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“Jamaican Honeymoon”

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Sandals Montego Bay
Ranked #8 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 June 2012

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Sandals Montego Bay from May 20-26. While the weather for the first half of the trip was overcast, we still had a blast relaxing and playing at the resort.
Arrival:
We arrived in Montego Bay and quickly made our way through immigration and customs. We retrieved our luggage and made our way to the Sandals lounge at the airport. After confirming our reservation, we were told the airport porters and shuttle drivers were not Sandals employees. No big deal as I customarily tip those individuals always. We entered the lounge and had enough time to grab a Red Stripe and quickly look around. Off to the resort we go.

Room:
Upon arrival at the resort, we were told to follow someone to check in. Well the person took us to the Butler lounge. We had booked concierge level. We were taken to the correct lounge to proceed with our check in. Concierge and Butler level do not use the front desk. Our room was ready, so the concierge escorted us to our room. We had booked a 1st floor concierge beach front walk out room. The concierge took us to a 3rd floor room. Before complaining we wanted to see if the room would suite us. We looked outside on the balcony, and we had a great view of the ocean. Below us were the basketball court, volleyball court, beach bar, and then the ocean. We would not have this view on the first floor. We decided to keep it. The room was small but comfy. We had a liquor cabinet (rum, vodka, gin and wine) and refrigerator full of drinks, juices and Red Stripe. Our room attendant Jennifer was very sweet and did a great job. They would come to your room 3 times a day if you wanted. There was a sign to hang on the door that either said PLEASE CLEAN or DO NOT DISTURB. My only complaints on the room were minimal. The bathroom door was a sliding door and was kind of cheap. It looked more like a piece of wood than a door. Also, if we booked a 1st floor room, how is it possible we were taken to a 3rd floor?

Resort, Food, and Drink:
The resort was very nice. I was impressed with how clean it was. No garbage lying around anyplace. It was decorated nicely and the landscaping was gorgeous. There are all kinds of tropical plants all over the place. Everyone we came across was very pleasant. The bar service was hit or miss. We did frequent all 3 bars. The Beach bar was by far the fastest. The piano bar was next. The main bar was always slow no matter when we visited it or how crowded it was. Drinks were definitely plenty strong. We especially liked the beach drink service. It was great sitting on the beach while someone brought your drinks from the bar. We visited the Bayside for the buffet, Cucina Romana, Stewfish, Tokyo Joe’s, and the Royal Thai at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Each one served excellent food. For those who complain about the food, why do you even go on vacation? I consider myself a picky eater, and I always had a wonderful meal with plenty to choose from. Even the breakfast buffet at the Bayside was good. We especially liked the beachside grill and pizzeria for lunch. We tried the pizza, jerk chicken, nachos, and quesadillas. While it is true several airplanes a day did fly right over the resort, it did not bother us at all. The earliest flight was around 8am with the latest around 8pm.


Activities:
There are plenty of activities for everyone. You can be as involved as you want. We snorkeled, kayaked, and visited the spa. Also they have many different games to play to win prizes. We played bingo and won Sandals necklaces, on Casino Night we played blackjack for raffle tickets and won a Jamaica beach bag, hat, and earrings. There is also beach volleyball, ping pong or billiards tournaments, and many other activities. The Playmakers do a good job making things interesting. We especially enjoyed playing bingo with Hartlon.

Overall, we really enjoyed our week at Sandals Montego Bay. After reading some of the reviews I was really not sure what to expect. Some of the people that complain would not be happy anyplace. A definite must is to get the daily listing of activities and restaurant times each morning. We would definitely recommend friends and family to visit Sandals Montego Bay.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,105 - 3,109 of 5,501 reviews

Reviewed 1 June 2012

My wife and I went for a week honeymoon at Montego Bay we had an excellent time. The entire staff was great, the resort was clean and it wasn't overly crowded. It was a nice relaxing time away from our hussle and bussle of real life. We both want to go back. Our butler's Craig and Dwayne were awesome as well. *The Marsh's

Room Tip: I would suggest a room with a balcony, there is always a nice breeze and sitting on our balcony in t...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2012

We loved Sandals Montego Bay! It was a quick trip from the airport to the resort, which was great! We arrive at 10am and got in to our suite within and hour. The rooms are very nice - like most other Saldals resort rooms. The fridge was stocked and so was the bar in the room! We were greeted by our butler (Nasha) and she showed us around the resort. I noticed the resort had only two, very small, pools. Figured we would wait and see how that worked out. We spent the first night in the pool with the swim up bar and it was a lot of fun! The drinks and the bartenders were great and the music was good. Only complaint was that the pools are really small and the water in the pool with the swim up bar was very cloudy. We were here for six days and it was like that every day. The beach was really nice - we had reserved seats under an umbrella and that was perfect. We took one of the pool rafts into the salt water one day and that got us a lot of grief from one of the staff members. He wasn't even nice about it - very rude. On our second day there was a power outage that lasted several hours and I'm still not sure what caused it. Three days in the resort had no running water and that lasted about half a day. There also may have been a bug problem because someone fumigated outside daily. A big billowing cloud of smoke was generated from the fumigation and it seemed like it was done at the least optimal time. Pluses: the food was great!! I didn't eat anything I didn't enjoy! The drinks were great and one of our two butlers (Nasha) was exceptional. The other - not so great. He acted like we were inconveniencing him. I have been to Ocho Rios, Negril and Montego Bay and Negril is by far the best. Montego Bay is second.

  • Stayed: May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank CityGirlAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2012

We just returned from Sandals Montego Bay, where we celebrated our honeymoon. While our experience was far from seamless, we had an awesome time and walked away quite satisfied.
We were scheduled to arrive Wednesday evening just past dinner time, but due to flight delays and the fact that American lost our luggage, by the time we checked in our "butler" had left for the day, and the 24 hour room service that was promised as part of the Butler package only offered a limited menu. We awoke the following morning to learn that my husband's shoes had been stolen from our private patio, so without luggage he had no shoes at all. We reported the theft but no one from management contacted us, which would have been a nice touch. Thankfully, a nice gentleman heard our tale of woe and lent my husband some shoes, so that we could go out to the restaurants, and some swim trunks.

Room/Butler service
We reserved the Ultra Honeymoon Deluxe suite, which comes with "butler service." We were upgraded to a Presidential suite, which came with a semi-private pool (it was shared with the suite next door.) The pool was a huge plus, but the patio around it was poorly maintained and the potted plants were dead or dying which was disappointing. That was truly the only part of the property that was not ship-shape and super well maintained, even given that the property is the oldest of the Sandals chain. We were very impressed with how clean and well-taken care of the grounds were; it was a small property (which we liked) but well laid out and beautiful. During the length of our stay, we could see people constantly working on keeping the property looking great.
Our room was really attractive and we enjoyed being there. It was also very well taken care of and very clean, and since we heard stories from folks at other resorts about bugs and the like, we were especially grateful we booked at this particular Sandals.
The butler service was, in our estimation, a huge plus and one of the things we enjoyed the most. Being working people, we aren't used to being pampered and we certainly were by our butlers TARRICK and RENAY. They were very pleasant to work with and whenever something arose (a brief power outage and a couple of hours without water due to a water main break), they did everything they could to make it right. We loved coming back to the room in the afternoon to a nice fruit plate, dessert or other special treat.
One of the things that Sandals does exceedingly well, in our estimation, is to create a romantic environment. I won't go into the specifics of the things that the butlers do because it's more fun if it's a surprise, but even with a heads up from reading Trip Advisor reviews, we still loved it!
We definitely felt that the butler service was a huge plus and worth the extra money!

Food
The food, on the other hand, left a bit to be desired. While it wasn't bad, it wasn't great either (of course, it may depend on what you compare it to.) We probably most enjoyed the Cucina Romano, both for the atmosphere, the view and the food. I guess we didn't have super high expectations so we weren't hugely disappointed, but by the end of our stay, I was craving something different.
One tip: we ate at the Stewfish our first night, right before sunset. We were seated right at the front, facing the water, which was lovely, however we had a major bug problem. They spray for mosquitos, so those weren't an issue, but apparently if you order crab, you are swarmed (and I do mean swarmed) by gnats. We eventually had them take the food away because the bugs were landing in our plates. The waiter mentioned that "Oh, yes, that's a problem. The bugs love the crab legs." Other diners with different entrees did not have that problem, that we could see, so we wished we had been warned. If they know this is an issue, just tell us. We ended up going to the buffet later.
We did, however, enjoy the staff of the various restaurants. They did an excellent job, specifically ROBERT (who served us in the Bayfront for breakfast and we saw in the Oleander Room as well.) He has such a genuine smile, and remembered that my husband's shoes had been stolen and mentioned it to us. The other person who particularly impressed us was OLEARY, who I believe was a manager. He sat down with us and asked us, point blank, what could be done differently to increase our experience -- and we felt that he genuinely wanted to know. That sort of openness and interest really impressed us.

Entertainment
We really enjoyed the entertainment team. There were several young people who were involved in the shows and daily activities. We specifically enjoyed JODIANN at the Black Jack table! They work hard to get people engaged and involved and if you allow yourself to be drawn in, it's really a lot of fun. The talent show event was fun, as was the entertainment for the Beach Party (which was unfortunately held inside due to rain.) I was awed by what great dancers the Playmakers are.

The beach
What can I say? It's lovely. . .smallish, but again, well maintained and kept very clean. The water color changed based on weather conditions but there times that we were stunned by the beautiful aqua and blue combinations. Our butler reserved a beach umbrella with four chairs for us, with a cooler stocked with whatever we wanted to drink, making our beach experience that much nicer. . . no running down to the beach first thing in the morning to stake out a spot.

So, long and short, we'd definitely go back. No place is perfect, but we had an awesome time and would return again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Waboof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2012

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Montego Bay Jamaica! We had a wonderful time after a few hiccups when we first arrived. A HUGE concern of mine was a little bit of false advertsing. We booked and were supposed to stay in the BayRoc Villa Honeymoon Oceanview Suite. We booked it because of the amazing bathroom that pictured. (I LOVE bubble baths, and the idea of having a nice open seperate shower). I had read reviews about this room prior to arrival stating that they bathroom was not anything close to being pictured as shown on line. I made sure I asked a specialist of Sandals before I went that we would indeed be getting what was shown on the website. The specialist replied "all rooms are exactly as shown on-line". Thinking I had squashed that issue, when we arrived low and behold our room had a less than spectacular bathroom with a beat up shower/tub combo. I was immediately upset by this because I one, had booked the room partially because of the nice bathroom, and two had specifically made it a point to ask a specialist. So naturally I felt very lied too, and it is false advertising. I told our butler (Odell) our concerns and at first he just kept saying this is the room you booked. After going back and forth a few times and explaining I knew it was the room I booked, and my problem was they lied about how the room actually looked on line he eventually called the manager. He did at one point say they had a lot of problems with that exact issue, and I knew they did too because of the past reviews. Anyway, we eventually got to speak with the manager and she said that only half the Bayroc Villa Honeymoon Suites have that bathroom, and you have to request it. She also said it was NOT false advertising which I strongly disagree with. No where on the website does it say that not all rooms have this bathroom, and point being I DID ask to make sure I had that bathroom. In the end she got us into a new room the next morning that had the GORGEOUS bathroom, and the rest of the trip was smooth sailing. The rooms do have some ants running around, but other wise they clean the room constantly and do cute little touches everyday!

The airport is a short drive away, as is the Royal Carribean Sandals resort. Some people had aproblem with the planes flying over, but my husband and I did not mind it one bit. They really do an amazing job of only having flights coming and going in the afternoon. The plane sound maybe lasts five seconds.

The food was pretty good at most places. The Oleander was delicious, Stew fish was amazing if you like seafood, and the Italian was great too. Breakfast was always the same thing, and for lunch you can do the buffet or the pizza/grill place was amazing. Our Butler sent us to dinner at the neighboring Sandals resort and we had a HORRIBLE experience. We did not like the other resort near as much as Montego Bay, the staff was near as friendly, and the mosquitos on that island we absolutely terrible. We missed the shuttle back to our resort by 5 minutes and the next one did not come until 9. The staff had no mercy and even though it is literally two miles from the other resort, they made us take a cab if we wanted to go back. Needless to say I was eaten alive by mosquitos and could not wait to get back to our resort.
Montego Bay compared to the other resorts. We heard horror stories from the other resorts about awful beaches, run down buildings, and horrible staff that we did not leave Montego Bay. We found a lot of people stayed at the other two resorts and would come spend the day at Montego Bay.

Our favorite part of Montego Bay were the PlayMakers. Especially Nikki, Hartlon, and Orando. They all had infectious personatlities and got us involved in fun activities we normally wouldn't have. Orando was a new employee but you couldn't tell. They were all amazing dancers, and really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and let us in to their culture. Some of the other playmakers seemed very snooty and shut off. There are different activities for every day of the week that allow you to win prizes, and really keep you busy if the weather is gloomy.
We didn't do any excursions because we found plenty to do on the resort, but we heard there were some GREAT ones. We enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, and the other water activities that were included. You do have to pay 80 dollars before they allow you to Scuba dive. The reefs are more impressive than I thought they would be, and I have scuba dove in the Great Barrier reef, and think it held some comparison. We saw lots of sting rays and beautiful fish.

As far as the Butler service goes, we loved it, especially for it being our first trip. They allow you to get primo spots on the beach, the cater to your every request, and really do all the thinking and planning so you can completely relax. I don't think we would do it again for a normal vacation, just because we rarely needed them. Trudy also had an absolutely infectious personality also that felt genuine. She was much more personal than our other butler and really made our experience special.
Few other pointers, they have photographers everywhere and give every guest a "complimentary" photo shoot. However they take great pics, but they charge you 16 bucks for ONE picture if you want to buy them. Rip off. The drinks are very strong, and they will attempt to make you whatever you want. However, we noticed that each bartender made them a little differently and you never really got the same drink twice. Consistancy is bad, but alcohol is good :). The Spa was great just unbelieveably over priced. The receptionist in there was a little pushy too about upselling everything.

Overall it was the perfect honeymoon, and I would HIGHLY recommend Sandals Montego Bay over the other resorts in Jamaica. As soon as we have the money we will surely return. Bring lots of sunscreen and bug spray :)

Room Tip: All the Bayroc Villas are beautiful and nestled away from all the hustle n bustle. Everything quiets...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Sara D
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

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 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in Montego Bay
#7 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 Luxury Hotel in Montego Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range: $717 - $2,131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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