21 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
way too close to airport
"From the moment we pulled into the drive of this resort, my husband and I both realized we had been duped. This resort literally sits right next to the airport runway. The planes taking off are so loud that you canât even speak to the person next to you. Do yourself a favor, and spend your time and money at another resort as you wonât have any peace and quiet from 6:00 am when planes begin taking off. Below are additional pros and cons: Pros: - Most employees are extremely nice and helpful. But I donât think this is truly a reflection of Sandals training as all Jamaican people we met both on and off the resort were welcoming and helpful. - Grounds are well-maintained and beautiful. - Beach is beautiful with plenty of water equipment, chairs, and shade. - Plenty of bottled water is provided in the roomâs mini-fridge. Cons: - Sits directly next to airport runway. I have no idea why anyone would build an upscale resort right next to an airport runway or why anyone would want to stay here as there are plenty of other places to stay on the island. - Rooms are dated and AC doesnât work properly. My husband complained twice and asked to move to another room as all we did in our room was sweat. But we were told no other rooms were available. I find that hard to believe considering we were visiting during low season. Mold growing in bathroom and dirty rug in room. I wore my flip flops the entire time I was in the room as I was afraid to walk on the dirty carpet. Donât be fooled by pics you see on the web as the rooms donât actually look like this. - No air-conditioned main room for dining. The buffet dining is held in an open aired room. When my husband and I tried to eat our food in an air conditioned room next to the main dining room, we were told that we werenât allowed to eat in there. Even in restaurants that claim to have air conditioning, all you will do is sweat. It is so uncomfortable in their dining rooms during the summer that I often became nauseous. The best food you will get is at the beach side bar, but the bees are so prevalent down there that you run a chance of getting stung. - When you arrive at resort, you are escorted to one of the only adequately air conditioned rooms on the property and left there. No welcome drink, no explanation of how long you will be kept in the roomâ¦ After about 15 minutes, my husband went to the front desk to inquire about how long we would be kept in this room. The employee who greeted us was rude and embarrassed my husband for inquiring about this. I canât remember the employeeâs name. Finally we are taken to our room after about 30 minutes (I believe some people waited close to an hour). Our luggage didnât arrive in our room for 2 hours. - To get a nice room and excellent service from the moment you check in, you must pay for one of the most expensive rooms on the property. - Service at the Oleander restaurant is awful. It took 2 hours for them to serve us a 3 course meal. - After they pick-up your luggage for check out (which is done on their timetable, not yours) it is left unattended at the front of the hotel. We had no idea this was happening until we walked to the front to await our bus and found about 20 pieces of luggage just sitting there. I assume they had been there for a long time as they picked up our bags at 10:00 am but our bus was not scheduled until 12:00 pm. Bags could have been stolen or things placed in bags that people were not aware of. This is an unacceptable practice that I have never seen at any other hotel. I could go on, but I think you get the general idea. Bottom line, I would never stay at this resort again. It is way too expensive for what you get. "
- Travel date: 10th July 2016
Lower your expectations
"Sandals is absolutely terrific at advertising its many Caribbean resorts through endless television commercials and print advertisements. Execution and providing true high quality is quite another matter. During our stay at their flagship Montego Bay property we experienced: no hot water for the first few days that caused my wife to go to the spa facility for a hot shower one evening, and loss of the main room air conditioner for the last few days. For the latter, maintenance people came five times. For our high end suite on the beach there were no advertised robes and slippers. Some evenings there was turn down service, but not others. Food was perhaps the biggest disappointment. Do not expect high quality cheeses on the breakfast buffet, nor quality steaks, nor tasty roast beef, nor big size shrimps. Both the breakfast and lunch buffets were far below the quality experienced at other all inclusive resorts in Jamaica. Salads were disappointing. The dinners in the specialty restaurants both at this resort and the other nearby Sandals were unremarkable, fair but not great meals you might associate with a four or five star resort. The highly recommended cashew chicken dinner at the Thai restaurant did not have even one cashew. On the plus side, however, the alcoholic beverages in the room and at the bars and restaurants were good, and all the hotel workers were friendly and helpful. The two gems, food wise, were the pizza option in the beach area eatery and the cafe in the main building offering many ice creams and pastries, cookies and drinks. We were also disappointed in the much advertised butler service and were annoyed that we were expected to tip the butlers, even though some types of rooms came with the butler service automatically. There were a great many return guests like us who did not seem to be bothered by the various shortcomings we experienced. Our previous Sandals experiences were more positive. Based on many conversations, the answer appears that Sandals attracts a lot of people who have not traveled extensively, especially to luxury resorts. In other words, most customers seem to have either low expectations or no basis for judging quality or the absence of it. All that expensive advertising seems to work, but Sandals has chosen not to spend more money on higher quality food. Best to think of Sandals as the McDonaldâs of Caribbean resorts. Lastly, this resort sits right next to the airport runway and the sound of jets taking off is horrendous; there is also major construction going on with its own noise. After making a reservation be prepared for repeated annoying emails and phone calls trying to sell you extras."
- Travel date: 3rd December 2015
Worst Holiday Possible
"I just fell upon this site and was impressed with the honesty and accuracy of the reports. Unlike TripA which in general seems to give reports written by the resort owners. My stay at Sandals Montego Bay, was the worst holiday experience possible. My partner and I had booked the holiday as long awaited treat. We both work in stressful roles within the Military and Emergency Services. What was hoped for was a period of total relation, luxury and special time. What we got was stress, disappointment and anger. It went wrong from arrival at Montego Bay airport. On meeting with the resort rep, I was told that we were not on the list of guests. No attempt was made to clarify the situation. Instead we told to sit and wait. Eventually, I had enough and told the rep what I needed to happen. Eventually we were taken to the hotel. On my first morning, I attempted to leave the hotel and go for a run along the beach. The security guards response to preventing me, was more akin to a detention center than a luxury resort. The main failure of the holiday is that we did not realize on booking that this type of resort is targeted all most totally at the American market. For the Americans, this is a short haul destination. When you then provide limitless mediocre alcohol, the direct result is 18-30 holiday for 50 year old Americans. On one occasion my partner and I had to provide emergency first aid to a 52 year old American woman, with pre-existing chronic medical conditions who collapsed into unconsciousness following heavy drinking from 10:00 am at a hotel event. I wont repeat the observations from other travelers relating to the quality of the food. It was at best ok. The real disappointment was that it was not possible to book into a number of resort restaurants. The highlight of our holiday was when we spent a whole day out, driving around the island on our own. In conclusion, the images in the glossy brochure bears no resemblance to reality. If you just want to drink limitless quantities of average booze surrounded by rowdy Americans, this is your place. If want something memorable for the right reasons, look else where. I have been to resorts all around the world and without doubt this was the most disappointing experience. There is so much more I could add but you would need a full day to read it. Summary Don't waste your money!"
- Travel date: 12th August 2015
Thanks for An Amazing Vacation
"My New Wife and I have just returned from Sandals Montego Bay and it was the best vacation we have ever had. It was our first time in Jamaica and Sandals did not disappoint. The Resort was Beautiful and had the most amazing Private Beach. It was lovely to be able to relax, swim in the beautiful Caribbean Sea and especially be left in Peace as there are no Beach Vendors insight. The rooms were a little dated but the location and View made up for this. Generally the food was great for an all inclusive and their was a great choice of restaurants and Bars. We loved the Asian food in Tokyo Joes and a Special Thank you to Scott the English manager at the cricketers Pub for being such a great host and making us really feel at home. There are lots of activities to do, our favourite was the Sunset Catamaran Cruise which we highly recommend. Their was plenty of activities to keep us entertained and we really enjoyed the end of evening shows. The Playmakers never seemed to stop and kept us amused the entire trip. This was our first all inclusive trip and we would recommend Sandals to Everyone, they won't disappoint"
- Travel date: 2nd June 2012
Total Ripoff sandals Royal Caribbean
"This is without dought the worst holiday resort we have ever been to , from its tatty falling apart wicker furniture in ALL of its restaurants to its BAD ATTITUDE always doing you a favour if they can be bothered staff this place is a made in Jamaica nightmare. Filthy falling apart sun beds pools with scum so thick you can write your name on it to rooms with dirty sheets and mold on the walls , taps which fall off in your had broken table legs and best of all A Virgin rep who is uncontactable for a hole week. Beach which is 75% cordoned off unless you have your own butler , enough disappointments to leave you in a daze only to be shocked back to the reality of this hell by the equally awful entertainment which can only be described as the worst of the worst ,couple this to elvis who was so rubbish he acutely had to explain who he was supposed to be and i think you should by now get the picture . In summery if I wonted to give the world an enema I would stick the nozzle in SANDALS ROYAL CARIBBEAN ."
- Travel date: 23rd October 2010
Everything i dreamt of and more
"From the moment we arrived at the resort, all our dreams were fulfilled, the welcoming smiles of the very friendly staff were warming and inviting, not to mention the ice cold towels we were given to cool ourselves down, along with the ice cold rum cocktails to wet our appetites and get us excited for what was to come. Check in was both quick and easy with no complications at all, to be honest the staff could not do enough for us. We were personally escorted to our room, which was Waterâs Edge Honeymoon Penthouse Concierge Room, WOW!!! Waiting for us was a chilled bottle of Champagne for us to keep the day going as hoped. The room was stunning, with a 4 poster bed as the centre piece, which was beautifully dressed in Caribbean designs. From the balcony we had a fantastic view of the Caribbean Sea, it was breathtaking with the sun shimmering through the palm trees the setting was just perfect. After relaxing by the pool before dinner, we participated in some pre dinner drinks before heading to the Oleander room for dinner, the setting was romantic but classy in an intimate table for 2, and the food was to die for, with a selection of meats and fish, the sword fish and lamb was scrumptious not to mention the champagne that washed it down! This restaurant was our favorite by far and entertained us a few evenings during our stay, although there were 6 other restaurants to sample too, including the Bayside Restaurant, which serves a selection of international dishes, and the Cucina Romana, were the pasta was fabulous. On our last evening we took the opportunity to go to Sandals Royal Caribbean, as the hotel offers free transfers to there and also to the Sandals Inn, we dined outside under the stars, the perfect setting for any couple. Well worth the visit! Our favorite evening entertainment had to be the Jamaican Experience, the band were fantastic and really go into the spirit of things, the atmosphere was brilliant, and when the music stopped we headed to the Cricket Pub, for our late night snack of burger and chips, very healthy! Not, but tasty. The whole experience of Sandals really was one to remember and we would have absolutely no hesitation at all in returning again, the staff made the whole thing a trip to remember and we in the UK could learn a few things about hospitality and how to treat guests as they certainly made it a trip special. Kay Somerville. "
- Travel date: 15th May 2009
Awesome Butlers made our trip unforgettable!
"For our 7 year anniversary, my awesome husband took me to Jamaica. We stayed at Sandals Montego Bay in a Bay Roc Ultra Luxury Honeymoon Beachfront Villa. This particular room included Butler service. Room Location & Butlers Our room was located at the far end of the property. It was nice and quiet, which was exactly what we were looking for. We were assigned two butlers (Andrea and Mykal) from 7am until 10pm every day and we were given a cell phone in order to contact our butlers for any of our wants or needs. Andrea and Mykal were phenomenal and went above and beyond to make our vacation memorable. For example, on the first night, I wrote out a list of spa services and tours that we would like to do on each day of our vacation. Mykal saw my list the next morning and started setting up all the listed items. I was floored by his attention to detail and his anticipation of our needs. It is the little things like this that will keep us returning to Sandals Montego Bay time and time again. Every night, Andrea or Mykal would make a towel animal or write a note out of flowers on our bed. It was exciting to see what they would come up with next. Restaurants We ate at the following restaurants and loved every one of them: The Oleander Room, Cucina Romana, Tokyo Joe's, The Bayside Restaurant, The Cricketer's Pub, Royal Thai (Sandals Royal Caribbean), and Le Jardinier (Sandals Royal Caribbean). Each night, our butler would set up a special table for us in the best location at each restaurant and would place flowers on our table. The food was incredible at each location. We could tell that the chefs take great pride in their cooking and attention to detail. Spa Services Each day, we took time to go to the spa. After our first experience, the spa personnel knew us the minute we walked in. The personnel made us feel like we were the only people that mattered and prepared tea or water for us upon our arrival. Each experience was incredible and each massage therapist was extremely skilled at the technique they were performing. Resort Appearance Sandals takes great pride in the look of their resort. The beach was raked each night and the entire resort was impeccable in appearance. Tours/Excursions We went on a shopping tour of Montego Bay with a guide from the hotel. This was a good experience and a great way to see Mobay. Our next tour was to Sandals Negril and to The Sands & The Caves to see the cliff diver and the sunset. Our tour guide was informative and the views were breathtaking. We hired a private driver (Yogi) for the day. He took us to Appleton Rum Estate, Y.S. Falls and the Black River Safari. In addition to driving, he told us the history of each area we were passing through. We would totally advise anyone to do this. The last day, we went on a canopy tour. What an incredible experience! The views were unmatched and it was a great bonding time. Well, that's about it. Start planning your own trip to Jamaica. No problem, mon! "
- Travel date: 2nd February 2009
My husband had quite a bad car crash jus...
"My husband had quite a bad car crash just before Christmas and I had booked this special sandals holiday for the two of us for a Christmas day present, a few weeks previous to his accident, so it felt more special to us because he had lived through this even though the doctor, had advised us to delay the holiday, we carried on. As soon as we turned the corner to the hotel I felt like crying. The beach was the tiniest and full of locals some were urinating on the beach, I did not see any holiday makers on the beach, the noise from the locals was unbearable night and day right into the early hours, they also sit outside calling you to buy cannabis or any thing else you fancy! The next day we spoke to a Canadian couple who had tried very hard to get a move, but they told them everywhere was full, they were not happy either! There are cars going up and down outside the hotel all day and into the early hours, honking and shouting the noise was awful. We had quite a lot of rain so I went to the fully equipped gym ha ha! One piece of cardio worked, I complained they, told me it would be sorted out, it was not in fact the whole thing wants sorting out! The breakfast there is quite good, as long as you donât mind sharing with the armed police, which are there for every meal time, there must be a reason for this. The evening meal is ok but donât do the Carlyle it is awful!! Cold being the worst. After this we went to other Sandals at Montego Bay, which was a bit better only just! But at Montego Bay the next day I was swimming in the sea in front of the hotel when you notice these little boats, and they call you to try and sell you cannabis/whisky/etc so you cannot even swim in peace. At the other resort called the royal, we were approached on the beach (observed by Sandals security) by four sellers did we want cannabis, it really is too much I for one do not do drugs and to keep getting hassled in sandals hotel and while you are swimming in the sea on sandals private land is just too much!! If you like cannabis you will be in heaven! The one good thing I will say for Sandals Inn the staff there are lovely, Be wary when walking up to the strip, they wait for you there as well, it is fine in the day but I would not go at night! Unless there are a lot of you. If you do go to Sandals Inn I would look at the 3d video. I did not know about this until I got back home, unfortunately, we did complain but all we were offered was 3 days free Sandals holiday without flights! So we cant do much with that. Also we went to Dunns River Falls which was brilliant well worth the visit."
- Travel date: 22nd March 2006
Our holiday in Montego Bay was absolutel...
"Our holiday in Montego Bay was absolutely wonderful, the Sandalsâ accommodation was top class; open terraces, fruit trees, the cleaning ladies would leave fresh hand picked flower heads on your bed and in the bathroom. There were five bars, one being a piano bar were everyone would sing along, all facilities were included in our holiday- snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and lots more. The staff were very very nice friendly pleasant people. Their motto â âno problemâ! The local people are also very nice, there was a free shuttle bus to take you to the other two Sandals hotels these ran every twenty mins and also various excursions (excluded from package). Sandals Montego bay has its own private beach which was gleaming white sand and the ocean was crystal clear like stepping into a warm bath! The food was amazing something for everyoneâs taste."
- Travel date: 31st July 2004
Best holiday ever. From day one it was s...
"Best holiday ever. From day one it was superb. Friendly staff that were so polite it was amazing! Everything you could hope for and more, a dream come true. The scuba diving and water sports are excellent and also the food and drinks, the rooms have sky TV, tea coffee and the room maid always added a little touch of their own which I wonât tell you about as it will give the game away. Lots of different cultures here but mostly from the USA. These yanks are both funny and polite to all but it makes it even better that you can have a sing song round the piano bar at 2:00 in the morning and nobody says boo to a goose as everyone is on the same wave length as you. The reps are great as the cannot do enough for you especially Donovan and Tony at the water sports. Thank you Jamaica it was a pleasure!"
- Travel date: 31st March 2004
"This was our first trip to Jamaica and first stay in an all-inclusive resort. Jamaica was very nice and exactly what I expected, but I cannot say the same for Sandals. 1. The resort is located on the airport grounds and we were unable to sleep or talk when the planes landed or took off. The windows shook. 2. The concierge did absolutely nothing for us no matter what we asked. (i.e. no room service, no dinner reservations, no tour pamphlets, etc.) 3. The check out time was 8 AM (I have never heard of this early of a check-out anywhere.) 4. The service was C-. I would give it a D but there were two nice/helpful people working there. 5. The food was C. Nothing was terrible but nothing was spectacular. It was edible. 6. We were unable to get 'reservations' at any of the restaraunts. They were all booked from the time we arrived until the time we left. We had to eat buffets every day. 7. The photos in their advertising are very misleading about the size of the resort. 8. The catamaran tour to Margaritaville was terrible. They did not take us to a good snorkelling area and were only allowed at Margaritaville for 30 min. 9. The town around the resort does not offer much in the way of shopping or entertainment. 10. The price is not comparable with the quality. There were some good things about Sandals: 1. Our room was very pretty. 2. The food was beautifully displayed. 3. There were many activities both in and out of the water to participate in. 4. The beach and water were nice. 5. There were nooks & crannies all over the resort for you and your loved one to find privacy. 6. The landscaping was lush and varied. 7. You never have to wait for a taxi at the resort because they have plenty. 8. The whole resort was well maintained with fresh paint and decorations (except for the couches in the main area) and clean. 9. They have FREE SCUBA diving and diving lessons if you aren't certified. 10. You can go to any of the other Jamaica Sandals and eat and visit for free. In summary, we will never stay in an all-inclusive resort again and we will probably never go back to Jamaica."
- Travel date: 2nd September 2003
wish i stayed home
"Just returned from sandals montego bay. To put the trip in a nutshell, if sandals offered me 5 nights free I would NOT GO.We booked 4 nights in the beachfront honeymoon gran luxe suite with concierge service.let's strart with the concierge service, what a complete waste of money, they do NOTHING i will repeat NOTHING. we got no reservations in any restaurant. no room service, we called and we were told it is not available. we asked the concierge about a tour and were told to see the tour desk. no easy check-in no easy check-out, it was not bad service there was NO service.The room we stayed in was nice,clean and well maintained however we made friends with a couple who booked a standard room and their room was identical, The food was okay standard buffet style i cannot tell you about their fine restaurants we were not able to obtain reservations.We went on one tour a catamaran ride from 3pm to 6pm, they took us to a dead reef to snorkel and look at rocks, then they took us to margarita ville for 30 minutes then back to the room, i wish i stayed in the room watching t.v. and all that crazy fun for 96.00.the resort itself is right next to the airport i mean right next to it. the first night i could not believe the planes flew so close and they were loud, however by our last night it was the highlight of our trip.The beach was nice and the water was pretty clear the beach bar was fun also. drugdealers come up to you in little kayaks while you are swimming and thank god for them, they made this trip bearable so hats off to all you little kayak paddleling drugdealers you saved the day.Finally the overall service and attitude of the staff was very disappointing.So if you have read this and you still want to subject yourself to this "resort" please do NOT upgrade your room and absolutly, positively, under no circumstance pay for the most insulting waste of money i have ever seen, the "concierge" service."
- Travel date: 1st September 2003
Top traveller tips for Sandals Montego Bay
"Don't hesitate to complain about problems with senior managers."
"Dont stay at Sandals EVER."
"Many of the restaurants need reservations so book in advance"
"Highley recommended especially for couples"
Sandals Montego Bay is also called
- sandals hotel montego bay
- montego bay sandals hotel
- sandal montego bay