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“all wonderful except the starving sick cats” 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
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“all wonderful except the starving sick cats”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

I loved this place a lot! The grounds were gorgeous and the food was the best I have ever had in a resort and there was not one single dish that wasn't perfection. The staff wore costumes that matched the nationality of the food and every dish was clever, well done and unique. there were butlers who came around the pools with coffees on silver trays, angels with feather wings that offered, beer, and the fabulous turquoise ocean. Certainly a class act in so many ways and the staff were alway so nice to us.

the airport access was a two hour trip. sigh. customs in Jamaica is slow slow!! we were exhausted when we arrived. I also found that the bus drivers got upset that I didn't tip them (it was included and I never thought that through. Then, only had travellers cheques and they were snarly about that. These are not Sandals staff as such. Note to self, bring simple dollar bills next time). I had to run and fight to get my bag away from a guy who was rolling it to his bus and I didn't know who he was. he was doing it for the tip after I had brought it a long long way already, he wanted to get the last 100 feet in. he twisted to keep me from reaching for my baggage and I didn't know who he was. Be prepared to be firm. it's not a sandals thing but Jamaica in general.

Using the bus to get to the second half of the resort was a big pain as it didn't come regularly and sometimes was a good 25 mins wait. The grounds are large which would be hard if you had mobility issues. You could be a half hour getting back to your unit if you were not he other side. But everything is beautiful and it didn't pour on us so I never minded. The shops were better appointed than most resorts and the items were interesting enough to make me actually want to buy something.

The cat situation was just awful awful awful and the staff got quite aggressive if you threw scraps to them. They need to be spayed/culled or else damn well fed and taken care of. They are blind, covered in sores, pitifully thin, they come crying to you and you can tell they are really hurting. Fights are in the bushes all the time in the night near the restaurants, and no wonder. The hideous state of the cats was enough to weigh in my mind as large as the otherwise wonderful time.

And it was the best resort i have ever been to, indeed.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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5,365 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 (1,568)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Most beautiful, exciting, exhilarating, adventurous, romantic- I can't say enough about this resort!! There are so many emotions I have in my body and I've been back home 3 days now!! I'm still feeling blown away by the beauty...The attention to detail....The feel....The smells...The people...The culture! Just go see for yourself!! I don't know what else to say...I was there 6 days and hated to leave. Love, Love, Love this place! Thank you for my beautiful ceremony.

Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Markham, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

This is a couples resort for that quiet getaway. We stayed in a Riviera Honeymoon Beachfront Club Level room facing the ocean. Everything in the building and room was really clean. No bugs and not even any mosquitoes to be found anywhere on the grounds or in the rooms. I'm not used to staying at such a quiet resort. It seemed like there was more staff than guests. The service was great and I especially like the Sandals no tipping policy as it makes everything easier.

The food was the best resort food that I've ever had although it's still a notch below food from a cruise. There were 15 a la carte restaurants to choose from and all of them were pretty good. My only gripe about the food is that it's geared towards North American palates. I don't blame them but personally I'd rather have authentic food. The jerk looked authentic but it didn't taste authentic.

With regards to activities, there's really not too much going on in the resort. The Beach was nice but pretty small. Unlimited water sports is great to stay active. There were schedules for activities such as beach volleyball or the rock climbing wall but no one was ever there, which is unfortunate since I love my sports.

Location-wise, it's a little too far from the airport for my liking. Almost a 2 hour drive to and from Montego Bay. This cuts significantly into the resort time. However, it is closer to tourist haunts like Dunn's River Falls so that could be a plus if taking excursions.

Still these are some small cons as overall it was a really relaxing experience and gave us time to reconnect as a couple.

Room Tip: If you like activity, choose the Riviera Beachfront side. Everything pretty much goes on in that si...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Creedmoor, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

My husband and I spent a week at Sandals Grande Riviera 7/25 - 8/1/14. The resort is divided into 3 parts, all easily accessible. The Manor side has the large manor pool, 4 restaurants and a Red Lane Spa. This side of the resort has the hillside villas, where we stayed. We booked the 1 bedroom suite with shared pool and were very happy with our choice. Our suite came with butler service, free wifi, and room service. The suite was very nice, including a living room, kitchette and bedroom. The bathroom was a little dated as was the rest of the suite but clean and comfortable. We were on the 1st floor of the 2 story villa with a veranda. Just 3 steps down to our shared pool. Our butlers were Ray and Denton, both of whom were great. Always ready to pick us up with their golf cart and very helpful. The other parts of the resort are the Riviera and Ochi Beach Club. They were across a main road, which you could walk to or use the shuttle. The shuttle ran about every 10 minutes. We never waited longer than that. The Ochi Beach club has a pool, beach and 5 restaurants. The Riviera area included a beach, more restaurants, another Red Lane Spa, water sports, the Amphitheater and pool. Make sure to see the Silver Birds perform, they are awesome. The grounds are very pretty, well maintained and very relaxing. A fantastic staff, friendly and helpful. We rented a cabana one day at the Manor pool. It was a fun day with Odean and Odave serving us all day. I was celebrating my birthday and can't say enough about the great service we received. Our favorite restaurants were Reef Terrace and Bayside. All the food was fresh and presented beautifully. We loved the coconut shrimp from the beach grill. Never made it to 4 of the restaurants, planning our next visit to SGR to include the ones we missed. Manor pool is very large, lots of loungers, great pool bar. Ochi Beach Club pool is smaller and was more of a party atmosphere. We also enjoyed the Amphitheater pool, close to water sports. Snorkeling was good, included with your stay at SGR. The glass bottom boat tour, Captain Tim was very informative. A great vacation overall. Only negative is the 90 minute drive from the airport. We also used Club Mobay for arrival and departure and highly recommend both. We have already booked next year's vacation at SGR!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Belcourt, North Dakota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

We traveled with a group of ten people including couples, family, and friends! It was truely a breathtaking experience! We stayed in the Villa Butler Suites and had our own private pool. We met two amazing Butlers who treated us like family. The people at the resort we energetic, fun, and hospitable! I loved everything about SGR and Jamaica! I can't wait to soon come back!! My 30th bday will leave lasting memories!

Room Tip: I would definitely upgarde to the Butler Villa's. Can't go wrong with that option.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

We stayed at the beautiful Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort last month and could not have asked for a better vacation. We stayed in the One Bedroom Butler Suite and were treated like Royalty! The 2 butlers were amazing and were most attentive to our needs. They knew what we wanted before we did! The suite was beautiful and came with our very own pool, that was shared by one other suite. The multiple restaurants were wonderful and the drinks were quite yummy and refreshing. So much to see and do. Don't miss a great opportunity to live like a King and Queen on your next vacation.

Room Tip: The Butler Villa is not beachfront, so if you want beachfront, be sure to say so when booking.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, responded to this review, August 14, 2014
Thank you for your great review!
We loved hearing about your incredible vacation experience at Sandals Grande Riviera and that you thoroughly enjoyed exploring the beautiful island surroundings. It's great that you felt completely pampered during your time with us in Jamaica and it was our pleasure being able to make sure all your needs were met. We hope to see you again soon and we look forward to welcoming you back to paradise!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

I was confused which Sandals resort to book! Oh boy I am so glad I did the Grand Riviera as everything was fantastic.
I booked two all Butler Villa One Bedroom Suites. The rooms were very spacious with a living room, kitchenette & great comy bed.
Our butlers Jermaine & Oshane from start to finish are credit to Sandals with their thorough professionalism coupled with the famous Jamaican smile.
Though we were all vegetarian, food was not an issue. If we asked they obliged. Service at both Great House & Beachside is great. Brandon at Kelly's Seaside, Glenroy @ Valentino's are great waiters.
Have to eat at Kimono's Japanese Restaurant for the experience. Whilst cooking the head chef will sing songs & have lots of fun with you. Not to be missed.
It is unfair sometimes to single out individuals for praise & have to take this opportunity to say that whoever we came in contact with the staff,they were also terrific!
We as a family have no doubt that you will absolutely love at Sandals Grand Riviera.

YA MAN!

Room Tip: Great House is ideal for people who want peace & quiet with an option to go to beachside anytime...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 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.
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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 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*
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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