When choosing the perfect all-inclusive resort for your well-deserved vacation, it helps to first decide what you want out of your vacation. Are you traveling with family or friends? Will it just be you and the one you love? What sort of inclusions and ambiance are you looking for?
The answers to these questions will bring you that much closer to the vacation of your dreams!
Both beachfront resort chains fall under the umbrella of Sandals Resorts International (‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company’, 24 years in a row), which means you can expect luxury-included vacations, where all-inclusive is really ALL inclusive.
The three Beaches Resorts or ‘Sandals Resorts for families’ as they’re sometimes referred to, are fun-zones with waterparks and lots of inclusions that cater for younger children. Families and groups of friends will enjoy a truly worry-free vacation here. On the other hand, adults-only Sandals focuses on encapsulating lovers in a world of romance, and thus couples will find their slice of paradise at any of the 15 Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean.
So, with that said… Sandals vs Beaches, which all-inclusive resort would be best for you?
Read on to find out!
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
The biggest difference between Sandals and Beaches is the type of guest they cater to.
Travelers with younger kids will enjoy the family-friendly Beaches Resorts, which include lots of neat amenities for all age groups like Kids Camp, Pirates Island Water Park, an XBox Play Lounge, a nightclub for teenagers and so much more. Some of the restaurants at Beaches Turks & Caicos are adults-only which is a bonus for parents who want to take one night off with just their partner. You’ll be able to find a certified nanny right on property!
Couples who prefer an adult-only experience will love what’s available at Sandals, especially if they’re traveling for a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, or other special occasion. Even if it’s a casual romantic escape, couples of all ages love the endless luxury inclusions available at Sandals Resorts. These resorts are truly luxurious and intimate, and you’ll be able to have a vacation that’s as private, or as social as you’d like!
Is Beaches Ocho Rios adults-only?: Beaches Ocho Rios is a family friendly all-inclusive resort. Boasting its own waterpark and age-appropriate activities and entertainment, it’s the perfect resort for families with kids of all ages!
Worth noting: Although Beaches Turks & Caicos is a family friendly resort, it’s immensely popular among couples looking for a romantic getaway, too. The resort is located on Grace Bay beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In addition, the resort grounds are so large, it’s easy to find a private spot for just the two of you. A third reason why couples love Beaches Turks & Caicos is the waterpark, which is the perfect spot to drift along the lazy river with a Pina Colada in hand.
All Sandals and Beaches resorts are located on a gorgeous Caribbean beach, a short flight from the U.S. mainland. Find your favorite Beaches Resort in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Sandals Resorts are also available in Jamaica (six resorts in total!), but also can be found in The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Grenada and Barbados.
This list will in the future be accompanied by a new Beaches Resort opening in Saint Vincent!
Before you even get to Sandals or Beaches, you might find yourself being drawn in by the mouth-watering offerings and inclusions. These resort brands are both known for their quality inclusions, like the numerous gourmet restaurants which take the all-inclusive dining experience to a new level (always included, always unlimited), swim-up bars, free water sports, free land sports, championship golf, day and night entertainment, free airport transfers, and so much more.
In addition, all resorts under the Sandals Resorts International umbrella, inclusive of Beaches Resorts, are always located on the beachfront, so you’re bound to have an incredible Caribbean getaway.
Your kids will likely spend as much time as possible at the Pirates Island Water Park where they can zoom down ginormous waterslides, try the water cannons and the swim-up soda bars, meander down the lazy river, and so much more!
The Kids Camps at Beaches are all-embracing and have activities for kids of all ages. From sea shell collecting to teen-only catamaran cruises, treasure hunts, and beach soccer: it’s all included. Beaches Resorts can also provide certified nannies if you’re looking for a romantic night out for just the two of you, which you can have guilt free knowing the kids are in good hands.
Younger kids will love the Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street® available at Beaches. These characters come to life in the most magical way at Beaches Resorts, and it’s even possible to have your kids tucked in by their favorite characters!
Trench Town is so much more than a game room, and your kids will have a blast playing arcade games like electronic basketball, laser hockey, and more. Or, they can just chill and watch movies on the enormous flat-screen TVs in a space created just for them!
The XBox Play Lounge is a signature feature of Beaches, and here kids enjoy some cinematic gameplay with friends. It’ll be the perfect way to kick back and relax when they’re not splashing around in the pool!
In the early evening hours, Beaches’ Club Liquid is a popular dance spot for teenagers. Later on at night the club transitions into an adults-only dance bar.
Heading to Jamaica for your destination wedding and looking for a venue that’s both traditional and one-of-a-kind? Throw tropical into that mix and what you’ll come up with is an Over-the-water Chapel available at Sandals Resorts. The simplicity and beauty of this venue will make for the perfect backdrop for your love story as you walk right into your happily-ever-after!
Not many resorts can say that they offer a bowling alley right on property, but Sandals Royal Barbados can. Have a romantic date night at the 4-lane bowling alley, which includes a cocktail lounge and craft beer hall. All free of use for guests!
Over-The-Water Bungalows are among the 'Caribbean’s most spectacular accommodations.’ These include a Sandals signature Tranquility Soaking Tub™ for two, sea-through glass floors on the inside, and even a swim-up platform to a suspended patio. The furnishings are just as lavish, and perfect for couples looking to truly get away from it all! All Over-The-Bungalows come with Elite Butler Service.
Who doesn’t want to try a swim-up suite at least once in their lifetime where they can go from the pool to their room, or vice versa, without having to walk through the entire resort? Sandals is one of those resorts with swim-up rooms that you just won’t be able to get enough of. The Beachfront Swim-Up Millionaire One Bedroom Butler Suite available at Sandals Montego Bay is a great option, or you can check out these 14 Unique All-Inclusive Swim-up Rooms You’ll Fall in Love With.
Rondoval Suites are unique in their offerings and they’re perfect if you want to be near the ocean during your Caribbean vacation. Sandals Rondoval Suite selections include Beachfront Rondovals at Sandals Grande St Lucian, the Rondovals of Eden at Sandals Grande Antigua, and the Swim-Up Rondoval Suites at Sandals South Coast. On the Beachfront at Sandals Grande St. Lucian, you’ll be able to step out the door and onto a magnificent beach, or dip into your private plunge pool and whirlpool.
Order up some authentic Indian fare at Bombay Club. The menu here includes some of the traditional favorites like Samosa, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Rogan Josh, and Palak Paneer.
Kimonos features oriental style cuisine, and it's the perfect choice for a night of international dining. Experience Japanese cuisine starting off with options like the Emperor’s Feast Tasting Menu, Gyuniku Samurai (USDA beef striploin), Toriniku Banzai (Chicken Breast), Tai (Seared snapper filet), and more.
Picture: The The Drunken Duck British Pub.
The Cricketers Pub and The Drunken Duck are only two of the British inspired restaurants you’ll find at Beaches and Sandals resorts, respectively. Both of these serve up authentic British fare and traditional ales, and are ideal for casual dining and making new friends late at night!
Sushi lovers will be able to get their fill at Soy Sushi which offers exotic made-to-order sushi dishes like Nigiri Sushi, Tuna Sashimi, Salmon Sashimi, Octopus Sashimi, Spicy Tuna, California Roll, Crab and Avocado, Champagne Lobster, and other delectable options.
The Jerk Shack is a popular lunch option at some Sandals and Beaches resorts where you can satisfy your craving for something truly Jamaican. Find out why so many people love Jamaican cuisine as you try things like grilled Jerk Pork, Jerk Chicken, Jerk Sausage, Roasted Fish in Foil, Roasted Breadfruit (seasonal), Roasted Sweet Potato, and more.
Dinos Pizzeria Italiana is a great choice if you’re looking for something to snack on while out by the pool, or lounging beachside with a rum-infused cocktail in hand. Play it safe with the Margherita, spice things up with the Hawaiian or Jerk seafood options, or try whatever it is that you’d like cooked up fresh-to-order in a wood-fired oven.
Extra tip: Looking for something light and tasty? Café de Paris offers fresh coffee, pastries, and ice creams. This is a perfect stop for desert, or to grab a sweet snack during the day.
Who doesn’t love a good BBQ restaurant? Located poolside, you can have things like BBQ Chicken, BBQ Short Ribs, BBQ Brisket, or BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches at Bar B. Q. Park. This is a casual dining option that kids are sure to love.
Venice meets Caribbean at The Venetian, which is inspired by true Italian style and flavor. Here you can enjoy grilled meats, fresh seafood, pastas, authentic Venetian risotto and so much more, cooked up in the authentic Italian way.
You won’t be able to get enough of the food served up at Le Petit Chateau at Beaches Turks & Caicos, which includes options like Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Braised Short Ribs Provencal Style, Pan Seared Duck, Roasted Lamb Loin, and Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, to name a few! This restaurant serves up Parisian-inspired cuisine that you can saver with the finest wines.
Bobby Dee’s will appeal to your kids for its lively and fun atmosphere and laid back menu. This restaurant can be found inside the magical Jolly Roger ship on Pirate's Island. The menu includes options like the Bobby Dee's Pirate Burger, the Beefy Bacon and Cheddar Sandwich, Cheese Steak Sandwich, and the popular Wagwan Dog.
Your kids will be fascinated by Yoyo’s and the wide range of frozen yogurt flavors available with almost 50 different toppings. This is the perfect way to cool off during or after a pool day - there are also lots of low-fat, non-fat and non-dairy choices for the health conscious!
Extra tip: Want to grab something on the go while at Beaches? Stop by the water park food trucks which can be found near the waterpark at Beaches Turks & Caicos. Kids love the Mac and Cheese food truck (Mr. Mac) and the ice cream food truck (Curl’s ‘n Swirl’s).
Named after Sandals Resorts’ Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the award-winning Butch’s Steak and Seafood is ‘a cut above the rest’. You’ll love the mouthwatering options available here. Popular menu items include the Snapper Veracruz, Classic Steak Diane and the Chef’s Surf & Turf.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara and Saltimbocca alla Romana are among the tasty meal items you can have on your plate on a romantic night out at Cucina Romana, a Sandals restaurant by the seaside which serves up authentic Italian favorites.
You might hear some of the guests talking about Gordon’s on the Pier from the moment you arrive at Sandals Resorts. Elegance, great sunset views, and scrumptious cuisine are some of the things you can expect at this over-the-sea dining option.
Le Jardinier will transport you to the French countryside with its alluring ambiance and Fresh cuisine. Try the Poulet Cordon Bleu, Filet de Saumon or some of the other popular menu items.
Indulge in Filet Mignon, Herbed Chicken Breast, Salmon Fillet, Mahi Mahi, Sizzling Shrimp and more, hot off the grill at the Mediterranean inspired Kelly’s Dockside Restaurant. Guests love the cheesecake served at this restaurant.
Extra tip: Feeling for something sweet? Try Sweet n' Salty's Gourmet Donuts & Coffee at Sandals Royal Barbados which offers gourmet donuts that’ll give you something to smile about.
Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril are both located on the world-famous Seven Mile Beach. The main difference between the two all-inclusive resorts is that Sandals Negril caters towards couples and Beaches Negril towards families and groups. Sandals Negril is the larger of the two, but Beaches Negril comes with a waterpark.
To get a better ‘feel’ for the size of the resorts: Sandals Negril offers 226 suites, versus 186 at Beaches Negril. Sandals Negril features 7 restaurants and 5 bars, slightly less than Beaches Negril: 9 restaurants and 7 bars.
Guests of Sandals Negril can make use of all amenities and restaurants at Beaches Negril. The distance between these two resorts is 5 minutes via taxi, or a 20-minute walk along the beach.
Looking for a romantic experience? You’ll likely love Sandals. Bringing kids under the age of 18 or traveling with a group? Beaches Negril is the all-inclusive resort for you!
At both resorts you’ll find a laid back atmosphere.
You’ll find lots of rivers, waterfalls, blue holes and even rainforests near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, which means there’ll be plenty to get up to during your all-inclusive vacation.
The main difference between Sandals Ochi and Beaches Ocho Rios is the fact that Sandals Ochi caters towards couples and Beaches Ocho Rios towards families and groups. Sandals Ochi is by far the larger of the two with a vibrant atmosphere. Beaches Ocho Rios is more intimate and comes with a waterpark.
Is Sandals Ochi the same as Beaches Ocho Rios?: Sandals Ochi and Beaches Ocho Rios are two separate resorts. The difference? Sandals Ochi caters towards couples and Beaches Ocho Rios towards families. Sandals Ochi is the larger resort of the two with a vibrant atmosphere. Beaches Ocho Rios is more intimate and comes with a waterpark.
Sandals Ochi offers couples 519 suites, 16 restaurants and 11 bars. Beaches Ocho Rios features 223 suites, 7 restaurants and 7 bars.
Guests of Sandals Ochi can make use of all amenities and restaurants at Beaches Ocho Rios. It takes a 15-minute taxi ride to get from ‘Ochi’ to Beaches Ocho Rios.
Looking for a romantic experience with the opportunity to meet lot’s of other couples? You’ll likely love Sandals Ochi. Bringing kids under the age of 18 or traveling with a group? Beaches Ocho Rios is the all-inclusive resort for you!
Insider tip: Beaches Ocho Rios and Sandals Ochi are located near some of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica, including Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios Blue Hole, Konoko Falls, Dolphin Cove and the Sandals Golf Club in Jamaica. Guests of both Beaches Ocho Rios and Sandals Ochi can get a free transfer to the golf club and all green fees are included in your stay!
All Sandals and Beaches are located on a gorgeous Caribbean beach. If you are staying at the resorts specifically for the beach, the following resorts that stand out:
Beaches Turks & Caicos is located on Grace Bay Beach, which is known to be one of the best beaches not just in the Caribbean, but the world. Beaches Turks & Caicos gives guests a chance to enjoy this beach right on the doorstep of their accommodation. The beautiful and calm turquoise waters are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Along the powdery white sand of Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma you’ll either find love, or rediscover it as you dive into the unbelievably beautiful and calm turquoise waters. Sandals Emerald Bay’s beach is long, private and absolutely stunning!
Seven Mile Beach can be both lively and intimate, depending on which part of the beach you choose, and that’ll be your experience at both Sandals Negril and Beaches Negril. Seven Mile Beach in Jamaica is where you’ll find all the water sports you could ever dream of. The waters are calm, making it the perfect backdrop of Negril’s spectacular sunsets.
There’s no shortage of beauty to be found in Antigua, and the stunning Dickenson Bay is proof. Sandals Grande Antigua is located on this beautiful beach, and this resort gives off both elegant and tropical vibes.
With an extensive stretch of white sand and warm, transparent seas, Pigeon Point Beach makes Sandal Grande St. Lucian a great choice for travelers with their heart set on the gorgeously green island of Saint Lucia.
The best all-inclusive resort will cater to the needs of everyone in your traveling party. When it comes to choosing the one that’s best between Sandals and Beaches, it’ll all depend on who’s going along for the ride. If your travels are connected to a special family or group getaway, Beaches Resorts is the best choice. If you’re looking to sink into a world of romance with that special person, Sandals is a sure pick!