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“January at Royal Caribbean Jamaica” 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 #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“January at Royal Caribbean Jamaica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014 via mobile

We have stayed at sandals but Ocha Rio and the Nigril by far this was as good if not better than both. This resort is a little smaller than most sandals resorts but it's very accommodating. The staff was fantastic the rooms clean we had a perfect room woke up every morning to a view of the ocean. Food was very good would not recommend eating on the island Thia food was not very good. Even though we had one bad night of rain the entertainment was fantastic . Kermit one of the entertainers was over-the-top good he had us laughing the entire vacation we would go back to this resort again and again. If you want a real good meal arrange to have a shuttle to take you to the other sandals resort five minutes away for the Italian meal it's well worth the trip

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
We're delighted to read that you had such a wonderful week with us at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We always want our guests to feel relaxed in our friendly and luxurious atmosphere.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!
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3,763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • 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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New Castle, Indiana
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

My wife and I visited for an anniversary trip from December 7-14, 2013 and stayed in a concierge category room.

AIRPORT Although free, I would likely choose to get a private transfer the next time. As the resort is so close to the airport I am sure that the cost would be negligable and I hated having to wait for the bus to fill and having to stop at Sandals Mobay first. But that's just me.

CHECK-IN: At the concierge level check-in is smooth and fast. Dezreen (sp?) runs an efficient, professional and personable office. Reservations for the restaurants were made at this time. Strings were pulled to get us reservations for restaurants that were technically booked-up.

ROOM: We were at the very end of the resort in the Kensington building and had a second floor corner room. The view from the balcony (which was large enough for 2 chairs and a small end table) was fabulous. The walk-in shower and hot tub were very spacious. A double sink would have been nice if I were to nit-pik. The bed was a bit high and the wooden frame jutted out from the mattress making sitting on the bed to dress or watch TV uncomfortable. It was comfortable for sleep however. The fridge and mini bar were restocked daily. Maid service was discrete, meticulous and timely.

ROOM SERVICE: We only ordered this for breakfast. Trays were delivered timely, but the contents didn't always match up with what was requested on the cards left on the door from the night before. The food was basic and good. My wife is a huge fan of the Blue Mountain coffee. We were able to have a bottle of Baileys delivered through the concierge.

LUNCH: We ate this mostly at the beach grill, Mariners. The selction was adequate and the food above average for grill food. The Bella Napoli pizzas were fabulous and customizable. The service was highlighted by Shareefa (sp?) who was a delightful and attentive waitress. We ate at the Regency buffet once and found it be excellent with a wide variety of fresh and tasty options. The Bamboo shack on the island had excellent jerk chicken with a few other limited offerings.

DINNER: The first night at Eleanors was a bit of a disappointment. The dress code was not enforced and the food was a bit bland. The Royal Thai on the island was fabulous with the chef customizing my entree to make it extra spicy. They do have a cat that wanders through the restaurant which might annoy some people. Le Jardinier had excellent food and service. Unfortunately, we were moved inside because of the weather and lost out on the charm of the alfresco setting.

We went to Sandals Mobay for dinner on 3 occasions. Stewfish on the beach had fresh, well-prepared entrees. The setting was delightful, where you eat off of a picnic table on the sand. They had a musical group walking around and singing that were very good. On the advice of our waitress we requested they sing "Big Bamboo" which was hialrious. They sell CDs and appreciate tips. Tokyo Jo's was our least favorite there. I am not a big fan of going up to the counter and picking out ingredients to be stir-fried. The food was adequate and as expected. Cucina Romana was our favorite. The manager was from Italy and ran a tight ship. When my wife's fish entree was a bit dried out, the waiter promptly and politely allowed her to order a substitute gorgonzolla gnochi which was outstanding.

ALCOHOL: We found the house wines to be very drinkable. Top shelf is readily available, but should be requested by name. You can get a flaming Bob Marley on the island (and in the pub we were told). A tip was expected and deserved when ordering a drink that is not allowed by the management.

SHUTTLE: As others have mentioned. The shuttle between the 3 Sandals properties inconveniently skips the hourly runs between 6 and 8 p.m.. We used a cab once because of this and enjoyed the friendly and knowledgeable driver for a $10 one-way fare to Sandals Mobay.

ISLAND: We spent most every day on the island and rented a cabana for 4 hours most afternoons. Nicole provided exquisette service providing drinks and gnoshes throught the afternoon. She would even make trips to the mainland to get us pizza and onion rings with jerk sauce when requested. The beach was nice with a roped off area allowing one to get about neck high into the water. The nudie side was no more serene than the cabana area and had no true beach area. There are loungers on the sand which is seperated from the water by a waist high stone wall.

BEACHES: Nice variety of smaller beaches from active to peacefull. Not good for long walks obviously. As we are late risers, we occasionally had difficulty finding beach towels. They don't seem to be replaced during the day.

MASSAGE: We had a romantic and relaxing couples massage on the island. Pricey, but reasonable with the spa credit. Worth paying full price for though if needed. My wife had a second one a few days later which helped with her lymphedema. Lois was her favorite masseuse. She was very skilled and knowledgable.

ENTERTAINMENT: We didn't partake in much of this but did enjoy the wine tasting and martini party. Shanique (sp?) was a fun and effervescent hostess.

PLANES: A minisule annoyance at most. We did find them to be less bothersome while visiting at Sandals Mobay however. Although they were louder there, the length of time you could hear them was shorter.

CHECK-OUT: We were graciously accomadated a late check-out time. Process was quick and easy through the concierge lounge, We found Club Mobay to be very hectic, crowded and noisy, but found it worthwhile for the free drinks and childless waiting area.

OVERALL: An excellent choice to have a relaxing and romantic vacation for people like us that prefer to chill while basking in the sun and drinking cocktails. The concierge level allows extra peace of mind by knowing that check-in, check-out and reservations will go smoothly.

TIPS: As others have noted, the restaurants that require reservations are never full. I think that system is in place to limit and control the amount of food consumed at them. We found that we could show up 1-2 hours before our scheduled time and quickly be seated. So if you want dining flexibility like we do, I would recommend that you request a late reservation and just show up earlier if you prefer.

Room Tip: Request a room with a walk-in shower as apparently not all Kensington suites have them.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
We're so happy to read that you had a great vacation with us at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We love to hear our guests boast about their excellent stay and hospitality of our staff. Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure creating such a memorable experience for you for your anniversary.

We can't wait to welcome you back in the near future!
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Painesville, Ohio
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

We celebrated our 10 year anniversary at SRC from December 16-22. From the moment we left customs we were catered to. We entered the Sandals area at the airport (which offered cold drinks and clean private rest rooms) and our bags were taken, tagged, and a private shuttle was arranged to the resort. We had a concierge/club level room so we felt very welcomed at check in. We were offered drinks, cold towels, a tour of the grounds, and showed to our room. We stayed in the Kennsington Bldg which is at the far end of the resort with a small pool and beach for the bldg. This area of the resort was quite, a little more secluded, and offered beautiful views of the water/beach. Although we requested an ocean view, our room on ground level in the corner/middle of the bldg did not offer it as described when making the reservation. We did not complain about this since that particular room seemed to be over sized and updated throughout. We took advantage of the water sports included and tried the glass bottom boat, kayaking, and paddle boarding. We frequently went to the private island to eat, swim, and drink at the bar. The Royal Thai was fabulous, although I can't say the same for the hostess. Our waitress that night was excellent and made up for it. We ate at 7 different restaurants between the 3 resorts and never had a bad meal. The French restaurant on site was our favorite by far. We always had someone asking us if we needed anything or another drink while sitting on the beach or at the pool. This was so nice. The wait was never long at any of the bars if we went and got our own. Our room was always stocked with our favorites (Redstripe for my husband). As for things that are not included: We went on the catamaran cruise and highly recommend it. It was hours of fun snorkeling, dancing, and drinking. You are sure to meet other couples staying at the resort. Ziplinning was amazing! If you are afraid of heights I do not recommend this excursion! Dunns was beautiful but way too commercialized for my liking. Someone made you stop to take pictures every 10 feet then ATTACKED you at the end to buy pictures and other things. I felt this took away from the beauty of it. The Spa is spectacular if you are receiving treatments/ massages on the beach or on the island. The photo shop really got us. They have a couple professional photographers (and they are good) on site and caught some really great shots of us. We even booked a photo shoot and ended up purchasing over $150 worth of photos on a cd. The resort gift shop is small but very nice and the staff is very attentive and polite.
Although all of the resort staff are very pleasant and helpful, I have to give a shout out to Andre and Dezreen in the concierge office. They really went out of their way to make our vacation memorable. They helped with everything from scheduling spa treatments and dinners to making sure our favorites were stocked in the concierge office. Thank you all for a fabulous vacation and we can't wait to return to Sandals!

Room Tip: club/concierge level in the Kennsington bldg. Very private and beautiful. Make sure you specify ocea...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
We're so thrilled to read of your awesome honeymoon at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We strive to meet our motto: Luxury All-Inclusive Vacations for Two People in Love and I'm happy that we were able to do just that during your stay with us. I will be sure to share your comments with our wonderful staff. They will all be so happy to hear your kind mention.

Thank you for your review. We can't wait to welcome you back in the near future for another great vacation!
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014 via mobile

This was a first trip to a sandals Resort and it was great right from the check in to the check out.
The food was great and flavourful.We ate at the Regency, Eleanor's,critters the British Pub, Le Jardiener, Thai and great jerk chicken pizza on the beach.if you have allergies they go above and beyond a special thanks to Dwight who made me my own special dessert.
The bar staff made some great cocktails purple rain, hummingbird.
The entertainment staff were amazing at hosting white night, beach party night, taboo and many other wonderful events.
Piano bar with Chico and Hollywood was a hoot enjoyed free style!!!
Also Nicole you were fun at the pool playing Taboo.
Kermit you are a ball of energy and so warm and friendly. You made us feel like family!!! :)
The resort was great all the staff were all friendly .
Would definitely go back again

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
Thank you for your review of Sandals Royal Caribbean. It's so great to read that you had such a phenomenal visit with us. We always want our guests to have a wonderful time in a comfortable and worry-free environment filled with friendly staff who are eager to serve.

We hope that you will visit us again very soon.
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Huntington, West Virginia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

We overall had a good time, but we would not do it again. Our butlers flo and aida were very nice and helpful. The property is very nice. Our gripes would be that the noise from the planes overhead were much louder then anticipated, the amount of people that smoked and the amount of obnoxious loud people were a bummer. The other places we have been definitely spoiled us, plus this destination costs way more then I think it warrants, very, very overpriced for what you get. We did get a couples massage, although pricey, it was really nice (at the end they tried to sell us several products). The highlight would be renting a cabana on the private island, that was really nice. Our room was really nice with a shower area, oversize whirlpool tub and double sinks. The weather was great, low 80's while at home at WV it was single digits!

Room Tip: I would not stay in the Clarence building, although these rooms are updated to some extent, the nois...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
We're glad to hear that you had a good time overall at our resort but we strive to exceed all of your expectations and offer an amazing stay to our guests. Thank you for your feedback. We look forward to welcoming you to one of our other resorts for a much better stay in the future.
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Nazeing, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Overall I was happy with the hotel, we did have a nice holiday and the staff are extremely friendly and the hotel was clean also. The idea of the offshore island definitely drew me to this hotel.
On arrival we were shown to our room and we were so disappointed. It was dark, there was no balcony and there was a brick wall and bushes directly opposite our front door and only window. To be able to see what kind of a morning it was, we would have to walk round to the stairway and peer over. This was such a disappointment for us. We are normally happy with any view but to not even be able to see the sky was very disheartening. We asked to be moved but they wouldn't accommodate us. This was the main talking point for new arrivals who were situated where we were. When booking this hotel you really must upgrade from the Deluxe. If we had known then we would have. Your also woken at 5.15am every morning with the sound of trolleys going up and down.
The breakfast selection was average, did expect much better, lunch has really good choices and we looked forward to that, the evening food was nice. We tried all the restaurants and there wasn't one that we loved and wanted to go back to so that probably speaks for itself. The buffet is only twice a week in the evening and the selection there was good.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a room that has some kind of daylight and view
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 1, 2014
Thank you for your review. We're glad that you had an enjoyable stay, overall, at our resort. We always strive to create amazing experiences that keep our guests coming back. Therefore, we certainly hope that you will consider visiting us again for a much better stay in the future. We want to exceed your expectations next time.

Happy Travels!
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

Our 5th visit to a Sandals and by far or most disappointing.
Let me start by saying we love Sandals and the Sandals Experience as demonstrated in previous reviews . But when the bar is raised from past experiences and you are paying top dollar for an amazing holiday the key learning ; Sandals delivers a very wide range of amenities and quality of Brand experiences.
Recognizing that there is a DIFFERENCE in the Sandals BRAND from property to property whether that be in Jamaica , St Lucia , Exuma , ETC. Do your research.
The SRC is tired yet quaint, compact yet crowded, there is no beach to to speak of let alone walk on a beach .The airport is very close and the planes taking off are a distraction.
If you have never experienced a Sandals do it , if you have and you have never been to SRC, you may be :as we were; disappointed.
Great new friends , fabulous staffing ..............but that just was not enough for the SRC to deliver on the Brand promise.

Room Tip: Club section worth the upgrade , forget the butler , 3 rd floor Kensington Building .
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 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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