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“2 days of paradise!”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Initial impressions:
Check in was a breeze. We were met at the airport and guided to a private Sandals arrival lounge with self serve coffee, soda and beer and very comfortable seating. We arrived after dark, and it was raining, but I was still shocked by the beauty of the resort's gardens. The walk from check in to our room was almost surreal. The unique sounds of the crickets and the distant lapping of the waves on the beach sprinkled with the pitter-patter of the rain...I'll never forget it.

Service: 3.5
A bit uneven. Almost everyone we encountered was friendly and accommodating, however sometimes the smile felt forced.

There was a very ackward moment for us in the swim up bar. We were the only couple in the pool, and overheard 2 bartenders screaming at each other over a football game. The tirade lasted 2 or 3 minutes with both waiters screaming and swearing at eachother over what illicit acts the other's mother or sister did to (or with) the manchester united football squad. Very juvinile, and very unprofessional. After, make eye contact with one of them, and they notice we exist...he's like Good morning! Like nothing even happened. No apology for their language or anything.

On the flip side....The stand out experience for us was in the Oleander Room for dinner the night before we left. Robert was hands down best, most attentive, most sincere waiter we've ever had at a meal. Ever.

Value: 4
Not sure how to rate this. We are "cruise people" and for the money spent on 3 days, we could have had a 10 night cruise. That said, I know a cruise is not a resort...I feel that I did get my money's worth. All inclusive is pretty nice....unlimited drinks. The beach sports (we tried every single one of 'em over 2 days) were great, however the ocean kayaks really need an overhaul...paddling in the ocean without a seat back was kind of a drag.

Sleep Quality: 5
Now...I've NEVER slept better in my entire life...but this was a vacation for relaxing and shutting down. The bed was amazingly comfortable, the room solid, never heard a neighbor....but the jets are pretty loud up until around 11:30 at night, and the first flights start going out around 8:30 or 9.

Cleanliness: 4
The gardens and grounds are amazing! Stunningly beautiful groundskeeping. The entire property is like an immaculate garden. The beach and public spaces are constantly being looked after. The sand is raked every morning. Our sheets were crisp, and the bathroom absolutely spotless.

I'd rate this category a 5......but we had a cockroach in our room when we checked in. ick.

Location: 3
Can't beat the view, the short cab ride is very nice, but you WILL know you're by the airport. The jets are LOUD when they take off....but by the end of the first day, as you watch all of the resort staff stop what they're doing and wave goodbye to each and every plane that takes off...eventually you find yourself doing it too...and it turns into a sort of cheerful game rather than an annoyance.

Rooms: 5
Beautiful room. Sea Grapes building, but I can't recall our room number. I know it was on the west end of the building. (see my room tip below)

Beverage Selection: 5
All inclusive, and they mean it. I was even able to have my favorite night cap (drambuie) each night.
My only suggestion for improvement is that there is a Jamaican soft drink called "Ting" that my wife and I like to drink when we're in the Caribbean and they did not have it.

Food: 3
Food was pretty typical of any cruise or other vacation we've ever taken. Sometimes it seems the chefs try too hard to be impressive and something is lost. (example...don't put whole mussels in the shell on a seafood pizza. Eating pizza should not involve a lobster fork...plus pulling chunks of clamshell out of my pizza cheese made the entire experience kinda gross)

Standout dish for me was a spectacular seafood bouillabaisse at Stew Fish, the seaside restaurant. All of the different types of seafood...clams,mussels,shrimp,fish,and a whole lobster tail.. blended together seamlessly, yet each ingredient retained its own unique flavor. Just a sensory delight. The restaurant is nice too. It's on the beach, with sand floors and wooden picnic-style tables. White linen transforms a rather drab room into a romantic beach dining space.

DON'T MISS ITEM
For an additional fee the resort offers a Nighttime snorkel excursion, by boat out to the reef.
This was arguably the most Amazing underwater adventure we've ever had. It's just pitch black down there. The narrow shaft of light emanating from each swimmers flashlight illuminates about a 8 inch circle on the bottom. Unnerving at first...but its amazing how quickly your eyes adjust. The amount of sea life to be seen easily doubles. Moray eels are mystifying in the dark. Saw some huge trumpet fish. Crabs and crayfish that have ruby red eyes that light up like gemstones when the light hits them. Lobsters reflect back in brilliant spots of ruby and sapphire...like tiny little bicycle reflectors. Caribbean reef squid...best for last here...they're like an alien space ship in the ocean. Fluttering through their spectrums of colors...they almost seem to illuminate from within.

Room Tip: Not all rooms in the "sea grapes" building have a true ocean view. The western most rooms...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Calypso-Pictures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 5, 2013

We arrived in Montego Bay on 12/26. The crew from Sandals/Beaches was right there in the airport ready to assist with luggage as soon as we got through customs. I even had a place to hang my wedding dress inside their lounge. They had Red Stripe, Soda and Water as options to drink.
Pretty soon we were on the bus to the drive over to Sandals. Yes, the luggage guys at the airport ask straight out for a tip, but our suitcases were heavy and it saved us from doing some work so we didn't mind at all.
Arriving at Sandals, greeted with a cool washcloth and taken into the arrival lounge for a Jamaican Smile. Time to fill out paperwork. We did not put a credit card down as we had cash.
We were then taken to our room. We got an upgrade - were going to be in Seagrapes Building, 2nd floor - we got Palms building, 3rd floor. Again, help with the luggage, but our big bag weighed 64lbs so again, it was nice to have the help! Didn't mind giving a little extra tip. Our room, 720, was lovely. Ok, so we had an issue with the mini fridge not working, but so what... it took 2 days to fix, but there's ice outside. We did not get beer, but again, that's not a problem... bar was already open. Who wants to drink everything inside when you can go out and play?
We got dressed and went outside to the beach. The water was a bit chilly, but not too bad. The sun was shining - gorgeous day. We then went back in to change for dinner and ate at The Oleander. He had the steak and I had the Lobster Thermador. Both flavorful. His steak was a bit fatty, but there was still plenty to eat.
The next day we went out to play again and I enjoyed the sunshine. Found out you can get the chairs under the shade if those who they were reserved for don't arrive by 11am. We ate some pizza and a calzone. (Oh, of course we ate breakfast at Bayside and everyday it had something a bit the same and something a bit different, but overall solid breakfast options). We ate dinner that night at Stewfish. He had Shrimp and I had the Stewfish. It was nice, but I think as we were both pretty tired it wasn't our favorite meal.
The next day we took a trip to Appleton Rum Estate and YS Falls. Fun, but awful bus ride... bumpy and he hit his head on the ceiling a few times as we got the back of the bus since they picked up an annoying couple from Royal first. Ok, they picked up a couple of others, but this couple from Australia was kind of annoying. Ok, she was annoying... Anyways, it was still fun and we made the best of it. YS Falls is beautiful, but the water is COLD. Appleton Rum Estate. Buy your Rum there if you like it... the prices are amazing! We ate at Le Jardian that night... YUMMY - best food we ate. It was at Royal.
The next day (Saturday), we went on the Catamaran to Jimmy Buffet's Margarettaville... SO FUN!!! They get you drinking and dancing. I gave my fiance a nice little lap dance. :) My parents then arrived that afternoon and we ate at Cucina Romano. Good Italian, but smaller menu to choose from. Good service as well!
Next day his parents arrived and we just hung out at the resort, met with our wedding coordinator and chose our location. We went over to Royal for dinner. We had tried to change our reservations from the Royal Thai to Le J since the food had been so good, but they said they couldn't accomodate us, though they had said the night we were there they would... oh well, we ended up at Royal Thai and WOW, they were wonderful! It was a pleasant surprise. I had lobster again in a pepper sauce... We all did except my parents had Shrimp Fried Rice which they said was good as well.
The next day - BIG DAY - WE GOT MARRIED... man, I was so nervous, but our wedding coordinator was perfect and I had paid for a bridal attendant and glad I did so my mom could relax. The spa was fantastic as well! Just be aware that there's an additional service fee of 12.5% - it helps the girls get their tips which are divided evenly. Our wedding video and pictures have turned out AMAZING! It was so perfect! That night - New Year's Eve, man they had a thrown down of food. Lobster and Seafood bar, Italian Bar, etc... you name it, they had it! So good. I teased saying they didn't need to throw such a large reception for us.
The next day we got our breakfast in bed so we ate out on the patio. It was nice and relaxing. We met our parents downstairs to take our trip to Negril. Dalton, our tour guide, was great. We went to Sandals Negril (oh, and I had to pee so badly along the way that I ended up going behind a building - it was funny) and Sandals Negril had rotting seaweed in the water that was way under the sand, but sometimes the sand would let the bubbles out and it smelled like sulfur... awful. The people there weren't as accomodating either. We then went shopping and I got a really cool photo album. Indians owned the shops and they aren't really willing to barter the way I've been able to barter in the Carib before... so, we didn't get much. On our way to Rick's Cafe... since it was NewYears Day it was CRAZY busy... won't go again - seen it, done it. The chips and salsa $7.99 plus tax - NOT worth it. Dinner that night, we ate again at Oleander. I had fish this time and it was really good.
The following morning we all prepared to leave. Airport was crazy busy! That's why you leave the resort 3-4 hours earlier than your flight.
Everyone at the resort was terrific. Can't imagine it being any better. There were some downs, but overall I can't say anything was so bad that I'll remember it a year from now. A broken mini fridge is not a big deal. The pools were cold, so what - sit in the hottub... food was always excellent! The planes flying overhead... they're there, but sound only lasts for about 5 seconds... a lot shorter than Royal.
I think those who write negative reviews are just negative...

Room Tip: We stayed 3rd floor Palms. My parents stayed 1st floor Almonds and had an amazing walk-out and his p...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Janet G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

The property is generally well kept. Our room was small and run-down, although all the functionalities were fine (shower, electronics etc). Most of the employees were attentive, but a significant number was not. Night showtime was good. Food was decent in the main restaurant; nothing especial. Specialty restaurant's (sefood, japanese, italani, thai, french) food was substandard. This is a place for couples. It has a small beach, so if you like to walk in the beach, this is not your place. It is VERY near the airport, to the point you can read the writings on the plane's fuselage; if you are bothered by the sounds of planes tking off, do not even think about going there.

Room Tip: I would try a butlered suite.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank acukiert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

We stayed at the Sandals Royal Caribbean, but were able to use the stay at 1 play at 3 feature they offer. This is definitely the largest and has the more party like atmosphere of the three resorts! With that being said, we used this resort for our Bachelor/Bachelorette parties. (We were married while down in Jamaica, at the end of a week long stay. We brought a large group down with us and decided early on that would have our parties down there as there are all sorts of activities to do – plus, free drinks! Can’t beat that! )

The girls and guys split up in the morning/afternoon and did our own things. The resort is large enough that we never saw each other. The guys did all the water sports – tubing, skiing, knee boarding, etc…. My husband said it was a blast. The water was a little rough but it just added to the excitement. He wants to give a shout out to the playmakers too, as they were a main part in their fun. I guess there were pool games and such with drinking races involved - I don’t know much more - as it was a bachelor party ;o)

The girls had planned a snorkeling trip, but we were unable to go because the wind was fierce, making the water too choppy. So instead we hung out on the BEAUTIFUL beach drinking steal bottoms and swimming in their crystal clear water. It was a HOT-HOT day, so the drinks went down fast! The bartenders at the main beach bar were great; they made us all sorts of special drinks! We didn’t stray far from there and they kept us happy! We got pizza from Dino’s Pizzeria – the best pizza ever! So good we came back another day just to get it! (note: now they have a pizzeria at SRC but it hadn’t been built yet when we were there)

In the late afternoon we went back to SRC to clean up for dinner. Buses come often – they come and leave ON TIME! As long as you know the schedule you are great!

We came back to SMB for a group dinner. Silly us, we didn’t think about calling ahead and scheduling a group of 24 dinner. When we all showed up, they were a little thrown off, but handled it very well. The resort Manager came and spoke to us while they prepared seating or our group. He was a very kind and funny man. He spoke to my husband and I about love and marriage – it was just a special memory. They ended up putting us in the Bayside restaurant. The food was amazing!

We then went to the bar/amphitheater and enjoyed the steel drum band they had performing that night. The bartenders made us feel so special! One gentleman made a rose out of napkins that he then had my husband kneel and give to me!
We ended the night at Cricketers Pint @ SMB. This is the way to end the night! WOW! They had a DJ = Fun and Dancing, nuff said!

This was a fabulous place! The staff was so friendly. Even coming from a different Sandals Resort they treat you all the same.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Julia Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Short Review....overall we enjoyed our trip. The water is absolutely beautiful. Montego Bay is very close to the airport, and yes the planes can be very loud....guessing 8-12 planes a day, heard them as early as 8:00 AM and one as late as midnight. All the restaurants are right on the water, you really can't beat the view. The food is your average all-inclusive variety. Some items were very good and others just okay. We found the service to be uneven. The beach area is smaller than we are used to but it was nice. We really liked how convenient the airport was to the resorts.

We enjoyed the shuttle to the Royal Caribbean and that resort as well. We really enjoyed the private island at the RC. We reserved the beach beds with butler service on the island. Nicole our Butler was absolutely fantastic and it was well worth the $65 fee. We would do this again in a heartbeat.

Overall we had an excellent trip. The weather was perfect. We have stayed at better all-inclusive's for sure, but do not let this deter to you. Only suggestion might be to try and stay at the Royal Caribbean as it is a bit further from the airport. This was also our first trip to Jamaica and we really enjoyed it.

Room Tip: Buildings 8 & 9 have a great water view, though are closest to the airport.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank tpgunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We just got back from a 3 night getaway and my wife and I had a great time at Sandals. It was our first time visiting a Sandal and Jamaica so we weren't quite sure what to expect. It is always funny to read these reviews before a trip and the see the complaints people have of a resort-- while this resort isn't perfect it is a wonderful spot and I would have a hard time thinking of anything bad to say. It is a beautiful spot and everyone goes out of there way to make your time there a great one.

First of all, a lot of people comment about the airport being so close. I thought it was a plus, especially for us only coming for 3 nights as we were really glad to be that close. The airport was a breeze and before you know it you are laying on the beach sipping a "Jamaica Smile" (you have to try one!). It is true that since the resort is so close that you do hear the occasional jet and it is loud, you quickly get used to it and I even thought it was pretty cool to watch they jets take off so close. It did not take away from our experience.

The resort staff was great. Very friendly and everyone was helpful. The food was good, not blow your socks off good, but a lot of choices and everything we had tasted good. For those that complained the plates being so small I am curious why they just didn't order another! It is all inclusive so you could order whatever and how much you liked. My wife and I would start with a few appetizers before ordering the main courses. I will say, make sure you make your reservations early- we couldn't get into Tokyo Joe's as it was booked up but if you are staying for a week I am sure it is no problem.

There is a ton to do on the resort. We only left twice, once to visit the Royal Caribbean Sandals which was a fun way to spend an afternoon. It is only a 4 minute shuttle over there and we spent a day on the private island they have. The pool bar there was great and we met some really nice other couples. Our bartender Linval was great and kept making us fun rum drinks! A word of advice would be to take note of the "clothing optional" section of the island....while exploring the natural island we snuck up on it and it is true what they say that it's never the people you want to see who participate in that!

Our other excursion was to do the catamaran sunset sail and booze cruise to snorkel and to Margaritaville. We tried to book it through the hotel's tour company but they were sold out while we were there so we went with another company I read about, The Dreamer Catamaran Tour. It was awesome and they picked us up and dropped us off right at the hotel. We had lots of fun on that tour and I would recommend it for those that want something to do outside the resort.

Other things we liked-- the Piano Bar sing-a-longs at night are a blast, the snorkeling right off the beach was awesome, and breakfast was really good and a great way to start each day.

Our room was in the Palm Building and it was great. Again, nothing over the top but had everything you needed and was clean. We loved being right on the first floor and our room had a patio we would sit out on a different times of the day.

It was a great experience and I would recommend this resort to anyone. We met lots of other couples just like us, getting away and there to have fun and soak up the great weather. Don't let any of these bad reviews turn you off as if you are staying here it is hard to not have a wonderful time!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank ScottNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Has anyone been to this resort in Montego Bay. We have been to 5 Sandals and the majority of them are old tired 80s decor > Not the 5 star asthey believa they are compared to alot of other resorts.You spend way too much time at the front desk requesting bottled water or fridge restocking.Any thoughts?Or better suggestions for Montego Bay area would be appreciated

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank AnnetteBlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Montego Bay

Address: Montego Bay, Kent Avenue, Montego Bay 100, 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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $537 - $1,688 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Largest private white sand beach on the north coast •The entertainment capital of the Sandals brand with nightly professional shows and upbeat, active, fun-loving daytime activities. •Six exquisite dining options•Complimentary transfers to Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle. Enjoy all the luxuries included in our “stay at one, play at three” concept offering 18 dining options •Air-conditioned departure lounge•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 Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay
Sandals Hotel Montego Bay
Montego Bay Sandals Hotel
Sandal Montego Bay

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