Caroline Rose Hunt was born to a wealthy Texas family, one of seven children of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt and his wife Lyda Bunker. She attended Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a bachelor's degree in English. She worked in her father's Dallas office and as a sales clerk at the Neiman Marcus department store before marrying Loyd Bowmer Sands, a U.S. Navy pilot with whom she had five children. In 1979, she opened the The Mansion on Turtle Creek, a luxury hotel in Dallas, and founded Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. In 2000, she published a novel, Primerose Past: The 1848 Journal of Young Lady Primrose, and has also written two cookbooks.