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“we must be easily impressed”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This was our 4th sandals stay and 2nd to this resort it was perfect the staff was amazing they went out of their way to help with anything you needed the playmakers were so much fun. The beach was very beautiful soft white sand. The food well im not a "Foodie" or what ever they are called but I would compare it to the better resaurants where I live. I have read reviews about the resort looking dated not sure how it looks dated they were working non stop fixing things and pruning the grounds. It truly is a shame that people must go on vacation and look for things to complain about and then put it on here. Why not just enjoy the beautiful jamaican sun, ocean and hospitality! PS there are planes that take off right near the resort somedays theres lots others not to many if you cant stop talking for the 20-30 seconds to let it quiet down then your friends havent told you, you talk to much. Its not that big of a deal you really do stop noticing it after awhile

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank fire_medic_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 16, 2013

Just back from a weeks holiday at Sandals. This really is a brilliant hotel. there are so many good things about this hotel. The beach is swept every day so there are no old footprints in the sand, you can have as many towels as you like on the beach and also in the room. there are plenty of sun loungers, so no panic in the morning. The staff are just wonderful, everyone is so genuinely happy. I must say Hi to Andrew in the Cricketers bar, what a brilliant bar man and Mervent who was the best waiter ever. All the staff were lovely wish I could remember all their names. Everywhere is so clean, no bugs, pools are clean and the sea is lovely. The food was extremely good, didn't matter which restaurant you went to and the rib eye steak to die for. We tried to find fault, and we have been to many all inclusives in the Carribean, but we could not. Also the beds are soooooo comfortable and don't worry about the planes as the advantage is that it only takes 5 mins to get to the hotel.

We did visit the Royal Carribean which was lovely, but very small beach and everyone sat very close together, which if you like this then still really nice, especially the island.

We will be back and I never thought I would say this but I think it is even better than Couples Negril and that is a hard hotel to beat. Enjoy.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Beach-Babez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

My fiance Lou & I went to the resort for a 4day/3night getaway. It was beautiful even on the cloudy days! The staff was very friendly & helpful. The room was nice with a stocked mini bar and a nice little patio out the bay doors. There was nightly entertainment with a variety of bars & restaurants to choose from. We like that they ran a continues shuttle to the other 2 sandals resorts in the area. We found that many people would stay at the other resort and come to ours at night for the shows. I wish we could have stayed longer but its a little pricey.
The only down side of the trip is that my engagement ring was stolen out of my suitcase at the "security bag check" at the Montego Bay airport. Don't leave any valuables in your suitcase! Keep them in your carry on. I learned that one the hard way!

Room Tip: The ground floor rooms with the patios are very convenient for going to the beach area.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Karen6864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

This was my first time at a Sandals resort - late February 2013. We stayed a full week.

We stayed in a lower level room in Cottage 12. The room was nicely appointed with a very comfortable bed. There was in-room fridge, double sinks, and jacuzzi tub - all the ammenities. The room was clean, and the housekeeping staff did a thorough job - though sometimes they were around a little later in the day than we would have liked.

The food was delicious at each of the restaurants. We enjoyed breakfasts both in-room, and in the buffet restaurant. The in-room food was sometimes not as hot as we would have liked. You could get a steak at just about every restaurant, so there was always something dependable, but our group tried a variety of foods in each restaurant, and most times we were all impressed.

The entertainment was quite good, with funny bits of audience-participation games, a casino night, and some authentic Jamaican dancing. We didn't take in the entertainment every night.

We had butler service - Trudy and Shaneil. Both were quite good - and made a great stay even better. However, Shaniel was simply the greatest. Entertaining, accomodating, and attentive - she knows how to take care of her guests. I recommend the butler service! Other staff around the resort were usually friendly and helpful. Sandals must place an emphasis on training staff. It shows.

We enjoyed the water sports provided at the resort. The staff were attentive and patient in giving lessons for sailing - which we loved! And there were kayaks and paddle boards for the taking. Tubing was fun, and my wife tried water skiing. All these activities are included - take advantage!

The airport - and planes. Being so close to the airport, in my opinion, is an advantage, not a disadvantage. Being off the plane and to the resort quickly is a huge bonus. I couldn't imagine going for a long bus ride after a long flight. However, there ARE planes taking off and landing in your backyard. The day we arrived, Saturday, seemed to be the worst (you only notice the planes leaving, not arriving). To those other reviewers offended by the noise - get over it! It's a fair trade-off for the proximity.

After reading up on Tripadvisor prior to the vacation, and then going to the resort - you notice that the folks at Sandals keep trying to improve, and make a great vacation even better. So, here's my two cents for improvement at Sandals Montego Bay:

1. Check in took WAAAY too long. When we got there, we were greeted promptly, and bags taken away, and shown to conceirge to check in. Then, we're told that check in isn't until 3pm (we were there by noon). They took us to get lunch and the beach grill and drinks on the way, but we ended up waiting around for about an hour after that for the rooms to be ready. This, in my opinion, was an unacceptable amount of time to wait. Considering, that at week-end, we checked out at 7:30am, there should have been ample time to get us into our room. I suspect the long wait had something to do with our rooms being in a cottage, and not one of the main buildings. However, for the price paid, I think our wait should have been shorter than average. Not longer.

2. The resort shows it's age in places. Most of the time, things were clean and fresh. However, there were a few places for improvement. One night, it rained heavily, and the skydome entertainment area had a leak in the roof, right in a prime seating. It was like a waterfall until the rain stopped. Another point, which I've read in other reviews, is the chair pads. This is easily fixed - for the money this place rakes in, get the chair pads on every single piece of outdoor furniture every 6 months, if you have to. It's the first thing I looked for, and other reviewers were right.

3. While butler service was great, there was only one issue regarding the Beach Party night. Our butlers had provided us with a list of where our dinner reservations had been made, and each night had met us at the restaurant to seat us. On the night of the beach party, we proceeded to the beach, "meet you there" the butler said, but we proceeded to wait around. We got the butler on the phone after waiting for about 15 minutes, and she told us that it's first-come seating. Our group of six was quite disappointed. If we'd been told in advance, we would have got there early to sit together and enjoy the show and food. While this inconvenience was not intentional, the butler should have been more attentive in the details.

All in all - an enjoyable time with great food, great service, and lots of memories.

Would I go back to Sandals Montego Bay? Definitely.

Room Tip: Cottage walk-out with butler service was excellent.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Jamie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We just returned from Sandals Montego Bay Feb 23rd. This was our 2nd trip here as we had honeymooned here 22 years ago. Our honeymoon was PERFECT so I was unsure how it would be now & did not want to be disappointed plus we were bringing my sister & brother-in-law and we have raved for years how fun it was back then. Well we were so not disappointed!! We arrived at the airport & was sent to the Sandals lounge where Red Strip beer was waiting, it tasted as good as we remembered!! Within 10 minutes we were sent to the bus for the short ride (10 minutes) to the resort & was even brought out 4 more beers to drink as we loaded the bus...we must have looked thirsty!! We arrived at the resort @ 12:30 & our rooms were both available. We had purchased ocean view rooms & had been upgraded to the penthouse oceanview rooms which were in the Seagrapes building on the 3rd floor overlooking the Piano Bar. Beautiful view & almost same room location we had had on our honeymoon. The only downside was no beer in the refrigerators. We would have had to upgrade to a Concierage room to have stocked refrigerators. The rooms were clean & the beds & pillows were comfortable. Our cleaning lady was wonderful & always greeted us everyday & if we needed something extra she always took care of us.
The employees here made our trip so very special. Camille & Damar made our days on the beach fun! They took such great care of us & shared their islands fruits with us; Garnell made us all smile everyday. Paulette was a joy to see every morning on the beach. Neville always greeted us with handshakes & "respect". The pizzas on the beach were wonderful & the jerk chicken and pork were delish!! We ate lunch there everyday. Dinners were wonderful at all the restaurants. Tokyo Joes was great and we went there 2x. Thanks Petrula for your fine service there. The Pub was fun & the food was good...thanks Shanay-nay!!
We had so many laughs all week & met such wonderful people from all over. The resort is actually the perfect size for getting to know so many people. Last year we traveled to Jamaica but stayed at a very large resort with 3 different beaches & did not meet people like we did this year due to so many different places to layout in the sun everyday whereas we were in the same location all week on the beach & met everyone around us.
We are wine drinkers & enjoyed the Beringer wines.
The airplanes are not an issue. The 1st one goes over @ 8:15am and we used that as our clock. We did not have a problem with them...just wave. It was truly an advantage being so close to the airport.
We had so much fun we rebooked for next year with Duncan, travel specialist. She was such a wonderful person & ALWAYS remembered our first names & greeted us everyday & even came out to hug us when we were leaving.
We have traveled to many resorts & islands over the last 22 years and we are so glad we came back here! We are in our late 40's and the couples here were mostly 30s,40s,50s & up.
1 thing that would have been nice here is room service on those slowing moving days but really other than that everything was fantastic!
Don't hesitate to come here :)

Room Tip: Seagrapes Oceanview Room 1009....GREAT view
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ShellJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed four nights in Montego Bay and three nights at the Sandals in Negril.
Montego Bay was more fun and lively.
Negril was very laid back.
Overall, the trip was great, the staff were
friendly and the service was okay. Maybe we are fussy, but we are not going to any Sandals property again. It's
way to dated! All the properties look the
same so we found it boring. I could say
are lot more, but I don't think it would make any difference since most people are pretty set in their ways.
Overall, I would rate Sandals as are 3.5
star property.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank angelforme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a book so continue with caution. Not sure why I never reviewed this stay from 2 years ago, but now that I have three Adult only resorts under my belt (Couples and Sandals) and have visited an additional 3, I thought this would be useful for those on the fence about where to book. Also, I like both the Couples/Sandals Brands (both for different reasons), so this is a point of view from someone who just wants a good adults only vacation.

To preface it, for adults only, we have stayed at Sandals MoBay (Butler Level), Couples Swept Away (entry level room) and Sandals Grande St. Lucian (entry level room) and have visited Sandals Carlyle, Sandals Royal Carribean and Sandals Halcyon Beach (St. Lucia).

We stayed at our first and only Sandals butler suite at Sandals MoBay. We booked a butler suite only because at the time we booked it was cheaper than the Sandals MoBay entry level room (not sure why - it may have been a carrier mistake) but we paid less ($500ish less) for that trip than our other two adult only entry level stays - all of which were in HIGH season (mid jan to end of Feb). So, its kinda hard not to try it. I found it kind of strange at first trying to figure out what to have your butlers do for you. We found we used this service more like a conceirge+ than what you think of a Butler. First of all, you are sent a preference sheet in advance in butler level rooms, so the bar is stocked to your liking, they get to know your likes and dislikes, etc. Upon check in you are given a cell phone to call when you need something - we had a team of two and they had other guests also. They did not offer to unpack or press our clothes for us like the brochure said - although being type A, I need to do that myself anyhow. Also we found we had to learn from other guests with butlers what services they provided. So, some of the "perks" we liked - we had a shaded palapa for the week - provided we were there by 11:00 I think our guys kept others away from it. Which I could see would be annoying to guests staying at the non butler room levels (been there, done that), but hey, if a reserved palapa is offered I am not going to say no. They actually had a sign with our and our friends names on it for the week. You can also get a stocked cooler - so we always had cold red stripes, ginger ales, waters. So that was nice. I like to get up and move around, so I would always go to the restaurants to eat - our friends did get food delivered to the palapa, though. A tip - you can request a particular team on your preference sheet, so research TA and request who you think would fit into your likes/dislikes.

We went with another couple on this trip and I was the only one not getting my PADI open water certification while we were there. The first few days had me by myself usually until just after lunch (until I met some resort friends, that is) - on the second day of this I was kinda bored early on, so I called our butler to see if he could find out what excursions had room and were leaving within 30 minutes (while I went back to my room and got ready). In less than 5 minutes he called me from the excursion desk, listed them off and had me booked on one leaving within 20 mins. He took care of getting everything charged to my room and got the excursion slip to me right away. That was awesome! My husband told them how much I enjoyed chocolate desserts and for the rest of the trip we would come back to a variety of evening desserts from the various restaurants to try. Just really special touches. I also found that guests staying at a butler level room also seemed to have a "in" on getting reservations at the restaurants and last minute restaurant reservation changes as well. On two occaisions we had changes accomodated within an hour of eating.

The food was really good at Sandals MoBay - our favorite restaurant of any AI we have visted is still Cucinna Romana's at SMB. The chef was amazing and the food was top notch. The chef at that time was from Italy and the way the restaurant set up you could watch them cook. I loved how he patiently mentored his sous/assistant chefs. It really came out in the quality of the food and pride in preparation. I also loved Tokyo Joes. A big reason was I was craving non oily food and I asked if they could cook my stirfry in water rather than oil - the response was "No Problem, my princess" with a big smile. However, our biggest disappointment was the Oleander room (gourmet) - not sure if it was an off night but the service was the slowest I have experienced ever (finally left after 3 hours waiting on dessert and coffee) and the staff the night we were there were really grumpy. There was also a point where the staff just disappeared for 20 minutes….so, I think there was a bit more of a problem (perhaps kitchen/staff communication?). This was our first restaurant so we were nervous about the rest but they turned out fantastic - no problems. In the butler level rooms you get 24 hour room service - this was so slow. We would order and it would take well over an hour some nights. There is not a "special" restaurant for butler level guests, which is totally fine by me. There was at SGSL and it was an annoyance.

If you are looking for a fun night life, Sandals MoBay wins hands down. It is not a crazy Hedo vibe, just people laughing, having some drinks and staying out past 11:00 - from the three we stayed at Sandals MoBay (SMB) was most lively at night, followed by Sandals Grande St. Lucia (SGSL), then Couples Swept Away (CSA). However for a carribean vibe - I would say CSA, then SMB followed by SGSL. We unfortunately visited SGSL immediately following the death of Whitney Houston - so, there was WAY too much of her slow sad music being play, or sung by staff, for my taste. You hear a lot about the beach in Negril vs MoBay. There is NOTHING wrong with SMBs beach - we really enjoyed it and would not hesitate going back for a minute. There are not vendors on the beach either, so if you don't like that, SMB is great. My husband loved the SMB dive staff - still his favorite of the 4 resorts he has dove from. Very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. SMB and its proximity to the airport - yes it is close and yes planes fly overhead but it is fun to wave at the planes leaving because you are not. I have seen reviews where the planes have practically "ruined" their trip - they really aren't that bad. I was getting nervous about the planes before we went and could not believe how it wasn't that big of a deal (for me anyhow). I would rather a few planes and being a hop, step and jump from the airport than losing a bunch of time in transportation to and from the resort.

A great perk about SMB is the exchange with all sandals/beaches on the island but also the free shuttle to the two other Sandals in MoBay (Royal Carribean and Carlyle). We visited both of these resorts and I am so glad we chose SMB. We were initially looking at Royal Carribean until the SMB Butler deal came up. I think (and this is only from a visit) that SRC is more romantic and quiet. SMB is romantic, but also fun and a bit more lively. I found (and this was two years ago) the private island at SRC was in serious need of some TLC - it was really showing "wear and tear". And, I apparently I didn't research the private island enough because I stumbled across the fact it was clothing optional in certain areas (which isn’t my cup of tea). In terms of the Carlye - I know there are some loyal fans out there but this is not a resort I would want to stay at. The beach is across the street (hip strip) and the hotel is VERY small. For those looking for a small, intimate Sandals resort I recommend checking out Halcyon in St. Lucia. Quaint, small, but more resort like (I would almost compare it to CSA on a bit smaller scale). A huge bonus about the Carlye's location, though was it is located on Hip Strip and the shuttle there is free. So, you can go free to Hip strip (which is a nice perk). We caught the shuttle, did a quick tour of the Carlyle, shopped on Hip Strip and returned to the Carlyle and had a drink while we waited for the shuttle back to SMB. At CSA (Couples resorts) I believe you can only exhange 1 time per 7 days between set hours, two days per week, and only if you do Couples rewards. The exchange ended before dinner, so I am pretty sure you couldn't try out the restaurants at night (which is the best time). I really wish couples would go to more of the sandals approach in terms of that. We ate at Halcyon at the Pier restaurant in St. Lucia and it was fantastic - a great treat to get off the resort but still having it included in the price.

I know there have been a few changes since we stayed at SMB - the Piano Bar I believe moved or was renovated. In addition there seems to be a pizzaria now (where there was not before). I really enjoyed the Pizza at SGSL and CSA (Patois) so hope to try SMB sometime.

I found the entertainment staff at SMB awesome. They were friendly, fun and not in your face. So, if you wanted to be a joiner you could and if not you didn’t need to. I find that of any Sandals I visited or stayed at. I think CSA could have maybe a bit more in terms of entertainment staff

A quick note on cats (as I see this question being posted a lot) - there are cats at SMB and CSA - cats are predators and hunt undesireable "wildlife". Therefore, IMO, cats are a good thing. There were not cats at SGSL, but there was undesireable wildlife (and not just outside - they go where there is food). But…...please don't make the cats your pets for the week and don't feed the cats - full cats don't hunt; they sleep and if they sleep - well, you will see more undesirable wildlife. Ignore the cats and they will ignore you. :)

We would return to SMB for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Too_Cold_in_Sask
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 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $538 - $1,710 (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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