Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Open and casual, with separate reception, lounge, and lobby
The Sandals Carlyle is built around a courtyard with a large pool at the center, which is hidden from view when guests approach the front of the hotel. The property's entrance is a bit unconventional, as guests enter through an open doorway and come up to a small, outdoor reception podium adjacent to an indoor gift shop. Next to the gift shop is an indoor lounge with air-conditioning, beverages, couches, and several public computers. The lounge faces out on the courtyard.
On the other side of the courtyard is the main lobby, which is small but light-filled. It features dark wood accents, marble floors, and a plate of fresh cookies set on a table in the middle of the room. A large reception desk is located on one side and offices are on the other. In between are a few stairs that lead to desks for local tours and return visits. From there, guests can walk up huge, sweeping double staircases to get to guest rooms and the fitness center.
The property is not directly on the beach, as the marketing photos seem to indicate; rather a small, unexceptional public beach (sans lounge chairs) is across a busy street. Most guests prefer to take the resort shuttle to the Sandals Montego Bay, which has a much nicer beach. The Sandals Carlyle Inn is more intimate and quiet (not to mention less expensive) than its sister properties in the area, but it definitely has fewer property features.
Right in the heart of Montego Bay and within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and nightlife spots
Located less than 10 minutes away from the airport by car or shuttle, this hotel is tucked right into the main downtown area of Montego Bay. Although the resort is a short walk from the Hip Strip and a number of restaurants, shops, and craft boutiques, it’s set a bit to the side of the main area, giving it a more quiet and secluded feel than the vibe at other nearby hotels. A small public beach is right across the street, and while the road can be busy, there’s enough room for pedestrians to cross or walk along the side, though they should exercise caution.
Many rooms are dated, with carpeting and floral bedspreads
Being a smaller resort, the Sandals Carlyle has just four different room categories to choose from. Rooms are decorated with dark woods and in most cases, vibrant (some might say tacky) floral patterns on the bedspreads and curtains. The mahogany four-poster beds are a pretty touch, but the old, tube-style TVs and wall-to-wall carpeting in some rooms make for a dated vibe. All come with air-conditioning, coffeemakers, amenity kits, iPod docks, and mini-fridges stocked with water, soda, and juices.
The most basic rooms do not have balconies, but all larger sizes do. Guests that prefer a little more space should upgrade to the Premium Rooms, and those that want the most luxurious experience should reserve the Penthouse Butler Suites. These large, luxe rooms -- which are all located on the quieter third floor -- include private butlers, minibars with top-shelf liquor, and free Wi-Fi.
Multiple dining options and activities, but fewer property features than expected from a Sandals resort
This resort has a number of amenities, though they are a bit scaled down compared to a typical Sandals all-inclusive property. With three restaurants and two bars, plus 24-hour room service, there are a variety of dining options. A large pool and whirlpool are located in the center of the property. In addition to swimming, other outdoor activities are available, including tennis, beach volleyball, basketball, and croquet.
The property also features a beautiful garden with a fire pit for nighttime relaxation. Entertainment includes karaoke and live bands. Laundry and dry cleaning services are also available, and tours and photo shoots can be arranged. The property also has a small spa, a tiny fitness center, and a gift shop. The beach by the property is quite small and open to the public. Those guests in search of a bigger stretch of sand can take the free shuttle over to Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean. There, they have unlimited access to a large private beach, water sports, Red Lane Spa, and a wider variety of restaurants and bars.
The Sandals Carylyle Inn is a small, mid-range all-inclusive resort located near the popular Hip Strip of Montego Bay, within walking distance from a variety of shops, bars, restaurants, and craft boutiques. With just 52 rooms, this hotel has a more intimate, quieter vibe than most other Sandals properties, but guests can “eat and play” at the two larger (and significantly more expensive) sister resorts for free if they want to try the additional restaurants and activities featured there. Rooms are wrapped around the pool, and there's a small, unexceptional public beach just across the street, as well as a large garden with lawn games. Though the hotel is advertised as a luxury property, many rooms are quite dated, so guests should adjust their expectations accordingly.