Are Sandals Resorts LGBTQ Friendly

Overall, yes, Sandals Resorts are LGBTQ+ friendly, but in this article, we are going to in-depth about what it is like to visit Sandals Resorts and the Caribbean in general if you are not a straight cis couple.

The LGBT Experience at Sandals

Travelers should feel comfortable at any Sandals Resort as an LGBT couple. As we visited every Sandals Resort we would usually see 1 or 2 gay couples at each resort. Recently, there was a gay couple wearing t-shirts making it clear they were on their honeymoon and they received plenty of compliments.

The staff treats gay couples the same as other couples. For example, at dinner, we saw the photographer directing a gay couple to pose in the same way they directed a straight couple.

Other guests are just like you find anywhere else, some are outgoing and may be friendly while others might keep to themselves, but that isn’t different for a straight person.

Sandals is Still Expecting Straight Couples

As LGBT couples are the minority at a Sandals Resort you can still expect to be asked if your spouses will be joining you when you are standing right next to them. When two adults are together making reservations, they will likely expect you to make a reservation for 4.

Are the Islands LGBT Friendly?

Despite the positive reception you should expect at Sandals, it’s important to note that the general environment in some Caribbean countries, where Sandals operates, can still be challenging for LGBT individuals.

For instance, in Jamaica, there is still no repeal of sodomy laws, and same-sex marriage is not legal. Therefore, staying at a well-known brand like Sandals can offer a safer and more inclusive experience for LGBT guests within these destinations​​.

When I was at Dunn’s River in Jamaica outside of the resort, for example, we were told to hold hands in a chain of people as they went up the falls. When two males held hands the guide told them not to in front of everyone and said everyone should be boy-girl. In this case, the men were not a couple, but I wonder how things would have gone if they were.

  • Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under the Criminal Code in Saint Lucia, Grenada, but there isn’t evidence of this being enforced.
  • Curacao is LGBT-friendly.
  • Antigua and Barbuda struck down discriminatory legal provisions that criminalized same-sex relations in a landmark ruling on July 5, 2022.
  • In Barbados, there is no recognition of same-sex relationships and only limited legal protections against discrimination.

LGBT Policy Changes at Sandals

Sandals Resorts had a policy of excluding LGBT couples until 2004, when they changed their stance after being pressured by activists.

Under the direction of the then-London mayor, the London Transit Commission stopped accepting Sandals advertising on the London Underground Tube, in buses, and taxicabs. The year before, some US companies stopped running promotions that included stays at Sandals as prized. Sandals responded by finally opening its doors to LGBT couples.

One thing to keep in mind is Sandals was born in Jamaica as well as its founder and to this day Jamaica is not friendly to the LGBT community which had a profound effect on their policies.

Caribbean islands where Sandals Resorts are located at considered couples as a man and a women and since Sandals was a “couples only” resort, this caused issues. They changed to be “adult-only” to be more welcoming to a broader group.

Overall, Sandals Resorts have made significant strides in becoming more inclusive and welcoming to the LGBT community, offering a range of activities and experiences for all guests, regardless of their relationship status or sexual orientation.

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