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“A Royal Time at the Royal”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“A Royal Time at the Royal”
Reviewed August 2, 2005

My husband and I visited the Royal Caribbean for our wedding and honeymoon the first week in July of this year. WE LOVED IT! We stayed in the Kensington Building and the room was incredible. Stay here, it is the only renovated section. The in-room bar was very handy and stocked, but we found only when you asked for it to be. The grounds are very well taken care of and the staff could not be more accommodating or genuinely friendly! The food was outstanding.

The wedding was the most beautiful thing and was beyond our wildest expectations. The Reverend is a wise, wonderful man who has performed almost 12,000 weddings, but makes you feel like his only couple. The gazebo was a great location to get married! The reception was great as well. One note- have a candlelight dinner in the gazebo on your wedding night- it does cost $140US, but is sooooooo worth it! This was the most romantic part of the trip. The flowers, cake, and wedding coordinator are also great! Maybe the best part- our photographer was amazing! Our pictures look very professional and he couldn't have been a nicer guy! Bad news- Sandals is getting rid of him because he is freelance and they will be doing their own photos. This is a shame!

The private island is a big bonus! There was hardly anyone there and we only saw one person off in the distance using the "clothing optional" option. The sandbars are great and the island bar is very quiet. At times we along with maybe one or two other couples were the only ones on the island! The Royal Thai restaurant is also great.

If you notice the dates, you will see that Hurricane Dennis came on our honeymoon! The staff was very adept at keeping us comfortable and feeling safe. They also gave us 3 complimentary nights even though a technical hurricane did not hit.

A word about the other 2 Sandals in Montego Bay: Sandals Inn is a DUMP! Do not stay here! It is right in town and has a public beach, very small public beach. Sandals Montego Bay is a good place for the young party crowd and is very large. Royal is just that-Royal- smaller, intimate, romantic, and cozy.

We can't wait to go back!

Feel free to e-mail me with questions, especially you future brides!

  • Stayed July 2005
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Helpful?
14 Thank colburns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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SC
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2005

My husband and I stayed at SRC for 5 days last week. One thing we would like to say is that the staff is to be commended for their hard work and customer service. We were greeted by Judy-Anne, who is a darling, and then the next person we met was our porter, Rocky...who is very funny! We would also like to commend Rayon, Carlington, Omar, Armstrong, and Patrick...those are the names of the people we remembered but there were many more.

Our first room was not that great, it was a deluxe and I compare it to a dressed up Super 8. We went back to the desk and upgraded to a concierge suite, which was WONDERFUL. Our fridge was restocked constantly and our maid service was great.

I was taken aback at first by the peddlers that hang out around the beach area. They do "hassle you" but we started talking to Charlie and Jeffrey, the older guys who were the "Craftsmen" of the bunch. We spent some money with them and then told the others that they got all our money already...no problem mon!

I liked the kitties on the resort, they were fun to watch. We didn't feed them but they weren't hungry (obviously). We like animals and they don't take up much room or bother anyone. Also there are plenty of crabs, flora, and MOSQUITOS....so pack your DEET.

We loved the food there. It did seem that the buffet type meals were repetitive, though. Also, book your reservation 1st thing for the Thai restaurant. We almost did not get in but Judy-Ann was persistant in watching for a cancellation.

We did the entire day trip for Dunn's River Falls. We did not enjoy it at all. Carry cash, but do not spend your money shopping at the tourist trap or the market. Save it for tipping the tour guides because they expect it! The shops are high-priced and the market does not have deals. We were surprised at the high prices for such a poor country. After being hassled to no end in Ochos Rios and spending too much, I would have rather spent more of my money with Charlie and Jeffrey out by the watersports dock. They were friendlier and not near as expensive. This was the only part of the trip I did not like. I also did not like feeling like royalty and being treated as such on the resort and then seeing how poor and dirty this country is outside...and then not being allowed to tip deserving people while everyone outside the resort had their hands out. Also, if you are from an area near the mountains like we are, then Dunns River Falls is a trip best made on your own and without being herded like cattle up the falls and having to hold hands with everyone.

We were not offered "GANGA" once while we were there.....my husband has been to many countries and knew how not to put ourselves in that position.

We had a couple's massage while we were there at Jo-Jo's. Good price and great massage. The husband couldn't believe that "an old lady could be so strong."

We spent alot of time at the offshore island. We did not get naked on the beach although some people were. We acquired our own snorkeling gear the day after a group snorkel and decided to go out on our own. There are no ropes to keep you in a designated area, and so we explored the ocean alot out there, and would retreat to the pool bar afterwards for a cold drink and to rinse the salt off.

The best thing Sandal's has going is their staff and I hope they appreciate every one of them because we did.

To summarize... the pools were perfect, the offshore island was a perfect retreat for privacy and snorkeling, the water staff was perfect, the oceans were warm and clean, the food was always there and we never felt hungry the entire trip, the drinks flowed all day long, the weather was perfect, the staff became our "friends" while we were there, and now that it is all over with... we came home relaxed and much more appreciative of our lifestyle here in the US. "Would I go back?" Maybe one day... but there are too many other places in the world to visit first.

  • Stayed July 2005
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Helpful?
14 Thank r&rexprss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 31, 2005

Well, where can I begin? My wife and I visited Sandals Royal Caribbean from July 24th - 29th for our honeymoon. I had read a few bad reviews of the place and to say the least, I was skeptical. I assure you, as soon as we arrived at the resort, all of our fears subsided. We were greeted at the main desk by the bellhop who sat us down, served us champagne, and provided us with documents to fill out. This part only took about 10 minutes and then we were whisked off to our Grand Luxe Beachfront room by one of the employees who handled all of our luggage for us. He quickly gave us a tour of the room, showed us how to use the remote for the air conditioner, wished us a pleasant stay, and then bid us farewell. At this point my wife and I were pretty tired due to the fact that we had just been married that morning, drove 3 hours to Charlotte, and flew to Jamaica. Despite that, we wanted to explore a bit. We walked around the grounds a little and I have to say that these people work really hard to keep this place clean. You would never know that two hurricanes had passed by this island just a week or two before we were there! So after walking around awhile, we decided to go to the bar to have a drink. Now I have had some people say that the drinks are too watered down but these guys will make the drinks as strong as you want them. They will even give you the bottle and let you pour it yourself! Im not a big drinker so I dont know the difference between cheap rum and "quality" as some people call it so I cant be of much help there. I do know that every alcoholic drink I had was very tasty and the rum and coke packs quite a punch :) We both watched a group of couples play a "dating game" type of game with the playmakers outside of the piano bar and then we headed off to bed. This was the end of our first night. The next morning we both woke early, excited to explore the resort some more and to try the food out. We headed to The Regency for breakfast. The Regency offered a buffet style breakfast until 10 am and then they switched to menu style ordering. I have to say, every bit of food I had at this resort was delicious. From the pineapple on the breakfast buffet to the blackened steak at The Regency for dinner. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! So after breakfast, my wife and I decided to lay out by the pool and just be lazy for a few hours. My wife grabbed a float in the main pool and I paddled on up to the swim up bar just to socialize and have a few drinks. Well, this turned into and all day event! Everyone I met was very polite and we had a blast just sitting there doing pretty much nothing. There are games that the playmakers organize that they play at the main pool during the day which are fun. Even if you dont participate, they are hilarious to watch! At the end of the second day we ate at The Courtyard for dinner and once again, DELICIOUS! On day 3 we took the shopping trip (which was 25 bucks per person) and glass bottom boat tour which lasted about 5 hours. It starts from the dock at RC and takes you to a public beach over in Montego Bay. From there you get in a van with a guide and then visit 3 shops. One store was a shop that had t-shirts, liquor, and various knick knacks. The next shop was a local flea market type village where the people sold handmade crafts and paintings. The last stop was a local jewelry shop that was pretty much the same as any jewelry shop you would find here in the states. After that the driver takes you back to the boat and then its back to Sandals RC. Oh, you also get a free t-shirt and drink on this tour. I almost forgot that. On day 4 we took the snorkeling trip which was 1 hour long. You dont go to far out from the resort and you get to see some really cool sea life. At the spot we went to, there were alot of jellyfish but noone was stung. I swam through a school of them untouched. The coral down there is beautiful and you can see straight to the bottom. I would say it is about 15 feet or so. After that we went to the Roal Thai for dinner. We made reservations for this the second day we were there and had no trouble getting a table. The food at this place was delicious (Have I mentioned that before? :) ) The one thing to note about this food was that it was very very spicy. They have some dishes that arent but most are. Other than that we basically just laid around the beach and enjoyed the beautiful weather. There was not a cloud in the sky the whole time we were there so I was very thankful for that. I would say that the temp stayed in the mid 90's during the day and mid 80's at night. It was very humid down there. I big change from West Virginia heat but after a couple of days you wont even notice it. Well that about sums it up. We had a wonderful time and would efinately return. I dont have one complaint about the place. You will meet some nice people and probably a few new friends. I hope everyone will enjoy their stay at Sandals RC as much as we did! If anyone would like more pics or if you have any questions, feel free to email me!

  • Stayed July 2005
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Helpful?
13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limestone,New York
Level 4 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2005

The Resort was beatiful and the staff was outstanding. Meet your bartender at the pool bar.

Helpful?
1 Thank bmt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2005

My husband & I stayed at this resort from 7/19-7/22 & the only negative was that the trip was too short.

We were greeted by friendly staff at the airport who led us to the Sandals lounge, which has A/C (Sangster Airport doesn't). Within no time, we were on a shuttle to the resort, which took about 10 minutes.

We met w/ Judy Ann at check-in who had us fill out a quick form & brought us drinks. We were allowed to get beer & a mixed drink, not just champagne. From there, she showed us the grounds a bit & told us to grab a bite to eat & she would find us when our room was ready. Within an hour, our room was ready & it was gorgeous.

We stayed in room 71 in the Windsor Block, which has an absolutely gorgeous view. It was a deluxe beachfront room & it was literally right on the beach. We had a nice private patio w/ a table & chairs, which we used quite a bit.

I have to say, I honestly don't know how they could have treated us better. The bartenders at the beach grill were wonderful, as were the food & drinks. We tried every restaurant except the Thai restaurant, and found the food to be fabulous. We especially enjoyed eating breakfast outside on the terrace. We had a wonderful waiter at The Pavillion (I think his name was Emeile) who taught us some phrases in Patoi.

There was never a wait for the water activities. The water was beautiful and clear. We never saw any debris, & were fascinated by the wildlife at the resort. One thing to note however: I have tiny feet & they did not have snorkeling flippers in my size, so ladies, take note.

The mosquitos were also out in force. Forgot to use spray the first night while eating at The Courtyard & was eaten alive. Saw lots of men bringing bug spray for their ladies during dinner :) This is typical of a tropical location in the summer though, & the resort did have a notice that fogging was taking place.

They seemed to have plenty of activities if that's your thing, however, my husband & I wanted to just relax, which we were easily able to do. Yes, there are vendors who come up on surfboards trying to sell stuff, but a polite "no thanks" will send them on their way. We talked to a few of them, & it was interesting to learn some things about the Jamaican culture. Sandals security was very tight & the vendors were not allowed to get on the resort.

The gift shop can be a bit pricey, so if you have a long plane ride home, be sure to bring plenty of reading material, as one magazine cost $7. This was the most relaxing trip my husband & I have ever taken and I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank ashorething
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2005

First to all the Americans reading these reiews look at where the bad ones come from. They all are from the the UK and England. They are all too uptight and obviously needed more Bob Marley shots!

This was nothing but paradise to me and my new husband. It was nothing but perfect from the time our plane landed to take-off a week later. I met so many of the nicest people there and can't wait to return, and yes one of the "locals" trying to sell stuff is one of the ones I miss the most. His name was Sunshine and he was hilarious. If you give him the chance he can tell you alot about the Jamician culture and it is very interesting. My favorite restaurant was the Italian restaurant at MB. I usually don't care too much for Italian food so I ordered a steak it was the best steak ever! Every morning I looked forward to awakening to our beautiful beachfront view and it was so breathless. I told my husband I was in paradise. Order roomservice and sit back and relax. We had the concerige honeymoon deluxe rm 76. Try to request it; if you can.

As far as extra excursions. We done several, tubing, shopping, Dunn River Falls, and the party boat over to Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville. Dunn River Falls is a law suit ready to happen. It is all work and not at all relaxing, however very beautiful. But don't go just to see. There will be postcards you can buy to see. A bad thunderstorm came while we were tubging and it started lightening. The guide said just to say a prayer and hope we get down the river. It wasn't worth the money. I suggest the shopping trip and the party boat. Otherwise just sit and enjoy the resort.

Friday night is the Beach Party. It was my favorite. We had so much fun and laughed all night. Get involved with the games, you can win points and come home with some nice prizes for free.

Just something else to add. Monday night I left my $500 camera on the beach. One of the staff members found it and turned it in. Before he did he took pictures of the sunrise for me and some really cool shots I never thought to take. Three days later I realized it was missing (we were doing water sports and had waterproff cameras) and called the front desk and they told me they had it. They made me give lots of info to prove it was mine. I tried to tip the guy who turned it in and he would not take any $. That made me fell really safe.

I don't know what else to say but just go and enjoy. The day after I returned, I went to the travel agent and have already booked again for next June. I hope you enjoy like I did.

What I am going to do next stay. Bring gifts for Sunshine (hope he is still there). Take the party boat and take a private taxi shopping. Otherwise sit back and enjoy the resort and games. We were too busy trying to do everything last time and didn't have much time for relaxing.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank Amy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2005

We were married at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort in Montego Bay on June 19, 2005. This was to be the trip of a lifetime for us but unfortunately, the memories won't all be pleasant. The rooms are not as nice as they look in the brochures! Sandals spends a great deal of money marketing its properties. Believe me, there are a lot nicer places in Montego Bay than any of the Sandals resorts and they are much less expensive! My parents stayed at the Wyndham Rose Hall resort, and it was much nicer than Sandals!

Although the air conditioner in our room worked, it didn't work well. The floors and sheets were damp the entire week because the small air conditioner wasn't able to remove the moisture from the air. In addition, there was no hot water. Fortunately, the maintenance man was able to repair the water heater.

The food was OK, but I've had much better on a cruise ship.

We had wanted to get married on the beach, but the beaches are not pretty! We opted to get married in the garden which was nice, but there were employees walking by during the cermony with their walkie talkies on....sort of killed the moment! Also, every time a plane flew over, the minister had to stop because of the noise.

We pre-purchased wedding pictures and a video ahead of time and were extremely disappointed in the quality of the video. The pictures were OK, but we did not receive the negatives that we were promised. Regarding the video, a 9-year old kid could have done a better job editing!!! We were so disappointed.....there were a lot of very special moments that were cut out of the video or they only included bits and pieces (cut off sentences in midstream, etc.). Please take our advice and have someone there with a video camera. We tried to get Sandals to send us the unedited version of the video but they never responded.

Actually, they should refund out $200!!!

Don't fall for the marketing hype that Sandals offers....it is NOT as nice as it looks!

Helpful?
7 Thank jordan6896
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 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 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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