Sandals opens Royal Barbados and overwater bungalows at Jamaica resort

Sandals staff at the ribbon-cutting for the Sandals Royal Barbados.
Sandals staff at the ribbon-cutting for the Sandals Royal Barbados.

It's been a big week for Sandals: one new resort opening, one reopening and a third unveiling its overwater bungalows.

Sandals Royal Barbados welcomed its first guests on Dec. 20.

"Every new resort we develop stands on the shoulders of what came before. We keep getting better and better and for us, right now, Sandals Royal Barbados is a game-changer," said Butch Stewart, chairman and founder of Sandals Resorts International.

The new resort complements the adjacent 280-room Sandals Barbados, which opened in January 2015.

Guests staying at either property can enjoy the amenities of both.

The Sandals Royal Barbados features six restaurants, including American Tavern for casual dining, the Asian fusion Chi with a design inspired by traditional tea rooms and Butch's Steak and Seafood, an a la carte restaurant. There are also Caribbean, Mediterranean and French dining venues.

Between the two resorts, Sandals now offers 17 dining options.

Another first for Sandals is the resort's rooftop entertainment complex that features ocean views, an infinity pool, live music, French bistro fare and a cantilevered cocktail lounge called Raising the BARbados.

In all, Sandals Royal Barbados has five bars, including its first beer garden and the Lover's Lane Bar.

A new entertainment option at ground level includes an entertainment pavilion with a four-lane bowling alley, living room and game room.

Other amenities are the brand's first barber shop, a 15,000-square-foot Red Lane Spa and the Beach House Resort Shop featuring resort wear, home goods, local crafts and provisions.

Rates start at $251 per person, per night, double.

In Antigua, the Sandals Grande Antigua in St. Johns is again open for business, following a three-month closure to redo and refresh.

"The wood is gleaming, the brass is polished and the resort is shining like brand new," Butch Stewart said.

In Jamaica, the Sandals South Coast (formerly Sandals Whitehouse) opened its 12 overwater bungalows on a heart-shaped pier.

Also over the water are the Latitudes bar and a wedding chapel with a glass floor aisle.

Each bungalow features a tranquility soaking tub, a patio and sun deck, outdoor shower, a smart TV, a large ceiling fan, a walk-in rain shower in the bathroom, hammocks, and glass vision floor panels and lit water to observe sea life at any time.

Guests staying in the bungalows have access to 24/7 butler service, in-room dining and room service, private airport transfers and free WiFi.

Additional resort renovations include upgrades to the resort's five restaurants and four new dining options: Sushi on the Sand, Jerk Shack, Schooner's Caribbean restaurant and a beach picnic, which is an option for butler guests.

Rates start at $1,078 per person, per night.

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