Sandals and Beaches Resorts to Close Due to COVID-19

Sandals Royal Barbados via sandals.com

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – The Caribbean’s leading hotel chain, Sandals Resorts International says it is closing all Sandals and Beaches Resorts for the period March 30 to May 15, 2020, to protect guests and staff against COVID-19.

In a statement, Sandals founder and Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart described the decision as difficult, but said it will use the time to make further enhancements to its resorts, “so that we will continue to surpass your expectations and provide you with the luxury-included vacation you so well deserve”

“Therefore, we will not be able to accept new arrivals as of March 23, 2020. We also want to alleviate any additional worry you might have about your upcoming vacation. Our dedicated team will be reaching out to you personally to assist with rescheduling your future plans. This way, you can spend less time trying to reach us and more time with your loved ones,” Stewart said.

“The Caribbean is resilient. We have always come back better, stronger and more passionate than ever. We promise this time will be no exception,” Stewart added.

“When the time is right, you can trust us to be here, ready to welcome you back with open arms and a warm smile. Soon come back,” he said.

The brand, which operates 19 properties in the Caribbean (10 of which are in Jamaica), are responsible for thousands of jobs, particularly on Jamaica’s north coast. The temporary closure of these and other hotels means that thousands of hospitality workers will possibly be without an income.

Just last week, three RIU Hotel properties in western Jamaica announced their closure due to low visitor arrival. Some 1,000 workers are expected to be left without jobs during the period of closure at the three affected properties: RIU Palace Jamaica, RIU Negril and RIU Montego Bay.

 

45 COMMENTS

  1. I wish Sandals Resort would put something on their website listing what our options are due to Sandals closing the resorts. I want all options, not just that we can re-book. I didn’t cancel my reservation… sandals did. I did pay for Insurance but feel as though I should receive a FULL REFUND, including what I paid for insurance. I’d be more inclined to re-book if they would be more upfront with ALL OPTIONS!

    • I agree. I’m in the same boat. We should Find an attorney to launch a class action lawsuit. They’ve lost before and no judge will ever side with them over this when they decided to close and refuse to give customers their money back. Perfect for a 93A Claim (unfair and deceptive trade practices). Reach out to me if you want to join me.

      • same boat, ill join, we cancelled out trip April 1st for a trip booked May 18th due to this mess.
        we did get back $3500. out of a $7500. trip. no word yet on balance due to us, no replies from Sandals

      • same here, they canceled my trip for late april. I paid almost 10K and they refuse to refund ANY of it. I spoke to several people on phone and they were adamant; no refunds. I feel like they basically stole 10K from me. I think a class action suit is in order

        • Same here. Mid-April trip planned. I booked airfare separately and was fully refunded. Beaches contacted me more than once to re-book. Spoke to a supervisor twice. No Refunds. They quote their cancellation policy, I say I didn’t cancel you closed. They don’t want to hear it. I disputed the credit card charge. Beaches has up to two billing cycles to respond to the dispute. I hope they do the right thing and just not respond. Good luck all. Hopefully I’m posting here in late May with good news.

          • My credit card dispute was resolved and I got all of my money back from Beaches. I hope the rest of you fare as well.

      • I would be interested in joining a class action suit as my family and I were denied a refund from Beaches also despite the resort being closed on our scheduled week. I have tried everything from pleading with their customer service (when able to get them to answer the phone), filing a BBB complaint, filing a FTC complaint, filing a credit card dispute (denied because was paid for months ago and not within 60 days), trip insurance claim and all have failed to get us our money back. At this point, I have nothing to loose and would be happy to share any recovery with an attorney as getting something back is better than nothing which is all we have now. Beaches/Sandals should be ashamed. Their travel vouchers will probably end up being totally worthless because they are very likely to go bankrupt. If there is a class action suit, please post information on how to join.

    • Sandals has done the same to us, like many others. We originally had planned a wedding for May 9th, had to reschedule 3 times. Twice due to the borders being closed in St. Lucia and the resort shutting down. The third time its now because of the airlines not allowing flights into the island till July 7th. We have been nothing but patient and understanding but now the third time with having to reschedule our patience has run dry. Our work schedules are now conflicting and we can not work around the times that are available. Mind you our original rooms (over the water bungalows) are not available for months. We have spoken to multiple “supervisors” but not one “manager” will contact us. They have told us that 0% refund is what the policy is as of now and that we can only reschedule. My Fiance has reached out to a lawyer and they believe we do have a strong case. At this time we are contemplating with submitting a dispute through our banks. I am curious if anyone has successfully submitted a claim? Or spoken to a lawyer?

  2. I hope they call me soon. My airline cancelled my ticket and refunded me. But Sandals has failed to make contact with me.

  3. Sandals-Beaches is not responsive to the customers. I have requested a full refund due the them canceling bucause of the global health crisis. I don’t want to rebook anything for 2021. I have no idea if i will be traveling in 2021. This is robbery.

    • I agree. I’m in the same boat. We should Find an attorney to launch a class action lawsuit. They’ve lost before and no judge will ever side with them over this when they decided to close and refuse to give customers their money back. Perfect for a 93A Claim (unfair and deceptive trade practices). Reach out to me if you want to join me.

  4. I paid for the insurance as well and they cancelled our trip for May 1st. I would like the option to get a full refund if they want me to be a repeat customer in the future.

  5. I have reached out too and my travel agent say we can only rebook . Where in cancellation policy does state when sandals cancels!!!!

    We all deserve a refund!!!!!

    • Dispute the charge with your credit card company, I did after Sandals refused to speak with me regarding my vacation. Sandals is despicable!

      • Were you successful getting money back from the credit card? We are in the dispute process and don’t know what to expect.

  6. I have been vacationing at Sandals for more than 20 years and they ALWAYS make it right. for those of you upset, just be patient and understand how busy they must be after closing all the resorts and laying off most of their staff. Please treat sandals like you would a friend going through a catastrophe.

    • We would if they didn’t price gauge during high demand timing (which they lost a class action lawsuit over). They are stealing money that doesn’t belong to them. I’m a business person who does quite well and I assure you they are going against all ethical and responsible practices. They are suitable for losing a 93 A claim.

  7. A friend ? WTH! Sandals has a notorious rep for not giving up a dime once it’s in their hands !
    The legalese is deep and small !

  8. My advice is to dispute the charge with your credit card company, that’s what I did after Sandals refused to call me directly and told my travel agent my only option was to rebook within a week. How am I supposed to rebook a vacation when I’m currently out of work and have no idea when the restrictions will end? Sandals is despicable, will never visit one of their resorts as a result of this.

  9. We have been to Sandals 8 times and we’re for our 10th. As loyal guests of this resort I feel we are being unfairly. We always book while at the resort. None of this is our fault! What’don’t you understand , this is a PANDEMIC and totally out of our control! How can you rape us and not refund us in a time of world crises? We are quarantined here in Arizona and cannot fly and our 55th Anniversary was going to be spent with you! And…we can’t get our money back? We paid at booking! It’s not about money, it’s about saving lives!!

  10. We have two trips booked to Jamaica and Barbados paid in full. Sandals will not return my call or emails. Started dispute proceedings with my credit card. We have been very loyal costumers for many years. Amazed they can’t return calls or emails.

      • No luck disputing cc charge. USAA denied dispute based on “ lack,of evidence “. I’ve requested a more detailed answer. The bottom line is Sandals Resort cancelled my vacation by closing the resort. Unless there is something in the terms and condition with provisions on how to deal with closing the resort then a refund needs to be issued in a “prompt “ manner rather than dictating vouchers for future travel is the only option available for not delivering goods and services. And if argument is not convincing enough then the Travel Protection claim needs to honored.

    • I agree. I’m in the same boat. We should Find an attorney to launch a class action lawsuit. They’ve lost before and no judge will ever side with them over this when they decided to close and refuse to give customers their money back. Perfect for a 93A Claim (unfair and deceptive trade practices). Reach out to me if you want to join me.

      • same here, they canceled my trip for late april. I paid almost 10K and they refuse to refund ANY of it. I spoke to several people on phone and they were adamant; no refunds. I feel like they basically stole 10K from me. I think a class action suit is in order. I want to join you but dont know how to contact you

  11. We are in the process of disputing our charges for our vacation with our credit card since Sandals/Beaches won;t issue a refund. Instead they keep quoting the Cancellation policy that doesn’t apply. We didn’t cancel, the resort closed. Not one person we have talked with has been able to provide any policy stating there is no refund if the resort closes or cancels. This is a complete SCAM!! Has anyone received a funds back from the credit card dispute?

  12. I have started the dispute process I will let you know how it plays out. As soon as I filed the dispute sandals called me and offered to rebook the over the water suite that we booked for 13,000 dollars for the week in April next year for another 1,000 dollars. I refused. I’ll let you know how the process plays out.

  13. As I read these reviews makes me realize the difference in companies. We had a trip booked in May of this year at a Marriott property. I called Marriott and canceled and was told because I paid in full no refund policy . They called me back the next day and offered me a credit when ever I wish to use it. No problems. Sandals are thieves. Marriott made it easy to do business with them. We will remember this.

  14. After Jamaica closed, we were told our reservation was canceled. Dozens of calls, emails, chats, and hours on the phone
    they still refuse to cancel and refund us. Beaches Ocho Rios rebooked us without our permission and sent us a new bill for $1400! We had paid our trip in full. I have insurance but can’t make a claim because our reservation was not “canceled” when the resort closed only suspended for us to rebook. American airlines gave us a full refund on our non-refundable tickets totalling over $3,500! These people have horrific customer service. We have been several times to Sandals and Beaches resorts and I can tell you I never will again. Anyone had success getting a full refund with the insurance due to Covid and the resort closing?

    • Hi Emily,
      did you book directly with American Airlines or go through Sandals to book your airfare? Our trip is scheduled for June 27th, but we are cancelling. Not taking any chances!

  15. What makes me nervous is that Beaches is For Sale!
    We booked for 7 family members. Beaches cancelled us, not the other way arpund. We also had trip insurance.
    We should at least get our final deposits back. I am ok with them keeping my deposit for our rescheduled trip 2021. They have no right to that money for a year!!
    Shame on them

  16. I cancelled a trip last month for a stay June 10-17. They cancelled my flight, booked by them and today charged my card for a $6000.00 balance!!!

  17. We are in the same situation as most on this chat. We were due to arrive on March 23rd and were forced to “reschedule”. I have called and argued that we did not cancel, therefore the cancellation policy should not apply here. Our trip was paid in full also. They said it is a non-refundable reservation. I just do not agree with them keeping our money for a year, forcing us to vacation there or lose our money. The airlines refunded our tickets fully, why can Beaches not do the same? I am very disappointed with their response. This would have been our 3rd trip to Ocho Rios. Now with college and high school schedules, it is almost impossible to reschedule this kind of trip. We are going to look into filing a claim with the credit card company.

  18. We are pursuing full refund through credit card and filed with the state (CT) attorney general, they have reportedly had success with getting full refunds from cruise lines that had initially only offered rebooking.

  19. We had same issue. Booked for April 2020. beaches cancelled on us due to Covid and will not give us a refund. They only gaev us the option to reschedule for a later date and I do not even know if i can go then. tried to get refund through Credit Card company and no luck. This is total bull shit!

  20. We had cancel any reason insurance, however Beaches closed then rebooked us without our consent. Tripmate insurance will not answer any calls or emails. I’ve emailed about ten times in the last two months and every time I call, I hold for 26 minutes and then they hang up on me. $450 for insurance and they won’t even respond. Emailed the Beaches CEO and they offered to extend us out 3 years to re-book. I just want my money back. I’ll never travel or book with them again. Traveled twice before and now they do this.

    Yes our airline was booked separately through American. That’s why we were lucky to get that all back.

  21. Can we start a class action lawsuit! I want to be a part of it. I was scheduled to go for a trip on April 1st 2020. Resort closed March 15th. I disputed charges with my credit card after getting the run around since March 10th! I had beaches book my air fare as well! They didn’t even get my credit for my airfare. Every time i called the airlines, Air Canada said that they couldn’t help me because a 3rd party booked my ticket! I have a log of how many times i called there and who I talked each and every time. I sent all that documentation to my credit card company. The credit card company disputed the charge and 6 weeks later Beaches recharged my credit card again. I am again trying to dispute the charges. We will see what happens!! I just read that Braches in Turks and Caicos is closing in 2021. So our vouchers won’t be worth anything anyways. So disgusted

  22. We need to start the lawsuit! I booked 2 rooms for my dads 80th birthday celebration in July. The resort was originally supposed to open June 15th. When it changed to July 1 in May I called immediately to find out if we should cancel, since it was more than 30 days out (eligible for 100% refund) I was told by CS that they were definitely opening on July 1, so no need to cancel. I asked if something happened where the date was pushed back again would I still be able to receive a refund and was told YES on a supposedly recorded call. On Friday they announced they would be closed till November. When I called they said I would only be able to receive a 50% refund because now we are less than 30 days out. I explained that I am not cancelling, THEY ARE. Went round and round, and they left it with ‘someone would decide and let me know within 72 hours-‘ obviously no word. I filed a dispute with Amex on Friday- They have until the end of August to counter…. So upsetting!!! Has anyone successfully disputed during COVID with the CC company and won?

    • The charges were reversed by the cc company on 6/12, and Sandals just re-charged me the full amount without my consent on 6/16 for the same arrival date in July.. to a closed resort, on a flight that the airline cancelled… Really?????

  23. Same thing here, they canceled my reservation. I did not, and they wont refund my money. I have been fighting with credit card company for 4 months on this matter, and I am losing (actually lost). There is only so many people that can afford a vacation like this in the first place, and it appears from these comments they have lost a large portion of those customers as of principal. F U Sandals/Beaches!!!

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