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“A Vacation to Remember - Rick & Freinds”

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Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
Ranked #7 of 62 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A Vacation to Remember - Rick & Freinds”
Reviewed 7 January 2009

We travelled there with 2 other families all who had kids in their late teens or early 20's. This was my first trip to both Jamiaca and a Sandals Resort. Both exceeded my wildest expectations.
The service that we received at the hotel was unparalleled from any service I have recieved anywhere in the world. They went the extra mile for us, especially being a large group in a resort normally geared for couples.

The food in all the restaurants was the best food I have ever eaten at any all inclusive. Dinners included items such as great FIsh dishes, Rack of Lamb just to mention a few. The liquor was all top shelf (Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Red & Black, Sky & Finlandia Vodka, Gran Marnier, etc) and the house wine included was Berrnger WIne. "ziggy" makes the best Martini's I have ever had and the freindliest bartender you'll ever meet.

The activity staff were great and kept us occupied with games and activities all day and night. The resort was immaculately clean and every employee we encountered was genuinely freindly and caring.

Leighton is the Director of Guest Services and is the most commited person I have ever met in ensuring that all the guests are completely satisfied, The rest of the entire Mangement staff (Rick, David, ) at the hotel were always around and asking to ensure that everything was fantastic.

The Beach is clean, and the water very calm. You dont have to get up early to get a beach chair, as there are plenty available.

The lunches at the beach or the private island were great. There is a tremendous varity to choose from.

The New Year Party was one of the best that I have ever experienced with great entertainment and a phenomenal venue before including an amazing buffet including Crab legs among numerous other dishes.

This was the most relaxing unstressful vacation we ever had. The Golf nearby was amazing, and if u want any private tours, ask for Robby the taxi driver.....

As we left the resort to go to the airport, we were greeted by the entire management team at the Bus waiving goodbye to us as we drove down the driveway and off the property.....something that Family would normally do.....

You will not be disappointed

  • Liked — The qulaity of the food, liqor and the service
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank TravelDudeToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Nashville, TN
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2009

My girlfriend and I spent a week at Sandals Royal Caribbean and I can honestly say that it was the most relaxing vacation I have ever had. We had a beachfront walk-out room that literally had us on the beach in 2 steps from our patio. The view was amazing, you could see the private island from our patio, and we enjoyed the sunset every night. Okay, specifics here....

The room: No complaints at all. We had concierge service, so that meant a fully stocked bar and mini fridge, refilled every day with bottled water, Red Stripe, etc. The room was very clean and there was plenty of space for the two of us. Sometimes when you stay in a "hotel" room for a week you can get stir crazy, but we found this room to be the perfect size. The only negative was that the shower was not very big, but this is a very minor complaint.

The food: We really enjoyed the food at all of the restaurants on-site, especially the Thai food on the private island. The beach grill is a great quick stop for a burger or jerk chicken, and we found the room service to be very good (and yes it takes about 45 minutes, so plan ahead and you won't be upset).

The drinks: Awesome! Great bartenders at the beach bar and the piano bar. Get a dirty banana and a beach chair, trust me on this.

The beach/pools: Now we read a LOT of reviews before our trip and some of them lamented the size of the beach at SRC. I can honestly say I have no idea what these people are complaining about. We never had a problem finding a beach chair or a nice spot on the beach, whether we were on the main beach, at the private island, or on one of the side beaches. We also loved hanging out at the smaller pool, nice and quiet, but it would be great if there was a closer bar to that pool! :)

The rest of the resort: Again, the private island is awesome, a great place to spend a quiet day with a good book on the beach, and the lunch buffet over there was great, too. We enjoyed a few evening in the Cricketers pub, good bartenders ("You're not driving, are ya mon?"), good food and good mix tape music, too.
The resort is very clean, offers a lot of activities with the great playmakers, bring in some excellent local musicians (the steel drum band was our favorite), and it seems as though everyone who works there truly enjoys their work.

A few negatives: Seriously, we had a great time, but there's always room for improvement. First, the photo shop is WAAAY overpriced. I expect to spend money on vacation, but over $300 to put 25 digital pictures on a CD is absolutely ridiculous. With that said, they do take great photos. The only other minor point of irritation was the vendors on the beach, but I told them to leave us alone just once and they left us alone.

All in all, a great vacation, we look forward to visiting here again someday and will likely book another Sandals trip (maybe Antigua) very soon.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank DocNThump
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2009

From the moment we arrived at the resort, we were treated like family. We were greeted by Joseph who welcomed us with a cold glass of rum punch. He had our paperwork processed and room keys ready before the drink was done. He escorted us to our room which was amazing! The bathroom was huge, the bedroom was gorgeous, and the view from our balcony was perfect. We arrived in paradise. We made our dinner reservations right away at the front desk and the staff was more than happy to help us. We enjoyed every restaurant, but our favorite was the Pavillion. The food was outstanding. The beach area was small but never overcrowded. We spent most of our time on the private island. It was peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. The bartenders were excellent and the lunch served on the island was fantastic. We loved every type of fish that they served. Everything was so fresh and melted in our mouth. Since we were returning guests, we were invited on a boat cruise that took us around Montego Bay. David and Jason we our cruise hosts and we had a fabulous time. We did not have one complaint about our vacation. We wished we could've stayed longer and will definitely book this hotel again.

  • Liked — We loved the private island
  • Disliked — Nothing!!
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mikenbre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2009

This was our first trip to Jamaica. We looked at many of the resorts and after reading many reviews decided to stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean. We made a great decision. We only stayed there three nights. We needed to make it a long weekend because we could only get away for a couple days. We wanted to stay at an adult location because we have three little kids at home and we wanted to get away from the kids. We love the kids but this was our vacation.

Airport
Flights were on time and the resort is only about 10 minutes away. This was nice because we got off the plan around 11:00 am and we were sitting at the pool around 1:00 pm.

Service
This was the best part of the resort. Everyone was fantastic. There is not a vacation that I have been to that has the exceptional service this hotel offers.

Rooms


Food
Food was great. We went to Mixico last year and the food was terrible. That is why we will never go to Mixico again. After reading some of the reviews I was very skeptical about what the food would be like. It was excellent and they had many different choices. You will need to make your reservations for the different restaurants as soon as you get there. They book up fast. If you are going on any kind of excursion, please tell them and they will book around your excursions.

Beach & Pools
Pools were excellent. Most of the action is at the main pool. The beach is small but is very nice and clean.

Island
The island was awesome. They offer three private huts on the island for $100. Make sure you get one of these. For $100, you get the private hut all day and you get personal service all day as well. They have a clothing free section on this island as well. It is small but nice and cozy. This was our first experience to a clothing free beach and it worked out perfect. Since we never done it before, it was a great place to try it out. Everyone kept to themselves. There is an area that you can go out into the ocean and swim. There is also a very nice pool on the lsland. I thought the island was one of the best parts of the trip.

Comments
If you are looking for a lot of action and late night parties, this is not the place for it. It was the most relaxing trip I ever took. I would go back in a second. In fact we booked another trip for next december. This time we are going to Sandals Negril. The reason we are changing has nothing to do with this resort. We wanted to be closer to Negril in order to do more excursion in Negril.

  • Liked — The service, spa, private island and food.
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jim52595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2009

We stayed at RC Sandals between December 16th and 26th, and frankly, were dissapointed.

Without wishing to be xenophobic, there appeared to be a split in what was offerred to whom, and reading the reviews on this site merely confirms my thoughts at the time. It would appear that US citizens, particularly frequent visitors, get a much higher level of service than elsewhere, particularly we whinging Brits!!
I think that the RC is in urgent need of a refurb in all areas, both cosmetically and in the area of customer service; both these areas make it a 3 star+ hotel, and certainly not a 5 star luxury included destination. Palace, Riu and Iberostar show Sandals how it should be done in the Caribbean.

We (and many other Brits) had to ask for a change of room, as the initial one was dirty, had parts of the furniture missing, stains galore abounded in all rooms. When queried reception just accepted it as a matter of course, stating that "it would be tomorrow as we have a long list of people wanting to move".
I've never sat in a restaurant before to be told that "we are not serving at that table, you'll need to sit up here". And it must be said that the food didn't make up for the inconvenience either!

Breakfast buffet was a scrum, with too many people packed into too small a space, jostling to get the last French toast or carton of yogurt - too many lines off-display too often.

Having 2 restaurants out of doors also caused problems when it rained - everyone was directed into the buffet restaurant (which sometimes was waiter service???). Unfortunately any activities from the open air stage also were forced inside into the same space. Our expected meal at the Jamaican restaurant was rained off, and we were re-directed to the buffet restaurant, where we were asked, "are you here for the Margaritaville experience?" (NB: Not all the worlds population are mad Jimmy Buffet fans). We started our meal, only to be caught up in the hullabaloo and tawdry antics of a Margaritaville selling exposition. Is this what Sandals means by 5 star luxury, all included?

On all included, how do Sandals justify offering Beringer wines as house wine, a couple of pleasant whites and reds, available in the UK for $10, and then have the audacity to charge $34 for a Rose (White Zinfandel) which is also available for only $10 a bottle in UK supermarkets?

Unlike most reviewers, we also found the attitude of most of the staff to be surly, at best, and rude if being uncharitable. One restaurant manager didn't want to entertain diners coming to his station after 20:00, advising each time that "there is a 55 minute waiting time. The buffet restaurant is available and open for you to eat in however". This riposte, even after I stated that I'm sure there is a 55 minute wait, Garfield, but I'm happy to wait. Almost as if he wasn't listening!!??

As there were about 10 tables free at this point, I can only think that a lack of staff was to blame for the problem; although what the rationale for letting people into the restaurant out of line, refusing an elderly couple and then allowing a younger couple into the restaurant 10 minutes later I can only put down to the fact that regulars and Americans were well looked after, others less so - a point I did make to the manager quite strongly, who then proceeded to allocate me a table immediately, even though I insisted that friends of ours were actually due a table before us!!

I could go on, but am feeling very frustrated at the thought of the poor service we received, so will finish there, and with a positive: We took the tour to Negril, including 3 hours at the Sandals property there. The food was great, entertainment at lunchtime excellent, management were conspicuous by their attendance, the beach and pool areas were well laid out; all-in-all, it looked like the kind of place we thought we'd booked for.

Sorry Sandals, but it's Moon Palace or similar for us next time.

Blue Eyed Tiger

  • Liked — Friends we met
  • Disliked — Most of it!
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BlueEyedTiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2009

About Us: Prior to this trip, we have been to Sandals Royal (3x), Sandals Whitehouse (2x), Sandals Regency St Lucia, Sandals Antigua, Sandals Dunn’s River and Royal Plantation. We like to go to the Caribbean at least once a year if not more often when possible. We have also been to the Riviera Maya in Mexico staying at Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun (now no longer in the Secrets chain) We are in our late 30s/early 40s and are not picky people in general. We are on vacation to have a good time and relax for a week or so.

We booked our vacation with Amy McHugh of Dream Makers Vacation Services. She is a great travel agent. I cannot recommend her highly enough.

We transferred to Sandals Royal Caribbean after a weeklong stay at Sandals Whitehouse. This would be our 4th stay at Royal. Upon arrival, we were greeted and taken to a sofa to fill out paperwork . We found out we had been upgraded by the resort to a gorgeous St James River Suite. What a nice surprise! Our travel agent, Amy McHugh at Dream Makers Vacation Services really takes care of us while we are on vacation. She is just the best.

We were greeted by several staff members who recognized us from our previous trips. Sandals Royal is a very personalized resort and the staff seem to remember you each visit and go out of their way to ensure all guests are having a great vacation. Concierge and management contacted us by phone to be sure everything was great.

After all the paperwork was settled, McKay in concierge took us to our room, River Suite #39. This was directly about the room we were in for our anniversary in July with an identical layout. Such a gorgeous location and room. We love these river suites!

We enjoyed some late afternoon cocktails on the balcony before getting ready for the Thai island dinner that night. Late afternoon cocktails on the balcony became a tradition for us! The balconies are very private and provide a great view of the ocean and resort.

We had dinner at the Thai restaurant (good as usual but very windy on the island), Le Jardinier (Courtyard) and the Pub. All were excellent. We ate at the Beach grill one day at lunch – a big shout out to Carol who remembered us from July and went out of her way to make sure we had the lunch we wanted. The other day we ate at the pub. Fish n Chips were fabulous there (day or night)

We spent our days by the main pool. They have updated loungers around the main pool –these are the ones you see in the brochures. Very comfy!

There were tons of activities each day around the main pool by the playmakers. We saw a great show with local dancers doing traditional Jamaican dances on the pool deck. Very fun! We also enjoyed the evening entertainment after dinner each night – whether it was the organized entertainment or just sitting at the pub chatting with the bartenders – Chevoy and Theon.

We did participate in the Name that Tune and Jeopardy games held by the playmakers on two separate evenings. Sandals Royal had a really fun vibe the few days we were there.

Kudos to our housekeeper at SRC, Lilly. She was incredible. Our room was always cleaned early in the day and also thoroughly. She even called us in our room on our last day to wish us a safe trip home. See what I mean about the personalized service?

Also of interest, the new river suites area at Sandals Royal is just gorgeous . It was all still under construction on our last visit. These really add to the ambience of the property. They’ve done a great job at SRC.

Though It was a short stay (3 nights), we really enjoyed ourselves at Royal. I think we’ll be making an annual December trip to Sandals Royal.

Stayed December 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank Gina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2009

Wonderfully friendly people who took great care of us through out the whole holiday. The unexpected breakfast delievered to our room on christmas morning with the bottle of bubbly really made the day extra special, with Santa waterski-ing up to the beach to give everyone a pressy as an added bonus.

We have just returned but are already trying to book our next visit.

  • Liked — overall wonderful place
  • Disliked — Room decor was well worn, in need of some refreshing
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank purpletart
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 Luxury 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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