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“Royal Plantation - At A Glance” 5 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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$305 Spa or Tour Credit!
Ranked #3 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Ottawa
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Royal Plantation - At A Glance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2009

I had the opportunity to pay a visit to this resort during a Familiarization trip to Jamaica to visit all the Sandals and Beaches resorts. As this resort was very close to the Sandals Grand Ocho Rios, we were able to make a quick stop and have a look around.

This resort is located in Ocho Rios just a short distance from the Sandals Grand Ocho Rios. This is a wonderful upscale option for guests looking for that more luxurious and intimate feel. This resort is on the smaller side and offer very personal attention from the staff. This resort was quiet nice, offering EP (European Plan – No Meals Included) and Royal Plan (All Inclusive) option as well.

This resort is not based around couples in love. Although it is adults only, this resort attracts a wider demographic. (i.e Mother and Daughter Getaway). The beach here is on the smaller side but the water appeared to be very nice, clean and calm. This resort is built on a bluff overlooking the ocean and offer 74 Suites. All of the suites have been recently renovated and feature modern elegant décor and Italian Bed Linens. Each suite also features breathtaking ocean views and Mahogany Furnishings. The Royal Plantation Ocho Rios offers 8 different categories of Suites ranging from the ultra luxurious Prime Minister Oceanfront Two Bedroom Suite to the luxurious Deluxe Oceanfront Junior Suite.

There are many different amenities offered to Royal Plantation guests during their stay. Internet Access us available is many public areas and in guest room for your convenience. Other amenities available to guests include Laundry Service, Show Shine, Business Center and Dry Cleaning Service. There are also many land and water activities available to guests.

While staying at the Royal Plantation Ocho Rios, guest can dine in elegance and style. This resort offers the C Bar, the first and only Caviar and Champagne Bar in Jamaica. This is a great spot to have a before dinner aperitif. There are 4 additional restaurants to choose from. Le Papillon offers Surf and Turf and is open for dinner only. La Terrace offers Casual Elegant dining under the beautiful caribbean sky on a terrace setting offering authentic Mediterranean and Jamaican Cuisine. They are open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Royal Café on the Beach is open for lunch only an offer Jamaican specialties. The Royal Grill is open for dinner only and offer a beach grill setting with a variety of meats and fish gilled to perfection.

Spa services are also available at this ultra luxe resort. Spa treatments range from Therapeutic Massage, Facial and Body Treatments and a top of the line Tropical Nail Bar. Special treatments available for men and women alike. There is also a Spa Salon and Fitness Center available to guests. Spa Products are also available for purchase and feature brands such as Pevonia. Your spa professional will be able to recommend the right products for you and are more than happy to assist.

This is an excellent resort for discerning guests who are looking for la crème de la crème of luxurious resorts in Jamaica. The staff are very attentive to personal details. This resort offers that little extra je ne c’est quoi to your well deserved vacation experience.

Should you have any questions about this resort, I will do my best to answer then for you.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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English first
Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon at the RP. We were there for 9 days and 8 nights. Both of us absolutely loved the place. The service was phenomenal, the food was terrific and the grounds were spectacular. I read some of the negative reviews and wonder where these people were staying. The employees were all very pleasant and accomodating. We felt pampered all week. The resort is small and secluded which added to the ambience. We're already planning a return trip!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
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1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2009

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon and it was phenomenal. The Royal Plantation was excellent and I would definitely go back again.

The staff was very concerned with customer satisfaction and everyone was always more than happy to take care of you there.

We flew Air Jamaica into Montego Bay and we were directed to the Sandals lounge. We had complimentary drinks and sandwhiches. When it came time to get to our car, a man who I thought was our driver told us that he was going to put us in a car all to ourselves and that he didn't make a salary and he was trusting that we would give him a big tip. Well it turns out that the guy was just a bell hop who brought our luggage to the car that was already reserved for us. This was upsetting.

The drive from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios was beautiful and our driver was really nice. He had beer and soft drinks ready for us. When we arrived at the hotel we were officially greeted by the manager, given cool towels, and two glasses of champaign! We were also given a tour of the resort before being shown to our room. The grounds of the resort are beautiful and wonderfully maintained.

I was a bit apprehensive about seeing our room. Everything had gone well up to that point and I was afraid that our room was not going to be up to snuff. I was especially concerned because I had taken advantage of one of the specials on the RP website for a garden suite which gave one night free if you booked for a week. My wife told me that I was being cheap and that we were going to get a terrible room and that it would ruin our honeymoon. Anyways, the room turned out to be excellent, so take that, wife!

The view from the room looked out over the private beach and the ocean. Complimentary champaign and goodies were waiting in our room on the second night there. I want to note that we did not see a single bug in the room the ENTIRE week that we were there. This is pretty exceptional in a climate like Jamaica.

In terms of watersports, there are hobby cats, dual person kyaks, two seater water bikes, and snorkelling. My wife and I snorkeled twice when we were there. The first time we were taken to the right (if you are looking at the ocean) and the second time we were taken to the left. The second time was WAY cooler than the first because we saw way more fish and the coral was really tall. If you're a hardcore snorkeler, then these trips may be a little bit of a let down because there is probably much better snorkeling else where, but my wife and I had a blast.

The food was excellent. If you don't do the royal plan, you are a moron! The food is outrageously expensive and if you are a penny pincher like me, then you will have a terrible time shelling out the dough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if you don't get the royal plan. Room service was on time and taseted great. Also, I would highly recommend the French restaurant, you may not eat anywhere else!

Outside the hotel, my wife and I went to Dolphin Cove and swam with dolphins and snorkeled with sting rays. This was a little pricey, but well worth it in my book. However, the staff tries to railroad you for the pictures that they take. I was shocked because one tourist there was thrilled because he got a deal for buying both the pictures and the dvd. I asked him how much he paid and he said $120! That's rediculous.

We also went on a Jeep safari to Dunn's River Falls. The guide was super cool and we really enjoyed the ride through the back roads of Jamaica. The Falls were really fun, but make sure that you bring a waterproof camera. Again at the end of this the staff tries to sell you dvd's and pictures at an astronomical markup. Also, beware of the shanty town of chochky sellers after you complete the falls. All the exit signs take you through these shady salesmen selling garbage. It was comical how all the exit signs kept pointing you back into the maze of tourist shops. The shop keepers ask you when you got married and then begin to carve your wedding date into piece of wood before you can say "boo". One couple that we were with got roped into buying $40 worth of garbage.

In terms of shopping, we weren't interested in leaving the resort, but we heard bad things from a couple people about going shopping in the town. Apparently, the sales people are insanely pushy and are hawking cheap goods.

The one thing that I was not too happy about the RP was the price. It was about $4000 for the week, including air fare, and the royal plan. While I thought the price was a little steep I am still very happy that we went to RP because the service was so excellent, the grounds were beautiful, and the food was great.

Overall I would highly recommend going to the Royal Plantation for a honeymoon or special trip. My main concern in planning this trip was that we would shell out a bunch of money and then get a lousy room and lousy service. Basically I was afraid of getting there, being treated as a second class citizen and then have to fight to get what I paid for (the treatment most americans have grown to expect). I kept waiting for something to go wrong, but my wife and I were pleasantly surprised that everything went perfectly.

Other Comments:
- Bring money for tips (bring a lot of $1s as the front desk was out of them a lot)
- Bring a waterproof camera (gift shop railroads you)
- Make reservations for dinner a head of time and guys must bring pants, dress shoes, and collered shirt.
- Take advantage of the free romantic sunset cruise at Sandals next door (although my wife and I both got seasick)
- This place is NOT a party hot spot. It is much more low-key and relaxed, which was perfect for my wife and I. We heard from people staying at Sandals that the crowd over there was much rowdier (people getting high and acting sloppy drunk). We're really glad that we didn't go there.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Rosen40
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2009

4th time and it gets better. This resort is a class by itself. If you want a small resort with top quality food and extreme customer service they write the book. This is the fourth time my wife and I have been in the last five years. This time we went with two other couples. We were greeted by both managers- walked into the bar and ordered drinks. We skipped the check in as my friends were looking out over the water. They bring all the forms and check in to us. Most places would have told us to return to check in etc. This is the type of service they give. At the pool and getting up to go to lunch? They bring menus to our beach chair and set up a pool side table. Want to subsitute and make up your own menus or change food? Of course no problem. By day 2 they are calling you by name and know what we drink. You do not have to ask it is delivered. Food quality and cleanliness are top notch. The key to the resort though is the staff. We can not find one rude or difficult person. Even housekeeping and the painters smile. It surprises me that we know most of the staff by name. The small town I live in I can not name but 1 wait staff. Gladstone , Natalie, Howard,Cleon, Paul, Jefferson,Ioala, Kamarra and Mgt are like family. Looking at other reviews, yes if you want late night action go to another resort. There is entertainment but by midnight most guests are gone. If you want a intimate resort with personal touches this is for you.
There is a reason this resort is rated so highly by travel companies and people on trip advisor- customer service. Oh yea, our friends that went with us have all booked for next year already.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
midwest
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2009

This resort was a wonderful place for a honeymoon. I have been to several other all inclusive resorts and this has been by far the best one!!!! You do not need to worry if beach chairs will be avaiable by the time you get to beach, there are beach butlers there just waiting to put your chairs wherever you would like. They also have flags to raise when you need anything from food, drinks or even your chairs put into a different spot. The drinks come to you in a full size glass not like the tiny ones at other resorts. The food was great and service was out of this world.
The only thing I would NOT recommend was the spa. I get pedicures and manicures every other week from those asian places in the mall that normally cost $40 out the door with tip. This "spa" offers manicures and pedicures which on the spa menu sounded wonderful but when we arrived I was shocked!!!! They did the pedicures with you sitting basically in an office chair with the person giving them in a chair the same height as well. So if you are looking to pull your back out because your leg feels like it is streched above your head so they can scrub your feet then you may like it. They didnt even have the big spa chairs that massage your back and have a tub of water at the bottom with little jets in them. It was also not even done at the spa they walk you over to the beauty salon so it wasn't relaxing at all listening to people on their cell phone chatting or the sound of blow drywers going. I will definetly stick to my asian places in the mall!!!!!!
In the end it was wonderful and a great place to relax. If you are looking for an all night party place I would not go there.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Ocho Rios
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2009

Indulgence at the Royal Plantation


Jamaica is one of the most glorious places on earth to visit. Look around and you’ll see magic everywhere. From the smiles of the people, to the lofty mountains and all across the sandy beaches, you’ll experience something like never before. It’s an experience that will call you back for more.

There are many wonderful hotels and villas waiting to welcome you, but no welcome could be better than that of the Royal Plantation. From the moment of your arrival, your experience begins to transport you to a different time and space. You can feel the quality as you enter the beautifully designed reception. The decor is one of style and the ambiance is one of substance. It has the reputation of being one of Jamaica’s most exquisite resort-inns. Each of the 74 suites provides an awesome view of the ocean. It is described as “A fantasy world for discerning adults looking for the ultimate in seclusion from the rest of the world and everyone in it.”

The complete indulgence and luxury is what it’s all about. Even if you are there for one day you will be mesmerized by its sheer beauty, elegance, glamour and top class service which are second to none.

This tropical hideaway promises to take you away from the world and all its cares for a well deserved moment in time.

Where else can you get served afternoon tea, precisely at four o’clock, in fine bone china; accompanied by a pianist or a visit from the local story teller?

The beach butler service is so discreet you can be forgiven for thinking that paradise belonged only to you. The staff are so attentive and they do their utmost best to make you feel special, cared about and at home.

The food is completely to die for and the chefs get ten out of ten for production. The dining includes gourmet plus four specialty restaurants. They offer Mediterranean and Italian Cuisine (plus vintage wine from their private cellar), Caviar and Champagne, French Cuisine, Specialty with Caribbean flair and Seasonal; which is informal open air grill by the beach. It is very difficult not to over indulge with such a choice laid on. So, you should be prepared to lose some weight after the holidays are gone.

Where else do you get to have cocktail parties and Martini moments with the managers? The relationship built up is such that you feel you’re amongst long time friends. This is what makes people return again and again each year. That’s why I will be returning next year.

Listening to live jazz and the Caribbean steel band makes you want to get up and move or sit and sway. The calypso band on the beach entices you to move to the beat and shake you feet. Whether you’re caught up in the heat of the beat or listening to the pianist at afternoon tea, your enjoyment I’ll guarantee.

The Royal Plantation is truly the best provider of accommodation for adults. Not forgetting the top class Red Lane Spa, land sports, watersports, pools, whirlpools and fitness centre. Their services thoroughly exceeded my expectations.

It was a wonderful holiday and a great time was had by all.



Oralette Dawn Duncan

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Dallas, TX
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2009

My husband and I spent a week at The Royal Plantation in February 2009 and were on the "Royal Plan". The hotel picked us up at the airport and drove us to the hotel. The driver was prepared with wine, cheese, fruit, and Red Stripe Beer. At our request he stopped off at a great (for Jamaica standards) jerk stand. The drive up to the hotel really is beautiful. The flowers, fountain and peacocks got us even more excited about our stay. Once at the hotel, the staff was friendly...The Manager even greeted us and helped us check in. We were brought hot towels and champagne and a staff member took our luggage to our room.

The first impression was the highlight of the trip. Each evening we ate in a different restaurant on the hotel grounds. The only one which impressed me was La Papillon. We ate there twice. We ate lunch at the beach cafe almost everyday. I tried something different every time because I thought surely there must be something good on the menu. The food was decent in every restaurant, but I was expecting much more for a hotel with such a great reputation.

Each night we filled out our breakfast order tag and placed it on the door. The order was correct almost every time. Each morning 10-15 minutes before they were to deliver the order they made a courtesy call to our room to let us know it was on the way. Every morning without fail they referred to us by the wrong last name. My husband corrected them every morning but they didn't catch on. By the fourth day I went down to the front desk to make sure their records actually had us in that room. They said they'd check and let us know. (no response). The breakfast tray was not removed from our room two days...even when we called.

In each room you'll find a mini-bar which is supposed to be restocked everyday. Ours was not restocked but once. I wanted Diet Cokes and had to walk the halls to find the restocking cart and restock it myself. We called housekeeping and the front desk to request restocking - and each time we were told "right away". They didn't respond.

The hotel prides itself on a "pillow menu"...you can request leg spacer, memory foam, water, 5 foot body, or buckwheat pillows. I thought I'd give it a try. I called housekeeping and requested a water pillow and two regular foam pillows (just like they have in every room). They said "do you need them now?" I told them in the evening at turndown service would be just fine. That night they delivered one "memory foam" pillow. I called them the next morning and made the request (again) for two regular foam pillows. They said they didn't have any water pillows but they'd bring up the foam pillows right away. Nothing happened. The next morning I went to the front desk and made the request for two regular foam pillows. (Nothing happened - again). The next day I walked around in the halls hoping to find a maid - or someone - to help me. A janitor came up to me and asked if I needed help. I told him about my problem and he went and got me a couple of regular hotel room foam pillows and I gave him a tip. It took four days to get a couple of basic pillows. I know this may seem picky to some, but I thought it was a simple request.

The room was less than clean...but for the most part it was ok. The bed was very comfortable. The very worst thing that happened on the entire trip had to do with the bath towels. One evening I took a shower prior to dinner, grabbed a towel as I got out, and noticed a large brown spot in the middle of the towel. It looked like caked on dirt and was the size of a half-dollar. I was disgusted and still am. I put that towel on the bathroom floor for the maid to take away at turndown service. The next day the same thing happened. It was the exact same towel with the disgusting spot in the same place on the towel. It was still folded and I slipped it into a plastic bag and took it to the front desk. After the two desk workers finished their conversation and acknowledged my presence I showed them the towel. Their response was ambivalence. I think the towel incident is telling...either 1.) I happened to get the only two (ICK) encrusted towels in the entire resort, or 2.) The maid took the towel off of the floor and hung it back up.

I wouldn't recommend this hotel to anyone. In fact, I would actively encourge you to spend your money somewhere else. I've tried to provide detail on just a few of the awful experiences from the stay...however, there are more. My husband and I have been fortunate to travel to many countries and stay in hotels of all types. This hotel is the most disappointing. We planned our vacation to spend most of our time at the resort - after three days we were wanting to go back home and back to work. Not a good vacation at all.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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 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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