Your Essential Guide to Every Sandals Resort (Part 2)
Have you always dreamed of a romantic honeymoon spent sipping mai tais on a gorgeous white-sand beach? Perhaps you prefer to relax in your private pool while your butler sees to your every wish? Maybe you want both? If you want a luxury honeymoon where you can do as little or as much as you like, a Sandals resort might answer your prayers. But with 15 luxury resorts, which is the right one for you? This blog is part 2 of my deep dive into the Sandals brand. I will differentiate each resort. What makes each resort unique? And what you negatives do you need to be aware of before choosing your resort?
Honeymooning in Jamaica is both intricate and straightforward. There's so much to do on the island that you could never see it all in one trip. Every day is full of adventure. If your dream honeymoon is sitting on the beach all day soaking up the rays, don't worry, Jamaica is a beautiful choice for you too. Jamaica is home to six Sandals resorts. (Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios was in Part 1 of this blog)
Sandals Montego Bay
Best for Couples Who Want to Party
Sandals Montego Bay is the liveliest of all the resorts in the chain, and it was the first resort for the brand. Best defined by it's a fun and easy-going ambiance. Featuring the best talent in Jamaica with a friendly and energetic staff, guests will have a spirited vacation. It's so much fun that it has the highest customer return rate throughout the brand. This resort delivers a party atmosphere regardless of the time of day.
Cons: It is minutes from the Montego Bay Airport, so it one of only a few of the Sandals resorts that don't come with a lengthy car ride. But that convenience is offset by the fact that you will see and hear planes taking off and landing often.
Sandals Royal Caribbean
Best for Destination Weddings
Located a mere 5 minutes away from Sandals Montego Bay, Royal Caribbean offers a more elegant atmosphere. It has a private offshore island featuring a Thai restaurant, another pool, and the resort's best beach. The resort has excellent swim-up and the beachfront suites. But the standout room categories are exceptional Over Water Bungalows. The location, price point, variety of activities ensure that Royal Caribbean is an excellent choice for large groups. Everyone will find some to love at this resort.
Cons: While the overwater bungalows are gorgeous, they are incredibly pricey. Royal Caribbean has some of the worst food reviews of the entire brand, and like Sandals Montego Bay, there is a lot of noise from the airport.
Best for Beach Lovers
Sandals Negril is among the highest demanded of all Sandals resorts due to its prime location on Negril's world-famous 7-mile beach. It is home to unique accommodations like the luxury beachfront swim-up suites and 2-story butler loft suites. Sandals Negril characterizes the laid-back The central focus of Sandals Negril is the beach to expect tons of fun watersports. It tends to attract a younger, more relaxed crowd.
Cons: Sandals Negril is trendy, meaning that the beach can get crowded, and unless you enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn, you will be unlikely to get a beach chair. The beach is also full of people trying to sell you baubles.
Sandals South Coast
Best for Nature Lovers
Located 90 minutes away from the airport on the isolated Jamaican southern shore, Sandals South Coast is worth the drive for anyone that enjoys being active outdoors. The resort's major strengths are its broad span of secluded beach stretching over 2 miles, vast and attractive pools, a modern luxury design, and excellent service and dining. You will love the incredible variety of outdoor adventures. You can plan on spending your days snorkeling, sailing, hiking, kayaking, riding water bikes, and diving. It is also the only resort to offer ocean views from every suite. The standout area of the resort is the overwater features. The overwater bungalows and chapel are stunning, and the overwater bar, Latitudes, is exceptional. South Coast features in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in Jamaica.
Cons: Sandals South Coast is far from everything. Luckily, the resort has many things to do onsite because you will not be leaving until it time to head back to the airport. The beach can be rocky, and the resort is hilly, so it's not an excellent choice for anyone with mobility issues.
Best for Lovers of Nightlife
Located an hour and a half from the airport, Sandals Ochi is the largest Sandals with 529 rooms. The resort is two resorts in one, the Riviera beachfront section, and the Hillside Great House. Ochi Beach is a fun resort with plenty of activities and recreation. There are tons of restaurants and bars and nightclubs for people who want to dance the night away. My favorite is the 1920s inspired speakeasy, the Rabbithole. You have to know the secret password for admission.
Cons: Ochi is wedge-shaped, and the beach is small for the number of rooms at the resort. Are you staying in a butler village? You won't be on the beach; you will have to take a shuttle to get down to the beach, but that area does have better pools than the beachfront section.
Lush rainforest, secluded coves, towering peaks, and lively local communities combine to make the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, a permanent draw for honeymooners. It is the ultimate Caribbean Island for people in love who want to do more than lay on a beach. Please don't despair, sun worshipers; lovely St. Lucian beaches are waiting for you to soak up the rays on their pristine shores! There are three Sandals resorts in St Lucia.
Sandals Grande St Lucian
Best for Awe-Inspiring Views
The most extravagant of the three St Lucia Sandals resorts is also home to the best beach of any St. Lucia Resort. The imposing pool sits on the beach overlooking glittering Rodney Bay; the resort lies on a peninsula between the bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Picture-perfect views surround you no matter where you are at the resort. The sunsets are spectacular. The stand out rooms is the overwater bungalows (the only overwater suites in St Lucia) and the Rondoval suites. Both categories provide privacy and romance amid a bustling resort. Grande St Lucian features in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in St Lucia.
Cons: Grande St Lucian is the most "Americanized" resort of the St Lucia Sandals. It would not be the resort to go if you want a local experience. The ride to and from the airport is long and winding. I suggest doing the helicopter transfers. And there are tons of vendors on the beach.
Sandals Regency La Toc
Best for Glitz and Glamour
A novel resort that runs along the beach and up to cliffside; it offers numerous accommodation choices, but the best is the Millionaire Villa Suite with a private pool. It serves a more adventurous crowd seeking an authentic rustic St Lucian environment. If you want to up the glitz factor, choose to stay in the Sunset Bluff Village; it is a resort inside of a resort. And they will treat you like an A-List celebrity there.
Cons: The resort is incredibly hilly, and would not be appropriate for anyone with mobility issues. There are also a lot of steps, and the beach tends to be rocky.
Sandals Halcyon Beach
Perfect for Relaxing
Halcyon Beach is the tiniest and most intimate of the three Sandals resorts in St Lucia. Tranquil and straightforward, the resort is famous for its exceptional personal service, well maintained verdant gardens. The suites are more unaffected but very in tune with the environment. It is home to the longest pool in St Lucia. If you are looking for lush landscapes and seclusion, then Halcyon Beach might be for you.
Cons: It does tend to attract an older, more sedate crowd. Unlike the other Sandals resorts, Halcyon Beach offers no real wow factor. It's a good, quiet resort, but nothing makes it feel special.
The three Sandals resorts with overwater bungalows feature in my Romantic Caribbean Resorts with Overwater Bungalows. There you have it; the good, bad, and ugly about every Sandals resort. My favorites are Sandals Grenada and Grande St Lucian. What are yours?