There are just not enough good things I can say about this resort and Sandals in general. I will try my best though. The activities, playmakers/entertainment staff, general staff, and amazing food make this a place you want to visit again and again.
My husband and I had a 4-day weekend off from school, and this is exactly where we wanted to spend it. For those of you going soon, Friday night is beach night - work on your limbo in advance! The food is amazing, but the line can get lengthy, so go early (starts at 6:30). Saturday was Reggae Fest night, Sunday Jamaica night (GREAT CULTURAL DANCE PERFORMANCE), and Monday was White Night (we didn't get to stay for this - we left around 2pm, but the decorations on the almond Terrace were already switched out and fantastic! It is that attention to those details -- different wraps and lights and "props" on the trees/stage at the Almond Terrace and around the resort-- that make this resort really remarkable)!
Besides the awesomeness of getting away from snow storm after snow storm in the states, this is the most beautiful time of year to visit. It is warm without being offensively hot (and there were days in July/August during our past visits that really were - good thing there are many pools and slushy drinks at all Sandals locations!) Truly, if you can get away during Feb/March, do it!
There has been quite a bit of staff turnover since our last visit in August, 2011, but some of it is really quite for the better. The GM (Louis Grant) is still the GM, and HE IS THE MAN! He is omnipresent at the resort. He oversees it all. He welcomes guests, wishes them well at departure, visits the island each day, checks on the food, checks on the rooms, talks to anyone who smiles and says hi. He is incredible (and possibly a machine!). He makes me aspire to be a better manager.
The playmakers are F-U-N! Theo and Lady Storm and Crazy man, Chico, and HOLLYWOOD were there to get you involved and make you do the crazy things you would do only after many Jamaican Smiles or Purple Rains (try those two if you like sweet drinks!). Micah at Cricketers is the Master Mixer. He was so much fun while we waited for karaoke to start. Albert and Jagan also rock the beverage service at the main pool bar!
The front desk staff were fantastic with both a room change and a lost-and-found situation. We were given one heck of an upgrade - possibly because we were returners, but if we hadn't been uber-loyal Sandals customers before that, we sure as heck are now! Big kudos and huge thanks to Rayo and the whole front-desk team!
I also have to point out Pheonia, Andrei, and Melessia at Le Jardinier - WOW! What service and wonderful conversation we had with them. And the food: out-of-this-world. I know reservations are hard to get - trust me, it is worth it to get in at some point during your stay. The escargot alone is worth the price of admission (which is free as it is all-inclusive, right?!), but the filet, butter-poached shrimp, onion soup, and delectable crème brulee are just divine.
A food "to do:" have breakfast at The Cricketer's one morning. We LOVE the buffet and especially the omelets to order, but we learned at Negril last year (through a tripadvisor's tip), there are FABULOUS breakfast options at the dine-in restaurants. So check it out - the Eggs Benedict with Salmon, the open-faced omelets, and the Chunky banana French toast are worth checking it out!
My disappointments are few. You do need to get up early to reserve chairs at the pool or on the beach if you don't have butler service, but you will likely be up early anyway (and so will the rest of the resort)....just wait 'til I get to the peacock. The guy who machetes off the top of the whole coconut and pours in the rum wasn't there for the beach party this go...those are VERY tasty if he is there when you visit! And then there is the PEACOCK. UGH! The blasted thing "honks" and "caws" and just makes TREMENDOUS amounts of noise at 6:30 am. EVERY MORNING. He was directly outside (behind) the swim-up-suites each morning sitting atop the Wedding building making extreme amounts of noise. For hours. And hours. So, okay, Sandals, I am all for the environment and nature and yadda yadda, but I am saying it is a darn good thing peacocks are pretty because otherwise they would be extinct. They are just plain evil sounding. I am not sure what, if anything, you can do about this (perhaps a good peacock soup?! just kidding), but it is literally the only thing that makes me think twice about a third visit. (But there is likely nothing will keep me away...you are just SO good at making everything Irie, mon!)
I will also say that having started in a "lower room category" and being upgraded to a SUPERB room (similar to the one we stayed at on our first visit), you get what you pay for. Lessons learned: 1 - Once you have had butler service, you really will not want to be without it. It’s not the end of the world for a short stay, but I did miss having my seats reserved for me and drinks occasionally brought my way (and reservations made for me and the butler-drawn hot tubs…the “perks” you get with butler service). 2 - Always ask if a room upgrade is available; it can't hurt to ask, and the worst they can say is no. 3 - Don't underestimate the power of Sandals' Customer Service: it is unsurpassed. Ask. Whatever it is. Ask. (I could not believe they found and had the "legs" to my cargo pants for the ride home three days after I arrived and left them at the beach grill! But I went to the desk and asked, and sure enough...there they were!) The staff LIVES to make you happy and your stay extraordinary. Don't be afraid to ask for anything. If something - anything - doesn't meet your expectations, say something to someone, and if it is within their power (and not totally outlandish), they will work to make it better or fix it. They are THAT serious about their service and their customers.
I didn’t even mention that you can stay at this resort and travel to the other two in Montego Bay. We didn’t have time this visit, but next time, for sure! So book today, and when you land at the airport, let all your cares float away because while you are a guest at Sandals Royal Caribbean, there truly are no worries, mon!
- 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:
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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