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“Sandals Royal Caribbean-- Amazing!”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Blue Ridge
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Sandals Royal Caribbean-- Amazing!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

My husband and I spent an amazing 6 nights at Sandals Royal Caribbean (Jamaica), April 14-20! We read all the reviews and were not disappointed... we felt like we were in paradise! This was our second stay at an all inclusive, and we WILL return to a Sandals' property for our next vacation. Many positives: (1) We loved the private island-- it was like we were on Gilligan's Island, except the water was prettier:) The Royal Thai restaurant was wonderful and we spent every day on the island beach. We found the island to be laid-back, peaceful, and absolutely beautiful! There was natural shade under the trees; and if one so desired, a cabana could be rented for a half or full day. Another bonus (for me), the boat takes you back and forth as needed. The Bamboo Shack was fantastic for lunch-- the BEST jerk chicken, fresh seafood, fresh Jamaican cuisine, and the view... all EXCELLENT... I still miss my lunches at the Bamboo Shack! A special "shout out" to Jevaun, our wonderful bartender on the island-- "Bud Boy and Princess" say "hello" and keep being hilarious! (2) The food everywhere was fantastic! Le Jardinier was our favorite place for dinner-- make reservations the day you arrive-- the service and food were superb! The Regency was great for breakfast, lunch and dinner-- beautiful view of the water, great service, good food, what else could you ask for? We wish we had a Cricketers Pub near our home in the States!! Loved the fish and chips, wedge salad, drinks and friendly bartenders! "Hot Rod"-- follow your dreams, you are doing a great job:) -- Sandals is lucky to have you! "Big Bird"-- you are very personable, friendly, and a great mentor for new Sandals' employees-- Sandals is lucky to have you, too! (3) The SRC grounds and beaches are beautifully maintained, as others have mentioned. Throughout the day and evening, grounds-keepers could be seen raking/cleaning the beaches, trimming shrubs, trees, grass, and cleaning the grounds-- with a smile and a "hello!" (4) Club Sandals-- we stayed in the Kensington building, second floor: Great view, comfortable bed, quiet (except for the early morning peacocks;), included wifi, fully stocked bar, and additional amenities we did not utilize... Dezreen-- thank you for your personal welcome upon arrival:) (5) Weather/ water temperatures-- absolutely fabulous when we were there!! Constant breeze, 85 degree Fahrenheit air temp, warm water (not sure what temp), constant sunshine on most days. We had one late night rain shower, and one afternoon downpour-- "No worries, Mon!" (6) Club MoBay (this is not included with Club Sandals)-- SPEND the extra money! What a great arrival and departure in/out of MJB airport-- we moved swiftly through immigration upon arrival and enjoyed a relaxing wait during our departure:) (7) Last, but not least, everyone at SRC, including management and all staff, was welcoming and friendly! We also met other vacationing couples with whom we enjoyed meeting and talking:)... Many of the couples we met were returning guests to SRC and/or had visited other Sandals' properties-- a great testimony to Sandals! "Hello" to our friends from Dixon, Illinois-- hope to hear from you!
Negatives: None worth mentioning!
My husband and I plan to return to Sandals Royal Caribbean or visit Sandals Emerald Bay on our next vacation!

Room Tip: Club level is a good choice... Kensington building is quiet, has it's own quiet pool and small b...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BlueRidgeBrandie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

My wife and I decided on Jamaica for our honeymoon and wanted to go all-inclusive, so we decided on Sandals and ended up picking RC because we didn't want to drive 2 hrs to Ochos Rios after we landed. I appreciate that everyone has their own experience, but some of the lower ratings must be from people who just like to complain. This place was unbelievable. Oh, and also we decided to upgrade to Club Level and justified it to ourselves by staying 1 night less. If you're debating about doing the same, let me end the debate now...go Club Level. We've spoiled ourselves and I think we'll always be in Club Level now. Shanique, Andre and Kirkland in the Club staff were amazing (and the room smells like lemongrass). We'd sit down, tell them what excursion we wanted, and then go off and play in the ocean or something and they would come find us with a clipboard along the beach to sign and confirm after they were able to book it. I took windsurfing lessons from Valente one morning when the wind wasn't as strong and we also took an AWESOME hobie cat ride with him midday. He's quite the sailor and we had a blast riding on one pontoon when tacking. We didn't have time for paddleboarding, but that was also available (all included). We had some excursion credits since some of our friends/family sent money to Sandals on our behalf, so we picked a few and they were each a lot more fun that I would have thought. Firstly, we did the Dunns River Falls excursion. That's a far ride, but it's unbelievable. In Hawaii, you would hike for a while, then take pictures when you get to the falls. In Jamaica, you start at the beach where the river finally pours into the ocean, then you make a human chain and hike straight up the falls along the cliff and in/around/under the water. It's pretty intense and I certainly wasn't expecting it to be. Wear good shoes that can get wet. The next excursion we did was the something Witch canopy tour, which is ziplining about 15min or so from RC. It was amazing! And beautiful. The staff makes it a lot of fun and there are some vertical drops that get your adrenaline pumping a few times. The last excursion we did was the Catamaran cruise. Again, my experience in Hawaii was awesome...but nothing like this. This is a 65' Catamaran that they load up with more people than you think would fit. It's a real sailing vessel and they raise the cloth to get you sailing Northbound until you're in a great spot just off the shore from the airport. They load you up with snorkel gear, and those who want to spend a half hour or so snorkeling around the reef and oohing and awing at the fishies and underwater things. Once everyone loads back onto the boat, they put out a buffet and open the bar. The DJ is spinning party music and the bartender is working harder than anyone I've ever seen. The sails go back up and everyone drinks and parties while they sail over to Margaritaville in Montego Bay. They park to let you off and you can hit the bar, go down the 3-story water slide, jump on the floating trampoline/playscape/etc. It's like an adult playground on water...so much fun. After another half hour or so, you load back up onto the Cat and they spend the remainder of the cruise dancing and boozing while they sail you back. It's an absolute blast. There were all types there, but it's obviously designed for the party types that you see on Spring Break videos or Girls Gone Wild or something. At one point, the bartender was pouring shots right into our mouths, people were taking body shots off of their spouses, it was quite a scene. The cruise leaves and returns to the Sandals Montego Bay resort. I didn't stay there, but I will say that it's built right at the end of the airport runway, so every plane that takes off is about 10 feet from your head and it's all kinds of loud. I'm exaggerating (obviously), but I'm glad we didn't stay there. We had some plane noise at RC, but it wasn't that big of a deal as the planes were pretty high up by the time they flew over the resort.

So Club level...full bar in your room with liquor/wine/champagne and a fridge with juice/soda/water. Room service with a pretty extensive menu, jacuzzi tub, an electronic safe, and a balcony overlooking the ocean. We were in the Kensington, which we absolutely loved. It's a small enough resort to get anywhere, but it's away from everything so it's quiet with its own pool and hot tub. It's simply amazing how much the staff genuinely loves having you there. I hope they get paid really well because any one of them would go so far out of the way for anything at all. My wife was feeling sick at dinner one night and retired to the room. When Terrence (waiter at Eleanor's) came back and noticed her gone, I asked for the food to be wrapped up so I could bring dinner back to the room and eat with her. He insisted that I join my wife and that he would bring it to us. He's not with room service...he's just a waiter at one of the restaurants and he stopped what he was doing, brought the food to our room, then went back to what he was doing. I was overwhelmed at times at how gracious the staff was that we had chosen their resort to vacation at.

The island is pretty cool to look at from the mainland, but I think it's mostly a novelty. There's not a ton of shady spots there, so the sun will cook you fast. The clothing optional beach on the other side of the island was a bit of a disappointment...it was drabby and none of the naked people were pretty. Haha The Royal Thai was fantastic though. It was fun dressing up nice and pretending to be rich and fancy for dinner.

Kermit, Queenie, Hollywood and DJ Nardo do an amazing job every day and night trying to get everyone psyched up for whatever event they have going on that day. We had beach volleyball, pool volleyball, the night beach party...don't miss that! The food was amazing everywhere, but we found ourselves most often at the Mariner because it was right on the beach and had great food that doesn't take long. The beef/chicken paddies, the jerk burgers, the jerk chicken. Mmm, it was all so good. Le Jardiner was fantastic, and the setting was out of a movie. It's outside, lattice and vines/flowers everywhere, the tree frogs are singing constantly, the food is exquisite, and they even speak a few phrases in French for you. The food everywhere was excellent, though we thought Cricketeers was a bit too much of a "bar" to really have breakfast there. It smells like stale beer in there and the novelty is lost when you're there in the morning for breakfast. I'm sure it's a great time when you're boozing all night. The piano bar at Eleanor's was very nice...I had a martini while sitting at the piano with my wife because that seemed like what someone in there would order. Haha

I suffered quite a bit from indigestion because I ate more in a typical meal than I normally do in a typical day, and because every drink is rum and some variation of colored syrup. It was wonderful, but bring some TUMS or ROLAIDS or something.

We're only in our low 30's, but we had trouble staying awake and being party animals because we went so hard all day. Try to save yourself a few nights because the evening entertainment at the stage was very cool to see. If you like going to plays or musicals or enjoy dance, it's very entertaining. The bartenders often remember your name or what room number you're in or what you and/or your wife were drinking yesterday. I was SO impressed! Try the Ziggy Marley...it's a very pretty frozen drink and it's delicious.

I have to call our Varna (Mariners Bar), Andre (Royal Thai), Lidia (Mariners), Ashelle, Nicola (Mariners) and Domique for all giving us unbelievable service at some point in our week long stay. We were literally sad to leave and my wife teared up as we walked out of the room for the last time. What an unbelievable experience!

I took videos constantly with my GoPro, so I'll have a link to that video once I get everything edited. Hopefully I can go back and edit this post and include it in here, otherwise I'll post another review and put the link in there. You're not going to believe this was all one vacation, as it felt like we packed a month of adventure and fun into one week.

Oh, there were peacocks roaming around and they're loud but it adds to the charm. I love the tree frogs, the landscaping is beautiful and they do a great job of lighting at night to make everything really look sharp. Book all your restaurant reservations as soon as you get there so you don't get left out of one of them when they're booked a couple days out. Only a few things I wish...I'd like to see a bar at the pool at Kensington, but it wouldn't get a ton of use so I get it. They almost ALWAYS ran out of towels in the resort by mid afternoon, so grab a few in the morning and stick them in your room to use throughout the day. That's literally all I can think to change or improve on. We will absolutely be back to Jamaica and RC won't be the only Sandals we ever stay at.

A few more things...our travel agent was great. I didn't give her the attention she deserved because my head was spinning with stress all the way up to the wedding and we flew out of Austin, TX a few days later with visiting family still in town so I didn't look at honeymoon stuff until we were at the airport ready to leave. She arranged for rockstar service and we had our own driver in a Mercedes pick us up at the airport and take us to RC...I was beside myself. What an awesome vacation...worth every penny.

Room Tip: Upgrade to Club Level!!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Babylon, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014 via mobile

Excellent enjoyable place. Near airport, great food, if you want exceptional care, try butler service. Ellis and Hughill (I called him Hedgehog). The best. Funny and what real butlers are about. Older place, but well maintained and there to please.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank VeraSozzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2014

My wife and I just recently started traveling, trying to find romantic and laid-back style getaways in the Caribbean. So far, we have been to Cancun twice, Puerto Rico, and now Jamaica. Of these, the staff at SRC was head and shoulders above the rest. Don't get me wrong here, the facilities, food and quaint beach were all top notch, but for us these things mean nothing if the service doesn't match up. Everyone, every day met us with a sincere smile, a warm handshake and a desire to make sure our stay was everything we wanted it to be. Nothing moves fast in Jamaica, but the service was always exactly what we needed.

Our favorite place to hang out on the resort was the Mariner Bar and Grill which is located on the beach along with the Napoli Pizza kitchen. This set up was perfect for us because we could lay in the sun, play in the water, seek shade under the trees and palapa's and have drinks/snacks/meals all in one convenient area. And at only 197 suites, it never felt too crowded nor did we ever have to stake out our territory before sunrise to guarantee a spot on the beach. We only stayed here for 5 days on this trip but will be coming back again for a longer stay we enjoyed it so much.

We also spent half a day on the SRC private island which is viewable from the mainland and a short, free boat shuttle away. If you are looking for a quieter time this is the place to go. Swim up bar at the pool, a nice beach area for sunning complete with Cabana's (must reserve) and constant ocean breezes are the trademarks of this island. It is also the location of their Thai Restaurant, which requires reservations if you want to sample the menu one night.

We had a great time at SRC and highly recommend this to anyone who is not pretentious, enjoys a smaller scale resort and thrives on excellent service.

Room Tip: Arundel area rooms are Garden View and just a short walk to the beach. Very quiet area.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lbyram365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roma
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014 via mobile

we stayed at sandal two months ago.the room was very nice and confortable.we loved the litte island in front of the hotel.the beach in the island was a wonderful place to relax.all the staff is very polite professional.the shows at the night were wonderful.we never forget their smile.they were always asking if we were ok. i want to thank the italian creative cook salvatore.he satisfied every our requests.the restaurants offer every day excellent and fresh food.we adore how he cooks pasta.i hope we come back again cause everything was perfect.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014

At full capacity and never felt crowded. No waiting. Quiet resort. Most activities end around 10pm. Sports bar and grill open late but most guest were in their rooms by 11. The island is beautiful. There is a nude beach (sign posted) just stay clear if not your thing. Pool bar staff on the island was our favorite. Perfect for meeting new people and because the resort is small we kept running into them. Transfer from the airport 10 min be prepared to tip the guy who takes your bags to the car. He is not part of the all inclusive stay and he will remind you of that. Because the airport is close you do have the occational plane overhead. Rooms are nice and clean. Check in was quick but note if you get there early your room will not be ready. You can change clothing in the spa and hang out by the pool till ready. Food good. Coffee great! Recommend the buffet on the island for lunch. Not busy and food was great. If you want to eat dinner at the french or thai resturant make sure to make your before or as soon as you arrive they fill up fast. If not the other restaurants are just as good and never had a wait. Spa is Pricey but try to get your treatment on the island. Makes the extra money worth it. Imagine laying in a private hut with the waves crashing and ocean breeze. Perfect! Snorkeling included was great. Go as many times as you like and plenty of coral, fish, a sting ray, baby jelly fish (got out early that day). The Beach,ocean, pools clean. Get your towels early they tend to run out in the afternoon. They do wash and reload but it seems around 2 they were gone. Lots of wildlife (crabs, birds etc.). The Peacocks are an added bonus and are a great alarm clock if you like to get up at 6am. Gift Shop has everything you may need but the price is 2x what you would pay outside the resort. If you are looking for a party take the boat cruise to margaritaville. If you like fishing go for it you may catch something and may not but a guy in our group caught at 5ft mahi mahi and they brought it back to the resort and cooked it up for him.

Room Tip: Basic rooms are fine if you plan to get out and socialize. If a honeymoon or plan to hang out just t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank trnpet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

This was our second Sandals vacation and overall we were quite satisfied ,but it didn't quite compare to Sandals Le Toc in St.Lucia.We stayed in the Caribbean Village on the ground floor and had a nice,clean room with great amenities and a nice walk out little porch and pool right outside the room.The only negative to this area was the occasional bus traffic.We were very impressed with the cleanliness maintained not only in our room but throughout the resort,where there was always staff around cleaning,polishing or touchup painting.The food overall was good ,but didn't compare to Le Toc where the food was great,and we especially found the food in the French Restaurant dissapointing.The only other two things we were dissapointed with were ,we were returning Sandals customers yet on special event night for returning patrons we weren't notified and when we inquired about this at the reception desk they said we tried to call but you weren't in your room.Fair enough,but how many people are in there rooms all day and why did they not leave a note under the door like they did when they were trying to sell you something?Secondly we found at some of the evening events the servers seemed to serve the same people all the time and skip over others.Don't get me wrong,we did have a great time and enjoyed the resort a lot,especially myself being a municipal gardener found the grounds immaculate . Another big plus was the watersports area. I have never been to a resort that was as well staffed and accommadating as this resort.There was always someone around to get you a kayak or paddleboard or take you for a sail or glassbottom boat trip or snorkelling or scuba.And overall as many people have mentioned in their reviews the staff is GREAT and very friendly.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank John E
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:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island 5*
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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