He didn’t greet his new neighbor with a plate of cookies, but Alistair Forrest, general manager of Cobblers Cove in Barbados, nonetheless welcomes the arrival of Sandals to the island.
“It’s fabulous news to have Sandals here and soon a Beaches resort, as well,” Forrest said. “We needed something to shake this place up, to show that Barbados is part of the Caribbean.”
Forrest pointed out Cobblers and Sandals are not direct competitors. “Our markets are different,” he said. “Sandals is all-inclusive, Cobblers is not, although we do include afternoon tea and offer a dinner-included rate and a dine-around package with two other properties. Sandals is bigger, with 280 rooms; Cobblers is boutique size, with 40 suites.”
The Sandals resort, formerly Couples Barbados, opened Nov. 6 and is planning a number of enhancements.
Cobblers Cove, a Relais & Chateaux member for the past 22 years, recently completed several refurbishment projects, including guestroom furnishings, bathroom upgrades, new sundecks and lounges for its Colleton and Camelot suites, new decor for the restaurant and pastel uniforms for the wait staff.
“Cobblers isn’t planning an expansion,” Forrest said. “We just keep making it better, not bigger.”