Whether you’re a couple looking to have a destination wedding, book your honeymoon, or simply have the travel bug, today’s post is for you. While travel is slowly increasing again after the craziness of last year, Linda Dancer of Honeymoons Inc. wanted to see for herself just how safe it is to travel and the protocols places are putting into effect. She’s since then put together a list of the best Sandals Suites and destination wedding locations in Jamaica for social distancing. Keep on scrolling to find out more!
Linda: I recently had the opportunity visit Jamaica and stayed at Sandals Negril, Sandals Southcoast, Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean, I felt it important to experience firsthand the current protocols in place.
How are Sandals Resorts in particular practicing social distancing and covid protocols ?
Linda: Sandals Resorts have put into place their Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness to guarantee health and safety of all guests- the 12 touch points of cleanliness on the most likely touched surfaces in all rooms and suites as well as 9 touch points in the bathroom a triple check cleaning system including the use of hospital grade disinfectants, placement of anti-bacterial gels and soaps in the rooms, UV LED lights, my rooms were sealed upon my arrival and I broke the seal as I entered each of my suites to check in. In addition and also the 18 touch points of cleanliness around the resorts as well nothing escaped tough scrutiny when it came to insuring guest peace of mind. One of my favorite ways to social distance is to reserve a beach or pool cabana for the day- properly sanitized of course and comes with butler service.
** Some other new protocols include:
- Precautionary temperature check at check-in for all guests
- Guest can now check-in online if they wish to skip the front desk and go directly to their room
- Physical Distancing Practices are in place throughout the resort with signs on the floor, safe distance table setups in restaurants, bars, and on the beach.
- Only one couple at a time will be permitted in the elevator with staff members taking alternate route
- All staff members regardless of their function are required to wear a mask at all time
- No handshakes or hugs – just a nod (I hate that their smiles are hidden behind masks.)
- Airport lounge staff will wear a mask
- Airport transfers – the number of guests in each vehicle has been reduced, driver and all guests wear a mask, vehicles will be re-sanitized after each trip.
- Hand sanitizer stations are everywhere and you will be asked to use before going into the gift shop, spa, restaurants and so forth. All Sandals and Beach Resorts are Covid certified resorts within the Resilient Corridors where visitors to Jamaica are allowed to stay. Adhering to strict Covid-19 protocols and approved by the (WTTC) and guest are allowed to do a split stay between two or more Covid-19 certified resorts such as I did. In addition for guest peace of mind Sandals and Beaches Resorts are offering several book with confidence features including providing the required negative covid test 3 days prior to your scheduled return to the USA on the resort and additional medical insurance. In addition for Sandals Destination Weddings – they also have adopted a complete list of platinum protocols for destination weddings as well. Top choice for social distancing for your destination wedding has to be one of the romantic over-the-water wedding chapels at Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Southcoast or Sandals Ochi Beach (but do know they are restricted to smaller guest capacity at the moment due to covid protocols), the Frank Warren Wedding Chapel at Sandals Montego Bay, oceanfront gazebos or overwater piers or the new Wedding Garden at Sandals South Coast.
You can also find more information here!
Which Sandals Resorts are best for social distancing ?
Linda: All Sandals Resorts in Jamaica are adult-only luxury all-inclusive resorts, but this is my top ten list of Resorts and specific suites that are perfect for practicing social distancing with a romantic twist – but I do suggest to book quickly as they are the first to sell out.
- Overwater Villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean
- Overwater Bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Southcoast
- Brand new South Seas Rondoval Village at Sandals South Coast – featuring the first ever swim- up rondoval suites each with their own plunge pool in addition to direct access into the lagoon
- Villa Plantana at Sandals Royal Plantation – with personal butler and villa staff, 24 hour service
- Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet 1 bedroom villa suite with private pool sanctuary at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
- Millionaire Honeymoon 1 Bedroom butler suite with private pool sanctuary at Sandals Negril
- Honeymoon Beachfront two-story 1 bedroom butler villa suites with tranquility soaking tub at Sandals Negril
- Beachfront swim-up Millionaire 1 bedroom butler suites with patio tranquility soaking tub at Sandals Montego Bay
- Beachfront Romeo & Juliet One-Bedroom Butler Villa Suites with outdoor tranquility soaking tub at Sandals Montego Bay
- Going as a small group of 4 couples – book a 4 one-bedroom butler villa with private pool – never leave your villa pool if you prefer – Sandals Ochi Beach
What are Covid requirements for traveling to Jamaica right now?
Linda: The best source of information for traveling to Jamaica during the pandemic is here.
Every possible question can be answered (at the link above) – but do know basically you will be required to have a negative Covid test within 3 days of arrival, you will have to do a travel authorization, and Biden did sign an executive order that mandates you must take another Covid antigen test 3 days prior to your scheduled return to USA and Sandals Resorts is doing those on the resort.
Prior to my trip I also had to do these same steps:
1. I went to the website under test requirements, I put in my arrival date into the test calendar and it told me my first allowable date to test
2. I scheduled my PCR covid test, within 24 hours I had my lab results, I printed those as I would need to show those at the airport
3. Five days prior to my departure date I again went to the website to apply for my Jamaica Travel Authorization. Here you will enter your trip information, resort where you are staying and so forth, don’t be alarmed when you are flagged HIGH RISK, everyone from the USA is flagged the same, once you receive your travel authorization to the email you provided, again print those as you will need to show negative covid test results, travel authorization, health form, all that you printed from the Jamaica Minister of Health – be prepared to show at your departing airport, at the connecting airport if you make a connection and again upon arrival into Jamaica.
4. I strongly suggest to go ahead and purchase CLUB Mobay VIP meet and greet bundle, after you clear the medical tent you will be met by a rep with your name on a board, expedited through the immigration and customs areas and taken to Sandals arrival lounge/ then on day of departure you will be able to wait in the departure lounge which is at limited capacity now with social distancing protocols.
Which honeymoon attractions and activities are open right now in Jamaica?
Linda: In addition to hotels, transportation companies and other tourism sectors having to go through rigid qualification processes to reopen, so did all the tour and activity companies as well – the company I always book for myself personal as well as prefer for my guest is Island Routes – the sister company to Sandals Resorts and there is a tour desk at each resort to assist you. Just be prepared to wear a mask on the transportation to/from the activity, sanitize your hands and so forth. A current list and days of operation can be found on their website, but most of the most popular tours are operating – maybe just not on a daily basis as before.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about booking your honeymoon in Jamaica?
Linda: As honestly as I can say it – if any couple has made a trip to Walmart, Lowe’s or Home Depot or the grocery story during this pandemic, they will feel safe traveling. I am a 30+ year veteran travel agent and worked for an airline at the Charlotte airport prior to that, and I have never felt so safe in the airport – everywhere at every airport there were people cleaning everything, everyone was wearing a mask, the airplane crew all were masks, the airplane seats were damp from just being sanitized , most fellow passengers pulled out their own Clorox wipes and cleaned their personal space, service on board the flights were a bit limited and pre-packaged in plastic bags. Tourism in most of the most popular honeymoon destinations is the lifeblood of the local economies and they are all taking the required protocols seriously, like us they need to stay safe but they also need to feed their family.
Work with an experience honeymoon or destination wedding planner like myself. For the last year since the saga began, we have done nothing but help our clients navigate all the processes for booking and rebooking, attended countless zoom calls and webinars our preferred hotel partners and tourist boards to make sure we are providing the best possible information to our clients. If your budget allows then book one of the upgraded private suites on my top ten list above, upgrade to private airport transfers if they are not included in the room category you are looking to book, book those tours and activities with Island Routes and most of all celebrate starting your life together. I cannot tell you what a world of good for my mental well-being taking my trip to Jamaica did for me – and it was the common theme for resort guests that I spoke with at each of the resorts as well.
Linda, this information was super helpful! Thank you for taking the time to share the best Sandals Suites and destination wedding locations in Jamaica for social distancing along with all this additional and SUPER helpful details.
If you’re a couple looking to travel, be sure to reach out to Linda at Honeymoons Inc. for your travel needs!
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