Sandals Royal Barbados

5.0 star rating

Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 1602 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Wonderful honeymoon stay..with a few issues

    Reviewed by cdesilva(Boca Raton, Florida) on Dec 11, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    We splurged and booked a Rondoval with Butler service for our honeymoon for six nights. As everyone here says, it's really one big resort with an easy walk in between. We LOVED our room, the privacy and the space. 3 butlers - all were fine but Christina went above and beyond for us. When the butler sunset cruise was fully booked, we went to the butler manager and complained. Why shouldn't we get everything we paid for as a butler guest? They got us on at the last minute with Christina actually helping me get dressed in a jiffy and a golf cart ride to make it on time. The snorkeling trip was fully booked. This is what makes me angry. They obviously need more resources if a guest is paying for butler extras, and they are completely booked as soon as you arrive. We enjoyed all the restaurants except CHI, which was bland and unappealing. One disappointment was the entertainment. Sandals is a multi million dollar company. Can't they afford to hire real musicians, instead of hiring singers to play karaoke/tracks? We enjoyed the reggae band (real players) and the Saturday night variety show..but the rest? Just not up to par. Beach was very nice, we enjoyed the all the pools, except ours at the room was really cold. DID NOT enjoy the Captain Larry tour. But I will review that separately.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-5

    Service

    Service-4

    Paradise.. With hiccups

    Reviewed by EmilyH1989(Cornwall, United Kingdom) on Dec 11, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    This is hands down the most beautiful resort I have ever stayed in. The grounds, the pool, the surroundings are all amazing, and truly does feel like a paradise: Overall we had an amazing holiday, we can’t say it was completely perfect , the holiday did come with a few hiccups. We had a butler suite, so had 3 butlers during our stay. We arrived late, we never really had a wow welcome on our arrival and our butlers had gone home. The first two days our butlers were non existent, and it was the first time we had a butler so we were unsure how it worked. We asked them to reserve beds, and 5 out of 7 days it never happened. We quickly cottoned on and actually got up early ourselves to reserve beds (btw 100% need to get up early and reserve beds, it’s ridiculous, especially on the beach, we only managed to get a bed on the last day, went for lunch for 40 mins, came back and someone had taken our loungers) we asked our butlers to book an excursion for us, i was told they couldn’t do that, yet I could hear other butlers arranging the same excursion for their guests. One night they never actually made a reservation at the restaurant so when we turned up we were turned away. It was very frustrating and awkward. We were then obviously squeezed onto a table that was not ready and it ruined the meal. It almost made us feel that we should have booked the restaurants ourselves. I don’t feel like we had the full butler experience, we constantly seen other butlers attending to their guests all the time, we were lucky if we saw ours once during the day. On the one occasion I asked one of the butlers to bring us lunch, she actually responded and said ‘do you want me to get that or just go yourself.’ I also found every time we would go back to our room, a butler would be in there, and I was made to feel that I had to leave whilst they made up a towel display etc. Of course, we never let this ruin our holiday, in fact we had the most amazing holiday ever! The room, block 7, beautiful. Spacious, clean and a great view of the sea. Our wardrobe was a bit temperamental, it wouldn’t shut properly and on the first night it kept opening and it automatically switches the light on, we got up about 7 times that night til my partner worked out if we use the umbrella to jam the door then the door wouldn’t open.. They have some really good quality toiletries in there. I am fussy when it comes to hair products but the conditioner was amazing; salon quality!! Housekeeping was great, always left the room gleaming! One evening they turned up at like 22.30 when we were asleep, which was strange but only happened the once. We found the staff a bit hit and miss with service, the maintenance guys, maids, water sports guys and drink servers were fun and really friendly but I found a lot of the restaurant staff moody and snappy. The food was great, breakfast at la Parissene was the best, we tried the American tavern once but couldn’t beat the French restaurant. We didn’t really have a bad meal anywhere. Can’t fault the food. Glass bottom boat excursion was fun, seen a few turtles, and the captain and team was really good fun. The main pool was the place to be in my opinion. Nice atmosphere. They do play loud music but I quite enjoyed it. We had no issues with vendors on the beach. The transfer was only 10 minutes which was ideal. We were met by ‘suntours’ a big yellow bus, it didn’t really feel like a luxury transfer. I feel like maybe we were out of luck with our butler team, it almost would have been easier if they just never introduced themselves at all, and left us to arrange reservations etc ourselves. If we booked again; we wouldn’t book butler, although you do get a better room! Having a butler turned out to be more of a hinderance than a help.

    Disappointed & underwhelmed

    Reviewed by ljswosh(Jersey, UK) on Dec 11, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    My review covers both Sandals Barbados and the Royal as this really is just one resort not two. We have over 100 nights at Sandals resorts and have noticed a decline in quality and value for money over the last few years and now having stayed in Barbados we are unlikely to stay with them again. Despite being supposed ‘VIP’ guests and booking on arrival it wasn’t until the 6th of our 9 night stay we could get any restaurant reservations, yes there are other options available but we should have the choice of where we dine throughout our stay and not just the last few nights. Evening meals were generally average to poor (Portofino’s) with the only really good meal both in food and service was at the chophouse, the Wagyu beef was delicious. We ate breakfast at the American Tavern, Spice and Portofino’s, choice was limited, repetitive and the quality again pretty poor, as was the service at Portofino’s where dirty plates were left in front of us for 15 minutes and the pastry basket forgotten on both occasions and the restaurant was very quiet at the time. Lunches were generally ok, nice Pizza and burgers, we had lunch at the pub on the day of departure, my husband had to send his back and unfortunately he was ill travelling home. We had a nice room on the 3rd floor in the Royal House with a nice view of the beach and pool. The housekeeper was very good and apart from not being able to pre-order wine or champagne for our room on arrival no complaints for the mini bar. We could not find one decent cocktail to drink during the day, which was probably a good thing as my husband felt invisible when ordering at the pool bar by the infinity pool and only offered drinks service around the pool maybe 2 or 3 times a day. They also ran out of bottled water on a number of occasions which were surely available somewhere. The cocktail choice in the evenings was far better and with a good variety of bars/things to do and the Monday night beach party great fun. However unless you like to play volleyball there were virtually no activities during the day, the few listed rarely happened and whereby we are normally on first name terms will all playmakers we only spoke with them twice. The beach is too short for a walk and the sea a bit rough for the water sports so really quite boring during the day. The above are all relatively minor niggles although combined did affect our stay but for me what really let the place down was the lack of atmosphere throughout the resort, not the happy vibe we have come to expect from a luxury Caribbean vacation and very few of the staff made any effort to ensure a good time.

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-2

    Our Third Sandals

    Reviewed by Robin B(Toronto, Canada) on Dec 09, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    We booked Royal while it was being built and we were on the other side. It is definitely Sandals quality, but not beyond that. I found the butlers to be a little lost, although very nice. A special celebration we had asked for was completely forgotten. Restaurants are MUCH better on the other side, with the exception of Butch's. The Royal side Butch's is much quieter. I was glad that the other resort was so close. Closer than next door, really-there is just a paved walkway separating them. Skip the beach Cabanas. They aren't oriented in a way that allows a breeze so it gets very hot. Have breakfast delivered to your room every day. But plan on it being 15 minutes early or late than your requested time. Do the bowling. Land sports are the best thing about this resort. Skip the loyalty dinner. It's a hard sell on their charities.

    Individual ratings:

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-3

    Beautiful Resort, Underwhelming Performance

    Reviewed by ThirstyTraveller88(Beamsville, Canada) on Dec 07, 2019

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    The Sandals Barbados and Royal Barbados are two separate resorts that are attached in the middle. You can easily walk between the two. The Royal is a much newer facility with updated amenities and restaurants. You can access all the amenities from either side, so if you want to save a 1000 easily, stay on the Sandals Barbados side and walk over to the Royal. The Royal has some great extras from the other Sandals we’ve been to. With a bowling alley, donut shop and craft beer bar we were impressed with what it had to offer. Be sure to stop at the sky infinity pool and rooftop bar for a drink. The food was underwhelming. The dinner at the French restaurant boasted chateau Briand and duck breast. The chateau briand was definitely the wrong cut of meat. As my husband had two small steaks that were overcooked. My duck breast was so chewy and tough I couldn’t finish it. It’s not the food itself, but the preparation that could use some work. After speaking with a new member of the management team who is diligently working to correct these issues we will check back in 4 or 5 years to see if service matches the beautiful atmosphere.