Located in Jamaica, both Sandals Negril and Sandals South Coast (formerly Sandals Whitehouse) are adults-only, all-inclusive resorts with luxurious amenities, gourmet dining, and a focus on all things water. Think massive beachfront pools, expansive beaches, aquamarine water, swim-up pool bars, and breathtaking sunsets.
However, each resort offers a different experience guaranteed to make your romantic getaway truly unforgettable.
Keep reading to finally answer the question: “Is Sandals Negril or Sandals South Coast best for me?”
Sandals Negril Highlights
Closer to the water’s edge than anywhere else in Negril, life can truly be what you imagine in the relaxed chic, and free-spirited Sandals Negril.
- Location: Negril, Jamaica
- Atmosphere: social, laidback and friendly
- The rooms at Sandals Negril are cheaper with Caribbean Deluxe rooms starting from $265 per person per night.
- Sandals Negril is an older resort, but many of the rooms have been recently renovated.
- There are 7 restaurants and 5 bars.
- There are 4 pools and 3 whirlpools.
- Sandals Negril offers luxurious accommodations, such as private pool villas and swim-up suites.
- Sandals Negril is located closer to the airport.
Sandals South Coast Highlights
Set along a 2-mile stretch of the pristine south coast of Jamaica, this entire all-inclusive resort has been designed to embrace the coastline.
- Location: Whitehouse, Jamaica
- Atmosphere: relaxed, tranquil, and elegant
- Sandals South Coast is larger and has more room categories, dining options, pools, and bars.
- There are 9 restaurants and 7 bars.
- There are 4 pools and 4 whirlpools.
- Sandals South Coast has overwater bungalows and 4 types of swim-up suites, an overwater chapel, and an overwater bar.
- Sandals Negril is located along 7-Mile Beach (a public beach), which has lots of local shops, bars, and popular restaurants – it can get busy. In comparison, Sandals South Coast is situated in a more remote area and the beach feels private and pristine.
Inclusions: What Is included in the Cost of Stay?
Sandals Negril and Sandals South Coast include the following in the cost of stay:
- Unlimited dining in the restaurants and bars
- Unlimited premium alcohol in restaurants and bars
- Roundtrip airport transfers
- Unlimited PADI-certified scuba diving
- Access to the fitness center and aerobics classes
- a stocked in-room bar
- Water sports such as snorkeling, paddle boarding, Hobie Cats, kayaking, pool volleyball, waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kneeboarding, tubing, glass bottom boats and sailboats
- Land activities such as day and night tennis, basketball, beach volleyball, table tennis, shuffleboard, croquet, bocce ball, lawn chess, darts and billiards
- All entertainment, including live music, shows, themed nights, beach parties and pool parties
- All taxes, fees, and gratuities (except tips for your private butler if you have one)
- A free destination wedding when you stay at least 3 nights – yes, for real!
Sandals Negril vs Sandals South Coast: Rooms and Suites
One of the main differences between the two Sandals resorts is Sandals South Coast offers overwater bungalows and Sandals Negril does not. In keeping with the all-water theme, Sandals South Coast also has a trendy overwater bar and a romantic overwater chapel with views of the turquoise waters.
It’s also worth noting that many of the entry-level rooms (referred to as Sandals Luxury) at Sandals South Coast have ocean views, while that’s not the case with many similar rooms at Sandals Negril. Also, both Sandals South Coast and Sandals Negril offer swim-up suites, but you can choose between 4 types at Sandals South Coast.
Keep in mind that all Sandals rooms are divided into 3 room categories (Sandals Luxury, Club Level, and Butler Elite) that come with different levels of service and room features. Here are the main differences:
Sandals Luxury (entry-level) – These rooms are the most affordable, but they don’t come with room service. The views are usually garden-facing at Sandals Negril and ocean-facing at Sandals South Coast.
Club Level (mid-range) – These rooms don’t come with personal butler service, but you can utilize Club Sandals Concierge for booking tours, restaurant reservations, and spa services. You can enjoy room service from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from a select menu.
Butler Elite – Butler villas and suites come with 24-hour butler service and room service. Your butler can get coveted table reservations, reserve day beds and pack a cooler, draw a bubble bath, or serve you breakfast in bed. Butler-level guests also enjoy private check-in.
Here are our favorite rooms at Sandals South Coast:
- Over the Water Butler Honeymoon Bungalow – Located at the end of a heart-shaped pier, each over-water bungalow has glass floor panels for viewing marine life, expansive decks with a 2-person soaking tub, ocean views, attentive butler service and 24-hour room service (price: from $1,628 per person per night).
- South Seas Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary – These secluded, circular villas offer direct access to the lagoon pool and seamlessly blend into the environment (price: from $771 per person per night).
- Dutch Beachfront One Bedroom Swim Up Butler Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub – These Love Nest Butler Suites have a prime location directly in front of the beautiful beach (price: from $732 per person per night).
These are our favorite rooms at Sandals Negril:
- Millionaire Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary – This is one of our favorite Love Nest Butler Suites at any Sandals resort due to the intimate garden oasis and private patio (price: from $684 per person per night).
- Swim-up Crystal Lagoon Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite – These swim-up suites are super opulent (think mahogany and damask) with direct pool access and views of the Caribbean Sea (price: from $608 per person per night).
- Caribbean Beachfront Walkout Grande Luxe Club Level Room w/ Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub – The price-value ratio of this Club Level room makes it one of our favorites. Guests can enjoy the range of amenities at Club Sandals while staying steps from the ocean (price: from $399 per person per night).
Sandals Negril vs South Coast: Dining Options
Both Sandals South Coast and Sandals Negril are great choices for food lovers, but Sandals South Coast has more choices. All guests can enjoy unlimited dining and premium liquor, wine, and local beers at all the bars and gourmet restaurants.
Both resorts offer the option of a private candlelit dinner on the beach serviced by a personal butler, which is an “add-on” experience with prices starting from $199.
Dining options at Sandals South Coast include Italian, Pan-Asian, brasseries, patisseries, seafood, Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine. These are our favorite restaurants at Sandals South Coast:
- Schooner’s – This seafood grill serves the catch of the day and regional specialties in a colonial setting with views of the calm waters.
- Sushi on the Sand – Enjoy handmade rolls along the stunning beach!
- The Jerk Shack – This is a serious hidden gem and we could eat here daily. This humble shack offers Jamaican jerk served directly on the beach.
Restaurant options at Sandals Negril include Italian, brasseries, Latin fusion, seafood, Japanese teppanyaki, pizzerias, and Caribbean cuisine.
These are our favorite restaurants at Sandals Negril:
- Kimono’s – This teppanyaki restaurant serves grilled meat prepared at your table. Don’t forget to make a reservation!
- Perla – This new, seaside restaurant offers Latin and Caribbean fusion using fresh, local ingredients.
- Barefoot by the Sea – This beachfront restaurant offers fresh seafood in a stunning setting. Menu items include Coconut-fried Tiger Shrimp and Herb-Crusted Mahi Mahi.
Sandals Negril vs. Sandals South Coast: Activities
Sandals South Coast is the perfect choice for couples who love scuba diving because the resort is located within a 500-acre marine nature preserve. However, you can also enjoy unlimited PADI-certified diving and snorkeling at Sandals Negril.
Both resorts offer a variety of land and water sports that you already read about in the “Inclusions” section of this article. However, just to recap, guests have unlimited access to watersports such as snorkeling, kayaking, Hobie Cats, paddleboarding, and sailing. Guests can also enjoy complimentary land sports such as beach volleyball, table tennis, basketball, day and night tennis, croquet, shuffleboard, lawn chess, and billiards. Also, it’s worth noting that the motorized watersports (waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing) at both resorts are excellent.
For an additional cost, guests can book excursions at either resort. If you want to go on a lot of excursions and explore the island, Sandals Negril is a better choice because of its central location. Popular excursions include exploring Dunn’s River Falls, horseback riding on the beach, visiting local markets, and night tours to see the bioluminescence at Luminous Lagoon. At Sandals South Coast, swimming with the dolphins and touring the Appleton Rum factory are our favorite excursions. However, Sandals South Coast is a great jumping-off point for exploring less touristy parts of Jamaica.
Wellness and Fitness
Guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments at Red Lane Spa, which has Caribbean-inspired locations at both resorts. We recommend the Tropical Paradise Couples Massage, but a full list of treatments can be found here: Red Lane Spa Sandals South Coast and Red Lane Spa Sandals Negril. The wellness complexes at both resorts also offer steam rooms, plunge pools, a large fitness center (unlimited access), yoga classes (unlimited access), and a beauty salon.
Couples who love pools should choose Sandals South Coast over Sandals Negril. Three of the pools are beachfront, while the fourth offers a more intimate, garden setting. The Main Pool (with a swim-up bar), the French Village Pool (with a swim-up bar), and the Dutch Village pool are all beachfront. The Rondoval Village offers a winding lagoon pool that blends seamlessly into its tropical garden environment.
At Sandals Negri, the beachfront Main Pool is smaller, but it’s a great place for socializing and includes a swim-up bar. The Crystal Lagoon Pool is located in front of the swim-up suites, and there is another beachfront pool next to the Sundowner.
Sandals Negril vs Sandals South Coast: Nightlife and Entertainment
Although Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Ochi are often referred to as “party resorts”, Sandals South Coast and Sandals Negril have great nightlife. However, Sandals Negril is the better choice for couples seeking a lively atmosphere, energetic entertainment, and the chance to socialize with other couples.
Both resorts offer live music, shows, beach parties with bonfires, pool parties with great DJs, cultural performances (such as traditional dance or drumming), karaoke, talent shows, and the ever-popular themed parties.
The themed parties at Sandals Negril are bigger and tend to be higher energy. The party schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Carnival Beach Party
- Tuesday: Sandals Festival of the Arts
- Wednesday: Lovers’ White Night and Chocolate Buffet
- Thursday: Reggae Fest
- Friday: Jamaica Day
- Saturday: Caribbean Night (this one is always a good time)
- Sunday: Island Night
Sandals South Coast offers similar nightly parties, but the atmosphere is more laid back and couples often retreat to their suites earlier or choose to relax at the bars/restaurants.
Sandals Negril vs Sandals South Coast: Costs
Sandals Negril is more budget-friendly than Sandals South Coast. This is mainly because the entry-level rooms (referred to as Sandals Luxury) at Sandals Negril are cheaper. For example, the Caribbean Premiere (one of the least expensive rooms at Sandals Negril) starts from $272 per person per night, while the French Beachfront Deluxe (usually the cheapest room at Sandals South Coast) starts from $307 per person per night.
However, it’s important to note that the entry-level rooms at Sandals South Coast often come with ocean views and easy access to the beach, while similar room types at Sandals Negril have garden views and don’t feel quite as luxurious.
In our opinion, if you’re booking a Sandals Luxury room, the value for your money is slightly better at Sandals South Coast. However, if you are booking a mid-range suite (Club Level), the value is similar at either resort.
Finally, the Butler Elite experience is amazing at both resorts – I mean overwater bungalows and two-story apartments, right? On the other hand, you can get a Butler Elite suite (with the services of a private butler) for less money at Sandals Negril. For example, the Millionaire Honeymoon Penthouse One Bedroom Butler Suite starts from $416 per person per night at Sandals Negril, while the Italian Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite (usually the most affordable Butler Elite Suite at Sandals South Coast) starts from $516 per person per night. Yet, the cheapest Butler Elite suite at Sandals Negril has a garden view and feels smaller, while the most affordable Butler Elite suite at Sandals South Coast has an ocean view, a more spacious interior, and better décor.