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Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

Nashville, Tennessee
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90 posts
19 reviews
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Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

My husband and I spent our honeymoon at SGR in November 2013. We have the itch to return for our anniversary but can't decide whether we should go back to SGR or go somewhere else. We loved SGR but were dissapointed in our butler service. However, we know we will never be able to go below club level because we love having room service and the liquor in the room. SGR continues to be the cheapest in these categories (club or butler). There was nothing about the resort we didn't like so it would still be awesome to return but we are wondering if we will enjoy somewhere else more? Anyone have any suggestions? The only thing about SGR that we could have lived without was the long drive there and back to the airport. I know there are some in the Montego Bay area but they are much pricier. Are these resorts better and that is why they are more expensive or are you paying for the convienience of not having to travel 1.5 hours to the resort from the airport? Any advice/opinons would be appreciated!

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

Cancer: I read your review. If the butlers were your only problem at the resort, then next year when you fill out the butler form let them know that you don't want the butlers you had this year. Easy fix. I think there is a thread on this forum about butlers at SGR.

You won't like the drive to SN or SWH either...hour and fifteen each way plus they aren't the same vibe as SGR and more expensive. I'm not sure if you will like all the plane noise over SMB but the drive is only 10 minutes. Granted, the plane noise doesn't happen all day and shuts down early.

Maybe look at another island? We stayed at Sandals St. Lucia and it was lovely. But then again, long drive from the airport. With your criteria, check out Sandals Bahamas! Close to the airport and it has butlers. I think there might be a sale going on.

Or look at other AI resorts in Jamaica. There are many on the island. Just my 2 cents. :))

Labrador City, NL...
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596 posts
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2. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

We were in SGR years ago when it was Sandals Grande Ocho Rios - no butlers back then either. although we did enjoy the resort, we would not go back simply because of the beach and the ride you had to take going from one section to the other.

I'm with Cassie on trying a different Island. We went to Sandals Grande St Lucia a couple of years ago and simply loved it. Rather than the long ride as she mentions, we took the 20 minute helicopter and it was worth every penny.

We are booked for Sandals Whitehouse in July and have already reserved the helicopter to avoid that long bus ride !

We had friends go to Bahamas and Antigua and loved both places as well.

My only suggestion is to read the reviews of the different Sandals resorts and choose the best one that suits. I don't like the idea of returning to a resort until I have tried a few of them !

Good luck !

Nashville, Tennessee
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90 posts
19 reviews
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3. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

The air plane noise won't be an issue for us, we live near the airport in Nashville :). The only problem with the Bahamas is that we will be going in November and I've been told it's not quite swimming weather that time of the year in the Bahamas's. We definitely want it to be nice and warm!

I've thought about checking out the other AIs in Jamaica but the loyalty program with Sandals is pretty enticing. I may still take a look though, thanks!

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

true: how much does it cost for the helicopter?

Labrador City, NL...
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596 posts
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5. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

which one Cassie? SWH or SGSL?

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

true: SGSL...we are thinking of going back to Lucia 2015.

Chambersburg...
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7. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

In my opinions some of the higher priced sandals in montego bay are due to the fact that you also have full access and free shuttle to the others right there. its like 3 vacations in one.

and I can see how being in a resort like SGR that room service and mini fridge would be a must because of how large it is and depending on room location, quite a walk to the nearest food or drink. at places like SCI and SRC, everything is much more intimate and easy access. So for us it was not necessary to have a club room when we could stop and get drinks on the way to our room or literally walk to several bars in less than 1 minute if we needed a drink. food options were also close by so again we did not need room service. One morning we got our breakfast plates and in less than a minute were enjoying breakfast on our patio. I am sure the luxury of room service is nice to have (we did get breakfast in bed one morning for our honeymoon extras) but I would rather save the money we would spend on a club room and have a longer vacation or do more excursions with it. Especially at SRC where everything is so accessible.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

Cancer,

I have to agree with Cassie, I went to Sandals Royal Plantation in April, Whitehouse in Sept and going to Sandal Royal Caribbean in Feb. Next would be, Bahamas or Ste-Lucia. Check the new room section at Sandals Royal Bahamiens and their new swim up river suite. ;)

If I had to pick one out of the two I already visited, it would be Sandals Royal Plantation...that was an awesome experience, the food is out of this world. I think that the buttler service is like no others probably because of the small size.

Alex

United States
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for Ocho Rios
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4,125 posts
102 reviews
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9. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

I only say this because SGR was my first Sandals, too, and I hadn't even discovered tripadvisor yet, so I went in with only the info in the Sandals brochures, and my TA. I wouldn't expect any Sandals to be "better". I say this only because SGR is huge. It has just about everything you could want. Private pools at your villa, big main pools, tons of restaurants, etc. I expected all Sandals to be like that purely from their advertising, and we went to SGR 2 years in a row, and then SRC, and we were shocked! SRC is very, very small. It was fine, but not at all what we expected. With tripadvisor, I would know that now, but didn't back then. None of the pools in Montego Bay are anything like the ones at SGR either. I agree with Rachael, I think Montego Bay is priced higher simply because it's by the airport. We are going back to SMB next year. We visitied it while at SRC. We haven't gone back for many years because the pools are smaller, and we liked bigger resorts in general, but we are trying it again. Just know going in, any Sandals you try is going to be smaller than SGR.

Also, at a smaller resort you can easily do without Concierge because bars are right nearby. At SRC for example, you're about 5 minues from a bar at any time. At SGR, you're not.

And my personal opinion, we did SRB in 09, and it was terrible! We were there in April, and the pools were freezing and we were the only ones in them. They heated one of the pools with the renovations, but it will still be cold when you get out. I've never seen so many people in hot tubs! We had lots of issues there. I had always wanted to go to the Bahamas, and was extremely disappointed.

St Lucia is great, and I'd pick SGSL or SLT. They are all far from the airport though, as mentioned, so unless you take the helicopter, you have about the same transfer time. The helicopter is $189pp I beleive. I am going there in March and considering the helicopter this time. Kind of scared of it though :)

United States
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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4,125 posts
102 reviews
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10. Re: Sandals Question for fellow Sandals lovers

This website has all the info and pricing for the helicopter in St Lucia.

https://stluciahelicopters.com/