Travel Nut here…
And a long time lover of Barbados (like over 30 Years of love)
Not surprised to hear that Sandals Barbados is still facing renovations etc.
The property it is on has had a rather lengthy and unsuccessful history as an AI **
First it was known as the Almond Beach Club Casuarina… then it became Couples Barbados… and when that failed… Sandals bought it.
(And so far ALL OF THEM have had rather brief ownership)
** The thing is AIs don’t do well in Barbados because it is a very safe and prosperous Island (1st World), so it doesn’t have to depend on AIs to attract Tourists… Tourists can easily thrive ANYWHERE on Barbados without much of an issue… and often for a heck of a lot less than an AI is going to charge !!
Barbados is GORGEOUS… and one of my own favourite Caribbean Islands (was there again on my Honeymoon). If I was going I wouldn’t want to limit myself just to an AI for meals & activities… I’d be out enjoying the many things that this Island has to offer (Geography, History, Architecture, Sightseeing, Water Sports, Great Eats, Nightlife, Shopping etc). And very friendly & warm people.
Barbados isn’t the Destination for everyone… as it is soooo very much first world… and so in many ways like the US or Canada… but for some people that is part of the attraction, being able to get around without too many worries (English Language, US Currency Accepted, Familiar Food, Clean Water, Good Record of Health & Safety etc).
If your dream is to go to an Island AI and just park yourself on the Beach all day… and not do much else… Barbados has some GORGEOUS Beaches for sure… BUT that isn’t the best way to spend your vacation dollars. You can go elsewhere to an AI in a less progressive (more rustic) country and get a better bang for your buck… and don’t feel like you’ve missed out on the whole Island experience… you can have both.
Example… St Lucia. Very much a rustic tropical island. More 2nd World Country than first… but still very safe. As it is a Rain Forest and once volcanic it offers up enough to see & do… but it is still very much not like the USA / Canada. It is an excellent Island for an AI vacation (are are several others in the Lesser Antilles… both Windward & Leeward Islands)
If you are into an AI vacation, I’d do more research on other Destinations.
If your fascination is with Barbados, I’d do more research on other types of Accommodations… B&Bs, Hotels (Chains and Mom & Pops), and Condos & Villa Rentals… there are literally TONS of options for this Island at ALL PRICE POINTS
Hope this helps,