We stayed at Sandals Negril the first week of June. Upon arrival at the airport, we got our bags and found the Sandals lounge. There was a lady with a clipboard who took our bags, put the sticker corresponding to which Sandals we were staying at on them, and then a man took the bags and put them on a cart. I assumed this man would be handling our bags and taking them to the shuttle so I tipped him... this was not the case. He simply put them on the cart. My wife and I stepped into the lounge to use the restroom. While we were in the restroom I heard the anouncement that the bus going to Sandals Negril was leaving so we didn't get to enjoy any drinks or snacks at the lounge but, that was ok because we were ready to get to the resort. The man who took our bags to the bus wouldn't leave until every couple tipped him. That was a bit awkward when a man who didn't speak English didn't know what he was asking for and took a while to realize he was basically being forced to tip. Our driver was on the phone basically the whole trip to the resort and therefore drove incredibly slow. What would have been just over an hour was well over 2.
When we finally arrived we were greeted with cold towels and taken to the concierge lounge to be checked in. We were served the drink of the day as we filled out our paperwork in a nice air-conditioned room. After check-in, our concierge took us to our room. We had booked a Concierge Beachfront Walkout and we soon realized he had taken us to a 2nd story room that was far from the beach. I told him this was not our room and he said it was a "complimentary upgrade" and that this was in fact a butler suite but, since we didn't pay for a butler, we would still just have concierge. I did lots of research on the rooms before booking and I was quite certain this was no upgrade. I asked to see the room we booked to make a comparison and he complied. We definitely chose to stay in the Beachfront Walkout because the ease of access to the beach was what had drawn us to this resort in the first place. This room was smaller, but I knew it would be before I booked it. However, the minibar was bigger in this room.
As for the room itself, it could use some updates, but we were satisfied. The AC unit is above the door and is supposed to cool the whole room. At night, it would get a bit too cold, and during the day, it wouldn't be cool enough. It would be VERY hot after a shower since there isn't a fan in the bathroom to pull the steam out and the AC didn't blow into the bathroom. The bed was nice and comfortable, the TV stations were in English mainly, the view was amazing, and the closet space was very useful. One night we were awoken around 2am by a smell that greatly resembled an electrical fire. We looked around and noticed the smell was stronger outside so I called the front desk, room service, the concierge, the operator, and no one answered. Finally, I asked the security ranger on the beach patrol and he said something about fumigating. It was really weird and a VERY strong smell.
The service was good but left something to be desired. This was our 3rd all-inclusive resort and we were a bit shocked to have to go the pool every morning to grab towels. At the other resorts, there are workers that grab towels and follow you to your seats, and then lay the towels out for you. It wasn't a really big deal, just something we missed. Also, you have to go EARLY and grab some chairs because they fill up quick. We found it to be annoying that people would go and reserve chairs and we would either never see them or they would only come out for an hour or so and still keep their stuff on them so no one else could use them. We didn't ever have a raft but, we heard some couples talking about how they got one and kept it in their room so they wouldn't lose it to someone else. It's a very "every man for himself" type setting there among the guests.
While on the beach, you get offered shells, ganja, mushrooms, bracelets, cigarettes, coconuts, braids, jet-ski, ganja, parasailing, and more ganja. Basically, if they offer anything, it followed by the offering of "smoke." The security can't keep them off the property, they can just keep them from harrassing you after you say no. One of the security rangers, Clark, was very friendly and helped make our vacation memorable and fun. Aside from vendors who don't work for Sandals, you also get hit up by the spa workers at least once a day wanting you to schedule a massage or treatment. The service and attention we enjoyed was from the servers that worked the beach from the bar and the photographers. The servers would bring drinks to your chair so you didn't have to walk to the bar and they were pretty attentive to our beverage needs. One day on the beach a photographer, Dale, came and took our pictures and we booked an evening session with him that night. He was very nice to us and he got some great pictures that we purchased before we left. We would occassionally run into him around the resort and he would go out of his way to come say hello to us and see how we were doing. Great guy.
The food at this resort was the best we have had at an all-inclusive so far. The nachos at the Beach Bistro are amazing, we had them at least 3 times while we were there. The pizza at Bella Napoli was greasy but very good. Breakfast at Sundowner's was our favorite. Kimonos was very entertaining and they give you PLENTY of food. Cucina Romana has a beautiful location and the dishes are nicely decorated and delicious. Bayside confused us a bit because it is shown everywhere as a buffet and we were tired so we didn't want to get too dressed up for dinner so we decided on Bayside. When we got there, we were seated and handed a French menu. Maybe we didn't read something right but, the food was excellent. The bread they serve was one of the best parts and the steak was good as well. The room service menu is basically just sandwiches for lunch and dinner so it could definitely use some more items to choose from.
We spent most of our time at the beach but, we did visit the main pool and swim-up bar for a couple of hours one day. The playmakers made it fun with some games and the pool was nice.
This resort was our favorite when it came to the food, beach, and room location. All in all, we had a pretty great time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.