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Sand Castles Resort
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Reviews (333)
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Reviewed 26 March 2013

I stayed in D13 for 6 days and I dont see how this property can be newly renovated. The property needed to be painted and the bathroom was horrible. This porperty was over priced for the unit. I had family staying in E23 and that property was well maintained. The entire time I stayed at the poperty I never saw the manager. and when I voice my concearn with the housekeeper she tired to fix the problem. But after staying in a horrible unit with outdated bathroom. No Air conditioner and no TV. I would not stay in this unit again because of the unit condition and the manager service. Pool his horrible only good thing about building his its access to the shopping and night life.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
5  Thank Nicola J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

We rented a unit via VRBO for 16 days in Jan/Feb 2013. The staff was nice enough, but other than the grounds, this is an aging and dilapidating property--you can no longer call it a resort or even a hotel. There is no operating restaurant, mini-store, bar or even vending machines. The pictures showing this are way out of date. The paint is patched yet pealing on multiple surfaces. The walks are blackish with age. The pool cabana for drinks and perhaps snacks hasn't operated for many months and is gross looking in its unkept state. Light fixtures around the pool and premises are either rusted out or single bare bulbs. The pool looks worn and unkept to the point that my wife would not get in it. Actually the water was clean and the staff cleaned it regularly, but it has not been kept up so it looks awful---NOT as the photos for the management or individual private owner's show. Access to the beach is not as shown in photos. On the beach side of the property, a service road separates the beach and the 'hotel.' In order to get to the beach, you have to go and stand by a locked gate and hope that the staff 100 yards away in the office will see you and come let you out or in. No doubt in its glory days there was an attendant on duty for many hours/day--no more. If you do get the gate opened, then you can't just cross the road and enter the beach as you'd expect because there is a 2nd fence/gate that is also locked, and it's never open! Also IF the do get thru the property's beach gate (before you get tired of waiting and walk all the way back to the lobby/streetside and then use the public parking lot),then you walk about 150 yards up this road to the public access gate. Don't pay the $2 entrance fee--show them your Sandals key to be able to use 'your' beach. It's a nice enough beach but not great, and the easterly 1/2 is blocked off to you as it's part of an all-inclusive, so fenced down to the water's edge and guarded.
There are NO beach chairs for 'your hotel.' There used to be, but the only ones that are for the Sandcastle guest are broken up plastic, so your relegated to pay $5 to rent one, either from the little public beach equipment hut or up the beach at the ROOMS resort.
Many of the units are now privately owned and rented to the interiors will vary. Our landlady, Jennifer, owns 4 and the 2 we saw also were in need of updating, though not as much as the exterior building and grounds. Tiny ants are a problem in humid climates and 3rd world countries. They were quite prominent and annoying/disgusting in the kitchen.The cleaning lady was nice, though was supposed to come 6 days/wk but made it more like 4.5.
I'd rate it 2 stars IF they weren't trying to mislead the traveling public with photos and alleged attributes that are flat dishonest!! Be prepared to be disappointed!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank gustaferic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

This place needs Upgrades! This is not a luxurious resort as it is falsely advertised. In order to attract N. American tourists it needs a major overhaul. It has more security gates than Fort Knox!
Problem is that people have to wait a long time before anyone comes around to open these gates so you can go to the beach or come back in. If the gate is closed you have to go all around the building thru town to get to your room. We have stayed there for many years and spent our winters in a private apartment that was very nice. The grounds are kept nice by hard working gardeners, The pool is always closed and needs work. We have had up to 30 people with us, friends as well as family renting various apartments, but they will not come back to Sandcastles. Nothing ever worked properly. Everything was rusted, corroded, no utensils, etc etc..They have gone to other Carribean destinations. Even other returning Snow Birds - and there is a good number of us - have found other accomodations here in Jamaica. The way Sandcastles is run is an insult to our intelligence! I really feel sorry for people who have private apartments ..I think that they are all in a sinking ship.It's sad to see your investment going down the drain.The best thing that can happen here-because it is prime property- is that some larger hotel chain buys it - guts it out and or demolishes it and puts up a descent hotel.

Room Tip: would not recommend to anyone, thereis no fitness center, there is no room service etc.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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10  Thank bboomer52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2013

We stayed in apt D19,this is a a owner operated condo. It is well maintained and cleaned.There
is daily service for tidying the apt. The beech is accessed from the back gate,which has a camera in place to alert security,who will let you in and out. It takes a few minutes for security to walk from the front, so you need to wait, but they come. There is 24 hour security on property.The bar and restaurant is closed., but there are many eating places,and 2 supermarkets in walking distance.
It is quiet,but we felt safe. The outdoor pool is cleaned everyday,does need painting. Apt has working ceiling fan in living/dining,and working A/C in living/dining/b/room. Has seaview.

Room Tip: Best to book with private owner. As those are usually better maintained.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank V D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013

We stayed at sandcastle "resort" Dec 23-31 2012 . We are very thankful for the reviews we read as we knew what to expect and what not to expect from the facility. First of all we stayed in a privately owned unit A31. 2 BR 2 bath unit. Small,quaint but in need of repair. When we arrived we were greeted by a young lady who showed us around the unit and told us how to work the hot water heater button. She also stressed to us that the prison like door that led to the upstairs patio should ALWAYS be locked before we leave. (Kinda scary) for the first day the upstairs did not have cold water therefore we couldn't flush the toilet or take a shower. We called the owner the next morning and she had a maintenance man there in a timely manner. Though we have a feeling the girl who met us had to know this was an issue as she was also the housekeeper and the bathroom mats were soak and wet when we arrived AND the same maintenance man was there when we arrived. Yet it was not fixed until we called the owner. There are NO amenities at this place. No continental breakfast,no room service,no bar...no fun. As a matter of fact after talking to a couple from NY we found that nearly the whole facility was closed down due to not meeting habitable standards. LOL..except for privately owned homes like we rented. There were ants upstairs,some fixtures and fans did not work in the home and the stairs were falling apart and we all almost slipped and fell several times going up and down them. The "resort" was centrally located and you could walk to restaurants,shopping and grocery stores. You did have free entry to the beach behind the facility but you had to show your key and walk around 3 blocks as there was never anyone at the gates of " resort" to let us out the closer back way. There was a pool but why use the pool when there is a beach. It felt more like a rundown apartment complex rather than a "resort". We did not find ANYONE ever at the front desk and got all of our questions answered by the security guards.
Overall we enjoyed our time in Jamaica but NOT at Sandcastles and we will never stay there again. The owner was very nice and even bought my mom a bday cake and brought it all the way from Kingston but it just does not make up for the poorly maintained facility. The sandcastle resort website is very much false advertising! This is not a resort this is a centrally located rundown apartment complex. I just thank all of you who posted comments as we kinda knew what we were getting ourselves into. I gave it two stars for location and pleasant owner nothing else.

Room Tip: Don't stay here BUT if you insist rent privately
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Lexy23_505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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