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Sandals Montego Bay
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5,265 - 5,270 of 5,745 reviews
Reviewed July 30, 2006

My wife and I came to Sandals Montego Bay in mid July to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. This was the second time we have stayed at a Sandals resort and we were not disappointed. The great service started at the airport where we were able to wait in a Sandals only staging area with Red Stripe and other beverages. Upon arrival, we were promptly taken to the concierge area and provided with champaign. Since we are Signature Club members, we had received a one room upgrade when we booked our reservation. We were pleasantly surprised when we received another upgrade at check in. Our room was clean and right on the ocean. The downside was that our view of the ocean was spectacular, but the constant roar of the jets above was distracting at times. The 6:40 A.M. flight was always on time. Dinners were great at all restaurants, but would have been more enjoyable if the air conditioning was kept at a cooler level. The beach was great and the drinks were spectacular. We spent most of the time in the swim up bar pool, which could be a bit larger. All in all, we had a great time and will visit another Sandals resort soon.

Stayed: July 2006
19  Thank Twolabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2006

Our stay was 4 days (7/26/06-7/29/06) and we love every minute of it. I was impressed with the hotel from the get go. Our arrival at the airport was greeted with a Sandals lounge area with clean restrooms and free drink of your choice. You sit and watch TV while they gather your items and get ready to take you to the hotel. The drive was less than 10 minutes away. I was afraid the planes flying overhead were going to be a nuisance but were actually pleasant to watch overhead. There were many water activities that the hotel offers but you can also book tour & excursions for a fee. The food was good and if you didn’t like one thing you were going to like something else. There was a variety to choose from. One night we hit the hip strip (a row of restaurants, bars, & clubs) and visited Margaritaville one night and had fun. We did our shopping in town and even had a taxi wait on us. We were pleased all the way. Word of advice, do not leave CD in your luggage they will be taken out. I had 2 discs full of pictures that I purchased at the hotel and they were taken out by the airport staff without my knowledge, either because they would of been damaged by the x-ray machine or they thought it was piracy music. We were out of luck on our pictures and almost $100 we had paid for. Other than that the experience was awesome. Our room was always clean. The staff was wonderful. Kudos to the bellman Nicholas. Very nice young man. He greeted and said good-bye to us. Can’t wait to visit Sandals Montego Bay again!!!

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
16  Thank Arliin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2006

This was our honeymoon and our first trip to Jamaica, but not our first to an all-inclusive resort. We booked the honeymoon water's edge concierge room and ended up in building 19, a "beachfront grand luxe beachfront room," which was at the far east end of the resort.

While being in that building had its plusses and minuses, we would not choose it again. It's just too far from anything...food, activities, larger and nicer beach (we had a small, private one) and concierge. (We originally thought we'd be in the so-called Almonds block, which would have been more convenient.) In hindsight, we probably should have requested a room change, as we saw others doing during our stay.

We don't think we got what we paid for. When you check in, be sure you know what you paid for and make sure you get it.

FWIW, the so-called concierge service & nicer room were definitely not worthwhile for us. The extra charge was supposed to include his 'n' hers bathrobes, booking services for trips and a a stocked bar. We never got the bathrobes, our first trip booking never got confirmed and there was no ice the first 2 days in the locker-like area we were shown near our room.

All that said, we had a wonderful time at Sandals Montego Bay. The people were genuinely nice, more so than our all-inclusive experiences in Cancun and Cozumel. The atmosphere was far more laid back and the entertainment far superior. The beaches were clean, the main bars excellent, the drinks were undiluted (a problem in Mexico) and contained top notch ingredients. Service at the restaurants was very good. The food was good, but not spectacular.

We were quite impressed with the entertainment, with the exception of the art auctions. The steel drum band and talent show were excellent; we were impressed with the talents of the "playmakers," particularly their dance skills.

We enjoyed the activities at the resort; there are small catamaran rides, glass bottom boat rides, waterskiing and ski tubing, as well as kayaks, water trikes and pedalboats. There are grass tennis courts at the resort, a definite rarity. The Caribbean view was wonderful; the water colors were stunning....as were the sunsets.

The peddlers who hung around the docks in their kayaks trying to sell things were a minor nuisance; a couple of them were selling large conch shells harvested from the sea. They killed the animal inside by drilling out the end of the shell. After doing that, the shell can be blown into like a horn. A few resort guests bought them and were making moose-like noises the rest of the day.

We found the hermit crabs crawling all over the walkways to be interesting. Other wildlife at the resort included several varieties of lizard and butterflies, the beach crabs that were camouflaged by their protective coloring, a burro in front of the private residence near our building and a mongoose that made an occasional appearance.

The hotel sponsored a craft fair on Friday, so there's no need to travel downtown or buy from the floating merchants. Additionally, the hotel had a lobby stand selling the wonderful Appleton rum. Don't waste your money there; the rum is far cheaper at the airport, even with the so-called hotel discount. It's $10 a liter at the airport for Appleton reserve or $8 for 750 ml.

What didn't please us:
1) the concierge "service" was, to us, little more than a speedier check in
2) the lock we received for the safe was defective; the bellhop took it with him but did not return with a new one; we had to walk to the concierge (about 1/3 mile one way) to get that
3) that the room was way too far from anything
4) the "hotel-recommended" tour we took, Mobay Undersea (supposedly a "semisub" trip), was a total waste of money. We spent much more time on the bus picking people up and dropping them off than we did on the boat. When we arrived at the boat's offshore dock location, we had to take a small boat to the larger one; this small boat was unsafe and had no life preservers. The dock itself was in poor repair. Once on the larger boat and at the reef, the view through the underwater observation area was not good. Snorkeling from the boat was optional but very disorganized.
5) when we checked out, our bags were supposed to be brought up front so we could be bused to the airport. We had to ask twice before this actually happened.
6) discovering upon our return that we didn't get the room or services we thought we'd paid for.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
31  Thank SusanAndJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2006

My husband and I went to MoBay for our honeymoon 7/18/2006 thru 7/23/2005 but we ended up leaving a day early to end the nightmare!! Nothing was good about this resort from the very beginning. When you hear this resort is the "original resort" believe me it is "original!" Very old looking (paint peeling off the walls, water spots on the ceilings, faucets in the rooms are rusty, AC in the rooms are old, makes more noise than anything. The resort is not very well maintained! The website pictures show a very new resort and that just is not the case here. Now let me tell you of our nightmare -

Tuesday, 7/18/2006-
When we arrived we were asked if we wanted to make dinner reservations and we said yes. BUT there was 1 small problem; all the restaurants were booked until Thursday night! We were then told we were automatically upgraded from our original reservation (1 BDRM Oceanfront Honeymoon Suite) to a Presidential Suite#652. When we got to our room, the key did not work. We had to go back across the resort to the front desk to get another key. The second key worked after messing with it for 15 minutes. When we finally go into the room, the AC was not on, so we TRIED to turn it on. It did not work at all! (After the maintenance guy got it to work, mosquitoes flew out of it everywhere in the room) We TRIED calling the front desk, the phone did not work! (Cell phone was given to us to use, but no instructions on how to use it was given, no one had a clue when asked!) We wanted a drink, opened the refrig. to find it was not stock with anything! Keep in mid this is our first day here.....And also this is a "Presidential Suite!!!" Read on.......

Wednesday, 7/19/2006
We booked the snorkeling tour. What a waste of time and money! It was raining, thundering & lighting and they insisted it was ok to go out. (They just did not want to refund money) By the time we got to where we were going it stopped raining but the water was so cloudy you couldn't see anything! Also, we were told not to take anything on this tour other than a towel & a swimsuit. Before returning to the resort, the boat took us to Margaretville where we couldn't even get a good drink /souvenir because no one brought money on the trip.

Thursday, 7/20/2006
This day was uneventful for the most part. However, we did speak with Kevin regarding our recent events (problems) and he tried so hard to make things right. He made us a very nice dinner reservation at The Royal Thai- secluded restaurant on an island by itself. The only way to get there was by boat. Very nice, very good food! *I highly recommend this restaurant if you go to MoBay!

We did book the Horseback Ride'n tour and this was great! Marko was a real great tour guide. Very knowledgeable. Swimming in the ocean with the horses was a real fun time. This was the highlight of our entire honeymoon, no kidd'n.

Friday, 7/21/2006
Just when we thought things were getting better, the toilet in our room leaks all over the floor. What a mess....
I was sunbathing in front of my "Presidential Suite" when I was asked to leave the area on two separate occasions due to weddings taking place (at different times but both right outside our suite!) I wasn't upset about the weddings taking place there, (the weddings were beautiful) I was upset because I paid a lot of money to be there also. Being told I needed to leave the area, in my opinion was not right. It would have been nice to know we were in the "Wedding Area" to begin with. Otherwise we would have requested a different suite location.

We went to dinner at Tokyo Joe's (Japanese) One of our dinner reservations. Do not waste your time going there. One of our appetizers was sushi and it looked like it was sitting out in the sun for hours! The food smells good, but it was awful!

After retiring to our "Presidential Suite" we decided its time to end this nightmare. Enough is enough so, we booked our flights and checked out Saturday morning! (Our reservations were from Tuesday - Sunday) We spoke with a manager before leaving and requested someone get in contact with us but we haven't heard anything yet. I also emailed Sandals once we returned home and again we have not heard back from anyone at this point and time.


Overall thoughts-
If you are planning to book this resort, please think long and hard before doing so. Look at all other options, first. We've spent a lot of money for our honeymoon and we are so disappointed. This was by far the worst we had ever experienced. The mixed drinks were awful (very strong dark rum) and the only bottled beer you could get was in your room, when your bar is stocked, of course. Beer (Red Stripe only) is from a keg, no bottles are served. The Bayside restaurant is where were ate most of the time. Food was average. The Beach Bar and Grill is mainly hamburgers/fries/BBQ chicken and the service was terrible!

This was not just a vacation, this was our honeymoon for goodness sakes.......What a total disappointment!!!

Sincerely Devastated in North Carolina (TDS)

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank Stevens00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2006

My husband and I went to Sandals Montego Bay from July 7-13. Before leaving for the trip, I read EVERY SINGLE review. Here's our thoughts....

Rooms: The rooms were average. The bed was really comfortable and the service was amazing. The maid came everyday and did a wonderful job. We were upgraded to a Grande Beachfront room and it was really nice. I did see a pretty large roach in our bathroom on our first day there - but that was the only one. It is important to remember that you are on a Carribean Island - you will see bugs! Other than that no complaints abou the room.

Airplanes: The airplanes are loud and you sometimes need to stop talking when they pass, but overall you stop noticing them. My husband learned to wave goodbye when they pass - I didn't really buy into it. Nonetheless, the planes are not really a big deal and although you will notice them, they shouldn't be a bother.

Resteraunts: My husband and I go to a lot of resteraunts and like all types of ethnic foods. Overall, I would say the food was average as well. We had our good experiences and our bad ones. I highly recommend the Thai Resteraunt - it was excellent. The hot and sour prawn soup is to die for! Like everybody else said - be sure to make reservations as soon as you get there. My husband and I didn't really like Cucina Romana and hated Tokyo Joes. Because we had a late reservation, Cucina was out of almost everything on the menu. Tokyo Joes was like a cheap mongolian resteraunt - DO NOT EXPECT JAPANESE FOOD (and DON'T get the "sushi"). The Bayside and Cucina were both nice for breakfast. We also ate at the Regency in the Royal Caribbean - it was good as well. My recommendation concerning breakfast is to make your reservations for earlier in the night, because it seems that they only have a limited amount of high demand choices such as lobster - if your reservations are after 730, it's likely that some of the menu will be "finished" (as they put it). The service in the resteraunts were excellent and speedy.

Entertainment: The entertainment was good as well. The playmakers do a pretty good job of keeping you entertained and they are all incredibly talented at singing and dancing. They are friendly to you and make an effort to remember to say HI everytime they see you. Although we had a less than pleasant experience with one of the playmakers, I generally feel that they do a pretty good job. Yes, the disco is pretty outdated but my husband and I love to dance so we still had a pretty good time. The Piano Bar is okay as well (the sing-a-longs are a little cheesy) but once you've had some drinks in you - it will be a blast.

Alcohol: The drinks were good. I stuck to wine and champagne the whole time. Although the selection was somewhat limited, I did not have any "cheap wine headaches" the next morning (which I am prone to). I did happen to drink a lot of rum one night and throwing it up was a lot more unpleasant than your typical Captain Morgan. My husband drank mostly Jack and Cokes. The drinks are as strong as you want them to be - if you want more alcohol, let them know - they'll hook you up. The Red Stripe is great, but, yes, it is the only beer available. The bartenders do a great job - no complaints here.

Watersports: The watersports available at this hotel is its selling point. My husband snorkeled 5 times while we were there. They take you out on a boat to 1 of 4 snorkeling areas and let you snorkel for 30 minutes. Having snorkeled in the Bahamas and Hawaii, this was my favorite. We also did the Glass Bottom boat ride (included) and saw a nurse shark (harmless) and a stingray. They also offer tubing (ouch!) and waterskiing (lessons included). Sailing and windsurfing as also available. For an additional fee if you are not certified, you can also scuba dive. The wonderful thing is that Sandals Mobay offers lessons for everything. I took sailing lessons and my husband took waterskiing lessons - he was more successful than me. When we went to the Royal Carribean hoping to check out their snorkeling, they stopped sending boats out at 2. The watersports there were incomparable to Mobay. If you are active and love watersports, Sandals Mobay is the place to go.

Beach: The beach at Mobay is by far the best one out of the three Sandals resorts we visited (SRC and Ochos Rios). It is clean large. We never had a problem finding any huts (and we're late risers). However, just a note, when my husband went skinny dipping at night, jellyfish attacked us (we both go stung). Stay out of the water at night :)

Tours: We did the Dunn's River Falls Tour and the Horseback Riding. The falls was a "must." We had a lot of fun and it was definitely a wonderful experience. If you like to shop, we recommend the full day tour, as lunch is included as well. The tour buses are air-conditioned and the operators are always on the look out for your well-being and safety. We had encountered a strike while we were on our way to Ochos Rios and the operator was very diligent about our safety. We also did the horseback ride and swim with Chukka Blue. We were not quite as impressed with this tour. The swim portion lasts all of 3 minutes (if not less). You do a ride through a farm area and up a little mountain then you get off and change into your swim gear. The swim with the horse is in only a tiny area and you do one little loop. It is NOT WORTH THE MONEY!

Spa: My husband and I got the Couples Scents of Love Massage. It was nice as well. It was my husband's first massage and he really enjoyed it. My recommendation is if you like a little more "pressure" on your massages, choose the sports massage. The Spa smelled really nice and the service was good.

Overall, we had a great time in Sandals Mobay. We probably will not return to Jamaica and plan to check out St. Lucia next time. Sandals does a wonderful job (another note: I had contacted the hotel, notifying them in advance twice that my husband's birthday was going to occur while we were there. The agent promised that they would do something "special" for him - it never happened. I let the Front Desk know when we left and also emailed Guest Relations when we returned - I am still awaiting a reply). Sandals Mobay was my favorite of the three Sandals we saw in Jamaica and we highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
23  Thank bmkcam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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