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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #6 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 27, 2005

My wife and i stayed at this resort for two weeks last fall. We had a very nice time overall. We are sandals signature guests. at first we thought we had booked a suite, but we were put into a room. within a day the staff had us in the most wonderfull suite that we have stayed in to date...no extra charge.. The staff is very friendly. the grounds are manicured nicely and the restaurants are a bit above average. the best part for us, and we are water lovers was the island swim up pool bar and clothing optional beach {wich we didnt partake in } but the island beach was empty almost all the time. The pool bar on the island was awesome,clean and emptyof guests. we were the only ones there for 5 days of our stay. we had the run of the island. even though the resort was at capacity. Sigurd, the bartender was the best. we felt like we were the owners of our own tropical island..wow.. The main pool was also very nice, clean and full of fun loving folks all having a great time. there are at least three other pools also and each one is clean and inviting. we didnt have a bug proplem. but there are stray cats around wich are pretty tame and likeable. The beach area is a bit broken up into three areas. and the tide was out for the entire two weeks due to a unusual full moon and a total lunar eclipse as well as what was called a neap tide . ??but it was still real nice. my overall experiance here was most favorable and we are returning this november again. We have stayed at Sandals dunns river and also Sandals mo-bay as well as Sandals ocho rios for a day stay. All are real nice. Mo bay has the best beach and Dunns has the best swim up pool bar. Ocho Rios has the best gardens and grounds. over all we really liked dunns river but the ride takes a few hours and we want to "get back to the island" mon... feel free to e mail me if you have any questions regarding royal carib , Dunns river, mo-bay or ocho rios

  • Stayed: November 2004
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10  Thank aussiemoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, MA
114
Reviewed June 27, 2005

Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about Sandals RC, so I definitely plan to return! The staff was amazing - so friendly and helpful. The resort is on the ocean with plenty of beach for all. The private island was very cool, but not as "open" as the "clothes-optional" title would have you believe. The Thai food was VERY spicy, so beware. The daily buffets had much to offer and the beach grill was very convenient - delicious fresh fruit and Jerk chicken! The drinks were plentiful but not quite as tasty as here in America (but perhaps I didn't know what to order). I think people that claimed to have horrible experiences are either VERY picky, VERY spoiled, or just TOO uptight! Even with the weather being mostly cloudy until our last day, my boyfriend and I were happy and satisfied our entire vacation! The option to visit the other Sandals in Mo Bay was very convenient with timely shuttles. We ate dinner one night at Mo Bay Sandals (Italian). It was delicious, but the resort was not a place to relax - about every 10 min an extremely loud plane would fly over-head - stay clear of this Sandals! Royal Caribbean is the place to be in MO Bay! The only down side was the night life on the resort. I expected a lively night club to dance and party, but this resort tends to call it a night early. Go off resort to party late. I hope those out there who are debating a trip to Jamaica go for it - Ya Mon!

14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2005

My wife and I arrived on June 16th and arrived at the resort about noon. We were told check-in time was 3 pm. Luckily, we had only carry-on bags since we were staying for 4 days, 3 nights, so we changed into our suits and sat by the pool. They did get us checked in about 1:30. I think check-out time is 11am, check-in at 3, to allow time to clean the rooms and as they come available they let you in. Everyone was very polite and pleasant. Judy-Ann at the front was especially helpful planning our "dinner on the beach for two", which is very nice, but probably not worth the extra charge of $140. It was nice to have a personal waiter and eat on the beach or right on the water in a gazebo.

The ocean water was less than perfect. Kind of mossy/not real clear. The beach is not huge, but is fine for laying on it (although not possible to take a long beach walk). Our biggest decision each day was 1) Lay by the pool or 2) Lay on the beach. The breeze was better by the beach, but the action was by the pool. I think everyone wears skimpier bathing suits on vacation where you dont know anyone, which is why the guys should definitely wear sunglasses. The food was terrific, huge variety for breakfast and lunch. We did not leave the resort. If you want to go someplace and just simply sunbathe, relax, drink, eat, and do absolutely nothing at all, I highly recommend this place. I will definitely be back.

Oh- make reservations for the Thai restaurant when you get there or you may not get in.

  • Stayed: June 2005
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6  Thank travellikepops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2005

What a great week in Montego Bay Jamaica. I would go back in a heart beat!! Everyone was extremely friendly and treated you like a KING AND QUEEN. The first thing we noticed when we got off the plane at Montego Bay is the HUMIDITY. I thought Nebraska was bad in the summer, WOW, this really hit me hard in the begining. Next, getting through customs into Jamaica was very fast, even though there was ALOT of people in line they really did a great job getting us through in a timely fashion. After that, we went downstairs to find out bags that were in a HUGE PILE which really wasnt bad and I can understand their reasoning for that. After the search we went to the Sandals "AREA" it was VERY nice and the baggage guys were extremely helpful to explain what was going on. In their hospitality room they had drinks, beer (red stripe), and snacks. We waited about 5-10 mins before it was time to get aboard our "coach" to get us to the resort. Don't for get to tip your baggage guy in the red hat, and also don't forget to tip your driver when you get to the resort. In honesty it is a sign of respect to them. When nathan and I got to the Royal we were greeted and helped off the "coach" The check in was very speedy, though we did ask for an upgrade in room and they just stared at us like we were crazy or something (we just laughed) and ended up in a Grand Lux room. It was nice. We had a pool right by us and a lil hot tub. Next, we ventured around the resort since we really didnt know what to do next. We found the beach bar, which was good eats for a "fast food" type of eats. Also connected was a bar. Beer (red stripe) was nasty tasting very bitter, and their mixed drinks are extremely strong at times but as a whole they are good no slacking there. The beach at the Royal was quite small and not a pretty as Montego Bay's but in all it served it purpose. Food was great at all the resturants. They do have alot of buffets it seems like but that is alright cuz then you can go back for more and more and "roll back to your room". The playmakers were very funny at times and almost too kind, but we both ate it up and loved it. We did do the kayakingn which is very fun. We also did the scuba diving, which was a blast, since we had a great instructor TERMI. He was very knowledgable and was helpful. Nate and I also got to go snorkling which was awesome also, but the scuba and snorkling are WORTH IT!!!!! We saw a great deal of fish and just STUFF. The glass bottom boat ride at Royal is very poor, the guide was more concerned with the dogs and the homes then seeing any kind of fish or STUFF. Go to Mo Bay for their glass boat ride, we was 10times more stuff there then at Royal. Don't forget to pack your umberella, it rained every day in the afternoon, the same time 1-3pm so that is when we got our nap in so we would be energized for the evening. Also, dont for get your bug spray, bugs werent too bad at Royal, but that is because we saw them fogging. But if you go to any of the other resorts its a good idea because i got eatin up by alot of mosquitos. As for drinks we suggest : The Legend (very good), The Squeeze, or anything they can come up with they usually are great with "suprise" drinks. We will be going back for sure in a few years!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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8  Thank Mustang_Mollie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2005

First let me apologize for my delay in writing this review.My wife and I stayed at Sandals Royal 10/04/04-10/11/04.We chose this place for our honeymoon.I had read reviews for months prior to our trip on this website,so along with everyone else who read those, I was slightly nervous to say the least.This was not a cheap honeymoon.The trip cost us darn close to $5000.I hope my review helps those who are going or considering going to this resort.
First let me start with Jamaica itself,This is not the USA,I noticed that shortly after our arrival.HOT,HOT,HOT,VERY HUMID. The Jamaican people are so laid back and move at a very slow pace.The jamaicans we came in contact with were warm hearted people.I will tell you something that other reviewers had commented about and I noticed it minutes after arriving in this country.You will be asked if you want to buy"weed" pretty much everywhere you go.Before we even left the airport we were asked 3 times,1 of those times by the guy driving us to our hotel.Now if youre into that,youre in the right place.If youre not, just politely say no thanks and they wont bother you.Also,driving in this country is frightening,so my suggestion is when you are being driven somewhere just hold on and say a prayer.They drive on the left side ,which was confusing enough since we are americans.they have no stop signs or stoplights,just slow down signs,which was rarely done.Im telling you, Crazy
Once we arrived at the resort I was looking forward to my wet towel and cold drink other people had told about.Well,no hot towel and We had to ask for a glass of water and it had stuff floating in it.This was in the concierge check in room,which was also 100 degrees because the air conditioning was broken at that time.So the first hour was a little nerve racking until we were taken to our room.Let me say this.If youre going to stay here pay the extra money and stay in a concierge room and Ill tell you why.We stayed in a honeymoon concierge room which was in the Kenisington section and The room was beautiful.Marble floors, a very nice bathroom.A stocked fridge that was full of cold bottled water,red stripe beer which is now one of my favorites,A bar with liqour dispensor that had 4 bottles of premium booze and 2 bottles of wine.I would also request a bottle of champagne every day and we would sit under one of the huts every morning at 9 AM and pop the cork,Now that was classy.This room also gives you 24 hour room service that we used alot.We ate breakfast every morning in the room and it was great.You filed out a menu that had a ton of choices and choose what time you wanted it delivered and left the menu on your door when you went to bed.and throughout the day you could order what you wanted when you wanted.When we were getting ready for dinner I would order a smoked seafood salad,Very good,or something else that was also always good.Having room service was one of the nicest things about this vacation,and it was also some of the better food at the resort.So these are the reasons why you want a concierge room.If not,then no room service,no stocked fridge,no mini bar and a musty smelling old room.So for a $350 jump in price PAY IT.We spoke to people who didnt and it was like we were staying at 2 different resorts.The Kensington section is the best location to stay beacuse its away from the action,a short walk to anywhere in the resort and very quiet and private.A perfect spot for a honeymoon.We were on the 3rd flloor overlooking the pool and the ocean,beautiful. When we wanted a more party like atmosphere we would just stroll over to the other side.and yes there are canoe people.I actually found them entertaining.and the souveniers they were selling were cheaper than if you went in town.yes they have "other" things for sale but all you have to say is no thanx.I would hang with them in the morning and they would tell me about Jamaican culture,sing bob marley songs and teach me how to make a large seashell sound like a tuba,I was proud when I actually did it ,ya mon.
The restaurants in this resort are all sit down and that was nice.and the food varied from ok to good,not great,which is what i expected paying $700 a night.No lobster,they claimed because of the hurricane that had recently passed.I Guess thats possible but it was dissappointing.The steak is not imported and it should be because jamaican beef is tough and I mean that literally.The locals told me they eat fish and chicken and the cows are not really healthy.At a Sandals resort they should be serving angus filet mignon,That wasnt the case.The other food was always just ok.Fancy names, fancy presentation but just ok on the taste.We are not snobby people, I get meals at Applebees back home that were better than here and i figured we were paying about $200 a dinner.Now the service was first class.We were treated like royality by every waiter we had.The Regency,The pavilion,and the Thai place,Amazing service,just ok food.
And yes the piano bar does smell,almost a sour,spoiled smell,but once you got used to that it was a nice place to drink before and after dinner.The Jamaican piano lady was a hoot,and this is the only air conditioned room.All the restaurants are either outside or open air,so after awhile the heavy humidity does get to you.We went to Mo Bay for a couple dinners and found Tokyo Joes to be our favorite place to eat among all the places at the 2 resorts.But there too,extremely hot and humid,not the most comfortable to be dining in,They should have more air conditioning.My shirt would be soaking wet after dinner.It was that humid,and this was 9 at night.
Ok back to the Royal.The beach bar was fun,beach grill had some great lunch items,some really athentic jamaican food,jerk chicken etc.The booze is not watered down,just ask for it strong,The bartenders would give me the bottle and say make it as strong as you like,So no problem mon on the alcohol.,only draft beer was available at the bars and i was spoiled after having bottles in my room.so I stuck with the tropical drinks and black russians,all premium ,and kept asking for more bottles of red stripe in the room and would have those when I wanted an ale.
There was construction going on but I tuned it out.This was our Honeymoon and with all the money we spent I was determined to overlook the little things.But one thing to this day ,still freaks out my wife and I.And that would be the MOVING WALL.let me explain.On our first night in the room I was over at the minibar and noticed an ant on the wall.I had been drinking since it was our first day and I looked closer to the wall and what i saw still bothers me.There was an 8 ft by 8ft wall that was covered in ants.I mean thousands of them.The wall looked like it was moving.If it wasnt for the fact it was the first night of our honeymoon we would have had lost it. I called the front desk and they sent someone immediatally.Apparenty when the maid did the room,she left an opened sugar packet in a container.These were sugar ants we were told and are common in this country.the worker sprayed the wall and they came back,he sprayed a whole can and we only saw a few during our stay after that.That can of bugspray almost knocked us out.So here we are,our first night of a $5000 honeymoon and the room stunk of bug spray,we coughed all night,not a good start, but again I was determined to not let anything bother me and ruin the trip so we put it out of our mind,it was tough but we did till the last day.We were having breakfast at the Regency and again an open sugar packet hidden with the closed ones.So now we had the Moving tablecloth.hundreds of ants under a mesh tablecloth that you could see moving..Waiter apoligized and offered to move us to another table but
we had lost our appetite.
Dont get me wrong this was a great vacation and I really enjoyed my honeymoon, I told my wife this is a Jungle and in a jungle rainforest type place there will be bugs.With the cats walking around and the peacocks,I even saw a peacock with only one leg,Crabs walking on the sidewalk,It almost started to feel a little like something out of Twin Peaks.
We did do one tour and it was great,expensive but great.We went to dunns river,walked up that and than went and swam with the dolphins in the open sea.It was a once in a lifetime experience I would recommend.The cost for 2 people,$550. and we went to a fleamarket in montego bay.very pushy ladies,you might want to do your souvenier shopping at the hotel or the canoe people because at the markets.they just dont stop pushing you to buy there overpriced items.
So there you have it, A nice resort,could use some refurbishing,Was it worth$5000? probably not. But again you only have one honeymoon,and my wife and I will have fond memories of ours.

  • Stayed: October 2004
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20  Thank seablu04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Kent uk
114
Reviewed June 9, 2005

we stayed at the src from 25/5 - 1/6 and overall had a wonderfull time. The food in the restuarants is great, and the staff will try to make you happy at every opportunity.
We arrived late at night due to air jamaicas problems and were given our rooms, as there was four of us we wanted to have rooms together which was not the case on arrival but was told that this would be looked at in the morning, and true to their word we were moved in the morning.
We stayed in the carnarvon rooms which we thought were very nice although while we were there 3 couples asked to be moved because they were unhappy with their rooms, there was a small pool outside the rooms which was always peacefull.
The resort itself is aimed at the young american market and at times resembled an 18-30 resort or an upmarket butlins, beer drinking contests, wet t-shirt comp, and bingo around the main pool which played loud music for most of the day.
The resort advertised sailing although while we were there only two of the four hobie cats were operational and one of these the main sail was detached from the mast in places.
The beach is very small and almost muddy in places and the sea is not clear as it is in mo bay sandals.
We travelled to Sandals mo bay on several occasions as there was a very good bus service from src, this had a very nice beach and 10 new hobie cats.
On the last day we packed our cases and went for breakfast and when we returned we found that all of our cash had been stolen from our bags in the room, we reported this at reception who seemed almost shocked and questioned if we were sure. we found out after that another couple in the carnarvon rooms had all of their money stolen two days earlier on the day they arrived. Our bags were searched by some one from security and we were promised a visit by the head of security which didnt happen.

All in all we had a very nice holiday but feel that the sandals royal caribbean would benifit from a complete refurbishment.
This was our first visit to a sandals resort and will probably be the last.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, MA
17
Reviewed June 8, 2005

My spouse and I enjoyed a nice break at the Sandals Royal Carribean. We, too, had been a bit scared by some of the reviews, but we both agree that 1) there was no reason to be scared; and 2) the bad reviews allow you to go with realistic expectations, which is a good thing. This is not the top of the line, and it's not perfection, but it is a nice vacation. The beach was enjoyable. There was a problem with the main pool. It appeared that the filter wasn't working very well, but it seemed to improve as our trip went along. The food wasn't amazing, but it was good. We especially enjoyed grabbing a late night burger from Neal at the beach grill. They do carry namebrand liquor, you just have to ask for it. You should be warned that if you are a wine lover, they only include a chardonnay/sauvignon blend and a merlot in the all-inclusive package...you have to pay for any wine outside of those two. Sometimes it did feel as if the staff was on its own little vacation, but on the whole, they were friendly and helpful. Playmakers did not harass at all...we chose not to participate in their activities, and there was no pressure. The cats are not feral, they are friendly, and they leave you alone if you show no interest. There are probably six total, and they are by no means omnipresent, although you do occasionally see one wander by while you are eating. We did stay in the renovated section, and heard stories from people who stayed in run down rooms, but all were able to switch to satisfactory rooms within a day if they were unhappy. We had no problems with electricity, cable, etc. Wouldn't recommend the glass bottom boat trip, but snorkeling was nice, not the best ever. Also, wouldn't recommend more than five days at the SRC, because you've pretty much done it all by that time.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 Spa 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: $470 - $1,398 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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