Review Of Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica.

I just have to start by saying, I didn't always love this resort. In fact, I stayed here once right before the renovations started and found it to be underwhelming in my opinion. I wasn't impressed by most of the property and wasn't sure if it would ever end up making my "favorites" list for Sandals Resorts properties.

But, fast forward a few years, and a major multi-million dollar renovation of the entire property, and my tune had drastically changed... I LOVE THIS RESORT.

I've stayed here twice now since the renovations, once in the midst of them and the most recent time was this past May (2019) after almost everything was completed. Almost all of the rooms have now been renovated, new restaurants have been added, and the main pool was being renovated while I we were there (set to finish by July 2019).

Below is my experience in detail, in the hopes it will help others considering going to Sandals Montego Bay in the future...

My Review:

If I close my eyes right now I can still see the bright blue water. My toes instinctively curl, expecting to dig into cool powder-soft sand. I inhale and swear I can still smell the salt water in the air, and feel the wind that offers a reprieve from the heat of the sun against my skin. It's only when I open my eyes that I realize I'm back home, sitting at my desk and still day-dreaming about our week in Jamaica.

Jamaica is one of those islands that you either love or you hate. If you love it, it stays with you forever. If you hate it, then I urge you to go back and try it again. Maybe you went on a cruise and didn't like where it docked. Maybe you went to a resort that didn't live up to your expectations. Whatever the case may be, Jamaica has so much to offer and it gets better and better every time I go.

For me personally, it holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. It's become a part of me and my life-story and any chance I have to go back there I jump at. Which is why, when I was invited down for a Chairman's Royal Club retreat at Beaches Ocho Rios, I booked my tickets and made sure to add on some extra days to stop by and see what was new at Sandals Montego Bay before we headed home.

I expected to check out some of the new rooms, dine at the new restaurants, and walk away with the knowledge and expertise to recommend the property to my clients. What I didn't expect was to leave forever changed by a few short days at a resort that has quickly become my favorite property.

Despite having been there two years ago and seeing the new resort design, I was still wow'ed by it on arrival. Pulling up to the open air lobby area, the first thing you see is ocean in the distance. Your eyes are immediately drawn to it. But then you start to look around and realize the gorgeous furnishings and the modern decor. While you're sipping your welcome cocktail and patting your face with a cool lemongrass scented towel, the sound of trickling water in the lobby fountains mixes with the faint sound of Caribbean music playing through the speakers. It's in this moment you know you're home at Sandals.

Club Sandals:

Upon arrival we were escorted from the lobby to the Club lounge for check-in. There we were greeted by a Concierge team member named Syrica. She smiled warmly, welcomed us in and immediately began offering us refreshments. There was a small station with rum punch, water, and coffee as well as some pastries, but Syrica also offered to get us any drinks we wanted. Some members in our group ordered some frozen drinks which she happily went to the bar to order and bring back to us all.

The Club level guests in our arrival group were given the iPads and began the quick and simple check-in process. Since we were butler guests during this trip, we weren't given an iPad. Instead we were told that our butler would be meeting with us shortly and check-in would be done in the comfort of our suite.

Because our suite wasn't ready quite yet, we were escorted to lunch instead, which is standard. Well, let me rephrase that. We were offered to be escorted to lunch but we knew where we wanted to go and didn't want to impose on Syrica to make her walk us. But guests who were not already familiar with the resort were taken to any of the four restaurants open for lunch. Once we were done with lunch, Cassandra, our assigned butler, met up with us and escorted us to our room for check-in.


We were in one of the newest rooms on the property. The category is considered the Beachfront Millionaire One Bedroom Butler Suite w/ Outdoor Tranquility Soaking Tub (M1), but the set up was different from what the M1 looks like on the website.

I have to say, after the long walk from the Club/Butler lounge down to Cottage 18 where our room was located, I was a bit nervous being so far down at the end of the property. It seemed too far away from everything at first. But by the second day we were so glad to be where we were. It felt like we were in our own little resort within the resort. It was our oasis.

The interior of the room was incredible. We walked in and immediately said "wow". You can view my video walkthrough of the room by clicking the name of the room above (or click here), but I've also included photos here.

Walking into the room you are greeted with the open concept living area with a large king sized bed facing the beautiful views of the ocean beyond your balcony.

The living area has a sofa, coffee table, and a table with two chairs and two benches. There is also a TV on the wall in the living room area as well as in the bedroom area, so if someone wants to watch TV in one and someone else in the other they can. The room can be separated by sliding privacy doors with glass windows to keep the room illuminated by light during the day. They aren't entirely soundproof when shut, but much more soundproof than without them.

On the balcony is a table and chairs for two (very comfortable to sit in) and a soaking tub that surprisingly fit us both without us being too uncomfortable. Of course there are also privacy curtains that you can shut when you want to use the tub without anyone being able to look onto your balcony.

But the best part of the room for me was the bathroom. Not only was it massive, but the soaking tub was my favorite one. It's a giant circle that is so comfortable to relax in. One of my only regrets on this trip was I didn't use this bath every single night. I should have because I miss it so much now that I'm home.

Also, the shower was incredible. I truly took the best shower of my life in this room. I'm sure it sounds silly but having hot water on your back while hot water rains down on you as you wash your hair is so therapeutic. Ahhh how I miss it.... Someday I'm remodeling my bathroom at home to match this one. A girl can dream, right? :)

Butler Service:

My husband and I hadn't had a butler on our Sandals Resorts vacation in several years, but on this trip we were able to get one and we were SO lucky to get Cassandra as our butler. We've had some pretty incredible Sandals butlers over the years we've been traveling there, but Cassandra was one of the best we've ever had. We highly recommend her now to our clients and anyone we know who is going to Sandals Montego Bay.

From the moment we met her she was all smiles. She was always quick to do something for us and she was the type of butler who could read us as a couple. She just clicked with us and seemed to get us right off the bat. She learned really fast what we liked to drink and didn't like to drink, and what we loved to eat. Then she'd start surprising us with our favorite snacks and drinks mid-day without even being asked.

For example, on the first day she brought us a fruit and cheese plate which also had two coconut shrimp on it. It was meant to be a little mid-day snack before dinner. My husband and I ate the coconut shrimp but barely touched the cheese or fruit. The next day she came back with a plate with a just shrimp, enough for the two of us to have two each. By the end of the stay she was bringing us just the coconut shrimp since it was clear that was what we liked the best. We had a plate basically piled with coconut shrimp (they are SO delicious).

She also would bring us breakfast on the balcony. The first two days we'd trek down to the restaurants for breakfast and by day three we thought maybe we should try breakfast in our room. Cassandra took our order the night before and while we were down on the beach relaxing on the loungers she reserved for us, we noticed her on our balcony setting up. When she was done she waved us to come up. It was perfect. The same food we would have ordered at the restaurant but we were able to dine in the privacy and peacefulness of our balcony.

She also made sure to meet with us before dinner. We told her we didn't need her to escort us from the room but she still would show up at the restaurant and meet us there regardless.

Every morning we had a shaded palapa reserved for us in our favorite spot, complete with towels set up and a cooler full of our favorite soft drinks. After day one she didn't have to ask. We were easy going and told her "same place, same time" and she was always ready for us.

We also never had to ask for the special things like adorable decorations on our bed, or a bubble bath at night.

If you're looking for an incredible butler at Sandals Montego Bay, book your Sandals trip with me and I will make sure to put in a request for Cassandra for you. We absolutely adore Cassie, so PLEASE take good care of her if you get her as a butler! She's wonderful and deserves to be treated as such. :)


The beach is one of my favorite things about this resort property. For starters, it's private. One of the few true private beaches Sandals Resorts has. But it isn't one long beach to enjoy. It's broken up sort of in coves because of the different piers put in place for the overwater bar, overwater chapel, and the area used for candlelight dinners or weddings.

Because of this set up, our room block at the end felt like it was it's own little mini-resort area. I loved being able to wake up to the seclusion of having what felt like our own private beach.

Of course any part of the beach is open to all guests on resort so you weren't limited to just the beach by your room block. But most guests gravitated toward the main beach area where the entertainment was during the day. That gave the other beach areas a sense of serenity and seclusion that a few of us preferred.

There are also hammocks and swings in the water along the beach which was fun to use. Some of the beach areas are rocky or have seaweed so I do recommend water shoes to protect your feet in those areas. Having the water shoes this trip made it so we weren't limited to just the areas where it was pure sand. We were able to swim anywhere we wanted without worrying about stepping on shells, rocks, or urchins.

But if you want clear water and powder soft sand, the main beach area has that for you. You can even rent an overwater cabana for the day (extra fee), lounge in a super soft bed right above the crystal blue water. Contact me about it and I'd be happy to give you more details.


At the time we traveled the main pool was under construction. It opened a few months after we returned home. We weren't too upset by it since we had the swim-up pool right below our room that we could enjoy. It was however, the only pool on resort with a swim-up bar. But guests were able to take the complimentary shuttle over to Sandals Royal Caribbean and use the swim-up bar in the main pool there and the one on the island as well.

Here are photos of the main pool now that it has been completed (photos courtesy of Sandals Resorts International staff):
Walkway leading into bar area  
Infinity jacuzzi overlooking the beach and ocean

What most guests don't realize is you're free to use any of the pools on resort. Yes, that even means those amazing swim-up pools. Even if you aren't staying in a swim-up suite, you can get into those pools and enjoy them. Though, it is a bit odd to swim by people's rooms. But if you have friends staying in this room category you won't be barred from enjoying the pool too.

Even though we were on the second floor of our room block, we still use the swim-up pool below us which overlooked the ocean beyond. It was very peaceful and relaxing to be able to lounge in the pool while hearing the waves on the other side. Plus, someone came around regularly to check on drink orders or pick up glasses. And we also had Cassandra who was a call away if we needed anything.

There is also a pool over by the main lobby. This one doesn't have a swim-up bar, though someone does always come around for drink orders. My favorite part about this pool is the comfy loungers around it. They're first come first serve so no need to pay extra to reserve them. Though I will say, people grab them early and then walk off to go to breakfast and I always found that to be unfair. If you're not going to use them, use them. But if you're just going to drop your stuff and disappear all day that isn't fair to others who are there and ready to use them.

Food and Bars:

The afternoon we arrived, we opted to dine at Mariner's which serves sandwiches, burgers, etc. and is located right next to Dino's Pizza. Of course, being hungry from travel we indulged in a sandwich each and then shared the small personal sized pizza to try it out. We've dined at all of the Mariner's on various Sandals and Beaches Resort properties. For the most part, the food is the same across the brand. But for some reason this meal was the best we've had at Mariner's.

I had the chicken burger which was cooked perfectly and the fries were cooked "just right" so that they were between crunchy and soft. My husband had the chicken sandwich on a baguette and proceeded to get it again every day after that. The pizza we shared was a simple cheese pizza, just to try it. Though we did get one with pepperoni later on in our trip. Any and all pizzas we had were delicious. We didn't always like the pizza at Sandals/Beaches but they've really stepped up their pizza game in the past few years. Now, it's good enough that I'd order it at home if we had one near us!

Our favorite place to dine for dinner was Soy. When I say we ate here every single night, I'm not exaggerating. Every night we'd head down and grab a table or sit at the bar. We'd enjoy our favorite sushi rolls as appetizers and then head over to whichever restaurant Cassandra, our butler, had reserved for us that evening. Cassandra laughed because she said she knew where to find us every night so she could walk us to dinner.

My favorite roll at Soy is always the Champagne Lobster Roll. But lobster isn't always in season at most Sandals properties (except for Antigua where it's year round) so they will substitute shrimp instead. It's still delicious. 

The miso soup is also very good, and we ordered the tuna sashimi the first night and were so hooked we got it again every night after. I still think about that delicious tuna sashimi months later.

One of the nights we decided to splurge a little and do dessert at Soy, too. I could have had an entire tray of their fruit sorbet. It was that good. I'm glad we didn't skip it and at least tried it so we knew.

The other restaurant we raved about afterwards was Butch's Steak and Seafood. We'd had Butch's Chophouse in Barbados a few years back and still to this day our mouths water when we think about the filet minion we'd had there, as well as the Oreo cheesecake dessert with the fire roasted marshmallows. We were hoping for a similar experience and this one did not disappoint!

There were so many options on the menu we didn't know were to start, so we ordered a little of everything. There wasn't a single thing we ate that I didn't like, though the fried goat cheese in my salad was my favorite. It was crunchy on the outside but warm on the inside. Yum.

Normally I'll do the Surf n Turf which is lobster and filet minion, but since it wasn't lobster season I was given shrimp instead which was delicious, too.

My husband got the ahi tuna which I also love. I had a bite and was so glad I did because the second time we dined there, I ordered that. It was cooked perfectly and came with the most delicious drizzle that I have no clue what it was made of but the flavors melted in my mouth together.

I didn't see the Oreo Cheesecake on the menu, but when I mentioned my love for the marshmallows our waiter brought me ice cream in a bowl and then a bunch of the marshmallows. I was in heaven. :)

For breakfast, our go-to was Cucina Romana. Anytime we're at Sandals we skip the buffets and do the a-la-cart breakfast option(s). The menus are going to be the same at any of the a-la-cart breakfast restaurants, so it never matters which one we dine at (if there is more than one available at your resort). Plus, you can't beat this view!

I either get the Eggs Benedict or the Steak and Eggs (thought after eating the delicious filet minion at Butch's, it's hard to enjoy the cuts of steak they serve for breakfast). 

My husband usually gets the French Toast and/or the Chairman's Breakfast which is Ackee and Saltfish.

Dinner at Cucina Romana is also delicious. If you like Italian food you'll love the menu here. We shared a risotto on our last trip that was SO good. Unfortunately it was the same night we decided to pig out at Soy and we didn't have room for much more, but we've eaten dinner here on past trips and always enjoyed it.

For lunch, we loved The Jerk Shack, which is located right next to the main pool with the swim-up bar (it was under construction when we were there).

No matter what we ordered, it was ALL delicious, but the jerk chicken was my favorite.

Cassandra would bring us jerk chicken, pizza (from Dino's pizza on resort), and french fries from Mariner's grill to our room for lunch. One thing that I loved to do was take the parmesan cheese she'd bring for our pizza and sprinkle it on our french fries. So good!

For dinner we also tried Tokyo Jo's. We'd dined here before on past trips and though I'm not a huge fan of it but we thought we'd give it another try and see if anything had changed. The flavor did get better since our last time dining there a year or so prior. But I will likely skip it on our next visit. Now, if you haven't eaten here, definitely try it. Everyone's tastes are different. I always recommend to my clients that they dine at ALL the options on resort. If it's included, why not? At worst, you don't like it, don't finish it and try something else or a different restaurant. At best, you don't miss a meal that ends up being your favorite and a go-to later on in your trip. You never know, so definitely try it all. There is no limit to how much you can eat or where you can dine.

For this restaurant, it's sort of like hibachi meets buffet. You select everything you want cooked in your dish, except for the meat, and then the chef will cook it all in front of you.

I'll be honest, I wasn't thrilled with the cut of steak I received. It may have just been my bad luck but much of it tasted fatty. The rice was good and the chicken and noodles were too, but they put too much sauce on it and I felt like my meal was drowning in that flavor instead.

Having dined at almost all of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts properties, I can honestly say I truly wish they would change this restaurant into a Kimonos. It's the only thing missing from the Montego Bay area right now. It doesn't even need to be a full Kimonos with the hibachi tables. It could be like a "Kimono's Express" and they could do it exactly as they have it set up now but with the flavors and menu from Kimonos instead.

There were other restaurants on property too, such as Oleander Room (I've dined there for a special luncheon but not for dinner), the Bayside (the buffet), Dino's (pizza), Mariner's (grill), and Stew Fish (Caribbean cuisine where you can dine with your feet in the sand). All of them are worth a try. We just had limited time on this trip and didn't get to eat there as much as we did on past trips.
Outdoor seating for Bayside Buffet at night

 If you have a sweet tooth, then you'll want to stop into Cafe de Paris for pastries, cookies, ice cream and more. We LOVED the Cookie Crumble drink which we got hooked on in Barbados. After day two, Cassandra would bring us a Cookie Crumble every morning on the beach without us even asking. She said it was so we didn't have to walk all the way to the lobby area to order one. She truly was the best!


There are also special events that happen during the week, like the beach party, which is full of delicious buffet style food options. They have different stations and you go around and fill your plate and enjoy the live entertainment. This happens once a week and is a special event that goes on at every resort (day of the week depends on the resort).

Of course, our favorite place to dine is in the room. After day two, we wised up and stopped going down to the restaurants for breakfast and lunch. Instead, Cassandra would bring us our favorites from any of the restaurants right to our room. Then, late at night, when we wanted to relax and unwind, we'd oder a "snack" from room service. Our favorite was to share a chicken club with fries and a cheesecake. Nothing liking dining in the privacy and comfort of your own room.

There are bars all over property, but it was nice to be able to hang out at the one in front of Butch's, next to Soy. That was a nice place to sit and have a drink before your reservation or table was ready.

Then of course there is Latitudes which is the overwater bar. The absolute BEST place to watch the sunset from.

The swim up bar and pool was closed for renovations while we were there, but that is also an option for guests now that it is reopened. And there is the lobby bar, too, which guests love to hang out at. Especially at night. It seems to be the main hub for all the laughter in the evening.

The Loop:

If you are traveling to Sandals and haven't downloaded the free Sandals/Beaches App, DO IT. Not only does it give you information about the resort, daily activities, maps, etc. You also have access to The Loop. Anything you need while on resort you can "loop" it and it goes to resort management. For example, we checked in to find the sliding door was broken that connected the living room to the bedroom. It wasn't an issue for us except that one of my clients specifically asked for me to test to see if it drowned out the noise in the living room area, which I couldn't tell if the door wouldn't close all the way. So, I looped it and maintenance called up about 15 minutes later asking when would be a good time to come by and check it out. I told them they could stop in now as we were done getting ready for dinner. He was there within 10 minutes. We left for dinner while he worked on it and came back to the door completely fixed.

Another example, we were sitting at the bar by Butch's one night, waiting for our table to be ready, and we noticed a pile of dirty glasses on the bar top and counter below. We sat there for a good thirty minutes and it was still there. The bartender was so busy running around that we knew he didn't have time to clean it, but the waitstaff for the restaurants were just standing around chatting right next to the dirty dishes while they waited for the bartender to fill their order pretending like the glasses weren't there. In the meantime, the dirty dishes were in the way of two seats at a full bar top so couples would come up, consider sitting there and then decide against it since there was at least 20 glasses in the way. I took a photo and looped it explaining what was going on. Within ten minutes someone from the kitchen of the restaurant came out and collected them all. A little while later I got a thank you from management for bringing it to their attention and was told it had been handled. Wow!

This is SUCH a great addition to Sandals/Beaches. As someone who has traveled to these resorts for many years now, I've remember the frustration of calling down to the front desk to ask for things or trying to chase down management (who is super busy as is) to make them aware of things that need to be fixed (something a lot of us travel agents do while on resort, because we want to make sure things run smoothly for our clients). The Loop has made it so much easier to get requests, complaints, suggestions and compliments to management and have things handled quickly and efficiently.


Transfers are a quick 5-10 minutes from the airport. When people say the resort is right next to the airport, they aren't kidding. You can actually see the runway from the resort.

This resort is awesome for aviation/plane lovers. You can relax on the beach and watch the planes take off from across the street. They fly over in a few seconds and then are gone but it's really cool to be able to watch. I have a video of it here to give you an idea:

Some rooms come with complimentary luxury transfers, which will leave you feeling like a celebrity. For more information on that inclusion, contact me.

Exchange Privileges:

Don't forget that if you stay at Sandals Montego Bay, you have full access to Sandals Royal Caribbean resort just down the road, too. There is a complimentary shuttle that goes between the two properties all day long and into the night. A schedule for it can be found on the monitor in the lobby.
Note: Sandals Inn is now closed so this schedule has since changed and continues to be subject to change.

We used to love staying at Sandals Royal Caribbean but then Sandals Montego Bay updated their entire property and we now prefer to stay there and go over to enjoy the restaurants and private island at Sandals Royal Caribbean instead. Make sure to go over there to check it out and take full advantage of that complimentary access you get as a Sandals guest. In fact, you can enjoy any of the properties on island as long as you're staying at one of them. The only difference is, if the property isn't located next to or right near by the other, you have to find your own transfers there. So, if you guys are staying at Sandals Negril and want to come check out Sandals Montego Bay, you could rent a taxi and go over for the day to see what it's like and maybe book that resort next time instead.

All-in-all, this resort is ever changing so if you've been here before it's not the Sandals Montego Bay you remember. The atmosphere and vibe is still there, many of the staff members are still there, and that gorgeous beach is still there. But everything looks so different that it almost feels like a new resort. If you loved this property before, you'll love it more now. It's definitely time to go back. :)

Ready To Book?

I'm always asked about how to get the best possible deals for Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts so I wrote a blog post about all my tips and tricks if you'd like to take a look here:

Of course, you can always book direct on the Sandals website: Click Here  

But, the very best way to book is with a Sandals Resorts Preferred Top Specialist. If you already have a preferred specialist you're working with, make sure to contact them. If not, please consider booking your next Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts vacation with me. My Sandals award-winning services are all-inclusive too, as they are 100% free for you to use. The price will be the same you'd get by booking anywhere else-- the difference is you'll be getting my valuable expertise before, during and after your trip! If you're not booking with one of us, you're essentially paying for a service you aren't receiving. Make sure you get the most for your money and work with a Sandals Resorts Preferred Top Specialist, like me. :)

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, or if you want a price quote or are ready to book, visit and select me as the agent you wish to work with. If you're on the fence, take a look at my reviews to get an idea of what my past clients are saying about working with me:

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