We are a married couple early 40's/50's. This was our 14th trip to Jamaica, 1st to Sandals Montego Bay. We are Diamond tier Sandals Select members.
We had a Sandals private transfer from Montego Bay airport to the resort. When we reached the Sandals lounge, they tagged our bags and we went inside to wait for our car and use the restrooms. It’s good that we were keeping an eye on our bags because they grabbed them and put them on the cart to go with the normal bus. We had to step out and have them removed from the cart so they could stay with us. I’m sure they would have made it to the resort with no problem but we didn’t want the worry. That was the only hitch. After about 10 minutes, we were escorted to our car and driven straight to the resort. Overall, there were no major issues with arrival or departure.
We had booked in a Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Room. When we arrived, we were offered an upgrade to a Beachfront Walkout Club Level Room. We requested to see the location and because it was so close to the entertainment pavilion and beach snack bar, we were concerned about noise so we elected to keep our originally booked room. We did like the idea of the walkout and we would have accepted the upgrade if it had been in a better location. As it was, our room (#708) was on the 3rd floor with a beautiful ocean view over the Stew Fish restaurant. The room did show its age but we had no major complaints. One minor inconvenience was that it took a very long time (5-10 minutes) for the water to get hot in the morning. This only seemed to be a problem very early in the morning before most people were up. Any other time during the day, the water temperature was fine. Another issue was the bed. While DH found it very comfortable, I found it difficult to sleep on and woke up each morning with severe back pain. Not really sure what else to say about it except that people's bodies will react differently to a change in their usual sleeping conditions.
We know that food is very subjective so please understand that these comments are simply our opinion. In general, we thought the quality of the food was quite good. For dinner, we particularly enjoyed the Oleander Room Restaurant and the Carlyle Restaurant (at Sandals Carlyle). The Bayside Restaurant was also quite good. Cucina Romana and Le Jardinier (at Sandals Royal Caribbean) were both good but not to the same level as Oleander. Also, the mosquitoes at Le Jardinier were terrible. We rushed through dessert just to get out of there. We definitely recommend insect repellent if you are planning to eat there. Be aware that all of the restaurants mentioned are outdoors except the Oleander Room which did not have good air conditioning, so either eat later in the evening when it cools down or plan to sweat through your meals. And, if you do choose to enjoy the restaurants at the other two Sandals resorts, note the shuttle bus schedule. Twice we had relatively long waits for the bus to return us to our resort after our meals were over. Breakfast at Bayside was very good considering it was buffet style. Lunches were very good especially the pizza from Dino’s. To our surprise, the chicken alfredo from the room service menu was also quite good. The self-serve ice cream at the Mariner Grill was very good too, not like the ice-milk type stuff you get sometimes on cruise ships or other places. Drinks were hit or miss. Most were made well but the many pina coladas ordered throughout the week ranged from very good to completely undrinkable. Never did figure out why.
We didn’t take part in much of the entertainment activities. The purpose of this trip was pure relaxation. Most of our time was spent in the beach cabanas that can be rented by the day. The first day, we were in Cabana #1 but we moved to Cabana #3 for subsequent days because they were able to bring out some portable steps to make it much easier to get into and out of. Cabana #1 is very high up and they cannot place steps down for that one because they would float away in the surf. The cabana butlers take great care of you but sometimes it was quite a while in between visits. I think they do that on purpose in order to allow you to relax so if you want them to come by more often, you’ll need to ask. We did enjoy the charity casino night. We both played at the poker table and were still alive when they shut it down. We didn’t win any of the prizes but we had fun and it’s nice knowing the money goes to the Sandals Foundation charity. We watched a little bit of the staff talent show at Sandals Royal Caribbean while we waited for our bus after dinner. The performers weren’t very good but the crowd was very supportive. We were glad to see that because it takes a lot of guts for them to get up there and perform for us. It did seem like the evening entertainment was well attended so we can only guess that the shows were good. We also attended the weekly returning guest dinner. Cocktails were served on the Almond Terrace and the dinner was set up where the Bayside Restaurant normally is. They did a good job with the award presentations during the cocktail hour. It was a lot of fun.
Red Lane Spa - We enjoyed a 50 minute couple’s massage in addition to our complimentary 30 minute couple’s massage that comes with our Diamond status. Both Andrea and Nardia were fantastic.
Fitness Center – Nope. Not this time. LOL
We did not do any tours on this trip.
As many have mentioned in previous reviews, there did seem to be a bit more action at this resort than we are used to at some of the other resorts. And, a lot of the guests were younger and many were on their honeymoons. Even so, this was not a problem for those of us who wanted to just laze around. It seemed to be a very good balance overall. We did not see any issues with a lack of beach chairs or pool floaties like we’ve seen at other resorts. I can see why they use the “original” Sandals for training.
Regarding the internet connection, be aware that the basic Wi-Fi that is offered free to club level and butler guests is very slow. Even basic web surfing can be tedious. So, if you need to stay connected, you will want to upgrade to the premium Wi-Fi service ($42.99 per week). According to my speed test app, the premium Wi-Fi was about six times faster than the basic free Wi-Fi. It was not even close to the speed I get at home but it was fast enough to stream programs from my home TiVo, although the video quality was not great.
Although he is new to this property, Carl Beviere is doing a fantastic job as General Manager and we really enjoyed getting to know him throughout the week. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay and will likely return in the future.
- 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