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This trip started out bad right at the airport where it took Sandals over an hour (standing in the hot sun) just to get us on a bus. We started out standing in an unorganized line waiting to give them our name. To their credit they did give us a bottle of water to drink. Then we stood around while they decided where to put our luggage. We stood around a while longer until a large panel truck pulled up and then we were told to go get our bags where we left them and take them to the luggage truck. After another wait a bus did arrive and we were told to get on the bus. While I was waiting for the bus to load I saw the luggage guy take my carry on and just throw it into the van on top of the other bags. Soon he was throwing full sized suitcases on top of the other ones already in the truck. Just as I got my phone out to tape this he closed the doors on the truck.
The bus finally left the airport and we had a white-knuckle ride to the resort. Our driver's preferred method of stopping at stop signs was to just toot the horn and fly right on through. I could see the speedometer and at one point he was going 55 kph through a residential area. We got to the resort and the staff offered us cold towels and sang us a song welcoming us to Barbados. We were then led into the Club Lounge where we found a place to sit. The staff made us all a Blue Caribbean welcome drink and asked us all our names. After that they gave all the other guests a tablet with their room information on it and asked if everyone had gotten one. We had to speak up and say no that we had not gotten one.
After we completed the iPad check in and waited about 25 minutes it was our turn to sign and agree to letting them put a $400 hold on our charge card for any charges we might make. I told the woman checking us in that this was not how a 5-star resort treated their guests and she just looked at me and didn't respond. We were not given any information about services that the concierge provided and had to ask about making our ala carte reservations. They led us to our room talking about the resort and showing us where everything was. Our bags were in the room when we got there and we went to get something to eat.
Later that night I went down the hall to the ice machine to find it not working. No ice, no sounds of ice being made or kept frozen, no nothing. I called the Club Concierge and got no answer (this happened several times during our stay). I called room service and they told me to take my ice bucket and go the bar. I finally managed to find a working ice machine on the floor above us. The next morning the top of the dresser had water all over it and there was a leak somewhere in the beam above. The drain in the bathtub fell apart after my wife tried to take a bath so I called the hotel operator (because the club concierge again wasn't answering the phone) and was put through to maintenance who to their credit did send someone right up. He had the parts to fix the bathtub drain but looked at the leak, mumbled something and left. Water was still leaking from that beam when we left. Things did get better after that.
The staff always said hello to us. Anthony at Spices was always happy and greeted everyone with a "Good morning. How are you?". When I asked him how he was his answer was always "Phenomenal". The entertainment at the Oyster bar was fantastic too. We enjoyed the younger fellow playing the piano but the real good time was with Dale at the Sing-Along. The Sky lounge was very nice and had a great view. We spent a while up there our last night and there was a real nice breeze. Nakesha at the European pool was always friendly and kept us supplied with beverages.
One major factor in my low score besides the lack of organization at the airport was the Loyalty Club. This was our first trip to Sandals and you can join the Loyalty Club while you are there and as a guest of the resort you can get an additional discount of up to 12% on a room booked while you are there. We had planned on bringing our 2 adult children and their spouses to a Sandals resort in 2020 and we were excited to see what kind of a price we could get. We had done our homework before leaving and we had a list of resorts we wanted to price. First off we learned that there are only certain room categories to choose from and the next thing was they would only give us a reduced rate on one room because you had to be on resort to get the discount. We spoke to several loyalty group agents explaining that we would be paying for all three of the rooms not the kids and they all said that you can only get a discount on one room.
We tried 3 different times to find our selected week (June 2020) at different Sandals resorts but all the lower cost rooms were "sold out". I had discovered this when looking before our trip and I believe Sandals only releases so many of the lower cost rooms at a time to force you to purchase a more expensive room. One place was sold out Saturday and Sunday but not Friday or Monday. Go figure. This isn't Las Vegas where people fly in for 2 or 3 days - most are there for a week or more. When we checked out I tried one last time talking to the Club rep and she made several phone calls and I talked to a supervisor but in the end nothing changed. I told them they were losing out on more than $16,000 in sales but they didn't seem to care. I have since booked a nice all inclusive on Antigua right on the beach for all of us for only $10,000, so thank you Sandals. The money you saved me will pay for the airfare.
My husband and I stayed 2 weeks in January 2019 at Beaches, Turks and Caicos and were extremely disappointed as we were expecting a luxury resort because of the $$$'s we had spent for this vacation. Our room was equal to a Motel Six room and the bathroom had never been updated. There was rust and mildew throughout the bathroom. There were bugs in the room, but there were so many things wrong with the resort: poor service in restaurants, no hot water for showers, pool chairs very old, sometimes no towels available, no washroom signage (problem for someone with bowel disease), dirty glasses, beer cans left wherever, unfriendly staff.
This is just some of our complaints, but our biggest complaint was that we had spent a lot of money for our 35th wedding anniversary trip and we expected a once in a lifetime holiday. It was so very disappointing. During our stay I spoke to Ghislain **, Caribbean Village Manager and also Ebeia **, Resort Manager and they were not helpful. Upon returning I emailed Gebhard Rainer, CEO Sandals and was emailed back by Alicia **, Customer Relations with no apology for our disappointed experience, but were told to let her know when we book our next vacation with them and she would arrange courtesies. This was a joke because we would never waste our money again on a Sandals/Beaches vacation. We definitely do not recommend Sandals/Beaches.
My wife and I were really looking forward to this trip for our 27th Wedding anniversary, especially after all the great things we heard about Sandals Resort in Negril, Jamaica. To celebrate, I upgraded our package to the highest level outside of the butler services they offer. It wasn't cheap either. I booked us in the Caribbean Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Room w/ Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub thinking this would be great to just sit in the tub and watch the sun go down with my wonderful wife. Sadly, It didn't turn out that way and it definitely wasn't because of the employees at Sandals. They were absolutely fantastic and the bright spot in our stay there. First Impressions are everything…
Well I should have known from the start it wouldn't be so great. As soon as we were taken to the bus for our ride to the hotel, we had a bad feeling. (So did other passengers by the way.) We expected Sandals to have their own transportation/buses. You would think that people spending over 4k for a weekend would get to ride in style but not here. They used 3rd party transportation that was cramped, with our luggage piled up in the back two rows of seats! Once we arrived at the hotel things got a little better but only because of the staff. As part of our package we were brought up to a different area to check in since we were Club Level Guests. It was nice not to have to wait in line with a ton of people checking in but it seemed this was just a way to justify the price.
We were greeted by staff and given some complimentary drinks which were wonderful. The concierge and staff were just as wonderful. They got us checked in in a timely manner and were taken to our rooms and shown the grounds along the way. Great service here. Once we got to our rooms we started to notice some things. And not in a good way. Call me picky but here is what I thought about our stay and the condition of the resort. (I have pics and video of what I write below.)
1. Our very first impression in our room was as soon as we walked in along the baseboard. By the table and 2 chairs, along the the baseboards was water damage that was covered up. Not very appealing. This doesn’t look very good to someone who hasn’t been to one of your resorts before. It also leads me to believe that there could be a problem with the structural integrity of the building as water leaks are NEVER GOOD if not corrected in a timely manner. Our first thoughts when I pointed this out to my wife was, “Wow. That’s not good!”
2. Also not a good first impression was the glass top on the dresser holding the TV. The glass had a painted back to make it look frosted but it was flaking off and it looked horrible. Something you would expect from a Super 8, not a $4000.00 room! It is a very easy fix as well as all you would need to do is just replace the glass piece. This was a head scratcher.
3. Next was the shower. Although cool with the double shower heads, it was not very practical. It had no door so when you showered you had to put a towel down so the floor didn't get soaked and cause a fall. It was very slippery when wet and we almost fell a few times on the tile floor when it was wet.) It also was very uncomfortable as you would freeze when you had to put soap in your hair or wash your body because of the lack of a door. WE DID NOT LIKE THE SHOWER AT ALL.
4. THE TRANQUILITY TUB! Where do I start? I thought this would be a great addition to our trip. Boy was I wrong! Not only was it not as private as we had hoped for but for starters the water was so hot we HAD TO WAIT FOR AN HOUR FOR IT TO COOL DOWN TO USE IT. THERE WASN’T ANY COLD WATER. Just hot water no matter what we did to the valve.
Then there was the privacy issue. With a tub like this you would expect a little privacy with the curtain that was provided but it stops short by about a foot and the neighbors could see in when they walk by. This was because the way the building was set up, our stairs were shared with the Butler service room next door so when the other people in that room had to come or go, they walked right by our balcony and could see in even with the privacy curtain pulled all the way. This was disappointing because we were really looking forward to that.
Then once we got in we were startled by the water dripping in the tub from the overhead light. Yes you read that right. The overhead light in the ceiling above the tub was filled with water from the balcony above. It was pouring rain out and there was obviously a water leak in the balcony above, and it was draining into the light fixture above the tub. We are so glad we didn’t turn the light on! (I have a video of this too.)
5. The overall condition of the resort was average. I know the resort is getting up there in age compared to the other resorts but it could really use a facelift. The tiles in the pool area were falling off in areas and the wood was showing signs of rot in other areas. The walkways were very slippery when they were wet throughout the resort. The bar/wall surrounding the chefs in the Italian restaurant had tiles missing. This looked horrible. I guess this is might be acceptable if we stayed at a hotel half that price but I did not expect it from Sandals.
I am sorry to sound so petty and nitpicky but when we choose a resort like Sandals for a vacation, we expect a little more. It saddens me to even have to write this because your staff was worth every penny. From our arrival to departure, the staff was wonderful, fun and attentive. Sadly the resort doesn’t do them justice. Respectfully, Nick **
Be careful when checking in. They will tell you that you have to put up a $400 deposit for incidentals. When you check out they will tell you it takes 3-weeks to get your money refunded. This wasn't stated in any of the paperwork when we booked our trip and is totally unacceptable. This is what happens when you stay outside of the U.S..
Our experience at Sandals Royal Barbados was terrible, so much so that we feel we wasted thousands of dollars. After having grand experiences at Whitehouse (Jamaica), and St. Lucia, and gifting our son a honeymoon at Monterey Bay, we decided to try out Barbados in a suite with Concierge service. To say that was a mistake would be an understatement. There was complete chaos at the airport awaiting the bus to transport us to the resort, no warm towels offered (as advertised) upon arrival. Everyone was ushered into the Concierge office which was overcrowded. There were not enough welcome cocktails for everyone and with only 2 workers there, it took a long time to register the guests. We tried to make our restaurant reservations upon check-in but were told they didn't have time as they were too busy.
We returned the next morning to make our reservations and had our list and preferred dates. We given cards to bring to the restaurants and thinking that we were all set, went about our day. When we checked the cards the next day we found that the one restaurant we told the Concierge we did not want (as neither of us like Japanese food) we found 2 reservations for that very restaurant. We returned to the Concierge to report the error and fix the reservations for the correct restaurants. We were told, "The restaurants aren't answering phones and we would have to come back again the next morning. There are other restaurants that don't need reservations you can use." Returning once again we returned and was told, "All reservations are full but there are other restaurants that don't require reservations." No apology, no offering to try to fit us in anywhere --- nothing.
We were at Sandals to celebrate our 38th anniversary as we have on our other trips to Sandals. They were informed by phone, online, and to the Concierge at which restaurant we wanted to celebrate. We arrived dressed up and happy only to find no acknowledgment whatsoever about this milestone. Housekeeping was another issue. One night we returned to find one bath towel and 3 bath mats. We had to call housekeeping to await bath towels, washcloths, and hand towels.
Each day there was a different assortment of linens. The workers are not friendly and ignore you when you pass even with a greeting. Just plain rude. We have reservations for the Bahamas next year and will cancel and join our friends on a River Cruise instead which they have had nothing but raves about after several. The final insult is that it has been over a month since I contacted Sandals customer service about this issue and have never received a reply. Buyer beware ---- go elsewhere!
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We had a lot of things promised to us for our wedding that were not delivered. There has been a major break in communication between our pre-wedding planner, Patrice, and Yanique, our wedding team here onsite.
***2) We upgraded our wedding cake to butter cream frosting and no fondant, with cascading flowers, and when we showed up to our wedding it was MELTING fondant with the regular placed flowers.
3) We paid $200 extra for an hour of wedding photography at sunset, and we met 3 other couples onsite that received an hour of photography at sunset for FREE.
4) We were told we could do our candlelight dinner right after the photography hour, from 5:30-6:30, and dinner at 7:00. When we arrived we were told we only had the dinner option of 6:00 or 8:30.
5) We were told we could have our candle light dinner in the over the water gazebo, but when we arrived we were told that location was not an option.
6) We ordered chocolate covered strawberries at an additional cost, for our candle light dinner, and we got mixed fruit instead of strawberries.
7) The quality and taste of the food at our candle light dinner was gross. Our steaks were served over cooked, even more than well done when we ordered medium... And my shrimp was raw! We didn’t even eat the food or the chocolate covered fruit.
8) We ordered room service the day of our wedding, after our reception, before our sunset hour photos... And the room service never came. We called to ask them about it 2 hours after ordering it. And they said it would be here soon. Then, they called 20 or so minutes later to say they never put the order in and asked us what we wanted. By then we had to leave the room so we didn’t have time to order.
9) We were told we could travel between resorts for free on the Sandals shuttle. We went to arrange a trip to Sandals Negril, and we were asked to pay $210 for a taxi service to take us. When we asked about the free bus ride we were promised and they said that South Coast is not included in that perk. Well, our planner knew we were staying at South Coast when they told us it was?10) We have yet to be impressed by the food. It is poor quality, similar to a cafeteria, not 5 star at all.
***11) We told our pre-wedding planner, and Yanique with our wedding team here that we are taking my last name. Everything says Mr. and Mrs. “His Last Name”, so I won’t be able to keep any keepsakes for memories from the wedding because they all say the wrong name.
12) Multiple times we have ordered food, dessert and drinks at the restaurants and the server said they would have it right out but it never came. I put ***’s by 2 and 11, because those were the most important.
Last, I talked to the manager, Heidy-Ann this morning, and she was very nice and helpful. She offered us a day trip to Negril, but we felt it was too late to go since it is a far drive. She is also offering to fix the top tier of the cake we want to take home. However, no one comped the strawberries we didn’t get, no one comped the extra hour we paid for that we could have gotten free, no one offered any discounts or nice things to help make up for Sandals pretty much ruining our wedding day.
I am happy we didn’t invite anyone to the wedding with us. I would have actually been embarrassed to have guests pay thousands of dollars to experience the unorganized event, and bad food. And I am sad that this is my husband's first trip to Sandals. He will probably never want to come back. And it is my 4th trip, so I know how great the trip can be... He is convinced we overpaid for a mediocre vacation.
With all of that being said, we would like to also say that overall the customer service has been great. Everyone from Club Sandals is fantastic! Ryan, Chloe, Bernetta, Chantelle, and a couple others that I cannot remember their names have been great! Literally everyone in Club Sandals is fantastic! Lafem from candle light dinner was great as well. Our photographer, John ** was a dream come true! He captured our wedding photos in a magical way. We will be forever grateful for him, and his talent. He was absolutely perfect. Jody-Ann, in the photo shop was wonderful and patient helping us pick out the photos we wanted to purchase. Sheraton was great as a videographer for our wedding. We decided not to purchase the video, because of a couple of small details, but we loved it and she was very nice as well.
Buyer Beware, Sandals strongly recommends that you purchase trip insurance and claims that it makes your money full refundable. The truth is that I recently had to use the trip insurance due to illness. After a great deal of effort, I received two travel vouchers and figured that since they would not refund me my money like the advertisement says, this would be an acceptable solution. What it did not say was that you have exactly one year to use your vouchers or you just lose your money. You should find a non Sandals owned company if you are looking for all inclusive. This company seems to have dishonest people at the top.
Be very careful when booking with Sandals Resorts. They do not honor their cancellation policy! I booked a trip last year and made several payments and had to cancel 90 days out, and they are fighting with me regarding my refund. I am well within the time frame for a full refund to be issued according to their cancellation policy. They told me a full refund would be issued within 7-10 business days, but that didn't happen. I have spoken to them several times regarding my refund and every time it's a different story to why I haven't received my refund. Now, I am contacting my bank to dispute the charges. This whole experience has become a vacation hassle. They use an outside source to handle payments (Unique Vacations). Sandals has to discuss your account with them, they won't give you the phone number to call them directly. Do not trust Sandals Resorts or Unique Vacations!
The Bahamas are a beautiful place, but Sandals turned what was supposed to be a joyous occasion and vacation into a nightmare. I have a seafood allergy. Sandals was notified 4 months in advance, reminded one week prior to arrival, and then confirmed again with their "culinary concierge" when I checked in. They confirmed each time that it will not be an issue and that I have nothing to worry about... yet three hours after check in, 20 minutes into my first meal, and I am in an ambulance going to the hospital.
Sandals was unapologetic, unhelpful, and in general dismissive. The "all-inclusive" was ruined as I no longer felt safe eating on their property. The hospital stay cost me a day of the vacation (thankfully not my life). And the hospital bill has caused financial distress. Sandals latest response was "we are looking into it and will get back". The Bahamas are worth your visit, Sandals does not deserve your business. And if you still choose to go here and you have any dietary restrictions DO NOT trust them.
Sandals Ochi Resort in Ochi Rios, Jamaica - I would recommend any Vegans to stay away from them. It was the WORST vacation I ever had. We went to Sandals in Jamaica. We let them know we were gluten-free vegans and they told us we would have plenty of choices. When we had dinner the one night, our 2 butlers told them we were gluten-free vegan as did the waiter. They fed us dairy in our food and chicken - told me it was tofu. We were both sick for a few days. We had tortilla chips for lunch multiple days & went off resort for a few meals. I would have had a better time at the Hilton. Would NEVER go there again & NOT recommend it to anyone else! To make matters worse, another person told me they did the same thing to someone at their table in the same restaurant 2 hours later. The management refused to make good on this - told us we can have 2 days free on our next stay - this will never happen as we will never go back!
Sandals Resorts Company Information
- Company Name:
- Sandals & Beaches Resorts