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“needs improvements” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sand Castles Resort

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Sand Castles Resort
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 Main Street, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #29 of 39 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“needs improvements”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Stayed here in Feb 2012 returning for the first time in fifteen years and what a sad difference! In 1997 this was a lively, well kept hotel with direct access to the beach. Now it is an empty shell with no life. The bar and restaurant have closed and the pool in not in use. The pool area has no tables or sun loungers. The gate onto the beach directly opposite the hotel gate has been walled up which means a walk along the path to the public gate- not far but annoying with an elderly, infirm relative.The gate from the hotel was also locked and unmanned so it was hard to get out without a long wait and it was impossible to get back into the complex without another long wait or by walking round to the front of the hotel. This meant walking through a public car park, out onto the main street and round to the front of the hotel with all the street vendors and taxi drivers approaching us which is not what you want from a hotel located on the beach! The bar on the beach was also closed when we were there and the swimming area has been roped off to allow swimmers to swim in water so shallow it hardly covers your knees. All the tour companies seem to have pulled out so there were few visitors to this hotel complex. Our apartment was OK- clean and comfortable but there was no hot water the whole time we were there.The complex was also very empty. I think we were the only people staying in our block so it didn't feel very safe and the walk ways were dark at night.The gardens are still beautiful and well kept. This resort could be so lovely as the location,gardens and beach are so beautiful.The local area has improved since our last visit, with more entertainment, bars and restaurants but this hotel needs major investment. The access to the beach needs to be improved and the owners need to get together to address the problems.

Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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241 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Stayed here for 2 weeks with boyfriend and had an amazing time. The apartment was clean and offers everything you need when you're on holiday. The owner Jen provided us with a jamaican mobile line which meant we didnt have to worry about crazy phone bills when we returned. The housekeeper Stephanie came on more or less a daily basis and is a lovely woman. Apartment offers fully equipped kitchen, pc with internet, stereo, cable tv, etc. Lovely sized bedroom and separate living area. Literally 2 mins walk onto the beach which is just behind the complex. All at great rates. Only downfall is that since we went in October it was very quiet on the complex so most things such as bar and restaurant in Sandcastles were closed but being in the centre of Ocho Rios you really dont have to go too far for anything. Going back next year and I know exactly where I'm staying. Room D13.

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

I booked this room with the owner who does not live in Ocho Rios. Not one time did she tell me that the air wasn't working properly. We were suppose to stay for 3 nights, but didn't arrive until the next day, so it would have been two nights. When we arrived. we meet with the owner's private housekeeper who was very nice, polite and helpful. She gave us the key and we gave her a deposit of $100, which we would get back if everything was alright with the place. We started to unpack and realized the the air wasn't working, just making noise. We figured that we needed to let it warm up a little bit, so we left out. When we came back, still no air. So, I decided to take a shower and realized that I could not even fit in the shower. I had to leave the shower door open, because it wasn't big enough for me. We called the housekeeper and she said that she would call the owner. She spoke with the owner, but we never heard from her that night. We told the housekeeper that we wanted to leave immediatley, but unfortunately, we had to leave the next morning. It was such an inconvenience, not only for us, but the housekeeper who had to take a taxi to come and get the key back that next morning around 7am. We didn't here from the owner until 2 days later. I asked her to refund my money into my account immediately, because we needed it to help pay another room. Not once, did this owner say that she would help us with any other accomodations or transportation funds for that matter. I never received any apology email from this owner, so it was very obvious that she did not even care. We paid for transportation from one parish to Ochie and from Ochie back to the same parish, which was very expensive. I took pictures and can forward them to anyone who wishes to see what our nightmare was about.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

Stayed here with 4 friends for 6 days for a wedding. Apartment was billed as a penthouse and the pictures they sent us before we booked were nice. But this resort is run down and unloved - chewed up parking lot, nasty pool, stray cats everywhere. Our apartment was neat and clean but dark and dated. The only up to date amenity was our upstairs shower - it was a modern, multi-head deal with phone and radio connections...but nothing worked but the main shower head. This place is fine if you want to save money and don't much care about your room, but for me a nice room is as important as the rest of my vacation experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Jamaica
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

this hotel is in walking distance to every where in the town of ocho rios, the gardens are well kept and security is very good, the last time i was there in may 2012 the bar or the restaurant was not in operation, so i had to walk out to eat, you can also prepare your own meals most of the suites have a complete kitchen and it is right on the beach with 24 hour security.
the manager is very friendly and helpful, you can rent from private owners or the hotel.
this hotel is kids friendly and a getaway for the whole family.i stayed in this hotel before and they use to have a band playing by the pool nightly, and the restaurant and bar was operating then, the food was very good. this is a hotel where the price is negotiable if you are renting from one of the private owners, it is not 100% now it needs some improvement, but still a very reasonable secured, low budget vacation spot.

Room Tip: rooms to the south are quieter there is party in a parking lot close by some times on weekends to th...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

I would not recommend this so called "resort " to anyone. When I pulled up to the property, I was embarrased to get out of the car. Once I got inside, my suspicions were confirmed. There was no one at the desk to welcome me. I had to search the grounds to find someone. When I finally found a staff member, he did not have any record of my room. I had to present my own room information. I was shown three rooms. I was unhappy with all three. The rooms were very shabby, the bathroom was substandard. Oh, and the lovely pool that is advertised online, well, let's just say insects would not survive in it. The grounds reaked of cat feases, and yes there were cats running everywhere.I had to choose another hotel, as I was concerned about my health as well as my safety. I was much happier at my other hotel. Unhappy traveler 2012

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
london
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

.The hotel was vey well known .really close to the beach with all shops and bars very near.you can walk everywhere.
has a private car park and very safe. The hotel was not busy and the bar was closed but i dont drink so it didnt bother me, but if u do the liquer is cheap in the supermarket across the road.
This palce is great if u want some peace and quite instead of a loud and busy hotel. This one bed appartment had wifi,tv,music player,nice veiw.smoking area,ac hot water and cozy.This room is private owned room.Jeni gave us a good price so it was cheaper then a hotel.Coming back and staying here.
WE COOKED FOR OURSELF AND HAD A FRIDGE FOR ALL LEFT OVERS. MUSIC SYSTEM WHICH I LINKED UP WITH MY IPHONE. I FORGOT MY PHONE IN THE ROOM AND THE OWNER JUST POSTED IT BACK TO ME. SO LOST NOTHIN AND GAINED A GREAT TIME IN JAMAICA. WILL DEFO COME BACK TO JENI'S APPARTMENT @ SANDCASTLES.

Room Tip: pick the private rooms and not hotel rooms
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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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Additional Information about Sand Castles Resort

Address: 1 Main Street, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 39 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Sand Castles Resort 2*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sand Castles Hotel Ocho Rios
Sand Castles Ocho Rios
Sandcastles Ocho Rios
Sandcastles Beach
Sandcastles Resort Jamaica
Sand Castles Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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