What's Included At Sandals Resorts?

Sandals Resorts All-Inclusive

What's Included At Sandals Resorts?

This tends to be one of the first questions my clients ask about Sandals Resorts when reaching out to me to help them book their stays. Seems that no matter how long they've searched the internet, the answer to their question is not exactly clear and that's what eventually leads them to me. In an attempt to help others understand I've decided to tackle this popular question in my blog post today.


What is an "All-Inclusive Resort"?

First, I really should explain that not every all-inclusive resort is alike. The general idea for an all-inclusive resorts is that your basics are included. At most basic all-inclusive resorts this means your room cost covers the following:
  • Meals at most restaurants on properties (at select resorts "speciality" restaurants may cost extra).
  • All drinks including select alcoholic drinks (usually well liquor, the cheapest brands).
  • If water sports are included then it will most likely be kayaks and hobie cats (sailing).
  • If snorkeling is included it normally means that they provide the gear and you can snorkel in the water on the beach.
  • WiFi at times may also included.
The list isn't too long and of course it depends on each resort chain, but for the most part all-inclusive resorts do include a lot, but Sandals boasts an impressive list of inclusions that put many other resorts to shame.

What Does Sandals Resorts Include?

Sandals prides themselves on offering "more quality inclusions than any other resort on the planet" as per their own tag line.  How does this differ from the basic all-inclusive resort inclusions?  Let's take a look at what they offer guests, free of any additional charges:

Discovery Dining

Sandals doesn't just include meals, it includes anything available to eat on property. Their Discovery Dining program brings cuisine from all around the world right to your plate and all you have to do is dine around the resort to try it all. So if the resort has ten restaurants, you are free to dine at any one of them at any time they are open.
Delicious coconut shrimp
Lamb wrapped in thinly sliced potatoes.
Pizza a la Sandals
Sandals Sushi. Yum!


Top Shelf Liquor and Beer

One of the many things that set Sandals apart from their competition is the quality of their liquor on property. Sandals offers premium brand, top shelf, liquor at all resorts as well as a variety of beers (depending on the island).
  • Jim Beam
  • Bombay Saphire
  • Johnnie Walker
  • Smirnoff
  • Appleton Estates
  • Crown Royal
  • Finlandia
  • Cointreau
  • Tanqueray
  • Jack Daniels
  • Red Stripe (beer)
  • & More

Pick your poison.


    Wine and Sparkling Wine

    Sandals is proud to be a partner with Robert Mondovi wines, which means all guests have access to any of the six varietals:

    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon - Juicy plum and cedar aromas lead to profound blackberry, cherry, and tobacco flavors. Nicely toasted and caramelized by oak aging.
    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Chardonnay - Vibrant tropical fruit and apples meld with rich cinnamon, maple and a hint of sweet vanilla spice. Medium bodied with a toasty finish.
    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Merlot - Rich cherry and dark chocolate aromas are followed by enticing cocoa and toast flavors. Complex and full-bodied with well-integrated tannins.
    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Pinot Grigio - Beautifully round yet refreshing nectarine and peach aromas and flavors with a peach-citrus finish. Un-oaked to preserve the wine¹s crisp, fresh character.
    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Sauvignon Blanc - Lively and fruit-forward with grapefruit and passion fruit aromas and flavors. Bright, mouthwatering finish.
    • Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Shiraz - Blackberry and rose aromas lead to lively berry, chocolate, and spice flavors and a light black pepper finish. Full tannins are beautifully balanced by bright acidity.
    Try them all! It's free. :)



    Land Sports

    Sandals offers a variety of land sports as well:

    • Basketball
    • Lawn Chess

    • Horseshoes
    • Billiards Tables

    • Bocci Ball
    • Shuffleboard
    • Table Tennis 
    • Darts

    • Day/ Night Tennis
    • Chess

    • Cards
    • Rock-Wall Climbing (available at Sandals Ochi)
    Rock climbing wall at Sandals Ochi

    Fitness Center

    All Sandals properties have a fitness center available 24/7 that you can access using your room key. Inside you'll find the following:
    • Complimentary Instruction
    • Life Fitness® Equipment
    • Treadmills
    • Elliptical Machines
    • Exercise Bikes
    • Stairclimbers
    • Free Weights 
    • Yoga
    • Aerobics
    • Zumba®
    • Aqua-cise
    • Stretching
    • Morning Power Walks
    • Pilates


    Water Sports

    One of the reasons I personally love Sandals so much is the diversity of their water sports options. Most resort offer basic water sports like hobie cats and kayaks, but Sandals takes it a step further by offering the following:
    • Hobie cats 
    • Sailing
    • Kayaking

    • Paddle boarding
    • Body boarding
    • Aquatrikes

    • Glass bottom boat tours
    • Water skiing (at select resorts)
    • Tubing (at select resorts)
    • Wake-boarding (at Sandals Barbados only)
    • Wind surfing
    Take your pick or try them all out.


    Snorkeling

    With other all-inclusive resorts included snorkeling means they provide you the gear and you can explore off shore at the resort.  With Sandals it means providing guests several options per day to be shuttled out by boat to snorkeling various sites near by.  Guests are able to sign up for as many snorkeling excursions as they wish to attend during their stay, at no extra cost. This would easily cost you an additional $50-$100 per person, each trip, at a resort that doesn't include this.



    Scuba Diving

    Sandals also includes unlimited scuba diving for all guests, but the catch is that guests must be certified to receive the complimentary dives. If they aren't certified, the resort has a certification program that costs a little bit extra. If interested, make sure to speak to your Sandals Specialists about the fees.
    Ready to dive at Sandals! :)

    Entertainment

    Sandals also includes a dynamic team to keep you entertained day and night. Whether it's live music or fun games at the "active" pools, an evening show, or live music at sunset, Sandals offers it all.
    Junkanoo band playing at Sandals Royal Bahamian
    Saxophonist playing at sunset, setting the mood for a romantic evening.


    Offshore Islands

    At select Sandals Resorts (Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Royal Bahamian) there are also off shore islands which are available to all guests via a shuttle boat. Those islands have restaurants, pools with swim-up bars, private lounge chairs and/or cabanas and hammocks, additional beach options, and spa services.
    Private off shore island at Sandals Royal Caribbean
    Daytime view of the same island.



    WiFi

    Anyone who wants to stay connected while at Sandals is in luck, the resorts offer complimentary WiFi to all guests throughout the property.



    Resort Exchange Privileges

    One thing that's great about staying at Sandals is that select resorts also offer complimentary exchange privileges.
    • Montego Bay: Ability to stay at one of the three Sandals and visit the other two via complimentary shuttle.
    • Sandals Royal Plantation: Guests staying at Sandals Royal Plantation can visit Sandals Ochi next door via complimentary shuttle van, but unfortunately due to its small size, Sandals Ochi guests cannot visit Sandals Royal Plantation in exchange.
    • St. Lucia Resorts: Ability to stay at one of the three Sandals in St. Lucia and visit the other two via complimentary shuttle.
    Many guests book a stay at the Sandals Carlyle (the lowest priced Sandals Resort) to save money
    but spend their time at nearby Sandals Montego Bay or Sandals Royal Caribbean instead.


    Club Sandals

    Club Sandals service is available to any guests staying in a Club level suite or higher. What this means is that guests in these room categories will enjoy a private lounge for check-in and check-out and provide you with not only a comfortable place to relax but they have dedicated Club Sandals Concierge staff to assist with making restaurant reservations, booking tours and spa treatments, answering questions, making requests, etc. It's a nice extra perk to have. Plus Club level suites come with a fully stocked mini-fridge, in room bar, and room service in most cases, so that's always a plus.
    Hanging out in the comfort of Club Sandals before our ride back to the airport.

    Butler Service

    If you happen to have booked a butler level suite, you'll have personal butler service included in your stay. This doesn't mean that someone will be staying in the suite with you or standing guard by your door all day/night, it simply means that when you need something there is an attendant on call (during the day) to bring you whatever you desire. Want a drink by the pool? The butler will bring it. Want your lunch brought to the beach? The butler will handle it.  Celebrating a special occasion? The butler will make sure you celebrate in style.  The butlers will go out of their way to make your stay memorable.
    My butler asked me if I liked coconut then brought me a fresh one.
    Our butlers bringing us a special anniversary cake, complete with a song. :)

    Weddingmoons

    The entry level Weddingmoons package (Beautiful Beginnings) is complimentary at all Sandals Resorts, with stays of 3 paid nights or more in all room categories. This is a great option for couples looking to elope or having a small wedding ceremony with just a few friends or family.
    Couple sharing their first dance together at Sandals. 
    Beautiful basic Weddingmoon cake

    Airport Lounges

    Select Sandals Resorts also have their own private airport lounges for guests arriving on the island.
    Sandals welcome lounge in Nassau (Bahamas)


    Resort Transfers

    Even the transfers between the airport and resort are included. The best part is, unlike some other resorts that may offer these as an add-on or possibly even complimentary, the Sandals transfers go to the resorts non-stop. This means you won't have to stop at other Sandals properties along the way for dropping off guests.
    Cheers to starting vacation early.. in the transfer van!

    Tips/Gratuities

    Sandals has a strict no-tipping policy because tips have already been priced into your resort package. Sandals guests don't have to worry about digging into their wallet during their stay and that means you can give your wallet a vacation too. Just lock it in the safe, go enjoy the resort and you can check out with a zero balance at the end of your stay.




    So What Costs Extra If All Of That Is Included?

    It's a pretty impressive list of inclusions and I've checked out of Sandals with a zero balance many times. But, there are some additional things you can pay extra to add-ons either before or during your stay.  Let's take a look:

    Candlelight Dinner

    This is a feature you can pay extra for before you arrive on property or you can choose to book it while there. If you pay ahead of time, you won't have to worry about the additional charge on your room at check out.  This option allows you to dine, just you and your significant other, either as the sun is setting (6:30pm dining time) or after the sun sets and the stars come out (8:30pm dining time). This is only an extra fee because there are costs involved for set up and for private waitstaff service.



    Spa Treatments

    Sandals has it's own spa called Red Lane Spa, and it's available on every property. For guests wanting to experience a service they can pre-book them online, or when they have checked in. If you were lucky, you may have be able to take advantage of deals at the time you booked and received a spa credit or complimentary couples massage too, which would greatly reduce the spa cost or offer a service for free.
    Couples massage set up on the private island.
    Click here to read my review of the couples massage.

    Tours/Excursions

    Sandals has it's own tour company, Island Routes, that makes tours and excursions available to Sandals guests on all islands. If you've received a tour credit when booking then you can claim it once you've checked in and make a booking then. Or if you are paying out-of-pocket for your tour/excursion, then you can either book it when you are on property or pre-book it and pay for it ahead of time.
    Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica

    Caramaran Cruises

    You may have seen the recent deals for a complimentary catamaran cruise when booking select Sandals Resorts. If you booked your stay during certain time frames, you may have qualified to for the complimentary catamaran cruise promotion. If you did then you'll be enjoying the fun of a catamaran excursion free of charge! I did one in Ocho Rios and it was a blast. 


    Private Cabanas

    One of my favorite Sandals Resorts features are the private cabana beds over the water. Unfortunately, these are at select resorts (I wish they were at all resorts). For those that have them, this is a must to experience. Yes, it will cost you a little extra, and unfortunately you can't pre-book it before you've checked in, but it's worth every penny to me. You'll get your own cabana butler for the day and they'll bring you anything you need while you lay back and enjoy the water around you. It's true paradise!
    Private overwater cabana at Sandals Royal Caribbean.
    See my video of the private cabana experience

    Private Transfers

    This is another "must try" experience which is only available on certain islands (Jamaica and St. Lucia). There is the option for a private luxury car transfer or even a helicopter transfers to cut down on your transfer time for resorts that are farther away (such as 75-90 minutes like in Jamaica-- Negril, Whitehouse, Ocho Rios-- and in St. Lucia). I use the private transfers every time I travel to one of those destinations in Jamaica and I find them to be worth the money and then some. The car comes with a private driver, complimentary snacks and drinks (welcomed after a day of traveling), and free WiFi so you can stay connected while you're on the road. Prices vary depending on destinations and islands. 
    Champagne for the road (don't worry, he wasn't driving yet) ;)
    After our "quick" 75 minute transfer to Whitehouse.
    Click here to read my review of the private transfers in Jamaica.

    Flights

    Sandals packages are land-only, but there is a way to add in flights to your vacation package. It would just be at an extra cost from the room price you're seeing in your quote. To package in air, check with your Sandals Specialist or select the airfare option when quoting online.
    I love that my favorite airline now goes to almost every Sandals destination.

    Insurance

    Your vacation is an investment and it should be treated as such. Sandals offers vacation protection insurance that will cover you in case something happens before or during your trip to cause cancellation, delays, schedule changes, injury, medical issues, etc. You never know when an emergency may come up so ask your Sandals Specialist about insurance options through Sandals or elsewhere. It's worth the peace of mind.



    The True Value Of A Sandals Resort Vacation

    When you look at the cost of a Sandals vacation it may come out to higher than another resort option, but when you factor in what you're truly getting for the cost you'll quickly understand the true value behind their vacation packages.  

    Sandals really does offer more quality inclusions than any other resorts and knowing it's all been pre-paid and taken care of makes it worth every penny and then some in my opinion.


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