Going to Jamaica is always a good idea. The Royalton White Sands makes it a great one.
It was my wife’s birthday. And, she loves beaches. Correction – she loves nice beaches. The sand must be powder-soft with no (or, a very minimal) number of rocks (especially, the large ones). The water must be clear and aqua-blue, with acceptable levels of seaweed. I have learned not to disagree with her about these specifications – mainly because she is spot on. When taking a vacation to have “fun in the sun,” the beach is one (if not, the most) important aspect. A fabulous hotel on the beach means nothing if the beach is crap.
For her special day, we decided to go back to her home country of Jamaica; specifically, the city of Montego Bay. It seemed to be the perfect choice as it is only a little over 3 ½ hours from most departure cities on the east coast of the United States. And, since Jamaica is on Eastern Time, it is a perfect destination for weekend trips (or, vacations under seven days in length).
After doing some extensive searches, we found and booked the Royalton White Sands Resort and Spa, Montego Bay. Formally, Breezes Trelawny, Royalton White Sands offers an all-inclusive experience, which centers about providing full-service with attention to detail. With unlimited à la carte dining, signature handcrafted Dreambeds©, All-In Connectivity, and entertainment for guests of all ages, we were looking forward to an excellent week of pleasure and relaxation.
The hotel and grounds were beautiful and modern. While the walk to our room (on the top floor) was a little long, the view was delightful. The surrounding area was full of trees and other foliage. Our room was well appointed and comfortable. We had a balcony with a lovely view of the hotel resort. It was a welcome pleasure each morning with a delicious cup of strong coffee or tea.
If you are looking for quality service and beaches, the Royalton White Sands is a place for you. We optioned for the Diamond Club accommodations; and, we were not disappointed. As noted on their website, “this premium level of service features the comfort of anticipatory service, exclusive á la carte restaurants, and bar areas, as well as the shimmering pool and pristine beach areas for the sole use of Diamond Club™ guests. Highly-trained butlers help fulfill your every request, including dinner reservations and the organizing of special occasions.”
This level of service was a real treat. The attention-to-detail and quality by our butlers, Ardley and Kamal, was truly exceptional. For example, as a particular delight for my wife, I wanted fresh flowers and champagne in our room every evening. It was there. I wanted our bed decorated each day. Done. I wanted fresh coffee, juice, and fruit each morning. Done.
This service wasn’t limited to our room. While the beach for regular guests was great, the private beach for Diamond Club guests was fantastic. There were plenty of comfortable, airy cabanas (exclusive to this part of the beach). And, butler service was always available for extra pampering. All you needed to do was relax and enjoy yourself. Perfection.
In addition to the beaches, the Royalton has several beautifully appointed pools. There are three different ones, with two separated by a walk-through bridge. There is also a water park for the kids. Royalton did an excellent job of making sure that these areas were designed to provide spaces for families, couples, or even, singles, to enjoy.
There were also plenty of activities for everyone. These included beach volleyball, ping pong, cooking classes, dance classes, trivia games, aquatic Olympic competitions, aerobics classes, and weight-training with professional instruction. Additionally, there were (of course) water sports – snorkeling, paddle boats, sail boats, and other equipment and activities were readily available.
The food at the Royalton White Sand, while good and full of variety, wasn’t memorable, unfortunately. The regular buffet, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, has many different selections, including Jamaican dishes. During our stay in October, there were four different restaurants onsite – Zen, a Japanese-inspired teppanyaki; Grazie Italian Trattoria, a traditional experience; and, Hunter Steakhouse, an authentic steakhouse serving prime cuts of beef. For fun and quick fare in a casual setting, there is Score Bar and Lounge, a pub and grill serving a variety of grilled specialties to comfort foods. Coffee drinkers will appreciate the Caffe Lounge and Passiterie, which offers espressos and cappuccinos to taste. Please note that due to a recent renovation, the Royalton White Sands has added seven new restaurants, including a Tex-Mex eatery, Asian-fusion, and Caribbean selections for your stay.
In total, the Royalton White Sands was a great stay for our getaway. It has comfortable rooms, outstanding service, and lovely beaches – just what we were looking for in a hotel-resort. The Royalton is a definitely a place to choose for a quick holiday, especially if you need some “fun in the sun.”
A few tips for traveling to/from Jamaica:
- Use the Internet! There are always fantastic deals through travel website which specifically target Caribbean travel.
- For airport transfers, always book your transportation BEFORE you arrive at the airport. Typically, you can get a better deal with more amenities. Sometimes, booking online for round-trip transfers is cheaper than a single transfer at the hotel.
- For point-to-point travel, book a driver at the hotel for a day. The cost is reasonable; and, these drivers know all the “hot spots” to see and do.
- Don’t forget to get off the resort! While resorts offer many amenities, there is nothing like experiencing all the island’s offerings. Enjoying the sites will make for a more enjoyable and memorable experience.
(This article was originally published in April 2017.)
Brian Westley Johnson is the managing editor-in-chief of Soulivity Magazine, an online magazine-journal which reaches over 150K people monthly across the globe. For over 25 years, Brian has spent his life traveling the world as a business development professional using his skills and demonstrable expertise in sales and marketing strategy and execution to assist enterprising medium and large organizations in achieving growth targets. Now, he has dedicated his life to a new mission – to support everyone in living their highest quality life with passion, purpose, and joy.
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