We stayed at SRC Feb. 24-27th , and had a pleasant stay. I know Jamaica and its rural, non-tourist towns, but have stayed at resorts in Montego Bay and Trelawny. Our overall stay was fun and satisfying.
My husband (a first time visitor) and I planned our trip for a relaxing getaway at the resort, before spending the rest of our trip with relatives in a nearby town. Depending on what type of traveler you are, SRC may or may not be the place for you. It is close to the airport, (in many ways a plus) but very isolated from the neighboring village and locals who reside nearby. Unless you take an excursion you won't encounter them--and there's no point trying to take a short stroll beyond the walls to see what's nearby. This area is very different from MoBay’s “hip strip" area where lively bars, restaurants, tourist shops and markets beckon to you. I was a bit disheartened to realize that nothing else was around us, but in the end, we decided to just dwell on the activities and amenities at the SRC property.
We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary, so I put this in our Sandals.com reservation, and also called the resort a week before arriving to request a complimentary upgrade if available. We appreciated them honoring the request. The Royal Premium room in the Arundel building faced lovely gardens, was peaceful, clean and to our satisfaction.
Early on we made reservations for Le Jardinière and Royal Thai. However, our first evening we dined outside over the water and under the stars, watching the fish swim below at the Regency deck. It fast became our favorite for breakfast, lunch and dinner! We eat Thai often back home, and can eat French food elsewhere, but the menu, staff and location of the Regency were first rate. Breakfast Monday morning was a nice buffet with plenty of choices, but I noticed right away there was little traditional Jamaican fare. I asked a chef named Valford about this, and told him what we'd like. The next morning he found us, told us he had make ackee and saltfish with dumplings at our request, and Diana brought each of us a plate of true Jamaican breakfast!
Dinners we ate a la carte from the menu at The Regency and The Pavilion were very filling and delicious.
We’ll both be honest in saying that the size of the beach at this property was disappointing. The three beach areas are very narrow, and of no length to really take a romantic walk along the beach at night. You can’t swim out very far, either. Everyone is so crowded on loungers in the little beach area that going into the water, you feel like you have an audience. Other properties have larger beaches, if this is what you’re looking for. We did spend a day at the private island on a cabana, and this helped make up for what was lacking at the other beach.
We took advantage of the guided sailing trip (nice), the glass-bottom boat ride (not much to see in the bottom, but a nice ride out to see what’s along the beach), and kayaking. Some activities have limited schedules, so check carefully if you have something specific in mind.
Some evenings were painfully corny; others were really great. One night was dedicated to “The King.” We were among the younger guests there, so we weren’t as big fans as some of the more mature ladies (swooning). But he was a good impersonator, and we enjoyed the music. A group called Suri Cabaret performed one night, and had a Ricky Martin-like lead singer, a female backup, and three beautiful dancers who changed costumes several times. This was lively Caribbean music and pop hits turned reggae, and it brought everyone to their feet.
Some tips if you choose SRC:
--Request a complimentary upgrade if celebrating a special occasion. If available, they’ll honor it.
--Avoid mosquito "buzz" at night--keep your room door closed!
--Consider the free daytime transfer to Sandals MoBay, just to check out the scene.
--Spend one day at the Sandals Cay private island on a cabana. Relax.
-- If you think you’d like to dine there, make reservations for Royal Thai and Le Jardinière upon arrival. You can always cancel later.
--If you see (drunken) guests being encouraged on stage for the dance contest, find something else to do. Seriously. Painful.
--Skip pancakes and waffles and enjoy the Jamaican breakfast foods and fruits—delicious!
--Go beyond the walls of Sandals Royal Caribbean so you’ll know you were really “in Jamaica.” .
--Enjoy your vacation with your honey—it won’t be long enough!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Prestigia, TravelUp, Evoline ltd, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Travelocity and getaroom.com so you can book your Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel Montego Bay
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Jamaica
- Sandal Royal Caribbean