This was our first time at a Sandals and any all-inclusive. We opted for the Butler room in the Balmoral Tower:
-Gorgeous ocean location
-Good food (pizza was unexpectedly good) and drinks (not watered down)
-Good service, friendly staff who try hard
-Beautiful external grounds and building
-Excellent spa (we both got a massage)
-Great gym with varied equipment and excellent view of the ocean
-Lovely private island---more natural than the mainland and worth the trip
-Loved the fire-pits at night with comfy lounges
-At this time of year, no fighting for seats on the beach or by the pools
-Butler service had its pluses such as reserving seats as needed. They also gave us nice treats in our room such as cheese plates and desserts
-Well-stocked in-room bar including spring water, wine, vodka, rum, and scotch--and of course it was all-inclusive
-Nice bathroom amenities such as full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion---that kinda smelled like a daiquiri!
-Nice to have a quiet pool and a loud/rowdy pool
-Dancers in the revue were talented and revue had good choreography
-Car service from the airport to the resort was great
-Latoya the Butler was thorough and professional--kudos to her!
Could be improved:
-Single elevator in Balmoral Tower near our room was broken for a day and a half. We took the stairs from our room but there was often trash/food/wet towels/etc in the stairways---kinda gross
-Leak in the ceiling in our bathroom after heavy rain. Leak was above the toilet and went into the toilet...and liquid was yellow. Not sure what to make of that. Also, seemed like parts of the resort were experiencing plumbing back-ups as a result of the rain (other bathrooms closed)
-Inconsistent ferry dock times (could be due to windy weather)
-Pools were advertised to be heated but didn't seem heated---way too cold for this calibre of resort
-It rained on one of our days and the resort didn't really seem prepared for it. Would have hoped that the staff would take the seating/cushions in before the storm since they were useless afterward (no place to sit) and there didn't seem to be much of a contingency plan for activities
-Butler Service: As noted, Latoya was great. However, we didn't really ask for much of our butlers (gave us cell phones in case we wanted to contact them). We're not really high-maintenance people and we like to do our own thing. The butlers seemed oddly insistent on us sticking to the agenda they created for us and seemed to deter us from deviating from any prescribed plans.
-Resort seemed to wait on critical mass before proceeding with activities, etc: For example: seating at Kimonos--had an 8pm reservation but they waited to seat us until nearly 8:30 until they had a full table. At the dock, the ferry seemed to be delayed until there was a boat-load of guests ready to depart
-Even at 5 floors up (with a beach-facing room), we could still hear the drum-beats and noise from the nightly entertainment. Turning on the fan helped
Overall, a great getaway to a gorgeous location. We loved the ease of being at an all-inclusive but there are a few little things that the resort can do to improve the guest experience. We'd definitely try Sandals again either in the Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean.