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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
Montreal, Canada
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is my 5th trip with Sandals and 2nd at Royal Plantation. It may sound unreal BUT everything was perfect.

The food, (the 4:00pm tea time with cakes) the service, the rooms were PERFECT! And the beautiful flowers «sitting» on the tables were absolutely gorgeous. The personal is polite and ALWAYS willing to make us happy. We also had the pleasure to spend some time with the Manager, Mr. Mark Starkey and Mr. Rui Rolo, Director of Food and Beverage who were fantastic to us. My husband got sick (nothing to do with the food) and they were of a such great help. They went out of their way to help us. I would definitely suggest Royal Plantation to anyone who wants to rest in elegant surroundings and eat PERFECTLY WELL. We were treat likes like royalty.

Room Tip: Choose a ocean view!!! But all rooms are good!!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (306)
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13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Sandals at it’s Best

Returned to Ocho Rios where we stayed at SGR 10 yrs. ago. This time we celebrated our 48th a couple of weeks late and stayed at Sandals Royal Plantation in late July.
Superb choice. As I always mention we usually don’t have a bad vacation because we sort of go with flow.
This vacation we just wanted to relax and chill. Before I get carried away, can’t say enough about the staff with their proud smiling faces and acknowledging us (even by name) everywhere we went. A great atmosphere.

Flew from JFK, NY to Montego Bay. After customs (two flights landed almost together and it was a bit crowded at immigration) then went to the Sandals lounge and our Sandals private transfer driver was waiting for us. Some refreshments were laid out nicely for us in the car. After being up the whole previous night a welcome touch. Plus a cold Red Stripe helped.
Arrived at SRP and our Butler Marvin greeted us with Mark the GM. My better half didn’t know he was the GM and he politely told her he was Marvin’s asst. I laughed and right there knew it was going to be a special vacation. Neil was our other Butler and grateful that we had him. He has a nice friendly personal touch.
Everyone at check in cheerfully greeted us with “Welcome Home”, which made us feel good.
We talked about an upgrade but supposedly they were at capacity, however we didn’t need one.
Our room was on the first floor on the east side, had a nice view and it was spacious and very clean. The front desk wanted to put us on a list for the next available upgrade but we were very happy with our present room.
This was a first for us with having Butlers. Also another first was having someone unpack for me as my better half joked with Marvin that I always live out of the suitcase and never unpack.
Went to lunch by the beach and had that lobster BLT that we read so much about. It was a good way to start esp. with pleasant Alieka serving us.
After a tour of the resort we freshened up with a fruit platter awaiting us with a stocked bar and fridge, plus my clothes were unpacked and folded. Nice surprise for me.
Marvin made us reservations for Le Papillion that evening.
We were very impressed at being served gourmet food in an all inclusive, the first of many gourmet meals. From escargot, crab soup, intermezzo (a lost touch today), rack of lamb, grilled lobster and dessert we were so impressed. We were served by Sherrill who we really enjoyed, plus we’d see her a few more times along with Orlando in Le Papillion as we luckily ate there 3 times. They’re so nice and fun. The ambience in Le Papillion is nice, esp. with the tunes from the talented piano player.
We spent some time on the east side beach but stayed on the west side mostly. It was closer to the beach bar and restaurant for us. On either beach they will make sure you’re comfortable and bring you anything you want.
The beach is nowhere near the size of Negril’s 7 mile but we fully enjoyed it. Clean, beautiful water and never had to run and place a hat to claim your chairs early. Most of the time we sat in the same spot under a palapa all week. It’s nice not having to worry about beach chairs.
Plus on the beach there’s Awesome Adrian, always bringing Mangosas, water and cocktails to everyone along with Cleon. From all the places we’ve stayed never had that excellent service on the beach.
Lunches were terrific. The view while eating at the Terrace or in a bathing suit with cover up at the Royal Grill was just a treat in itself.
We mostly had lunch at The Terrace after sampling Lucien the Chef’s creations we had to follow him, his personality and his cooking. It was just a treat seeing him everyday.
One morning when my Mrs. was talking to Kirkland the excellent grounds landscaping Mgr. I mentioned to him that I never had real Jamaican style ox tails. Low and behold he talked to Mark the Mgr. and they went shopping for ox tails. After two days Lucien and the ever-pleasant Alieka served us a private lunch and it was off the charts.
Also at lunch Lucien was always grilling, lobster tails, snapper filets, chicken, steak etc. His soups are awesome, be sure to try them.
The food at the Terrace, Royal Grill and Le Papillion was just plain gourmet. The only buffet type meal was Jamaican night.
It was great, jerk pork, chicken, curried goat, eskovitch, Jamaican vegetables etc. and on.
I know I’m talking about food a lot but it was impressive. Davian who was all over from the Royal Grill to the Terrace made sure we tried their red pea soup that his family always made for him. He searched for us every night before he went home, just to see if all was fine. A real gentleman. It was just another of many nice touches at SRP.

Breakfast was either ala carte or sample for yourself, or both. Lucien would be making your omelets, French toast or whatever you desired, with a very cheerful hello. They have excellent Jamaican breakfasts also which are a nice change.
At brkfst and lunch always present were Alieka, Romain and Shennille (sp.?) and Chase. Miss them already.
Besides Le Papillion, the Terrace has a different menu every night based on themes. The Royal by the beach has a seafood menu for the evenings. It was difficult to choose where you wanted to have dinner, as your next meal was better then your previous one.
We didn’t eat at The Wobbly Peacock bar but had a few real heavy laughs there with Andre and Sean. Very nice to sit in their lounge after dinner to chat with friends we’ve met. We did meet a wonderful couple and spent some time with them there and on the beach.

The returnee’s dinner was icing on the cake. We sat with Mark and a few awesome couples and enjoyed the whole night even knowing we were leaving the next day.

On a daily basis went to the beach after brkfst. Then after the beach we dropped into the hot tub next to the pool. Just 5 minutes in there would loosen up my ole bones for another gourmet dinner.
Missed the catamaran cruise because of our timing and schedule.
I used to dive a lot but just quit one day, ironically at SGR and from what I’ve seen they run a good ship.
Ou room was spacious, had a sitting area, nice size bathroom with two sinks, regular bath tub and shower and off to the right was a walk in closet with a nice sized safe at chest level. The walk in was decent sized even with your clothes hanging.
There's a a hair dryer and iron with ironing board also if needed.
The AC worked excellently, room was very cool. Controlled by a remote, not tech savvy so I left it alone. If it was too cool, had the Sandals robes. The bed was a king and very comfortable, esp. for me as I have heavy back issues.
There's also room service and one morning had breakfast in the room. Nice, you can order the night before and hang the request on your door. Prompt at your choice of time.

Sorry this was so long but this was Sandal’s at it’s best.
We almost signed “Soon Come Back” but had to come home and check our dates.
Can’t say enough about Sandals Royal Plantation, go and enjoy.

Room Tip: Our room was on first floor and we did have a good view without noise. AC was very cool. Heard that...
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this review, August 10, 2013
We're so delighted to read that you had a wonderful stay with us at Sandals Royal Plantation. It was a pleasure hosting you and we are happy to hear that you enjoyed our great property and the true hospitality of our friendly staff.

Thank you for your review. We can't wait to welcome you back for another stellar experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We booked this resort for part of our honeymoon vie the Destination Lounge who gave us a fantastic deal. The property is immaculately clean and polished and in a perfect location for romantic relaxation. When we arrived we were greeted wonderfully and met our Butlers, both of whom couldn't do enough for us. Being a younger couple we did spend a lot of time in the resort ends door where we could use their facilities as there seemed to be more of a party atmosphere; but it was great to escape back to our resort when we wanted some quiet time. We never used the shuttle to next door always went round the beach, which the hotel advises against but along as you don't mind abut of banter with the locals this is fine. We used the Island Routes tours for all of our excursions and Virginia and the lady that helped us on our final day (sorry we can't remember your name) were the most helpful people ever! Wonderful! My partner and I have both worked in holiday resorts in the past and have high expectations of tours and we are happy to report Island Routes did not let us down ever! The pick ups were always on time if not early with the most helpful and friendly drivers, Johnny Kool is the best driver by far! The only things that were slightly disappointing about the whole trip were the room service menu, we were under the impression this would be a lot more vast than it was, however the food was nice. Also there were a number of occasions where we were told to move of specific beach loungers by beach staff, even when we had asked in advance if it was ok to use them. Unfortunately due to a family emergency we had to cut our trip short and rush home to the UK, our Butlers and Mark dealt with this wonderfully, nothing was too much trouble for them and this meant that we were able to travel home happy with good memories of the resort and our holiday even though it was under bad circumstances.

Thankyou to everyone at the resort for making our honeymoon so wonderful.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Leigh-on Sea, United Kingdom
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

What more recommendation do you need?

This is one of the best holidays I've ever had. The service, food and overall experience were great.

Like others, we weren't sure we'd need a Butler, but Neil and Kenroy really added to the luxury of our stay.

To be honest the neighbouring resort was too large and noisy for my tastes, but it served a purpose in expanding restaurant choices and being a home for the dive boat. It particularly pleased my sense of schadenfreude that RP guests can use the neighbouring facilities but not vice versa ;)

Highly recommended! See you again at Christmas!

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clayton, NC
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

My wife and I just returned from Royal Plantation as we stayed from July 25 to July 31 for our 2nd honeymoon. We were blessed to have 7 straight days of sunshine for this week as well. Our primary reason for selecting Royal Plantation was purely based on the high level of satisfaction of the reviews posted here on TripAdvisor and I have to say, they are spot on. Here is a quick rundown of our experience and observations of this resort:

- Accommodations: We stayed in the honeymoon suite which was just perfect as it had a huge deck (with table and chairs and lounge chairs too) overlooking the beach which we had breakfast most days enjoying the sun. The bathroom in the room was also great (double sinks, large bathtub for two! and a great open shower) - highly recommend this room type! The bed was comfortable A/C was nice and cold too. There is WIFI over the entire property (we upgraded to a higher speed and I think it was well worth it - I don't go on vacation to worry about costs). We also upgraded to have the private car service back and forth from the airport - I think this was worth it as well as we enjoyed the commentary about the culture from our drivers, made several picture stops and it was very comfy.

- Dining: They have a great chef and staff on site - the attention to detail was fabulous and nothing was thrown together. We enjoyed the french restaurant (the chocolate pudding was to die for - it's more like molten chocolate cake - the name does not do it justice - we actually ordered it twice even when we didn't eat there). Breakfast from the terrace is great (buffet or menu) and we had lunch most days at the beach (Adrian took care of us). We also added the candlelight dinner on the beach (this was extra - but it is well worth it) and on our last night, we were even offered a private dinner next to the pool. We had a server, Chase, who helped us most nights and he made our experience that much better! We had dinner at Grande Riveria one night and were disappointed so much that we cancelled our dinner there the following night (service and quality just not there). Some nights the menu has such good offerings, I would order both, why not? You can always just add a lobster tail to any menu offering which I did most nights! We had great wine and champagne daily!

- Butler Service: We had Romaine and Hector as our butlers and they did a fabulous job. We did not rely on them heavily but they went out of there way to make our experience that much better. If you have never used such a service, I can understand why some may be tentative, but I don't think I could ever go back. Not only do they take care of every need and make sure that you are 100% satisfied, they also are very entertaining, give you great advice about what to do and make sure that your trip is top notch. Some things they did for us included bringing us afternoon snacks after we returned from the beach, brought items we needed from our room to the beach, made all of our dinner reservations, helped us book all of our excursions including a few last minute changes. I had even purchased some jewerly in town (to the surprise of my wife as the jeweler came to the property when my wife was back at the room) and had Hector deliver two of the pieces with afternoon snacks and then the last piece was "served" with our dinner by Mark, the General Manager - this brought tears to her eyes.

- Excursions: We did not do too much, but decided on the Dunn's River Falls and Mystic Mountain (I believe these are the two highest rated activities in Ocho's Rios. Neither disappointed and if this is your first time to Jamaica - I recommend them highly. Dunn's River Falls is just amazing to look at and it's a fun hike up the falls and the water is refreshing. Mystic Mountain includes a sky ride up the mountain, a Jamaican bobsled ride and 5 zip lines. The staff at both of these attractions is very professional and makes sure you have a great time. We also hired a private driver to take us shopping and escort us (ask for Sean) in the craft market - which I highly recommend - as you get to experience the culture. We also did a few things on site including snorkeling and rode a catamaran.

- Beach/Pools: The beach is great - it's not big but it does not need to be. There are ample chairs with umbrella's, the servers are great and will keep your drinks coming - Jamaican Smile was our favorite. The water is crystal clear and refreshing. We spent three to four hours at the beach every day just soaking in the rays, enjoying the sights and sounds, reading, listing to music and relaxing. The sun comes up early so getting down here at 10:00 is a good time to go. We never used the pool here but did go the Grande Rivera's pool at the top of the mountain twice (your butler can arrange pick-up/delivery - which is a HUGE pool and they play music - we enjoyed that as well.

- Entertainment: We enjoyed the wobbly peacock and the awesome bartenders several nights (they will make you some special martini's and other drinks per special requests) with the DJ's and they also had a great venue on Jamaica night which included amazing presenters. All other nights they had great live music on the terrace while we enjoyed dinner there as the dinner menu changed daily. Even at lunch they have a little band by the beach. We also played in a couple billiard tournaments and conversed with several guests through out the week. There is a great mix of newlyweds, older couples and couples that are on their second honeymoon/celebrating anniversaries. This is not party central - but you can have a wonderful time if you choose too.

- Overall Conclusion: As the title says, this place is Heaven on Earth. We had a fabulous experience on so many levels. We will be returning! The bartenders, the servers, the butlers, the management are here to serve you. There just seems to be no detail left untouched. The place is meticulously up-kept (and the grounds are beautiful), all of the staff are professional and courteous and also have a great sense of humor and personality as well. Obviously, it depends on what you are looking for, but if you are looking to feel like a King and Queen for a week, this is your place. While Mark has only been there 6 weeks - he's in doing a wonderful job - we saw him all over the place conversing with guests, hanging out with the staff, playing pool, etc. ALL of my expectations were met and exceeded.

Room Tip: Honeymoon Suite - Large deck, great view as well as large bathroom with walk in shower and tub for t...
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this review, August 17, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review of Sandals Royal Plantation. We're so thrilled to read that you had such an amazing experience with us. It's great to know that you enjoyed our food, luxurious rooms and the genuine hospitality of our staff.

We look forward to welcoming you back for an even better stay in the future.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

We have arrived home safe and relaxed. We had a lovely and restful time at the Royal Plantation. Our room was lovely with a fabulous view. We stayed for only a short while but our 4 days spent here left us feeling recharged.

While the beach was good, the spa was rejuvenating, and the dining was delicious by far the most impressive part of the facility was the staff. At each turn we felt that everyone we encountered was invested in our happiness. While we would not have imagined a "butler" would be something that we would need or want for a vacation, our 2 butlers were instrumental in making us feel that we got the most out of our short vacation. Ricardo and Orayne were both helpful and efficient in organizing our days so that we could get the most out of our stay. They struck and excellent balance between being friendly and welcoming hosts while not being intrusive in our all "alone without the kids vacation".

I have only 2 small concerns. First, while the room was lovely and the view fabulous the bathroom was in need of some TLC. Secondly, we were so pleased with the service provided by Ricardo and Orayne that we wished to leave a note before we left. When we asked at the front desk for a feedback or comment card we were told we should just post it online and we were given a card telling us how to post on Tripadvisor. Hmmm

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

This review is delayed in writing however was always on our to do list after such a wonderful visit.

All the reviews that tell you how good the SRP is, are bang on the money.

We spent two weeks in heaven, the food is out of this world, you must try the afternoon tea (best scones and jam i ever tasted), the staff are wonderful. Adrian and Cleon on the beach, mr Sean'tastic and Nestta in the wobbly peacock, Nataljia, Ken, Chadworth, Romaine in the restaurant, and the tireless efforts of O'Shane and Jason, and all the others guys and gals that make your stay so wonderful.

We hadn't even been back a month and we had rebooked for 2014. So see you guys and gals next year.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa 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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