Sandals Montego Bay Review & Guide

After our last trip and talking to some friends about things they are confused about, we decided to put together a full Sandals Montego Bay Review and Guide to explain everything you need to know about the resort and let you know our favorite things about it. Not sure which Sandals in Jamaica you want to go to? We have a guide for that too!

Check out our guide to the Best Sandals Resort in Jamaica HERE– hint, the best all depends on what you like!

Want to know why we love Sandals Montego Bay? It’s a beautiful and updated beach focused resort with incredibly clear blue water, fun entertainment, and access to lots of watersports. Plus, it’s near Sandals Royal Caribbean, so you can enjoy both resorts in one trip. Although this is a negative for some, it’s near the airport. We love that we can be on the beach immediately with no travel time once we land.

And the negatives… It’s near the airport so there will be airplane noise. The food is good, but nothing phenomenal- although my husband says he loved it so to each their own I guess. But that’s really it. This is one of our favorite spots in Jamaica.

In This Post:

Our Favorites(couldn’t narrow them down to just 1):

  • Food: Champagne Rolls at Soy & Jerk Chicken at Jerk Shack
  • Drink: Bob Marley & Red Stripe
  • Activity: Hobie Cat Sailing & Snorkeling
  • Building: Cottage 15 & Poinciana

Sandals Montego Bay Resort Highlights:


Sandals Montego Bay Vs Sandals Royal Caribbean

Before we begin our reviews of Sandals Montego Bay, first, let’s make it clear what makes it different from Royal Caribbean. Montego Bay is a beach resort with a long stretch of sandy beach and plenty of room for beach-goers to spread out along the shore – meanwhile Royal Caribbean is more of a pool resort. 

The beach features a few small coves with the property extending further inland away from the water whereas at Montego Bay all of the buildings are right along the ocean. Many of the buildings at Royal Caribbean have pools and/or swim-up rooms and it has lush gardens throughout.  

Royal Caribbean has overwater bungalows and a private island. It’s a neat little addition to the property, but there’s not much for sandy beaches on the island. Now, let’s get down to the reviews for Sandals Montego Bay.


Restaurants

All the restaurants are offered on the Sandals all inclusive Montego Bay package, so make a point to try out each and every one!

Did you know that you also have full all inclusive exchange privileges with the nearby Sandals Royal Caribbean?  So head over there for a dinner or two on longer stays.

One of our favorite things to do for dinner at any Sandals is to book later dinner reservations, and then stop off at another restaurant for appetizers. At Sandals Montego Bay, we grab sushi(the Champagne Lobster roll is my favorite!) from Soy or gyoza at Tokyo Jo’s before heading to dinner.

They keep the portions small, which is perfect for trying several things without filling up. So, get an appetizer and dessert. Can’t decide between two entrees- try the both! I don’t condone wasting food, but if you like part of one thing and part of another, let your server know. They are happy to get you what you want.

Most of the restaurants offer a signature drink. Try them! They are some of my favorite drinks on the resort(besides Bob Marleys)- especially the pineapple one at Oleander.

One thing you may miss are snack foods, so you’ll want to bring any that you can’t live without. There are plenty of real food options, including plenty of sweets like cookies and pastries from Cafe de Paris, at all hours of the day, but I did find myself wanting simple snacks like chips or popcorn in the evenings.

Location Map

Sandals Montego Bay Restaurants Location Map

All Day Dining

Cafe de Paris

Cafe de Paris counter in Sandals Montego Bay
  • Opening Times: 6:30am-10pm
  • Dress Code: Resort casual dress
  • What to Expect: French pastry shop
  • Dining: Air-conditioned indoor shop; outdoor dining

Towards the end of the night, it becomes slim pickings – so you’re best off getting your French pastry fix in the morning or afternoon. There’s no dining area inside the shop, but there is outside. 

Here you can find ice creams, assorted desserts in the case, and of course pastries. They also serve delicious coffees – you can try several liqueur add-ins, Jamaican coffee,  coffee with Jamaican cream, Irish coffee, coffee with baileys, etc. They serve iced and hot varieties.

Find Details and a Menu Here.


Breakfast

Bayside

Bayside deck in Sandals Montego Bay
  • Breakfast opening times: 7am-11am
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Continental breakfast/breakfast buffet
  • Dining: Air-conditioned indoor dining and outdoor dining

An open-air restaurant on the ground floor right on the shore with fantastic views. There’s no menu at Bayside, instead, you can choose whatever you like from their buffet. Choose from potatoes, bacon, pancakes, French toast, eggs, pastries, bagels, bread, juices, milk, and more. They also have oatmeal, cereal, and a meat and cheese bar as well as an omelet station.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Cucina Romana

Cucina Romana in Sandals Resort, Montego Bay
  • Breakfast opening times: 7am-11am 
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: A la Carte, made-to-order breakfast
  • Dining: Indoor and outdoor dining

Cucina Romana is an Italian restaurant right on the ocean. The second-floor location gives you great views. Here you’ll find typical breakfast items like eggs benedict, salmon on toast, omelets, pancakes, waffles, etc. The restaurant tries to use locally sourced and in-season ingredients whenever possible so you’re guaranteed freshness.

Find Details and a Menu Here.


Lunch

Bayside

Bayside deck in Sandals Montego Bay
  • Lunchtime opening hours: 12:30 pm-2:30 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Typical lunchtime food
  • Dining: Air-conditioned indoor and outdoor dining

For lunch, Bayside offers all the familiar lunchtime fare – sandwiches, soups, salads, etc. If you’re looking for a slightly more upscale lunch, Bayside is probably the place to go, although it’s still fairly casual.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana

  • Lunchtime opening hours: 11 am-6 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Pizzaria
  • Dining: Outdoor dining

You can’t beat a delicious pizza for lunch. Dino’s serves crispy thin pizzas that they make in their wood-fired ovens with fresh mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce. They offer a huge variety of toppings including prosciutto, artichokes, seafood, pear gorgonzola, brie, sausage, seafood (of course!), and tons more. 

Find Details and a Menu Here.

The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill

The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill by the beach in Sandals Resort, Montego Bay
  • Lunchtime opening hours: 11 am-4 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Bar/grill food and Jamaican specialties
  • Dining: Outdoor dining

The Mariner offers casual dining and drinking with a laid-back Caribbean vibe. It caters to beachgoers, positioned right on the shore alongside umbrellas and sun loungers. You’ll find a wide variety of typical bar and grill food \here with a Jamaican twist – grilled fish, burgers, wraps, fries, salads, and local favorites like jerk chicken and pork. This place is perfect after you’ve worked up an appetite swimming and tanning.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

The Jerk Shack

The Jerk Shack Sandals Jamaica Montego Bay
  • Lunchtime opening hours: 11 am-6 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Jamaican jerk specialties
  • Dining: Outdoor dining

Super yummy! The Jerk Shack is highly recommended among all of our Sandals Jamaica Montego Bay Reviews and holds a special place in our hearts as it’s our favorite lunch spot. The Jerk Shack promises to deliver “a true Caribbean experience” and that they do. They serve jerk chicken, pork, and sausage as well as other Jamaican specialties like breadfruit and hard dough bread. The restaurant is outdoors on the water by the pool.

Find Details and a Menu Here.


Dinner

Bayside

Bayside at Sandals Montego Bay Dinner
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts
  • Dinner opening hours: 5:30-10pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: French brasserie
  • Dining: Indoor air-conditioned or outdoor dining

For dinner, Bayside serves French specialties like poulet cordon bleu, langouste thermidor and canard à l’orange. Indoors at Bayside sets the tone for a romantic dinner with candlelight dining, while dining outdoors gives you an amazing view of the sunset if you arrive at the right time of course.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Oleander

Oleander seaside dining in Montego Bay Sandals Resort
  • Dinner opening hours: 5:30 pm-9:30 pm
  • Dress code: Resort evening dress
  • What to expect: Jamaican cuisine; reservation required
  • Dining: Indoor air conditioned or outdoor covered dining

Dining at Oleander is more of a fine dining type experience. There’s a lower-level deck overlooking the ocean or you can also dine indoors if you’re looking for a more intimate atmosphere. The restaurant is designed to look and feel historic with arched valances and old-style local decor. Oleander does some good local specialties like escovitch fish and jerk sauce quiche.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Cucina Romana

Cucina Romana at Sandals Montego Bay Dinner
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts
  • Dinner opening hours: 5:30 pm-9:30 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Italian Cuisine; reservation required
  • Dining: Indoor open air dining

Dinner at Cucina Romana always tastes fresh since they use locally-sourced ingredients and they even get their basil from their onsite garden. You can expect all the Italian favorites here like bruschetta, fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, etc. They do some very indulgent desserts if you’ve got any room left too. 

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Tokyo Jo’s

Tokyo Jo’s over the water dining in Sandals MoBay
  • Opening hours: 5:30 pm-10 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Asian wok fusion
  • Dining: Outdoor dining

Tokyo Jo’s offers a pretty setting – it’s built over the water with a view down the whole beach. It’s not done in an at-the-table hibachi style, instead, you get up and walk over to the workstation to order your main – choice of meat, veg, and sauces – watch them cook it and then carry it back to the table. Appetizers though are served to you at your table. You can smell the aromas of the spices at Tokyo Jo’s a ways down the beach – super yummy.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Stewfish

Stewfish dining by the beach in Sandals, Montego Bay
  • Opening hours: 5:30 pm-9 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Jamaican seafood; reservation required
  • Dining: Outdoor beach dining

This place is literally on the beach so you can dine with your toes in the sand. It’s very casual with a sort of maritime pub-themed decor. Stewfish has a wide selection of authentic Caribbean comfort dishes including Jamaican pepper shrimp, West Indies pepper pot soup, and traditional Jamaican steamed fish. 

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Butch’s

Butch’s in Sandals in Montego Bay
  • Opening hours: 5:30 pm-9:30 pm
  • Dress code: Resort evening dress
  • What to expect: Steak & seafood; reservation required
  • Dining: Indoor air-conditioned dining

We definitely couldn’t leave Butch’s off our Sandals in Montego Bay reviews. Butch’s is considered by most the spot for dinner and special occasions. We would agree that it was pretty good. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was a bit more upscale. It was one of our favorites, but I wouldn’t say it was leaps and bounds better than the other dinner options.  

Find Details and a Menu Here.

Soy Sushi Bar

Soy Sushi Bar sushi restaurant in Sandals, Montego Bay
  • Opening hours: 6:30 pm-9:30 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Sushi bar
  • Dining: Indoor air-conditioned and outdoor dining

A very pretty interior and patio in a garden setting. It’s next to Butch’s just behind the palms building. Really yummy sushi! One of our favorites. We liked to drop by early for a sushi roll appetizer before dinner. No reservation is required – so easy to pop in.

Find Details and a Menu Here.

The Cricketers Pint

The Cricketers Pint in Sandals Montego Bay
  • Opening hours: 4 pm-10 pm
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: British pub food
  • Dining: Air-conditioned indoor dining

The Cricketers is designed to resemble your typical British pub with a wood panel interior. You’ll find meals like shepherd’s pie, bangers & mash, and fish ‘n chips. This is the place to head to if you’re in need of a pint of Guinness or Newcastle Brown ale.

Find Details and a Menu Here.


Late Night Dining

The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill

The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill late night dining in Sandals Mobay
  • Late-night hours: 10 pm-5 am
  • Dress code: Resort casual dress
  • What to expect: Jamaican specialties
  • Dining: Outdoor dining

After everywhere else has closed, the Mariner is just opening up. They still serve food right up until 5 in the morning! So this is the spot to grab late-night snacks.  

Find Details and a Menu Here.


What does the dress code mean

Resort casual

Where restaurants list “casual” they are fine with shorts and really any type of shirt/t-shirt. Swimwear should be covered though and you must still wear shoes.

Resort evening

In the more formal restaurants, shorts aren’t allowed. You’ll need to wear pants or dresses and dress shirts. No t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, tennis shoes, flip flops, or hats.


Getting Reservations

You can’t make reservations before you arrive, so this should be the first thing on your agenda after arrival as many places book up quickly. Don’t worry, you will always find somewhere to eat, it just may not be your first pick.

Butler level

You can’t get reservations before you arrive. However, if you have butler service, you can include reservations you hope for and they will do their best. Always ask on arrival as well in case they haven’t looked into the reservations yet.

Club Level

Reservations can be booked in the club lounge. 

Luxury Level

You can book at the culinary desk just off the main lobby across from Bayside.

Closures

Some places close for private events (check if only specific restaurants). On our last trip, the Bayside wasn’t open Saturday evening for dinner because it was hosting a wedding reception.


Bars

Beach Bar

Opening times: 10 am-5 pm; 6 pm-9 pm

The Beach Bar is located in front of the palms building along the widest strip of sand where most of the land games are. Between the Mariner Restaurant and Stewfish. This is the main bar for the beach bums enjoying the larger beach and amenity-heavy west side of the resort.  

Main Bar

Sandals Main Bar

Opening times: 10 am-11 pm

Located near the western edge of the resort just between the main lobby and the ocean. The main bar is at the hub of most of the dining and entertainment options, making it a busier and livelier bar.  

Latitudes Overwater Bar

SMB Latitudes Bar
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Opening times: 10 am-10 pm

The farthest east bar on the property, located on the quieter side of the resort and sticking out over the water. Beautiful views, hammocks to relax in, fun bartenders, fire pits at night – a really fun spot to chill and enjoy the ocean.

Swim-up Pool Bar/Piano Bar

Swim up bar in Sandals, Montego Bay
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Opening times: 11 am-2 pm

At what I call the second entertainment hub of the resort. The main lobby has most restaurants and bars near it, but the swim-up pool bar and piano bar are located about midway down the beach to the east. It can get quite lively during the day, but the piano bar is a bit of a quieter and more subdued party at night.  

Cricketer’s Pint

Cricketer’s Pint is a British pub-style bar in Sandals, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Opening times: 4 pm-2 am

Just off the main lobby, Cricketer’s Pint is a small and dark British pub-style bar with lots of dark book wood. It’s a small spot, and not a lot of action, but there are TVs with sports and it is a quiet spot to grab a drink and chat.

Palms Bar

Palms Bar at Night at Sandals Montego Bay

Opening times: 5 pm-11 pm

Located just between Soy Sushi Bar and Butch’s at the back of the property, this bar only opens during evening dinner service and doesn’t seem to have a lot of activity. People will sit at the bar before reservations, and it provides the drink service for Soy and Butch’s.


Drinks

Bob Marley Drink at Sandals on the Beach

Reviews on Sandals Montego Bay would be incomplete without the drinks recommendations. My personal favorite drink would be the “Bob Marley”, but make sure to try several things. Most restaurants will have a special for the evening, so those are fun to try. Other than that, ask the bartenders for recommendations – stand back and watch them make a couple of drinks and ask the names of the ones that look good. If you see someone walk by with something interesting, ask them what it is.  

Other popular drinks:

  • Rum punch
  • Dirty banana
  • Hummingbird
  • Purple rain

Wines available – You can find all Robert Mondavi wines in the room and at the bar. You can purchase other wines by the bottle at the nicer restaurants.

Beers available – it’s Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light – that’s usually it. In the Cricketer’s Pint there are other options like Guinness and other ales. At the bar in the rest of the venues, you can just ask for “a beer” because there are no choices. But, that’s not a bad thing – the beer is good, so don’t worry about the brands.


Entertainment

Evening Entertainment at Sandals Montego Bay

Entertainment is always subject to change. The schedule doesn’t appear to be posted anywhere anymore. Look on the app once on the property and it will show all the options for activities for the day. You can also ask for a printout of the week’s activity schedule at the front desk.

There’s really no need to know exactly what’s going on before you arrive at Jamaica Sandals Resort Montego Bay. Mondays are usually the Caribbean beach party, and I think Thursday is usually the white party, but again, just go with the flow. You don’t have to wear all white to the white party. And if you’re super concerned about it, just make sure to pack one white dress/shirt.


Room Service

There’s a standard room service menu for club level that’s available from 7 am-10 pm., but luxury level does not include room service.

If you have a butler, you can ask for anything available at Montego Bay Sandals Resort and they will try to get it for you. So, you can order in from one of the restaurants to eat on your balcony. Room service is 24hrs from the room service menu.

Sushi in room delivered from Sandals butler

Coffee – It’s all Blue Mountain coffee at the resort.


ROOMS

One of the most asked-about topics is regarding the rooms available and there’s a lot to unpack here.

In this Sandals Montego Bay review, you will be introduced to each and every one of the Sandals Resort Room Categories. Here they are:

Luxury

Similar to regular hotel service, which is the base level – really isn’t bad at all. You can check with the front desk for anything you need, and making reservations isn’t difficult.   The biggest draw back is that room service isn’t included at the luxury level.

Club

This option is mid-range and includes room service. Quite the same as having a concierge at the resort. They will assist you with making dinner reservations, as well as reservations for the spa and tours. 

Learn more about Sandals Club Level Service Here.

Butler

This is the full-service option Montego Bay Sandals have to offer. No, it’s not that an individual butler is always ready to serve you 24/7. But, they will bring things to you, prepare coolers and chairs at the beach for you, drop off snacks, draw baths, etc. They’re nice to have, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s not such a pain to walk 1 minute to Cafe de Paris for a sweet treat, walk the 10 steps to the bar, or draw my own bath. The biggest benefit of the butler is making dinner reservations and reserving beach chairs for you. Making your whole Jamaica Montego Bay Sandals experience feel more luxurious. Sometimes it’s hard to get into places or get a chair in a prime spot with shade, but the butlers can usually make it happen. 

Should you have the budget to experience the all-inclusive Sandals Montego Bay, go for it and enjoy it to the fullest.

Learn more about Sandals Butler Service Here.

Honeymoon and Love Nest Rooms

Some rooms are listed as a honeymoon or love nest rooms, but they are the exact same room as their counterparts. For example, in the Poinciana building, you’ll find B1B rooms and HB1B rooms. These are the SAME rooms. I truly don’t understand the need for the additional titles. It just makes the whole room choice even more confusing.

Requesting a specific room

This is always a request and never guaranteed. You must call the 1800 number to put in the request. I’ve found it’s best to mention the location rather than a specific room number – like the third floor further from the bar…etc. That way if your specific room number is unavailable, they know what you’re looking for and can try to accommodate you.

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Map of Property

Sandals MoBay Property Map

Buildings & Rooms

Almonds Building

Almonds Building

The Almonds have fantastic views of the ocean but no beach in front. It’s on the far left side of the resort and a few of the rooms are behind Tokyo Jo’s with obstructed views and restaurant noise. It’s also near the main lobby entertainment which can get louder.

  • 1st floor – (½ walk out, ½ swim out) WOFT (Club Level) 101-110; OSS (Butler Level) 111-120
  • 2nd floor – OFT (Club Level) 201-220
  • 3rd floor – PJS (Club Level) 301-320 (left to right when looking at building)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Oleander Building

Oleander Building

This would be a noisier location near all the action with the main lobby entertainment and restaurants. It offers views of either the outdoor dining at bayside or the main pool, but also the ocean past that. The rooms furthest to the back have semi-obstructed views from some balconies.

All rooms are on the 2nd floor with the Oleander & Bayside below. Cucina Romana is on the beach end of the building, and half of the rooms are on the side overlooking the main pool with the other half overlooking the deck with Bayside dining.

  • LS – Ocean view; Luxury Level  
  • DL – Garden view; Luxury Level  
  • Back to front – lobby side: 401-411
  • Back to front – poolside: 402-410
  • *I believe that room 401 is the only DL in this building, but there may be 1-2 more. All others are LS.

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Palms Building

Palms Building

The Palms building is near the action so it can get noisy during the day. The rooms closer to the right (looking from the beach) have more obstructed views due to the bar and trees. You get views of the ocean and beach but often there are people outside playing games, so it’s not as private as villas further down. On the bright side, you’re on a large stretch of beach and really close to everything. You can walk out to lots of activities and the bar, with an ocean and beach view.

  • 1st floor – OWT (Butler Level) & WGBT (Club Level) – mixed through floor 501-522
  • 2nd floor – OBT (Butler Level) & GBT (Club Level) – mixed through floor 601-622
  • 3rd floor – OBT (Butler Level) & GBT (Club Level) – mixed through floor 701-722

(right to left looking at building)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 5

Cottage 5

This small building only has 4 rooms total but are in a great location near the action but not directly adjacent to it.  There are some semi-obstructed views due to the large tree in front, but this also provides more privacy from people walking along the beach.

All rooms are RJ category (Butler Level)

  • 1st floor – 550 & 549 (left to right from beach)
  • 2nd floor – 552 & 551 (left to right from beach)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Poinciana Building

Poinciana Building

We love this location because it’s close to everything but not right on the main beach. You get a direct beach view i.e. no activities, bars, etc. on this beach area, and the first floor rooms are swim ups.

  • 1st floor – SB1B & HSB1B (Butler Level) (these are the same room type) 650-655 (right to left from beach)
  • 2nd floor – B1B & HB1B (Butler Level) (same room type) 660-665
  • 3rd floor – B1B & HB1B 670-675

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 8

Cottage 8 Facade
Cottage 8 Balcony

Pros and Cons of Building

This building is privately owned and the rooms are rented out to Sandals by the owner. This property has not been renovated like many of the other buildings and the side DL rooms do not have an ocean view.

  • 1st floor – 1B (Butler Level) (ocean view) & DL (Luxury Level) (garden view)
  • Left side of building – back to front (DL): 857,854,850
  • Front (1B) – 854, 853
  • Right side of building, back to front (DL): 858, 852, 859

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 9

Cottage 9 Facade

*Currently Under Construction until the end of 2022*

Cottage 9 is next to the swim-up pool meaning it may be a bit noisier. There are 8 units in the building with 2 upper and lower of each category. The UB category rooms are in the center and bumped out toward the beach with the BB categorys on the sides. The lower level is located right on the walking path where traffic funnels as the beach is smaller in this area, and most people walk along the path to the next door Jerk Shack and pool area, so the patios and balconies offer less privacy.

  • 1st Floor – UB (Butler Level) & BB (Butler Level): 951 (BB), 953 (UB), 955 (UB), 957 (BB)
  • 2nd Floor – UB & BB: 952 (BB), 954 (UB), 956 (UB), 958 (BB)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Seagrapes Building

Seagrapes Building pool

There’s not much of an ocean view here because it’s blocked by the pool and swim-up bar area. The Seagrapes building is set back from the beach behind the beach pool meaning most views are on the back side of other buildings. But pretty gardens surround the pool in front of the building, and it’s close to the swim-up bar and Jerk Shack.

  • 1st floor – S1B (Butler Level) & SLX (Club Level): all swim-up – 801-906 SLX; 807-810 S1B; 911-916 SLX
  • 2nd floor – OL1B (Butler Level) & OLX (Luxury Level): 901-906 OLX; 907-910 OL1B; 911-916 OLX
  • 3rd floor – OL1B (Butler Level) & OLX (Luxury Level): 1001-1006 OLX; 1007-1010 OL1B; 1011-1016 OLX

(right to left looking at bldg)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 12

Cottage 12

Located just by the pool bar, it may be a bit noisy at times if you stay in this unit. Although it’s also not our most recommended building among all of them in these Sandals Montego Bay reviews due to the trees blocking the views, this cottage has a nice small stretch of beach in front, with rooms set further back from the walkway giving more privacy on the balconies and patios.

  • 1st Floor WBH – 1276-1278 (right to left from the beach)
  • 2nd Floor BH –1279-1281

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 14

Cottage 14 Facade

We really like this locations as it’s still close to things, but far enough away that the beach is a bit more private. The patios are set close to the walkway along the beach meaning less privacy. This building has three of the rooms on each floor oceanfront (BB), and one on each floor with a garden view These garden view rooms only have a patio or balcony at the back of the building, but they are surrounded by lush greenery.  

  • 1st floor- BB (Butler Level) & HPR (Luxury Level)
  • 1461 (HPR) 1462-1464 (BB) – right to left from beach
  • 2nd floor – BB & HPR
  • 1465 (HPR) 1466-1468 (BB)

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 15

Cottage 15 in Sandals, Montego Bay

Everything is relative, but to me, this is one of the best spots on the entire Montego Bay Jamaica Sandals property, and there are reasons why it sits high on this review Sandals Montego Bay. It’s located still close enough to dinner and activities, but far enough that it’s more private and quieter. The beach in front is great – not too small or rocky like the ones further down the property. Just an all-round great choice that gives you the best of both worlds.

The whole building is M1 (Butler Level) category

  • 1st floor: 1566-1568 (right to left from the beach)
  • 2nd floor: 1569-1571

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Cottage 16

Cottage 16 Private villa in Sandals, Montego Bay

This is a private villa. I’ve heard it’s the Stewart family’s (owners of Sandals) villa, but I’m not positive about this. Either way, it’s a nice spot, but not for rent.


Cottage 17

Cottage 17 in Sandals, Montego Bay

You’re getting kind of far from the main action of the resort, so if you’re a very social person, this might not be the best spot for you. But, if you’re looking for quiet, the views here are wonderful, and not many people make it down this far on the beach so you’ll have more privacy.

  • 1st floor – HSB1B & SB1B (these are the same room type): 1701-1703 (right to left from beach)
  • 2nd floor – HB1B & B1B (these are the same room type): 1704-1706

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Hibiscus Building/ Cottage 18

Hibiscus Building/ Cottage 18

This is the last building on the property, so it will be quieter than most with much less foot traffic and more privacy. The beach is smaller so don’t expect a wide expanse of sand like down by the palms.  

  • 1st floor –  SM1B (Butler Level), SB1B (Butler Level): SB1B 1811 & 1812; SM1B 1813-1815; SB1B 1816 & 1817 (right to left from beach)
  • 2nd floor – M1 (Butler Level), HB1B (Butler Level), B1B (Butler Level): B1B 1821 & 1822; M1 1823-1825; B1B 1826 & 1827
  • 3rd floor – M1 (Butler Level), HB1B (Butler Level), B1B (Butler Level): B1B 1831 & 1832; M1 1833-1835; B1B 1836 & 1837

*HB1B and B1B are the same room

Check Prices and Availability for All Rooms Here.


Windsong by the Sea

This private villa is truly the last building on the property. I believe it is home to the General Manager on the property, but I’m not completely sure. Either way, it’s not open to the resort guests. I’ll update if I find out any additional information.


BUTLERS

Butler and room service at sandals montego bay
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Fill out the butler preference sheet (available after paid in full), and print a copy to take along.

Includes a private BMW transfer from the airport. 

Upon arrival at Sandals Resort Montego Bay, you will be escorted right away to a separate lounge, the club lounge. They’ll bring you a drink and call your butler to take you to your room or show you around the resort if the room isn’t ready.  

What do butlers do and what should I ask for?

They reserve chairs and have coolers waiting for you, bring you snacks during the day, stock your room, draw baths, arrange tours, make dinner reservations, arrange spa treatments, etc.

They do have several (approximately 6) other couples that they are serving at the same time, so do not expect them to always be at your beck and call.  

Not all butlers are created equal though, and everyone has good and bad days, so don’t let butler performance make or break your trip. We learned this the hard way with a not-so-great butler experience causing us to miss out on enjoying most of our first day. Try to see them as a concierge who may go above and beyond. They are there to help when needed. Be pleasantly surprised when your expectations are exceeded rather than upset when higher ones aren’t met.


WHO DO I TIP?

First, we will start with who you DO NOT tip. It’s basically all on-site staff with the exception of butlers, cabana butlers, and spa attendants. I know it’s tempting, especially for us Americans who come from a tipping heavy culture, but that’s not the case with Sandals in Montego bay. Here, they are strict about it, and employees can be fired over accepting tips. Just try not to break the rules and get anyone in trouble.

But there are a few people who can be tipped, so make sure to have cash and the appropriate bills.

Based on our experience and through talking to many other regular Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica visitors, we’ve compiled these average amounts of tips. But again, a tip is just that and can go up or down based on personal preference. Here are our recommendations:

  • Club Mobay attendants: This is a separate service but many at Sandals use it – $10-20
  • Red cap at airport: $2-5 (depending on # of bags – at least $1/bag)
  • Shuttle driver or private driver from the airport: $10-20
  • Excursion guides and drivers: $5-20 per person depending on how long, involved, or personalized the excursion is.
  • Spa Attendants: +/-20%, but keep in mind that a 12.5% gratuity is automatically calculated into the bill (double check your bill to be sure before you leave a tip).
  • Butlers: Tip as you see fit at the end of your stay. Many bring thank you cards and place the tip in those before they leave: $20-30 per butler per day.
  • Cabana butlers: You can rent a cabana for a day which comes with a butler to care for you at the cabana – they will bring you drinks, and food, and try to meet any needs you have while there – you can tip, and the average tip is around $20-50

BEACH AND OCEAN

Sandals Montego Bay Beach Arial Photo
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Sandals Jamaica reviews Montego Bay is obviously not complete without some guidance on the beach and the ocean. There are several long stretches of beach with jetties sticking out. Each jetty has a separate use – watersports dock, multiple gazebos for special dinners, latitudes bar, and even an over-water chapel.

The western end of the beach is deeper near the restaurants and activities in front of the Palms building. As you round the bend near the swim-up bar, the beach becomes much narrower with little rocky patches breaking it up. The eastern side is much quieter while the western side is near all of the amenities.  

Hammocks over the water at Sandals Montego Bay
Kristin with Bob Marley Drink

Water is crystal clear and bright blue, calm and warm. Perfect for floating and relaxing. A few hammocks hanging over the water and there are several round floats in the ocean, but if you want to be certain of a float, bring your own. We like this hammock style because they are compact, easy to pack, and easy to blow up. 

Please take your float home! Many people think they are being helpful to other guests by leaving their floats for others, but they often turn into trash to be cleaned up. Offer up your float, but if not claimed by another guest, take it home.  

There isn’t a beach food and drink service unless you have a butler. But, good news for you, no spot on the beach is too far from the nearest bar or restaurant, so this really isn’t an issue.


GROUNDS

Grounds at Sandals Montego Bay

Most of the room buildings are along the edge of the beach with the exception of the sea grapes building. In addition to it, Soy, Butch’s, the spa, the gym, the gift shop, the chapel, and the tennis courts make up the back of the property. There is a small walking path and garden area stretching out between them. This area is small but pretty with a few little spots to relax and enjoy the tropical plants. But, the beach is definitely the star of this property. The garden and walking path is the main highway for the service staff.


AIRPLANE NOISE

This is a hot topic – Jamaica Sandals Montego Bay is actually right next to the airport and you will hear and see planes taking off all day. Many people are very concerned about it, but it really didn’t bother us. Yes, you will hear the planes, and the noise is loud enough that you can’t continue your conversation for about 5 seconds, and then it’s gone. The busiest time is the afternoon and it’s probably 3-4 per hour if I’m guessing. I never noticed any early in the morning or late at night.  


INCLUDED WATER AND LAND SPORTS

Andrew and Kristin on Hobie Cat at Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica

Land Sports

Seriously, take advantage of these amenities. The playmakers of Sandals in Jamaica Montego Bay do a great job of getting volleyball games going, and I’ve been surprised how many people join in the fun. They include:

  • Tennis courts
  • Giant outdoor chess
  • Basketball
  • Pool tables
  • Croquet
  • Shuffleboard
  • Board games
  • Table tennis
  • Beach & pool volleyball

Water Sports

Watersports dock at Sandals Montego Bay

The watersports in Sandals Jamaica Montego Bay are always a highlight for us. We get out on paddleboards or kayaks every day and often take out a hobie cat. Don’t know how to ski or sail yet? That’s ok, they will work with you. We usually see several people trying out a new sport. Don’t be shy, take advantage! Choose from:

  • Kayaking
  • Hobie cat sailing
  • Paddleboards
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Windsurfing
  • Tubing
  • Waterskiing

POOLS & HOT TUBS

Map of all pools and hot tubs

There are 7 pools available in Sandals Resort Montego Bay Jamaica, but 2 of them are the swim-up room pools. While technically anyone can use these pools, they are most commonly used exclusively by the swim-up room guests. There’s also a spa pool for guests of the spa to use.

The other two pools are the “main pool” located between the Oleander building and the Palms building and the “swim-up bar pool” located in front of the Seagrapes building. SMB is more of a beach focused resort, so neither of the pools is large.

Main Pool

Main Pool in Sandals Resort
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

Located between the main lobby and restaurant area, the beach activities and bar in front of the Palms building. Just along the main path through the resort, you won’t miss this pool as you’re most likely going to pass it multiple times a day.


Swim-up Bar Pool

Swim-up Bar Pool
Photo Credit: Sandals Resorts

The 2nd most active area of the resort centers around the swim-up bar pool. There are often games and music at this pool during the day and there’s also music at the piano bar just opposite the swim-up bar. The Jerk Shack is also located here.  


Swim-up Hot Tub

Sandals Swim-up Hot Tub

Located just next to the swim-up bar, this larger hot tub is a nice spot to relax with ocean views.  There’s a swimming river around the pool bar area – not a lazy river, but you can walk it.


Main Pool Hot Tub

Main Pool Hot Tub

There’s a smaller hot tub at the end of the main pool just between the Oleander building and the Palm’s beach area.  


Hidden Hot Tub

Hidden Hot Tub

Tucked away back in the gardens of the property, this is a little hidden gem that many people don’t want others to find out about. It’s easy to spot on the property and is frequently used, but you can often find times to have it to yourself.


OTHER AMENITIES

Shuttles between SMB & SRC

Sandals Shuttle Service

Always check the current on-site schedule. You can catch a small shuttle between the properties. It makes the round trip every hour but the trip only takes 5-7 minutes. As of our latest visit in 2022, it departed Royal Caribbean on the hour and Montego Bay at a quarter to, with a break around lunch and dinner times.

Departure Lounge

A place to hang out, store luggage, and even shower and change before leaving.  

*It’s currently used as a covid testing area to assist guests in departure testing.

Resort Orientation

Resort tour twice daily at 9 am & 4 pm from Living Room

Fitness Center & Classes

24/7 Gym with lots of cardio and weight equipment. The gym does actually get quite a bit of use in the morning – people must be trying to work off all of the food and drinks before slipping into bathing suits for the day! 

There are several fitness classes available as well, but I’ve not tried any. Maybe on some trip, I will find the motivation.

Saunas & Steam Rooms

Located just off the fitness center. It’s already hot and steamy in Jamaica. I love a good steam room, but just never saw a need to use it. But, they’re there and look nice if you’re in need of a sauna or steam. 


PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP

Packing

Everyone is always concerned about what to wear. No need to stress about it – keep it simple.

Women

Daytime – bathing suit, sundress, beach sandals.

Evening – A resort dress is better than a sundress but more casual than a cocktail dress (but, you will see all sorts and no one stands out), nicer sandals (some wear fancier sandals/flip flops, and others wear heels – just make sure to wear some that are easy to walk in sand. You won’t HAVE to walk on the beach in the evening, but it’s much easier not to worry about not having the right shoes on) We see lots of wedges and espadrilles, which are a perfect mix of fancy and easy to walk on the beach with.

Men

Daytime – swim shorts, lightweight shirt, sandals.

Evening – linen/lightweight pants & shorts (a few restaurants require long pants), polo or button-down lightweight shirt, boat shoes.

Necessary items:

  • Large plastic bag – for wet clothes when coming home
  • Baggies – they always come in handy on trips
  • Swimsuit in carry-on to hit the beach even for if the room isn’t ready
  • Sunblock
  • Cash for tips
  • Thank you cards for butler (optional) 
  • Bug spray – I think they keep up on keeping the grounds sprayed, but I always bring just in case

Things many recommend that we didn’t find necessary:

  • Towel clips – towels can tuck into spots on chairs
  • Metal straws – Sandals use paper, but they don’t bother us.
  • Yeti large drink cups to keep your drinks frozen all day – never used mine, or perhaps I just drank my drinks quite fast.

In-room toiletries

In Room Toiletries at Sandals with Drinking Glass for Size Reference
In Room Toiletries; Glass for Size Reference

There is a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, bath bomb, lotion, soap, nail file, and tips. These are all good quality and larger size so there’s no need to pack your own, even for girls like me with curly tangly hair.

Floats

See above in the ocean section – we recommend the hammock style. There are a few of the large yellow floating circles at the main beach area, but not many. The swim-up rooms have their own floats, but they are large and heavy and not good to carry out to the ocean.

Club MoBay

This is an arrival and departure service. Arrivals assist you from the plane to the arrivals lounge to wait for transportation. You get expedited service through customs and immigration and access to the Club MoBay lounge on arrival. For departure, you have access to the Club MoBay departure lounge.


OUR OPINION

To conclude these Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica reviews – we are beach people, so we like Sandals Montego Bay. The beach is long and nearly every room has pretty direct access to the sand. The pools are smaller , as it’s not really a pool focused resort. If you love watersports, you’ll love all the options here with large calm areas for kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, and skiing, as well as numerous boat trips out to the reef for snorkeling. 

Of all the Sandals in Jamaica, this one has more small villas rather than larger buildings which gives it a cozier, less big resort feel.  

There are plenty of butler rooms in Sandals Montego Bay Jamaica. Most of the villa rooms are Butler, and quite a few in the larger buildings are as well, so if you’re looking to be pampered, it’s the perfect place.

Known as a lively party resort, there are always plenty of things to do and things going on, but we’ve never seen any wild or very drunken behavior. I think this really depends on the crowd for the time you are there though.

It is on the pricier side for the Sandals Resorts in Jamaica, but it’s worth it for it’s amazing beach, easy access, and modern updates. Sandals in Jamaica Montego Bay has our seal of approval and is one of our favorite spots in Jamaica.

Still Trying to Decide? Check out our Guide to the Best Sandals Resort in Jamaica HERE. or Read all of our Jamaica Guides HERE.

About the author
Kristin Young