Last Updated: December 31, 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, the most recent of which is Sandals Barbados.
Here is the quick ranked list. If you want the details on the pros and cons of each resort, just keep scrolling down. We have the most comprehensive Sandals resort reviews you will find anywhere.
- Sandals Whitehouse – Jamaica
- Sandals LaSource – Grenada
- Sandals Royal Plantation – Jamaica
- Sandals Negril – Jamaica
- Sandals Emerald Bay – Bahamas
- Sandals Royal Bahamian
- Sandals Grande St. Lucian
- Sandals Barbados
- Sandals Grande Antigua
- Sandals Halcyon Beach – St. Lucia
- Sandals Ochi Beach Resort – Jamaica
- Sandals Regency La Toc – St. Lucia
- Sandals Montego Bay – Jamaica
- Sandals Royal Caribbean – Jamaica
- Sandals Carlyle
The Best Sandals Resort (Updated for 2015):
1. Sandals Whitehouse – Jamaica
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Whitehouse
What people love about Sandals Whitehouse:
- It is a relatively new resort with excellent facilities
- The Whitehouse resort has an excellent beach that is notably private
- Great selection of pools
- Spectacular views
The Food is delicious! There are seven different restaurants to choose from. All are top notch. An example is, Café de Paris, it being a favorite, serves great desserts, crepes, pasties, ice cream, coffee, and drinks, with the menu changing 2 to 3 times a day.
The Staff are awesome! Everyone goes out of their way to greet you and to ensure that you are having a great time.
The Rooms are well appointed, clean, and the beds are comfy. All of the rooms have an ocean view.
There are three pools. The French Pool is the most active, volley ball, etc. The Italian pool is the largest with floats you can lounge on. There is also a swim up bar that is a lot of fun.
The Beach is beautiful. You can walk either direction without seeing anyone.
There are plenty of beach and pool lounge chairs available.
The water sports are a lot of fun with a very helpful water sports team at your service. Kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling, big tube floats are all available.
The Red Line Spa is incredible. The spa offers several different services. There is a complimentary steam room, sauna, hot tub, plunge pool, and refreshments. The spa facility is beautiful and relaxing.
The gym and fitness center is top notch.
Nightly entertainment is amazing. The variety shows, talent shows and games are very enjoyable. There is something different every night.
Fire pits and seating in the bayside area is awesome.
The Grounds are immaculate and beautifully maintained. The garden tour is phenomenal.
No tipping policy is great.
The common negative reviews about Sandals Whitehouse:
The ride from the airport takes approximately 90 minutes. The roads are curvy and bumpy at times. If you have a tendency to get motion sickness you may want to take something for nausea and sit in the front of the van.
The resort is spread out. Be prepared to walk.
Food portion sizes are small, many guests order 2 entrees.
Dining can become a two hour affair. You are on island time.
Seaweed is excessive at times. The beaches are raked and cleaned daily.
The ocean floor is rocky. Water shoes are recommended.
The no-see-ums and mosquitos come out toward the evening. Bring bug spray.
The gift shop is a bit over priced for simple things.
Wi Fi can be hit or miss.
- There isn’t much to do nearby the resort
- There can be very long waits at the restaurants
- The snorkeling is average at best
Sandals has an arrival lounge at the airport. Their goal is that you will not wait in the lounge for more than 15-20 minutes before being taken to the resort. However, there is no departure lounge for Sandals. Quests recommend Club Mo Bay, $80.00/person. You are fast tracked through immigration, and their guest lounge is available to you with food and drinks provided.Quests recommend upgrading to club level or butler service. The amenities are well worth the extra money.
There is a newsletter every night of what activities are going on the next day so you can plan your day accordingly.
The resort’s location is remote. If you are looking to party and shop with the locals. This may not be the place for you. It basically sets alone on a beautiful quiet beach. You will not hear any traffic or planes overhead.
Review the resort map before you decide which area to stay in. Close to the large pool or small pool, close to the dining, etc.
The Dutch Village is going through renovations. Check to see if the renovations are completed if this may bother you.
If you are looking for a relaxing, beautiful island atmosphere with something for everyone, this may be the place for you.
- Most feel the rooms are excellent, but not all rooms have the same quality view, and some guests are expecting larger rooms
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.
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.
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Royal Plantation
What people love about Sandals Royal Plantation
- This is an all butler resort and most of the butlers are very good
The Staff are outstanding! They go out of their way to make sure your every need is taken care of promptly, professionally, and with kindness.
Couples are assigned two Butlers. Guests are provided with a cell phone so they are able to reach their Butlers when needed. The Butlers attention to detail is exceptional and truly enhances the guests experience.
The Food is very delicious! There are three restaurants to choose from. The Terrace, The Royal Grill, which serves lunch and dinner along the beach, and LePapillon which has a French menu.
Tea time is professionally done. White table clothes and napkins, three tier plates with sandwiches, pastries and scones is a treat to look forward to everyday at four o’clock.
The Rooms are spacious, clean, and, well appointed. The beds are comfortable. All rooms have a fabulous view of the ocean.
There are two small beach areas. The water is clear and the sand is firm. There are no rocks on the ocean floor.
There are plenty of beach loungers and umbrellas available.
The Beach Butlers cater to your every need. You are never without something to drink.
The water sports are a lot of fun, sailing, kayaks, paddle boarding, etc.
The pool is small with plenty of loungers.
The plunge pool filled with cool water is very refreshing.
An air conditioned game room with a pool table, lots of games, back gamma, etc. is enjoyable.
Two tennis courts with a tennis pro available. The courts are in excellent condition.
The Spa is very relaxing, offering great massages and treatments.
Nightly music and entertainment is a lot of fun. It makes guests want to get up to dance and sing.
There are two bars. Drinks are made from high quality alcohol. The Wobbly Peacock being a favorite in the evening.
The chocolate spread with the chocolate fountain on Wednesday evening is very impressive.
Jamaican night on the terrace is a memorable experience.
The grounds are beautiful and immaculate. Peacocks roam the property freely.
The real advantage to staying at the Royal Plantation is that guests have access to the other nearby Sandals Resort, it’s restaurants and amenities. But, guests from the other Sandals do not
have access to the Royal Plantation, which maintains the relaxing elegant atmosphere of Royal Plantation. The shuttle service to and from the resorts is great.
- 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
- 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.
Guests rooms including bathrooms could use a bit of updating.
The gym needs to be updated, but, due for a revamp shortly.
- If you want a balcony make sure you know the difference between a French balcony and a full balcony.
- If you want a club atmosphere with a lot of partying, this may not be the resort for you.
- If you want a quiet, relaxing, romantic atmosphere where your every need is catered to, but, still want a bit more of a party atmosphere occasionally, you can shuttle next door to the sister resort. It is only a five minute trip. You then have the best of both worlds.
- The old world elegance and tradition of Sandals Royal Plantation provides uncompromising service and luxury, with the staff making your stay truly special.
4. Sandals Negril – Jamaica
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Negril
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Emerald Bay
- The Staff are professional, helpful and friendly.
- The Food in all the restaurants is very good. Reservations are needed at the II Cielo (Italin), and La
- Parisienne (French) restaurants. At the French and Italin Restaurants long pants and a collared shirt are required for men.
- The Rooms are spacious, clean, and nicely decorated. The bed, bedding and pillows are comfortable.
- The Beach is absolutely beautiful, private and relaxing. The water is crystal clear. Guests are able to take walks on the long stretch of white sand.
- Water sports with a water sports team are available to the guests. Kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boats, hobbie cats, guided snorkeling tours and scuba diving all can be enjoyed.
- Nice to have two pools – one quiet and one with a little more noise and activity
- The pools are amazing. The active pool has a nice swim up bar, lots of chairs, many of which have shade. There are lots of umbrellas and canopies, and floats are available. The active pool also has a hot dog stand and a popcorn station. If you want to listen to music and party this is the pool for you. Or, there is a fabulous pool that is quiet and relaxing.
- The Spa is beautiful and enormous with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Massages are very good.
- Nearby access to the golf course is a big plus – if you play golf. Golf is absolutely great with a great golf staff to interact with. The back nine holes feature stunning views of the ocean.
- Guests highly recommend the Ocean Safari Tour. The views are breathtaking and swimming with the PIGS is the best.
- The Gym is adequate with a personal trainer on site. There are all kinds of activities offered.
- There are many hidden areas to explore and enjoy, such as splash pools and private lounge areas.
- The Fire Pits are cozy and nice to sit around at night.
- The Piano Bar and the Drunken Duck Pub are a lot of fun at night.
- A Dream Destination Beach Wedding and Honeymoon can be planned. The atmosphere is beautiful and the wedding coordinator is very helpful. The wedding planner will make sure your day is very memorable.
- The Resort and Grounds are Beautiful and well maintained.
- Lots of ocean view rooms available
- There are really no vendors on the beach – you don’t get harassed as you can at some other Sandals resorts.
The common complaints about Sandals Emerald Bay:
- Service is a little on the slow side and can be disappointing at times.
- Some guests feel Butler service can be hit or miss. Some guests feel that the Butler service is well worth the extra money, others do not.
- Some of the guest Bathrooms look a bit tired.
- The best Pool and Beach chairs are reserved by the Butlers for their guests. If you want a particular chair you will have to get up early to reserve it.
- The Pools are not heated, in the winter months the water can be cold.
- The Water Sports Team can seem to be uninterested in helping their guests.
- Although there is a no tipping policy, some guests feel that the service was better if the bartenders were tipped.
- Some guests report that the resort caters to the butler customer to the detriment of the concierge customer.
- It is hard to get reservations at the French and Italian Restaurants. It is recommended that you call up to 2 weeks in advance if you want to eat at these restaurants.
- The Sand Fleas are relentless. Bring Bug Spray
- 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.
- If you go in the winter, the water will likely be chilly.
- 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.
- A nature walk with the grounds keeper can be enjoyed. The flowers and landscaping are beautiful.
- The Cove that Sandals sits on is serene and inviting, with fine white sand on the beach, and the crystal blue warm waters of the Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis, and Spa Resort is a beautiful resort on a beautiful island.
6. Sandals Royal Bahamian
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.
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
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Grande St. Lucian
What people love about Sandals Grande St. Lucian:
- The Staff are extremely positive and helpful. They display true customer service while making sure your
- stay is incredible.
- The Food is delicious and of a high quality. There are several restaurants to choose from and all are very good. The chef is extraordinarily attentive to special dietary needs.
- The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and well appointed. The mattresses are very comfortable. Guests enjoy the walk in showers. Rooms are cleaned daily and the mini fridge is restocked. The beachfront suites have spectacular views.
- If so inclined, guests feel the Butlers are well worth the extra money.
- There are several pools. All are awesome! The main pool has a swim up bar and is where all the activity takes place. The daily entertainment and interactive games are a lot of fun. The surrounding pools offer more privacy and have a quieter atmosphere.
- The Beach is beautiful and the white sand is swept nightly. The ocean water is crystal clear and refreshing with a sandy bottom.
- There are plenty of sun lounge chairs available around the pools and on the beach. The hammock swings in the ocean are very enjoyable.
- The Water Sports Team is terrific. They are always watching to make sure everyone is safe. There is a wide variety of water sports available to guests, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boards, etc.
- The Dive Team is top notch with emphasis on safety. Diving in St. Lucia is beautiful!
- The lounge/quiet areas around the resort offer a romantic touch.
- The Fire Pit is a nice place to relax and unwind in the evening.
- The Bar Tenders are great and interact with the guests, making sure everyone is having an enjoyable time, while serving delicious drinks.
- The gym is well equipped. A sauna or steam room is available in the spa.
- The Red Lane Spa is very nice. The massages exceed expectation. The spa is pricey.
- Nightly entertainment is a lot of fun. The singers and bands are top class. Every night there is something fun and exciting going on.
- Sing A Longs in the evening at the Piano Bar are great fun.
- The wedding coordinator does a great job creating a beautiful atmosphere, and wedding, while making sure your wedding day is stress free.
- Photographers roam the resort capturing memorable pictures of their guests.
- Guests like the ability to visit the others Sandals on St Lucia, (La Toc and Halcyon). Stay at 1 play at 3 is a big plus. There is a free shuttle available to and from the other resorts.
- Fun Excursions are available for an extra fee.
- Sandals Grande is a beautiful resort with beautiful manicured gardens and spectacular views.
The common negative reviews about Sandals Grande St. Lucian:
- The ride from the airport takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours over windy narrow roads that can be filled with traffic. The shuttle stops to pick up, or, drop off guests from the other Sandals on the way to, or, from the airport.
- Dinner reservations are needed in the evening for some of the restaurants. Guests need to make reservations before arrival, or, upon arrival because the restaurants get booked up. Make dinner Reservations ASAP!
- Some guests would get up early to put their towels on the best spots and not use the lounge chairs all day. The staff never removed the towels so others could use them.
- Too many pesky peddlers on the beach
- Many guests expect more amenities and features to be included (like room service)
- 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)
Other considerations for Sandals Grande St. Lucian:
- Guests will see vendors off the property and close to the water. Vendors are not persistent and will walk away if you tell them politely, not interested.
- There is a helicopter transfer available to and from the resort for an extra fee if you get motion sickness, or, you don’t want to take the shuttle. The helicopter takes about 15 minutes and is approximately $500.00/couple.
- Guests are able to walk to the village and to Pigeon Park. You can climb Pigeon Mountain for $7.00. The spectacular views are well worth it. Wear Sneakers!
- Sandals Grande St. Lucia Spa and Beach Resort is a great place to relax and get spoiled. Guests can enjoy romantic walks through the manicured gardens or they can relax by the fire pit. They really do put a priority on romance.
- Sandals Grande is a beautiful resort with spectacular views, and a staff that will do everything they can to ensure your stay incredible.
- 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 Barbados
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:
If you are interested in going to an all inclusive resort in Barbados, this site has a complete analysis of all the all inclusive resorts in Barbados.
9. 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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Grande Antigua
What people love about Sandals Grande Antigua:
- The Staff are incredibly nice and will help you with anything you need. The Service and Hospitality are hard to beat at the Sandals Grande Antigua. It is not unusual to see the General Manager
- commending his staff and chatting with the guests.
- The food is delicious and of a high quality. There are several restaurants to choose from. Mario’s (Italian), OK Corral (Western), Drunken Duck (English Pub), Bayside, Kimono’s (Japanese),
- Eleanors’s, are some of them. There is a large variety of choice and something for everyone. The Chef is very attentive to special dietary requirements. The dietary options available are incredible and a big plus. Café de Paris is a favorite for something sweet throughout the day, serving delicious cappuccinos, crepes, pastries, etc.
- On the Mediterranean side, the Rooms are beautiful with a large 4 poster bed and a small balcony. The bathroom is spacious with a Jacuzzi bath and a rain forest shower.
- The Caribbean beach houses are nice, and have a rustic look about them.
- There are several Pools, 2 with swim-up bars, the large pool is where all the activity is. Music, games, etc., the Playmakers are very energetic and always have something fun going on. The
- surrounding pools are quiet and offer more privacy.
- The Beach is Beautiful, wide and kept clean daily. The water is gorgeous. It is a great beach to walk.
- There are plenty of sun beds around the pools and on the beach.
- The Water Sports Team is fantastic. There are paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling, sailing, etc. available for the guests.
- The Scuba Diving Team is Great. Safe diving is a major focus. The equipment is updated and in good condition.
- The Red Lane Spa is bliss. The massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and other amenities are all fantastic.
- The Bartenders serve delicious cocktails.
- There are Fire Pits with couches throughout the resort to enjoy in the evening.
- There are several excursions offered for an extra fee that are well worth the money.
- The Candlelight Dinner on the beach is amazing. The food, the service, and the experience are definitely worth the extra money.
- The Piano Bar is enjoyable in the evening to sit around, chat and make new friends.
- The Wedding Coordinator and team go over the top to make your wedding day memorable.
- Photographers roam the resort capturing memorable pictures of their guests.
- The resort is gorgeous, the gardens are immaculate, colorful flowers are everywhere. There are hundreds of butterflies flying around. They are beautiful and add a magical feel to the resort.
- It is only 15-20 minutes from the airport.
- Security is everywhere. Guests feel quite safe.
The common negative reviews about Sandals Grande Antigua:
- The lack of shade on the beach is a common complaint. There are no umbrellas on the beach, only Palapas.
- Unless you have a Butler, or, you get up early to place a towel on a sun bed to reserve it, you may not find a sun bed in the shade, or, one at all on the beach. This also applies to the choice spots around the main pool.
- Vendors stop by frequently on the beach. A polite, “no”, will send them away. But, the constant interruption can be annoying.
- Sandals employees selling spa treatments, or, wanting you to visit the, (come back soon desk), can be annoying.
- Sand fleas and mosquitoes can be bad. Bring bug spray.
- If you do not have a Butler, make dinner Reservations ASAP for the restaurants that require them. Dinner reservations fill up quickly.
- Some rooms on the Caribbean side are in need of refurbishment.
Other considerations for Sandals Grande Antigua:
- Many guests feel that the Butler service is the only way to go if you like to be escorted to dinner, have dinner reservations whenever you want, or, to get a choice sun bed in the shade by the pool, or, on the beach.
- There is a lot to do on the island of Antigua. The resort offers a variety of day trips. Guests enjoy the tour around the island on the catamaran.
- The Resort is huge. Plan to do a lot of walking.
- Sandals Antigua is a beautiful resort that is well maintained with meticulously landscaped gardens.
- The staff go out of their way to make sure their guests feel pampered and that they have a wonderful vacation. It is a great combination of romantic couple time and party time.
10. Sandals Halcyon Beach – St. Lucia
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.
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
11. 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.
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.
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 negative reviews 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.
12. Sandals Regency La Toc – St. Lucia
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.”
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Regency La Toc
What people love about Sandals Regency La Toc:
- The Staff are fabulous, incredibly helpful, warm and welcoming. The Butlers are fantastic. They add that extra spark to make your trip amazing.
- The Food is very good in all the restaurants. The Chefs go above and beyond to make sure special dietary requirements are met. The required diet is delicious.
- The Rooms are very nice and the beds are comfortable. The mini refrigerator is restocked daily.
- Housekeeping does a great job keeping the rooms clean.
- The Pools are spectacular. The main pool has a swim up bar and a small waterfall. There is a lot of activity, ping pong, volley ball, etc., and music throughout the day. The other 2 pools are quiet and relaxing with a beautiful view of the ocean.
- The beach is beautiful and well maintained. The sand is soft and seaweed is not a problem.
- Daily entertainment is a lot of fun.
- Nightly entertainment is a lot of fun. The street party on Friday nights is a must. Lots of good Caribbean food served.
- The Bartenders are great, serving lots of delicious cocktails.
- Excursions are a lot of fun. The Joe Knows Tour is a favorite.
- The Wedding Staff does a phenomenal job. They are extremely thorough, professional, and helpful. They make your wedding day a dream reality.
- The “Stay at 1, Play at 3”, exchange program is a big plus. Enjoy all of the Sandals Resorts on St Lucia free of charge.
- The Red Lane Spa has excellent service. The couples massage is awesome.
- The photographers walk around the resort daily to capture great pictures of your vacation stay.
- The Candle Light Dinner on the beach is well worth the extra money. It is very romantic and the food is delicious.
- The Golf Course is definitely worth the experience, with lots of surprises. The golf pro and caddie are great.
- The resort is beautiful and well maintained. The views are breathtaking. The landscape is tropical and lush.
- Great Island views from the resort
The common negative reviews about Sandals Regency La Toc:
- The ride from the airport takes over an hour to get to the resort. The road is windy, hilly, and semi-bumpy in places. You may want to take motion sickness pills if you are susceptible to
- The ocean can be rough. It is not unusual to see red flags up during your stay, making water sports unavailable.
- The private pools can be very cold in the winter months.
- Pool chairs/lounges can be limited if the resort is fully booked. Butlers reserve the chairs/lounges for their guests. It is very annoying when pool lounges are reserved and not used all day. If non butler guests want a pool lounge they must get up early to reserve one.
- Cats roam the resort and can be seen hovering in the outdoor restaurants.
- There are a lot of hills and the resort is spread out. Plan to do a lot of walking.
- Mosquitoes can be a problem. Bring bug spray.
- 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
- Shuttles run constantly between the resorts. If you visit the other Sandals Resorts on St. Lucia you are able to use the spa amenities, the showers and dryers. Pack a small bag and stay all day.
- Men, bring a pair of dress pants for the nicer restaurants. They do not allow shorts
- Guests can book a helicopter shuttle to and from the airport for an extra fee. If you want to get to the resort quicker the helicopter ride is awesome.
- Shuttle service is offered approximately every 10 minutes for guests because the resort is so hilly and spread out. The butlers will take their guests around on a golf cart.
- The Butler Suite on the bluff with a private plunge pool is highly recommended. The view is breathtaking.
- If you go on the Joe Knows excursion, bring a dark bathing suit. The sulfur mad can stain a light colored bathing suit.
- At the Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa there are so many fun things to do with everything designed to create a unique experience for any couples dream escape from
- 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
- Food – like most Sandals resorts some liked the food while others didn’t.
13. Sandals Montego Bay – Jamaica
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Montego Bay
What people love about Sandals Montego Bay:
The Staff go above and beyond to make sure that you are happy and enjoying yourself.
The Food is good to very delicious.
There are several restaurants to choose from, each one having a different theme. All the restaurants are not open every night. They rotate, so make sure you have a plan laid out when it comes to dinner. Café de Paris is a must! It serves crepes, ice cream, pastries, etc. as well as a variety of coffee drinks.
The Rooms are very nice, clean and comfortable. The bed is very comfortable and spacious. The Beachfront oversized butler suite is extremely nice and highly recommended. The view is spectacular.
The Butler service is recommended and felt well worth the extra money.
The pools are nice with plenty of loungers and umbrellas. One pool has a swim up bar.
The Beach is beautiful, well maintained, inviting and relaxing. There are plenty of loungers and umbrellas available. The beach is a private beach. There are no vendors walking around selling their items. Security patrols the beach 24/7.
The Bartenders are a lot of fun. The Drinks are good.
The Water Sports and the Water Sports team are awesome. Tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. are available to the guests. The Water Sports team are very knowledgeable, and, safety comes first.
The Fitness Center is well kept, offering a variety of quality equipment and free weights.
The Spa is nice. The couples massages are awesome.
The Gift Shop offers a variety of souvenirs, as well as tobacco.
Photographers on site to capture every moment of your trip adds a nice touch.
The entertainment staff does a good job providing a variety of activities to enjoy throughout the day.
Entertainment at night is fun. Each night there is a different theme. The entertainers do a great job engaging the audience and providing energy and spontaneity during the shows.
The property and landscaping are beautiful and extremely well kept. There are many different observation points offering spectacular views.
The Resort is literally 5 minutes from the airport.
The common complaints about Sandals Montego Bay:
There is construction going on at the resort at this time. There is construction noise during the day.
There is noise from the airplanes taking off and landing at the airport during the day. The noise lasts about 20 seconds each time.
Some of the guest rooms are a bit dated, including the bathrooms.
The pools are small.
There is no elevator.
There is no ATM. You have to go off the property if you need to use an ATM.
Some guests believe there is a big difference in how you are treated if you do not get the Butler service.
Guests felt that all the prime beach chairs were reserved by those that had butler service, and then, the chairs were not used. It became very frustrating when they could not use the chairs because they were reserved.
- 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
Sandals Montego Bay is the Flagship of The Sandals Resorts.
This Resort has a hint of old charm, is quant and has a relaxed atmosphere. There is a multitude of activities and entertainment to keep you busy throughout your stay.
- The pools are a little small and can be chilly in winter
14. Sandals Royal Caribbean – Jamaica
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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Royal Caribbean
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
15. 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.
Traveler Reviews – Sandals Carlyle
What people love about Sandals Carlyle:
- The Staff are awesome! They get to know you and take care of your every need.
- The Food is very good. There are 2 restaurants and 1 snack bar available. Mr. Nibbles jerk chicken is a must.
- The Rooms are spotlessly clean and comfortable. The fridge is stocked daily with water and soft drinks.
- The Pool is quiet and relaxing. The sun beds around the pool are very comfortable and attractive.
- The Beach across the street is refreshing.
- The local residents are friendly and welcoming. A polite no thank you to their solitications is accepted graciously.
- The Bartenders are great. They serve delicious cocktails.
- The Fire Pit in the gardens is lovely with new rattan furniture.
- The Fitness Facility has been recently renovated and is excellent.
- The Entertainment Staff does a good job keeping everyone entertained.
- The Wedding Coordinator does a fabulous job ensuring your dream wedding becomes a reality.
- Stay at 1 play at 3 is a big plus. The low price point of Sandals Carlyle is an attractive feature.
- You have access to the amenities and restaurants of all 3 resorts. The sister resorts are Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean. The other resorts are much larger and are only 10-15 minutes away by a free shuttle bus.
- The Shuttle Bus starts at 9:30 and runs on an hourly basis. It is always on time and easy. There is no problem getting reservations at any of the other resorts restaurants.
- Sandals Carlyle is conveniently located. It is 10 minutes from the airport and right next to the Hip Strip.
- Many guests love the small intimate atmosphere of Sandals Carlyle. It makes interacting with the other quests fun and easy, and the staff treat you like family.
- 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:
- Sandals Carlyle is looking a little tired in some areas and in need of a little attention.
- Some of the rooms and bathrooms are looking a bit tired. They are in need of renovation.
- The Beach is across the street and is very small. If you want a private beach, this is not the place for you.
- There is limited on-site activity. A 10 minute shuttle ride is needed to travel to the other resorts.
- The resort is on a busy street and the noise can be a bit loud at times. If noise bothers you, request a quiet room facing the garden.
- There are no elevators. If you are not capable of walking up and down stairs you may want to request the 1st floor.
- Bug spray may be needed in the evenings.
- Butlers are not available at this resort.
- The beach is very small and is across a small road from the resort – it is also public and sometimes crowded with locals
Features that received mixed reviews (some positive, some negative):
- Sandals Carlyle is under going some refurbishment. The guest rooms and bathrooms on the 3rd floor have recently been renovated. The lobby is looking smart. The buffet restaurant looks new and nice.
- The resort is quiet during the day. If you like peace and quiet around the pool, this may be the place for you.
- Many guests enjoy the quieter resort while still being able to enjoy the amenities of the 2 larger resorts. It is perfect to visit the other resorts during the day, and, then come back to the Carlyle at night, where guests sit around the bar and mingle and become friends.
- Although, there are no butlers, every staff member dotes on you. The personal service is top shelf.
- If you want a small, quiet, intimate resort, with out standing service, and, good food, that is a tremendous value, this may be the resort for you, “Smallest Place With The Biggest Heart”, is the Sandals Carlyle motto.