My boyfriend and I stayed at the Sandals from October 30 2012 to November 6 2012, right after hurricane Sandy. This is our 5th vacation together staying at all inclusive restorts, that are 5 star acommadations. Just a little background information for you readers. We are 27 and 26 years old and go on vacation together once a year and always try somewhere different.
When we arrived at the airport everything went smoothly, luggage and customs took no time at all. (The airport was new and only opened about 1 week) There was a small Sandals desk, like we were told there would be. We did not have to go up to it because the rep was waiting right by the doors. He looked up our name on his list and advised us that our car would be there in about 5-10 minutes to pick us up.
We were picked up in about the 10 minutes as he said in a Royles Royce. Our driver was extremely nice, took our bags right away (all of them, he would not let us carry not one!) He made sure to open my door first and then went around to the other side to open my boyfriends door. He was trying to be very "proper" I guess you could say but once we started talking he seemed to relax abit. He was more then happy to give us a little hisorty of the Island as well as answer and questions that we asked. The ride to the resort was only about 15 minutes from the airport.
Once at the resort we were greated right away with warm towels. Our butler was there within 2 minutes of arriving. After having read all the reviews we desised to spend a little more money and book the Royal Village Honeymoon Villa Suite with butler service. Our first butler Shamal told us that our room was not quite ready (I expected this from reading all the reviews, the rooms never seem to be ready when you arrive), no big deal is was right around noon so he took us to the Royal Cafe to have lunch and told us he would be back in a bit to check on us. As we were walking to the Royal Cafe we pointed out where the restaurants where as well as a few other things. The food at the Royal Cafe was okay, burgers, sandwiches, friends, that sort of thing, nothing special. Service was great, and staff were really friendy. After lunch Shamal had not come back so we desided to talk a walk around the resort.
Shamal came and found us around 1:30. He had let us know that he had upgraded us to a Royal Bahimian Oceanview One Bedroom Suite. That room was located in the Windsor Tower one the 6th floor. The room was very large with a bedroom and seperate living/dining area. The balcony was also huge and wraped around the entire room. He explained that our reservation for dinner were made for us and gave us a list of the restaurants with dates and times of reservations. As well as the cell phone to get intouch with the butlers (if you loose or break it apparanetly it is $150 charge to your room so be careful!) Also let us know about the tipping policy. Butlers are suppost to be the only ones to accept a tip, the tips are included for the other staff in the resort. (If you do want to tip someone else they will accept it, so if you feel you would like to go ahead) The only issue with the room was that it was facing out of resort over looking a parking lot and apartments. Due to the huricane there was construction going on the was noicey so you could not keep your balaony open. About an hour later our other 2 butlers came to introduce them selfs, Perez and Latoya. The came up with a shrimp cocktail for us, nice little touch.
Our first night was at Casanova. You do not need reservations, but our butlers had made them for us. If you dont have reservations the wait was about 30 minutes. For some reason too our room number was writen 1363 instead of 1636 so whenever we went for dinner we had to figure out what room number the reservations were under. We both enjoyed the meal and found we had great service. The butlers came to check on us and asked what our plans were for tomorrow, and asked if we wanted a beach chair or chairs by the pool reserved.
Breakfast at spices was average, normal breakfast food nothing special. But the hostess that works there Mon-Fri is soooo nice! Alwasy smiling and so pleasant!
We found our chair by the pool near Spices restaurant. We ended up calling Perez and asked if he could come speak with us about our room. We explained to him about the contruction and noice as well as the view and asked if we could have any other room facing into the resort instead. He let us know he would speak with the manager and get back to us. The next morning he had the same room facing into the resort for us (room 1605). That made a 100% difference!
We also had a credit for the spa for $150 due to the room be booked. We had to ask our butlers about it, Im not sure that if we didnt ask that we would have been told about it. It would have been nice if they had reminded us about it. They did confirm that yes we did have the credit and told us that when we were ready to call them and they would book it for us. We found it easier to just book with the lady in the windor tower loby. If you look at the prices, they are crazy! A massage will run you min $130! I go to spas often in Toronto and its never that much! A facial will cost about $120. For those prices we expected great quality. And I have to say this is the worst massage and facial that I had ever recieved. It ened up costing around $500 minus our credit but then they add 12% tip for the spa staff. They dont even do that in Toronto, I feel you should be able to tip according to the serice and satisfaction that you recieve not being forced to. All in all save your money dont go to the spa, wait till you get home.
Gordons on the Pier was broken due to the hurricane so they relocated it to the Royal Cafe for dinner. If you are not a butler guest dont waist your money on this restaurant, the food was average, not worth it. We originally had reseravtions there twice but cancelled the second one.
The private island was closed the first 3 days we were there. They had to make repairs and clean after the hurincane. That is to be expected, also the peir where the boat would pick you up from was damaged so the boat could not come over. The 4th day the made alternative aragements to get to the island. They had a bus pick you up and drive us over the the main docks on the island and grabbed the boat from there. I thought this was great, they could have just said the island was closed untill our peir at the resort was fixed, but insead they went the extra mile to make it happen. We ended up on the island 2 days and enjoyed both of them. Great way to spend your day relaxing.
Baccarat was one of the better meals as well as the Crystal room. Crystal room did not have our reservation one night and we were told a 45 minute wait but Shamal ended up showing up and within 5 minutes of his arriving we were seated no problem. Also Ashley in the Crystal Room is amazing! Kimonos was more of a show and lower quality food, but it was a fun night anyways. They had moved the restaurant from the island that you go to for dinner to spices. We wanted to eat there one night, for some reason our butlers did not reserve that one for us, when we asked our butlers could not get us it, they were booked solid. I was a little disapointed, I thought that is why you have butler service.
After everything said and done the service was great, All the staff are so happy to help, no one is rude, they are always smiling. Dont waist money on the spa, its not worth it. Butlers were a nice touch, Latoya made us a bubble bath with rose peddles one night. The food was not was I thought it would be, there is so much hype built up around sandles I just did not see it. For the money you spend there are much nicer and less expensive places you can you down south. Look up the Westin Playa Conchal in Costa Rica!
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.