Your Essential Guide to Every Sandals Resort (Part 1)
All-Inclusive resorts have been around for decades and are getting more popular every year. They are popping up all over the globe, not just the Caribbean and Mexico. The most famous all-inclusive brand is Sandals, which includes the family-friendly Beaches Resorts. Even if you are not a resort aficionado, you have probably heard of Sandals; they are ubiquitous. But with 15 different Sandals resorts, how are you to know which is the best fit for you? Don't worry; I am here to help. All 15 resorts are popular romantic destinations, and each has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. I am going to shed light on what makes each resort different.
When people picture the Caribbean, they often see turquoise waters and miles of soft white sand. And evenings spent sipping rum punches, daiquiris, and Pina Coladas as the sunsets. Couples can get all this and more on Antigua. It has a whopping 365 beaches, ensuring that no one feels crowded. Antigua is home to one Sandals Resort.
Sandal Grande Antiguan
Best for Couples Seeking Romance
Sandals Grande Antiguan is one of the most romantic resorts in the Sandals brand. The beach is one of the longest and most beautiful in Antigua, and the lush grounds are full of butterflies. The Rondoval suites are stand-alone villas with lush gardens, butler service, and plunge pools, and they are perfect for honeymooners. Sandals Grande Antiguan features in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in Antigua.
Cons: Grande Antiguan doesn't have shade at their beach, and there aren't enough beach beds for the resort's size. Also, there are a lot of mosquitos, so take bug spray.
The beautiful Bahamas embraces thousands of honeymooners every year; hundreds of short flights make it a handy choice for twosomes that don't want to trek across the globe. Couples adore its colorful local traditions, picture-perfect beaches, numerous adventures, and ideal location off Florida's coast. There are two Sandals resorts in the Bahamas.
Sandals Royal Bahamian
Best for Spa Lovers
It lies on Cable Beach near Nassau Bahamas; the proximity to Florida makes Royal Bahamian one of the most popular Sandals resorts. Royal Bahamian has not one but two spas. You can enjoy the spa at the main resort, or head to the private island and have an oceanfront massage in a private cabana.
Cons: The resort often feels crowded because it is almost always at capacity. The beach at the resort is full of peddlers, and the sandfleas are relentless.
Sandals Emerald Bay
Best for Golf Lovers
Located within the Exumas Bahamas, Emerald Bay is a stunning resort on a stunning stretch of beach. Appreciated for its isolated location, guests enjoy an informal and quieter environment—the resort features among the best beachfront suites in terms of proximity to the beach. Emerald Bay has the most extensive spa among the Sandals brand. The resort is golf haven; it has a championship Greg Norman designed 18-hole golf course with stunning oceanfront holes. Both Sandals resorts in the Bahamas feature in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in the Bahamas.
Cons: The Exumas are isolated, so once you get there, you are stuck. There are multiple complaints of weak service, and it is not easy to get reservations at the restaurants. Like Royal Bahamian, you will need bug spray to fight the sand fleas.
Complete with a lush but assorted landscape, white-sand beaches, turquoise seas, and lively communities, Barbados is a magnet for honeymooners. While the beautiful west coast possesses natural white-sand beaches and posh resorts, the east coast attracts visitors with its mountainous terrain and dreamy ambiance. There are two Sandals properties in Barbados.
Best for Luxury Lovers
Lying Maxwell Beach on Southern Barbados, Sandals Barbados is full of luxury touches. There are tons of nooks for relaxing throughout the property, and the suites are enormous and well-appointed. After a significant remodel in 2015, this resort now has become a "foodie's" heaven with 11 world-class international restaurants and 7 bars. One of the main benefits is the departure lounge, which comes equipped with showers to enjoy your time at the pool before your return flight.
Sandals Royal Barbados
Best for Pool Lovers
Situated next door to Sandals Barbados in St. Lawrence Gap. This resort has some of the best pools in the Caribbean. The main pool is a glass-fronted marvel located on the beach. In a first for Sandals brand, Royal Barbados offers a rooftop infinity pool that overlooks the resort. If you are looking for solitude, head to the quiet international pool. Both Sandals in Barabos feature in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in Barbados.
Cons (for both Barbados Resorts) The pools are not heated; they can be freezing, especially during the winter, and most pools are crowded. Both tend to close down restaurants without notice if the resorts aren't full. Sand fleas run rampant.
It's not called the Spice Island for anything – you really can smell the nutmeg in Grenada's air. You could also call it the Fruit Island for the delicious bounty growing in the lush hills. Or perhaps you should call Grenada the Beach Island for the excess of unspoiled sandy shores. Grenada is home to what many consider the best Sandals Resort.
Best for Diving and Style
Nestled on 17 pristine acres of Pink Gin Beach, Sandals Grenada offers guests one of the Sandals brand's highest levels. Sandals Grenada features Sandals' most elegant suites, including the phenomenal SkyPool penthouses that feature private infinity-edge plunge pools on the balcony. The resort presents ten restaurants offering the best dining experience of any Sandals resort. Sandals Grenada provides free SCUBA for all certified divers; it's the only resort in the brand that does. Also, it is the sole Sandals that doesn't charge a fee for the beach beds.
Cons: The grounds are very hilly, so it's not the right choice for couples with mobility issues. Some room categories don't have doors on the bathrooms, making privacy an issue.
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.
Sandals Royal Plantation
Best for Couples Seeking Privacy
Located in the heart of Ocho Rios, Royal Plantation is a historic boutique retreat with just 74 all butler category suites. It is famous for pampering its guests, and it's two private beaches. It is the only Caribbean resort with champagne and a Caviar bar in addition to exceptional dining. With old-world charm and elegance, cigars will be prevalent and English tea is offered daily. Royal Plantation is the best-reviewed of all the Sandals properties. You won't find a party atmosphere at Royal Plantation, but you will be able to head to Sandals Ochi Beach if you want to party the night away. Interestingly, while guests of Royal Plantation can go to Ochi, guests of Ochi can't go to Royal Plantation. This resort features in my Sexiest Honeymoon Resorts in Jamaica.
Cons: Every suite is butler category, ensuring that the butlers are very busy. You will be able to hear the partying at Sandals Ochi Beach next door.
I am helping you determine which Sandals resort would be the best fit for you. This blog is part 1 of my Sandals Guides; the next blog will highlight the remaining Sandals resorts.