Not the “Sandals difference” she was hoping for

In case you missed the ads, the “Sandals difference” is that this chain of all-inclusive “luxury” resorts offers “the most romantic getaways with more quality inclusions than any other luxury beach resort.”

“The closer you look,” it adds, “the better we look.”

Well, Camille Desroches and her husband, Vincenzo, looked closely — and they didn’t like what they saw. They’re asking me to be their advocate and persuade Sandals to offer them credit for a do-over.

As a reminder, this is our weekly installment of Should I Take The Case? — a completely unvetted reader problem in which I ask you if I should be the advocate. haven’t contacted Sandals yet, but I will if you tell me I should.

The Desroches, who have been to a different Sandals resort before, stayed in a concierge club level room at Sandals Royal Bahamian in November. Things did not go well.

“It was a very stressful vacation,” says Camille Desroches.

Let’s go right to the written complaint:

To start, the overall staff is unknowledgeable. We were given the runaround many times and wrong information as far as which restaurants were available to eat at, what the dress code was, how to go about making dinner reservations, and even what time our airport shuttle was to depart (we almost missed our flight home because of this).

The majority of the food and beverage staff, particularly bartenders, were very rude and unhelpful. During dinner a couple of nights, we asked our server if a particular dish was spicy; both nights we were answered with “I have never tried it, I do not know.” Instead of finding out for us, he rudely asked us again what we wanted.

One night during dinner service, dinner was spilled on Vincenzo. Instead of receiving an apology, the server quickly walked away with a nervous laugh. Another night, when ordering champagne, I was served champagne with a dead cockroach affixed to the glass. Again, no apology was offered.

Secondly, our Club Sandals Concierge experience was nothing like described. To start, we never received a “personalized resort orientation.” After we checked in, we were told to follow a concierge from the lounge to our room – we were never shown around property or told when an orientation would be available.

Also, we were never issued a “specifically made Club Sandals room key” – we noticed that non-Club guests were utilizing the lounge. Through conversation with other guests, we learned we were never invited to the returning guest Wednesday night dinner or given our returning guest gift (we had to request it and be persistent about obtaining it).

We were very surprised to learn that those coming from the local cruise port could purchase a day pass to be on property. Not only did it bring in a rowdy and rude crowd, but we were not given the type of service we deserved because of it. It significantly increased the lines at all of the bars and restaurants.

On Friday, we were unable to make the 11 a.m. ferry because of the influx of day pass guests. We also had a thirty-minute wait for lunch at Stew Fish and Royal Café. Through conversation with people in the hot tub, we learned that there was a 60-person group which was on a singles cruise. Also, their travel agent solicited us. We were told to “call her for our next trip and she would get us a better deal for a Sandals resort” and she handed us her business card.

It upset us that we were solicited while on resort property from someone who co-coordinated a singles cruise, when Sandals prides themselves on being a “couples only” resort.

We tried to make our trip better a few different times by speaking with the concierges. The first night we were there, we asked if we could pay to upgrade to a butler level room. We were told that they were completely unavailable and they would let us know if that changed over the next eight days.

On the fourth night, after we found out about the day pass guests, we spoke to the concierges about our concerns and frustrations. We asked if we could transfer to Sandals Emerald Bay. We were told that there would be a fee and we would have to pay for our airfare there.

The concierges did not do anything to remedy the situation or attempt to make things better. On Saturday, one of the managers learned about our frustrations through guests who frequent the property. She listened to all of our woes, but again, the situation was not attempted to be fixed. She did not do anything to make our stay better.

In the end, the couple persuaded Sandals to transfer them to its Emerald Bay property for the last day of their vacation.

Still, that doesn’t sound like the “Sandals difference”. The Desroches believe Sandals should offer them a stay at another Sandals property at no cost. I suggested they send that request to Sandals.

Here’s how it responded:

Please accept our apologies for any inconveniences you have encountered during your stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian hence the cause for relocation to Sandals Emerald Bay.

We fully appreciate the importance of a vacation at our resort and understand your disappointment at having encountered the difficulties you have outlined. Please be assured that we take comments of this nature extremely seriously, as this is the means by which we are able to amend any possible shortcomings in our vacation package.

Mr. & Mrs. Desroches, we sincerely regret that circumstances which initially necessitated you to write. Clearly there were a number of situations encountered throughout your stay that were not reflective of previous Sandals stay and not reflective the true Sandals Resorts hospitality, I have since met with the relevant managers who has assured me that other guests will not encounter the same.

It is our sincere pleasure to extend to you our goodwill gesture of two (2) credit nights, a voucher will be sent to you under separate cover (restrictions apply).

Is a two-night voucher and an apology enough compensation for what happened to the Desroches? They don’t think so.

I’m not sure. Did they get the “all inclusive” vacation they hoped for? Without a question, no. There were many service lapses. Should Sandals have to offer them a new vacation? I’ve seen do-overs in the past, but they’re rare.

I’m much more concerned with the way in which Sandals appears to have handled this couple’s initial grievance. By their account, no one took their issues seriously until the very end. That’s troubling.

If I bring this case to Sandals’ attention, it might result in a few extra days’ compensation. But something tells me the root of the service problems that led to this complaint will remain unaddressed.

Should I mediate Camille Desroches' case with Sandals?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underwritten by

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

With nearly 20 years in the industry, over 128 airport covered in the U.S. and Canada, and over 1,000 Hotel and Parking Partners-we provide travelers the best options on how to get to the airport when flying. Whether you want to; drive yourself and park near an Airport (Airport Parking), stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel and leave your car (Hotel and Parking Package), or take a shared Shuttle/Private Car/Limo to the Airport- we got you covered. The best deals can be found online, and booking a reservation has never been easier. You can explore all of our options by visiting us at,,, and

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Cavalry Travel Insurance

Cavalry takes the worry of out travel by providing 24/7 access to medical and security professionals combined with the best medical evacuation and security extraction services. Cavalry gets you home safely when you need it most. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Seven Corners

Seven Corners has helped customers all over the world with travel difficulties, big and small. As one of the few remaining privately owned travel insurance companies, Seven Corners provides insurance plans and 24/7 travel assistance services to more than a million people each year. Because we’re privately held, we can focus on the customer without the constraints that larger companies have. Visit Seven Corners to learn more.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by

Since its inception over three decades ago, G1G has continued to revolutionize the travel insurance industry by being the only aggregator to operate a customer portal, placing all of the user's primary needs in one place. We have continued to innovate and disrupt the market by reimagining the way travel insurance can be delivered to the end user in ways no competition can. Simply put, no one knows the market as well as its founders and no one else shares G1G values and mission.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight

Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.

Send this to a friend