We got married at Beaches Boscobel and transfered to SDR for our honeymoon. I have been trying for 2 weeks to think of anything helpful to write. I believe in the power of reviews though, and hopefully this info will come in handy to anyone who is traveling.
Grounds- One word, GORGEOUS!! Beautiful architecture, mecticulous landscaping, they were always sweeping and cleaning too. The property looks fairly new. It has the theme of an italian villiage and usually has soft italian dinner music playing over the loudspeakers. 2 pools, both with swim up bars. One is created to look like the waterfall with 2 bridges over it and a little gazebo up top. They are both lovely.
Beach- sparkling water, sand is raked several times throughout the day. There are no "floating vendors" like at Beaches. There is one guy on a jetski though. They still have the little shacks of vendors right over the pier which you can visit but are not affiliated with Sandals. There are massage huts and a gorgeous wedding gazebo right on the sand, and one of those floating decks you can lay on about 20 feet out.
Room- We had a Roman honeymoon suite in the Genoa wing (the 1st level in concierge category) The room was not huge, but a perfect size for the furniture. There was a small balcony that overlooked the ocean and RUI. We loved getting room service every morning and eating out there. Bathroom was sparkling with marble tile, huge raised vanity, lighted magnification mirror, jetted whirpool tub. The only thing that bothered me was the design of the shower allowed a ton of water to leak onto the floor so I had to roll of 3 towels and wedge them in the corners. Great shower pressure though .
Furniture was polished mahogany wood, looked fairly new. There was a stocked bar and a auto-shot dispenser on wall. Everything was very elegant and a nice change from Beaches which was a little run down.
Food- ok this part is a little complicated. Every meal we had was delicious, my husband was a huge fan of the wood burning pizza place there which is set up outside, with table service. There is another stand/bar where you can grab pre-made deli sandwiches, nacho chips, sodas, or order chicken sandwiches or burgers (freshly prepared). There is another little area with fresh cookies, cotton candy, ice cream, and cofee. Aside from this there are 3 restaurants. One is a buffet for breakfast/lunch, turns into an elegant italian place at night. We tried Kimonos, it was hibachi with great food. Cook was hilarious. There are 2 other restaurants that we did not bother going to, we watched couples being turned away continiously because their shoes were not the right type or attire wasn't dressy enough. After watching people grumbling all week, we decided to take advantage of the pizza and room service. On Thursday all the restaurants are closed for dinner but they had International buffet, which was poolside and delicious. The dessert table alone was about 15 feet long and decorated with ice sculptures.
Nightlife-maybe I am missing something but I did not see any, except one night we saw a steel drum band playing by the tree bar. The whole resort was extremely mellow to us but the staff claims they were at full capacity. Rarely did we see anyone in the pool or beach after 6pm. Also, maybe it was just my view... most of the couples we saw were in oblivion with each other and really didn't socialize much. The staff also, while just nice enough, really didn't seem to have that extra "heart and soul" in their attitide that we saw while at Beaches. I saw the bartender in the pool totally ignore my husband quite a few times even thought he wasn't busy. We did a lot of self portraits with the camera, while seeing this the staff would walk right by and not offer to take a pic for us. We did ask a few couples to take some, and those are the only pics we have of the 2 of us there. At the end of the week we did have the photographer take photos of us for 2 nights. They came out ok but he kept trying to pose us in front of anything that said Sandals on it which I got fed up with. We got 15 images on disc, a free bottle of rum and free 8x10 frame for $140.00.
They told us we had to be checked out by 11 on our departure morning. I asked if we could check out at noon, since we had 14 hours of traveling ahead. First they told me it was an extra $50.00 to have a later time. I spoke to the manager and told her we wouldn't be getting home until 2am and could use the extra hour in the room but refused to pay for it and shouldnt have to, since we were concierge level. She finally relented but I was still mad.
Another thing, laundry- I only needed 12 things washed and they charged almost $40.00. They have to do it for you and charge per garment.
Overall, This is a gorgeous property but extremely quiet. We did not feel as welcome as Beaches. Since this was a re-occuring theme with everyone, everyday, I can only assume that the management there is hard to work for? The only one who was really nice to us was the housekeeper, who we left a nice tip. Interestingly, we had moved our plans because we were going with Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, which we heard was huge and TOO much partying for our tastes. If that is what you are looking for, then try them out.
Hope this helps. If any questions, feel free.
My Sandals Dunn's River review
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