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“Loyal to the Royal!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay 167, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #6 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Lancaster, PA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Loyal to the Royal!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

I recently returned from a 3 night stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean. I was there for work and was doing on-site research for Dream Makers Vacation Services. In a nutshell, this is a fabulous resort! and I highly recommend it!
It took about 20 minutes to get through customs at the airport after landing. Then, I came to the Sandals/Beaches lounge and the timing was great. I was ushered straight to my transfer. Within 10 short minutes, we arrived at the resort. The proximity of the resorts allows travelers to make the most of their precious vacation time.
Upon check-in, I was given a warm greeting by Hughill my Butler. If you can afford Butler service, you will not regret it. I also had Ellis as well (with Damion subsituting one night). The warm, attention to detail with Butler Service is second to none. He whisked me off to my room which was Room 127 in the new Clarence Building. It is an end River Suite on the first floor and I loved it. The craftmanship on this room was outstanding. From the gorgeous tiles in the shower to the luxurious bedding, this room was stunning and I never wanted to leave. I needed to do some work on vacation, so spent time on my patio answering e-mails (internet is additional and worked fine!). When I became hot, I would take a few steps into the "River" section of my suite. I enjoyed spending time there. Even though this area is only a few months old, the landscape is lush and gorgeous. My Butlers offered drink service and also brought me my lunch one day (so I would not miss any sun time).
Although I had not had much sleep over the last two days, I decided to have dinner that night at the Thai Restaurant. This is located on their very own private island and reservations are required (do this soon after you check in). You get to take a boat over there and it was really beautiful the night that I went. I had "no problem" getting reservations for this. My meal was great (a mix of things but I really enjoyed the rice, chicken and sauce) and drink service was attentive. It's a lovely, romantic place for dinner! Numerous refurbishments have been made recently to the island and it is a very pleasant place to spend a day. During the afternoon, a lunch buffet is served and they also have cabanas that you can rent for an additional charge.
My room was cleaned before 11:00 am each day which was great, since I was never disturbed later in the day. The room was immaculate. Having a clean room is important to me, so I was very pleased.
On Mondays, they have the Managers Wine and Cheese Party and I decided to attend that. It was impressive how many persons (staff wise) were in attendance for this. The staff here truly has pride in what they do and it shows. After some wine, cheese, appetizers and staff introductions they gave away a few prizes to some very excited guests! After this, the group moved over to the Chef's Challenge which is another relatively new idea at the resort. In summary, the chefs had 4 different culinary stations based on different themes and the guests ate their creations and voted on them. Fun! I stuck to the Asian dishes which were outstanding. I had the pleasure of spending time with the resort Sales Manager, Andrea who is a delight to speak with. She has great vacation knowledge and enthusiasm-hope you get to meet her!
Later I returned to my room for Room Service (a benefit of the Concierge and Butler Categories) and ordered some type of Apple Crisp from the Pub. Delicious! It was so great that I ordered it two nights in a row!
I purchased a Reflexology treatment at the spa. My therapist, Sherna was outstanding and I felt great afterwards. The spa at this resort is small but they have a long list of treatments available and decent pricing, including many outdoor treatments.
The best asset of this resort is its staff. Leadership starts at the top and Iain M. the General Manager is an outstanding leader with creative ideas, excellent taste, and a warm and charming personality. Sandals is fortunate to have him. Rick, the Hotel Manager is constantly talking to guests and never stops moving. The guests love him. Leighton is the Guest Relations Manager and guests just adore him as well. He has a fantastic memory (remembers details from guests who were with him years ago) and is always smiling. Nicky-Ann is the friendly Concierge Manager and to say that she is organized, would be an understatement. I am sure that I am forgetting others but the Royal simply has an outstanding team.
This resort is for anyone who appreciates good food, outstanding service and a friendly atmosphere. It is not for those who want to party until dawn (although there is a lot of fun to be had if one wants some nightlife) but was a perfect fit for me. I am already plotting my return! If you have any specific questions, please ask.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,448 reviews from our community

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  • 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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English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

If you have ever been on a Disney Cruise or stayed at a Disney Resort, Sandals Royal Caribbean is not for you. However, if you have never had the Disney experience, this place may be for you. Ever taken a Carnival Cruise? Loved it?? Then Sandals may meet your expectations. Our trip was our first in 16 years where it was just my wife and I. We found the service to be poor, the accommodations mediocre, and the food awful. Again, we freely admit that Disney has ruined us but you should know that not everything Sandals advertises is true. First of all, you will be charged a luggage handling fee at the "free" transportation to and from the airport. In addition, you will be charged an airport tax when you leave although Sandals advertises as all inclusive. The AC in our room broke and the manager tried to indicate that we had done it via an improper setting. Since when is a setting on a remote improper?? The manager actually expected us to stay in the room until the unit could be fixed the next day. When he finally realized that we were not going to do this, he moved us. We were not offered any renumeration for our time even though I had been trying to get them to fix the unit for hours. Also know that while you are resting on the beach, surfboard vendors will paddle up to you, wake you up, and try to sell you trinkets and illegal substances. The staff security will simply look on. Many of the times and closing days listed on Sandals website are inaccurate. The restaurants seem to be closed quite a bit for a resort thus making reservations very hard to achieve. Your best bet is the beach side grill where the food is superior to anything offered at the restaurants. Do know that if you stay at Sandals Montego Bay, the airport is next door and unless you served on an aircraft carrier, the noise will be an issue. It really depends on your perspective but for us, Sandals Royal Caribbean was a complete waste of money and we would never stay at one of their resorts again. We did the same thing that you are doing, reviewing what others said. For folks whose main activity is drink, this is the place for them. However, for those who have come to expect true customer service, Sandals will be a huge disappointment. Save your money, delay your trip for a few months, and go with Disney.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

My husband and I recently spent a week at the Sandals Royal Caribbean and had a fabulous time! The rooms were clean, spacious and tastefully decorated -we had an awesome beach view- close to the restaurants, pool and entertainment. The buffetts offered a hugh variety of food. Have to find the room to taste everything !!! Restuarants included a Thai, Jamician and French cuisine or you could just enjoy a beer and some beef and yorkshire pudding at the Crickateers Pub. During the day you could swim in the blue caribbean, float in the pool or/and enjoy the great variety of activities ( pool volleyball, beach volleyball, bocce, kayaking, Hobie Cats, horseshoes- just to name a few!! We choose to participate in so many activites -the entertainment staff made sure everyone had a great time- At night there was always a live band, and various shows- something for everyone!! The staff couldnt be friendlier or more helpful - We were espcially fond of Anthony- in entertainment and Roan in photography- GREAT PEOPLE- an asset to this resort- This ws the PERFECT PLACE to help make the PERFECT MEMORIES- WE WILL BE BACK

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia SC
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

Just returned from Sandals Grand Caribbean resort. It was a great place to vacation. Lots of activities (I love to scuba dive and they had their own dive boat right there for 2 tank dives every day). The food was fantastic especially in the French and Thai restaurants. Service and friendliness of the staff was great. Only one minor drawback and that is the proximity to the airport. There was some noise from planes taking off, but it was just a minor issue. We'd go back again

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

We needed a short restful break and booked at Sandals to avoid the kiddies during spring break. This resort was just what the Dr. ordered. The crowd was a mixed bag that proved interesting. We are in our 60's and wanted to avoid the "young party scene". The guests ranged from 60's to 30's.
We received an upgrade upon arrival that put us in a Presidential Suite with a butler. WOW! This was a great experience and we would recommend it to everyone. Our butlers took care of EVERYTHING. Picture this: Arise in the morning and Damien arrives with breakfast. He takes it out to the veranda and puts a white tablecloth on the table sets up whatever you ordered, pours you coffee, places the napkin on your lap and departs leaving you to enjoy. After eating you put on your bathing suit and proceed to the pool. Your chairs have been reserved, towels placed, a cooler between the chairs loaded with fruit juice, beer and water. It's now 11:30AM and Damien arrives with the drink of the day (outstanding but stay away from "between the sheets" if you like walking a straight line). At noon he arrives to take your lunch order for the "Beach Grill". Lunch arrives 20 minutes later. At around 5PM we were back in our room and he arrives with a tray of various cheese, crackers and shrimp cocktail. Our room had a bar stocked with top line liquor so we made our own drinks but our butler would have done that upon request. At lunch he asked us where we would like to dine and made sure we had a table even if the restaurant showed reservations were unavailable. 15 minutes before our requested dinner time Damien would arrive and escort us to our table, get us drinks and make sure we were happy. Returning to our room our bed was turned down and our last night it was a REAL surprise. We opened the door to find candles lit everywhere, a bubble bath drawn and rose petals everywhere. The butlers will do anything you want including packing and unpacking. Save your money and experience the utmost in a vacation for a couple of any age.
We only had 3 nights so did not take any tours. The food was OK but we have had better. If you're looking for a gourmet experience don't bother. We booked another stay for next year with a "BUTLER" in Nassau. Can't wait!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Ma
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

Sandals Royal Caribbean is an amazing resort. We had traveled to the Caribbean a few times to other all-inclusives but this was the best experience yet.

Upon landing in Montego Bay it took us about 90 minutes to get through customs, etc. but then we were greeted by the Sandals reps at their check in section and it was smooth sailing from there. Within 15 minutes we were on the shuttle to the resort with drinks in hand. Bring some small bills to tip at the airport.

When we got to the property, we were greeted by Joseph, an amazingly friendly bell-hop, for lack of a better description. He grouped us with a few other folks and sat us in a nice seating area while we were all "processed". At the time I remember thinking this was somewhat of a waste of time and I would have rather gone straight to the front desk myself to check in, but looking back it wasn't so bad. It took about 30 minutes to eventually get to our room, and from there everything was just perfect.

The resort is gorgeous and filled with meandering paths through beautiful flora and landscaping. There are many sections of the resort that makes it feel like a hideaway. Endless comfortable seating areas to just relax and enjoy doing nothing.

The main pool area is great and there was a gentleman there named Neville who took care of us every day. We had great lounge chairs and towels provided to us, while we soaked up the drinks at the swim-up bar.

The beach area is a bit smallish as others have written, but suited us just fine. There was enough room to lounge there as the resort was less than 1/2 full. At capacity, it might be an issue of crowding. There is a beach grill that serves burgers, jerk chicken (awesome!) jamaican patties, salads and other simple foods. It was good for lunches during the daytime and you never had to wait more than a couple minutes between ordering and being served.

Overall the food was excellent for an all-inclusive. Our last visit had a similar number of restaurants, but the food wound up all tasting the same. Royal Caribbean does a good job of keeping the menus different and the flavors changing. We tried all the restaurants there and enjoyed each of them. We went with a group of folks who are big eaters so that was a great aspect of our trip. The Thai restaurant was great. Make sure to get reservations immediately upon arrival as it can take a few days to find an opening, even with a limited amount of guests. Breakfasts were great out on the veranda by the ocean of the Regency. Plenty of fresh fruits, pancakes, made to order omelets and various meats to be had.

In the center of the facility they have a coffee station round the clock. I hadn't known about the Blue Mountain coffee before, but wound up loving it. The area was kept clean and the coffee was always fresh.

At night, they had bands play in an open air section near the main pool. They were entertaining but not overbearing so you could get away if you didn't care for that. We also enjoyed a piano bar singalong one night after the band had finished. Even the staff participated in the singing and were very joyous folks.

Everywhere we went we were treated well and greeted with smiles. No tipping required to get enough attention from the staff.

We took the shuttle to the Sandals Montego Bay just to check it out for a few hours and it was only a 10 minute ride. We found that it skewed more towards a youth crowd and felt more like a spring break destination, whereas the Royal Caribbean was more meticulous and upscale vibe. We are in our late 30's/early 40's and found RC much more inviting.

I would definitely return to this property and recommend it highly in almost every aspect. For true beach lovers, you might look elsewhere as the RC doesn't have the largest, most spectacular beach area. It's more like a lagoon so there aren't many waves or depth for long swims. Otherwise, I give the resort great marks and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telford, PA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

Had a great time! Resort is beautiful! The activities staff is great especially Julienne Wright, she is so much fun and entertaining! She helped us so much with everything!
Would recommend this Resort to anyone!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 4.5*
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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