Five-star luxury at Sandy Lane, Barbados
The weekend started on Thursday morning at the dedicated British Airways Club World check-in, where my group and I continued through the premium security lane, allowing a much smoother transition through the airport, and then onto the British Airways Club World Lounge where we enjoyed light refreshments before the flight.
Once in Barbados, Sandy Lane organise a VIP ‘Meet & Greet’ service, meaning that an attendant is waiting as you walk into the arrivals hall. Ziggy, from Platinum Services, checked our completed landing cards to ensure we had no delays at the immigration counter, and then escorted us to the fast-track counter which we cleared and then he stayed with us while we waited for our luggage and once all collected showed us outside to the Sandy Lane representative, Barbara, who called for our transfer.
The transfer took approx. 45 minutes to Sandy Lane and on arrival Randall Wilkie (General Manager) and other members of the management team were waiting for us with a cold glass of fruit punch. We were shown directly to our rooms where check-in was carried out.
My Luxury Ocean Room was located in the Seahorse Wing of the hotel with a beautiful view onto the beach and Caribbean Sea. Everything you can imagine is in the room and all operated by touch screens at each side of the king size bed or on panels by each of the doors. Complimentary soft drinks are included in the accommodation rate which includes all those in the minibar. There is even a UK plug socket, so no need to remember the adaptor!
On our first evening we were wined and dined by Randall Wilkie and his wife Jenny at the more relaxed restaurant of Bajan Blue. A choice of à la carte menu, or hot buffet, was available and if there is still nothing that takes your fancy you have the choice of the barbecue. I had the tuna tartar from the à la carte menu and then opted for the jerk lamb cutlets and freshly grilled mahi mahi from the barbecue with sides including grilled vegetables and Randy’s recommendation of the ripped potatoes! For dessert I could only fit in a refreshing taste of the mango and coconut sorbet.
The next morning I woke to the sound of the birds and sea lapping the beach, which is the best way to wake up in my opinion. Breakfast was a delight with freshly made juices, smoothies, yogurts, fruits, pancakes, waffles, meats, cheeses, sausages, bacon…the list goes on and on and on!
After breakfast we had a site inspection which included taking a look at the Orchid Rooms, and choice of suites before heading to the Country Club where we were let loose on golf buggies on the Green Monkey course to see the famous fairways. The Green Monkey, designed by Tom Fazio, is an ultra-exclusive 72-par golf course in Barbados. With tee off times only permitted between 08:30 and 09:30 to limit the amount of players on the course, this course can be played by Sandy Lane guests for a fee of US$390 plus a caddie fee of US$50 which is mandatory.
Lunch was at the Spa Café, which had a lovely healthy menu and gorgeous location by the main pool and spa. I opted for a light Crab Salad as my massage was booked for just after lunch!
The spa has 11 treatment rooms and a range of complimentary services such as sauna, warm and cold showers and a crystal cold room and also an outdoor hydrotherapy pool.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach. With its white sands and pink towels and umbrellas, it’s truly an iconic sight to behold! The beach concierge is called by a wave of a blue flag, but on arrival you are given a tray of mint infused water, refreshing facial spray, cold towel and menu of the services available including watersports. The non-motorised watersports are complimentary and the motorised watersports are provided by a recommended supplier and are taken away from the beach front to limit the noise and to retain the tranquil beach setting.
The second evening was spent at L’Acajou and hosted by the wonderful Michelle Babb who is head of reservations and who our team here at ITC HQ speak to on a regular basis, so it was great to put a face to the name!
L’Acajou is an open air beachfront fine dining restaurant, with exceptional service and amazing food, it really is a treat and should be experienced at least once while staying at Sandy Lane. My personal choices were the wild mushroom risotto, followed by black cod and then my favourite dessert crème brulee; exceptional!
The following afternoon was spent on ‘Seaduced’, a luxury catamaran private charter which collected us from Sandy Lane beach and took us to a ship wreck for snorkelling and then to swim with the turtles. This amazing adventure was followed by a wonderfully fresh lunch of grilled mahi mahi, chicken and choice of salads, all washed down with rum punch or wine of your choice. Sandy Lane do offer a shared option of a catamaran cruise on a Wednesday afternoon as part of their activity list, but the catamaran can also be booked as a private charter.
We stopped at Lonestar en route back to Sandy Lane, who treated us to cocktails and canapés and a show around their beautiful boutique hotel. This really is a lovely, intimate hotel, boasting a great beachfront location and yacht club design and with a very friendly atmosphere.
Finally Sunday came around and it was time for the famous Sunday Brunch at Sandy Lane before heading back to the airport. ‘Wow’ is how I would best describe the Sunday Brunch. The resort staff had warned us the night before, but also Sunday morning, to limit our food intake as we would need as much room as possible for the brunch…and they weren’t wrong! From the salad bar to the fresh lobster, oysters and king prawns, to the roast meats such as chicken, turkey, ham, suckling pig, lamb and beef with all the traditional trimmings, as well as some Bajan influences such as rice and peas and sweet potato pie and then the desserts; amazing!
What a great end to what was an incredible insight into the world of Sandy Lane and what a world it was; with the exceptional accommodation offering to the amazing, friendly staff, there is nothing to fault it. I had what can only be described as my perfect weekend.