I just got back from Jamaica, where I re-visited 5 Sandals resorts, which are for couples only in Montego Bay, Negril and Whitehouse. Which one would be perfect for you? I’ll tell you a little bit about them to help you decide.
Sandals Resorts in Montego Bay:
Sandals Montego Bay
Because this resort is right next to the airport, you’ll be the first to arrive and the last to leave. It’s for energetic, social, party people, with the lively entertainment, bars and crowd. There are 8 global restaurants with 11 more within 10 minutes. You get to stay at 1 and play at all 3 resorts in the Montego Bay area with transfers included.
Weddings: Couples who prefer a church wedding will find a cute little chapel here.
- My take: This party loving paradise is looking great and I love the large expanse of white sand beach, perfect for long romantic strolls and writing your names in the sand. The beach parties here are always fun and the watersports include waterskiing and tubing.
- My favorite rooms: Luxury Level – Caribbean Luxury rooms in the cottages are tucked away and private. Club Level – Beachfront Club Level Walkout rooms in the cottages are super quiet and very close to the beach. Butler Level – Beachfront Hideaway Presidential One Bedroom Butler Village Suites are fully eco friendly and include private VIP airport transfers, perfect for a honeymoon.
Sandals Royal Caribbean
This resort has old-world British colonial charm in a Caribbean setting. It has a British feel to it and there are small, cove beaches, which give you more privacy and a more intimate feel. British style afternoon tea is served here daily and the British pub offers an authentic pub dining experience. If you want to have access to the party scene of Sandals Montego Bay, but the ability to retreat to a tranquil resort, this is the place for you. This is Jamaica’s only resort with a private offshore island. This makes for an escape within an escape. You can visit for a day and relax by the pool or in a hammock over the water. Or, for added luxury, enjoy a relaxing spa treatment in one of the beach cabanas, listening to the waves lap at the shore. Come over at night and dine at the authentic Thai restaurant, but make sure you make your reservation as soon as you arrive at the resort. Although this resort is close to the airport, too, the planes do not go overhead quite so directly. There are 8 global restaurants with 11 more within 10 minutes. You get to stay at 1 and play at all 3 resorts in the Montego Bay area with transfers included.
Weddings: I witnessed a wedding which took place on one of the piers with an ornate gazebo. The couple must have felt they were getting married in the water, because they and their guests were encircled by it. In addition to the pier weddings, couples can also choose to get married on the beach or in a beautiful garden setting.
- My take: This resort is currently adding 21 beautiful rooms at the center of the property, which will have beautiful, modern furnishing, similar to Sandals LaSource Grenada. Also, coming next year, five overwater bungalows will be added on the private island. These are modeled after overwater bungalows in the Maldives, because the SEO, Adam Stewart and his wife did “some research” there and loved them. My prediction is that the overwater bungalows will sell out within minutes of opening for booking, so let me know right away, if you would like to reserve one. This resort is undergoing a transformation. Give it a year and it’s going to be phenomenal.
- My favorite rooms: Luxury Level – Caribbean Grande Luxe Poolside rooms are off to the side of the entrance of the resort. There is a small pool for that section of rooms and it’s out of the way, so it’s very quiet and private. It’s really a nice room for the price. Club Level – I had a Kensington Cove Honeymoon Beachfront Club Level Room during my stay. It’s at the very end of the property, just steps from the beach out the sliding door. There is a large whirlpool tub, big enough for two in the bathroom. These rooms have great views of the pool, beach and private island, but you must be careful, as some have very little view at all. Butler Level – Swim up Crystal Lagoon Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suites are my absolute favorite here. Some of the Crystal Lagoon rooms don’t have an entrance right into the Crystal Lagoon from the room, but these definitely do. The pool area, although not private, is set by itself. Other guests just kind of respect the people staying there and are not likely to use the pool. The suites are very spacious and have large whirlpool baths big enough for two. You will also have the personal services of a butler during your stay in the room, which will change your five star experience into a six star experience!
This is the smallest of the Jamaican Sandals resorts. It’s really like a small boutique hotel. The rooms are all nearly identical; it’s the views which are different. You can get the same Sandals quality here on a budget and still be able to utilize the amenities of the other two resorts close by. There are 8 global restaurants with 11 more within 10 minutes. This resort is closest to the Hip Strip (Montego Bay’s main shopping, entertainment and dining area), so a tip is to take the complimentary shuttle here from the other resorts to do your shopping and what not.
Weddings: The garden has a pretty spot for wedding, or you can opt for a beach wedding, but do keep in mind that it is a public beach.
- My take: To be honest, this is my least favorite of the hotels, mostly because it doesn’t have its own private beach. The beach is a public beach across a busy road. This resort will be changing to a Grand Pineapple Resort soon, which is the budget brand of the Sandals family of resorts.
- My favorite rooms: Luxury Level – Carlyle Oceanview Penthouse Petite Suites are on the top floor of the resort and have the best views. The rooms on the very end are a little larger. Club Level – not available, Butler Level – not available.
Sandals Negril is on the famous Seven Mile beach, which faces west. This is the longest, best stretch of beach in Jamaica and you can stroll for miles along it. You’ll enjoy beautiful and romantic sunsets here. There is active nightlife nearby, although the resort itself is quiet and peaceful. There is a laid-back yet fun and upbeat vibe here. The fire pits are a romantic place for couples to hang out in the evening. There is excellent scuba diving from this resort. There are 7 global restaurants here.
Weddings: In addition to weddings right on the beach, there are also lovely garden gazebos in the midst of lush gardens and flowers.
- My take: The beach and beautiful sunsets are the main attraction here. If a lovely beach is important to you, you’ll love this resort. I also love the vibe here and the food is excellent. It’s near some fun entertainment, so it’s a great spot to not only enjoy the resort, but enjoy the local culture, too! It also includes waterskiing, so there are lots of fun activities.
- My favorite rooms: Luxury Level – Caribbean Luxury rooms have recently been refurbished with Sandals new, modern style furnishing. They are lovely with either patio or balcony, which the other luxury level rooms do not have. Club Level – Paradise Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Club Level Rooms are right on the beach, so they’re just steps from the water, Butler Level – Millionaire Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary. The name pretty much says it all. These luxurious suites offer the best in size, privacy and service. They open to a lush private garden, complete with your own plunge pool, waterfall and outdoor shower. This would be a fantasy come true.
Sandals Whitehouse is in the quiet Whitehouse area of Jamaica, which is a trek of about 1 ½ hours from the airport. But, for your time, you’ll enjoy the privacy of Whitehouse and two miles of beach to call your own. All of the rooms here have an ocean view and you’ll see both sunrise and sunset from the property. The resort definitely has a European flair with the Italian, Dutch and French villages. This resort is part of a large, unspoiled nature reserve and there a beautiful lush gardens and pathways to explore. This is definitely the resort for nature lovers. There are 7 global restaurants at this resort.
Weddings: Get married on the beach or in the garden here. This resort is especially good for a large wedding party, because there are fantastic spaces for beautiful receptions.
- My take: I love the privacy of this resort. Anyone nervous about Jamaica will feel very comfortable here on the South Coast. Also, because of its long beach and beautiful garden pathways, couples can enjoy all of the wonderful amenities of an upscale resort, yet still have privacy and alone time. You really can get lost here.
- My favorite rooms: Luxury Level – Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe rooms are set on the higher floor of the villages, with the best views of the ocean. Club Level – Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet Beachfront Walkout Club Level Suites are on the first floor of the Dutch and Italian villages, so you can walk right out to the beach from them. Also, the whirlpool baths are a romantic plus. Butler Level – Honeymoon Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suites are spacious and luxurious. They also come with the services of your own personal butler, who can serve you an elegant and romantic dinner on your private balcony. This suite also features a walk in shower in addition to the whirlpool bath, adding just another luxurious element to your honeymoon or romantic vacation.
I know all of the information you see online about Sandals resorts is very confusing. It really helps to talk with someone whose been to them all, so you can get all of your questions answered. If you would like to pick my brain, I’m happy to offer a free romantic vacation consultation. Just visit www.AppointmentWithSheila.com or call 800-733-7471 to select a time that works best for you.
YOU’RE INVITED TO MY SANDALS CARIBBEAN NIGHT! If you would like to find out detailed information about SANDALS RESORTS to see which one is best for you AND earn a $250 spa credit, be sure to RSVP by calling 800-733-7471. Click to see the details.
Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you soon!