I ADMIRE Sandals, but its still a bad VALUE.

Old Sep 16th, 2002, 08:48 AM
  #1  
ramjet
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I ADMIRE Sandals, but its still a bad VALUE.

While I am somewhat ostracized on this board for my views on Sandals I find I must voice my opinion on this matter. I am a travel afficionado and being this a travel forum I "voice" my thoughts. I constantly read trip reports concerning Sandals and every time I read one I am astounded. In almost every trip report about a Sandals I see a repetitive expose'... We arrived on Tuesday but restaurant was booked until Saturday, the entertainment was terrible, i.e. toga competition, dancing magician, newlywed game, only three couples showed up, went and hid in corner, fell asleep, food was ok, food was dry, only beer available was draft and a few can beers, playmaker did not believe we did everything we said we did, while polite; manager turned a deaf ear, premium liquor for only one of each spirit, pool was dirty, smell was bad, there were alot of bugs in the room, dirt in the sheets, etc. I did not make any of this up these come from actual trip reports. Amazingly at the end of alot of these people say "We would love to go back", "Great trip report", "We had a great time" and so on! What is happening here? Are people that easy? To me this is all about value and spending the kind of money at a A-1 like Sandals charges, having the problems mentioned in trip reports and STILL saying you had a great time does not make sense. Sandals I salute you, how you do it in spite of all this is truly amazing!
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 09:50 AM
  #2  
Jim
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Is this the Canadian woman who got married at Sandals? Oh no ... not again.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 10:35 AM
  #3  
uneed2know
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I agree. It is amazing to me that Sandals has such a loyal following. I can only surmise that it is from people who have never experienced travel elsewhere or planned and executed their own holidays.

In fact, reading some of what I have read on this board, from people who have had really terrible experiences at Sandals, and then get soundly trashed, called liars, and so on, I wonder why anyone tries to even help other travellers.

It is my hope though, that eventually, the reputation that Sandals built up years ago and deserved then and now cares nothing about, will begin to disintegrate and that the reputation they should have now will follow them.

They are the worst IMHO.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 10:48 AM
  #4  
Nancy
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You said it, U Need.
The reason Sandals makes me so angry is that it exploits people who may not be fortunate enough to travel frequently and have scrimped and saved at their jobs to take their "dream vacation."
They buy into the glossy Sandals hype splashed across two pages of magazines that show glistening vacant beaches with perfect turquoise water just waiting for you and your sweetie to have the place all to yourself.
The prices don't come anywhere NEAR justifying the quality of the food and accommodations.
But because these folks are young (newlyweds) or not well-traveled, they think this tripe is the be-all and end-all of luxury and taste.
My first 2 trips to the Caribbean 12 years ago were to all inclusives similar to Sandals, and I still cringe when I think of the food and the "entertainment" we were subjected to.
While there is a market for people wanting a certain type of experience, the price they are paying at Sandals is disgusting for what they get in return.

 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 11:02 AM
  #5  
Sally
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As an experienced traveller (by now), after some bad experiences I now always follow one simple rule: I never stay at a place that is part of a big, standardized 'chain' if I can avoid it. Service is always worse at these places; I think it is because the people who work there do not have a real connection to the property. After all, they may be sent to another hotel of this big organization, whether it is Marriot, or Beaches, or Sonesta etc. etc., at any time. The places that ALWAYS work best are smaller, individually owned hotels with a manager who is always around and has a real tie to the property.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 11:46 AM
  #6  
NONONO
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I said it once again and I sat it again, ramjet seems to have a personal vendetta against Sandals/Beaches. Tell us oh ramjet, how long have you been employed by SuperClubs and how much do they pay you to post this drivel. As before I ask ramjet to crawl back into the hole he came from...ignore this idiot his words are false.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 11:51 AM
  #7  
iriemon
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Ramjet:

Give some examples of better value resorts
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #8  
Kathy
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My brother spent his honeymoon at a Sandals resort and when he showed me the pictures of his room and told me what he paid I laughed..it was dingy and worse than any Holiday Inn type motel..I agree how could someone pay thousands of dollars for a vacation and have a dirty ugly room...
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 12:18 PM
  #9  
Nancy
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Irie, almost ANY Caribbean resort is a better value than Sandals.
I have stayed at places that easily surpass even the most "luxurious" Sandals for less $$$ than they charge.
I can stay at Nevis Four Seasons and eat at the local restaurants for less than they charge at Sandals for dingy, dark rooms and sub-standard cruddy food.
WHYYY do people flock there?
Misdirected by travel agents.
Buy into the glitzy ads.
Don't know there is SO MUCH BETTER out there.
People are going to get fed up, and go elsewhere. It's just a matter of time...
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:04 PM
  #10  
Marti
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Sandals costs about the same per night as an upscale hotel, and is probably less than upscale, but includes food and drink. I guess it depends on how much you eat and drink, but my experience in a couple of vacations (Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Grand Bahama, Maui, Kauai) Is that We (a couple), spent at least $300, usually more like $400/day for decent hotel + drinks + food.

I'm going to spend less than that on my package deal with Sandals. I've never been to one (going to the Grande St. Lucia in Nov.), but have been to all inclusives before and found them worth the money. (Club Med, Jack Tar and Ciboney), so we'll see.

Ramjet--out of curiosity, did you stay at a Sandals and have a bad experience yourself? Because I've done a ton of research and it seems like reports are about 80% good, 20% bad, which you can probably say for most any resort that people write about.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:10 PM
  #11  
ramjet
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iriemon & Marti: While time at this moment will not afford me to post "condensed" trip reports of several places I have enjoyed that, IMHO,were far better values than Sandals, I will be glad to in the next few days!
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:13 PM
  #12  
Marti
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But my question remains, you're very vocal on this subject ramjet?? Have you ever been to Sandals? Which one? When? You speak with such authority, I'd think you've been to all of them, but I doubt you'd ever go back, based on the way you feel.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:23 PM
  #13  
ramjet
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Marti, I've been to Sandals Dunns River, Sandals Ocho Rios, Royal Caribbean, and Beaches Grande Sport.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #14  
Marti
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So you've been FOUR times, and can't understand why us poor slobs would go ONCE??
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:41 PM
  #15  
kb
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Hello - the point being that, at least the guy knows what he's talking about. Why'd you ask if he'd been if you were going to blast him out of the water when he said yes?
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #16  
Marti
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It seems like a strange vendetta, if he was happy enough to go back 3 times, it must have been a great vacation 3 of 4 times!!
He's the one that started the blasting out of the water with the original subject! "What is happening here? Are people that easy? "

Makes me wonder if these posts are legit, or If ramjet works for Club Med or something?
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 02:10 PM
  #17  
ramjet
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My original trip to a Sandals resort was to Royal Caribbean and at the time, while I was not satisfied with the place said trips like this happen. My second trip was to Dunns River and with the time I had I was able to use the facilities at Ocho Rios and Grande Sport. I actually WON this trip and Dunns River was only one available at the time. 2 couples including myself went. All I could think was the poor souls who DID spend 500-700 a day for these places. The more I experienced every day at these places the more I was able to expound on the VALUE of Sandals properties. Again, yes most people will have a good time at Sandals, BUT these are usually 1ST time travelers to the Caribbean and aren't aware of just what to expect for your money. I for one have been able to travel to alot of destinations and IMO Sandals does not offer a good value comparably. Take my information any way you want but why are we here to begin with?, if not for opinions like mine. Thank you.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 02:23 PM
  #18  
Marti
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People paid $500-700 a day??? I can see why you think it's not a good value. My daily rate turns out to about $300 for Sandals. I would not pay that much either. I consider myself a seasoned traveller, 6 foreign countries, and about a dozen various carribean/hawaiian/jamacian places, and I still like all inclusives. I do venture out, however, and think that those who don't are missing out.
 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 03:10 PM
  #19  
uneed2know
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Really, the bottom line is that all inclusives are a rip-off, whether Sandals, Beaches or anywhere else. You can have a much better time if you plan your own vacation.

But Sandals was the originator of the all inclusive in the Carribean and at the time that they initiated this type of holiday, they were good. Are they good now? Not at all, in fact, it may even be dangerous to your health, if you read some of the posts below.

Think about it. If all you want to do is drink, drink, drink and eat, eat, eat, then perhaps Sandals or other all inclusives may suit you but...........you must remember that you run the risk of really bad food or worse, food that is contaminated with bacteria or salmonella or worse. And, you are stuck there. You have paid for it and paid dearly. If the food doesn't suit you, too bad and then what? You don't have the option of going elsewhere unless you are prepared to spend more cash on food and you have all ready paid for your food there, at the all inclusive.

Sandals needs to clean up its act and get it together. A pending lawsuit may well make them do that. Lawsuit pending because they literally poisened a young man there on his honeymoon due to their unsafe sanitary conditions in their food preparation areas and this has been documented by the Canada Health Authority.

On another note, you can book your own place and plane fares, book a place with a kitchen where you can cook up your own breakfast or whatever or move about to various places that actually have GOOD food and for far less cash outlay.

"Unseasoned" travellers often don't want to cook the odd meal. They like the idea of drink without extra cost, never having to move from one place to another. Seasoned travellers generally feel quite differently. Seasoned travellers like to buy a few beers or a bottle and some coca-cola, a few eggs, some bread and do their own thing. It allows them to have some freedom while on their travels and for a lot less cost.

 
Old Sep 16th, 2002, 03:23 PM
  #20  
MaryBeth
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Well said, Uneedtoknow! That sums it up beautifully IMO.
All inclusives are no bargain, we much prefer to be responsible for our own choices and enjoyment. I don't think it's any kind of fun to have someone make those decisions for me.
There is no such thing as a "one size fits all" vacation. I will never ever understand why so many people think that there is.
 

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