Do not go to Sandals

Jul 31st, 2002, 05:27 PM
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Do not go to Sandals

After reading the most disgusting trip report I have ever encountered, I have come to the conclusion that Sandals is, by far, the worst resort in the Caribbean. The trip report posted at:
absolutely destroyed this woman's wedding and honeymoon. What was supposed to be a "dream" turned into her worst nightmare. If you have any thoughts of going to Sandals, you would be better off spending the money on the lottery and hoping to become a millionaire.
Jul 31st, 2002, 06:18 PM
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Wow, you have got to check out this website. Personally I would not at all be interested in getting married in the islands, but this one is just too much. I'm curious to know what the bride does for a living. She spent a considerable amount of time preparing this sight! And as for Sandals, I dont think I could ever go to one of their resorts.....
Jul 31st, 2002, 06:53 PM
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I have had plenty of couples married at Sandals (on thier own request) with no problems at all. I have not had any at this resort but in Negril and at Halcyon, as well as Antigua. None have ever complained, and lots have wanted to go to other Sandals.

She did have some very valid points, but also I found her very nitpicky for a not so fussy person. Caribbean time is much slower than Canadian time, I have found most people in the Caribbean love to talk, and food is not going to be like it is at home.
Jul 31st, 2002, 07:28 PM
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This website is great for a laugh. Can't imagine anyone going to that much trouble to document such a "horrible" trip.

Just scanned the site but here's just a couple of the incomprehensible things that happened to them:

After I read that her lucky groom caught a swordfish with his bare hands (on some type of a night cruise), how "supposedly swordfish is a delicacy" from what this bride and groom and heard--one has to wonder where this lovely couple is from that they've never heard of swordfish. To top it all off, the honeymooners were very upset that Sandal's didn't prepare the supposed "delicacy" for them.

This beautiful bride was appalled that Sandal's had the gall to leave their final bill under their door on the last night of their stay...never been to a hotel that didn't do that, even the Ritz Carlton.

Finally (and I can't resist)...this lovely bride seems to be obsessively nit picky about pretty much everything but she's apparently not too picky about what she eats. She's huge!!!! LOL! Have a's quite a site!
Jul 31st, 2002, 10:58 PM
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Wow! What a shocking report! This proves exactly why I would never, ever go to a Sandals! I have simple rule, which works 99% of the time: not to book all-inclusives or large chain hotels of any kind. Individually run and managed hotels are nearly always better, the staff generally feels more of a connection to the property.
Aug 1st, 2002, 01:14 AM
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Not that Sandals did right or was any big shakes but it is obvious that this person is pretty inexperienced with travel and how to deal with the snafus that always happen. Hope she's easier on the new hubby when things just don't go exactly as she planned or thought they would. Actually it's sad that so much energy and time is/were used for the negatives and that's her fault not Sandals.
Aug 1st, 2002, 05:50 AM
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They couldn't open up their bottle of champagne because the staff did not give them a corkscrew?

That aside, it sounds like the problems had a snowball effect. Even though this bride is obviously an inexperienced traveler, that does not take away from the fact that she had very legitimate gripes, including the state of the rooms, the double billing, the over charging, not ever getting a final video, having to change all their vows at the last minute, disconnecting the phone, not having a concierge on the concierge level, etc etc.

The bottom line, Sandals has a remarkable ability of marketing themselves as something they are not = a 5 star resort w/ 5 star services. And for those prices you could travel to some of the truly special resorts in the caribbean. The sad thing is that Sandals are generally marketed to folks who aren't wordly travellers, and the cost is so high there is this belief I guess that if they scrimp and save and stretch, they can have a piece of this luxury travel lifestyle. Sandals is just such a sham.

Oh, and Amused . . . wow, you picked up on the fact that the bride is fat. That's a real knee slapper isn't it?

Aug 1st, 2002, 06:30 AM
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This woman had a problem and it has nothing to do with Sandals...she seems to be a chronic complainer. Now, I wonder if she would have spent as much time talking to Sandals as she did on this obnoxious web site she might have had some luck in getting some of these "problems" resolved. No, she would rather spend hours and hours developing a site that bad mouths her trip. What a loser she is. I agree with the above: for someone that is so critical about everything she should look in the mirror. She is a big fat cry baby. Stupid web site she has and she is even dumber.
Aug 1st, 2002, 06:32 AM
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Huh? I guess Sandals is proof that enough marketing $$$ thrown at people makes for room bookings. Travel agents must get free rooms or big commissions the way they steer the poor hapless honeymooners into the clutches of Sandals.
Huh? and Anon have hit upon the crucial point in the whole Sandals marketing fiasco. The place rakes in people who don't have travel experience and don't realize there is so much better out there for much more reasonable prices.
Aug 1st, 2002, 06:39 AM
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Nancy - one question. Have you been to a Sandals resort?
Aug 1st, 2002, 06:59 AM
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D, I have toured three Sandals resorts when I have been staying at other resorts on islands where they had them.
I don't stay at AI's, but I wanted to see them as I had heard varying reports of what they were like, and I frequently help friends and coworkers with trips, and some of them like to go AI. The front desk people at all 3 were very cordial and more than willing to walk me around the properties, into rooms of different categories and the restaurants/bars.
I was unimpressed with the quality for the price. My beef with Sandals is that they charge premium prices and tout their properties as luxury level. In my opinion, I do not feel Sandals (at least the three that I have toured) lives up to the hype/price.
Aug 1st, 2002, 07:04 AM
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I am a travel agent and no we don t get huge commissions from Sandals, and I have sent many clients to Sandals some very well traveled some not, I have never had a major complaint. I recently did a wedding for clients in Nassau, the client brought her pictures in and gave me a trip report it was absolutley gorgeous and the client had only one negative thing to say and that was that the rolls royce was broked down and they did not get there transfers they expected. Some people are never happy no matter what and I do not think Sandals is completely to blame.
Aug 1st, 2002, 01:29 PM
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I am an agent also, and I can tell you that I will quote the client what they ask for, ie; Sandals, then I give them options. I had a client call today, specifically requesting Sandals. I asked if he had ever been before, he said yes, MoBay. I have seen that hotel, and I would NEVER put anyone there. He wanted prices for Negril.

I then asked him if I could offer some alternatives for him, because I did not feel that Sandals was worth the prices that they get. He said sure, I am just looking for a nice A/I.

Sandals Negril, air, 7 nts, deluxe (garden view lowest category)
$3,513.60 total for 2
Grande Luxe Bchfnt Concierge $4,346.60

Offered in addition:

Playa del Carmen - Ultra Luxury
Occidental Royal Hideaway, all rooms REAL mohagany 4 poster beds, ALL concierge rooms (no matter view), fine dining (all ala-carte)
Total for two $3,440.00

Aventura Spa Palace - Luxury
Oversized rooms 6 rest, 6 bars, full size jacuzzi in room, marble floors, etc. Adult only
$3,460 total

Riu Palace - Luxury
Luxury room with stocked mini-bar in room, etc.

Punta Cana
Riu Palace Macao
Luxury room, ocean view, private terrace with stairs leading to enclosed private jacuzzi, all upscale ammenities, etc.

Every other option that I gave him I have personal knowledge of, as well as Sandals Negril. Every other option would BLOW Sandals out of the water.

Please, don't assume that all travel agents are out for anything "free." I want the client to come back with fabulous memories, AND money in his pocket!

BTW, Couples also puts Sandals to shame!
Aug 1st, 2002, 01:34 PM
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It was a very interesting report indeed. There were some very valid complaints (cockroaches, filth, billing errors, substandard or nonexistent service), those complaints were somewhat diminished by the nitpicking (corkscrew, flower album, 15 minutes late hairdresser). The major faults alone give sufficiant and overwhelming reason not to pay high prices to stay at the very mediocre Sandals.

My sister stayed at 2 Sandals after finding very discounted, last minute rates, and said that every AI she's stayed at in the DR and Playa Del Carmen were much, much better at a lower cost.

Obviously Lori is not accustomed to staying at top resorts, bought into the hype that Sandals is a luxury resort (which, by the tacky "Sandals" logo plastered everywhere should be warning enough that it is anything but luxurious), and expected more than what she got.

Bottom line, Sandals is a mediocre, mass market resort catering to a common crowd, who don't know what a truly luxurious resort is. I believe huh was right on the money with his/her assessment of the situation.
Aug 1st, 2002, 01:39 PM
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Another travel agent, Good for you, you sound like one of the good ones. I'm looking for a nice family AI presidents week (yeah, I know), in Playa del Carmen. Am thinking of the new Fiesta Grande (I stayed at the Fiesta Bavaro in DR and loved it), any prices yet? Give me an email address and I'll look you up, you definitely picked winners for your client who wanted Sandals!
Aug 1st, 2002, 01:42 PM
caribbean specialist
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Another Travel Agent.
You sell travel just like I do. That is what good travel agents do.
If your agent just processes your request, without giving you options that might be a better choice, find another agent.
Yes, I book what they asked for sometimes, but usually I find a better option at a better price.
Aug 1st, 2002, 02:28 PM
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We will be going to Sandals again this Feb and maybe sooner then that. We LOVE Sandals and have been very very happy with the resorts. Bud sorry you feel that way.
Aug 1st, 2002, 03:26 PM
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I hear you Kim. I LOVE McDonald's and eat there several times a week.
Aug 1st, 2002, 04:10 PM
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Hi "Another". You did an awesome job of offering other options. That's a nice list.

I do that for my relatives as a starting point for travel ideas and then send them off to a travel agent once they have a base of knowledge. No, I'm not an agent . . . I just love travel and have done a lot of it over the past 15 years and try to keep up to date on what's what out there. Most of my relatives have really never been anywhere other than maybe Florida and they have no idea what's out there. They will show me their Liberty travel Caribbean guidebook with the price listings and invariably Sandals is always the highest price point for any of the destinations. They see this and see the glossy brochures and just think that this must be "THE" place. They save like crazy for a splurge like this and they assume that they will be getting top of the line since Sandals are top of the price line. I try to make them aware of other options. My husband's cousin just had her heart set on Sandals St. Lucia for her honeymoon and she was HUGELY disappointed . . . especially after spending the equivalent of perhaps 3 yrs worth of vacation budget.

There are great places out there like the Charela Inn in Negril where you can get a lovely clean oceanfront room, have very hospitable owners who are on sight to make sure everything is just so, and you can pick up an add-on MAP for very little at their wonderful restaurant. . . and still have lots of extra $$$ to drink and dine around and splurge on excursions all for well less than going to Sandals. I have a certain fondness for Charela since this is what my husband and I could afford when we were dating and in our twenties. The owners were just so kind there.

Anyway, sorry for the seriously long ramble.

And for the folks that do enjoy Sandals, that's cool too, I just think there are better values for the money out there (Peter Island, Nisbet Plantation, Royal Hideaway, etc.).
Aug 1st, 2002, 04:13 PM
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Get over it! It was your wedding day and there is nothing you can do to fix it! You obviously have really bad taste anyways because your wedding dress looks like it was made in 1983!!

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