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“Friendly Staff” 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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$305 Spa or Tour Credit!
Ranked #7 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Bellingham, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Friendly Staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

This was our first trip to Ocho Rios Grande Riviera and it was amazing. We spent the days meandering between the many different pools and trying to decide which restaurant we wanted to eat at. The staff was incredibly friendly everywhere, but we found ourselves at this little cafe every night, that was open all night right next to Dinos pizza, chatting with San-j Carnigie. He was so friendly and was always asking if he could help us out with anything that was going on at the resort, he was like our own personal advisor letting us know when to go to certain areas at certain times to miss the crowds. We can't wait to get back, so we can see all the people we made friends with this time.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,367 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 (1,570)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Jamaica after visiting the Sandals Grande Riviera Resort for our honeymoon. He had booked a Romeo and Juliette villa (had a private pool, hot tub, and two separate suites for the bedroom and living room) that came with the private butler service. We really enjoyed the resort. There was a good variety of activities and onsite inclusive restaurants to chose from. The only issue I had with the food was I'd hoped it would have more flavor in some of the more Americanized food. The Jamaican style food was very good. There were several pools as well as beach side locations where you can lounge in the sun (or shade) as well as a large water sports section where you can take lessons and captain a small sailing ship. They also hire several people called "playmakers" which keep the day lively. Getting guests interested in water fun games (beer pong, name that song while floating in the pool with your favorite drink etc). The night events were also fun. There are several cocktail parties planned, beach parties, guest involved comedy events etc. One of my favorite parts of the resort was knowing I always had someone to call if we wanted a recommendation on a place to eat or we weren't sure where an activity was taking place etc. We had two butlers on alternating shifts that made our stay really great. Christine and Darrin took great care of us and always made sure we had our dinner reservations made so we wouldn't miss out! They also reminded us of all the resort events going on in case we neglected to read our daily flyer. We also had a BIT with us (Butler In Training) Kahra who is making the transition from a play maker to a butler. She was so much fun and made sure we made it to the couples trivia night which turned out to be one of the best nights we had watching couples try to name the others more annoying habit and getting in completely wrong. I would recommend this resort for a great vacation. You can be as lazy or as active as you want here. You are also pretty close to some of the off-resort events that Sandals can help you schedule those. Being our honeymoon we spent more time being lazy than booking activities but we talked with several other couples who had great experiences. One last note, bring a book or something for the bus ride from the airport to the resort, it takes about 90 mins but its worth the drive!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

My husband and I just returned from our 6 night stay at Sandals Grand Riviera and could not have had a better trip or experience here! After doing a lot of research and reading a ton of reviews, we decided on this resort. The trip from the airport did take awhile; we got a slow driver so it took almost 2 hours. We booked a club level balcony room overlooking the ocean, an absolutely amazing view. We chose to not do the butler service and glad we opted out. We found it not to really be necessary, as our room came with complete concierge service that would do all the same duties (book excursions, make dinner reservations, get us anything we needed, etc.). Most of the food was great. Some of the portions are a little on the small side, but you can order more than one thing. Drinks are also great and they will make you anything you could want. There are two main beach areas, both of which are somewhat small, but there is more than enough room. I must say the staff here helped make our trip great. Everyone is so friendly and always greeted us with a smile. Our concierge team was fabulous, always helpful with answering questions or booking activities. Visiting Tyrone and Alex at the pool bar is a must. They are both amazing and always entertaining!

Room Tip: We had an ocean view balcony room on the beach side and loved it! Definitely worth the extra money f...
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  • Stayed November 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.
Kent
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

This was our first visit to Sandals but have had many other 5 * All Inclusive Holidays. We stayed in a One Bedroom Butler Villa Suite V1 - number 7349. The suite was excellent with a lounge, bar area and balcony and was serviced to a very high standard. We shared a pool with the 3 other villas in the block however the pool was a little disappointing as it was not maintained very well and not cleaned for the two weeks we stayed there apart from the odd chlorine tablet thrown in to dissolve whilst you are swimming. All of the furniture was in need of repair / replacement across not only our villa pool but also the surrounding villa pools. We had a team of two Butlers, Patrick and Makiko who I must say were excellent in every way, nothing was too much trouble and they were always there when needed which added greatly to the holiday experience, you do really feel special with their service.

All of the bars were well stocked with a wide selection of premium brand spirits and the cocktails were some of the best we have tasted. The highlight of the holiday was Miss Ethel's Piano Bar, a very small bar next to the Reef Restaurant; many guests never find this bar. You are hosted by the barman/entertainer/singer affectionately known as Papy (Anthaniel) accompanied by the fabulous pianist Oliver who together ensure you have a unique experience, you have to visit to believe it!!! Many thanks to Papy and Oliver.

The transport around the property was excellent you have the Butlers collecting in golf buggies and the larger vans working 24 hours a day and then a bus which goes between the Manor Hillside, Ochi Beach Club and the Beachside. Never had to wait more than a few minutes.

Beaches were excellent however they are limited and you cannot walk more than a few minutes to each end, please beware of the Sea Urchins as many people encountered nasty spikes while we were there, very painful, and water shoes will help guard against visits to the Nurse and Doctor, the worst we saw was 22 spikes in one foot !!!!.

All of the hotel, pool and gardens are very well maintained, they look beautiful and have all you require, keep an eye out for the Humming Birds they are beautiful. Staff throughout the property are second to none, they are all excellent and in abundance. You never have to wait for a drink even if sunbathing on the pier. We will mention a few, Annalee and Shanique on the beach, Michael Spicer in Kelly's Dockside Restaurant, Ramone in Neptune's Restaurant & Claude in the Manor Restaurant they all deserve a medal as they go above and beyond the call of duty!!! Well done and thank you to them all. We must also mention Anna who looks after the Cabanas, although we did not use these during our stay she always made a point of being helpful and friendly and really made an impression on us.

Each night you receive a Daily Breeze Newsletter which gives all the information for the next day. This was very informative however we tried on two separate occasions to join 'Bocca' and both times none of the Playmakers even knew it was meant to be taking place. On the second occasion, when we were waiting aimlessly, a manager 'Rocco' asked if he could assist, we explained the situation and he said he would sort straight away, we waited for a further 15 minutes and nothing happened, we did see Rocco on our return to the beach however he choose to avoid us! Having said this the Playmakers were all very pleasant but it is a very relaxed and unstructured part of the holiday.

There are 15 restaurants, here’s the low down 1 by 1
Bayside -Very poor buffet starter and desserts main courses ok.
Valentino's - One of the better ones but a different standard both times we ate there.
The Reef - Don't bother unless all other food outlets are closed.
Sabrina's - If you think two slices off tomato and cucumber and four pieces of feta cheese is a gourmet starter then this one’s for you!
Dinos Pizzeria - A good lunch Venue
Market Place - Breakfast buffet OK - Lunch Buffet well below par - Dinner was Sabrinas
Manor House - In the top two - Good all round food with excellent service (Claude)
Soy - Did not use as we don't eat Sushi but we heard all good reviews.
Mariner / Neptune’s - This outdoor restaurant on the back of the beach is the Mariners at Lunch and Neptune’s in the evening. The lunch is OK with outstanding Coconut Shrimp many thanks to Ramone excellent service, Dinner in Neptune’s is good also.
Kimonos - A nice experience, the Chef cooks in front of you the only thing I would say is it is very rushed and they are not good if you have a food allergy.
Bella Napoli - An excellent lunch venue, we are not pizza eaters however they are extremely tasty and we visited more than once!!!
Kelly's Dockside - Breakfast and Lunch are buffets however we did not visit these more than once as they attract a lot of bees over the buffet food. Dinner is in a wonderful setting on the end of the pier - shared started OK, main and dessert were good and we must compliment Michael Spicer on his service, he is second to none and made our evenings in there very special.
China Doll - Chinese and probably the best dinner venue, breakfast was OK. We visited twice and tried many dishes on the menu all cooked to a very high standard with good service.
Beach Bistro - A lunch venue on the beach, food was good and they serve curly fries!!!
They also have a weekly beach party where you dine alfresco buffet style. This was excellent with the largest Lobster on complex!! Not to be missed.
We did encounter the Executive Chef on many occasions, wandering aimlessly, with coffee mug in hand. On one of these occasions he stopped and sked how the food was, the previous night we had a crème brulee and explained that it was more like a crème caramel, after a long conversation he said he would personally make us a crème brulee the next night on our visit to China Doll. However, when we asked our Server they and the Chef were unaware of any special requests. We later visited the reception and left a message for the Executive Chef which we never had a reply to. Even the receptionist remembered us a week later and asked “how was our crème brulee?” We advised we did not get a reply and heard no more.

To sum up the holiday, if you are going for food and entertainment there is a lot better at a more competitive price. If you just want to relax for two weeks and be pampered with lots of space and a beautiful environment this is the place for you. This is our first trip to Sandals (however we have visited Jamaica before) and will be our last. Gordon 'Butch' Stewart if you talk the talk you have to walk the walk.

Room Tip: The Butler Suites are excellent however a long way forom the beach, all good if you don't mind b...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from 2 weeks at SGR & everything was superb. I think everyone has explained the resort layout etc so I won't repeat that. Although I sometimes think people have been to a different resort when I read the bad reviews.

We had butler service for the first time & although it felt a little strange as we are not used to being pampered our butlers were excellent they would pop up with little extra treats & surprises thank you Nardia & Shanadeen

Staff - they are the most friendly & polite staff you could ever wish for. (Pity Sandals don't train Kingston Airport staff!) Big thanks to Dwayne on the egg station who also cooked excellent jerk chicken, he called us 2 and 2 as my partner always ordered the eggs while I got the toast. Also Glenroy at the Manor & Chantelle at the Reef always had time for a little chat & were so happy & helpful

Tyrone on Soon come back desk arranged a tour of the Royal Plantation for us where we have already booked for next year on a 2 centre with SGR - with butlers again.

The Playmakers are very entertaining & talented & put on an excellent talent show with the guests

All in all every member of staff are a credit to Sandals from Butlers to jitney drivers to maintenance staff

Can't wait to return

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Our stay at Sandals Grande Riviera was amazing! We got married while at the resort and spent a 10 night honeymoon on property. We stayed on the Riviera side of the hotel and found it to be a great location for dining, entertainment, pools, beach, etc. The room we stayed in had a balcony and a beautiful garden view. The room was large and clean. The fridge was restocked daily with water, juice and pop. The cleaning staff as well as the turn down service was excellent.

There are so many restaurants, with varied cuisine, to try at the Grande Riviera that you won't get tired of the food. We really loved Soy Sushi and The Reef (Caribbean). The food was excellent at every restaurant and the service was outstanding. I am a vegetarian and not every restaurant has vegetarian entrees but it was never an issue to request a special meal from the chef. None of the restaurants were ever crowded. We had no issue dining at any restaurants, at any time, never having to wait for a table.

The beach area isn't huge but there was always plenty of space and empty loungers. The bar tenders and waiters at the Ochi Beach Club were so attentive! They remembered our names, how we liked our drinks and were always so friendly.

The best part about Sandals Grande Riviera is the staff. I cannot say enough great things. Every employee from cleaning staff to waiters, to lifeguards, to management always has a smile on their face. No request is too crazy and they will truly go out of their way to help.

The wedding services are absolutely FABULOUS! I had wanted a beautiful wedding but didn't want to have the stress that goes along with having to plan all the details. Sandals took care of everything. I could customize the ceremony and reception as much or as little as I wanted. The spa services for my hair and makeup were great and included a trial the day before the ceremony. If you get married on property there are several beautiful locations overlooking the water or you can get married right on the beach. Our wedding coordintor Sanchia was so helpful and arranged a special breakfast in bed and honeymoon dinner for us. Kamesha, in charge of weddings, is a real asset to the resort. We had an issue with our first wedding date and had to change everything at the last minute. Kamesha helped me thorough every step of this process and even served as a witness at the ceremony! She was born to work in weddings and is a great human being.

Another wonderful employee of the Grand Riviera is Shane, the night manager. He always has a smile on his face and is so thoughtful. He went out of his way several times to make sure that my husband and I were enjoying our trip and he went the extra mile making sure that we had a memorable stay.

Overall we had an awesome wedding and honeymoon. The food was excellent and the staff makes you feel so welcome and special. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort or to go back for another wonderful trip!

Room Tip: I would recommend staying on the Riviera side if you plan on going to the beach. The Riviera side a...
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  • Stayed November 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, responded to this review, December 4, 2013
We're so thrilled to read that you and your husband had the perfect wedding at Sandals Grande Riviera. Plus, you all had such a great stay with us, which is also great to hear. We always strive to create amazing and memorable experiences for our guests, especially those traveling for such special occasions.

Thank you for your review. We can't wait to welcome you back for another great stay!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GPW
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

My husband and I went to this location for our honeymoon 10 years ago, again 8 years ago and most recently in November 2013. We went with two other couples and had a fantastic time. The food, drinks, service and activities were excellent. In the future (and we do plan to go back again!) we will stay on the ocean side. The garden rooms are inconvenient due to their location. They may not be so bad if the private pools were heated and/or were hot tubs instead. Our butlers were absolutely great - shout out to Latoya and Kelly. They exceeded our expectations for the services they were going to provide. They made sure our plans were scheduled (and rescheduled as needed), made romantic flower arrangements in our bed/tub and brought us snacks and random times! They also took the lead in coordinating with our friends' butlers too in order to make sure the six of us were able to hang out together for excursions and dinners as desired.

Room Tip: Stay on the ocean side of the resort. Even with the shuttles and the butlers, the garden side was n...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, responded to this review, December 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're delighted to read that you and your friends had such an awesome time at our resort. We are so happy that we succeeded in creating that luxury romantic experience for you all. You enjoyed every minute of your vacation and it was a pleasure sharing the experience with you.

We look forward to your 4th return in the near future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Romantic 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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