Looking for opinions on Sandals all inclusive Caribbean resorts!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Brian Price, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Brian Price

    Brian Price Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fiancee and I are thinking of going to one of the all inclusive Sandals resorts for our honeymoon. I am looking for opinions from those who have been to any of them. I know there are several different ones on the different Caribbean islands and would appreciate any help that I can get! Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Brian Price
     
  2. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    We just got back from "Beaches" in Provo, which is owned by Sandals, but caters to families. Facilities were excellent with magnificent landscaping, great rooms (but hard beds), decent booze (Stoli, Appleton rum, Gran Marnier, but no good tequilas - not even Cuervo. Unlimited Red Stripe and Heineken [​IMG] ) - truly a tropical paradise.

    Food ranged from average to very good. The buffetts were ok, some of the sit-down restaurants had excellent entrees. Tons of fresh fruit (melon, cantelope, pineapple, bananas, etc).

    Make reservations for the upper-scale restaurants the night you arrive. They will fill up fast.

    Since most people fly in for a "Saturday to Saturday" stay, we flew in to Provo Friday, got a cheap hotel up the street and took a taxi in Saturday morning at 9am to beat the crowds. The last thing you want to do is stand in line behind hundreds of other people checking in. They held our bags until our room was ready (4pm), so we just pulled out our bathing suits/sunscreen, walked around the facilities and hit the swim-up pool bars !

    Service is "Island Time". Most servers are not going to rush no matter how impatient you are, and the mantra "The customer is always right" does not necessarily apply. Most folks are cordial, and some do show outstanding service, but there can be situations where they are downright rude (a concierge of all people !). Relax, you'll get your order when they're ready. If you are a TypeA personality, you better bring your medication [​IMG]

    You can ask for extra booze in your drinks and order 2 at a time if they are busy. If you can, discreetly tip the maid and your favorite barkeep 10 dollars each. They will get fired if seen accepting gratuities, but you can slip them some $$$ out of view of management. It will make ALL the difference in service.

    Bring tons of sunscreen - I put SPF 15 on 3x per day and got golden brown. Also bring bug spray, if there is rain and the tradewinds let up, mosquitoes can be unbearable.

    If you dive, make a bee-line to the diveshop immediately upon your arrival to sign up for orientation and check the sign-up process. Bring your C-Card and tell them you've dove in the last 6 months, otherwise they may require a refresher course. Beaches would only allow you to sign up for dives one day in advance and it fills up fast. I had to stand in line daily at 7:30am to sign up for the next day's dives - a pain, but you meet some cool people.

    Also - bring a mask, snorkel and fins. Beaches provided them, but their quality was marginal and supply was not great. You could only keep them 2 hrs which isn't real long...

    Here's some links to check out:

    http://www.caribline.com/islands/tc/tcforum.shtml

    http://www.turq.com/trips/t_c13.html


    Good Luck ! Wish I was going with ya - it's been tough getting back into the work habit....
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    On one of our cruise shore excursions last year, my wife and I were in a bus that drove by one of the Sandals locations. Have you looked into a Carribean cruise? I personally would rather see different places than be bottled up in one location for a week. We both found the cruise to be wonderful, with no bugs on boat during the evening journeys.
     
  4. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2001
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
  5. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    My fiance and I have been considering going to one of these also. Based on the brochures and the web site, we are leaning towards the Grande St Lucian. The idea of a swim-up room sounds nice. The Grande St Lucian and the Royal Bahaman are their two "5 diamond" resorts. I am not sure what this means, but it sounds good.
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
  7. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 1998
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    0
    We too, just returned from Beaches (Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, BWI). We were there May 19-24. I second everything noted above by Kirk, but wanted to add a few things.

    Beaches was a great resort & we will definitely return. 10 restaurants, 6 pools and bars & jacuzzi's everywhere. Our kids had a BLAST! but speaking of the kiddies ... "Beaches" Resort is loaded with 'em. This isn't really a problem for the no-kid crowd, but you should be expecting it. There are 2 adult-only top notch restaurants & a Japanese (ala Benihana style) one were kids are sparse.

    There is minimal nightlife here ... they put on a stage show every evening at 8:00 PM that caters to families, mostly carribean dancing & music (limbo, fire-eaters, etc). Of course, several resort bars are open late, but didn't seem to be really hoppin'.

    It seems resort-weddings at Beaches are a daily occurrence (sometimes 3 per day). This means there are plenty of other honeymooners around to relate to.

    Regarding reservations ... I learned to avoid travel agents and book directly via the resort website. It seems agents were telling us certain preferred weeks were "sold out", when in reality, only that agents block of rooms were sold out, but the resort had lots of rooms.

    There is not much to do on Provo. We actually stayed on resort property all the time save for walking Grace Bay beach & SCUBA excursions. There is golf and day tours (iguana island, conch farm, etc.) but they will cost you and many said they were only "OK".

    The rooms at Beaches were fine, but not particularly luxurious ... dont be expecting Hyatt Regency. Floors are not carpeted (tiled & mopped daily to prevent mildew). We stayed in the French Village section, which was newer & had the nicest of all the pools. Unfortunately, our ground floor room had a mildew smell that was a bit annoying. I later learned that most other people had no such problems & I wish now I had asked for a different building.

    Re other resorts, I have minimal experience & this was our 1st all-inclusive, which is REALLY NICE! Just remember, you will get what you pay for. For 2 adults, the land-only price at Beaches is approx $500/nite now & ~$900/nite between Christmas & Easter.

    Also on Provo was a Club Med -- TERRIBLE! it was just old, dirty & decrepid looking. My search also left me inclined to avoid Jamaica (dirty & crime-infested). The Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island (Nassau, Bahamas) is probably a bit nicer than Beaches, but not all-inclusive. (although final total cost will be similar).

    good luck and congrats on the impending nuptuals.

    Scott
     
  8. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2001
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian,

    My wife and I honeymooned at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay last October. We had the time of our lives!


    Scott,
     
  9. Alister Willis

    Alister Willis Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife and I got married and honeymooned at the Sandals Halcyon resort on St Lucia.

    It was a fantastic two weeks and we'd both love to return there sometime in the future.

    The resort itself is the smaller of the two that are on St Lucia (the other being the Grande St Lucia which has already been mentioned). We found the Halcyon to be a lot quieter and laid back than the Grande (but then again, you may be looking for a bit more of an upbeat honeymoon) and it had less loud tourists [​IMG] (Both resorts are couples only so no children either).

    There is an hourly bus that takes you between the two resorts and you can come and go between them as you please. It was good being able to visit the Grande to try out its 5 or so restaurants (and other facilities) and then return home to the quiet of the Halcyon which seemed to be more intimate and friendly.

    We've never been to the US so I don't really know what level of service you guys are used to but I was really impressed by the friendly nature of the staff (wishing you good morning/afternoon every time you see them), and the waiting staff in the restaurants.

    The rooms were spacious with air con and the housekeeping came every day.

    The food was excellent (and I know that you guys think we have terrible food in Britain [​IMG] ) but the choice was great and the Caribbean food was outstanding. As it's all inclusive, we both had a hard time not eating too much, and the same went for the beer and cocktails, but during our entire time there we never saw anyone completely the worse for drink.

    The hotel organised a number of day trips which you had to pay for but the beach and watersport activities were all inclusive. We can recommend the snorkelling and scuba.

    We've both sat here trying to think of negative aspects of the resort, and the only ones we can think of are the sun and heat (but we're both pale Brits so we just burn [​IMG] )

    St Lucia as an island is beautiful and is well worth seeing

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Best of luck with the wedding and honeymoon.

    Cheers,
    Woody
     
  10. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    My folks went to Jamaica for a week and stayed at a Sandals resort. They really enjoyed it. Best part to them was not having to carry cash around. Being all inclusive, all of the food, drinks, entertainment, etc, was "free".

    They were told not to buy shells from the natives, as they tear up the beaches and the environment in collecting them. Seems these people will swim around the barriers into the resorts and try to sell things.

    So my father and mother were walking along the beach and this guy comes swimming around the cove with a backpack full of shells. He asks if they want to buy them, so my father asks how much. He says "$15 for this one, $10 for this one, $5 for this, etc, and $40 for this one." My dad asked what was so special about the $40 shell, since it was the smallest of them all and yet the most expensive. The reply? "Oh, this is a special shell." He turns it over and the thing was stuffed full of marijuana! [​IMG]

    (No, my folks didn't buy one!)
     

Share This Page