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“Its just magical!” 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
UK
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Its just magical!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2007

I decided to write a second review as my other review was about the credit card scenario and pointed out the "down" side..
Its unfair though of me not to point out what I loved about this resort..so here goes!

Check in: The welcome here goes WAY beyond any welcome which one receives at the other sandal resorts in Jamaica. The friendliness and efficiency of staff, makes you feel "right at home" within five minutes of arriving.
Rooms: We were there for two visits during a three week stay at various sandals. First stop, was a "stopover" for a few nights in a concierge level room. We had the pink ribbons on the door as return guests, and we were in one of the new Kensington concierge suites. This is a lovely room, nice corner jacuzzi tub..lovely!
On our main part of the stay at the latter end of our vacation, we were staying at Butler level. Bigger version of the concierge suite..HUGE Jacuzzi tub, and Butlers Kevon and Hughill are just lovely. In fact..ALL the Butlers at SRC are wonderful. They are a small team there and they work together, we had bad experiences with butlers at other sandals..not at SRC..every one is a darling!
People say “why” book a butler. But let me tell you, having a butler at SRC is like having a fairy godmother 24 hours a day. They make magical precious memories, and it IS worth the extra $$$$$ For example I woke one morning with a huge hangover, I was so hungry and had forgotten to order breakfast, Kevon appeared like magic, at the very right second without me even phoning him.they know your every move, and know your every wish.. you’re the best guys! If you are having a lazy day at the Kensington pool, your Butler will stock a cool box for you with anything you want, we had champagne and red stripe in ours every day..and they will bring you food, cocktails etc on tap whenever, wherever! Its fabulous!
Food: The only meal we were disappointed in was the Thai restaurant, we dont like "function" style food, and it IS a banquet style service, you go over as a mass on the boat, and service is function style..this to me is NOT a la carte dining, and it was as I say the ONLY disappointment we had with food.
Candlelit dinners: Worth every penny! DO IT! We did it several times, and each time just got better and better!
SRC is not a huge glamorous resort. Its small intimate and truly very special. There is not much I can write on here that hasn’t been written before. I would disagree with people saying it was mostly an older crowd, there were lots of young couples there when we were there.
The planes…NOT even remotely an issue!
Beach, small but lovely
The manger and staff are what makes SRC so special. Many on this forum comment on Jeremy Mutton..they are 100% right..he leads a great team and his management skills are reflected on the wonderful team of staff he has.
Compared to the other sandals we visited whilst we were there..Ocho Rios and Whitehouse.. SRC wins hands down every time!

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
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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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Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2007

We have travelled the Caribbean fairly extensively and always wondered if the Sandals resorts were worth the money.

Absolutely, yes!

We stayed at the Royal Caribbean February 18-25, 2007 and are amazed at the excellent treatment we received.

Everyone from the groundskeepers to the waitstaff went out of their way to make sure we had a great vacation. Everyone greeted you as if you were a long-lost friend. My husband and I are not particulary outgoing people, but we found it very easy to get to know the staff.

The food was fantastic. We dined on shrimp and steak most nights. (Not because that's all they had. It was just so good we kept coming back for more). Always plenty of choice and so well prepared. No runny scrambled eggs for breakfast.

We loved that we had a lot of dining choices without having to get up at the crack of dawn to stand in line for reservations.

Being in our fifties, we found the RC a good choice. The average age here is fortyish, so we appreciated the fact that we were not blasted everywhere with loud music, and that the staff were not pushy about people joining in the activities. If you wanted to participate, you did. If not, nobody hassled you.

At the same time, it was still a lively resort with lots to do.

We also particularly appreciated that there seemed to be so many shady comfortable places to sit. My husband burns easily and often finds it difficult to find a shady spot to sit. He was pleased to be able to sit in a comfortable stuffed chair with an ottoman to enjoy a read, while still close to the pool and bar.

The grounds were beautiful and always clean. The beaches were raked daily and had lovely cool sand. No burning feet.

Pools were also very clean, and we were pleased to find that the jacuzzis actually had hot water in them. In so many places we have been, what seemed to be a hot tub is actually the same temperature as the pool. We also appreciated that no towel cards were required, and there were no shortage of towels at our quiet, little-used pool near the resort entrance. It was nice not to have to worry about a towel disappearing and a bill for $20-30 being presented.

Our room was comfortable and attractive and had so many extra touches- lots of room for clothes in the closets and drawers, and for toiletries in the bathroom. The amenity kits provided were so nice I purchased two extras in the gift shop to bring home. The air conditioning worked perfectly and the ceiling fan kept us quite comfortable. Hot water was never an issue.

Our balcony was large and had bars for swimsuits and towels. A nice touch.

Being able to hop a shuttle (again no reservation required) to spend some time at the Sandals Montego Bay was a plus. That gave us a number of additional dining choices as well as a change of scenery. Also a beautiful resort, and perhaps more suited to younger guests.

This is the first place we have visited that had a no-tipping policy and really meant it. I didn't see a single dollar bill change hands the whole time we were there. (Off the resort is a different story. People are not a bit shy about asking to be tipped every time they lift a finger for you.) Service at the bars was fast and fair. No one was buying their way to the front of the line. We found it interesting that we received the best service ever in a resort where they were not motivated by tips.

The only negative, and it's a small one, is that the drink service in the restaurants was sometimes slow. Sometimes the drink didn't arrive at all, or you might have to ask a second time.

However we were so impressed by the friendly accommodating staff that it was insignificant.

We will definitely be back.

  • Liked — Fantastic friendly staff
  • Disliked — Slow drink service in restaurants
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, NY
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2007

We went with 5 couples from ages 25 to 50 for a four night five day stay. One of the couples was celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary, and they chose the resort for it's close proximity to the airport. The first room I was given was very small and dark, so we asked for an upgrade and were given a larger second floor room with a nice private balcony. The bathroom in our room was very old outdated and small, not what I expected. Their were some staff that were very friendly but others that were nasty and miserable. The bar staff was very friendly and happy, as were the "party staff". We were approached for tips more than a few times by the staff. The pools were very small at this resort and again not what we expected at all! It was crowded at the pools and the beach, and the private island is very small too. We went to Sandals Dunns River for a day trip and found that resort to be much larger and nicer. The pools were twice the size as was the beach at Dunns River. We also went over to Sandals Montego Bay for dinner and the resort was very pretty with beautiful restaurants and a larger beach. The downside to Montego Bay is that the airplanes fly right overhead and are very noisy. The crowd seemed much younger at Montego Bay than at Sandals Royal Bahamian. I would not go back to Sandals Royal Bahamian again, but we did have a nice time overall. The resort was just not as nice as we expected.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2007

I read tons of reviews of multiple Caribbean resorts prior to our trip for my wife's 40th birthday and finally settled on the SRC after much deliberation. I read several reviews, a majority of them positive for the SRC but an occasional negative for whatever reason. All in all the resort exceeded our expectations. There wasn’t a want that the resort didn’t deliver. Negative reviewers of this resort can't have realistic expectations of people or any resort and that will be clear once you go down and see for yourself.
A few highlights:
The Staff - The friendliest people you will ever meet. Gracious, welcoming, they truly make you feel that they are REALLY happy you came to thier little slice of heaven in the Caribbean!
The grounds - Truly remarkable and very clean. There was people CONSTANLY picking up, raking the beach for any small remnants of seaweed, even scrubbing the swim buoys out in the water for algae! There are 100's of different flowers/shrubs/trees on the grounds and all in various states of blooming.
The room - Had a grande lux room which was very clean, nicely appointed and was more then adequate for our stay. We had a ground floor room that was right off the pool and steps from the beach. We where greeted almost daily by the local Peacocks that they have on site. Very pretty birds
The Food - All good. Breakfast & lunch where great, lots of choices from local, European, to the standard American fare. The dinners where all great too while our favorites where the Jamaican food at the Pavilion and the Thai out on the island. We also took a night at Tokyo Joe's over at Montego Bay which was good but my wife and I agreed the MoBay wasn’t as clean and a little more boisterous then SRC. Reservations for either the Thai or MoBay weren’t a big deal, just take care of it the day you get there and we didn’t experience any problems. We even had one lunch at the beach bar where they serve and excellent Jamaican Jerk chicken dish and a cold Red Stripe.
The Waters ports - All the water sports where excellent. We went snorkeling every day that it was available and saw tons of marine life off the coral reefs that are very close to the resort. SRC has good equipment that they clean after every snorkeling excursion, it all works and fits fine. We went sailing and Kayaking as well and found the water sports staff very willing and capable in answering all of our questions and giving us pointers where necessary.
The Island - This is a major benefit as it offers a very secluded location to that is a 30 second boat ride from the main resort. the North section of the island is for nude sunbathing but even that only had a few takers, there is a great place to swim about and even a pool/hot tub and swim up bar to boot.
The Resort in general – The fitness center was better then most gyms in the states. Treadmills, bikes, elliptical, free weights, machines, exercise balls, etc for your use 24X7 if you so choose.
All in all this was the most relaxing vacation we have ever had, plenty to do if you want it, nothing to do if that suits you. We where never hungry/thirsty the entire time, we never left the resort because you didn’t need too. I could go on and on. Feel free to contact me mgay17@cox.net if you want additional details or have questions and don’t bother with any negative review about the resort, there would be NO WAY to please these types of people, there is nothing SRC could do better

  • Liked — The People, The Grounds, The water sports
  • Disliked — If I can find anything it would be that the music in the Disco needed to be updated
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomingdale, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2007

My husband and I went for our second wedding anniversary 2/15 - 2/20. The weather was wonderful. Check in was fine, we waited with champaign and then were seated for lunch and before we were done eating they came with our room key. We were in the Kensington - lovely room. Only complaint was the lack of water pressure. Room was clean and was restocked and cleaned everyday. I was a little disappointed in the hotel schedule of events. I wish they would of had a channel on tv or a flyer that told you what was going on for the day, what restaurants were opened/closed. We had dinner at the Thai restaurant on the private island... would recommend... very good. We also had a candlelight dinner in the Kensington gazebo... Seating was 7:00 and by 10:15 we were still not done. Wasn't not at all that impressed. The food was cool and what we requested was not what we were served. It was one of the windest days so lettuce and napkins went flying into the ocean if not held down. Service was way too slow. We did the Sea Trek tour and the ATV tour. We loved Sophie at the ATV tour... dress in old clothes and wear water shoes... we were muddy and filthy by the time the tour was over.. but had the time of our lives.. would highly recommend. My husband did the Sea Trek which he loved at Doc's Cave. Very cool. The only thing we came across as a problem was eating and not eating at the times the restaurants were open. The staff was extremely friendly and I would recommend a Jamacian Smile (drink) they are fabulous. We would definately stay there again. We were not bothered by the construction being in the Kensington building.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Listowel, Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2007

My husband and I (age 30& 27) traveled to the Sandals RC on Feb. 5 and stayed for 7 days. This was an amazing vacation! We have stayed at several other resorts and the SRC puts all other resorts to shame. Anyone that can find something to complain about at this resort is crazy and trust me I am extremely picky. The food at all of the restaurants is great, especially the Regency and the Courtyard. You have so much to choose from and the service is top notch. The bar staff is also wonderful, and the drinks are fabulos- all premium alcohol. Make sure you try a jamaican smile while you are there. You should also attend the beach party on Friday night- the entertainment and food again are great. Our room was beautiful, it had an ocean front view and always was very clean. They kept the mini bar fully stocked and you never had to ask for anything. Don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade if you are not happy with your room. You should also take full advantage of all of the activities they have to offer while you are there, -snorkling, water bikes, windsailing, kayaking, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, poolside bingo and the list goes on and on! You get points for participating in activities and get prizes at the end of the week. Make sure you check out the nightly entertainment as it is not the typical cheesy resort stuff, they do a great job. I can not say enough good things about this place and would recomend it to anyone of any age. I am already planning on returning next year. Cheers!

  • Liked — food and drinks and activities
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, MA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2007

My husband & I stayed at the Royal from Jan 31st to Feb 7th, 2007. We have been to many all-inclusives in Jamaica before, Sandals, Couples, Hedo and by far, in our opinion, this is the best resort yet. We have never encounter staff that are so friendly, go out of their way to smile and ask if you need help. It was also the cleaniest resort and we think the food blows Sandals Mo Bay away. Every place we ate at on the Royal was excellent. We were so pleased, we already booked our 2008 trip for the Royal. We never got bitten my mosquitos, perhaps it makes a difference where your room is located? We're SSG and were in a Grande Lux room, recently re-done and very nice. We didn't find the resort quiet, we actually thought it was livilier than Sandals Mo Bay, where we've stayed multiple times. One word of caution, after we got home, we checked our credit card charges (because of the review that stated a few cards were copied and were getting fradulent charges on them) and discovered the hotel had double charged us for our check out balance. But other than that, we can't say enough about the Royal.

  • Liked — distance from the airport and the friendliness of staff
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
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 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Top resorts 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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