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“Royal Plantation - Great Property with Tremendous Service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Royal Plantation

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Sandals Royal Plantation
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Main Street, Ocho Rios 2, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #3 of 39 hotels in Ocho Rios
PhillyPa
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Royal Plantation - Great Property with Tremendous Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at RP earlier this month and had a wonderful week at this small, yet wonderful property. I had been looking at RP fornthe past few years so when we booked late last year I was a little anxious due to the recent change to market the property under the Sandals name and the fact that we were used to larger all inclusive properties. Well, I can say that any fears we may of had were quickly removed when we arrived at the hotel and began our week long vacation.
We were greeted by our Butler Garey upon arriving after the 1.5 hour drive from MBJ airport as the sole passengers in a van. Garey turned out to be the more formal member of our Butler tandem with his partner Mario playing the funny, always giggling crazy part of this two very different peas in a pod team! They were always looking to do anything for us although we didn't have too much need for any special requests after giving Mario our dinner requests and golf schedule.
The hotel is gorgeous, with amazing views of the Carribbean and the Jamaican coastline. We were in Suite 301, a corner suite on the eastern side of property that had a French balcony and a separate outside balcony overlooking the pool area. Gorgeous views in all directions although I doubt will spend the extra money for the balcony upgrade next time since we spent more time in front of the French balcony with the sliding doors open than we did on the outside balcony. Room was plenty big with a separate shower area with sink as well as a large vanity sink and mirror where my wife got ready each night. The bed was great, extremely comfortable which is important for me as I suffer from lower back problems and usually experience back pain when we travel due to cheap beds.
The pool area is really small but amazingly there were always chairs available. The west beach area is great, clean with lounge chairs and umbrellas. You do have to go down and reserve an umbrella as the Butlers aren't allowed to do this anymore and the umbrellas will be taken prettly early.
The east beach has the water sports activities that you can signnup for, most ofnthem included. We went snorkeling a few times and enjoyed it immensely.
The west beach also has the beach bar and restaurant where you can enjoy some great food. This is where the beach butlers reside who provided fabulous service to us the entire week. Andre and the other beach butler (sorry I forget his name and hope all worked out with his visit to the Doctor) were great. Very nice men, always asking if we needed anything and both were very outgoing and courteous.
So all that is left is to talk about the food and the overall service that you get at RP. The food was really good. Normally at an all inclusive property, the best meal is usually breakfast. Not here, the lunch menu at the beach had great jerk chicken, pork and shrimp as well as their tremendous coconut shrimp! Nice salads and soups as well. If you want, climb the stairs and have a more formal dining experience at the Terrace Restaurant where you could choose tuna or beef carpaccio appetizer followed by a Red Snapper fillet or grilled steak and shrimp! Always prepared wonderfully and tasting like you ordered it at a fine dining restaurant.
Dinners were more of the same, we ate at Le Papillon 4 times, the Terrace twice and went over to the SGOR one night and had dinner at Gordon's. Everything was wonderful, from the snails to the filet, lamb and Sea Bass. Every meal was prepared perfectly to order and tasted great.nerving sizesnare not overly large, but I never felt hungry or stuffed when we finished...just right portions in our opinion.
Now for service, the people at the RP were just amazingly nice and all seemed anxious to do something extra for you. An example, our first night we were going to eat at Le Papillon. We first went to the Wobbly Peacock for a drink before dinner and as our reservation neared, I realized I didn't know how to get into the restaurant. So I asked Rochester, the young bartender if he could direct me to the restaurant. He looked at me and immediately said, no, I will take you there myself! So at 7:45, he led us upstairs and into Le Papillon. From Mario and Garey through the beach butlers, bartenders and waiters and waitresses, everyone at the RP appears to be focused on one thing...making sure they made your stay as nice as possible!
So if you don't need a swim up bar and a thousand activities being orchestrated for you every day and you enjoy high quality food and 5 star service then the Royal Plantation is a perfect choice.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Moncton NB CANADA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

We were totally enchanted with Sandals Royal Plantation. It is a beautiful location and the staff are incredible! Cornell at the pool; Chris and Curtis our butlers; Trudane and Kelly Ann; Barry who made us his award winning cocktail; and Mr. Fraser, the General Manager, who is doing a great job and is always on hand. Our room was very nice and comfortable. The Papillon Restaurant was top notch. Although the pool and the beach were small, it was never an issue as there was always available lounge chairs and they were never crowded. We enjoyed the staff, the food, the location, the fact that the resort was small and intimate. We also enjoyed "high tea" and participating in the "lanterns" event - a fund raising activity. We missed not having a balcony - but not too much - and thought that the Wifi was very expensive.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
    • 4 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.
Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

I took my wife to Sandals Royal Plantation, and she thought we were going to the movies in our local movie theater. Thanks with the help of Amy, and Dream Makers Vacation Services, the trip and the surprise was a success. But guys, you have not lived until you pack your wife's luggage.

We have been to Sandals several times, but this was our first trip to the Royal Plantation. It is like you have already read -- outstanding. Our butlers were Curtis and Chris. The Peacock Pub was fun. The return dinner had a filet had a lobster tail on top of it - wow. Snorkeling was so/so, and the sailing was fun, but watch the reef.

Met new friends, and my wife won the black jack charity tournament. She also got the royal treatment (just like all the guests do) with rose water mist and cucumbers for her eyes at the beach, and flowers and candles and champagne for her bath.

You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shediac, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2011

As soon as we walked in the lobby...we knew we were in for a royal treat. The resort has an old world charm. It is beautiful!
Check-in was fast and efficient. Our buler Orayne brought us a refreshing Mangosa (Champagne and mango juice) and gave us a quick tour of the resort and the brought us to our suite. It is exactly as the pictures on the website. The room is a nice size and the bed was comfortable. Everything worked well. He had a nice table set-up with cheeses and crackers and a nice bottle of champagne on ice.He then offered to unpack our suitcases, which we gratefully accepted. We went exploring the beautiful grounds.
There are 2 beaches...both are very nice. There is a reef in front of our resort so the water is very warm and calm. There are beach butlers that bring you food and drinks. There were always spot available on the beach. They have a nice rose petal mist that is so refreshing...don't be afraid to try it.
The pool is small but you have to keep in mind that there are only 74 rooms. The resort was at full capacity during our stay but it never felt like it. The pub waiters make their rounds often and bring you food and drinks. There are 2 hot tubs and again...hardly anybody using them.
The food is excellent! I don't say this often and I am a bit of a foodie but honestly the food here is the best! My favorites were the coconut shrimps and the lobster club sandwich at the beach grill, the omelets and chocolate coconut pancakes and the Terrace restaurant and the rack of lamb at the Papillon restaurant. The Wobbly Peacock pub serves good pizza and the wings are amazing!
The drinks are made with quality liquor and it shows because they were so good! My favorites are Miami Vice, Gladstone special martini and of course Red Stripe.
I absolutely have to mention that the staff at this resort is amazing! Everybody is so nice! Our wonderful butlers...Orayne and Derron are the best butlers we have ever had. They are polite, well organized and have a feeling of making you feel that you are the only people at the resort. They did so many nice things for us during our stay that made us feel like royalty. I also have to mention that to have a great staff you need to have a great leader. The manager Mr. Peter Fraser is one classy guy! He is always around...helping out the staff and making sure that everything is perfect! In my opinion, I think that alot of hotel managers could learn a thing or two from this man.
The returning guests dinner was great! The food and drinks were amazing! The band was very entertaining! We had a great time.
The resort entertainment was also very good. We really enjoyed the Jamaican night on Fridays. You have to see this to believe it! The limbo guy is so talented! Don't miss it! I also loved the fact that around 11h00pm...it's quiet! This is a heavenly resort for R&R!
We loved the resort that the only time we went off the grounds was to go golfing. The golfcourse was not in the best condition. They are working on that and trying to upgrade it. We still had fun playing the course. The caddies were very helpful. Our caddies were Mark and Buddy.
We truly loved this resort and we would definitely go back in a heartbeat! It is a gem....what a great find!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2011

A very friendly & attentive service provided by all staff. The butler service was extremely good as they provided service just to the level that you desired. The room had ample space & tastefully furnished. The fridge was restocked each day with individual requirements. Although the beach & swimming pool were small, there was always space & sun loungers available even though the hotel was full. Evening entertainment was very varied, of high quality & reflected Jamaican culture & music. Food quality was excellent with sensible portion size. There was little to fault in the whole experience but it was always being made to feel 'special' that provided the 'icing on the cake'.

  • Stayed March 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Va.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

My wife and I just got back from a week at the Royal Plantation. The resort is a very nice property. It shows a little wear and tear, but my experience says that everything in the Carribbean tends that way. Overall it was a very nice place. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. The view from our room was spectacular and the property overall is gorgeous. For an all inclusive resort the food was very good. I wouldn't say it was fantastic, but I had a few very nice meals and overall they did a very nice job. I heard a few people on here talk about the service being slow. It may have been a tad slow once or twice, but you are sitting in the warm breezes of Jamaica, how much of a hurry do you need to be in?

The reasons I couldn't give it a 5 star rating are a bunch of little things. We were told twice we would be sitting on the terrace outside of the La Papillion restaurant only to have them not seat us there. The shower shut off completely while my wife was in it one afternoon. she has shampoo in her hair. It was like a scene from a bad sit com. The toilet stopped working one night. It stopped flushing. I called maintenance to have someone come by to fix it. It was 10 at night. We waited 30 minutes and nobody showed. When I called back to check on it the woman who I had originally called admitted that she told the maintenance guy the wrong room number. They guy did get there in another 10 minutes and he was able to fix the toilet. Noting major, but just not really "5 star" kind of treatment.

My biggest complaint is my major pet peeve. My wife and I are beach people. We go to places like the Royal to sit on the beach and look at the water. Both the beaches are small and they don't keep a lot of chairs on the beach. The bottom line is that if you aren't on the beach at 10:00 in the morning to create a presence on one of the chairs there is an excellent chance you won't get one. We sat by the pool a couple of days because there were no chairs on the beach. In my opinion, a 5 star resort should make sure that they have enough of everything to accomodate their guests. I shouldn't feel stressed out that I need to rush out to the beach first thing in the morning to throw a couple of t-shirts and a magazine on a chair to make it look like somebody is sitting there. This is more the kind of thing I would expect from a lower end property.

I still do think that this is a very nice place for the most part. The staff was wonderful and on balance the stay was very nice, but I just feel that there were enough issues with our stay that I just can't call the resort a 5 star or give it more that a 4 on my rating.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

The hotel is without doubt, situated in a beautiful, quiet setting, until the booze cruise returns to the Sandals hotel next door - but this is the only time your peace and tranquility will be disturbed..and it doesn't happen very often.

This is our 3rd time in Jamaica, the first at this hotel (previously Sandals Dunn's River and Couples Ocho Rios). We had a year to anticipate our break so after reading all the positive Trip Advisor reviews we had high expectations, which unfortunately we felt the hotel didn't quite live up to.

To list all the issues would feel pedantic, as many were small...but became increasingly irritating as they escalated in quantity.

The conclusion we drew was that this is a BUTLER service hotel and this is very much their focus - if you encourange and allow your butlers to do everything for you, it all works very well. However if your preference is to be independent and inconspicious, this is perhaps not the hotel for you.

Diving: my husband reported that the equipment was in a poor state of repair and the staff were not always as professional as they could have been

Golf: This year the course was in a particularly poor state of repair. However its a nice course and SODA, our caddy was as always excellent

Jamaica Dog Sled Team - We booked a visit through Chukka Carribean Tours. If you love dogs, you'll love this...and its particularly satisfying that some of your excursion fee is donated to the Jamaican Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals

Would we go back? For the price we paid, No- If we got a cracking deal, then yes.

MILITARY DISCOUNT - be sure to notify Sandals if you in the military, you'll qualify for an additional 10% discount.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Plantation

Address: Main Street, Ocho Rios 2, 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 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Plantation 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•All suite resort and all are serviced by butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers•2 private beaches with beach butler service•The Caribbean’s only Champagne and Caviar Bar•Exquisite International, Mediterranean, Caribbean and French cuisine•24 hour in suite dining•Complimentary transfers from this resort to all Sandals Resorts•Voted Sandals Resorts “World Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award - American Academy of Hospitality Sciences ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Jamaica
Sandals Royal Plantation Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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