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Jamaica Oct 2020

Sandals Royal CaribbeanSandals Royal Caribbean

I had been to this resort many years ago and there were some very nice changes to the property. They replaced an old building with the Sandringham Building, with great views and upgraded amenities. Not much of the British feel in these rooms. All of these rooms had tranquility tubs in the balcony with glass walled balconies. The Caribbean Village is completely under construction. They have a wall built near the lobby so you are not able to get over to look at anything, but we were promised some “great things” will be happing there, to be announced in 2021. The villas and bungalow were fabulous. Transportation is readily available to these and they are full service if you really don’t want to leave. They are very difficult to book for more than 3 nights, but if you book them make sure you do them at the end of the stay to avoid disappointment in the other room categories.

Keep in mind that only two buildings have elevators. We did see most all of the rooms on our tour and it seems that more and more rooms are becoming butler rooms. I would say at least half of the travelers had butler rooms. I asked a few of them as they booked there return trip if they were booking the butler again and they said absolutely. The personal attention made the difference in the trip. The one day that we spent at the pool, there were only 2 of us couples that did not have butlers. We had Concierge as we have at all of our Sandals stays and I did not feel that it was worth it this time. Room service twice and dinner reservations are really all that we used them for. It seemed like at the other Sandals resorts it seemed to us that we had notes periodically in the rooms along with small plates with pastries or snacks delivered to the room and now the only liquor that will be in the room are the local brands. There is an upcharge for all others. This was different than in the past.

Changes at the property due to COVID are apparent:

• They are not holding any indoor functions. All entertainment and activities are now outside.
• A big plus to us was that the pool chairs are spread out. You could have put 4 chairs in between ours and the next one.
• Masks were mandatory if you were going into an office or shop. Other than that you did not see many with them on.
• Hand sanitizer is suggested in an out of all buildings and restaurants.
• The only buffet was at breakfast where they had you a plate to hold and they walk with you to serve your food to you.
• All staff is required to wear masks at all times with the exception of the singers.

We love Jamaica. It was great to get back this year and somewhat of a normal vacation! 

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