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“Great Scuba Team & Playmakers!” 4 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
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great Scuba Team & Playmakers!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Our first time in Jamaica as well as Sandals. We were there from Feb 19 to Mar 1. I would have scored 5 our of 5, had it not been for the first mix-up of the rooms and one particular staff.

Other than that, the weather was beautiful (sunny every day while we were there with 32 degrees), the food was great, entertaiment and water activities were amazing including scuba diving.

The room
The mix up of the room on the day of the arrival was very dissapointing but it was take care of by 2pm the next day. Debbie at the Seaside front desk was accomodating to our needs and thanks to her, we had a enjoyable and comfortable stay. We stayed on the third floor of the Riviera building and the room was spacy and clean. Only downside was that the daily activity schedule was delivered to our door only twice during our 10 nights stay and I often had to walk over to the front desk to get one. Sometimes they didn't even have one and was told "it was not delivered to them." This is too bad as Sandals had lots of fun activities and we would have hated to miss out.

Scuba Team
This particular resort does not have a good house reef so avid snorkellers have to take a glass bottom boat ride to enjoy good snorkelling. There is nothing wrong with this as the snorkelling tour is included and offered 4 times a day. Recommend to go in the morning when the water is calmer.
If you are a certified diver, you will enjoy the unlimited diving with a group of amazing dive team! I had the opportunity to dive with Denis and Moses who were abusolutely fantastic. They care about the safety which I really liked as my non-diver husband had horrible experience in Mexico as he tried "discover diving" there. With Sandals, it was not a problem. We asked Denis to do a private dive for just the two of us ($80 p/p) as my husband preferred shallow waters. He picked an ideal spot for us and my husband enjoyed the 45 minutes underwater to the fullest. He had also preopared some after dive snacks and took us on a little sightseeing trip on the way back to the hotel.

Playmakers
If it is your first time staying at Sandals, I would recommend attending the orientation the next day you arrive. Our group was led by these amazing two ladies, Kacy and Shamara, who kept us entertained throughout the tour. Kacy and Shamara would always come talk to us to check how we were doing whenever we saw them at the resort, which made us feel welcomed. We felt like we are more "involved" thanks to these two wonderful ladies.

Restaurants
We thought the Manor on the hillside was excellent and it was our choice for our last supper there. The atmosphere was very nice and the food and the service was excellent. My husband really enjoyed the steak. The servers that attended us, Carlington and Odain, was very professional yet friendly and made our last night very special.

The hostesses in restaurants on the hillside seemed more friendly to us. Especially the hostesses at The Manor & Sabrina's Market Place were nice and had always attended us with a smile.

We were hoping to try Jamaican Cuisine and most of the restaurants had these available, which we really enjoyed. One day, they cooked the jerk chiken and pork on the beach, which was fun and delicious!

----The downside, this is the reason why I did not score 5----
The host at the Reef Terrace, Kenroy, made us feel unwelcomed. The night we wanted to have dinner there was quite busy and people were waiting. As my husband asked how long the wait was, Kenroy yelled "45 minutes!!" We understood it was hectic but it was not at all unneccesary. This guy was like a drill sergent and was treating the servers in a disrespectful way. But we all patiently waited as directed. And when a young lady (guest) said to her partner "what can we do to make him(Kenroy) remember us?" Kenroy overheard this and said "Money!"
After watching him, we realized that he would be nice to customers who he think would give him good tips, which is prohibited at Sandals. He would talk loudly, slapping shoulders of the guests as if he owned the place. We we finally sat down, Kenroy would rush the servers to clear out the plates the moment we finished eating and we would see him snapping fingers behind our backs, which we found quite rude. The food at the Reef Terrace was horibble so was the service.

Kenroy also works at the Bayside during breakfast. We noticed him after the experience at the terrace. He would approach his "patrons" but ignore the rest of us who had not given him tips. We tried avoiding any contact with him but one morning, he approached my husband and said to him, "I decided to give you more respect. Respect, Respect, Respect!" What the hell?? What does he mean that he "decided to give respect"?

I am sure we are not the only one annoyed by this individual. He is the older guy with a mustache who always acts like he owns the place.

----That was the only downside about this resort-------

The Excursion to Dunn's River on the beaufitl Catamaran is a must! The staff at Island Routes keep you entertained all day long.

We also took the tour to the Blue Mountain and it was wonderful. Just be prepared for the 2 hour bus side on the very narrow, steep & bumpy mountain road.

The entertainment was top-noch. The singers/performers that Sandals hire are all amazing!! The Hot White Party was fabulous, too! They do it once a week so bring something white to wear for this party.

We would visit Sandals Grand Riviera again in a heart beat!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (1,424)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This was our first time at Sandals Grands Riviera and it was memorable! Great staff and there are a few i want to mention. Kelly's on the wharf Micheal our server was simply AMAZING!!!!! heres a tip request him when u go to dinner there the food was great but he made our night what a great assest to Sandals!!
Second was Stevan he cleans the grills in Kimono's which is a very fun night book it!! We were lounging outside by the water and fire pit wonderful night. Stevan walked by after working a long day asked us how we were doing. He was wonderful then we found out he sang and we spent the next 30 mins singing with him !!! it was sooo memorable. The next night we were at Kimono's and he dropped by and sang again. Needless to say everyone was blown away amazing night.
Third Soy! endless sushi YUMMY Susanne She took care of us all night wickedly funny and sharp! we had so much fun with her and the food was excellent!
Sandals these 3 people are true gems!! this is the reason we keep coming back

Room Tip: Stay on Riviera side close to all action if you want quiet go to Manor side
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Linwood, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We had a blast at Sandals Grande Riviera. We stated on the ocean side and had a room with a wonderful view. Our housekeeper, Sandra, kept our room neat and well stocked with towels. We loved the animals and such that she designed on our bed each day.

This was my second stay at a Sandals resort and I was a little apprehensive. I did not have such a great experience at the Sandals in the Bahamas so when Becky, from Beach Bum travel, suggested staying here I wasn't sold at first. She had just been there and was able to offer lots of personal insight. She supplied us with pictures and I was sold.

From arrival to departure we felt at home. This was nothing like my previous experience and would go back in a heartbeat. Since I was a returning guest, I was invited to the welcome back dinner. I could even bring my in-laws even though this was their first time at Sandals. They loved it and so did we!

Everything was exceptional, the food, the staff, the drinks! Make sure to try a Bishop special at the pool bar on the Oceanside, they are delicious and addictive. My only issue was that sometimes it was hard to find clean, dry towels in the pool/beach areas. It is a large resort so I understand that is most likely a logistics issue.

I have traveled to may different resorts in Jamaica, Mexico, the DR, the Bahamas and Costa Rica and I work in the hospitality industry, so if my only complaint is a mild shortage of beach towels, that says a lot. I look forward to returning to The Grande Riviera. I also now feel confident in traveling to other Sandals. This changed my outlook on the resorts in general. All inclusive with no kids.... can't beat that!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I stayed at the Sandals Grande Riviera for my University reading week in February. My boyfriend and I stayed on the villa side and had our own butlers-which was a surprise because when we originally booked our trip we didn't know that we had one. Some of the reviews complain about taking the bus from the villa side to the beach club and it being a "10 minute" drive. Pfft. The bus ride is 3-4 mins long and they come every 5 or so minutes. I actually enjoyed taking the bus because it meant that the resort was full of different options for restaurants and activities because of its size. Our entire week stay, we were treated like royalty. We had our own villa, with a private pool! If you get a chance, watch the Silver Birds drum performance! It was so amazing! Also, try to get dinner at Kelly's Dockside. We ate hear on our last night. They provided us with a complimentary bottle of champagne, and the food and service was amazing! Another thing that I really enjoyed was our private candlelight dinner on the beach. This dinner is $175.00 per couple extra, but it was worth every penny! We had our own waiter, with white glove service, and a complimentary photo shoot (note that if you want to purchase the pictures they are quite expensive). It was a perfect night, we got to watch the tides come in, and the sun set. If you get the chance to book butler service, I highly recommend it! I will definitely be trying other sandals resorts in the future!

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Boston, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Great location, beautiful property great weather and great hosts. Golf course is well staffed with personal caddies/instructors. Food available within the all-inclusive resort nearly 7/24, with 13 different restaurants to pick from. Entertainment of different type each evening in the outdoor amphitheater.

Room Tip: pick from the lower beach-side rooms if you like over-looking the ocean, or pick from the rooms on t...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

Our stay started out a little rough with some room change issues, but the rest of the time there made up for it! We had an amazing time! Loved the friendly and fun employees...Natalia, Voyston, Delrose, Kemar and Tyrone were awesome, just to name a few. The resort was gorgeous and the beach was perfect! Would definitely recommend it to friends and family! Only thing it was missing was a view of the sunset, but it was all over a fantastic stay!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Indiana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is our 2nd home in January for the past 10 years. We meet up with many couples who stay here year after year. The staff members are the best! We are greeted at the door upon arrival with hugs and welcomes from returning guests and staff. We are made to feel like we are the most important people on property because of the treatment received. Sandals treated us to an Audi ride and a driver this year from the airport. Half way to the resort the driver pulled over and filled two champagne glasses with chilled champagne, just for us! Great way to start a vacation. Our total stay with Sandals was 70 paid nights so we received our coupon for a free week. Yes, we are going back to our home away from home for our 11th time next January but will be staying for two weeks next time! On the Sandals website I found a 2 free night special. Called my travel agent immediately to book for 2014. 7 nights free + the two free nights = a real bargain and a great time!

Room Tip: Love the villas on the hill.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
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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:
#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
#7 Business 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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