The Caribbean's calling: 7 reasons to book a Sandals holiday in 2021

Please note: travel restrictions remain in place owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Be sure to check the latest travel advice and explore current COVID rules & regulations by country.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

The idea of travelling might seem daunting right now but there's hope in the form of vaccines, light in the shape of testing and a future of adventures waiting in the wings. What's more, now is the best time to book that much-needed luxurious break thanks to the many great offers and incentives available online.

Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay Jamaica - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts
Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay Jamaica - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts

Here, we share a few of the main reasons that a holiday with Caribbean specialist Sandals* is a safe bet, from the resorts' naturally intimate experiences to the reassuring new cleaning procedures in place. We hope to inspire you to book a summer or winter break as a reward for surviving the year that may as well not have been.

Book with Sandals: see the latest deals on luxury all inclusive Caribbean holidays* and book your escape today.

1. All in one

One of the best things about investing in a luxurious Caribbean holiday with Sandals* is that all of the extras you could wish for are included as standard. It's a comprehensive holiday that means you know exactly what you're getting before you even arrive, letting you plan to do as much or as little as you like in advance.

As well as a range of accommodation from guest rooms to plush suites, your holiday with Sandals includes all food, drinks - yes, even premium alcoholic spirits round the clock - activities such as scuba diving (two dives per day), water sports, golf (excluding resorts in Antigua, Barbados and Grenada), gym and spa access, sports such as tennis and beach volleyball, and evening entertainment.

The famous swimming pigs of Exuma, Bahamas - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts
The famous swimming pigs of Exuma, Bahamas - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts

In the current climate, where personal space is key, you can take your pick from the above and tailor your trip to suit you. Stick to activities that limit interaction, enjoy the swimming pools and be confident that Sandals* is on top of sanitising and cleaning every surface and piece of equipment from scuba diving masks to rackets.

COVID-19 safe cleaning: find out more about the thorough cleaning procedures* introduced across all of Sandals resorts.

2. Queue-free online check-in

Forget long queues at your resort's reception on arrival. In a bid to limit interaction, Sandals* has upped its game when it comes to checking in with a handy online check-in that you can complete from the comfort of your own home before you even leave for the airport.

On arrival, you'll be greeted with a personal anti-bac towel to sanitise your hands, a quick temperature check (any reading over 37.5°C will be considered 'high') and a welcome cocktail. Then you can head straight to your room, bypassing the front desk completely.

3. Range of private accommodation

True luxury is surely having time and space with loved ones, which is what makes staying at a Sandals resort so special. Its collection of signature suites* gives you so much choice when it comes to finding the right room - sorry - suite for your stay.

Don't fancy mixing much with other guests? No problem. There are beach and garden view suites, swim-up suites with their own pools, tucked-away garden retreats, two-storey suites for larger groups and even expansive beachfront villas. This variety allows you to choose the right accommodation for your budget and your needs, especially if you're keen to keep yourselves separate from other guests.

Private accommodation at Sandals Regency La Toc, St Lucia - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts
Private accommodation at Sandals Regency La Toc, St Lucia - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts

Sandals has introduced rigorous new cleaning protocols* across all suites. The 12 Point Suite Cleaning and 9 Point Bathroom Cleaning check lists ensure all accommodation is sanitised using hospital-grade disinfectant and checked with UV-LED black lighting.

4. Choose your level

Sandals has long prided itself on its all-encompassing hospitality for all guests. There are, however, ways to pimp your stay and nudge your experience up a level or two.

Take Club Sandals*. This premium service includes a concierge with private check-in if you haven't done online already and resort tour as well as a dedicated lounge with snacks, games and bespoke socially-distanced activities. This promises that little bit extra in terms of privacy and access to your resort's facilities.

Then there's Butler Elite*, which notches things up again with all the benefits of Club Sandals plus your own socially-distanced private butler who will be there for your every need.

From meeting you on arrival at the airport to unpacking, organising activities, making dinner reservations, ensuring priority room-service and so much more, your butler will escort, arrange, inform and help with virtually anything during your stay, guaranteeing a truly private holiday.

Finally, if you're travelling as a pair of love birds and plan on shutting out the world, consider Love Nest Butler Suites*. Think Butler Elite with a personal attendant, VIP check-in and 24-hour room service, plus the added extra of a truly swish suite designed just for two. We're talking anything from a private terrace to private plunge pool, bathtubs for two, extra sitting room and linens like robes and a pillow menu.

Any questions? Read the FAQs relating to coronavirus* when you book with Sandals.

5. Dine as you like

Dining with Sandals* has naturally had to evolve to meet the demands of the current situation. Thanks to the numerous outlets available at each resort, social distancing is not too difficult to enforce and tables are all spaced accordingly. There's also plenty of ways to dine al fresco, letting the sea breeze blow away any concerns you might have about sitting inside.

Hand sanitisers are there to be used on arrival, staff are equipped with masks and gloves, and all surfaces that you might interact with, from menus, tables and chairs to coffee machines, are regularly sanitised. Buffets are no longer self-service; instead, you will be served by a member of staff.

If, however, dining in a restaurant makes you uncomfortable, Sandals* has made it easier than ever to dine in your room. From the ordering process to the delivery of food and collection of empty trays, it's now completely contact-free, ensuring peace of mind if you'd prefer to dine in private.

6. Private island excursions

It doesn't get more socially-distanced than a day trip to one of Sandals two private islands*. These pristine droplets of sand can be visited by anyone staying at Sandals Royal Bahamian, Nassau, Bahamas and by dragon boat to Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay Jamaica.

Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay private island beach - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts
Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay private island beach - photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts

The tiny sliver of an isle in the Bahamas is reached by private boat or kayak and offers white sand beaches with over-sea hammocks, spa, a swim-up bar and restaurant. Meanwhile, a private dragon boat will take you to the platinum shore just off Montego Bay. You'll be greeted by a Thai-themed restaurant and swim-up bar with access to the isle's signature spa.

Planning a holiday with Sandals? Don't miss our complete Sandals weather guide with climate information for each of Sandals resorts.

7. In-resort nurse

For added reassurance, each Sandals resort has an on-site nurse who's available throughout your stay should you have any health concerns or, worst-case scenario, if you develop symptoms of coronavirus.

Get to know the refund policy

It's important that you familiarise yourself with Sandals refund policy* before booking your holiday in these uncertain times, as it varies depending on how and what you've booked.

If you have booked a holiday with Sandals, including flights, and it's impacted by COVID-19 - be that because the flights are cancelled or the borders are closed - you will be entitled to rebook for a later date or get a refund.

If the flights have not been cancelled but you do not feel you can travel owing to official government travel advice, you will need to contact Sandals to discuss your options. If you've paid the deposit, this can be held for a further three months while you decide if you wish to book another holiday at a later date.

It's important to note that if you have booked a hotel-only stay, then you will not be entitled to a refund if flights you have booked separately are cancelled.

Be sure of the entry requirements

Each Caribbean island has its own entry requirements, including specifics relating to COVID-19 testing. Be sure you know what is expected before and on arrival to ensure your holiday isn't disrupted - or worse. Check the latest specific Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice as well as official guidance from your chosen destination:

Ready to book your holiday? Check out the latest deals on luxury holidays to the Caribbean with Sandals and book that much-deserved break in the sun today.

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

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