I‘m not sure why it took me so long to finally make my way to Barbados, but it did feel really good to be able to scratch yet another southern Caribbean island off my bucket list. The tropical vibes are constantly calling me and I always answer.
Butler Service & The new Sandals Royal Barbados
After a 3/12 to 4 hour flight from Miami, our romantic getaway (and birthday celebration for my sister friend) was already set in motion. Sandals Royal Barbados would be the destination for our 3-day couples’ vacation and just to ensure we really vacationed in style, we opted for butler service. A short wait after grabbing our bags and checking in with the Sandals rep on site, we were whisked away in a beautiful all-white Rolls Royce; the “Ghost” model to be exact. Included with our suite selection, we were immediately wowed by the ride and thoroughly enjoyed that 15 to 20-minute drive to the resort.
We arrived and were immediately introduced to our rotating butlers that would take care of us during our stay. We toured the property and while we did remember a few places we wanted to return to, we were excited to get to our rooms! But first ice cream. We passed up a dessert and ice cream parlor while in route and had to stop (yes, priorities).
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better a winding pathway led us to our little slice of heaven. Our South Seas Royal Rondoval Butler Suite with its very own Private Pool Sanctuary was one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve had the pleasure of staying in. Without attempting to describe the vibe, check out the video I snagged during my stay. We ended our busy travel day with a steak dinner and plenty of cocktails.
If breakfast was my favorite meal of the day, waking up to a breakfast at Sandals solidified that claim. Day two would be spent relaxing at the beach (thanks to our butler’s for reserving our spots so we didn’t have to make the mad rush in the AM), sitting by the pool dancing to reggae music, eating light bites, sipping on cocktails poolside, strolling the resort, and really doing just about nothing. Yes, the perfect way to spend your vacation. Unplugged and relaxed. The butler’s called us on our personal Sandals cell phones and made sure anything we wanted was only a phone call away.
From Bridgetown, to Holetown, to Oistins
On day three, we decided it was time to go out and explore the island. If there is one thing I would recommend is for folks to leave the resort even if it is for a few hours — and even if you booked an all-inclusive! We hired a private driver, so we could make random stops without having to stick to a plan, and off we went.
Our first stop is a must for any visit, and that is the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. Since we had a lot to see on the island, we skipped the guided tour and headed straight for the tasting room (go figure). Mount Gay Rum is the oldest rum in the world and has been produced in Barbados since 1703 using crafted ingredients native to the island. It’s special in both its history and taste. We went with the tasting flight and enjoyed the white rum all the way up the chain and through to their signature and most coveted 1703 Master Select. Fun times were had by all as we sipped, learned a little history, and even threw in a yoga pose for good measure. Namaste.
History would be the draw for our next few stops. But unfortunately, we visited the day before a local holiday and many places were closed 😥 . (Make note of operating hours before stepping out for the day and start early as many places close early too). Although we couldn’t go in, we admired from afar the Parliament and Nidhe Israel, the oldest synagogue in the Western hemisphere founded in 1654. We passed by national sensation, Rhianna’s, childhood home in Bridgetown and passed by her new home mansion near Holetown; not far from the beautiful Sandy Lane Hotel (where I plan on staying next time).
Approximately 850 feet above sea-level and the highest point on the island, Cherry Tree Hill (named for the larger number of cherry trees that once existed there) would be the perfect backdrop for some photo ops with bae. By this time, we were on the north end of the island and decided to head back downward toward the resort via the east side of the island. We enjoyed the beautiful views, took in the local culture, and made our final stop in Ostin’s Bay Gardens for some fried chicken, macaroni pie, and peas & rice. This not-to-be-missed area is the place to be on Friday night (AKA the Oistins Fish Fry) and really any night of the week. There are places to eat up and down the street and the locals come to mix and mingle here as well. If you want to experience true Bajan lifestyle style, add this to your list!
After spending 7 hours out and about, our final night would be a chill one. Well, not all that chill 😉 . We did get a little partying in at Lovers’ Lane (the bowling alley at Sandals) as the DJ dropped some serious jams on the 1’s and 2’s. We danced until we couldn’t dance any more and escaped for a final dip in our private pool sanctuary.
Is it really time to go? Oh no! Please say it ain’t so. Our butlers sang us a goodbye song (ah-mazing) as we were once again whisked away in the “Ghost”. Until soon Barbados, until soon.
Have you been to Barbados? Are you an all-inclusive type of traveler?