Sunday, August 13, 2017

Montego Bay Jamaica Sandals Resort

We had a wonderful time at Sandals Montego Bay and heartily recommend it to anyone looking for an escape to one of the most fantastic islands in the Caribbean. We heard such great things about Sandals so we booked it for our honeymoon. We got a room in the Oleander building so we were in the perfect location for all the entertainment. The activities shack was steps from our room and Bayside was right below us for breakfast every morning. Also the cricketer was steps away from us so we didn't have to stumble too far back to our room!

Some times it is tough to select an all inclusive as EVERYTHING looks fantastic from a brochure or website. However, I am THRILLED to say that Sandals is exactly what you are seeing in the brochure. One of the other elements that makes Sandals romantic getaway special is that you can stay at one and play at all.  This gives you even more options for food, bars, beaches, and entertainment. With Montego Bay they have shuttles that run to Royal Caribbean and Carlyle Inn. We didn't have time to go to Carlyle Inn, but loved going to Royal Caribbean too.

Royal Caribbean Private Island and Thai restaurant.

One of the few downsides of this resort for some is that the International airport is literally RIGHT NEXT TO the resort. This means that at certain times of the day you will have jet aircraft taking off and landing almost directly over the resort. To me this was honestly not a big issue but was absolutely noticeable the first few times. If you want a quiet resort, this is not your best option.
In fact, Sandals Montego Bay is a pretty active resort that has a ton of stuff going on. The up side of the proximity though is that you will be at the resort in minutes vs a long drive for their other properties in Jamaica.

At Sandals, their slogan is "Luxury Included" and that means activities like sailing, aquatrikes, tubing, snorkeling, hobi cats, canoes / kayaks, and water tubing are all part of the package.'
Glass Bottom Boat

They also include scuba diving! This stars with an introductory resort program (if you aren't certified) so you can get acclimated and go diving the very next day for dives up to 30 feet. This is not included in the price but can be done for $90 a person. If you are already certified, you can dive up to twice per day.

We spent most our days at the swim up bar and had fun with the bartenders playing drinking games in the pool and making a lot of new friends. When we were there, it was packed shoulder to shoulder, so our "Pro Tip" is that there is a small canal that wraps around to the other side of the bar and you can hang out there in private and the bartenders will periodically swing over to see if you need anything. This gives you a bit of privacy.

I don't know why other resorts we have visited simply can't match Sandals drinks. Maybe it is the Appleton Estate rum, maybe it is the super friendly service, but Sandals bar tenders are simply TOP NOTCH. They also do a good job of blending the drinks so you don't even taste the liquor.
 Bob Marley shot, be prepared it's very minty.
Rainbow shots, you'll be very popular if you order this in the Cricketer or you don't have to share. :)

Dining choices include:
Bayside: Buffet Style for Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Oleander Room: Refined Jamaican dishes with white-glove service for dinner only.
Cucina Romana: Authentic Italian favorites.
Tokyo Jo's: Stir fried dishes prepared in front of you.
Stewfish: Seafood restaurant on the beach with authentic Jamaican and Caribbean dishes.
Cricketer's Pint: Traditional English pub fare. Open for lunch and dinner daily, plus Late Night Snacks.
Dino's Pizzeria: Brick oven pizza. Available for lunch daily.
Mariners: Beach-side grill, offers wraps, salads, grilled fish, and burgers. Open daily for lunch.
Jerk Shack: Jerk chicken, wraps, burgers. Open for lunch and late night snacks.
You also have the exchange privileges so you can have dinner over at Royal Caribbean or Carlyle Inn.

Desserts at Oleander's

Sandals staff is ultimately what makes this resort special and with all the stuff that has changed in the world over the past decade, that element of service with a smile hasn't changed at all. We feel the service we received from the bartenders and staff is TOP NOTCH compared to service we get from restaurants in the states. All the staff is really friendly and make you feel like family and that you are home as you are there. From the moment you are greeted with cold wet towels they say "Welcome Home". We will be back for sure and excited to experience another Sandals resort.

Have you been to a Sandals resort? Which is your favorite?

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