- Sandals Resorts are designed for couples ages 18 and older. All meals and drinks are included in your Sandals vacation, including top-shelf alcohol. Taxes, gratuities, and airport transfers are also included.
- While the best Sandals Resorts are ideal for romantic escapes, they’re also a great fit for other interests, such as golf vacations (green fees are complimentary), water sports (including PADI-certified scuba diving), and culinary travel.
- These are my picks for the best Sandals resort for every interest and travel style.
You’ve probably seen advertisements for Sandals Resorts, but if you’ve never visited one of these adults-only all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean before, you might wonder what they’re all about. There are 17 Sandals Resorts situated across the Caribbean and each one offers something unique for traveling couples—think culinary pleasures, tropical golf courses, secluded getaways, active adventures, even tropical weddings, just for starters.
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When it comes to choosing the best Sandals resort for your vacation, it’s not so much about what’s included but rather what’s available to do and see at each resort. Below I’ve sorted the various Sandals Resorts by category to help you decide which one is the right match for your particular travel style and interests.
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1. Best Overall Sandals Resort – Sandals Royal Plantation
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
All 74 suites at Sandals Royal Plantation overlook the turquoise Caribbean Sea and are decked out in retro-chic Jamaican style. Better yet, these ocean view suites also come with full butler service who will attend to your needs in-room or at the beach. You can relax at two private cove beaches and two pools overlooking the water, or kick your vacation into high gear on the tennis court, at the fitness center, or with included activities like scuba diving, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
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A stay at Sandals Royal Plantation also includes access to the recently renovated and renamed Upton Estate Golf and Country Club in Ocho Rios, an 18-hole course rising 700 feet above sea level. You’ll also have access to all of the amenities at nearby Sandals Ochi. Sandals Royal Plantation has five restaurants and two bars (including Jamaica’s only caviar and Champagne bar) to satisfy any craving.
2. Best Sandals Resort for Romance – Sandals Grande St. Lucian
Gros-Islet, St. Lucia
Book an over-the-water bungalow at Sandals Grande St. Lucian for a romantic escape that can’t be topped. Glass floor panels provide undersea views while a private outdoor soaking tub, over-water hammock, and private sun deck offer plenty of relaxing ways to enjoy your time together. And with the included butler service and 24 hour in-room dining, you’ll never have to leave your bungalow if you don’t want to.
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Of course, you’ll find lots to enjoy at the best Sandals resort for romantic vacations if you’re able to drag yourselves away from your bungalow. The resort sits on its own peninsula on the calm waters of Rodney Bay, home to a mile-long beach with sweeping views of the island’s volcanic mountains, five tranquil pools, a range of land and water sports, and access to the Greg Norman-designed 18-hole Cap Estate Golf and Country Club. End your days at one of the resort’s 12 restaurants, which include the romantic Gordon’s on the Pier set out over the water.
3. Best Sandals Resort for Foodies – Sandals Royal Curaçao
Santa Barbara, Curaçao
If gourmet meals, creative cocktails, and local cuisine are an important part of your vacation experience, Sandals Royal Curaçao is the best Sandals resort for you. Opened in June 2022, this all-inclusive resort in the Leeward Antilles features eight restaurants offering everything from steaks to sushi, seven of which are new to the Sandals brand and only available at this resort. You can also grab a more casual bite to eat at the three beachside gourmet food trucks or order a drink at one of the resort’s 13 bars, one of which is a swim-up ba).
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If that doesn’t satisfy your culinary cravings, Sandals Royal Curaçao also offers a special island-inclusive dining program that allows you to eat at partner restaurants around the island. Round-trip transfers to the restaurants are included, or you can drive yourself in a complimentary Mini Cooper, another new offering for the resort group. The resort also features a two-level infinity pool and a signature suite category (Awa Seaside Bungalows) where you can enjoy a private infinity pool located directly on the shoreline, a private patio with an extended sun deck, a soaking tub with privacy curtains, butler service, and 24-hour in-room dining.
4. Best Sandals Resort for Nature Lovers – Sandals Dunn’s River
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
The reimagined Sandals Dunn’s River on the north coast of Jamaica opened in May 2023 with a design focus on its island location and natural wonders. Tropical vegetation lines walkways throughout the resort, and lobby waterfalls, cascading pools at the Red Lane Spa, and other water features are fed with natural reserves from nearby Dunn’s River Falls, a must-visit spot for many visitors to Jamaica.
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Accommodations at this nature-focused Sandals resort are designed to encourage time spent outdoors. You can opt to stay in Jamaica’s first SkyPool Suites, offering butler service, tranquility soaking tubs for two, balcony pools, and infinite ocean views; or the first-of-its-kind standalone Coyaba Villa Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suites, which are circular suites that feature a serene spa-like bath, chaise lounges for sunset viewing, and a river-inspired swim-up pool. Use the provided snorkeling and scuba equipment to explore life under the sea, or just relax on the picturesque beach.
5. Best Sandals Resort for Golfers – Sandals Emerald Bay
Great Exuma, Bahamas
Book a stay at Sandals Emerald Bay and you can tee up at the award-winning Emerald Bay Golf Course. Designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman, the 7,001-yard 18-hole golf course (the longest golf course in the Caribbean) takes you first through scenic mangroves and then to the back nine’s signature coastal holes with sweeping water views. It’s as challenging as it is beautiful, and five different tee boxes accommodate every skill level.
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Of course, there’s more than just golf to enjoy at this mile-long beachfront resort in the Out Islands of The Bahamas. Three pools provide enticing spots for cooling off, including a half-acre zero-entry pool with a swim-up bar. After time on the links or just spent relaxing, you can order a bite to eat or a refreshing cocktail at one of the resort’s 11 globally inspired restaurants and six bars that include a British pub. Up the luxury factor by choosing a suite with butler service.
6. Best Sandals Resort for a Secluded Getaway – Sandals South Coast
Situated on a secluded two-mile stretch on the south coast of Jamaica, Sandals South Coast makes it easy to get away from it all. Start by booking an Over the Water Bungalow, where glass floor panels, an over-water hammock, and a private patio will immerse you in the Caribbean Sea and help you forget about everyday life. (Another option is the romantic Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suites, where you can lounge in the sun at the edge of a peaceful river pool.)
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A range of water sports options allow you to get under or on the sea in a variety of ways, but stretching out in a lounge chair by one of the three beachfront pools or on the sands of the two-mile-long beach is also a good idea. Enjoy romantic meals at the resort’s nine restaurants, many with water views, or grab a drink at the over-water bar where the views stretch on for what feels like forever.
7. Best Sandals Resort for Couples Who Like to Keep Busy – Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
If partying in paradise is your perfect vacation vibe, check in to Sandals Ochi. This Jamaican resort is home to the Ochi Beach Club, a lively beach and pool scene (complete with swim-up bar) during the day that morphs into a glam outdoor lounge at night. Activity options range from water sports to golfing, so you’ll never be bored.
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Sandals Ochi has 11 bars, including the first speakeasy in the Caribbean, and 16 restaurants from which to choose, such as a stylish sushi bar and an on-trend tapas spot. If you think you’ll need a breather from all of the action now and then, book one of the resort’s private pool suites that feature a Roman pool, outdoor rain shower, and a hot tub.
8. Best Sandals Resort for a Glamourous Getaway – Sandals Regency La Toc
Castries, St. Lucia
The glam factor at Sandals Regency La Toc starts with its gorgeous setting on the 220-acre La Toc Estate, where the emerald waters of a half-mile crescent-shaped beach are accented by lush tropical greenery. Things gets kicked up another notch at Sunset Oceanview Bluff Village, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort where accommodations include special butler suites perched on a bluff overlooking the sea. Book one and you’ll enjoy 180-degree views of the Caribbean Sea from a three-story sundeck and a zero-entry plunge pool with a waterfall and whirlpool.
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The nine restaurants and eight bars at this Sandals resort include dining options like a romantic French restaurant and an open-air Mediterranean seafood spot offering sweeping Caribbean views. You also have access to two golf courses as well as all the amenities at Sandals Halcyon Beach and Sandals Grande St. Lucian.
9. Best Sandals Resort for Variety – Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados
St. Lawrence Gap, Barbados
Stay at either Sandals Barbados or the neighboring Sandals Royal Barbados and you get access to a combined 20 restaurants, 14 bars, and 11 pools. That includes options like Sandals’ first-ever bowling alley, a juice bar, a British pub, and an elegant Indian restaurant. Make one resort your home base and you get to enjoy everything the other resort offers as well.
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Sandals Royal Barbados is home to Sandals’ first rooftop pool, a zero-entry glass infinity pool with amazing views, and both resorts offer excellent beach access along with the brand’s always-included land and water sports. Room options range from Beachfront Skypool Butler Suites with infinity-edge pools and luxe bathrooms to Crystal Lagoon Swim-Up Butler Suites situated on the longest river pool in Barbados.
10. Best Sandals Resort for Weddings – Sandals Montego Bay
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Say “I do” at Sandals Montego Bay in an intimate ceremony for up to 40 people at the resort’s over-the-water wedding chapel. Perched above Montego Bay, this picturesque spot features a glass-floor aisle, charming bell tower, and of course million-dollar water views as the backdrop for your wedding ceremony and photos. Whether you hold a destination wedding or a small affair that leads right into your honeymoon, this is the best Sandals resort for celebrating your commitment together.
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A white-sand beach, pools, lots of land and water sports, 12 restaurants, and six bars (including a swim-up and an overwater bar) will help keep everyone happy and entertained. You also have access to all of the amenities at Sandals Royal Caribbean. And the happy couple can stay in style in a Beachfront Swim-up Millionaire Butler Suite complete with a soaking tub for two, a patio with ocean views and access to a waterfront pool, and a spa-inspired bathroom with another soaking tub and walk-in rain shower.
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