Best Sandals Resort in Jamaica| 2024 Guide from Sandals Regulars

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway for you and your significant other, and want to make sure you choose the best Sandals Resort in Jamaica, we’ve got you covered.  We are Sandals regulars who have been to all of the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica- so we can give you the scoop. You can’t get more iconic than a stay at any of the Sandals Resort Jamaica properties, and they all have something a bit unique to offer.  

Andrew and Kristin on Hobie Cat at Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica
Andrew and Kristin in water at Sandals in Jamaica

We’ve been to every Sandals Resort in Jamaica within the last year, including the newly opened Sandals Dunns River. We know our Sandals Resorts!

Want to know our favorites???
Kristin’s favorite is Sandals Montego Bay because of the beautiful beach, clear water, nearly no travel time after landing(I get car sick), and the medium resort size with quick access to Sandals Royal Caribbean. This is our favorite room category at Montego Bay!

Check Prices at Montego Bay HERE.

Andrew’s favorite is Sandals South Coast because of the larger resort size with lots of restaurant options, beautiful grounds, fun entertainment, and a long stretch of beach. He loves that there’s so much room to cruise around in the Hobie cat too! This is our favorite room category at South Coast.

Check Prices at South Coast HERE.

Have you heard about 7-7-7 Deals at Sandals Resorts? They can be a bit hard to find when searching the website, but click HERE to see what’s on 7-7-7 this week. The deals are 7 rooms for an additional 7% off, and the rooms up for grabs change every 7 days.

People often ask which Sandals Resort is the best in Jamaica? But the truth is, there’s no one answer to that question. There’s only which Sandals all inclusive Jamaica Resort is going to be the best for you and your needs. 

There are currently 7 Sandals all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, which are: Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean (also located in Montego Bay), Sandals Negril, Sandals Ochi (Ocho Rios), Sandals South Coast (formerly Sandals Whitehouse), Sandals Royal Plantation (also located in Ocho Rios), and Sandals Dunns River.

OUR SANDALS JAMAICA RANKINGS

Having visited all of them, these are OUR RANKINGS of the Sandals Jamaica Resorts. We are beach people who like long stretches of white sand, beautiful blue water, a less crowded beach, and access to fun nearby excursions.

Our top 4 are all so close that it really just depends on the type of trip we want when choosing between them.
1. Sandals Montego Bay-quick in and out from the airport with everything
2. Sandals South Coast-large and secluded property
3. Sandals Dunns River– great food options
4. Sandals Royal Plantation– quiet, relaxing, and mature resort with Ochi(party) next door
5. Sandals Negril– gorgeous sunsets and beach
6. Sandals Royal Caribbean– laid back with quick access to Montego Bay
7. Sandals Ochi– huge resort with party atmosphere

Sandals Jamaica Infographic

1. Sandals Montego Bay

Sandals Montego Bay is Kristin’s favorite Sandals in Jamaica and is a mid-sized resort with a long stretch of nice beach, a lively atmosphere(without being too wild), quick access to Sandals Royal Caribbean and Montego Bay snorkeling spots, and with nearly no travel time from the airport.

The pools are small, and many people do complain about the airplane noise.  It doesn’t bother us, but it’s an issue for some people.  

  • Beautiful Long Beach
  • Smaller Cottage Buildings
  • 5 min Shuttle to Royal Caribbean

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Montego Bay HERE.

Read our Full Review of Sandals Montego Bay HERE.


2. Sandals South Coast

Sandals South Coast has a huge footprint allowing plenty of room for people to spread out.  It never feels crowded, has many food options, and a lively atmosphere in the evening.  There are several large oceanfront pools with swim up bars, and most rooms are beachfront.

With everything so spread out, there will be more walking.  And, while the beach is long, the sand is harder and it’s mostly seagrass or mucky sand to walk in if you enter the ocean.

  • Very Long Stretch of Beach
  • Large Pools with Swim up Bars
  • Overwater Bungalows and Rondovals

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals South Coast HERE.

Read our Full Review of Sandals South Coast HERE.


3. Sandals Dunn’s River

Sandals Dunns River is one of our favorite Sandals Resorts in Jamaica because of it’s medium size, top notch food(the best we’ve had at any Sandals), lively but more mature crowd, beautiful wide stretch of beach, and fun oceanfront pools.  

The large buildings with guest rooms only accessible through interior elevators aren’t our favorite, and the location does lend itself to more windy yellow flag days- especially in the afternoons.

  • Fantastic Food- both Quality and Diversity
  • Large Oceanfront Infinity Pools
  • Wide Stretch of Nice Beach

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Dunns River HERE.

Read our Full Review of Sandals Dunns River HERE.


4. Sandals Royal Plantation

If you’re looking for a truly luxurious laid back Sandals stay, Royal Plantation is it.  It’s a small all butler resort, with the best service and food quality(equal to Dunns River) of any Sandals.  The smaller beaches are wonderful and never crowded, and there’s quick access to the huge and lively Sandals Ochi next door.

The crowd skews older and more laid back, so it’s tranquil, but could seem boring depending on what you’re looking for.  The rooms are in the older Caribbean style and seem quite dated for a Sandals property.

  • Great Quality of Food and Service
  • Small and Relaxing
  • 2 minute Shuttle to Sandals Ochi

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Royal Plantation HERE.

Read our Full Review of Sandals Royal Plantation HERE.


5. Sandals Negril

Sandals Negril a smaller laid back beach focused resort located right on the famous 7 Mile Beach with quick access to Beaches Negril, the family friendly sister property of Sandals.   The water is usually calm with good snorkeling and diving just a short boat trip away.

There are limited food options, and a good bit of (needed)updating going on currently, but the construction noise is pretty minimal.  The section of seven mile beach down by Beaches Resort is much nicer with the beach at Sandals being a bit mucky, especially on the Northern side.

  • Beautiful Sunsets
  • 5 minute Taxi to Beaches Resort
  • Great Watersports

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Negril HERE.


6. Sandals Royal Caribbean

Sandals Royal Caribbean is not one of our favorites, but some love it.  With a laid back and quieter feel, Sandals Royal Caribbean is mostly centered around the various pools and gardens with some great food options like Royal Thai and Bombay.  If you’re looking for an overwater bungalow stay, these are the best overwater bungalows in Jamaica(sorry South Coast, these are better!).

The beach is a series of a couple of small coves, leaving it very crowded feeling.  The offshore island is fun to visit, but there’s minimal beach area there as well.  The crowd skews older and this resort is quite calm, if not a bit boring at night.  

  • Overwater Bungalows
  • Offshore Island
  • 5 minute Shuttle to Sandals Montego Bay

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Royal Caribbean HERE.


7. Sandals Ochi

Some people are bothered by this statement, but it’s often called the “Frat House” or “Spring Break” of Sandals Jamaica Resorts, and we agree.  It’s a HUGE property split by a major road requiring guests to take “The HOP”(shuttle) from one side to the other.  The crowd also skews young, and a bit livelier, so it could be fun for a trip with a large group of friends.  If you choose a room in Butler Village, you can get away from it all, but join the fun when you like.

There are a lot of restaurant options, and it usually has the lowest price point of any of the Jamaica Sandals resorts.

  • Affordable and Lively
  • Lots of Dining Options
  • Golf Nearby

Check Prices and Availability at Sandals Ochi HERE.


SANDALS STAY AT 1 PLAY AT ALL

When staying at one of the six sandals resorts in Jamaica, you actually can visit any of the others on the island(with the exception of Sandals Royal Plantation) and try the restaurants, watersports, and any of the amenities.  This also includes access to the Beaches properties, Sandals family friendly resorts, located in Negril and Ocho Rios.  It’s a pretty incredible program that really expands your experience options.  

It’s easiest to take advantage of this in Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, as each has two resorts and transportation is included within the same city.  Shuttles run approximately once an hour between properties.  Royal Plantation is actually an easy walk over to Ochi as well.  

Even if you’re staying further away from a resort you want to visit, you still get exchange privileges, just not free transportation.  As long as you cover the transportation to and from the other resort, you’re welcome to enjoy all of the amenities.  


SANDALS JAMAICA BEST RESORT SPLIT STAY OPTIONS

Did you know that you can plan a split stay and experience two of the best Sandals Resorts in Jamaica on one trip?  Simply book your stays at both properties and then call the sandals desk at 1-800-SANDALS to combine your trip.  This way they will know how to properly organize your travel to and from the airport.  

These are our favorite split stay options.

Sandals South Coast and Sandals Negril

This is the nature lover’s split stay, and one of our favorites.  It’s actually what we are doing for our anniversary trip.  Sandals South Coast is truly away from it all with nature all around.  There are plenty of options for watersports and fun trips out to places like Floyd’s Pelican Bar.  

We love combining the seclusion of Sandals South Coast with Sandals Negril and its access to some of the best snorkeling in Jamaica as well as plenty of other excursions and sights to explore.  


Sandals Ochi/Royal Plantation and Sandals Montego Bay/Royal Caribbean

This is an amazing split stay option for people who want to see and experience as much of the best Sandals resorts Jamaica has to offer.   You could get to experience FOUR of the Sandals Jamaica locations all in one trip with the combination of a split stay and the “Stay at 1, Play at All” policy. Or mix it up and add in some time at the family friendly Beaches Ocho Rios to enjoy the waterpark.

Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation are both located in Ocho Rios with guests of Sandals Royal Plantation having full exchange privileges with Sandals Ochi.  However, this is the only location where it doesn’t work both ways as guests of Sandals Ochi(or any other resort for that matter) do not have exchange privileges with Sandals Royal Plantation.  

Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean are both located in Montego Bay with full exchange privileges and free transportation between resorts.  

So, with a Sandals Royal Plantation split stay with either of the two Sandals resorts in Montego Bay, you would be able to experience FOUR resorts including all of their restaurants and amenities.  For people who like to stay busy and experience it all, this is a great option!


MAP OF SANDALS RESORTS IN JAMAICA

Map of all Sandals Resorts in Jamaica and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many Sandals Resorts are in Jamaica?

There are currently 6 Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, with two new resorts scheduled to open within the next year.  

What’s the tipping policy?

No tipping is allowed on Sandals properties, with a few exceptions.  If you have a butler room or rent a beach cabana, you can- and are encouraged to- tip your butler.  You can also tip for Spa services, any off property excursions, and transportation to and from the resort.  

Are there any family friendly Sandals Resorts?

Yes, well sort of!  Sandals has sister properties, Beaches Resorts, that offer all of the amenities and inclusions that you expect from a Sandals stay, but from a family friendly angle.  They offer water parks, Sesame Street character shows, kids camps, and even programs for teens.

Looking for more??? Read more of our Jamaica Guides here.

Featured Photo and Review Photos Courtesy of Sandals Resorts

 

About the author
Kristin Young