When it comes to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, you can’t go wrong with Sandals Royal Barbados. The luxurious adults-only property gives guests the royal treatment with access to a whopping 31 pools, 20 restaurants, an award-winning spa, and a white sand beach with gentle turquoise waves—plus the first-ever Sandals bowling alley.
With base rates starting at $926 per couple per night for a suite with butler service, a stay at Sandals Royal Barbados may make a serious dent in your vacation fund. But it’s well worth the cost if you know how to take advantage of all the five-star experiences this resort has to offer.
Here’s how to make the most of your vacation at Sandals Royal Barbados.
Splurge on butler service
Choosing a room category with butler service is a must if you want the best experience at Sandals Royal Barbados. It comes with a smartphone that will connect you to a team of three professional butlers who can attend to your every need or desire throughout your stay.
They can help make sure you get reservations to the resort’s best restaurants, like the ultra romantic French eatery La Parisienne or the perpetually popular Butch’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, during peak dinner hours. Butler service also means you won’t have to get up at sunrise to claim a beach cabana or loungers by the pool—these hospitality pros will make sure you have a prime waterfront space (plus a cooler chock-full of your favorite drinks) waiting for you. Don’t be surprised if your butler draws a romantic bubble bath on your balcony tub or pops a chilled bottle of bubbly for you just before you return to your room.
No resort is perfect, and if you experience any hiccups during your stay at Sandals Royal Barbados (say, dinner service is going extra slow, or the keys to your room inexplicably stop working), just give your butler a call. They’ll find a solution to your problems right away, so you can get back to what your romantic vacation is really about: relaxing and reconnecting with your partner.
Set up a photoshoot
It’s nearly impossible to leave Sandals Royal Barbados without amazing vacation photos. With pathways lined by perfectly manicured gardens, lagoon-like swimming pools around every corner, and a beach that’s fit for a postcard, the resort offers endless opportunities for photos with your sweetheart. But no need to carry around a selfie stick—Sandals Royal Barbados has professional photographers roving around the property, playfully encouraging guests to strike a pose throughout their stay.
Make the most of the scenic resort by setting up a complimentary couple’s photoshoot at sunset with one of the staff photographers. They’ll bring you and your partner to the most photogenic spots on the property and capture romantic moments as the sky explodes with cotton candy colors in the background.
You can review all the shots taken throughout your stay at the on-property photo studio before departure. There’s no obligation to make a purchase, but don’t be surprised if you end up ordering a few framed photos to remember this romantic trip for years to come.
Treat yourself in between meals
You’ve got tough choices to make when it comes to where to eat at Sandals Royal Barbados. With your “Stay at One, Play at Two” privileges, which offers you access to the adjacent Sandals Barbados for free, you can dine at 20 different restaurants, including an Italian trattoria, a steakhouse with an incredible assortment of sides, a trendy Asian fusion restaurant, an English pub, and a healthy cafe—just to name a few.
But leave some room in between meals to enjoy other special indulgences. Sandals Royal Barbados has a delicious doughnut shop, Sweet ‘n’ Salty’s, that deserves a daily visit during your stay. Pro tip: Order an iced coffee (with or without a splash of your favorite spirit) to go with your glazed treat. After dinner, take a romantic stroll over to Sandals Barbados for an ice cream at the Parisian-style patisserie. And plates of nachos available through room service make the ultimate late-night snack.
Have fun on and off the property
It’s tempting to lounge by the pristine pools or breezy beach all day when you’re visiting Sandals Royal Barbados. But to make the most of your trip, you’ll want to take advantage of the activities and entertainment, too.
Guests at Sandals Royal Barbados have access to something truly special: the first-ever bowling alley at any Sandals. Bowling on a vacation might sound a little corny, but Sandals Royal Barbados makes sure the experience at Lovers Lanes is nothing less than cool. Think: Four glossy lanes, nightclub-inspired lighting, and a large vintage poster of Marilyn Monroe with a bowling in high heels. It’s the perfect place for a little friendly competition with your partner or the chance to bond with other couples at the resort.
Besides bowling, Sandals Royal Barbados also offers guests tons of other ways to have fun during their all-inclusive stay. Watersports options include paddleboards, kayaks, Hobie Cat rides, boogie boards, snorkeling, and diving. On land, you can play volleyball, cricket, bocce ball, pool, shuffleboard, and giant chess. And at night, head to the entertainment pavilion for live music—the Tuesday night reggae fest will get you dancing in no time.
The fun isn’t just confined to the property itself, though. Head to the Island Routes Caribbean Adventures Desk in the lobby to book an excursion and see more of Barbados. They can set you up with the most fun catamaran cruise from Bridgetown to Carlisle Bay, where you can snorkel with sea turtles and see shipwrecks. After an onboard lunch, the crew will turn the catamaran experience into an over-water dance party that gets even the most serious travelers to loosen up. You won’t want to miss it.
Leave your worries at home
While travel restrictions have loosened, COVID-19 is still a risk. Sandals Royal Barbados makes traveling during the pandemic as worry-free as possible, though. It offers free COVID-19 tests on-site to ensure you have the paperwork you need to return home. If you do happen to test positive while on your trip, the resort will cover your quarantine, food, and drinks for up to 14 days. Plus, if COVID-19 disrupts your trip, Sandals will give you a voucher to replace your vacation for free over the next year.
Taking a vacation these days is complicated, but these traveler-friendly policies from Sandals take a lot of the stress out of the experience.