My wife and I have travelled the world but we had never taken an all inclusive vacation. This trip was purchased as a gift from our son and believe me; for any number of reasons, it was a vacation we will never forget. The Sandals organization deserves tremendous applause for its ability to provide something for everyone. I will try to address as many aspects of Sandals Montego Bay as possible:
People: We don,t know how the management does it but I have never met so many truly happy employees in any service related business as we found at Sandals Montego Bay. The staff is delightful and are not only skilled and professional but sincere in their desire to ensure you have a wonderful vacation. Most hotels have some pleasant people but the staff here from the cleaning staff to the senior management are so friendly and affable that they become your friend in a very short while. They go out of their way to help in any way they can. Specific plaudits go to Donovan a waiter in the Bayside who was most gentlemanly, attentive and a true sweetheart to talk with. The staff love to sing softly, and dance as they work and they are a delight to be near.
Facility: The resort is a little older , but is beautifully maintained with marbletile and mahogany furniture throughout. The cleaning and maintenance staff clean and update constantly and the older atmospher is really very nice if you look at and consider the colonial history of Jamaica. Don't read this incorrectly, the resort is modern but there is a certain quaintness luxury about the hotel. If there would be any mild criticism about the resort facility, it could focus on the factor that there is only one large swimming pool which is quite often used for dive training and volleyball. There is also a piano bar smmaller pool which is extremely nice as you can swim up to the bar for served drinks. A small pool serves the spa butit may be difficult for some people to find. Overall the grounds around the resort are beautiful, extremely well maintained and shelter you within this tropical paradise. The beach is magnificent, swept and cleaned daily, and has several piers where you can walk some distance. Those piers also serve as handholds for the 6-8 kayak mounted vendors( They cannot touch the beach)who sell carvings and other trinkets. These guys pose no problem, are funny in their approach and simply stop when you say no. They do sell soem interesting local carvings which we did negotiate and purchase.
Food: There are 4 restaurants, Jamaican, Continental, Italian, Asian and TexMex on the beach. There is food available all day long somewhere. We enjoyed the Oleander (Jamaican), Bayside(Continental)Cucina( Italian) and The Corral(TexMex). To put it simply, the food is fantastic and compares favouablt to any restaurant anywhere. The served meals in the Oeander, Cucina, and the Bayside were totally beyond our expectation. They are served well in time, with a magnificent presentation and with sincere caring and highly professional service. I cannot say enough about these restaurants. Tokyo Joes is not Japanese as the name implies but serves high quality stir fried CANTONESE food. Because of the nature of the cooking and the flourish applied by the chefs, it tends to be a little slow. In this restaurant, you choose your food, provide it to the chefs and then they cook it while you watch. They add a lot of sauces to the mix and because they do not strain the liquid out, your meal tends to be a little sloppy to eat. However the ingredients in this restaurant mirror the rest of the resort- High quality but CANTONESE.
Drinks:The local Appleton rums prevail and it is excellent particularly when they are mixed by friendly and adventurous bar staff. Other then the fruity rum drinks, you can have anything you want in any quantity. They just keep pouring. The champagne is excellent.
Entertainment:The entertainment is non stop at night focusing on local and resident talent. We thought it was excellent. The resort has an entertainment staff called the PLAYMAKERS. This group of about 12 is youthful and extremely talented. Their job is to keep people happy and they seem to work from 7 am till 3 am. I don't know how they do it Some of them are Ann Marie, Antonio, Alecia, Lesia, Daina, Andrea, Tony Lee, Marlin, Chris, Sebastian . These kids are in their 20's and are extremely talented singers, dancers and overall performers. Guys, unfortunately, you can't seem to master volleyball! My hat particularly goes out to the beautiful Ann Marie and to Antonio who have great voices and any number of other talents. The resort offered other local talent every night . We saw Gem Myers, who is one of the most talented singers I have seen in a long time. There is no doubt in my mind that she could be singing in Vegas if she chose to leave the island. ALecia Fleming was wonderful as was the house band and others. The beach bash on Monday night was a surprise as they brough in a local youth marching band who played their hearts out. Way to go kids! The piano man can play with the best but he needs 2 new pianos as what he has to work with is older and seemingly beyond retuning. I raised this point with Horace Peterkin, the GM and it will be interesting to see what happens. To Horace, there is no point in hiring talent if they don't have the tools needed to perform to potential. You are a recorded singer yourself and you know this to be true. Please do something for the piano man!!!
Beach Activity: Unending, the water sport guys have all the facilities they seem to need and they do a wonderful job of keeping everyone happy. Keep up the good work.
Outside tours: While these are booked in the hotel lobby, they are not run by Sandals, The excursions are wonderful but tend to be expensive in US$. We hired a local cabbie ( Don, with hair like Don King) and this was the right way for us. He toured us , protected us and showed us Jamaica. If you can find him at the front gate, you won't be sorry.
Overall: Sandals is everything for everyone. We would go back tomorrow.
D. Lomore, Calgary Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.