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“Awesome Honeymoon!” 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 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Aurora, NE
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Awesome Honeymoon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

From the moment we arrived we were in love with this resort! The staff are amazing, the spa is great, the nightly activities kept us completely entertained, the food was good, drinks were awesome. We had an amazing time and would love to return for our 10 year anniversary.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 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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5,302 reviews from our community

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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 (1,537)
Date | Rating
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English first
Erie, Pennsylvania
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

I just returned from a week in Jamaica at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ochos Rios. My husband and I went there with two other couples. EVERYONE associated with this Resort was wonderful! I felt like a celebrity the entire time I was there. The difference maker by far was JASON LYNCH, the Concierge Manager. He and his staff took care of every detail-big or small. "Dedicated" doesn't seem like a strong enough word to describe Jason. Everything on the resort is first class. The entertainment is fabulous! The food is amazing! I highly recommend this resort and if you can reserve your stay to include concierge service, ask for Jason.

Room Tip: Pick a room with a balcony near the Caribbean Sea so that you can hear the "chirpers" in a...
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  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

This was my our (myself and my husband) 5th stay at a Sandals, and 6th overall to the brand(1 Beaches Resort). I must say, had this been my first experience I probably would not be returning to any of their resorts. I literally felt myself defending the brand to so many who complained to us at the resort about their experiences. Specifically anyone with butler suites. Perhaps it was an off week for the resort as a whole, but I will give a few highs and lows here:

Rooms - Average for Sandals. Nothing to write home about, but not bad. The air conditioning was great and the rooms were clean. We stayed for 4 nights and only had our bed made twice, and only once with a special touch (flowers, towel animal, etc.) While that probably wouldn't have phased me normally, the last 3 Sandals we've stayed at made the extra effort every evening.

Food - Dissapointing. There was only one meal that was wonderful, and that was at the Reef Terrace. Kelly's, the "butler room only restaurant" was not very good at all. Several couples who dined there on their first night asked if that was normal for Sandals fair... absolutely not. It was barely on par with a low end chain restaurant. Everything else was not horrible, just not what we're used to at Sandals resorts.

Snorkel Boat - Go over to Negril, ride with Big Poppa and Hollywood and see how things should run. This was almost uncomfortable.

Overall Resort Layout- OK. Butler rooms are seperated by a very busy road and an interesting mini-bus ride from the beach side and many of the restaurants. Unfortunately, since people are using the bus for both beach/pool outings and dinner outings, this led to more than one wet butt in a dress and slacks for dinner evenings. Also, I'm not sure if the drivers are paid by the number of routes that are able to make during a day, but just be prepared to hold on to the handle bars, it's a bit of a wild ride.

Butler Service - We're going to chalk this up to the resort being so big and the fact that there is no quick way from beach to hillside, so the service was OK. Call me petty, but if I'm paying the extra grand or two for extra service, I kind of expect it to be wow service. We don't use it much, maybe 2 calls a day, so we wouldn't consider ourselves high maintenance. And there were strange things this time... we've always had no problem getting something simple like a shrimp cocktail in the afternoon delivered to our room, but here they can only do that if you request it a day in advance. So we adjusted, ordered it two days (a day in advance each) but still only got it once. I'm not sure how much of that was on the butlers and how much of that was on management style, but again, just an observation. What we did hear constantly from other guests was the forever wait on their butlers. Many had rooms higher on the hillside and the walk was a bit far to the main building, so they were told they could call their butlers for a ride, often after being told 5 minutes, they would find themselves 30 minutes later with still no ride.

Soon Come Back - A bright spot for us. Denise helped us book some different resorts for our next trips and we could not have been more thrilled with her. She rocks and I'd suggest you go see her if you want to try another place.

How the Resort was Run- Not Sandals quality, at all. There were so many "lost in translation" things from one staff group to the next.
For example, we are platinum members, so we get special pricing on the wine list. When we ordered the wine, we were told the discount would be taken when we check out. It wasn't, and we had to wait for approval from the F&B director in order to have it done. We eventually ended up getting comp'd the wine becuase of my next point.
The first night there we ironed our clothes for the Soon Come Back Reception dinner. The iron was fine for my husbands pants, but when I took it to my silk dress, it deposited a bunch of crud stains on it. No big deal, just get the resort dry cleaning to fix it, right? Well my dress went out the door as a blue, cream and red dress. When it was returned to me, it was then mauve, light pink and red. Same dress... just completely different. I informed the front desk staff about it saying they might want to look in to the problem and I was told a manager would contact me. On our check out date, no manager had contacted me yet, and instead of bothering to talk to me about it, just comp'd the bottle of wine. That's nice and all, but no where near the value of the dress, and frankly just a little rude that they couldn't even talk to me about it.
Speaking of the Soon Come Back Dinner, we received our nice little invitation cards in our rooms the first night that said the reception and dinner started at 6:30. Great. We show up at 6:30 to find everyone already seated and the show had already begun. Another couple we walked in with had the same issue. Apparently everything started at 6, but our invitations were wrong.

Again, this resort certainly wasn't the worst place I've ever stayed, but it was no where near what Sandals is in other locations. I think the management really needs to spend some time watching the staff at Negril and Emerald Bay to get a clue on where the bar is being set. This is probably a good resort if your staying just in a regular room, but I would never recommend the butler section to anyone... it's just not worth the extra dime here.

Room Tip: Do not get Butler Service. It is not worth the cost at this resort.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Columbus, Ohio
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

My wife and I just returned (10/23 - 10/28) from a trip to SGR and it was one of our best vacations. We stayed in a Club Level room on the Rivera (Ocean) side (Room 4524). The room was very nice but what made it special was the view of the ocean. The water was so clear and blue I found myself just staring out and getting lost in the beautiful view. We did not feel the need for a butler and found the Club/Concierge to help us with anything we needed including restaurant reservations and any other questions we had. Our bar and fridge were stocked daily with Appleton Rum, Red Stripe, juice, soda and fruit juices.

First I need to mention the staff. From the moment we arrived on site everyone was so nice and outgoing. It started with the Club Level Manager Jason checking us in and walking us down to lunch while they finished preparing our room. While at lunch at Neptune's we met Michael Spicer who sat with us and gave us the low down on where to go for food and drinks. Then that evening before dinner Courtney (a trainee) walked us out to Kelley's because he said it had the best views for sunset, he was correct and provided us helpful advice through our stay. Others that stood out were another trainee Lennox who seemed to work at all of the bars and was always kind and creative with drinks. Alex and Tyrone made the Ochi Beach Bar our favorite stop every day, Alex was so outgoing he lost his voice after a particularly fun afternoon. I also have to mention Ilene and Jadae at Soy, they both welcomed us with a hug every time we saw them. As I stated above every staff member was extremely nice and willing to go out of their way to help us. There was not one (reasonable) request we made that was not granted.

I will admit I am not the best to review the entire resort as it is very large and we spent most of our time down by the ocean. Both of the pools on the beach side are very fun with bartenders that try to get people involved in games. The one afternoon we went to the Manor (hillside) pool we found it to be very spread out and a little more relaxed. Conversely the beach side pools are much smaller but the Ochi Beach pool opens up to the ocean so there is a little more room to spread out.

I am not the best to review the food as we ate at Soy almost every night for dinner or appetizers. My wife and I huge sushi fans and thoroughly enjoyed the food at Soy. Armondo the sushi chef was fantastic, they offered a large number of rolls along with fresh fish. We had breakfast over the water at Kelley's which we found was temporary due to refurbishing that was going at some other restaurants on the beach side. The other food was good, in talking with other guests we rated it as a little better than Applebee's or Chili's. This was about what I would expect from an all-inclusive resort. What we did find was they will try to accommodate all of your requests. For example there was a group of 10-15 watching the OSU-PSU football game at Sundowners and one of the staff members brought us a plate of sandwiches and chicken wings without asking.

One thing that surprised me was how quick you could go from the Riviera to the Manor sides, the buses ran on a regular interval and took you from the Riviera front door to the Manor front door then to the Ochi Beach Club. Also, it is very hot and humid down there and the only bar with AC was the piano bar.

It would be difficult to not have a good time at this resort. It is not perfect but you definitely get what you pay for with good food, top shelf drinks and great staff.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandy Hook, Connecticut
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

My wife and my overall stay was made fun, enjoyable, relaxing, and stress free by our extraordinary butlers Nicola and Kemeshia. We will definitely request them when we return. The staff at the Red Lane spa were great too.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Erie, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

We could not have been treated better at Sandals Grande Riviera. My husband and I have vacationed in Jamaica twice once alone and this time with two other couples. We had the best trip of our lives and can not say enough great things about the resort but most importantly how we were treated by the staff. The staff went above and beyond to meet our every need from the cleanliness of our room and the grounds, to the service in the restaurants. Jason and the concierge staff were amazing and made sure we were taken care of from the minute we arrived. WE can not say enough great things about Jason as he was a life saver and helped rectify an issue with our luggage he even hand delivered beer to our room one evening because our mini frig was not stocked that day. These tasks and many more which I am sure are not in his job description. We had a phenominal time each evening watching Sasha and all of the entertaimment staff. Sasha is the engergizer bunny that keeps the party going. Her staff of playmakers kept us busy during the day with a variety of different games and activities. We especially enjoyed spending time with Nathalia (BOOM BOOM) and Dwayne the "playmakers" We also enjoyed a lot of great cuisine and received great services from Brandon, Alex and Tex (make sure you request him at Kimonos he will not disappoint) We can not wait to return to visit our new found friends and are making plans to return next Spring!!!

Our Best,
Danny & Allie

  • Stayed October 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.
Temecula, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

Jamaica has won over our hearts. A huge reason why we loved our experience at the Sandals Grande Riviera was because of the awesome staff they employ!

First there is PERCIVAL (we called him Percy) who has hilarious! We had our first drink with this guy, learned some fancy "local" lingo and enjoyed some yummy rummy drinks. His humor, attentiveness, and knowledge of American football kept us stopping by everyday just to see his smiling face. He needs to be at a pool bar or some other prime spot where others can enjoy his company!

ALEX was our other favorite bartender. We had so much fun with him at the pool! We had a pretty big group of us from the Dunns falls/booze cruise excursion and he had us playing boys vs. girls FLIP CUP. YAAAAA MON! He was such a sweet, attentive, and fun mixologist; plus he can make a pretty purple like rainbow shot. This man is a keeper for sure!

KEVON from Kelly's was also someone who gave us a very "special" experience. This man ensured we had everything and more. This being a seafood restaurant, we really wanted lobster. Even though they do not serve it at his restaurant, this man made it happen, and we enjoyed a delectable steak and lobster dinner. His professionalism, patience, and care for his guests impressed us so much, and really made our meal at Kelly's one of our best dining experiences ever. He knows how to run his restaurant, keeping his number one priority guest satisfaction.

ILINE from Soy was extremely sweet. This girl is such a hardworker, we had her at breakfast at Valentinos, and then again at Soy for dinner. She obviously had a long day and still maintained a happy and energetic manner. Props to her for being a "FIVE STAR".


Last but not least, our Butlers Christa & Kayann. We mostly saw Christa because of how the scheduling worked, but both girls were so sweet, and really pulled off some cute surprises for us. Decorating our room with rose petals and flowers, stocking our room with plenty of coffee and RUM CREAM, and making dinner reservations were just a few of the things these ladies did for us. Having butlers was a great experience, and if you do have them, make sure you tip them! They work hard for you and its worth every penny. Thanks again Ladies!

- Melissa & Hampton Mauze
10-12-13



p.s. be adventerous and try the pigstail stew at the reef terrace. OMG i die!

Room Tip: Loved our view of the beautiful lush green mountains, Butler HV1 room. Essentially a garden view sui...
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  • Stayed October 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 1
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
#4 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 529
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 & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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