Please excuse my unintended hiatus; some out-of-town trainings got in the way of my blogging and now I feel completely behind!!!
So when I left off, we had just settled in at Sandals Montego Bay and were preparing for 4 more resort tours to close out the week. Sandals Royal Caribbean & Private Island was the only remaining resort to tour in Montego Bay before we headed east to Ocho Rios.
Sandals Royal Caribbean is only located a stone’s throw away from Sandals MoBay, which further enhances the convenience of the “Stay at One, Play at Three” program through Sandals. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a great deal of time to explore the resort due to our late arrival for the tour. Which is a shame, as this resort was my favorite one of the entire FAM trip.
Why did this one stand out from the others? Two words: Private Island. But more on that later.
Accommodations: In the past few weeks, Sandals has simplified their room categories to be a little less intricate, which is nice. At the time of my visit, there were 15 different room categories and we had the opportunity to see three; Grande Romeo & Juliet Honeymoon Private Lagoon Access One Bedroom Crystal Suite (pictured at left and below), Royal Grande Luxe with Semi Private Pool View Room, and a Royal Premium Room. The Romeo & Juliet Suite comes complete with Butler service and all of the amazing amenities that accompany this type of accommodation, including a candlelight dinner for two.
Dining/Bars: Sandals Royal Caribbean has 8 different onsite restaurants – Bamboo Shack, Bella Napoli, Eleanor’s, Le Jardinier (requires reservations), Royal Thai (on the private island, requires reservations), The Cricketer’s Pub, The Mariner Seaside Grill, and The Regency. There are 5 on-site bars, including TWO swim-up bars, in case you get a little thirsty.
Pools/Beach: The resort boasts 7 different pools, 5 whirlpools, and an IMPRESSIVE beach with amazing views and some strategically placed cabanas. Watersports, both motorized and non-motorized, are included in your stay and SCUBA classes are available if you wish.
Extras: Okay, let me talk about this private island. I can’t tell you why this was such a huge selling point to me, but whatever it was; it worked. The island is only a short boat ride away from the main resort, and is a 2.5 acre paradise containing its own restaurant, jerk hut, bar, pool, swim-up bar and beach (two actually: one is a nude beach!). It’s a nice option to “get away” from the hustle and bustle of the resort – which is already laid back – and have another retreat at your disposal. Another plus: the entire island is available for rental for a VERY reasonable $5,000. So if one chooses to get married at the resort, you can host your ceremony AND reception on your own island for less than what it would cost to rent a venue in the US!
Atmosphere: Overall, Sandals Royal Caribbean is a very relaxed, laid-back tropical retreat. It’s still very close to MBJ Airport, but doesn’t have the overhead airplane noise of Sandals Montego Bay. The resort has an upscale, colonial feel and the accomodations are lovely. The private island is a huge incentive for those looking to really get away from it all. You really can’t go wrong in a resort such as this one.