Which Sandals Resort Is Best For You? The Complete Guide


The first Sandals resort, Sandals Montego Bay, opened its doors in 1981. Right from the very start, Sandals focused on perfecting the ultimate couple’s vacation, and by doing so rocketed in popularity for couples from all over the world looking for a romantic escape to the Caribbean.

Along with its opening, Sandals Montego Bay brought something new and luxurious to the Caribbean, being one of the first resorts to execute to perfection the once novel swim-up bar.

Though the resort opened so many years ago, becoming the flagship resort for the Sandals brand, it has since been renovated and still maintains its place as one of the most opulent resorts of the Caribbean.

From Montego Bay and beyond, Sandals reinvented the all-inclusive concept, delivering the “luxury included” holiday that is second to none. Guests love the luxurious suites and comprehensive all-inclusive package offering more quality inclusions than any other resort in the world.

Gourmet dining, unlimited (alcoholic) drinks, water sports, free scuba diving and snorkelling trips, entertainment, golf, beach volleyball, a fitness centre with state-of-the-art equipment, well-appointed rooms and amenities, roundtrip airport transfers, exclusive airport arrival lounges, free Wi-Fi - it's all included in your stay at Sandals.

A testament to Sandals success are the many awards the resorts won. From ‘Best All-Inclusive’, to ‘Best for Couples’, Sandals walked away with many prestigious awards in 2020 alone.

This, of course, makes it even more difficult to pick one! This article will help you choose the Sandals Resort that is just right for you.

Which Sandals resort is perfect for me?

There are 15 award-winning Sandals resorts to choose from in the Caribbean. Each and every one of the resorts caters to a special kind of couple, looking for a carefully curated experience where “love is all you need”.

What makes it hard to choose just one, is that each Sandals Resort offer its guests five star luxury. The resorts all have their clientele old and new, and repeat visitors are not uncommon. In fact, each Sandals Resort has guests coming back every year to the resort they claim is the best resort in the world. One thing is for sure, you’ll find opportunities to take your love to the next level at any Sandals!

Which Sandals Resort is best for you, depends on the sort of experience you’re going for.

For example, Sandals Ochi features more than 100 swimming pools and 16 amazing restaurants. 'Ochi' is never boring and you're likely to find a lively atmosphere. On the other hand, Sandals Negril offers a plethora of (motorised) water sports on Jamaica's beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Looking for a resort that offers a social experience, a long beach and plenty of water sport options? Sandals Montego Bay is the best Sandals resort for you! Plus, Sandals Montego Bay is located close to the more intimate Sandals Royal Caribbean. Stay at 1, enjoy the amenities and restaurants of both resorts. This includes transfers!

Keep reading to find out more about each of our different resorts and why they might be the perfect match for you.

What is the best rated Sandals resort?

Reviews are helpful when it comes to selecting the best resort. However, in terms of picking the best Sandals resort, you’ll be happy to know that there’s hardly a way to go wrong. That’s because all Sandals resorts have a 5 star rating, which speaks to how well the resorts and the staff manage to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests.

The best rated Sandals Resort is Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 94% (!) of over 3,000 reviewers rate this elegant boutique resort as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. Sandals Royal Plantation is closely followed by Sandals Grenada and Sandals South Coast (also in Jamaica). You will find Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse, located on one of Jamaica’s most secluded beaches.

Expert Tip: Keep in mind that the rating of the resort doesn't necessary mean the resort will match your holiday requirements. Sandals Royal Plantation for example, is a great resort for an intimate boutique experience, but might not be the best Sandals Resort for those looking for a lively resort. Choose the Sandals resort that suits you as a couple!


THE BEST RATED SANDALS RESORT IN JAMAICA

Looking for your 'home away from home' in Jamaica? The best rated Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica are Sandals Royal Plantation and Sandals South Coast. The two resorts couldn't be more different! Sandals Royal Plantation offers an intimate and quiet boutique experience, where Sandals South Coast is one of the bigger Sandals properties, boasting the largest swimming pool on the island!

If you're looking for the best beach in Jamaica, there's no doubt Sandals Negril on Seven Mile Beach is what you're looking for. This resort is smaller than Sandals South Coast, although both are known for their laidback atmosphere.

Flagship resort Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean are located near each other and guests of either resort can make use of the amenities of both resorts (including the 21 restaurants!). Sandals Montego Bay is located on a long private white sand beach and often has a lively atmosphere. Sandals Royal Caribbean is more intimate and offers guests a private offshore island. Both resorts are located near the airport, which minimizes transfer time.

Last, but not least, Sandals Ochi offers its guests 16 restaurants and spectacular entertainment at the Caribbean's first speakeasy - no wonder you'll likely find a lively atmosphere at this resort!

Love to play some golf in Jamaica? Green fees are included in your stay! The Sandals Golf & Country Club is located near Sandals Royal Plantation and Sandals Ochi.



THE BEST RATED SANDALS RESORT IN SAINT LUCIA

Saint Lucia is a popular destination for Sandals couples, with the island boasting three amazing resorts. Of the three Sandals resorts in Saint Lucia, the best rated and also biggest property is Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

Sandals Regency La Toc and Sandals Halcyon Beach are both popular in their own right, the latter considered to be a resort that is more intimate, laidback and “embraces the quintessential Caribbean”. On the other hand, Sandals Regency La Toc is known to have amazing views, incredible villas and excellent butler service.

If budget plays a role, you'll find that the suites at Sandals Regency La Toc and Sandals Halcyon Beach come at lower rates. If you are looking for a vibrant atmosphere and the best beach however, it is worth splurging on Sandals Grande St. Lucian. With the three resorts being located close to each other, you can hardly go wrong. Stay at any of the Sandals resorts in Saint Lucia and get access to all three. This includes free transportation!

THE BEST RATED SANDALS RESORT IN THE BAHAMAS

The Bahamas is not missing in action, and the popularity of the islands as the ultimate holiday destination adds to the love affair guests have with Sandals Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Of the two Sandals resorts in the Bahamas, Sandals Emerald Bay is the largest and best rated Sandals Resort with a Greg Norman designed golf course, a stunning private beach and an amazing spa. Sandals Royal Bahamian doesn’t fall too far behind, offering an authentic offshore island adventure and one of the best scuba diving experiences.

Normally you'll find Emerald Bay to have a more laidback atmosphere, while you can expect a lively atmosphere at Sandals Royal Bahamian.

While not all Sandals Resorts are mentioned here, know that Sandals ranks high when compared to other resorts in the Caribbean – without exception. If you choose to travel to any, you’re bound to have great holiday memories to take home with you.

Picture yourself relaxing at the pool sipping on a Pina Colada, somewhere in the Caribbean. This is the worry-free holiday Sandals guests have learned to love. Throw in some swim-up bars, good company, and some reggae music in the background to set the mood, and you'll never want to leave!

Now for the big question: which swimming pools found at Sandals are most loved by its guests? Although this list is not conclusive, you’ll find some of the most amazing Sandals pools at Sandals Halcyon Beach, Sandals Royal Barbados, Sandals Grenada, Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals South Coast and Sandals Ochi.

All of the pools below include the iconic Sandals swim up bars!

SANDALS HALCYON BEACH

Paradise Pool, “a treat for the senses” is the Caribbean’s longest, clocking in at 600 feet. It was recently renovated and is a great quiet spot to kick back, sip on your cocktail and read a book.

SANDALS ROYAL BARBADOS

The zero entry, glass-edged infinity pool at this resort is the first of its kind for Sandals. This lively pool is one of 31 pools at Sandals Royal Barbados; that number includes a rooftop pool with a view that is second to none.

SANDALS GRENADA

Get cosy with the daring and dazzling infinity-edged pool at Sandals Grenada. It’s great to look at and adds to the ambiance of any romantic getaway, with a fire pit and lounge in the middle.

SANDALS EMERALD BAY

An award-winning beach resort in Great Exuma, The Bahamas, you’ll fall in love with the intricacy of the large beachfront pool that can be found at Sandals Emerald Bay. Expect zero entry and fire pits all around.

SANDALS SOUTH COAST

You won’t want to leave once you experience the happening beach front pool at South Coast, complete with a one of the most beautiful swim-up bars.

SANDALS OCHI

Sandals Ochi has more pools than pretty much all other resorts in Jamaica, over 100! Most of the butler villas have pools and there are a few sprinkled around the resort. The biggest swimming pool at this resort is located at the Great House.

Which Sandals Resorts have the most beautiful beaches?

Sandals Resorts are all located in the most sought after locations in the Caribbean with stunning views and incredible backdrops. Settle in on the white sand beach underneath a straw umbrella, listen to the calming sounds of the ocean, and sip on a ice-cold signature cocktail - life doesn't get much better than this!

All Sandals resorts are located right on a gorgeous beach, but the beaches at Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals Grande Antigua, Sandals Negril and Sandals Grande St. Lucian are among the most spectacular.


SANDALS EMERALD BAY

You can't beat Exuma (in the Bahamas), when it comes to powdery white sand beaches, turquoise waters, wooden swings and pure bliss! The water is so blue, you won't believe your eyes! The beach at Sandals Emerald Bay is gorgeous, private and there's ample space to find a good spot.

SANDALS GRANDE ANTIGUA

Hands down, Dickenson Bay is the best of Antigua’s 365 beaches. Expect soft white sand, palm trees and turquoise waters. This resort got voted the Most Romantic Resort in the World!

SANDALS NEGRIL

The expansive Seven Mile beach in Jamaica never disappoints, particularly in the water sports department. This is Jamaica's best beach, with calm turquoise waters. The perfect spot to have a leisurely swim with a cocktail in hand!

SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN

Amazing views, clean and pristine shores, and lots to explore.

If you don’t mind sharing your all-inclusive resort with families, Beaches Turks & Caicos is not adults-only like Sandals, but it is located on the simply stunning Grace Bay beach. This beach was voted the most beautiful beach in the world – hard to top that!


Which Sandals resorts feature water-skiing, wake boarding and tubing?

Sandals makes sure there’s more than enough to do out on the beachfront at all its resorts. Water-skiing and tubing are among the most popular activities to engage in during a beach holiday, and you can enjoy these activities and more at the resorts listed below:

Best Sandals resorts for scuba diving

Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities for guests travelling to the Caribbean. Guests of Sandals have a sweet deal in this regard, as the property offers free scuba diving trips as part of your stay, just as long as you’re PADI® certified. This includes professional equipment! Each guest can get a maximum of two tanks a day, depending on availability and the weather.

If you are not yet PADI® certified, you can get your certification through the resort at additional cost. Sandals knowledgeable scuba staff certified over 100,000 guests. With top of the line and well-maintained equipment, you’ll be scuba diving fearlessly in no time!

Some of the best Sandals resorts for scuba diving include Sandals Royal Bahamian, Sandals Grenada and the Sandals resorts in Saint Lucia and Barbados.

Sandals Royal Bahamian for “out of this world” diving

Sandals Royal Bahamian is often referred to as the best Sandals resort for scuba diving. You’ll see all kinds of marine life. Diving in The Bahamas may very well be some of the best diving you’ve done in your life with an abundance of reefs and incredible sea life. Expect to see everything from tropical fish and sea turtles to sting-rays, moray eels, crabs, and nurse sharks.

Sandals Grenada “an amazing place to dive!”

In Grenada you’ll find coral reefs that are full of life – this means you have plenty of chances to spot fishes of all varieties, turtles, octopus, nurse sharks, barracuda, and more. Coral reefs in Grenada are as “beautiful and vibrant” as the island itself. You’ll find a good mix of dive sites, and you can choose whether you prefer to dive and explore areas around ship wrecks or focus on the reef life. While in Grenada, don’t miss the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park.

“Spectacular scuba diving” at Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia

The reefs in Saint Lucia are very much alive, and you may not even have to go far to witness this up close. All the Sandals properties in Saint Lucia are located right on the beach so whether you decide to scuba from shore, or take a boat out to explore, you’re likely to encounter creatures you wouldn’t normally encounter on a regular day, like eels, sea snakes, lobster and crabs, octopus and all kinds of fish.

The Sandals Resorts in Barbados “have it all”

Sandals Barbados offers scuba divers a unique opportunity to explore shipwrecks in addition to spectacular views of the undersea. It’s a whole different world beneath the waves, and you’ll find that diving in Barbados is easy, relaxed and fun. Among the sea creatures you will spot along the way are turtles, octopus, sea horses, bat fish, eels, porcupine fish, and more.

At all Sandals Resorts you can expect to have a great scuba dive experience, the ones listed above are the favourites amongst guests.

Best Sandals resorts for golf

Put your best golfing game forward while in the Caribbean – Sandals offers many golf resorts where you can tee off in the perfect ambiance. Find spectacular golf courses close to Sandals Emerald Bay, the Sandals Resorts in Ocho Rios (Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation) and the Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia (Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Regency la Toc and Sandals Halcyon Beach).

SANDALS EMERALD BAY

Features an 18-hole Greg Norman designed championship course with breath-taking views. According to many guests, Sandals Emerald Bay is considered the best place to go for golf. Find green fee information here.

SANDALS OCHI

There’s an 18-hole resort-style course near Sandals Ochi. Transfers are complimentary from Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation, and green fees are included for Sandals guests.

SANDALS GRANDE ST. LUCIAN

An 18 hole championship course is located about five minutes from the Sandals Grande St. Lucian resort at the Sandals Golf & Country Club in Cap Estate. There are complimentary transfers from all Sandals resorts; the trip takes 25 minutes from Sandals Halcyon Beach and 35 minutes from Sandals Regency La Toc.


Insider Tip: Stay six nights or more and your green fees will be covered. You can book Private Golf Lessons (PGL) at an additional cost. Twice a week on Tuesday and Wednesday complimentary lessons are available.


SANDALS REGENCY LA TOC

9-hole resort-style course located on property. Complementary transfers available from all Sandals resorts in Saint Lucia to this location. Green fees included. More details here.

Which Sandals resorts have the best nightlife?

For couples that love to party and make new friends during their holiday, there are a few Sandals Resorts that stand out for their lively ambiance and social atmosphere.

Although it depends on the season and the guests, you will often find a vibrant atmosphere at Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Ochi, Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Regency La Toc, Sandals Grande Antigua and Sandals Royal Bahamian.

Picture: Don't miss out on the Caribbean's first speakeasy bar at Sandals Ochi: the Rabbit Hole. Ask the staff for the secret password!

For active nightlife outside of the resorts, plan your holiday in at Sandals Montego Bay (Montego Bay), Sandals Royal Caribbean (Montego Bay), Sandals Ochi (Ocho Rios), Sandals Royal Plantation (Ocho Rios), Sandals Negril (Negril), Sandals Grenada (St. George’s), Sandals Royal Bahamian (Nassau) or at the Sandals Resorts in Barbados (St. Lawrence Gap).

Relax and sip on your favourite cocktail during the day, sing at the piano bar at the resort and go out when you’re in the mood for a party! Visit during the months of December until April to find a lively atmosphere at the resorts and on the islands.

Which Sandals resorts are best for younger / older couples?

Sandals resorts are perfect for couples of all ages, especially those celebrating a wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary. During your Sandals holiday you can expect to meet couples from all over the world, of all age groups. There are some resorts which attract holiday-makers of a particular age group, and this varies according to your time of travel.

Resorts like Sandals Grande Antigua, Sandals Royal Plantation, and Sandals Halcyon Beach tend to attract a more mature crowd, while Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Ochi, and Sandals Royal Bahamian are known to pull a younger crowd.

All the other resorts fall somewhere in between, but no matter where you go you’ll still find a diverse mix of age groups.


Expert tip: Ask yourself what kind of atmosphere you are looking for on your holiday in the Caribbean. Sandals Halcyon Beach, Sandals Emerald Bay and Sandals Royal Plantation tend to have a quieter and more laidback atmosphere. If you are looking for a party, read the previous paragraph to find out what the more vibrant Sandals Resorts are!


Which Sandals Resorts have Over-the-Water Bungalows?

Over-the-Water bungalows are among the more recent additions of Sandals, and they’ve added something truly special to the resort. If you don’t book well in advance, it can be a little challenging to book an Over-the-Water Bungalow as these room categories are incredibly popular.

Over-The-Water Bungalows include glass floors, Tranquility Soaking Tubs, and personalised butler service. The three Sandals resorts you can find the deluxe Over-the-Water Bungalows are Sandals South Coast, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

Which Sandals Resorts have swim-up rooms?


There’s nothing quite like going for a romantic swim, right from the doorstep of your suite. Below you will find the full list of Sandals Resorts that offer swim-up rooms:

Which Sandals Resorts are the newest?

The newest Sandals properties are Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados, which opened its doors in 2015 and 2017 respectively, offering a “mega-holiday that includes two resorts for the price of one”.

Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast have undergone multi-million-dollar renovations in the last five years and don’t fall too far behind with their spanking new upgrades.

Sandals Grenada opened its doors in 2014, and Sandals Emerald Bay in 2010.

Which Sandals Resorts are most affordable?

Many couples plan their Sandals holiday well in advance, and most couples carefully budget for this. Looking for the Sandals Resort with the best deal? Keep an eye out for the best offers on the Sandals specials page. Every Sandals Resort will have some amazing deals from time to time.

Generally speaking, Sandals Ochi has the lowest entry-level rates and is the most affordable Sandals Resort. This is the perfect resort if you're on a budget or simply like to stay a bit longer. Other budget-friendly Sandals Resorts include Sandals Negril, Sandals South Coast, Sandals Royal Caribbean (all in Jamaica) and Sandals Regency La Toc (Saint Lucia).

You’ll find that you have a greater advantage with prices if you book within the low season. This is when you might find Butler suites for Club level suite prices.

Typically, low season in the Caribbean is from June to November. Read more about The Best Time to Visit the Caribbean.

What if I want to bring family and kids?

While all Sandals resorts are adults-only, Beaches Resorts (from the same founder) cater to families with children. Beaches Resorts are often referred to as “Sandals Resorts for families”, and at all three Beaches Resorts you’ll find waterparks, Sesame street characters, XBox lounges, games rooms, fun activities for all ages and a nightclub for teens.

You’ll even get to have some adult time as there are certified nannies and Kids’ Camps. All in all, Beaches Resorts offer the perfect family holiday, where there’s something for everyone.

Booking the right Sandals holiday in three easy steps

There you have it; all the reasons Sandals has won the hearts of guests from all over the world and continues to do just that. The above information should help you choose the right Sandals! Rest assured, no matter which resort you pick, you'll be in for an all-inclusive holiday of a lifetime.

If you’re still trying to decide, use the following three steps to select the perfect Sandals Resort for you:

  1. Narrow the list down with the help of our holiday planner.
  2. Compare up to four Sandals resorts with this handy tool.
  3. Make the final decision, choose a room and get ready for your five-star Sandals Caribbean getaway. Call us on 0800 742 742 or head to our website.

Enjoy your Sandals holiday!

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.

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