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Published May 16, 22
5 min read

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We’ve seen everything from all-inclusive only meaning the buffet to loads of hidden fees you don’t find out about until you’re actually at the resort, like that ridiculous “all-inclusive” we stayed at in Sicily where we had to pay for meals and received a card that we still don’t understand the purpose of.

There are additional fees, which is very clear on the Sandals website, for a few things such as spa services, off-resort excursions and renting a cabana. And that’s it. Sandals even has a strict no tipping policy, so it’s completely unnecessary to have cash on hand. After our first visit to Sandals Emerald Bay‘s Cafe de Paris where we ordered a lattes and presented our room key to the barista only to be told it wasn’t necessary, I locked my purse in the safe.

You can also call to have the mini bar restocked if you need it between the daily restocking. If we were in the pool, with the exception of the quiet pool, we didn’t even have to get out of the pool to get a drink with the convenience of the swim-up bar.

Both Sandals Resorts have an a la carte option for breakfast, a buffet style breakfast and room service. Always a sleep-until-the-last-possible-second kind of gal, the buffet was great for when we had an excursion and wanted to grab something quickly. Otherwise, I find I eat less when I’m not faced with endless options at a buffet and prefer a la carte.

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There were a variety of casual options where you could wander in with a beach cover-up and enjoy lunch. Everything from pub style food to pizza is available. Of course, all day room service or club sandwiches in the Club Level lounge are also available. Even at dinner there were a variety of restaurants from more casual pub style dining to upscale restaurants with a dress code.

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There’s an activity center where kayaks, aquatrikes, stand-up paddle boards, windsurfing and sailboats are all included. For the scuba divers, scuba equipment is also included so you don’t have to bring all of that gear from home with you (unless you want to) and trips to the Sandals selected dive sites are included.

The island has a very nice beach on both the front and back side of the island and the back side has a reef perfect for snorkeling on. We always travel with our own snorkel and mask, so this wasn’t a problem for us but you should be aware that the activity center will not allow guests to bring the snorkel equipment out to the off-shore island.

You can even book your Red Lane spa treatments to be on the off-shore island. At night, besides dining there are plenty of things to keep guests entertained if you’re not holed up in your room. There are fire pits where you can request the fixings to make s’mores, live music and entertainment.

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And all the all-inclusive alcohol means you never know just how out of tune you really are. Off-Resort Activities Of course you probably didn’t head to The Bahamas to stay at your resort – at least we didn’t. There are no rules that you can’t leave and it isn’t camp where you have to sign out to go off-resort.

There is typically a guard booth at the main entrance and you just give your name and room number to re-enter the property. If you’re not sure what you want to do, Sandals has the Island Routes company (which is a separate entity) who can book a variety of tours with local tour partners.

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At Sandals Royal Bahamian, there was a lobster omelet on the menu but I really wanted lobster eggs benedict. I got lobster eggs benedict. And when there was a mistake with our airport transfer time, Sandals Royal Bahamian ensured we got to the airport stress free and in their Royals Royce.

Was Sandals Resorts Really Worth It? Holidays at Sandals Resorts don’t come with an inexpensive price tag and many of you inquired whether the price is really worth it. We actually do think so when you consider that the price includes, well, everything. When you consider that our stay included airport transfers to and from the resorts, all meals, all alcohol, accommodations and a myriad of activities including scuba diving, the price really is comparable to what you would pay for all of that if you paid for it individually.

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*Tours do require a moderate level of walking including walking uphill, climbing steps, uneven surfaces and extended walking from bus to various sites. Some of the tour will be walking tours. Comfortable footwear recommended. Limited options available for guests that decide not to participate in walking tours. **For tours outside the United States, many locations do not have the same or comparable ADA regulations for handicap accessibility and therefore may pose difficulty for those with limited mobility.

***Call Prime Tours and see if this tour is the right activity level for you. 614-766-5553.