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Reviewed December 22, 2011

First and foremost - you need to know that there are three different Sandals resorts in Montego Bay. There's this one (the Royal Caribbean), Sandals Montego Bay, and Sandals Carlyle. This review is for the Rotal Caribbean. ("SRC" for this review.)

We were at this hotel for a wedding in October, which is low season for the Caribbean due to the risk of hurricanes. We did not experience a hurricane, but it did rain every day we were there. This was actually a good thing as far as I was concerned. Why? Because most people stayed indoors! That meant we had the entire beach and pool areas virtually to ourselves! Yes, it was raining, but you're wet anyway so who cares. And it's a warm rain.

One of the things that I have discovered about all-inclusive resorts is that the entertainment tends to be a bit in-your-face and constant. Meaning, loud music on the beach during the day, loud games at the pools, etc. Again, because of the rain, this was kept to a minimum, which I rather liked. That being said, it was clear that SRC would have had loud events during daylight hours. The evening entertainment was enjoyable - RBC had some traditional Jamaican dancers and live music on most nights we were there, and all were talented entertainers.

The food at this resort is better than most all-inclusives we have been to. I particulary liked that they had traditional Jamaican specialties available at most restuarants and at most meals. Drinks were good and at the round bar in the middle of the resort, liquors were top shelf.

The beach was a huge disappointment though. VERY small and there are a lot of chairs so there is not room to spread out. A huge portion of the beach is taken up by a volley ball court, which seems like a waste of valuable beach space. It's also not really sandy - sand seems to be spread along a subsurface of stone of some sort. A bit odd. But the water is very calm due to the shelter provided by the private island owned by RBC so that was nice.

Our room was TINY and dark. The huge 4-poster king bed barely fit. We were told that we would be upgraded (since we came with a group) but upon arrival, upgrades were not available since the hotel was fully booked. BEWARE if you book your wedding here that this is a possibility. Really, the rooms were depressingly small, cramped and dark for the entire party of wedding attendees.

The Thai restaurant on the island across the bay is really nice and worth going to, and the island is quite beautiful.

In conclusion, I would probably not go back to this Resort, and I don't think I can recommend it. However, if your friends are already going (as ours were).... it's fine.

Room Tip: we were in the same building as check in, with a room overlooking the driveway. ask for a room someplace else!
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank DCDoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 22, 2011

My wife and I stayed here Dec. 04-11 and had a marvelous time. Out room had a swim up pool which was nice and also beautiful and the staff was very freindly and attentive. Our room was fantastic and also came with a butler(s), hello Curtis & Philip S., and in our estimation this service was worth every penny, especially if you have not been to the property before. The butler made all of our dinner reservations, set us up at the beach in the mornings (with a cooler) and kept the bar well stocked in our room.

A word about the restaurants. We dined at all six of them and found the menus extensive, the food preparation and quality above average and the service impeccable. We stuck with the house wines but there are upgraded chef wine selections available for an extra charge.

The property itself is absolutely gorgeous and very well maintained. The island and restaurant just offshore(300 m) is very unique and the whole lagoon is protected by a reef which makes for some very good swimming conditions. A few of the other reviews here mention the presence of stray cats and I must say we saw six (I counted) during the week two of which acted as if they were pets.

Overall we rate this property as excellent and we will definitely be going back.

Bill & Diane
Lake Jackson, TX
USA

Room Tip: Rooms in the Clarence building are spectacular with a garden view.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank WDT48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 20, 2011

We had the most wonderful time here. I have special dietary need and the chefs did everything within their power to ensure my needs were met and they did it all with a smile. My husband eats everything and he said the food was the best he has had at any resort and we have been to many resorts. The specialty restaurants are really specialty restaurants. They are authentic.

The entertainment staff are excellent. They work very hard to please the guests and they welcome feedback.

The beach is not very long, there's one main beach and three smaller ones. We swam every morning and evening, no problem. The water is very clear and beautiful.

The rooms are nice and clean.

The staff are willing to do whatever it takes to please the guests.

This resort is close to the airport so you do see and hear the planes. However, it is not a distraction as the planes fly high. I rated location as '4' simply because it's near the airport. I don't like a noisy resort and the planes did not bother me at all.

This was really like our second home, very, very comfortable.

Room Tip: All the rooms are very well kept. It depends on the location the guest wants. You can get beach front, ocean view, pool view. We were closer to the beach - ocean view and it was very private and quiet. I saw pool view and that was very quiet too.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank HELLO3047
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Nice resort overall and nice experience. The staff was excellent and the grounds were very nice. My only complaint it they talked us into upgrading to a concierge room that was supposed to be a panoramic Ocean view and walk out to the beach. You could only see the ocean by standing in 1 corner and leaning against the sliding door. Very misleading. After check in the concierge service pretty much disappeared. The experience might have been a 5 had we stayed with our original reservation and not spent the extra for nothing

Room Tip: If you pay for the Ocean view rooms, insist that your room has an actual Ocean view.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank RandyGilbert_Arizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 19, 2011

I must take a few minutes to let you all know that we had a great time at this resort! Everything was just right with the resort and staff. The wind on the other hand was a little disappointing but not the resorts fault :) I would like to send out a THANK YOU ! to the best play-maker staff we have encountered thus far. Judy/Skye, Theo, Hollywood, Ginger, Shenqic (spelling is not right) . They made the week so much fun so much to do and make us feel like family. With out staff like these our trip may have gotten a little boring. I still can not believe Ginger got hubby on stage for a dance to be remembered. Choc. Skye you know!!!!! We will defiantly put you on our return list. Thanks again

Room Tip: We were upgraded from the Caenarvon building to the Kensington building and it was so much better having the ocean view from our room we could check out the wave action before even leaving our room
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank LucyLurk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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