old daughter (separate room). First time to Barbados. Just had to get away!
Covid: We had to be tested 72 hours in advance. We used StageZero Life Sciences so that we were guaranteed our results before we travelled. It cost extra but it was worth it not to worry about the results arriving. We also paid to have our second test done at the Sands. This costs extra too and has to be arranged in advance through the Sands reservations email. We were tested Friday morning and had our armbands cut off at 4pm Friday afternoon. I think we got lucky as most got their results the following morning. Those who hadn’t paid for the Doctor to come to the Sands and do the testing had to wait 48+ hours. I’m glad we paid as the lure of the ocean was too strong to wait another day.
While you are in isolation, the resort takes good care of you. Although you are limited to an area away from the beach and pool, you do have the bartender visiting regularly and have access to an area of the restaurant.
Room: We booked the Superior Garden Studio room. We were a bit worried about this by looking at the pictures on line but were 100% delighted upon arrival. Two floors (kitchen and living room on ground, bathroom and bedroom on second). The kitchen has a fridge, kettle and hotplate type stove. The room was spacious and clean.
Food: The only area that we were a tad disappointed in. The breakfasts were wonderful but the lunch and dinners could be a bit repetitive. They tended to overcook the fish. But the steaks and burgers were fantastic. My wife loved the soups. Daughter and I loved the Ice Cream.
Grounds: opens right on to the beach. Beautiful aqua water. Snorkeling to the reef is fun and within 200 ft. No problem getting loungers.
Overall: To us the best part of the Sands was the staff. Everyone of them – from maids, to waitresses, to bartenders, to the maintenance guys, to the front desk - went out of their way to ensure we were having a great stay. It never felt like it was forced, rather that they were genuinely glad to host us. Special nods to the Management staff who routinely checked that we were happy and to Lamar the bartender who was the cause of much of the happiness!
1. Very few sandflies or no-see-ums. I tend to get bitten but not a one.
2. On Sundays there is a bar next door on the beach that has a dj in the afternoons (really starts to heat up about 4pm). This was great fun.
3. There is also another bar just past the Sunday DJ bar that is a wonderful place to watch sunsets and enjoy a fun vibe.
4. We booked our tour of the island and our catamaran snorkeling excursions directly through the hotel. Neither were cheap but both well worth the money.
5. There is a convenience store in the sands parking lot. Has booze, munchies, food, etc. Five minutes down the road there is a Trimart grocery store that is cheaper and has a better selection.
6. There is a Cave Sheppard Duty Free store with a nice selection of souvenirs and duty free items just past the Trimart.
7. The bars and clubs of the St. Lawrence gap are either closed or quiet. Not a lot going on.
8. Most of the tourist areas of Bridgetown are either closed or reduced. We tried to have an outdoor beer at the harbor in vain.
9. Bring sunscreen. That Barbados sun is killer!
10. Dina’s restaurant in Bathsheba was great fun for lunch on our island tour. Loved the flying fish.
We had a great time and hope to return to the sands again in the future. Thank you to the staff for their hard work, professionalism and constant smiles. What a great holiday. If I can answer any questions please contact me.
Working for the NHS, I needed a really relaxing holiday just before the first lockdown and what I expected would be a tough time ahead which I have absolutely experienced.
I did book this based in absolute confirmation and recommendation from Tropical Skies who I have used before. What a disappointment from an agent I previously trusted. What a mistake which I will never do again.
I questioned my agent hard to make sure it was the right quality and as soon as I arrived, I knew it wasn’t. I’ve travel to the Caribbean a lot and, in Barbados, had had several holidays at The Waves which whilst a bit more expensive, I know can deliver quality and are excellent. The Sands are no where near the same league.
Having waited 9months for satisfactory resolution of my complaint, what is clear is neither they nor Tropical Skies, my agent I have used many times, care.
The noise in the room I was given was so loud, I recorded it and sent to Tropical Skies as evidence. The hotel claim this was only 1 day in the week when I have evidence it was most days, with the hotel accessing my private balcony to use power to enable the disco to happen each evening.p - see photos. Despite my complaints, including ringing reception at 1130pm most evening to ask when noise would stop, nothing happened the next day.
I have just received feedback from the hotel which is completely inaccurate. They claim to have offered me an alternate room. They didn’t. They told me there wasn’t an alternate quality room( which I had paid them well for) available nor did they offer me any reduction/ rebate if I moved to a lower level room which on websites was considerably lower cost than I paid, nor recognition they would reimburse me this difference.
I complained at the time and got no where and have got nowhere since. I paid not much less than other hotels which are far better. So, depends what you want but this hotel, plus service at tropical skies is not worth the few £100 you may save.
So disappointed but I will not make this mistake again and want to make sure that no one else who thinks they have booked a much higher quality hotel than they have to beware and avoid disappointment,
If you see photos I have provided below you can see how close the disco was to my room and also how the hotel used the power from my supposed private balcony each night. This has never been recognised and is not what I expect from a supposed four star hotel. I have given the hotel and Tropical Skies enough opportunities to rectify this matter which they don’t want to do and so I feel forced to provide this information.
Obviously, this is not what I see as quality and although it was promised by my agents Tropical Skies it wasn’t delivered. If, like me, you work hard to afford holidays, Just beware! If you have a problem, they don’t care and neither do Tropical Skies.
Great spot to quarantine. They have patios, a select area of their amazing restaurant (great food), all inclusive drinks, great service, and a select area to sit near the beach. They also have a room with a nurse for your second Covid test they arrange for you. Highly recommend to stay here especially during your quarantine.
After a tough winter at work, I wanted a quiet and relaxing week in the sun so that I could catch up on sleep and relax totally. I had asked Tropical Sky (who I had used before and always found good) about the hotel many times as it had only recently opened but was assured every time by the agent that they had been and it was quiet and really high standard. As it had only just opened the price was better than Waves where I had gone before. I should have known you get what you pay for!
I paid extra for an Ocean Front suite but was dismayed to find that my room was right next to the entertainment tent... in fact so close, the hotel used the plugs on my patio for power.
The noise was so loud, that I could not sleep until it finished, even phoning reception to ask if this would be stopping when it went on until after 11pm.
I complained at the time and was told they would stop using the plugs but they had no other room I could be moved to. I also sent photos and emails to Tropical Sky, including a recording of the noise from inside the room with the windows closed. neither the hotel not Tropical Sky did anything to try and sort out my complaint with the hotel continuing to use the plugs on my patio.
The standard of service at the bar was poor with them often running out of drinks including some of the very basic things like rose wine, coke, beer etc. The food was ok but not exceptional. The staff in the restaurant tried really hard.
My holiday was three weeks before lock down so was a little strange anyhow and obviously now is likely to be the last one I have abroad for sometime. I have continued to try and get some resolution to my complaint but have had no luck at all. Tropical Sky have said hotel is closed and it seems the manager at TropicalSky ( the person replying says he will contact) doesn’t ever seem to respond as I continually have to ask what is happening. I appreciate it has been hard dealing with cancellations but also know with bookings starting to increase the likelihood of any resolution seems slim.
So, with Barbados opening back up again and with holidays being important now more than ever, if you do want a quiet and good holiday with good standard of accommodation and service, don’t go to The Sands. Look at the Elegant Hotels range. Whilst the beach is small - Waves is great! and don’t rely on advice from Tropical Sky either.
WARNING Potential Virgin Customers. We went to The Sands back in January 2020 without realising what a SUPERSAVER room was . It is shameful that Virgin are still selling these rooms after us and other people complained and also the hotel management didn’t care either. To fill you in the room was was no more than a small basic motel room , bathroom no bigger than a caravan and the description of internal corridor is American but it is simply an adjoining room to your neighbours and you can hear everything going on in the other room even hear a pin drop so u can imagine how horrendous the holiday was that cost us thousands of pounds each. Do not book this style of room I can’t stress enough it’s just terrible . The staff are useless and the service non existent. Some evenings the food was horrible and it took 4 hours to have a meal served to us . Bar closed at 10.30pm and no other drinks were served after that and the whole resort went dead . Trust me do not waste your money on this resort .