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“A nice vacation resort”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 2, 2008

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.

Arrival
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.

Dining
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.

Activities
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.

Entertainment
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!

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Nicococure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,881 - 4,887 of 5,542 reviews

Reviewed March 2, 2008

This was our 8th Sandals/Beaches trip and we decided to give SRC a try. We only had 4 days at the resort before we had to switch to another Sandals to meet up with a large group of friends. The four days we had at SRC were absolutely fabulous. It is now our favorite resort!!

From the moment we walked into the lobby we just felt like we were 'home'. We were immediately greeted by Jeremy Mutton, the GM. He ushered us right into the Concierge room where he informed us that we had been upgraded to one of the brand new River Suites. It was a wonderful surprise after a pretty horrible travel day.

I can't even begin to tell you all of the wonderful things that Jeremy did for us. Let's just say, we were amazed by the personal attention. We loved it so much we booked at the Soon Come Back desk so we could go back again next year!

Of course when we did book it that way we made sure to include the information for our TA, Dream Makers Vacation Services. We wanted to be sure that the booking would carry over to them because they also have excellent service!! Here's a link to their website if you're in need of a travel agent with an excellent reputation. http://www.dreammakersvaca.com/

If you go to SRC you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SSM08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2008

It is hard to complain about a resort in Jamaica when it is so beautiful there. We had a great time for most of our vacation; the problems did not actually happen until the day we came home. There were six of us traveling together and one of us came home with a severe case of Salmonella poisoning. I had the feeling the entire time we were there that nothing was kept sanitary but tried to turn my head and look the other way. When we were at the bar on the beach, they would only rinse their glasses and use them again. According to our State Health Department it probably came from the fresh squeezed juices that were served, but not clear where it came from.
The service at the restaurants was slow. The dress code was a little ridiculous considering girls could wear tank tops and flip-flops but the men had to be more dressed up than average.
I am really not a big complainer and I always make the best of any situation, this was unacceptable to come home with something so terrible.

Stayed: January 2008
1  Thank julieannUtah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2008

Valentine's Day and Sandals, what could be more romantic? From the moment we entered the Sandals Welcome Center at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, our cares melted away. We were immediately welcomed "back" (how they knew, I have no idea) with a friendly smile and genuine wish to please--and please they did. This, our fourth Sandals trip, was the best. A short 15 minute trip to Sandals Royal Caribean, and we were expedited through "check-in" courtesy of the Concierge Desk with a cool washcloth and a cold Red Stripe! Our bags were in our room before we got there, and what a room. Just what we requested, a waterfront room overlooking the Caribbean and Sandals' private island. The room was spacious, the covered balcony was awesome, and the view breathtaking. The dining was exquisite, and the entertainment delightful. Of course moonlit nights just added to the romantic atmosphere. Truly, love is all you need.

As a returning guest, Sandals offered a complimentary cruise to Montego Bay. The cruise was a surprise and quickly became a highlight of the trip, particularly as our cruise guide was none other than Jeremy Mutton (the General Manager). To give you an idea for how special Sandals makes their guests feel, as we returned dockside every available supervisor was awaiting our return to shake our hands, thank us, and welcome us yet again.

The pearl white sand and turqoise water beckoned us to come and play. The entire property is clean and well maintained, and the Spa is an added treat. Market Day (Fridays) brings local artisans to the property without having to leave the resort.

But what makes Sandals Royal Caribbean the best by far is the staff. From our housekeeper (Ann Marie), to the staff at the Gift Shoppe (Wayde is too much!!), to our concierge Paulette, to Kaveen and Francis in Sales (Yes, we're coming back!!), to Jeremy Mutton who makes the whole package extraordinary. We can't wait to come home next year.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank BillBerny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2008

As soon as we arrived at Sandals, they found out we were engaged and upgraded our room. Things only got better from there. From the minute you arrive, it is obvious that the staff's only objective is making the guests feel like royalty. They go out of their way to make sure you do as little work as possible. One of the trip's highlights were our morning breakfasts overlooking the ocean. As soon as you are done filling your plate from the buffet, a staff member grabs your plate from you and carries it to your own private table on the restaurant balcony. From there you are offered some of, "Jamaica's finest coffee or tea!" We couldn't finish our morning coffee fast enough...Dorian was there with a fresh pot long before the first was gone.

The pool offered a fun place to hang out and listen to Caribbean music, and the private island offered a quiet place to relax by ourselves. We would certainly recommend making reservations to eat at both the French and Thai restaurants, but the authentic Jamaican restauant under the stars is a must also. Lunch every day is perfect, with the salad and sandwich options giving us plenty of variety. The only time we couldn't enjoy ourselves was the hour leading up to our departure because we were so depressed to be leaving.

I'm not sure how anyone could come out of this trip with a negative experience. We did hear people complaining throughout our trip, but the way the complainers carried themselves, it was clear that these were snobby, conceited, and selfish individuals who expected the world to bend over backwards for them. If you go into the trip expecting a relaxed and carefree week together with someone you love, bring plenty to read while laying out in the sun, and expect to spend an hour or two enjoying romantic meals with one another each night, I can't think of a better way to spend a week. If you expect a private butler to cater to your every need, or can't stand anything less than perfect, perhaps you should go someplace else. We can't say enough about our stay...and the Sandals staff.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank mmods718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2008

This was our second time at the Royal caribbean, and our time spent there was amazing. The staff are so friendly and kind and will do anything for you to make you stay even more enjoyable. The food is delicious, we both put on extra weight (cheers leighton or the ice cream!!). The hotel and grounds are imaculate and well maintained thanks to Roydell Williams and his team, you all do a fantastic job. The rooms are spacious and clean thank you Betty for her hard work and the extra coffee, it tastes lovely!! The entertainment is also good thanks to Janice and her hard working play makers.

There are so many members of staff we would like to thank that made our holiday so special and memorable if we forget your name we are sorry. Firstly an extra big thank you to Joseph (the bell man) well what can we say from the moment you get off the bus you are greated with a big smile which makes you feel welcomed and great to be back. He did so much for us during our stay which we are greatful for, but the most memorable for us was arranging the VIP car back to the airport he is a truly great man. Andrae aka Pretty Boy a friend made for life, who worked hard as our waiter working in the regency. Thank you to Coverly Robinson the food and beverages assistant manager for his hospitality when dining with us (twice) and arranging some extra special dinners. Thank you to Francis Amir for giving us the extra special treatment (good luck with the wedding). Jason Holloway who is such a character and a great laugh on the volley ball court (keep practicing those serves!). Oakley Cunningham for all your help and introducing us to Andrae who was a big help at the airport. Thank you Leighton Josephs for the room upgrade and getting us the same room, the ice cream was an extra bonus. There are so many memebrs of staff we would like to say hello to and a big thank you to but its hard to list them all, So here are just a few people in the bar there is Lincoln Green (good luck with the birth of you new baby girl) and his team not forgetting our favourites Ernest, Siggy, Albert, Theon, Kevin and Jason. Thanks to Nick Taylor and all his team for the great food and excellent service. Hello to Kaveen, sorry you couldn't quite match my quote but are we are still coming back and to Christopher and not forgetting Allan cheers for the bubbly in our room. Lastly a big thank you to Mr Mutton, Clive Edwards and all his team and we are sorry to anyone we have forgotten a big thank you to you also.

We can both highly recommend this hotel and look forward to seeing you all soon.

One love
Jon and Kirsty
England, Kingston.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank gunner_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

Booked the Grand Luxe Room for a 4 night Valentine's Day Escape. The resort was crowded but we received excellent service particularly from the bar staff. Nothing is too much trouble for them. Off- Shore Cay was a great way to escape the crowds at the main pool.
Room was a garden view, private & could not hear neighbors at all!!. Took advantage of the shuttle service to other Sandals Resorts & visited the Montego Bay property for dinner at Tokyo Joe's. All I can say is what a fantastic meal. On the Royal Carribean property, enjoyed the buffet breakfast (with omelet station) and the Cricketer's Pub. Tried the Vineyard Dinner (extra cost) and found it wasn't worth the extra cost.
The gym facilities were adequate but certainly could have used more cardio machines. Marlon the trainer is great. Try his power walk if you dare!!
All in all, a wonderful experience.

Stayed: February 2008
6  Thank Rumqueen
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:
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $439 - $1,144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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