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“What a fantastic start to 2013 at Sandals Grand Riviera !!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort

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Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #7 of 39 hotels in Ocho Rios
KILMARNOCK
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“What a fantastic start to 2013 at Sandals Grand Riviera !!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Just back today from a Concierge Bouganville Hideaway stay , from start to end our stay was simply beyond belief i`ve never stayed at Sandals before or Jamaica the friendly staff just blew us away !! For the 1st time ever i did not want to come home but work commitments don`t allow. The Concierge staff were amazing in fact every member of staff were amazing from the gardeners to the management they were sweet as candy we will be back before the end of the year ! The new year party was amazing the effort they go to is almost unatural live band dancers smiling faces and quality fun everywhere you turn , we were treated like royalty . The dunns river catamaran trip , dolphin swim snorkeling are a must !! Anyone that faults this place badly needs therapy they must have some interacting issues !! James & Catherine

Room Tip: We only seen our own room top class !!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,404)
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Let's start with the obvious, this is a large resort and if you have any mobility problems and don't like a lot of stairs this may not be the resort for you. We stayed on the beach side and rarely went to the manor side.
My husband and I loved this place for four reasons. Our room, the diving, the staff, and NO KIDS. Our room was in the new renovated Bamboo Grove by the spa. It was far enough away that we didn't hear all the parties too late into the night but close enough to everything that it was an enjoyable walk through lovely gardens to get to everything we needed. We were right next door to the spa, a quick walk to the ampitheter and the pool behind it, plus close to the water sports where you can sail and snorkel. Our longest walk was to the scuba diving hut. We did not go to the other side other than to celebrate New Year's Eve and the White party but the jitney's were quick.
Second great thing..DIVING!! My husband and I dove every day, and even though the seas were rough through our whole trip, it was great. The reason it was so great: the dive staff. Mouse, Winston and crew you are wonderful. This was our first Sandals visit and the amount of money we saved because the diving is free was unbelievable. Were the reefs the best? No. Little fish, an octopus, and the usual fish and coral fare you will find in a lot of places. Plus a shipwreck dive that was interesting. That being said, most dives I have been on are just like this.
Third, the staff was wonderful!!!
Average stuff: The food. We only ate at Kimonos and Valentinos and couldn't get a reservation for Kelly's. If you go for the first time, when you get in your room call to make a reservation right away to Kimonos and Kellys. Kimono's was fun and the food was OK. What makes this place great was the chefs and their entertainment. Valentino's was a great atmosphere, and the food was ok as well. We ordered from every section: Antipasto, soup, salad, entree. The portions were very small but because the food kept coming by them time we were done we were full. If you order an entree, also order from the pasta and sauce section because it's as small as a side. I had the scallops and fois gras which was good but very small. Again, with all the other accompaniements it was perfect. The buffets were average too. We had breakfast and lunch there. Order the omelettes and then during lunch go to that same area where they make something up for you just the way you like it. We ate at Soy's too. The sake seemed watered down. The sushi rolls could have had a bit more sushi in them.
We were not harassed at all for weed, so those that say they were approached all the time..that has been taken care of. You wouldn't even know there are lots of people who are probably doing it as it is very discreet. We hooked up with quite a few couples and shared into the night. Look, if you're going to Jamaica...and you get offended by this, go to Florida. Hearing the complaints about weed on this island is like tourists who go to Wisconsin and then complain about the amount of cheese.
Jamaica is Jamaica and we love everything about it, including the staff and activities made available to us at Sandals. It was our first visit to Sandals and we are going to try a few others too.

Room Tip: Bamboo Grove is renovated and the rooms are clean and beautiful.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
north carolina
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Overall, my husband and I enjoyed the visit. There were a few bumps at check in, but otherwise the food was very good and the resort itself was very lovely.

We arrived last Friday and the resort (I think) was oversold. When we arrived, we were initially told that we were on the beach side (which is what I reserved). The driver took us there and we were then told that the room was not available. We were then taken back over to the other side where we were offered a larger room with concierge service. When we got to the room, there was another couple in the room. We were finally shown to our room which was very nice. Despite the troubles we had at check in, we were treated with extra care, the manager approached us on several occasions to see if our needs were met. We were even offered a complimentary spa service (which we declined as we had one already booked).

The food was very good; I would recommend that you call ahead to book in the restaurants that require reservations as they book up early (especially during the busy season). Kelly's dockside I believe, was the best of them.

We rented a pool side cabana for the day and the butler service was wonderful. We also booked a candle light dinner for two and the service was exceptional. The staff was always very friendly and professional, and the maid service was complete with turn down service at night.

Although we had some hiccups with the check in and the resort being oversold, they more than made up for the trouble that it caused us. We were so pleased that we purchased a beaches vacation for next year so that we can bring our son.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

This is our 5th trip to a Sandal's and our 3rd time to this resort. First and foremost I want to state explicitly that if you are handicapped in any way or unable (or unwilling) to do hundreds of stairs, up and down, all week then DO NOT STAY HERE. I had forgotten how many stairs there are to get anywhere at this property. Sandals Whitehouse is handicapped accessible and beautifully flat throughout the property. Also, the bus ride there really and truly is 90 - 120 minutes long, not a moment less. Especially because the bus drivers MAKE you stop an hour in so that you can patronize one of their buddy's establishments. On this trip we had a bus driver named Johnny Bravo and it took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to the resort because of the "tour we were lucky enough he was giving us." We had an awesome guy on the way back and it took 90 minutes exactly, no stopping.

We love this resort because of the party atmosphere and this visit was no different. We had a FABULOUS time. The room upgrades and other renovations were amazing and I felt like I really was staying in a luxury hotel even though we had a lower level, mountain view room. The fire pits at night were a great gathering place to meet new people and enjoy plentiful drinks with old friends. The breakfast buffet is always my favorite and I am a big fan of getting late night cheeseburgers after a long evening of drinking at Jamie's Sports Bar. The food was not as great as I remembered it from last visit and the people were not as nice either. SUPER hardworking, but a little gruff. You have to try the sushi bar- Soy. It was my hubby's favorite.

Unfortunately we were there the week of New Year's and the whole resort was packed. This resulted in us not being able to make any reservations and having to scramble for beach and pool chairs every single day. We were also disappointed that they kept running out of things every day, like patties in the snack bar, bananas and mint for their yummy drinks, and Soon Come Back gifts for Sandals Select members. These things certainly didn't ruin our trip but we were bummed to pay all this money and not be able to score a Dirty Banana when we wanted one. I will say they put on the finest New Year's Even gala I have ever seen though. Beyond impressive. Overall we had another great trip but I think next time we go back to Jamaica it will be to Whitehouse again.

Room Tip: Stay on the Riviera side. The Manor side is just not where you want to be.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Croydon, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My partner and myself have been to sandals in total 13 times and each time I must say that sandals grande seems to offer less 'luxury ' and always increase the cost. We are diamond guests and are meant to receive certain benefits, we had a letter detailing this yet none seem to be fulfilled. Raising our concerns with jacque we thought things would get better but to our disappointment they did not, we was told we would have breakfast in our room this was stated in our welcome letter but day 12 and we have not seen any sign of breakfast in our room! When checking in we was meant to have an in-room check in but that also didn't happen when we asked jacque why this was not fulfilled his answer was 'he is not sure' surely as a manager he should make sure he knows why certain things are not being fulfilled.
The resort is nice and has improved over the last 4years but I do not feel that it is not worth the money, I also agree with some of the previous reviews about the staff offering drugs and begging for tips. Sandals promote that you need not spend any money as tips are included, they need to look a little closer as to what their staff are really up too.
Love Antigua and st Lucia sandals and I think that sandals grande Ocho rios needs to take some tips from them.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario, canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We had a great trip to Sandals in Ocho Rios. We were there over New Year's. Even though the hotel was close to capacity it did not seem crowded. We stayed on the beach side in one of the Riveria cottages. Our room was small but nice.
We did a dive each morning and the dive crew at the resort were great. Special mention to Mouse and Winston who were great guys. The diving in Jamaica is okay- smaller fish, visibility so-so. It is great to have the diving included at Sandals. We saw lots of people taking the resort course to try diving or doing some upgrades to their certifications. They are very particular about the waiver everyone must sign- some guests were upset about this as they had answered "yes" to some of the medical questions and needed to get a dr.'s note to dive.
We thought the food was great. There was a wide variety of food at the various restaurants and most of the restaurants are on the beach side.There are only 2 restaurants that need reservations-we only went to one (kimonos). It was lots of fun and Tex made it a great experience. They do enforce the long pants for men with close toed shoes at restaurants that state this as their dress code.
The beaches are small at this resort and there is not much shade. However there are shade umbrellas at the pools. The servers on the beach were all very nice and did a wonderful job of delivering water and drinks on those hot days!! We had terrific hot weather the whole week we were there. It was windy on the last day and we had some rain at night.
There was a great mix of different ages at this resort with many people being repeat sandals grande guests. We enjoyed our first stay at a Sandals and are planning a trip to a different Sandals for next time.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Just got back from our stay at the Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
in Ocho Rios. This was our first time to Jamaica and we LOVED IT. The people at the resort are extremely friendly and helpful. The food was FANTASIC. Our villa was great. Having a personal pool right beside your room is awesome. The room and pool was clean and well kept. Never had to wait long for a drink at the swim up bars. The beach area was small but still big enough to have fun. Lots of activities to participate in. The nightly entertainment was very fun and full of energy. Would we go back...in a heatbeat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort

Address: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Situated on over 100 acres of lush hillside gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea•529 villas, luxury rooms and suites with fantastic mountain and ocean views•94 pools (7 large public pools), 22 whirlpools•16 dining options including room service for butler serviced suites•2 luxurious Red Lane Spas•Complimentary golf at Jamaica’s most elite and popular golf course, the Sandals Golf & Country Club (Transfers to the golf course are included)•Over 5,000 sq. feet of first class meeting and conference facilities•Recently completed US$60 million renovation/refurbishing exercise•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Grande Riviera ‘Jamaica’s Leading Resort’ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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