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“Even better than the last time...”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #5 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 18, 2012

This was our second trip to SRC and it was once again amazing. Because we were return guests, we received and upgrade to a concierge room for free, which was awesome! Our first trip consisted of only 4 nights & 5 days, which simply wasn't enough time. I felt like by the time we had everything figured out that it was time to go. Having a whole week this time and already knowing the resort, there are no words good enough to describe the awesome time we had!

We did venture to the other 2 Sandals one evening:

Our first stop was the Carlyle. This would be our choice if we were low on funds and would only stay there for the lower room price, and then shuttle to the other Sandals during the day. There just isn't much to it other than the hotel itself. There is a public beach across the street and my husband and I found it quite nice observing the local families playing in the water while we waited for our shuttle, and also had a couple of interesting conversations with a few people...one who was self-acclaimed as "The Pharmacist". LOL There supposedly is shopping with a short walk from there as well, but we did not feel comfortable going at night.

Second was Sandals Montego Bay. This resort is pretty big and seemed to have more younger couples. If you are of the social type and are more into the entertainment aspect, it may be the better choice. The beach was much larger but the portion roped off for swimming still wasn't very big...it seemed most of the beach was for water sports. On the whole, it is a lovely resort. We did not dine there. We tried forever to get a reservation for Tokyo Joe's but couldn't.

We were very glad to get back to SRC. It felt like coming home. SRC has so many little places that two people can settle into and enjoy each other and the beautiful gardens and water, which suits our tastes perfectly. After our excursion to the other Sandals, we sat out at one of the the gazebos until 2 am just enjoying the peace, beauty, and solitude. I have never had a more relaxing vacation in my entire life.

Our favorite place at SRC is the off-shore island. As a matter of fact, it's probably our favorite place in the whole world. We took our own snorkeling gear this year and saw so many beautiful fish on this natural reef. We also saw a few lobsters, LOTS of urchins (BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU STEP), and even a stingray. If you like to get away from the crowds, it's awesome, and also so many private places for a couple to relax. The buffet over there was probably the best food we had while we were there. I even got Diana, the parrot, to say hello to me twice =) We also dined there for dinner on our anniversary night and as it was the last time, the food was delicious and the night atmosphere lovely. We took the 6 pm slot and just stayed by the fire until the last boat.

The staff was wonderful and a shout-out to Lily, our maid. I could tell when she had her days off =) We loved coming in to find all the cute animals she made and decorated and placed on our bed each day. Little things mean a lot.

If anything negative at all, I think it's still too pricey, so we will save it for special occasions and not a yearly visit. I also wish the excursion desk had told us that the trip to Dunn's River Falls is 1 1/2 hours one way. Neither did I expect to actually climb the rocks IN the waterfalls, which was difficult for me as I have feet/leg/back issues.

It does appear that the resort has cracked down on some of the local traffic coming by in boats selling jewelry (and weed) and we were glad to see that. Here and there is ok, but we were bombarded on our first trip and that made enjoying the beach and gazebos difficult. Be very careful if you do purchase the greenery...we got totally screwed the first time.

Oh yes...one more minor complaint. I agree with the other posters...there should be a time limit on reserving the beach chairs. It's really rude to do that just because your butler can and then not use the chairs at all while other people have no place to sit. We didn't really use our concierge beach or pool for that very reason and it sort of defeats the purpose of having your own pool.

But...It's been 2 weeks since we came home and I find myself still daydreaming about the wonderful time we had. We will definitely come back!

Room Tip: Concierge rooms come with a stocked bar. Very nice.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Diana V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 18, 2012

Hello there. My new husband and I traveled to this resort just last week to get married there. Upon arrival are room was less than satisfactory. The Windsor building is awful ! Avoid it. Old and dirty and very noisy. In addition we had an unwanted visitor in our room! A cockroach !!!! When planning the wedding I was asked if I might want a bigger package and I said maybe but I wouldn't know until I saw the pictures. Suddenly it was automatically charged to my room. Good thing I didn't have a creditcard on file (which they ask for upon arrival) as it would have taken 3 weeks to clear that up.
After getting our wedding photo on cd we traveled back home and we were unable to blow up our picture bigger than a 5 X 7 due to the low resolution.
Overall not impressed with the resort however we were able to still have a good time, the last 3 days of the resort.

Room Tip: Kensington beach !!!! all the way
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

We went to Sandals from 3/31 - 4/7, and had a great time. This was my 4th Sandals vacation (also visited Grand Bahamian, Antigua and Regency La Toc in St. Lucia), and this property was definitely the smallest/most intimate of the group. We had a Swim up Suite and it was a lovely room - we really enjoyed having a pool right outside of our room and Sandals put us in a room right next to the couple we were traveling with, so that worked out great. I liked watching the hummingbirds and geckos while sitting in one of the lounge chairs that were adjacent to our pool.

We had beautiful weather, and for the most part the staff was very friendly and helpful. The only exceptions were a woman in the photo store and the bartenders on the island, who definitely acted like they were not happy to be there. Other than that, our Butlers, Hector and Curtis, were awesome, really professional and always there to lend a hand in obtaining a good table or bringing you a cooler at the beach. Really terrific guys. Curtis even came to the beach escort me to see the doctor when I was feeling ill (something I picked up at home, not at Sandals), and the nurse at the station was great. Our maid was terrific, the room was spotless, and the waiters/waitresses were overall very friendly.

This was one of the quieter Sandals compared to the others, and the main pool rather small, but we quite enjoyed the beach. If you're a big pool person, this pool may be too small for you. One thing I think Sandals should do is to designate smoking areas so people don't have to be subjected to second hand gross cigar and cigarette smoke. Also, some people were eating IN THE POOL, which I found gross as well, and should not be allowed as I have no desire to swim amongst soggy fries and bread.

I also would have enjoyed hearing more Reggae! I was surprised that the music they played by the pool, etc. was more "pop" than anything else. I was hoping to hear more Bob Marley, particularly because there was so much written on him at the resort. That would have put me more in an "island mood".

The beach was small but very nice, and you had the option of sitting under the shade of a large tree or under a cabana. We LOVED the island. There were some interesting fish to watch, so bring your snorkel and mask - no fins required. My friend actually got to see an octopus in the water on the nude beach side, which I missed, unfortunately. We did a snorkeling trip, which was quite fun. We also did a side trip to do some tubing, but it rained on us - but our guide Ned was terrific and quite informative about the history of Jamaica.

The food, as I find at all Sandals, is great for breakfast, good for lunch, and so-so for dinner. I find dinner to be hit or miss, some food was terrific (at the Pavilion, for instance) and somewhat mediocre at others. I was disappointed in the French place and the Regency, which I didn't find to be all that great.

Overall, we had a great time - I really enjoyed Jamaica and this Sandals was very pretty. I would go back without thinking twice about it, but if you're looking for a lively night spot, this isn't the place for you - go to the Montego Bay one. We ate at the Italian place there and it was very good.

Room Tip: The swim up suites are very nice (we were in room #35), but pricey. The beach walk out rooms looke...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Badkitty13x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

Second consecutive year for a week of luxury! Already planning to 'Soon Come Back.' The management paid attention to several other reviews about the entertainment. Entertainment was superb! Cannot get enough of the friendly staff. Everyone, to include the grounds maintenance crews, greet everyone with a friendly smile. Amazingly relaxing, despite the nearby airport. Jerk chicken buffet lunch on the island--enjoying the ocean breeze--remains a must.

Room Tip: Swim up zero entry Romeo and Juliet remains the top choice.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gator999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We knew that we wanted to do something extremely special to celebrate our twenty-five years together as husband and wife. Choosing a Sandals resort vacation to the Royal Caribbean was the right choice!! WOW ! Unbelievable romantic experience. We had the most fantastic time making great memories. I agree with another reviewer's comment - this is definitely a place for lovers! Having read numerous reviews here - we just had to see and experience it for ourselves.

The staff is so attentive to our every need and so sincere and friendly. We were so spoiled. We can't say enough about the quality of customer service that we experienced all week long. The entertainment and maintenance staff work tirelessly to make your stay there very pleasant and fun. The staff in the gift shop and front desk are also friendly and helpful.

The food at this resort is good. There were a couple of minor negative dining experiences. But those things do happen from time to time. Did not prevent from us from enjoying ourselves tremendously. The Mariner's Grill was our favorite for lunch at the beach! The Regency Buffet is worth checking out for breakfast and lunch. Impressed that Michael remembered our names each morning when he greeted us. Be sure to visit the Bayside restaurant over at Montego Bay resort. We will go there next time we visit more than once. The nightly live entertainment was very good. A real treat. White Night Party was a great part of our stay. The private island is a very unique experience.

Our room in Sandringham building was beautiful and just right for us --- the view of the evening sunsets was spectacular. Our favorite part was being able to enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio and then walk out 20 steps and be on the main beach. The housekeeping staff turned down our bed each night. They are very attentive as well.

We love the beach. We also loved being able to visit the secluded swimming pools through out the day. Watching the hummingbirds while we swam was really cool. These hidden pool areas are very peaceful.

This was our first all inclusive - adults only vacation. It is the way to go! We can't wait to return to the Royal Caribbean resort for another romantic vacation! We anticipate being loyal Sandals guests for many years to come!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JerryTallahassee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We had a wonderful time! The staff was amazing, the food was delicious, and the entertainment was fun. We went with an open mind and were pleasantly suprised.

The first night we saw the Steel Birds Kettle Drum Orchestra--they were one of the major highlights! We did the Canopy Zipline tour, which was also fun. Get to know the people at the water sports desk, they were so nice and happy to help. The scuba diving certification was totally worth it and made our trip so memorable. If you can't afford it then definitely get signed up for scuba diving!

We wish that we would have visited the tour desk earlier in the week. We wanted to go on the Appleton Rum tour, but missed it by a day. And wish we would have left the resort a little more, to explore the country. We brought donations for the orphanage and had hoped to go deliver them ourselves, but were told it was too dangerous. Instead the front desk helped arrange to have the items picked up by the facility director. The major disappointment was the airport being so near. The planes fly over all day and are so loud! We finally learned to just try to tune them out at the end of the week.

The Regency restaurant was our favorite. You don't need a reservation and you can sit on the water and watch the sunset. This trip was wonderful. It was so nice to be at a couple's resort. We hadn't anticipated how romantic it would be! We had a couple's massage at the beginning of the week, which was relaxing and really nice to do together. The grounds were well kept and clean.

We found the floating salesmen interesting to talk to and funny. They paddle by signing reggae! Also, we rarely saw any cats. The peacocks were pretty.

Cheers to the staff! Especially: Theon, Adrian, James, Tamara, Yogi, Jagan, Courtney, Stacia, ShelleyAnn, Fairweather, Zonya, Alrick, and Simone. They made our trip extra special and they all need raises!!! Thank you!

Room Tip: You can call Sandals and request which building and floor you would like.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kate S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We spent March 19th to March 30th at Sandals Royal Caribbean. What a wonderful vacation we had. This was our third year in a row at Royal Caribbean.

The quality of the food has always been good but this year it has taken a big step up. Kudos to all. The lobster and the steaks were great. The vegetables were fresh, flavorful and wonderfully cooked. The Thai overall much improved. We spoke with your chef Junior and let him know. The staff and management in all the restaurants are outstanding.

At the Beach grill, Krystal, Franchesco, Marie and Anecia made for a wonderful place for us to have lunch and play dominoes and the bartenders did a great job with our Sandals Joys and ice waters. Thanks to all !!

At Regency we loved everything - our omelets made by Michael, the staff who seated us, Chevelle who was always present, Andrei who served us dinner and often breakfast. Every morning Michael greeted us and all the guests with enthusiasm and panache. He is a super ambassador for Sandals.

The Pavillion staff was wonderful, the food delicious and Deon outstanding. Deon is one of the staff members we look forward to seeing each year.

The Thai restaurant was a great experience this year. We loved the chicken in coconut milk soup, the flavors were deep, rich and wonderful. Tracy Ann and Tenisha made for a delightful dining experience. Tracy Ann has been a joy to get to know over the years – from the beach grill to the Pavilion and now the Royal Thai. She is outstanding, talented, professional and warm.

Le Jardeniere was a great place to celebrate a birthday dinner. Georgia was our server that night and did a wonderful job. She is professional and polished. She is so welcoming and with such great knowledge of the wine list. Janice who we see year after year is such an elegant presence in the restaurant. Thank you.

Cricketters of course means Theon, Andre, and Kevin. Woop Woop out to Theon. What a great place to have a drink after dinner and feel like you belong. Thanks for the Drambuie !!

Nicola, with her wonderful hat, was a joy. We saw her everywhere always with a smile offering a drink or ice water. Thank you !!

One of our favorites and one of your best employees is Shameisha. She is a young energetic professional who is polished and a great asset for Sandals. We enjoyed tea with her on Wednesdays, dinner at the Regency when she served us as well as seeing her at breakfast. She has a friendly posivite attitude about all that she does.

Another stand out is Karem from the photo team. He is bright, talented, polite and very professional. He develops a great rapport with the guests and gets a good feel for shooting more creative pictures along with the standard set of poses. He also pays attention to the settings, the light and the composition of the pictures. Karem has great potentials.

Water Sports - Super staff. All pros and friendly. The pool maintenance is excellent. The boat crews very professional. The dive teams are the best of any Sandals we've been to. Very impressed by their professional ease and rapport.

The room maintenance and cleaningstaff have always been perfect and remain so today. We love the little special touches and the outstanding friendliness and desire to make our stay all the better. Thank You !!

The landscape& maintenance crews are also amazing. So much of SRC is the attention to every little thing. Nothing goes unnoticed. Mr Fairweather runs a great crew. The buildings, decks, facilities and gardens are such a special part of the overall experience. Other resorts let things slide. Never at Royal. Thank you !!

For your management staff we found Tashawn at the Loyality Desk to be a great help. He helped make a wonderful celebration for Alice’s birthday, as did Sheldon James by singing Happy Birthday in the gym at 7 in the morning. Your executive managers Sheldon and Julian are wonderful – professional and engaging. I owe Julian the instructions for our version of dominoes - and some lessons next time we are back.

To All - A very big THANK YOU !!

Peter & Alice Benfey

Room Tip: Book the room you want, if you get an upgrade that is wonderful, but if not you will still be happy.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pete-n-Alice
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

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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $491 - $1,286 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 4*
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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