Destination: Barbados!

February 9, 2017

If you’re considering the Island of Barbados, consider the luxury-included ® Sandals Barbados and I can help you for sure!  Here’s some great information from my trip to the resort and helpful facts you should find useful in your decision making process.  I had the pleasure of visiting this island and property for the first time in October 2015.

 

 

 

Barbados History:  After indigenous settlers, the Spanish and Portuguese briefly claimed Barbados from the late 16th to 17th centuries. The English were the first permanent settlers before Barbados became a British colony. In 1966 Barbados became an independent state and despite being an Atlantic island, it is considered to be part of the Caribbean.  Its original exports included tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane.  Current exports are sugar, molasses, rum, food and beverages, chemicals, and electrical components. The capital is Bridgetown which is located approximately 5 miles from Sandals Barbados.  The 2016 population is approximately 291,000 people, the currency is the Bajan dollar (BBD) and the conversion rate is  $1.00 US = 2.00 BBD.   Barbados is approximately 167 square miles and has about 61 beaches.

 

 

Sandals Barbados is located in Christ Church, approx. 10 minutes from the main airport, Grantley Adams International (BGI), at the lower part of the island. From Miami, it is an approximately 3.5 hour flight. From New York City (JFK) there are direct flights that are approximately 5 hours long.

 

 

 

Resort Facts: There are approx. 280 rooms (+ more under construction in 2017) in 14 different categories and include Red Lane Spa amenities in the room.  The resort boasts 11 restaurants including:  Bombay Club, Butch’s Chophouse, Café de Paris, Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana, The Merry Monkey English Pub, Kimono’s Oriental Cuisine, Portofino’s Italian Restaurant, Schooners Seafood Grill, Soy Sushi Bar, Bayside Restaurant (buffet) and The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill. The main wine brand is Robert Mondavi and Appleton Estate Rum is another staple you can enjoy (along with many other brands of quality liquors including Banks Beer, brewed in Barbados.)

 

 

The beach is long and public and there are 3 pools and 2 whirlpools on the property. Guests can enjoy water sports, beach, pools, games, entertainment, Red Lane Spa and more fun on property and all-inclusive food and beverages.  Basic WI-FI is also included.

 

 

The resort is front-to-back in layout (facing from the sea).  It spreads back from the beach onto the island.  The most popular section is of course the Beachfront Village which has the main pool and whirlpool, swim up bar and other amenities as well as the beach and the rooms in this section offer great views of the sea! Some of the many restaurants and English pub are located towards the left rear side of the resort near the main lobby. The three main villages are:  Beachfront, Caribbean to the right side, and the Crystal Lagoon Village towards the back.

 

 

 

Additional Sightseeing/Tours: There are plenty of other things to do as well on the island, for nominal fees, through your travel agent or at the Island Routes tour desk once on property.  These are some of the many suggestions, with current pricing as of the date of this blog:  (all prices are generally per person/pp)

 

-Jolly Roger Lunch Cruise- $103pp   4hrs

-Sun, Sand and Snorkeling Cruise- $102pp  5hrs

-Caves & Critters- $81pp  4hrs and 30minutes

-Reading Road Trip-$25pp   1hr 30minutes

-Bridgetown Shopping and Historic Walk Tour- $ 48pp    4hrs

-Bridgetown VIP shopping-$12pp

-Barbados 4x4 Jeep Safari- $110pp    5hrs 30minutes

-Ultimate Snorkel Tour & Bridgetown Shopping- $60pp  4hrs

-3 Rounds on the Fairway from Barbados- $248pp   4hrs 30minutes

-All Fore Golf (Unlimited for 7  days) in Barbados- $523pp  4hrs 30minutes

-Runaway Golfer (single 18 hole round)- $99  4hrs 30minutes

-Harbour Lights Night Out- $40    3hrs

-Oistins Express- $8   3hrs

 

You can also find other tours by asking your hosts at the resort including full island tours, rum distillery tours, historical locations, museums, and more.  Use this link to explore in advance:  www.visitbarbados.org/

 

Arriving/stay/departing:  When you arrive at the airport and clear customs and get your baggage, proceed to the Sandals Desk outside the airport terminal to be shuttled to the resort, this is included in your vacation. For a private car transfer, just ask me!  Once you are there, they will check you in and you will be greeted with a fresh towel and cool drink.   During check in, they will ask for a credit card to hold for any incidentals, such as gift store purchases, cabana rentals, spa treatments, or excursions. (Tipping on property is ONLY allowed for spa attendants and butlers!  You cannot tip the servers, bartenders and other staff, don’t put their job at risk!  Non-resort personnel, such as shuttle drivers and tour attendants are ok to tip also. I usually suggest you bring a couple hundred dollars max in cash with you.) You will leave your baggage and it will be brought to your room while you check in.  At most Sandals, luxury level guests will check in at the main lobby, club level in the club lounge and butler guests will complete their check in in their rooms. There are daily resort tours and orientations if you need it, just ask at check in or contact the front desk at any time. For WI-FI access, it is usually your room number and last name, but ask to make sure when you check in…sometimes it takes a few minutes for them to activate your access code. 

 

Most Sandals resorts have a daily newspaper or bulletin, left in your room each previous night which will outline the next days activities, dining options and more along with corresponding times of each.  Some restaurants require reservations-I suggest visiting the restaurant desk (or club lounge if in club room) and making them on your second day since they cannot be made in advance.  If you are in a butler room, your butler would have already made them for you and will cover them on arrival, and you can change them as well. You should also schedule any tours or excursions your second day since sometimes they sell out. Take care of this and dining reservations before you sit back and begin to enjoy your stay.  (I highly suggest a small extension cord for your trip, say about 6-10’ long that is two prong, to use in your room as well.) 

 

Most resorts have beach or pool cabanas for rent as well for a small fee.  Butlers for those in those room categories will also arrange for reserved chairs and usually provide a cooler full of refreshments for you as well. There are usually plenty of towels located near the beach and pools you can use-you do not have to take the ones from your room! If you have any concerns while on property, make sure to download the free Sandals App and use the loop to connect directly with management.  (here’s a pic) 

 

 

You will also have an opportunity while on property to take advantage of an incredible deal for a return trip to your resort through the Loyalty and Travel desk.   This offer will save you 10% or more, and usually requires an approximate $350.00 deposit.  Once you return, you can send me the information sheet they provided you and we can get the next trip transferred back to me so I can service you again and make it even better!   You should also register for Sandals Select (SSG) once you are on property…this will save you even more on a return trip. Make note of your 16 digit SSG # when you register.

 

Now that we’ve had a great vacation, it’s time to check out.  The night before, the resort will provide you an information sheet of your departure.  Please check to make sure the flight and times listed match yours!  You will leave your bags outside your room at the stated time and then when it is time to go, you just go to the lobby and they will ask you to pay any balance you may have, then bring you to the airport. It’s so easy!

 

 

Simple facts for booking a Sandals Vacation:

-there is no price difference in using a travel agent, our service is complimentary to you!

-all rooms are based on double occupancy

-$400.00 down secures your dates and travel insurance averages $228.00 for two people

-you can make payments as you go

-final balances are due 45 days prior to travel

-basic WI-FI is included

 

If there is anything else I can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to ask me anytime.  You can reach me at mark@markbrenneisen.com or 518-792-6092.  Enjoy Barbados!

 

 

 

 

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