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Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

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Winnipeg, Manitoba
posts: 14
reviews: 6
Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

My husband and I are going away for our anniversary and we have decided to go to a Sandals resort . We went to one in the Bahamas last year and we loved it.

I have narrowed it down to St. Lucia (which we have never been) or as a back up Jamaica (which we went to a tiny resort before not Sandals).

I want romance, good food, nice beach (either clear and calm or fun and wavy is ok), swim up bar, hot tub, and the chance to meet some nice couples.

What would your top choices be?

I think Grande sounds nice and lively I am only 30 would you say its fun?, Regency how is the atmosphere is it romantic?, and Halcyon what is the beach like? My back up resort is going to be in Jamaica, maybe the Whitehouse? Prob would like Negril too but I fills up fast so probably don't stand a chance.

That is the other thing I am going to get a discount on the rooms through my work but we will be booking only a few weeks before travel dates so this is why I need a list of at least 3 in order of preference. As resorts can book up.

So how would you rate the Sandals and why?

Medicine Hat...
posts: 15
reviews: 10
1. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

We just got back from the Grande in St. Lucia on Monday and loved it. We are in our late 40's and met couples from their 20's to 60's and all seemed to be having fun. We met several couples that moved from the Regency or tried to because of the terrain and the poor beach conditions. The beach there is very open and had red flags just about everyday. The Grande has a very lively main pool area with a swim up bar. It also has at least two large hot tubs, one of which is just off the main pool. The beach is nice but not long. The water is clear and calm as the resort is in a cove. The Grande also has many more watersports than the other two in St. Lucia including water sking and snorkeling within a 5 min boat ride from their pier. We visited the Halcyon and found it very quiet in comparison, but was very nice if you want to really just relax. The beach there also seemed quite rough. Of the three in St. Lucia I would pick the Grande.

Although I have not been the Whitehouse, that was the one that we considered instead of the Grande. I spoke with several people last week at the Grande who stayed at the Whitehouse and some perfered it over the Grande and some felt they were at par with each other. The Whitehouse apparenlty has a much larger beach and is a newer resort with a few more diner options.

What ever you pick I know you will have a blast, good luck on making the tough choice.

Malibu
posts: 179
reviews: 1
2. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

>>nice beach & every thing else

Hands down The Grande

Halcyon

Very quaint & the beach is hit or miss {wave wise}

Regency

The beach is rough there the majority of the time. Great pool & view {hillside} resort

Lets just say when we were there a few weeks ago our beach days were great at the Grande & they were red flagging it at the others & they were coming to our resort. That should give you an idea. In fact we were supposed to do a Grande Regency split & decided to stay put.

As far as Jamaica, know it well & love it. It's hard to compare the two but Sandals Negril is #1 White house is nice but out in the middle of no where

Keizer, Oregon
posts: 1,501
reviews: 3
3. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

Hopefully you realize that responses to your question are highly subjective. Everyone has different tastes and, IMHO, saying any one resort is best or "hands down" the better choice could be misleading.

Having said this, my ratings would be: First, Halcyon, Second Regency and Third Grande. But, I like the quiet, centrally located Halcyon with a fantastic staff. I am also an older fart. (Read my reviews).

We too have stayed at the Royal Bahamain (10 nights in 2003) and at Sandals MoBay (8 nights in 2001). Also, we have visited Sandals Negril. My guess is that if you loved the Royal Bahamian you will be blown away by either the St Lucian or the Jamaican Sandals. The Bahamain was our least favorite Sandals, not technically in the Caribbean and a totally different geography than Jamaica or St Lucia.

Finally, depending on the length of your vacation, you might try spliting your stay between two of the resorts on either island.

Showin' beats tellin', every time. See for yourself. Read the reviews and research the reviewers. Ask lots of questions here and check out the other contributions by those who respond to those questions. See if they seem to have tastes similar to your own. Then, take the plunge. Always remember, whatever resort you finally decide on, the others are still there to visit on another vacation.

Don't forget to pack your chill!

Happy trails, Dutch

New York City, New...
posts: 33
4. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

#1 Loved Sandals Grande Ocho Rios in Jamaica. It's a huge property with two sides (used to be two separate resorts). The landscaping is outstanding. Nice beach with three different sections to chose from. Beautifully laid out. Lovely atmosphere, great service. Ocean views from restaurants... priceless.

#2 Sandals Negril is nice but we preferred the beaches at the "Beaches" Resorts also owned by Sandals. You can walk to "Beaches Sandy Bay" along the beach from Sandals Negril. "Beaches Negril" also has a great beach you can visit. You can go to the restaruants there also. Sandals Negril has a true "beach resort feel to it".

#3 Sandals in the Bahamas by far had the best restaruants and quality of food. The food at the other resorts was good but cannot compare to the Bahamas. That being said I liked everything else about the other resorts better.

IMHO the beaches in Jamaica were much better, so is the vibe in Jamaica. All the resorts are romantic to me. All have swim up bars. How much fun you have is up to you. Will soon stay at the Grand in St. Lucia and vist the other two Sandal while there.

Lexington...
posts: 229
reviews: 29
5. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

I agree that this is all so subjective! But FWIW, here is my opinion:I love the Halcyon in St. Lucia. Would return in a heartbeat! Great access to the other two Sandals. An intimate feel that can't be beat. Lush and gorgeous; and friendly people and friendly staff. Have not stayed at the other St. Lucia Sandals but have visited them and prefer to stay at Halcyon and take the shuttle to the other two.

In Jamaica: love SRC!!!! Easy access to MoBay, but MoBay is too big for my taste. Recently stayed at SDR. Liked it, but not as much as SRC. Also a long trip from the airport. DISLIKED the SGOR intensely. Went via shuttle from SDR. Hated the size and layout so much that we did not even return to try the other restaurants. Read my reviews of each of the places.

Of course this is so subjective. But so far my top choices are Halcyon and SRC, followed next by SDR. Considering trying Negril. We prefer more intimate size resorts! Just my opinion!

Croydon, United...
posts: 292
6. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

Dutchor is right - it's horses for courses. What suits one will hated by another.

Enjoyed Sandals Negril, nice sandy beach, a bit narrow at one end, getting wider from 15-50 ft. Nice restaurants, good diving & sailing, good vibe.

Enjoyed Regency, liked varying terrain (others hate it), advantages of 3 for 1, diving excellent, although a bit of a pain to have to get a bus to go diving. Beach red flagged quite often (fear of litigation??). Restaurants good, new manager, trying very hard. The Bluffs would be good for romantics and even if you don't room there, you can still use bar/pool/hot tub etc.

Regency has calmer beach with easy access to watersports. Seemed to have a lot of large groups there intent on enjoying temselves.

Bottom line - do your research and base your decision of what is important to you.

Once you've decide, pack your chill & enjoy!!

Minneapolis...
posts: 100
reviews: 1
7. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

I have been to the Sandals in the Bahamas and my husband (then fiance) and I loved so much we thought we would try another Sandals for our Honeymoon and opted for Jamaica. We went to Negril over new years last year. We had such a terrible trip that Funjet refunded half of it and Sandals gave us 5 nights free - all of which is pretty unheard of. We were so disappointed. We saw MoBay and it is literally on the airport's runway. From what we understood from others we have talked to Whitehouse would be your best bet considering how you loved the Bahamas. I sure wish we would have heard that before we spent our time and money in Negril.

We are debating between St. Johns and Antigua. Anyone have opinions to share?

Bristol UK
posts: 2,939
reviews: 80
8. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

It is all relative, but here's my bit-

Out of the 3 in St Lucia- 1) Regency loved the setting, particularly on the Bluffs, lovely staff 2) Halcyon, lovely little intimate pretty hotel, friendly staff 3) Grande - not keen on this one apart from Gordon's & Barefoot. Main part of hotel like station concourse (to me), beach didn't look like other Caribbean beaches (have been told it's man made), no island atmosphere (BUT others love it there)

Bahamas equal 1st with Regency overall but I agree best food there (but La Toc & Marios, both St Lucia equal it). Went to Antigua 7 years ago, had a good enough holiday but somehow failed to stand out & the food not as good as others BUT they have extended it greatly since then & more restaurants /suites added SO may try again sometime.

I fancy Whitehouse or Royal Caribbean but husband wants to return to Bahamas or RSL next time.......wonder who will win, I don't care as long as I get the sun & someone else is doing the cooking.........woman's perspective.

Good luck with your choices, Tabby.

Winnipeg
posts: 124
reviews: 2
9. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

another Winnipeger here wondering about the same things actually. we are going for our honeymoon later this year and this is interesting.

As to the Sandals resorts in Jamaica, we were at SDandals Mobay last year. LOVED it. The one drawback people see is that it's right beside the airport and planes take off literally over the resort. Didn't bug me at all. It gave you a reason to pause the conversation and have a sip of your drink. That's how long it takes. THe SRC was really nive and newer but didn't find it as fun as SMB. They're both in great settings and have fabulous beaches. THey're also about 5 minutes apart so you can always go back and forth it you want.

Bristol UK
posts: 2,939
reviews: 80
10. Re: Which Sandals do you prefer, in order?

MB from Winnipeg, does the SRC suffer from airport noise as well? I really like the look of that one as it has the off shore island (which we loved when in the Bahamas) Tabby.