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“Very relaxing and romantic” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #5 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Mt . vernon
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Very relaxing and romantic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

We had a great time actually everything that we thought was lost in our relationship only needed the right place to rekindle it all beautiful place and good food and romantic setting. Never a dull moment ever night was a wonderful experience this place brought tears to my eyes...the beach was breath taking and the staff was very polite, well mannered and friendly at your request. One thing for sure never was I in need of a drink they kept it flowing. ...lol We can't wait to return I wouldn't change anything wonderful experience I've been to Jamaica over 17 times n this trip was trip to Sandals was the best I cried when it was time to leave. ...........

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pjames0320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Thank you for your review of Sandals Royal Caribbean. We're so happy to read that you had such an outstanding vacation with us. We always strive to go above and beyond to please our guests and I'm glad we were able to meet that goal during your stay.

We look forward to welcoming you back for an even better experience in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,091 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,340)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

I have to start by saying we have been to Jamaica 4 times and we love it. We have always stayed at Sandals and first time to Royal Caribbean. I have to say we had a great vacation. Having been to Sandals Negril,Sandals Royal Planation(my favourite) and Sandals Montego Bay it is hard not to make make comparisons. I must say that we loved the food,drinks and the private island. We had a nice room with a big balcony and an ocean view. The beach party was great and so was the barbeque. The lunch on the island was to die for. The only disappointment with regards to food was the welcome back dinner. I would have thought it would be great. The presentation was good but so little food really. One shrimp,one lamb chop. Everyone I spoke to was still hungry. Some went to the Regency to eat Afterwards,myself I went to the Mariners. And no I am not a big eater. I just expected steak and, lobster or at least bigger portions.
The things that weren't so good was the service. One day on the main beach no one came around to take a drink order for 2 hours. We ate at the french restaurant and the service was exceptional,but one night we ate at the Regency and it took three hours for a three course meal.Don't get me wrong,I don't want to rush but that's too long.
I personally don't think the staff should be at fault,but management. I think it is each managers responsibility go make sure the staff is trained and doing there job. We almost thought maybe this is a training resort. The service definitely lacks compared to the other sandals we have stayed at especially Royal Plantation.
As well the cleanliness could have been better. We went to the island one day and upon returning the next day the same beer bottles and plates were still not cleaned up. So again who is responsible, management should be over seeing this.And please fix the espresso machines it was not working most of the time.
Overall a great vacation but don't know if I would return to this property only because of the service which I think is very important and is what guests remember the most. It's what makes a place that people recommend to friends and family and what makes them want to come back . I still talk about the Royal Plantation because not because of the beach or food of drinks but the amazing service. I think the Sandals brand needs to be consistent. Every resort should have the same great, friendly, consistent service.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gabys1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
We're glad that you had an enjoyable stay, overall, but we strive to meet our goal of providing stellar experiences for our guests. Therefore, we regret to hear that we did not quite meet your expectations for service and quality.

After reading your comments, it is clear there is improvement to be made. Your feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review. Your comments will be sent to our management team for review and action will be taken to ensure our future guests do not share this experience.

Hopefully, we can resolve these matters and welcome you back for a much better vacation in the future.
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Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

My husband and I spent the first week of April at Sandals Royal Caribbean and although we had a wonderful and relaxing vacation there are a few points you might consider when booking at this resort.

First, the food was excellent! There was not once when we we disappointed with the selection or quality of the food. There were always huge breakfast and lunch buffets with so many different choices. We tired most of the restaurants and the food was consistently hot and delicious no matter where we ate.

The beach was small but perfect. The beach chairs were often very dirty but if you don't mind brushing them off before you settle in you'll be fine. One thing that might bother some people is the excessive number of beach chairs in the shade under the cabanas that are “reserved” by butlers every night for the next day for their guests. I did not notice anywhere when booking that stated if I did not book a butler suite that I would not have access to certain places on the beach but this is certainly the case. Sometimes these places would go “reserved” and never even used for the entire day. This is a selfish abuse of the butler service and unfair to other guests when these places go unused. Sandals should not allow this or they should make it clear to guests when booking that certain spots are only available to those who upgrade as this is “unofficially” the case. This is true on the main beach and on the island.

While on the subject of butler suites versus regular rooms--We did not book a butler suite as we thought it was unnecessary and I stand by that. I still don't see any reason why we would require a personal butler; we had no problems whatsoever making our own reservations and drinks and meals were easily accessible without this service. However, there are some things that SHOULD be standard that you only get if you upgrade your suite. At an all inclusive resort everyone is paying for unlimited beverages and food--claiming that it is an “added luxury” to have these things available in your room is a blatant money grab. It does not cost extra to stock the already existing mini bar with alcohol that I am already paying for; nor does it cost extra to provide room service for food I am already paying for. As a matter of principal I would never pay extra for things I am already paying for. I would sooner go somewhere where “all inclusive” actually means “all inclusive”. It's a bit tacky when “added luxury” just means that they will take away standards from those who don't pay extra and simply allow you special access to items you have already paid for at an extra cost. There are plenty of resorts where all of the standards are included.
All that said, we were totally fine without room service and in room alcohol. Very little time is spent in the room and as this is a tiny resort the bar was just steps from our room.

Our room was in an absolutely perfect location. We were just steps from the beach and we had an amazing private balcony with an ocean view. The room itself was very basic and small but we really didn't need much more. The bathroom, however, definitely needs work. The tub glaze was all ripped off, the towel rack was falling off the wall, the walls were dirty, the toilet didn't flush properly and the bathroom was extremely small. These are things I would expect at maybe a 3 star resort but not when paying a premium for a brand such as Sandals which should hold itself to a higher standard in all room categories.

A side note about the room: This was not the room we originally booked and we were not informed upon check-in that we would not be getting the room we originally booked and confirmed. The room we had booked was supposed to have a whirlpool tub and semi-private pool. This was not a problem for us was were were more than content with the vicinity to the beach. But, just beware that just because you book a certain location for specific reasons (eg. Whirlpool tub or semi-private pool) does not mean you will actually get that location. I would think they would have at least told us at check-in that we would not be getting the room we booked but there was not so much as a peep about it. Again, the room we got was great for us so we did not mind.

At the time we were there the resort was apparently sold out but I did not find it to be overcrowded at all. We never had a problem getting a table at meals or getting drinks at the bar. And perhaps because people are spread out between various pools and the beach, the beach was never crowded. I cannot comment on pools because we spent all of our time at the beach. Why anyone would choose a pool over the incredibly warm and refreshing ocean is beyond me.

Beach service was hit and miss. Sometimes servers came quite often and other times we would wait forever for someone to come by. But the bar was so close that we didn't mind getting up to fetch drinks for ourselves. We should not have had to but nevertheless we didn't mind.

The service in other areas was adequate but not excellent. Staff was always obliging and friendly but there was always an underlying impression that they really don't want to be there.

The tipping policy: We were under the impression that there was a no tipping policy at this resort. We were mortified when we realized that this was not the case. I am more than happy to tip for good service but because it is stated that tipping is prohibited I did not bring appropriate cash for tipping. When late in our trip we noticed people tipping the beach servers and bartenders we felt horrible that we had not been tipping all along. Either this is a tipping resort or it is not. They should not have the policy if it is not adhered to. The staff works incredibly hard in the heat (mostly with a smile whether they want to or not) and if they are allowed to accept tips then that should be stated so that guests are not misinformed and thus feel uncomfortable as well as insulting to these hardworking people when they arrive unprepared. If tipping is optional they should say it is optional and not prohibited. Just make it clear.

I would definitely recommend a massage at the Red Lane Spa. I had a mini massage in the gazebo on the water as well as the 90 minute full body massage and it was worth every penny.

Overall, I do think that Sandals with its pristine image and premium cost for the brand has lots of room for improvement and should have higher standards--not just in upgraded categories.
But, my husband and I were completely content lounging on the beach in the sun, relaxing on our balcony, and having a completely stress free week together with delicious food and perfect weather. We had all we needed and none of these bad points spoiled our vacation in any way.

I hope this review is helpful!

Room Tip: 2nd floor beachfront with balcony is perfect!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank TS C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
We're so happy to read that you had such an amazing stay with us. We always strive to go above and beyond to please our guests and I'm glad we were able to meet that goal during your stay.

At our resorts, we adhere to a strict no-tipping policy. Our team members are all aware of the possible consequences if there is belief that tips have been solicited and/or accepted. We are all more than happy to provide excellent service with no expectation of a tip.

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We look forward to welcoming you back in the future for a truly 5-star experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hermosa Beach, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

A group of us recently went to Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort for what we are calling a "Buddymoon". I had never been to Jamaica or to an all-inclusive resort before and it was the best experience! Our travel agent, Lis Zwissler, with Beach Bum Vacation made every step of planning simple. She answered all of our questions, booked any and everything we needed, and made sure to the fullest that we were comfortable and had a great time. There are so many fun things to do and see like snorkeling and a beach party, and so many different restaurants to try. If you want to visit a beautiful place with nice people who want nothing more than to make sure you are relaxed and happy, I highly recommend Sandals Royal Caribbean and Beach Bum Vacation!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
Thank you so much for your review! We're so glad to see that you enjoyed your vacation with us. At Sandals Resorts, we take pride in providing a friendly and relaxing environment for all of our guests. We always want to ensure that all of your needs are met and it seems the staff at Sandals Royal Caribbean did just that!

We would be more than happy to welcome you back to paradise in the future!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

In short amazing. Let me start by saying that to pay the extra for a butler is well worth it. We were greeted with an iced bottle of champagne, a beautiful room, a fully stocked bar, free wifi and a tour of the grounds. I can't comment on other butlers but I know that our honeymoon would not be remembered the way it is without Tajae and Denae. Denae was sick for a big part of our ten day stay so the majority of my review is based on Tajae. It was the little things he did that made this amazing. Every day there was a snack waiting for us, reserved chairs at the beach with a cooler, rose petals on our bed with a beautiful design, a drawn bath with another bottle of champagne, filled with rose petals. We didn't ask for any of it and tried to be low maintenance but Tajae and Denae as well took every opportunity available to surprise us, and go above and beyond. The professionalism and luxury that Tajae and Denae displayed are unmatchable. The staff take time out to remember your name and you are more than a room number to them. Adrian who met us at the piano bar on the first day remembered us by name for the rest of the stay, chad who took our pics always chatted us up each time we saw him. Cleave land on the island bar makes the best drink I've tasted (liquid marijuanas) and remembered our preferred drinks whenever we saw him. Lavalo at the restaurant on the island opened the restaurant after it was closed just for us to be able to eat, valentie took us sailing and every day came to talk to us after, cion taught me how to ride the big boat to the island and this doesn't even sum up the kindness of the staff. The room was beautiful, the food amazing and the drinks strong. The grounds were very pretty but again all that wouldn't have mattered if it weren't for the amazing staff they have. I truly hope the management takes time to read these reviews and appreciate their unbelievable staff by paying and treating them fairly. When we left and it was time to say goodbye, we felt as if we were leaving close friends behind. I would not just recommend this resort but hope that when you do go there you are lucky enough to meet Tajae, and the other staff I mentioned in my review. We hope they express our gratitude to everyone, especially Tajae for an unforgettable honeymoon. Thank you again for this amazing memory

Room Tip: crystal lagoon suite was fantastic
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Persiangal04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island, responded to this review, 17 April 2014
We're so thrilled to read that you had your dream honeymoon with us at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We strive to offer memorable experiences for Two People in Love and I'm so glad that our great staff members were able to make your stay an incredible one.

We look forward to welcoming you back for an experience that exceeds your expectations in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rock Hill, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
79 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

I have to start this by saying that I am not a huge fan of all-inclusive spots. I try to avoid them for the most part, but had no choice in the matter this time.

My wife and I traveled with some friends for our 10 year anniversary. We arrived on time, found our shuttle, and were on our way. From the moment we came in contact with Sandals staff we were WOW'd. You could not ask for a better experience.

We were welcomed with drinks upon arrival to the airport, and then our shuttle picked us up and delivered us to paradise in a matter of minutes. Check in was not difficult. We were in our room, had clothes changed, and were on the beach in no time.

Bartenders there were always happy to pour you a drink, and they were the most entertaining.

The one thing that I thought was odd was that only one pool had a swim-up bar. It was tucked way back in the back of the resort and is not convenient to get to. But, once back there, it is pretty fun.

Activities were fun. Beach and sand volleyball on a daily basis. Tried to play the staff and got beat pretty bad. But, it was all fun.

Shows were good as well. I am now a Sandals fan.

Room Tip: Pack a bathing suit in your carry-on luggage. That way you have the ability to change into your bath...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Thomas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Townsend, MA
Level Contributor
116 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

Started off using Club MoBay - great, quick service in and out. Totally worth the price.

Friendly greeting by the baggage checkers at the Sandals lounge. Then.... nothing. We went inside and weren't even offered water. We had to rummage ourselves for drinks. No food to be had. (The Club MoBay lounge had waitstaff falling all over themselves to help you and offer you refreshments). Not an auspicious start to a Sandals vacation.

Quick transfer over to the resort. We had reserved a Kensington Cove Club Level Honeymoon Beachfront walk out suite? Is that enough adjectives, Sandals? How about simplifying your room categories? Anyway, check in was a bit laborious - the concierge waited until he had three couples together to escort us to our rooms (and we all made restaurant reservations, spa reservations, excursion reservations at that time also - so almost 45 minutes to check us in) Again, not offered refreshments.

Lovely room Glad we upgraded. Safe is an old fashioned lock/key one. Not big enough for a laptop. Wifi worked sporadically. Go kicked off on a regular basis. We found out a few days into our stay that the slider - which we were dutifully locking on the lock side - did not catch on the other door. So the lock caught, but you could easily slide the other side open.

Grounds - wonderful use of landscaping to hide the small scale of the resort. Made it seem much bigger. Groundskeepers hard at work all the time - sweeping and pruning and painting.

Beach - towel game in full force. Butlers out before 7 staking out chairs that often went unused the entire day. Some people are just selfish. Forget about finding a chair after 8 in the Kensington Cove beach or pool. Perhaps if the butlers did not use 3 towels to reserve chairs they would not run out of towels by noon. Comfy loungers at the pools.

Food - very good at all meals. Jerk chicken at Mariners was wonderful. Bartenders were universally good.

Shuttle service to MoBay - dumb idea to have a two hour break during prime dinner time. We ended up taking a taxi back. Good meal at Tokyo Joes.

Snorkeling was mediocre. Went out twice in one day to the same spot. A ray and some juveniles. Healthy coral, though. Water too rough the other days to go out. Tried to snorkel at the island and the current was as close to a rip current as it gets without being one. Maybe just the weather.
Few loungers to be had over there either.

Evening entertainment was a bit tired. The entertainment team worked great during the day and then it just sort of petered out.

Was it a nice resort? Yes. Was service great? Yes. But IMO, not worth the money.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dotneko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island

Property: Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Address: Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay 167, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 4*
Number of rooms: 197
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•7 exquisite dining options, with world-class culinary cuisines.•Only Jamaican resort with a private offshore island, housing an authentic Thai restaurant.•Magnificent, swim-up crystal lagoon suites.•24 hour room service as a part of our concierge service.•English pub offering an authentic pub dining experience.•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 Royal Caribbean Hotel Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Montego Bay
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort Jamaica
Sandal Royal Caribbean

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