My husband and I traveled to Sandals for our 10th Anniversary on March 10th for 7 nights. I relied heavily on the positive reviews from Trip Advisor before making our trip. We had several issues, including no hot water for the first 4 nights of our trip. The property was BEAUTIFUL and we did have a great time, HOWEVER, for the money, I believe we could have gotten much better service at a different resort. After coming back, there are several resorts for a similar price (including the Ritz Carlton) in the Rose Hall area that seem to me would be better places to go. The following is a letter I sent to Sandals regarding our trip and also responses from Sandals and myself regarding the problems. Note they offer me 2 nights free on my next stay, however, it’s only valid for 1 year. This was not the type of vacation my husband and I can do every year, as we have small children at home….
With all of my complaints here are recommendations of things that we did like from our trip:
1. Eat at Evelyns (get a taxi driver to take you, it’s just past the Sandals property.)
2. Play golf at Cinnamon Hill (My husband’s the golfer, but this was by far my favorite excursion. It was beautiful!!)
3. Eat at the French Restaurant at Royal Caribbean.
4. Eat at Tokyo Joes
5. Get a Butler Room (the view and the butler are worth the extra money)
A few more complaints not in my letter to Sandals:
1. The airplane that left at 6:30 EVERY morning. The next plane wasn’t until 9 or so, but we were woken by the 6:30 one EVERY morning. We have babies at home, so we would have liked the opportunity to sleep in a few days.
2. Food and drinks were just average. People who like to eat at nicer restaurants will not like the quality of food served. However, if you like average restaurants, you will love the food.
My original letter to Sandals:
My husband and I traveled to Sandals Montego Bay March 10-17, 2012 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Although, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed our experience in Jamaica, there were several issues that we felt could have been addressed in a better way.
First, our room, wasn't as pictured on the Sandals website. We had the "Bay Roc Villa Honeymoon Beach Front Suite". On the website, it shows a separate shower and large tub. However, our room only featured a normal sized bathtub with shower.
The first night, we went to take a shower before dinner and there was no hot water. After calling our butler, someone came and "fixed" the hot water heater. We ended up going to eat dirty after spending the afternoon at the beach and then getting a hot shower after dinner once the hot water had heated up. The second night, we had dinner reservations at 6 and so we came into get our showers about 5pm. Once again, no hot water. So we each had a cold shower. We again called our Butlers and the hot water was fixed later that evening, after we'd had to take COLD showers to get to our dinner reservations. Since we'd had to endure no hot water for the first two nights, management called and gave us a complimentary couples massage. That was appreciated, but we really just wanted a hot shower, especially for the money that we had spent on this vacation. I asked to be moved to a different room and was told that the resort was sold out. I asked to be moved into someone's room once they checked out the next day and for the people who were arriving the next day to be given our room so that we could be guaranteed a hot shower. I was told that the water problem was fixed and that our room was fine. The third day, my husband and I checked the hot water periodically throughout the morning to ensure it was indeed hot. We left for a golf excursion and came back to get ready for our dinner reservations and once again no hot water. By this time, my husband and I were furious but still were told once again, it would be fixed. It did get fixed but after we'd had to get more cold showers for dinner. We were assured the problem was fixed. Believe it or not, the 4th night, we were surprised to find that we did indeed have hot water when we were getting ready for dinner. Although, half way through each of our showers, the water COMPLETELY turned off for a couple of minutes so we were standing in the shower with no water at all! After reporting yet a 4th night of water problems, our Butler, Omar says that someone from management was going to call us and give us 2 free nights for another stay at Sandals. With all of these issues, we would certainly be reluctant to spend this much money for a vacation when basic amenities, like hot water may or may not be available... But, needless to say, over the next (and last) 2 days of our stay, we never heard from anyone from management regarding 2 free nights.
My husband and I also asked that Omar bring us another bottle of Whiskey for our room on the 5th day, we didn't receive it from him and had to ask Andrea the next day when she was on duty. She quickly filled our request. Andrea was an exceptional butler!
We also called Omar to book a Snorkeling Reservation for us on the 6th day. The morning of the 6th day, I called and Andrea told me that he had not yet booked it for us. She was able to get us a reservation. But we were disappointed that once again, our request of Omar was ignored.
Had we been staying at a lower end resort, I would have expected some of these problems. However, for the price that we paid for this vacation, I really expected things to be nearly perfect. I was very disappointed in the way that the resort handled our problems and hope the water issues are fixed for the next "lucky" guest who got to stay in our room! When we called management, it seemed as that problem was also experienced by the guest who stayed in the room before us. I can't imagine why a decision was made to put us in a room that already had issues! Management could have offered to refund us some of our money, due to our problems or given us a credit at the resort and at the least SHOULD have moved us to a different room in the resort after the first two nights of water issues. I have a hard time believing that EVERY room in the resort was sold out. Maybe every room in our category, but I'm fairly certain that we could have been given an upgraded room, since the resort certainly didn't look filled to max capacity.
Response from Sandals:
Dear Mrs. Robinson:
Re: SANDALS MONTEGO BAY – ROBINSON; Bk#6539809/HS, Mar 10, 2012
We would like to thank you for choosing Sandals Resorts and in particular the “Flagship”, Sandals Montego Bay for your anniversary vacation destination; as we know there were so many choices and as such, we feel very special and honored. Secondly, as valued Guests, we appreciate your feedback on our facilities and services, as this is what helps us to keep our operations competitive and our clients satisfied.
Your concerns have been duly noted and it is regrettable this was your experience. Our logs indicate that upon arrival you were accommodated in the category room bought and paid for; that is, Bay Roc Villa Honeymoon Beachfront Suite (HS) room 1875. We understand that not all of our guests will be totally satisfied with their rooms and in cases of this nature our policy is to upgrade our guests and or offer a room change, based on available space. However, having voiced your concerns to a member of the Management Team you were offered a room change, but you declined and asked to have hot water by 3pm in the afternoons. For the inconvenience caused as a goodwill gesture you were offered a Spa credit (couples massage) valued at US$290 in addition to two (2) credit nights to be used on a future stay which was accepted. Further, on the 3rd day of stay the hot water situation was resolved to your satisfaction. Based on the foregoing we do believe of offer is fair and just. However, we are saddened that you had not made your other concerns known to us whilst at the resort as we would have ensured your happiness by all means necessary. Again, we apologize for any disappointment.
Despite this, we are sure from your own account that you enjoyed other aspects of your stay and trust that you will come to realize that we are indeed a great property. We look forward to hosting you again to a stay fully reflective of the true spirit of Sandals.
JOSEF ZELLNER - GENERAL MANAGER
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Largest private white sand beach on the north coast •The entertainment capital of the Sandals brand with nightly professional shows and upbeat, active, fun-loving daytime activities. •Six exquisite dining options•Complimentary transfers to Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Carlyle. Enjoy all the luxuries included in our “stay at one, play at three” concept offering 18 dining options •Air-conditioned departure lounge•Voted Sandals “World's Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted “Caribbean's Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Montego Bay Hotel Montego Bay
- Sandals Hotel Montego Bay
- Montego Bay Sandals Hotel
- Sandal Montego Bay