Sandals - Jamaica

Old Sep 11th, 2002, 07:25 AM
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Sandals - Jamaica

What Sandals in Jamaica is the nicest for a 5 night trip? Must have great beach and scuba.

Old Sep 11th, 2002, 09:12 AM
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I wouldn't say a particular Sandals, but if you want to go that route (Sandals Family chain) I would say Beaches Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios is amazing....
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 09:25 AM
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Hi Gavin,

Sandals Negril is the choice.

The best beach by far in Jamaica - 7 mile beach - and the property has Scuba. Hard to beat Negril for what you are looking for.

Good luck.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 04:22 PM
Sandals Lover
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As someone who has visited each and every Sandals in Jamaica as well as the one in the Bahamas (going to St. Lucia in January but haven't been to Antigua) I say there is no "best" Sandals. Each resort has a different personality and an outstanding level of luxury possibly with the exception of Sandals Mo Bay which is getting older and very run down and Sandals Inn which is across the street from teh beach and lacks the amenities of the others. Here are my notes:

Sandals Royal Carribean: older crowd 40ish couples, wonderfully decorated, gourmet food, european feel, very quiet and not a lot activity, overall an elegant sophisticated atmosphere

Sandals Dunn's River: high rise type accomodations, lots of sports and activities, crazy pool games, heavily used disco, younger crowd, very nice beach, lots watersports

Sandals' Ocho Rios: older crowd, very romantic and quiet, very honeymoony. Some younger couples but those who are younger keep to themselves, beautiful gardens, lush tropical vegatation, will not find crazy games or packed disco here, but will find hidden quiet areas for a little "love nest"

Sandals Negril: similar to Dunn's River in that there are tons of water sports, the very best beach!, but it is low-rise accomodations and decorated very casual, overall a mix of diferent types of people of all ages, onepool with crazy games and drinking contests, one quiet pool etc.

Sandals Mo Bay: this is the first Sandals and is getting older and in need of a redo. It is smaller than the others as well. very young crowd, almost party central, right by airport and planes constantly taking off and landing bother many people

Sandals Inn: very smal and more hotel-like than resort-like. Room service in all rooms (not just concierge level) but located across the stree from the beach and you must take a shuttle bus to Sandals Mo Bay or Sandals Royal Carib for amenities and watersorts activities.

If I can be of more help, let me know. Personally my favorite is Negril. I like an active environment with plenty to do, but I don't liek high rise modern resorts and prefer soemthing with a little more character and flaver.
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 04:28 PM
Sandals Lover
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Forgot to say Beaches Royal Plantation is supposed to be the most pampering of all. You can supposedly sit on the beach and put a flag up when you want them to bring you a drink! Very romantic and good for some quiet alone time with you significant other. For me, I personally wouldn't stay there jsut because we like to mix and mingle with other couples and get involved in activities and have fun dancing the night away at the disco and that is not the type of resort royal Plantation is. As I said before they are all nice but have different personalities and it depends on what you are looking for!
Old Sep 11th, 2002, 05:27 PM
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I pretty much agree with Sandals Lover, except we really like MB it is very active and the entertainment is is older but still very nice.Great advise Sandals lover.Negril has been our favorite and we too have been to just about all of them..
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 11:07 AM
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Wow, great info. Topping!
Old Sep 12th, 2002, 01:00 PM
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I agree with the other posts in that they are really all different in some ways so is personal preference.

For 5 days however, something to keep in mind is that to go out to Ocho Rios or Negril, there is an additional one and a half to two hours more traveling form the airport in MoBay so you lose alot of time traveling. Air Jamaica is running a special that if you fly in on them, they will fly you for free to Ocho Rios or Negril. But you can also book shuttle flights yourself - they are pretty affordable.

We loved Negril and Ocho Rios the best. Negril is the better side on the islandin my opinion - more laid back, beaches are much longer and whiter sand and the water there is very calm and clear. Everything at this resort is literally right on the beach. Very romantic.

Sandals Ocho, while having a smaller beach, is really the prettiest Sandals we have seen (and we have been to 7). the books do not do it justice. It is very lush and tropical, great gardens pools and really no bad room location so can book low. Tons to see and do in Ocho as well. We did get over the Beaches Grande Sport Bech Club and it too looked very nice.

Dunn's I personally did not care for - too much decking, everything in one location. Very active.

MoBay and Royal are great in that they are very close to the airport. MoBay has the largest beach, small pools - just not the prettiest Sandals but great fun. Royal is more laid back, beautiful grounds, great off shore island.

Which ever you choose, they all offer the same food, activites,etc...

Old Sep 13th, 2002, 06:06 AM
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Sandals Lover,
I'd love to hear your opinion on the St. Lucia sandals...Thanks!
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 07:06 AM
Sandals Lover
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Sorry don't have an opinion yet on St. Lucia Sandals. We are going to the new St. Lucia Grande, or Grande St. Lucian (not sure whichit is called) in January. that is if it has opened by then, otherwise we'll be bumped to one of the other Sandals properties there. We do plan to visit all 3 while there, we always take advantage of the privileges at oth Sandals when we vacation. So far all I know is that the Halcyon is a much smaller more intimate property and that the Golf resort is huge and very active (the Bluffs section off to itself there is almost like its own smaller resort and is very romantic but other than that section, there is a lot of activity and choices. These are opinions I have heard from friends. No one knows about the new one yet since it hasn't opened. I think the current scheduled opening is Sept.23 but it has been pushed back at least 3 other times and it doesn't look good for opening the end of September either.
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 07:41 AM
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I am another Sandals lover. I have been to St. Lucia, stayed at Halcyon and loved it, visited the larger golf and beach resort, nice but very busy.
Halcyon was quiet with a very nice beach, the staff was warmer and more friendly at Halcyon. We went over the the larger Sandals St. Luica for dinner and the pool, the honeymoon crowd seemed to love the busy pool area.
All the restaurants we tried we liked with the exception of the Japanese. We love Japanese food and were some what dissapointed but it was fun and watch a great sunset from the bar.
We are heading to the Grand St. Luican on Oct 4th for a week, we will advise this post when we return, I can't wait!!
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 12:13 PM
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I agree with the last post on Halycon versus St. Lucia - we loved the smaller more intimate Halcycon - the larger resort had jsut too many people all over the place! Very good food however and the pool is great but beach stunk.
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Sandal's Mobay is great. We were there in Feb. Private beach. Snorkel over the reef, and they have an established dive program. I have read other people's reviews that have criticized the place for being old, but we sure didn't notice. We visited Sandals Ocho Rios and thought the Mobay beach was nicer.
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