Sandals vs Secrets: Which Resort Chain is Best?

Sandals and Secrets Resorts are two of the most well-known, luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive resort chains. Both are popular choices when it comes to romantic getaways and honeymoons, making it difficult to choose between the two of them!

Whilst Sandals and Secrets both have a lot of similarities there’s also a lot of differences between them. In this article we will look closely at the similarities and differences between Sandals and Secrets resorts, to help you decide on the best resort chain for your next getaway.

Sandals vs Secrets: Key Differences

Before we compare these two resort chains in detail, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between Sandals and Secrets.

  • Whilst both resorts are adults-only, Sandals prides itself on being a resort for couples. If you’re a solo traveler or are planning a group vacation, you may feel more comfortable staying at a Secrets resort.
  • Sandals Resorts has a more inclusive, all-inclusive package. With Sandals, your vacation is truly all-inclusive, the price of your vacation includes tips, airport transfers, and scuba diving. If you choose to book with Secrets, it’s important to note that tips and airport transfers will cost extra.
  • Secrets boasts a wider variety of locations to choose from. Sandals has resorts in the Caribbean, whereas Secrets has resorts in both the Caribbean and Central America.
  • Whilst both have a range of beautiful accommodations to choose from, Sandal accommodation is a little more unique overall, with many properties boasting unique stays in accommodations such as luxury suites with swim-up access or private pools, rondoval suites, and overwater bungalows.

Sandals vs Secrets: Overview

Sandals and Secrets are two well-known resort brands, boasting many of the same attractions. With outstanding service, luxurious settings, stunning beaches, day and nighttime entertainment, delicious cuisines, an abundance of activities to keep guests entertained, beautiful rooms and suites, and a gorgeous romantic atmosphere, both provide excellent value for money.

Whilst the price of a stay at Sandals also includes gratuities, tips, and airport transfers,  

plenty of activities, delicious cuisine, a romantic atmosphere, and lovely rooms, Sandals offer more inclusions than Secrets, including scuba diving and airport transfers, but Secrets still provides good value for your money.

Which of these resort chains is the better choice for you will depend on what it is you’re looking for

If you’re looking for a couple’s getaways, then Sandals Resorts may be a better choice for you, as Secrets has a slightly less romantic atmosphere, as they also cater to solo travelers and groups.

When it comes to Location, this can be a major factor in influencing your decision as Sandals only has resorts in the Caribbean, namely in Curacao, Jamaica, Grenada, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, and the Bahamas. If you’re hoping to explore a different destination, Secrets has a larger selection to choose from, with resorts in Jamaica, Mexico, Costa Rica, St. Martin, Spain, and the Dominican Republic.

Of course, what both resorts have to offer makes them stand apart from each other. If you’re looking for certain activities, destinations, or facilities, read on to discover what truly separates these two different resort chains.

Secrets vs. Sandals: Locations

If you’re looking for a Caribbean getaway then you’re in luck with either of these resort chains, but if you’re looking for a destination a little further afield, then Secrets Resorts may be the better choice for you. With a wider selection of resorts to choose from (many of which are located in the Mediterranean), if you have your heart set on a particular destination then Secrets may be the more appropriate choice.

Secrets boasts a total of 21 different beachfront properties, with 1 in St. Martin, 2 in Jamaica, 3 in Spain, 2 in the Dominican Republic, 1 in Costa Rica, and 12 in Mexico!

In contrast, Sandals only has 16 resorts, however these are spread all across the Caribbean, with 1 in Grenada, 2 in Barbados, 3 in St. Lucia, 1 in Curacao, 1 in Antigua, 2 in the Bahamas, and 6 in Jamaica.

Best for location: Secrets

Secrets vs Sandals: Accommodations

One thing that can truly make or break your getaway can be the accommodation.

Whilst the selection of rooms and suites available at Secrets varies depending on the location, it goes without saying that all available are modern, luxurious, and a gorgeous spot to escape to. At Secrets, all rooms come with a complimentary 24-hour room and concierge service, and feature a private furnished balcony or terrace, a fully stocked minibar (which is refreshed daily), and a soaking tub.

Depending on which Secrets resort you choose to book your stay at, you can choose from a huge selection of room types, including Junior Suites with pool, ocean, or tropical views, Honeymoon suites with separate living rooms and hot tubs on the balcony, or swim-up access, swim-up rooms, and presidential suites which boast separate living and dining areas, with an in-room kitchenette, private plunge pool, and a whirlpool.

If you’re a fan of Secrets or simply want to make your vacation extra special, you may be interested in upgrading to the Preferred Club, which gives you access to additional room types and a selection of special amenities, including access to a private lounge, top-self liquors in your minibar, and access to a private and exclusive pool (though this is not available at all properties).

Sandals is another company known for their wide range of rooms and suites, with some taking luxury accommodation to a whole new level. With impressive accommodations such as the One-bedroom Villas with private pools, Beachfront Rondoval Suites with private plunge pools, two-story Oceanview Penthouses, Skypool Suites featuring infinity-edge plunge pools overlooking the ocean, a selection of swim-up suites, Beachfront walk-out Suites, Overwater Bungalows, and even the Millionaire Butler Villa exclusive to Sandals Regency La Toc.

No matter which room you choose to stay at with Sandals, you’re guaranteed a truly luxurious experience, as many of their rooms include great amenities such as oversized soaking tubs for two, and private furnished terraces and balconies.

Best for accommodation: Sandals

Sandals vs Secrets: Food and Drink

Of course, when you’re away on vacation, one of your top priorities will be indulging in some truly delicious food. So if you’re looking forward to trying some gourmet dishes, and authentic local cuisine, you’ll be pleased to know that whether you choose to stay at Sandals or Secrets, you’ll be spoilt for choice. With a huge range of dining options and bars available at both of these resort chains, it’s difficult to truly say which is the best choice when it comes to food and drink.

At Sandals, the cuisine on offer varies between different resorts, but across the portfolio, guests can find an impressive range of choices, including pizza, Italian, seafood, Pan-Asian, Thai, international, French, Caribbean, steakhouse, Indian, Japanese, Jamaica, coffee and pastries, and of course, cuisine local to each individual resort.

Not only is the food truly one of a kind, but the bars and restaurants bring the experience to a whole new level. With in-room dining, open-air restaurants, waterfront and beachfront restaurants, overwater restaurants and bars, food trucks, and a whole host of bar types, including piano bars, British pubs, martini bars, nightclubs, beach bars, swim-up bars, and even private wine cellars.

When it comes to dining at Secrets, there’s an equally wide selection of gourmet dining options, and with no reservations needed, you can choose to dine wherever you like, whenever you like, completely stress-free. Unlike Sandals, 24-hour room service is included as standard with a stay at any Secrets resort, making this a better choice for those who like to dine in the privacy of their own room or suite.

Guests can enjoy dining on a range of different cuisines at Sevcrets, including Jamaican, Mexican, Mediterranean, Pan-Asian, Italian, contemporary French, and international, as well as health foods, grilled specialties, and seafood options.

Their restaurant locations are almost as impressive as those at Sandals, with open-air dining, waterfront, and beachfront restaurants all featuring across their resorts. Sandals has the upper hand when it comes to restaurant locations though, as Secrets does not have any over-the-water eateries or cute food trucks for casual fare.

Secrets also boasts a great range of bars, including beach bars, sports bars, piano bars, theater bars, swim-up bars, Sky Bars, dance lounges, pool bars, and even an extensive wine cellar at Secrets the Vine in Cancun.

If you’re looking to escape on a honeymoon where you can enjoy a private candlelit dinner on the beach or in a private location, you’ll be pleased to know that this can be arranged at both Secrets and Sandals resorts for an extra fee.

Best for Food & Drink: Sandals

Sandals vs Secrets: Activities & Amenities

Both Sandals and Secrets resorts are a great option for those who enjoy spending their vacation outside in the sun. With all of their resorts located on stunning beaches, and with gorgeous enticing pools as a main attraction of all of their resorts, it can be difficult to choose between these two resort chains, as they both pride themselves on creating picture-perfect beach getaways.

That said, Sandals swimming pools are extremely well planned out by their designers, and across the portfolio of resorts you can find breathtaking infinity pools, beautiful zero-entry pools, and gorgeous free-form lagoon pools.

Their activities and entertainment on offer is also extremely thorough, and every Sandals resort offers a full range of complimentary water sports, including scuba diving, paddleboarding, Hobie Cat sailing, snorkeling, and kayaking, with some locations offering extra activities such as waterskiing, tubing, and wakeboarding too.

When it comes to the land sports available at Sandals, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Guests can enjoy access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, alongside popular sports such as bocce ball, pool tables, beach volleyball, and basketball, just to name a few. Many Sandals resorts also offer complimentary golf on a private Sandals golfing green, as well as day and night time tennis.

Those who don’t enjoy participating in sports activities whilst away on vacation can relax at one of Sandals’ famous Red Lane Spas, or head out on a tour or excursion for an extra fee.

Secrets resorts boast a wide range of swimming pool designs also, including beautiful infinity pools, and gorgeous river pools to relax in. No matter which resort you choose to stay at you’ll also be able to enjoy a great range of water-based activities at Secrets, including non-motorized watersports such as snorkeling and paddleboarding, as well as other activities such as water aerobics and water polo.

When it comes to land activities, however, Secrets seem to have a little more on offer than Sandals. Whilst Sandals is quite the draw for those who like to remain active whilst on vacation, those who prefer to engage in more relaxed and laid-back activities may feel more at home in a Secrets resort. Guests can enjoy mixology classes; cooking classes; minigolf; tequila, rum, and wine tastings; land sports such as beach volleyball, archery, tennis, and more; Spanish lessons, yoga classes, dancing lessons, and some locations even have special options such as mountain biking.

Secrets resorts also all boast a fully equipped fitness center, and many of the locations also offer golf with complimentary greens fees. For an extra cost, guests can also enjoy treatments at one of the full-service on-site spas, excursions, or trips to go scuba diving or deep sea fishing.

Best for Activities & Amenities: Secrets

Sandals vs Secrets: Nightlife

When the sun sets on the end of another gorgeous day of your vacation, for many people, the fun is only just starting. If you’re the type of person who likes to enjoy the nightlife, then you’ll be pleased to know that not only do both of these resort chains include alcohol as part of their all-inclusive package, but they also boast some incredible nightlife options.

If you’re hoping to head to a Sandals resort for your next getaway, you can expect to enjoy a full range of evening entertainment, including themed nights (including white parties, chocolate buffets, and Caribbean nights), karaoke, live shows, beach parties (a staple part of any Caribbean getaway), talent nights (with guest participation), piano singalongs, and a range of live, local music.

Secrets resorts also have plenty on offer to keep you entertained after dark, including beach parties, movies under the stars, live shows, dancing, live music, and a variety of themed nights and events.

Best for Nightlife: Sandals

Sandals vs Secrets: Which is Best Value?

When it comes to deciding which of these resorts is best value, it’s safe to say that Sandals is the better option.

Whilst both of these resorts have truly amazing all-inclusive packages, Sandals goes the extra mile and ensures that all tips and gratuities are also included in the fee, meaning you can enjoy your getaway without spending anything extra!

Best Value: Sandals

Which resort chain would you prefer to stay with on your next getaway? Let us know in the comments! If you’re ready to begin planning your dream vacation, but don’t quite know where to start, head on over to our “Contact Us” page, and get in touch with one of our trusted travel advisors, who can assist you in putting together your travels right away.

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