Travel Journal: A Day at Sandals Dunn’s River

Written by: Stephanie on November 06, 2023

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We arrived at Sandals Dunn’s River yesterday afternoon after cold drinks and snacks in the Sandals lounge and a relaxing transfer ride from MBJ. Our check in process was simple because we could take care of it right from our room. We were sleepy from an early start to the day, but we enjoyed a peaceful dinner at Banyu before turning in early for a long soak in our tub and an early bedtime. 

This morning we kicked off our first full day of vacation! 

Waking up late felt incredible. (I turned off my 5:30am alarm!) I don’t have to clock in for work. There are no chores or errands on my to-do list. I grabbed the book I started on the plane and wandered over to Blum for coffee and pastry. The smell inside the cafe is incredible, and the staff prepared the most amazing iced coffee I have ever tasted. I sat outside listening to the birds, reading a book, and sipping my coffee. I think this might be the perfect start to the day. 

Breakfast was at Saltaire, the breezy and relaxing buffet restaurant. Since I didn’t have to cook, we loved trying little bits of everything: bright tropical fruits, toast slathered with peanut butter, an omelet made to order, crisp bacon, and more amazing coffee. I can already tell I will be dreaming about this coffee when we return home.

The lure of the ocean views at the main pool was strong, but after breakfast we decided to take advantage of the pool just outside our door and enjoy the seclusion. Our room, the Coyoba Sky Villa Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary, is…WOW. They might have to drag us out of here. We have a soaking tub and mini bar with seating area on the roof! There is also a telescope for stargazing, so we plan on geeking out with that a lot during this trip. 

photos courtesy of Sandals Resorts

After a couple of hours of lounging we were ready to eat again. There are several restaurants that are open for lunch, but we returned to the buffet because it featured Jamaican dishes today. We will definitely try out The Jerk Shack, Galene Seaside Grill, and Pizzeria Isola this week too! I saw steaming pans of rice and peas, escovitch fish, and jerk pork. The chef kindly prepared a special vegan meal for me: a chickpea dish with greens and roasted sweet potatoes on the side.  

With a full belly, I took a quick power nap in our room and walked to Red Lane Spa for my Lavender Massage, which our butler booked for me this morning. I zoned out for an hour, and the relaxation was much welcomed after our long travel day yesterday. I loved the massage so much I’m planning to book a Pineapple-Papaya Salt Mousse body treatment later this week! 

We couldn’t choose what we wanted for dinner tonight – it was between sushi at Hanami or Greek at Edessa, and we ended up at Edessa. (Sushi tomorrow?) It was delicious, and we might need to go back! This restaurant also serves breakfast, which might be nice since it overlooks the sea. And oh my goodness, the water is so blue here!

The resort has themed nights every evening, and tonight was a beach party with a Steel Pan Orchestra. I am so glad this was our first night. The Caribbean sounds were the perfect end to our first day enjoying the resort! This week we will also have a retro night, a live “circus” with acrobatic performances, and a silent headphone party. 

We finished our evening at Dunn’s Rum Club, where Appleton Estate rum is served and featured across pages of creative drinks in the menu. We ordered the Caribeño (dry gin, rums, fresh coconut water, lime juice) and the Have a Buck (house-spiced bourbon, ginger beer, lime juice, simple syrup). These might have been two of the most deliciously crafted drinks we have ever tasted. We will be returning, for sure!

We didn’t use it tonight, but a fun perk of our room is the telescope on our terrace and a stargazing concierge who will spend time with us using it! We’re such space lovers, and this special touch really makes our vacation extra magical. We’ll be scheduling some astronomy fun this week.

It’s going to be hard to top day one of vacation, but we have six more days to try! I can already tell that this will be one of those vacations we talk about forever. 

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