We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Cobble Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Topic
Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

We are planning to get married in the Carribbean in Feb. 2012. We've been looking at Sandals resorts in Jamaica, Antigua and St. Lucia for both our wedding and honeymoon. I've read some really good things about these places along with some really bad. Has anyone been to one or more of these places? Any info would be helpful. THANKS

Washington DC...
6 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

totally feel your pain. That was me for my honeymoon. We opted for St. Lucia and the Grande. I then had a zillion room categories to look thru and a budget to keep in mind. I just posted my review. Finally!! Hopefully, it gets put up quickly. We loved St. Lucia. Felt we could do Jamaica another time. Some good advice I received was to contact an expert in Sandals. I looked on trip advisor and a ton of people recommened VIP Vacaitons and Jennifer--their president. She won some big Sandals Award and from their site, I found her email. She was able to have me shift my dates a bit, saved me tons of money..got me upgraded and got SPA credit (due to a promotion). Plus her airfare was way better. We stayed in a beachfront concierge room. Room service too! Message me if you have any questions!

Cobble Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Thanks for the info, especially about the Sandals expert. I'll look into it.

Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
Level Contributor
8,655 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Been to all Sandals resorts on each island, though can't really give you good input re your wedding, as we are "older" honeymooners of 35 years! (though we've witnessed a ton of weddings at Sandals over the years). It would help greatly to know what your preferences are for your stay, as the honeymoon part of your vacation is equally as important as the actual wedding ceremony.

For instance, do you like to do off-resort excursions/shopping/dining, do you golf, is a beach more important than a pool or vice-versa, are you wanting a quieter intimate resort, are you planning to stay only on the resort etc etc. All these things are helpful to know when recommending a particular resort.

Cobble Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Thanks for your response. We're in our 40s and are not sure what to expect. We love the idea of turquoise water and a white sand beach, but lounging by a pool and having drinks at a swim-up bar is also appealing. Sandals seems to be at the edge of our budget, so we probably won't dine elsewhere too often. Although, if there is a "can't miss" place that we hear about, we will put it on our list.

We would like to do some excursions outside the resort. We do not dive and are unsure how much we will snorkel; a little at least. My fiance likes to golf and is okay at it. I don't play, so it probably won't be a big part of our trip. Although, I'm sure he'll want to play at least once or twice, and I may join him if I won't slow down others too much. Who can pass up golfing in paradise?!

I'm not sure if we would prefer a quieter resort. We would enjoy meeting different people for conversation, dining, drinks etc., and some nightlife and dancing would be fun if we chose. That being said, we don't want loud partying unless we choose it. Wherever we are, we want to feel safe.

Any info you think would help would be greatly appreciated :-D.

Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
41 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

I haven't been to Jamaica but I have been to the Sandals Grande Antigua and the Sandals Grande St Lucia (we got married here 5 years ago). My husband and I are in our early 30's and like to have a good time but also like to relax. We loved St Lucia so much we are going back there again in July, staying this time at Sandals La Toc. I can't give you any advice about Jamaica but I would definitely recommend St Lucia over Antigua- in St Lucia there seems to be more to do, the locals in my opinion are much friendlier, and staying in St Lucia you can visit all 3 resorts for the price of 1, meaning 3 times as many restaurants and bars. La Toc has a golf course which sounds like that's something that interests you. But the Grande St Lucia has a better beach. I will also tell you that getting married at the Grande St Lucia was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone. Good luck on your decision, whatever you decide I'm sure it will be wonderful!

Minneapolis
Level Contributor
993 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Hello,

I have been to Jamaica, Antigua, and St. Lucia. Where to start?

Jamaica is beautiful with lots to do at the resorts. If you like to shop or hang out on the beach NOT at your resort - go elsewhere! Really, this is one of the most beautiful islands we have ever been to and the island where we were more hassled in two weeks than we have been probably the rest of our lives. No kidding. My friend was married at Sandals Grande and loved it. She and her hubby pretty much stayed at the resort except for two excursions, the perfect way to do it. What is nice about Jamaica is the natural formations of rivers, waterfalls, sea caves, and tropical flowers.

I love St. Lucia. If I got married on an island it would be Barbados or St. Lucia. The people on St. Lucia are friendly and very laid back in a good way. The pitons in the background are so beautiful, and they have really nice beaches, good snorkeling, and a rainforest to enjoy. I rate St. Lucia the highest for romance.

Antigua is realtively flat with some nice views of sea cliffs and decent shopping. I've only been there once briefly so I can't really give it as good of an opinion as the other two. To me it was nice, but not anything spectacular. Kind of a place to kick back and relax.

Overall I would pick St. Lucia if you can afford it. It has a bit of everything you want.

PL

Edited: 31 May 2011, 02:58
Ontario Canada
Destination Expert
for White House
Level Contributor
8,655 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

I'll give a brief run-down of the Sandals resorts on each of the islands, but keep in mind our preferences might be much different than yours! And I apologize in advance for the length of this post :)

St. Lucia...the island is beautiful, hilly, lush and green. The Sandals resorts are approx 2 hours from the airport...we consider the drive a great way to see part of the island. If the long ride is a deal breaker, you can take a heli to the resort for extra cost. St. Lucia is a fantastic deal as you can play at all 3 resorts at any time with complimentary frequent transportation between them. Our favourite is the Grande (we are returning there in January). I love the layout of the resort, it is built on a peninsula so the ocean is on one side and Rodney Bay on the other. The beach is long enough to walk and the water is calm due to the protection of the bay. Pools are great. Disadvantage (perhaps) is that construction has started on the new over-the-water bungalows...restricted to the south end of the resort, but something to consider for possible noise. La Toc is built into the hills and has stunningly beautiful views...we have been there but not stayed there due to the hilly terrain. The beach is smaller and the water can be much rougher (red flags/yellow flags) due to the location. The Halcyon is a smaller, quieter resort, lush and beautiful gardens and foliage. While staying at the Grande, we found that a lot of the Halcyon guests would spend the day at the Grande for the "better pools and beaches" (their words, not mine). Golfing is available at La Toc for all 3 Sandals guests.

Antigua - beautiful flatter island with outstanding beaches! SGA is only 15 minutes from the airport and is like getting two resorts in one. The older Caribbean Grove side is the original resort. Low rise buildings and stand-alone cottages set among gardens/trees. Some rooms are steps from the beach. I believe most rooms have undergone updating in the past year or two. The Mediterranean Village is higher rise more hotelish style buildings with ocean views but set back from the beach. The lawns are beautifully landscaped. The beach is long for walking but there are beach vendors and other resort guests along the way as well as possible cruise ship visitors. We didn't find this to be an issue at all. The resort also has a small casino on-site in case you enjoy slots/games. I'm not sure how close a golf course is.

Jamaica - different locations of the island offer different things and different experiences. We love Jamaica! Our favourite Sandals there is Sandals Whitehouse on the south coast, a 90 minute ride from the airport (or heli in 15 mins). The beach is 2 miles long, free of other resort guests and beach vendors, and the pools are fantastic. Our daughter spent her honeymoon there in March and loved it. SWH is remote...you can't just walk off the resort, but excursions are easily available. No golf course though there are plans for one in the next few years.

In Montego Bay...you have 3 Sandals all within 15 minutes or so from the airport and with complimentary shuttles running frequently between the resorts. We like SRC the best...it is smaller and more intimate and has a great offshore island. The beach is better at SMB, but some folks do not like the fact it is located directly off the runway and so you will have airport noise (something to consider during a wedding ceremony!). Sandals Carlyle Inn is not one of my favourites though it has it's fans. I don't like the pools at any of the MoBay Sandals...too small for my liking, however you have full exchange privileges to enjoy all 3 resorts.

Negril...Sandals Negril is located on gorgeous 7 mile beach and is over an hour from the airport. You will have beach vendors and other resort guests, but Negril is a great place to wander the beach and stop for a drink or bite to eat along the way. We are hoping to stay there in February.

Ocho Rios - Sandals Grande Riveria approx 2 hours from the airport and is like two resorts in one divided by a roadway. Shuttles are used frequently to get from the manor side to the beach side. It's not my favourite based on visiting there...because I find it too big and I don't like the fact it is split by a road. I also believe there is construction taking place there...not sure when it is expected to be finished. You can golf at the Sandals Golf & Country Club.

At all Sandals you can book tours and excursions through their Island Routes company, or for usually much less expense can book with an external company and plan the type of trip you would like. Keep in mind too, that no matter where you are you can enjoy the amenities of all Sandals (just might mean paying for your transportation). Last year while staying at SWH, we took a trip to Negril to sight see and spent time at Sandals Negril to use the beach and try the restaurants.

If you weren't travelling in February, I would suggest you look at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma. It has it all...the best beach, beautiful pools, and golf course with the most spectacular views ever! But the weather might be little cooler in Feb, though not necessarily. We were at SEB in mid March and it was great weather. We've also been to the Bahamas in late January and the weather wasn't bad, though the pools and ocean were cooler.

Sorry for the length...hope this has helped!

Portsmouth, United...
Level Contributor
97 posts
203 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

St Lucia is very pretty, halcyon is nice and intimate. Public beach

Royal Caribbean in Jamaica is lovley, we were married there 18 years ago and have returned several times. Private beach

Antigua is ok, the old part of the hotel is a bit run down and the new part ,i feel is very overpriced. Public beach.

Dont forget Sandals Royal Hicacos, Cuba....in my opiniun the best Sandals for value for money and the weddings are lovely. Plubic beach but it is wonderful.

Cobble Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

Thanks for your input! It's fantastic to hear from someone that's done exactly what we're thinking about doing. The Grande in St. Lucia is where I've been leaning towards. THANKS again; your comments have been very helpful :-D.

Cobble Hill, Canada
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Antigua, St. Lucia or Jamaica: overwhelmed and confused!!!

That last post is a reply to BlingBling78