After reading a bunch of terrible reviews for this resort, my girlfriend and I were worried about heading down. But after arriving at the resort (In the pouring rain mind you!), our worries dissapeared.
I will break it down for you..
1. THE RIDE FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE RESORT!
Yeah, it stinks and the trip is long but having been to other third world countrys, I wasn't really surprised. You stop off at rest stop halfway there which is nice.
2. THE CHECK IN
Super easy..we were taken into the hotel lobby on the Manor side and given champagne, a towel and bag with a bunch of bathroom stuff. The hostess also gave us a brief introduction of the resort. 30 minutes later, we were taken by jitney to our room.
3. The Room
We booked a honey plantation villa room on the Manor Side but were upgraded to a villa suite that had a stocked fridge with beer, sodas and juice. The villa was amazing with a seperate living room, kictchen, bedroom and bath that openned up on the ground floor to a semi private pool. The room was spectacular and extremely clean. But, we spent very little time in our room so going the cheap route might have been a smarter choice when booking.
Also, stay on the Manor side where everything from the main house to the villas are considerably more "upscale"
4. The Food
The food was better than I expected. On the first night (valentines day) we ate at Orchids which is one of the resorts high end restaraunts. The food was very good, the presentation was nice and the service was top notch. We arrived at 6:45 and were sat at 7;30. We heard stories of other people who were not able to get into Orchids that night so we were lucky.
We spend five nights at the resort so we ate at a different place every night.
Orchids was great
San Genero was very good
Valentinos was superb
The Manor was good
Arizona was ok (but you eat out on the pier which was cool)
There is always something to do. We went on the cruise to Dunns river falls which was fun. The snorkling was mediocre on that excursion but the booze cruise after climbing the falls was awesome.
We also went horsback riding on the heritge tour which was capped off by going into the ocean with your horse. DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!
We also did some of the free activities...we went on hobie cat ride which was fun but othersie, just hung at the Manor Pool which was fantastic and the beach which was small but fine.
TOP NOTCH! Everyone is extremely nice and helpful. You need anything, don't be afraid to ask. They will take care of it with a smile on their face.
FUN! You are constantly drinking so beware. The bars are beautiful and you can find one to suit your mood. They have bars on the beach, at the pool, in the main houses and also at the night club nicoles.
If you are from a major city, you will find Nicoles to be very cheesy and annoying. But the Piano Bars are great and drinking down on the Riviera side is fun by the ocean.
This was our first time to Sandals and I would go to another one of their resorts based on my experience. Its a lot of fun. Don't be uptight, if anyting bugs you about the resort or service, let a manager know and you will be fine.
HAVE FUN AND DON'T LET TRIP ADVISOR STRESS YOU OUT!
FYI, the only reason I am not giving the resort five stars is in my opinion, the honor should be left to the type of resorts that caters to the extreme luxury like the Ritz Carlton.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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 Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios