Iberostar vs Sandals in Jamaica—A Complete Resort Breakdown

With more than 100 vacation properties across the Americas, Africa, and Europe, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts is focused on sustainable travel and tourism.

That sounds great to us at Wedding Pioneer!

Sandals vs. Iberostar Resorts in Jamaica—We Reviewed the Best for You

Today we’re reviewing Iberostar vs Sandals resorts, but this blog comes with a disclaimer:

To make it easier for you in planning your destination wedding, honeymoon, or Jamaican weddingmoon, we are reviewing three Iberostar properties compared to seven “stay at one, play at all” Sandals resorts located in beautiful Jamaica.

Jamaica is the only country where there are both Sandals and Iberostar resorts.

We will be focusing more on Iberostar resorts in Mexico in our upcoming Jamaica vs Mexico Review for Your Honeymoon, so keep a lookout for more info on that.

For now, let’s travel virtually to gorgeous Jamaica!

Sandals Resorts Are Couples Only

Sandals Montego Bay: couple having dinner

Sandals built its luxury included brand name with its first resort in Jamaica: Sandals Montego Bay.

All Sandals resorts are all-inclusive and adults-only—designed primarily for couples in love, although accommodations can be made for adult guests in destination wedding groups at Sandals.

SANDALS Montego Bay: All-Inclusive Resort In Jamaica

The first-ever Sandals all-inclusive resort, Sandals Montego Bay, now has even more ways to enjoy luxury while reveling in the spirit of romance and fun on Jamaica’s coastline. 

Iberostar Resorts Are for Adults and Families

Traveler reviews for Iberostar’s three Jamaican properties fall within the four to the 4.5-star range. All three properties are all-inclusive, but only one, Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, is designated adults-only.

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall

The Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Jamaica is a luxurious beachfront resort with colonial-inspired architecture, gourmet dining, and pristine beaches, offering a perfect blend of relaxation and sophistication.

Choosing Your Best Resort in Jamaica

The best resort for you can depend on many things. Here’s what we examined, and here are the top three things that our wedding couples and honeymooners want to know:

1. Resort Locations

Iberostar’s resorts in Jamaica are all located in the Rose Hall area of Montego Bay, approximately 21 minutes by car from Sangster International Airport. Private airport transfers can be arranged for an additional fee.

The seven Sandals resorts in Jamaica are:

Sandals Montego Bay Longbeach

Click the links for our resort reviews or resort and suite descriptions. At Sandals, round-trip airport transfers are always included in your costs.

2. Average Cost of a Jamaican Honeymoon 

The “average cost” of your honeymoon at Iberostar or Sandals in Jamaica will vary depending on the travel season, airfare costs, and any add-ons you choose.

Sandals in Ocho Rios Promenade sitting area

As you can well imagine, you’re also investing in the experience of a lifetime with your honeymoon, and we compared these costs at resorts in Jamaica:

  • Rooms and suites (focusing on super-special honeymoon accommodations and amenities for all budgets)
  • Food and drink (quality of restaurants and types of cuisine offered)
  • What’s included at Sandals vs Iberostar (daily pool and beach scene and nightlife), and what’s extra (such as spa treatments or off-resort excursions)?

On average, all-inclusive hotel rooms at Iberostar range from $182 to $523 per night for two people (airfare extra).

The handy booking tool at Sandals lets you view full descriptions and prices by travel date for their seven resorts in Jamaica (round-trip flights can be added on, and airfare credits are available).

On average, all-inclusive packages at Sandals range from $201 to $322 per person per night.

3. Destination Wedding Packages in Jamaica

Booking your honeymoon is super-important, but planning a tropical beach wedding requires great attention to detail and confidence in your chosen resort!

We thoroughly researched this area, and it’s good to know that Iberostar and Sandals offer wedding packages in Jamaica.

Iberostar Weddings

You can download a lookbook for Iberostar Wedding ideas, and there’s a link to a tentative schedule for a planned “wedding week” at the destination of your choice.

While we would have appreciated seeing more cost information and even more specifics, there is a contact form on their wedding link to reach a destination wedding representative.

Free Tropical Wedding at Sandals

wedding at Sandals South Coast

If you’ve never read about the very first wedding at Sandals, click the link!

You’ll enjoy a real-life love story and the surprising way that luxury-included destination weddings truly began at the world’s most romantic resorts!

Every wedding couple who books a three-night or more stay at a Sandals resort receives a free tropical wedding. This special offer includes:

  • Your personal wedding planner to assist with important details, including marriage documents
  • Your customized wedding website and gift registry
  • Your ceremony and one-hour reception are standard wedding inclusions  

Sandals wants your wedding to be your dream come true—whether you’re eloping or holding a destination wedding party, you can customize your wedding to suit your budget. 

wedding inspired by Gardens

We also researched any available discounts and specials for couples planning a destination wedding or honeymoon in Jamaica.

Wedding Pioneer Travel Tip: Our absolute favorite promotion at Sandals is Test Drive Your Wedding, where you two get to sample your destination wedding resort at super-special rates in a fun, stress-busting pre-wedding getaway!

Iberostar vs Sandals—Review of Honeymoon Suites

As we noted under “average costs,” you can find accommodations for your destination wedding and Jamaican honeymoon that suit your budget, and we’re honored to help you choose.

We looked at super-affordable rooms, suites with added amenities, and top-tier choices at Sandals and Iberostar.

We’ll compare them according to budget and provide links to pictures or more information!

Super Affordable Rooms

Iberostar Rose Hall is the most budget-friendly of the three all-inclusive Iberostar Montego Bay properties. It offers a Premium Garden View room starting at $301 per night, with a king bed, air conditioning, and a balcony.

Sandals Ochi has luxury amenities at the best price in Jamaica, and the super-affordable Riviera Beachfront Club Level room features a classic king mahogany bed, in-room dining, stocked bar, and a picture window with beachfront vistas of the Caribbean sea in Ocho Rios from $228 per person per night.

Sandals Ochi Butler Villas Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet

Suites With Added Amenities

Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites offers premium all-inclusive accommodations for families in Montego Bay, and their two-bedroom junior suite includes a king bedroom and an adjoining room with two double beds. There are two private balconies and daily room service from $1,107 per night.

Sandals Negril is the most relaxed beachfront resort in Negril, and barefoot honeymooners love a Crystal Lagoon one-bedroom suite directly on the beach with swim-up access to the sparkling pool from your private patio. Butler Elite amenities and 24-hr room service are included from $610 per person per night. 

Swim up Crystal Lagoon Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite

Top Tier Choices

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall is the closest comparison to Sandals as an adults-only, all-inclusive property in Jamaica. Their 295 suites include oceanfront penthouse suites with butler service and an ocean-facing balcony, an outdoor dining set, reclining furniture, and a private soaker tub starting at $1,309 per night.

Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios has just 74 oceanview suites with Butler Elite service and exchange privileges with nearby Sandals. Villa Plantana is your own three-bedroom beachfront villa with a private pool and expansive patio that’s perfect for an intimate wedding—from $592 per person per night.

Villa Plantana at Sandals Royal Plantation

Sandals South Coast in pristine White House, Jamaica, and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay offer spectacular, indescribable Over-the-Water Honeymoon Bungalows with glass floor panels inside and outdoor living spaces with private soaking tubs or hammocks for two from $1,628 per person per night.

Over the Water Butler Honeymoon Bungalow

Sandals Dunn’s River offers new and breathtaking honeymoon suites, including Tufa Terrace Butler Suites with private infinity pools on the balcony (called skypools) from $851 per person per night, or Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suites with private plunge pools and direct access into the river pool for $773 per person per night.  

Coyaba Villa Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suite w/ Private Pool Sanctuary

Iberostar vs Sandals—Review of Food and Drink

We specifically researched Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay to compare its five specialty restaurants, buffets, and four bars to the 21 restaurants and 11 bars offered at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean—part of the “stay at one, play at two” exchange program for Sandals guests. 

Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Restaurants and Bars

We had to dig pretty deep online for info on food and drinks at Iberostar Grand Rose Hall!  

Specialty restaurants at Iberostar Grand include a French gourmet restaurant, Japanese teppanyaki, an American-style “surf and turf” grill, a wine cellar with Italian cuisine, a Jamaican buffet for breakfasts and lunches, an “international” buffet for breakfasts, lunches, and dinner, and a beach grill for daily snacks.

Reservations are required at specialty restaurants, and the surf and turf option is a favorite among travelers. Still, interestingly, most reviewers enjoy the Jamaican and international buffets the most at Iberostar Grand.

There is one swim-up pool bar at Iberostar Grand, a sports bar, and a 24-hour lobby bar. Two “show bars” are located in the Exodus Theater entertainment area and within the Mango Walk nightclub.

Restaurants and Bars at Sandals Resorts in Montego Bay

Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean are just a six-minute drive apart on the A1 highway, and round-trip transfers are complimentary as part of the Sandals 2x The Fun exchange program—check it out!

There are 12 restaurants on-site at Sandals Montego Bay, and we love that full menus, times, and description links are included for foodies like us to devour in advance:

  • Enjoy buffet breakfasts, lunches, and a la carte dinners at Bayside French Brasserie or French pastries at Café de Paris
Bayside at Sandals Montego Bay
Oleander at Sandals Montego Bay (outdoor)
  • Seafood lovers choose Stew Fish or The Mariner seaside bar and grill
  • Butch’s Steak and Seafood is a premier restaurant at Sandals that guests rave about
Butch's Steak and Seafood
Soy Sushi Bar at Sandals Montego Bay

You can also enjoy Sandals signature cocktails and unlimited premium liquors at the Beach Bar, Main Bar, a cool Overwater Bar, the Palms Bar, and the Swim-Up Pool Bar and Piano Bar!

9 gourmet restaurants can be enjoyed at Sandals Royal Caribbean, including unforgettable Royal Thai located on a private island for Sandals guests only.

Royal Thai

Additional guest favorites include Bombay for exotic Indian food, Le Jardinier for French wines, pastries, and island-infused entrees, Spices for Caribbean taste sensations, and hearty Italian at La Tavola.

Sandals Royal Caribbean La Tavola

Bars at Royal Caribbean are a fun diversion, and you’ll find a place to enjoy your favorite drinks between 10 am and 2 am daily. There are two swim-up pool bars (in the main pool and on the private island), as well as the Mariner Seaside Bar, Highgrove Bar, and the pub and piano bar. 

What Is Included at Iberostar—and What’s Extra

Guests of Iberostar Grand apparently have access to the food, snacks, and drinks of its two sister properties in Montego Bay. 24-hour room service and a special dietary menu are mentioned, but there is no indication of costs.

Included activities at Iberostar Grand include basketball, a fitness room, kayaking, windsurfing, and one free round of golf. Water aerobics may be offered around the pool, and nightlife options include performances in the Exodus Theater and the Mango Walk nightclub for DJ dancing.

There is a spa at Iberostar Resorts, and we dug up a price list that we hope is still current!

Sandals Luxury Included Amenities and Vacation Extras

Montego Bay scuba diving

Sandals resorts in Jamaica are renowned for their championship golf-included amenities and scuba diving included for certified divers. 

This impressive activities link for Sandals Royal Caribbean tells you everything you’ll enjoy there, and every Sandals offers a similarly extensive list of luxury included amenities, including daily land sports and watersports, a state-of-the-art gym, and exciting nightly entertainment. Check out those live-action links!

Sandals considers “vacation extras” to be add-on costs, and they include plenty of upfront information for you on fun local tours, pampering spa treatments, and a romantic candlelight dinner for two.

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