Everything to Know About Sandals Butler Service

If you’re thinking of or have already booked a five star break with Sandals, then you may have come across a mention or two of the Sandals butler service. If so, you may well be wondering what butler service at Sandals includes. 

What’s involved in the Sandals resort butler service, what do they do for you, should you tip them and how does this service differ from a regular concierge? Most of all – is it really worth booking a room that includes Sandals Butler Elite?

This Sandals butler service review came about based on our own recent experience of staying in a butler suite at Sandals. If you’re considering the Sandals resorts butler service, this article will tell you everything you need to know before you go.

Read on to find out all about the extras those Sandals butler suites come with, so you can  make up your mind about whether or not it’s for you. Beginning with the all-important question. What are the benefits of Butler Elite at Sandals? In what ways is the service better than that given to regular guests?  Find our picks for the Best Sandals in Jamaica HERE and Best Sandals in St. Lucia HERE.

In This Post:


WHAT DOES A SANDALS BUTLER DO?

Bed Decorated by Butler Sandals Rondoval South Coast

So what is butler service at Sandals, exactly? Our advice begins with this. Think of a butler as more of a personal concierge rather than a butler in the traditional sense. While they are there to help make your trip better, they aren’t your servants. 

At most Sandals resorts, the butlers in regular rooms usually service around five to six couples. Each butler for the overwater bungalows normally serves two. With up to half a dozen couples to take care of, you may need to plan ahead a little when using the butler service. As every butler serves between two and six rooms, they may need some time to come up with the goods. 

The most common requests made to butlers include the following. They can reserve beach chairs, and bring you a cooler or restock your cooler at the beach. A butler will also make dinner reservations, walk you to the restaurant and get you seated. They can also  deliver snacks to your room upon request: for example we ordered these during the late afternoon and before bed. 

Fun things your butler may also do include making cute towel animals, drawing you a bubble bath or bringing special drinks or snacks to your Sandals butler suite to surprise you if they can.  

If you’re new to the world of butler service, it can be a little confusing at first. Something we missed out on during out first few evenings was the walk to dinner. I thought we could handle walking to dinner on our own, so we never asked our butler to take us.

Then one night while waiting in line for a table, we saw a butler come in with their guests. They cleaned a dirty table that was positioned in a prime spot, seated their guests, and brought them drinks to start things off. This is when I realized why it was worth asking your butler to walk you to dinner!

Sandals butler bonuses

If you book a Sandals Jamaica butler suite at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean – or an overwater bungalow at Sandals South Coast – you also get a couple of additional extras. 

You’ll be given private transfers by BMW to the resort and back to the airport. A personalized check-in and meet and greet service is also included, as well as a butler-led property tour on arrival.  

 A weekly cocktail party takes place within each resort for Butler Elite guests too. 


SANDALS BUTLER TIPPING

Chairs Reserved with cooler by butler at Sandals

Another question that commonly comes up concerns tipping a butler at Sandals resorts. Is Sandals butler service tipping the norm, and if so, how much do you tip a butler at Sandals? 

Based on our experience, we can confirm that butlers are one of the few members of resort staff that that can – and should –  be tipped. Which will no doubt will leave you wondering – how much should I tip my butler at Sandals, and when? 

It’s recommended to tip your butler at the end of the trip, but some people do tip them daily. We recommend bringing a thank you card and placing the tip in with that. You can then give this to them during the last day or shift that you will see them.

When considering how much to tip a butler at a Sandals resort, it’s worth knowing about their working pattern. Butler hours do vary depending on the day of the week. Butlers typically they work in teams of two. They might split the day between them, or have one on duty all day while the other has some time off. 

In fact it’s not uncommon to have three butlers. Two might cover the usual split shifts, for instance, while the third covers their days off. Typically, their hours consist of split shift days comprising 7am to 2pm and 2pm to 9pm shifts. So you’ll often have one butler in the morning and the other in the evening. When a single butler works through, their 12-hour shift might run from 8am to 8pm.

Butlers that aren’t serving overwater bungalows and villas may work for around six couples each. Therefore the service in standard butler rooms is not quite as highly personalized as it would be for a bungalow or villa where there are just commonly only two rooms per butler team. 

So how much to tip a Sandals butler? Average tips for regular butlers seem to be in the range of $20 to $30 per butler, per day or shift. It’s most likely that each of your two butlers will work a shift each day. Obviously this is a tip – and just a general guideline – so you can go up or down from there. That is the type of rate we’ve most commonly heard about, though. 

For overwater or villa butlers, the tip range tends to be a bit higher. In this case the average seems to be about $50 to $100 per day or shift. This is because it’s a more personalized service, with just a couple of bungalows or villas per butler team.

For your Sandals butler tip, it’s best to bring cash. I believe that in theory at least it’s possible to tip on your credit card at the end of the trip, but in practice cash will certainly work better. 

Cash is preferred, anyway, so make sure to plan your vacation spending accordingly.  We’d also add to always bring extra cash than you think you’ll need, just in case. It’s never fun to feel restricted by having less cash than you need!

As a rule, the resorts do not have ATMs. We have heard that you can get cash from the front desk, but have never personally done this. I did once ask if there was an ATM, was just told “no” and that was it with no offer of other ways to access it.


SANDALS BUTLER PREFERENCES

Anniversary Dinner on Patio by Sandals Butler

Once you’ve paid your Sandals balance in full, you will be given access to your butler preferences questionnaire. Make sure to fill it out so they can be prepared: starting off on the right foot is simpler for everyone. You can access the Sandals butler requests questionnaire from the Sandals app or website.

The number one thing to remember is that these are preferences and requests only. Don’t expect tons of over the top stuff every single day! If you do really want something specific for a certain day, make sure you include this in the preferences. 

When you want something from your butler, make sure to specifically ask for it that day – or during the day before if possible. Then they’ll know it’s really important to you. In this case they will do their best to accommodate.  

Ask for things as early as you can: for example don’t wait until you are hungry to request a food delivery. In that case you would have to wait for it to be cooked at the restaurant before the butler can then get it to you. That can take some time.


Sandals Butler Requests

Before you depart for your vacation, print a copy of you butler preferences questionnaire so you can give this to butlers on site. This can be done from the Sandals website.

Once you arrive, you’ll probably discover some other things you’d like to add or change from your requests. Make sure you maintain an open dialogue with your butler at all times. This will ensure they do everything in their power to accommodate any additional requests.

SMB Butler Service
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Really, you can request anything you would like. Too often, though, people miss out on the amazing services the butler can provide. This is simply because they don’t know what to ask for!

For this reason, we’ve come up with a list of some cool things your butler can do to make your trip truly special.

  • Serve Candlelight Dinner on your Balcony
  • Run you a Romantic Bubble Bath
  • Breakfast in Bed (they’ll bring this to your room rather than serving you in bed)
  • Reserve a Beach Chair
  • Stock a Cooler with Your Favorite Drinks
  • Deliver Snacks at the Pool
  • Make Dinner Reservations
  • Set up your Table for Dinner
  • Have Morning or Afternoon Snacks waiting for you
  • Book Excursions and Spa Appointments
  • Make Towel Animals
  • Liaise with Housekeeping to Keep your Suite in Perfect Condition
  • Collect and Deliver your Laundry
  • Shine your Shoes before Dinner

Other Sandals butler services

Your butler is trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers, and is set to deliver the sort of service that celebrities, heads of state and even royalty might expect!

Here are some of the arrival and departure services you can expect from a Sandals butler, should you want to take advantage of them.

Arrival

  • Hand you a lemongrass-scented towel for post-flight refreshment
  • Offer to serve you foodie treats and welcome cocktails
  • Take care of your luggage and escort you to your suite
  • Handle check in within your room
  • Liaise with hotel staff regarding any accommodation requests
  • Give you a cell phone for contacting them when required
  • Outline the resort facilities and show you around 
  • Unpack your case and iron your evening clothing for the first night

Departure

  • Arrange airport transport
  • Help you to fold clothing for packing
  • Take care of check out paperwork
  • Bring your luggage to the departure point
  • Escort you to your airport transfer vehicle

Tips for filling out the Butler Questionnaire

Make sure to fill out a butler preference sheet, which is available after you’ve paid in full and do print a copy to take along. Before you travel, place a name tag on all your bags, including your carry on. If you want to, you can use the cell phone supplied on resort to contact your butler anytime you need something. 

It’s worth specifying the drinks that you’d prefer to have your in room bar stocked with. Here are some of the options you can choose from.

  • Robert Mondavi wines – from the Napa Valley, California
  • Local beers – Red Stripe or Red Stripe Light in Jamaica, Pitons or Pitons Light in St. Lucia, and so on
  • Champagne
  • Juices – there are usually several options, such as apple, guava, pineapple, etc.
  • Sodas – Coke, Sprite, tonic water – there are no energy drinks supplied
  • Water – a local brand; there is no Smartwater, Fiji, etc.
  • Hard liquor bar – you can choose your favourite liquors, and these can be replenished whenever you like

You can also specify the times that you would like to receive snacks, plus of course what you would like to eat. Make sure to list any allergies, or dislikes, at this stage!


SANDALS BUTLER ROOM SERVICE MENU

If you book into Sandals as a butler guest, then you can have anything that’s currently available on that property brought to you. This means that if, for example, you want dinner from multiple restaurants to be delivered to your room or even the pool, they can make that happen.

When butlers are off duty – which is usually after 8 or 9pm – there is a 24 hour room service menu that you can order from instead. Butler guests also get a breakfast door hanger to request an early morning food delivery such as coffee, omelets, pastries and so on. These are typically delivered by room service rather than your butler, as this is before the butler shifts begin.  


SANDALS BUTLER SERVICE VS CONCIERGE

Flowers in Bubble bath made by Butler at Sandals Royal Plantation

So how about Sandals Concierge service vs Butler service? What about Luxury and Club room categories? It can get confusing, so here’s an outline of the key differences. 

Sandals Club level was formerly known as Sandals Concierge. As the level between Butler Elite and Luxury, this term refers to the mid range rooms. Luxury is the base level. If you book this, you will check in at the front desk, use the culinary desk to make dinner reservations and have no access to room service.

Club level guests have access to the Club lounge for check in. As a Club guest, you provided with an extra snack and drinks bar, and you can make dinner reservations there. You will also have access to room service between 7am and 10pm. 

Butler Elite level comes with access to the Club lounge and all of their amenities. You shouldn’t need to use these, though, as your butler will take care of everything that’s usually handled by the Club lounge – and more. Your butler will handle check in and make dinner reservations, and you will have access to room service 24 hours a day.

You will receive a phone to use when you want to call your butler. The butler will check in with you throughout the day, making sure you are being taken care of. A Sandals Club (or Concierge guest) will not have this service. There are staff for you to contact and use, but unlike a butler they will not go out of their way to check on you.  

Club level comes with a fixed room service menu between 7am and 10pm, while Butler Elite level guests can use the room service menu 24 hours a day. Your butler will also bring you anything that is accessible on the resort, at any time that this is available. 

For instance, you cannot get your butler to deliver sushi at lunch time as the restaurant isn’t open. No jerk shack food is available late at night, because this is closed then.


CABANA BUTLER SERVICE AT SANDALS

The most important point to note here is that Cabana butlers are entirely separate from regular butlers. When you rent a beach cabana for the day, this includes butler service at the cabana.

So, the cabana butler will set it up for you, bring you extra dry towels, fill a cooler with drinks, restock the cooler, bring you meals or snacks, and otherwise try to accommodate any needs that they can. 

Sandals cabana butlers do service several cabanas, so they are not just there to take care of you. It is a very personalized service, however. As such these butlers also can – and should – be tipped.


IS BUTLER SERVICE WORTH IT AT SANDALS?

So is butler service at Sandals worth it? The answer really depends on how you like to travel. We don’t mind, for example, walking 20 feet to the nearest bar or organizing our own reservations and excursions. 

When it comes to reserving beach chairs, though, it is a big benefit having a butler. They can get out there early to save you a prime spot. Butlers will also help you to get great seats at dinner, and can definitely expedite getting you seated.  

Personally, I think butlers are a nice addition to your break, and they can be very helpful. We don’t see them as a necessity for enjoying your vacation. However, some people really do LOVE the extra pampering and think that it’s worth booking Butler Elite for this.

For us, we will usually choose the room we want first of all. If that comes with a butler, then great – and most of the best rooms do. But if not, that’s okay too.

Looking for More Sandals Resort Info?? Check out our Sandals Jamaica Resort Guide Here!

About the author
Kristin Young