We are travel review readers and found positive feedback about Sandals Grenada on U.S. News, Oyster, Vacation Deals Travel, and Huffington Post. Our goal was to find an adults-only, couples only, all inclusive resort with great weather and competitive rates over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Grenada was our Caribbean island of choice. Here are my honest thoughts on the 10 pros and cons of Sandals Grenada from our first trip. Need more tips? Here are 12 little known tips about Sandals Grenada from our second trip. (Spoiler alert! Yes, we loved it THAT much!)
Tip: If you are trying to decide between Grande Antigua and LaSource Grenada, check out my pros and cons of Sandals Resort Antigua.
(Disclosure: Some of the product links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps keep my blog running!)
- Maurice Bishop International Airport
- Friendly Resort Staff
- Gluten Free Dining
- Quiet Resort Property
- Romance and Privacy
- Gym Facility
- Free Portrait Session
- Beautiful Tropical Weather
- Private Beach
Location: Sandals LaSource Grenada, St. george’s Pink Gin Beach
As of December 2017, Sandals Grenada was ranked as the second newest resort property. It is four years old. There are 257 rooms and suites with most including romantic tranquility soaking tubs on the patios and balconies. 10 restaurants and 6 bars serve food and drinks all hours of the day. 5 pools and 2 whirlpools are located throughout the property and are beautifully designed.
Pros of Sandals Grenada
1. Proximity to Maurice Bishop International Airport (M.B.I.A)
If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort close to the airport, this location is for you. The shuttle trip was 5 minutes or less. The Maurice Bishop International Airport is located directly behind the Sandals Grenada property and while I wouldn’t recommend it, you could literally walk to the airport!
Another plus, upon arrival, customs was quick and painless. Tip: Pack carry-on luggage to stow on the airplane and sit near the front or rear exit of the plane. We did the same, quickly exited and were in the front of the line. Within 30 minutes we were at the resort sipping champagne. **Sandals Grenada Tip: While the airport is close to the resort, the noise is minimal. There are only a few flights arriving and departing throughout the day.
2. Friendly Staff
Nigel – If you need help choosing a gluten free dessert at Cafe de Paris, be sure to ask for Nigel. He went out of his way to check on the gluten free status of the Chocolate Party Event for me. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Be sure to pack an all white romper or jumpsuit for the Chocolate Party.
Timothy – He is on the waitstaff at Le Jardinier and Neptunes. Timothy remembered our names and always made us smile with his positive attitude.
Kevron – Kevron also serves at Le Jardinier. She took our breakfast orders each morning. By the third day she knew our custom orders by heart and made our breakfast experience quite pleasant.
Dennie – If you have trepidations about sailing, Dennie is your man. He is fairly new to the Aqua Center, but is confident in his abilities to navigate the Hobie Cats catamarans. He taught my husband how to use one and took photos of us to commemorate the experience. Our underwater/waterproof Olympus Tough camera worked great for this adventure.
Lugar – When you schedule your free 20 minutes sunset portrait session at the SnapShots office, ask for Lugar. This was the second time we have taken advantage of this special offer and the first time we liked our photographs. As a photographer, I am quite picky. My photos must be in focus, correct color and exposure and naturally posed. I found 15 images that I loved and couldn’t leave without.
3. Gluten Free Menu Options at all 10 Restaurants
Sandals Grenada restaurants are not lacking when it comes to variety. Choose from Italian, French, Seafood, Oriental, Sushi or Local Cuisine for lunch or dinner. As gluten free travel is such a detailed subject, I have written a food allergy review of Sandals LaSource Grenada in a separate blog post.
4. Plenty of Entertainment
With 6 Sandals Resort vacations under our belt, we have a standing rule that we do absolutely nothing on our first full day. There are so many activities to take part in that it is tempting to jump in immediately. Our first priority is relaxation. On day two, the game changes. We are up for anything! Every day we took part in several activities without feeling like we were too busy. We recommend the following:
- The Boat Tour aboard the Astonia at 3:00 PM daily – a free 60 minute tour taking you along the coast of the island. Make sure to wear water shoes as boarding the boat in the water is difficult. They do not allow any other type of shoe on the boat. **Sandals Grenada Tip: the boat fills up quickly so make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time at the Aqua Center.
- Water Sports – catamarans, kayaks, snorkeling and scuba diving
- Pool Volleyball – every afternoon at the “party pool” (South Seas Village Pool) enjoy a friendly game of volleyball. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Invest in silicone rings for playing water sports. A player lost his wedding ring in the pool while we were playing.
- Corn Hole Tournaments by the “quiet pool” (Main Pool)
- Pool Bingo games at the “party pool”
- Nightly music, talent shows, fashion shows and local bands at the Living Room Piano Bar
5. Quiet Property Over Thanksgiving Holiday
If you are looking to take an all-inclusive, couples only Caribbean island vacation, I highly recommend Sandals Grenada over Thanksgiving. We were able to save money on flights and Sandals Grenada room rates for the 9 nights we booked. The resort wasn’t at full occupancy, which meant there were empty cabanas and lounge chairs at each pool daily.
6. Romantic, Private Spots for Relaxation
We stayed in a first floor South Seas Honeymoon Poolside Hideaway Walkout Junior Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub room. Right outside our room was the South Seas Lagoon Pool, a quiet, infinity pool overlooking the property. This pool was never busy and was the perfect afternoon getaway spot to nap in the shade or read a book. We often found ourselves spending the last moments of the day, before dinner, enjoying this romantic spot.
7. State-of-the-art Gym Facility
As we work out three days a week, we had the best of intentions to continue our exercise regimen while on vacation. Don’t judge us, but we only stepped into the gym to check out the facilities and then never went back. We were so tired from the sun, indulging in food and staying up late with new friends that we couldn’t lace up our sneakers to run on the treadmill each morning. However, if exercise is important to you, Sandals Grenada does a great job at providing you with everything you need to stay fit during vacation.
8. Free 20 Minutes Couples Portrait Session
As I mentioned earlier, we haven’t taken advantage of this offer but once before. We have always declined as our experience at the Sandals Royal Bahamian SnapShots did not meet our expectations. We were pleasantly surprised with our portraits taken by Lugar. I am not sure of the quality images you will receive from other photographers at the Sandals resort; however, if you ask for Lugar, you will receive beautiful sunset photographs.
Tip: To find out how I styled my curls while traveling in the tropics, check out my Simple Curly Girl Styling Routine. I also shared my favorite compact hair dryer and diffuser for traveling with curly hair.
9. Beautiful Weather
According to Google searches, early December is the best time to visit St. George’s, Grenada. We visited the island from November 21st through November 30th. While showers were expected daily, the only day of rain we experienced was our last day. This didn’t bother us as we were waiting for our shuttle to the airport that afternoon. There were a couple passing showers, but they didn’t amount to much. Our daily temperatures were in the high 80’s and low 90’s. The sun was quite strong as early as 7:30 AM. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Be sure to look out for rainbows each day. They are best seen from the beach.
10. Private Beach
Sandals Grenada is located on the Pink Gin Beach. If you prefer sunning yourself by the ocean, there are plenty of lounge chairs in the sand. It is also a private beach, so no worries about vendors tapping you on the shoulder trying to sell you their wares. However, if you leave the resort, there are a few vendors that sit on the beach selling shells or photos with their pet monkey. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Pack water shoes. The sand isn’t soft to your feet and includes small to medium sized stones. While not necessary, these ALEADER Women’s Aqua Water Shoes, were a big help for me.
Cons of Sandals Grenada
1. Check-In Process
We have vacationed at 4 Sandals Resorts and this was our 5th stay. On average, the check-in process for each location has been a frustrating procedure. A couple weeks before our vacation, we received an email recommending we check in online. We were told it would make the resort check-in that much faster. We are all about efficiency, so we filled out the online forms. A few days later, we received a similar email suggesting we check in online. Thinking the first one didn’t go through, I filled it out again only to receive an error message. Now I was worried that I had made a mistake and quickly called Sandals Customer Service. They informed me that our reservation did not show us as checked in; however, I was told we could check in over the telephone. I completed the process and assumed we were good to go.
Upon arrival at Sandals Grenada, the welcome staff were friendly and after traveling 12+ hours, we were excited to be there. We were handed an iPad and asked to fill out the check-in forms. It was the same forms from the website but additionally requested our signatures. We filled out the forms 3 to 4 times, each receiving error messages. After the last one, we were handed a printed form, where I had to fill in all the information again. By this time, a second shuttle of people had arrived and my husband, who works in technology, was at his wits end. I think he would have spent our whole vacation working with the Sandals IT Department to solve the problem if he could!
2. Gluten Free Breakfast
Gluten free travel is a delicate subject. With Celiac Disease, one must be careful about cross contamination and recipe ingredients. Overall, Sandals Resorts do a fabulous job working with gluten allergies. However, Sandals Grenada lacks gluten free breakfast options at their breakfast buffets.
During the first few days of our all inclusive vacation, we visited the buffets for breakfast. The menu options were few and included scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, juices and meats. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Nigel recommended we try the sit down breakfast at Le Jardinier. While it opens 30 minutes later than the buffets (8:00 AM), the breakfast here is worth it! We enjoyed gluten free pancakes, omelets, hash browns and more.
3. In-Room Smart TV: SnapShots
The in-room smart tv shows you the Sandals Grenada event schedule, restaurant summaries and hours, activities and your photos taken by the SnapShots staff. Having all the information at your fingertips is quite helpful. We loved the feature of daily seeing your most recent photographs taken around the romantic Caribbean resort. Unfortunately, Sandals technology failed us again. The app gives you the option of selecting the image files you would like to purchase and then notifying the SnapShots Office. However, upon completing our selection, there was always an error message. We were also told by friends that their photos never showed up on the app or they viewed other couple’s photos.
4. No Late Check-Out
Our flight from St. George’s to Miami was scheduled for 4:30 PM. We were told to check the day before check-out to see if we could have an extra hour or two in the room. The night before, we received notification that a late check-out would be charged at a reduced room rate. When your room rate is close to $500+ per night, it’s not worth it for just a few hours. **Sandals Grenada Tip: When choosing your flights home from Grenada, don’t count on a late check-out unless you want to spend the extra money.
5. Tranquility Soaking Tubs: No Privacy
One of the advertised benefits of the Sandals Grenada property are the romantic tranquility soaking tubs. The idea of the tubs was fabulous, the design and experience, not so much. We were on the first floor, which meant there were always guests and staff walking by. To provide privacy, Sandals installed two canvas curtains that met in the middle. There wasn’t a tie to keep them together and with the island breezes, they would open every few seconds. We were scared to death that housekeeping would walk in on us or inquisitive guests would take a peek.
We thought the cover of darkness would be an opportunity to enjoy the two person tub. That was until we noticed we would have to share the tub with the frogs that visited nightly. **Sandals Grenada Tip: don’t choose your Sandals Grenada room based on the tranquility tub. If you do, make sure to bring clothespins to keep your curtains closed. These work as a beach towel clip too!
6. Gluten Free Thanksgiving
Sandals Resorts did an amazing job of offering their guests a full Thanksgiving menu to choose from. Unfortunately, the turkey was not gluten free as the stuffing was cooked inside the bird. This is a small negative as there were other options to choose from, such as ham.
7. Room Design
As mentioned before, we stayed in South Seas Honeymoon Poolside Hideaway Walkout Junior Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub. While the location was close to the restaurants and party pool, inside the room, the design was lacking. In particular, the open floor plan. The shower is located at the end of the room and is open on both sides. This means that every time you take a shower, it dampens everything in the room. The closet was right next to the shower and the dresser inside was unusable as the drawers were warped from the humidity. **Sandals Grenada Tip: If you have this room type or style, be sure to close your closet door while showering. This kept our clothes dry.
8. Property Landscape: Hilly
This note is more for individuals who are handicapped or have a hard time walking up steep hills. Our room was at the top of a hill and even we were a little winded each time we made the trek. I declined to wear my high heels to dinner as I didn’t think I would make it down the hill without breaking my ankle!
9. SnapShots Retail Experience
While we enjoyed our experience with our photographer, Lugar, the retail shop left us frustrated. First, the photography packages are quite pricey. This is coming from someone that had a portrait photography business for many years. With the high prices, you would expect the same in service. Not so. As mentioned earlier, we had chosen the photos we wanted in our room, but the selections did not make it to the retail shop. We had to re-select every image hoping we remembered what they were. The selection process was antiquated and slow. You sat in front of a computer screen with tiny thumbnails showing your images. If you wanted to see one enlarged you asked the agent behind the computer. The process of picking out 15 images took us an hour. **Sandals Grenada Tip: Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase your photographs.
10. Island Routes: Half Day Grenada Sampler
If you are looking to book a tour of the island through Island Routes, skip the Half Day Grenada Sampler. To summarize, our tour consisted of a short visit to Fort Frederick with a beautiful panoramic view of St. George’s, De La Grenade Industries where you sample spiced jams and jellies (most jams and jellies were gluten free but served with crackers or wheat pancakes), an hour in downtown St. George’s, and a distillery where you can sample local rums and nutmeg liqueurs (nothing is noted as gluten free).
The hour in downtown was unsettling to us. We were literally dropped off like a herd of sheep on the side of a street and told to meet there in an hour. The “sheep” scattered and we were left to fend for ourselves. The streets were narrow and busy with people and cars. We weren’t given a map so we didn’t know where to go and what to see. We came across the House of Chocolate Grenada and spent 30 minutes there at the very small museum and shop and then walked back to the meeting place.
Aside from the locations mentioned, the rest of our half day excursion included a van tour of the island where the guide would stop by the side of the road to point out plants, spices and other vegetation. We were back to the resort by 1:30 PM.
Nick, my husband, and I are seasoned Sandals Resort guests. I’ve listed the all-inclusive Sandals Resort locations we’ve visited in order of preference:
- Sandals LaSource Grenada – 2017 & 12/2019
- Sandals Grande Antigua – 2011 & 2016
- Sandals South Coast, formerly Sandals Whitehouse – 2012 (Sandals website. Photo tour coming soon!)
- Sandals Royal Bahamian – November 2014
Sandals Lasource Grenada makes the top of our resort vacation list and we would most certainly visit again. The weather, staff, gluten free food options, activities and proximity to the airport make this location a must visit.
This review of the Sandals Grenada resort is not a sponsored article. I have personally paid to stay at this resort and all opinions are my own.