Sandals Montego Bay

4.5 star rating

This hotel is rated between 4 and 5 stars. 4 star - Quality accommodation with a variety of facilities and services. 5 star - Exceptional accommodation with superior facilities and services.

    What to expect (based on 7315 reviews):

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-4.5

    Location

    Location-4.5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4.5

    Service

    Service-4.5

    Value

    Value-4

    5 most recent TripAdvisor reviews:

    Vacation was so nice we did it twice - back after 7 weeks

    Reviewed by 36caric() on Apr 15, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    We just returned from our second trip to Sandals Montego Bay in the last two months. We first visited in February 2021 and returned in April. We travel frequently (as frequently as possible the last year) and are always ready to go home after 4 nights. That was not the case on our first trip to Montego Bay. I feel like we learned everything we needed to the first trip so we didn't make the same "mistakes" the second time a really just enjoyed it. The main reason we returned so quickly is that I spent a good chunk of my time the first trip getting certified to dive, and I was looking forward to the socializing and relaxing parts of sandals too. So, we returned. I want to give as much helpful info as possible in one spot; we spent hours researching and reading reviews to "do it right" and each review touched on one or two things. Quick Takeaways: -If you have a butler ask them to get you a palapa/cabana on the beach the day you arrive for the whole week -let them know what you prefer in the cooler on the beach -ask your butler for the lobster lunch (at least 24 hours in advance) -ask how far the ride is for the excursion you want before you book it. If you can arrange a private car/cab ride for them I'd suggest it so you can come and go as you please -BRING CASH. There is no ATM on the resort, and money does speak. It's very difficult to locate an ATM that doesn't have a long line that also has USD. You can put everything on your room, but you'll want cash for tipping. - The no tipping policy-- is in name only. It's not required, and is in fact "discouraged" on the website. That's where the discouragement ends, and we were fine with that. Tip your butlers for sure. We followed the same philosophy we do at home, and it tended to work out for us. We didn't tip every person we talked to, but we definitely tipped a lot of them. Drivers, servers, misc staff, bartenders, etc. - Club Mobay was a waste for us. - We signed a waiver to stay later than the transfer time assigned for checkout. They try to send you back to the airport 3 hours early. Both times we left we left for the airport an hour and 45 minutes early and walked right in, and still had an hour+ to kill inside a very quiet, very boring, very warm airport. - pack 2x the amount of sunscreen you expect to need. It's $30 for the smallest size bottle in the gift shop. -If you want super easy pictures, there is almost always a sandals photographer around. But they aren't cheap. At the end of the trip you can buy any pictures you want. We ended up buying 5 and it was $100. - If you think you might want to go back in the next 3 years to any sandals, book it while you're there. You'll get the biggest savings this way. Go see Michelle at the loyalty center. She took care of us. -The entire time we were on both trips, the staff at sandals made everything that much more enjoyable. Everyone was so friendly, so positive, and so welcoming. We can't wait to return. In depth experience: 1- Airport arrival: 1st trip arrived on a Wednesday around 1pm and airport was easy. Customs and Immigration didn't take too long, but we don't check bags to avoid lengthy delays. 2nd trip we decided to use Club Mobay after reading reviews and wanting to ensure with resorts upping their capacity that we would get through quickly. WHAT A MISTAKE. It took us three times as long to go through the "fast lane" Club Mobay because they only had 2 immigration officers working the desks. The 'regular' line kept moving and had 15-20 officers. 2- Sandals lounge; at airport - both trips we did a butler room so we had a private transfer. The first trip we waited about 15 minutes for our car and the 2nd we didn't even have time to get a beer. I'd say expect a 5-15 minute wait for the transfer. The friendly faces started at the airport lounge and continued throughout the trip. 3- Check-in- I'm not sure there is actually a purpose of "checking in on your phone". The first time we checked in on our sandals app and ended up being double charged for the $400 deposit. The second time we didn't use the app and had the same check in experience only we didn't get double charged. As soon as we arrived we were greeted and taken to the club sandals lounge. We were lucky our rooms were available as soon as we arrived both times, so our butlers came to get us and get us settled right away. 4- Butlers - I can only speak to the butlers we had, but OShane and Rajiv were wonderful. We aren't very needy people - we didn't want to be escorted to dinner or really waited on, we were more worried about having a palapa for shade on the beach every day and reservations for dinner at night. Some people used their butlers for more, but we really just liked catching up with ours here and there. We were lucky enough to get the same butlers for both trips, so it really was like "coming home." *If you are an early riser, depending on the week, I think you'll be ok without a butler in securing a shaded space on the beach. We were up around 6:30 every day and there were seats available. Raj and Oshane made sure we were in a great spot on the beach, with a stocked cooler, and zero worries. 5- Beach and Pool- If you want to sit in the pool all day and swim up to a bar, don't come here. Otherwise, come here. The layout of the resort is perfect, spread along the beach. There is hardly a bad view anywhere on the resort that I found. The beach is private so we didn't have to deal with vendors, left our stuff on the chairs whenever we went anywhere, and had zero worries sun up to sun down. 6- Rooms: We preferred the beachfront honeymoon 1 bedroom butler suite with tranquility tub because the location was perfect: directly on the beach. On our second trip we booked the beachfront oversized butler villa suite. When we arrived at the room we immediately agreed it was entirely too dark, outdated, small windows, and didn't give us the same great feeling we had in the other room, so we upgraded back to the beachfront honeymoon 1 bedroom butler suite. It was excellent. 7-Food and Drink: At this point we've eaten at all the restaurants and have very little to complain about. The food is what is expected at a resort this size, nothing over the top to write home about, nothing that was outrageously lacking. We chose to have breakfast by room service every morning on the balcony or on the beach (hang order on door night before). It always arrived exactly at the time we requested. They were also very accommodating to requests that weren't "on the menu" for basic things like scrambled eggs, waffles, etc. The returning guests dinner was nice, but I don't know if it's always as packed or just because it was the week after reunion week, but it took FOREVER. I'd skip Tokyo Joes and do Bayside or Soy for dinner twice if you have enough time. Lengthy waits for food were common we found at La Cucina and the Oleander room as well. We preferred to have lunch from Dinos (pizza) or the Mariner (fish sandwiches, quesadillas, etc) every day because it was easy, fast-ish (nothing is really fast there, everyone is definitely on island time) and convenient, being right on the beach. Drinks are all about the same. A fruity rum drink is a fruity rum drink and it's hard to mess up. Bring your own tumbler (or buy one in the git shop for $40) and ask them to make your drinks in there. Saves trips and keeps the drinks cold. 8- Entertainment: The playmakers/entertainment staff really are fantastic here. We played beach volleyball a few days, got pulled into a dance lesson on the beach and enjoyed their nightly shows. There has been a curfew on the island so I was told that has impacted what they do at night, but I couldn't tell. Some of those girls can SANG! 9- Diving - I know, we were told people don't come to Jamiaca to dive. I read all the reviews. But I wasn't going anywhere to dive. In fact, prior to our first trip, I was terrified of the water, but my better half is certified and was registering to dive when we met Doc at the Dive shop. He encouraged me to at least give it a try in the pool and if I hated it I'd never have to revisit the idea again. 4 days later I had my Scuba cert, with plans to continue to dive (I dove 3 days on the second trip, too). I'm not crazy about the idea of swimming around with sharks, so the calm waters in Jamiaca and the caverns and whitehouse reef dive sites were perfect for me. I also had a blast watching other far more experienced divers hunt for lion fish. Diving was a huge part of both of our trips, and the dive team at Montego Bay made it memorable and easy. Valentine (Termi), Doc, Rodlin, McKnight, Captain, and the women that work in the dive shop are some of the greatest people i've had the privilege to meet. 10- Other stuff: We always work a little bit on vacation. This was difficult at Sandals Montego Bay because the wifi is spotty at best. I know most don't come to Jamaica to work, but we had a few conference calls we couldn't miss. It wasn't a deal breaker though. We like to fall asleep/unwind with something easy on TV at night and that was very limited as they don't have many options for channels. Again, I don't know anyone that goes on vacation and watches TV, but it is worth noting. We didn't stay out late many nights or really 'burn it down' since we were getting up to dive each morning, but there are plenty of couples that do. I think this resort does a really good job at catering to both crowds. It was also a good mix of ages. We're in our thirties and were far from the the youngest or the oldest. We weren't the most boring and weren't the wildest. We are firmly in the middle somewhere and that's why we loved Mobay so much. Excursions: Unless you enjoy spending an hour+ on a crowded bus and then stand around waiting for your excursion at a very "spring break style" location, I'd recommend staying away from any of the excursions that go to Chuuka. While we loved the ATV tour, it was 45 minutes and we were stuck at the location an hour before and an hour after, with an hour+ on each side for the travel, we lost almost a full day on the resort. We did get to see parts of Jamaica we wouldn't have otherwise, though, and if you are there for 7 days, you might be ready for a day of exploring. Everyone we talked to loved the Island Routes Cruises. They go out every day so you can definitely work one in to your trip. and also, BRING CASH. Cannot say that enough.

    Individual ratings:

    Cleanliness

    Cleanliness-5

    Rooms

    Rooms-4

    Service

    Service-5

    Worst first impression EVER

    Reviewed by Thatguy4200(Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina) on Apr 15, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			2
			 out of 5

    Outside of Jerome the gentleman that took our bags to our room and gave us a quick tour and arranged transportation, and the captain of our personal boat excursion, the customer service was awful. You spend $6000 on a week at an all inclusive place and would expect to have stellar service but not the case. It wasn’t until we took the shuttle to the other Sandals with the private isle did we know what it was like to not feel like a bother, a burden and a ghost in most cases. Getting weak drinks was a hassle. Had to hunt down water and coffee every single afternoon because they were not stocked. Beautiful place and decent food but obviously something going on with management with so many unhappy crew.

    (Insert all great cliches here)

    Reviewed by L2157YPchristianh(Jacksonville, Florida) on Apr 14, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			5
			 out of 5

    This was by far the best trip we’ve taken in a long time. And although the first room we booked wasn’t to our liking, sandals made sure to upgrade us immediately without hesitation. Good food, great beach activities and an entertainment team that really puts there heart into it, we cannot think of a negative thing to say about this place. Would definitely come back and would furthermore recommend to anyone thinking about traveling soon. If you decide to eat out at Tokyo joes, ask for Taija!! Def one of the best. And when you’re chilling on the beach, check for ceressa! So genuine and kind and made our trip so enjoyable. No I’m not a robot and no sandals did not pay me for this review.

    First Visit to Jamaica

    Reviewed by BrotherDerrick(Springfield, Massachusetts) on Apr 14, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			3
			 out of 5

    I had very high expectations from Sandals because of its reputation and that fact that it seems to be the go to destination resort on game shows. I have to say that I was a little disappointed. Our room was very nice with a beautiful view of the swim out pool and the ocean, the resort was not as big as I thought it would be and the staff not as friendly and entreating as other resorts We have been to in Mexico and the DR. The thing more than anything else that would prevent me from booking there again would be the staff. The customer service that leave you with joy anticipating your next stay just wasn’t there for us. Although there was a couple of shining stars. My favorite place to eat was the Jerk Shack. My favorite place to hang out and watch the water was the Latitudes bar on the water. That was an awesome place to just chill all afternoon. COVID protocols were not that good in my opinion only based on the fact that they moved the Karaoke from the big main room after the evening show to a small concierge room which was impossible for social distancing. Overall the trip was good but below expectations. It has taken me some time to right this review but pin the process of planning my next trip to the Dominican Republic I remembered that I hadn’t written this one yet. I guess I was now wowed at all enough to be motivated to write a review while at the same time not discouraged enough to write one either

    Beach, Ammenities, Butlers, A1. Food HORRIBLE

    Reviewed by Kball7() on Apr 12, 2021

    		
			TripAdvisor users rated this property 
			4
			 out of 5

    This is just my humble opinion. I am a regular with Sandals. Currently staying on property for another four days, The landscape is superb, Butlers amazing, amenities top notch, rooms are above average. The food though is absolutely bad. I would rather eat at Chilis than here. We have been to Oleanders, Tokyo Joes, Cucina Romana, and Butches. I have to rate all these at a 2 star at best. I believe what it boils (pun) down to is, there is absolutely zero quality control. Butches is a new steak house boasting all these great choices. My wife and I opted for the prime rib. The prime rib was brought to us with that dark beautiful crust surrounding the meat. The prime rib was relatively luke warm and we were the first ones in for the night. The bark was completely inedible. This is no exaggeration, I literally could not cut through the meat with the knife I was given, When I was done it literally looked like Tartare on my plate. I had to leave so much behind that we went to another quick food place. The Italian Cucina is was extremely bland. You would think they would at least boil the pasta in salt water. If a true measure of a chef is based on the customer using salt and pepper then by this point in my trip I would say every single one should be extremely in(salted) Sorry could not pass that one up. My wife had to request the same side dish twice because the food was cold when we received it. Tokyo Joes was another bland affair. Just lack lustered by every means of the way. Now here is the interesting one. My wife and I decided that we were going to partake in a bit of the tropical drinks while here. I must preference this with normally we have about 3 drinks a year. So it should not take either of use any time to feel well "good". By the sixth drink each one would think we would be a bit buzzed. Nope. We are both questioning what they are using. My thought is this. They try to dazzle you with a smile and talk to draw your attention away from the pour. I believe they use a VERY watered down version of the first pour. They then add all the tropical stuff in front of you and add a very little rum at the top of the drink so your nose inhales it. Bottom line is Sandals sells itself as a premium high end travel resort. The put their food as a 5 star dining experience. It is smoke and mirrors and they do not live up to the billing. You are charged almost double to triple more than the other all inclusive resorts. At this point this is just an okay experience for $5500 for a week.

    Individual ratings:

    Location

    Location-5

    Service

    Service-5

    Value

    Value-3