A Bajan institution synonymous with conspicuous luxury, Sandy Lane exists in its own Palladian-style microcosm made up of chauffeured Rolls-Royces and celebrity patrons who treat it as a home-away-from-home. And yet, despite all this grandeur, the homely atmosphere ensures its enduring popularity is ever tangible. Committed to a certain kind of traditional service where no detail is overlooked, life here is so intrinsically easy and unhurried, it’s no surprise it’s consistently ranked as the best place to stay on Barbados.
Firmly entrenched on the Platinum Coast and sprawled across four wings offering both ocean and garden views, Sandy Lane’s location is a carefully considered one and is the most sought-after address on Barbados. Of course, the main attraction is the 300 yard long arc of powdery golden sand backing on to the estate and shaded by mammoth mahogany trees.
…old-school Caribbean splendour. This is a never-lift-a-finger kind of place where diligent attendants patrol the sentinel of signature pink sun loungers ready to polish smudged sunglasses and cool off warm, tanned faces with a light water mist. Those that are privy know not to unpack on arrival, instead they head to one of the seven bars scattered throughout the resort for a welcome drink and return to unpacked suitcases and an organised wardrobe. Long-time guests can be welcomed back with monogrammed sheets.
The golf courses here – that’s right plural, there’s three of them – are some of the finest in the world. Teeing off at The Old Nine and The Country Club involve stopping to gaze at sweeping views of the island’s west coast, but real golf aficionados are found waiting their turn to play the renowned Green Monkey – an exclusive course carved out of an old limestone quarry.
Unsurprisingly, the kids’ club at Sandy Lane is one of the best on the island and with a multitude of age-appropriate activities complaints of boredom are quickly exchanged for squeals of joy. Sailing lessons and annual summer sports camps nurture younger children’s self-esteem, while outdoor movies, island tours and mocktail parties mean the older are just as indulged, making it a hit with teens too. This is the type of institution that sees the same families return year after year, and witnesses babies growing into toddlers, then teens, then adults.
While all rooms here are spacious and classical – adorned with dark mahogany furniture, splashes of signature pastel tones and private patio spaces – The Villa at Sandy Lane exists in its own class. The most coveted on Barbados and set in its own private gardens, this stately five-bedroom residence with its dedicated staff is the epitome of luxury.
In a place that has it all inside its walls there’s little reason to venture outside; however if the impulse does strike there are few memorable ways to explore history at the old plantation houses, quaint forgotten villages and coastlines than on a horseback ride that concludes on one of the island’s most remote beaches. Meanwhile, below the water, forget snorkelling in the shallows and step on board the Atlantis Submarine to explore the kaleidoscopic world at the depths of Barbados’ sea.
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