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“Great food for an All Inclusive” 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
New York, New York, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great food for an All Inclusive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

The hotel was clean, the ocean side was beautiful. The food was great for an All Inclusive package. We had sushi which was average to slightly above average. The key is to reserve early at the restaurants because we were not able to go to all because they book up fast. Otherwise the rooms and the grounds are beautiful and clean.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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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)
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English first
Bel Air, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

The resort was very pretty and maintained well. Some staff were very helpful and some looked bothered to help you. The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the food was just good. It wasn't great or anything over the top.

  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Takoma Park, Maryland, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We just came back from a 10 day long trip to Jamaica where we were both married and had our honeymoon at the Sandals Grande Riv, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. My fiance (at the time) and I, plus 4 of our relatives came with us. We had a butler grade room in one of the hilltop villas, and the rest of the family stayed in the great house on the hillside. Our butlers (Jazelle and Fernando) made sure that not only the two of us were comfortable, but they adopted our entire family and made sure that everyone was comfortable and taken care of. We had Kerry-Anne for our wedding coordinator and she was fantastic as well, she walked us around the grounds and showed us all of the wedding sites and answered our questions as well as our familys with a smile on her face. The entire wedding process was stress free and so easy that it really hardly took up any time at all and left you with a lot of time for other things, plus they remembered everything for you so you really didnt have to think about anything...which is nice for a nervous bride/groom! Ricardo worked the wedding reception and Ishmale was our chauffeur, both went out of their way to help us and get anything we needed. they drove us back to the room so we could get ready for dinner (since we wanted to change out of the wedding wear) and then dropped us back off at Kimono's where we had the BEST wedding dinner there..Prichard was our chef and was hysterical..the man was having a relationship with his grill, thats the only thing i can tell you! We ended up getting moved to the beach side for our honeymoon and had a butler suite in the beach side hotel there...the room was fantastic and was a huge upgrade from the villas (both are nice but if you have the extra money and really would like to be close to the beach i suggest the beach side) the only negative i could even think of for the room was the window shutter didnt close completely and had a small crack in the top area that let extra sound in...so you could hear music at night from the parties and you could hear the Bayside buffet getting ready in the morning...kind of threw us the first night/morning but by the first day we were used to the noise and slept right through it. We ended up using the Spa for a lot of things, we had couples massages, Mani/Pedi's/ Hair/Make up, Full Body Exfoliation, and even got to play in the sauna and cool dip for free. Cant say enough about the ladies that worked there or the excellent service you get there. All of the food was fantastic but the best place for sure in my opinion was Valentinos, yum! the desserts where the one area that was a bit hit or miss at each place we ate at, and if i were to say one thing that could use a little more love and attention it would be that. We got in the habbit of always ordering two desserts and sharing so we would usually walk away with at least one really good one. All of the staff was great there, we really didnt run across anyone that was rude or unhelpful, most people seem to go out of their way to help and want you to have a wonderful experience. I personally didnt think the beach was that small like othe reviewers said...its just spread out in three different areas...you have your beach club side thats got the nice cushy seats..then you walk up the steps past Soy/Kimono's and hit the one by the beach hotel area - plus here is a bar so lots to do, and the beach here is blocked by the pier so a little "safer" for all the folks afraid of the ocean critters (we did see some fish and a few white sea urchins so beware of where you step if you go in deeper water) and then past there is a small stretch of beach thats pretty secluded and has trees over it so its blocked and in shade a bit...that goes all the way over to the water sports. We were a little confused the first day trying to get around from the villas, and kept calling our butler to pick us up and take us back to the villa before we finally figured out the routine and how to call the jitney to take us back or drop us off. The resort is a little spread out and you do have to take a bus back and forth to cross the road to get down to the beach area just fyi...but you get used to it pretty quickly. The Island Routes Tours were on spot and we enjoyed them...we ended up doing the Dunn's River Falls Catamaran Tour (aka party boat, so be prepared for drunken dancing) Mystic Mountain (just did the bobsled and skyview) and the White River Tubing (best bus driver ever for this tour) I personally think no matter what tour you take you'll have a blast but something that really threw us here was these guys dont work for Sandals so that whole not tipping anyone but your butler? yah no...they want and expect a tip for all tour guides, and for all bus drivers so bring some singles!! Overall would for sure tell anyone to have a sandals wedding and honeymoon, and use this resort for it, we were extremely happy.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I read the reviews before we booked the Grande Riviera but upon arrival the reviews don't really do it justice. This resort is best described as two different resorts and those wanting to be by the beach need to book the beachside while other wanting the quiet and don't care to be by the water should book the villa side. The resort is huge and if booking the villa and think you can walk to the water be prepared for a 35min walk and crossing a busy 2 lane highway to get there.

We initially booked a villa with butler service but after arriving and realizing how far the water was we quickly begged the GM to see what he could do about getting us moved to the beachside and I have to say Mark worked wonders. The next day we were in an oceanview room on the beachside, we had to give up our butlers but the view was well worth the "downgrade". The villa we were in was sterile and not at all up to standard with the previous resorts we have been in, the private pool was very cold as well.

The food at this resort was fantastic: the buffet breakfast at Bayside, the pizza (we had it for lunch 3 days), Neptunes for lunch was great (I had the fajitas and my hubby had the jerk chicken); Kelly's was good but our favourite by far was The Reef.

The staff here are the best we have had so far. They are so attentive, warm and hospitable and just adored every single one of them. The gym at the villa side is much better than the beach side if you are into working out while on vacation. If you get a chance definitely do the seaside massages...Bliss.

All in all I would highly recommend this resort, definitely better than going to St. Lucia.

Room Tip: If you can afford it do the private transfer from and to the airport via Island Routes it includes t...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Grass Valley, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

The weather was not nice but Mother Nature was in charge of that. This is a beautiful property and HUGE. Lot's of people. We met a lot of nice people.
There was a mix up about our room when we showed up. We eventually were given a great room the next day. Unfortunately we lost almost an entire day. From 4:00PM Wednesday until 2:00pm the next day before we settled into our room.
The only negative thing I can say is...the 1:45 to 2:00 hour drive is a bit much. The food and service were inconsistent. What was good was very good but what was not was still good. You can eat at the same place twice love it one time and not like it the next?!
The Riviera side, which is on the beach, is a lot of fun and lot's going on. The other side is quite and elegant.

Room Tip: I picked a room with a view of the pool but, got a view of the parking lot. From the reviews I hav...
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 17, 2013

Our recent visit to Sandals Grande Riviera was much better than our first 4 years ago. The upgrades & enhancements to the property have made it more enjoyable. We stayed in one of the Hillside Villas that was lovely, it is quite spacious with lovely patio & pool. Only distraction was that construction was going on daily making it too noisy to relax by your pool. The Butlers are a nice touch but still could not get a reservation @ Kelly's on the Pier. The Ochi Beach Club is fun & has some great staff ! We were here for a family wedding & this large resort lends itself well to groups.
We will visit this Sandals again.

Room Tip: This really is 2 distinct properties so if you really want a beach experience stay on the beach side...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Philadelphia
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 17, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I just returned from a week in a butler villa on the Manor side. We've been to Sandals properties before, but this was our first time at this resort. We had read some negative reviews, and honestly we don't understand how guests can complain! First of all, the bus ride between the resorts is maybe 3 minutes, and we never waited more than 5 minutes for the bus. The resort is large, but not like I expected. It's a beautiful, well-kept property that has several areas where you can have your privacy or join the party. Not a large beach, but we knew that going there, and still enjoyed the ocean. We were impressed with the restaurant selections and the food. Others complained about portion size - order 2 and they'll give it to you!! The drinks were top notch, and we especially loved the bartenders and drinks served at the manor house swim-up bar (Basil, Alex, Ajon and all the pool bartenders up there were awesome). Alex - keep working on your roses and GL cocktails, you're almost there! Our favorite restaurants were Soy where they served delicious, fresh sushi (excellent Japanese chefs and a great waitress Kimberely) and China Doll. We had a romantic dinner on the beach with a lovely server. Kimonos is fun - we had chef Prichard who was very entertaining. There are two very nice piano bars. Omar the bartender at Ethel's was fun and entertaining. The Manor House Polo Lounge bar with piano is beautiful (waitress Michelle is in that area is wonderful, went above and beyond for us)! My husband golfed several days and enjoyed his time with caddies Devon and Andrea. Butler service isnt necessary to have a great time, but we were spoiled by our two fabulous butlers Delrose and Shenadean - thanks ladies! Our only complaint is that many of the cement sidewalks were slippery. Beyond that, if you love a beautiful setting in the Caribbean with very warm and welcoming staff, this is a great resort. We had so much fun, that Chakera helped us book our next vacation!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.

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