In late September 2013, my wife and I traveled to Jamaica. Our experience was fabulous due to the superior staff and amenities at our resort of choice, the Sandals Royal Plantation (http://www.sandals.com/main/plantation/rp-home.cfm).
We choose the Royal Plantation because it encompassed everything we desired to ensure an enjoyable trip. Knowing that the weather during this time period can be rainy, we liked the fact that all of its rooms had a view of the beach. My wife said, "If it rains, we may still can enjoy a view of the ocean while reading a book. It won't feel like we are 'stuck' in our hotel room." She was also excited by the prospect of a luxurious soak in a deep tub. This led us to choose the Honeymoon Oceanfront Verandah Suite.
Delving deeper into the information on Sandals website, I noted that Royal Plantation has several restaurants providing a mix of cuisines. Visitors can enjoy the formal atmosphere and French food at La Papillion, traditional English pub fare at The Wobbly Peacock, or a nice variety a la carte choices at The Terrace and The Royal Grill. As Anglophiles, we even enjoyed civilized afternoons of "Tea."
Royal Plantation also has reciprocity with another Sandals hotel in Ochos Rios, Sandals Grande Riviera. This meant that we could enjoy additional restaurants and beaches. We took advantage of this during our stay.
The clincher for selecting the Royal Plantation was butler service. Many Sandals properties have butler service, but at the Royal Plantation, every room has a butler (we actually had two - they work in shifts). When I asked the travel agent, "What does this really mean, 'butler service.'" She replied, "Sir, if you are on the beach and have forgotten your book or magazine - call your butler. He will bring it to you."
The last part of my research was to peruse reviews of the Royal Plantation. I noted only one criticism, that it is in Ochos Rios, and thus can be an hour and forty minutes to two hours from Montego Bay. My wife and I considered this briefly, and decided this was not a factor for our consideration. We simply recognized that to reach our destination of choice - a car ride would be involved.
To reiterate, after looking back, "Our experience was fabulous due to the superior staff and amenities at our resort of choice, the Sandals Royal Plantation." If you read this far...keep reading to learn why.
Upon arrival at the airport, we cleared customs, and proceeded to the Sandals Lounge. A hostess greeted us, confirmed our reservation and transportation to the Royal Plantation. We grabbed a drink and did not even have time to logon to the lounge's Wi-fi when we were told our driver arrived. Our welcome material said we could ask to stop during the trip to the hotel. Our driver took us to Ultimate Jerk Centre – a jerk chicken and pork restaurant where we enjoyed good food and our first rum drinks – the party started and we were not even to the hotel. ( http://www.ultimatejerkcentre.com/)
Our butlers greeted us at the hotel. One gave us a tour of the facility and the other put our bags in the room. From this point forward, we simply experienced unparalleled service which led to unbelievable relaxation.
The food, whether omelets to order, a seafood entrée, or a fruit plate delivered to our room was delectable. The wait staff on the beach ensured we always had our favorite drink. Our butlers had the mini-bar stocked with our favorite spirits before we arrived, and provided us with several fun surprises each day from “towel animals” to prepared bubble baths. Finally, the weather was good. We did have some rain, but we did survive it while sitting on our verandah with a fabulous view and a good book.
Thus, by day two, we did not want to leave.
Our recreation was minimal. We chose to swim or exercise in the gym each day. We snorkeled each day, some days twice. We also enjoyed a couples’ massage and sea mud wrap in the Red Lane Spa.
As I look back we realized that one of the nice things about this resort is it’s size. There are not so many rooms, so many guests that it feels like one is crowded. You could easily have a private conversation on the beach, or in one of the lounges, but also had ample opportunities to interact with other guests if desired. Additionally, the staff was ever present to ensure guests needs are met, without being bothersome.
The overall result is this….we will be going back to the Royal Plantation.
All rooms are ocean view.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.