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“Vastly disappointing”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Edmonton, Alberta
Reviewed March 30, 2004

What a disappointment - they should have indicated that you would at the end of the runway. Constant airplanes - bad service - not so friendly people - not an image that makes me want to return. If you could get in somewhere to eat within the hotel, it was a day in advance bookings. And you even hate to wait for a manager to complain to about the poor service.

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5,495 - 5,501 of 5,651 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Beloit, Wisconsin
Reviewed March 26, 2004

Spent 10 nights there October 15-25 2003. The resort grounds are beautiful, the food was good (make sure you make reservations your 1st day t here). We were married on the 18th and thought the wedding was wonderful and the coordinator very helpful (the pictures were very nice). Resort activities seem to be geared towards the young crowd that do a lot of drinking (beach games, newlywed game ect.). Room was very nice with a great view (had to have room for ants), in room bar and drinks were nice and would be stocked with anything we requested! We paid extra for concierge services which were non-existent. We were introduced to him the first day and never seen him again (the concierge desk wasn't much more helpful). Problems we encountered: when we got on the shuttle to the hotel from the airport we were asked by the bus driver if we want to buy marajuana, had to wait about 3 hours for our room (the travel agency said we would be upgraded and when we asked the had no upgrades available), NOT the safest place to be (make sure you read the local newspapers on the internet before you leave home), we found out there had been a riot and shooting in MO Bay the day we arrived. We took several excursions and one was to a plantation and our bus was held up for several hours with angry people and police surrounding us and we were lied to when we asked what was going on (very scary) we ended up with a police escort the whole way there and back (that was after the driver paid the police officer). We went to the Sandals Inn for dinner one night and decided since we were early to take a walk. We walked on block and back and was approached 4 times on the way to the corner asking to buy drugs and wares, on the way back a car pulled up very quickly and 2 guys jumped out and ran over to us, grabbed our arms and put bracelets on them demanding money and said it was for the childrens school fund (we gave them $2.00 which they were very unhappy about). We decided we wouldn't go on any more walks unsupervised away from the hotels. The departure was a day from HELL Again we were lied to, we had the pre check out with Air Jamaica and the representive wasn't there on time and we were told it was because of a bad auto accident blocking the roads (she was about 2 hours late).
Then we found out that we had to be taken by boat with our luggage to Margaritaville and then to the airport (again because of the auto accident). We found out before we left by boat that there had been more riots and shootings going on including over turned cars, fires, guns, rock throwing ect. and so that's why we couldn't get through on the roads to get the airport. It was raining and storming by the time our boat left Sandals (so we got soaked) and once we got to Margaritaville they didn't know how we were going to get to the airport so we stood around there for about an hour. We finally went by cab and made it safely to the airport (the staff that was on the boat with us (getting off work and going home) stuck around to make sure we saftely made it to a cab (at first we were told the police were going to take us). The weather was good (even though it rained for a short time every afternoon), the hotel was nice but not as nice as we expected, the service was o.k. but slow at the resturants and bar, watersports was good but was very disappointed about the saftely issue and the fact that we weren't told about anything going on outside of the hotel. We would have made different choices about tours and leaving hotel grounds had we know. Would we go back again? No. We also sent an email to the hotel, airlines, and travel agency when we returned and have never heard anything back from any of them. That was very disappointing. If you have any questions feel free to email us, we took several tours and ate at all of the Sandal resorts resturants. kjdenio2004@yahoo.com

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A TripAdvisor Member
Arlington, Virginia
Reviewed March 25, 2004

My husband and I just returned from a four-day vacation at Sandals Mo Bay this week. This was our first trip to an all-inclusive resort, so we don't really have anything to compare it to. The resort was gorgeous, with very well-maintained grounds. The staff was very friendly and always willing to help. Upon arrival, we were greeted with champagne and the news that we had been upgraded from a beahfront luxury room to the Water's Edge Penthouse, which was fantastic - we really enjoyed the whirlpool tub, canopy bed, walk-in closet, big balcony, and well-stocked bar. The room was very clean, as was the entire resort. The food was certainly good, but not fantastic. Don't drink too many of their tropical drinks - they are rather syrupy and likely to make your stomach hurt. There is no problem getting a shot of Jack if that's what you prefer. We enjoyed walking along the resort's long stretch of private beach. I don't care what people say about the vendors and stray cats - they are not a big problem. The watersports staff were very helpful, and there was no waiting for sailing, kayaking, etc. The ocean was crystal clear and is warmer than the Atlantic, but not quite as warm as the Pacific. We spent quite a bit of time just laying in the pool. We also enjoyed the lawn chess (actually on the beach) and the open-air pool hall. The entertainment was okay with the exception of the "beach party", which is held every Monday.
They close down almost all of the restaurants and set up a big buffet on the beach. The food was good, but the entertainment was seriously lacking. It started out okay, with a cute kid's marching band and a fire dancer, but then it ended up with an hour of the manager introducing himself and all of the other managers (bar manager, spa manager, front desk manager, etc.) - very boring! Definitely not as good as the luaus in Hawaii. Overall, we were very pleased with our experience, and will likely return someday when we just need to relax in a place that we know is nice. I don't, however, forsee us returning every six months for ten years, as one couple we met has done. One word of caution - make absolutely sure that you do not leave anything of value in your rooom when you check out. My husband left his wedding band in our bathroom the day we left. When he discovered that it was missing at the airport, the staff at the Sandals desk very quickly whisked us back to the resort in a private car to look for the ring. We were very impressed by their care and concern, and level of service.
Unfortunately, when we got back to the room (about an hour after we had checked out) we found the ring to be missing. What we did find, however, was that the minibar had been cleaned out of beer and four or five empty bottles were in the trash can. We didn't like the red stripe beer, so it wasn't us who emptied all of the bottles that were in the trash. We figure that whoever helped themselves to the minibar also probably helped themselves to my husband's ring. In defense of the resort, they did have their loss prevention manager investigating the incident when we left, and it was our own dumb fault for leaving the ring in the room. And you never know, since the ring was left on the vanity it may have just fallen down the drain. Whatever happened, we are not going to let it cloud the fact that we had a very enjoyable vacation, and would recommend the resort to anyone who just needs to get away from it all.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Duluth, MN
Reviewed March 25, 2004

I stayed at Sandals Mo Bay from March 11th - 18th. Whatever you do, don't listen to the bad reviews!! I read almost every one before leaving and was honestly afraid of what I was going to find. From the second we walked in the door, we were treated like we were the only ones staying. The staff went the extra mile to make sure our stay was great. The food was unbelievable, the beaches were well kept and constantly cleaned. The rooms were well cleaned also. I had read a few reviews about items getting stolen from the rooms... but every day I left money laying around, jewelry etc and nothing was touched except to move it a little out of the way so the housekeepers could clean. Every request was responded by the staff as no problem mon and a smile! The only thing I would advise you on is to get the upgrade from the deluxe room. For the little extra money, it's a much nicer room. We stayed in the deluxe and although it was fine, it was older and not too quiet most nights, and the airconditioner kept breaking! Also, if you get a chance, go on the party cruise! It costs an extra $50 per person but well worth it! Money well spent. And if you come across Foot while there... tell him pretty eyes says hello! One more thing... If you go, stop into the Disco at Night. It opens at 11pm every night and the staff is great! If you go, look for Jason and tell him St louis boy and minnesota girl say hello and we miss him! For real... most of my memories are from him! He's the bomb... plus the disco plays hip hop music for you youngens.... you gotta go in there!! So don't listen to the bad reviews! Your vacation is what you make outta it. I'll definately be back!

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Reviewed March 23, 2004

I just returned from 5 day stay at Sandals MB (mid March '04. Pluses: Great food, friendly service, great beach (specially for non-swimmers like my wife, short and shallow), great weather, plenty of excursions available, great drinks (not watered down) Minuses: Dismal entertainment, beach was too quiet- music was lacking, tiny pool.
Overall, it was a good time, though I do believe I will not be returning.

1  Thank toyguard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Tripadvisor reader
Reviewed March 11, 2004

We just got home and I am rebooking already. This resort was by far one of the best. The staff couldn't have been any nicer. They upgraded our room and there was no wait at all. If you do not enjoy yourself here you are asking for too much. The theft reviews are hard to believe after leaving my purse with camera and all on the beach at night only to find it right were I left it an hour later. The food is great and plenty of it. The stay at one play at all is an excellent treat. I had promised myself never another trip to the islands after a few trips to the bahamas & mexico left me feeling that the natives were annoying and the staff was always overworked and bothered by your presence. Not even sorta the case here. The bartender will not be the star in the nightly entertainment the waitress at the breakfast buffet will not do a side show as your maid. The staff at Sandals is exceptional the rooms are clean the food is great and the beaches are even nicer in person. Go...
forget any bad reviews and if you have the opportunity fly air Jamaica it is wonderful as well.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2004

I suprised my boyfriend with this trip for his 25th birthday. We stayed from 11/19/03-11/23/03. For the most part we had a blast.

Upon walking in my fears about the bad posts I've read on here were relieved. The water truly was that blue and the scenery was beautiful.

They got us drinks for our orientation. We did have to wait about an hour before our room was ready but they upgraded us from priemum to oceanfront.

The food was nothign to brag about, but there was plenty of it. The grill on the beach was open until 5am if you wanted a midnight snack.
Tyoko grill was the best.

We absoluted loved the piano bar from 11pm-1am with Conrad. You gateher around the piano and pick songs from the book you sing as a group. Lots of fun.

Two things I was diaspointed with:

1. They had red flags up the whole time we were there so we couldent do water sports. I understand their concern for saftey but it was a real bummer becasue we spent our whole 2nd day training for scuba.

2. REALLY BE CAREFUL WITH THE PHONE USE!!! we made 2 brief calls to ny ( both under 3 minutes) and our bill was $50.00!!! What happened was the operator wrongly connected us several times and we were charge $4.00 connection to each call SHE wrongly connected. Very frustrating.
Not for anything it may have not been the resorts fault but when I drop 2.5 grand on a trip the least you can do is take an $8.00 loss!

There are people tring to sell you stuff, just ignore them and they dont bother you. If you do choose to buy something. ALWAYS negotiate.
sometimes they try to take advantage of us "RICH" americans.

I hate cats but the strays on the property did not bother anyway.

5  Thank NurseKat922
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
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 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $540 - $1,607 (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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