This was our first visit to the Sandals Royal Plantation and our 2nd stay with Sandals (went to La Toc in St-Lucia, not impressed with La Toc at all). We only travelled in 5 star resorts (Excellence - both in Dominican and Mexico, Secrets, Bahia Principe Esmeralda and Ambar in DR etc) and hesitated to go back to a Sandals. But, our travel agent John, Orleans Travel, highly recommended this place and convinced us to try it. Well done John. We are 5 stars travellers with no kids and really like to eat well and have nice accomodations, not the Boum Boum party type late in the night.
When arriving in Jamaicca, right away you are greeted at the airport and your luggage is tagged immediately at the Sandals lounge. The only downside of the vacation was the time in which it takes to get to Ocho Rios (90 minutes, but we knew this and decided to go anyway).
If you are looking for a place with lots of action and loud music, this is not the place for you. There were many young couples at the resort (which we found surprising) on their honeymoons and we had the pleasure to meet a few (Hello C and C from Boston who were on their honeymoon, it was so great to meet you - M&M).
We could not have asked for a better vacation/resort. What makes this place shine is the attentiveness and friendliness of all the staff and the service they provide (the property/decor is colonial style which we like). The property is very clean (always employees working to keep the place looking great).
Upon arrival at the resort we were immediately greeted with a face towel to freshen up and a glass of champagne. During check-in we were introduced to our assigned butler for the stay (Neil) who proceeded to show us around the property and then to our suite (we were on the west side 3rd floor, perfect view of the beach/water). Our mini fridge had been stocked with everything we had pre-ordered (liquors, soft drinks, etc.).
The resort is small (74 suites) but you have plenty of room, it is by no means crowded (I believe they were at 90%+ occupancy during the week we were there - Sept 3-10). There are 2 small beaches (east/west), the west side is the non-smoking part of the resort, the entire resort is smoke free. The restaurants are fantastic, Le Papillon (French),The Terrance and The Grill, we ate at all three (as well as the Wobbly Peacock pub) and the food is spectacular. One evening our butler special ordered the Chateaubriand for 2 at Le Papillon for the following evening, again, excellent, a must try. The steaks melt in your mouth they are so tender. You must also try the cocoanut shrimp at the beach grill, and the potato skins/wings at the Peacock, Oh My God!
The service in the restaurants and all the bars is excellent, you never have to wait for anything, at the beach Andre and Cleon are always asking if we needed anything. If are feeling particular warm Cleon will offer to spray rose water on you to cool you down!
Every evening there is a band or entertainment, in the French restaurant there is a piano player, he's great!
Although this is an all butler resort, we rarely used the butlers (they reserved our restaurants at our resort and the Rivieria next door), both Neil and Kenroy were fantastic, we rarely carried the cell phone around, they always managed to track us down!
The general manager, Mark Starkey, greets every guest and throughout our vacation checked to see if we needed anything when he saw us, he is always around. This kind of treatment is provided by all the staff, Mark's style sets the tone and I believe this is what makes the property the best.
We have to say a special hello to everyone who served us (and treated us like family - we got hugs when we left).
Neil and Kenroy (our butlers), although we rarely carried the cell phone provided, they always managed to track us down to ensure all our needs were met (restaurants/shuttle to sushi bar next door, even a tour of the 3 bedroom villa).
Sean, Andre and OMG Jason at the Wobbly Peacock, thank you for the daily entertainmment, you kept us laughing and we loved it!
The executive chef (Peter Hamil) came to greet us during our first breakfast and asked if we had anything special we wanted him to prepare for lunch. Peter made us a fantastic stuffed pepper. What other resort has the EC asking you what you want for lunch (although they have a full menu, of which everything we tried was great). Everything is a la carte (or you can have buffet for breakfast, we did both).
Gian was the chef at Le Papillon and dropped by to see us after our evening dinner, nice touch. Mr. Hadley, the supervisor at Le Papillon and The Terrace was the best, always greeting us and asking if we needed anything.
And for the other staff who made our vacation the best, we would like to thank Sherill from Le Papillon, Taniqua at the Terrance and high tea, Lisa-Gay at The Terrance and The Grill, Daniello at the Grill bar,and has but not least our housekeeper Sophie! My sincere apologies if I spelled anyone's name incorrectly! As well a special thanks to John, Valerie and Andrea, our travel agents, nailed it guys!
Until next time!
We preferred the West side, but it can be a bit noisy (rarely) with the other Sandals close by. We f...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.