You guys! I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to finally get up this recap post about my very first all-inclusive resort experience and stay with Sandals Grande St. Lucian. BUT there was just SO much to cover, and I wanted to be sure to answer all of the questions that you guys were asking while we were there.
I’ve always always wanted to stay in an over-the-water bungalow (I mean who hasn’t?), so being able to experience the brand new bungalows with Sandals was an unbelievable experience. Imagine every amenity that you’ve every needed and then some. Literally, there’s a window in the floor to see the ocean underneath you. There’s a round bathtub on the porch overlooking the sea. TMI, but yes, I took a moonlit bath by myself outside under the stars.
And I got to document it all with my fave travel buddy Haute Off the Rack – which was sometimes comical considering we were at a couples’ resort but overall so much fun. Especially when we’d come home to friendship towel animals and BFF messages on our beds in tropical flowers.
If you’ve ever wondered about all-inclusive resorts or considered booking a trip with Sandals Resorts, click through to the full post where I answer my most-asked questions and the pros and cons of going all-inclusive on your next vacay!
PS. If you missed my first ever cruise experience post , you can check it out here.
Keep Reading My All-Inclusive Resort Experience with Sandals
Pros of All-Inclusive Resorts:
With Sandals Grande St. Lucian you have the availability to pick your experience depending on your budget. There are three different levels: Luxury, Club and Butler. The over-the-water bungalows come with two personal butlers. (I knew after our arrival and the four of us had a 10-minute dance party inside the bungalow with Caribbean rap music playing on our massive flat screen TV – Zanius and Karen were going to be my best friends by the end of the trip.)
The Butler Elite service means every single detail of our vacation was taken care of. Only the top nine butlers get to reside over the bungalows meaning you are getting the best of the best when it comes to service. The only finger we ever had to lift was the one we used to answer our own personal butler cell phone. And amazingly enough, random treats and delicious coconut drinks would appear for us every day – just like magic!
Time for dinner? Zanius would appear with his white gloves on and tell us not to worry about a thing because we were “on vo-cation.” Seriously missing that Caribbean accent y’all. Need two chairs on the beach? Karen thoughtfully set up our chairs and mini ice chest filled with sodas, water and Caribbean beers. Did I consider smuggling out my butler phone to call them every now and again once I got home? Yes.
OH and yes, 24-hour butler service means 24-hour room service! I can’t even tell you how obsessed I was with the little hummus, salsa and olive tapenade sampler we would order every day! We got to enjoy it one night watching the sunset from the oversized hanging chairs right next to our bungalow.
Food and Drinks
By far one of our favorite parts was the all-inclusive food and drinks that are included. I literally left my wallet in the room and never thought twice about it! Having been on a cruise before, I have to admit that I went in with lower expectations for the food, BUT I was wrong! All of our meals at Sandals Grande St. Lucian were top notch.
We loved the all-you-can-eat sushi and hibachi restaurant as well as the over-the-water steakhouse, Gordan’s. Let me just tell you – blown away. And yes, I did try all of the signature cocktails too. 😉
For lunch, we ate nachos right next to the beach. I mean could you come up with a more perfect meal? I don’t think so. The Jerk restaurant features yummy jerk chicken and a spicy “fish in paper” that came highly recommended by our server – I think her name was Juliette. SO nice and so correct about the fish.
Every morning with breakfast and coffee, we’d get our very own edition of the Sandals newspaper that outlined the day’s activities and other news regarding the restaurants and special entertainment across the resort. I loved looking through the daily paper to see what was going on while we were there.
In addition to yoga, dance classes and boating there are also nightlife options as well. Right next to the main pool, there was live music each night. We’d find ourselves stopping to listen as we walked to and from dinner. We also learned that John Legend came to The Grande last year to perform!
Privacy & Security
Most all-inclusive resorts are nestled behind high walls, gated and with 24 hour security and full-staff on premises. We always felt safe during our stay at Sandals even when the property was adjacent to public beaches. Surrounding the water bungalows specifically there were security officers stationed at all times.
The transportation from the airport (already arranged by Sandals) was also very safe and professional. The entire ride is about an hour and a half, and both of our drivers to and from the resort offered to pull over to the lookout points for photos.
If you’d rather not share your vacation with children, go for adults-only! This is what Sandals does best. Gotta be honest, it was pretty nice not having to worry about kids in the pool or at dinner. We even met a couple staying in the bungalow next to us that were there to “escape” their kids, haha.
Cons of All-Inclusive Resorts:
• You might not ever leave the resort (but do you really want to)? There are so many amenities to enjoy during an all-inclusive stay, you might want to make sure to schedule off-site activities too that allow you to see more of the location. I would have loved to have gone to one of the volcanic mud baths while in St. Lucia.
• Depending on where you go – the food may not live up to your expectations. We were lucky to not have to worry about the food at Sandals Grande St. Lucian. Every meal and even all of our snacks were delicious!
• Read the fine print to see what might be extra including spa services. We were in the mood to get a little pampering so we added a Red Lane Spa massage. The exact massage was the Night Blooming Jasmine massage that you can ask to experience outside. They paint essential oils onto you with a paint brush – it was SO luxurious. As if my moonlight bath wasn’t enough you know?
Thank you to Sandals Grande St. Lucian (and Zanius and Karen) for an unforgettable trip!