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“Wonderful Vacation!”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
London, ON
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Wonderful Vacation!”
Reviewed December 16, 2007

We just returned from a wonderful vacation at Sandals Royal Caribbean.

We had booked for the lowest class room (above reception), but asked to be upgraded. After 2 nights, they upgraded us to a beautiful suite (room 408) at no-charge. The front desk staff was always friendly and helpful and would do anything for you.

The food was great, there was always lots of selection. The beach grill was our favourite for lunch. They offered burgers, fries, jamaican patties, mozzarella sticks, jerk chicken and more! We enjoyed the Thai restaurant, french restaurant and the Regency. We dined one night at the Italian restaurant at Montego Bay which was okay. You definately will not go hungry!

I can not say enough about the staff! We have travelled to Cuba, Dom. Republic and Mexico, and both my husband and I agree that the staff at Royal Caribbean was amazing! They always had a smile on their face and very helpful.

The rooms were clean, the grounds were beautiful, they were always cleaning, and we didn't have any issues with it being "unclean". Sure the pool or hot tub would get a little dirty by the end of the day, but that's to be expected with everyone in and out of the pool. They definately cleaned it each day.

The playmakers were awesome, and the games and activities were fun, but if you didn't want to participate it was "no problem mon".

This was our first visit to Jamaica and we fell in love with the island and the people.

Overall, we had a great time and will definately return "home" to the island next year!

Make sure you visit Sygurd at the pool bar, he took good care of us!

  • Liked — Intimite, quiet, great staff!
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank canadiansunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Columbus, OH
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2007

We arrived at Sandals Royal Caribbean on Dec. 3rd and left on Dec. 11th. We were at the Montego Bay airport for a short time on Dec. 3rd. After getting through customs fairly quick, we were wisked away to the Sandals lounge to wait for the shuttle to take us to the resort. I couldn't even finish my first free beer and we were off. Driving to the resort the surrounding area is very poor and the road construction is absolutely awful!!! Though, once we pulled up to the resort, all was forgotten, everything from the outside looked great. Within another couple mintues we had a chilled towel and a glass of wine waiting for our room key. We had booked a royal premium room and were told that we were going to get upgraded, so we were very excited!! Once we got to the room, our hearts sank to the floor. The room looked like a camp cabin. Tiny window A/C unit, no glass windows, just wooden slats that closed, the bathoom was worse or the same as a low end Holiday Inn, and the safe was all rusted. As the bellboy finished dropping our luggage off he said "Is there anything else I can do for you", while swatting mosquitos from his face, in the room mind you!!! We were very upset with the room, especially since it was an upgrade. Anyways, we talked to the office and got a much better and nicer room, with the low low price of $80 more a night, but it was well worth it. The new room was really nice, big bed, big shower, mini-bar, and mini-fridge, stocked everyday. Everything else during our trip was pretty good. Here are the details:

Bars:
Only one pool bar and one beach bar. No long lines for drinks and drinks were very stiff.

Pools:
There were three pools, all very small and very cool. There are also two hot tubs. Pretty crowded around the main pool everyday. Looks like the pools only get cleaned once a week. By Saturday, the main pool was so dirty, we didn't even want to get into it.

Food:
The food was very good. The breakfast was pretty normal, but the lunch and dinner menu/food was excellent!!!!!

Activities:
There is always something going on like beach volleyball, salsa dancing by the pool, drinking games, and ping pong. The playmakers are really good people.

Beach:
Very unimpressed by the beach, very very small, and you cannot go out far at all. There were always about 4 or 5 guys on kayaks hocking necklaces and crap, they bug you a lot, but are not very pushy, just annoying.

The Private Island:
You would think it would be really cool, but its just ok. There is not much a beach over there and it looks like the pool and pool bar over there still need some work done to them. Cool to go over there at least once to check it out.

Overall:
Since it was our honeymoon, we did have a great time. Just having that big issue with the room at the start of the vacation really left a bad taste in our mouths. You would think for the amount of money you are paying, there shoudn't be any rooms like that there at all. So other than that, everything was great. Since the resort is very small and Sandals Montego Bay is only 10 minutes away, we went there several days and used that beach and restaurants. We would probably never do a Sandals in Jamaica ever again, but maybe one in another country.

  • Liked — Food and drink was great!
  • Disliked — Small size and worn down.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Buckeye77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2007

Incredible – the best vacation I’ve ever had! As this was not either of our first marriages, my fiancé and I decided to run away to the islands to get married. After plenty of research and discussion with our travel agent, we settled on a Weddingmoon at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Much to our surprise, several other couples wanted to join us to help us celebrate the week, and we were more than happy to have them along. I was, I admit, a little nervous leading up to our arrival date, not because of my impending nuptials, but because I felt that 14 other people were spending their vacation time as well as money at somewhere that I had chosen for them. I never should have worried! We all had a fabulous time and cannot wait to return to either this Sandals, or try another one in in a couple of years!

After flying on Air Jamaica, about which I don't have great things to say, we arrived on Saturday, November 24, 2007. The Sandals lounge at the airport was a great first impression. Our flight arrived around noon, so we were at the resort no later than 2, as I recall, and seeing as we were the only ones booked in a Concierge level room, we were immediately whisked away to the Concierge office. We were immediately known as a bride and groom, and were congratulated often. We checked in with no problems, and were shown directly to our room, as was everyone else in our party. I did have gift bags for all our wedding guests (in my carry-on bag) that I had given to the concierge, and asked that they were taken to our friends' rooms. Instead, the concierge walked out into the lobby where all our guests were, and passed them out. I was a bit taken aback by this, but no big deal. Two other couples in our party were upgraded at check-in, but others were not. The upgrades were a very nice gesture, but made me a bit uncomfortable when our Matron of Honor was upgraded and not our Best Man, and they had paid the same amount for their rooms. Nobody in our party really seemed to care though, and thankfully, we had a great group of people with us. We were all just very happy to be there! I will say that though my friends were upgraded to the same level room as us, their room was much bigger with a sitting area with two couches and they had 2 tv’s in their room. Our room was more updated and the bathroom was nicer, but smaller. We did bring 14 other people to the resort, and thought if some people in our party could get upgraded, then we should, too, for that fact alone. But again, not a big deal, because we did get what we paid for, which was still very nice, and we were all just very happy to be there, to be getting married, and to have our friends with us. And so far, the resort was gorgeous! Our friends’ room was a nice gathering place because it was on the ground floor right by the pool, and we were able to get together there to watch the football game on Sunday, meet there before meals, and use their room as the "break-room" while at the pool or beach. So it worked out quite well. That night, most of us ate at the Courtyard restaurant – nice meal and great atmosphere. I’ll say right now that basically all of the food at the resort was good – not out of this world, but not bad at all. Which is about what I was expecting.

Sunday morning, like all mornings, we ate at the Regency’s buffet. Not bad at all – the omelet station was great, as were the mimosas! My fiancé and I had an appointment that morning with Nadine, our on-site wedding coordinator, who was very nice and helpful. At first I thought she was slightly uninterested, but I attributed it to her being very busy, as I know there were several other weddings taking place that week. I also think it took me a couple of days to get used to the “No problem, Mon” mentality in Jamaica. Whenever I had a worry about any of the details, this was the response I received from anyone at the resort. But everything really did work out so I really didn’t have to worry anyway. The Jamaicans just may be on to something here! Nadine did try to get us to purchase more of the extras than we wanted to, but didn’t seem too put off when we didn’t. She did encourage us to buy a small photo package, and told us we’d want to buy more than we thought we would, and she was right. I had a wonderful massage after our meeting, while my fiancé lounged at the pool with our friends. Then we all met in our friends’ room to watch our favorite NFL team’s football game, and room service was more then accommodating when we kept calling for more beer and munchies. At 5:00, my fiancé and I had a pre-marital counseling session where we met the minister. There were 2 other couples in the session with us, both of whom were getting married the following day. Reverend Gordon was very nice, and I really enjoyed meeting and listening to him, and I appreciate that he takes the time to do this for each and every couple that gets married at the resort, instead of just marrying a bunch of strangers immediately. It only takes up about an hour of your time, and it’s worth it. That night, we all went to Cricketers Pub for dinner, which was really fun! It was more low-key and casual, which is what we all wanted that night, and the food was good. I especially liked their pasta and their fish and chips, as well as the bread pudding! The staff members there were great – very friendly and entertaining!

Monday was spent at the beach. Our rooms were all located at the far end of the resort, which we loved - it was as if we had our own little beach and our own pool. The guys had fun drinking beer on the float in the water, while us gals lounged on the beach drinking tropical concoctions. This is where Ricardo comes in – HE WAS AWESOME! Ricardo is a waiter from the beach grill, and would go from beach to beach and pool to pool taking drink orders, and was more than happy to keep coming back with more and more drinks! He really went above and beyond, and was super friendly. He even made sure to stop by during our wedding to say hi! My fiancé and I had reserved a Candlelight dinner for this night, which was served in one of the gazebos on the pier. It was quite windy and dark. Again, the food was good, but not great – the lobster was a bit mushy. But it was a nice romantic evening. Even after the popcorn bag with the candle caught on fire.

Tuesday, my fiancé and I enjoyed a lazy day at the resort, while many of our friends went into town to Margaritaville. Our friends had so much fun there, they convinced us to go back with them on Friday – they have a huge slide that dumps you right into Sea, which was quite exhilarating. That evening we all ate at the Thai restaurant on the private island. The ambience was amazing. The food was okay.

On Wednesday, we had another great beach and pool day, and my matron of honor was scheduled to appear on a very well-known talk show that afternoon (the host is perhaps one of the best known women in the world). All week, we tried getting someone – anyone – (Concierge office, front desk, guest services), to help us secure an area, perhaps in the piano lounge, where we could all watch it together at 4:00. Never really got an answer from anyone, so we planned to just sit in there and take over the tv beforehand to make sure we could watch. But, the cable apparently went out on the entire island (so we were told) at around 12:30 that day, and didn’t come back on until about 4:15, right as my friend was finishing up her interview. Thankfully we all had our DVR’s set at home. We went back to Cricketers for dinner that night, which was still fun and yummy.

Thursday was our wedding day, and the girls and I all went to breakfast together while the guys did the same. 4 of us then had spa treatments, and then lunch, and then it was time to start getting ready for the wedding, which was scheduled for 4:00. Nadine said she would come get my matron of honor and I from my room at 3:45 and take us to the pier where I would walk down to meet my groom. The wedding was really beautiful, and absolutely perfect. It was pretty windy, which I was warned about and offered an alternate location, but I refused. But it all worked out very, very well. We had chosen the one-hour reception in the garden with an open bar, which was nice, though they were certainly quick to pack it up 55 minutes into our hour. Davon, our photographer, took many, many pictures of us all over the resort, most of which were incredible, but probably more than we needed, and we were ready for our reception with our friends. For dinner, I had asked Nadine to please secure reservations for all 16 of us at the Regency, and though they don’t normally make reservations for that many, she said she would take care of it. I was a little irritated early on in my planning, because every time I spoke with the off-site wedding coordinator via email or phone, I was told that I would have to reserve a special dinner reception option in order to ensure we all sat for dinner together – and these options were priced anywhere from $75-150 per head. I thought that was ridiculous, seeing as our meals were supposed to be included in our vacation, and I wasn’t asking for a special menu. But anyway, much to my very pleasant surprise, Nadine had organized one of these dinners for us (on the house), for which I am very grateful. We had a head table for the 2 of us, and then a long table extended from the middle of ours for all our guests. It was held on the Regency’s outside deck among the tiki torches, and was just beautiful. We had pre-printed menus with our names and wedding date, and a pre-arranged basic menu for our entire party. Towards the end of dinner, our waiter brought over two other resort employees, who sang a beautiful ac capella version of Shania Twain’s “From This Moment.” It really was a beautiful, perfect day. WAY beyond my expectations.

Friday was a just "fun" day – some of us ventured back to Margaritaville, some over to Ocho Rios, and some went deep-sea fishing.. It was a fun last day.

Saturday, after breakfast, we packed up and checked out. We stayed at the resort until our 2:45 shuttle was to take us back to the airport, and we more or less just lounged around the comfy lobby and had lunch at Cricketers. The Concierge gave us a key to a room where we could shower and change if we wanted to after swimming, which was very nice.

All in all, it was a terrific vacation, wedding, and honeymoon. The weather was perfect, the drinks were a-plenty, and the food wasn’t bad. It was nice knowing that everything was taken care of for you, and that your biggest decision of the day was “Pool or Beach?” Not a soul requested a tip, though we did slip a bit to a couple of employees who really went above and beyond as far as we’re concerned. The locals really didn’t bother us that much. We were friendly, and didn’t stop to entertain them much, and I did buy a necklace from them. We were offered some ganja, but politely turned it down, and they weren’t rude to us at all. A minor annoyance, but kind of a funny memory.

What a vacation to remember! I am totally sold on Sandals and can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — The staff, the service, the decor, the easy-going attitude, the drinks!
  • Disliked — There were minor glitches, but nothing that I really
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
17 Thank Vicki1669
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2007

We had a wonderful stay. Our room was one of the new riverfront suites. It was very nice. The rooms and the resort were very clean. I was a little worried about that, but they far surpassed my expectations. My wife and I commented several times on how they are always cleaning. We had a maid twice a day, our buttle straightened up for us, they garden all the time, and all of the restaurants were very nice. I would deffinately stay at this hotel again. I have absolutely not one complaint. The buttlers are very nice and make the stay alot earier!

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank pleasexcusem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2007

Entering our shabby and dirty room after hours of waiting at the airport and the two-minute (right!) checkin was the straw that broke this camel's back. I've seen more modern discount highway hotel rooms -- with all of them being cleaner.

Our room smelled like the inside of a locker. Not to be outdone, the bars around the "resort" were equally smelly -- from masses of spilled drinks that had never seen a mop either, I would gather.

We had travelled with a group. Many of our colleagues gained bug bites in their rooms. The welts remained even with their ongoing use of antihistamine lotion, which just happened to be sold at the on-site gift shop. Luckily we did not get bites -- we attribute it to the smelly room and/or the insects that had burrowed tunnels into our bathroom wall, just below the window. Termites maybe?

The food was ok. We did think with the dress code that it would be marvellous. Not so. We did have some nice waiters though.

The beaches -- or sand patches -- were small. Even the private island offered little sand. There were few chaises offered on the island and the bathroom facilities were extremely poor. One would see better at a corner gas station.

The "activities" were limited. We spared ourselves the glass bottom boat tour as others told us you could not really see through the glass due to the algae.

Would we stay there again? Never. I wanted to go home as soon as we saw our room.

Shame on Sandals for promoting itself as top of line. This location does not deserve five stars. Do not even consider going there.

  • Liked — Going home
  • Disliked — Dirt, dirt and bad smells
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank JDGCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2007

This was our second visit to Royal Carribean, but we have also been to Montego Bay, and Beaches Ochos Rios. Loved them all!!! We went with two other couples and are planning our next trip to Sandals in 2 years!!! Can't wait to return!!!! The resort is very clean, and beautiful! Beaches are SO clean and pretty! Would HIGHLY recommend this and or any other Sandals resort to other travelers!!!

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank Beanne17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2007

we just got back and had to write if you are planning to go to sandals
royal do not think twice go its a nice place it shows they have spent some big money renewing the place, the new pub is agreat idea, the food is good in all restaurants, its grounds are well kept but your vacation will get a boost from the staff from the front with joseph and marlon to all the guys at cricketeers pub to the beach with chris, niel, dwight. iam a signature guest for the first time at sanals royal and they all made us at home, tuesday we had close friends come and spend the day with us mickey from sandals ocho rios and homa from sandals golf course it rained all day but we had agreat time the pub was agreat place to drink eat and have agreat time thank
you so much all at sandals royal and if you read any bad reviews on this resort iam sorry idid not see any thing that would stop me from going back to this resort

  • Liked — its all good
  • Disliked — nothing bad to say
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank golfjohn
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

Property: 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:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 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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