Last week I took my first vacation to a Sandals Resort, in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica. While I was excited to experience the Sandals brand firsthand, I was also a bit nervous. After all, I'm not usually a "sit on the beach and relax" kind of gal. However, I also knew that there is much more to these all-inclusive resorts than the beach and pools, so I went in to the trip determined to experience as much as possible. Below is my numerical review of our stay:
100 acres to explore - the largest Sandals property.
95 hours in Jamaica - 4 nights total.
60 years of independence- how magical to celebrate with the Jamaican people on Saturday!
30 minutes sailing - our favorite activity of the trip.
16 restaurants to enjoy - we tried 9. They ranged from good to excellent, we never had a bad meal.
11 bars on property - we only went in one, the amazing Rabbit Hole Speakeasy.
8 watersports available - we experienced 2, sailing and the water trike. 2 others were canceled due to lightning.
7 frozen drinks - I don't like alcohol, so the bar kept me well filled with other yummy goodness
6 soft serve ice cream cones (Yes, just for me. Don't do the math.)
5 cute cats to pet - they are wild, but used to people.
4 fabulous nights of sleep - the most comfortable mattress I've ever slept on.
3 rounds of sand volleyball for my hubby - happy spouse while I sat reading and enjoying frozen drinks.
2 weddings witnessed - an absolutely stunning location to get married!
1 great vacation!
Overall, we had a great time on our adventure. Was it perfect? No. We could definitely tell that there were some post-pandemic staffing and supply chain issues at the resort. Sometimes we were given misinformation, or the staff didn't seem to be quite as well-trained as one might expect. Other times certain food items weren't available. However, we have experienced the same issues in our other travels this summer, and I've had many clients rave about the service during their Sandals vacations, so I don't believe it was a Sandals issue. I know that the brand is a 5 Star experience, I think they're just feeling the same pains as many other resorts and cruise lines right now, with challenges in filling their open positions. We still had a fabulous time, and can wholeheartedly recommend the Sandals brand. I just see it as a good reminder that, as eager as we are to get traveling right now, there are still some post-pandemic issues being resolved. So pack your grace and patience, and remember to be kind to the staff.
If you're ready to consider an all-inclusive resort, or any other type of travel, I'm here to help! I look forward to chatting with you and helping turn your "someday" into "remember when".
Lisa is the travel loving, animal adoring, Mickey Mouse hugging owner of Dreams Delivered Travel.