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“Exciting and relaxing all in one!”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Exciting and relaxing all in one!”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had a great stay at the Royal C with the help of Hayley from Beach Bum Vacations. Hayley helped prep us for our stay by answering my numerous questions via email. She definitely went above and beyond and we will use them in all our future travels. Once we got accustomed to the culture of the resort and how it all ran, it provided us AMAZING food, great entertainment, along with relaxation. A couple pointers for first timers, know that they have a laid back attitude, there not the fastest. I think its in their culture and once you accept it, it helps to guide your expectations so you're not disappointed. You may have to ask twice or even a third but know you will get eventually what you want. There will be solicitors in the ocean trying to sell you things, and we had an unfortunate event of a staffer doing that as well. The staffer did put a damper on our evening, but nothing's perfect. But it didn't overshadow the positives of the resort. If we return, feel like now we know what to expect and how to handle it, so if you're a first timer just give it a chance.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Nseffrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Adrian, Michigan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Our first trip to Sandals - St Lucia (La-Toc) Beautiful view from our walk out beach front room. (Had to walk a short distance to the beach) but view made up for it. Employees were very nice. We got married on the beach & they organized everything. I only chose the cake flavor & flowers for my bouqet. Loved the pool on the second level of resort. There was one other couple & us that enjoyed the pool all week. Drinks plentiful better tasting when asked for double. Visited the other 2 resorts & very happy with the one we chose.
This visit I feel out did the first. We asked for an upgrade since it was our 10th anniversary & recieved one. When we arrived we were taken to the Concierge's office where they made us feel they were there to take care of us. Nicholas was outstanding. Anytime I stopped by with any questions he new our name & room number. Make sure to ask what restruants you need reservations for & book them right away.

Our room was well stocked with liquor as well as our refrigerator. Was very pleased we asked for the upgrade. We had a walk out room to a small beach which was 10 ft from the patio. We stayed in the Balmoral, will request the same room if possible. The building is away from all the activities so you feel like you have your own private area.

Make sure you visit Doninique in the Piano bar. He is GREAT. We did find out that we had to ask for top shelf liquor. Hollywood was also very entertaining on Kerokee/piano nights. Lots of fun. Make sure you participate to get points for your next visit.

A little disappointed with the bar area on theprivate Island. They were in the process of fixing the roof. The pool was not as clean as the others. It was nice not many people over there. Also glad we chose the Royal Caribbean over Montego Bay. When we visited the place was not kept as clean, the people not as friendly and the grounds/beaches not kept as well as ours.

Richie Rich kept the activities very entertaining. The Silver Birds & the Fire breathers were very good. The choreography for the other entertainment was great. Maybe one evening about the culture & comedians or smoething more. Water sports were nice.

Over all the expierence was amazing & would recommend to anyone. Can't wait to go back in 2014.

Room Tip: Rooms farther from the main beach area seem more private
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Renee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

First time at a Sandals. We choose this property based on a friends recommendation after they spent a week here in 2012. We were not disappointed. This property is quite, well maintained, with a very friendly staff and has numerous choices for dining that we were pleased with. A private island for sun and swimming are also part of this property, it has a Thai themed resturant on that island..make reservations as soon as you arrive for this as well as the French resturant. You also can use the facilities at 2 other properties which Sandals operates in the Montego Bay area. They also have several dining options that we enjoyed. Bartenders were great, watch Albert make his mud slides at the beach bar...great bloody mary's and bar food to include brick oven pizza. We had a great time. Only negative was that the Thai resturant didn't reach the authentic level, but that may have been just what we ordered or an off night. Looking for relaxation this is the place. Recommend that Dunns River Falls and the river raft ride. We will return.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Frank S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Florida
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

My wife and I returned to Royal on Jan 18, 2013 for another week in paradise. We have never been disappointed here, and this trip was no exception. After a year of health issues we felt that a week around the Kensington pool would be just what the doctor ordered. We were pampered with in your lounge chair drink orders, wonderful food, great service, and new entertainment.

The Sandals dance groups we saw on two separate nights were top notch. One night there were dancers from Cuba that were simply amazing. On another night a second Sandals group showcased Jamaican folk dances that were electric with the fast paced show. The beach party Friday night was just as good with fire dancers and as always a limbo contest. We also enjoyed the Tuesday returning guest dinner hosted by General Manager Louis Grant. It was "special" to once again receive Appleton Special since Sandals has returned to Appleton for their rum.

Again, the service all week was excellent with smiles from everyone on staff. A special mention to Chef Sherene at Mariners Grill for exceeding our expectations. She remembered my wife from previous visits and when she was told we missed seeing pepper shrimp on the menu she surprised us by making a plate of the shrimp without being asked. This is one of the many reasons we continue to spend our vacation dollars in Jamaica with Sandals. Although we have been to all the Sandals properties in the Caribbean, we keep returning to Jamaica for their true hospitality. While there we were visited by the Guest Relations Manager Okley Cunningham to insure we were well taken care of. Okley told us Royal always strives to exceed guests expectations, and if anything was less to let him attempt to correct the problem. Neville as always made sure we were comfortable around the pool and would stop by each day to chat and be sure "everting was irie".

Thanks Royal for a wonderful week. See you in September.

Room Tip: The Kensingon Block is a quiet and relaxing area to recharge.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank parrothead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Just had our 5th awesome vacation at this Sandals. We keep going back because we love the people here. They always welcome us home and make us feel special. The food is excellent....and the french restaurant should not be missed. Verna serves a great drink with a beautiful smile at the pool bar and the entertainment crew works hard to keep us happy. Mr. Grant and the rest of the management team stay visible and helpful. We signed up again for next year.....where else would we go?....but home to see our sandals family.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank NewJerseyJillita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

This is the first time at a Sandals and Jamaica. I would recommend it to anyone! The area is so lush and beautiful, the beach stunning, if a little small and staff are second to none! Special shout out and kudos to Verna, Cory, Kevin, Omar, Cleveland, Chico and Holywood who all made our stay memorable.

We upgraded to the Royal Grand Luxe Room and found it to be spacious and well kept. The only suggestion about the room would have been to have two types of curtains. Light blocking curtains (which were present) and curtains that did not allow people to see into the room but did allow light to enter. We found that our room was much too dark and were forced to turn on the lights if we didn't want others to see us when we changed in the day.

The food at this resort and the other nearby Sandals resorts (which you could visit at any time for free) were out of this world! The wait staff were always genial and very helpful. We did not find our resort to be overcrowded at all and easy to get drinks at any location. The drink selection was also great and the bartending/bartenders were fantastic.

We didn't want a party resort but found that the night entertainment to be lacking (except for the silver birds and the fire breather) and the music in the day to be a little sleepy. The most upbeat music was played during water aerobics and that was it. This may be because the average age at this resort was 50s-60s and our group were all in our early 30's. I realize you can't cater to everyone all the time but a variety of music during the day would have been better. As for the night entertainment I was was sorely disappointed. I was at 5 star and 4 star resorts in Dominican Republic and both had a much better selection of entertainment that here. I expected so much more at a Sandals given how much we paid. Having that said there was a lot more water sports options for free than any other resort I had been to. The sports staff were very helpful and knowledgeable!

The resort provided local merchants to come on the resort. I had been told that Jamaicans were very pushy when selling their wares and to expect them to be much worse than those in Dominican. My experience couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, they were extremely laid back and kind. I felt safe on and off the resort.

Overall the experience was amazing and we would recommend it to anyone and I would go back again but I'm not so certain that it was worth the full price we paid.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Perch13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

This was our first Sandals experience and will not be our last. We are a couple in our early 30s and stayed in the Buckingham building in the Royal Honeymoon crystal lagoon walkout suite with a butler. We mostly just relaxed at the beach/pool and our room and just did the a la carte’s at night with the exception of the beach party which was amazing. We were there January 2013.

Service: The service at this resort was amazing. We often saw the staff walking around singing, always friendly and willing to do whatever you’d like to make your stay enjoyable. Our butler’s Hughill and Ellis were great and always made sure we had what we needed without being intrusive. We’re not “butler” type people but after having such great service I don’t think we could do without a butler on future Sandals vacations. I would 100% request them as our butler’s if we were to return. I would highly recommend butler service at Sandals if you can afford it since the things that made our stay great was a result of having a butler level room (24 hour room service, liquor in the room, reserved chairs at the pool/beach with a cooler ready for us, turn down service, fun (and often tasty) surprises, quick check in (we didn’t have to wait for our room) and check out, reservations to all the a la carte restaurants we wanted etc…
Other staff that was great: Neville was always working hard and happily cleaning our pool and very friendly, the snorkeling crew in water sports made our snorkeling trip a lot of fun and Stephane in water sports took us out on the hobbie cat which he made it a lot of fun and was great to talk with. All of our staff encounters were positive.

Resort: I loved that this resort was just 10min from the airport (a major factor for my husband in choosing this resort). The only thing I found mildly annoying was the planes. The resort is under the flight path of planes taking off which starts usually around noon until the evening. It’s quite loud but only interrupts us for about 40sec each time. We loved that the resort is small and you really get to know the other vacationers and staff. We never had a hard time finding a spot at the beach or pool – even when we didn’t have our butler reserve our spots. The resort never seemed crowded. Not a large beach but the island makes up for it. The only thing I didn’t like was that there are breakers in the water so you don’t get the waves coming into the shore.

Food: The food was great. We didn’t have one bad meal and the house wine was great – I didn’t feel the need to upgrade and pay for the wine. For a resort I thought the food was better than average. We ate at the a la carte restaurants at SRC and Montego Bay – the Italian restaurant I thought was the best. The pizza on the beach was amazing!

Room: I thought our room was good although it would have been nice to have a little sitting area within the room – I would likely try and get a room with that feature next time. Washroom was great with big shower, Jacuzzi tub, dual sinks. Bed was comfortable. I loved that our room walked out to the pool although I’m not sure we would choose this type of room next time. There was no sun on the room side of the pool so we would have to walk around to the other side of the pool – not a big deal but I thought we’d be able to sit on our patio chair and get some sun at some point in the day. And my only real complaint was that the pool was way too cold to swim in, which also defeats the purpose of having your room walkout to the pool. It’s personal preference though so next time we’ll get a room with a walkout to the beach. I would probably choose the Kensington block since we prefer more quiet and privacy.

Tips: We were told by one of the bartenders that staff would get fired on the spot if they got caught taking a tip (except butlers who are allowed to be tipped) - so we would never risk offering a tip to staff because we would feel horrible if someone lost their job because of that. We never felt pressured to tip although we did get a few hints. We were told by the bartender that the best tip they could get is a positive personal review. Unfortunately I found this out at the end of our trip and since I have a horrible memory I couldn’t remember many names. So try to remember names if you get good service 

Entertainment: The beach party was a lot of fun and is set up in a way that you get to interact with other vacationers over dinner. We loved that. We didn't really see any other entertainment, either because we were too late getting back from dinner or it just didn't interest us.

Overall we loved the resort and the service we got. We loved Jamaica and the people there. Although I can’t say for sure whether we’ll be back to SRC, we will definitely try out other Sandals resorts as well as Beaches with our kids.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank m430
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 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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