When the Sam Lord's Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort opens in late September, it will become not only the largest all-inclusive to open in Barbados, but the largest hotel in Barbados in general, said Eduardo Cruz del Rio, vice president of operations for Latin America and Caribbean for Wyndham Hotels.
During our recent coverage of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados, Travel Market Report toured the grounds of the Sam Lord's Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort to check in on the progress being made.
Cruz del Rio said construction started six years ago. COVID set the project back two years, he said. The hotel is expected to open on September 30, said Cruz del Rio. He said even though they already have one booking in place for more than a year from now, they will be taking all bookings within the next month.
Cruz del Rio said when the Sam Lord's Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort opens it will represent Barbados' largest hotel and will also include Barbados' largest banquet facility. It will also represent the newest all-inclusive in Barbados, an island that does not have a large all-inclusive presence.
Cruz del Rio said his hotel doesn't plan to compete with Sandals Barbados, perhaps the most well-known all-inclusive resort in the destination. Sandals is couples-only, whereas Cruz del Rio said the Sam Lord's Castle Barbados, A Wyndham Grand Resort will be family-friendly. He said the hotel will be divided into three sections - one for families, one that will be adults-only and a final section for groups.
"We will not have much competition in Barbados because many cannot accommodate the large groups we will be attracting," said Cruz del Rio, noting that most Barbados hotels have an average of 110 rooms.
"Our competition," continued Cruz del Rio, "will most likely come from other islands."
The hotel complex is made up of five towers, each housing about 80 to 100 rooms. There is a total of 422 rooms. That includes nearly 150 Deluxe Queen rooms, about 235 Deluxe King rooms, about 20 Executive Suites, 11 One-Bedroom Suites, and four Presidential Suites.
The Spa at Sam Lord’s Castle will have a total of eight treatment rooms. Six of the treatment rooms will be indoors and two will be outside, said Cruz del Rio.
The project is a new build development. The last property located on the land was another Sam Lord's Castle Hotel, said Cruz del Rio. He said it was a Marriott and was knocked down about 20 years ago because it wasn't worth renovating.
Cruz del Rio said the hotel will lend itself to sustainable tourism, thus there will be local, organic produce available for guests.
"Almost all of the produce will be sourced 100 percent locally," said Cruz del Rio. "Barbados is a very diverse island and there is a lot of agriculture here."
Cruz del Rio said he recently showed off the property to about 40 travel advisors during Caribbean Travel Marketplace and it was well-received.
"They loved it," he said. "There is great interest in this property because there is so much history here. This place is in the heart of the Barbadians too because many of them got married here."