If you’re looking for a Caribbean vacation, you might be wondering whether to choose a Sandals resort or a Beaches resort. Both brands offer all-inclusive packages with plenty of amenities, but there are some critical differences between the two. In this blog post, we will compare and contrast Sandals vs. Beaches resorts so that you can make an informed decision about where to stay on your next trip to the Caribbean.

Couples vs. Families: Who is the Target Market?

The primary difference between Sandals and Beaches resorts is who they cater to. Sandals resorts are designed specifically for couples, while Beaches resorts cater to families.

The Sandals Resort Difference

Sandals Resorts are the ultimate choice for couples seeking a luxurious and romantic getaway. Whether you’re planning a Sandals honeymoon, wedding, anniversary, or just a casual escape, Sandals has everything you need for the perfect trip. My wife, Jaimie, and I have visited several Sandals locations before we had kids, and we were always impressed by their adults-only experiences, allowing us to relax without worrying about children. Sandals’ all-inclusive packages make it easy to enjoy the amenities and activities at the resort.

The Beaches Resort Difference

Families looking for the perfect vacation spot should consider Beaches Resorts. Every Beaches Resort is designed with families in mind, featuring amenities such as Kids Camps, Xbox Play Lounges, and certified nannies. Teenagers can enjoy the nightclub and game room. Regardless of your family dynamic, Beaches Resorts offer everything needed for a fun and relaxing vacation.

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History and Ownership: How Do Sandals and Beaches Compare?

Sandals Resorts was founded by Jamaican-born entrepreneur Gordon “Butch” Stewart in 1981. The parent company, Sandals Resorts International (SRI), also operates Beaches Resorts, Fowl Cay Resort, and several private villas. SRI is based in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Beaches Resorts was established in 1997 to provide families with an all-inclusive Caribbean experience. Like Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts is part of Sandals Resorts International (SRI). The company is committed to providing guests with luxurious accommodations, world-class amenities, and impeccable customer service.

Locations: Where Are Sandals and Beaches Resorts Located?

Sandals Resorts Locations (18 locations as of 2024):

  • Antigua: 1 resort in St. Johns
  • Bahamas: 2 resorts in Nassau and Great Exuma
  • Barbados: 2 resorts in St. Lawrence Gap
  • Curacao: 1 resort in Santa Barbara
  • Grenada: 1 resort in St. George’s
  • Jamaica: 7 resorts in Negril, Whitehouse, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios
  • St. Lucia: 3 resorts in Castries and Gros-Islet
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 1 resort

(Related Posts: Best Sandals Resorts RankingsBest Sandals Resorts in Jamaica; Sandals Royal Caribbean Review)

Beaches Resorts Locations (3 locations):

  • Jamaica: 1 resort in Negril and 1 in Ocho Rios
  • Turks & Caicos: 1 resort

(Related Posts: Beaches Negril vs. Beaches Ocho Rios; Best Beaches Resorts)

Amenities: Sandals vs. Beaches Resorts

Both Sandals and Beaches resorts offer all-inclusive dining experiences, pools, swim-up bars, free airport transfers, and activities like day and night entertainment, championship golf, and free land sports. Tips are also included at Sandals and Beaches.

Sandals Resorts: More upscale with luxurious accommodations and refined dining options.

Beaches Resorts: Family-friendly amenities with activities for kids of all ages and certified childcare services.

Accommodations: Do Sandals or Beaches Resorts Have Better Rooms?

Both brands offer a wide range of accommodations. Sandals resorts are known for their luxury accommodations, including swim-up rooms and Rondoval suites. Beaches resorts offer everything from four-bedroom villas to modest rooms with double or king beds.

Dining Experience: Does Sandals or Beaches Have Better Restaurants?

Sandals Resorts: Offers more exclusive fine dining options, making their restaurants more romantic and exciting.

Beaches Resorts: Offers a variety of family-friendly dining options, with casual menus and kid-friendly restaurants.

Price: How Expensive Are Sandals and Beaches Resorts?

Sandals Resorts: Tend to be more expensive due to the luxurious experience, but affordable options are available. The cheapest Sandals resorts tend to be in Jamaica, and you can undoubtedly find some inexpensive room categories at most locations.

Beaches Resorts: Have a wide range of pricing options to fit different budgets.

Water Sports: Does Sandals or Beaches Resorts Have More?

Sandals Resorts: Offers a full range of water sports, including sailing, kayaking, and water skiing. The cost of a Sandals vacation includes all of these activities, along with professional instruction, at no extra charge.

Beaches Resorts: Also offers water sports, plus unique family-friendly attractions like Pirates Island Water Park.

Kids Activities: Are Sandals or Beaches Resorts Better?

Beaches Resorts: Perfect for families with young children, offering a variety of kids’ activities and certified nannies.

Sandals Resorts: Not suitable for kids as they are adults-only resorts.

Excursions: Do Sandals or Beaches Resorts Have Better Tours?

Both Sandals and Beaches resorts offer land and sea tours through Island Routes, a Caribbean tour company owned by Sandals. See our best Sandals excursions page for more.

Sandals vs. Beaches Resorts: Which Is Better?

When deciding between Sandals and Beaches resorts, it ultimately comes down to your preferences. Both resorts offer all-inclusive packages, beautiful beachfront locations, and a wide range of activities and excursions to keep you engaged and having fun. However, there are some critical differences that may sway your decision.

Sandals Resorts offers more luxury accommodations and dining experiences, making it the perfect choice for a wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway. Whether you seek a tranquil or active Caribbean couples vacation, Sandals offers it all. However, because it is for couples only, it’s not the best choice if you are traveling with family or children.

In those cases, Beaches Resorts are perfect for families, with excellent water parks and kids clubs that cater to children of all ages.

In summary, Sandals Resorts are ideal for a romantic, relaxing, or action-packed couples’ Caribbean getaway. Beaches Resorts, on the other hand, is the clear choice if you are traveling with kids or extended family.

There is no clear winner in the Sandals vs. Beaches resorts battle – it simply depends on who is going. Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or a fun-filled family vacation, both Sandals and Beaches have something to offer.

Start Planning your Sandals or Beaches Vacation Now

There are several reasons to book with a Sandals travel agent like The Vacationeer. They can assist you in choosing the best time to visit Sandals or Beaches, help you find the most suitable Sandals resort for your couple’s vacation or aid in selecting the best beach resort for your family vacation.  They are available to help whenever you have a question or need a recommendation.

Additionally, The Vacationeer will get you the lowest price and even set up a payment plan so you don’t have to pay all at once.

Best of all, their services are free!

Click below for a free quote and start planning the best Sandals vacation possible!