Combining old-world Caribbean charm with British traditions of a bygone era, such as afternoon tea and breakfast in bed, this resort provides a romantic escape in a Georgian- style Great House setting. Spend the day lounging at Sandals Cay, the resorts' private island or indulge in a treatment at the full-service Red Lane Spa. Dine at your choice of seven specialty restaurants and experience unparalleled luxury in the new Swim-Up Suites with Butler Service and 24-hour room service. Plus, with Sandals exchange privileges, resort guests can enjoy all the amenities and services at two neighboring Sandals properties.
Before giving my description of this resort specifically, let’s summarize what is true about all Sandals resorts. All Sandals resorts are located on English speaking islands in the Caribbean. They’re adults only and couples only (no kids and no singles). Sandals resorts are all inclusive and include more amenities than any other resort chain. All Sandals resorts have at least 7 dining options up to 22 depending on which resort you choose. Sandals resorts are smaller and roomier than most all-inclusive resorts (the average in Mexico or the Dominican Republic is 700 rooms with three restaurants). The majority of Sandals Resorts are 250-350 rooms, with the largest being 505 rooms (with 15 restaurants). Sandals serves top shelf liquor and partners with Beringer for their house wines.
Sandals resorts are social! They cater to honeymooners and a younger demographic. There is a full activity program including sports games (volleyball, ping pong, tennis clinics, free throw shooting contests, etc.), silly couples games (water balloon toss, three legged race, belly flop competition), and live music every night. All non-motorized watersports are included (Hobie Cats, water trikes, sea kayaks, stand up paddleboards, wind surfing, and more). SCUBA (if you’re certified) and snorkeling trips are included as well.
Sandals Royal Caribbean has 197 rooms and is located 15 minutes from the airport in Montego Bay. The resort is adults only and couples only. The resort is elegant and more laid back than the high energy and social Sandals Montego Bay. The resort has a very impressive entryway and serves high tea daily. Exchange privileges at the surrounding Sandals resorts (Montego Bay and Sandals Inn) and transportation is included. Including the restaurants at the surrounding Sandals, there are 18 total dining choices! Sandals Royal Caribbean has eight restaurants onsite of which the two most popular require reservations, Le Jardinier (French) and Royal Thai (Asian food on the private island). Reservations can be made through guest relations, concierge, or butler.
All of the rooms are recently refurbished (as of May, 2013) and look great. Deluxe rooms are located above the lobby and do not have views or balconies. The most popular room category is the new river suites with direct access from the patio to the river pool. Keep in mind, these suites do not offer an ocean view! The beach at this resort is scalloped, and would not be good for walking. The best beach option is on the private island, which is a 10 minute complimentary boat ride away. There is a restaurant, beach, and cabanas on the island. The pools at this resort are rather moderate and one includes the swim up pool bar. The resort has a great air conditioned gym (with free personal trainer) and a small full service Red Lane Spa. All of the concierge rooms receive 24 hour room service in addition to the normal concierge amenities.
Overall, Sandals Royal Caribbean is a nice resort. It offers a classic Caribbean resort with the tradition of British elegance. It would be a great choice for shorter stays and wedding moons (due to the close proximity to the airport), and people looking for a relaxing, shorter vacation. This is a classic Caribbean resort which doesn’t have all of the glitz of some of the other Sandals Resorts.