Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by several staff members and offered a cool towel to freshen up. Hand sanitizing was also requested.
The staff wear masks everywhere, both indoors and out, but guests are only required to wear masks in enclosed indoor locations. Since the arrival area is open to the outdoors, we were able to remove our masks. It was so liberating!
There are 4 levels of room accommodations; Luxury; Club Level; Butler Level; and Love-Nest Butler Suites. There are several room categories within each level. Our room was a Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Junior Suite. Club Level suites have access to a Concierge and a Concierge Lounge, so we were escorted to the Concierge Lounge to begin the check-in process.
The Concierge Lounge is quite comfortable with 2 rooms to relax in, both offering snacks and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There are plenty of comfortable couches and chairs, big screen TV’s and tabletop chess games. The concierge staff is available to you each day until about 8 PM to answer questions and to make your reservations throughout your stay for dining, spa treatments, excursions, etc. The lounge is open until 10 PM for your use to just relax if you like.
When our concierge escorted us to our room it was sealed to assure us it had been completely sanitized. Inside our room was a placard showing all the touchpoint areas that have been sanitized and sealed.
Our room was amazing and the view was outstanding! Located on the 2nd floor, we were beachfront and had a spacious balcony with a bistro set and a 2 person Tranquility Soaking tub. There is even a drying rack on the balcony for wet bathing suits after spending the day on the beach or in the pools.
The room itself has a King bed, plenty of closet and storage space, a safe, a flat screen smart TV, a desk and overstuffed chair. There is a fully stocked bar and refrigerator. Shortly after we arrived, a staff member stopped by to ask what our requests were for daily stocking & replenishment of our bar and refrigerator. All of this is included in your resort stay – there are no extra charges.
The bathroom is oversized with spa style amenities including a large walk in dual controlled rain shower with a bench, a large vanity with a long vessel double sink, and a large back-lit mirror.
We spent some time exploring the grounds and getting the lay of the land. We found lots of little quiet spots nestled in beautiful gardens to relax, fire pits, hammocks, common areas to sit and enjoy the beach, bars over the water, outdoor snack locations, bars, pool and ping pong tables – the list was endless!
The next morning our first order of business was to have breakfast and hit the beach! The beach is pristine with its white sand and that famous Caribbean blue turquoise water. As much as I love the sun, it is very strong all day long so even I needed to be able to get some relief from it. There are permanent straw umbrellas located along the beach providing shade, lounge chairs, and small tables. There are also several natural shaded areas located under sea grape trees (these quickly became our favorite spot), also complete with lounge chairs and tables.
Beach towels are available in several locations along the beach. If you have a butler suite, each morning your butler will reserve your desired spot on the beach complete with towels, a float, and a cooler. If you have a favorite location that you prefer and don’t have a butler, the trick is to get to the beach before the butlers do and reserve your spot by placing towels on the lounge chairs!
Sandals Staff will cruise the beach offering you the drink of the day or will be happy to bring you any beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, that you desire as often as you want! There are several snack shacks located along the beach where you can grab lunch or you can go to any of several sit down restaurants for a larger lunch. You can rent a cabana right on the ocean’s edge for a half day (9 -5) or a full day (9-9). The Cabana comes with a mattress, pillows, and lounge chairs set outside the cabana for soaking up the sun. Your cabana comes with a butler who will serve you breakfast and lunch and all the adult beverages you desire. If you rent it for the full day, you will be served breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your cabana. If the beach isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the pool. There are cabanas located around the pool – first come first served!
The staff does a great job on the beach organizing fun activities that include volleyball – in and out of the ocean and lots of fun games and contests. You are welcome to participate or just sit back and enjoy the action – either option is a treat! There are also lots of water activities – also included in your stay. Water skiing, kayaks; snorkeling; and scuba diving lessons are among the activities available.
Dining – oh my the dining options!! There are 12 restaurants located on property and the food is excellent! You can order whatever you want and even multiple dishes if you just can’t decide! We ate at several of the available restaurants so we could sample them all. Some restaurants require reservations and others are walk in. All of them are included in your stay – no extra cover charges!!
Breakfast choices are buffet style with a range of dishes including the classics eggs, bacon, potatoes, etc.; fresh fruits and cereals; made to order omelets and waffles or you can chose from a more traditional table service menu.
You can grab a quick lunch at the Jerk Shack specializing in Jamaican Jerk chicken and pork; a burger at The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grille or a pizza at Dino’s. There are also table service options as well in a more traditional sit down setting.
Dinner choices include the Oleander Room for Jamaican style cuisine; Cucina Romana for your Italian dishes; Butch’s Steak House for your beef cravings; Tokyo Joe’s for an Asian Stir Fry made to order; Stew Fish for seaside dishes; Bayside Restaurant for French cuisine; The Cricketers Pint for the Heart of England fare; Soy for Sushi and Japanese meals. And if you can’t find something you like with all these dining choices, Sandals Royal Caribbean is just 10 minutes away via a quick shuttle. Your stay at Montego Bay gives you full access to that resort and its amenities along with another 9 restaurants to choose from! Also included in your stay!
We very quickly settled into a daily routine. My husband is an early riser (I am not!) so he would get up and head to the beach to reserve our favorite spot under a sea grape tree and would grab a quick breakfast and head back to the beach to enjoy an early morning swim in the ocean. He loved having the beach and the ocean to himself each day. I would join him a little later, grab a dip in the ocean and wait for my drink of the day to be delivered! Spending each day at the beach was heaven.
When it was time for dinner we would shower and change, enjoy a great meal and watch the sunset. We might catch some of the evening entertainment in the atrium or enjoy an evening walk on the beach followed up with a drink at one of the fire pits or at the over the water lounge. Settling in on our balcony to enjoy the view or a soak in our tranquility soaking tub was also a treat.
When Sandals says their resort is All-inclusive, they mean ALL inclusive. Tips are included in your package cost so there is no need to bring a stack of $1 bills. The staff members, bartenders, etc. are not allowed to accept tips. The only tips you might offer are to your Butler if you have a Butler suite, and even that is optional. There is no signature restaurant that has an added fee, all restaurants are available to you. The water activities are also included.
The only items you would pay an additional cost for would be for spa services, a cabana rental for the day with the Butler service, photo packages, the gift shop, and off property excursions.
The guests range in age from young honeymooners to seniors. We met several very nice couples and witnessed several weddings. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed chatting with many of them and learning about their home island of Jamaica.
I can’t say enough about how fabulous our stay at Sandals Montego Bay was. My husband was a little reluctant to take a trip like this because he is not generally a 9 – 5 beach bum like I am, but I will tell you by the third day he was already asking if we could extend our stay and when we could return again for another trip!
So...we have booked another week for November 2021 at Sandals South Coast in Jamaica. For this trip we’ve booked a beachfront one bedroom butler swim up suite. Keep an eye out for my blog when we visit that resort this fall!