Having stayed at the best all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico and enjoyed Sandals butler service more than ½ dozen times in Jamaica, St Lucia, Antigua and Exuma it’s still difficult to say if Sandals butler service is worth it. Sure there’s nothing like having someone at your beck and call when you’re settled on the beach and forgot your sunscreen or decide a Mai Tai sounds good and the bar is all the way over there. But I’m a very independent traveler. I value my privacy and like to disconnect when I’m on vacation. I enjoy walking long distances and often prefer to be spontaneous when it comes to dining. For all those reasons I do NOT like Sandals butler service.
On the other hand…
Traveling from Seattle to the Caribbean takes time, lots of time, and I’m tired by the time I get to the islands. A private car makes the trip from the airport to the resort quicker and much more pleasant and Sandals butler service provides in room check in. No standing in line filling out paperwork at a front desk.
I love a gorgeous view and when I’m in the Caribbean there is nothing better than a beachfront villa with a large patio right on the sand, steps from shimmering turquoise water. Unless of course you add a hammock big enough for two so I can gaze at stars in the crystal clear sky before toddling off to my oh so comfy king bed. That’s what you’ll find at Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma.
Private pools are awesome although not all are created equal and few are private enough to feel comfortable sunbathing au naturel or skinning dipping. At Sandals Grande Riviera on Jamaica the completely remodeled Romeo and Juliet Suite is private enough and adds a heated outdoor Jacuzzi and outdoor shower a few feet from the master bedroom. We’re not talking sexy here are we? Then there’s the Millionaire’s Suite at Sandals Regency La Toc on St Lucia with an equally private pool and outdoor Jacuzzi plus billion dollar ocean view to enjoy from the bed, suite or patio. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying both suites and yes, they are worth it!
Though I love the sun I need shade in the tropics and have a favorite place at each Sandals Resort that best suits me. It’s always on the beach, never at the pool, and far enough away from activities that I can hear waves not music. My Sandals butler understands that and I don’t have to get up early to save my special spot.
I like good gin, Kahlua and Grand Marnier in my room. Yep, I’m a lush, and I also like to try fun new drinks that half the time I don’t finish but would cost a lot of bucks to try somewhere else.
Having a preferred candlelit table waiting at my chosen restaurant is lovely but when I’m worn out after hiking the Pitons, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, walking the beach and too much sun, dinner in my suite served by my Sandals butler is a welcome option.
I love flowers and those darn butlers keep bringing them! Same goes for chocolate…
So yes, Sandals butler service is worth it and I’m working on the pesky negatives. I always explain to my butler that I like to walk and don’t want a ride from my suite to the spa, restaurant or beach. I also explain that I like to disconnect while on vacation. So it‘s not an accident when the cell phone is turned off or left in the suite. Sometimes they listen, but often they worry I might just be needing something….
Written by Linda Martindell, CEO of Totem Travel.
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