from North Carolina
Submitted on 06-06-2016
We've been part of the Sandals family for years. Our first time to Beaches now that our son can travel with us. We had a fantastic time. It may sound like ill be complaining a lot but just being honest with what we experienced. I know I like to read everything when looking for a place, so im going to mention everything here that I can remember. We went mothers day weekend. A great time to go, not a lot of people at all until our last day there, everyone showed up it seemed. A few minor issues (...
We've been part of the Sandals family for years. Our first time to Beaches now that our son can travel with us. We had a fantastic time. It may sound like ill be complaining a lot but just being honest with what we experienced. I know I like to read everything when looking for a place, so im going to mention everything here that I can remember. We went mothers day weekend. A great time to go, not a lot of people at all until our last day there, everyone showed up it seemed. A few minor issues (to be mentioned later) but nothing terrible. Mostly a great time.
When we arrived we were fortunate enough to be upgraded (thank you for that). We ended up in the Savannah bldg, block 400 & loved the location. 1 set of stairs youre closer to the cafe, mill, mini golf, gift shop & the other set of stairs closer to piazza pool & bbq park/water park. Wasnt too noisy only 1 night when there was a wedding party around. Would def stay in that bldg again.
Mr Adrian and staff were fantastic and always very accommodating. Concierge was always available with a smile to assist with anything, no matter how small. Always made us feel welcome and were all great with our son.
One main issue I had was when I took some mommy alone time and tried to eat at Soy. Apparently, my sundress wasnt permitted. As we were discussing it, a family arrived and the mom had on the exact same dress as I did, and they all went in, no problem. But I wasnt allowed. Honestly, that ticked me off, esp since it was now downpouring and I had to go back to the room, getting soaked. So I never ended up going back, which was unfortunate. Turned me off to it.
Also, my husband paid a lot for a fishing trip through Island Routes. It was not fishing, it was trolling. The guests/my husband, werent allowed to even touch a fishing pole. Honestly, for the cost of it, they should at least be allowed to 'fish' on this 'fishing' trip. We discussed it at the desk when he got back, but nothing was done. Will never do that again. My advice, get specific details about excursions before you go (of course, we never thought to ask if they actually are allowed to fish, given that it was a fishing trip, thought that was a given).
A few minor things, it was our 10yr anniversary which concierge knew but nothing was done, not even a cookie or anything, usually at sandals, theyve done at least a message on the bed with flower petals. Concierge said they wanted to do something but it never happened. Didnt make a big deal of it though, was just a bummer.
Also, the pools couldve been a bit cleaner, honestly, but being at a family resort for the first time, wasnt sure if it was just harder to maintain with all the kids. The main pool we didnt even want to stay in b/c of the scum and bugs floating all around. Piazza pool was a bit cleaner, enough to hang out in. But I mentioned it when we were there, and they were both immediately and consistently taken care of thereafter. However, with regards to the the kiddie pool by the kids camp. We were there our 1st day and it was ok, a few leaves nothing big. Then didnt get there again until day before we left. Honestly it was disgusting. It couldnt have been cleaned at all since we got there 7 days prior, it had a canopy so all that was definitely an accumulation over several days. My son didnt even want to go in & he doesnt usually care. I never got to mention it when we were there. I was hoping if the main pools werent as maintained at least the kiddie pool wouldve been. The little area to wash your feet off between the beach and stairs/water park was often mucky but not sure how easy that is to maintain. A poor cat had died under the stairs and it smelled awful!! but they had taken care of it thankfully (same sick cat we saw previous day in that little area i just mentioned to clean your feet off after the beach).
The food at the buffet wasnt fantastic, although I did enjoy trying some new dishes. The fresh omelets in the morning were the best. Had them almost everyday. We tried Venetian for mothers day and it was ok, but didnt like being on a time clock and food took a while to get to us even though there were only 2 other tables. Didnt bother eating anywhere else after that, except for the Mill. Anyway, we preferred to eat the jerk chkn and patties at the bbq park by the Piazza pool, where we spent most of our time. My son had nuggets or burgers everyday. Pizza was really good too, i was surprised, being orig from ny. I was pleasantly surprised. Quick easy, no timetable. A few cats around as they always are but just ignore them, theyre not bothersome.
Water park was a lot of fun, my son really enjoyed the bucket dumping water on him every 2mins (literally) and the 2 huge sides. We all loved the lazy river. The beach was absolutely beautiful, sand was soft, water was clear (more so in the mornings). I went snorkeling right off the beach and found many starfish, it was amazing. Only issue were the sand flies/fleas and knats, they were really annoying, we all got bitten up, even with spray we had. I ended up with an allergic rxn to the bites. So that was a turnoff. But the beach itself was wonderful.
There was a movie on the beach which was a lot of fun. Definitely one of my fav things. The return guest dinner was nice on the beach too, and the bonfire another night‚?¶.the sunsets were amazing every night!!
My son's favorite was the parade with all the characters and beach party. He asked me to dance with him, it was really cute. The shows at the Big Top were fun, all the kids had a blast, even though my son was shy.
All in all, definitely a lot of fun. After we got back, I realized I made the mistake of comparing it to Sandals, I shouldnt have done that. Totally different experience. Taking that factor out, all in all, we really did have a wonderful time. We've rebooked and going to try Ocho Rios, since it has a slightly bigger waterpark (& since Negril def has the nicer beach). One day we'll try Turks. I want to hit all the Beaches then decide which is our favorite :) Although, Jamaica is our fav place regardless. The people, the food. So far nowhere else compares for us.