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Reviewed 13 December 2017

6th trip to Sandals and 2nd South Coast. Last time we were upgraded to the Italian. This time we were not upgraded and received the lowest category (2nd floor French). Absolutely nothing wrong with the accommodations. Beds were fine. Room was always the right temperature. No trouble with water pressure. New curtains and sofa. Nice patio area with room for two chairs. Only thing that could have been improved is maybe some new tile in the bathroom area, but we are not that type of people. For everything we needed, the lowest category room met our needs perfectly.

Being at the French side for this trip, meant we got to experience a different part of the resort. We used the beach everyday and migrated to the pool bar toward the afternoon. Maxlin, beach attendant, helped us out every morning setting some chairs and shade aside for us. It was great to talk with him and understand his culture. We spoke about the sea urchins that everyone is talking about. He said he and some of his other buddies are tasked with snorkeling the shoreline once a week to look for them and remove them to the reef. He also stated the French beach tends to have less than the Italian and Dutch. See picture for warning signs. We took water shoes but never used them. Just look where you are walking. Plenty of chairs in the mornings. Some were moved to the beach because of the addition of new pool chairs and umbrellas. No need for a butler as there were 3 bars within 50 yds of our spot.

We had a group of 6 couples and everyone had a great time. The resort was very accommodating with our large group as well. One night we had a private dinner and cocktail hour in the garden. A great touch for us all to be able to dine together with our own personal bar. No kids, unlimited food and drink, huge pools and wide open beaches makes for a pretty amazing trip and memories. The ride to the resort wasn't bad. Compared to St. Thomas and St. Johns this past April, the ride was a piece of cake. The driver was very aware of his surroundings and took precautions of his speed. He knew the drive and that made it very relaxing. The ride back to the airport was a little worse as the AC wasn't the strongest and it was a larger bus. Had we been in a smaller van again, the motion sickness would have been eliminated. But it is no different than any other tropical island.

With all-inclusives, you should never go hungry. Lunches were either at sit downs or the buffet. 2nd lunches at jerk shack or pizza. Then one or two dinners per night. We went and got sushi as a desert 3 out of 6 nights. The other night was a crepe at the Café. The best night life activity, in my opinion, was the opera singer. just very relaxing and under the stars. We did do a dance night until midnight but with drinking all day this was really the only night we managed to stay up late for.

In summary, we will continue to visit Sandals. We were glad we could convince our friends to come here vs a Mexico resort and show them what Sandals has to offer. Our next trip is to St. Lucia Halcyon and we can't wait. We will continue to book the lowest level rooms as we are only in them to sleep and shower. I would give this a 4.5 stars just because of the sea grass, not a fault of sandals, but worth the down tick. The loop was an excellent way to get things taken care of quickly or give compliments to the staff. Everyone was very pleasant to talk to and willing to hold a conversation. Ironically, the only staff members we felt were unhelpful and bored with their jobs were the loyalty desk. Maybe it was a bad day for them. We will be back eventually, but there are still many other Sandals properties to visit.

Room Tip: Every room is beach front with patio.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank AJSOHN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2017

We stayed in the club level at Sandals South Coast approximately 1 week ago. We got married there on Dec 4th.

PROS
The beach is absolutely beautiful and so close to the rooms. The on-site activities were a blast.

You never feel crowded. The resort is so spaced out that even though I'm sure they are at max capacity, it never feels like it.

We loved the cats and the peacocks on the resort. It made us miss our animals at home a little more. :)

My wedding planner, Sashajay (sp?) was phenomenal. I saw how busy the wedding staff was on the hour of every hour the entire week. She made me feel special and not for a second did I feel rushed.

Literally the best sushi at "Sushi on the Sand" we have ever had. The pizza and lamb at "Guiseppes" was SO good. We had amazing food at every restaurant. No complaints there. The specialty drinks at each restaurant was fun, too.

It's definitely not wild at night at the resort. However, that is something we are okay with. We would end our night at Latitudes, the bar over the water. The staff members were a blast and played along in games with everyone! Specifically, Copeland and Tanika (sp) were awesome!
The martini bar was fun and we had a great time with Glendon.

The swim-up bar was always fun, as at any resort. Shum was so entertaining and always had us laughing and dancing!

Lastly, I would highly recommend going to the YS falls. It was beautiful and so much fun to zip-line and swim!

CONS
First and foremost, check in was horrible. We were supposed to be "priority" check in. However, somehow we were overlooked and ironically, the last to be checked in (despite us being one of the first people there). The entire process was unorganized and I was confused the entire time.

Secondly, our room was never decorated for our honeymoon or wedding, as it was supposed to. This was such a little detail until more little details continued to occur.

We were supposed to go to Eleanor for dinner for our "honeymoon". Since we got married on a Monday, we were told that Eleanor's was closed that day and we had to go on Tuesday. No problem. However, when we got there, the restaurant was closed for an event and the staff was extremely rude, acting like it was OUR fault that there was miscommunication within the staff. I believe her name was Naudia (sp?), told me specifically that she would get in touch with my wedding planner and have it arranged for another day. She never did. I was very unhappy with how she handled things.

We stayed in a "club" level room. Concierge was sub-par on stocking our glasses every day. When we got back to the room one evening, after concierge had closed, I had called to the front desk to ask for champagne flutes since ours were never stocked. Never received.

We ordered breakfast room service one night for the following day due to going on an adventure on an excursion the next day. Never got it.

Overall, we had a great experience and I would highly recommend this resort to anyone. Perhaps I should have had less expectations for club level next time. Shanice was so helpful and patient with us in club Sandals. My wedding day was unforgettable and despite the few little mishaps, we had the time of our lives!

Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank katiewalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2017

We spent 5 days here and didn't want to leave. We had a wonderful experience. It was our first time at a Sandals resort and our travel agent booked it so we didn't know what all the didn't packages were and we really didn't care. We were capable of getting our own drinks whenever we need them and quite enjoyed walking to the different restaurants for lunch (vs Butler delivering the food to the pool/beach) but it all depends on what you like.

We stayed in the Dutch building which is in the middle between the French and Italian. We really liked this location as we had the quieter pool, and the L'Attitude over water bar right in front of us. We really enjoyed the beach being so close. The drawbacks to the Dutch building is that the rooms were very outdated. Clean and comfortable rooms. We had amazing sleeps. The temperature of the room, the bed, the pillows were all good. It just didn't have that spa-like contemporary feel. We got over that when you have such an amazing sleep. Stay in the Italian building if that is important to you.

We tried most of the restaurants and never had a bad meal. Sandals does a great job of presenting food that the majority of people will like and selecting house wine that is pleasant and drinkable. We left every meal satisfied and saying we would return to the restaurant. Our favorite was the Petite Paris- the coffee/dessert shop that had amazing coffee, baked goods every morning and dessert crepes and yummy gelato every evening.

All the staff were lovely and very happy. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves and whistling and singing as they went about their work setting tables. There is definitely a laid back vibe in Jamaica and the staff all have that and you will probably read from other reviews that some might complain about having to wait for drinks at the bar or at the coffee shop but I say to those people...RELAX, you are in Jamaica Mon. I think those folks have trouble shifting gears from their busy lives to a more laid back vacation style. The staff here went so far as to clean the seaweed off the buoys in the morning in the roped off swimming areas. All the staff should be commended for their great service!

The drive from the airport was pleasant. I have not been to Jamaica before so I enjoyed driving across the island. The airport pick-up was efficient and the wait in the Sandals Lounge was long enough to use their washroom and have a cold drink and we were off. The driver was friendly and quite a good tour guide which made the 1 hr and 15 min drive faster. Remember you are going to the South Coast and there is a huge benefit of being on this side of the island...less people and amazing sunsets. So grab a beer for the road and enjoy the ride.

There were activities for everyone. Lots of water sports and activities in the pools but we enjoyed the beach. We never had a problem finding beach chairs and there were always plenty of towels to use. The beach was large and clean and lovely. There are many resorts in Jamaica that you can't walk long stretches of beach and you can do that on this property which is so nice. We never had windy or choppy water which makes it great for swimming. It is a sandy bottom where we were with some seaweed/gooey spots which we were fine with as it is much nicer than having to deal with coral and cutting you feet or having to wear beach shoes like at some resorts.

The only things we would complain about was we sent some laundry to be done and it was very expensive and our room wasn't ready when we arrived which was about 3:30/4:00pm. That wasn't a great welcome but the resort quickly recovered with all the other positives.

We would definitely recommend this property and the great people who work there.

Room Tip: Dutch rooms on higher floors have amazing sunsets (but outdated furnishing)
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Katie_78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2017

My husband and I stayed here for 10 nights for our honeymoon. The flight there was really long(our own fault for living in Saskatchewan), but was tolerable. The drive from the airport to the resort was something else. I felt like I was in a Nascar vehicle on a death mission. Nobody tells you about the single lane highway with bumper to bumper traffic - turning a 40 some KM ride into a 2 hour nauseating roller coaster. Be sure to bring gravel if you get motion sickness.
The resort itself - is beautiful. The grounds and beaches are very well kept. However, be aware if they stick you into the French villa (where they stuck us)- as they are doing construction right beside you and it goes all day and into the evening. The rooms in the French villa are in need of updating and repair, badly. Mild-dew stained tubs and silicone, rusty taps, torn curtains, outdated furniture and decor. Also - a very negative point (and one of my only complaints) - is the distance from the French villa to the main courtyard. The layout of the resort is very strange - it is wide spread - with the food/entertainment/lobby on one side, and the rooms sprawling across a km or 2 of beach sideways. Just be prepared for a long adventure everytime you get hungry. We also mentioned that it was our honeymoon and received a bottle of wine, a nice note from the manager and "rose petals" on our bed ( 3 or 4 tiny petals on a towel ) for a turndown service. Also very annoying - is the birds in the evening. They screach all night and do not stop - you can hear them loud and clear in your room. So if you are a light sleeper, bring ear plugs.
The beach - is nice, but I have seen nicer on resorts where I paid 1/3 of the money. The sand flies are TERRIBLE here (and they're vultures,bug spray doesn't stop them!!!). Stay away from the beach after rain or when the sun starts to drop. The water here is also not "crystal clear" but rather cloudy.
The pools are nice - but the one outside our balcony was the "party one" which is rather disappointing for a couple enjoying a honeymoon. People scream and yell in the pool/hot tub for hours into the evening. They crank the bass in the pool speakers from basically 10-6. Be aware if you are scared of or allergic to bees - as they swarm all the bars here. They don't necessarily bug you - but they're there!!!
As other reviewers have said - yes there is peacocks and cats here. The cats do not bother us any and we actually enjoyed their company. They were very friendly. Others were quite disturbed by the cats and frequently made scenes.
Non-smokers beware: while there is "designated smoking areas" - those who smoke choose to smoke where ever they please - and none of the employees here will enforce it. Be prepared for clouds of smoke at the bars, beaches and by the pool.
The food - was fantastic. I didn't have the usual "tummy problems" that travelers experience, except for once - both my husband and I were sick after eating at Bayside (French restaurant) on our last night - which kind of killed the last night. The breakfast buffet at Bayside is repetitive but good. Eleanors for breakfast takes a very long time and a couple times, it took over 15 minutes to even get a menu or drink. Guiseppe's was our favorite for supper. Paris is okay - but the deserts are not that good. The milkshakes are better. Sushi on the beach was very good. I found Jasmine's good but others at the restaurant did not agree.
The gift shop is really pricey but has good selection.
The spa is very expensive as well, but they do a great job on massages and facials. They will try to force their very expensive products on you after as well. One thing about the spa is how they send spa workers out to the pools and restaurants to constantly ask you if you have tried out the spa yet. Some people just can't fork out 200$ for a 60 minute massage, and I feel like they are panhandlers. It gets annoying.
The photographers on site are good at what they do but they do get annoying. Trying to relax on the beach or by the pool and you have a photographer constantly standing over you asking you to pose. The photos are very expensive. We were given a "complimentary" photoshoot (you still have to pay $20 US a photo)and the photographer was great. He was hilarious and we had a lot of fun. I highly recommend him if you are getting married or wanting a just-for-fun shoot. He goes by the name of " A to Z".
Excursions - be aware if you go deep sea fishing. at $450 US for a couple, they insist they need minimum of 4 people, but they only have 5 rods. We ended up with 6 people on the boat - and you basically take turns reeling if a fish bites. We only had 1 fish bite - and the men let me go first - I reeled in a barricuda and when the captain went to "hook" it - he smacked the fish in the head, my fish spit out the hook and got away. There was no other bites on the boat for the remainder of the day. Y's Fall / Ziplining was fantastic!!!!!!!! I highly recommend it (even the zip lining, it's not very high or long, so it's better for us who are a bit scared). The guides will take your camera for you and take pictures of you in all the good spots. Horseback Riding in Paradise - also very good excursion but I got a very old, slow horse and I felt bad for her in the heat, with me.
A few employees of Sandals to shout out to - Kerri, Reynaldo and Jackson (bartenders) - they made sure you were well taken care of and were a blat. Nelson and Deshae (entertainers) - always stopped to chat and interact with us. Evert (server) - he took such good care of us no matter which restaurant he was in!! probably our favorite employee!! and Tanesha (housekeeping) - thanks for the great job with our room and the cool towel animals!!!
We may or may not try a Sandals again - but it won't be this one (based on the drive and location). I do feel I have received a nicer room, better service and nicer views at a Riu for 1/3 of the price so shop around!!!!

Room Tip: Not the French Villa!! Anything but.
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank bethaniii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2017

This was our 3rd visit to SWH / SSC with the first in 2008 and then 2011. We stayed from Nov 25 - Dec 2, 2017 using our free week but upgrading to a 1 BR butler suite in the Dutch building. We were told thru Sandals directly that since its a free week transportation would not be included even though we fully paid for an additional 5 nights at SRC after this stay. We opted for Joe Cool and glad we did both ways. Room was a bit dated but had everything you could need including a nice large balcony. Although the bed was comfortable for us, it looks like Sandals is cheeping out a bit on the mattress quality. Wifi in the room was spotty most days and not real reliable.
Due to some mobility issues prior to arrival we were more or less forced to spend most of our time at the Dutch pool ( not us with the music ). Lots of floaty's at this pool and Richie did a good job keeping things tidy with his rake and broom. Our butlers Camille and Claudius did a great job looking after us. Most times they just knew when to show up - didn't even need the cell phone most days.
While there they had a number of promotional / photo shoots however we didn't see any area blocked off for any length of time other than Latitude for a few hours 1 evening. Wife even got to meet Butch and talk with him for a minute. They also had many different private functions like weddings, travel agent showings and a pickle ball tourny but we felt with the size of the property it didn't infringe on our space and enjoyment.
They still have the peacocks roaming around but the biggest difference seems to be the many cats around the property. They would defecate in the bushes or in the sand where you walk. How nice. Also as others mentioned they have put in a lot of jetty's to help with erosion and also create places for weddings etc. This means the nice long walks in the water are a thing of the past. you must exit the water every few hundred feet and walk around a concrete barrier or walkway.
Food quality was fairly good during our stay with the exception of the Return dinner. It really was not very good ( roast beef ) and almost seemed like an after thought. Luckily we had great company from Albany NY and London UK. All restaurants in the evening require no reservations and are menu order. Although the portion sizes can be a bit small we prefer this. With usually little exercise than used to and booze available all day, you really don't need 3 full meals every day. This time we only put on half the weight we usually do.
We truly love the staff at SSC. Almost everyone was pleasant, said good morning or good afternoon each time they saw you. We also make it a point to make eye contact and smile which goes a long way.
With the above mentioned mobility issues, spent little time in the ocean. Water was actually very calm most days and few waves. Again as others have said they is an issue with squishy or slimy sand bottom in the water in places which turns you off a bit.
All in all, a good trip. Will go again sometime but currently have a few other Sandals properties to visit again.

Room Tip: All ocean view but some obstructed but trees etc on lower levels
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank lagerbeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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