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Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

Phoenix, Arizona
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323 posts
8 reviews
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Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

After going to SN and/or SWH for 4 straight years, my wife wants to try something different because she's tired of Jamaica. I know, it sounds crazy, but I always say, "happy wife, happy life. She's open to the possibility of going to Sandals Royal Bahamian, so I'm hoping to get some feedback from people who have been to both SN (or SWH) and SRB. Some of the things we love about SN are the friendly staff, the intimate atmosphere that allows you to make friends with other guests, the amazing beach, and the beach grill. We're thinking of going to SRB in April, so I would be interested in feedback about weather that time of year. I would also be interested in hearing about nightlife. Thanks in advance.

Chambersburg...
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64 reviews
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1. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

I would like some feedback as well on this.

From all photos, the only thing I do not care for to look at SRB is that is seems more a "resort" style than an "island style." Just seems very squared into one main area and very modern looking. I am thinking perhaps the private island would make up for this with a big island to explore full of hidden pathways and secluded beaches and zen gardens. But I fear i would only be going for the island. If anyone could weigh in on the atmosphere and activities of the main part of the resort, I also would be interested in details.

United States
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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4,153 posts
109 reviews
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2. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

I would say it doesn't really have anything that you're looking for. We went to SRB in 2009, and didn't like it at all. Staff are nothing like Jamaica. We became friends with a few, but most wouldn't even start a conversation. Especially management. The beach is not too amazing. The hotel is really only two high rise towers, so the beach isn't very long. On the private island the beach is nice, and very quiet, so you might like it there. And there is no beach grill, which proved to be a big issue for me since I don't eat meat, and normally can get a grilled cheese at the grill some time of day. And service was slower than slow.

And we were actually there in April, and it was cold! Not cold, cold, but the water was really cold. We were some of the only people in the pools. Since the renovations, one of the pools is heated, but it's still going to be cold when you get out. We had a wind storm so bad one day, no one was even outside. They showed movies in the amphitheater and had games at Cricketers.

Nightlife was non-existent. Cricketer's was the only thing open (at the time, it may have changed by now), and if two other couples were in there with us, that was it.

I obviously don't recommend it, and it was the worst Sandals experience we've had. And most expensive! We won't go back.

Cali
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577 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

Having been to most of the other Sandals other than Royal Bahamain, I will say that things that I have read about that resort haven't been great!! We had some friends who did go there and wouldn't be back for alot of the same reasons that BSBgirl mentioned. You'll never find friendlier people than Jamaicans! What about St Lucia? We've been to Halcyon twice and though there wasn't much night life there, we loved that resort because it reminded us of SN!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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72 reviews
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4. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

We have been to SRB three times on day passes. Beach was not bad, pools are nice. Had lunch each time at the buffet and it was fine. Staff was not as engaging as in Jamaica in general.

Not sure if all the Sandals resorts are like this now, but frozen drinks are premixed and come out of machines and are served in small plastic cups. I found that surprising but then it may be the same at other Sandals. I normally do not go to pools when in JA and I also don't drink sweet and fruity alcohol drinks so it is something I never paid attention to.

We did not enjoy our time there enough to consider a stay.

New Berlin...
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245 posts
17 reviews
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5. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

What time of year would you go? I wouldn't go to SRB from about October-April. It's too cool. It's comfortable but not swimming weather.

Calgary
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4,148 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

I agree with bruzbabe...maybe check out St. Lucia! That was our first experience with Sandals and that's when we got hooked! We also stayed at Halcyon and there are many similarities to SN...especially the people. They were all so friendly. Plus, you can also take the shuttle to the other two resorts. We made friends there who suggested we give Negril a try. They said no, don't go to SGB. The grounds are nothing like Halcyon or Negril and the staff is not friendly. We are so glad we listened to them! Lucia in April will be fine! We were there the beginning of May 2012 and it only rained twice during the 8 days...the rest of the time the weather was perfect. Many different excursions to go on. We went on the Dolphin/Whale watch and had a blast!! Hope this helps.

United States
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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109 reviews
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7. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

We loved St Lucia, too! The staff are just about as nice as Jamaica. If the air wasn't so much higher to get there, we'd return there more often! We stayed at La Toc, but I think we're going to do our free week next year at the SGSL.

Strawberry daquiris and Pina coladas are normally in a machine, but you can also ask to have them made in the blender. All other frozen drinks are made in the blender.

And drinks are another issue at SRB. They use little tiny plastic cups at the pool bar. About the size you'd have in a bathroom; no where near what should be at a bar! If you got a frozen drink, you had about two sips and needed a refill! Not to mention, I got locked in the bathroom on the private island and had to wait for another guest to come in and let me out! I could make a list of the things that we didn't like at SRB. Honestly, I really wouldn't go.

Chambersburg...
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2,832 posts
64 reviews
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8. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

Its so funny hearing all of this. When making our honeymoon plans we had seriously considered SRB. You always hear about the Bahamas for honeymoon. We eventually started looking at Jamaica to save some money and then found features at several of the sandals in Jamaica that sounded very much what we wanted in the end anyways. I am glad we checked them out because we may have had a completely different experience if we had tried SRB first. Sounds like something we may try later down the road when we have a free week or something. That way we wont feel bad if its not great because it wont be on our dime.

United States
Destination Expert
for Ocho Rios
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4,153 posts
109 reviews
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9. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

SRB is actually the cheapest place to take your free week because the air there is cheap. The resort is insanely over-priced, but taking your free week there will offset that. However, we disliked it so much there it's not worth wasting our free week there just because it's the cheapest.

Nassau, New...
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10. Re: Sandals Negril vs. Sandals Royal Bahamian

I can't say which resort I'd choose of the two because they're both great and each has it's own unique feel :-)

However, I'd like to say that I've been reading everyone's comments and noticed the trend in your feedback about the service at SRB. This is definitely a matter of concern that we'd like to address immediately. So, I brought your comments to the attention of our leadership team in our corporate office for evaluation.

Thanks for the valuable feedback.

Cassie C.

Sandals Rep