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“Everything was NOT Irie man!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Royalton White Sands Resort

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Royalton White Sands Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Highway A1, Mountain Spring | Trelawny, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #15 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
barrie
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Everything was NOT Irie man!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

Before I begin let me tell you we have been to over 10 destination countries so this is not our first. We booked this with the hopes that all the problems have been taken care of now that the hotel has been open since Nov and some of the reviews have been getting better and the travel agent said this will be the place to be once the hotel sort out everything! Boy were we wrong!

We were there Feb 14th-21st, weather was perfect! That's all that was perfect so lets start from the beginning.....
Check in. We were told at the airport that we arrived on a busy day and that's why we had to wait on the bus for 45 mins and beer on the bus was $5 each! We were happy to hear the rep on the bus to tell us to sit back and relax because we were at an all inclusive there would be no SALE PITCHES (yeah right) Once we got to the hotel we were herded to the conference section and told to sit down that was it, no explanation.....
Make sure you have a copy of your hotel reservation because they ask for it. The staff at the make shift registration was unorganized, they ask for a credit card for SPA possible incidentals, if you do not give them one they demand $200 US. This process took over an hour to get to our first room!

Room #1..#316.... The first room we arrived at was a kids adjoining room with a door and 2 small single beds. The girl looked at my 6ft 3 husband and said " tomorrow we will get you a king size bed, no problem just go to the front desk tomorrow after your sunwing presentation." The bed was shorter then my husband and the same width as his shoulders. So we did not unpack and went to walk to the resort by this time it was 6pm. We were expecting to eat dinner at the buffet as was all the people who arrived that day and waiting outside of the buffet restaurant (that does not advertise the diner themes or if they are open that day) having other guest tell us that dinner was at the beach. You think someone at check in or bellperson would have told any of us.
Our room with the wooden door joining us to the other room was thin enough to hear their music at midnight and all the other noises they made!!!!! Our rooms balcony had the steakhouse roof beside it and the person on the 7th floor decided to vomit over the railing and drop on everyones balcony and land outside of our balcony! People can be so special!!!!
The second day we went to the sunwing meeting it was good thanks to Craig but they had a girl who was trying to give you Spa deals if you listened to their sunwing pitches. After the meeting we went to the front desk to ask about the room change and told that we were NOT on the list so there was no way they were going to move us! Then ALFONSO approached us and said he worked there and wanted to help us. He put us on the list for the next day and said by 1pm we would have a new room. Then he sat us down with another sales person and tried to do the sunwing pitch again when we were already in a bad mood!
Also the shower head was broken and the showers do not have a water barrier on the bottom so the floor was soaked after your shower! Also the door was very hard to open and close.

Room #2..#527. As told we had our bags packed and ready to be moved, but at the front desk once again we were told that we were not on the list AGAIN! After a little hissy fit by 4pm we finally got a new room 527. It looked great a king bed with a marsh view. We finally unpacked and noticed a few beetles on the curtain. No problem we took care of them then went to dinner.
Once we returned to the room we had 40-50 new beetles over the ceiling, curtains and headboard and yes the patio door was closed! We went to the front desk and they said they would take care of it and called maintenance right there. We waited 20 mins and still no one, then we realized the patio door was crooked and the top corner did not close and had a crack, so even if they did SPRAY our room the bugs were still going to come in. So we went down demanding another room, this took another 30 mins then told to go pack our bags and call when we were done. As we went to our room you could smell a strong order of bug spray and a man watching TV (which was off) m and trying to clean the bugs missing a bunch! We called the front desk and waited outside for another 20 mins then took our own luggage to front desk. At this time Craig the sunwing rep saw us having trouble and helped us get a room and took a formal compliant, he said the hotel does not tell him so he can not follow up!

Room#3..#334 This time one of the managers Andrew insured the room was ready to go, the problems with this is the shower door was not level so you could not close so wet floors again, all the rooms are small but you are paying for the sun, and the patio door did not close it was warped in the middle and was very difficult to open.

Food...Fabulous! The coffee shop and ice cream shop was very nice, the gym is very small and does not open early, Spa was very nice and professional. Everyday there were new people coming for the hotel visits and sales pitches and some stayed they day! The last couple of days they did take your towels if you tried to save seats, you had about a 15 min window.

Resturants were good and open up at 6:30 but if you really want to go to the steakhouse or Japanese you better get in line early by 5:45 they take no reservations! For lunch Jerk chicken is the way to go! Located at the beach and very popular.

Tours.... Cool runnings to the Dunn RIver falls and catamaran was fabulous and lots of fun and for the horse lovers the 3 hour horseback riding on land and sea was fun as well.

Over all after talking to all kinds of guest all but one we talked to had moved at least once. Bathroom ceilings falling down, shower doors broken, the rooms they paid for they did not get etc...
As I mentioned the bar and restaurant staff are amazing but the front desk, cleaning staff and maintenance (except ground crews) all seemed like they were unorganized and too busy standing in a huddle laughing, giggling and fooling around, they would not look at you while standing there waiting for service. Out side our 3rd room there was the back roof of the buffet restaurant and that is where the cleaning ladies dumped out their dirty floor water and leaving the top of the roof grungy and full of debris.

The hotel grounds are beautiful, very family friendly the food was fabulous, poor nightly entertainment, the rooms look nice but I would not recommend this place and we will not return. As well the island is dirty garbage everywhere even in the jungle horse back ride in the woods. People always asking you to buy SMOKES very pushy, shopping is best at the airport.
Please make an informed choice because I thought it could not happen to us but it did!

Room Tip: if you do not like the room tell the front desk asap and be put on the LIST!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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2,224 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (814)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
manito
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

I traveled with my husband and 2 teenagers the week of Feb. 15-20, 2014. This was our 4th vacation to beautiful Jamaica. We stayed at RIU in Ocho Rios last time. We also traveled to Riviera Maya at the Iberostar Tucan. Maybe our expectations are a little higher than most but when you spend a good chunk of money, you expect things to be great. Check in was a breeze but as soon as we walked in our room Luxurious Oceanview (647), it was way to small and the "ocean view" mainly overlooked the parking lot and old tennis courts, the ocean was there but you had to really look. Our advice to families traveling with kids older than toddlers, book a family suite or larger. THe rooms are not much larger than a cabin on a cruise ship. We complained to Sasha at front desk about the size of the room but they were completely full. Sharon, manager, asked us what the problem was. We told her the size of the room for our family. She promised that we would have a larger family suite the following morning. In fact, she gave us the number of the new room which was 428. So, we came back the next morning, just like she said but she tells us that they can't help us because they are completely booked and haven't any suites available. I'm ok with the fact that they are booked completely but don't promise something you know you can't follow through with. We felt we were lied to just to pacify us for the moment. If she would've just said we might have a suite available, check back tomorrow, that would've been fine. BUFFET: Food is really good, not a big variety but good. One thing that we noticed was the flow of the buffet lines is disorganized. One suggestion would be to have omelet stations either at end of buffet or off by itself. People standing in omelet line are standing in front of the main buffet. People often commented on how inconvenient the line was. Also, the syrup was in front of omelet station, making it difficult to get to. Again, by moving the omelet station to either end of main buffet line or off by itself, would alleviate confusion and chaos. RESTAURANTS: No reservations at the specialty restaurants. We celebrated our 19th anniversary while on vacation and we would've liked to dine at the Hunter Steak House, however, when we arrived at 6:30 just like the the booklet in our room said they opened, they were completely booked and it would be a 2 hour wait. The hostess told us the restaurant opened at 6 p.m. So when you have a special occasion you want to celebrate, it would be nice if you could offer reservations. We dined at the Grazia Italian restaurant instead. It was pretty good. We especially liked the Lava cake dessert. BEACH: the beach is small but nice. There wasn't enough loungers to accommodate all visitors and it was hard to find shade that was available. The sun is much stronger than the sun we have in the Midwest. Sunscreen higher than 30 spf especially if you are fair skinned. Our favorite place on the beach was the manmade private island. This was very relaxing. The first day there, my husband and kids saw a stingray swim right next to them. Very cool. MONDAY NIGHT BEACH BUFFET PARTY: This was the highlight of our stay. Eating out on the beach at night was such a fun experience. We were entertained by Slinky, the contortionist and a fire dancer, and Reggae band. Food was great and we enjoyed the entertainment. Way to go Royalton on the Beach Party Night!! CLEANLINESS: The resort staff do an excellent job keeping the grounds, rooms and bathrooms sanitary and clean. We booked this trip as a last minute getaway from the snow and even though we had some issues with this resort, we didn't let it stop us from enjoying beautiful Jamaica. The staff overall are very helpful and friendly. Peter, our bell boy, was very helpful and friendly. All the bartenders at Dips Pool bar are the best. Dirty Banana drinks are our new favorite drink. Although, this resort has some things to clearly work on, we can't say enough good about the Royalton Staff. They do make up for some of the resort's shortcomings. If you plan to stay at the Royalton, book the bigger suites and don't wait to get to resort to upgrade, because it's not a guarantee you will be able to upgrade.

Room Tip: Families with kids, book a suite! Not every ocean view room is "ocean view"
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Williamstown, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

We were excited to go here despite the negative reviews. Our previous trips to Jamaica were to the Gran Bahia, Riu (twice), Secrets Wild Orchid and then Royalton. LOVED the beach and the ocean, it is truly the hotels best feature. Now the not so great details. We paid extra to have a swimout presidential. Upon arriving, we were told there's no such room type. After a while of going back and forth - we were given our room as expected. There was an overwhelming number of gnats in our room and outside our door. Not sure if this was due to being on the ground floor with a pool, but it was gross. The furniture had stains everywhere, and just felt dirty. The bartenders at the pool were great. Remon, Shane, and a few others really took care of us, but alcohol varied from bar to bar. We asked for (and even tipped $20) for extra beer and ice for our room to chill our Petron, and we were told there was no additional beer. by the next day, there was NO beer for the rooms at all (this went on for 2 days). Our friends staying in another room had to pay for water from the gift shop because they couldn't get additional bottles delivered. The daytime pool activities were horrible. On our last day, they stepped it up a notch, but still needs more. In the Presidential block, there is definitely an odor that people have been speaking of since day one, and occasionally the sewer smell finds it's way into the room. For what we paid, most of what I've described so far is unacceptable and undeserving of 5*'s. The nightlife was pretty much non-existent. there is only one ping pong table, no pool tables, and the shows weren't up to par. The Japanese cook, boring, there was no involvement with the table. Food was cold from the buffets. we did meet with Alexander and I did share a lot of this feedback with him. Prior to going there I had asked for a special night for us as we were celebrating our 5 yr anniversary and our 5th trip to Jamaica... and sure enough- nothing was done. I had even offered to pay for any extras! Just disappointing. He did try and do something the next night, but honestly it was too little too late. Given the chance to go back, I would kindly decline. If you are travelling with kids, the Riu is a much better place, and so much more fun! If you are traveling as a couple and want 5*, Secrets Wild Orchid or St James is absolutely the way to go. For what we spent, we regret not going back there. All of us are longing for a "do-over", just not a Royalton. Sorry, in my Jamaican experience, I have to say - go elsewhere... it's just not worth it.

Room Tip: I wouldn't pay extra again for a swim-out. The Presidential Suite was nice and big, but we'...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

Well where do I begin? We had seen a few bad reviews before we went but with it being our first '5-star experience' we went there just forgetting about all of the negativity. There was 9 of us in our group and yes it was a rough start when it came to checking in but as soon as we were on our way it was fine.

Our room was incorrect to begin with but the staff were great when it came to dealing with the situation then it was all fine!

Sheldon the bell boy was a family favourite, so chatty and offered my 10 year old cousin a job (jokingly) this was the first step to our RWS experience! Michelle was our cleaner and if you are lucky enough to get her while you are there then everything will be great. She greeted us to 'hello my little cupcakes' every morning. Pre-warning the mini fridge refiller men knock, leave it 5 seconds and then just come in so make sure you are decent as soon as you hear the knock!

The food was amazing, so much variety and on offer for you and the Zen is a must... Especially if you get chef Damien!

The entertainment- we were lucky enough to experience New Year's Eve in Jamaica so it was a crazy beach party with so much going on and they throw on beach party every week I hear. The kids club was great as it gave the adults time to relax. Around the pool bar was music and activities. Andre from the entertainment team was definitely our family favourite... He would always make sure he would come over to see how we all were, get you involved in the activities and was just all around a lovely person, we wanted to take him home with us;) always dancing around and putting in 110% Floyd and Romario also! The three of them were always up for a laugh and just made the entire holiday enjoyable. Damien on the other hand I believe he is some form of management needs to go! He made it obvious that he had something against English people and would rudely ask for tips. He would just make everyone feel uncomfortable so we tried our best to avoid him.

Our overall experience- was amazing and would happily do it ALL again... Yes the negative reviews point out valid hiccups in the hotel but if you go on holiday to look and concentrate on the negatives then you don't have much of a good life really. Just enjoy it or it's all a waste of money.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhiteSandsGM, Resident Manager at Royalton White Sands Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear Jellybean 1996:

Thank you for taking the time to provide a review of your vacation. It is quite pleasing to know that you enjoyed your vacation here. We appreciate all the approbations. Thank you for having chosen our beautiful resort and we hope you will afford us the opportunity to serve you again.

Regards,
Alexander Arias
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

We were there from the 10th to
The 17th of February, 2014
Hotel maintainence was prompt
& courteous to open my safe and plunge my toilet for hotel let's expanding their going to need a lot more shading on the beach I have Albinism and it was hard to find the shaded chair to sit down, as far as restaurants the Chinese what's the best my daughter loved it we went twice from the buffet was awesome it's great food from Italian was exquisite great service him but the downer was steakhouse the chairs were too hard to wait too long for the food and we did get the food it was cold we are supposed to be celebrating a double birthday we got the cake with no candles or flares when dad tipped him 50 bucks but otherwise she was mainly okay, it tours were great my daughter love the dolphin tour she loved the zip ride in the Jamaican bobsled and yeah and he went to Luminous lagoon was nice thanks

Stayed February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brockville, Canada
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

I travelled to the Royalton White Sands in January with my fiancée and his parents. The resort is beautiful and I loved Jamaica! The people were wonderful and so hospitable. Our room was not large but very nice with modern décor. Most importantly we had a great view of the sea! We spent most of our time on the beach but also enjoyed the pools. Angella always made sure we had fresh daiquiris and took great care to help us with anything we needed. The jerk chicken on the beach was amazing! It's not always easy to find gluten free options when you are travelling. I was so happy to learn that the jerk chicken was safe without the sauce. The staff at the resort was so accommodating in dealing with my celiac that it really made my vacation! I took gluten free pasta that Francisco cooked for me : ) Then he was kind enough to have gluten free bread hot and delicious! The service really was above and beyond my expectations! My fiancée and I had engagement photos taken at the resort. Brian was wonderful and we already have the photos framed at home! I would recommend him for a wedding as he really knows how to work with the beautiful background. It really was a wonderful experience!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
WhiteSandsGM, Resident Manager at Royalton White Sands Resort, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear Melanie T:

It is so delightful that we exceeded your expectations. We are happy that you had a great vacation experience and that you have taken the time to share it on trip advisor. Our team is very appreciative of this.
We look forward to creating an even better experience on your return visit.

Regards,
Alexander Arias
Royalton, White Sands
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

Just returning back from my and I would recommend this hotel to anyone possible. the experience I had was immaculate and my room attendant Angela Mcbean provided us with exceptional service. Wish I could bring her back with me...LOL. The amenities and attractions at this Hotel is wonderful. I can say it was a trip well spent, wish it didn't have to end so soon, Next time my family and I are looking to stay for 2- 3 weeks and please have Angela Mcbean be our room attendant. This review is not only for the wonderful experience we had at this hotel but also an employee recommendation. We love Jamaica. the people are nice and the food was great. Jamaica Jamaica. Absolutely love it and already planning our next trip again. Moreover our stay will be at Royalton White Sands Resort. two thumbs up! Bext experience ever! Thank you to all the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WhiteSandsGM, Resident Manager at Royalton White Sands Resort, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Dear Annette77900:

It feels great to know that we created a memorable experience for you and that you found our team member to be exceptional. This commendation will surely motivate Angela.
Thank you for having chosen our resort and thank you for this great review.

Regards,
Alexander Arias
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royalton White Sands Resort

Address: Highway A1, Mountain Spring | Trelawny, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royalton White Sands Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 352
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Your All-In Luxury™ vacation starts on one of the Caribbean's most idyllic settings. "White Sands" beach in Jamaica is a powdery white slice of paradise, separating lush tropical gardens from the turquoise Caribbean Sea, just a 35 minute drive from the Montego Bay Airport. A warm reception and chilled cocktail set the tone for a week of extravagance. The elegantly appointed lobby offers a scenic view of the modern resort facilities. After a day of indulging in our extensive and unlimited reservation-free dining and drink services and partaking in our activities, sports, and entertainment program, guests will appreciate the comfort of our modern and spacious rooms. From Luxury Rooms to Diamond Club(R) Luxury Presidential Oceanview One Bedroom Suites, all rooms offer Dreambed™, designed exclusively for Royalton Resorts and adorned in luxurious 250 thread count sheets. All of our 352 luxurious rooms and suites offer our exclusive DreamBed™, 250 thread count sheets, 24 hour concierge service, In-room safe, rain showers, satellite television, stocked minibar, 24 hour room service, and a balcony or terrace. Other amenities include iron and board, coffee/tea maker, and hairdryer. Guests can also take advantage of our All-In Connectivity exclusive features including: • Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort • Unlimited free in-room calling to North America and most of Europe • Convenient USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations in your room • Download our free Royalton app and receive unlimited free calling plan from your mobile device while on our property, as well as unlimited free app-to-app texting. ... more   less 
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