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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Boca Raton, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Ups and Downs”
Reviewed April 13, 2007

Let's see, we (my wife and I plus two friends) have been going to this Sandals and Negril Sandals for 8 years. I understand that we go in the off season (due to our jobs) but every time we have gone to this resort they are doing construction. It takes away from the whole tropical paradise experience when jackhammers start up right after breakfast. I always ask resorts when I book if any construction is planned, and I've always been lied to by Sandals in this respect. The staff working at the airport is very nice, but seems to have lost a bit of organization over the years, despite going to a computer system. And their contracted drivers are unclear about the stickers they use to get the luggage to the right resort - you kinda have to watch them. Once at the resort, after checking in but before the room is ready, again they seem a little more disorganized than in past years. Still very nice and helpful though. The butler service is worth it if you can afford it. Can't say enough about the butler we had last time, and hope we get him again. He was outstanding. The food was very good. The bar service was running a little slow, the hot water in the room wasn't hot most of the time and water pressure was a joke. Complained all week about the water and nothing happened. The playmakers were mostly good (there were even a few we had met in previous visits), with a couple of exceptions. We participate in just about everything, so we rack up a lot of points towards awards (rum, t-shirts, etc.). The day we left we got this song and dance about there being no bottles of rum on the resort to award us with. One of the playmakers finally showed up with one after I dropped a few hints about not believing a Sandals resort in Jamaica would run out of bottles of rum. The second item that irritated me was we had earned enough points for two t-shirts. This time the buck passed from playmaker to playmaker as to who was going to decorate the shirts until it was time for us to leave, at which point we were promised they would mail them to us. That did not happen either. We finally got one t-shirt sent to us after filling out their questionaire and putting the bulk of this review in the additional comments at the end. Someone does read those and sent us a letter apologizing for all the above and giving us two free days on our next stay. I know the price of the rum and a couple of t-shirts is chump change compared to what you pay for a week stay, but it is both an example and the final straw. I have to say when we go back this year (with an even larger group of people) they will have to convince me to ever go there again.

  • Disliked — Little or no hot water, lousy water pressure.
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank RetroGrouch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
1 review
Reviewed April 13, 2007

The room and facilities were great and the service was excellant. Our candlelight binner in the gazebo was extremely romantic and delightful. We were not found of the selection of food at the dinner buffet and would have liked to had the restaurants opened on buffet nights to provide other dinning choices.

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank eramosjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, PA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2007

We chose Sandal's Royal Carribean resort in Montego Bay for my husband's 40th birthday, which just happened to be on Thanksgiving Day this year. I was so delighted that it was EXACTLY as you see it on the Sandal's commercials and in the literature they send you.
We even had several days of rain and still enjoyed ourselves throughly. The climate is so warm and inviting that we had the best of time sitting in the gentle rain in the whirlpool, sipping our drinks and looking out over Jamaica's waters, talking with some newleweds.
When the sun broke through, there was no better place on earth to be. We devoted our time to simply relaxing. We weren't interested in off shore excursions...we just wanted fun in the sun and pampering and that's what we got.

Things I would definitely do the same:
-Concierge service with room service. We used this service several times
-A couples' massage at the Red Lane Spa. Our first massage for both of us and one of the highlights of our trip.
-Using check-out day to the fullest. We had to check out of the room by 10am, but our bus didn't depart for the airport until 1pm. We enjoyed the pool and water to the last minute....and it turned out to be one of our most favorite days on the resort.
-Picking a smaller, quieter resort. From what we've heard, this was the right pick for us. We've heard Sandals' Montego Bay is more of a party-all-the-time resort and we enjoyed the privacy of a pool to ourselves and not so many people around. Very quiet and relaxing.
-Candlelight dinner on the beach was well worth the extra money. Memories we share that are so special.

Things I would do differently:
-Make reservations for each night's dinner, the day you arrive. We were unable to get into the Thai restaurant on the resort's private island, because it was booked up. We waited too long and it was our only regret. Our travel agent warned us to reserve dinners in advance and we neglected to do it. OVERWHELMED with the heaven-like resort, I think!

Well worth the money. No regrets. Saving up to go again!

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank teachngeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ny
1 review
Reviewed April 11, 2007

We stayed at Sandals Grande in St Lucia. Very nice, the best place in St Lucia for couples. The rooms were very nice also, and the service is good. The food is ok. The excursions were pricey and packed full. But not too bad. The drive is 2 hours from the airport to hotel. The helo was 9 min and worth every penny. You ask and you will receive. Articles in the shop are very expensive. Bring long pants for dinner and closed toe shoes for males.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
Thank thechadw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2007

Sandals, Royal Carribean. Be very careful with your credit card. We were warned by a previous review about someone hacking into the system, so we used a seldom used credit card to check out with. Sure enough, 3 weeks later, someone rang up $500.00 on the card. Luck was on our side, as the credit card company caught it and called us to see if we were charging something in Jamaica. They cancelled the card, and we did not get charged for it. This was done at the front desk of the Sandals resort! If they don't have a secure system in place at the front desk, they need warn folks or don't take credit cards!

Needless to say, we will not be staying there again (this was our 4th stay there)

Helpful?
2 Thank sandyNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2007

We stayed at the SRC from March 18-29, 2007. It was our first trip to a Sandals resort and our first trip to Jamaica. We were a little late arriving on the 18th and were anxious to get to the hot and sunny part of our vacation. When we finally arrived, we were whisked away immediately and at the resort 20 minutes after we got through customs.

Once at the resort, we were seated in the lobby and then whisked away to our room. It was quick and easy - just regretted not being to have a beverage at the airport but no big deal. Our first impression of our room was that it wasn't what we had requested and we asked to be moved. They said they would accomodate us the next day. Thank goodness we chose not to move. Our room was #97 in the Balmoral Building. It was 4 steps from the beach and away from all the main activities of the resort. It was perfect. We normally don't spend time on the beach but we spent all our time on the beach where the breeze kept things comfortable. The beach was small but perfect for just relaxing and having access to your room.

We enjoyed the restaurants but didn't try the Royal Thai although other guests really enjoyed it. The staff was unbelievably friendly in every way and went out of their way to meet our requests. We did eat at three restaurants at Sandals Montego Bay - Tokyo Joes, Cuccina Romano and OK Corrall - enjoyed them all but book early because there are limited spots for SRC guests. We also enjoyed one lunch on our trip to Dunns River Falls at Sandals Dunns River Falls. Do not miss the outdoor pizza restaurant if you go to this resort.

The entertainment was good and got better as the vacation went on. Some of the nights were spoiled by "weather situations" at night- sending people running for cover. What was good about the entertainment was that it wasn't the same every week so it had some variety for people who stayed longer than 7 days.

We had scheduled a candlelight dinner but cancelled it. Didn't seen worth the extra $140. We enjoyed learning how to sail and snorkeling. The resort was very clean.

Here are some tips - internet. Didn't see many people using the hotel service. In town, there are a number of places where you can get good access for little dollars. A place called Cyber Hut on the hip strip was $10 for an hour.

Shopping - we went to the strip five times - against the advice of the staff at SRC. We had no problems. People are persistent but if you tell them you know where you are going they leave you alone. We enjoyed going to the Old Fort Market about ten minutes past Margaritaville. Up the hill on the left hand side. That was where the best deals for necklaces, etc were. There were a couple of kids begging sometimes and some unsavoury looking characters, but you get that at home.

Liquor - buy it at the airport - it was 33% cheaper there than on the strip.

All in all a great trip. We will go back to a Sandals and hope our next destination is as enjoyable as this one was.

  • Liked — Our room was four steps from the beach
  • Disliked — The inconvenience for the photo shoot
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Gordon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2007

We arrived in Montego Bay at 5 p.m. Mar. 17 and were ushered into the Sandals Lounge at the airport after we cleared Immigration. From that point forward, we were treated like royalty. I can't say enough good things about Sandals Royal - we went to Sandals Inn and Sandals Montego Bay and couldn't wait to get "home" to the Royal. The feeling there is welcoming and we were embraced by each and every staff member we encountered, whether with a friendly hello or literal hugs and tears when we left from our maid. We had a beachfront room, second floor Balmoral building. There was no fridge in the room but, within 24 hours we had one delivered and stocked with beer and "wata" for the week.

In reading some of the other reviews, I realize that the experience you have at the Royal depends on your own attitude. Yes, there are beach vendors there but if you treat them with respect, they give it back to you tenfold, as does the staff. If you smile and wave and them and say 'not today, thanks' they totally respect that and leave you alone. Yes, we did tip $20 to get beer in our room. But we got WAY more beer than $20 worth and made a friend in the young man that helped us out.

The property itself is spectacular - never crowded, pristinely clean beaches, always enough beach chairs. Continual maintenance and upkeep is being done, but it's totally non-intrusive. It's an older property but, we could see they were very dilligent in keeping it clean and in working shape. It's a property with grandeur that is being lovingly maintained - how can anyone complain about that?

Watersports folks were wonderful and we took out the Hobie Cat and had a total blast. The Dragon Boat is only supposed to run over to the Island once an hour but we never once had to wait and quite often got shuttled over alone with a smile and a hand for "M'Lady" (me) getting off the boat. Maybe it was our own attitude that got us so much in return, I don't know but we just loved our time at the Royal. We had never been to a Sandals property before, so it wasn't a "repeat guest" thing...it was genuine respect and amazing service from each and every staff member.

The only bad food we had was a shrimp dish one night and we were a little ill the next morning - no big deal though. The rest of the week, the food was fine - always plentiful and very well presented. We didn't discover the lunch buffet until our second last day there and wished we had known of it earlier. The food at the beach grill is fine but we were getting a little tired of it by Thursday. It was our own fault though, we just didn't explore enough.

We did hear a couple complaining about something in their room when we were cashing traveller's cheques at the front desk. The lady I was working with couldn't have been nicer to me but when this couple barged in and demanded service, her attitude definitely did change towards them - they were very offending to her and I felt completely embarassed for the poor girl. Jamaicans are a very proud people and they do try their hardest to please. But, like anyone, if they are disrepected and abused, they are going to react to that treatment.

We will most definitely go back to the Royal as soon as we can afford it. To us, it's worth the extra to be completely spoiled for a week. We're already missing the Royal and her wonderful staff - right from the groundskeepers up to Mr. Mutton himself.

  • Liked — Everything, but mostly the staff
  • Disliked — saying goodbye until next time!
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
24 Thank MandMCalgary
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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