The flight to Jamaica was scheduled to land at 10:00am, but we made good time and actually arrived at 9:30am. Immigration and customs were easy and we made our way to the Sandals arrivals lounge by about 10:00. We weren’t even there 10 minutes before we were taken outside for the shuttle. They did a poor job of communicating, as none of the travelers knew which shuttle we were supposed to be on. Eventually, someone came over and, without saying a word to us, started taking our bags. Unfortunately, his van was hidden behind other busses, so my wife had to follow him to make sure we knew where our bags were, while I carried the rest of our luggage.
When we got everyone loaded onto the van, we were all offered illegal substances, but, after declining, the issue wasn’t pressed. The shuttle ride was short (first to SMB then to SRC). Do keep in mind that the folks at the airport carrying your bags and the shuttle drivers are not Sandals employees, and you are expected to tip them. It was easy enough to keep a stock of ones in my pocket.
Sandals Royal Caribbean
The two of us and another couple on our shuttle were escorted to sofas in the lounge at SRC. Cookies were on the table and champagne and cold towels were brought to us. Turns out you need the towels as the lounge is not air conditioned.
We were in the lounge for about 30 minutes or so. Our room was not ready (which we expected), so they let us go get lunch and enjoy the facility some. After lunch we visited our luggage up front and got changed in the restrooms so we could use the pool. Around 1:00 (1½ hours early) the gentleman from the front desk found us at the pool and escorted us and our luggage to our room. We were very pleased with the fact that we didn’t have to keep checking back with the desk to see if it was ready, they found us.
Room (C+)- The Grande Lux room at SRC leaves something to be desired. The four poster bed was nice, and the vanity area was excellent. The washroom was small and run down. There was mold on the walls and in the Tub. The TV had something like 120 channels (but who watches TV when you’re in the Caribbean?). There were not nearly enough hangers in the room, and it took several phone calls over 2 days to get them to deliver more.
Pool (D-)– Unacceptable. Fairly small. Bigger than most backyard pools (though I know some folks whose pools are at least 2/3 the size of the SRC main pool. The pool had a ring of mold around it, especially at the swim up bar. The swim-up bar area was a little crowded to begin with, then a large wedding party showed up and took over the whole area. You couldn’t get close enough for a drink, and there was a cloud of smoke around it. The group was pretty loud and obnoxious, and with the small facility, you couldn’t get away from them. All of the resort’s activities were centered around the pool. Since it was small, you were pretty much participating whether you liked it or not.
Swim up bar (D)- small and can be crowded. They are not well stocked, and couldn’t make us 70% of the drinks on their menu. No premium drinks. Even when they weren’t busy they were incredibly slow getting your drink order, and didn’t seem happy to do it. I was even asked once to collect empty drink glasses that were left out since the bartender didn’t want to go out in the rain. Unacceptable for any resort.
Restaurants (C) – Limited.
Beach grill – Limited menu, decent food, decent service. It was nice that they were open kindof late (2am), but after 9, service got very slow. It would take an average of 20 -30 minutes to get just a plate of french fries, even when they were empty.
The Royal Thai restaurant was nice, but it is a little tough to get reservations. The food was pretty good, though not excellent. No dragon boat as promised to take us out there, just the regular snorkeling boat, a little disappointing.
The Courtyard was never open our whole stay.
The Regency is pretty repetitive for breakfast; they don’t vary the buffet much. Dinner our first night was also a buffet, but overall the food was very good (when a-la-carte).
The Pavilion was not open our whole stay there. They offered the pavilion menu in the Regency, but it got tiresome of seeing the same scenery for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Staff (C-) –They were mostly friendly, but I would expect nothing less from a resort. The front desk staff seemed like they didn’t have time for you, and didn’t want to work with us when we asked for a transfer. The grounds crew worked as if no one was around. One day we had to walk through piles of brush and leaves just to get to our room because the grounds crew had just left all the trimmings on the path. They watched us, but didn’t stray from what they were doing.
Bars (C) – Most of the drinks weren’t of premium quality, and when I did ask for the nicer rums and such, ½ the time the request was ignored and well drinks were poured. With the amount of time it took to get a drink, we just accepted it that way. The bar staff was generally unpleasant. They were more occupied talking with their friends/coworkers that wanting to assist guests. They would even point you to the fountain to get a soda instead of pouring it for you.
Beach/Ocean (D) – small and not pretty. The guys on surfboards offering merchandise/goods (legal and not) were annoying. They didn’t bother you much if you told them “no” or “later”, but they spend all day hollering at anyone on the beach; you can’t escape them. The one positive was that beach towels were easy to get and you weren’t forced to keep track of them. If they were left on a chair and someone else picked em up, just go get new ones.
Island (B) – When we went out there it was empty, other than one other couple. Part of the island is a nude beach, but luckily there was no one out there. The pool was ok and the swim up bar wasn’t bad, but it could take a while to get a drink if the bartender wandered off. The staff on the island seemed to spend their whole time getting ready for dinner. Also disappointing was that they decided to bring over crates of fish (for dinner I’m assuming) on the boat on our trip over there. You would think that the fish could go on a separate trip without guests.
Construction! They were working on the central part of the resort, and it was very disruptive. You couldn’t walk to the lobby/front area unless you went around a bunch of buildings. There was no path from the restaurant to the restrooms, so you would have to either go back to your room or to the beach restrooms.
Overall, we booked SRC for 10 nights, we only stayed 5. It was a small resort and there was construction everywhere. Couldn’t relax because you could hear the hammering at the pool and on the beach. Aircrafts flying over wasn’t terrible but they were definitely noticeable and somewhat often. Conversations would have to pause for 20 seconds or so. The staff was mediocre and not what we expected. Seemed as if they cared more about just getting the job done rather than making it a good experience for guests.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Evoline ltd, Priceline and TripOnline SA so you can book your Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel Montego Bay
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay
- Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Jamaica
- Sandal Royal Caribbean