I booked 1 week at this hotel for my husband's 40th birthday, which we celebrated at RP on the last night of our stay. I was concerned before we left for our trip that the hotel would not meet my expectations in terms of the room that we booked (Prime Minister's Suite), the food, the service, the location & beach, etc. My concerns were put to rest the moment that we met our driver that took us from the airport to the resort in a private Mercedes Benz. He was dressed impeccably in a full suit, and offered us wine as soon as we settled into the vehicle. There was also a plate with a selection of hors d'oeuvres for us to enjoy on the ride to the hotel (which is long at 1 1/2 hours... but well worth it!). We were received by staff as soon as the driver opened the doors for us at the hotel, and were given a brief tour of the hotel and the beautiful grounds before being taken to our room, which was spectacular. As we were tired from the trip there we stayed in the room for most of the first day, which was totally fine because the minibar was well stocked and the room service menu was extensive. The room was spectacular, having a huge bed and bedroom, 2 flat screen TV's, a large living area, a powder room, an ensuite bathroom with a large shower and separate jacuzzi tub, 2 sinks, a closet and a separate toilet area, 2 large balconies, one containing a table for 4 and a day bed, the other having a table for 2 and a large, 2 person chaise. It turned out that because we were staying in the PM's suite we had 2 butlers, Teneisha and Orayne, and they saw to our every need: they booked all of our restaurant reservations, ironed my husband's shirts & pants, walked us to our dinners every night, called us on our special butler cell phone to see if we needed anything, and pulled off the most wonderful and special birthday my husband has ever had.
On the second day we ventured down to the beach where we met Adrian, the Beach Butler on duty that day. He was with us on the beach for every day of our stay except the day that we left, which I assume was his day off. He was excellent, a 'natural'. Not only did he notice whenever our drinks needed refreshment, but he also came around once each morning with a platter of fresh fruits for us to enjoy. He took our food orders and delivered them to us right on the beach (by the way, the Lobster BLT is the best sandwich ever!!!). He was friendly and provided great service without being intrusive, we really enjoyed our time on the beach thanks to Adrian - and we found out at the end of our stay that it was only his second week on the job!
There are 2 relatively small beaches, one near the restaurant and one on the watersports side, which has fewer people but since it is farther from the restaurant the service isn't as frequent. We enjoyed staying on both sides. We participated in a lot of the activities that were offered - tennis (my husband also took a tennis lesson), golf, hobie-cat sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, water trike. It was all a lot of fun, especially the snorkeling and the sailing. The sea was beautiful. The beaches were very quiet and we generally weren't disturbed by other guests while relaxing and enjoying our time there. Hardly anyone used the pool or the outdoor jacuzzi while we were there... good place to go if you get tired of the beach or want some privacy.
We also used the spa for 2 massages each during our stay. We requested the same massage therapists for the second massage as for the first massage, they were excellent. I felt like it was the best massage of my life - thanks Kamiel! We were told we could also come to the spa any time during our stay and use the steam room and the sauna without charges or reservations. We did use the steam room after one of our massages and it was great.
We ate at both the Terrace restaurant as well as La Papillon. The Terrace was good, we enjoyed eating outside, but La Papillon was excellent, as good as most fine dining restaurants that we have been to in Canada or the US. We also enjoyed Jamaican night, which is every Thursday. They have a buffet (I know what you're thinking, but it's not the typical all-inclusive resort buffet) of Jamaican fare including freshly grillled fish, shellfish, and jerk chicken. We were stuffed. The show after dinner was one of the highlights of our vacation, the performers were all really great.
We didn't do afternoon tea, although I heard it is great... we just went back to our room when the sun started to go down (which in Feb. is around 4:30 - 5:30). We also didn't do any external tours, they are a bit expensive for what they are but I guess that's the same at every resort hotel. My husband did go to the Sandals golf course, and it cost us around $100 after paying for the caddy, club rental and tip. He only played 12 holes or so before coming back, he said it was good but nothing to write home about.
On our final day it was my husband's 40th birthday. The day started with Adrian bringing us our usual Mangosas, then singing my husband 3 rounds of Happy Birthday and then picking him up off of his beach lounger (mostly I think for my amusement). Then we ate lunch at the Beach Grill and Adrian had the little Jamaican band that plays there every day at lunch sing happy birthday to my husband again, then he served my husband and I a special birthday dessert after lunch. Then we went for massages, 80 minutes of pure enjoyment! After that we returned to the beach and our butler Orayne called us and said we should visit our room because he had a surprise set up for us on the balcony, we went up there and Orayne and Teneisha had set up a beautiful tray of cheese & crackers (our favourite snack while visiting RP) and fruits along with a special birthday card. Later in the evening we had a special 'Diner pour Deux' on the east pier, with a special menu that we selected earlier in the week. There were candles everywhere, and since Orayne was busy with a surprise for us for later, he called in another butler, Ray, to serve us our special dinner. For his main course, my husband had surf & turf with the biggest lobster tail he had ever eaten. After dinner we went up to our room and Orayne had set a trail of candles and red rose petals leading us from the door of our room to the bedroom and bathtub, where he had the jacuzzi bubbling away and champagne chilling in an ice bucket, with red rose petals all over the bed. We did not ask for this, Orayne did this for us because he knew it was my husband's birthday. That day ranked up there next to our wedding day as one of the best, most memorable days in our lives.
Overall, every member of the RP staff that we came into contact with was extremely friendly and pleasant to be around. It felt different than other resorts and hotels we had visited - like they were happy that we were staying with them and they made extra efforts to make our stay as great as possible. As we left the hotel at the end of our stay, a group of the employees including the day manager and our butler Teneisha stood at the entrance and waved goodbye to us, and kept waving until we couldn't see them anymore. In the car they had packed us 2 chilled water bottles and our favourite snack - cheese and crackers - for the trip back to the airport.
I have never visited another hotel or resort that puts as much effort into making their guests feel welcome and pampered and spoiled as RP does, not only did they meet my expectations but they far exceeded them. The setting is beautiful and perfect. I want to thank everyone at RP for the best vacation and 40th birthday for my husband. I can't wait to come back, and I only hope that you don't change a thing from now until then!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.