Hot weather, lounging by the beach, eating great food, making memories. Seriously, sunny escapes are my favourite thing to do!
Last year, the three of us took our very first family vacation to Royalton White Sands in Montego Bay, Jamaica. As nervous as we were traveling with our little one, it ended up being a blast. About six months later, we were lucky to visit Jamaica once again. My in-laws who were celebrating a milestone anniversary took the entire family to Royalton’s sister property, Blue Waters (located right next to White Sands).
Since I was able to experience both sides of the Royalton property, I thought I share a little personal insight.
Both Royalton White Sands and Royalton Blue Waters share the same property. The buildings are adjacent to one another and all the common areas and facilities are shared—swimming pools, restaurants, etc—with the exception of some Diamond Club areas. It’s a smaller size resort which makes it perfect if you are traveling with kids. https://activehealthnwellness.com/online-pharmacy/
The grounds are kept in immaculate shape, the property is set on a small cove of white sand beach. You see workers every morning gracefully doing their job. Everything has a clean-lined contemporary feel to it. The architecture and design definitely stand up to its luxurious label. However, I did find typical inconsistencies and service flaws during both my stays. Nothing really worth mentioning as it’s no different from what I’ve experienced at other all-inclusive resorts. https://activehealthnwellness.com/prednisone-online/
The accommodations are the BIGGEST difference between whether you choose to stay at White Sands or Blue Waters. Before I get into the details, I will note that both hotels had a similar modern aesthetic to them and both were well-maintained. https://activehealthnwellness.com/levitra-online/
The walk to our room was picture perfect with an open concept hallway that let the Caribbean breeze flow through. It really did offer some of the best views of the resort. However, upon entering our room, I was completely shocked. This was the smallest room I’ve ever stayed in.
We booked a standard Luxury Room, which was my first mistake travelling with a 12-month-old at the time. These standard rooms are not equipped to put more than one piece of luggage, there’s nowhere to put clothes and toys, there is no room for the kiddos to walk around and there’s no bathtub.
Now, if it were Mike and I just travelling, perhaps the room situation wouldn’t have been a big deal. BUT, if you are a family who depends on the room a lot more, do yourself a favour and book a Luxury Family Suite or better yet, just book Blue Waters from the get go. During our stay, the hotel was at full capacity and we were unable to switch.
Each floor in the White Sands building has a concierge desk located in front of the elevator doors. At first sight, I thought “what an amazing concept”. We don’t have to go to the lobby to book dinner reservations, if we need any sort of assistance, we have someone right here to help. How great, right!?
Not at all. The so-called “concierge” cannot help you with dinner reservations, in fact, they cannot really help you with very much besides hassle you to death into attending a presentation on the Blue Waters side. Since they strategically place these desks in front of the elevator doors there is absolutely no way to avoid these timeshare reps.
If accommodations are important to you, this is by far the “better side” and worth the extra money. We stayed here during our second visit. The standard rooms (Luxury Junior Suites) were spacious, had both the rain shower head and bathtub.
There was enough space for our daughter to walk around and play while we got ready and the best part—the view was freaking amazing. I loved waking up to the picturesque blue ocean and sky. The great thing about the Blue Waters building is that no matter which type of room you book, all of the rooms pretty much have an Ocean view. This is not the case with White Sands.
As for the timeshare reps, they were still present on this side but they were located in the main lobby and it was very easy to avoid them. They did try to approach us a couple of times, but with a single “we are not interested”, they left us alone.
Diamond Club: The Diamond Club is an upgrade that you can do which gets you preferred rooms, a butler, a selection of in-room liquors, access to Diamond Club lounge and beach and a few other perks. I can’t comment based on personal experience as we did not opt for Diamond Club Level but I did talk to a few people on both trips who said they could have done without it.
Again, everything is shared between the two sister properties. The only restaurant that requires reservations is Zen restaurant, which is your typical resort style teppanyaki dinner. Everything else is first come, first serve. We were able to get reservations to Zen during our first trip and I personally wasn’t impressed. I was hoping to give it another try during our second visit to compare but we couldn’t get reservations for our big group as it was only opened on certain days.
Fave restaurants to eat:
Hunters Steak House – everyone’s favourite amongst our group. Consistently good both times we went.
Gourmet Marche Buffet – Breakfast, lunch and dinners were good. Always had a variety for everyone.
Jade Asian Fusion – Amazing the first time we went, not so consistent with the quality the second time around.
Caffe Lounge – My fave place to visit every day for ice cream, specialty coffees and pastries while Olivia took her afternoon nap in her stroller.
Jerk Hut – Served amazing Jamaican snacks. Jerk chicken by the pool was fantastic!
Not the greatest:
Grazie Italian Trattoria (Italian cuisine) -From the burnt pizzas, to the cold dishes, to the awful desserts. I’d like to think they were just having a bad night.
All the other restaurants were pretty much average for an all-inclusive resort. Good but nothing over the top.
This pirate-themed water park is one of the main reasons why I picked Royalton. It’s quite impressive and will keep the little ones occupied for hours. Although our daughter was a little young to climb the stairs and use the watersides the first time around, she was completely content watching the action from her floater, especially as all the children dodged the giant buckets of water that tip over as they filled. The second time around she was mobile and had a blast in this water park. For the older children and adults, there is a separate pool with four slides that twist and plunge into deeper water.
They also have a Kids Club, which we did not use. However, we made a point to be around when the cartoon characters made an appearance. Max and Ruby was a fave for our daughter. The lazy river was a nice touch, surprisingly it was never busy during our stays, which made it nice to lounge for a few laps.
Overall, we had a great time on both of our stays. The water was beautiful, the resort is picture perfect and there’s just enough to keep both the adults and kiddos happy.
Are you considering this resort or have you been to any other Royalton properties? Do share in my comments below!
DISCLOSURE: This is not sponsored. Just sharing my personal experience!
Oh, I am so jealous! This is a great post comparing the two places, though. The concierge situation at White Sands sounds so annoying, ugh. The Royalton Blue Waters room is gorgeous.
I am desperate to go to Jamaica – I’d be booking tickets right now after seeing your pics if I could.
Ruth | http://www.ruthinrevolt.com
I loved Jamaica when I visited! I went to Ochos Rios & got to do the bobsled down mystic mountain! These are great pictures, beautiful family!
That’s awesome! I’ve always wanted to try that excursion!
This looks like so much fun. I’m always on the lookout for good, family-oriented vacay spots, and this may top my list! Looks like it has something for everyone. Wonderful photos!
It really is a great chain. It has something for all!
Glad you guys had a great stay. Just curious, did you leave the resort? People ask me all the time if I would recommend Jamaica as a destination, but in my experience, people have hugely dichotomous experiences there.
We did not leave the resort this time around with our daughter. However, my husband and I had visited Jamaica as a couple many years ago. We did leave the resort a number of times with no problems. I felt completely safe!
I never considered a family trip to Jamaica. Guess which location has just made its way to the top of the travel bucket list!
Gorgeous photos and great info! I have never been to Jamaica, but this post definitely makes me want to go ASAP!
What a fantastic post. Never been to Jamaica, but I’d love to…it’s on wishlist since I was 20 years old 🙂
Oh then you definitely need to take a trip. Jamaica is one of my favourite places to travel!
Both places are so gorgeous! Now I’m dying for a trip to Jamaica – I haven’t been yet!
This looks so fun! We went to the Dominican Republic last Spring and it was beautiful but the food was awful! My husband and I lost weight on the trip! I would love to stay here! Great photos as well!
I have been to a different resort in Jamaica as well when it was just my husband and I. Out of all the times we went, the food has always been great. They also have some of the best coffee ever!
Jamaica as a couple was amazing and I am now convinced we need to try it as a family. Great post!
You should definitely do it! This resort is so great for the kiddos!
Everything looks so pretty. Jamaica is on my bucket list. We went to the Bahamas last month.
I love love love Montego Bay! My husband and in-laws are Jamaican and I think I’d retire there and open a plant shop. Lol
How amazing would that be!! It’s such a great spot!
Wow, Jamaica looks absolutely beautiful! I would love to visit someday!
The Classic Brunette
I truly want to thank you for your detailed post. I have been going back and forth between different websites and posts trying to determine which I’d prefer to stay at next summer for a family vacation. CoCo
Hi Collette, thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you found my post informative. No matter which route you go, you will an amazing family vacation! All the best!
Thanks for the awesome post! You helped me decide on the two resorts. in your opinion do think it was worth the price to go there? I will be traveling with my 17 month old and am wondering if I will be able to enjoy all the resort has to offer with my toddler on his nap time schedule and early bed time. I know every child is different but wondered what your experience was like in this regard.
We had a wonderful time with our little one. It’s the best feeling to watch them experience new sights and sounds. Of course, traveling with a child is completely different than traveling with adults. We were able to enjoy pretty much everything the resort had to offer except the nightlife. We did have early nights, which we were okay with. We grabbed a bottle of wine and sat on the balcony. Durning the day, our daughter napped in her stroller and it was the perfect time enjoy a quiet lunch or grab coffee or go on some waterslides. Hope this helps!
I am going to Blue Water from Jan 11 to 18th, i will give you my feed back about the restaurants as I am considered a food critic amongst my friends.
Awesome, please provide your feedback!
Thank you for a detailed insight of these hotels. I am going for a brothers wedding but I was confused on which to pick. your insight is so helpful.
Hi Sabrina! Are you able to use the pool at Blue Waters if you stay at White Sands? I spoke with a Royalton Rep and they said that you couldn’t, but from your pictures it appears that it all connects seamlessly. Thanks!
Hi Ashley, you are technically not suppose to use the Blue Waters pool if you’re staying at White Sands but I saw people doing it all the time. I guess it depends when you go and if it’s busy or not. Durning my stays, I didn’t see any staff enforcing this rule.
I am going in July 2019 and having second thoughts, The blue waters are booked and wanted to know if the rooms at the White Sands as the review mention old and outdated and dirty? did you sleep comfy and how are the water??
No the rooms were in great condition. Not old nor dirty. My only complaint was that the rooms were tiny. We were traveling with a toddler so it was harder for us.
This was quite helpful! We’re headed for wedding. Thanks for sharing.
I’m a Jamaican, living in Jamaica, but I still had no clue what the differences were between the two sides (hides face lol). So my husband and I also found this post super helpful in deciding which side to choose for our upcoming Anniversary Staycation in December. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the great review for both resorts. I am planning a trip next mummer to Jamaica, May I ask you something about the ice cream in the coffee shop? is the Coffee shop serving variety flavors real ice cream or only soft serve ice cream from the machine ? We were in Cancun resort this year and my kids enjoy the ice cream parlor in the resort so much and we are hoping to find the similar type in Jamaica, Thanks!
Thank you for the review and comparisons of the two resorts.
My wife & I are fans of the Royalton chain & looking forward to when we can travel again.