My visit to the Sandals resorts on Jamaica left me with the following new knowledge: every Sandals is an entirely different experience. Sure, there are some commonalities: 5 Star Global Gourmet Dining in a variety of a-la-carte restaurants; unlimited top-shelf beverages; unlimited land and water sports, including motorized water sports; luxurious rooms and suites; beautiful settings, beaches, and pool areas, and friendly attentive customer service. But beyond those vacation elements, the feel of each resort is completely different. Some are large and spread out; others are more compact and intimate. Some are bustling with activity and the fun doesn’t stop; others are more tranquil and relaxing. Some focus on the beach, while others have not only lovely ocean views but also tropical gardens and private spaces – indoor and out.
Sandals Royal Caribbean is a great choice for those looking for a little of everything. This was my home base for visiting the three Sandals Resorts in Montego Bay. The resort itself is compact and intimate, yet it has all the features and amenities you need, want and expect for a dream vacation, including 8 restaurant options.
There’s a decidedly British colonial feel, yet it’s very Caribbean as well as a bit of southeast asian. Among this resort’s 5 bars is the Cricketer’s Pub, authentic and British. Tea is served daily in the tea room. The hotel rooms are all named after Castles; I stayed in the Balmoral building, in a Royal One Bedroom Butler Suite (though I didn’t have Butler service – and didn’t have time to enjoy it if I’d had it!). But the room was spacious and comfortable, with a modern bathroom, lovely separate living room, and a small patio looking at the gardens, pool and the beach beyond the pool. There’s 24 different types of rooms and suites at this resort, so whether you’re looking for beachfront, swim-up, or a private tranquility soaking tub on the patio; room, club-level or butler service – there’s sure to be the perfect accommodation for you. And what REALLY sets this resort apart from other resorts – Sandals or otherwise – is the private island with it’s most recent new accommodations.
Take the Dragon Boat to the island where every guest can play on the secluded private beach, soak at the whirlpool and pool with swim-up bar, be pampered with a massage in one of the spa cabanas, or find entertainment and dining at the Royal Thai restaurant. Unfortunately, while I was there we couldn’t get to the island to enjoy these amenities, because of construction. But Sandals has now opened the island and it’s new South-Pacific style luxury overwater bungalows. These come complete with Butler service from the moment you clear customs at the MoBay airport and are the stuff of vacation dreams. Who hasn’t seen pictures of Bora Bora and envisioned themselves swimming off the deck of their private overwater bungalow? These offer that same sort of private paradise, but with a much shorter plane ride and it’s all-inclusive! The first 5 – each an 1800 square foot villa – just opened, and are booked through the summer of 2018! Another 12 – these a “mere” 800 square feet each – are due to open in February 2017, and remarkably, there’s still some availability next year!
If all this isn’t enough, in Montego Bay, Sandals offers 3 times the fun with their “stay at one – play at all” policy – including complimentary transportation between their 3 Montego Bay resorts – Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean, and Sandals Inn. Transportation’s also included to and from the airport.
Here’s a brief video I made during my stay at Sandals Royal Caribbean.