The 9 Best Sandals Resorts of 2019

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A stunning collection of couples-only resort properties scattered across the sandy isles and coral atolls of the Caribbean, Sandals has cultivated a well-deserved reputation for providing a romantic, exclusive, and luxurious all-inclusive vacation experience. Features common to all Sandals resorts include picturesque settings on immaculate tropical beaches, attentive service, gourmet dining, and a diverse range of activities. PADI-certified scuba diving, kayaking, and Hobie Cats can be enjoyed on the crystal-clear waters, while tennis, beach volleyball, and other sports can be found on resort grounds.

The Sandals group has won numerous awards and accolades, including being recognized as the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company by the World Travel Awards twenty-two years in a row. Although the sixteen properties provide a consistently high standard of service and amenities, each property offers unique features that appeal to vacationers of varying dispositions. Whether looking for scenic golf links, secluded beaches, or five-star fine dining, guests are assured a relaxed and unforgettable stay in paradise.

01 of 09

Best Overall: Sandals Grenada

Sandals Grenada

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Situated on the sands of Pink Gin Beach on the isle of St. George, Sandals Grenada offers guests the quintessential all-inclusive resort experience, with four unique sections housing modern and stylish rooms and suites. The most opulent accommodations, found in the Italian Village, show a distinctly European flair, especially evident in the claw-foot bathtubs and Carrera marble in the bathrooms. Suite types include options such as swim-up access for ground floor suites and infinity-edge ‘sky pools’ on oversized balconies. Guests looking for a beachfront location and ocean views should stay in the Pink Gin beachfront suites. Meanwhile, the intimate Rondoval suites at South Seas are modeled after classic tropical island architecture, and the Lover’s Lagoon offers privacy and views over the freshwater lake.

The main pool is a lively and popular spot with a swim-up bar, pool volleyball, and a nearby hot tub, while the quieter beachfront pool and several waterfall river pools provide more tranquil swimming and lounging experiences. Other facilities include a Red Lane Spa with saunas and steam rooms, and ten specialty restaurants, including an acclaimed steakhouse, dramatic Teppanyaki dining, and classic Italian comfort fare.

02 of 09

Best Pools: Sandals Ochi, Jamaica

Sandals Ochi, Jamaica

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Although several other Sandals properties feature equally impressive main pools, the sheer number of pools at Sandals Ochi boost it above the rest. As well as the seven public pools, dozens of semi-private pools are available to guests staying the all-butler village. The main pool, bedecked with fountains and statues of dolphins, is a popular spot for socializing over tropical cocktails served from the swim-up bar. The Beach Club pool also contains a swim-up bar, but exudes a more relaxed vibe and offers ocean views thanks to its beachfront location. Smaller pools can be found scattered throughout the resort, generally in quiet garden settings which offer a sense of privacy and an oasis-like atmosphere.

Other resort facilities include a Red Lane Spa, where guests can lounge in saunas, steam rooms, a solarium, and plunge pools. Couples can enjoy treatments both in the spa premises or on beachside massage tables. An 18-hole course provides unlimited golfing opportunities and a clubhouse provides snacks and refreshments. A huge selection of 16 restaurants serve dishes inspired by culinary styles from all over the world, and eight bars keep guests supplied with premium wines, spirits, and other beverages.

03 of 09

Best Boutique: Sandals Royal Plantation, Jamaica

Sandals Royal Plantation, Jamiaca

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As the only all-butler, all-suite resort in the Sandals group — and with only 74 accommodations — guests of Sandals Royal Plantation are guaranteed a personal and attentive stay. Rooms range from comfortably-outfitted suites with a tropical colonial atmosphere to lavish affairs reminiscent of an English country estate. Every room provides superb views over the grounds, beach, and ocean. Though the pool and two whirlpool tubs are small in comparison to other properties, the private beach provides a delightful spot to relax, with swing beds and in-water hammocks backed by verdant tropical gardens.

Guests of the hotel can avail themselves of classic European spa treatments at the full-service Red Lane Spa. As well as the on-site water and land sports, guests also enjoy free green fees at the nearby Sandals Golf & Country Club. Dining options include casual international cuisine at the sea-view, alfresco Terrace, fine gourmet dining at the French-cuisine Le Papillon, and small gastropub bites at the casual Wobbly Peacock, as well as access to 16 other restaurants at nearby Sandals resorts.

04 of 09

Best Villas: Sandals Grande St. Lucian

Sandals Grande St. Lucian

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Accommodations at Sandals Grande St. Lucian come in a large variety of styles, and with different amenities. There are sophisticated penthouse apartments with large, fully furnished balconies overlooking the Caribbean; beachfront island-style huts with outdoor showers, jacuzzies, and plunge pools; and swim-up suites with private patios, marble bathrooms, and stunning mountain or garden vistas. However, the jewels of the resort are undoubtedly the spectacular overwater villas. Designed with a stylish, modern theme — think: hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and top-end appliances — each villa is packed full of thoughtful features, such as glass-paneled floors with underwater lighting and walk-in rainfall showers in the mosaiced bathrooms. Outside, private sun decks come with a shower, ergonomic sun loungers, and a bistro set, as well as either a tranquillity soaking tub or overwater hammocks.

Other features around the hotel include five pools — there's the lively main pool with a swim-up bar, a romantic heart-shaped pool, and a meandering lagoon pool, among other — plus free green fees to the nearby golf course and a tranquil full-service spa. A diverse range of dining options includes 12 onsite restaurants as well as access to an additional 15 venues at nearby sister resorts.

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05 of 09

Best for Honeymooners: Sandals Grande Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua

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Soft white sands and calm ocean waters have earned Dickenson Bay the title of finest beach in Antigua — and you can bet it offers the ultimate romantic setting for lovebirds. With sprawling grounds that contain gorgeous manicured lawns and the largest pool in the Eastern Caribbean, it's easy to see why Sandals Grande Antigua is named a leading honeymoon resort year after year. Guests who choose to stay at the Caribbean Beachfront Village enjoy unmatched beach access as well as rooms full of local character (conical ceilings and mahogany wood highlights being the most impressive). French doors open onto private, flower-filled courtyards, some of which even contain plunge pools.

The Mediterranean Oceanview Village provides beautifully appointed villas and penthouse suites with magnificent views over sparkling Mediterranean waters. Dining venues serve cuisine ranging from spicy local fare to classic British pub grub in a series of charming restaurants, scenic alfresco terraces, and shaded courtyards. Six freshwater pools and whirlpools — surrounded by poolside bars, sun loungers, and cozy firepits — offer a variety of ambiances. Of course, a Red Lane Spa also offers couples a complete suite of massage, beauty, and wellness treatments.

06 of 09

Best for Luxury: Sandals Royal Barbados

Sandals Royal Barbados

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The most glamorous accommodations at this all-suite resort? Beachfront Love Nest Butler suites, which come with opulent living rooms and expansive open-air balconies kitted out with tranquillity soaking tubs and ocean views. Bedrooms are beautifully appointed with spacious king beds, and they open out onto impressive ‘sky pools’— cantilevered, glass-walled infinity pools suspended out in the breeze. Guests in this category also enjoy full butler service, 24-hour room service, and VIP check-in priority.

Six hotel restaurants serve both classic and contemporary cuisine, with all dishes — from exciting fusion creations to gourmet American dining — prepared to the very highest standards of quality and presentation. Features unique to this resort are the rooftop pool and sun lounging deck, a four-lane bowling alley, and a Sandals craft beer experience that serves 19 varieties of small-batch ales from around the world. The resort contains a well-appointed Red Lane Spa and has also teamed up with local adventure tour company Island Routes to offer exciting excursions through nearby jungles and caves.

07 of 09

Best for Golf: Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas

Sandals Emerald Bay, Bahamas

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With pristine greens and fairways meandering over rolling sand dunes, the 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course at Sandals Emerald Bay is rightly considered the finest oceanside course in the Caribbean. Designed by the legendary Greg Norman, the links of this award-winning course wind along the coast and onto a dramatic, scenic peninsula that provides hours of entertainment and challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Professional instructors share expert tips with players looking to improve their technique.

At the resort, guest suites are housed in elegant mansion-like villas, with a classic British Colonial atmosphere created by graceful exteriors, polished stone floors, locally-designed rugs, and rich mahogany fittings. Situated in beach and ocean-view locations, the most desirable contain private patios and pools, marble-lined bathrooms, and direct shore access. Other hotel amenities include a selection of eleven restaurants and beachside dining venues, the largest zero-entry pool in the Caribbean, and a memorable sunset tower. The resort’s location, overlooking a mile-long stretch of pristine sand, is regarded as one of the most favored in the Bahamas.

08 of 09

Best for Dining: Sandals Regency La Toc

Sandals Regency La Toc

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With nine on-site restaurants and access to 18 additional venues at nearby Sandals Grande St. Lucian and Sandals Halcyon Beach, guests of Sandals Regency La Toc can savor an impressive variety of culinary treats from around the world. The finest cuisine is to be found is at the eponymous onsite restaurant which delivers succulent, French-inspired dishes such as scallops in Chablis cream and pan-roasted duck with chanterelle mushrooms. The rich, plush décor in Amando’s, an Italian eatery, is no less stunning, while restaurants such as Mediterranean Neptune’s and Asian Kimono’s allow guests to take in sweeping ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows. The equally scenic, centerpiece restaurant, The Pavilion, places guests amid towering stone columns and candlelit-tables to dine on international a la carte and buffet meals. More casual atmospheres can be found at the Cricketers Pub, the Bella Napoli pizzeria, and the Soy sushi bar.

Other hotel perks include free green fees at two Sandals gold resorts and three gorgeous pools — including the largest pool in St. Lucia — which come with swim-up bars and enviable views of the ocean.

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09 of 09

Best for Privacy: Sandals Royal Bahamian

Sandals Royal Bahamian

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Guests of the Sandals Royal Bahamian are privileged to enjoy two resort experiences in one stay: a modern and elegant mainland resort and a quiet, boutique offshore island experience. Perched just minutes away by free water taxi, the private Sandals Island provide guests of the resort with an exclusive escape. On one side of the island, a relaxed beach area provides ample space and lounges for relaxing in the bright tropical sunshine, while the coral atolls just offshore offer some of the best snorkeling in the Bahamas. On the other side of the island, a variety of adrenaline-fuelled water sports is available. In the center of the island, a beachside pool contains a swim-up bar and a nearby whirlpool tub, and the seafood house serves both local dishes and panoramic ocean views. A Red Lane Spa is also available to offer ocean-inspired treatments in alfresco treatment areas along the beach.

Back at the main resort, guests can stay in a variety of rooms and suites, including the desirable swim-up suites along the river pool. Ten restaurants also serve up classic dishes from French cuisine to English gastropub grub and spicy Caribbean fare.

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