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Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

philadelphia
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Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

Hello all, and thank you in advance for any input you may have to my question...

I will be staying at Sandals Grande on Jan 8th-14th 2013.. I had booked the trip awhile back, as I found wonderful prices. I have stayed at a few Sandals Resorts in the past, but never here.

After booking the trip, I had read reviews that there was not much of a beach at this resort. Who has been here recently?

My wife likes to sit on the beach and read, and from what I had read, seems like the beach here is enclosed by a dock of some type. In the pictures I see what looks to be 3 seperate beaches, but are you allowed in the water at all the beaches or only at the dock area?

Seems a little odd to be swimming inside a wooded area to say the least.

We had stayed at Mo-Bay 2 times last year, and that had a really nice long beach which we liked. We also stayed at Dunns river when it was a Sandals, and once under the new ownership. Now the beach there is rather small, but to me was fine. Is the Sandals Grande beach anything like either one of these?

What I am concerned about is it being like Sandals Royal Caribbean, which I stayed for about 24 hours, and was so turned off by the beach that I transfered to Mo-bay.

I am not a super picky person, and have always had a nice time anywhere I stayed in Jamaica, other than the Royal Caribbean, and not that the resort itself was of poor quality, I was just not impressed with the super small beach..

Given what I said, can anyone give me some insite as to what to expect..

Oh, and I am staying in a Ocean Edge Beachfront zroyal palm room. Are they okay? We usually get upgraded, as I wanted a view of the ocean if possible. Thank you all!!

United States
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1. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

What exactly did you not like about SRC's beach? That is wraps around, and only really one area where everyone is?

I would say it's closest to SDR's beach. It is longer, but is broken up by the pier. I actually love to swim in the part between the pier because it makes the water very calm. Beach Club had a beach section, too, and the right side of the beach is mainly for water sports. You can swim in the Beach Club section, and for the most part is wavier and deeper. I prefer swimming in pools, but like the beach at SGR just fine. And LOVE going to Jamie's or the Sundowner Deck and having drinks and watching the waves. So pretty!

Never stayed in that room, so I can't comment. I'm sure all the rooms are ok though. We like the villas on the Manor side with the private pools.

Tully, New York
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2. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

We have not stayed in that particular room, but from the pic of it on Sandals website it looks similar to the rooms we have had in the Riviera building. The view is fantastic. Ours had a small balcony but had 2 chairs and a tiny table to rest our drinks on. I am not sure if yours will have the balcony or not.

The beach club area is available for swimming and is much larger than the beach by the pier. As BSBgirl said the far right beach (looking at the sea from your room) is for the watersports and no one swims there.

If you are looking for long walks on the beach Negril is where you should look next. Pros: you could walk for miles which you can't do at SGR. Cons: SGRs beaches are private so you won't be constantly bothered by vendors. The only ones at SGR to try to sell you seems to be the Spa personnel.

Powhatan, VA
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3. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

I have loved our other stays at many Sandals properties. I can take or leave the beach...did love however fantastic sunsets in negril and whitehouse...we spend most of our time on the volleyball court or at one of the swim up bars or pools...so beach isn't a priority. i can't wait to see all the different sections of this resort.

67 days!! we are actually going to be there at the same time! jan 9 - 16th for us!!

don't worry and enjoy all the variety the resort has to offer!!

most excited about trying all the different restaurants...did get a little bored at whitehouse, since it was our 4th time and there are only like 5 places to eat...missed a buffet at night there...can't wait for the japenese and steak house restaurants.

hope to meet you there for a drink!! :)

Debra

Louisville, Kentucky
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4. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

I have the same exact issue as jchrisd as I am set to go to Sandals Grande Riveria in April and I have booked the same room (Ocean Edge Beachfront royal palm). I have only been to Sandals Whitehouse and I FELL IN LOVE but I wanted to experience another resort. I love the beach at Whitehouse so I am concerned that people will be crammed on the beach at SGR; is this the case? Also, I am a bit concerned with the inability to walk the resort; i was told you have to take jitneys everywhere. For those who have been there, can you elaborate on the beach and jitneys. Is there room for people to be spread out or are guests crammed in the three small sections?

United States
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5. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

You are not crammed at all. Have you seen pictures? There are lots on the Fans of Sandals Grande Riviera page on facebook if you want to check it out. There's not a lot of beach, but the chairs are pretty spaced apart. If you want to be the only person on the beach for 100 feet, it won't be like that.

And the jitneys are on the Manor side of the resort, and if you're not staying over there, you wouldn't even use them. They take you up to your room if you're on that side. And there is a bus that runs between the two sides. It goes from the Manor lobby, to the Beach Club (which is on the Riviera side, the bus just makes two stops), and then the Riviera lobby. It runs all day until 2am, and they run constantly. The restaurants on the Manor side are in the lobby, and you'd get off at either Riviera stop for restaurants over on that side.

We love that it is so big so there's always something going on and we never get bored. We did something different everyday, and we like that. We're going to SWH for the first time in April, and we're afraid we're going to be bored.

Louisville, Kentucky
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6. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

Thank you! That was helpful. To be honest, it was the pictures I saw that made me anxious about the size of the beach; it looks like the chairs are so close! Your information about the jitneys were helpful as well; my understanding was that I had to take them everywhere, even to restaurants. Basically my travel agent told me you really couldn't walk anywhere on the resort.

We loved Whitehouse! We were concerned about that as well. We are in our early 30's but not party animals. Everynight there was a beach party or something going on. The resort definately did not shut down at 9 o clock or anything. I'll admit it may not be as wild and crazy as some of the others I hear about but it is a beautiful resort with a fabulous beach and lots of activities. We were never bored at all! The resort is smaller but still nicely spaced and I LOVE the seclusion. I do not think you will be disappointed at all!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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7. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

I stayed at SGR and SMB in April.

IMO, the beach at SGR is not appealing at all. I do not think it compares well to the beach at the former SDR which was one of my favorites for years. That beach is small but quite pretty and I did not find the beach at SGR to be pretty. It is more of a pool resort IMO.

I actually prefer the beaches at SRC to that at SGR and spent the day there while at SMB.

I stayed in the cheapest room at SGR and pretty much stayed on that side of the resort. I do not care for the size of the property and having to use carts to go to other side so just did not bother with it. It also rained a lot during my short stay so leaving to go to the other side of the resort was even less appealing.

Tully, New York
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8. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

We have stayed on the beach side during past stays. The beach area by the pier may be a bit more crowed than by the Beach Club but there was always room. The only time we needed to ride anywhere was when we took the shuttle to the Manor side and then only used the 'jittney" during a tour of the villas and other rooms. The Manor pool is fantastic and we spent time there as well as using the restaurants there.

On the Riviera side you may get a slight workout walking (but not much) as there a a number of stairs on the beach side. But the walk around the grounds behind the Riviera building was a nice casual stroll through some awesome gardens.

In April we will for the first time be on the Manor side, so we will be able to make a more informed decision on our subsequent visit.

United States
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9. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

@Vanessa That is absolutely crazy that your TA said that, and it would make me question anything else she told you about the resort. Not only is that completely untrue, but even if your room is on the Manor side, you can walk up to it whenever you want! The jitneys are there for convenience, but sometimes we walked to for the exercise, or to take pictures, etc. If you are on the Riviera side, there are no jitneys at all on that side! The bus makes the 3 stops I mentioned above, but you can absolutely walk between the two stops on the Riviera side. Again, it is for convenience. The only thing you really need to do is take the bus between the Manor and the Riviera sides. Technically, you can walk it, but it is a little far, and probably not something you want to do in heels or in the hot sun. Seriously though, the bus ride is maybe 3 minutes, and they run constantly. No big deal!

I do think the beach is going to be smaller than WH, and set up completely differently. And honestly, we don't lay out on the beach much because we'd be sunburned in an hour and have to spend the rest of the time in the room, lol! Are you going to be able to see the person in the beach chair next to you? Yes. Are you going to run into them? No. And we were there in April and November, and the chairs were never full anytime we went by.

And as far as us going to WH, we don't need wild and crazy either, but other people up past 9:00 to be in the bar with us or something would be nice! :) I am looking forward to seeing the beach, and this Sandals was built from the ground up so I'd like to see that. We're planning to go to bed early though so we don't end up disappointed!

Louisville, Kentucky
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10. Re: Question about Sandals Grande Riviera

Thanks for that additional info of the jitneys. Yeah my TA is a little strange and kept steering me out of the sandals brand all together. We love the brand however. I guess with the beach some of the pics looked like the next couple in louge chairs are an arms reach away. We are beach people spending a decent amount of time there; I can say for sure and will not spend anytime in the pool. I am excited about trying something new so I am hoping that SGR exceeds my expectations!

At WH, we normally went to bed on the party and one night we was awakened by a steel drum band walking the ground ( I believe) leading people to the party. WH offers romance and the beach makes up for the few extra party hours you may miss! You won't be disappointed!