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Sandals resorts anyone been?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Q&A Sandals resorts anyone been?

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  • #75688
    vestanpance
    vestanpance
    Participant

    Has anyone ever been to one of the Sandals resorts? I travel a lot out of country and most of the time do not do any sort of package deal. I just wing it. So I was wondering if i would get bored at something so pre set up.

    and experiences? good or bad?

    #264110

    dru
    Participant

    we went to one in Jamaica to attend a friend’s wedding:

    upsides:
    1. no planning. just book it and go sit on the beach. i have some friends whose travels include nights sleeping in cardboard boxes in Morocco who also occassionally go this route solely for this convenience.
    2. all inclusive. make your money back at the bar
    3. airport shuttle

    downsides:
    1. forced exclusivity. all of the restaurants pretended to require reservations, dress codes, etc… in an attempt to make everyone feel fancy. one friend was denied entry to a restaurant because he didn’t have pants. he is about 6′, and went and put on some yoga pants of a female friend who is about 5’5″. Shorts no entry; elastic wasted, terry cloth highwaters, come right in.
    2. it’s all inclusive inside, but you basically had to pay to leave and do anything outside the resort (not walk the beach, but to head to a local town, rainforest, etc…)
    3. people you don’t know will try and become your friends for the weekend (for some this could be a social +)
    4. we were in Jamaica, and instead of any reggae or steel drums, the sound system played Kenny G on a loop.

    #264111

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    dru wrote >>

    4. we were in Jamaica, and instead of any reggae or steel drums, the sound system played Kenny G on a loop.

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

    #264112

    Daz
    Participant

    dru wrote >>
    we went to one in Jamaica to attend a friend’s wedding:
    upsides:
    1. no planning. just book it and go sit on the beach. i have some friends whose travels include nights sleeping in cardboard boxes in Morocco who also occassionally go this route solely for this convenience.
    2. all inclusive. make your money back at the bar
    3. airport shuttle
    downsides:
    1. forced exclusivity. all of the restaurants pretended to require reservations, dress codes, etc… in an attempt to make everyone feel fancy. one friend was denied entry to a restaurant because he didn’t have pants. he is about 6′, and went and put on some yoga pants of a female friend who is about 5’5″. Shorts no entry; elastic wasted, terry cloth highwaters, come right in.
    2. it’s all inclusive inside, but you basically had to pay to leave and do anything outside the resort (not walk the beach, but to head to a local town, rainforest, etc…)
    3. people you don’t know will try and become your friends for the weekend (for some this could be a social +)
    4. we were in Jamaica, and instead of any reggae or steel drums, the sound system played Kenny G on a loop.

    Yes.

    We went to Antigua. The upsides were discussed above, also, we had a minibar that was free and I ran through that thing as frequently as I could.

    Another upside, it was extremely beautiful and there were no children.

    Another downside, the food was lacking, and if you find something you like, you can’t make a reservation for the same place twice.

    #264113

    Rockmastermike wrote >>

    dru wrote >>
    4. we were in Jamaica, and instead of any reggae or steel drums, the sound system played Kenny G on a loop.

    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

    yes.
    We went to a place in Jamaica just a little further down the road. On the bus a large amount of people from different resorts. Some were drinking and playing a CD boombox they had brought on the airplane as carry on. One guy from Jersey kept screaming ‘Hey Vinnie, we’re in Jah-may-Ka!’

    When they got off at Sandals we were relieved.

    We stayed at the Jamaican Inn http://www.jamaicainn.com/

    Highly recommend it. Very quiet, no piped music, good food and live music and dancing at night. But then we went there to relax.

    #264114
    vestanpance
    vestanpance
    Participant

    Funny you guys said Jamaica because that is exactly where I am looking. Also looking at this place if anyone has been

    link

    thanks for the advice… how about I open this up to advice on Jamaica also heh.

    #264115

    You could try ‘Hedonism’ the ratio of guys to girls can be as high as 6 to 1.

    #264116
    vestanpance
    vestanpance
    Participant

    oh ya.. this is for my honeymoon.

    #264117

    dru
    Participant

    i should add to my + column that the complimentary shampoo in our room had a highly addictive smell to it. mango or something and it was probably bad for your hair, but it was nice. not sure if it compensated for all the Kenny G though.

    some friends did a honeymoon at Couples and seemed fine with the choice. i will add that if you are looking at Negril, they are all pretty much the same beach. they are lined up across a mile or two – Hedonism, Sandals, Beaches #1, Beaches #2, Couples. You can walk from any one of them to the other. They usually have guards at the beach entrances, but if you are a tourist versus a Jamaican selling necklaces, you can walk right in to all of them. as for anecdotes – the friends who had their wedding in Negril actually did their honeymoon at the Sandals across the island in Ochos Rios, and stated they enjoyed it more.

    two final notes –
    – do not believe any of their photos of the grounds. the places will usually look the same, but take any one photo of the pool, beach, bar, etc… and add a few dozen more people to the scene.
    – if your honeymoon is in the summer, keep in mind that Jamaica is incredibly hot and humid in the summer. our friend had their wedding in June, and June means 92 degrees with 98% humidity.

    #264118
    vestanpance
    vestanpance
    Participant

    booked Couples, Not until december but I can’t wait!

    #264119

    pez
    Participant

    vestanpance wrote >>
    booked Couples, Not until december but I can’t wait!

    Which one? We’re planning Couple San Souci, July/August (yeah I know, hurricane season…) Not sure how we’re going to do on the beach, as we generally go-go-go. Unfortunately a 10-day drive down the Pacific Coast Highway for early summer had some scheduling conflicts, but there’s always next year.

    #264120

    pez
    Participant

    vestanpance-

    Thought I’d follow-up on this thread. We ended up booking Couples Tower Isle instead of Sans Souci, for the simple reason that it was recently renovated. We went down for 7 days and got back about 2 weeks ago. In a nutshell, we were up in the air on which chain to go with and now we won’t even try anyone else in Jamaica but Couples, it was that good.

    I’ll just say that we were absolutely impressed with everything Couples had to offer. We met on couple who had been there 14 previous times and several more that had been there over 5. When you arrive, the employees introduce themselves to you, then the rest of the trip they address you by name. They also have these floating “social directors” that interact with the guests more than I’ve ever seen. Couples includes several outside activities in their packages, make sure to take advantage of them.

    Overall, I took down about $300 in ones, fives and tens to cover tips. The resort doesn’t allow tipping, but I did give a few tens out in ‘handshake tips’ to some people who took extra care of us. You tip on the excursions, which is a few bucks a person.

    Some tips:
    – Don’t convert any money to Jamaican dollars, everything is in USD
    – Lots of high SPF sunscreen – you’re in the tropics – lather up a lot
    – Unless you want to tip someone off the resort, don’t interact with any local that approaches you.
    – Buy your duty-free liquor at the airport, it’s much cheaper there (2 liters per person of hard liquor, more of the lower proof)
    – Don’t buy American brand duty-free, it’s not any cheaper.
    – Buy rum cream to bring back, it’s a lot like Baileys, but a little different.
    – If you are an early riser like me, grab an apple or some fruit to eat in the morning before the buffet opens. They are an hour behind us, so even after a day of drinking, I was up at 4:15.
    – Call your brands, they have most of the premium drinks, but will serve you house brand if you don’t ask. The bars have different choices, so if you don’t see what you like, ask. They’ll tell you if/where they have it.

    #264121

    pez
    Participant

    Sorry to be a 3 in a row poster on this thread, but where did you go and what did you like/dislike about it? Planning another Jamaica trip (with Couples) but thinking about changing it up.

    #264122
    derm
    derm
    Participant

    I went to Sandals Ocho Rios for my honeymoon and it was fabulous. The food was awesome, the place was amazing, tons to do. The breakfast was literally 60 foot long of tables laden with everything you could imagine on a patio overlooking the caribbean. They took us out on a boat to the reef to snorkel every day multiple times. When my wife was doing aerobics, whick I hate, I asked the front if anyone there played tennis and prompty a Jamaican dude in tennis whites showed up and kicked my butt for an hour. We took a taxi to the townof Ocho Rios and bopped around the straw market which was fun. Would go back in a heartbeat.

    #264123
    vestanpance
    vestanpance
    Participant

    we went to couples “Swept away” and loved every second of it. The beach is HUGE and the water was as clear as I’ve ever seen. They had fun stuff to do at night, and a bar that closed when the last person left. We left most nights around 2 and were never the last people out.

    Service was excelent and the food, was well.. resort food.

    I would go back today if I could.

    100% worth the money paid.

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