Secrets vs Sandals: The Best Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resort?

Want to treat yourself to the ultimate tropical getaway? Staying at an all-inclusive resort in a tropical territory will give you a sublime experience minus the hassle. And if you’re looking for a resort exclusive to adults, two big names will likely pop up in your search. Here’s a comprehensive Secrets vs Sandals comparison to help you decide where to stay.

Caribbean Resorts Comparison: Secrets vs. Sandals

Luxurious accommodations, well-maintained greeneries, and world-class amenities amid a glorious tropical setting. You’ll get this when you book your stay at Sandals or Secrets. But like any other adults only all-inclusive best resort, each has its own advantages.  

Do you wish to stay at a couple-oriented resort? Are you a huge watersport aficionado? Care about having a gourmet experience during your stay? How about a personalized butler service? To help you decide which resort brand suits your preferences better, it’s essential to know the similarities and differences between the two. 

Scroll through to find out details about these big resort brands.

Similarities and Differences: Sandals vs. Secrets

Discussions about the best all-inclusive resort are rife with comparisons between Sandals and Secrets. 

Both resorts are adults-only, offering an unforgettable luxurious experience — from the rooms and services provided to the amenities, dining, entertainment, and activities available for guests. The two are also not clothing optional.

One of the main differences is that Sandals is more oriented for couples, making it a wildly popular destination for Caribbean weddings and honeymoons. They also have more inclusions, including airport transfers and PADI-certified scuba diving.

As of writing, Sandals has 17 resorts throughout the Caribbean. It first opened in 1981 and is part of Sandals Resorts International, which is also the parent company of Beaches Resorts (a family-oriented resort chain). 

 At 21, Secrets have more resorts located in the Caribbean but mostly in Mexico (it’s why the resort chain is more accessible from the US; plus, it offers Spanish classes in some of its properties). It launched in 2003 and is now part of the hospitality giant World of Hyatt. This means your stay at a Secrets resort will earn you Hyatt rewards points, which you can then use to book stays in other Hyatt properties. 

Secrets vs. Sandals Locations

When choosing Secrets vs Sandals, location is a huge deciding factor. The former’s resorts are mostly set in the Mediterranean, while the latter is in the Caribbean. It’s only in Jamaica where you’ll find both Secrets and Sandals. Below is a full list of each of the resort giant’s locations.

Sandals

Secrets

  • Secrets Impression Moxché (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Aura Cozumel (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets The Vine Cancun (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Riviera Cancun (Quintana Roo, Mexico)
  • Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco, Mexico)
  • Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)
  • Secrets Bahia Mita Surf & Spa (Nayarit, Mexico)
  • Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Gold & Spa Resort (Baja California Sur, Mexico)
  • Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa (Oaxaca, Mexico)
  • Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Secrets Royal Beach (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
  • Secrets Mallorca Villamil (Balearic Islands, Spain)
  • Secrets Lanzarote (Lanzarote, Spain)
  • Secrets Sunny Beach Resort & Spa (Bulgaria, Bulgaria)
  • Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica (Papagayo, Costa Rica)
  • Secrets St. James Montego Bay (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
  • Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
  • Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa (Anse Marcel, St. Martin)

Secrets vs. Sandals: Accommodations 

At Secrets, every room comes with a round-the-clock room and concierge service. Each Secrets resort has two categories: Standard Rooms and Preferred Club Rooms (the latter has more perks like personalized butler service). Depending on the category, you can choose Junior Suites, Honeymoon Suites (with a private terrace equipped with an exterior tub or swim-out access), and Presidential Suites (complete with a private balcony with a plunge pool). 

Meanwhile, Sandals divides its rooms into three categories: the entry-level Sandals Luxury, Club Level (with room service from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and access to the Club Sandals Lounge), and Butler Elite (with personalized butler service who you can contact with the personal cell phone you’ll get). If you’re a couple, they have the so-called Love Nest Suites that are at par with Butler Elite level rooms but have a more romantic atmosphere.

Apart from the standard rooms, you can book suites in special villas, Skypool Suites, Beachfront Rondoval Suites, and Oceanview Penthouses, depending on the resort.

In select Secrets and Sandals resorts, overwater bungalows are also available for a more immersive tropical experience. 

If you’re asking about Secrets vs. Sandals price, staying at a Secrets resort has a starting range of around $680 to $1470 per person for five nights. For the same length of stay, you can stay at Sandals from $1,080 to $2,000 per person. 

Though generally pricier, Sandals offers the better bang for your buck as the cost of your stay comes with more inclusions (read in the next section). Still, Secrets provides great value for your money.

What’s Included When You Stay At Sandals or Secrets?

Staying at Sandals? Though each location has its own array of offerings, Sandals Resorts’ inclusions generally cover the following:

  • Unlimited food and drinks (Up to 11 bars and 16 gourmet restaurants per resort, though most popular restaurants require reservations)
  • Stocked bars and coffee makers with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee per room
  • PADI-certified scuba diving, snorkeling, Hobie Cats sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking (including equipment and professional instruction)
  • Motorized water sports at select resorts)
  • Golf courses at select resorts (inclusive of green fees)
  • Beach volleyball, basketball, pool tables, tennis
  • Fitness center
  • Day and night entertainment
  • Private offshore islands (available at Royal Caribbean and Royal Bahamian)
  • Personalized butler service in select suites
  • Free WiFi
  • Free wedding (if you book at least three nights)
  • Exchange privileges between resorts (inclusive of roundtrip shuttles)
  • Roundtrip shuttles to nearby tourist attractions at select resorts
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (with exclusive arrival lounge in Jamaica and St. Lucia)
  • Tips, taxes, and gratuities (except for butlers)

When at a Secrets resort, your cost will already include:

  • Unlimited food and premium drinks (no reservations required)
  • Stocked bars per room
  • 24-hour room service
  • Non-motorized watersports 
  • Fitness center
  • Golf and tennis at select resorts
  • Daily group activities (e.g., Spanish lessons, guacamole-making, dancing tequila tasting, and bike tours)
  • Personalized butler service in select suites
  • Free WiFi
  • Free wedding (if you book at least seven nights)
  • Pool and beach wait service
  • Day and night entertainment
  • Taxes and gratuities (you will shoulder tipping for bartenders, waiters, and butlers)

Secrets vs. Sandals: Overall Experience 

Secrets and Sandals are great contenders if you’re searching for the best adults only resort. Overall, they provide a more seamless experience since they are all-inclusive. 

Their services are easily at reach as they have a dedicated mobile application. While Sandals have included airport transfers in their packages, Secrets compensates for the lack of it with the 24-hour room service that it provides. 

As stated, you’ll get unlimited access to top-notch foods and beverages. This is a huge plus if you’re a foodie who wants to explore various cuisines all in one convenient place. But if you want to dine over pristine waters, Sandals got you covered with their above-water bars and restaurants.

In terms of water-based activities, Sandals has a more extensive list. Even if you just want to swim or lounge on the beach casually, the locations where Sandals resorts can be found have generally better beaches. Nonetheless, you can enjoy more group activities at Secrets.

Both resort brands usher guests into a vibrant nighttime experience with their array of entertainment shows. But most previous guests agree that Secrets’ night entertainment has better production value. After a long day, you can simply relax and watch live bands, lighting shows, and other elaborate live performances complete with hosts.

Conclusion

It’s always a great idea to stay at an all-inclusive resort if you want a worry-free tropical getaway. For vacationers looking to stay in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, two adults-only resorts are often recommended. When comparing Secrets vs Sandals, each has its perks, as discussed above.

Opt for Sandals if you’re having a holiday with your partner, as it has a more couple-oriented atmosphere. Secrets may be for you if you want a destination nearer to the US. Either resort, you’re in for stunning views, great amenities, and an overall luxurious stay. 

About The Author
Randell
Randell was born in an island nation and is a creature of the water and sun. Aside from amazing Caribbean destinations, he is also fascinated with the region's food, history, culture, and adventures it offers.

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