You’re planning a destination wedding and imagining a stunning beach setting surrounded by the ones you love!
Destination weddings are only getting more popular worldwide and here at home—and we love to give our wedding couples plenty of inspiration for destination wedding planning and a beach wedding checklist.
But some of you may think we’re missing something…
If so, this article is for you and everyone you love!
The Best Destination Wedding Resort for Couples vs. Families
Sandals delivers romantic vacations for couples, so you might feel disappointed if you want to include kids under 18 in your destination wedding group.
Sandals gets that, and that’s why they created Beaches. Today, we’d love to help you plan your destination wedding by pointing out the best destination wedding resort for you and your guests of all ages!
We were surprised to discover a few cool facts about the man who started it all. Are you familiar with Gorden Stewart?
Gordon’s Dream Came True
Gordon “Butch” Stewart was Jamaican-born, and in 1980, he bought an old hotel in Montego Bay. Gordon was already a self-made entrepreneur, but he had NO hotel experience!
Investing millions in renovating the property, Gordon opened the first Sandals resort in 1981 with a promise to give people what they want and exceed their expectations.
Sandals Resorts International remains a family-owned company, and in the late 1990s, couples who loved Sandals asked for a kid-friendly version to experience with their families.
In 1997, the first Beaches Resort opened to offer everyone an all-inclusive vacation, including wedding couples with kids!
That’s why we’re reviewing Sandals vs. Beaches, and let’s start with the question that we get asked the most:
Which All-Inclusive Resort Is Best for You?
Many couples dream about a Sandals wedding but think having everyone you want with you on your big day is impossible.
That’s just one of the reasons that Sandals added Beaches Resorts to its portfolio of luxury all-inclusive properties in the Caribbean: at Beaches, a destination wedding group includes everyone!
Experience the ultimate vacation at Beaches all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Enjoy beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters. Stay in luxurious rooms and suites for a memorable family getaway.
What’s the Difference Between Beaches and Sandals
Sandals resorts are adults-only (18+), focusing on wedding couples and destination wedding groups. There are currently 17 Sandals resorts operating in the Caribbean’s best beachfront locations.
Beaches is the only all-inclusive resort brand with activities for kids toddler-aged and up. There are currently two Beaches resorts in Jamaica and one in Turks & Caicos—click here for a handy and detailed resort comparison.
Your Destination Wedding at Beaches or Sandals
While Sandals specializes in weddings and a destination wedding + honeymoon (your weddingmoon!), Beaches calls your special all-ages destination wedding your familymoon—click the link to begin making your wedding day dreams come true!
Beaches are more than just all-ages resorts, and there are extra-special amenities for everyone that are only found at Beaches like Pirates Island Waterparks. At Beaches Turks and Caicos, you’ll also find the Caribbean’s original Surf Simulator—check out the fun video link!
But the best all-inclusive resort for you can be based on many things. So here’s another way of looking at it:
Which Tropical Resort Is A Better Value?
Our current article on The Most Affordable Sandals Resorts is jam-packed with information on the best all-inclusive destination for wedding couples and adult wedding groups.
Sandals Ochi is consistently rated as the most affordable Sandals resort, and Ochi has also been voted the top destination wedding resort in the Caribbean for adults only.
Modern chic and private exclusivity, meet in the heart of Jamaica in a resort that features the best of both worlds. On one side of paradise, discover the beachside Caribbean Riviera with a hot beach club.
Beaches Ocho Rios is located approximately 15 minutes away from Sandals Ochi, so we thought it’d be fun to compare the two for your kid-friendly destination wedding.
Beaches Ocho Rios is an all-inclusive resort that caters to the whole family with a range of activities. Rated as one of the Top 10 Best Beach Resorts by Parents magazine, Beaches Ocho Rios offers a vast waterpark, championship golf and much more for those looking for adventure.
Comparing Sandals Ochi and Beaches Ocho Rios
We compared costs, accommodations, and amenities between Sandals Ochi and Beaches Ocho Rios to better understand which resort presents the best value for your wedding budget.
Cost Comparison: Sandals Ochi vs. Beaches Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi prices begin at $308 per person/per night in January 2024 (approximately $1,867 for three nights). Click Ochi Booking for more information or to edit with new travel dates.
Beaches Ocho Rios prices in January 2024 begin at $2,067 for three nights in a suite with up to five guests. Click Beaches Booking for more information or to edit with new travel dates.
Please note that these cost estimates don’t include flights, but you can search for flight add-ons on the Sandals and Beaches booking links.
Comparing Accommodations: Sandals Ochi vs. Beaches Ocho Rios
- Sandals Ochi has 338 suites, including Club Level or Butler Elite accommodations—click Ochi Resort Map to see this huge resort!
- Beaches Ocho Rios offers 222 rooms and suites designed for couples and families—click Beaches Ocho Rios to see a resort map!
Our Favorite Accommodations at Sandals Ochi
We’ve chosen the best accommodations for newlyweds and honeymooners at Sandals Ochi.
There are 19 types of rooms and suites, including pool, garden, oceanview, or beachfront views, and you can select your favorite accommodations by clicking the link and reviewing prices and room descriptions.
Riviera Honeymoon Beachfront One Bedroom Butler Suite
The Riviera Tower at Ochi offers spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea from your private balcony, and there’s a dining set to enjoy romantic meals al fresco in the ocean air.
The huge living space includes a stocked wet bar, a romantic king-size master bedroom, and a bathroom with a sunken whirlpool tub.
- Rates start at $554 per person/per night in January 2024. Click Riviera Beachfront for accurate pricing by month and an entire room description with gorgeous photos.
Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet One Bedroom Villa Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary
Your honeymoon villa is located in the most secluded section of Ochi, called the Butler Village.
You’ll truly enjoy each other in the walled courtyard with a private Roman pool, an outdoor rain shower, and a hot tub. Inside the 1,200-square-foot suite, there’s a king-size master bedroom and lounge with a kitchenette.
- Rates start at $652 per person/per night in January 2024. Click Romeo & Juliet One Bedroom Villa for accurate pricing by month and a full room description with gorgeous photos.
Family Favorite Accommodations at Beaches Ocho Rios
We’re basing our selections here on the best accommodations for a family (two adults and up to three children) at Beaches. There are 23 room categories at Beaches, and you can select the best accommodations for you on this Beaches Accommodations link.
Caribbean Oceanview One Bedroom Concierge Suite
This beautiful top-floor suite in the resort’s French building has a large balcony with a family dining area to gather and take in views of the Caribbean Sea.
There’s a king-sized bed in the master suite, as well as a trundle bed and a single pull-out bed in the expansive living room.
- Rates start at $4,638.50 for two adults and two children staying three nights in January 2024. Click Caribbean Oceanview for a stunning picture of the family-friendly suite.
Greek Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Concierge Suite
Your family will delight in this large suite with a private beachfront deck and an easy walk to the white sandy beach and electric blue Caribbean Sea.
Two adults and two children will have plenty of room in this stylish and functional suite.
- Rates start at $3,843.20 for two adults and two children staying three nights in January 2024. Click Greek Honeymoon Walkout Suite for a stunning picture of this beautiful beachfront accommodation.
Comparing Amenities: Sandals Ochi vs. Beaches Ocho Rios
We love how the Beaches and Sandals websites list everything for you to consider for eating, drinking, and “playing!”
Beaches Ocho Rios Amenities
A well-rounded list of features caters to all ages at Beaches. Click on Beaches Eat + Drink for a fun description of:
- 7 restaurants with locations on the resort, type of cuisine, and open times.
- Click on premium wines to see what’s included for the grown-ups.
- Click on fun specialty cocktails to enjoy at the resort bars, including the family-friendly swim-up bar at Beaches.
To see the impressive list of all-inclusive activities you’ll enjoy as a family and destination wedding group, click on Beaches Play and discover:
- Scuba Diving is included for certified divers (the link has more details).
- Water Sports for everyone (hint—the aqua trike is a riot!).
- Land Activities for everyone, as well as golf green fees and the Red Lane fitness center for adults.
- Have a family gaming tournament in the Xbox Play Lounge.
- Give your tweens and teens some space in the Port Royal Arcade and the Club Liquid early evening hotspot.
- Finally (and most importantly!) the best, most kid-friendly activities, including Pirates Island Waterpark, a Kid’s Camp, and Sesame Street at Beaches!
One thing’s for sure. Whether young or young at heart, you won’t run out of things to do together at Beaches Ocho Rios!
Sandals Ochi Amenities
Sandals Ochi is well-known for being the largest luxury included resort in the Caribbean with the best party vibe.
If you’re a young (or young at heart) adult getting married and want a pool party atmosphere and a beach club scene for days, you might want to say “I Do!” at Ochi!
Here are just a few highlights:
- 16 restaurant possibilities including Italian, French, Mediterranean, American Southern, and International Tapas, a laidback Seaside Grill or romantic Dockside Dining, pizzerias, famous Sushi, The Jerk Shack, and the most entertaining Japanese Teppanyaki! Click the links for menus and pics!
- The Ochi Beach Club is your beach scene and pool party in one, and Jamaica’s trendiest waterfront spot to see and be seen.
- Premium Wines and Premium Liquors for your enjoyment across the resort and the Caribbean’s first Speakeasy—click on The Rabbit Hole for your video introduction!
- A full range of included watersports and scuba diving (included for certified divers, introductory courses for new divers at a small add-on cost).
- Green fees are included at Upton Estate Golf and Country Club.
- Fun land sports and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Sandals Ochi also offers adventurous excursions as a “vacation extra,” as do all Sandals resorts. For example, the Dunns River Falls Experience and Ocho Rios All-Day Powerboat Adventure are hugely popular!
Sandals vs. Beaches—Which is Better for Your Wedding
Many couples dream about a specific wedding venue, especially for a Caribbean destination with powdery sands, stunning waters, and lush greenery as their backdrop.
We compiled a gorgeous list of the best wedding venues at Sandals and Beaches resorts so you can look it over and find your favorite!
Best Wedding Venues for Your Ceremony
These are actual photos of wedding venues that are available for your ceremony at a Sandals or Beaches resort.
- A breathtaking, Sandals-exclusive Over-the-Water Wedding Chapel at Sandals Ochi.
- An Over-the-Water Gazebo at Beaches Ocho Rios.
- A semi-private Sky Terrace at Sandals Royal Barbados (check out our Sandals Royal Barbados review!).
- An Oceanfront Gazebo at Beaches Turks and Caicos.
- An intimate Resort Chapel at Sandals Montego Bay (check out our Sandals Montego Bay review!).
- A beachfront wedding at Sandals Negril or Beaches Negril (click the resort links for pretty beach wedding venues, and check out our Sandals Negril review!).
Most Family-Friendly Resort for Your Wedding
Is your dream wedding location on a miles-long white-sand beach with your entire family surrounding you?
That sounds fantastic to us—and you need to see Beaches Turks and Caicos because this luxury all-ages resort will turn your wedding dreams into a reality!
Click on Beaches Turks and Caicos to see a map of this palatial, awe-inspiring resort located on Grace Bay, a breathtaking beach twelve miles long and considered one of the best in the world.
Overview of Beaches Turks and Caicos
Beaches Turks and Caicos is a grand resort with five distinct villages resembling Italy, France, Key West, and the Caribbean.
Here’s why we love Beaches T&C for family events. Click the links for accommodation views to delight you:
- Villas with private pools in Key West Village.
- Walkout two-bedroom suites in the Italian Village.
- Gorgeous oceanfront balcony suites where the whole family can gather.
You have a staggering 21 restaurant possibilities at Beaches T&C—click the link but be forewarned, there are so many delicious menus to review and restaurant descriptions and pictures to enjoy, you’ll find it hard to leave the webpage!
Adults will enjoy the same luxury amenities as we described at Sandals Ocho Rios. However, one extra-special feature at Beaches T&C for everyone is the mindblowing 45,000-square-foot waterpark (click the link and be amazed!).
Planning Your Wedding at Beaches Turks and Caicos
Wedding planning couldn’t be easier at Beaches T&C—click on Inspirations to get started!
Sandals vs Beaches—Which is Better for Your Honeymoon
The answer to that important question will depend on you!
Beaches Honeymoons is the perfect link for you to explore if you’re bringing your kids along for a “familymoon” start to your new married life together.
Sandals Honeymoons caters to newlyweds with spectacular amenities like:
- Over-the-Water Honeymoon Bungalows at selected Sandals resorts—you won’t believe it until you click on that link!
- Private villas for two with secluded pool sanctuaries create a romantic ambiance—this Sandals blog will help you find your favorite!
- Click on the Free Honeymoon Package for a wedding gift from Sandals!
With all this information to unpack, you might still be “up in the air” about where to plan your destination wedding in the Caribbean!
We’ve got a neat idea for you to consider… so check this out:
Honeymoon Hopping with Sandals and Beaches
Sandals designed the exclusive Honeymoon Hop program to give couples the ultimate freedom to explore the Caribbean on their honeymoon!
Honeymoon hopping is also a fantastic idea to enjoy your wedding with family and then escape to another destination for some romantic alone time together.
Here’s what that looks like:
- First, you plan your destination wedding at Beaches T&C with your entire family.
- After spending a few lovely days with your group, you two “hop” from the Turks and Caicos to Sandals Emerald Bay to enjoy a golf honeymoon together.
It’s like the best of both worlds—so enjoy planning your destination wedding and honeymoon at Sandals or Beaches!