I recently returned from a 3 night stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean. I was there for work and was doing on-site research for Dream Makers Vacation Services. In a nutshell, this is a fabulous resort! and I highly recommend it!
It took about 20 minutes to get through customs at the airport after landing. Then, I came to the Sandals/Beaches lounge and the timing was great. I was ushered straight to my transfer. Within 10 short minutes, we arrived at the resort. The proximity of the resorts allows travelers to make the most of their precious vacation time.
Upon check-in, I was given a warm greeting by Hughill my Butler. If you can afford Butler service, you will not regret it. I also had Ellis as well (with Damion subsituting one night). The warm, attention to detail with Butler Service is second to none. He whisked me off to my room which was Room 127 in the new Clarence Building. It is an end River Suite on the first floor and I loved it. The craftmanship on this room was outstanding. From the gorgeous tiles in the shower to the luxurious bedding, this room was stunning and I never wanted to leave. I needed to do some work on vacation, so spent time on my patio answering e-mails (internet is additional and worked fine!). When I became hot, I would take a few steps into the "River" section of my suite. I enjoyed spending time there. Even though this area is only a few months old, the landscape is lush and gorgeous. My Butlers offered drink service and also brought me my lunch one day (so I would not miss any sun time).
Although I had not had much sleep over the last two days, I decided to have dinner that night at the Thai Restaurant. This is located on their very own private island and reservations are required (do this soon after you check in). You get to take a boat over there and it was really beautiful the night that I went. I had "no problem" getting reservations for this. My meal was great (a mix of things but I really enjoyed the rice, chicken and sauce) and drink service was attentive. It's a lovely, romantic place for dinner! Numerous refurbishments have been made recently to the island and it is a very pleasant place to spend a day. During the afternoon, a lunch buffet is served and they also have cabanas that you can rent for an additional charge.
My room was cleaned before 11:00 am each day which was great, since I was never disturbed later in the day. The room was immaculate. Having a clean room is important to me, so I was very pleased.
On Mondays, they have the Managers Wine and Cheese Party and I decided to attend that. It was impressive how many persons (staff wise) were in attendance for this. The staff here truly has pride in what they do and it shows. After some wine, cheese, appetizers and staff introductions they gave away a few prizes to some very excited guests! After this, the group moved over to the Chef's Challenge which is another relatively new idea at the resort. In summary, the chefs had 4 different culinary stations based on different themes and the guests ate their creations and voted on them. Fun! I stuck to the Asian dishes which were outstanding. I had the pleasure of spending time with the resort Sales Manager, Andrea who is a delight to speak with. She has great vacation knowledge and enthusiasm-hope you get to meet her!
Later I returned to my room for Room Service (a benefit of the Concierge and Butler Categories) and ordered some type of Apple Crisp from the Pub. Delicious! It was so great that I ordered it two nights in a row!
I purchased a Reflexology treatment at the spa. My therapist, Sherna was outstanding and I felt great afterwards. The spa at this resort is small but they have a long list of treatments available and decent pricing, including many outdoor treatments.
The best asset of this resort is its staff. Leadership starts at the top and Iain M. the General Manager is an outstanding leader with creative ideas, excellent taste, and a warm and charming personality. Sandals is fortunate to have him. Rick, the Hotel Manager is constantly talking to guests and never stops moving. The guests love him. Leighton is the Guest Relations Manager and guests just adore him as well. He has a fantastic memory (remembers details from guests who were with him years ago) and is always smiling. Nicky-Ann is the friendly Concierge Manager and to say that she is organized, would be an understatement. I am sure that I am forgetting others but the Royal simply has an outstanding team.
This resort is for anyone who appreciates good food, outstanding service and a friendly atmosphere. It is not for those who want to party until dawn (although there is a lot of fun to be had if one wants some nightlife) but was a perfect fit for me. I am already plotting my return! If you have any specific questions, please ask.