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“Had a blast!!!”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 27, 2005

OK, now the truth about Sandals Mobay. Yes, it's close to the airport and you have two choices-you can be on a bus for another hour or even more to Negril/Ocho Rios or, you can choose to ignore the 10 seconds that the planes fly over and let the rest of the resort make up for it. The staff is absolutely terrific-please don't bring a sour face and expect them to kiss your behind every second, they are not slaves, but if you smile and are being polite with them, they will be the same way. I was not called any name other than "my lovely lady" at all places-the beach, the restaurants, the bars, etc. The playmakes work really hard to give you a good time-Marlon was great at rounding up folks for beach volleyball, and at night, the shows they put on are hilarious, and the band is amazing.
For a spoiled New Yorker, the food was great quality and selection. There was always a choice-you can pig out, you can eat healthy, you can stuff yourself full of sweets, or you can get a fresh salad. SMB is all about choice in all areas-you can be on the beach all day, swimming and suntanning, or you can join in all the action.
Upon arrival, we were upgraded to a premium room without us even asking.
After reading all the negative reviews, I was really scared, but I am so glad we went.
The grounds are beautiful, they maintain them every day and they really take pride in their work.

  • Stayed: November 2005
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20  Thank babysladkaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,153 - 5,159 of 5,502 reviews

Reviewed November 21, 2005

For our 20th anniversary my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a vacation - the first vacation longer than a weekend in 20 years! We studied many travel brochures and with the help of our TA decided on Sandals Montego Bay - and are we ever glad we did!

Our trip began with flights on Continental out of Boston, connecting thru Charlotte, NC, and arriving in Montego Bay. All flights were pleasant and uneventful, which is a great way to start a vacation as we all know. Being a Saturday afternoon, Immigration was somewhat busy and it took us about 1 hour or so to get thru. We retrieved our luggage and headed off to the Sandals Lounge, where we were greeted by several smiling Sandals employees. We helped ourselves to a Red Stripe, settled in for about 10 minutes, and were quickly called to head to our van to the resort. After about a 10 minute ride, we arrived at the front gate of SMB where we were again greeted by smiling Sandals employees, welcoming us. We headed to the Conceirge Lounge, filled out our paperwork, and were immediately taken to our room - a lovely suite on the second floor of the Palms Bldg. Our wonderful view was overlooking the beach volleyball court, the beautiful Jamaican water, and white sand.

We quickly settled in, unpacked rather quickly, and went exploring. Our first stop was the Beach Bar and Grill - a welcome site after the "goumet" food on the plane. Had a quick bite, explored some more, and returned to the room to finish settling in. Had dinner in the Bayside that night, and seeing as how we had gotten up at 3 AM, we found we couldn't stay awake any longer (between the drinks, the heat, and the humidity) and by 7:30 that night we had crashed!

Next morning I was up early, and went out in seach of coffee. (I could have made some in the room, but heck, I was on vacation - why stay in the room?) Took my book, my camera, and had coffee on the terrace outside Bayside. It was very pleasant and peaceful sitting on the terrace every morning watching the world and the resort wake up and come to life. After breakfast we headed to the tour desk and guest services desk where we made reservations for tours and dinner.

Our first tour was to Rose Hall, the Great House, where the White Witch, Annie Palmer, is said to still reside. Very interesting tour. No really ghostly occurrences, but we enjoyed anyhow. My husband went deep sea fishing one afternoon. They did manage to hook a 6 foot Marlin, but just as they got it up to the boat to pull it in (NO, this is NOT a fish story!), the fish spit the hook out. Oh well.....

We also took the Chukka Underwater Sea Trek, which was just amazing. You wear this heavy helmet that is pumped full of air, and you walk on the bottom of the ocean, viewing the coral reef and all the fish swimming around you. You can wear your glasses, and your hair even stays dry! Just amazing - I highly recommend this.

The last tour we took was the all-day trip to Sandals Grande Ocho Rios and Dunns River Falls. We LOVED Dunns River! What a blast climbing those falls! Also highly recommended!

When we spoke to the girl at the tour desk we asked her about attending a soccer game. She wasn't familiar with this, but connected us with three of the bartenders who just happened to be standing by the Main Bar. Now, none of them work at the Main Bar. Two work at the Beach Bar, and one at the Piano/Swimup Bar, so we were very lucky that they just happened to be there. When we asked about a soccer game, they jumped at the chance to accompany us and told us that there was a game that night, the local Montego Bay time versus a team from the eastern side of the island. We made arrangements to meet them when they got off work. We traveled with them, and many other employees, by the local bus into town. At the end of the bus line, we all got off, and the group of us going to the game headed off walking. It was a very interesting experience being in the section of town where the locals go. The stadium was nothing like our stadiums, but it was exciting watching the game, everyone united in the same thought, regardless of the language (the ref stinks! LOL! - universal language). Tie score. These 4 Sandals employees (a 4th employee joined us before we left the resort) took the BEST care of us, ensuring that we were safe, and that we were returned back to the resort. We can't thank them enough or say enough about their thoughtfulness and caring.

We ate at Tokyo Joe's, Bayside, Cucina Romana (twice), and at Royal Thai at SRC. All our meals were wonderful! No complaints! Two absolutely amazing lobster meals! The spread of food that was put out for the Halloween meal and the International Buffet was fantastic - and the desserts absolutely amazing, many matching the theme of the night. The Halloween night entertainment was a wonderful musical production featuring dancers and performers. Art auctions were held two other nights. (Most nights we didn't stay up for the shows, which started at 9:30.)

After the first day or so the weather cleared and we had hot, sunny, humid days, usually with an afternoon storm, but then clearing again after. Spent much time on the beach soaking up the rays. I was not used to being in such warm ocean water (I'm from New England, after all!) and I couldn't get enough of it.

We really got a kick out of the airplanes. Yep, that first day it was a surprise, but by day 2 we hardly noticed them. Momentary inconvenience - long enough to take a drink and return to your conversation.

Don't let the planes deter you from this resort. We absolutely loved it there. We met many very nice people and made a few friends we will remain in contact with. We would love to return sooner rather than later! Do not hesitate to try SMB!

22  Thank Winnekini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Newcastle, UK
242
Reviewed November 20, 2005

Having returned from this "resort", I wanted to pass on my disappointment to any fellow ULTRA All Inclusive guests who may be thinking of visiting Sandals Montego Bay - DON'T!!!

It's position is well known - i.e. immediately next door to the main runway at Montego Bay, however, the amount of noise was a real concern, AND the frequency of flights, together with the fact that the last plane out was as late as 2400 every night!! They are so low, it's a standing joke in the hotel that everyone "waves" at the planes, to try to make a joke of the noise and pollution.

I'll write a more detailed review later, but in essence, we found the property to be run down, tired, and in need of a refurb, a BIG refurb!

Staff AND Manager's alike were also "jaded" and having expected smiles, and lot's of friendly help and advice, there were many times when even asking for a beach towel became a major issue for them to sort.

We also visited Sandals Royal Caribbean - an alleged favourite with British guests - please consider that there is a good amount of BUILDING WORK ongoing, with all the associated noise - NOT something one associates with a Caribbean All Inclusive property of the kind of price one has to pay for Sandals!!

Ian from the UK -

11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2005

My husband and I returned from Montego Bay Oct16th. First thoughts of the resort was it's very close to the airport. The main entrance is opposite the runway!. The main entrance looked tired. We were shown to our room which they had upgraded us to a luxury room in the Seagrapes building. The room was small but very pleasant. The rooms we were booked into were standard deluxe. I would not recommend anyone staying in these. They are the origianl rooms of the resort and are extremely tired.
The resort is very lively, which we wouldn't normally choose, but I must stress that this is a great place for a holiday. The entertainment team are fantastic, if you don;t want to join in with the activities you can just sit back and watch.The beach bar is the main focus on the beach, the bar staff are excellant and will entertain you all day. They tend to use Appletons rum in all their cocktails, if you don't like it, then just asked for your regular rum and you will be given it without any problem.
The watersports are excellant. Both me and my husband water ski. We skied at least 8 times a day.The beach is kept spotlessly clean and is beautiful.
The food is varied but plentiful,
I recommend you on arrival to book all the restaurants in one go for your stay. They can get pretty booked up. At the end of the evening go along to the swim up / piano bar for a sing along, this was excellant every evening.
We found the resort very casual dress. The staff were extremely polite and helpful.
Having been to Sandals St Lucia which is fantastic, this is a much livelier resort. The airport did not bother us at all. I would definatley go back to this resort.Fantastic resort for a group of friends.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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18  Thank Personaltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2005

My husband and I enjoyed the Sandals Montego Bay Resort in Jamaica. The water was warm and there were plenty of great watersports. We kayaked, snorkeled, rode tubes, sailed, and paddled in a double person paddleboat.
The roads were flooded most of the time. We stayed during the last week in October. The mornings were beautiful and then the clouds moved in during the afternoons. We did not leave Sandals to explore town and enjoyed the free activities at the hotel.
We stayed in a Honeymoon Room with a view of the ocean in the Almonds Block. The room was very nice and we loved the dark cherry wood molding that matched the bed and other furniture. The bathroom had a huge jet tub that was big enough for us both.
A refrigerator was in the dressing area and was stocked with bottled water, soft drinks, and juice.
The food at the Italian Restaurant was good. We had the grilled swordfish. The buffet dining was good in the main restaurant downstairs from the Italian restaurant. I especially liked the pastries and beautiful cakes. The Rum Raisin Ice Cream was a little strong tasting.
If you want to enjoy a fancy hotel with new buildings, go somewhere else. This is a laid back place with friendly service and warm smiles.

13  Thank Clickalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2005

This was our 2nd time to Montego Bay. We loved everything about the resort. The planes flew over but did not bother us, we just waved good bye like all the others. They upgraded us with no charge and were as nice as could be to everyone. We plan on going back hopefully next year. Donna & Buddy from NJ


Stayed: November 2005
9  Thank Harleybabie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2005

Sandals = a cross between Club 18/30 and Butlins. If I had wanted to spend my honeymoon playing bingo I would have stayed in Great Yarmouth!!!!!!!
I would like to start by commending the staff at this resort because they were excellent and always friendly and helpful, however everything else about Sandals left us feeling extreemly disappointed. We did have some excellent trips away from the resort which helped to salvage our holiday. Jamaica is a wonderful country with stunning scenery and plenty of excursions available.
We chose Sandals as our honeymoon location because we were convinced by their glossy brochure that they offered a romantic location for couples to relax and enjoy being together. Sandals moto was 'All you need is love', however they should also tell you that you need to have no inhibitions and are willing to make yourself look an idiot in order to entertain the other guests. Their idea if entertainment was to involve guests in silly party games from bingo and 'best dressed' competitions to face-painting and dancing the conga. Mostly they would encourage you to take part in one comptetion and then 'hoodwink' you into doing something else once they had you on the stage. If I had wanted to watch party games then I would have gone to a resort with children and watched them. If you didn't want to join in then the 'Play Makers' would give you a strange look as if you are stupid.
When we arrived at the resort we were very pleased to have been offered an upgrade to a beach front cottage - once in our room we asked to be down graded again as the cottage was attrocious... only one window and that was in the door, you had to sit on the end of the bed to see out. No wardrobe, just rails to hang clothes on, grouting in the bathroom looked as though a child had done it using plastercine. A table and chairs outside in what was little more that an alley - you could just about see the sea if you tried really hard. This was the worst room I had ever been offered anywhere. We were eventually moved to a much better room with a balcony but only after making several phone calls to reception and quite a few tears on my part. This was not a good start.
We stayed here for two weeks, during this time we sat through 4 art auctions and two sets of competitions and quizzes that asked the same questions both weeks - we could have run away with all the prizes the second week because we had the answers from the first week. Shows were on a weekly rota, it seems that most of the guests are from USA and only stay for 1 week, some only for a weekend. Surely they must realise that some people are there for longer. The whole resort seemed geared around the American guests.
Unfortunately my partner does not enjoy food with garlic or highly spiced and he is the first to admit that eating out can be a bit difficult, however he can usually find something especially in a buffet situation. Not at Sandals - we spoke to the chef who explained that even his own mother doesn't like his cooking because he uses too much onion - he should listen to his mother. During the two weeks we were there My husband only had two meals that were made especially for him We do not like to make a lot of fuss and so it became easier for him just to go without. I also found the food to be very disappointing, invariably the meat was very very tough - sometimes the knife wouldn't even cut it. It's a good job they supplied tooth picks!!!!!
It seems that I have been moaning quite a bit but I cannot express how disappointened we were. The brochure promised 4 swimming pools - there are two for general use, one is just big enough for water volleyball and diving tuition, so when these activities are on the pool is out of use for general swimming, the other is at the sim-up bar and is very small. There was another pool at the spa but this was empty and a fourth pool was for the exclusive use of the president suite. There were areas for swimming in the sea but if you stepped foot into the water you were immediately pestered by traders who approach you on their little boats trying to sell you items. I was assured that all you had to do was sat no politely and they would leave you alone but this was not the way I experienced it. I had to literally run away from them (not easy in water) and excape to the beach. I think I had about 4 swims all the time I was there.
When I read they had a piano bar I pictured something like comfy chairs, cocktails, a piano playing quietly in the corner - not so. Sandals piano bar is a beach bar - very rowdy, a few tatty beach chairs and a lot of noise.
This is an excellent base for people wanting to play games and have a laugh. It is not somewhere for sophisticated adults who want to spend time together.
If you want party games go to Butlins, it would be a lot cheaper and probably more fun.
Sandals charge a premium for their quality and service - they are having a laugh!! Dont believe what they print in their brochures. All their photos have been digitally enhanced and the people are wearing evening gowns and smart clothes. In reality you get scruffy loud people and tired tatty chairs. Save your money and go somewhere else. Sandals really is not worth the high price they charge, they also try very very hard to get even more money out of you when you get there, from in-house photography to art auctions and spa treatments that cost the earth.......
I know some people have a good time here and they go back time and time again, but perhaps they haven't tried other places that know how to treat their guests.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank kazzey
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
#10 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $544 - $1,615 (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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