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“Expensive For Average”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Kent
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Expensive For Average”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We stayed at this hotel from 19 January 2013, 2 weeks. The check in was uneventful and we asked for an upgrade but none were available for 3 days. Our initial room was average and I would rate it about 3 stars. Then it came to using the toilet and when flushed for the first time, it flooded the bathroom. We complained and were offered another room, which was an upgrade. This second room was so old and shabby that I immediately complained again. The decor appeared about 30 years old, furniture was old and in awful condition and wires hanging out of the wall. We complained again and the duty manager stated there were no other rooms available. He was shocked when I told him how much we payed for the vacation and expected more for a 5 star hotel. He stated that there was nothing he could do but would pass our complaint on to the director of customer services. The following morning we viewed another room over the main entrance which was ok. We were told that this was one of the newer rooms but again I would rate it about 3 to 4 star. After some more complaining we were offered a concierge room which apparently was 10 standards above what we had payed for. This room was again about 3 to 4 stars but we decided to accept due to its location and size. The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. The beaches were small and difficult to get beds. We found that if we got up early and placed towells on the loungers, the butlers would remove them and reserve them for their clients. The beds were £80/$160 per day to rent. Awful considering other hotels we have stayed in offered beach beds for free, for half the price to stay. The island certainly was not paradise. The beach is tiny and not white powder sand but hard and stony. On the positive side, the staff were incredibly friendly and never argued when we complained. The food was great but we found we had to book at least 5 days in advance to get any of the restaurants that required reservations. Again, very disappointing after staying at other hotels where no reservations were required. Overall we enjoyed our stay as the weather was great and the food very good. However, we have paid half the price to stay at other hotels and have got more than this resort can ever offer. It is far too expensive and is a 4 star hotel, at the very best.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Mark3482
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Morris, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

We have visited the royal over a 100 visits and as always was welcomed by our friends, the management and staff are awesome. The food and beverage was excellent as always. Our disappointment in our trip was the entertainment. We felt the entertainment had really been cut back and missed the old ways. Also noticed that staffing was less and long hours noted for those working. Missed sitting and visiting with staff (Friends) as in the past. Not sure at this time, of a return to our home away from home hoping things will return to the way they used to be. As always grounds and rooms are alway beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Peter R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Room was a little old but spacious nicely appointed.
La Dejardiner was spectacular food amazing plus Miguel the chef came out talked to us about food you could feel his enthusiasm and love for food! Great Chef and person! Service there was perfect.
Roan the Regency Manager ran a great operation staff was perfect! Melissa was so sweet and caring made our breakfast that much better.
The GM was very ingratiating and accommodating you can tell it trickles down through management to employees.
Scuba dive master/instructor Jakes was simply perfect great sense of humour and great attention to detail. If you are Taking a Padi course ASK for JAKES hes the Mon!
Perfect end to our Vacay!

Room Tip: Try to book on oceanside peacocks on garden side can be very LOUD.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Livelykirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonds, Washington
Level Contributor
201 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

So, I never had the desire to stay at a Sandals. They always seem too trendy, and I always thought that I would somehow miss out on the experience of the country I was visiting if I stayed at an all-inclusive resort. Well, I sit corrected. This was an amazing vacation. Truly amazing. The resort is immaculate, and you are treated like royalty from the moment you arrive. It doesn't matter if you have purchased the cheapest room at the resort, or if you have butler service (which our honeymooning friends did), everyone is treated the same. The rooms were beautiful, the beds were comfortable, the drinks were free and flowing, the beach was cleaned and combed continually. It was like a dream land. There were countless choices for food, and your stay comes with access to all of the other Sandals on the island, and free shuttles to get you around to the other Sandals.

What I had not realized before this vacation was how different a stay at an all-couples resort can be. It completely changes the dynamic. Everyone there is in love, most of them are newlyweds, so there are no come-ons. The men were not checking out any women except their own. The women were not finding one-night stands. There was no sleeziness. It is almost like going to a Christian couples weekend retreat. It was so refreshing, and was my favorite thing about the vacation.

We were also able to visit as much of the island as we wanted. I had booked a driver prior to our trip, and did not book through Sandals (who offers similar services at higher rates). just check out the Tripadvisor reviews on private tour guides for the day... they will take you anywhere you want to go!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank tlawish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nyc
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

I'd like to say this was actually our 3rd visit to this resort. Our first trip was so amazing we thought we'd do it again. The staff, the entertainment, the food, and those amazing sunsets. We loved the resturants, the separate island. We went on excursions-dunns river falls, of course i manage to brake a toe but well worth it. lol Dalton is an amazing guide! Book an excursion!! On our second trip my better half got sick and we had to cut our trip on the 3rd day. I really have to say what an amazing group of excellent workers who helped us quickly and efficiently with our safe return home. I really wish we could remember the names of all those that helped us. We'd like to say "thank you so so much". We decide to try again the following year to carry out the rest of our vacation, we really glad we did. Although we noticed the staff changed with the exception of Ms. Verna, Courtney, and a few more familiar faces, and we yet again have received the same warm welcoming arms. We had a wonderful time! It was great seeing and visiting a place we love so much. Thank you again to all the lovely staff who have made our vacation a home away from home. We hope to go back again. ;) xoxo

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Smart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, PA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We booked this for ourselves and our daughter and son-in-law for their 5th wedding anniversary. We left a day earlier than they did.

This is a small facility compared to some of the other Sandals. However, the use of space is good and it is very pretty. The beach is small and the airport is nearby with planes flying over every couple of minutes. You get used to it though but then the peacocks start about 4:00 a.m. The rooms are adequate but are showing wear and tear. The little offshore island is cute but nothing near as exotic as Sandals advertises.

The service overall was pretty good and the staff much friendlier than some Sandals where we have stayed in the past. However, we did have a very bad incident at the end after we returned home. We received a phone call from our daughter in a major panic. She and her husband were trying to check out but she made an error in her checking and her checking card was declined. Sandals would not let them leave and they were going to miss their transport to the airport. My daughter put me on the phone with a staff person who would not take my credit card information to pay the bill saying it was against their policy. We were "disconnected" during the call. I then called the Sandals using the number from our itinerary and explained the situation to another staff person who was aware of the situation. This person also said this was against their policy to take credit cards over the phone and I explained that if Sandals was going to hold them hostage for payment yet refuse a reasonable offer to make payment, then Sandals would be responsible for the cost of flying them home which would be more than the $200 bill. I got put on hold three times. Finally someone (I think a manager) took my card information and then he hung up on me! I called my daughter back and she said the card went through. This is just stupid customer relations. While the policy may make sense generally, it did not make sense in this type of a situation.

At this point, we are pretty fed up with Sandals. It has been our experience that they lack flexibility and are sometimes unwilling to work with their customers.

Room Tip: Too close to airport. Not much beach.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tshowalter1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
108 Mile Ranch, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed March 14, 2013

The sandals Resort was a refreshing experience. We were familiar with Jamaica, having lived there for several years in the '70's doing volunteeer work. But this was an eye-opener. The property was the pride and joy of the employees. They were the most helpful, polite and caring hotel staff I have ever encountered. On asking some questions, I found out that the whole Sandals organization is there, not so much to make money, as to give local people a place of training and useful employment. There is a Sandals Foundation that provides arms-length funding for other community projects.
The food was goodand varied, although we had expected a bit of Jamaican ethnic food. The rooms were clean and well stocked. The entertainment was tasteful and varied. There was a good connections to outsides tours and excursions. I had a bit of a medical event and they looked after that with the greatest care.
This is our kind of tourism!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Clarpet_13
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 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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