Visit to Royalton Montego Bay
Royalton Resort was breath-taking and is easily one of the most entertaining and attractive resorts in Jamaica. It is also a family oriented resort. One weekend or just a few days will not be enough for you to explore all that it has to offer. The food, the service, the entertainment, the landscape, the atmosphere, everything is sublime! There were a few detractors, so of course everything wasn’t perfect, but you’ll have to read on to see what these were.
If you’re looking for a place to vacay in Jamaica, Royalton is just the place to stay. It is located on the North Coast in Montego Bay, which is a few kilometres from Ocean Coral Spring that we’ve visited a few months ago. You can read about our expedition at Ocean Coral Spring here. So far, these are our top two picks.
Royalton White Sands and Royalton Blue Waters
Royalton Resort seems to be one of the largest resorts in Jamaica. Don’t take this as fact. I’m just judging based on the experience there, and the apparent size of the resort. The main reason why I say this is because there are two properties – Royalton White Sands and Royalton Blue Waters. Though they are two different properties, if you’ve checked in at either, you are free to use the facilities of the next. The Resort Caribbean team stayed at Royalton White Sands, which is the first property you’ll encounter if travelling from the east, such as from Kingston.
Royalton Blue Waters is seemingly the more active section during the day. There were a lot of people, especially older children in the pools playing volleyball and a myriad of activities. The beach at that section was also very crowded. There is however a section of the beach designated for Diamond Club members, who are basically VIP, which could be the reason why the beach was crowded. Blue Waters is also the hub for water sport and adventurous activities. There were also a lot of craft vendors selling on the beach.
At nights, the central region, between both is most active. This is the entertainment hub that I’ll speak about further down. Royalton White Sands on the other hand is a beauty at nights. The lighting arrangement, ambient lights and landscaping were perfect. These ambient lights highlight the beauty of the architecture of the facility and it’s landscape.
EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
The only time we talk about customer service on Resort Caribbean is when it’s exceptional. So far, the customer service here is one of the best. We didn’t get the feeling like we were a bother to the staff there, as we’ve experienced at other resorts. We could see that they genuinely enjoyed serving guests and being hospitable. The young lady who checked us in at the front desk was very helpful, friendly and patient, and patiently clarified any uncertainties, and answered any question that we had.
ARCHITECTURE, FACILITIES AND FEATURES
Kiddies Play Area
There was an area designated for children to play, and well planned out supervised children’s activities. They even do babysitting. This is a rare find at any resort. Many of our resorts are adult resorts, and not necessarily family resorts.
There were bout six main pools and a few smaller ones. Included was a kiddie’s pool and play area with a pirate ship with water slides and a few other water adventure features. Beside that pool was a bigger water slide series that older kids and adults could use. Swimmers and non-swimmers might be wondering about the dept of the pools (for obvious reasons), especially since they look so dark, but the pools aren’t deep. The deepest pool is a little above 4 ft, but it was still enjoyable. At Royalton Blue Waters, there was a lazy river pool.
Adventure and Water Sport
Royalton Blue Waters has a lot of adventurous and sporting activities. There were also non-motorised sporting activities such as: kayaking, snorkelling and scuba-diving. There were also motorised activities, but these come at an additional cost. Adventurous guests also have the option of engaging in sky adventure. There was a parachute going round being stringed along by a boat over the ocean. Seems risky, but that could also be fun for adventure lovers.
Diamond Club is Royalton’s premium/VIP feature. These members have their own dining facilities, entertainment privileges, and other perks.
Craftsmen and Women
We like that they have seemingly made an agreement with crafts people to sell on the compounds. There were so many unique and well-made items created by Jamaican craft artists. Some even exhibited their skills by creating some on spot.
Royalton seems to be a popular destination for weddings and receptions. We’ve seen several weddings on each day that we’ve been there. I can see why many people would opt to tie the knot there, or host their dream beach wedding. The sands are white, luminous and beautiful.
Gym, Coffee, Ice cream and more
There are so many things to explore! It was impossible to explore all these in one weekend, however, we’re leaving them here for you. Other unexplored features include: a Spa, a Gym, gift and jewellery shop, conference and meeting facilities. There was also a coffee shop with authentic Jamaican coffee flavours, as well as authentic American and European coffee. Of course, I couldn’t go to a resort with such rich coffee and pass it by. There was also an ice-cream shop called “Gelato”, which is ice cream in Italian.
One of the detractors that would’ve been referenced at the beginning is the bedroom at Royalton White Sands. It was disappointing. I expected more based on what was presented on the outside. The bedroom was luxurious, yes, but it wasn’t the most luxurious. We’ve seen better. The space was small, but had the necessary liveable features. However, it could’ve been more attractive since it already will have to compensate for its significantly small space. Some of the materials were also stained with dirt.
Just like most resorts, the electrical architecture was confusing. After we checked in, we had to call room service to activate the electrical outlets, and they took a while to arrive. They also deactivated the outlets by around 11:30 am on the check-out day. That was a huge disservice. The plus side to this is that they had a variety of outlets, such as regular three-pronged outlets, UK adapter outlets and USB.
All restaurants at Royalton were reservation-free, expect the Zen, the Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant. The main restaurant that we dined at was the Gourmet Marche with international cuisines. It has literally everything you can think of! What I like best about it is that you can even fix your own meals. They just put out a bunch of ingredients, especially for the Spanish dishes, and you make your own meal. Additionally, there was an Italian restaurant called “Grazie”, which means “thanks” in Italian. There were others such as a Steakhouse, a West Indian restaurant, a Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, and a next Asian restaurant, which isn’t reservation-free. It seems Asian food is a prized luxury because both Asian restaurants have to be reserved in advance.
Vegan and Vegetarian Options
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you also need not worry. Although I am not vegetarian or vegan, what I respected about Royalton is that there is a vegan and vegetarian section for most restaurants. Therefore, you won’t need to be scurrying around trying to find things that you can eat amongst all the animal-based food.
Jerk chicken on the beach
Why am I always disappointed in the flavour of jerk chicken that I’ve consumed in settings like these? Maybe I am just expecting too much, or my taste buds are too cultured. If the jerk chicken is not spicy, I am just not going to enjoy it, and that’s exactly what happened, but maybe others genuinely enjoyed it. If you have, you can let us know.
We saw teppanyaki being prepared right before our eyes! This was the highlight of my stay, especially since I’m very much into Asian culture and food. I was happy to flaunt my chopstick manoeuvring skills. I was most excited about the Japanese restaurant, but we almost didn’t get to experience it. Thankfully we did. The experience was great. I am all for the flamboyancy and theatrics, but I was somewhat disappointed by the taste of the food. It simply didn’t suit my taste-buds. I’ve had authentic Japanese food before that I’ve enjoyed. However, there are claims that cuisines prepared independent of a resort typically taste better than those served at resorts, however, I am not certain how accurate that is. I had to ask for extra spice, so they brought me wasabi sauce.
Sports and Snack Bar
This is for all the owls, or just anyone who happen to be peckish during the nights. Now, the food served here is nothing compared to late night snacks that I’ve had at other resorts. The snacks were actually diverse, well prepared and spicy. They served hot wings, cheese quesadilla, hot dog, burger and fries. They also have a vegetarian option on their menu. You are always free to take these to your room to eat while binge-watching your favourite shows, or you can stay and enjoy the party at the bar.
ENTERTAINMENT AT ROYALTON
During the day, there are entertainment activities at each main pool and swim-up bar, such as music, dancing and games. There is also ping pong, table tennis, aerobics and a Teens Club where teenagers can play video games.
Who would’ve thought that we would’ve seen Michael Jackson in the flesh? The entertainment was one of the best parts of the visit to Royalton. Finally, we’ve gotten some real entertainment! The nightly shows lead by a team of talented young people, not only from Jamaica, but other Caribbean countries were superb. We saw Michael Jackson reincarnated with his team of live performers. The Cuban performer was MJ in the flesh. He had his heart and soul, and looked like him. The band was amazing and the dancers were well choreographed and exceptionally talented! This is hands down the best performance I’ve seen at any resort thus far. This was only for one of the nights there. On different nights, there were different activities, which were very entertaining as well, but this was my favourite.
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF ROYALTON
Royalton Resorts in Montego Bay are a few of the most prestigious resorts in Jamaica without doubt. Based on our experience, we can tell that the experience would be similar at Negril and other Caribbean countries. It was confusing as a Jamaican when based on the location, we know they are located in Trelawny, but all over the internet it’s being said to be located in Montego Bay, but now I understand the marketing. It was a great experience and there were a variety of food to choose from, which is always a plus for me. The entertainment, and just about everything was superb, except the bedroom, but at least everything else balanced out the few detractors that we’ve found. Therefore, the good out-weighted the bad. I know we cannot have it all, but at Royalton, we almost could’ve had it all. The Resort Caribbean team will continue to explore resorts in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. So, maybe, just maybe, we’ll finally find the perfect resort where we can have it all.