Best Sandals Resort: Which Sandals Resort is the Best? Reviews and Rankings

Last Updated: October 19, 2015

Looking for the best Sandals resort? While no single Sandals resort is right for everyone, we have compiled a list that will help you make the right decision about which resort to visit.  Each Sandals resort has attributes that will appeal to different people and personalities. What may be the best resort for one person may not be the best for others.

Although we have ranked each resort, we recognize that this is not a science and each couple is looking for something different from their Sandals vacation. So, to make this list beneficial to everyone, we have listed the pros and cons of every resort. Hopefully, based on this information you can find the Sandals resort that suits you best.

It should be noted that a couple things are common to every resort in this list.  First, some people like the food, some people do not.  The food is usually good, but it is not 5* restaurant quality, so you shouldn’t expect that.  Second, the speed of service is not what many guests (especially Americans) are used to.

Sandals owns 15 resorts in the Caribbean, but Sandals Barbados has only recently been completed after a $65 million renovation.  Early reviews indicate that this will likely be a top 5 resort in the Sandals chain. Consider Barbados if you like a friendly staff, a safe island you can explore and if you aren’t afraid of rough seas.

Here is the quick ranked list.  If you want the details on the pros and cons of each resort, just keep scrolling down.

  1. Sandals Whitehouse – Jamaica
  2. Sandals LaSource – Grenada
  3. Sandals Royal Plantation – Jamaica
  4. Sandals Negril – Jamaica
  5. Sandals Emerald Bay – Bahamas
  6. Sandals Royal Bahamian
  7. Sandals Grande St. Lucian
  8. Sandals Grande Antigua
  9. Sandals Halcyon Beach – St. Lucia
  10. Sandals Ochi Beach Resort – Jamaica
  11. Sandals Regency La Toc – St. Lucia
  12. Sandals Montego Bay – Jamaica
  13. Sandals Royal Caribbean – Jamaica
  14. Sandals Carlyle

The Best Sandals Resort (Updated for 2015):

1.  Sandals Whitehouse – Jamaica

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On the untouched South Coast of Jamaica, Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa is a 50-acre seaside resort within a 500-acre reserve. It is in a rather isolated location and so your vacation will be primarily limited to the expansive resort grounds. It is the newest of the Sandals resorts, and is the very best Sandals has to offer.

Sandals Whitehouse Sandals Whitehouse 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Whitehouse

What people love about Sandals Whitehouse:

  • It is a new resort with excellent facilities
  • The whitehouse resort has an excellent beach that is notably private
  • Great selection of pools
  • Spectacular views

The common complaints about Sandals Whitehouse:

  • The resort is secluded and the drive from the airport is long
  • There isn’t much to do nearby the resort
  • There can be very long waits at the restaurants
  • Too much upselling for spa services
  • Service is not to expectations of many guests
  • The resort is large and you may have to walk quite a bit, especially from the French Village
  • The snorkeling is average at best

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Most feel the rooms are excellent, but not all rooms have the same quality view, and some guests are expecting larger rooms
  • The resort is not noted for its entertainment, and some guests feel it is a little sedate

2. Sandals LaSource – Grenada

Opened in December 2013, the resort has been rebuilt from the ground up.  The original LaSource 100 room resort (now known as Pink Gin) has been completely renovated and an additional 125 rooms have been added.  In addition to Pink Gin, there are 2 additional “villages” – South Seas and Italian Village.  The resort is best known for the immaculate grounds, the crystal clear water and the many pool-equipped rooms.  This is not one of the biggest Sandals resorts, but it is certainly one of the best.

Sandals Grenada Beach Sandals Grenada Skypool Sandals Grenada

Traveler reviews – Sandals Grenada

What visitors says about Sandals LaSource Grenada:

  • Extremely friendly staff and people in Grenada
  • Almost everyone mentions the quality of the food – better than most Sandals
  • The beach is a little small and is man made, but very nice
  • The water is crystal clear
  • There are no beach vendors which most people love.  It does also mean that there are no jet skis, parasailing and other beach activities provided by vendors
  • The diving in Grenada is excellent – maybe the best available in the Sandals chain
  • The Pink Gin building is right on the beach if that is what you want
  • The grounds are beautiful and immaculate
  • The resort is on the small side for a Sandals property (225 rooms)
  • The travel to Grenada can be lengthy (there are not a lot of direct flights), but the airport is very close by – 5 minutes
  • Like most Sandals resorts, the main pool has loud music
  • Some travelers mention that there is limited evening entertainment compared with other Sandals resorts
  • Grenada is in the southern Caribbean so it is warmer than the resorts in the Bahamas and Jamaica in winter

3. Sandals Royal Plantation- Jamaica

Formerly part of the Royal Plantation brand, this luxury resort is now part of the Sandals family.  It has been recognized by Conde Naste Traveler as one of the top 10 resorts in the entire Caribbean.  It also was on the 2010 top luxury resorts list for the TripAdvisor readers choice awards. This resort is unlike most other Sandals resorts in terms of size and activities.  It is a small and quiet resort.  There is only one small pool and the beaches are also small.  It only has 2 restaurants.  The resort is ideal for those looking for a quiet vacation with exceptional service.

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From Sandals:

Understated elegance and exquisitely private, this is Sandals Royal Plantation – an intimate all-butler resort of just 74 ocean view suites tucked into a magnificent coral bluff.

Sandals Royal Plantation MapSandals Royal Plantation Beach 1 Sandals Royal Plantation Resort 1

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Royal Plantation

What people love about Sandals Royal Plantation

  • Great staff and service – This is an all butler resort and most of the butlers are very good
  • Small and quiet hotel (compared to other Sandals resorts)
  • Wonderful views (all rooms have ocean views) and grounds.  Beautiful beaches, though small.
  • The rooms and beds are noted by most guests
  • Good food – most guests enjoy the food.  Only 2 restaurants
  • Access to neighboring (walking distance) Sandals resort (Sandals Grande Riviera) – Note: Grande  Riviera guests cannot visit Royal Plantation.
  • Golf – Nearby course that is well maintained
  • Pool is heated in winter – not common at most resorts
  • Nice Spa
Common complaints about Sandals Royal Plantation
  • Slow Service – Though the service is very good, the food service can be very slow.
  • Lots of shade on the beaches in the winter months
  • The resort is small compared to other Sandals resorts – again, the pictures show the resort size
    • Small beaches and small pool – look at the pictures above for a sense of the size of the resort.  As you can see there are two separated beaches.
    • Only 2 restaurants
  • It can be a long time from the time you land to the time you get to your room.  Long wait for luggage, then a wait in the Sandals lounge for the shuttle, a 90 minute drive to the hotel, and sometimes a wait for your room at the hotel
  • Too quiet  – compared to other Sandals resorts
  • Lots of walking up and down stairs – especially if  you are not on the main resort level.

4. Sandals Negril – Jamaica

Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa

One of the most popular of Sandals resorts, Sandals Negril is set on one of the longest and best stretch of Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach. Sandals Negril Resort is close to shopping and lies in the midst of great night life and tourist attractions like Rick’s Cafe and Margaritaville.

Sandals Negril   Sandals Negril 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Negril

What People Love About The Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
  • The Staff are friendly and accommodating.  They provide everything you need to make sure your stay is memorable.
  • The Food is delicious and of a high quality.  Kimonos is a favorite.
  • The Rooms are gorgeous, clean and comfortable.  The beds are comfortable and the bed linens are very nice.  The mini frig is restocked daily.  The views are breathtaking.
  • The Swim up Suites are amazing.
  • Many guests highly recommend the Butler service.
  • The pools are nice.  Guest can swim around the clock.  The main pool always has some fun activity going on.  There is not a problem finding lounge chairs.
  • The Hot Tub is great.
  • The Beach is beautiful.  The staff are always working to keep it in perfect condition.  Guests are able to take long walks along the legendary seven mile beach, or, relax on the floating islands and rafts.
  • The Water Sports and team are great.  Kayaks, paddle boarding and aqua trikes, etc. are available for the guests enjoyment.
  • There are plenty of daily activities to keep you entertained throughout the day, trivia, volleyball, pool parties, ping pong, corn hole, etc..
  • The nightly entertainment is a lot of fun.  The staff is very good at getting spectators involved and energized.
  • Photographers continuously roam the property taking pictures of the guests.  They are professional and fun.
  • The Spa is nice.  The couples massage is very relaxing.
  • The Captain and Dive team are first class.  The boat is  immaculately clean and well maintained.  There is great attention to detail in regard to safety and welfare.
  • The Gym is clean and well equipped. The Fitness coordinator is great.  Classes range from yoga to circuit training.
  • The bars are fun.  The drinks served are top shelf.
  • The gift shop has a lot to choose from.
  • The property and grounds are beautiful and well maintained.
What People Do Not Love As Much About The Sandals Negril Beach Resort And Spa
  • There is construction and renovations going on at the resort at this time.
  • There are sections in the water which have lots of sea grass.
  • Many cats roam the property.
  • There are a few guests that did not believe the butler service was worth the extra money.
  • Guests leave their towels on the beach loungers and chairs, which tie them up all day.
  • Wi Fi connection is sporadic.
Other Things to Note
  •  This is not a huge resort.  Guests are able to find their way around quickly.
  • Local crafters set up their goods along the sidewalk by the beach.   They are not pushy.  Most have good prices, some, you may want to haggle with.
  • Locals peddle their wares along the beach.  The security guards follow them at all times.  But, don’t be surprised if someone offers to sell you drugs everyday.
  • Security continuously patrols the beach to make sure guests feel comfortable.
  • The intimate feel of Sandals Negril with it’s numerous activities and areas of relaxation appeal to a multitude of couples.


5. Sandals Emerald Bay

Sandals Emerald Bay is the newest resort in the Sandals portfolio.

“Secluded within 500 tropical acres along a pristine, mile-long beach, civilized pleasure coexist with exotic adventures, from three impressive pools —including a half-acre, zero-entry pool with dramatic fire pit in the middle — to five exceptional restaurants. Play championship golf on a Greg Norman-designed course, voted one of the Caribbean’s Best by Travel & Leisure Golf. Relax in the first-ever 29,000 sq. ft. Red Lane® Dermalogica concept spa. Explore impossibly beautiful turquoise waters renowned for their boating, fishing and diving. A unique blend of seclusion and sophistication, this exotic private escape is so easy to get to, so close to home.”

Sandals Emerald Bay   Sandals Emerald Bay 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Emerald Bay

What people love about Sandals Emerald Bay:
  • Incredible resort grounds – It is a beautiful place
  • Lots of ocean view rooms available
  • The beach and the water are stunning
  • There are really no vendors on the beach – you don’t get harassed as you can at some other Sandals resorts.
  • Nearby access to the golf course is a big plus – if you play golf.
  • Nice to have two pools – one quiet and one with a little more noise and activity
  • The staff is generally very friendly and helpful

The common complaints about Sandals Emerald Bay:

  • Getting a chair by the pool can be difficult.  They go fast, so you have to reserve them early in the morning.  This is especially true if you go during peak season.
  • It is a very quiet resort.  There’s not much entertainment after 10pm.
  • The resort and beaches are frequently very windy, which can cause the watersports activities to be shut down.
  • Butler service is inconsistent.  Sometimes they are attentive, sometimes they aren’t.
  • The resort is secluded, so there are very limited activities available off resort.
  • Only 4 restaurants at the resort which many find limiting.
  • Like many Sandals, and Caribbean resorts in general, the service can be slow.
  • There can be lots of bugs in the afternoons (sand fleas)
  • If you go in the winter, the water will likely be chilly.

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Service – some people think it is great others are greatly underwhelmed.  Depends on lots of factors like how busy the resort is, and which butlers you get.


6. Sandals Royal Bahamian

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Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island is just 40 minutes from Miami.  This Sandals resort is often touted as the best in the Sandals chain.  It features two separate buildings.  The newer Balmoral Tower and the older Windsor building.  There is definitely a visual difference between these two buildings both inside and out.  If you want the experience of the newer building, you should book accordingly. Here’s what Sandals says about the resort:

If you’re looking for a regal retreat that lets you vacation at two resorts in one trip: a sophisticated European resort that is steeped in history, and the adventure of an exotic offshore island that includes every amenity imaginable, Sandals Royal Bahamian is for you.

In addition to the two buildings each with large pools with swim up bars, this resort offers the unique experience of an offshore island.  The island is about a mile off shore and there are hourly trips to and from the island.  The island is not entirely owned by Sandals, but you can hardly notice that once you arrive.  It also has a small pool with a swim-up bar.  If you want a quiet and secluded experience, the island is not to be missed.

Sandals Royal Bahamian   Sandals Royal Bahamian 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Royal Bahamian

What people love about Sandals Royal Bahamian:

  • Great Pools
  • Nice beach, but a little small
  • Lots of watersports
  • Access to the nearby private island is an excellent perk at this resort
  • Friendly staff

The common complaints about Sandals Royal Bahamian:

  • Because this resort is in the Bahamas, the pools can be cold in winter
  • When full, the resort can be very crowded
  • It can be difficult to get a dinner reservation if you don’t book well in advance
  • There are sand fleas on the beach which can be quite bothersome to some guests
  • Big difference between butler and non-butler service

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Not all buildings at this resort are the same age, and there are occasional complaints about the quality of the rooms in the older buildings
  • Some guests liked the entertainment offerings while others considered it to be lacking
  • Some guest feel the resort is a little quiet and lacking in activities

7. Sandals Grande St. Lucian

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Set on its own spectacular peninsula, this resort provides panoramic views in every direction.  Situated on some of calmest waters in St. Lucia, its sheltered beach offers views of both nearby Ft. Rodney, and a scenic harbor.

Sandals Grande St. Lucian   Sandals Grande St. Lucian 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Grande St. Lucian

What people love about Sandals Grande St. Lucian:

  • Great pools
  • The beach is beautiful although it is a little small
  • The resort is in a very scenic location
  • The Simon Says tour is excellent
  • Very good selection of watersports
  • The spa is excellent, but pricey

The common complaints about Sandals Grande St. Lucian:

  • Too many pesky peddlers on the beach
  • Many guests expect more amenities and features to be included (like room service)
  • Many guests are surprised to find out the resort is not new (it is a refurbished older hotel)
  • The resort often hosts conference guests which was is an unexpected drawback to vacationers
  • The drive from the airport is long, and bumpy
  • There are rocks in the water at the beach (not always soft sand below your feet)
  • When the resort is full it feels crowded
  • Extras are expensive (e.g. spa, internet, bottles of wine in your room, resort shop)

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Some rooms have good views while others have poor ones, like facing a construction site.
  • Some guests expect more from the rooms at this resort.
  • The entertainment is enjoyed by some while others find it to be a little lacking.

8. Sandals Grande Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua is considered to be one of the most romantic resorts in the Sandals chain.  It is situated on one of the best beaches in Antigua, Dickenson Bay.  The newly added Mediterranean Village is first class.

Sandals Grande Antigua   Sandals Grande Antigua 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Grande Antigua

What people love about Sandals Grande Antigua:

  • The rooms and the general accommodations on Mediterranean side are outstanding
  • The nightlife and entertainment at this resort is very good
  • The resort landscaping and grounds are excellent
  • The diving expeditions are very good

The common complaints about Sandals Grande Antigua:

  • Two different buildings – the Mediteraranean is new while the other is older.  Some guests on the older side are a little disappointed
  • Finding an umbrella and a chair is a chore that requires waking up early and reserving
  • Their are frequent cruise ship guests on the resort beach which turns off some vacationers
  • The internet service is very inconsistent
  • Several guests have complained about theft on the resort

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Very nice beach, but it is public
  • Nice spa, but a little pricey
  • Some guest think the staff is not as friendly as they are at other Sandals resorts.

9. Sandals Halcyon Beach – St. Lucia

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Sandals Halcyon St. Lucia boasts classic Caribbean architecture and tropical gardens. Three restaurants are highlighted by the legendary Pier Restaurant, the island’s most impressive dining experience set directly on the sea.  This resort caters to a slightly older crowd.

Sandals Halcyon Beach   Sandals Halcyon Beach 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Halcyon Beach

What people love about Sandals Halcyon Beach:

  • The resort is in a good location and the island views from the resort are excellent.
  • The resort is quiet and peaceful, which was a plus for most of the visitors, a minus fora few.
  • Most visitors appreciated the well maintained landscaping and gardening at this resort

The common complaints about Sandals Halcyon Beach:

  • The resort buildings and rooms are dated
  • Too many stray cats on the premises
  • This resort typically attracts an older crowd, and the entertainment is limited.
  • Some rooms are situated near a road that runs by the property which can be noisy
  • Younger visitors often complain there are not many visitors of a similar age, and the resort is very quiet

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Resort is not situated on a spectacular beach.  Some liked the beach while others did not.
  • Some positive and negative reports on the overall friendliness of the staff – mainly positive.
  • Some people comment on the limited watersports while others enjoy the options provided

10. Sandals Ochi Beach Resort (Formerly Grande Ocho Rios and Grande Riviera) – Jamaica

Officially relaunched and renamed in April, the Sandals Grande Riviera resort is now Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.

From Sandals:

This new all-inclusive resort has a hot new beach club, 11 bars – including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy – and 16 totally on-trend restaurants. It’s exciting and it’s happening – but only when you want it to be. Because the other side of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort offers unsurpassed privacy when you want a more serene escape. A true Garden of Eden encompassing over 100 acres, this resort is so vast and lush that, no matter where you find yourself, you’ll always feel as if there’s plenty of space for just the two of you. All the things that make Jamaica such a uniquely spectacular destination are at the heart of Sandals Ochi.

Sandals Grande Riviera 1   Sandals Grande Riviera 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

What people love about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort:

  • The Resort has recently been renovated.  Everything is updated and new.
  • The property is beautiful and the grounds are meticulous.  The staff are always working to make it picture perfect.
  • The Staff are friendly and very accommodating.
  • There are several restaurants to choose from.  The food is good to very delicious.  The service is good.  You can spend a week at the resort and not eat at every restaurant.
  • The Rooms are beautifully decorated, clean and comfortable. Beds and pillows are comfortable. The fridge is restocked daily.
  • There are several pools.  They are clean and are as beautiful as they appear in the pictures.  Some pools are more active than others.  There is a pool to fit every mood.
  • Chairs and umbrellas are plentiful.
  • The beach is small but beautiful. There are floats with cup holders in the water to lounge on.
  • There are plenty of beach chairs available.
  • The Water Sports and the Water Sports Team are great.  Paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, hobie cats, etc. are available.
  • Entertainment is good.  There is something to look forward to every evening.
  • The Rabbit Hole is a favorite.  You need a secret password to enter.
  • The piano bar is a lot of fun.  There are singing books available so everyone can join in.
  • Entertainment is always going on during the day.  You wish you could be two places at one time.
  • The Bars are nice.  The bartenders are generous with the rum.
  • The White Chocolate Party is a must.
  • The Spa is excellent.  The massages are amazing.
  • The Gym is nice, clean, and has great equipment.
  • Movies are played outside almost every night.  They put out large bean bag chairs and lounge chairs. Popcorn and nachos are served.
  • There are so many activities at the Ochi Resort that you do not need to leave the property.  There is a shuffleboard area, tennis courts, a life size chess board, ping pong, pool tables, etc., or, there are  hammocks, and lazy swings assorted throughout the resort.  There is something for everyone.

The common complaints about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort:

  • Long ride from the airport (2 hours)
  • Although there is golf, it is not free when you consider the caddy and other charges.
  •  It is approximately a 90 minute ride to and from the airport.
  • The Resort is Huge.  There are a lot of stars and walking.  If you have mobility problems this may not be the resort for you.
  • The Butler service can be hit or miss. Some guests rave about the butler service, and, some guest say, do not waste your money.
  • The beach is small so do not expect long walks along the beach.
  • The resort has a no tipping policy.  Some guests felt that tipping was expected, and, that if you do, you are definitely taken care of.

Other things to note:

  • Again, the Resort is huge!
  • There are two sections to this resort, split by a semi-busy road.  The ocean side is where most of the action and activities are.  Some of the rooms close to the entertainment can be noisy.
  • The Butler Village side is more relaxing and quiet.  Make sure you know what your preferences are before booking a room.
  • The Hop takes you to and from either side of the resort and circulates every 10 minutes.
  • There are Cabanas available all over the resort.  There is an extra charge to use them.
  • By the beach is a new addition called the Treehouse.  It is an awesome way to find some shade, privacy, and, it has a fantastic view.
  • If you are looking for a resort that is more upbeat and want to have some fun, that is couples focused, with numerous dining and entertainment options, has good food, good drinks and a good staff, this may be the resort for you.

11. Sandals Regency La Toc – St. Lucia

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Set within the 210-acre La Toc Estate, Sandals Regency La Toc is located on a secluded half-mile beach and a breathtaking bluff. Unique among Caribbean beaches, the water is emerald-green due to its depth- hence the resort’s nickname the “Emerald of the Caribbean.”

Sandals Regency La Toc 2 Sandals Regency La Toc 3

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Regency La Toc

What people love about Sandals Regency La Toc:

  • Friendly staff at this resort
  • Very good on-site entertainment provided by Cowboy Eddie
  • Great Island views from the resort
  • The ability to visit and dine at the other two Sandals resorts in St. Lucia

The common complaints about Sandals Regency La Toc:

  • The drive from the airport is long, windy, and bumpy
  • Not a lot of  young people (this may actually be a plus depending on your perspective)
  • The lobby area of this resort is dated
  • The age of the resort is apparent
  • Lots of mosquitoes
  • Lots of cats wondering the premises

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • The rooms rooms are a little run down and dated
  • It’s not the biggest or best beach you will find among Sandals resorts.
  • The landscaping and condition of the resort grounds appeals to some an not others.
  • The 9 hole golf course is not a place for avid golfers, but nice as a recreational activity
  • Spa
  • Food – like most Sandals resorts some liked the food while others didn’t.
  • Snorkeling

12. Sandals Montego Bay – Jamaica

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The original Sandals, this resort is set on Jamaica’s longest private white-sand beach. Originally the Bay Roc Hotel, it was designed by Edward Durrell Stone, one of America’s most famous architects and creator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Today, it offers a lively, upbeat scene where the party doesn’t stop until you do.

Sandals Montego Bay 1 Sandals Montego Bay 2

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Montego Bay

What people love about Sandals Montego Bay:

  • Nightly entertainment is noted by many guests at this resort
  • This resort is noted for its party atmosphere, which most guests liked, while some others did not
  • Very friendly staff
  • Great beach
  • Many guests note the benefits of the multi-resort privilages

The common complaints about Sandals Montego Bay:

  • The resort is close to the airport and so plane noise is an issue for some guests
  • Because this resort seems to attract a party croud, running out of alchohol is a problem noted by many vacationers
  • The problem of drug peddlers is noted by many guests

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • Some guests note that the rooms are dated
  • The pools are a little small and can be chilly in winter

13. Sandals Royal Caribbean – Jamaica

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Situated just outside Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean is an active Sandals destination with plentiful activities.  It is known for it’s private island just a short boat ride away.

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Traveler Reviews – Sandals Royal Caribbean

What People Love About The Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort And Private Island
  • The Staff is outstanding.  Everyone is happy, helpful and warm.  They go out of their way to make the guests feel comfortable.
  • The Food is Delicious.  The chefs are very accommodating to food allergies and special dietary needs.  There are several restaurants to choose from.  Each offering fresh quality items with a diverse menu.  Dinner at the Royal Thai on the private island is a must.
  • The Rooms are well appointed, cozy and clean. The beds are comfortable.
  • If so inclined, the Butlers go above and beyond exceeding every request or concern.  They pay great attention to detail.  Some guests feel they are worth the extra money.
  • The pools are nice and clean.  The main pool has a full bar and is right in the center of the resort.  There are floats in the pool to lounge on and plenty of chairs to relax in.
  • The Beach is beautiful.  The water is crystal clear.  The beach is not one long beach, but,  it is divided into several smaller beaches by piers.  The piers have beautiful gazebos on them.  Rafts are attached to the ocean floor to float on.  There are plenty of beach chairs available.  Guest are able to relax in a quiet area of the beach, or, they can choose an area of the beach that is more active.
  • The Drinks are good.  The bartenders are a lot of fun.  There is constant service around the pools and at the beach.
  • The Private Island is awesome!  It has a nice pool with a swim up bar. There are hammocks available to lounge in.  The back side of the island is clothing optional.  The front side of the island clothing is required.
  • The Water sports are a lot of fun.  Kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, sailing, etc. are available.
  • The Water Sports team is very helpful.
  • Scuba Diving is really awesome here.
  • The Entertainment Staff is great.  There are a lot of fun activities during the day, couples games, volley ball, tie die classes, the list goes on.
  • Nightly Entertainment is a lot of fun.  The staff are full of energy and talented.  They make guests feel like family.
  • Massages at the Spa are great.
  • The Candle Light Dinners are incredible and romantic.
  • To visit the other nearby Sandals Resorts is just a shuttle ride away.  The shuttle comes around often and is easy.
  • The Property and Grounds are beautiful and meticulously maintained.  Everything is within walking distance and it is easy to get around.
  • The Resident Peacocks are a hoot to watch.
  • It is only 15 minutes from the airport.
Common Complaints About The Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort And Private Island 
  • Some of the guests rooms, including the bathrooms are a bit dated.  Research your room before you book to ensure  that it has everything you want based on what is important to you.
  • The pools are nice but they are on the smaller side.
  • During the busy season the choice lounge chairs may be hard to find at the main beach and at the main pool.
  • The airport is just 10-15 minutes away.  There is noise when the planes fly over the resort.  Take this into consideration if this is something that might be annoying to you.  Guests say that the noise only lasts about 10 seconds.
  • Don’t forget mosquito spray.  They start coming out by late afternoon.
  • There are stray cats running around the property while you are eating.  Some guests will feed them, hence their presence.
  • Vendors come via boat to sell their items.  Some guests feel they are a bit pushy.
Other Notables
  • Men need to wear long pants with nice sandals, or, dress shoes to a couple of the restaurants.
  • The boat comes back and forth from the Private Island all day long.  There is never much of a wait.
  • The quaintness of the property is part of it’s appeal.  No matter where you are , you are only steps away from a pool, a beach, or food/bar.
  • If you are looking for a relaxing and romantic vacation, this may be the resort for you.

14. Sandals Carlyle- Jamaica

Located in Montego Bay, Sandals Inn is the smallest of the Sandals resorts with only 52 rooms.  This resort is a good way to get the Sandals experience without the big price tag – especially if you utilize the nearby Sandals resorts.

Sandals Carlyle

Traveler Reviews – Sandals Carlyle

What people love about Sandals Carlyle:

  • Most guest note the very friendly staff at this resort
  • Because this is one of the cheaper Sandals resorts, many guest like the ability to utilize the facilities at the other nearby Sandals resorts

The common complaints about Sandals Carlyle:

  • The resort is on a very busy street that can be noisy into the night – room selection will impact this as well.
  • The beach is very small and is across a small road from the resort – it is also public and sometimes crowded with locals
  • There is less entertainment at this resort than most guest expect

Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):

  • The rooms are hit or miss for many guests

Sandals Barbados – unranked.

What people love about this resort

  • Friendly staff
  • Good food with lots of restaurant choices
  • The Merry Monkey pub

When people complain, they say this

  • The ocean can be rough – very rough
  • There’s a big difference between butler service and non-butler service
  • When the resort is full, you have to reserve chairs VERY early in the morning or you won’t get one
  • Some rooms have no bath tubs – you should ask about this when you book if this matters to you
  • Most of the beach area is shaded
  • The wait at the airport can be long for a short drive to the resort – we recommend a taxi

Our thoughts on Sandals Barbados

  • Much larger than the other all inclusive resorts in Barbados
  • Here is a video tour of the resort:

Sandals Barbados Map

Sandals Barbados 1 Sandals Barbados 3 Sandals Barbados 5 Sandals Barbados 6

Common Questions:

People often ask, which Sandals is the best for Kids?  Well, Sandals resorts do not allow kids, but Beaches Resorts (by Sandals) is a family focused resort.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

WLM September 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm

We’ve been to most Sandals resorts…this site is pretty close right on the mark as far as ranking.


Luke March 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

We’ve been to Montego Bay and the description is right on!


TLK March 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Have stayed at a couple of the different Sandals resorts. Absolutely LOVE Sandals Negril. Awesome staff made it perfect. Sandals Antigua was a fun trip, but not very clean.


Bennett May 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

Very good website, acccurate and provides honest information


Joe Wood June 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Just returned from seven days at the Sandals Grande Riviera and CANNOT wait to go again!!! Great FOOD (Italian…avoid it!), SERVICE (Bishop at the swim up bar says, “Why not!?!” fantastic!), RELAXING!!! Planning to return same time, same resort!


Travis Shawn Koegler July 25, 2014 at 8:13 am

Your right on with Bishop! He and all the other staff were world class!


Colleen M. July 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Just returned from Grande Antigua and WILL RETURN as soon as we can (afford it!). WE GOT MARRIED THERE! The review of the resort seems fairly accurate – we stayed on the Med. side and it was much ‘newer’ structurally than the Caribbean side. I want to stress how BREATHTAKING the landscaping and gardening is on the resort, you feel as though you’ve died and gone to heaven, especially the Caribbean side. To me, my wedding photos are worth the price of the vacation alone, that’s how AMAZING they are.
NEVER ate a bad meal (we are meat and seafood eaters, not wimps) – every dinner was three or four courses, never went hungry!! ALSO, can get a big ol’ burger and fries or a couple cheesy pizzas for lunch, just like home :) YUM!
ALWAYS remember to make your dinner reservations, in order to experience all the restuarants available.
NEVER encountered a ‘bad’ employee, nothing out of the ordinary – I planned our wedding there and had no problems, so take it for what it’s worth. All I ever heard was “that’s not a problem” when I asked for things and every employee greets you as you pass them.
The beach is public, I never experienced a problem finding beach chairs – shaded spots were most ALWAYS reserved, but who the heck wants to sit in the shade when it’s 86 degrees and breezy, lather that lotion on and don’t be afraid to get a tan! The ocean cools you down, super calm water, sand not rocks or sea weed beneath your feet. Peddlers ask you if you want to buy things from them, just say no thanks and they walk away. There is a safe in the room, we used it, I didn’t hear anyone complain of theft during our stay.
The ride to/from the airport is about 10 minutes. We ventured off the resort in a rented car, and figured out the roadways pretty easily, went on a private deep sea fishing charter from Nelsons Dockyard (cheaper than the resort, plus ours was private). We researched crime, etc. before traveling to Antigua because we knew we would want to venture off the resort, it was relatively safe there – MUCH SAFER than Jamaica. I’d never leave the resort in a rented car in Jamaica.
I CANNOT believe Grande Antigua was not ranked higher, it was AMAZING. THE END :)


Mike and Carolyn July 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

We just returned from Sandals due to our oldest daughter getting married. What a ride! The best trip ever. The wedding was a fairy tail. Guest service was outstanding, rooms always clean, the staff was very nice. There were always something going on. The food great, activities plentiful. All the activities kept us going. The place to eat of choice was Bayside!!! Thanks a million to Chantelle for a job well done on the wedding. Would go back in a minute.


Kimmy C. July 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

This website is absolutely one of the best I’ve seen for reviewing resorts! We used this to pick our honeymoon destination and decided on Sandals Whitehouse, Jamaica! We seriously have NO complaints about this resort! We fell in love with it the moment we got there and I cried when we left!

It is literally exactly like the pictures on their website, and the staff were the friendliest people I have ever encountered! We felt so relaxed, and welcomed, and truly enjoyed our experience.

And even though the official Sandals website is true to the pictures and provides a lot of information, this website was fantastic for finding those little tidbits that only customers can/will tell you about. I appreciated the list of upsides/downsides. It definitely made it an easy choice!

We do want to go back and/or visit other resorts and will be using this website to help plan our next vacation!!


cards one September 5, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Interesting, but like it says different strokes for different folks. Went to RC and had a fabulous time, staff was awesome, food was great and drinks were plentiful and great. Entertainment was good and plentiful. We did the island routes tour of Dunn’s river and the zip line, bob sled, tram combo, enjoyed it. We heard some people complaining about things, but for us, leave the wallet in the room and just head out was so refreshing, nothing to carry. Headed to Antigua next, although it’s hard not to go right back to RC but we are going to force ourselves to try another Sandals. :)


Tony B January 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Appreciate the list and agree, it’s fairly accurate. We’ve been to Ocho Rios (before the reno), La Toc and Whitehouse, plus as Canadians to the Royal Hicaccos in Cuba when it was a cousin of the chain (not any more).
Biggest issues we’ve encountered (twice) was when the resorts were preparing to receive travel agents in mass for publication review time. Guest service really dropped off to make them happy, and when speaking with a few of the agents in the pool, they were instructed NOT to speak with guests directly regarding the resort.
We are evaluating for our next trip in Jan ’16, to which Sandals to visit. Thanks again for this list, it really does help.
Next thing you could do is post a similar comparison list on resort chains, services & AI offerings as Sandals seems to be out of date with their pricing vs the “Luxury is included” packages.


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