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Sandals Montego Bay
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Reviews (5,791)
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A TripAdvisor Member
Boston, MA
19
Reviewed July 4, 2005

I really expected to be one of those people saying the nay-sayers were crazy and the place was fantastic.

But, alas, it wasn't fantastic.

The staff is nice enough, not great. The food was below average. The alcohol was plentiful, but we're not really the party types. The rooms were ok, clean enough to get by.

We were on vacation and we were going to be darned if we didn't have a good time! So we definately made the best of it and found ways to have fun. But I wouldn't recommend it to others, and we wouldn't go back.

The beach I must say was amazing. The pools were very clean, and snorkeling was a blast. The grounds were also nice.

You can have fun, but you sort of have to work at it. The vacation won't come to you, you have to go to it, and there's no clear instruction, you have to ask for anything. We're more the self-help types. Also, if you're on a short trip (we were only there 3 nights) you can't get dinner reservations, everything is full.

Anyway, for the money, we'll go else where next time.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Memphis, TN
117
Reviewed July 3, 2005

We went for our second anniversary and loved it. We stayed a week (sat-sat) and had a blast.

The beach has plenty of room, never crowded, never had to wait for any watersports (hobie cats, kayaks, tubing, skiing). They do snorkelling trips out to the reef 4 or 5 times a day and glass bottom boat rides twice a day. They'll teach you how to do anything that you want to learn.

The beach bar and the swim up bar are fun, the bartenders there are fun and friendly and give great service. The beach grill has a small but good menu from 10:30AM-5PM then from 10PM until... Good burgers, quesadillas, jerk chicken, fries, etc.

Resturants are good. Bayside has fair meals for all meals (breakfast is really good). The italalian resturant and Tokoyo Joes are great. Service at all is excellent.

Saw one cat hanging around. Do bring or buy some bug spray for the evenings close to the water. The gift store has this and any other items you may need. The planes go over about 10-12 times a day, if you are talking to someone you have to wat a few seconds to finish. Not a problem at night or early AM.

The staff works hard to make this place fun for the guests.

If you are looking for "high class" go somewhere else, but if you want a laid-back great time this is the place.

We will return to SMB.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2005

We just returned from our Weddingmoon trip to Sandals Montego Bay. We were there From June 24 - July 1.

Our last trip was very nice, but this one was nearly perfect. We were delayed due to hurricane Charley last year and received 2 complimenatry nights for future use. The 2 other couples who travelled with us last year agreed with us that we would return to SMB. We later decided to add our wedding to the agenda.

We booked Honeymoon Water's Edge Concierge rooms, and we received room 218 on the second floor of the Almonds Block, right in front of the jacuzzi. What a beautiful room with a beautiful view. We had a jacuzzi tub inside the room as well. We got concierge service, so we had a fridge stocked with bottled water, coke, diet coke, sprite, juice, Red Stripe, champagne, white wine, red wine, rum, scotch, gin, vodka, and when we requested Jack Daniels and Red Stripe Light, we received them propmtly from our concierce, Rohan. We also had everything replinished daily.

To keep up last year's tradition, my two girlfriends and I had pineapple mimosas daily (except the day after the wedding) at 6:30am on our balcony to toast the day. We received "breakfast in bed" the morning after the wedding and we enjoyed it on our balcony. It was beautiful. I drank lots of champagne this trip!

The staff is so friendly, and I thought doubly so when they recognized that we were return guests. We received so many "Welcome Home"s from people who we met last year, and we were admonished over and again that this should not be our last trip.

The food was as good as it was last year. Certainly not all gourmet, but some of it was, and everything was good. We ate at Oleander, Tokyo Joe's, Bayside, and Regency and Royal Thai at Royal Carribbean.

The wedding was early. It was supposed to be at 9am, but we actually got started at about 9:45 due to my hair and makeup taking longer than an hour (the salon opened at 8am). Everyone was very patient, and though I was very concerned, the technician in the salon (Ta Taneisha - who was EXCELLENT did my hair, makeup, and later in the week my massage as well) assured me that "They can not do it without the bride, mon, don't you worry, we will make you stunning and they will all forget the wait". She was absolutely correct, she did a very intricate up-do and it was amazing. The minister was very nice and gave us very sweet and thoughtful advice before performing a fairly short and sentimental ceremony. It felt very appropriate. The pictures came out very nice. I can not say enough about the wedding staff. They were very efficient, and they took care of my every request very quickly and efficiently. The only comment I have (not really a complaint), is that the reception area was not shaded, and it was VERY hot, even so early in the morning. We retreated to our balcony rather than sit in the direct sun.

The returning guest dinner was nice, and all of the little touches that returning guests get are very nice.

We visited all of the other Sandals Jamaica properties last year except Whitehouse and Grande Ocho Rios (which were both under construction at the time). We did not get to the Grande, but we did spend a morning at Whitehouse, which was just plain gorgeous and very big with elegant pool areas and commons. Somehow though, the layout and the beautiful beach at SMB just can't be rivaled in my opinion.

I have read all of the reviews on this site since before my first trip, and some of the criticism is certainly well-placed, but it seems to me that the service levels have been taken up a notch since our last trip in terms of proficiency of the staff, and general friendliness.

This is a very nice place with great staff and a gorgeous beach. For a 20+ year old property, it is lovely and there was constant painting and sprucing going on during both of our trips.

Overall the trip was RELAXING and fun. The whole weddingmoon concept is great because you really only have to get dressed up and show up. That's all.

I'm thinking that this will probably NOT be our last trip home!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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20  Thank patronlime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2005

My husband and I visited Sandals Mo Bay last year for our honey moon and it was EXCELLENT!!!

Beginning: We were very suprised that Sandals has a private waiting area for their guest at the airport. Drinks begin there! We went on a bus that took us to the resort (about 5 mins). When we arrived at the resort, we got to relax in a room with a big tv, comfy couches, and champagne! Waiting..15 mins. No big deal! You're on VACATION!!! Just relax!

**Beware: remember to bring some tipping money for the drivers that take you to the resort. The person who took our bags blocked us from getting to the bus until we gave him some money (I only had $10 Cdn or it was $10 USD). They keep on repeating that they dont' work for Sandals.

Rooms: We were upgraded to the 1st level that had doors leading out into the garden. Just steps away from the piano bar. Very clean! Air con was good. Safety deposit box gives you a piece of mind!

Food: We though it was very good. Come on! You can't expect fine dining as in $1000/plate! But, everything was very clean and tastey! Loved the Jerk stuff!

Beach: No words can explain how nice it was!

People: Everyone was super nice! Staff and tourist all together! We met many cool people! The ones on the little canoes that keep on trying to get your attention is just trying to make a living. So, if you want..buy something, if not..then just politely smile.

Superior Service:
I was in Jamaica during the time of "Hurricane Ivan". The staff were VERY professional in handling the situation. We had meetings and updates. Every detail/fact was very clear. They asked us whether we wanted to relocate, go home, or stay. Our names were taken we got messages left in our room. We opt to leave because I didn't want to be a burden to the community if the hurricane did hit. So, we left the next day on Air Canada. As we left, the managers were still giving the guests options to fly to Florida.

We got 3 extra days, on top of the 4 days we didn't finish. So, my husband and I are on our way back next week! YA MON!!!!

**Note: make sure to buy insurance. We didn't. But, Air Canada was nice enough to increase the flights and come with bigger planes to rescue everyone. Some who flew from the charter airlines had to buy a one way take back to Canada/US soil. It was Thursday, and the hurricane was coming on Friday. But, the charter flights said they'll won't drop by till MONDAY!!

  • Stayed: September 2004
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11  Thank mommy_from_YVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2005

My husband and I went to Sandals Montego Bay for our honeymoon last summer (2004). We had a blast. Everything was great and the staff was warm and just plain funny. The resort itself was laid back and relaxing, but also had plenty of room for partying and hanging out till dawn. The bar staff are awesome and make the trip worth going for. I snorkled and used all the water sports which were great as well. The food was pretty good, but the best part of it was the variety. If you didn't like one restarant of food, there are many others to choose from.
A word of advise. Stay away from Sandals Inn (way too small and too public) and away from Sandals Royal (too "rich" and very boring). Sandals Montego Bay is where its at. I am already planning my next trip there!

  • Stayed: July 2004
    • Value
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12  Thank darylfaris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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