If you’re planning your honeymoon or romantic vacation and want to stay at an adults-only all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, you have plenty of choices. It can be hard to narrow them down, so we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll compare Couples Resorts vs. Sandals Resorts, two of the most well-known luxury all-inclusive brands for romantic travel.
While Couples and Sandals resorts are both designed for couples in love and have some similarities, they also have differences. Let’s take a detailed look at them so you can decide whether Sandals or Couples is best for you.
First, we’ll answer a couple of frequently asked questions about Sandals and Couples.
Are Couples and Sandals the same company?
No, Couples and Sandals are not the same company. Many people wonder, is Couples part of Sandals, but Couples Resorts is an independent company. Sandals Resorts also owns and operates Beaches Resorts, which are family-friendly all-inclusive resorts.
Are Sandals resorts for couples only?
Yes, Sandals resorts are for couples only, as are Couples Resorts. Both are designed to deliver a romantic luxury experience for honeymooners and other couples in love.
Is Sandals only for older couples?
No, Sandals resorts are not just for older couples. They are perfect for any adult couple, and you will find a range of age groups at each resort. However, there are some Sandals locations that attract couples of particular age groups, depending on the time of year.
Older couples tend to enjoy Sandals Grande Antigua, Sandals Royal Plantation, and Sandals Halcyon Beach. Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Ochi, and Sandals Royal Bahamian tend to attract younger guests. But you will generally find a mix of ages at each Sandals resort.
Both Sandals and Couples Resorts have a minimum guest age of 18. Couples Resorts also draw a mix of age groups at their locations, so they are not just for older or younger couples.
Couples vs. Sandals: Location
While both Couples and Sandals are located in the Caribbean, Sandals Resorts has more locations than Couples. There are 16 Sandals resorts in the Caribbean: 6 in Jamaica, 3 in St. Lucia, 1 in Grenada, 2 in the Bahamas, 1 in Antigua, 2 in Barbados, and 1 in Curacao.
All Couples Resorts are in Jamaica, and there are just 4: 2 in Ocho Rios and 2 in Negril.
All Sandals and Couples resorts are located on a beautiful beach.
Sandals vs. Couples: Rooms and Suites
Sandals resorts offer an extremely wide range of room and suite types, including some truly stunning luxury suites. These include the Millionaire Butler Villa at Sandals Regency La Toc; Over-the-Water Bungalows (with and without private plunge pools, but all featuring outdoor soaking tubs for two); Skypool Suites with elevated infinity-edge plunge pools overlooking the ocean; Beachfront Rondoval Suites with private plunge pools; Oceanview Penthouses (some two-story); One-Bedroom Villas with Private Pool Sanctuaries; Swim-Up Suites; and Beachfront Walk-Out Suites.
Many suites at Sandals include oversized soaking tubs for two, either in the bathroom or on a private balcony or patio, as well as the services of a private butler for some serious indulgence.
The types of rooms and suites at Couples resorts vary among the different locations. Accommodations at Couples resorts tend to be less extravagant than those at Sandals resorts, but they are still lovely and spacious.
Couples is adding some new luxury suites, however. At Couples Tower Isle, you can stay in an Oasis Spa Villa with a private terrace and plunge pool—plus unlimited spa services (with a 5-night minimum stay).
All rooms and suites at Couples Tower Isle have recently been refreshed with a fun retro vibe. Rooms here range from Deluxe Rooms with private balconies and either garden or ocean views to Superior and Premier ocean view rooms with private balconies, while suites include Junior Suites with private balconies (garden or ocean view), sitting areas, and walk-in showers plus Jacuzzi tubs or One Bedroom Ocean Suites with separate living rooms, large private balconies, and walk-in showers plus Jacuzzi tubs.
At Couples Sans Souci, the décor is sleek tropical. The most luxurious suite here is the Prime Minister’s Penthouse, with more than 1200 feet of living space, a large furnished veranda with ocean views, a powder room, a walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi for two. There are also One Bedroom Ocean Suites, Deluxe Ocean Suites, and One Bedroom Beachfront Suites, in addition to Hibiscus Cottage, which is a secluded cottage featuring a private balcony with ocean views, a walk-in shower and Jacuzzi for two, and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
Rooms and suites at Couples Negril have an elegant island style and range from Deluxe Garden or Ocean Rooms with private balconies to Deluxe Beachfront Rooms with private balconies to Garden or Beachfront Suites with separate seating areas, furnished terraces, soaking tubs, and nightly hors d’ouevres.
At Couples Swept Away, sophisticated tropical suites include Atrium Suites, Beachfront Suites, Beachfront Verandah Suites, Ocean or Garden Verandah Suites, and Great House Ocean Suites, all with private balconies or patios; and Premier Beachfront Suites with large outdoor living areas just steps away from the sand.
Sandals vs. Couples: Food and Drink
Foodies will be happy at both Couples and Sandals resorts, as they all feature a range of gourmet dining options and types of cuisine. There are also plenty of bars at Sandals and Couples resorts.
Bars at Sandals include swim-up bars, British pubs, piano bars, nightclubs, martini bars, beach bars, and restaurant bars. Sandals resorts offer some fun dining and bar options, such as Over-the-Water Bars, overwater restaurants, and poolside food trucks. There are open-air, beachfront, and waterfront restaurants, and in-room dining is available.
Cuisine at Sandals ranges from resort to resort but includes Jamaican, Italian, Japanese, steakhouse, international, sushi, Caribbean jerk, pizza, French coffee and pastries, fresh local seafood, local dishes, Thai, French haute cuisine, Indian, and Pan-Asian.
Restaurants at the different Couples resorts vary; offerings include fresh local seafood, Caribbean/Jamaican, Mediterranean, Latin, Asian, Italian fine dining, continental, and casual American. Each Couples Resort features a Veggie Bar, which has healthy salads, sandwiches, veggie dips, and fruit juices and smoothies. There are open-air, waterfront, and beachfront restaurants, and in-room dining is available.
Both Sandals and Couples offer private candlelight dinners on the beach for an extra fee.
Bars at Couples resorts include beach bars, swim-up bars, pool bars, restaurant bars, martini bars, terrace bars, and piano bars. Guests at Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away can take a complimentary shuttle to the Sunset Bar, a clifftop restaurant/bar in Negril’s West End with beautiful sunset views. Couples Swept Away also features a nightclub.
Couples vs. Sandals: Activities and Amenities
Couples and Sandals resorts are all located on beautiful beaches and have multiple pools and hot tubs to enjoy. Sandals puts a lot of thought into their swimming pools, and each location offers several different types including free-form lagoon pools, elegant zero-entry pools, and infinity pools.
Sandals resorts offer a wide range of activities and entertainment. Exact options vary depending on the location, but every Sandals offers a full range of complimentary water sports such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking, Hobie Cat sailing, and scuba diving. Some locations add activities like wakeboarding, tubing, and waterskiing.
A wide variety of land sports is available at Sandals resorts as well, including beach volleyball, basketball, bocce ball, pool tables, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with exercise classes. Many Sandals locations offer complimentary golf plus day and night tennis. All Sandals resorts have full-service Red Lane Spas plus area excursions and adventure tours; these options are extra.
Couples resorts, however, include some area tours and excursions in the price, as well as complimentary catamaran cruises and glass-bottom boat rides. They also offer all sorts of water sports, including snorkeling and scuba diving, plus land sports, as well as activities like dance classes. You can enjoy complimentary golf and tennis at Couples resorts as well, and they also feature full-service spas (which cost extra).
Couples San Souci has a mineral grotto and mineral springs pool on the property, and Couples Swept Away features a 10-acre fitness complex including 9 tennis courts, pickleball courts, racquetball and squash courts, a basketball court, aerobics, yoga, saunas, steam rooms, a lap pool, a jogging track, and a fully equipped gym.
Three of the Couples Resorts offer beaches with nude sunbathing; Couples Tower Isle has a private island for this.
Nightly entertainment at Couples includes live bands, DJs, local music, piano singalongs, and special events like the Manager’s Cocktail Party, Honeymooner’s Party, Shipwreck Beach Party, and beach bonfires.
Entertainment at Sandals resorts includes live shows, theme nights, local music, beach parties, piano singalongs, karaoke, and talent nights where guests participate.
Sandals vs. Couples: Inclusions
Both Sandals and Couples include a ton of complimentary items and services in their rates. Here are the details of what Sandal and Couples include:
What Is Included in a Stay at Sandals?
Sandals Resorts claim to offer “more quality inclusions than any other resort in the world.” These include gourmet dining (all meals and snacks) at multiple restaurants and cafés; unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages including unlimited premium liquors and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines; a minibar in your room that is refreshed daily, stocked with juice, water, soft drinks, wine and beer; a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee; water sports like snorkeling, paddleboarding, and kayaking, including equipment and professional instruction; scuba diving (including equipment); daily and nightly entertainment; WiFi; unlimited land sports including golf and tennis (at most resorts), beach volleyball, etc.; a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment; roundtrip airport transfers; private airport arrival lounges at some locations; roundtrip shuttles to other resorts and access to their facilities (at some locations); and all tips, taxes, and gratuities. Plus, stay a minimum of 3 nights at a Sandals resort and get a free wedding.
What Is Included in a Stay at Couples?
Couples Resorts also offer many inclusions. These include unlimited gourmet dining at multiple restaurants; unlimited beverages and premium wine and cocktails; a personalized minibar with limited amounts of wine, liquor, and beer; WiFi; nightly entertainment; watersports including snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, glass-bottom boat rides, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, and waterskiing; scuba diving; a full fitness center and classes; unlimited golf and tennis; roundtrip airport transfers; tips and taxes; and some area excursions including shopping tours, visits to Dunn’s River Falls, and a catamaran cruise (depending on which location you’re at). You can also get a free wedding at a Couples resort with a 3-night minimum stay.
Now that you have read our comparison of Couples vs. Sandals, what do you think? Which luxury adults-only resort will you choose for your honeymoon or next romantic escape?