I just returned from my first trip to a Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and I can say that it exceeded all of our expectations.
The hotel is older, but well maintained. We went to Sandals Mo Bay one night for dinner, and I was disappointed by the resort, the bathrooms next to the entertainment area were filthy with poorly working faucets, and I was shocked by this. It was hot there and there was no tropical breeze like there was at the Royal, we quickly ran back to the Royal. If you want to be spoiled and treated like Royalty, then the Royal is for you.
Our resort never seemed crowded (although it was completely booked). The Courtyard has great steaks. The vendors are only there on Fridays but you can see Skinny - one of the vendors on a Kayak, a nice guy and he makes good deals on jewelry and wood carvings. . Make sure you check out the Friday night Beach Party (you have to see Leroy breath FIRE) and the Sunday night Almond Terrace party (the entertainment with the steel drums and the Folk dancers is just amazing). I can't say enough good things about this resort
The beach was great, it wasn’t huge but it was perfect. You didn’t have to walk 100 yards to the water. If you didn’t want to stay at the main beach there are several smaller beaches along the resort that are more quiet and romantic for napping under a palm tree or just enjoying the beauty of the day.
I must say everyday was more beautiful than the next.
The entertainment is fun, they have shows every night and you can move on to the disco if you want to continue your fun that goes well into the morning. The beaches are small, but ample. The pools are nice, we loved the pool by our room Arundal Bldg and the Kensington building, it was small and quieter back there, you could just relax.
As beautiful as the resort was, it was truly the staff that made the experience. Let me just run a few of these fine folks by you: Jeremy Mutton, Simon, Jason, The players (Tracey, Sonya, Gregory, Jeffrey....I could go on. Also don't hesitate to talk to the local vendors to get their important perspective, CC Charlie, Tarzan, Skinny, Valerie, Jock Mon......
The restaurants were great…. Highly recommend pre-booking dinner reservations the day you arrive. Remember that the dining is included at either Montego Bay or Sandals Inn. We never made it to the Thai restaurant on the private island, but we heard that this was also very good. The crowd is mixed, from 20's to 60's, so there are plenty of people for you to meet. All of the guests that we met were very friendly.
The food was good, the drinks plentiful (you have to see Verna at the Pool bar and get one of her famous Dirty Bananas & she is so sweet) and the people are just as nice as could be & helpful too.
The grounds were impeccably well kept and maintained, and the eating and lounging areas always had an inviting chair to sit and relax in. I had heard that the resort was at full capacity while we were there, but I can honestly say, you were able to do anything you wanted at any point while not feeling as if it was crowded. That included eat, get drinks at the bar, go swimming, enjoy the water sports, spend time on the island. On several occasions we found ourselves completely alone in areas of that one would assume would be occupied with other guests. I would encourage all to try to get up early and enjoy the mornings, it is so beautiful.
Jamaica really does make you feel like "NO PROBLEM MON" if only real life could be like this. Enjoy.