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Excellence vs. Sandals: Which Couples All-Inclusive Is Best?

Sandals and Excellence are two of the most popular adults-only all-inclusive resort brands among couples. While these companies do have similarities, there are key differences that may influence your decision when selecting one for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.

That’s why in this article, we will do an in-depth comparison of Excellence Resorts vs. Sandals Resorts. We will break down key factors such as their locations, service, amenities, rooms, food, and cost. Ready to plan an unforgettable vacation? Let’s get to it.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Overview

Excellence and Sandals resorts are both great choices for couples looking to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Whether you want to plan a honeymoon, vow renewal, anniversary, destination wedding, or just some much-needed alone time, you will be greeted with an incredibly luxurious experience fit for kings and queens.

While both resorts cater to couples who want to be in a Caribbean tropical paradise, there are some differences between the two to consider.

The biggest difference between Excellence and Sandals is the number of locations. Sandals has 17 locations in total, with 1 in Curacao, 1 in Antigua, 3 in St. Lucia, 1 in Grenada, 2 in the Bahamas, 2 in Barbados, and 7 in Jamaica.

Excellence, on the other hand, only has 5 locations. Travelers can choose from Playa Mujeres and Riviera Cancun, Mexico; El Carmen and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic; and Oyster Bay in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Nonetheless, you will find that both Sandals and Excellence Resorts have great food, customer service, and facilities. However, some travelers feel that Sandals is more consistent throughout their multiple locations. So, even though we are talking about these companies as a whole, it’s best to check the reviews on specific resort locations before booking a trip.

Of course, at both Excellence and Sandals, you will find a huge variety of food, drinks, activities, and spa services. One thing to note is that Excellence and Sandals are couples-only resorts. If you’re looking for a resort for your bachelor or bachelorette party, you will need to look elsewhere (like Breathless Resorts).

Now that you have an overview of what you can expect from both Sandals and Excellence Resorts, let’s take a closer look at factors that may influence your final decision.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Customer Service

Customer service is a vital part of what resort you choose for your vacation. When spending so much money, you want the trip to be as stress-free as possible. You want to feel like you are treated as a priority. No one likes to pay thousands of dollars and spend hours of traveling to feel ignored or disrespected.

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about that at either Excellence or Sandals Resorts. Both offer top-notch service and strive to deliver a wonderful, carefree vacation.

Sandals vs. Excellence: Pools and Beaches

One of the main reasons many couples go to a tropical resort is to enjoy the sun and water. Both Sandals and Excellence resorts have beautiful beaches and nice pools, but Sandals has an advantage here.

The pools at Sandals Resorts are large and lovely, with swim-up bars at many of them. Sandals pools are often unique, like the largest river pool in Jamaica or an astounding bilevel clear infinity pool. The beaches at Sandals Resorts are pristine, well-maintained, and, depending on the location, private for resort guests only.

While Excellence resorts also have nice pools and beaches, Sandals resorts stand out in this category.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Food and Drinks

At an all-inclusive resort, you can rest assured that the drinks will keep coming, and you’ll never go to bed hungry. However, drinks are one aspect where Excellence may have an advantage.

This is due to the drinks being hand-made at Excellence, whereas at Sandals, several of the popular drinks come from a pre-made mixer. On top of that, some guests have complained that the liquor is poured on top of the drink and not mixed in. At Excellence, you can see your drinks being made with fresh fruits and herbs.

When it comes to food, both Excellence and Sandals Resorts have excellent variety and quality. Guests can choose from buffets, poolside grills, and fine-dining restaurants. No matter your taste or preference, there is something for everyone.

Sandals vs. Excellence: Buildings and Grounds

All the Sandals and Excellence resorts have beautiful buildings and gorgeous landscapes, but different resorts have different atmospheres. You will notice that the Excellence restaurants, lounges, and lobbies are more focused on the indoors.

Sandals, on the other hand, have tons of open-air, light-filled spaces, as well as beachfront and overwater facilities.

While Excellence resorts tend to be thoughtful and elegant, Sandals resorts are beautiful and extravagant. So, who is the winner in this category? We will have to give it to Sandals, as their resorts are designed to impress from the minute you step foot on the grounds.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Rooms and Suites

Both Excellence and Sandals resorts offer a variety of gorgeous rooms and suites. Depending on how much you pay and the location, the rooms get more extravagant.

At both Sandals and Excellence, you can get rooms with ocean or garden views. King-size beds, spa-like bathrooms, mini-bars, big-screen TVs, and private patios or balconies are the norm.

Both Sandals and Excellence Resorts also offer rooms with fabulous extras like private jacuzzis or plunge pools, swim-up suites, and penthouse suites.

You won’t lack luxury at any of these resorts. However, since Sandals offers some of the most unique accommodations around, such as Skypool Suites, Beachfront Rondovals, and Over-the-Water Bungalows, they have the advantage in this category.

Sandals Grande St Lucian

Excellence vs. Sandals: Price

It’s challenging to say whether one resort is more expensive than the other. The reason is that prices fluctuate, and you can find discounts and grab last-minute deals at both Sandals and Excellence Resorts. However, you may have an easier time finding deals with Excellence overall.

However, Sandals does a better job after you book your stay. They will arrange your airport transportation for you and keep you updated on your arrival and departure times. Excellence, on the other hand, merely sends you a third-party link to arrange your airport shuttle.

In addition, Sandals will help you arrange flights if you need them. Scuba and snorkeling trips are included and they provide discounts for returning guests and loyalty members when booked on the property.

While you may find better deals with Excellence, Sandals makes the whole process easy. Sometimes paying a little extra is worth not having to deal with a headache.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Activities and Entertainment

Sandals and Excellence both do a good job of keeping their guests busy with activities and entertainment. You will find multiple pools and hot tubs, water sports, land sports, fitness centers, yoga and exercise classes, and nighttime entertainment including theme parties, live music, nightly shows, and more.

Both Sandals and Excellence Resorts also have fitness centers and spas onsite and offer area excursions. Excellence Resorts also offer activities like cooking classes, dance lessons, and Spanish lessons.

It’s tough to say if one is better than the other as each location will have its own unique experiences, and it really depends on what types of activities you’re interested in. However, Sandals resorts tend to have more complimentary activities included, such as scuba diving and golf.

Excellence vs. Sandals: Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, you can’t really go wrong with Sandals or Excellence. Both have great customer service, endless food and drinks, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. It does seem that Sandals has its advantages by having more locations, unique accommodations, and more inclusions. However, if you are looking for something less expensive, then Excellence may be the best choice for you.

Sandals Royal Caribbean

After reading our comparison, what do you think? Which is better, Sandals or Excellence, for your trip? Let us know in the comments! And if you’ve decided on Sandals but want to know more, we have lots of other articles for you including the Best Sandals Resorts for Honeymoons, The 10 Sandals Resorts with Best Beaches, How to Pick a Sandals Resort and more.

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