First, the story...
When my hubby and I were engaged in 1997, I heard about the romantic resorts in Jamaica called Sandals. Couples only, all inclusive, totally romantic -- they sounded like heaven! We planned to go to Sandals Montego Bay for our honeymoon...and then a sweet little house in DH's hometown came up for sale and we used our honeymoon fund for a down payment. Alas, no Sandals -- we went camping instead!
Fast forward to 2008 -- ten years of marriage, same house, two kids, two cats, a big job change, and we found ourselves with a bit extra to take a nice, romantic trip. Of course, we automatically thought about Jamaica and booked a week at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay. So we went, and it was the most wonderful week -- completely exceeded my expectations and we're back refreshed and hooked on this beautiful country AND Sandals resorts!
Here are the pics -- at least the first few. We saw so much and took so many pics (800!) that it will take a few posts to show you even the best ones. In this post, I'll show you around the Royal Caribbean resort where we stayed:
Off we go...here is the view from the plane. We were so excited to see Jamaica that the 6 hour flight (7, actually, because we stopped briefly in Regina) seemed to take forever!
When we got to the airport in Montego Bay, we waited at the resort lounge for a few minutes while the shuttle loaded our bags, and after a quick stop at Sandals Montego Bay to drop off some people, we ended up here in the hotel lobby. They served us champagne while they checked us in and we stopped off at the beach bar for a (very rummy!) pina colada on the way to our room:
Our room was incredible! We had booked a regular beachfront room, but were upgraded (without asking!) to the Honeymoon Luxury Beachfront Suite. We even had Concierge Service -- which was a sweet bonus! Here is the inside of the room (at least part of it) with the four-poster king sized bed, jacuzzi suite, and walkout patio that faced the ocean:
The outside of our suite, with Russ hiding in the doorway:
This was the view from our patio.
And the same view at night:
Our building was in a quiet area, at the very end of the resort, which we loved. The building had its own pool, hot tub, and beach area. This is the view of the Kensington building from the front:
Our building wasn't far from all the action. From the main beach, you just had to go through the gardens, and around the corner of the Balmoral building. There is a little path to the right of this building that led to our area:
This is the main beach. It was never really busy, and you could always find a couple of lounge chairs when you wanted to! The sand was so white and the water was incredibly blue!
There were gardens everywhere. If you wanted to find a cozy, secluded little spot -- they were always just a short walk away. Little gazebos, hammocks, airondack chairs -- lots of little cubbyholes to explore.
One of the coolest things about Sandals Royal Caribbean is that it has it's own private island. Sandals Cey was just on the reef, within sight of the main resort. There you could find the Thai restaurant, the "Jerk hut" with Jamaican cuisine, a pool, a bar, and a couple of beaches.
They took you over to the island whenever you wanted to go, in this neat dragon boat:
This was the restaraunt that we ate at most of the time. It was open for breakfast and lunch, buffet style. At night, they had the torches lit and you could order from the menu and sip champagne right besdie the sea....