One of the first names that comes up when looking for all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica is Sandals. This adults-only, couples-only Caribbean resort chain is consistently highly rated.
There are 6 Sandals resorts in Jamaica (plus one that opens in 2023) and all of them offer pure tropical luxury.
Here’s a rundown on what the 5 best Sandals resorts in Jamaica have to offer, as well as comparisons of them, so that you can plan the best vacation ever!
Sandals Royal Plantation
Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios is one of, if not the most romantic and intimate Sandals resort in Jamaica.
Compared to other Sandals Resorts, Royal Plantation is quite small, having just 74 suites, as well as 2 pools, 5 restaurants, and 2 bars.
However, guests at Royal Plantation have free access and transfers to Sandals Ochi, the largest and liveliest of the Sandals resorts, just a few minutes away. Here, your world opens up to include many more restaurants, bars, and pools!
Another great thing about Sandals Royal Plantation is its proximity to Dunn’s River Falls and Ocho Rios Blue Hole. The resort is also close to Sandals Golf & Country Club.
Sandals South Coast
If you want to go off the beaten path without losing any luxury, consider Sandals South Coast for your vacation. This resort is in Jamaica’s untamed south coast in the town of Whitehouse. Sandals South Coast is located within a private nature reserve and also has a 2-mile-long private beach.
In addition to its regular suites, South Coast has 12 overwater bungalows. This Sandals resort is one of only two in Jamaica that offer this!
Sandals South Coast has 7 bars and 9 restaurants. This resort also houses 4 pools (including one that is the largest in Jamaica!) and 4 whirlpools.
Sandals Negril‘s standout feature is its location. Though it doesn’t have its own private beach, Sandals Negril has a fabulous stretch on Jamaica’s best beach — Seven Mile Beach. The resort offers lots of watersports, including waterskiing.
Being a smaller resort, Sandals Negril has a bit fewer amenities than the average Sandals, having 7 restaurants, 5 bars, 4 pools, and 3 whirlpools. But, because it also has fewer rooms and guests, it all evens out.
Also, guests at Sandals Negril get free access to Beaches Negril, the family-friendly sister resort located on the same beach. This opens up your options greatly!
Spread out over 100 acres, Sandals Ochi in Ocho Rios is the largest of all Sandals resorts in Jamaica. It has a whopping 100 pools, as well as 16 restaurants and 11 bars.
Whether you like tranquility, excitement, or both, Sandals Ochi has got you covered. The resort is split into two sides: the hillside and the beachside.
On the hillside, you can find serene villas with full butler service and private pools. The beachside, on the other hand, is where you can find the lively Ocho Rios Beach Club.
If you’re keen on visiting Dunn’s River Falls or Ocho Rios Blue Hole, you’ll be happy to know that Sandals Ochi is very close to both. It’s also close to Sandals Golf & Country Club.
Sandals Royal Caribbean
Sandals Royal Caribbean is another excellent choice for people divided between wanting a peaceful vacation or a lively one. This resort is located in Montego Bay, Jamaica’s forever-awake tourism hub.
What sets Royal Caribbean apart from the rest is that it has its own private island. Sandals Cay is a short boat ride away from the main resort and it is here that you can find highly coveted overwater bungalows. The island is the epitome of tropical luxury!
Sandals Royal Caribbean houses 7 pools, 5 whirlpools, 9 restaurants, and 5 bars, including 2 British-style pubs. Guests enjoy full access to Sandals Montego Bay, located just 5 minutes away.
Which Sandals Resort is the Best Overall?
If “best” means mostly highly rated, then the winner is, objectively, Sandals Royal Plantation. This Sandals has consistently been the best-rated — not only in Jamaica but among all Sandals resorts!
However, if “best” is to mean that the resort ticks the most boxes, Sandals South Coast comes out on top in the categories we’ve chosen. It has a gorgeous private beach and is secluded, with wonderful opportunities for a dream honeymoon.
What do you want out of your vacation? Everyone has a different vision for their perfect tropical getaway, so the best Sandals resort for you comes down to your preferences.
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Golf?
Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation are no doubt the best choices for golf lovers, thanks to being just 15 minutes away from Sandals Golf & Country Club. Shuttles and green fees are included for guests of either resort.
Sandals Golf & Country Club has been acknowledged by Frommers Travel Guide as well as Golf Digest as one of the best on the island.
Nestled in the hills of Ocho Rios, this 18-hole course plays to 6,400 yards and has 3 sets of tees. There’s also a practice range that features chipping and putting greens.
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Beaches?
Every Sandals resort offers you access to Jamaica’s beautiful white sands and turquoise waters. The competition for which has the best beaches is a close one.
On one hand, Sandals Negril is located on Jamaica’s best beach: Seven Mile Beach. This is, however, not a private beach; other resorts have their own stretches on this beach.
Sandals South Coast boasts a 2-mile-long private beach (no sharing, no vendors!) that is, frankly, quite underrated. South Coast might just have to win this category!
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Partying?
A vacation at a Sandals resort will never leave you bored but, if a definitive best Sandals resort for partying had to be chosen, it would be Sandals Ochi.
Sandals Ochi is the biggest and — naturally — liveliest of the Sandals resorts in Jamaica. The exclusive access to the Ocho Rios Beach Club is a significant factor here, as is the fact that Sandals Ochi has a whopping 11 bars!
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Honeymoons?
Any Sandals resort would make a worthy backdrop for a honeymoon, given the fact that the resorts have an adults-only, couples-only policy.
Two Sandals resorts (South Coast and Royal Caribbean) offer uber-romantic overwater bungalows that can elevate an ordinary honeymoon into a true getaway. Sandals South Coast is possibly the better of the two for honeymoons, thanks to its secluded location.
Sandals Royal Plantation also deserves a mention; it has an intimate and private atmosphere that is amplified by the fact that its guest capacity is so low compared to other Sandals resorts.
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Seclusion?
The best Sandals resort for seclusion depends on the guest. Sandals Ochi has the Butler Village where guest share a pool with 1 – 3 other rooms and the pools are rarely used. With butler service you can turn this into your own private oasis.
Sandals South Coast is another option located on the island’s less popular yet just as amazing south coast — lends to its tranquility and intrigue.
This resort is located within a 500-acre private nature reserve and has its own 2-mile-long private beach. The overwater bungalows, of which there are only 12, offer even more seclusion and the Rotunda Suites provide an outdoor shower, plunge pool and lazy river.
Which Sandals Resort is the Best for Snorkeling?
Jamaica has amazing coral reefs and underwater wildlife. One of the best places to experience the island’s marine beauty is in Negril, making Sandals Negril the best choice for snorkeling in Jamaica.
Sandals Royal Caribbean gets an honorable mention thanks to Montego Bay also having beautifully preserved coral reefs that are on par with Negril’s.