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What All-Inclusive Resort Have You Stayed At? Would You Recommend?

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Looking to go to one with my family next year ('21) and want to ask the masses for recommendations. We have a teen, so can't be an adult only resort.

My wife and I went to Sandals Antigua after we got married (2 decades ago) and absolutely LOVED it! Beaches were gorgeous and tons to do, but wasn't necessarily "kid friendly". I've looked at a few Beaches resorts, but not sold on them. We definitely want to go to a beach and are leaning towards any of the islands, but Turks was too expensive (through Beaches at least).

Where have you guys gone? Would you recommend?
 

KevinC

Autocross Champion
I haven't stayed at an all-inclusive, but did stay at the Four Seasons at Great Exuma in 2004, which had just opened at the time, and is now a Sandals property. Great Exuma is the spot made famous by the Fyre Festival meltdown. It's really a beautiful island and that resort property is absolutely top-notch. I'd definitely look into that one, especially given your past positive experience with Sandals.

Look at that incredible water..

 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Great recommendation! I'll have to check it out....that water is beautiful. Great Exuma....I'll check Sandals out again...I originally thought they weren't necessarily for kids, but you never know. Appreciate it!
 

bdelaney4000

Ready to race!
I got married at Sandals Antigua and it was awesome, I would also recommend Beaches in Turks and Caicos... I know it's a bit pricey. Sandals is adult friendly where Beaches has much more activities for kids. Both were great. I have also been to Sandals in St. Lucia and would not recommend that one. Service was not as good as the other locations and getting there is a PITA compared to the other two.
 

virtualbong

Passed Driver's Ed
For family and you cannot go to Turks, I would recommend Aruba. I really like it there even though I did not stay at an all inclusive but the atmosphere is very family friendly.
 

virtualbong

Passed Driver's Ed
I got married at Sandals Antigua and it was awesome, I would also recommend Beaches in Turks and Caicos... I know it's a bit pricey. Sandals is adult friendly where Beaches has much more activities for kids. Both were great. I have also been to Sandals in St. Lucia and would not recommend that one. Service was not as good as the other locations and getting there is a PITA compared to the other two.
Which Sandals in St. Lucia? I believe there are at least 3 different Sandals and the one my wife and I went to for our honeymoon was Sandals Grande St. Lucian which is their largest one and the service was fantastic.
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
For family and you cannot go to Turks, I would recommend Aruba. I really like it there even though I did not stay at an all inclusive but the atmosphere is very family friendly.
Thanks....I actually just had a friend return from there and I was about to ask him as well. Good stuff to do off property?
 

Charlotte.:R

Drag Racing Champion
We honeymooned at Sandals Antigua in 2010 and hated it.

I've had better food in hospitals. The AC in our room couldn't cool below 77 in the daytime, and housekeeping kept turning it off, so it took forever to cool down. Nothing like running up to the room for a quickie in the middle of the afternoon to find your room is 85*. We stopped having housekeeping come in and kept the curtains closed to keep the temps manageable, but everyone we talked to in our building had the same complaint.

The toilet/water closet had a small window that was fixed open and no AC vent so it felt like taking a dump in a sauna. It took forever to get a "free" drink (we quickly learned you get preferential service if you tip) and if you want a bottle of something other than garbage booze they leave in the room, they charge an enormous amount, even thought the same liquor is "free" at the bars or could have been picked up duty free on the cheap. And the refrigerator couldn't cool beyond about room temp. Staff said all this was "normal".

Everyone is there for a wedding, anniversary, honeymoon or some other occasion, so there is nothing special to them about your stay.

Maybe they have gone down hill in the last 20 years, or maybe our visit was an anomaly, but I wish we would have stayed in Destin where we got married and honeymooned there.

Advice: skip all inclusive and find a nice resort on the gulf coast. We went back to Destin a few years later with both sets of grandparents (and 5 dogs--don't ask lol) and rented a 5 bedroom house across the street from the beach with a private pool. It was fantastic.
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
We honeymooned at Sandals Antigua in 2010 and hated it.

I've had better food in hospitals. The AC in our room couldn't cool below 77 in the daytime, and housekeeping kept turning it off, so it took forever to cool down. Nothing like running up to the room for a quickie in the middle of the afternoon to find your room is 85*. We stopped having housekeeping come in and kept the curtains closed to keep the temps manageable, but everyone we talked to in our building had the same complaint.

The toilet/water closet had a small window that was fixed open and no AC vent so it felt like taking a dump in a sauna. It took forever to get a "free" drink (we quickly learned you get preferential service if you tip) and if you want a bottle of something other than garbage booze they leave in the room, they charge an enormous amount, even thought the same liquor is "free" at the bars or could have been picked up duty free on the cheap. And the refrigerator couldn't cool beyond about room temp. Staff said all this was "normal".

Everyone is there for a wedding, anniversary, honeymoon or some other occasion, so there is nothing special to them about your stay.

Maybe they have gone down hill in the last 20 years, or maybe our visit was an anomaly, but I wish we would have stayed in Destin where we got married and honeymooned there.

Advice: skip all inclusive and find a nice resort on the gulf coast. We went back to Destin a few years later with both sets of grandparents (and 5 dogs--don't ask lol) and rented a 5 bedroom house across the street from the beach with a private pool. It was fantastic.
Oh man that sounds like it SUCKED. Our stay was back in 2001, but we were also inexperienced, newly married and probably blown away by everything, so to us it was awesome....to someone who knew what they were looking for maybe not. We had NO issues like you described, but I'd have been furious spending that money with all that crap happening.

If I can't narrow the location and price down, we'll end up in a house on the coast in Corolla, NC.....just wanted to get to an island to show the kid what being OCONUS is like.
 

Charlotte.:R

Drag Racing Champion
If I can't narrow the location and price down, we'll end up in a house on the coast in Corolla, NC.....just wanted to get to an island to show the kid what being OCONUS is like.
Everybody I know that's been to the outer banks loves it. My buddy has been going there with his family every year for 30+ years. At some point when my kids are older, I want to skip all up and down the NC-SC-GA coast and check out the beaches. We've had great luck to date renting houses.
 

swcrow

Autocross Champion
Everybody I know that's been to the outer banks loves it. My buddy has been going there with his family every year for 30+ years. At some point when my kids are older, I want to skip all up and down the NC-SC-GA coast and check out the beaches. We've had great luck to date renting houses.
Yeah....I've gone there every summer for almost 14 years (minus 3 for TN or DW trip)....my kid basically grew up there over the summer...absolutely LOVE it. We usually stay on the sound side off the golf course due to how chill it is. My family prefers beach front, but the other 3 families we were with always rented the house there...so we rolled with it. Due to that, I want to try something else....
 

bdelaney4000

Ready to race!
Which Sandals in St. Lucia? I believe there are at least 3 different Sandals and the one my wife and I went to for our honeymoon was Sandals Grande St. Lucian which is their largest one and the service was fantastic.
We stayed at the Grande as well. We were down there for a friend of ours' wedding. Coincidentally they got the idea from us since they were in our wedding party when we got married in Sandals Antigua. We found that the staff there was much less courtesy, somewhat rude, and generally unfriendly compared with the staff at the other resorts (Antigua & Turks). I'm not sure if the timing had something to do with it since it was their New Years Eve 2017 party down there, but many other guests in the wedding party noticed the same general attitude towards the guests and mind you we we're not a rowdy bunch so it's not like the poor service was provoked. Like anything else though YMMV, who knows it very well just could have been timing but I for one would not go back to St. Lucia.

Sounds like Charlotte.:R had the type of trip we had at St. Lucia in Antigua and we loved Antigua. So it really just may be hit or miss no matter where you go.
 

virtualbong

Passed Driver's Ed
We stayed at the Grande as well. We were down there for a friend of ours' wedding. Coincidentally they got the idea from us since they were in our wedding party when we got married in Sandals Antigua. We found that the staff there was much less courtesy, somewhat rude, and generally unfriendly compared with the staff at the other resorts (Antigua & Turks). I'm not sure if the timing had something to do with it since it was their New Years Eve 2017 party down there, but many other guests in the wedding party noticed the same general attitude towards the guests and mind you we we're not a rowdy bunch so it's not like the poor service was provoked. Like anything else though YMMV, who knows it very well just could have been timing but I for one would not go back to St. Lucia.

Sounds like Charlotte.:R had the type of trip we had at St. Lucia in Antigua and we loved Antigua. So it really just may be hit or miss no matter where you go.
You're probably right. I was down there back in 2013 and I was a honeymooner so that may be the difference in service as I purchased whatever the honeymooner package was so all of the workers knew our names on the first day. It was unbelievable.
 

MonkeyMD

Autocross Champion
For something a little off the beaten path, not really, but just a less touristy island, go to Grenada and more specifically, La Luna resort.

https://www.laluna.com/
The island is fabulous. Just rent a couple of scooters and ride around the island. It's not that big. Grand Anse beach is 3 miles of awesome white sand beaches.

Ride up to seven sisters falls and do a little hiking and get up close with the monkeys there.

Some beautiful falls and you'll probably see some locals diving off the cliffs into the pools.

Loop back around to the Carenage, or city center. Probably one of the most picturesque island cities. Great fish market as I'm sure every island town has and the requisite coconuts etc etc.

Also St Vincent is a quick (and scary) flight away where you can take a cruise that goes to one of the sites where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed.

There's a lot more to do of course and it might have changed a ton since I lived there back in 2003.

It's a lot slower paced and not a ton of parties/clubs.

Anyhow, probably not what you're asking at all, but it's a great destination.
 

Phur

Autocross Newbie
I’ve heard that a stay at Maralago comes with complimentary state secrets. ?‍♂
 
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