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“Sandals Montego Bay - August 2013”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #9 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Sandals Montego Bay - August 2013”
Reviewed 12 August 2013

Many thanks to those who took the time to share about their trip(s) to Sandals, Montego Bay. My wife and I are repaying with this monologue of our trip.

We caught an early flight from Atlanta and arrived on time courtesy of our friends at Delta. We had decided to spend a few extra buck$ and did the Club Mobay – VIP arrival package. The extra cost was worth it, when we got off the plane and Ashley from Club Mobay was there (with our names on a placard) to escort us through immigration. She checked our immigration forms, took us through the fast lines at customs, then at immigration after we got our bags. Departure was similarly easy and saved few minutes. The real nicety was our flight had been delayed so we enjoyed the club facilities an hour longer than planned. Recommendation on Club Mobay – My wife got a kick out of it, we definitely enjoyed the lounge on the way out, I’d do it again (vacation comes once a year!)

Ashley took us to the Sandals Reception area in the departure area and we said our goodbyes. The Sandals lounge at arrival is very nice, we waited a few minutes then they loaded us up in a van for the short trip to Sandals, Montego Bay.

Several things I had not read in previous reviews:
Tip 1 – the gentleman who takes your bags to the Sandals bus from their arrival reception area expects a tip.
Tip 2 – the gentleman driving the bus to the Sandals Resorts (we dropped people off at Sandals Royal Bahamian) also expects a tip.

The tipping caught many of us by surprise as we had very little cash on us. I talked to the other couple going to Montego Bay and they tipped the bus driver for all of us, I got the baggage guy. Recommend carrying some small bills so you are not surprised.

When we arrived to Montego Bay we were greeted by Alford “Big Al.” He expedited check in and ensured all the business was taken care of upfront. We waited 90 minutes for our room, but used the time to wander about and then had a terrific jerk cheese burger at the beach grill. We did have issues getting reservations to restaurants on certain days. Not sure what the deal is, but it seemed that since we did not use concierge services we had problems getting the nights we selected but eventually got into Cucina Romano, StewFish and Tokyo Joe’s.

Orientation was at 4:00 PM on day of arrival. The leader was Antonio. We were the only ones in the group so we got an excellent walking tour of the grounds and facilities. Thanks Antonio!
Dinner first night at Stewfish was excellent. We arrived early and were seated facing the ocean, weather was perfect as we watched the sunset during dinner. Stewfish is picnic tables used for overflow for the beach grill during the day. They close at 5:00 PM and reopen at 6:00 with tablecloths, glass and silverware. Very acceptable given you are basically on the beach. Food – very good. Appetizers – I had the scallops and the lobster bisque, pretty wife had the shrimp appetizer (deliciously spicy.) Scallops and shrimp were excellent, skip the lobster bisque. For dinner we had the shrimp kebabs, grilled veggies and beans and rice. Shrimp and veggies were grilled perfectly, I could have eaten many more. Highly recommended. Desserts were standard resort fare, they were sweet.

We booked a luxury ocean view room with a small balcony. We had a great view of the grounds, the piano bar pool and the ocean. The building was the Sea grapes and the rooms were very nice, the A/C was on the pleasant side of freezing. The room had a fridge which they stock with whatever you want. Other essentials were a coffee pot, hair dryer and extra pillows. I am a coffee person, the Blue Mountain blend in the room was quite good.

Spa – during our visit we enjoyed excellent treatment across the board. Jirdeen (pronounced Grrr-dean) was the hostess and ensured everything was on time, every time. Between pretty wife and I we hit the salt scrub, facial, pedicure and ended with couples massage the day before we left. All were excellent, we’d do it again.

Excursion 1- A family friend from Jamaica insisted we do Dunn River Falls. Pretty wife signed us up for the Dunn River Falls / Dolphin Cove Combo. This is a long day with 90 minutes of travel on each end of the trip. We left at 9:30 and were returned to Sandals at 6:15. Pointers – make dinner reservations for a later time on the day you do this excursion. We had read mixed reviews on the Dunn River Falls visit. Specifically pushy locals, in your face for gratuities etc. Our experience was more pleasant. First, know going in that your guide and driver from the tour company expect a tip (we tipped $20 for the day.) Anita our guide was excellent, walking us through what to expect and avoid. The guide(s) at Dunn River Falls expect a tip. They even walked with us to the bus to collect from some who had not brought money on the wet trip up the falls. The guys in yellow shirts are taking photos and video of your group along the way. Several of our group purchased the photos and were happy. I recommend buying a water camera and taking it with you on the trip. Also, the water shoes recommendation is suspect. Sneakers or adventure sandals are fine (what we did.) Dolphin Cove is a nice little place, don’t expect Sea World folks. We did not elect to swim with the dolphins, sharks (yes, but they are nurse sharks) or rays. Those who did in our group really enjoyed it and bought the photos and DVDs available afterwards.

Excursion 2 – Chukka Zipline adventure (www.chukkacaribbean.com) was awesome. The trip to the Chukka site is 30-45 minutes from Sandals. It is a very Spartan location in the mountains that was inland of Montego Bay. They offered a package with river tubing following the zipline. We only did the zipline and were back at the hotel by 2:15. The Zipline crew is very entertaining and ensure you have a good time safely. There is some climbing of hills so expect some moderate physical exertion. Hints- if you have a GoPro, this is the place to take it, several in our group had them and I wished I had brought mine for this and Dunn River Falls. We were very happy to have only done the Zip, it was a blast, we were hot, sweaty and ready to go after the Ziplines. They did have a photographer following us and we bought 10 of the photos for $30.00 and were very happy with them. The driver from the hotel to the site, expects a tip. The guides on the Zipline adventure also expect a tip.

Wrap Up – Easy to get here from the states, it’s very hot here in August, bring Tervis Tumbler cups (the cups here are very small), bring small bills for tipping during arrival/departure and excursions. The BEST service we have experienced in many years of traveling.
Cheers on – Room, Service, atmosphere/grounds/facilities/spa/wedding watching
Opportunities to improve - all restaurants are outdoors except Oleander (did I mention avoid visiting in August?), entertainment is mixed bag, there are some young ladies who sang who are ready for American Idol(awesome), some of the games, casino night, yelling (wanna be singers) and screaming not so much. We enjoyed celebrating a birthday and anniversary while there and highly recommend Sandals MoBay to others.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank WanderingFr0mFl0rida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Montego Bay, responded to this review, 17 August 2013
Wow! Sounds like you had an exciting stay in Jamaica! Thank you so much for your great review of Sandals Montego Bay. We're so thrilled to read of your amazing experience with us.

We look forward to your return!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Orangeville
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

My husband and I returned to sandals montego bay for our 30th anniversary! It was so spectacular! We love sandals Montego Bay. We got the conceirge rooms right on the beach. We feel these are the best rooms because you are in the middle of everything and just steps from the beach! We will be returning in March 2014 for our daughter's wedding.

Room Tip: The concierge rooms on the beach are the BEST!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mamabear1122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yonkers, NY
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013

We visited Sandals in late July for 6 days for our honeymoon. We had an amazing time! When we first arrived we were brought into the check-in area and immediately offered strawberry daiquiris, rum punches, and cool lemon-scented hand towels by Fabian. We were promptly brought to our room by Fabian as well. I informed him that I sent my information over to Sandals in order for us to get the free honeymoon package and he seemed unaware if it. But he really took care of us and made sure the champagne was in our rooms. That night we had swan towels and rose petals on our bed. He also gave us the tag to fill out for breakfast and bed. We never took advantage of breakfast in bed because we enjoyed the buffet too much.

The Room: We had room 852. It was well appointed and very comfortable. It is only a main room and a bathroom but it was more than enough space. If you are spending time in your room while on vacation like this then there's a problem. We only slept and showered in the room. Our room location was steps from the beach and centrally located between the main lobby and the swim up piano bar.

The Food: My husband and I really enjoyed the restaurants on the property. My favorite dinner spot was the Italian restaurant followed closely by Tokyo Joe's. The portions at most restaurants, except Tokyo Joe's, are really small so we would always order doubles of what we wanted or ended up ordering all the appetizers on the menu and sometimes 2 entrees each. It is an all-inclusive and you are allowed to do this! For lunch we loved the two restaurants on the beach. We would order the Jamaican beef patties (delicious) and a pizza pie everyday. We never went to the lunch buffet because we enjoyed eating on the beach everyday.

The Beach: Beautiful!!!!

Outstanding Employees: All of the employees at this property are hard workers but there were a few of them who went above and beyond to make our stay memorable. Fabian, our bell hop, checked in with us a few days out of our trip to make sure we were doing well. Maestro at the main bar is so entertaining and makes the best Jamaican Smiles. There was never a need to ask for more drinks because he just kept them coming. Another bartender who calls himself Dr.D, but I think his name was Davion, was also great at entertaining. He worked mostly at the beach bar. Derol was also an amazing server and could be found at the breakfast buffet and Stewfish. Robert at Oleander was also very sweet.

Overall we had a great time and can't wait to return!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank MVelez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wichita, Kansas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013

We were so excited for our trip. We traveled with 2 other couples to celebrate their 25th Anniversaries. We were greeted by Big Al and his big smile. He got us drinks before he even got us checked in. Every one was so friendly! We enjoyed dining in some of the restaurants like Tokyo Joes, Cucina Romano and Bayside. Our favorite was the Cricketer's Pub because it was air conditioned and the staff was so friendly, especially Shanay Nay! The Playmakers were a lot of fun. Kemar and Shaylene played Jenga with us while we were in the Pub and even found us dominoes to play. We did the glass boat tour and snorkeling with Captain Mecca and Flip. Denham was helpful with the water sports and always made us laugh. Donald at the bar kept us hydrated and always called us by name. We met other couples while we were there and the staff was accommodating when we wanted to change reservations to all eat together. The staff was always ready to take pictures, no matter how many cameras there were. We enjoyed the shows that they had each night. The only complaints we had were that there wasn't anything to snack on while playing games (like snack mix or pretzels), we wished Dino's Brick oven pizza was open late at night, and that more places were air conditioned. A late night buffet would be nice. The rooms were nice and the cleaning crew did a great job of keeping them clean. We were sad when we got our dreaded letter telling us what time we had to leave for the airport. We miss the beautiful beaches, almond trees and the gardens. We will definitely be returning to Sandals Montego Bay!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Teresa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ariss,Ontario
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013

Our apologize for our tardiness in getting to this review. In a nutshell, we had a great time and would return. This was our second trip to a Sandals but our first time with butler service and a suite right on the beach. It was amazing and we can't see going any other way. A huge shout out to our Butlers, Asha(Ms. A) and Craig(Mr. C). They worked well together and are real gems. I had injured my foot and they moved us down to the lower room(to avoid the stairs). They had our chairs(decorated) and cooler ready every morning..and my chocolate mousse and fruit plate every night...Not only did they follow through with each of our requests they took time to interact with us. Awesome service!!!.
I have severe allergies and eating out is a huge problem for me. Asha and Chris's valiant attempts to get me to eat at the different establishments, although in vain, did not go unappreciated. And although there is room for improvement I do believe Sandals is heading in the right direction when it comes to food allergies.Thank you to the gentlemen at Dino's Pizzeria for remembering me and my allergies every day. I must say I was very surprised to find shellfish on the menu at Dino's. The pizzeria in Bahamas was shellfish free and I was disappointed this one was not.Also thanks to David(the Beach server). He made sure we always had a purple rain in our hand.
We appreciated the air conditioning in the Cricketers Pint and would have liked to see that AC in the Bayside.
Everyone we meet seemed to have customer service as their number one priority.
Thanks for a great vacation..we will be back

Room Tip: ocean view and accessibilty is number one for us
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Belinda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middletown, Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

We just returned from ANOTHER wonderful week at Sandals Montego Bay. This is our 5th trip to the same resort and each time is every bit as good as the last. The staff remember us year to year which is amazing. At the beach bar we look forward to talking to Shinton who made us our first drink 5 years ago. And Camille is our girl on the beach, always a smile and remembers what we are drinking without us saying a thing. We had a lot of fun with Davion and Kenneth too. They all make us want to soon come back! I have to mention Jethro in the cricketers pub because he was the drink master of late nights! Some awesome shots were made in there. And Robert at the Bayside met us with a smile every morning. These hard working people all are a part of why we won't go anywhere else. Why would we? There is no place like sandals Montego Bay.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wendi1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

I have seen so many reviews of Sandals, watched tons of videos online, and finally decided it was time for my husband and I to try a Sandals Resort. We watched their videos on YouTube, and chose Montego Bay, as it boasted the highest number of return visitors. I also read the many excellent reviews here, and took the poor and terrible reviews with a grain of salt. After my stay there, I can definitely understand why people would be unhappy with SMB.

First of all, this is a party resort. People were loud, drunk, and obnoxious the whole time we were there. That's fine if that's your thing, but it is definitely not ours. We wanted a romantic getaway where we could relax and reconnect. Sandals is more like an out of control spring break. This was very disappointing, as it's advertised as a romantic resort for couples.

We also expected excellent customer service based on the reviews we read and the videos we watched. 9 times out of 10, the staff was extremely rude, or didn't even bother to say hello. A woman at the Dive Shop talked to me so rudely I wondered what I had done wrong to her. After reading more reviews, I realize that a lot of people say they tip even though the policy is no tipping. We did not even attempt to tip, as we thought it was not allowed.

The best food at Sandals was at the buffet. The specialty restaurants were not very good. The meat quality is not very good either, but we pretty much expected that in the islands.

The beach was top notch. The water was beautiful and clean, as was the sand. But every time we just started to unwind in the water, guys came up blowing conchs trying to sell us weed. No thanks.

I think Sandals is probably a great experience for the party type. What I noticed is lots of large wedding parties, and they were having a great time getting drunk and celebrating. That is fine, but Sandals should advertise the resort as such. I went expecting a quiet, romantic resort, but it was the total opposite.

The room was really nice and clean, and housekeeping did a great job keeping our minifridge stocked. I have no complaints about the room or the beach.

I would most likely not stay at a Sandals resort again based on this experience. I definitely wouldn't go back to SMB.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Allison H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Montego Bay

Property: Sandals Montego Bay
Address: Montego Bay, Kent Avenue, Montego Bay 100, 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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#9 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Montego Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Largest private white sand beach on the north coast •The entertainment capital of the Sandals brand with nightly professional shows and upbeat, active, fun-loving daytime activities. •Six exquisite dining options•Complimentary transfers to Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle. Enjoy all the luxuries included in our “stay at one, play at three” concept offering 18 dining options •Air-conditioned departure lounge•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay
Sandals Hotel Montego Bay
Montego Bay Sandals Hotel
Sandal Montego Bay

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