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“2nd Sandals Royal Caribbean review” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“2nd Sandals Royal Caribbean review”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

This is our 2nd review of Sandals Royal Caribbean the first review was about 6 years ago
We are return guests with Sandals. We began our Sandals adventure back in 2004 and since then we have been loyal to Sandals.Why? because they are the best at what they do...
The Royal Caribbean is our favorite in Jamaica. From the minute you get to there hospitality room at the airport you feel welcome and well taken care of .The ride is about ten minute's from Sangster airport wich gets you in vacation mode quicker than other reserts. Upon arriving at the Royal you are greeted by a long well manicured driveway that leads into a large open porter coche receiving area. Your bags are sorted and you are lead to a sitting area, offered fresh cool towels and your choice of cold beverage. There you do you check in paperwork .From this point you are usually shown your room if ready, and if not you are shown the property. The resort has become even more refined than we thought possible. From the new swim up suites right down to the pizzaria it is truly beautiful. The butler swim up and or out suittes are top shelf. they have big comfortable rooms leading out to your entry into the pool. these are real nice. the second floor suittes have a side stairway leading down to the river pool. Both Ellis and Hughill two Butlers are more than accomodating and both have a great demeaner and easy laugh. We stayed in the Caenarvon block wich is out near the entry of the resort. This block of rooms is actually our favorite location.easy to get to and from ,close to everything but secluded and quiet with a nice size pool and hot tub in front of the rooms.The Arundel block abutts this area and is also a nice location of rooms.This area doesnt give a view of ocean but it does have great gardens and lots of flowering shrubs etc.[There are a few Peackocks strutting around and they make a lot of noise but you get used to them.] If a ocean view is what you want there are several locations to choose from. I.M.O. the best rooms for this are in the Balmoral building rooms 103 thru 110 and also the second floor above them. you are right there. full ocean and easy access to the beach. The other rooms in this block are facing the pool and some face the gardens. The Windsor building is also a full ocean view building. Any floor gives you total ocean views. This building has the volleyball net in front of it,It has a nice beach area as well as around the corner is the watersports area and shuttle point to and from the island and Thai restaurant. It is also perhaps in the centerpoint of the resort and most of the activity's. i.e. main swim up pool is close, as is the nightly entertainment, beach bar and beach restaurant.The Kensington building is a two story ''L'' shaped building that has ocean and pool views.It is situated across from the Balmoral bldg. With a pool and hot tub area between them.It is a fairly quiet area and a great place to doze off or read a good book. Or catch that savage tan.This building is about the furthest from the entry area but is well appointed. The Glamis and Edinburgh buildings are near the river suittes. These two buildings have real deep sitting areas and seem to be real nice. They have a limited view of the ocean but mainly they have a well manicured lawn area with lots of flowering shrubs and palm trees swaying about. they look to be cool and inviting.The beach bar and beach restaurant have undergone lots of changes, all for the better. The service here is waiter/waitress and your tables are clean and mostly shaded. The food is very good. and the service is even better. If you want to sit at the bar it's always an exciting time. There's usually at least four bartenders mixing and creating various favorite cocktails and frozen creations. Verna is the steady ''Mom type'' bartender thats been there since we began. Say hello to Verna. The new Pizzeria is right here also. This pizza was so good that i had a hard time not ordering it even though we had already eaten. try the pepperoni with feta.awesome..The bathrooms are behind the beachbar area and these are clean and well cared for. The main swim up pool is here as well. This pool isn't real large, but it seems to work year after year, There is always daily events to enjoy around the pool deck area as either participant or spectator. I have laughed so hard at some of the antics that i had to walk away and have a drink.The "playmakers'' work this area and do a great job of keeping things lively.This pool also has a volleyball game daily at three p.m. These games are a blast to play in or to simply watch The swim up bar was being repaired while we were there so they had another set up right next to it and this was no problem.Albert the most stoic of all bartenders was manning this station. He has been here at Sandals for a long time and you rarely catch a smile from him but when he does its true and warm.He had a few new bartenders working with him,Both Jagan and Cleaveland were really great, fast, attentitive and neat in appearance. They had your drink ready almost before you were ready.Nevill and Jeffries had this pool and deck area neat and well stocked with clean towels. The island is about a two minute boat shuttle ride that starts around breakfast and runs till 5pm after that the island is used for the Thai restaurant wich is very good. You will need long pants and closed toe shoes for men and dress,blouse etc for woman. The shuttle runs for this during dinner hours and the island pool and bar are closed. The island has gone under many changes. it has become a popular place to be. There is a nice beach area facing the resort. This beach has many recliners for any guest's to use and three Cabannas to rent. Or, if you have butler service you can reserve them. The cost for a full day with these three sided cabannas are $125 a day u.s. They have what appears to be a large oversized bed with lots of big pillows. With three side's enclosed by billowy linen's and the fourth side is open and faces the ocean. They are a real nice place to be with your lover relaxxin away the day. The swim up pool bar is behind them. This pool isn't real large but it has shade, as well as full sun.Owen the bartender is real nice. easy going and quick with a drink. The always talked about 'clothing optional' beach area is there also. This area has a breakwater retaining wall surrounding it. There's a opening that allows easy access into the warm blue water. There is about a fifteen foot wide area that is cresent shaped along this wall. This area has a well packed sandy base and there are numerous recliners and oversized adirondack chairs with palapallas and a few hammocks to enjoy. There were more nude bathers here this trip than in past times.There is absolutely no apprehension here. If you want to go naked than go naked. If not then fine . We met and talked with lots of clothed and non clothed guest's here during our stay and none felt at all out of place. So get out there and enjoy this little beach area . This beach area isnt really a large space but theres actually good snorkelling here .Lots of yellow tail fishes,puffers, lionfish, crabs and urchins to see.The island serves a daily lunch buffet that runs from noonish to two thirty.There are fresh salads,breads, jerk pork, jerk chicken,escovitched fish, rice and peas,sauteed fresh veggies.etc. We enjoyed this buffet the most. It was always excellent.Enjoy it under one of many tables in the shade. Or carry it to the bar and get a fresh cold redstripe. The hellfire jerk sauce is my favorite.Fresh scotch bonnets,vineger and astt. peppers all creating a robust fire and flavour. Yummm.. Georgia was waitressing here .she has been a Sandals regular for 6-7 years and we always enjoy seeing her again. There are clean bathrooms on the island as well.They all have hot and cold water and sanitizer for your safety and convenience. Now for the food...My wife and I have been in the food service business for over 20 years. We live in a touristy area that caters to a crowd that is used to gourmet style dining. We must say that The food at this Sandals is above and beyond our expectation's.. The daily breakfast buffet becomes a bit repetitive if your there for more than a week. however it is always well stocked.clean and good. You would get your plate,pick out your breakfast items, fresh fruits, omellete station,Bacon, sausages, fresh Jamaican items, fresh juices,pastrys, bagels, english muffins, salmon, capers etc. If you dont see what you would like ask Delroy for some assitance he was very helpfull getting my wife her daily grapefruit fix. When you were ready to be seated you would head out to the The Regency dining hall.The Regency is an expansive dining hall.very elegant, it has 18 double french doors leading out to a large half circular open deck with lots of tables. These tables overlook the ocean and face north towards the island. We love it there, sipping blue mountain coffe and enjoying breakfast together while planning all we arent going to do that day.priceless..We ate dinner at the Jardiner restaurant for my wifes birthday. It was the best meal we had in a long time. The scallop appetizer along with the esgargo was superb. I had the lamb chops and my wife had the fillet done au poive style. we were both amazed at how wonderfull it was. We booked another dinner the next morning for the same restaurant and it was also amazing. This time it was the Duck and again the fillet . perfect. We didn't get to any other restaurants after that .with the exception of eating twice at the Crickateers restaurant. Set up as a Brittish style pub we enjoyed the cold guiness {my choice] and had bangers and mash, a pulled pork dinner and a simple cheeseburger with bleu cheese. they were all as good as we could want. The bartenders were cordial, service was great and we laughed and enjoyed the vibe of the pub. The evening entertainment was good we heard the amazing ''silverbird steel pan band'' ,a flute player,a baritone singer as well as corny newly wed games. and several other entertainers.It seemed that everyone around us was enjoyong themselves. under the stars.Well everygood thing has to end eventually so we packed up said our goodbyes to our old friends and have since come home. dont tell my wife but were going back next April.. if i can be of help assisting you in any way feel free to pm me and i will respond. all in all we had a great great time . Sandals is only as good as there employees.And the Jamaican people are the best at making you feel at home. So go as soon as you can. peace xx sjj

Room Tip: Get there as soon as you can you deserve it...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Nekoosa, Wisconsin, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We just come back from our stay at this Sandals property. As usual with Sandals we were not in the least disappointed with the experience. From the moment we arrived at the airport and relaxed for a bit at their lounge, till the moment we were bid farewell, we have nothing but praise for this resort, specially (as many others noted) to their wonderful staff.
The "no problem man", is what you get. They go out of their way to please you, and with smiles....
This was our first experience using the butler service, and our deepest gratitude goes to Ellis and Hughill, that made our trip, much more enjoyable, perfect in every way! The reservations for dinner, the surprises left at our room, our favorite spots at the beach and pool ready every morning... even arranging a whole lunch with conch dishes, not available in the menu for being out of season. We had a swim up suite at the bottom floor of the Buckingham building, the best of the three sections of the Crystal lagoon (in my opinion), far enough from the noise to make it a perfect spot for relaxation.
So yes, fantastic for us, now my advice to others reading about terrible time and ruined vacations.
Please do your homework! Yes... read the description of the rooms, location and amenities, be aware that planes flight over, not often and not at night... may be 6/7 a day for 15, 20 sec of noise. If planes flying over would ruin your vacation, then do not book a resort next to an airport.
Poor nightly entertainment? It's resort staff and local attractions, if you want to see Celine Dion , go to Vegas!
Rooms and service, why you complain not to be treated the same or having top notch rooms, if you do NOT pay for them? Do you complain that first class passengers on a plane are treated better than you flying economy? Book a cheap room, hoping to be upgraded to get there and not happening, must be reason to "complain", not to have alcohol in your room, even if equipped with a full bar, did you pay for concierge or butler service, that includes the service?

It honestly bothers me the negative reviews, that people leave about their "disappointment", when it's clear it was their own fault (lack of research). Also they seem to be some travelers never happy (based on other of their reviews). So pay attention to the the happy ones and ignore the negatives, but keep on mind that of course at times things happen, that could affect your own experience, but I trust the Sandals staff to do all on their power to help correct it, nothing is perfect in life, but the Royal Caribbean and their staff, are at a 99%! Enjoy!

Room Tip: Swim up suites at the Buckingham, best location for relaxation and privacy.
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  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

This was our first experience with Sandals/All Inclusive Resorts and we were blown away with the service and food. It was one week in paradise and a complete escape from the daily stresses of life. The hospitality was like none other. Stefan (Watersports), Adrian and Dominique (Mariner Beach Bar), Big Bird (Cricketer's Pub), and Dora (Activities) always called us by name and made us feel welcomed and special. The food was also fantastic. My favorite meal being the Carribean lunch buffet on the Island. The Jerk Chicken was outstanding, one of the best meals I have ever had. Also for a snack the Mariner Beach Bar had great Carribean Meat Patties. My favorite activity was going sailing on the Hobie Cat. Stefan in Watersports took us out a few times and also taught us how to sail it. He also took us out to the reef for a snorkeling adventure. Also the weather was great, warm and sunny with no rain or bugs (March 16-22). I would definitely recommend this to any couple looking to kick back, relax and unplug from the grind.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the SRC in Montego Bay for 7 days in March. As at other Sandals everything was top notch. The staff, as others have mentioned, were amazing; they were everywhere, asking if we needed anything, they always had a smile for all of us. Nothing was too much for them. The resort grounds are extremely well kept and beautiful. The food was varied every day, every meal even the breakfast and lunch buffets. The evening restaurants were lovely sit down meals with exceptional service and options. We stayed in an Ocean/East pool view Concierge room in the Kensington Bldg. where it was much quieter than other bldgs. Our room was well supplied and always clean. We highly recommend Sandals Royal Caribbean and have high praise for the staff and management. We came back refreshed in body and spirit.

Room Tip: Ask before booking your room if it is in the preferred wedding sites. Many weddings are held here o...
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  • Stayed March 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
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

My fiancé and I just returned from our honeymoon at Sandals Royal Caribbean and we could not be more satisfied with our experience. Everything about the resort was excellent but what really makes us want to go back again is the amazing staff. A special thank you to Cleaveland, Linval, Donovan and Lanise. Our cabana agent Nicole was amazing as well. She made our day at the cabana incredible. We will definitely be returning to Sandals Royal Caribbean.

  • Stayed April 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.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

I don't know where to start. We had an amazing time. Incredible beach, people, food, you name it. Have to send a shout out to a few people that made our trip the best. Riccardo at the buffet breakfast omelet bar made the best omelets and started the day off right with a smile for everyone. Christopher worked late night at the beach grill and always had a warm smile and great service. Cleveland took care of us on the beach, serving us drinks and even bringing us lunch (6 of us)! He was like our own private butler. Thank you Cleveland!! Also, the entertainment staff was wonderful and always kept the party going late night. We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Sudbury. Ontario
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

... a stout pair of ear plugs or noise reduction ear phones.
What you do not need is an alarm clock because the passanger jets from the nearby Manley airport begin crossing over the resort from 7:00 am until 9:30 pm.
In between flights you have enthusiastic play makers screaming into the PA system trying to arouse interest in beach volleyball or pool aerobics or such other activities that few guests seemed to be interested in.
In the evening you get entertainment that cranks the volume up to number nine, possibly in hopes of hiding the quality of their talent. But you do get the rebel yells from the men and the screaming of the women like 12 year old tweenies at the entertainers.
The popular exhortations of the day seem to be, "Show some love", "Give it up one more time", "I can't hear you", "If you want some more, shout, 'Yah Mon".
One of the highlights for us was the Manager's Cocktail Party which featured entertainment by local youth bands sponsored by Sandals. Unfortunalely these performances were spoiled by an MC who kept screaming into the microphone during the entire performances to "Show some love", and "Give it up one more time," as if the audience were too dense to know when to applaud.
Fortunately for us we had two of the most attentive and caring butlers, Jason and Khalil, who seemed to anticipate our needs and basically made our vacation bearable.
As a piece of advice, if you are seeking a venue to relax and let the cares and problems of the world wash away in the tropical Carribean breezes, do NOT choose Sandals Royal Carribean.
If you want a holiday filled with uncontrolled noise and merriment, SRC is the place.
As a note on the food; it never arrives at the table hot. I had one hot meal in the "Cricketers Pub" in the two weeks at the resort. Luke warm escargots, baked oysters on the half shell or french onion soup are not very appetizing.
One comment about sleep quality, (after the evening entertainment), the mattress on the king sized bed was six inches smaller than the box spring frame, so that the pillow kept disappearing into the crack at the head of the bed and you developed nasty bruises trying to climb in and out over the railing. Jennifer, our fantastic maid, solved this problem for the final few days by ordering a step stool for climbing in and out.
Whatever, bring your camera and lots of film or digital memory because the gardens and surrounding area is VERY picturesque.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Family 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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