Hubby & I stayed at Sandals MoBay Jan 18-25, 2014. It was AMAZING!!! Even though the weather didn't want to cooperate & it rained EVERY day we were there.. it was AWESOME! Any vacation is truly what YOU make of it. We had our ups & downs but we rolled with the punches and made it an amazing trip! Everyone there is so polite and appreciative. So where to start for those OCD people like me...
Keep in mind, I booked ALL our travel plans and was in contact with the resort directly 3 months, 1 month & 1 week to confirm all arrangements and everything was spot on.
Booked Club MoBay for BOTH arrival & departure bundle. Arriving Saturday at 2:25PM, the lines were +4 hours. With Club MoBay we were greeted as we exited the plane and escorted to the front of the line for customs/immigration/security. From the time we landed to the time we were on our bus to SMB was less than 1 hour! For $80per person, this amenity is worth its weight in GOLD! We will NEVER travel to MoBay without this service again. It’s worth the risk… if I had had to wait in those lines… I would have lost my mind & temper in short order.
We got to the hotel in a matter of moments. This property is RIGHT behind the airport. ANYONE that does not know that and complains about the airplane noise is just stupid in my opinion. Bus shuttle was clean and fresh.
Upon arriving at the property, all baggage was unloaded and a moment of chaos ensued. It was quickly sorted and everyone was on their way (like 5 minutes literally). I booked the Oceanfront Honeymoon Club Level Veranda Room and asked for a QUITE room. Since we have 5 kids and my husband travels 95% of the year, we don't get much time alone together. Club service was "okay" at best. We usually felt like we were a bother to them. Oh well, we just stayed out of the "Club" room. We were greeted at the bus with cool clothes but offered only rum punch in the Club Room. We were never offered anything else from our "Club" level booking. HINT: If I booked again, I would get just a standard room and skip the so called pluses... really no need.
When I booked I specifically requested a “quite room away from all the action”. We got room 301 that was RIGHT next to Cricketer, Lobby, and Tokyo Joes. It was LOUD until 10:30PM and then quieter but still noise until about midnight. Concierge had advised their error in our room and it took them 3 days before they got it right. So our first 3 days were living out of our suit cases because EVERY day they kept telling me we were going to be moved. Each day we were not!
Finally on day 3 we were moved to room 320. BOTH rooms were the exact same as far as size, amenities and such. The view from 320 was better but both were acceptable. We were not there to hang out in the room.
Huge thanks to Telesha (sorry I think my spelling is off) who was our room attendant for room 320. She always made sure we had everything we needed and if we didn’t she went above and beyond with her cheerfulness to make sure she left us with a smile on. She was VERY sweet! We quickly forgot about the “other” room.
Amenities: The “amenity kit” is 3oz tubes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion from the Red Lane Spa. All are nice but I prefer my own. All other amenities are as listed on the web.
Okay, basically 3 of the 5 eatery options require reservations (Cucina, Oleander & Tokyo Joes; Bay Side & Stew Fish do not). This property holds about 2,000+ guests if maxed out. In Cucina Romana there are only about 50 seats total (very small which adds to the obeisance of the dining experience). Tokyo Joes - we did not eat at but about another 50 seats. Oleander has another 50 seats. So you can see why they book fast. We were able to eat at each but could not pick and choose easily. We basically took what they had available. We did not eat at StewFish as hubby & I are not big sea food fans. As for the Cricketer, Dino's, Mariner's, they are GREAT!! Bayside was okay, but not our favorite.
Cucina Romana’s: Okay this place, to say its BELLISSIMO is an understatement! From the greeter (sorry, cannot remember his name. We'll call him Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome - which hubby laughs at me about!) remembering our seating preference to the servers remembering our drinks, they are truly there to make your dining experience amazing. The Bruschetta was perfect! The Florentina alla Griglia (seasoned striploin steak) was SO tender you could literally cut it with a fork. Linguine Alfredo was fantastic and you can have with chicken or shrimp, or both if you ask. Dessert was ALL of them! The Crostata di ricotta e visciole was great (watch out for the pits!), apple pie dumpling was okay, but the home run was the Tiramisu! We are NOT coffee drinkers and were a bit apprehensive about this one but it ended up being our favorite!
This restaurant is ONLY open Mon, Wed, Fri, so remember that. They also have breakfast those days to and it’s AMAZING! We went in on Wednesday and we were the ONLY two people there the entire morning (we were there for about an hour & a half enjoying the food and view). The view from up there is indescribably beautiful! Even when it rains!!
There are two flights of stairs going up, no elevator, so plan accordingly.
Oleander: This is a white gloved dining experience and VERY dimly lit so take your flashlight if you want to be able to see anything. We were not super fond of the menu selections but we had decided to try new things since it’s all inclusive. Hubby had Jamaican Coffee rubbed NY Sirloin and I had the Seared Stuffed Chicken Breast. Both were MUCH better than we thought they would be. For dessert we had the Pineapple up-side down and Plantain tart. Service was super slow but it gave us time to talk about our day and lay plans for tomorrow. Overall it was very pleasant. This is at ground level behind the Bay Side.
Bay Side (dinner): This is a sit down menu option and NOT buffet (breakfast & lunch are buffet). Hubby had Chicken Cordon Bleu, I had the Duck a’la Orange. Both were okay but nothing outstanding. Desserts consisted of Crêpe Suzette - Sweet Crêpe, Mango Slices, Orange Segments, Grand Marnier, Vanilla Ice Cream; La Glace - Ice Cream, Tuile, Tropical Fruit Compote; Crème Caramel - Velvety Caramel-Scented Egg Custard (this is NOT Crème Brulee – much thicker and not as sweet); Mousse au Chocolat - Rich Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Coulis; Tarte aux Poires - Traditional Pear Tart, Vanilla Ice Cream. We tried ALL 5 of the desserts and they were ALL AMAZING!!! Keep in mind the portions here are MUCH smaller than in America but they were PERFECT! There was just enough for hubby & I to share and taste them all and not be stuffed.
Cricketer: This pub style eatery is adorable and they have sports on! Their burgers are HUGE! If you leave here hungry, WOW you eat a lot! LOL! For appetizer, the “Bouncer” is awesome! It is spiced potato wedges with warm stilton cheese fondue and one is NOT enough for two! We also had the Googly (chicken wings), BBQ Pork Chops, fat fries, Sticky Toffee Pudding (more of a bread than pudding), and Chocolate Brownie (amazing!). They open at 4PM every day.
Dino’s & Mariners: Both of these are also great. Basically, if you are hungry here it’s your own fault and quit being so picky! We would order and if they were not busy they would bring it to our beach chair! Cannot get much better then that!
Okay, there are drinks EVERYWHERE! If your hand is empty, either you want it that way or it’s your own fault! Workers are CONSTANTLY coming around asking if you need anything. Our favorite was a gentleman on the beach (sorry don’t remember his name) but he always wore a huge straw hat & snow flake sunglasses. Which we thought was hysterical since we are from Michigan and getting record cold & snow this year! We never went to the piano bar, it appeared to be the area for the 20-something crowed and we wanted more relaxed and quite atmosphere. The main lobby bar was always the hopping place. You MUST ask Clayton to make his special drink – Fantastic!
The drinks to try: Dirty Banana, Smile, American Flag, Miami Vise, MoBay Slammer, Caribbean Sky, Purple Rain, Bob Marley Shot, Pistachio Shot and the ever flowing Rum Punch! The Dirty Banana was my favorite and get it Extra Dirty!!
Okay so here was our down side to the trip… weather! It rained about 90% of the time. When it wasn’t raining the winds were so high that in our 8 days we were on the water 2 afternoons. I was able to snorkel once each of those 2 days. The glass bottom boat once and that was it. There are so many people and limited spots for the water so make sure you book early and often. If they cancel, you are not out. That was our mistake!
They have snorkeling, paddle boards, wake boards, water ski, tubing, scuba, hobbi cats, and kayaks. The pools were WAY cool! Once you got used to it, it was okay. I only went in once because it was only warm & sunny one day we were there and not that hot at any point. In fact a couple of days it was chilly by Jamaica standards.
There is a life size chess board, shuffle board, beach volleyball and basketball. We did not use any of these but they were utilized, even in the rain!
Okay, this group might be towards the bottom of the list but they are the NUMBER ONE REASON WE WILL RETURN!!!! To say that Michael, Kendria, Ruth-Ann, Shelline, Shauna-Kay and Mickel were ABSOLUETLY AMAZING, ENERGIZED AND HANDS DOWN THE BEST is an understatement in every sense of the word! They are “on” from sun up to sun down. They make even exercising fun! How can Reggae Dancing NOT be fun with Michael and Kendria!? And YES it’s exercise if you are used to sitting at a computer 10-12 hrs a day or driving a truck! Hubby & I were the poster children for “crazy couple” of the week! We figure no one knew us so why not have fun!? By the end of the week, EVERYONE knew us! We had a BLAST! I had NO CLUE how to dance and Michael showed hubby & I how to dance in short order. Kendria & Shauna-Kay showed me how to shake my money maker more than I already knew! Sandals MoBay has the MOST AMAZING GROUP OF PLAYMAKERS and hubby and I can NOT say enough good about them. With the weather, they ensured all the guests had things to do and activities. If you just sat there like a bump on a log, it was your own fault for not playing!
There are also trinkets you can win by participating. One game (one we actually won!) even gave out $20 spa credit and a 1L bottle of Rum! What’s not to love?
We did a couples massage and it was perfect! Hubby had a bad sun burn and they were very careful and recommended some product that helped it heal much quicker (he got burnt day one and massage was day 7)! We didn’t feel pressured to purchase products even though they did offer a large variety of stuff. We just politely declined. With my rewards and prize Love Check, we spent $168 in the spa total for couples massage and some products!
While they are pricy, they are WELL worth it for those “couple” shots you just cannot get yourself. We did buy a package and not sorry we did. We spent $235 for a mid-line package. We used Omar and he was great!
They have basically everything you need/want and offer daily specials. However, we found their rum prices WAY high compared to the airport! Just saying! We spent $200 on ALL our souvenirs for lots of people and the two gals in there (sorry didn’t get their names) were great!
NO TIPPING and NO ONE treated us any different. In fact, the workers pointed out that they get points for customers posting on Trip Advisor and the Sandals survey (which I have done both now) with their feedback. So those that insist they should be allowed to tip, while I agree, please respect the property policy! Don’t risk their job to clear your conscience!
ROOM SERVICE: this level room has room service and it is very good. We used it only a couple of times and the food was always HOT!
The departure process was quick and easy, they have it down. Nothing really to say on it. They will leave an envelope on your door with your bill if you do not settle up the night before. We chose to settle up the night before departure so not to be surprised on our last morning. We also did room service our last morning so we could have more time for packing our room up.
At the airport, be ready for complete chaos! However, if you are polite and firm, the Red Caps will leave you alone. We are VERY possessive of our baggage and prefer to handle it ourselves. They were fine to move along to someone that wanted the help. Again we had the Club MoBay package for departure. After we checked in with our Airline and got our checked luggage handled, we went to the front of the lines again. We were through and sitting waiting for our plane within 30 minutes! The “lounge” for Club MoBay left something to be desired but the “pass” in lines was still worth it.
If you plan to eat at the airport… Wendy’s for Hubby and I was $27 for 2 basic Wendy’s Singles meals. Seemed all “couples” orders were about $30. So make sure you have cash (US dollars)!
1. Room service – dishes be picked up more promptly. A few days dishes sat out from dinner the night before for the ENTIRE day (with local cats, it would help keep them off the property; but they were friendly felines so we had no issues with them). We choose to leave our dishes on the balcony to avoid critters outside.
2. Water sports – It would be nice to have more of the Paddle Boards or “shore” snorkeling. It would allow more people to enjoy water items more.
3. Establish a posted time limit on “saved” beach loungers. Several times we were near saved chairs and NO ONE ever used them! We finally just used them.
4. It would be nice if the prices were a bit less expensive. We would definately be back sooner if it was. With room, extras - spa, pictures, gifts, we spent about $4,000 (not counting air fare or Club MoBay).
OVERALL, I GIVE THIS PLACE A 5 STAR BECAUSE IT WAS BETTER THAN WE EXPECTED AND THE CRAPPY WEATHER JUST ADDED TO EXPERIENCES WE MIGHT NOT HAVE HAD! Thank you to everyone and again, special thanks to Michael, Kendria, Ruth-Ann, Shelline, Shauna-Kay and Mickel; we love you guys!!!
Sonia & Randy – The Crazy Couple!
- 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