Let me first say that anybody who writes a negative review of this property, obviously did not read reviews on this site before they went. Please take them with a grain of salt. Yes the property is very small. If someone couldn't figure that out from the reviews or a brochure, then they can't read.
My wife and I just got back on February 23rd from our honeymoon and have already booked next year's trip to Royal Plantation.
Our trip did not start off great as we were bumped from our over booked flight out of Toronto and had to spend 18 hrs in Charlotte, NC because of a snow storm. When we did arrive, it was 24 hrs later! Because we missed our first night, Sandals offered to extend our stay by one night or give us a free room night the next time we book. We chose the latter.
We were greeted at the Sandals lounge and within 15 minutes were on our way in a private car. Once we arrived, everybody was expecting us and knew us by name! Marcia was terrific in helping us get checked in. This isn't your typical hotel where you stand in line with 25 other people trying to check in. Here you sit on a couch while they serve your drinks as you fill out some paperwork. We were taken to our room where they had balloons and a congratulations sign on our door (for our honeymoon).
Once we were settled, our butler, Aaron came to greet us and show us around the property.
We met our second butler, Shelly the following day and she was fantastic.
The resort itself, is very small. It took me a day or two get used to the fact that there aren't a lot of people, no swim up bar and no buffet - things that I realized I didn't need! The fact that the property is small makes the service level outstanding and the food even better.
The main restaurants are Le Papillon, which is a french restaurant; The Tearrace, which has a different theme every night and the Royal Grill, which serves lunch and dinner by the water. We ate mostly at Le Papillon where the food was outstanding. Keep in mind you are in Jamaica and if you order steak it isn't going to be a high end $60 steak you would get at Ruth's Chris or Morton's. But relatively speaking, the food was the best I have had in the Carribean (I have been to Cuba, Domincan and Bahamas).
The service staff are very friendly and get to know you by name. Adrian and Cleon will be taking care of you on the beach and are extremely friendly. Oshane and Jason are the entertainment and litterally know every guest by first name.
If you are looking for a big resort, daily entertainment by the pool, loud music and a party atmosphere, this is NOT the place for you. You can get this by going next door to Sandals Grande Riviera, but I guaruntee you will not spend much time there. My wife and I walked over and quickly came back to the Royal Plantation.
The two beaches are very small but nice. If you like to beach walk, go somewhere else, maybe Negril. We never had any issues getting paddle boards or kayaks. We just walked up to the desk, signed them out and we were on our way.
Our butlers were good but not great. They did everything we asked but never went out of their way to impress us.
Overall, if you want a quiet, exclusive getaway where the noise is at a minimum and you are treated like royalty, this is the place for you.
One tip: if you want your butlers to get some food for you, realize it takes them time to organize it as you aren't the only one they are waiting on. For example, we figured out that if we wanted some appetizers in our room everyday at 5:00 pm, we called our butler at 3:00. Just a little planning ahead makes everything go flawlessly.
The only complaint I have is sometimes the service at the restaurants was a little slow. I asked for extra kethup or another drink and waited several minutes or had to ask again. But this wasn't enough to keep my wife and I from booking next year's vacation the day before we left to come home.
I didn't give the location 5 stars only because of the hour and a half drive from Montego Bay. But other than that, you can' beat this place once you get there.
One final note: there was some construction going on trying fix a few things that were damaged from the hurricane last Fall. It didn't really bother us a whole lot. I mean they have to fix it at some point!
Bottom line - book a week here and I promise you won't want to go anywhere else!
- 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