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-   -   Is Sandals worth it? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/is-sandals-worth-it-238428/)

steve Jul 10th, 2002 02:14 PM

Is Sandals worth it?
 
I am planning a Honeymoon for Feb. 2003. I prefer to stay at a high-end resort in the Caribbean but my fiance is pushing for Sandals (Antigua or St. Lucia). It seems to be the exact opposite of what I am looking for. <BR><BR>Am I going to be miserable if I give in???

Bud Jul 10th, 2002 04:01 PM

Stick to your guns. If you do any web surfing, you will find that Sandals and Atlantis generate more negative reviews than any other resorts in the Caribbean. They are over-priced and cheesy, but travel agents make a great commission on them.

karen Jul 10th, 2002 04:22 PM

We stayed at Sandals Inn Montego Bay Jamaica last year had a good time but I was so glad that I did not pay the price of the Royal Caribbean or Sandals Montego Bay. The beaches, food and service are good but you pay a price that should provide a superior vacation experience. Not alot of bank for the buck. We spent the majority of our time at the Sandals Montego Bay because it was more lively. There are far nicer resorts in the Caribbean for alot less money. You wouldn't be miserable you will just feel ripped off.Karen

Martin Jul 11th, 2002 01:55 AM

How about a compromise?<BR><BR>Sandals have bought the Hyatt Regency in St Lucia and are opening it in autumn this year. It will be called the Sandals Grande St Lucian.<BR><BR>Although I can't confirm it until it opens I think it will be the top-end Sandals resort in St Lucia as the Hyatt Regency was very expensive and therefore I think the rooms and facility will be to a very high standard.<BR><BR>Because it hasn't opened yet we were able to get a very attractive deal for our 1 week stay.<BR><BR>We have booked to go in April 2003 for our silver wedding.<BR><BR>Enjoy whatever you decide.

Penney Jul 11th, 2002 04:51 AM

We have been to many Sandals and really, we have enjoyed all our stays and found food and service tobe very good but it is not for everyone and especially if youare looking for a higher end resort. While Sandals has a high price tag, it is the luxury of not having a care in the world and the name that you are paying food. Food is very good but not gourmet. Top suites are very nice, particularily at Sandals St. Lucia and Antigua but they are very costly.<BR><BR>Sandals Antigua is a laid back, beautiful resort. Grounds are lovely - very lush and tropical. It is very romantic in atmosphere, ona beautiful, long beach with calm waters. Very casual and comfortable.<BR><BR>Sandals St.Lucia is much larger, grander and more spread out. There are tonos of diining choices, a poor beach but very impressive pool. <BR><BR>Sandals does have playmakers that run all the activites but there is no push to participate. Evening entertainment is always good.<BR><BR>Middle road for you two would be Beaches Royal Plantation in Jamaica, which is considered the top resort in the chain and I agree with the last post, one the newer Sandals in St.Lucia. It is supposed to be beautiful and more upscale. There is also a new more intimate and luxurious Sandals opening also in Jamaica that you might want to look into - not sure when it is supposed to open.<BR><BR>

cayman420 Jul 11th, 2002 07:19 AM

You will not be miserable if you give in but, you will NOT be satisfied.<BR>Let your soon to be wife read the posts.<BR>Stick to your guns and plan something that will blow her mind, because sandals will not.

ramjet Jul 11th, 2002 09:14 AM

I personally think Sandals is a poor value for your money. Sandals has high-end advertising and uses glossy pictures (airbrushed), boasts premium liquor when its not, has average food (not gourmet), and average rooms. Will you have a good time? maybe. Can you get much better for your money? Absolutely. Again both Sandals And Atlantis have the most people going but they also get the most negative reviews which may or may not tell you something. Remember Travel Agents work on commission and push them hard. Nothing wrong with that but alot of people are swayed by that and the slick advertising. Good luck on your choice but if your here researching beforehand you'll see many, many posts suggesting a different idea or recommendation which is the purpose of these websites. Good Luck on both your marriage and your honeymoon!

Patty Jul 11th, 2002 01:49 PM

If you already know that Sandals is the exact opposite of what you're looking for, don't go. You won't be happy. Opt for a luxury resort that gets consistently good reviews.

Terry Jul 11th, 2002 02:33 PM

Just returned from two-weeks at the Sandals Halcyon. Given that it was our first trip to the Caribbean and we didn't know quite what to expect, it was a good way for us to go. <BR><BR>Would we go back to another Sandals? Probably not. We found that we had paid five-star prices for a three-star experience. The rooms were good, not great. The food was good, not great. The alcohol was plentiful, but as other posters have noted, was middle of the road, not premium, e.g. Tanqueray gin not Bombay. That being said, we did enjoy ourselves a lot, although in hindsight, we would have enjoyed ourselves at any number of other resorts on the island as well. <BR><BR>My feelings about the Sandals we were at was that we paid a premium for the stability and structure that the resort offered, which was nice as a first-time Caribbean traveller, but probably isn't worth it for a return visit.

joyce Jul 11th, 2002 02:42 PM

Who wears the pants in your house? If you let her push you around now, she's going to do it for the rest of your life!

Brandy Jul 12th, 2002 03:33 AM

I agree with what everyone else here has said for the mostpart. My husband and I were married (and honeymooned) at Sandals Negril. NOT WORTH THE MONEY!!! As someone else said, *** experience with a ***** star price. Our room was very nice and we got upgraded to a 2 floor suite since it was in Sept (1999) and they were not full. The pool was absolutely pitiful. It was soooo small, and if you didn't get out there at 9 or 10 am, you did not get a chair. and then they set up a volleyball net in the pool everyday, so all the men played volleyball and there was no room to be in the pool to relax. In addition, those nice little Sandals floats you see people on in all the ads......yeah, Negril had 5 total for teh entire resort!!!! You had to be a vulture to get a float. They messed up my wedding (one person to do 4 women's hair), causing it to be 2.5 hrs late, causing us to miss sunset and have no pictures at the beach b/c it was too dark. The food for our wedding dinner was HORRIBLE. We had the worst surf and turf ever. They put mayonaise on little sandwhiches for our reception, after i specifically asked them not to. The food overall was very mediocre, and all had a Jamaican feel to it, which I did not care for. It got boring being at the same resort for a whole week. I would definitely NOT recommend.

A question Jul 12th, 2002 04:23 AM

Brandy,<BR>I'm sorry that Sandals Negril messed up your wedding. I can't imagine anything worse but I have one question. You said the food all "had a Jamaican feel to it that I did not care for". Honey, you did choose to get married in Jamaica didn't you? What did you think you were going to get?

kim Jul 12th, 2002 05:16 AM

All im going to say is we Love Sandals and go every year. email me if you like or have any ?'s. Sandals St.Lucia is one of our favorite.

Peggy Jul 12th, 2002 06:28 AM

Kim also touts Atlantis highly. <BR>I see a pattern here. Atlantis , Sandals, Dollywood, Myrtle Beach....

Jim Jul 12th, 2002 06:38 AM

<BR>Peggy - what exactly is your problem?<BR><BR>From what I can see Kim's post was totally on-topic and addressed the question posed by Steve at the top of the thread.<BR><BR>Just because you don't agree there is no need to try to belittle her opinion (it makes YOU look petty and foolish).

Peggy Jul 12th, 2002 06:45 AM

I can't help it sometimes.<BR>My husband, Al, is a poorly paid shoe salesman who has no taste whatsoever and he forces me to go to all these places which the beautiful people (like me) avoid.<BR>My kids, Bud and Kelly, are socially extreme and a huge disappointment. I can't take them anywhere.<BR>Kelly is a floozy who attracts drunk guys like flies to crap.<BR>Bud is a spineless voyeur.<BR>

Trish Jul 12th, 2002 07:14 AM

What is your fiance's reason? If you scuba dive everyday, Sandals will cover that for you. It can get really expensive to do so elsewhere. If your only interest, however, is laying around the pool, you can do that anywhere. St. Lucia has a very bad beach and is not top of the line in anyway. Antigua, on the other hand, is worth the money.

ramjet Jul 12th, 2002 07:20 AM

Trish: the times we were at sandals (6days ea) we got to scuba dive 1 time do to reservations already taken, don't expect to scuba dive but maybe 1 time during your stay or you might be dissapointed.

kim Jul 12th, 2002 01:18 PM

Its pretty bad when people like so called Peggy has to pretend whom she is in order to post on this board. get a life and you know what they say about opinions. Please next time you post your REAL name whould be nice. Sorry never been to Dollywood or Myrtle Beach and have no fondness to go there.

a Travel Professional Jul 12th, 2002 02:24 PM

Ramjet,<BR>A knowledgeable Travel Agent would not push Sandals. I am a Certified Sandals Specialist, because client want you to know what you are selling.<BR>I however only book Sandals, after telling the cient I think they are overpriced and not as good as many other AI's.<BR>Any agent who pushs something solely on price is a bad agent.<BR>I want my customers to book with me year after year for life, this I provide them the best Value for Dollar.<BR>Most good, successful agents with a high margin of repeat customers, who get a lot of referrals believe as I do.<BR>Look for an agent that is a Caribbean Specialist. Ask if they have been to the island, stayed at the hotel and etc.<BR><BR>Steve, <BR>You might like the Hilton Jaloise better, or better still Ladera.


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