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Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

Germantown, MD
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Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

My husband and I, married 23 years, are planning to take our first Sandals Jamaica vacation and I'm torn which resort. We have it narrowed down to Ochos Rios Riviera, Negril or Royal Carribean. I don't mind the distance from the airports. We're looking for a nice combination of relaxation and activity. I love the idea of the exclusive island at Royal Carribean, I've heard great things about Riviera but am concerned about the small beach and Negril sounds like more beach but maybe a bit outdated and hard to get chairs and water floaties without butler service. Actually, I'm wondering if not having butler service at any of these puts you at a disadvantage for beach/pool chairs and dinner tables. Any feedback on these three resorts would be great!

Ontario Canada
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for White House
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1. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

hi tabbyw....have you stayed at any Sandals resorts outside of Jamaica? If so, knowing which one could help us recommend a more like experience...providing you enjoyed that stay of course!

Re Sandals Grande Rivieria...I've not stayed there, only been there for a day/evening visit several years ago, so can't give you current feedback. What we didn't like about the resort and so have never booked it, is the fact it is spread out and divided by a road. We also didn't like the beach. Having said that, there are a number of people on this forum who can give you great feedback as they have stayed there recently and love it. I understand the huge reno's have made it a really lovely place to go, and we are going to check it out in January while staying at Royal Plantation.

SRC is one of our favourites....we love it because it is small and intimate, close to the airport and with full exchange privileges and complimentary transportation to the other two MoBay Sandals. We enjoy great food there and terrific service. Also love the offshore island...great place for lunch or dinner and to spend the day lounging at either the clothing or clothing optional beach. Been to SRC twice and will definitely return...will be staying at SCI in January too, and plan to spend some time at SRC, especially for dinner at Le Jardinier!

SN has a fantastic beach, terrific food...it is a totally different vibe than the other two Sandals you mention. I find it more laid back...lots to do off the resort with great long walks along the beach. We very much enjoyed our stay there, but are unsure whether we would do a return visit as often as we go to our most favourite Sandals in Jamaica (Sandals Whitehouse and SRC).

Please don't worry about the loungers and float issues as being a butler issue. Like anywhere else, if you want a prime spot (which means different things to different people), you can easily find one if you are up early enough. I have heard floaties can be a problem...this is not because of butlers taking them for guests, but rather guests who will hoard them and not use them. You might find it interesting to read my post on butler service....when you understand that butler guests are only a small percentage of the entire resort, you will find that not having one is not a disadvantage at all.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147309-i69-k52694…

Others will be on here soon to give you some more feedback...RandBTravel has been to SN 5x and will have some great input for you...he has also posted pics with one of his posts:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147313-i70-k53060…

Va USA
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2. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

We have been to negril & MoBay . loved Negril resort is laid back and staff is great . we did not have a butlered room and stayed on the beach everyday . had no problem finding chairs and a butler even helped us get seats one morning during our stay . staff is top notch with Donovan at the grill and Big Pappa on the snorkle boat being the best .

MoBay is a little more wild with a party vibe to me . we liked the resort as a whole , just wanted a more relaxing trip .

We have booked Negril for another stay , looking forward to going there again .

Ontario Canada
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for White House
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3. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

VAEasternshoreman...agree that Sandals Montego Bay can have a more lively enthusiastic vibe! We enjoy going there to spend time while at Sandals Royal Caribbean...but then we are happy to get back to SRC for a more quieter time. Mind you...it all depends on the guests vacationing...some can be partiers but for the most part our Sandals stays have been a great mix of good social fun and nice private quality time.

Minnesota
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for White House, Negril
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4. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

Tabby, TP has covered it very well in her post. We do enjoy SN for the many reasons stated in our SN post which TP linked above. Take a look at it, along with our pictues and a couple of videos.

We have been to SRC only for a couple of day visits during our stays at SMB. Very nice and certainly a little more laid back. The island is a nice place to spend time at. No experience at SGR.

If you're not worried about the airport distance then I will really mix it up for you. Take a look at our all time favorite, Sandals Whithehouse. We will be returning there for #6 in January. We love the very private feel of the resort that lends itself to great relaxation. Are far as activites, they are endless. Lots of water activites, pool activites, evening entertainment choices, and on and on! I know you didn't mention the WH originally, but if you want to look further, I also have current posts going on on the WH. Good luck deciding.

Edited: 23 May 2012, 16:17
new york
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5. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

My 2 cents: Being that we have stayed at SN & SRC..hands down SN! The beach @ SN is sooo much better along with the vibe! Good luck!

Minnesota
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for White House, Negril
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6. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

The SN beach is certainly a great beach.

United States
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for Ocho Rios
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7. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

We have stayed at SGR 5 times, and SRC once. They are day and night, and our favorite between the two is obvious, lol!

SRC is VERY small. It is nice to be able to transfer between SCI and SMB, but SCI is even smaller, so you would be unlikely to visit it more than once. The private island is ok, but the pool was extremely windy, so we didn't enjoy it too much. Not sure if that is true all the time. It was early April. And the restaurant over there is ok. I personally wouldn't go there just for the island. It is a small intimate resort. Staff will remember you and treat you well, but we were in bed every night by 11 because there was really nothing left to do. Beach is nice but kind of wraps around the resort, so it is not necessarily big if that is what you are looking for.

SGR is VERY big, and that is probably the main reason we like it so much. You never run out of things to do, day or night. We like to stay in the villas on the Manor side with our private pool. There are 3 main pools, and several smaller ones. 13 restaurants, several pool bars, and more bars on top of that. Jamie's is right on the beach, Kelly's is on the pier, and the Sundowner bar is right above the beach with a great view. The beach is split by a pier into 3 secitons, but it makes the water between the pier very calm. We have been to several Sandals, and it's the only one we repeated and our favorite.

United States
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8. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

And Butler service is not necessary at all!! :)

Minnesota
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for White House, Negril
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9. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

Is your head spinning yet Tabby? You can't go wrong with any of them. Pick what feels right based on what you hear from everyone.

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10. Re: Which Jamaica Sandals Resort?

If you stay at sgr without a butler I would recommend the riviera side. It can take a while to get a jitney to your villa. Butlers Pick up their guests until about 8:00. Room service is also great for breakfast. We enjoyed sgr, but Src is our favorite because it is smaller and very intamate. If you want to relax it is the place with the lagoon pools being under used. The island was fun in the summer. We had butlers but would stay there without them. They are great but those without them were not overlooked and had a great time.

We are staying at smb this summer to get a better beachfront room in the bayroc villas. As said above go where you feel comfortable with the price and the vibe. They are all good and everything I read above is right on target.

Edited: 23 May 2012, 23:25