Although membership of the Sandy Point Beach Club is truly international, most timeshare units are owned by Trinidadians, as might be expected. Similarly, the focus of the resort is very much on family holidays, rather than singles or couples. To this end, a primary goal appears to have been to squeeze the maximum occupancy into the available space and to furnish and equip the units in a manner that will withstand the rigours of such a market.
In this sense, the Beach Club has done a remarkable job. All the apartments offer high standards of comfort without any undue sense of overcrowding. My over-riding impression was amazement at how much had been squeezed into the available space.
We were also full of admiration for the cleanliness of the apartments. They simply glistened. There was no question of wiping fingers across cupboard tops and coming away with a dirty finger. No feeling of wanting to wash all cutlery and crockery before use.
Finally, we were astonished at how well equipped the apartments are. We have grown relatively used to apartments with assorted collections of cutlery and crockery clearly from different sets. Each apartment at the Beach Club is furnished with a full set of high quality matching crockery, cutlery, kitchen equipment, glassware and cooking utensils appropriate to the maximum accommodation capacity of the apartment.
The apartments are serviced daily, with the high quality linen being changed each Monday and Wednesday and towels changed daily. Beach towels are provided for a small fee and can be exchanged at the front office between 8:30am and 4:30pm daily. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available at regular points around the premises for 'A' and 'B' grade rooms, but.larger units have their own washers and dryers. All apartments have steam irons and ironing boards.
Each apartment is fitted with overhead ceiling fans and modern, quiet, remotely controlled split-unit air-conditioners. Large apartments have two or more units; normally one in the living area and one in each bedroom.
The one failing, if failing it can be called, is that the larger apartments do not benefit from a vast amount of natural light. The smaller studio and one-bedroom apartments are great, with wide glazed sliding doors leading out onto a small balcony or terrace. However, some of the courtyard apartments have narrower windows with some bedrooms having no natural light. In fairness, one does not go to Tobago to spend your days in your bedroom, no matter how comfortable. It also must be said that the apartments were very well lit, so this was more of an observation than a criticism. Efficient reading lamps made reading in bed a pleasure.
The rooms are simply decorated with white painted walls relieved by attractive and colourful framed Caribbean prints. The white laminate kitchen units are topped with eggshell grey tiles to match the dining table. The woodwork is light southern yellow pine with armchair cushions in bright Caribbean colours. Floors are surfaced with a local clear red clay tile. The combined effect is light, bright, functional and yet cosy.
Standard fittings include international cable and local TV, CD/tape/radio music centres, adequate wardrobe space with lots of hangers, bedside reading lamps, digital radio alarm clocks, hairdryers and a small security safe. The larger apartments also have DVD units plus a second TV in the main bedroom. Kitchen facilities includes a four-ring stove with oven, microwave, electric kettles, toaster, food blender and coffee filter machine, plus a large fridge/freezer.
Hot water is available in every apartment, both in bathrooms and the kitchen sink. The walk-in showers are nicely tiled and provide an adequate showering experience. Water pressure was reasonable, although the instantaneous water heaters do suffer from temperature fluctuation.
Each apartment is provided with a telephone and guests can make local and International calls, with costs being charged to their account. Wireless Internet access is available, on a chargeable basis. Four different Wi-Fi hotspots cover the compound and many apartments may be within range of a hotspot, although this cannot be guaranteed, for obvious reasons.
With eight grades of accommodation, it is obviously impractical to provide a detailed description of every one. Fortunately, this is unnecessary as the various grades of apartment are decorated, furnished and equipped almost identically. The only material differences are those necessary to cater for the increased capacity of the different grades. We will therefore simply provide a summary of each grade.