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Reviewed 21 December 2020

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!

Some notes:

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.

Room tip: Go to the Sunday DJ party at bar next door on the beach!
Date of stay: December 2020
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
6  Thank ralu25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2020

Just back after two weeks at The Sands and I cannot stress how good this hotel is. This really is a place to totally relax - rooms are spacious and have excellent fixtures and fittings. Beach is perfect with shallow water for those who don't feel comfortable in deep water. However, the main selling point of this hotel is the staff - they are all so helpful and friendly and I am sure if I mentioned them all I would miss someone off! However, a special thanks to Charlene who, from the moment we stepped into the property (and it is a wow when you look from the lobby to the pool / beach area!) she looked after us the whole time we were there. Nothing is too much trouble and she is a real asset to the hotel. Although we should have been at Mango Bay (their sister hotel) we were not disappointed we had to be moved - so much so that we will definitely be back. After many years of visiting Barbados and staying in many hotels, this has to be the nicest in terms of the overall package. I cannot stress how safe it is at the moment to visit Barbados - we had our second test done at the hotel the day after we arrived so only had one full day of quarantine - and even that was no trouble as you are looked after and have everything you need to be able to enjoy the outside spaces. It has been a worrying time for all Barbadians and we need to all get back to this beautiful island with its beautiful people! I would have no hesitation in going back tomorrow!

Room tip: You can't have a bad room - the design of the hotel makes sure everyone gets a good view!
Date of stay: December 2020
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank rulebritannia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2020 via mobile

This was our second visit to The Sands and we were not disappointed at all. The staff are all so amazing, the rooms perfect and comfortable and the food just right. We wanted for nothing during our recent visit. The linens were top quality, the fruit and omelettes at breakfast were always excellent and the drinks were all top shelf.

Date of stay: December 2020
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank meebjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2020

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.

Date of stay: April 2020
    • Location
    • Service
Thank 961karenp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shireene Tulloch, Other at The Sands Barbados, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2021

Dear 961arenp,

We are so very sorry that this matter took so long to be resolved, largely because of the major disruption to our businesses caused by COVID-19.

I am new to the company but have reviewed your case along with our team and assure you that we care deeply. We understand and appreciate the tremendous job that the NHS and all health care workers are doing during these very difficult times, and how very much a break away from what you are dealing with daily means to you.

I am saddened to read that your time with us was not what you dreamed it would be. I understand that the hotel was extremely full when you visited which is why a room change was not possible at the time.

I assure you that both Tropical Sky, who offers superb service, and ourselves have been working together to bring closure to this matter, and hope that you will be happier after hearing from us.

It means a lot to us that you chose The Sands , a brand new, and beautiful property, for your special holiday. We hope that you will return to Barbados soon, and that we will have the opportunity to make your next vacation ultra-special!!.

With best regards,

Shireene Mathlin-Tulloch
Group CEO

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2020

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.

Date of stay: November 2020
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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