Brad was recently at the Sandals resorts in Jamaica. While he visited every resort, he stayed in four: Sandals Negril, Sandals Whitehouse, Sandals Montego Bay and in Ocho Rios, Sandals Grande Riviera. Brad shared a bit about his trip and about becoming a Sandals specialist. Read below for more!
Brad flew West Jet on a red eye through Toronto. “We spent some time at the Toronto Lounge,” said Brad, “if you fly with West Jet, you get a discount. It’s approximately $26 and it comes with breakfast, a place to wash up, and a nice quiet atmosphere.” After the lounge, they took off on a 10AM flight to Montego Bay.
After arriving in Montego Bay, Brad noted that the resort was as close to the airport as can be. “If you’re not prepared, it’s a bit of a shock. When planes take off, they look like they’re coming out of the resort. I felt like I could check in from the runway,” laughed Brad, “they spun it in a way that makes it fun – whenever you see a plane take off, you wave and kiss the person next to you, and honestly, you don’t even notice the planes after being there a couple days.”
“The resorts themselves are complicated,” said Brad, “they’re doing a lot of work, really gutting and refurbishing their rooms – this isn’t just a paint job. But almost all the resorts are old enough that they’re right on the beach. Newer resorts have to be built further back, but these ones are right on the beach and it’s really spectacular.”
But there’s a price to pay for that kind of closeness to the waterfront. “Sandals Negril doesn’t have an elevator, for instance,” shared Brad, “but it’s literally right on the beach, so it’s worth it.”
“Most of the activities we did while in Jamaica revolved around visiting the different Sandals resorts, and becoming a Sandals Certified Specialist, but we also got the opportunity to do an Island Routes tour – they’re slightly affiliated with Sandals, as it’s owned by one of the children of the Sandals CEO,” shared Brad, “we also did a Catamaran cruise and some snorkelling.”
“We got to check out Margaritaville, and do some local shopping. I found that the alcohol is the same price if not more expensive outside the airport as inside though,” admitted Brad, “I bought some rum and it was $14 outside at the market, but $7 at the airport – and I had to lug it all around Jamaica.”
There are always pros and cons, and Brad shared both. “The Sandals Grande Riviera resort had so many areas, food options, places to go and see, over 90 pools and 20 hot tubs – granted some are with the private villas – firepits for couples to sit around, it just had a great atmosphere,” shared Brad. And then the food! “Food highlights were having authentic jerk chicken, and then at Sandals Whitehouse, they had a place called Cafe des Paris where they served made in house pastries and crepes, icecream, banana splits, and other desserts,” shared Brad, “it was delicious.”
“Another special moment for us was getting to see the Sandals Foundation School, play soccer with the kids, see the classes and read to them,” shared Brad, “Sandals is family owned and operated and it’s authentically Caribbean – they really give back to the community.”
“I also found Sandals is really pushing to be green,” noted Brad, “They never cut down anything living, and the trees that die, they turn into unique carvings. It helps maintain the integrity of the soil and gives the place a really interesting environment.”
Anything else? “I don’t recommend night swimming,” laughed Brad, “I got stung by something when I went for an evening dip, and while I don’t know what it was, it was similar markings to a jellyfish according to the nurse. They neutralized it and I was good to go. There wasn’t anything during the day and I didn’t see any jellyfish when I was snorkelling so who knows what it was.”
“The weather called for rain while we were there,” shared Brad, “but don’t be discouraged if it does for your trip. It was sunny every day til about 3, then it would rain from 3 to 6, and it would be nice again in the evening. It was very predictable weather.”
Anything you’d like to share with our readers? “Sandals pushes more quality inclusions than any other resorts on the planet. Tt’s not just a choice of red or white wine, it’s different CHOICES of red and white,” shared Brad “You always have choices, and you should ask for those choices. Also, the food is truly 24 hours – there is always someone there that will make you fresh food.”
We’d like to thank Brad for sharing his experience with us!