Sandals resorts

Jul 16th, 2007, 06:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 410
Sandals resorts

I have seen a lot of negativity regarding the Sandals resorts on these boards and am wondering why? They look fabulous!
gillybrit is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 04:00 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Many still like Sandals. For me, who used to be a regular at their properties in the 80s and 90s, there has been a noticeable decline in quality along with higher prices and extras included only with higher priced accomodations that used to be more standard.

If you are ok with abundant quantities of good - not great - food and lots going on, Sandals may be just fine for you.

Some of their properties are much better than others, IME.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
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We just returned from Sandals Dunn's River in Jamaica and it was great. We were concerned as well. We have stayed at Sandals Negril and it was nice, but it was also our first AI experience (several years ago). Since then we have stayed at many AIs in Mexico (around Playa Del Carmen) and in St. Lucia and felt like they offered more bang for the buck. However the stay at Sandals Dunn's River was on a par with all of them. I would say the one negative thing about Sandals is the way they price the rooms. You have to pay for the more expensive rooms to get what is standard at most AIs in every room, like room service, stocked mini-bars, etc. The service of the staff at Sandals is usually top notch and the food is generally good and sometimes excellent. I would say it depends on the pricing you get.
Reisender is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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We've stayed at 2 Sandals. Overall, we really like the concept and the look of the properties. Really enjoyed the huge pools. What we disliked was the price. They are way more expensive than any other AI resort that offers the same or similar amenities. The pricing for their room catagories are ridiculous. I agree with Reisender, you'll pay top dollar for concierge, room service, and in-room bar that is offered as a standard at other resorts.

We also didn't think the food quality was befitting a so called 5*+ resort. We disliked having to make reservations for dinner. We've found that other resorts are getting away from that.

Their Red Lane Spa is overpriced and their services were sub-par compared to spas I've been to in Mexico and Las Vegas.

Personally, I don't need a room with a plunge pool. I would prefer a jacuzzi. Also don't want a butler or Roll Royce/limo to/from the airport.

If Sandals would lower their room prices and include in room bar and room service as standard in all rooms, we would reconsider staying at another one of their properties. However, right now, you'll get more for your money and just as nice if not better accomendations at a much lower price in Mexico.
KVR is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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KVR, I have not found a couples only resort yet in Mexico that appeals and is "reasonable". Wish I could!

Cancun is a turn off due to the high rises, and the adult only options that are huge and party oriented also have no appeal to me.

I have been considering the Riviera Maya for several years but cannot make myself take the plunge. Since I love the music, food and people of Jamaica, I am concerned that I will be really disappointed.

My recent experiences in Cabo and Cozumel were negatively impacted by aggressive beach vendors and it was a real turn off.
kfusto is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077

Look at the Royal Playa del Carmen or the Royal Cancun.

We are staying at the Royal Playa del Carmen the first week of September. Read reviews and view pics on TA. It's an adults only property. All rooms are suites. All rooms include an in-room bar, 24 hour room service and in-room jacuzzi. (not a bathtub with jets, but a real jacuzzi) All rooms have marble vanties and showers. The hotel offers premium liquor. All ala cart resturants do not require reservations. The location is excellant. Within walking distance to 5th Avenue. The beach is nice with canopy beach beds and wait service. Canoes are located around the pool with complimemtary bottled water and fresh fruits. There are carts that provide complimentary sunscreen, books and magazines. The reviews regarding food and service are very good. We payed less than half than what we paid at Sandals.

The sister hotel in Cancun just opened in February. I understand that it's even nicer than the Royal Playa del Carmen. It's not a party hotel.

Other resorts in Playa that keep getting good comments are Excellance Riviera, Secrets Capri, Royal Hideaway, and Avetura Spa Palace just to name a few.

I've been to Cozumel 3 times and no your not going to find a resort that compares to Playa del Carmen/Mexican Riviera. Do some research and give Playa a try. You can always go back to Jamaica if it doesn't fit your tastes.
KVR is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
KVR, thanks for the info.

I have been looking at the properties you mention. Royal Hideaway is suffering from a bad case of beach erosion, a deal breaker and I have read that the beach at Capri is not much to speak of. We are beach not pool people so this is important.

Rates are indeed good and I will try for a long weekend one of these days but not ready to commit to a full week. I love the volcanic islands of the Caribbean so always prefer St. Lucia and Jamaica first.

But, good advice and thanks for taking the time to post.

We also like smaller than larger so more than 200 rooms is a turn off.

I know, picky, picky
kfusto is offline  
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