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“Feb 19-26 2013. The best vacation spot.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay 167, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Feb 19-26 2013. The best vacation spot.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Where to start, besides being close to airport and in he flight path, you will block out he planes and they aren't going 24 hrs.The resort is quiet, well maintained and welcoming from the time you enter paradise and that rum punch with a cool damp lemon smelling towel to cool down . All the staff are great, friendly, smiling, willing to help even if its not their area responsibility. Always a hello, how are you and the response is "irie mon".Beaches are clean, maintained no glasses or trash around. Chairs set out with towels on them, and there was never a struggle to get one. Water is absolutely beautiful n warm, never once was in the pool.The Sandal island that offers both a beach for regular sun blathers and a clothing optional section plus a Thai restaurant (reservations) food was great. Tokyo Joes (reservations) restaurant in Mo Bay sandals, transportation provided to n from, was also very good. The food at the Royal is out of his world, fresh, tasty, well done to the staff. The mariners grill open till 3am can get a burger, hot dogs fries n selection of sandwiches, nice. The regency offers a sit down menu and where you eat your buffet breakfast also good selection. The drinks, well what can we say yes you can taste the alcohol no watering down here and yes it is premium liquor and bar is open till 2am. Drinks well there is 4th July colourful n tasty, Jamaican smile looks like a strawberry shake with taste of banana, mmm, strawberry daiquiri, purple rain and a Long Island ice tea wow all alcohol with a splash of cola for colour. There is no free wi-fi, cost is 1 day 14.95 or a week for 42.99. No tipping, please compliment them and as they do work hard at making yours and mine vacation the best experience. The nightly entertainment is good the staff do a great job and funny omg, Ritchie rich, Theodore, to name a few get you into it and make it fun. Beach party with limbo and fire entertainment, silver birds (steel drum group) wow they are amazing and the Reggie singer they have he is wicked and just draws you in, absolutely loved it!!! I can't say enough you won't be disappointed at all. There are vendors that come on the property to sell items if your interested, and no is allowed to just come on the property and bother you. All in all a super great vacation spot.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Honesdale, Pennsylvania
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Just returned from this resort. The staff absolutely make this resort. From Ricardo's omelette's to the entire Entertainmate crew. Storm, Richie Rich, Hollywood, Chico and Theodore keep you entertained all day, and night long. From activities on the beach to the incredible shows, they get you involved in a wide variety of activities, without being "pushy". They are all incredibly talented and know just how to keep guests entertained. I must say Tracey Ann and Corey are two of the biggest assets this resort has. They "go" all day long, making sure guests are taken care of while relaxing on this beautiful beach, and they do it with a smile. Tracey's beautiful smile can be seen all the way from the states. My wife and I can't wait to see these people again soon. They'te terrific. I do have to add the resort needs some updating. The buffet is limited, but the outstanding restaraunts make up for it.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

There are just not enough good things I can say about this resort and Sandals in general. I will try my best though. The activities, playmakers/entertainment staff, general staff, and amazing food make this a place you want to visit again and again.

My husband and I had a 4-day weekend off from school, and this is exactly where we wanted to spend it. For those of you going soon, Friday night is beach night - work on your limbo in advance! The food is amazing, but the line can get lengthy, so go early (starts at 6:30). Saturday was Reggae Fest night, Sunday Jamaica night (GREAT CULTURAL DANCE PERFORMANCE), and Monday was White Night (we didn't get to stay for this - we left around 2pm, but the decorations on the almond Terrace were already switched out and fantastic! It is that attention to those details -- different wraps and lights and "props" on the trees/stage at the Almond Terrace and around the resort-- that make this resort really remarkable)!

Besides the awesomeness of getting away from snow storm after snow storm in the states, this is the most beautiful time of year to visit. It is warm without being offensively hot (and there were days in July/August during our past visits that really were - good thing there are many pools and slushy drinks at all Sandals locations!) Truly, if you can get away during Feb/March, do it!

There has been quite a bit of staff turnover since our last visit in August, 2011, but some of it is really quite for the better. The GM (Louis Grant) is still the GM, and HE IS THE MAN! He is omnipresent at the resort. He oversees it all. He welcomes guests, wishes them well at departure, visits the island each day, checks on the food, checks on the rooms, talks to anyone who smiles and says hi. He is incredible (and possibly a machine!). He makes me aspire to be a better manager.

The playmakers are F-U-N! Theo and Lady Storm and Crazy man, Chico, and HOLLYWOOD were there to get you involved and make you do the crazy things you would do only after many Jamaican Smiles or Purple Rains (try those two if you like sweet drinks!). Micah at Cricketers is the Master Mixer. He was so much fun while we waited for karaoke to start. Albert and Jagan also rock the beverage service at the main pool bar!

The front desk staff were fantastic with both a room change and a lost-and-found situation. We were given one heck of an upgrade - possibly because we were returners, but if we hadn't been uber-loyal Sandals customers before that, we sure as heck are now! Big kudos and huge thanks to Rayo and the whole front-desk team!

I also have to point out Pheonia, Andrei, and Melessia at Le Jardinier - WOW! What service and wonderful conversation we had with them. And the food: out-of-this-world. I know reservations are hard to get - trust me, it is worth it to get in at some point during your stay. The escargot alone is worth the price of admission (which is free as it is all-inclusive, right?!), but the filet, butter-poached shrimp, onion soup, and delectable crème brulee are just divine.

A food "to do:" have breakfast at The Cricketer's one morning. We LOVE the buffet and especially the omelets to order, but we learned at Negril last year (through a tripadvisor's tip), there are FABULOUS breakfast options at the dine-in restaurants. So check it out - the Eggs Benedict with Salmon, the open-faced omelets, and the Chunky banana French toast are worth checking it out!

My disappointments are few. You do need to get up early to reserve chairs at the pool or on the beach if you don't have butler service, but you will likely be up early anyway (and so will the rest of the resort)....just wait 'til I get to the peacock. The guy who machetes off the top of the whole coconut and pours in the rum wasn't there for the beach party this go...those are VERY tasty if he is there when you visit! And then there is the PEACOCK. UGH! The blasted thing "honks" and "caws" and just makes TREMENDOUS amounts of noise at 6:30 am. EVERY MORNING. He was directly outside (behind) the swim-up-suites each morning sitting atop the Wedding building making extreme amounts of noise. For hours. And hours. So, okay, Sandals, I am all for the environment and nature and yadda yadda, but I am saying it is a darn good thing peacocks are pretty because otherwise they would be extinct. They are just plain evil sounding. I am not sure what, if anything, you can do about this (perhaps a good peacock soup?! just kidding), but it is literally the only thing that makes me think twice about a third visit. (But there is likely nothing will keep me away...you are just SO good at making everything Irie, mon!)

I will also say that having started in a "lower room category" and being upgraded to a SUPERB room (similar to the one we stayed at on our first visit), you get what you pay for. Lessons learned: 1 - Once you have had butler service, you really will not want to be without it. It’s not the end of the world for a short stay, but I did miss having my seats reserved for me and drinks occasionally brought my way (and reservations made for me and the butler-drawn hot tubs…the “perks” you get with butler service). 2 - Always ask if a room upgrade is available; it can't hurt to ask, and the worst they can say is no. 3 - Don't underestimate the power of Sandals' Customer Service: it is unsurpassed. Ask. Whatever it is. Ask. (I could not believe they found and had the "legs" to my cargo pants for the ride home three days after I arrived and left them at the beach grill! But I went to the desk and asked, and sure enough...there they were!) The staff LIVES to make you happy and your stay extraordinary. Don't be afraid to ask for anything. If something - anything - doesn't meet your expectations, say something to someone, and if it is within their power (and not totally outlandish), they will work to make it better or fix it. They are THAT serious about their service and their customers.

I didn’t even mention that you can stay at this resort and travel to the other two in Montego Bay. We didn’t have time this visit, but next time, for sure! So book today, and when you land at the airport, let all your cares float away because while you are a guest at Sandals Royal Caribbean, there truly are no worries, mon!

Room Tip: you get what you pay for....
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

This trip was the best it could be by the finer staff at your facility. A few stand out as above and beyond expectations. Adrian Peterson was fantastic at his job and I now call him a friend. He even attended my nieces wedding on his own time. He is awesome. Valentie went over and above to make sure my mother in law was safe and had a good time while snorkling. She was scared and he stayed with her and calmed her fears so she had a great time in the water. Your entertainment staff, Hollywood, Storm Chico, Richie Rich, went over board to make sure we had a great time. They genuinely cared for us and my daughters and family. I know I'm forgetting someone and I'm sorry if I did! We will be back to Sandals Royal Caribbean as soon as we can! Thank You! Jeff Sorensen and Family

Room Tip: poolside or beachfront
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
1 review
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We have visited many all inclusive resorts all over the world and this one is by far the worst we have ever encountered. In November we were in Mexico at an Excellence resort, and it was absolutely fantastic, but this experience at SRCR was at the other extreme. The staff were all willing and very friendly, but the lack of management meant that dining in the restaurants was a very long drawn out procedure due to the erratic service. The food was just about adequate in the buffet, but the "gourmet" restaurants simply beggar belief, and any of them would only last a week on any UK high street as a commercial venture. The resort generally is shabby and the older rooms a really showing signs of many years wear and tear, with poor maintenance. The entertainment provided is reminiscent of 1950's holiday camps and appears to be pitched at people with a mental age of 16. Very few umbrellas on the small beach, but those that are there are booked early in the morning by the resort "butlers", to the detriment of the other guests. These "butlers" also pre-book the restaurants so again, availability is limited. Sandals also boast about staying at one and playing at three, which in concept is good, but why do they stop the buses running at 1pm and 8pm? A truly customer focussed company would provide a continuous service, Premium international brand spirits are available, but not in the bedrooms like competitors, and in the bars, the barmen always default to the cheap under-the-counter brands. Internet costs $60 a week. All in all, Sandals are delivering a 2 star product while masquerading behind promises of 5 star luxury, which is never delivered.
Therefore, if you are planning a luxury holiday in the Caribbean, then steer well clear of this place and look for better value elsewhere.

Room Tip: Choose a room in another all-inclusive resort
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property. We strive to keep the highest standard of quality and service and we deeply regret if we did not quite live up to your expectations.

We are grateful for all feedback, as it allows us the opportunity to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, your comments have been passed on to the General Manager for immediate evaluation and action as needed.

Once again, thank you for your comments. We hope that you will afford us a chance to make things right during a stay that exceeds your expectations in the future.

Happy Travels!

Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Wow - another fabulous holiday at Sandals Royal Caribbean!

Yet again the entire staff could not do enough to make us feel welcome and special.

There are too many names to mention them all but we can try!
Firstly watersports - the whole team work hard to ensure the beaches are pristine and to make all the activities fun and accessible, special thanks to Andrew, Orel and Greg for the enormous fun sailing the Hobie Cats and keeping us entertained. And of course Everton, Neville and Jeffrey for looking after the pools so well.

Food was again amazing, seems to get better every time - we loved the choice and the chance to walk in and eat lobster whenever we liked in the Regency. Recent changes to the Thai were great with staggered reservations and a new menu, French food was amazing as always and the beach grill/pizza/buffet lunch made it a hard choice every day. Once again the staff deserve huge thanks - Ricardo for ever smiling whilst muti-tasking breakfast eggs, omlettes, pancakes, Shelley-Ann, Kian, Odane for their huge smiles and welcomes plus the ever happy chefs on the beach grill. It was great to chat to chef Juan and we do hope he takes up our suggestion of late night curry.

It was also great to catch up and have fun at the bars with Verna, Domique, Andrei, Adrian, Albert, Kevin, Nicola and of course the ever entertaining Big Bird - each one greeted us as long lost friends. The entertainment team again ensured we didnt manage to read any books - and provided an unforgettable night of piano sing-along with the wonderful Hollywood playing and Chico and Theo providing the singing - the "Big Bamboo" is always a higlight. Enjoyed so much the daily tennis clinic and Aquasize - thanks Robin!

The Reading Road Trip is worth doing for the Sandals Foundation and the chance to give something back with the opportunity to interact with the cutest and most energetic kids you will see.

Spa ladies pampered us beautifully as always, our room was spotless thanks to Lily and the returning guests' dinners were as fantastic as ever.

Finally thanks to the managers for making sure we were fussed over on our birthdays and that everything was fantastic start to finish - Okley, Tashawn, Devon, Horace, and Dwight to name a few and of course Louis Grant ever present and tirelessly presiding over all.

Fabulous, thank you and we will be back!

OK, so that's the thanks to all the people who have become friends on our visits to SRC. Here are some comments to give a flavour to those who haven't been before.

The charm of Sandals Royal Caribbean is that it is a small, intimate resort. So not massive beaches or pools, but you can expect to get to know people; the staff will get to know you very quickly and you can expect exceptional service. There is a good selection of restaurants for every meal - five at night (French, Caribbean, Thai, International and an English -style Pub). Only the French and Thai require reservations. When we were there the hotel was at full occupancy, but we had no difficulty getting reservations a day or so in advance. Don't imagine you will be expected to eat dinner buffet style - all the restaurants serve from a la carte menus - yes you can walk in without a reservation and have lobster! The resort has two nights a week with themed buffets (restaurants are also available on these nights) - these are great fun party nights and offer an excellent selection of high quality food under the stars. The restaurants try to stick quite closely to their themes, so expect to eat several small French courses in the French, authentic Thai in the Thai - you won't get generic restaurant chain food in any of them. Of course you can also use the free shuttles to go and eat (or spend the
whole day) at the nearby Sandals Montego Bay or Carlyle resorts - each with a different atmosphere and a range of restaurants.

Entertainment during the day is based around the main pool and beach area. There's plenty to do, but its not intrusive and there are two other (smaller) pools for those who want peace and quiet. One great feature that I haven't seen at some other all-inclusive resorts is provided by the waitresses delivering drinks throughout the day all over the property (no charge and no tip required). Just a word on tipping; Sandals don't allow their staff to accept tips. I know this is culturally difficult for some guests, but the idea behind it is to create a relaxed atmosphere where no-one is being hustled for money. IMHO this works. Anyway, please be aware that an employee accepting your tip might be risking their job.

Overall, SRC is our kind of resort because of its small size, friendliness, great service and great food. Maybe this will suit you too.....

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Long Island, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Stayed at Sandals Royal Caribbean for a week [Feb 18th-Feb 24th 2013] with my wife. This was our 2nd year in a row at the same resort. And it was better than ever!

This resort is smaller than the Montego Bay Sandals. Montego Bay Sandals is accessible via the Free Shuttle that runs on the hour from Royal Caribbean Sandals, so you do have access to both. We feel,the more "intimate" size of the SRC gives you more opportunities to meet other interesting guests and interact a little closer with the same great staff every day.

Shana [Front Desk] was fabulous in helping getting us settled into resort. She is so cool under pressure and never gets flustered.

And we met some great people while we were there. There was a group of 24 over for a wedding, a great mixture of both younger and older. They were so much fun and couldn't be nicer to both my wife and I. So don't be afraid to stop an share a drink with "strangers", you never know who you will meet!

I have to tell you that the Entertainment Crew [The PlayMakers] are unbelieveable at this resort. Storm, Theodore, Chico, Richie Rich, Hollywood [amongst others]. They are such a great combination of personalities. And they are really talented too. They work tirelessly to create fun games/activities/night entertainment. Their energy is unrivaled and they are a huge reason why we will likely return in the very near future. They are so good, we are worried if we try another Sandals that we will likely miss them too much!

Whilst the Playmakers are in the front lines interacting with the guests, the people behind the scenes are often forgotten. The food is awesome. Everything from Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to Escargot is available. We had no complaints about the food and nor did we hear anyone that had major complaints.

Bartenders do a great job at keeping your glass full, even the very "thirsty" ones. We didn't see any problems in any of the pubs/bars. The Bartenders try their hardest to stay up-to-date, and they do a good job. If you can think of a drink, they can make it!

What can I say. Truth is I don't have any other "Sandals" or other all-inclusive resort experience to compare this too. Fact is maybe I don't need too. The entire "experience" at SRC is immense.

I challenge you to try this resort, and if you think you can find better elsewhere afterwards, then go-ahead, [but remember I warned you!]. Or if after your stay you feel like you have had a better experience elsewhere before [unlikely!], you still won't regret giving this a try.

I've just re-read this, and to clarify I don't work for Sandals, and I have not received any remuneration for this review!! LOL. I'm Simply one very satisfied customer, and I look forward to returning to SRC in the very near future. Yeah 'Mon!!!! Dave & Rachel

Room Tip: Book your DINNER Reservations as soon as you arrive!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

Address: Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay 167, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 5*
Number of rooms: 197
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•7 exquisite dining options, with world-class culinary cuisines.•Only Jamaican resort with a private offshore island, housing an authentic Thai restaurant.•Magnificent, swim-up crystal lagoon suites.•24 hour room service as a part of our concierge service.•English pub offering an authentic pub dining experience.•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row.•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Jamaica
Sandal Royal Caribbean

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