Best Sandals Resort: Tips To Help You Choose The Right One

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Last month, we shared the best Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, but there are 11 other resorts outside Jamaica to consider. Today we are sharing what we consider to be the best Sandals Resorts, based on our experience of visiting every single one as well as giving you tips to help you pick the best one for you.

Our first visit to a Sandals Resort was in September 2022 and in a whirlwind tour of the Caribbean in two separate trips, we visited all 17 resorts. The 18th Sandals Resort will be opening this week in Saint Vincent and we should be able to make it there by May.

Every time we have visited a Sandals Resort, we talk to other guest to get their opinion. It seems every resort has fans who consider it their favorite, so we have included opinions from other people who have visited a Sandals Resort several times to give you a more well-rounded view.

Dan helping clients while its raining at Sandals Royal Caribbean

We also asked our clients, who now number in the 1000s of couples who have been to a Sandals Resort, and other travel agents on our team, who are members of the Sandals Chairmans Royal Club for their experience with Sandals Resorts. If this guide is helpful, but you still need more assistance. Please feel free to reach out so we can help you make the best choice based on your preferences.

Which Sandals Resort is the Best?  

Below, we have create a list of the best Sandals Resorts. Each made its spot on the list based on different factors, but the top 3 are consistently Sandals Grenada, Sandals Grande St Lucian, and the newcomer, Sandals Dunn’s River.

We’ll go into each resort specifically below, but if you are ready to take a look at current deals and prices, take a look here.

And if your opinion is different, let us know in the comments!

  1. Sandals Grenada – Best All Around with a relaxed vibe. This is my personal favorite beach with great snorkeling. The resort is close to the airport. The island is beautiful with multiple excursion options.
  2. Sandals Dunn’s River – Best food and drinks with a perfect location in Ocho Rios, close to many of Jamaica’s top attractions.
  3. Sandals Grande St Lucian – Best Sandals Resort in St Lucia with calm bay waters. It’s a large resort with something for everyone.

Sandals Grenada

Let’s get started with our favorite Sandals Resorts, Sandals Grenada.

Located on Grenada’s Pink Gin Beach, Sandals Grenada Resort & Spa offers a mix of luxury and local charm that’s hard to beat. Grenada, often referred to as the “Spice Isle” for its rich history in nutmeg production, provides a stunning backdrop for this resort.

One great benefit of Sandals Grenada is the proximity to the airport. After a quick 5-minute drive your vacation will begin!

There are 257 rooms and suites, each with unique features and a large range of prices. Our most recent visit to Sandals Grenada was in March of 2023 when we enjoyed a week at one of the swim-up suites which is a great middle-ground in price between the suites with a private pool and the rooms without direct water access.

For dining, there are 12 options including Butch’s Chophouse, a staple of Sandals Resorts as well as restaurants with various international cuisines and six bars. We would get breakfast every morning at Spices where there is a buffet and a chef cooking eggs anyway and one additional item each day like french toast, pancakes, or a regional specialty. It’s the same chef each day except for his days off so we liked that he knew our general order and was fun to chat with each day.

plate from buffet breakfast
Here is one breakfast from the buffet with a freshly fried egg.

Some additional highlights for the food are Cafe de Paris where you can get crepes, coffee and treats anytime, the Tipsy Turtle which is open very late and has amazing butter chicken and chicken winges, and Soy for sushi where I loved the Seared Tuna Tataki and Banana Tempura. I could go on, but you can also check out the full dining options here.

Sandals Grenada is a great pick for divers and those who love the water, boasting some of the best scuba diving spots in the Caribbean. If you’re more about relaxation, the resort’s spa, pools, and hot tubs are perfect for unwinding. Plus, there are plenty of activities, from yoga to tennis, if you’re looking to stay active.

This is the quiet pool at Sandals Grenada

The staff at Sandals Grenada go above and beyond, making sure your stay is as enjoyable as possible. It’s the little touches, like the general manager mingling with guests, that make a difference. And if you opt for a butler suite, you’ll enjoy an even more personalized service, with staff ready to book your dinner reservations or secure the best spot by the pool for you.

Sandals Grenada room with beach front view

In terms of the rooms, they’re modern, and spacious, and offer all the comforts you could want, including free Wi-Fi. Many rooms feature balconies or patios with soaking tubs, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring.

Sandals Grenada room private pool view
View from the private pool of one of the. suites

The resort’s location makes it easy to enjoy Grenada’s natural beauty, from its beaches to its rainforests. And with the resort being so close to the airport, you’ll be in vacation mode almost as soon as you land.

Dan & Michelle going to tour the rum distillery

We loved our excursion where we went to a rum distillery where there was a tasting, visited a spice garden, stopped by the Grand Etang Lake and rainforest and saw a Mona Monkey, and ended the trip with an amazing lunch in town before returning to the resort.

Lunch at a loca restaurant in Grenada
Lunch at a local restaurant

We enjoyed the spa but found it to be lacking some of the amenities to allow for a full spa experience like a sauna, hot tub, or separate areas so we recommend getting a massage on the pier so you can hear the crashing waves and relax.

All in all, Sandals Grenada offers a blend of relaxation, adventure, and luxury, making it a great choice for a Caribbean getaway. Whether you’re planning a honeymoon, celebrating a special occasion, or just in need of a break, it’s a place where you can make the most of your time away.

Why We Love Sandals Grenada

  • Sandals Grenada is a quick 5-minute drive from the airport.
  • This resort has the most suites with private pools.
  • The resort is very well laid out with plenty of beach chairs available and pool areas.
  • The island is safe and beautiful with friendly people. We find it easy to explore with plenty of excursion options.
  • The beach at Sandals Grenada is our favorite. The water is beautiful, there are fish to see while snorkeling and you’ll find a little movement with occasional waves.
  • The food and service is exceptional with 12 restaurants to choose from and helpful staff. There is always a bar nearby and it is easy to get drink service throughout the resort.

Things to Know Before Booking

We have no reservations when recommending Sandal Grenada as it is our favorite. The only reason it does not fit everyone is flights and distance. We find sometimes it’s better to choose another resort if the flight schedule prohibits you from getting to the resort within a day.

Just a heads up, the beach at Sandals Grenada is beautiful and is my personal favorite but not overly large, which makes it quite nice for a stroll. And while the diving here is fantastic, it’s worth noting that the beach vendors are limited, so for any motorized water sports, you’ll likely be looking at an excursion.

Sandals Dunn’s River

The only reason we did not put Sandals Dunn’s River as the best Sandals Resorts is because it is newer and is not as easy to get to as Sandals Grenada. Otherwise, it’s always my top choice.

One of the river pools

Sandals Dunn’s River in Jamaica is a standout choice due to the recent opening with so many new food concepts and experiences. The resort is located about an hour and a half from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, but the ride is generally a smooth one. While there is a close airport 25 minutes away, there are only a few flights each week at this time.

Plunge pools at the spa

By being located in Ocho Rios, the resort is near many of Jamaica’s top attractions including Dunn’s River Falls, the Blue Hole, and other activities like tubing and ziplining. Additionally, guests at Sandals Dunn’s River enjoy full exchange privileges with Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, but not many guests take advantage of this because it’s hard to want to leave Sandals Dunn’s River.

With a background in Culinary Arts, food is important to me and I can say the food at Sandals Dunn’s River is the best of any Sandals Resort. I loved going to the Dunn’s Rum Club and predict this will be recreated at other Sandals Resort. Not only do they offer over 30 rums from the Caribbean, they also have really great appetizers.

Inside the Rum Club

There are several other bars and lounges all with specialty drinks on the menu. For food there is a huge variety of options. We loved going to the Blum coffee roaster each morning for great coffee and snacks. Everything I ate here was a highlight but if I had to choose some of the best dishes I would recommend Hanami for the Crispy Octopus Takoyaki and Seared Albacore Crispy Onion roll, going to the Jerk Shack for dinner, and Zuka for the Surf & Turf with Snapper and Lobster.

For golf enthusiasts, complimentary green fees at the prestigious Upton Estate Golf & Country Club are a significant perk, with transfers included for convenience.

Another thing to keep in mind is the opening staff at Sandals Dunn’s River is the best of the best so the hospitality shines.

At the resort you will find a long stretch of beach with plenty of chairs to choose from and 2 large river-style pools.

Why We Love Sandals Dunn’s River

  • This is the Sandals Resort with the best food with modern options.
  • It is located close to so many things to do.
  • There are motorized water sports available like water skis, wakeboarding and tubing.
  • Two large separate river pools with unique vibes. One side if very relaxed and quiet with the other pool has lively entertainment throughout the day.
  • 9 bars, including a swim-up bar at the pool.
  • Brand new spa facilities with a large pool for relaxation and hot and cold plunge pools.
  • State-of-the-art fitness center on the top floor with a great ocean view.
  • A variety of suites including the Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suites and Skypool Butler Suites.
  • The only restaurant that requires reservations is the Jerk Shack for dinner. Only one restaurant requires a resort evening attire.

Things to Know Before Booking

Some guests do not like that the SkyPools are in the shade of the building.

At this time the resort is somewhat small. They will be building a resort next door which will make it larger with even more options.

Sandals Grande St Lucian

We are only on #3 of our list of the best Sandals Resorts and now I can’t wait to get back to a Sandals Resort.

Sandals Grande St. Lucian is the best Sandals Resort in Saint Lucian. It’s perched on a peninsula, so you’re surrounded by stunning views no matter where you look.

Getting to Sandals Grande St. Lucian can be an adventure in itself. If you choose to go with the Sandals provided transfer, it will be a 90-minute drive on windy roads through the island which isn’t ideal if you deal with motion sickness like us. We opt for a different type of adventure, choosing a ferry boat ride or helicopter ride.

Once you arrive you will quickly understand why so many consider this resort the best Sandals Resort in Saint Lucia. After walking through the lobby you are met with the view of the Since the beach set on a bay with calm and clear water. You can do some snorkeling and see some fish or go to the aquatic center for water skiing, wakeboarding, a snorkeling trip or scuba diving.

There is a large pool in the middle of the resort and the beach surrounding that area is very active and perfect for groups. The further you get away from that area, the more relaxed and quiet the area gets.

One highlight of our trip to St Lucia was going scuba diving The amazing staff at the aquatic center made a great difference. We enjoyed going past the Pitons on the way to the diving spot and had an amazing dive. When I wanted to go wakeboarding, they made it happen and always had a great attitude, making sure I was able to do everything I wanted.

The resort has 311 rooms with a huge span in prices and amenities. You can find entry-level rooms with tropical views, private Rondival getaways, or iconic over-the-water bungalows.

There are 12 restaurants on-site including international specialties like the Soy Suchi Bar, Kimonos for Japanese Teppanyaki which was our favorite of all Kimono restaurants at Sandals, and Bombay for Indian cuisine. As with all Sandals Resorts, you can get delicious hand-tossed pizzas made fresh-to-order in a wood-fired oven.

Gordon’s Pier Restaurant is perfect for seafood, and Bayside Grill is a Brasserie with a good variety of options.

You have the option to visit one of the other Sandals Resorts on the Island with a free transfer, but I actually wouldn’t recommend it since the resort has everything you would need already.

For those looking to hit the links, there’s complimentary golf at the nearby Sandals St. Lucia Golf & Country Club.

Sandals Grande St. Lucian offers a bit of everything, from stunning views and luxurious accommodations to a wide range of activities and dining options. It’s a solid choice for a St. Lucian getaway, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking to unwind in style.

Why We Love Sandals Grande St Lucian

  • Amazing location with a calm beautiful beach.
  • Motorized water sports like water skiing are available.
  • Located in Saint Lucia with fun excursions available to a volcanic mud bath and to see the Pitons.
  • Friendly staff and fun-loving aquatics crew.
  • Several large pools with plenty of room to spread out around the resort.
  • Plenty of dining options with amazing food.

Things to Know Before Booking

As mentioned above, look into the transportation options from the airport, especially if you get motion sickness. We opted to take the ferry to the resort and return by helicopter.

Sandals Montego Bay

Next up is the most popular and well-known Sandals Resort. This idyllic (and the very FIRST resort) destination offers a unique blend of relaxation and adventure, where you can unwind in the lap of luxury or embark on thrilling activities. From snorkeling in crystal-clear waters to indulging in gourmet dining experiences, every moment at Sandals Montego Bay is designed to create unforgettable memories.

Sandals Montego Bay is nestled on a private stretch of beach, which means you’re getting the kind of peace you’d want on a getaway, minus the beach vendors. The resort is spread across the beach so you can find a good spot along the beach for you to relax and enjoy the ocean.

When you go to choose your room, the options can be a bit overwhelming. They have everything from the more basic luxury rooms without oceanfront views to “Love Nest” suites with butler service. While at Sandals Montego Bay last fall we spoke to a couple that had been going to all the Sandals Resorts but had chosen to go back to Sandals Montego Bay time and time again. They loved staying at the oceanfront swim-up suites since they could easily go between the ocean and the pool.

One of the best features that comes with staying here is the ability to visit Sandals Royal Caribbean just down the road. You are not just limited to the nine restaurants and four pools at Montego Bay; you also get access to everything at Sandals Royal Caribbean. That bumps your dining options up to twenty and your bar count to twelve.

Together with Sandal Royal Caribbean, you can eat whatever you would like. Most of our favorites are over at Sandals Royal Caribbean including Royal Thai which is on a private island, requiring a boat ride to get over, and Bombay for Indian cuisine. At both restaurants, our servers encouraged us to order more to try a greater variety of food during our stay.

Without leaving the resort you still have plenty of options. I recommend getting to Oleanders right when it opens to get the best sunset views from the patio. There are so many great options you can go a full week easily without going to the same place twice for dinner.

In a nutshell, Sandals Montego Bay is a lively spot with a killer beach, loads of dining options, and activities to keep you entertained. It’s perfect for a quick getaway since you’re practically on the beach the moment you land in Jamaica. Plus, with the option to check out the other Montego Bay Sandals resorts, you’ve got plenty of variety at your fingertips. Whether you’re there for a wedding, honeymoon, or just a break from the real world, it’s a place that’s hard to beat for a true Jamaican experience.

Why We Love Sandals Montego Bay

  • It’s the flagship Sandals resort, so they’ve got everything down.
  • It recently went through a major renovation and additional improvements are planned.
  • With nine restaurants on-site, and additional restaurants at Sandals Royal Caribbean this is a foodie’s dream.
  • The beach is long and beautiful, perfect for beach lovers.
  • It is very close to the airport and since Jamaica is pretty close to the US it is one of the easier Sandals Resorts to get to.

Things to Know Before Booking

At this resort the pools aren’t the biggest compared to other Sandals resorts and the prime beach chair spots can go quick in the morning. The beach does have several trees on it that make it easier to find some shade.

While it is nice that the airport is nearby for transportation, it is right next to the airport so during the day the plane noise can be loud. This is mostly from 11 am to 4 pm.

Sandals Regency La Toc

Sandals Regency La Toc is the largest Sandals Resort in Saint Lucia, meaning you will have a lot of options for food and activities during your stay. You can lounge in a villa suite perched on a cliff, with the kind of views that make you pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming, relax on the beach, or be in the middle of the action at the large pool and even do it all in the same day.

View of other half of resort from Sunset Bluffs

The beach is tied for my favorite at a Sandals Resort. The water is a beautiful shade of blue and the beach is a half mile long in a crescent shape. While I loved the beach and the drink service we enjoyed there, the current and waves can be too strong for some people. I loved the waves and swimming beyond them and relaxing in our chairs getting drink service.

Sandals Regency La Toc Beach

When it comes to pools, there is a large main pool where all the activities happen just a few yards away from the beach. There are several smaller pools and one large pool in the Sunset Bluffs area. This pool has an amazing view and a swim-up bar.

Sunset Bluffs Pool Area

Sandals Regency La Toc is plenty on its own, but we recommend taking a day trip to Sandals Grande St Lucian. There you can enjoy the calm clear waters with a completely different type of beach. The drive takes about 40 minutes and you can take a change of clothes to spend the day and grab dinner before returning. You can take a shower in the spa to freshen up before dinner and return to La Toc. You can also go to Sandals Halcyon if you would like to see a 3rd Sandals Resort during your stay.

When it comes to rooms there is a large range of options. The Millionaire Suites are some of the best rooms of any Sandals Resort. We’re talking private pools, whirlpools, and glass walls that open up to an amazing view. In our most recent stay, we were in the Sunset Bluff Penthouse Oceanview One Bedroom Butler Suite w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub and it was perfect for us and had an amazing view for us to wake up to each morning.

Even the most affordable Luxury Poolside rooms get you an all-inclusive stay. Just keep in mind they are right next to the main pool. Some people will prefer being in the middle of the action and some might want more seclusion.

Mahi Mahi for lunch at Neptunes

Why We Love Sandals Regency La Toc

  • This resort is huge and very spread out so it feels more like two resorts than one.
  • There are several large pool areas so there are plenty of options. We loved the quieter Sunset Bluffs area with a man-made waterfall and swim-up bar.
  • Beautiful sunset views
  • The beach has more waves and currents than other beaches so that can be more fun.
Boat Ride Excursion

Things to Know Before Booking

If you are interested in water sports or want a very calm beach, this may not be the best resort for you. It is also not a private beach which means when you go to the beach you will have a few people ask you if you want to take excursions with them. They are friendly and once you tell them no or yes one time they leave you alone.

It is also not the best if you have mobility issues since it is so large and requires a shuttle or a walk uphill to get from one side to the other.

Similar to other Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia, the ride from the airport is long and windy so you may want to consider the helicopter or ferry option.

Sandals Royal Barbados

Moving to a different island destination, Sandals Royal Barbados gives you the Caribbean beach you might imagine with white sands and clear water.

The resort is located on the beautiful Maxwell Beach just 15 minutes from the airport.

There are 272 suites available and they are all relatively new since the resort opened in 2017 and has since built several new areas. Every room is either club level or butler level and your room choice here will have a bigger impact on your trip than at other resorts.

If you are looking for a secluded getaway and do not mind a more lengthy walk to the beach, a room along the South Seas Hideaway Crystal Lagoon or a Rondoval will work perfectly. We stayed in one of the South Seas Hideaway Crystal Lagoon Swim-up Oversized Butler Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub during our last trip and enjoyed the suite. We always love a swim-up suite!

If you want to be by the beach and the main pool look for a suite that is labeled as oceanview of oceanfront. The Beachfront One Bedroom Skypool Butler Suite w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub – BSKY, provides an amazing experience for guests by being both on the beach with your own pool, and close to the large pool if you are looking to be in the action.

Speaking of pools, Sandals Royal Barbados is a winner when it comes to amazing pools. The glass-fronted infinity pool next to the beach is the largest of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean and is where you’ll find a DJ and entertainment throughout the day. Imagine sipping your drink with that kind of view. There’s a rooftop pool and whirlpool that overlook the ocean, giving you those premium, Instagram-worthy moments, and a large quieter pool as well.

This is another foodies paradise with nine dining options right on-site (and yes, room service is a thing for all rooms), your taste buds are about to go on a world tour. And if you’re into health and wellness, they’ve got the first restaurant of its kind in Sandals that caters just to that. Not to mention, the rooftop restaurant and bar are where you’ll want to spend your evenings, soaking in the views and the vibes.

We loved the Chi Asian Fusion restaurant for dinner as well as the recently opened Greenhouse where I ate one of the best meals of any Sandals Resort. For breakfast or treats throughout the day, there is the Sweet n’ Salty donut and coffee shop.

Now as if that wasn’t enough, the “Stay at One, Play at Two” exchange privileges mean you can hop over to Sandals Barbados next door and double down on the restaurants, pools, and bars. Your dining options just bumped up to 17, with 5 pools and 12 bars in total to choose from.

One of our frequently asked questions is if someone should stay at Sandals Barbados or Sandals Royal Barbados and the reality is they feel like they are one big resort, not two separate resorts. So pick your room on either side and enjoy both!

In short, Sandals Royal Barbados is a foodie’s paradise, a luxury seeker’s dream, and an adventurer’s playground, all rolled into one. With stunning views, incredible pools, and a level of service that’s hard to beat, it’s the kind of place you go to for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and end up wanting to return to every year.

Why We Love Sandals Royal Barbados

  • Beautiful beach
  • Its a foodies’ paradise with so many dining options.
  • All the rooms are Club or Butler lever suites
  • The entire resort is fairly new, having been built in 2017 and extended since then.
  • There is a health and wellness focus with two health-focused restaurants and a large beautiful spa with a variety of treatments.
  • The pools here are next level.
  • Barbados is a perfect Caribbean destination where you will feel welcome.
  • We enjoyed one of our favorite excursions here which included snorkeling with sea turtles and exploring shipwrecks.
  • The resort is a quick 15-minute drive from the airport.

Things to Know Before Booking

From the description, you may wonder why this resort is not picked as the best Sandals Resort. While there are so many pros to going to Sandals Royal Barbados, there is one thing everyone will talk about from their experience here.

The beach is small for the size of the resort making it a challenge to get a beach chair. While there are plenty of pools for everyone to get a chair, the coveted seats around the main pool can also be a challenge to secure in the morning. The beach is also a public beach with resorts on either side so it isn’t the quiet relaxing beach getaway everyone is looking for.

Sandals Grande Antigua

I feel like Sandals Grande Antigua is a sleeper hit. It isn’t the first one that many people will say is the best Sandals Resort, but after visiting we were impressed with the level of service they provided. We also loved the main pool for having the perfect level of activity and music without being a party pool.

If you’re hunting for a spot that’s got romance was written all over it, Sandals Grande Antigua should be at the top of your list. Nestled on Dickenson Bay, which is hands down the most stunning beach in Antigua, this resort has been named the “World’s Most Romantic Resort” several times.

First off, getting there is a breeze. A quick 15-minute drive from V.C. Bird International Airport and you’re stepping into paradise. The resort splits into two unique vibes: the Caribbean Beachfront Village, which feels like a quaint seaside garden oasis, and the Mediterranean Oceanview Village, where things get a notch more opulent with the Eastern Caribbean’s largest zero-entry pool.

Talking about accommodations, the rooms at Sandals Grande Antigua are just slightly outdated compared to the newer resorts. With that said, they come at a great price point. The Mediterranean One Bedroom Butler Villa with a Private Pool Sanctuary are stand-out rooms provides privacy and plenty of room to feel right at home. You’ll also find the original Rondoval rooms here, while they inspired the Rondavals at other Sandals Resorts, they are not as large as the ones at the other Sandals Resorts. The resort does not have any swimup rooms but does have the Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Walkout Club Level Room located next to one of the quiet pools on the resort.

When it comes to the beach, the water is an amazing shade of blue, but it is a public beach and regular vendors are coming by to offer you their goods.

For restaurants, there are 11 restaurants and 7 bars throughout the resort. We loved the Drunken Duck (another surprise) Soy, as always, and the Kimonos restaurant which is the largest Kimonos location.

There are two areas Sandals Grand Antigua that stood out for us, the service and the pools. We found the staff to be very friendly and provided amazing hospitality. For pools, we loved the main pool for having entertainment and music without feeling like a party pool. We also liked that several other pools were tucked away if you are looking for something quiet.

On a controversial note, we loved the cats on the resort. You will find cats at any Sandals Resort and at many resorts in the Caribbean, but at Sandals Antigua they are very friendly and their choices of where to nap would crack us up. If you are allergic to cats, don’t worry they do not go in rooms and stay outside.

In a nutshell, Sandals Grande Antigua offers the perfect mix of romance, luxury, and adventure, all set against the backdrop of Antigua’s most breathtaking beach. Whether you’re tying the knot, celebrating an anniversary, or just in need of a romantic getaway, this resort has everything you need to make unforgettable memories.

Cooking Class we took off resort

Why We Love Sandals Grande Antigua

  • The beach is beautiful.
  • Great pool atmospheres.
  • Beautiful Island with fun excursions.
  • Attentive and friendly staff.
  • Affordable for a Sandals Resorts, providing great value.

Things to Know Before Booking

As mentioned above the beach is beautiful but some vendors will be trying to sell you stuff so it isn’t always the most relaxing beach area. The vendors are friendly and once you refuse they will leave you alone.

I actually wanted to buy a shirt from a vendor, but the designs were not what I was looking for.

Sandals Emerald Bay

Going to Sandals Emerald Bay left us with two memories we will hold on to forever, the beautiful beach and swimming with the pigs.

Sandals Emerald Bay in the Exumas is your go-to if you’re dreaming of a getaway that feels like you’ve stepped into a postcard from paradise. This spot is all about luxury meets tranquility, set against the backdrop of one of the Bahamas’ most beautiful islands. It’s the kind of place where the world slows down, and you can’t help but relax.

First up, the beach. We’re talking a mile-long stretch of the softest, whitest sand you’ve ever seen, hugged by crystal-clear waters. It’s secluded, serene, and stunningly beautiful – perfect for long walks, sunbathing, or just soaking in the views.

There are three pools to choose from, including a massive half-acre, zero-entry pool. There is quiet pool so quiet they do not allow a blender at the bar. Another pool can be found at the Red Lane Spa.

Food-wise, you’ll find 11 restaurants on-site, your taste buds are about to go on a global tour. From the spicy delights at the Jerk Shack to the exotic flavors of Bombay Indian cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

For activities, there are a few standouts. There is the Greg Norman-designed course that’s as challenging as it is beautiful. For tennis or pickleball enthusiasts, you’ll find plenty of courts to stay active during your stay.

Our favorite activity was going swimming with the pigs. This excursion included a scenic boat ride, visiting the pigs, and stopping by an island full of lizards we fed with grapes. Swimming with pigs may not sound exciting, but it was a blast. Those pigs were cute and also hilarious how food-motivated they were.

Accommodations here range from plush to ultra-luxurious, all designed with a Bahamian vibe and modern comforts. Whether you opt for a villa suite nestled in the gardens or a beachfront room with views for days, you’re guaranteed a stay that’s as comfortable as it is memorable.

In short, Sandals Emerald Bay is where you go to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s secluded, it’s luxurious, and it’s waiting to give you the most relaxing vacation of your life. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, teeing off on the golf course, or enjoying a candlelit dinner under the stars, this is the place where memories are made.

Why We Love Sandals Emerald Bay

  • The resort is on the quieter side, making it perfect for those looking for a peaceful escape.
  • The beach is amazing and you can walk out very far without it getting very deep.
  • You can go swimming with pigs nearby!
  • You can easily get around the island to visit other beaches and try local cuisine. Just call a taxi!

Things to Know Before Booking

When going to eat at Barefoot by the Sea they have bug spray for you so grab some on your way in.

This resort was built as a Four Seasons at first so it is of very high quality. It is starting to show some signs of wear and we have heard rumors of repairs in the works.

Sandals Negril

Sandals Negril is like that chill, laid-back friend who knows exactly how to have a good time without making a big fuss about it. Nestled right on the edge of Jamaica’s famous Seven Mile Beach, this place takes the cake for beachfront living.

The beach in front of our club level room

From almost every room you are a few steps from the powdery white sand, with the Caribbean Sea just a stone’s throw away.

Getting to Sandals Negril is a breeze, just an hour and a bit from Montego Bay’s airport on well-maintained roads. The resort spreads out over 12 acres, giving you plenty of room to explore, relax, and soak in the Jamaican sun.

Swim-Up Suites

Sandals Negril has over 200 rooms and suites with our favorite being the brand new Bamboo Grove One-Bedroom Skypool Butler Suite w/ Roof Terrace. Who doesn’t love having their private pool with an amazing ocean view for sunset? These suites aren’t always in the budget so we’ve stayed at the Paradise Beachfront Walkout Club Level Room and loved how close it was to the ocean.

We also recommend the swim-up rooms because the pools are right next to the ocean so its easy to enjoy both in the same day.

The vibe here is all about embracing the laid-back, no-worries lifestyle Jamaica is famous for.

For food, we loved breakfast. There is a very large buffet with tons of options, but at Barefoot by the Sea there is a a la carte menu and since very few people go there each day we never had a wait and the staff quickly learned our orders.

Since we visited in the fall of 2022, they have opened a few new restaurants including Brava for Spanish cuisine, Perla for Latin Fusion, and Crema Coffee so we will need to get back there soon to try it out. Our favorite meal was at Sundowner but the new dining concepts have gotten praise as well.

For pools, there is one main pool with activities but it is a bit smaller than the pool at larger Sandals resorts. There is a small quiet pool and then two other pools connected to the swim-up suites.

In essence, Sandals Negril is the perfect mix of Jamaica’s vibrant spirit and Sandals’ luxury touch. It’s a place where you can kick off your shoes, let your hair down, and just be. Whether you’re here to celebrate love, unwind, or simply enjoy the beauty of Jamaica, Sandals Negril promises a getaway that’s as relaxing as it is memorable.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • The journey from the airport is part of the adventure, offering a glimpse of the island, but remember to plan for that early departure on your way back.
  • While the beach is stunning, it’s also a hub of activity. If you’re after a quieter spot, the southern end of the resort is your best bet.

Why We Love Sandals Negril

  • The resort stretches across the beach so it does not feel crowded and every room is near the beach.
  • You can always go to Beaches Negril nearby for additional dining options.
  • Nearby Ricks Cafe is a fun spot to go on an excursion. No one really cares about the cafe as much as jumping off the cliffs and watching the locals drop from the very high cliffs.
  • You just cant beat the beautiful sunset views.

Things to Know Before Booking

The beach is public, so you’ll meet locals selling crafts and excursions. They’re friendly, but a polite “no, thank you” works if you’re not interested. They usually remember you from day to day as well.

Sandals Royal Curacao

Sandals Royal Curacao is one of the newest Sandals Resorts and is known for its modern design and elevated cuisine.

The opening of Sandals Royal Curacao marked the expansion of the Sandals brand to Curacao. The first feature that stands out is the two-level infinity pool. This is where the party happens with entertainment throughout the day and a swim-up bar. There is a quieter pool nearby and a very quiet pool on the edge of the resort as well.

Now, let’s talk about what makes this place truly special – its culinary scene. With eleven dining options, including three innovative food trucks, your taste buds are in for a journey. From local Curaçao fare and Spanish tapas to Asian fusion, every meal is an exploration of flavors.

And for those who appreciate fine dining, the restaurants here introduce you to Latin Fusion with Zuka, Modern European delights, and even a cozy Dutch Café & Wine Bar. The food at Sandals Curacao is as great as the food at Sandals Dunn’s River.

Amazing Roasted Cauliflour

For those who love to dive into the deep blue, this resort is a dream come true. Boasting some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots.

Accommodations here offer breathtaking views of the sea and resort grounds. Whether you’re staying in the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows with private pools or the vibrant Kurason Island Poolside Bungalows, comfort and style await.

In essence, Sandals Royal Curaçao is more than just a resort; it’s a destination that promises unforgettable experiences, where the desert meets the ocean, and every moment is infused with the island’s enchanting spirit. It’s a place where amazing truly comes together, waiting for you to discover its myriad charms.

Why We Love Sandals Royal Curacao

  • Located on a unique island with a strong European influence. You might even want to spend a night in town before coming out to Sandals.
  • The two-story pool provides a great party zone.
  • The food is top-notch and a highlight of the resort.

Things to Know Before Booking

While the pool is amazing, getting a chair with shade means you need to get there early or have a butler suite so they can reserve a spot for you. Since this is a new island for Sandals resort it may take some time for the local culture and the Sandals culture to come together for an amazing experience.

Sandals South Coast

Tucked away within a 500-acre wilderness preserve, Sandals South Coast stands as a serene sanctuary where the majesty of water shapes every experience. What fans of Sandals South Coast love about the resort is that it feels like it is away from everything else.

Sandals South Coast is divided into four distinct villages that have been renamed in 2024. Formerly the Italian, Dutch, French, and the South Seas Rondoval Village, are now the Starlight, Silver Sun, and Longbeach areas.

The accommodation options are diverse, offering something for every taste and desire. From the pioneering Over-the-Water Bungalows that provide a private slice of paradise with direct sea access and glass floor panels, to beachfront suites in the Longbeach area that boast tranquility soaking tubs for two, every room is a retreat designed with your utmost comfort in mind.

Dining at Sandals South Coast is a culinary voyage with nine gourmet restaurants serving up the flavors of the world. Whether you’re in the mood for an intimate Italian dinner, spicy Asian flavors, or traditional Caribbean dishes, each meal is an occasion to savor and remember. We loved Sushi on the Sand and Giuseppe’s for Italian.

For time in the water, you will find Jamaica’s largest swimming pool as well as two other huge swimming pools in the resort. Not to mention the river-like pool around the Rondoval village.

We also liked that Sandals South Coast is close to a few attractions that other resorts can not quickly access like the YS Falls.

When you look at reviews of Sandals South Coast, some may call the French Village outdated. Know that this is no longer the case since they are currently finishing up a major renovation for these areas.

Why We Love Sandals South Coast

  • So many pools to choose from!
  • A long expansive beach with motorized water sports.
  • Many of the rooms are recently renovated.

Things to Know Before Booking

This resort is located about 90 minutes from the airport and these roads are not well maintained so take some Dramamine before your transfer if you get motion sickness.

Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals Royal Plantation was the first Sandals Resort we visited and it holds a place in our hearts for that. It is located in the Ocho Rios area and is the smallest Sandals resort.

This resort is perfectly perched on a coral bluff providing amazing views from the rooms. Every one of the 74 rooms at Sandals Royal Plantation has a butler service and since the resort is small, the butler service here is unique. Your butler is going to know where you are to bring you drinks and treats throughout the day and check in on you for whatever you would like.

If the resort starts to feel too small, you can always take a shuttle to the nearby Sandals Ochi to enjoy the dining and activities available there.

Dining at Sandals Royal Plantation includes your choice of five exquisite restaurants that cater to every palate. The breakfast here is phenomenal with both a buffet and a la carte menu to enjoy as well as a juice menu.

With access to Sandals Ochi, guests can expand their culinary explorations to include 16 additional gourmet restaurants, ensuring a diverse and memorable dining experience throughout their stay.

The beaches here are some of the best of any Sandals Resort not only because they are beautiful but because of the service provided while you enjoy them. Since the resort is small the bartenders and servers will quickly learn your preferences to make sure you are taken care of. There is a restaurant by the beach but if you want to stay at your chairs in your bathing suits your butler will bring you lunch for you.

We love the nearby attractions like Dunn’s River Falls and the Ocho Rios Blue Hole as well as the option to go to the golf course where Green fees are included.

One thing that is unique about this resort is that it feels outdated and the loyal guests actually do not want this to change. They want the same feeling each time they come so for now a refresher on the rooms is not in order.

Why We Love Sandals Royal Plantation

  • All-Suite Resort where everyone gets butler service
  • Quiet and relaxing
  • Amazing service at the beach
  • Access to Sandals Ochi for more variety

Things to Know Before Booking

Some would call the rooms outdated while some would call them “traditional”. Whatever you call them, just know they are not modern rooms.

The only other complaint we hear is that this resort is too quiet if you are looking for a more lively trip.

Sandals Royal Bahamian

If you want a lively party vibe at a Sandals Resort that Sandals Royal Bahamian is for you. If you want a party atmosphere but also want some quiet time, it may also be a great option since the private island offers relaxation in a Caribbean paradise.

This resort is located very close to the US in the Bahamas and is a quick drive from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, getting you on vacation as soon as possible.

Dining at Sandals Royal Bahamian is a journey through world cuisines, with 12 dining options including the innovative addition of food trucks, offering a contemporary twist on all-inclusive dining. From the romantic setting of Gordon’s on the Pier to the lively atmosphere of Soy and Kimonos, every meal is an event in itself.

Freshly cooked conch tacos from the food truck

The water that truly defines this resort. Two pools and the newly introduced Coconut Grove offer endless opportunities for relaxation or fun and socializing, while the offshore island adventure promises secluded beaches and unique snorkeling experiences.

Why We Love Sandals Royal Bahamian

  • Recently renovated with added dining options including fun food trucks.
  • The private island is perfect for relaxation and snorkeling, its like a private getaway within a resort.
  • Located near a variety of things to do including a casino and water park at the nearby Baha Mar resort.
  • Dreamy beaches.

Things to Know Before Booking

One thing to know is the resort is known to have more of a party atmosphere and you can hear the fun while in the “quiet” pool area. If you want relaxation you need to go the private island which has a restaurant, pool and amazing beaches.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Caribbean is an amazing resort that strikes a perfect balance. It is this is one of the best Sandals Resort in Jamaica because of the size of the resort, the location compared to the airport, and the staff.

Overwater bungalow interior

Located just a short drive from the airport, Sandals Royal Caribbean is ideal for those seeking a luxurious, romantic getaway that’s both easy to reach and hard to leave. Whether you’re honeymooning, celebrating an anniversary, or simply in need of a luxurious escape, this resort promises to be a place where love comes easily, and the memories last a lifetime.

Michelle at the breakfast buffet

The resort is on the smaller side for a Sandals Resort and it is on the quieter side as well. Many of the rooms are new or recently refurbished. This is also home to overwater bungolows and villas on its private island.

My favorite part of Sandals Royal Caribbean is the private island. Here you can enjoy the beach or the quiet pool with its own swim-up pool. There is even a clothing optional beach at this resort.

You can stay here all day and enjoy lunch at the Jerk Shack and return in the evening for the Thai restaurant that serves up flavors as rich and inviting as the surroundings.

This is the best Sandals Resort for variety because when you stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean you can always take a shuttle to Sandals Montego Bay nearby.

From its majestic private island to its chic Over-the-Water Bungalows, Sandals Royal Caribbean offers an unparalleled blend of adventure and relaxation, making it a top pick for couples looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and romance of Jamaica.

Why We Love Sandals Royal Caribbean

  • If you have mobility issues, SRC is relatively flat and easy to navigate.
  • Located within a 10-minute drive from the airport.
  • You can enjoy the facilities
  • Some of the best variety of good food and accommodating staff.

Things to Know Before Booking

Sandals Royal Caribbean is a bit quieter than other Sandals Resorts. There has been a lot of construction in the past years as they have been modernizing the resort. I think once the next set of rooms is finished being built this will be a perfect choice. We honestly loved this resort.

Sandals Ochi

Sandals Ochi is one of my personal favorites for the affordability, location, and variety that it offers. I only placed it this low on the list because it is polarizing. Some people love it and others do not.

When we spoke to other guests, a major issue was where their room was located. The resort is the largest Sandals resort and it is divided by a road. This requires a shuttle to get from the hillside to the beachside. I spoke to two different guests with opposite complaints. One had a room at the beachside and spent most of their time on the hillside while the other had a hillside room and wanted to go to the beach each day. Personally, I never thought about it because I like to check out the different areas of the resort during my stay.

This resort is a unique blend of lively beachside atmosphere and tranquil garden retreat, sprawling over 100 acres of Ocho Rios’ most breathtaking landscape. It’s where you can enjoy the pulsating rhythms of a beach club by day and retreat to a quiet garden oasis by night.

There are several pools at Sandals Ochi, the largest is on the hillside. The Manor House Pool is lively, full of activity, and has a swim-up pool. For a quieter pool with music and a swim-up bar, check out the Riviera Pool. Otherwise, there are several other smaller pools throughout the resort.

The beach is in three different sections. We prefer the section near the aquatic center in front of the Riviera section of the resort.

With 519 luxury rooms, suites, and villas scattered across a lush hillside, many of which come with their own shared pools (imagine, 105 pools and 22 whirlpools across the resort), you’re guaranteed an intimate getaway with breathtaking views of Jamaica’s mountains and seas.

For dinning there are 16 restaurants offering everything from local Jamaican fare to international cuisines. When you’re ready to sip on something special, choose from 11 unique bars, including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy, The Rabbit Hole.

Sandals Ochi offers complimentary green fees at the Upton Estate Golf & Country Club.

Why We Love Sandals Ochi

  • The resort is in one of the best areas of Jamaica surrounded by things to do like Dunn’s River and The Blue Hole.
  • The resort is huge with so many options of places to eat, pools and beach areas and accommodation options.
  • We love the butler-village where many rooms have a semi-private pool.
  • The resort is a 90-minute drive from the airport, but the road is well-maintained.
  • This is the most affordable Sandals Resort and the largest.

Things to Know Before Booking

Because the resort is so huge, take a look at where your room is located on the map and think about if you want to be near the beach or the pool.

Additional Information

Sandals Halycon

Of the three Sandals Resorts in St Lucia, Sandals Halycon is known as the quietest and most laid back.

Sandals Halcyon Beach is a gem where low-rise architecture ensures that no building overshadows the tallest palm tree, preserving the natural beauty and intimate scale of the resort.

With just 194 rooms, guests are guaranteed personalized service that makes each stay unique. The resort’s design embraces the outdoors, offering serene patios and balconies in every cottage-styled room, overlooking the vibrant gardens or the tranquil sea.

Dining here is an experience unto itself, with six specialty restaurants serving unlimited fine dining. Kelly’s Dockside is a unique over-the-water restaurant that serves breakfast a la carte and grilled meat and seafood for dinner.

We loved the Italian food at Marios and the sushi at Soy.

One of the benefits of Sandals Halycon is the “Stay at 1, Play at 3” exchange privileges, that allow your dining options to expand to 27 restaurants across three Sandals resorts in St. Lucia, ensuring a culinary journey like no other. Since Sandals Halycon is located in between the two resort its easy to spend the day at either.

The resort’s Crystal Lagoon Pool, stretching 540 feet, is a serene oasis for cooling off or lounging by the water. Guests looking for a more vibrant atmosphere can enjoy the lively pool with music and daily aquatic activities, while those seeking tranquility will appreciate the quiet pool. Regardless of your preference, swim-up bars ensure your favorite drink is never too far away.

We enjoyed the main pool because it is still pretty quiet and laid back but easy to make friends since the resort is on the smaller end.

New to the resort are the Joli Beachfront Suites and Koko Rondoval Villas which are on the far end of the resort providing a bit of seclusion at an already private resort.

Why We Love Sandals Halcyon

  • If you are looking for a quiet getaway this is an excellent choice.
  • With exchange privileges, you can easily visit the other two resorts on the island.
  • Since the resort is small it is easy to get to know other guests in a relaxed environment.

Things to Know Before Booking

As with other resorts in Saint Lucia, the transfer to the resort is windy and long. We recommend a helicopter transfer or a boat ferry.

The beach here does not have crystal clear water like the other resorts in Saint Lucia, but you can visit them with exchange privileges.

Sandals Barbados

You may have noticed that Sandals Royal Barbados is much higher on the list, but they are essentially the same resort since they are next to each other. The reason for this is the only real difference is the accommodations and Sandals Barbados is a bit older than Sandals Royal Barbados.

We still love Sandals Barbados and sometimes you can get a great deal on accommodations at Sandals Barbados and still enjoy all the amenities and perks that come with Sandals Barbados.

When it comes to accommodations, we love the Crystal Lagoon Swim-up suites, each with access to the lengthy pool. If you want to enjoy the oceanfront views each day then there are several beachfront options in the front of the resort.

We recommend the beachfront pool where there is a swim-up bar and you are just feet from the beautiful beach. Beyond the pools available next door at Sandals Royal Barbados, you can also enjoy the quiet pool at Sandals Barbados or the lengthy crystal lagoon.

There are 11 restaurants at Sandals Barbados in addition to the 10 restaurants next door you can access. Butch’s Chophouse is a classic. We loved the variety at Bombay Club where we were encouraged to try as much as would like. The Merry Monkey is a British Pub and had some really great food. Make sure to check out the lunch buffet at Spices which changes daily and usually has some local cuisine.

Why We Love Sandals Barbados

  • With Sandals Royal Barbados next door you get two resorts in one.
  • The beach has beautiful water and soft white sand.
  • Barbados is a beautiful island to explore with very friendly locals.

Things to Know Before Booking

As with Sandals Royal Barbados, it can be tricky to get the coveted beach chairs. We found luck getting seats near the pool that is next to the beach as well so we had the best of both worlds.

Sandals Saint Vincent

We can’t say too much about Sandals Saint Vincent yet so we just wanted to touch on it here at the bottom of the list until we can go. What we do know is the resort will likely be on the quieter side on a more relaxed island. We are seeing some new food concepts from the other new Sandals Resorts so I am betting the food will be good.

New to Sandals are suites with media rooms and workout rooms as well as two-story overwater villas.

How you can book a Sandals Resort

There are two ways to book a Sandals vacation. You can either book directly with Sandals on their website or you can work with a travel agent. A travel agent will be very helpful if after reading this article you still have questions or need help narrowing things down.

Contact a certified Sandals travel agent

Please feel free to reach out so we can help you make the best choice based on your preferences.

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