Grade 4.2 out of 5 Stars
The Sandals South Coast is a 5-star all-inclusive adults-only resort located in the South West of Jamaica. This 50-acre resort is located within a 500-acre reserve, which means it’s a super spacious resort. The resort is medium-sized with 372 rooms available and has a European-style design aesthetic to it. It’s located right on the beach with a 2-mile stretch of sand out front. This is a stunning spot for morning and evening strolls and the element of privacy along the beach is something special.
The Sandals resort chain has 6 resorts on the island of Jamaica so choosing the right resort can be a tricky decision. We have compiled a list of the top Sandals resorts in Jamaica to make your decision a little easier.
This location is quite remote, so there’s not really anything near the resort worth visiting. Montego Bay is around an hour and 20-minute drive away too, so it’s not very commutable. If you’re a person that likes to get out of the resort when you go on vacation, then this might not be the right resort for you. That being said, the resort has pretty much everything you would need as it’s huge.
- If you plan on getting married here one of the really unique things that they have on offer is an over-water wedding chapel. This beautiful spot has a glass floor with views of the ocean. There is also a lovely balcony that offers panoramic views of the ocean. It almost feels like you’re getting married on a boat with this location.
- One of our favorite things about this resort is the sheer space and size of the resort. Although it’s a medium-sized resort. The footprint of the resort is massive. So the amenities and pool areas are super spacious. It’s never hard to find a secluded spot which is a big benefit.
- Sandals Resort has a few standout features, but the most impressive are the activities and amenities that are available. At the South Coast resorts, there are some really good scuba diving locations nearby the resort. As part of your package, there are scuba diving excursions that leave the resort every day. This is a serious feature that you will pay a pretty penny for at most resorts.
- So, make the most of it if you are into scuba diving. If you don’t have a scuba diving certificate you can get this at the Sandals. There is an additional fee for this though.
- The Dutch village area is the most recent spot that has gone through renovations. Work was completed in the Summer of 2021, so this area is the best place to get a room. Make sure to ring up before you arrive and request a room in this part of the resort. As these rooms are the newest.
- One of our favorite parts of this resort was the latitudes over the water bar. Located at the end of a pier this is a really unique bar. Surrounding the bar area and overhanging over the ocean are hammock-style areas. It’s the perfect spot to maximize your state of relaxation.
- Something really cool about this resort is that they have a plant nursery on site. When you walk around the resort you will notice how beautifully the grounds are kept and a lot of the flowers that you see in the arrangements are grown on-site, which is super impressive.
- If you have an evening flight the resort has a departure lounge where you can leave your bags, shower, and change before you leave.
- This resort really embraces the local culture, which we like to see. On one of the days, there was an outdoor market with a range of locally made wooden ornaments and dishes. They were super impressive and you could see the craftsmanship that went into producing this. We really like the inclusion of local businesses at the Sandals South Coast.
The resort is sprawling and is broken up into different areas. Each of the areas is roughly styled after a European location. There are French, Italian, and Dutch villages and these are the areas where the accommodations are. As the resort is so big, walking is necessary to get around the resort, unlike other resorts, there is no network of golf carts to get you around.
One of our favorite areas to walk in was along the beach. As the beach spans the whole length of the resort. You can pretty much get to anywhere you want to go by walking on it.
The French and Dutch villages have big pool areas right in front of the complexes. The Italian area has a good-sized Jacuzzi, so it’s definitely better to be in the French and Dutch villages to have easy access to the pools.
Once you arrive at the resort you will be greeted by a member of staff that will take your bags. The main reception area is spacious and airy and check-in is usually super fast as they have loads of desks.
Is the Sandals South Coast a child-friendly resort?
This is an adults-only resort, so you will need to look elsewhere if you were planning a family getaway. One of the best family resorts that we have experienced in Jamaica was the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton resort.
Sandals is a resort chain is known for having great amenities on offer. The South coast resort is no different boasting a range of great things to do and make use of throughout your stay.
There are three big pools on the resort and they are all sprawling, so you shouldn’t have any issues with getting a deck chair or finding a relaxing spot at the South Coast resort. The main pool is a great spot, there is live music here throughout the day, which creates a nice atmosphere. The staff around the pool creates a great atmosphere with organized games and just great banter. There’s no pressure to get involved, but if this is your vibe the main pool is the perfect spot.
There are four tennis courts in the resort. If you enjoy tennis this is the resort for you as the courts have a professional setup. There are even floodlights, so you can play in the evenings when the temperature is cooler.
The gym here is pretty good. It’s quite spacious, there are loads of cardio machines, a machine weights area, and a decent amount of free weights. The equipment isn’t the newest, but it’s all fully functional. There is also a large separate cardio area where some of the classes take place. There is also a full schedule of gym classes throughout the day.
Things to do during the day
There is a long list of activities and events that runs throughout the day. As we mentioned this is one of Sandals resort’s strongest points. From organized group activities and sports like volleyball, tennis tournaments, and Table tennis. There are also a ton of water activities to do like sailing, snorkeling, and even scuba diving.
Things to do during the night
Every night there was always something going on. From a Silent disco one of the nights to a Jamaican-themed night another. There is a theater where most of the events take place and there’s a solid atmosphere in the evening times. You won’t go bored.
If you’re looking to play a few rounds of golf when you visit Jamaica, then the South coast is not the spot for you. There aren’t a huge amount of courses in the local area. The nearest course is the Negril Hills Golf Club, which is an hour’s drive away.
If you looking for a Sandals resort that is near a golf course then you are better off looking at resorts in the Ocho Rios area, as there is a Sandals branded golf course area here. The Sandals Ochi resort is the nearest to the course, so check it out if you’re going for a golf vacay.
The Beach at the Sandals South Coast is one of its standout features. The sand is fine and soft and the waters are calm and turquoise. The beach is super long and there are a number of private areas that almost make it feel like you are on a private island. Given the size of the beach, you shouldn’t have any issue getting a spot.
Another great thing about the beach here is that it doesn’t suffer from Seagrass. So, it really is pristine. There is food and drink service on the beach too.
On the beach every day around noon, there was a fresh coconut station where you could get the freshest of coconuts with a dash of rum if that was your vibe. These were so refreshing and another example of the Sandals delivering on the small luxury touches.
The Red lane Spa is the offering at the Sandals resort. The facilities here are very nice. There is a full spa menu on offer. The prices are definitely on the high side, but heck you’re on vacation.
If you fancy getting a couples massage there are a number of different spots throughout the resort where you can get massages. Whether it’s on the beach, or in your suite if you are in the Overwater bungalows.
There is also a full beauty salon on offer, so if you are planning on having a wedding here, this is very handy for getting ready for your big day.
The staff here is so friendly, literally, no request is too much and they are always on hand to help you out when needed. There is food and drinks service available by the pools and the beach and the staff was on it in terms of service. We never ended up seeing the bottom of our glasses.
The butler service is also really good. At the start of your vacation, you are given the number of your personal butler and you simply give them a text or a call for any requests.
One of the few things about Sandals resorts that we don’t like is the volume of room categories they have on offer. It’s honestly a bit overwhelming the volume of choice, but we at InspoVacay are to help and have broken down their offering.
There are a few distinct areas of the resort. They are broken down by the design and architecture of the areas. You have the French, Dutch and Italian areas. Separate to these areas you have the luxury options of the Rondoval Butler Suite and the overwater bungalows.
As we mentioned, in the top tips the Dutch village is your best choice when it comes to areas, as this is the newest. One of the things to note is that every single room/suite on the resort has views of the beach and ocean.
When we broke down the rooms we delved into the two most impressive room types below. These are the two most expensive options, but they obviously also offer standard one-bedroom and junior suites too. The quality of these rooms is pretty good. We wouldn’t say there the biggest-sized offering, but they are comparable to an average hotel room size.
Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suite
These suites are quite unique. It kind of looks like a mini water park with a lazy river running through it with the hut-style suites dotted throughout. The pool area for these suites is reserved for guests of the Rondoval suites only and each suite is swim-up with its own private Jacuzzi. It’s very fancy.
The layout of the suite is also great with a large king-sized bed that is situated in the center of the room. There is a small living area, a private patio, and the Jacuzzi we mentioned earlier. The suite is lovely and airy as the ceiling is elevated with its hut-style architecture. There is a small pantry area that has your mini bar and complimentary bottles of liquor.
The bathroom in these suites is stunning too with a massive bathtub that is situated just below a huge skylight that floods the bathroom with light.
These suites are pure luxury and romance and you really can’t go wrong with them. Costing on average $600 a night these suites are a great choice for luxury at a more affordable price.
This is one of the few Resorts that has these types of bungalows on offer. These ones are quite convenient as they are accessed by a footbridge. The negative to that is that the bungalows are in fairly shallow waters, so swimming in the water by the bungalow is not as good.
The interior of these rooms is really impressive with a gorgeous design aesthetic. There’s even a small glass window on the floor, so you can peer into the ocean. Off the room, there is a lovely deck where you can swim off and they provide all of the equipment you would need for a dip in the ocean. Costing on average $1400 USD per night, these bungalows don’t come cheap, but for a special occasion, these are well worth it.
One additional standout benefit you get if you stay in an overwater bungalow is that you get access to a private beach area where there are private cabanas that are reserved for you. There are coolers in the Cabanas and your private butler will stock these coolers with your favorite drinks. As well as providing you service throughout the day for food and drinks.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package
The packages at Sandals resorts are definitely on the premium end. Pretty much everything that you would want is included in their packages. From all food, unlimited premium drinks, a wide range of activities, and airport transfers. It’s genuinely one of the more competitive packages on offer from the bigger resort chains.
Food + Restaurant Options
There are loads of food choices here, with nine spots to choose from. You won’t be short on places to go. The quality of the food was very good and the consistency of dishes throughout our stay was something that you rarely experience at an all-inclusive.
Ranking the Restaurants
- Sushi on the Sand
The food here is really good. Unlike most all-inclusive resorts Sushi on the Sand only serves up Sushi, so you’re not going to get your Pan-Asian offering as most resorts offer. The sushi here was really fresh when we visited. This was definitely the best sushi we have had at an all-inclusive. The menu is large and the desserts are also a must-try.
- The Jerk Shack
Basically located on the beach, this spot was actually one of our favorites at the resort. It’s a super casual spot and a perfect place to grab a quick-service lunch. They serve up some of Jamaica’s best dishes, from Jerk Chicken, pork, and roasted sweet potato. You really can’t go wrong eating here. The menu is simple but cooked to perfection. The food tasted authentically local, which we love to see.
Serving up the local flavors of Jamaica, this is one of the most popular spots on the Sandals South Coast resort. This is one of the restaurants that have a dressier dress code. This is also one of the few spots on the Sandals resort that does require reservations, so be sure to try and book early in your vacation because you will 100% want to go back. The aesthetic of this restaurant is stunning.
Located right on the beach, this is a stunning spot to chow down. For lunch, it serves up the traditional meals you would expect from a beachside grill. Things like sandwiches, burgers, and soups are on offer. In the evening it serves up a wonderful seafood menu. The grilled Mahi Mahi was super fresh when we tried it. The tuna steak was also really good.
This restaurant is definitely the biggest in the resort. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and this is the main buffet of the resort. What’s interesting about this place is that in the evenings it transforms into a French offering and the food here is very good. The lobster thermidor was really good. You could taste the freshness of the fish.
During the day the consistency of the food is also very strong. This is the go-to spot for breakfast for most of the guests visiting. They offer all the trimmings of a solid buffet like an omelette bar in the mornings and a rotating lunch offering for lunch.
- Schooners Seafood Grill
This is an open-air spot that is open for lunch and dinner. It’s located a little bit away from the main area of the resort, so there is a relaxed vibe at Schooners. The Schooner serves up a nice mix of dishes. The lunch service is a mixture of burgers, sandwiches, and fish options. For dinner, the menu changes a little and serves up Caribbean seafood dishes. The Snapper and clams were delicious and our favorite dish here. We did try the BBQ shrimp and were actually a bit disappointed with it.
This is a Pan Asian style offering with dishes from Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines to name a few. The menu selection is quite nice. Our favorite dish was definitely the beef Szechuan. The quality of the meat was very good. The dessert of Lychee cheesecake is a must-try.
Open for lunch and dinner, this is the Italian offering of the resort. They specialize in PIzzas and pasta and actually do them really well. This spot is pretty casual. The food here is good, but we wouldn’t be writing home about it.
Cafe de Paris
This place is hopping in the mornings for guests looking for their caffeine fix to absolve their sins from the night before. Serving up a full coffee shop menu, this was our first stop in the mornings. They also have a range of sweet treats on offer with freshly baked goods, ice creams, and even made-to-order crepes. It’s the perfect place to grab an after-dinner dessert too.
Bars and Drinks Offering
In total there are 7 different bars to choose from and given the medium size of the resort. It is actually a pretty decent amount of choice.
There are premium international brands carried in all of the bars. Brands like Johnnie Walker, Don Julio, Crown Royal, Bombay Sapphire, and Absolut are just a few of the brands carried. They also have a pretty decent wine offering with their house wines being produced by the Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks brand. There are six types on offer and they are of decent quality.
In all of the rooms, there is a full mini bar included in your package. In the mini-bar, there are beers, sodas, mixers, and some snacks. There are also bottles of liquor included in your suite. If you are staying in a standard suite it will be local bottles, but if you are in the Butler level or love nest suites your bottles are elevated to premium international brands like Hendriks and Glenfiddich reserve to name a few.
Is the Premium Status Worth it?
At Sandals resorts there is three-level of room statuses on offer. Luxury included, which is the base offering. Club Sandals, which has some extra offerings and is their mid-range choice, and the Butler service option which is their most premium choice. Well, break down exactly what is included and which is our top recommendation below.
As part of the Club Sandals experience, there are a number of additional benefits that you get access to. Things like a personal concierge service are available 24/7. Access to the Club Sandals lounge, where there is an elevated range of drinks available at the lounge and in your room.
Early check-in is also available with the Club Sandals level. Overall though, we wouldn’t say that the benefits here necessarily warrant the additional cost. If you really want a certain type of room and it comes with Club Sandal’s access then be sure to make use of the amenities, but as a standalone offering, we don’t think there’s a huge amount of value.
This is definitely the standout offering from the premium status. Your butler can look after a number of things for you. Whether it’s reservations at a restaurant for the evening or securing your favorite sun lounger by the beach. They do it all.
At the start of the vacation, they provide you with their number to contact them for anything you may need. The butlers are super responsive and can do a range of tasks for you.
One of our top tips though is to ask your butler to reserve your favorite spot by the pool or beach in the morning and they will also include a cooler full of your favorite drinks. So if you’re a beer lover, they will fill it to the brim. It’s a nice touch and adds to that premium experience.
Overall, we don’t think that the Butler level suites are 100 percent necessary. They are convenient, but at an additional $1000 if you are staying 7 days. The price vs value calculation doesn’t add up.
Is there a dress code at the Secrets South coast?
Yes, there is a dress code for the restaurants on the resort. It’s broken down into two different categories. We liked that Sandal kept it simple and only had two categories at the South coast. The categories are “Resort Casual Attire” and “Resort Evening Elegant” They do enforce the dress code in the restaurants, so be sure to pack accordingly.
Resort Casual Attire
This is a pretty wide category where you can pretty much wear what you want. The only caveat is that Swimwear must be covered, and shirts and footwear must be worn.
Resort Evening Elegant
This is obviously a little more dressy. For the Men, trousers must be worn. You can wear jeans and they must be worn with a long or short sleeve shirt. Sneakers or flip-flops can’t be worn. For the women, there isn’t a definition for what can be worn, but as a rule of thumb, we’d recommend Sundresses, trousers or a nice blouse.
Do you tip at Sandals Resorts?
The service at the South Coast resort is one of the resort’s standout features. The staff at the resort work really hard to make sure all of the guests’ vacations are running as smoothly as possible. At InspoVacay we believe that tipping should be baked into the cost of your vacation when you’re planning. Although resorts do call out that tips and taxes are included in all of the resorts, it’s still a courtesy to tip the staff throughout your stay, so we highly recommend it.
For us what Sandals does well is their attention to detail. From a great range of amenities to keep you entertained to the stellar entertainment crew that just oozes positive vibes. The level of service that you get is really stellar. This is a resort to go to if you want to have a good time.
Although the resort itself is a little dated in parts, the bustle of events going on and the great service make you quickly forget about that. You can also optimize your way into staying in the more updated parts of the resort by staying in the Dutch village.
If your looking for a top-quality vacation, where having a good time is the pinnacle of your vacay, then look no further than Sandals South Coast.
Q. Does the Sandals South Coast offer a shuttle service from the Airport
- Yes, there is a free shuttle that is provided by the Sandals resort. Make sure to notify the resort of your arrival and departure times to make sure you can make the most of the transport. As it’s a great service that will save you money.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort. The signal is pretty strong throughout. This is an expansive resort, so you won’t get it in parts of the beach, but around the main areas and rooms, it’s quite strong.
Q. What local attractions are there?
A. This resort is a little remote, so there are a limited amount of things to do locally, but with so much to do at the Sandals resort, there is really no need to leave if you don’t want to.