Sandals Montego Bay was more than a huge dissapointment for us. In our week at the so called 'ultra inclusive luxury resort', all my wife and I did was wonder how anyone can choose to come back to such a terrible place.
This is the review I wish we had read before spending hundreds of dollars a day in the biggest vacation scam we have ever experienced.
Before I begin, I would like to start off with a few positive notes. These couple of highlights are the only reasons why we didn't turn around and head back home on our second day.
1 - The true hospitality of Jamaicans.
While some just want to get your money, generally we found Jamaicans are relaxed, friendly, and very affectionate. This makes up for their lack of professionalism sometimes.
2 - The beaches.
While definitely not the best beaches in the Caribbean, just the blue water and sunny weather are a great distraction from the Sandals scam. That, of course, provided you don't mind jets roaring over your head every few minutes... (read below)
3 - The gardens
Not everything at Sandals Montego Bay is awful. The gardens are acually very well maintained, and you get to see and walk around great species of trees and tropical plants on your way to your room (if you luck out and get a room away from the noise, that is)
Now that we ran out of positives, our report of the Sandals situation...
Sandals Montego Bay: Terminal D
In case you haven't read other reviews, or, if you have, but like me, didn't pay much attention to the 'airport proximity' issue, get this: The 'resort' is built next to the International Airport. By 'next' I mean, any closer and there would be a walking ramp from arrivals to the hotel lobby (come to think of it, that wouldnt be too bad, it would have saved us from the 2 hours it took us to go through customs and immigration in Jamaica). Anyways, back to the view, the only things separating the rooms and the departure runway are a road and a couple of fences... Jets departing all day long are the main attraction. They are so close there is no way to miss them... Again you ARE almost in the airport itself. So you won't be able to sleep, or relax, or unwind. The roaring jets are in your face and ears all day long. And we're talking 7 am to 11 pm, sometimes even later (there were a couple of jets that shook up our rooms at 3 am, just an hour after the party noise outside stopped and allowed us to fall asleep.
No luxury, ok? Zero.
My wife and I are no snobs. But we were sold this (very expensive trip) as a luxury, all inclusive resort. Well guess what... Nothing can be called luxurious there. Not the beaches, not the hotel, the people, the food, the rooms...nothing. In fact, it barely meets a 2 star hotel category... I will expand on this, of course. But for now, think super8 meets sbarros.
Okay, so they have different types of rooms, like any other hotel does. After complaining we were moved to a slightly better room... But nevertheless... The room had...
- No dresser, no closet (yup keep your clothes in the suitcases)
- Burned and broken curtains
- Dirty, stained sheets
- several types of bugs, including ants, bed mites and (poliyas)
- broken tv
- the shower spilled water all over the entire bathroom, wetting everything and everyone around (and flooding the bathroom too)
- No refrigerator
- right next to the restaurant's kitchen, for added special fx
- No sleep: the staff is well trained to deliver alcohol to the guests. Combine that with the loud lousy band noises, several food drinking contests, etc., and you will NOT be able to sleep until after 1 am every night...GUARANTEED. (not that you can really sleep at all when roaring jets shake up your room every hour anyways)
breakfast/lunch: quality... Worse than sbarro's... picture bouffet style, stinky junk food (and there is only one restaurant to go to for breakfast and lunch, so, again, you're stuck) -or you can have a reheated burger at the beach if you want, too.
dinner: a little better as other restaurants become available... But there's a catch: you need a reservation, and there's nothing normally available for days. If you do get lucky and lock in a table, expect basic, very few menu options and bad to just ok quality food.
drinks: only domestic brands are free... There's a premium (and it's a rip off) for any decent quality booze.
people don't seem to care though, eveyone is drunk and behaving like their teenager grandsons all day long
So that's why people keep coming back, by the way. 'Free, unlimited supply of alcohol, 24/7'. But you know what? First, it's not free (you paid for it, remember?), and, what's even worse, it's the cheapest possible quality. All local brands, of course, no choice of prime liquor. Well, actually, they do have some other brands of wine. They are not part of the all inclusive deal though. While most people don't seem to mind it (they just come to get -faced, so gas oil would work out fine for them too), red stripe is the only beer 'included in the deal'.. And if you want bottled water, 3 bucks per bottle please. Or 'drink our Jamaican tap water free of charge'.
The Entertainment: oh God ... The daily 'shows' have got to be the lamest and most lousy thing we have ever seen. I guess management figured when you are drunk it doesn't matter what's on. A few examples: the 'singers' are just ...the maids and service folks! (and their covers of whitney houston just hurt you beyond your ears).. The band just can't sync up... and the dancers!!... Picture a bunch of Back street boys wanna be's (with no sense of dancing, singing or coordination whatsoever).. It was so bad that we first thought the whole thing was some sort of parody.
Alternatively, every couple of days they have an 'art auction'... A sad attempt to take some cash from the guests.
Don't do it. Do the math, you can get a lot more for your buck... A LOT MORE!!!! -we will never give our money to Sandals again-
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Largest private white sand beach on the north coast •The entertainment capital of the Sandals brand with nightly professional shows and upbeat, active, fun-loving daytime activities. •Six exquisite dining options•Complimentary transfers to Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle. Enjoy all the luxuries included in our “stay at one, play at three” concept offering 18 dining options •Air-conditioned departure lounge•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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Orbitz, BookIt.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp. and Hotels.com so you can book your Sandals Montego Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay
- Sandals Hotel Montego Bay
- Montego Bay Sandals Hotel
- Sandal Montego Bay