Sandals Royal Caribbean
Looking for a romantic getaway in a beautiful setting? Want a resort that takes care of everything so you can just relax?
Look no further than a Sandals Resort.
For those not familiar, Sandals are all-inclusive resorts for couples only.
The great thing about an all-inclusive resort is your cost covers not only your room, but also all your food, drinks, and tips. And at Sandals, many other activities- including entertainment at the resort and water activities- are also included.
Sandals has sixteen properties throughout the Caribbean. My husband and I have stayed at three.
Thirteen years ago, we spent our honeymoon at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian. Ten years ago, we stayed at the Sandals Ochi, which is located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
And just last week, we enjoyed six beautiful days at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
We loved it so much that we’ve already booked another seven night stay at this property in 2019!
The room we stayed in was the Honeymoon Grand Luxury Butler Suite with Balcony Tranquility Soaking Tub. We absolutely loved everything about it. The view from the third floor was amazing, the large open floor plan was perfect, and the soaking tub on the balcony was amazing.
Here is a video of the room:
Another very popular room category at many Sandals resorts is the swim-up suite. At the Sandals Royal Caribbean. the Swim-up Crystal Lagoon Honeymoon Suites are six rooms grouped together in the center of the resort, all with access to their own shared pool that is accessed from your patio.
While the pool is really open to anyone staying at the resort, many times only the people staying in the swim-up rooms use this pool.
Just a note, if you are looking for a little more privacy, I’d skip the swim-up room. For our honeymoon at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian we stayed in a swim-up room. While it was fun, you also spend a lot of time with the other couples that share the pool as they are often right there with you.
Each time we have stayed at a Sandals we have booked a room with butler service. These rooms cost a little more than standard rooms, but the perks definitely make it worth it if you can swing the extra cost.
To be honest, if I had the choice between an extra day or upgrading to butler service, I would pick the butler. The benefits are significant.
Butler service is comprised of two butlers who share the duties of providing you with just about anything you can think of, seriously. Sandals even has a butler webpage completely devoted to the types of things you can ask for from your butler. They are assigned to you for your entire stay. You will also see other butlers busily scurrying about the resort, and they often seem to work together in teams, though they are all assigned to specific couples.
When you arrive you are greeted by one of the butlers assigned to you. They give you a tour of the resort and they give you a dedicated cell phone with their number already pre=programmed into the phone. You use this phone to reach them whenever you need something. It’s really not useful for anything else, but it allows you to truly unplug from the world and leave your own phone back in the room safe.
The Sandals butlers go through extensive training and are true professionals. They really take extra steps to make your trip incredibly memorable.
If you have a room with this level of service, it is best to go through the butlers for all your needs. They make dinner reservations and get you a great table, they reserve lounge chairs on the beach or by the pool, and they coordinate any off-property activities.
All butler service rooms also include 24-hour room service, an in-suite bar stocked with alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, wifi, and turndown service. There are so many other things that it is hard to list them all, but I can assure you, they really do want to make your trip as memorable as possible. One other point about butlers- I mentioned earlier that there is no tipping at all-inclusive resorts, but butler service is one of the very few exceptions. You don’t have to tip, but if you feel like they made your vacation all that much better, then giving them 10, 15, or even 20% of the room costs would be totally appropriate.
My husband and l loved the food on this trip.
We ate at every restaurant at the Royal Caribbean and also had lunch and dinner over at the Sandals Montego Bay. It’s good to note here that Sandals has three resorts in the Montego Bay area, and you can take a shuttle to any of them throughout the day and evening. The cost to visit the other resorts in Montego Bay, including eating, drinking, using the facilities, and participating in the activities, is all included.
Like the activities at another resort better, you can go participate. Like the beach at Montego Bay, but the rooms at Royal Caribbean- no problem, mon! Want to stay at the Sandals Inn, but use the private island and beach at Royal Caribbean, then go right ahead! And yes, you read that right- the Royal Caribbean has a private island and beach!
Here are our highlights for the restaurants:
If you are looking for a really romantic restaurant, I’d say the Oleander Room at Sandals Montego Bay is your best bet. The restaurant is beautiful and modern. I loved the lobster dish and my husband loved his steak.
And ask if you can be seated in Robert’s section. He was absolutely amazing!
Best Place to Watch the Sunset
Get a table on the patio of The Regency. Watching the sunset over the ocean with the boats and the over-the-water villas in the background is amazing.
For food, my husband once again loved his steak and I had an amazing chicken marsala.
Best Jamaican Food
Sandals definitely caters to an American and Canadian crowd. You aren’t going to find a lot of truly authentic Jamaican food on the resort, but I have say their jerk chicken and pork from The Jerk Shack is amazing.
This restaurant is located on the private island that is part of the resort. You just take a boat from the main part of the Royal Caribbean resort to the restaurant. The Jerk Shack is open only for lunch. And if you have a butler, he or she can bring the meal to you anywhere you may be on the resort.
I also definitely recommend the Giamacano pizza from Bella Napoli. It’s a thin-crust, oven-baked pizza with tomato sauce, shredded Jerk chicken, plantains, peppers, thyme, and mozzarella. I know it sounds crazy, but I loved it!!
Most Unique Place to Eat Dinner
Out on the private island there is the Royal Thai restaurant, which only serves dinner.
The island shuts down the daytime activities at about 5 pm and the last remaining guests are ferried back to the main resort. They start dinner service at about 6 pm, and you take the boat back out to the island where you are greeted by the hostess. The restaurant is mostly open air, so if it is particularly hot or windy, I can’t imagine it would be very much fun. But we had a perfect night.
The Pad Thai is awesome and the Por Pie Thod (vegetable spring rolls) are pretty terrific. We didn’t stay for dessert, though the choices did look pretty tempting.
Our trip back on the boat was extra special as the ferryman took us on a much longer moonlit ride around the lagoon.
I love a good buffet, and the breakfast buffet at The Regency Restaurant was amazing. Every morning I had fruit, smoked salmon, French toast with Nutella, and a chocolate chip pancake. HEAVEN!
Though it was a quick overview of the resort and the food options, you can ask me for more details in the comments below. I’ll also do future posts about the excursions I would recommend and some Sandals Hacks- how to get the most out of your vacation.
If you have specific questions, as always please leave them in the comments below or shoot me an email!