Sandals Resorts

Sandals Resorts review: Worst travel experience! 17

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7:58 am EDT
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I booked a trip to Sandals Montego Bay through my travel agent to take my wife away for her 40th birthday. I read hundreds of reviews on this property and was prepared to accept the bad I had heard and enjoy all that sounded great about it. We arrived at the airport in Jamaica and after going through customs, we went to the Sandals reception area where a woman asked for our last name. After trying our name twice she asked if we had arrived on the wrong day. I gave her our confirmation # and she asked us to wait inside. Thirty minutes went by with her doing nothing other than checking in other Sandals guests. I asked her to help and she told me to wait. I went to another Sandals employee who agreed to call Sandals. After 45 minutes she informed us that our travel agent had canceled our reservation! I was already talking to the agent who insisted that of course they had not canceled anything.

We said no problem just get us to the resort and we will take a different room. We were told the hotel was completely booked along with the 2 other Sandals properties in Montego Bay. At this point my wife began to cry. We wasted over 2 1/2 hours to find out that Sandals had screwed up and was willing to do absolutely nothing about it.

I started going from hospitality desk to desk to find another resort who would accommodate us. A very nice lady at the Half Moon told us they were booked but she called and found us a room at the Rose Hall Resort & Country Club. This woman even walked us outside and put us in a taxi. Meanwhile the Sandals reps just continued to check arriving passengers in and never offered any assistance.

I have been told by a few people in the travel business that Sandals has a reputation for this kind of thing. If they overbook, they simply drop people. Since arriving back home I have been completely unable to get anyone at Sandals or Unique Vacations to give me a straight answer or to even apologize. I will never choose a Sandals trip.

For what it's worth, The Rose Hall was really nice!

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Anna butch
, US
May 29, 2023 8:56 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

The planner was not professional and my wedding was a disaster I will not recommend it to anyone and I will tell everyone I know about it P.S get a new manager that knows what she's doing and don't have leave the room every five second to make a call or ask someone the information April 20 2023

, US
Aug 30, 2022 5:22 am EDT

I have spent so much time on trying to speak wirh sandals. My flight was canceled the airline credited sandlas [protected]. I instead of giving me a credit sandals is billing me an additional 600.00. I usually book with couples. This will be the last time I ever deal with sandals. It has been a total nightmare!

, US
Aug 11, 2016 10:36 am EDT

Previous message is about Sandals - Unique Vacations. Very poor customer service!

, US
Aug 11, 2016 10:34 am EDT

Unfortunately she is correct. Bring all of your documentation or else you can be downgraded!

, US
Jan 25, 2016 6:26 pm EST
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Dear Sandals MOBAY... We have booked a stay with you during our anniversary February 18-29th 2016... When I booked it I asked how to get the free anniversary night? The Sandals representative said when you pay in full FIRST we will take the night off. Nothing else was said.. No, you need to send proof you will be here during the anniversary within 30 DAYS, which I found this out AFTER I paid for the trip it should have been done when I booked. I was also told to not pay it all for you may have a better sale down the road.. So I paid large sumps instead and them taking the rest out at the end. I would have paid for it all right then and got my free night. I called to talk to a manager about it and she said that we loose out, even if I bring proof, I do have names of who I talked to)... SO, I asked to talk to her manager and never got to, she did the I will talk to you, place you on hold and tell her what she says.. Needless to say, She was to call me back, I have never got a phone call back... its now 1/25/2016 . WOW...What can I say when it comes to customer service for your company? Sadly Its the worst I have ever seen of any travel company... any mess ups and you do not catch it... its all on you as a customer... I will be there for my first time and will have a good time because I always have a good time... But; because I don't get my anniversary night, I will not become a member because I did not get that free night. I work with a lot of people, I'm medical in the hospital and they all are all curious to how this goes ... Believe me we have serous word of mouth and talk about where to go, not to go and why... My complaint to them is if there is a mess up you have to live with it, NOTHING WILL BE DONE EVER... Also if they book your room wrong you will have to show proof or live with their mistake and the room they placed you in, not the one you paid for... Yes, this is happening to.. club level in place of Butler room, Why? well they changed the category after you booked it... I am going to post this all over to let people know...they need to know.. This is sad...

chetyl neil inness
Wickford, GB
Dec 20, 2013 7:35 am EST

We got married on the 15th dec .arrivedat the halcyon beach on 17th dec my husband book a honeymoon packed with monca in london .we recieved know special treatment .know flowers I have been to the front desk twice now, im on my honeymoon .I was hoping for a relaxing honeymoon .my husband feels he has let me down...when we booked the honeymoon pack
london did ask me to bring my wedding certificate to which I did .my husband and I feel totally let down .and we shall never us sandals again mr mrs innes

North Port, US
Aug 16, 2011 11:53 am EDT

I kinda think you are making a mountain out of a molehill. You have gotten upset over such little issues. Frankly if I were you, I would of considered this a fantastic trip. Your issues were no big deal . You made it a big deal.

, US
Jul 21, 2011 3:22 am EDT

I too had a lot of issues at the Sandal's Royal Bahamian. My letter:
To Whom It May Concern -

I recently stayed at your resort Sandals Royal Bahamian. My husband and I arrived on 06/06/2011 and departed on 06/13/2011. I am writing you to inform you of the many issues we encountered at your resort during our stay that was very disappointing after all the wonderful things we had heard about your resorts and the expected honeymoon of our dreams. Our luggage was mis-placed by the airlines, which is not your fault, but my husband and I were advised to inform the staff at check-in which we did and we were ensured that the luggage would be delivered to our room when it arrived on property. I had booked my scuba class prior to arrival and had my class on the 2nd day (the next day) of our honeymoon. My husband and I checked the room around 1 pm that day after the scuba class but there was no luggage, we took the 2 pm boat to the island and stayed until the boat returned at 5 pm, we then checked the room again and there was still no luggage. I checked our voicemails but no message about any luggage. I called the front desk to see if they could call the airline for us about the luggage, when they stated they would bring it right over to us. I was upset to find out that our luggage was in fact on property, it had not been delivered to the room as promised and a courtesy voicemail was not even left to inform us of the news. Due to the luggage not arriving my husband and I were forced to purchase toothbrushes and toothpaste from the gift shop. I called the front desk to see if they provided any as a courtesy and was advised to purchase them from the gift shop. My husband also bought a pair of swim trunks from the gift shop on day 2 of our honeymoon when the luggage had still not arrived, but I question if that was necessary since we do not know what time the luggage arrived at.
The second issue we encountered was being walked in on by a member of the staff on the first day of our honeymoon. We had just checked in and there was no need for any staff to come to the room for service but even worse was the staff member knocked once, did not announce themselves and opened the door. Both my husband and I were not descent and was embarrassed by the situation.
The third issue we encountered was some maintenance issues. On day 2 of our honeymoon I heard a dripping noise, I checked the bath tub to ensure that we had turned the faucet off all the way which we did and as I was exiting the bathroom area had a drop of liquid fell on my head. I noticed that the A/C unit was leaking and immediately called for engineering to take a look at it. The issue was addressed but not fixed, the same leaking A/C unit was a problem just 3 days later. When I noticed the leaking A/C unit the second time I again called for maintenance in the morning and advised them of another maintenance issue. The light in the bathroom where the vanity is kept flickering on and off and made it hard to get ready. My husband and I went out for breakfast and when we returned the light was on in the bathroom and it did not flicker anymore, so I assumed that maintenance had come to the room and fixed both issues but the A/C unit continued to leak. I called for maintenance in the afternoon and decided to wait for engineering to arrive to make sure the issue was address but unfortunately engineering never came to the room. My husband and I then got ready for dinner and I stopped at the front desk on our way out and advised them that we had the leaking A/C unit 3 days prior and had it fixed but we have been experiencing the same inconvenience again but I advised them that I had already called in regards to this issue twice that day and it had not been fixed and asked to please have it fixed by the time my husband and I arrived back from dinner. The A/C unit was in fact fixed after we arrived back from dinner but I was very upset with the way the situation was handled and the fact that no compensation had been offered after all the issues we had had with maintenance. I also noticed mold on the ceiling of our shower but did not even bother to mention it after I saw how poorly the other issues we had were handled.
The next issue we encountered was at the Italian restaurant on property. We went to the restaurant for breakfast one morning and was never spoken to once we were seated which meant we did not receive drink service. I ate my entire breakfast without a drink because the only options were orange juice, cranberry juice, and champagne at the buffet area and I do not care for any of those drinks. We then ate at the same Italian restaurant for dinner. My husband ordered hot tea with dinner because he had not been feeling too well. The waiter brought the hot tea and on a separate trip to the table brought a caddy filled with sugar choices. The waiter placed the caddy on the table and many little ants came crawling out of the caddy and on to our dinner table, we said excuse me and the gentleman noticed the issue right away. He took the caddy off the table and wiped the ants off the table. Even after both of these incidences we tried the restaurant again for breakfast. The person that seated us took our drink order of hot tea again and a glass of water but the drinks were never brought. My husband then asked another waiter for the same drink order and again the drinks were never brought. My husband finally asked another waiter for just my glass of water and it was finally brought near the end of my meal. We ended up going off property to an Italian restaurant down the street because Italian food is my favorite but we would rather pay for our food from another restaurant even though all the food on property was included just to get better service.
The next issue we faced was our candlelight dinner for two. We paid for the dinner during the activities on the beach for the BBQ. We booked the dinner for Friday night and had requested the dinner on the pier. We received the unfortunate phone call on Friday that they were expecting rain and that the dinner could be brought to the room instead, we opted to reschedule the dinner to Sunday our last night at the resort. They rescheduled the dinner with no problem. When we finally got our dinner on Sunday, we were not sat on the pier, we were taken to a table in the sand which we simply excepted. We were greeted nicely and escorted to our table where a personalized menu was presented to us which looked beautiful until my husband and I realized that they had spelled our name wrong. It stated a Private Candlelight Dinner Mr. & Mrs. but the last name was spelled wrong. I still took the program home but it is disappointing that our name was misspelled. It is a beautiful and thoughtful idea but it is very disappointing when our name is printed on the front cover and on the inside incorrectly. Besides that misspelling of the name and not getting the original location we wanted the dinner was excellent and even though we had two different servers (not sure why our first server did not complete our dinner with us) the service was excellent.
The next issue we had was at the photoshop. My husband and I kinda rushed our candlelight dinner to make it to the photoshop before they closed at 9 pm because our airport transportation was set for 8 am the next day and the photoshop would just barely be opening at 8 am and we wanted to get some pictures. We arrived at the photoshop about 20 minutes prior to closing time and it was fairly busy. We waited our turn and was being helped by a gentleman. Now all the staff members were very friendly but the gentleman that was helping us seemed a little distracted and while my husband and I was trying to view our photos he kept walking away and doing other things and helping his fellow co-workers. My husband and I ended up purchasing the CD of 100 images from the shop, and I know that it not the most expensive package but it was still close to $300 and for that kind of money thought we deserved the gentleman's undivided attention.
I was disappointed that we did not get to meet our concierge until half way through our vacation. We never even really got to take advantage of the services the concierge was suppose to offer due to this. We used the concierge once to book our dolphin encounter but besides that made all of our own dinner reservations. It would have been nice to have met our concierge earlier and been able to take advantage of this service that we paid extra for.
The last issue we encountered was in regards to our bill. I advised the person making our reservation that I had seen the advertisement that Sandals offered for 10% off the current promotions for military but somehow the discount never got applied. The person who made the reservation advised me that they would note the request for the military discount but that it would be applied after the hotel could verify the i.d. at arrival. I was fine with that and paid for the full charges of the stay without the military discount. When we arrived to the resort, no one ever inquired about the military i.d. At check-out time I presented the flyer and the receptionist advised me that it was something that reservations takes care of. At this point I felt like we were getting the run around, reservations was passing it on the hotel and now the hotel was passing it back on to reservations. Meanwhile we never received the discount and the trip was almost $4, 000 which comes out to a $400 savings. But I did not inquire about a military discount the flyer with the promotion had been presented to me as an advertisement that was never followed through on. Now my husband is active duty military and we had actually done a civil marriage on 06/04/10 when he was home last year before he was suppose to be deployed to Afghanistan. Luckily he was never deployed there but he was only home a short 9 days and then he returned to Japan where he is stationed. We did not see each other for a whole year while he was overseas and had a large more traditional wedding on 06/04/11 with all of our friends and family and took the honeymoon we never got this year at your resort. My husband was only home a short 22 days and has again returned to Japan where he is still stationed. We will not be together again until December when his orders will be reassigned to the United
States again and we will be able to live together for the first time. So I was excited to see the offer for the discount for military couples but was again disappointed when it was not followed through with.
Besides these issues all the staff members we ran into were very polite and pleasant. We did not try to ruin our honeymoon and few days together by harping over these issues and just relaxed and tried to enjoy ourselves and appreciate the little time we had together. Besides these issues the resort was beautiful and we were able to relax and enjoy each others company. It was unfortunate that we had to encounter any issues on our honeymoon but even worse that we encountered so many. I thought that these issues needed to be brought to someone's attention and hope that someone will follow up with me in regards to this letter and hopefully be able to resolve the issues with the military discount we are entitled to and hopefully offer some other sort of compensation for the multiple issues we had. I look forward to hear from someone. Please feel free to contact me via phone of email in response to these matters.

Sincerely -

P.S. - I attached a copy of my invoice from Sandals

This is the letter I sent, I got an email response offering two free complimentary nights for our next trip which needs to be booked by June of next year. I wrote back in response that this was a very generous offer but not very feasible for my husband and I since he will be overseas for more than half that time and when he does return to the states we will be relocating 3, 000 miles away. I asked for the offer to either be extended for another year or to have the refund for two of our nights on our previous stay. I have still not received a single response back! Very disappointed! I work in the hotel industry and I am actually a front desk manager at my hotel and would never allow an unhappy guest to go this long without a response. I will attempt to contact corporate regarding these issues because they need to be addressed!

Purchase, US
Feb 09, 2011 4:41 pm EST

Dear Ms. Taylor,
I am a newlywed, married on January 22, 2011. My husband and I came to Sandals Grande Antigua for our honeymoon. We did quite a bit of research on where to go and what would be the best fit for us and our budget. We chose Sandals Antigua. To my surprise, this turned out to be the worst decision we could have made.
We arrived at Sandals on January 24, 2011. We were barely greeted by staff and corralled into couches and handed an envelope with no discussion of what was going to happen. We sat in the lobby for over a half an hour after being given the envelope. We began to wonder what was happening; my husband stood up and asked, ” Can we go to our room now?” He was abruptly told no, you have to wait for someone to take you to your room. 10 minutes passed and a spa staff member began to barage us with questions about a spa gift certificate and when did we want to make an appointment for our massages. Neither of us could understand what any of this had to do with getting us to our room. Finally, we were taken to our room. To our dismay, the room was very small and poorly set up. The website pictures are quite deceiving and do not resemble the room we were escorted to. This was not a good start to our dream honeymoon. We left our room after being forced to pick a day and time to have our massages and went down to the sales office, because we were never told who to speak to if we had any problems or concerns. A woman who was apparently an intern wasn’t pleasant or kind to us and didn’t explain that she was simply an intern who could not help us. After 15 minutes, she took us to the concierge who contacted the hotel manager, Nico. He arrived about 25 minutes later; he seemed annoyed and irritated by our complaints. He stated, “Well this is the room you booked so this is the room you get.” I was appalled at his complete lack of respect or kindness; he was totally unwilling to do anything to try to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Frustrated and quite angry, we went back to our room and debated whether or not we should just go home. We decided to make the best of a bad situation since the entire vacation was already paid for and we didn’t want to lose all that money. The following day we had to take a taxi into the town of St. John to purchase dress pants that my husband was told multiple times (on 3 separate occasions from representatives at your 1-800 number) he didn’t need. After returning to Sandals, we attempted to make reservations for dinner at any of the restaurants, unbeknownced to us that no restaurant would take reservations that day. It had to be 24-48 hours in advance. This was NEVER explained to us by our concierge.
The following day we awoke to a puddle of water on the floor of our room. We both got up and called the concierge to have maintenance come up and fix the leaking air conditioner. We waited 45 minutes for someone to arrive. As the worker was finishing I asked him what the chances were that this would happen again. He told us none. Two days later it happened again!

We attended the manager’s cocktail hour to see if there was someone we could speak to that would actually care that we were still very unhappy. The only person that would speak to us was Matthew. He listened intently and was upset and confused when we told him how Nico had treated us on day one. He told us he would look into it and try to help us. We never heard from him again.
We went to Bayside’s steak night dinner in hopes of a good meal. What a surprise when that was a complete let down as well. We were seated right away and ordered drinks and dinner. FIFTY minutes later we still had not received our food. My husband asked the waitress about our food and she said “oh, I will go check”. TEN minutes later, still no food. At that point my husband said this is ridiculous, we are leaving. Thank God Cricketers’ was open so we could get a burger.
Another black mark was a prize we won on cultural day at Sandals. We were told it was a gift for both of us at the spa. My husband went down to the spa later that day to see what we had won. No one in the spa had any idea what he was talking about. He spoke to anyone and everyone he could in regard to this “prize”. Finally he turned to Eddie, the Manager of Entertainment. Eddie was able to determine on our second to last day of our 10 day trip that it was a facial for one. How is that a prize for a couple? I called the spa and asked if there was any way to change it to a pedicure due to the fact that I had been sitting in the sun all week and didn’t think a facial would be a good idea. I was shut down with a response of ‘”impossible”.
I don’t understand how Sandals can operate with zero communication amongst its employees and departments, very unprofessional management and a complete and utter disregard for its patrons.
We paid a lot of money for what was supposed to be our DREAM honeymoon. It is supposed to be the most wonderful, memorable vacation that two people can take, not a NIGHTMARE! I demand a response and some kind of restitution from Sandals. I have never been insulted more by employees than at your establishment. It is disgusting to me to that it is okay to treat guests in this matter. I have already begun to tell my friends and family to NEVER go to Sandals.

Marci and jEric

Alice CH
Mont Vernon, US
Aug 18, 2010 8:16 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

We went to Sandals in the Bahamas this past Feb., booked the Royal Village, as my husband had a liver transplant that Sept, so I wanted to make sure we had th extras Butler service etc. Butler service was a joke, they were never around, our Royal Village after over an hour wat, not available so we will upgrade yo, in a manin building, over a noisy pool. Butler never mader any reservations, was never around until the day of check out. Over an hour in the lobby waiting for room, over three hours waiting for luggage, never received the daily schedule of events. Call the butler never heard from them until hours later, or better ye the nexst day. Wel for all our troubles we were give avoucher for a two night stay to be used within 12 months. I have tried contacting the people whose emails are on the voucher, the GM of the resort, who we have a letter of apology from and the voucher. Not one person has gotten back with us, tells me VOUCHER IS BOGUS. I have even tried to contact Adam Stewart on his blog.

For the money we spent this was by far the worse experience.

Joliet, US
Jul 15, 2009 4:12 am EDT

I completely agree with the following comments. Thanks for the address so I can send my complaints and hopefully get some sort of follow up. Here was our letter.

Dear Sir or Madam:
My husband and I chose to honeymoon at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort after our wedding last year July 20, 2008. We chose a sandals resort because of the great reputation, the great reviews that our friends had given us and because our activities were included. My husband and I are avid scuba divers and snorklers, we intended to spend the majority of our honeymoon doing water activities. Unfortunately our experience was terrible and I have NOT recommended a sandals resort to any of our newly married friends. I hope you are able to resolve some of the issues that we encountered on our trip:

1. When we arrived the resort it was as beautiful as the pictures, however when we tried to go on a boat tour that evening we were told that all of the activities had a fee. After talking to the manger of the resort, my husband and I realized that we had been scammed. On all of the web pages and brochures that we received while planning the trip it states that all of the activities are INCLUDED (except a few night dives/resort course and things of the sort). Unfortunately between the wedding and the honeymoon costs, which we had to finance ourselves, there was no money left over to participate in any activities. After several e-mails with our parents they finally agreed to loan us the money and we paid for one snorkeling trip ($50 per person) and one scuba diving trip ($70 per person).
2. There were never enough chaise loungers on the beach for the people there. We literally had to fight over the chairs in order to get some beach front time. As soon as we got up to wet our feet in the beach, another couple got dumped all of stuff on the sand and took over.
3. The roped off swimming area was very shallow. There was area that we could actually swim in the ocean. The closest we got was sitting in it.
4. There were not enough clean towels available in the designated areas. Due to the lack of chairs many people were using the towels to lay on. Consequently the clean towels ran out very quickly.

After the second day my husband and I were tired of fighting over beach chairs, there were no clean towels to lay on the beach and we were out of money. We ended up spending most days in our room watching TV. By the end of the week we couldn’t wait to go home, the money that we spent was totally wasted. We are very upset with the issues that we encountered after spending a large amount of money on our honeymoon. We would like these issues to be competently resolved as soon as possible. Please contact us in one of the following manners.


, US
Jun 28, 2009 10:12 am EDT

My travel experience to Sandals Royal Bahamian was an absolute nightmare.

The service from the staff, concierge and the management was nothing short of disgusting, unprofessional and rude. We have still not received any form of a response to our complaints and have not received services that were promised to us. Aside from filing complaints we have advised many potential customers from wasting their money with this poor excuse for a resort. Lesson learned.

, CA
May 11, 2009 12:28 pm EDT

I just returned from Sandals Dunns River and spent a great deal of the time with food poisoning. The resort is so dirty with old booze smell and bird poop, my husband and I stayed in the room after a couple days because it was a little clean (we cleaned it). The resort looks nothing like the pictures, the paint is peeling everywhere and everything looks old.

Philadelphia, US
Mar 18, 2009 6:36 pm EDT

Sandals Ocho Rios Dunns River made me cry.
I cannot remember having more disgusting food - the fruit was even unedible (unrippened)! The service was not acceptable for a 2-star hotel.
The staff spent time having their own fun doing silly games (without guests much of the time), pretending to entertain guests by hanging out and talking with them but never lifting a hand to actually get something for anybody. The property was dirty with food and items that staff walked past.
A pipe burst in the ceiling of our room - in front of the bath and closet - and as I rushed to get our things clear of the 3 large flows of water - I became wet with what smelled like toilet water. I went down to the front desk near tears and the receptionist told me that they were full and could not change our room. Another couple told us that they had a leak in another room the day prior to our incident.
By the way, do not think that it is safe there. The beach fences around the property are regularly walked through (both sides) by anyone from the Island. Lock your things. The Island is so depressing because of the intense poverty.
They would have to pay me, and I would have to bring my own food and drink, to ever return to a Sandals resort.

West Bloomfield, US
Feb 22, 2009 7:04 pm EST

Chris...OH MY GOD-- Your trip sounded just like ours at the Bahamas resort!
The concierge service is NOT worth it! We got nothing for the extra money.
Everything from the towels, to the beverages and the late room service. Obviously, customer service is not important at Sandals. I think they are catering to folks with NO CLASS at all!

Aug 21, 2008 6:33 pm EDT

Letter we sent to Sandals resort Grande and as of late August have still not heard ANYTHING from them.

Dear Customer Service Manager,
We are writing in regards to our stay at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort from July 1, 2008 through July 8, 2008. The purpose of this trip was to celebrate our honeymoon. We really wanted to make this trip special, because it was our honeymoon, we chose to go first class all the way. We flew First/Business class for the trip and booked a Honeymoon Penthouse Beachfront Concierge Room. Our travel documents (from our travel agent at Liberty Travel) listed us as VIP Honeymoon guests. From the time we stepped onto the property, we were treated as anything BUT a VIP. We waited for approximately 20 minutes in the lobby before we were led upstairs to the Suites Concierge Lounge. Once we arrived in the lounge, we had to sit there and wait for several other couples to arrive, fill out some forms, and then wait for the Concierge associate to give us the speil. We were finally led up to our room. Once in our room, we waited nearly 2 hours for our luggage to be brought up. Had we known there would be a two hour wait, we could have brought it up ourselves. We settled into our room, it was a nice, comfortable room, with a beautiful view. We were offered turn down service and and towel exchange services shortly after we arrived, a very nice touch. It was also on the top floor, which is fine (we knew that when we chose a penthouse), but what we did NOT know was that the building we were in had no elevator access on the day we arrived, and it still had not been fixed on the day we left. Walking up and down the stairs a few times a day is fine, but I have an ankle injury, which, between all of the traveling that day and up and down the flights of stairs multiple times, caused my ankle to swell to three times the normal size. When we checked in, we were told by the concierge to let them know of anything special we would like during our stay for our room. Later that evening, I called for some extra bottles of Coca-Cola. I was told they did not have any and that I would need to go downstairs myself to the bar and get them. At this point, walking was very difficult . My husband and I went down to the bar, when we arrived there, we were handed two, opened, half-empty bottles of Coca-Cola. Better than nothing, but not what we were really looking for. We ordered room service this evening for a snack. When they brought the tray to us between 9:30 and 10pm, they took the card we had set out requesting room service for the next morning. We figured we would have room service for breakfast since we had to be at the Concierge Suite at 11am for Orientation.

We woke up on day 2, our first full day at the resort, full of excitement as to what the resort had to offer. Our day did not get off to a good start. We had requested a wake up call for 9:15 am. The operator even called back the night before to verify the time. The wake up call was LATE. We received our call just after 9:30 am. Our breakfast, that we had requested to arrive between 9 – 9:30, well, that showed up at 10:31 am. At 9:30am, the Room Service staff called to let us know it was ready and on the way. Again, it came at 10:31 am, we had to be at orientation at 11am. We found the tour given by the Concierge to be very helpful. At the conclusion of the tour, we sat down with the staff in the suites concierge lounge to make some requests for our room and to schedule the excursions we wanted to do. I asked the woman at the concierge desk (it was around 12 noon on July 2, 2008 if that helps you at all) if the elevator would be fixed during our trip and explained to her that my ankle was really swollen and painful from walking up and down the stairs. Her lack of concern was evident. She made the statement, “maybe it will, maybe it won’t, I could find out for you”. She never got back to us about that. I also expressed our disappointment over our late wake up call that morning and our extremely delayed room service. Again, there was really no concern expressed at all on her part. She told me that our order was probably bumped by all of the orders that were called in that morning. So, I asked her if I should be calling in instead of filling out the cards, she said “No, you should be using the cards”. That made no sense to us. During this time, we told the concierge that we would like the following extras in our room for the week: a couple of extra bottles of Coca-Cola, more Piton beer (we wanted the Heineken beer taken out of the room), and extra towels. I needed the extra towels to ice my ankle. The nurse at Sandals has Ziploc bags to use for ice packs, but they often leak, that is why I wanted the extra towels. I clearly explained this to the concierge.

My husband and I scheduled an excursion for the Soufriere adventure cruise on Thursday, July 3, 2008. We scheduled the Sunset Party Cruise for Friday, July 4, 2008, we scheduled the Rainforest Canopy Adventure for July 7, 2008, and we had scheduled the candlelight dinner for 2 on the beach prior to our arrival. We had paid for and scheduled the dinner prior to our arrival at Sandals and we were looking to change the date for it (we had it scheduled for Sunday, July 6, 2008. The concierge booked all of these excursions for us as tentative, printed us up a calendar, and told us she would get back to us within the hour to confirm the excursion for the next day (we were being picked up at 7:45am). We never received that call. Finally, at 5:15pm, we called the Concierge and they told us we needed to hurry to the excursions desk to pick up our receipts for the trip. They did not call at all the entire week to confirm any of the excursions we booked through them. We gave up on dealing with the concierge desk and went to the excursions desk to confirm everything ourselves. We also noticed, when we received the calendar of our scheduled events, that our name was not correct in the system. We informed the Concierge of the correct spelling. She assured us that she fixed it in the system. That apparently did not happen either. We did have a nice bottle of champagne and fresh flowers in our room when we returned after dinner. We really thought that was a nice touch. As a matter of fact, the woman who turned our room down the first 3 days of our stay was wonderful, very pleasant. (Our room number was #2411 if that helps you to figure out who she is).
That evening, we went to Toscanini’s for dinner. I ordered the chicken parmesan and my husband ordered the rack of lamb, requesting that the lamb be cooked rare. When our food arrived, the lamb was cooked medium well. My husband requested another rack of lamb, cooked rare. I attempted to eat the chicken parmesan, but it was too spicy. I have severe allergies to some foods and many of the spices. I could not eat the meal, so I asked for Fettucine Alfredo. I explained to the server why I could not eat it. When I ordered it, I never thought that Chicken Parmesan was going to be something I would have problems eating. The server put in a rush order, when she brought it out, I had a plate of spaghetti with sauce in front of me. I politely told her that I ordered Fettucine. She stormed off and eventually I received the Fettucine. My husband was eating while I was waiting, then he patiently waited for me to actually get my meal and finish it. I realize people do not usually order more than one entrée, but the attitude of the server was unacceptable. If she was working in the United States, I guarantee you she would not only have not received a tip for her actions, she would have been terminated from her job for her attitude.
Day 3 was the Soufriere Adventure Cruise. We scheduled room service again for that morning between 7 and 7:30 am. Breakfast arrived at 6:40am, much better to arrive early than really late. We were missing the fruit plate and a glass a juice, but we were happy that it came on time! We spent the day on the boat to Soufriere, the volcano, the waterfall, etc. It was a wonderful day! The staff on the boat “Carnival II” made the day a great day for all of the guests. We also really liked Jushua, the photographer from the Sandals Grande. He was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. He took some excellent pictures, but more importantly, his personality was amazing. He was a lot of fun and just a great guy. We arrived back to our room to get ready for dinner. I contacted my travel agent that evening to ask her if this type of service is normal for this resort and to voice my concerns. She said that she had heard of people having problems with the service, but the last few people she sent to St. Lucia had not had bad service. She encouraged me to speak to the manager on duty about our concerns immediately. We dressed for dinner, then went to the front desk to request to speak with the manager on duty. We waited nearly an hour before we actually were able to speak to anyone. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of meeting Craig Champion, the Food and Beverage Manager, he was wonderful. I told him that I had severe allergies to some of the spices and that I was having trouble finding “safe foods” for some of the meals. He told me that he would alert the staff at each of the restaurants and to ask to speak to the chef when I go into a restaurant, so the chef could tell me what was in each dish. He told me that they would even make me something if I wanted them too. I was able to find things to eat each night, but it took some work, and some trial and error. We dined at the Old English Pub that evening. I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie. Craig saw us after we ordered and told me that Shepherd’s Pie might be a problem. I tried it when it came, and he was right, there were spices in it that I could not have. I asked the server if I could get the Fish ‘n Chips instead. After she rolled her eyes at me and went to talk to another server about me, she went and requested the Fish N’ Chips. I went with the Fish (without the chips, since they have Cajun seasoning on them). Again, I have an allergy, I very politely voiced my concerns, and the staff is rolling their eyes and complaining to another staff member about me. This is an all-inclusive resort, I should be able to get another entrée without the rudeness that accompanied each request.

We met with the manager on duty that evening, Mr. Vaun McIntosh. We spoke to him about our disappointment regarding our stay. I expressed concern that we had paid a lot of extra money for a Concierge service room and felt that our basic service needs were not even being met. We told him that we had requested a few things from concierge, while we did get coca-cola finally, they never did get us extra towels. We also expressed how Concierge told us that we book everything through them, but they failed to confirm our excursions for us. He called them himself to determine which excursions had been confirmed up to that point. He asked them if they had notified us and they told him that they had not. Mr. McIntosh explained to us that the elevator situation is really difficult to know when it will be resolved. At least he actually explained things to us (about having to get the parts from overseas, get them through customs, etc.) which was much better than the “I don’t know and I don’t really care response” we received from the concierge. He said he did not know if there were any rooms available for us to change rooms to one where the elevator was working. That was the last we heard about that. I asked Mr. McIntosh if Sandals concept of Concierge service is not the same as Concierge services offered by places such as Disneyworld. He assured me it was supposed to be the same level of service. I can tell you, after working for Disney for 2 years, their Concierge service not only lives up to expectations, it exceeds them every time. We were not even getting basic customer service here at the Sandals Grande. When you pay for a service and you are not getting the service, it is extremely upsetting, frustrating, and stressful. Mr. McIntosh assured us that he was going to look into things. We left that meeting feeling like things were going to be rectified and we could enjoy the rest of our honeymoon essentially worry-free. Mr. McIntosh assured us he would be working again on Saturday and he would follow up with us then. When we returned to our room that night, we had not received any turn down service, not had we received any additional towels (even though we requested that through concierge on Day 2). I called for the extra towels between 9:30 and 10pm. At 11pm, I still had not received them. I called again. The girl’s response was “You haven’t received them yet?” I told her no. They finally arrived at 11:35pm. I do not understand how turndown service is offered, but offered sporadically. It is either offered or it is not. I should not have to flip a coin to bet whether or not we are going to get it. When we said on Day 2 to the concierge that we wanted extra towels each day, that should have been the last time I needed to make that request. I should not have had to call every single night to get the towels.

Day 4 was Friday, July 4, 2008. We spent the day out by the pool. We were smart enough to get out there early enough. If you don’t get out there early, once the people from the Regency and the Halcyon start arriving, it is nearly impossible to get a chair on the beach or by the main pool. We enjoyed a leisurely day at the pool before heading off on the sunset party cruise. It was another wonderful, off-property excursion. Once again, Sandals sent a photographer (I believe it was Jushua again). He did an amazing job taking photographs on that journey as well! It was just such a pleasure to have him on the excursions, he was just so friendly and very professional. When we arrived back to our room, our room had been cleaned. Not only did we not receive extra towels, this time, we did not even receive one complete set of towels. I went to take a shower, but found that we had no washcloths. We had left all of the towels in the basket, they were all taken, so I am really at a loss as to why we did not even receive one complete set of towels. Not only did I have to call for the extra towels, I had to call for washcloths as well. Once again, no turndown service was offered.

Day 5 was Saturday, July 5, 2008. Today was going to be the day to relax. We had an appointment for a Couples Massage at the Red Lane Spa for 11am, followed by a haircut for me. We had to be there at 10:45am. We had requested room service for breakfast (it was done the night before…they had picked up the card before we went to bed at 11:30pm). Breakfast was requested for between 9 – 9:30am. It arrived at 10:05 am. The room service staff member apologized for it being late. I told her that we were irritated because this was not the first time it had been late and that we had an appointment. The server stated that she would tell her manager that we were unhappy about the tardy service and she did tell the supervisor immediately. Just as we were about to leave to go to our appointment, we received a call from the concierge that we were being a gift certificate for the couples massage to make up for the troubles we had been having. It was a very nice gesture and the massage was wonderful, as was the Red Lane Spa staff. We were hoping that meant the tables were turning and the last few days of our honeymoon were going to be all that we had hoped they would be. That was not the case. We went to the concierge in hopes of getting a reservation for Gordon’s. They made one call, flat out said, “No, it is not possible” and that was that. So much for that idea. At this point, they also still had no answer for us as to whether or not our Candlelight dinner was able to be changed to that evening. Later we found out that it was not. We returned to our room later that evening. Once again, no turndown service was offered, and once again, we had to call for more towels.

Day 6 was Sunday, July 6, 2008. We spent the day at the hotel, enjoying the pool and the watersports. We had our candlelight dinner on the beach. The service was fabulous, the meal was the best meal I had the whole trip. We were unable to get the wine we requested, but our server encouraged us to speak to someone in sales to get a credit for that bottle we did not receive (the next day, the sales department credited us upon request). As of that Sunday afternoon, we still did not have a confirmation as to when our candlelight dinner was. This was something that the concierge was supposed to get back to us about. We ended up going to the hotel front desk and THEY called food and beverage to figure it out for us. We also met with Mr. McIntosh again. At that point, both parties agreed that it was too late to make up for the shortcomings of this trip. He asked what would we considerable to be fair. I told him that I wanted our money back for the difference in price between a regular room and the concierge service room we had. We did not even receive basic, good, customer service, let alone concierge level service. He said he would refer that request to higher management and get back to us the next day.

Day 7 was Monday, July 7, 2008. We went on the Rainforest Canopy Adventure. The guide on that excursion was absolutely amazing and he made it a GREAT trip. When we returned to Sandals around 2:30pm, we went to our room, it had not been serviced yet. We were going to take a nap, but since there was construction going on in the building, that was impossible. It was extremely noisy, so a nap was out of the question. We went to look for Mr. McIntosh to see if he had any news for us. He still did not have information for us. We attended the Manager’s Welcome Reception. We were never told we needed to take a ticket for a drawing. We also listened as Mr. Hendricks told us we could bring any concerns we may have to him. He left the reception soon after making that statement and he was nowhere to be found. We attended the Beach Buffet Dinner and that, along with the entertainment that evening, was the best night we had at Sandals. We wished that beach buffet dinner happened several nights during the week we were there because we enjoyed it so much. Forget about that Creole Buffet and go with the Beach Buffet, it was truly a great experience. We returned to our room that night to find that our room had finally been serviced and we also received the turn down service. Still no towels though, we had to call for towels once again.

We left on Tuesday, July 8, 2008, to return home. We saw Mr. McIntosh before our departure. He told us that Sandals was willing to give us 2 free nights in exchange for the poor service we experienced. He said we would be given a letter from Sandals and that we needed that letter to make a future reservation. He told us it would be ready by the time we left, then came back and told us that he would have to email it to us.

On July 10, 2008, Mr. McIntosh emailed us to tell us he was still working on the letter. Today is July 20, 2008, and as of today, we have yet to receive that email.

After spending several thousand dollars to stay at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian, I feel like we were basically ripped off. We spoke to other guests staying in Concierge level rooms at the Halycon and they were receiving incredible service. The concierge staff knew all of them by name, knew all of their preferences, the concierge was able to get them reservations even though they were all booked up. Those guests truly experienced concierge level service, we, most certainly did not. In all of the years I have been traveling, I have never received such consistently terrible service from a hotel. This was our first experience with an all-inclusive brand and it will very likely be our last. Why would we even want two free nights on a future stay as compensation? We find that offer to be insulting considering that is being offered to EVERYONE who books a reservation now. We received an email advertisement from Sandals just the other day stating that. Every time there is a problem at the hotel and a guest expresses concern, the problem remains the GUEST’s problem. It never becomes the Staff’s problem. The concierge staff at the Sandals Grande has to be the most useless bunch of people I have ever seen. They are there to provide a higher level of service to clients who pay for it. The concierge staff did absolutely NOTHING to help us on our stay. Not one thing. In fact, the incompetence and failures of the concierge staff just resulted in more stress and aggravation for us. The Sandals employees do not care one bit about the guests (with the exception of the Spa staff, the photographers, and a couple of the bartenders). Perhaps if they worked for tips, they would actually pretend to care and actually pretend to enjoy their jobs. At first, we thought it was just a fluke that we were having problems with our service. Slowly we observed more and more couples sitting down at the round tables in the lobby with the staff. Every now and then, those couples were booking a candlelight dinner, but the majority of the time, they were complaining about things that were wrong with their room, the service they received, something the staff told them that was not true, etc. Sandals is supposed to be the premier resort for couples and especially for couples on their Honeymoon. The little extra touches go a long way in making a good vacation into a great vacation. In our case, all of the little things that were constantly wrong, made what was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime into the worst vacation we ever had.

We are devastated that we spent so much money on first class airfare and we ended up in a resort that offers third class service. For the amount of money we spent, we could have gone to a different island, or a different resort. We could have taken that money and used it to take several vacations. We could have stayed at the Ritz-Carlton for less money and I guarantee you that THEIR service would never be sub-standard.

At this point, we want our money back for the difference between the rates for a concierge level room and a regular room. We have discussed this with our travel agent and she agrees that this would be fair. We paid for a service, we did not receive the service, therefore, we should be refunded for the services not received. All throughout our stay, the staff was aware of our problems and concerns. They failed to address our concerns. Our honeymoon was ruined because we chose the wrong resort, the one that could not get their act together. We can not get that back. I spent the week stressed out, frustrated, and upset, instead of relaxed and happy. Not only can we not recommend Sandals to anyone at this time, we feel we should be discouraging anyone and EVERYONE from choosing Sandals for their honeymoon or vacations. We do not want them to have their special trip spoiled like ours was. We hope that you will actually listen to us, since the resort staff did not, and take the appropriate actions so that Sandals can properly deliver on the services they advertise. Thank you.

Jun 05, 2008 6:44 pm EDT

I am a travel agent (Sandals Certified) myself and a long time Sandals customer and find this totally outrageous and unacceptable. Did you contact the hotel GM or management directly? Or the Sandals Airport Manager? I would stood my ground and insisted that they find me a room. I know for a fact that they reserve some rooms for layovers. I would have also called my agent, hotel management, Miami (UVI), the Sandals Corporate office in Montego Bay and Adam Stewart myself if I had to, as should had your agent. Your agent should have resolved this problem and you should not had to yourself. Both you and the agent should have also confirmed that you had a room reserved up until your departure. I assume you did have a voucher from UVI? When we go to Sandals we communicate with the hotel managment way before hand several times and the week of arrival of our plans (even before I was a TA). I used faxes before the internet and now I email them. IMHO, I don't think your agent did a very good job - before and after your arrival in Jamaica. This is so not like the Sandals I know, even when we were first going 19 years ago. We went in Mar 08 and they handled everything great, as they always do. Don't just complain here, write UVI, Sandals Corporate, and the hotel about your trip. I would also call them.

I would advise you to get a competent working agent next time, perhaps even a Sandals Certified Agent. I would have definately gone above and beyoud to fix your problem. I hope you discount Sandals entirely because of such a bad experience and please give them another try.