My husband and I absolutely love Sandals All-Inclusive Resorts. I know, no surprise there. From the beaches and relaxing nature of the resort to the incredible food and lavish excursions, what’s not to love?! But one of our favorite “why’s” of why we love Sandals is from the financial aspect of the resorts.
Our love affair with Sandals and Beaches All-Inclusive Resorts began in 2016 when we honeymooned in Grenada in the Caribbean. We actually fell into it at the recommendation of a friend because I was quite exhausted from planning our destination mountain wedding during the previous year and a half. Nothing sounded better than an all-inclusive where I didn’t have to plan a thing except what spa experience to get!
Now, if you’ve ever checked out a Sandals vacation, you know that the initial price can seem like a lot. But what I have found is by the time you add up all the extras with other “all-inclusive's”, you are looking at similar pricing with a lot less quality. That is not really the kind of fun surprise you want on your vacation. You may be wondering how I actually know this seeing as all of our Caribbean vacations are now Sandals-only (by choice), but we learned the hard way a time or two, which solidified our future all-inclusive choices.
In an effort to “save money,” it was suggested that we stay at another all-inclusive resort for the first night of our honeymoon since we flew in later in the evening. The resort we found did not offer transportation from the airport on arrival. We had to wait in a long line after hours of traveling to arrange and pay for our own transportation, which included an airport surcharge. We did happen to notice those heading straight to Sandals were immediately whisked away to the resort. We did not realize the value of the included transportation to and from the airport with Sandals until that moment. We got to ponder that mistake while waiting for our transportation.
Once we got to our “other resort,” it definitely appeared weathered even though the online reviews gave it three stars. At that moment and many to come, we definitely realized the risk of blindly trusting online reviews instead of using a travel agent. Our check-in process was also long and sweat-inducing as we had to drag our luggage across the resort, and up hills and stairs to get to our very humid and musty room, which is not something I envision doing on a relaxing vacation. The front desk also informed us that they only had one of the two restaurants open and its theme that evening was “far eastern” foods. The limited food selection was oddly gelatinous (not kidding) which was not appealing even though we were ravenous after traveling all day. We gave the food a try, but ultimately our dinner consisted of some airline peanuts. True story. We tried to catch some evening entertainment, but there was none to be found, so we waited for better luck in the morning which was also not to be found. Even though the resort had gorgeous views of the breathtaking water, it seemed to be missing the myriad of water activities that it boasted of online. Feeling defeated and disappointed, we decided on an early departure to Sandals.
Upon arrival to Sandals, we entered the gates of a resort that had European elegance which was enveloped by a neatly manicured tropical paradise of palm trees and pink hibiscus trees. Water features throughout the property immediately washed you in tranquility along with cozy seating nestled all along the resort. We could hardly believe we were only five minutes away from our previous resort as it felt like a different world. We were greeted with cooling towels and the resort’s signature cocktail, and were whisked off to the Club lounge while our bags were shuttled off to our suite. We were assigned a concierge to assist with the check-in process. In less than 10 minutes, we were informed that we could immediately enjoy one of the 10 restaurants they offered, partake in water activities like kayaking, Hobie cats, stand-up paddle boarding, etc. or jump in the pool and head over to the swim-up bars, all of which were already included in the price we paid.
In addition to that, oh my goodness the FOOD! If you’ve read one of my many other blog posts, you know that food is a BIG deal to us and that vacations are planned around the meals. I usually heavily research and plan out what restaurants we will go to months before our vacation happens, but that was not something I had the luxury of doing while planning my wedding. Luckily, this is not something I had to worry about at Sandals because there were so many restaurant options and all of amazing quality! Did you know you can get steak, lobster(when in season), and champagne every single meal if you want, and it's already included!?! I do highly recommend hitting up some of the other restaurants like the Hibachi Grill or the French restaurant too. One of my favorite things to do is ending the evening at the Café de Paris for some crepes or even starting there early in the morning for a cappuccino, which is, you guessed it, already included! I have been to so many resorts now, I can truly say this is one of my favorite things about Sandals resorts.
So the million-dollar question, what’s actually included with Sandals or Beaches All-Inclusive Resort?
The answer: EVERYTHING!!
*Round trip transfers to and from the airport
*Amazing accommodations and incredible customer service
*Unlimited Premium Spirits and Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Wines
*All meals including lobster and aged beef
*Motorized water-sports, including 2 divers per day for certified divers
*Water activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Hobie cats, etc.
*Land Sports, including golf in Ocho Rios, St. Lucia, and Exuma (Bahamas)
*All entertainment (nightly shows, pianos bars, pubs, beach parties, etc.)
*All tips and taxes
Additional Beaches inclusions:
*Childcare and kid's programs throughout the day
*Admission to Pirate's Island Waterparks
And probably the thing we’re most grateful for in a trip like this is peace of mind! Knowing that your money is going towards a trip that you’ll have zero regrets about and plenty of amazing memories is worth every penny. So the next time you’re considering a beach getaway, consider Sandals and Beaches, and be sure to reach out to me to help your relaxing vacation start in the planning process.