If you’re planning a honeymoon or romantic getaway you might be dreaming about spending it suspended above the warm blue Caribbean in a hammock for two on the deck of a sexy overwater bungalow in Jamaica.
In case you haven’t heard, Sandals Resorts offers Tahitian-style over-the-water accommodations at two properties in Jamaica — so your fantasy suite just got a whole lot closer to home if you live in the United States. And when the company decided to import some thatched-roof romance to the Caribbean, it did so with its signature all-inclusive ease. Sandals’ overwater bungalows in Jamaica all boast exclusive amenities that include private transfers, butler service and special dining menus with 24/7 room service.
But beyond the pampering that these love nests offer, it’s important to consider the resorts and locations themselves. So if you’re ready to splurge, here’s our guide to choosing the resort that’s right for you.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Bungalows: Five spacious Over-the-Water Villas opened in December 2016 and 12 Over-the-Water Bungalows debuted in March 2017. Enhancing the seclusion: All 17 butler-serviced units are built in a heart-shaped along a wooden walkway, and attached to Sandals Cay, the resort’s private island. Here, guests can enjoy a newly redesigned pool and pool bar, along with The Jerk Shack and Royal Thai restaurants, while the rest of the resort is a quick boat ride away.” But the amenities — especially in the villas, which have infinity-edge pools and floating water hammocks — and 24/7 room service mean you really don’t have to “go ashore.”
Resort: Centered around a Georgian-style Great House and set on 15 acres, the resort has 227 rooms, eight restaurants, five bars and seven pools, but retains an intimate ambiance. One caveat: its proximity to the airport means there’s jet noise throughout the day.
Location: Once off the plane, you’ll be here in minutes — and have easy access to sights and activities both nearby and in Ocho Rios. In addition, the “Stay at 1, Play at 3” option means you can enjoy the beaches, pools and amenities, as well as 12 additional restaurants, at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Inn.
Vibe: A British pub has fish ‘n chips on the menu and traditional afternoon tea is served daily at 4pm — but The Jerk Shack and several swim-up bars create a blend of old colonial charm and lively Jamaican fun.
Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse, Jamaica
Bungalows: The 12 Over-the-Water Honeymoon Butler Bungalows, opened in December 2017 and identical to those at Sandals Royal Caribbean, are located at the most secluded end of the beach (past the French Village). With their vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors (with glass viewing panels), contemporary decor and sun deck with private Tranquility Soaking Tub and hammock for two they’re a modern take on South Seas seduction.
Resort: For room to roam (2 miles of beach and 500 acres of land) and romantic bells and whistles (an overwater wedding chapel and an over-the-water bar) it’s hard to beat this property with its three villages (Italian, French and Dutch) set along the beach and most restaurants and bars located near the central Piazza. Tennis courts attract active (and at times slightly older) couples, while nine restaurants and seven bars, a Red Lane Spa and complimentary water sports (including diving) mean there’s plenty to do beyond lounging 24/7.
Location: Sandals South Coast isn’t in the center of the action — in fact, it’s far from it. At the airport in Montego Bay, you’ll hop a complimentary shuttle for a 1½-hour drive on mountain roads to Jamaica’s southern coast. You’ll see some of the island’s lush interior landscape, but almost all off-resort activities will need to be done via group excursions.
Vibe: For a 372-room all-inclusive resort, it’s surprisingly laid-back. The tranquil setting lends itself to relaxed romance with just the right amount of poolside fun.