Sandals Montego Bay Review

Planning our honeymoon was actually a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. We kept putting it off for a long time because we couldn’t decide what we wanted to do. I’ll be completely honest, I remember when I first saw Sandals resorts commercials on tv when I was younger and I always thought it was a big scam. I never looked into it and I definitely never thought I’d be going to one. But after doing our research, that’s exactly what we decided to do and I am so glad we did. We had the honeymoon of our dreams!!

While we did have an amazing time, I do want to mention just one thing before we get into all the fun details of our trip. If you kept up with my Setting the Wedding series, you might remember me talking about the headache we had trying to book this trip. At first, we had planned on going to the Antigua location. But a few months after booking our entire trip, and just a few months before we were supposed to leave, we received an email saying that they had closed that location for “maintenance” and had cancelled our reservation.

I’m sure you can imagine how stressful that was and basically got us off to a bad start with Sandals, but we were able to rebook our reservation (and change our flights) to go to Montego Bay, Jamaica instead. I’m still not happy that they made us go through that, especially since discovering that their closing was not due to maintenance, but I am grateful for the experience we had in Jamaica.
The picture above is pure joy of finally arriving in Jamaica. Back in October when we took our honeymoon, there was a small hurricane (Nate) that was supposed to hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast where we live. We woke up the day after the wedding to news that our flights had been cancelled. So not only did we have to scramble to get our bags packed, we also had to find a way to get to Jamaica in time for our reservations. We ended up driving 3 hours through the night to catch a plane out of Tallahassee first thing in the morning. We stayed up a total of 27 hours, so landing in Jamaica was even better than I thought it would be.

Sandals has a lounge in the airport for you to stay in while you wait on the shuttle. They took care of our bags and had food and drinks waiting for us. The shuttles run pretty frequently, so we didn’t have to wait very long and thankfully it was only a 10 minute ride to the resort.
Sandals is not a very affordable vacation by any means, so we started taking advantage of the amenities as soon as we got there. They greeted us with moist towels for our hands and drinks in the office while we waited to be escorted to our room. By the way, drinking Jamaica drinks on an empty, sleep deprived stomach is not a good idea! The second we walked in the room, we ordered room service, took a much needed nap, and woke up to an entertaining night beach party right outside our room.

Unlike a cruise, Sandals is a completely all-inclusive resort -- including alcohol! Me and Jacob aren’t big drinkers, so we didn’t take much advantage of that. And we learned pretty early on to ask for easy rum. Otherwise, rum gets poured on top of your drink and in the straw. My favorite was their Hummingbird blended drink because it tasted like a smoothie! One day there was a guy cutting up green coconuts on the beach, Jacob really enjoyed that.
Although we didn’t drink but maybe two alcoholic drinks a day, we had many cups of their delicious Blue Mountain coffee. They had a really fancy machine that would grind the beans before brewing the coffee. I always got the cappuccino and it was delicious! We drank our coffee every morning on our back patio. We got so spoiled with that coffee and nothing compares to it in the States, so we have even been ordering fresh pounds of real beans online.

Depending on the room you book, they also include a fully stocked bar with different liquors, sodas, water, and juices. Neither of us had really had champagne before, so we decided to make a toast for our honeymoon just to say we did. Figuring out how to open that bottle was quite the laugh! It wasn’t the worst thing I had ever tasted, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. Clearly, coffee is my drug of choice.
We might not have taken advantage of the alcohol, but we ate soooo much food every single day. I kid you not, we literally had five meals every day we were there. We’d eat breakfast at the buffet, then go there again for lunch, pizza for a midday snack, dinner at one of the restaurants, and then a late night meal before finding a quite hot tub to relax in. Not to mention all of the other room service or snack stops we made throughout the day. All the food was so good!!

Jacob has a severe shellfish allergy and when we went to a restaurant that had seafood, we let the waitress know. The chef was even nice enough to come talk to us himself to let us know he was aware of the allergy and that everything would be taken care of. Of all the restaurants we’ve ever been to (even outside of the resort), that has never happened. The Sandals staff always made sure you were happy!
They have a ton of events going on throughout the day and different water sports that you can participate in, that are all included of course. Jacob is all about adventure, so he went wakeboarding a few times and even got me to go tubing. I’ve always wanted to and finally gave in, but I was still super scared and don’t know if I’d do it again. My advice after that experience would be to keep your mouth shut. As much fun as it is to smile and laugh while bouncing on the waves, it’s no fun when you try to get the saltwater out of your mouth afterwards. I did really enjoy kayaking and taking rides on the hobie cats, though! Those two were definitely my favorite things to do.
When you book your reservation, they typically give you some type of bonus. Ours came with a $250 spa credit, which didn’t get us very far. We didn’t want to spend a lot of extra money (plus all the taxes and fees) to use up the entire credit, so we each just got a 30-minute foot massage. I was really ticklish and couldn’t stop laughing at first, but I finally got the giggles under control and enjoyed talking to the staff members. My feet were a little sensitive walking on the sand because they were so soft, so maybe this should have been done at the end of our stay. Either way, my feet felt amazing afterwards!
The landscaping there was absolutely beautiful. It is a pretty large resort and even though they were almost completely booked while we were there, it didn’t ever seem that way. There was enough for everyone to do different things when we wanted so it never felt crowded. However, I was surprised by how many groups there were. It is supposed to be a couples resort, but we saw many groups of people, and even individuals, walking around without their spouses. I didn’t understand that.
Whenever we could hear a group coming, we always ran the opposite way because they’d always be drunk and loud. That doesn’t seem like an enjoyable time to us and we just didn’t get it. I mean, we were on our honeymoon after all. We just wanted to enjoy each other’s company and the start of our new marriage.
I mentioned that the hobie cats (shown below) were one of my favorite things to do. It took a lot for me to build up the courage, and I’m so glad I finally did it. You can take lessons and have the staff teach you, but I felt more confident when they were the ones in control of where we were going.

While walking around the property, we found two birds that they had. They were pretty close to our room and we’d go watch them every now and then. Unfortunately, they never talked to us even though we tried. We also really enjoyed relaxing by the fire pit at night. Not that it got cold there during those October nights, but it was so peaceful.
The first picture shown below is by the main area of the resort. The chairs and tables were actually used for one of the restaurants at night. The catamaran in the background would take you on a day cruise to Margaritaville, and the other Sandals boat you can see in the picture was used for the scuba diving trips. We didn’t do either of those things, but we did go on the glass bottom boat which was a lot of fun.
The picture above was the view from our room. When we were booking our stay, I really wanted to make sure we had a beachfront walkout room. We’ve never really taken vacations before, so we really didn’t worry about overdoing it for our honeymoon. After five and a half years, we deserved this. Not having to mess with an elevator or stairs was so nice. Being able to walk right out to the beach was amazing!

The only thing I wish the room had was some kind of key entry to lock and unlock the door from the patio. When we were coming up from the beach, we had to walk around the building to get in the room. It would've been much more convenient to just use the back door instead.
Their website is really easy to navigate when trying to choose what room you want. It typically tells you what floor the room will be on and in what area of the resort. The specific room that we booked is called the Beachfront Honeymoon Walkout Club Level Junior Suite with Patio Tranquility Soaking Tub. What a name! It was so awesome, though. Booking club level meant that you got extra bonuses such as the full stocked bar, robes, the private check-in, and so much more. Since it was our first time, we didn’t know what all exactly it included but we realized very early on that we made the right decision.
Room service stopped by our room twice a day, once in the morning to do the typical cleaning and then again in the afternoon to pull down the bed and restock any towels you needed. They were so nice and we learned to look forward to our towel designs every day. We thought they just did it the first day because it was our honeymoon, but there was a new surprise throughout the entire week. Hibiscus is one of my favorite flowers and that pink one shown below ended up as decoration in my hair!
Thankfully we had pretty good weather the entire week we were in Jamaica, but it did remind us of home. Almost every single day, it would rain for just a few minutes around 3 pm. That is exactly how it is where we live in Florida, so that didn’t affect us at all. And at the end of the day, they have the most beautiful sunsets I think I’ve ever seen. These are two panoramic shots that we took on our phone. The files aren’t very large in size, but I think it did a pretty good job of capturing the big picture.
As I mentioned earlier, we tried to stay away from the tourist crowds. But you could always catch us hanging with the locals. Every single staff member that we talked to was so friendly and always made us smile. Over the course of the week, we had our favorites that we’d make sure to see every day.

We first met Scion (shown left in the picture below) during a t-shirt tye dye activity on the beach. Later, we learned how amazing his art skills are! Milton and Andrew (middle) were two of the bartenders that we loved hanging out with. They were so much fun to talk to and it was really cool meeting someone named Milton because that’s a name of a city next to where we live. Aleko (right) was one of the first people that we met. He performed during the night beach party on our first day and came up to our patio to say hi. Jacob loved playing beach volleyball with him every day.
Peter (left) was our waiter one night for dinner at one of the fancier restaurants. We had a late reservation that night and were the last ones to leave, so we really got to have a real conversation with him. We looked forward to seeing Cavin and Tamara (middle) for our daily breakfast and lunch buffets. O’Shane was our late night guy. We stay up pretty late at night and that tends to be when I always get hungry. We’d go see him every night on the beach and he’d make us something delicious.

Before we left, we made sure to take a picture with all of our favorites and connect with them on social media. We still check-in frequently to see how each other is doing. Me and Jacob can’t wait until we can see them all again. Each one of these individuals made our trip so much more amazing than we ever could have imagined, and we’re so grateful for the friendships that were made.
One of our favorite locals (but who doesn’t have social media) is this little girl right here. Jamaica had so many stray cats and none of them were very scared of us at all. This one liked getting her ears scratched and eating jerk chicken. Sweetest little thing ever!
Our honeymoon was more wonderful than we ever could have imagined. It’s been exactly three months since we took this trip and I’m already more than ready to go back. I’ve taken cruises to Mexico and the Bahamas in the past, and Jamaica is definitely my favorite destination. Sandals did an amazing job keeping everything as perfect as possible and I’ll absolutely be recommending them to everyone!

~Mani Monday~
The weather this Winter has been so cold and gloomy, I just had to pick a bright color for this week. The polish I’m wearing is by Sinful Colors and is called Energetic Red. It’s a really pretty bright creamy red with just the slightest hint of a few orange undertones. I typically don’t like orangey-reds, but I’m really enjoying this one right now!
What’s on your nails this week?


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