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“Pretty Nice for a Babymoon” 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 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Pretty Nice for a Babymoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our babymoon here. I was recommended this resort by my good friend who is a luxury travel agent. She said that compared to the other Sandals, this one was considered one of the top ones. The resort is small so I would not stay here for more than 3-4 nights. You can go next store but I found that it was more of a party scene there and RP was alot more quiet. There are only 3 restaurants on site so by the end, I was getting sick of the food. The Terrace restaurant was a buffet style changing up the theme of the food each night (Jamaica, Mediterranean, Grilled seafood/steaks). Then there was Le Pappillion -fine dining French Carribean style food. open for dinner only(Get the chocolate pudding with ice cream - so good!). The last restaurant was the beach side cafe - good for lunches (I recommend the lobster BLT and hummingbird drink which I did not see on the menu). The food in general at this resort was pretty good. Breakfast and Le Pappillion were my favorite. There was also tea time from 4-5pm everyday. The scones and cookies were tasty. There are 2 small beaches at the resort. One of the beaches offered the motorized sports so the water is a bit murkier and you can sometimes smell the gas of the boats on the beach. The other side, near the beach restaurant was crowded. The water color is very pretty but the water can be a bit rough making swiming less inviting. I will say though that the first 2 days we were there, the water was calmer and was very nice to swim in. There is no snorkeling on site - they offer 2 half hour snorkel trips a day to the reef 5 minutes from the resort. It wasnt that exciting. Beachside service was very good. The cushions on the chairs were a bit thin and worn out - wish they were more cushiony. Alot of people chose also to sun bathe on the piers since there was not enough room on the beach. We stayed in the Coconut grove room. It was a modest room. I felt it was nice enough - but its no Four Seasons (which is my favorite chain). The Butlers Darren/Oryne were very nice. It is a nice touch to make the guests feel extra pampered. I wasnt sure what to make of Darren at first but he grew on me:) The butlers made sure that we were always happy with our room. They give you a phone so you can reach them at anytime. We did end up tiping them at the end because when you first get there, they give you a letter saying they have relaxed the tiping policy on the butlers. So what are we supposed to think? - not sure. Though I did feel they worked extremely long hours and were ALWAYs around. My husband didnt have proper pants one night for Le Papillion so Darren was able to get him a loaner pair. I also highly recommend to try the private candelight dinner on the pier or beach. It was a very romantic and exquisite experience. The setting was beautiful. I felt like I was on THE BACHELORETTE. They offer 2 experiences - one for $170 and the other for approx. $270. We did the cheaper one because we didnt know about the other one beforehand. We had a nice time.
Before you get there they make you fill out a butler form. Dont take this too seriously unless you plan to do alot of excursions because when I got there, I felt they didnt even read the form I filled out. I felt its just a way for Sandals to make you pay for stuff in advance. I also felt I overpaid for the room because first of all, the prices of the rooms dropped significantly when I checked online once I got there. Also they try to get you to come back again year after year for your room at a cheaper and cheaper rate. Which leads me to think that I really overpaid for my room.

I dont usually do all-inclusive resorts but given my condition, Royal Plantation served its purpose. It was nice not to have to worry about a thing - since the whole experience is prepaid.

Room Tip: I was on the first floor - nice because no elevators to the higher floors and lots of stairs down to...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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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Fotherby
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

Thank you to the Royal Plantation Club for making our holiday so special yet again. We have just returned home after the most relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable vacation at this wonderful and oh! so special hotel. This was our third visit, returning with friends whom we met last year and this time none of us wanted to go home and would have happily stayed for another week. We also renewed acquaintance with guests whom we have met on previous visits.

As always the boys on the beach were so attentive making sure that each day we had sunbeds and the refreshments, under Adrian's, guidance kept flowing . Shelly-Anne was a perfect butler and ensured that our restaurant reservations were made and also that our golf tee times were booked as well as constantly ensuring that we had everything we needed.

The food as always was excellent and Collette at the Terrace Dining area worked so hard to see all of her guests needs were met. Gladstone and his staff in the bar still amazed us with the selection of Martinis and cocktails they managed to produce each evening. None of this can happen without the leadership and attention to detail which is displayed by Peter Fraser the general manager and finally thank you to him for the very special and memorable last evening we spent on the pool terrace. We will certainly "soon come back" home again!!.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

The getaway part of the vacation was great, but we would never go to this resort again. Had we paid 1/2 of much as we did for this vacation, we would have been satisified.
Service is really what this resort offers, but what we recieved was very inconsistant. Upon arrival we recieved a letter from Sandals talking about tipping. They had advised that you should only tip your butlers. Had we not tipped several staff, the service would have been even worse. There was a dramatic difference in service between those that tipped well, and those that didnt.
Food quailty was pretty good, but compairable to other resorts we have stayed at that were much less expensive.
We werent happy with the room that came with the package. It was very small. We had to pay an additional $700 to upgrade the room.
The beach was small but that was okay. We did find that we were constantly fighting to get good seats to suntan for the day. Again with the quality of the resort we stayed in, that shouldnt happen.
Overall it was nice to getaway for a couple weeks of sun, but we definately made the wrong choice on resorts.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

I'm a luxury travel agent. My number of stays at the resort is now in the mid-30s, having first discovered it in 2001 when Sandals bought the historic hotel. I love the resort. When I step out of the car in that regal driveway and look out beyond the lobby to the fountain, the flowers, and the ocean, I know I'm home. I can hardly ever get a good look because I'm quickly hugged by several familiar faces.

My husband, Todd and I have been to Jamaica many times and during every month of the year, but we love to see Christmas decorations. This year, the resort had just beautiful decorations - from the impressively lit driveway to the lobby tree to the lit railings all around the public areas, it was very festive.

Our butler, Mario escorted us to our room and did a great orientation. Mario had our bags there very quickly, and he unpacked and organized everything. As soon as he left, we had only minutes to get ready for dinner, but the maid came for turndown, so we had to go to dinner late. They should have a schedule of people's dinner times and know if someone has dinner at 7:30 that they should not show up at 7:15, especially when they just arrived. Anyway, I asked for a memory pillow, and she said she'd get it or send someone. We'd told her not to take the fruit plate since we had not been able to have it since we were never alone. She left, but when we came back to the room, the fruit was gone, and the pillow was there.

We enjoy the food very much at Royal Plantation. We had two dinners at Le Papillon, 4 at The Terrace, and one evening of the Mystery Dinner done as a mini version, and then we went on to dine inside at The Terrace green room.

For lunches, we split time between the Royal Cafe and The Terrace, or if we had a late breakfast in the room, we skipped breakfast. One of those days, we had pub food mid-afternoon. Another day, I had pizza over at Sandals Grande Riviera over on the beach side. I could not miss the opportunity of a perfectly prepared, crisp and thin pizza topped with tomatoes.


A couple of stand-out dishes for me in The Terrace were the red curry vegetable ragout (I asked them to add sea scallops to mine) and the red curry pan seared fish dish that was served at lunch one day. Todd enjoyed the penne pasta dish with sea scallops. I had a lovely sweet potato with chilis soup one night. Todd had a great ribeye one night and lovely carved prime rib another. We're not big dessert eaters. I often have sorbet, and Todd often has vanilla ice cream.

There were some new people The Terrace, and service was always excellent when the restaurant was run by either Collette or Durrant and sometimes a bit spotty when they were not there. Our best server was Tricia Johnson.

We attended the Jamaica night. Todd had grilled Caribbean lobster and chicken. I had cold clams and mussels and salads from the salad bar.

I had Todd all psyched up for shepherd's pie at the pub since he loves it so much in Exuma at Sandals Emerald Bay. It had been on the pub menu since they opened, but it was not there on this trip. It seems the dish takes 40 minutes to prepare. Also gone were the crab backs that I love so much. Todd did order the crab Scotch eggs on the general manager's recommendation but received the sausage version. He liked it. We also loved the fish and chips of the day when it was grouper. It ws probably the best grouper we've ever had. The next time we had the fish and chips at the pub, it was something else and only so so.

Down at Royal Cafe, Todd had ribs one day. My favorite "go to" down there is always Scotch bonnet gazpacho, though I had difficulty getting toasted bagette to go with it. We shared some good battered fish down there one day. It was great to see Cleon back down at the beach, and he was working hard and smiling a lot. Other than him, drink service could have been better, we had to walk up and order each time.

At Le Papillon, we had one dinner inside and one out on the patio. On one night, Todd had steak and lobster, and I had the veal dish. Todd had steak the other night, while I had sea bass. I miss the old dish the way they originally prepared it. Thanks to GM Peter Fraser and Assistant Food and Beverage Manager Durrant Williams, we enjoyed a nice evening with a great manager's list chardonnay, Chante Allouette. That was the night we were on the patio. We heard part of the entertainment up there and then went downstairs and heard the rest of the show. The singer was amazing, and even Todd danced to a few songs.

Our mystery progressive dinner was led by Durrant and the butlers, and I won't give any details other than that the lovely shellfish flambe dish he personally prepared to us in a special candlelit setting made for a delightful evening.

The returning guest dinner was well attended by around 24 guests. We ordered most of our dinner off the menu for the regular dinner that night since we are not lamb eaters and a lot of the dishes had mushrooms, and I have an allergy. We had a nice evening, and pianist Andre Campbell entertained everyone.

I had a shellac manicure and pedicure by Marjorie at the spa. She took very good care of me.

Todd and I made a trip over to the Kelly's Dockside bar one afternoon. It's right on the ocean at Sandals Grande Riviera. I also had lunch at the Manor side of the resort one day. Another dday, I went up to Beaches Boscobel and also had a lunch out with a family of friends on the island.

One night, we set off a beautiful Chinese lantern into the sky with a couple of the butlers. It was great to watch it go way off into the air.

I had the privilege to be invited to the staff Christmas party. I stopped by there and saw the many interesting costumes and then left to let them enjoy their evening.

Todd golfed one day and had a nice round but came back tired.

Royal Plantation has added bathrooms on the East beach and is in the process of building a watersports pier down by the villa. This will make more room on the beach itself.

We ended our stay with a trip to the Montego Bay VIP lounge, my fourth time there and Todd's second. It was more full than the other two times, but we enjoyed the snacks, drinks, and internet.

We've already rebooked for Christmas/New Year's, and we hope to have another wonderful stay during this festive time of year.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

All I can say about this hotel really is that I would have no trouble whatsoever in living there :D
I went with my family at the end of July 2011.
Where to start…after a week’s trip around the island we arrived rather exhausted and were immediately greeted with a glass of champagne and a cool towel to freshen up.
Then we were lead to our room where a lovely see view and well stocked minibar with previously selected content awaited. (Before our arrival we had been sent a questionnaire giving us a selection of things we could request for our minibar)
Our butlers Mario and Garry took great care of us, especially Mario who’s attention to detail is absolutely fantastic! Greatest butler in the whole hotel!
We were completely and utterly pampered, from being sprayed with rose scented water on request and brought fabulous cocktails at the beach to the delicious meals prepared in both the restaurants it was an amazing holiday!
A definite must are the chocolate pudding from the “Le Papillon” and the goats cheese salad from “The Terrace”.
You can also have meals at the restaurants of the other hotel which is next door, we did this once and felt like royalty when we were taken there by Mario and shown to our table while the guests of this hotel were left to “fend for themselves”.
Although both hotels are part of the Sandal’s hotel chain, we were allowed to go to bars, restaurants etc. of the neighbouring Sandals hotel, but the other guest were not allowed to come to the Royal Plantation and didn’t have the butler service.
There is also wifi anywhere on the property (even at the beach) for about 30$ per week, which is rather pricy really.


It was definitely an epic experience and one I am happy to recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2012

More wonderful than it seemed. Perfect for intimate get aways. Adults only with 70 rooms. Romantic, peaceful and tranquil. Staff exceeds expectations. Pampered experience. Beaches beautiful and photos capture it accurately. Select the meals with the booking for the best experience. It only has two restaurants and beachside grill but you can go to the sandals nearby for a different dining experience. Not a party place so if that is your desire select a larger resort. If your looking for an adult relaxing setting then this is for you.

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

The Royal Plantation has been one of the places on my "Bucket List" for quite sometime. So we were blessed when my mother-in-law purchased our Honeymoon trip to Ocho Rios and our stay at the BEAUTIFUL Royal Plantation.

We have frequented Jamaica MANY times - but we have never been treated like ROYALTY when we arrived - like we were at the ROYAL PLANTATION!

The rooms are IMMACULATE! We stayed in the Royal Peacock Suite - four poster bed - balcony and a beautiful bathroom!

Our butlers Gary and Mario - what can I say - were there for us every time that we needed them and even when we didn't! They anticipated things for us that we would not have imagined! Gary and Mario were the BEST butlers on the resort grounds!

The spa was GREAT! I had a signature facial and a hot stone massage.

My husband played golf 3 days of our 7 day vacation and he loved it.

I would definitely recommend this resort for a Honeymoon - we are not in our 30's so we were not looking for the "LIVE" party - but you can get that next door at the neighboring Sandals resort, which we went for dinner one night at the Hibachi restaurant - and it was very good!

I would LOVE to come back to this resort!!! The beach to me was GREAT! I loved that the beach butlers reserved your chairs for you and it was NOT CROWDED!! Just very peaceful!

The food for the most part was excellent - my huband LOVED that he could get Steak and Lobster at almost every meal!

I hope that we can come back to the Royal Plantation to vacation again!

Room Tip: Every room here has a beach view.
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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 5
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Business Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Plantation 5*
Number of rooms: 74
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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