Sandy Point Beach Club - Review Page 1
Reviewed by Steve & Jill Wooler in February 2006
The Sandy Point Beach Club has been operational since 1977. Most of the 47 apartments are operated on a timeshare basis, as an affiliate of Resort Condominiums International (RCI).
Some apartments are privately owned and others are retained for exclusive rental purposes. The timeshare apartments are also available for rental, subject to availability, on a weekly (Friday to Friday) basis.
Seven different grades of accommodation are offered, from simple ‘Efficiency Studios’ sleeping four, up to a lovely ‘Beach Villa’, sleeping eight.
The Sandy Point Beach Club has long intrigued me. Not simply because it is Tobago’s only timeshare property, but far more because of the confusion with Sandy Point Village which for some years seemed almost interchangeable with the Beach Club, offering a similar number and type of apartment from what appeared to be the same compound.
The more I investigated, the more confused I became. Eventually, the fog cleared. The first Manager of the Beach Club had purchased a number of Beach Club apartments plus the adjacent plot of land on which he built Sandy Point Village while still employed as manager of the Beach Club.
During 2005, the Beach Club won a landmark victory in this confused situation when, after years of wrangling, they were able to re-purchase all of the beach club apartments owned by the Village. The real concern to management, however, was that the Beach Club has built an excellent reputation; precisely the opposite to that of the Village. So confused is the situation that even local businesses confuse the two operations.
So, I must start by stressing that this review relates to Sandy Point Beach Club and in NO way to the adjacent Sandy Point Village. Please remember: Beach Club YES; Village NO.
The Sandy Point Beach Club is located on, as you might have guessed, Sandy Point – a small coral headland on the western tip of Tobago. It is therefore situated within the general region that we describe as ‘Region 1: Crown Point’ in all myTobago listings.
As you land at Crown Point International, you cannot mistake the distinctive buildings immediately north (left) of the start of the runway. Visitors will have natural concerns, therefore, about aircraft noise. I can assure them that it is little worse than at any of the dozens of hotels (including the island’s most popular luxury hotel), guesthouses and apartments in the Crown Point area. In other words, it will NOT be a problem to the average visitor. Tobago only handles about twelve international (long-haul, non-Caribbean) flights per week. Over and above these, the airport handles an average of around one regional or air-bridge flight every 45 minutes from about 06:30am in the morning to 9:45pm in the evening. Most of these secondary flights are smaller aircraft that make little noise.
Located at the edge of the popular Crown Point area, the Beach Club is within 10-15 minute walking distance of a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, shops, mini-marts and small shops. The hotel offers a twice-daily complimentary shuttle service to Store Bay and Mount Irvine beaches. We understand that a shuttle to Pigeon Point will be re-introduced shortly.
The architecture of the Beach Club is novel and best illustrated from the air. A huge 500-year old Banyan tree dominates the grounds and dwarfs the buildings. The most noticeable feature, however, is the red roof of the building with its distinctive steeply-pitched peaks, set above stark white rendered blockwork in an unusual staggered arrangement. Each ‘pitch’ houses two apartments, accessed via a common covered corridor to the rear; one apartment on the upper floor and one on the lower. The staggered arrangement allows each apartment to have a sea-facing terrace or balcony.
Adjacent to the main front row of apartments, the building extends into a triangular block set around an open central courtyard, which features an attractive Calabash Tree (Crescentia cujete). The apartments on the front aspects of the triangle offer limited sea views; the apartments to the rear have garden views.
One two-bedroom and one one-bedroom apartment are fitted out for those with disabilities. Ramps are provided throughout the property and all ground floor apartments would be suitable for most wheelchair users or those with mobility difficulties.
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