A top Caribbean honeymoon destination, Barbados has excellent year-round weather, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water, rich culture and history, delicious cuisine and rum, and friendly hospitality. The lovely island is home to two Sandals all-inclusive adults-only resorts, both in St. Lawrence Gap: Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados.
In case you do not want to continue reading… here is the short of it.
Book at Sandals Barbados. It will save you money and you will be in a quieter area. You can still very easily walk over to Sandals Royal Barbados when you would like.
Wondering, what’s the difference between Sandals Royal Barbados and Sandals Barbados? If you’re planning a couples’ trip or honeymoon in Barbados and want to stay at a Sandals, this comparison of Sandals Barbados or Sandals Royal Barbados can help you choose which Sandals resort in Barbados is best for you.
Sandals Royal Barbados vs. Sandals Barbados: Overview
When you vacation or honeymoon at either Sandals in Barbados, you actually get two resorts in one. Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados are actually right next door to each other, so you’ll have access to a total of 20 restaurants, 14 bars, 11 pools, and 5 whirlpools.
You can easily walk between the two resorts, making it extremely easy to enjoy any of the pools, restaurants, or bars on the adjacent property.
Both Barbados Sandals resorts are set on one of the best beaches in Barbados, Maxwell Beach, in the St. Lawrence Gap area. They are 25 minutes away from the capital city of Bridgetown.
The recently expanded Sandals Royal Barbados is a fantastic adults-only all-inclusive resort for couples seeking that perfect romantic resort in Barbados. An entirely new area was added in 2021, the South Seas Village, which features 66 new luxury suites, 2 new pools, and 2 new healthy dining concepts.
An elegant all-suite resort, Sandals Royal Barbados features unique aspects such as Sandals’ first-ever rooftop pool, restaurant, and bar; first craft beer bar; first bowling alley; first gourmet doughnut shop; and two new restaurant concepts.
Sandals Barbados is also a luxury beachfront adults-only all-inclusive resort that provides the perfect setting for honeymoons or romantic getaways in Barbados. Named the second-best all-inclusive resort in Barbados by U.S. News, it features three different areas—the Caribbean Village, the Crystal Lagoon Village, and the Beachfront Village—each with its own vibe.
Which Sandals resort is the highest rated? Sandals Barbados is slightly higher rated than Sandals Royal Barbados (4.5 on TripAdvisor and 4.3 on Google for Sandals Barbados vs. 4 on TripAdvisor and 4.3 on Google for Sandals Royal Barbados).
Tip: If you prefer a more peaceful honeymoon or romantic getaway, stay at Sandals Barbados. This resort is quieter and the rooms cost less, but since it is literally next door to Sandals Royal Barbados, you can enjoy all the amenities there but sleep on the quieter side.
Sandals Barbados vs. Sandals Royal Barbados: Getting There
Since these two Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Barbados are next door to each other, it takes the same amount of time to get to either of them. They are just about 5 miles from the airport, so you can get your relaxing getaway started quickly. And it’s easy to get to either Sandals Barbados resort, as they offer complimentary transfers to and from the airport.
What airport do you fly into for Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados? To get to your couples’ vacation or honeymoon in Barbados, you’ll fly into Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI).
Sandals Royal Barbados vs. Sandals Barbados: Accommodations
The main difference between accommodations at Sandals Royal Barbados and Sandals Barbados is that every room at Sandals Royal Barbados is a suite, while Sandals Barbados offers both rooms and suites.
You have a wonderful variety of romantic suites to choose from at Sandals Royal Barbados. The amazing Skypool Suites are beachfront and on higher floors, featuring jaw-dropping views from the room and balcony, which has a private infinity edge Skypool as well as a Tranquility Soaking Tub™ for two. There’s also a separate living room with dining table, fully stocked wet bar, and spacious bathroom with two showers and a freestanding bathtub. These suites also come with personal butler service for the ultimate pampering.
Beachfront Prime Minister Suites are on the ground floor just steps from the sand and offer private plunge pools, a large patio with Tranquility Soaking Tub for two, separate living rooms with dining table, fully stocked wet bar, and spacious bathroom with two showers and a freestanding bathtub. These suites also come with butler service.
Sandals Royal Barbados also offers the incredible Rondoval Suites, which are round with 20-foot ceilings and have a private pool sanctuary just off the bedroom that features an oversized patio with a plunge pool, loungers, a dining table, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two. There’s also a separate living room with wet bar and a bathroom with huge soaking tub. The Rondoval Suites also come with butler service and are nestled in lush gardens for the ultimate privacy.
Millionaire Crystal Lagoon Swim-up Suites at Sandals Royal Barbados have private patios with a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two and direct access to the swimming pool, as well as a separate living room and butler service. You can also choose other swim-up suites, beachfront suites with soaking tubs on the private balcony, penthouse suites, garden view suites with balcony soaking tubs, and more.
Sandals Barbados offers 280 rooms and suites to choose from, most of them with Tranquility Soaking Tubs™ for two on their private patio or balcony; all are beautifully decorated.
How about a Crystal Lagoon Swim-up Suite that features a private patio with direct access to the largest lagoon pool in Barbados? You can spend glorious hours sipping champagne (delivered by your butler) on private loungers set on a recessed shelf in the pool, or in your Tranquility Soaking Tub on the patio.
At Sandals Barbados, you can also choose beachfront suites with soaking tubs on the private balcony or garden view Crystal Lagoon Honeymoon Suites. Or splurge on the Beachfront Penthouse Suite and get butler service included, along with a separate living room, a clawfoot tub and dual control walk-in rain shower in the spa-like bathroom, and sweeping views of the Caribbean from your spacious private balcony and Tranquility Soaking Tub.
Sandals Royal Barbados vs. Sandals Barbados: Activities
You won’t run out of things to do during your stay at either Sandals Royal Barbados or Sandals Barbados. Since the resorts are so close together, you can easily take advantage of all the activities and amenities at both.
Relax on the gorgeous stretch of soft white sand and gaze out at the crystal clear water, which is calm and perfect for swimming. A variety of complimentary water sports is available at both Sandals Barbados resorts including snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, glass bottom boats, scuba diving, and Hobie Cat sailing. Professional instruction in watersports is even included (except for scuba diving).
If you want to stay on land, you can play beach volleyball, basketball, pool, or day and night tennis; take a yoga class; or work out at the state-of-the-art fitness center. You can also go bowling at the 4-lane bowling alley at Sandals Royal Barbados. Both resorts have the incredible Red Lane Spa, which offers a range of restorative treatments (not included) and a steam room.
At Sandals Royal Barbados you can lounge by one of several pools by the beach, in lush gardens, or on the roof, including some with swim-up bars. At Sandals Barbados, the main pool overlooks the ocean and features a swim-up bar, and the lagoon pool is the largest in Barbados. There’s also a seaside infinity-edge whirlpool.
You can also get out and see Barbados. Visit nearby St. Lawrence Gap or go to the capital city of Bridgetown and hit bustling Broad Street for some shopping, explore botanical gardens, or tour rum distilleries like Mount Gay or St. Nicholas Abbey, which also has a museum in a 350-year-old plantation home.
Or book an excursion such as golfing, a tour of historic and scenic sights, a visit to Hamilton’s Caves and a wildlife preserve, a swim and snorkel tour of Carlisle Bay that goes to 3 shipwrecks, a catamaran cruise, an underwater submarine cruise, and more.
Sandals Royal Barbados vs. Sandals Barbados: Dining
Both Sandals Barbados resorts offer a variety of world-class cuisines. Guests can choose from a total of 20 restaurants between the two resorts.
There are 9 restaurants at Sandals Royal Barbados, and they include a few firsts, including the first Sandals rooftop restaurant (which serves French cuisine), the American Tavern serving traditional American food, and the Chi Asian fusion restaurant which combines the flavors of Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan, and China.
There’s also a steak and seafood restaurant, a beachfront Mediterranean seafood restaurant, a farm-to-table restaurant, a Caribbean jerk shack, a gourmet doughnut and coffee shop, and a deli that serves healthy sandwiches, soups, salads, and smoothies.
The 11 restaurants at Sandals Barbados include Indian, a world-class steakhouse, and a beachfront seafood grill. You can also savor sushi, Caribbean, Italian, Asian, pizza, and Parisian-style pastries. There’s also a hot dog stand by the pool for quick lunches.
As at every Sandals resort, all meals, snacks, and beverages are included in your stay, so you can feast to your heart’s content! Room service is included in club and butler level rooms, with butler suites offering 24-hour room service. You can also book a private candlelight dinner on the beach for an extra fee.
Sandals Royal Barbados vs. Sandals Barbados: Nightlife
You certainly won’t be bored after the sun goes down at a Sandals resort. At Sandal Royal Barbados there are 6 bars, including swim-up bars, a piano bar, Sandals’ first-ever craft beer bar, and Sandals’ first-ever rooftop bar. The Sky Rooftop Bar features a glass-edged zero-entry infinity pool and a whirlpool to really enjoy your cocktails in style. (There’s also a rooftop restaurant so you can easily move from happy hour to dinner without losing that incredible view.) You can also have fun at Sandals’ first-ever bowling alley.
Sandals Barbados has 7 bars, including a swim-up bar and a tiki bar. There is plenty of nightly entertainment at both Sandals resorts in Barbados, including theme nights, singalongs at the piano bar, beach parties, chocolate buffets, Barbados Day and street jamboree, and live shows.
Sandals Barbados vs. Sandals Royal Barbados: Cost
Sandals Barbados is less expensive than Sandals Royal Barbados. Sandals Barbados is an affordable honeymoon destination, with rates starting at $277 per person per night. This makes it one of the most affordable Sandals resorts.
Rates at Sandals Royal Barbados start at $320 per person per night.
Your rate at either location will cover the same inclusions offered at all Sandals resorts: complimentary airport transfers; all dining and beverages including unlimited premium liquors and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines; a stocked minibar in your room; a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee; water sports and equipment plus professional instruction; WiFi; daily and nightly entertainment; unlimited land sports; state-of-the-art fitness center; and all tips, taxes and gratuities.
Now that you’ve read our comparison of the two, what do you think? Would you choose Sandals Barbados or Sandals Royal Barbados for your Barbados honeymoon or romantic escape? Let us know in the comments!