Do you really need a butler? This is a very common question, and the answer is probably no. You COULD get your own drinks, you COULD make your own reservations, but here's how delightful it is to have all those things done for you, as well as some things you didn't even know you needed.
We had 2 butlers for the duration of our 5-day trip at Sandals Montego Bay, Rushane and Orion, who worked in shifts so that we always had someone looking after us. After our private check-in in the Club Sandals lounge, Orion brought us on a tour of the resort and to our room. We talked through the activities we wanted to do and the restaurants we wanted to try and he gave us some recommendations for our first night in the resort. He popped open the champagne that had been left in our room and left us to enjoy, leaving us with a cellphone and instructions to call him if we needed anything. The butler can also unpack for you and press your outfit for the first night but we declined this offer, preferring to do it ourselves.
The truth is that we are not at all used to butler service and felt awkward making requests, but what we enjoyed so much about the Sandals Butler experience was that even though we weren't asking for much, we were still constantly surprised and delighted by the service.
Our first morning we woke up to a call from Rushane asking if we wanted to go to the beach that day - of course! He told us to give him a call when we'd finished breakfast and he'd get a place set up for us. We met him and he led us to a prime spot in the shade (very important for someone who burns as easily as I do) with a cooler of drinks and water for us. He then told us he'd set up all reservations for the restaurants we'd discussed the night before. We casually mentioned that we also might like to try a restaurant at the nearby Sandals Royal Caribbean. Not 5 minutes later he came back to tell us that he had booked it for us, and advised the best time to get the shuttle over.
Big floppy hat on due to aforementioned burning problem
We had a lovely, relaxing morning swimming and exploring the beach (which is gorgeous, and full of fun places to hang out, like the over water swings and bar). We then decided to have a swim and figured we'd think about where to go for lunch afterwards, but while we were swimming Rushane called to us from the shore and waved us over. We met him at our beach beds where he had set up a feast of jerk chicken and rock fish for us, along with some cocktails. We were so surprised and touched at the gesture, and it really helped us to get into holiday mode, we literally didn't have to think about anything!
As all of our reservations were set up, and our main plan for the trip was to relax on the beach and try out some of the included watersports, we didn't really need any other butler service, however that doesn't mean that we didn't receive any. Every morning Orion or Rushane would set us up with a prime spot and cooler on the beach, which was a real luxury not having to think about it or run down with towels after breakfast. Also, as I am not used to the Caribbean sun having a whole cooler of water was a real bonus for me, I was easily drinking 10 bottles a day! When they passed by they would also check in on us and see if we needed a drink and we quickly became vacation blobs who didn't even get up to go to the bar, it was such a luxurious feeling.
Cooler mostly filled with water not beer
I think that they realized that we weren't going to be making any requests, and started to dedicate their butler magic to giving us little surprises instead. One evening we came back to the room and there was prawn cocktail laid out for us. Another evening there was a cheese board. For one of our restaurant reservations, Rushane met us at the door of the restaurant and escorted us to the table in full tails and white gloves. Often they came by with surprise, unusual cocktails that they thought we would enjoy. This is how we discovered Piña Coladas made with Baileys instead of rum, and it became our favourite drink of the holiday (a wonderful treat in an all-inclusive resort but expensive if you want to order in a bar!)
Balcony breakfast - this was such a treat!
Another big benefit of the Butler class room was that 24 hour room service was included. There was one night when we stayed out late and decided at 1am that we didn't want to get up for breakfast the next day. We hung our breakfast request on the door and went to sleep, and were woken up at 9am to a full tray of food which was laid out on our balcony for us, it was such a lovely, relaxed way to start the day.
On our last night we arrived back from the beach to find our check-out documents (which made us sad, but this was a very convenient and stress-free way to begin checking out) and another wonderful surprise from Rushane: he had drawn the 'tranquility soaking tub' on our balcony and filled it with petals so that we could enjoy our last sunset from the comfort of our balcony while feeling spoiled rotten.
Balcony soaking tub and some very impressive towel art
The Butler experience really took our trip to a new level of luxury, and it was probably the most relaxed I have ever felt. I would highly recommend it for a honeymoon or special trip, and my only concern is that it has ruined me for all future vacations (what, you mean I have to get my OWN drinks?)
Ask us about arranging your own Sandals Butler Experience.
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