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Last 5 reviews
Disappointed beyond belief
We booked a holiday for February 2021. Due to Covid we were unable to travel. After following all the guidance provided by Sandals, many emails back and forth, we now find that our £350 deposit will not be returned to us. We have had 2 previous holidays with them and absolutely loved it all. But to get this kick in the teeth at this awful time, having been a loyal fan of the company and holiday dream they provide, is not just disappointing but very annoying. Beware of them.
Annual Christmas in the Caribbean
2nd time at Sandals Barbados, arrived without being notified of a change to the rules. Had to quarantine in one hotel and then after taking COVID test and being Neg move to other hotel. Over all a the experience was fine for a pandemic, not to many issues while on property. Due to changes was promised 3 comp days for a future stay and Sandals was to email a form for these days, 6 weeks later nothing, even after calling and speaking to the Club Level concierge about it. Not the way a couple who has 10 past stays with Sandals expects to be treated after leaving.
Paradise in a Pandemic!
We received an email from Sandals a couple of days before we departed explaining the situation with regard to Sandals and Sandals Royal. To be honest I was more excited by the fact that Sandals would pay for our Covid test. They were looking very pricey! We arrived on 23 December, had our test on 24 December and were 'on the other side' by Christmas Day. Unfortunately, Sandals had to make a decision to tighten up the isolation a short time after this. You have to accept that during a Pandemic there will be rules to limit the spread of the virus. Every single moment was paradise and the staff went far, far above what was expected of them. The American Tavern (Cherie, Samantha, Jannine and Mia - Applause!), served an absolutely superb a la carte breakfast. My favourite was the avocado followed by the eggs benedict. Butch's Steak House (Curtlee and Shamir) was steak heaven. Chi and Butch's Steak and Seafood Restaurant run by Emanuel and his Right Hand Woman is a must. Last but not least my favourite restaurant Bombay run by the super serene Sopranho. This is right up with Dastaan (Ewell Bypass). We stayed in Room 9220 on the second floor of a Club Suite. I dream of sleeping in that suite and that bed again! Just don't forget to call the turtles in the bathroom Eric and Ernie! A final thank you to Charles, Cherri, Mr Drake and Barbara who kept it all on track. Please see Annette's super helpful Review. I can assure you Annette is just as helpful in person as well.
A Wonderful Start to 2021
We arrived on December 22nd after we received a phone call from Sandals on December 19th to advise us of the new protocols the Barbados Government put in place. Therefore, I will start by saying we knew that we were taking a risk. Our pre-arranged testing was done by Stage Zero and results were in within the guaranteed time frame. The Airport was thorough with instructions, ensuring everyone sanitized their hands, and followed protocols. We were greeted by Concierge at the Club Sandals lounge, given drinks, and cold towels. Three other couples arrived with us and we all convened to the Calypso building and waited in seating away from the bar for our rooms. Testing was already scheduled for 8:30 am the next day which Sandals paid for. Charles, the manager checked on us while we were having drinks and enjoying one another's company, apologized for the slight wait and got us to our rooms. We were originally booked for the Royal and understood that we would be on this side until our second negative test was received. (Side note, I was also Randomly selected at the airport by the Barbados MOH to take an additional test on December 24th. Sandals also provided this for free and didn't make me go off property to get it. ) Together, we as guests made the best of our stay on the original side and had a lot of fun! Portofino's, Schoeners, and the Merry Monkey are the food options for this leg of the trip. All our meals were excellent and I have severe food allergies and dietary restrictions. Service at the bar was wonderful and I would like to mention Eugene for his excellent services every night ! Our room was clean and there were no issues. We had no problems (during high season) obtaining pool loungers or communicating via the loop. One very important point of reference is, all guests had interaction with Charles during this period of new requirements as he was very hands on, asking guests questions and to provide honest feedback in addition to taking notes. On the morning of December 25th we were informed by Management who just received the list of results to, "pack it up, you're negative!!!" A bunch of us did. Within 1 hour our luggage was over to our room on the Royal Side. We stayed in a Swim-up room with Tranquility Soaking Tub. Room was 1808. We were very pleased with the amenities and privacy. Every night turn down service knocked and provided clean towels. Housekeeping came every day and cleaned everything in the room, bed linens were changed every other day. Another change took place during our stay which was curfew restriction. Initially it was 10 pm and the Resort adjusted accordingly offering earlier dinner Reservations and keeping us informed. Staff employees began stay overnight to accommodate the guests who would want room service, drinks, etc because they could not travel back home after 10 pm. A little bit of understanding, a good attitude, and respect and cooperation with the Government a guest is now staying under can really help your vacation no matter where you travel during this pandemic. All of our meals were excellent during our stay! We ate at Butch's, Soy, Kimonos, Butch's Chophouse, Bombay, and La Parisienne. The only one we missed for dinner was the Tavern but we did eat at The Merry Monkey (please meet Joy and Jack the other manager! They are a blast!) My husband enjoyed snorkeling right in the ocean at the Resort daily. I actually went into the ocean a few times this vacation past my knees and the water temperature was warm! No issues getting beach loungers or towels. Towels are now laid out on the loungers daily. Should you notice a shortage of champagne, that was me !!! Dwayne is an excellent bartender over at the main pool, probably one of the best I've ever encounter and I can say this as I too was a barter. Pierre at the Rooftop bar is also a great mixologist so do pay him a visit and ask about NYE. I don't want to leave out Neptune's where we did enjoy lunch. Service has gotten far quicker and the demeanor much friendlier since our past few visits. We very much enjoyed breakfast every morning at La Parisienne or the Tavern. We did the Cool Runnings (II) Catamaran Cruise and Chris was our Captain. This was one of the highlights of our trip and I highly recommend this. My husband went snorting and enjoyed it very much. The entire vibe of this excursion was phenomenal and the food was freshly prepared and excellent. I took advantage of the massage at Red Lane Spa. Carla did my massage as it was very much needed. I felt like a whole new person when I left there. A second curfew restriction was set in place for 8 PM. We were still able to get drinks at the Lover's Lane Bowling Alley and staff also came out to the tables and seating outside to take orders. There is still entertain under this curfew, just in a simpler form to avoid drawing crowds congregating closely together. We also visited the Merry Monkey for drinks and to talk with others and staff. Same service there with staff eager to wait on you. The same as home, it's who you choose to surround yourself with that dictates your overall mood and experience. We were fortunate to be amongst guests who shared the same happiness just to be on vacation at a 5 star Resort in the Caribbean and set aside our "First World Problems ". It also should be noted that Staff went above and beyond to make sure we were having the best time day and night. Service is actually ramped up, not down to compensate for the uncontrollable changes and for guests safety and health: towels distributed on loungers, drink orders taken throughout the resort day and night, food order turn around time far quicker than ever, toiletries replaced by the double, hand sanitizer stations all over, decontamination efforts constantly just to name a few. Unfortunately, I'm leaving out a few key employees names in an effort to give honest feedback on our vacation. We did extend 6 extra nights we were so happy. We've never done this before in 15 years of vacationing. Pre-pack your essentials for your first 2 nights, be prepared for some changes until the pandemic is under control, give credit where you see it, use the loop or go to Concierge should you have a concern and you will have an incredible vacation. I'm not denying some guests had a lapse in turnaround time for their testing results. There was an outbreak at the prison and as any Country would do, those tests had to take priority. The Government acknowledged this, has put in measures to get back on the 24 to 48 hour turn time and is offering compensation. There was also a very bad rain storm which effected power on parts of the island (not Sandals and it was only 1 day). An act of nature can happen anywhere and at anytime, be realistic. Guests were also graciously compensated by Sandals regardless of what you're reading. We ALL were! Some are just insatiable and/or unrealistic and that's the truth. I'm a planner with anxiety who over packs for everything. Were we thrilled upon learning we would need to pack up twice during our stay (?) Absolutely not but we knew ahead, planned for it, and rolled with it. In this day and age we felt victorious and fortunate to have traveled from JFK Airport to Barbados then to the Resort and did not contract Covid-19. I will also mention I have a very rare autoimmune disease that places me in the very high risk category. We feel very fortunate to be a part of the pioneering to open the world back up again with proper safety protocols. We are also grateful to Sandals and the island of Barbados for taking the necessary precautions so we could enjoy a much needed vacation. I hope this review helps you to make the safest and healthiest decision for YOU!
Not the Honeymoon we had hoped for
My husband and I booked our honeymoon in Grenada. A week before we were to leave, we received a text to call Sandals. When we called, we discovered the resort was closed due to a covid outbreak. We were told to choose to go to Barbados, St. Lucia, or Antigua. Because St. Lucia and Antigua were level 3 - reconsider travel countries, we picked Barbados. We felt very pressured by the Sandals employee to choose a new destination immediately if we wanted a room comparable to the one we originally paid for in Grenada. This lack of time did not allow us to research Barbados policies. It was not until a couple days before we left that we discovered we couldn’t go to the beach in Barbados until many days into our trip after our second Covid test. We were told we’d have access to several pools and restaurants but that we wouldn’t be in our room until our second test came back. The hotel said to get a PCR test 3 days before we were due to leave and that it couldn’t be an rapid antigen test. We got a rapid PCR test because it was still a PCR test and we couldn’t get results back within 3 days on a regular PCR test. Upon arrival at the airport, my husband and I were told we had taken a rapid test and would have to be retested at the airport thus starting the process all over again. The head nurse at the airport told us our results would be back within 8-12 hours, we’d be retested after 2 days, and that we’d be restricted to the hotel property but not to our room and free to move about the resort. She gave us a document saying this as well. When we arrived to the hotel, we were told we would not in fact be free to leave our room at all and it would be in a room designated for quarantined individuals. A security guard sat outside our room all evening to ensure we didn’t not leave the room. We were told by the hotel we’d have our results back in 24 hours. Then we were told it’d be 24-48 hours. We were then told by the hotel we wouldn’t be tested for our second test until day 5 and once we got our first results back, we’d still be restricted to a different room, would have to be escorted anytime we left the room, and would have limited access to a couple pools and buffet restaurants. All of this information was different than what we received at the airport and from what we received on the phone by sandals. Due to not being allowed to leave our room for 48 hours, we decided to leave and fly back home. Upon leaving, we were given a credit or voucher to use within 12 months. They upped it to 18 months. We had to leave to catch our flight so no time to go back and forth on this. We were denied a refund. A credit in this situation is absolutely unacceptable after the misinformation we were repeatedly told. We lost thousands on airfare and would not be able to purchase airfare in the next 18 months. Sandals can also not guarantee that covid protocols will be gone in the next 18 months and that this won’t happen again. We did all the right things according to government protocols but we were lied to about our arrangements and unfortunately our honeymoon was ruined due to this and a test that one nurse deemed invalid even though it was a nasal pharyngeal PCR test. We’ve reached out to Sandals but still have not heard back.
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