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“Trip Saved due to the best TA Ruth DeMuth from Tripguy”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #6 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Medford, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Trip Saved due to the best TA Ruth DeMuth from Tripguy”
Reviewed February 11, 2014 via mobile

After spending a week at Sandals Grande Riviera we were given a private transfer for our 1st split stay to Sandals Royal Caribbean. We planned a 5 night stay here because we wanted to be closer to the airport on departure day. It was our first time to this resort.
Upon arrival we had a few hiccups and were not feeling the warm and fuzzies.
I immediately emailed my fabulous travel agent the wonderful Ruth DeMuth to get our issues sorted and literally received a response within 2 minutes! She was on the case and it was a great feeling to have someone on my side! Thanks again Ruth.
We were very lucky in that we had the wonderful butler team of Hughill & Ellis. They are both true professions and were able to immediately get a feel of what we were looking for during our stay. They really helped turn our bumpy start into a relaxing stay. If you're planning a visit here, cross your fingers that they are you butlers. Thank you Hughill & Ellis!
If you're concerned about airplane noise, please put your fears to rest. Yes, the 1st few times they passed, I was startled for a moment but by the time the 3rd plane flew over, it was not at all bothersome.
Our lounge chairs were set up for us on the beach with a cooler full of water and diet coke, which is exactly what we wanted. There was excellent drink service on the beach! I'm talking literally every 5 minutes so you never had to wait for a cocktail.
On our 2nd full day we decided to venture over to the CO part of the private island. On that particular day, the dragon boat was not running and they were using a regular boat. I forgot the boat operators name but as a boat owner myself, I was amazed at her docking skills! She was awesome.
There were only a few people at the CO area when we arrived and there was an older gentleman who was alone and stared a little too long. We had met one of the couples at the returning guest dinner at SGR so we chatted for a few minutes and decided we would move our lounge chairs to a more secluded spot. Unfortunately we weren't getting any sun in that area so we decided to take the boat back to the main beach.
One phone call to our butler and there were lounge chairs ready and waiting for us when we got back!
The GM Louis Grant and Tamara (butler manager) had come to see us on the beach to let us know that Ruth had been in constant touch to sort out the bumps. They are both class acts and am very happy to have spent some time with them!
Breakfast is always our favorite meal and The Regency did not dissapoint. My favorite is the banana bread. Yum! There is a nice variety and the food is fresh.
For dinner we had surf and turf a few times and it was always delicious. The lobster tails were wonderful and the steaks were cooked to perfection. The portions were quite generous! If you like shrimp, make sure to try the Tiger Shrimp from the Regency. The beef patties from the grill were also a favorite.
We didn't go in any of the pools but plenty of people were in them. Towels were never an issue.
On our last full day we had a cabana on the beach. There was some spotty showers that day so it was the perfect place to be. Nicole was our cabana concierge and kept bringing me Dirty Bananas without me asking for them
The resort has a really nice vibe to it. It was at 100% occupancy but did not feel crowded. The one thing I didn't really like was that there were a number of groups during our stay. I feel groups change the "couples in love" feel but that's just my opinion.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Onlywannatravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
148 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014 via mobile

We chose to stay in Montego Bay due to a short window of opportunity for a vacation. We booked our reservations through Go Classy travel agency. We highly recommend them.

Arrived through customs, immigration and transportation to sandals Royal Caribbean and 60 minutes!

Upon check in my first impression was that sandals Royal Caribbean is a smaller resort that utilizes their Limited space. The beach was surprisingly small and unimpressive.

Our room was not ready so they sent us to Mariners for lunch. My wife enjoyed her BLT but I did not enjoy the processed taste of the fish sandwich. After lunch our room was still not ready. Our patience was wearing thin. The checking process here is too formal and one of the worst of any all-inclusive we have visited. I recommend to simplify the process. At times it seems like we were held hostage in "club sandals" waiting for room. Management please note after a long day of travel, travelers want a expedited process that is smooth and gets them outside enjoying the sun and not stuck inside a small room.

Eventually they found a room for us and fortunately we were upgraded to a oceanfront accommodation with in room bar. The room was nice overall.

The Friday night beach party located on the main beach was above average. I was frustrated that there were not many restaurant options available for this evening. With that being said the barbecue at the buffet was delicious.

The sandals Cay Island is a pleasantly drastic difference from the main resort. I believe this saved our vacation as I was not overly impressed with the main resort. The island had a cool bohemian feel with a modern pool and swim up bar. The clothing optional section was clearly too small and was an after thought. This could be improved and expanded. The lunch at the bamboo shack featuring jerk pork, chicken, and sausage was outstanding! The jerk chicken could also be found at Mariners on the main beach. The jerk at both location is the BEST I've had!

Dinner at Le Jardrne was excellent. We had the rack of lamb and beef tenderloin. Portion size is small. Make reservation as soon as you arrive. Next time I will order a second main dish.

Dinner at the Regency had exceedingly poor table service. The food was pretty good though. Try the lobster and jerk snapper. Skip the mahi mahi.

The celebration of reggae night on Saturday was extraordinary fun and interactive. Dancing followed at cricketers pub was disappointing. Please mix in some modern music(pop, hip hop, dance hall) with the 70s disco. We tried to request a song and we were ignored by the DJ.

Saturday night a county and western singer performed solo without a band. He was laid back but overall excellent and the crowd loved it. I did not particularly enjoy the dance group that followed.

Frozen drinks seem to be light on alcohol throughout the resort. Ask for a rum floater to step it up. Also there was an aged rum from Appleton that I recommend.

Airplane traffic was noticeable but not a factor.

The gym was nice plenty of weight and cardio equipments. Management please note the temperature way too hot. Additional fans for treadmills and air conditioning would be much appreciated for those working out.

Last year we stayed at couples resort in Negril. In comparison I believe overall the resort/beach is better at couples. The rooms are much nicer at sandals. The food, service, Beach, resort was better overall at couples. I believe if we have a extended vacation five nights or greater we would invest the time to travel to Negril.

If you have a short vacation for four nights or less, I would choose sandals Royal Caribbean due close location to the airport.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank TripadCaptain1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Just returned from a week at this picturesque, laid-back, friendly resort. Third time to a Sandals - something special about this one, so we're already booked for next year - first repeat location. Not necessarily the flashiest resort in the chain, but we're here for reliable weather (ignore the forecasts - there's a little bit of rain/cloud here and there - 85% sunshine), great selection of food, peace and quiet (lots of party folks you can play with, if that's your thing) and some of the friendliest people on earth. Planes overhead are NOT an issue and it's so great being 10 minutes from the airport. There are always complainers - ignore them - don't worry, be happy. Focus on the positive and count your blessings that you are in a position to be able to travel to this tropical paradise.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MJscomingbacksoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malmo, Sweden
1 review
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Eva and I came from ice cold Sweden end of January and just melted immediately at this resort paradise with its excellent, very very friendly and humorous staff. Ya, man, One Love goes to all of you! A special warm greeting from "Wife" (Eva) and myself goes to my hero and scuba diving instructor Paul "Diesel" Dunn! Also to the rest of Mr Boota's super team at the sailing boat area!Diesel took very good care of me and my scuba training and all of sudden I was down with him at 12 meters exploring stingrays and lobsters at one of the reefs just minutes away with the diving boat. Tip: Take advantage of the warm eastern breeze that builds up in the afternoons and have great fun sailing the catamaran hobies by yourself or let somebody in Mr Boota's team take you on a trip. 300-400 meters out to the sea and stretching parallel to the resort beach and beyond to the east, there is a natural "wave braker" so you have the beach plus the bay where you sail free of waves. The rest of the resort is just very beautiful with excellent and cosy restaurants. We do hope to be back some day!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ThomasT4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2014

we went to SRC after a week at Sandals in Ocho Rios. We loved the compact plantation feel here with the great lawn, tropical gardens and 2 story bungalows. The staff were excellent and go out of their way to give you a great experience.. nothing to do but relax and enjoy.
we were met by Andre, our concierge on arrival, given drinks, a tour of the property and a choice of rooms. wow. We chose #2217 in the Buckingham, for the private swim up pool off our patio. The second floor gave us privacy and an ocean view. It gets windy sometimes, so this secluded area was a good choice. Everything was close by, no long walks or stairs. Plenty of chairs and towels by the pool and a swim up bar. Late afternoons featured a cocktail party and Martini party. Evenings had nightly theme parties as well as excellent entertainment, steel band, singers etc. The firepits on the beach had comfy couches to lounge on. The food was outstanding, superior quality. we liked the well replenished buffet for breakfast with an omelette station, plenty of fruit and seating outdoors by the water. Cricketeer, the other breakfast option was small and crowded and the service slow.
The offshore island was very popular, with an excellent Thai restaurant and really great jerk chicken at the Bamboo Shack. It is pretty rustic and could use some better lounge chairs. Lots of towels by the pool, and great massages on the beach. Clothing optional.This resort is 10 minutes from the airport, so there is noise from the planes in the afternoon. The beach area is not large, but we found it adequate. If you want long beaches go to Negril. If you want a large multi resort experience go to Ocho Rios. The staff here absolutely make this resort a great holiday experience, kudos to Andre our concierge and Neville for looking after us at the pool every day. We took the shuttle to the adjacent Sandals one night for an Italian dinner at Cuicina Romana and had a superb 3 course meal, The concierge made all our reservations. We'll go back to SRC for sure. The MoBay lounge at the airport was great and worth $30.00 to avoid the long airport line-ups. They have an open bar and lots of hot food items. Get your entry pass stamped when you leave in case your flight is delayed and you want to return

Room Tip: get a club level and a concierge. Balmoral rooms on the beach are great except for when it gets wind...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank maureen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014

We stayed for 2 weeks and, although we are in our 70s and didn't participate in any activities we didn't get bored. This was our first time at a Sandals, (last year we were at Beaches in T&C) and loved that it was adults only. We were lucky enough to get an upgrade to a concierge room with alcohol stocked bar in the Kensington building. You lose nothing by asking. We looked down on the pool 30 feet away and the waterfront 60 feet away.It was wonderful
Joanna at the Island Tour Routes was wonderful in organizing our excursions, Ricardo at the Regency made great omelettes, Janice at Regency always greeted us with a smile, Paul at Eleanor's served us with style, Francina, Verna and Cleveland at the Beach Bar were always helpful.
Like many others, we should have brought a flashlight to read the menu at the French restaurant. We weren't that impressed with this restaurant but loved the food everywhere else we ate.
Wonderful holiday.
Our only disappointment was that the beach was too short to walk on.
We made arrangements with patient Tashawn and will go to the Whitehouse next year where there is a good walking beach

Room Tip: Room in Kensington are close enough to everything but far enough that it is a quiet area. With it...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Louise S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, February 8, 2014
We're so happy to hear that you had a splendid stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We love to hear our guests boast about our great resort and the genuine hospitality of our friendly staff. We were so honored to be able to share this experience with you.

We can't wait to welcome you to Sandals Whitehouse next year!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Lake, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014

My wife and I spent 4 nights at SRC, this was our second trip to the Montego Bay area. At the recommendation of many friends and our travel agent we tried Sandals. We arrived and were greeted and received our rum punch to start the trip.

Staff: The resort would not be what it is if it wasn't for the staff. Everyone of them were amazing. Polite, friendly, helpful. Could not pass one of them without being greeted, fist bumped, or a cheerful Ya Mon, or Respect being said. The entertainment staff was GREAT, and I hope Sandals Royal knows that they would be lost without them. Storm, Ladon, Hollywood, and Kermit were the ones I dealt with the most and they were FANTASTIC people, and very talented. They make you laugh, smile, and relax. I wish I would have wrote down every person I dealt with, because they all deserve acknowledgement.


Resort: This resort is smaller than Sandals Montego Bay, which was nice. Clean and quiet, the layout is nice, and anything is just a small walk away. The staff was always painting, cleaning, working hard to make sure the resort was in good shape. The beach gets raked daily if not twice daily. The sand is a bit more gritty than a Sandals Montego Bay, but that didn't matter to us. I have read a lot of complaints about the beach condition and cleanliness. And what I would say is this, the cleanliness portion can fall on the guests, I saw more cigarette butts, and cigar butts on the beach then anything else. And the staff can only keep up with so much, put your butts in the ashtrays provided, and do no pollute the resort, the world is not your ashtray. That being said, generally the beach was clean, and no issues otherwise, at least nothing that anyone could/should blame the resort for.

Room:
We were taken to our room (6108 - Sandringham Building) it was right on the corner of the building, a few steps from the beach, and cabanas. Also just the right distance away from the Almond Terrace which was where all the evening activities were. The room was as described,the only thing we couldn't figure out was the thermostat, now in Sandals defense we could have called and asked what trick is, but we didn't. Bottom line the issue, either it was a igloo or not. If it was on, no matter what, it was cold (I typically like cold). So tip #1, ask about the thermostat. The room was clean always! In this room you do not have a liquor dispenser, which is no big deal the bars are close. But you do have a fridge with pop and water stocked twice daily.

Food: The food was delicious. We ate at Mariners (Jerk Chicken for me everyday) Tokyo Joes, Regency, Elenoars, Royal Thai, and the buffet for breakfast. All of which were very good, if you like something, order more, or two, they will do that for you gladly. Portions were small, but honestly if you feel you need more, again, ask Minor issues that aren't even worth mentioning, but food and service was good.

Tipping: I heard many things about tipping at Sandals (i.e. not allowed, allowed, the staff will get fired if they take them, etc). I offered tips to those who I felt deserved it, and they took it, and I don't think it is as big of a deal as it's made out to me.

Additionally, I noticed something that really bothered me. And I thought this would be a great place to post it.

The staff will do anything for you, just ask and use manners. I saw many people talk to the staff in such a derogatory manner, they will work their tails off for you, you do not need to speak down to them. Show them some "RESPECT", it is disgusting the way some people chose to treat them. Please and thank you go a very long way, a smile, a "I appreciate your hard work" will make their day. I observed one woman who appeared she felt she owed the place, made her self very visible, and by visible I mean visibly obnoxious. You could tell the staff was irritated by her, but could not act that way to much, I'm sure she would have complained and potentially got them fired. I guess bottom line is this, show Respect and the staff will be your best friends as long as you stay.

The one issue I would post about is this, not ONCE aside of dinner did a waiter approach us about getting us drinks, except in restaurants. I found this odd, and am not sure whether this is cause we were not club, or butler level, or this just doesn't happen here, I feel like that was a inconvenience, I typically do not require to be waited on usually. But for the money we spent, I would expect some poolside bar service, and note have to go get it myself all day every day.

I will be posting in the forums about the few issues I did have, but I do not feel they are a reflection of the specific resort, rather Sandals as a corporation issues.

Please feel free to email me with ANY questions, I would be happy to answer them dholsti@gmail.com

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dale H
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business 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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