One of our favorite places to travel to internationally is the Caribbean. And when we do go, we book our stay at Sandals Resorts. Being an all-inclusive resort, we get the most bang for our book. Between beautiful scenery to amazing food, you can’t go wrong. One of our favorite things to do on resort is to meet new friends who have been to the different resorts. How do we do that? We attend the Sandals Resorts returning guest dinner! Today I am sharing reasons why you should too.
Sandals Resorts hold a special place in our hearts. We spent our honeymoon here in 1997, renewed our vows in 2017, and now travel yearly as part of “our time”. During our second trip to Sandals Royal Caribbean, we were invited to the returning guest dinner, and now want to share why you should attend if invited.
What Is The Sandals Select Signature Guest Rewards Program?
When you become a member of the Sandals Select Rewards program, you join an exclusive group of guests that call our resorts their “Home Away From Home”. As a member you will earn points & benefits that will make your experience on resort truly unique. It’s free and easy to join!sandals.com
Do I really need to become a Sandals Select Member?
Why is this important? Because when you reach the milestone of 70 paid nights, you will be awarded a FREE week at any Sandals (or the family-friendly Beaches) resorts. Can you believe that? We are on our way to reaching that milestone, but we still have a long way to go.
What Are The Sandals Select Levels?
There are currently 7 levels for the Sandals Select program:
- No stays: This is level you will be at when you register at home before your first visit.
- Select Status: This is your level when your first step onto a resort.
- Coral Status: your second visit to a Sandals Resort. This is the first level that will earn you an invitation to the Sandals returning guest dinner.
- Sapphire: 25 nights or $25,000 in room value.
- Emerald: 45 nights or $40,000 spent in room value.
- Diamond: 100 nights or $90,000 spent in room value.
- Pearl: 250 nights or $220,000 spent in room value.
What Is The Sandals Resorts Returning Guest Dinner?
The Tuesday night dinners are simple acts of gratitude for all returning guests, or as the staff calls them, “loyal family members.” Each resort does the dinner a little bit different, and often have entertainment.
Do I get To Attend A Returning Guest Dinner On My First Visit?
If you are a first-time guest at Sandals Resorts, you will not be able to attend this event. However, don’t despair. What you can do before your feet hit the resort, you should register to become a member.
How Do I Get Invited?
Once you hit coral status, you will be invited to the dinner. Recently they sent invitations via email prior to your trip. If you don’t receive one before you go to resort, you will find a paper in your room with more information. Not there? Stop by the Loyalty & Travel office or call them to R.S.V.P.
Simple and easy!
What Happens During The Dinner?
Prior to being seated at the dinner, there is a short cocktail party to attend. A nice drink, some small talk, and a cute photo get you in the mood for the experience to come. The staff will also ask if you have any dietary restrictions or cannot eat the items on the menu. They will find a suitable alternative for you.
While you are eating, they will be presenting the awards to guests that achieved milestones. In 2021, we moved up to Sapphire Status during our trip to Sandals Grande St. Lucian.
You will also hear from the resort general manager about things that are happening at the resort and across the company. It is just a nice night for relaxation and enjoying the resort and each other.
What Kind Of Food Is Served At The Returning Guest Dinner?
Now, my husband and I feel that all the Sandals Resorts have amazing food that is available to you on a normal day. But the returning guest dinner takes their menu to the next level! Things I wouldn’t ordinarily try at home, this dinner presented to you in a tasty fashion.
Several courses are presented, and the portions are just enough that you are ready and willing to eat the next course without feeling full. Yet, at the end of the night, you are full and happy and content. The perfect combination!
Reasons To Attend The Sandals Resorts Returning Guest Dinner
Let’s look deeper into the reasons why attending the returning guest dinner at Sandals Resorts should be something that you do!
#1 You Meet Some New Friends At The Returning Guest Dinner
The dinner is a great way to meet new friends. We attended our first dinner in 2017 when we went back for our 20th anniversary and renewed our vows. It was so much fun to hear about all the resorts other guests have been to. They gave honest opinions about why they loved (or didn’t like) a particular resort.
The most amazing thing about this particular dinner is that we met a couple that lived about 20 minutes from us. What a small world! We talked to other couples as well and heard about things they liked to do. You even got some cute leather sandals as a memento, as well as a photograph you could purchase at the end of the dinner.
So why is this my #1 reason to go this dinner? Well, after hearing how much people loved going to Sandals, we booked another trip to visit Sandals Emerald Bay in the Bahamas. Other than our vow renewal, I think this was the favorite part of our stay. We had no intention of booking another trip, but there we were. I am so glad that we did!
#2 You Get To Celebrate Special Milestones
As I talked about above, when you are part of the Sandals Select Rewards (also affectionally known as SSG), there are different levels that you progress through. At this dinner, they recognize you for reaching the next level with some fun trinkets and a great shout out.
Back in 1997, when we stayed at the Sandals Royal Caribbean, there was a couple that was celebrating their 84th night there (WOW!) For that exciting achievement, they received gold crowns. All I know is that is a goal of mine. The Sandals Royal Caribbean will always have our hearts: we spent our honeymoon there in 1997, and then returned for our 20th. I just need to figure out how to book future trips so that we are there for the 84th night milestone.
#3 At The Returning Guest Dinner You Get To Hear About Upcoming News At Sandals Resorts
One of the unique things about this event is that a staff member joins you at your table. It is a great way to hear about why they love their jobs and what is new and upcoming with the resort. You are made to feel like a VIP, and who doesn’t love that.
They also talk about which excursions they recommend or what activities you can’t miss. This part of the dinner is probably another reason why we ended up booking our next trip on-site. After all, who wouldn’t want to be part of sharing what you love about Sandals Resorts.
Will I Miss Out If We Don’t Go?
There are 2 reasons why you shouldn’t attend the dinner: one if you are on an excursion that lasts until late afternoon. Generally, if you are off resort, it can be a long day of travel and activity. You are bound to be absolutely exhausted.
And the 2nd reason? You are able to get a reservation at a highly popular restaurant on resort. When we went to Sandals Montego Bay in late 2020, the only night we could get a dinner reservation at Butch’s Steakhouse was on the night of the returning guest dinner.
But you will absolutely not miss out if you don’t go to the dinner. In the Facebook groups, many guests skip it because they feel it is just a reason to brag about the level and the number of trips they were on. We didn’t feel that way, and we were happy for the guests that achieved their milestones.
How Do I Get My Free T-Shirt And Rum?
One of my favorite things you get after attending the returning guest dinner is your complimentary bottle of rum. I love getting this to take back home so I can have the tastes of the island all year round!
And don’t worry if you don’t attend the dinner. You can still get your bottle of rum at the Loyalty & Travel office. We usually try to get there before the dinner so we can pick up our complimentary t-shirts as well. The t-shirt design each year is always different, and I love to wear them at home to remind me of the wonderful time we had!
In any case, whether you are a seasoned guest at Sandals Resorts, or getting ready to head there for your second trip, remember all the reasons to attend the returning guest dinner at Sandals Resorts. Fun, food, friendship, love. Everything that makes vacations fun! And most of all, adults only! What a perfect way to reconnect with the love of your life.