We needed a long weekend get-away so badly - out of the wintery New York weather and stress! We booked through Amex as they tend to offer above average vacation experiences. My husband is an "island fanatic" - traveling to the Carribbean at least a couple times per year usually to higher end properties. While we are careful to review other travelers' experiences - taking time to carefully check out services offered - we read this one completely wrong and it was a real miss.
The property is nicely laid out, room was a good size and clean, the water is beautiful, and it's a short ride to the airport. That's all the good we found. Buildings are quite dated and feel tired- even the newly renovated tower where we stayed. It just didn't feel fresh. The main inside bar smelled of vomit the whole time we were there. The rest of the experience was just as others described in some of the negative reviews here. Service was slow to poor at best across facility. It's as if everyone is paid on an hourly basis and productivity and service are of no concern. Many times when I went looking for wait staff poolside or in a couple of the restaurants, they were relaxing and visiting with each other in small groups.
We did not learn until after arriving that room service was not available across whole facility - you had to be in the buildings with butlers to have it. We learned this the hard way when I became ill the first night we were on property. My husband requested rrom service as we had not eaten all day and we were told there was no room service. When he told them I was ill, he was told the only thing we could order was either a hamburger or a turkey burger - this was after speaking to 4 people . After escalating the situaton to the manager on duty, we were able to get real food about an hour later.
The following day we requested a room upgrade so we could have a real resort experience. While they found a room, we were told the upcharge was +$250.00 per night or +$300.00 with a butler! We passed! We called Amex to see if we could change properties. Afterall, if we were paying for a premium product we wanted to see the value. We learned at that point that the agreement with Sandals upon check-in is that you cannot leave early (without being charged full amount). Our trip with air cost over $5000.00 for 4 very uncomfortable nights!!
It's very rare to feel relieved when your vacation is over but we were so happy to return to the snowstorm in NY! This was a bad experience all the way around. No more Sandals properties for our family - EVER!!!