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“Exquisite vacation!!!” 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
Bellmore, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Exquisite vacation!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We have ben going to Sandals properties for several years now and they continue to impress every time!

The Grande Riviera is a beautiful property! Pool, beach and garden areas are all spectacular. The dock is great for getting close to the ocean and listening to the waves crash.

The real story is how great the staff is. Let's be honest, any resort on the ocean in Jamaica is likely to be beautiful. What makes the difference is the staff who takes pride in their company and the property they work at. The staff are great at Sandals and really make the experience a vacation to remember.

We want to give special kudos to Anna and Ryan our butlers and to Shauna, Josie, Ed ward, Raimone, Ashley at Bayside, Kamar, Ricardo in the polo lounge, Bishop and Capt Tim. They all made our trip very special. I don't mean to overlook the rest of the staff but everyone was great!

Food was great as always and bar service exceptional!

One thing we noticed was the large groups tended to book here. It tends to take away from the couples atmosphere but we stayed clear of the groups and enjoyed ourselves immensely!

Sandals delivers every time we visit, and we have been to Sandals 8 times now.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 (1,385)
Date | Rating
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English first
Appleton, Wisconsin, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I've never been so spoiled in my life....This was my 1st time to Jamaica and it was absolutely amazing!
-First & foremost, the staff has to be commended. From the gift shop employees to the managers & a very vast amount of amazing individuals inbetween, everyone was very accomodating!
-A look around the Resort...everything was very clean and well attended to (from our room to the restaurants to the water sports equipment)!
-My Boyfriend & I stayed 7 days & never ran out of things to do...& we stayed at the resort the whole time!!
-Lastly, a shout out to Richie at the PADI Scuba School, at the resort. He made me feel so comfortable & made my very 1st diving experience a success!!
...& to Oran at Snap Shot... Our photos turned out so beautiful. He made it hard to narrow down our photos :)
....Both the photos & Scuba was money very well spent!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corona, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

My fiancee and I choose this resort for our destination Wedding and Honeymoon and stayed in thr Concierge Bouganvilla Suite with a pool. The room overall was spacious, clean and tastefully decorated. Concierge provides special attention such as VIP check in, 24hr service and housekeeping kept our bar fully stocked with champage, wine, water juice etc. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Concierge is a good choice if you want that special something without the hefty price that comes with butler serv. Overall this place was tranquil, clean, we'll maintained, quiet and romantic, definitely a lovers paradise if relaxing is your objective. The reason i gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is the Infestation of stray cats. There were quite a few roaming around the resort and they tend to hang by the lunch/snack outdoor Grille near the pool. I found this to be disturbing since some look sickly. This is the only place to eat in between breakfast/lunch/dinner and to have 4 or 5 sick looking cats at your feet is not appetizing. Staff was good about shooing them away if requested however many guest feed them so its hard to make them go away. This was an everyday issue and it caused me to only order my food to go. I love animals just not stray sick ones looming near my lunch while I am on my honeymoon. Other than that the food was good, very small portions compared to restaurants in US so beware if you have a healthy appetite. All restaurants aren't open every night so you don't always have a lot of options for dinner.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Concierge Bougainvillea Hideaway with pool. Great room if you was privacy away from...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

BUS RIDE TO HOTEL: 2 hrs! way too long. The driver stopped at 2 bars and made no effort to control the drunk passengers who were rowdy and swearing on a small passenger bus which left us with a headache upon arrival at the hotel.

CHECK IN: We did the advanced checkin before we arrived (1 week in advance) and they seemed to lose that information and asked for it again. The whole checkin process took 30min and they left us sitting on the couch for no reason before and after they gave us the guest registration forms to sign. Terrible compared to our experience in Sandals Antigua. We got there and went straight to our rooms, because we checked in early. No attitude and no wasted time.

ROOM: we got placed way up on a hill in a Villa, villa 65. BTW stay away from villas 65-70 because you will be facing a concrete 12 foot wall with barbed wire and security cameras. The bedding was so thin, no duvet, just 2 thin sheets. We called to get an extra blanket because our room did not have one (other sandals we have been to in the past had at least 2 blankets in the room).
We didn't order a concierge room, but we were surprised that the fridge didn't at least have some local beers. Much cheaper resorts include beers in the fridge. Very disappointed.
The hotel is introducing butler service and the resort is crowded with golf carts all day. There is constant noise outside on the paths as they drive by, accelerate, brake and honk at each other or go into reverse at all hours of the morning and night.

POOLS: very dirty. Scum line around the edge and oil slick on the surface. They don't vacccum the pools and there is garbage on the bottoms. They also let people smoke right by the pool edge, cigarettes and cigars. We constantly and to smell the fumes of another guest who decided to pick a seat next to us by the pool.

FOOD: barely ok. The themed restaurants are a joke. Valentino's especially. The "ravioli" dish is just 1 piece of ravioli. The rack of lamb was just ONE lamb chop. The sushi at Soy was the only redeeming dinner we had. Excellent service, flavour and desert. We ate there twice. Breakfast was especially disappointing. THe food was ALWAYS the same, same items etc. No waffles, pancakes. Just eggs, bacon breads, some steamed green lettuce looking item. Hard to even get ketchup without asking for it. Seems like the entire hall was sharing only 2 bottles of ketchup. We had to request coffee each time and if they brought the coffee, the forgot the milk and vice versa. We even heard the manager directing one of the staff members to give us coffee because he noticed we didn't have any and the waitress barked at him and said it was "inside".We were pretty much on our way out when we got the coffee finally.

SERVICE: slow. We had to wait for coffee each morning at breakfast and if we didn't ask for it, we didn't get it-period. Again much cheaper resorts make sure that you at least have coffee on your table before they even seat you. The hostess at Bayside Restaurant (during breakfast and dinner) seemed to be in a bad mood every single day. Rolled her eyes and gave curt answers.

ACTIVITIES: great diving, water sports and day trips are available. However, they still charge you anywhere from $5-$10 for items such as wet suits, or watersuits for diving, which other resorts (Sandals Antigua) did not.

We were expecting consistency because we were going to another Sandals resort, but were sadly disappointed and this resort felt short of our expectations.

COME BACK SOON: Marketing is very misleading. There are no rooms which at actually sold with the 65% premiums. All prices are what they are. There are no discounts because there are no premium prices to discount from. It is just a marketing gimmick to make you think you are saving money. The "Come Back Soon" recognition program is ok. There was a special dinner and a give of 1 bottle of rum to all those who were returning visitors. This was a small consolation prize for what we endured while we stayed there. I don't think we will be coming back soon.

All in all , we won't be coming back because we had high expectations and were disappointed. Very inconsistent service. We are checking out in 3 days and won't look back......

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

The staff at Sandals Grand Riviera makes your stay enjoyable. Our villa was wonderful. The food was delicious. The beach was beautiful and the Entertainment was awesome. I can't wait to go back for our anniversary next year.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Our group of 10 stayed at the Grande Riviera 2/2 - 2/9. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The rooms were beautiful, the staff couldn't have been more helpful and the food was excellent. Can't wait to go again!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

My husband and I booked our first vacations to a Sandals resort after hearing so many wonderful things about these resorts. We travel lots and have done numerous trips to the Caribbean in previous years. We finally decided to try a Sandals resort. We stayed at the Sandals Grand Riviera in Ocho Rios.

As in someone else's review, it is true that the internet fails to make it clear that the resort is split into TWO parts. ONE part is down by the beach, the OTHER part is separated by a road and is a ways from the beach. However, prior to booking, we knew enough that we specifically chose to book down on the beach area. We specifically booked a "Luxury Cottage", right by the beach so that we did NOT have to take the bus down each day.

We first arrived and they said they "Upgraded" us to a room - which happened to be up on the hill, so now that meant we had to take the bus every day to the beach. We spoke with the manager and she said that was an "upgraded room" Perhaps it was, but now I was miles away from the beach. I specifically told her why we booked the other room. Long story short, our room that we had booked was unavailable until the next night. This was absolutely unacceptable. And we were very surprised that this was something that happens at a Sandals. I expect this maybe at a 2-star resort, NOT Sandals.

Besides that experience, here are the pros:
- Food - great at all the restaurants. Valentinos, Kimonos and Manor are three fav's
- Beach - not a long walking beach, but for just relaxing and sun basking, it was great
- Water - warm as bath water, clear and clean
- Service - expected much better for a few reasons. I had to call down to reception THREE times, two days in a row to ask for more water in the room.... Coffee at breakfast was slow to be served.... and of course the whole "upgrade" situation.
- People - friendly
- Water Sports - great! Lots of snorkeling!

Not rushing back to a Sandals just yet.. There are plenty of other amazing resorts out there, often less expensive and you don't get "upgrade" to a room up on the hill, a mile away from the beach!

Room Tip: Book at room on the BEACH side of the resort!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.

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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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Spa 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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