First time in Jamaica - we've been all-inclusive to Cancun twice. All in all I don't think we'd return. It wasn't a great fit for our family with kids 8 & 10.
First, we googled how far Ocho Rios is from the airport. Mapquest came up with 1.5 hours. It took 2.5 hours on a bus. They made one stop at a bar to use the restroom (tho it did seem there was one on the bus). We arrived at 6pm, it was dark and the pools closed, so we ate and went to bed. It took 2 hours returning to the airport. Summaries below:
Nicely maintained, nice lobby to hang out in (which many people did as this is where the wifi works). Bees were all over the place and constantly landing in your drink. The pollen has washed away so they're looking for sugar. There were bees in the drink dispensers, at the bar, in your drink... We left the resort one night to get local Jerk Chicken (I think called Jerk Chicken centre or something). A staff member actually walked us there as she thought we might get lost. Walking around the downtown area was an eye-opener for sure. They have many tourist police (In white bucket hats) and nobody was a bother, but they will try to sell you whatever it is they are holding.
On the weekends they are inundated with locals who buy daily passes. We had to stand and wait for a table for breakfast. The food gets picked over quickly. Upside is we did enjoy meeting a local family and the kids played together.
We stayed in the North tower. It was comfortable but small. Until 9pm they played LOUD music such as Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers etc. It sounded like they were on our balcony. The mattresses are not bricks like the ones in Mexico. The room was clean and housekeeping changed the linens every day. You are not allowed food in your room, nor is there room service. Tho people did bring food up and would leave dirty plates on the benches by the elevators. Plumbing all worked fine.
Several bars. But only three restaurants, and the buffet. Only one restaurant was open each night and unless you went at 8:30 the morning before to book, you were likely to miss out. There were no kids' menus so we had to feed our picky eaters at the buffet after we ate. 'Dining on South Beach' was not open at all while we were there, but the Bar and Grill was open for Jerk Chicken at lunch.
'La Diva' - italian - was good. 'Ginger Lily' was good. Nothing spectacular but the atmosphere was lovely.
Buffet food was ok. If changed every night so if you liked something the night before, you might not see it again. Cowfoot I will be happy not to see again. Many local dishes but we are not too adventurous. The desserts were unusual and rather rubbery. The gingersnap cookies were the best thing there.
At the Lighthouse Grill they serve cheeseburgers, fries, hot dogs etc.. that is where our kids ate most of their meals. The buffet was closed between 2:30 and 6:30 which is when we could have used a good meal (other than the fries/burgers).
Drinks were sweet sweet sweet! And ultimately ended up with bees in them.
It's just OK. the sand was really nice. We brought water shoes after reading reveiws about urchins etc, sure enough we met someone that stepped on one. Just outside of the resort people will try to sell you stuff - hairbraiding, shells, jet ski rides and boat trips. We did buy necklaces etc and two jet ski rides, and a glass-bottom boat trip. They were not pushy HOWEVER I will say that they are not allowed on the resort beach. Security guy actually berated us for buying from them and told us his job was in jeopardy because of it. UMMM So watch the fence and don't let them in. They made us feel like WE were in the wrong.
So the kids loved the jetski and the boat tour was great - we snorkeled at the reef just off the resort. 'Don Juan' was the guy that set us up. We actually paid two days ahead and were nervous he would be a no-show but he was there and it went well. I think we paid $70 for all of us for an hour.
Hit or miss. If you tipped they remembered you. I wouldn't say they were rude, just not very friendly. Some of the staff were. We put the kids in Kids' Club a couple of times and they enjoyed it - though pretty much the only kids there. We were annoyed that someone called our first night at 10:30pm to ask if we had the blankets we asked for. We had been travelling since 6am and it was like the middle of the night for us!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to the all-inclusive splendor of the legendary 730-room Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios with its spectacular variety of amenities, divine dining, spa and stellar location. A beautiful white-sand beach fringes the resort while five lavish pools meander through this beachside complex, featuring waterfalls, plunge pools, Jacuzzis, swaying rope bridge and swim-up bars. Amenities include five restaurants, two beach grills, eight bars, two kids clubs, non-motorized water sports, full-service spa, air-conditioned fitness center, tennis, mini casino, nightly entertainment, disco, shops, business center, conference facilities, weddings and much more. Services abound, offering the ideal getaway for singles, couples, families and groups. The sensational Lighthouse Waterslide opened in April 2007. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., TripOnline SA, Despegar.com and Tingo so you can book your Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sunset Jamaica Grande Ocho Rios
- Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort Spa
- Sunset Jamaica Grand Resort
- Sunset Grande Jamaica
- Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel
- Jamaica Grande Hotel
- Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort Ocho Rios