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“Not bad, let's say it was good, not great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort

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Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 39 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not bad, let's say it was good, not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We were a party of 11, 3 families with 5 teenagers total.

Arrived Christmas Day around 4pm, two rooms weren't ready so we put the extra luggage in other rooms and headed down to the Lighthouse Grill to get something to eat as we'd been traveling all day. The grill and bar were packed, we were thinking "what have we gotten ourselves into", it looked like the redneck riviera. Luckily the next 5 days were not as crowded and we had an overall good time.

The good:
- beaches were nice and clean, although we weren't in the water a lot. Hung out under the palm trees on the beach.
- Pools were nice , plenty of room on the quiet end for some swimming laps.
- Bartenders were generally good, esp the guys working the night shift at the main bar. We generally tipped the bartenders but it was always a sly handoff - wish they would just let them put a tip jar at the main bar - those guys work hard and are friendly to everyone.
- The 4 restaurants we went to each night were all very nice, although the boys were always hungry when they were done dinner and went to the grill or buffet.
- The main lobby is very nice looking in the evening with the lights and openness and is a nice place to relax in the evening.
- Took a beat up glass bottom boat to Dunns Rivers Falls and then they took us snorkeling for about 1/2 hour on the way back.These guys were past the property gate on the beach. $25 US per person for the boat ride up and back to Dunns plus snorkeling so not too bad. Just remember Dunns River admission fee is extra.

The OK or not so great.

- Rooms are definitely dated (we were in the North tower).
- The grill line at the pool was so slow, always 15 - 30 minutes no matter how many people in line. Very unorganized, even when they had 3 people working. McDonald's could teach them a few lessons.
- Same with the Bars by the pools. They need some floating workers who can hop in during rush hours.
- Buffet lines for omelets in the morning were a joke - again, bring McDonalds in to show them some efficiency. And always running out of bacon and sausage. Lunches were a little blah. I would not want to have to eat in the buffet every night.
- Only had one dinner at the buffet but it always looked like the same old things, didn't look like it was great.
- Soda machines were always out of ice and out of sodas - simple thing that was irritating
- ice cream machine by the pool bar was always down - another simple thing that was irritating.
- Need better entertainment on the main stage at night.
- Disco for the kids was on and off - depended on who was around.
- No exercise classes in the gym that we could see - my wife was looking for some yoga, aerobics classes in the mornings.
- Could they get a bigger TV in the main bar area? It's nice to hang there at night and watch some sporting event and have a few drinks. And some add'l seating around the tv - how about a little sports bar area.
- Casino looks like an arcade

Would I come back to Jamaica - yes. Would I come back to this resort - I'd be ok with it if others wanted to go but I would definitely check out other places first.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Herndon, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We just did the Sunset Beach (12/26/2012) as a day trip off of a Royal Caribbean cruise. It was not worth the price at all!!!! We used their shuttle which was fine (driver very nice) but registering at the resort took 1 hour of standing in line (small hot room with like 15 people waiting in it) to get wristbands and the charges were incorrect. After check in, we had to wait in line to get a towel. We were given 1 towel coupon for 8 people!!! We were told sorry they did not have anymore coupons to get a towel so we would have to share. When asked how to do that - customer service told us to go to the towel exchange, dry off and exchange the towel 7 more times so we could all get dry... and no I am not kidding!!! The food was fine (chicken curry was really good - fried fish not so good) and the facilities were fine (nice pools - just okay beaches). I cannot comment on the rooms. The employees however were rude, slow and incompetent. We were told that the attitude is not normally that bad but because it was a Jamaican holiday, they were not happy about having to work. Regardless, it was not customer friendly. We actually left early and were on the shuttle with people from another cruise line whose ship was leaving earlier - they were upset and panicking because the staff did not seem too interested that hotel shuttle was 1/2 hour behind schedule and their ship was leaving. For a day activity off of a cruise - find something else to go. For a few days stay it may be fine but why take a chance if you can find better places?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Fredericton, Canada
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I spent the week of Christmas there with my 2 sons. I spent alot of time reading reviews before we went, and was a little bit nervous about what to expect.
First of all, let me say that all the complainers need to relax and smarten up. Surely you all knew before going, that this is an older resort, and is only a 3 star, therefore you need to manage your own expectations before you arrive.
We arrived late afternoon, and were greeted upon arrival with a glass of punch while we checked in. We flew Air Canada Vacations, and were immediately checked in by Shea Lynn and Alicia. They were both wonderful. We were in the south tower, room 1109. The room was perfectly fine, clean, and had a 52 inch flat screen. The view was wonderful too. The housekeeper changed the beds daily, provided clean towels, and left fresh flowers on the beds every day. The air conditioning worked perfectly fine, and the bed was comfortable.
The common areas of the resort are well maintained and clean.
The safe worked fine ($100 credit card deposit, no charge upon checkout when you returned the lock and key), the wifi worked fine (paid $30 for unlimited access for the week), and the AC Vacations rep (Senior), took care of all our al la carte dinner reservations for us.
For the most part, the staff were very kind and friendly, and although the resort is older, it was clean, and well maintained. I have stayed at 4.5 stars in the past, and honestly felt that this one was almost as nice.
The food was acceptable...not fantastic, but good, and plentiful. The staff in the buffet restaurant work hard, but always seemed to have time to smile, and chat.
The al la carte restaurants are very nice, and the food there, especially the Italian, was very good. The beach grills made great cheeseburgers and grilled cheese.
The drinks were plentiful, and strong, and the bartenders were very friendly.
As a single Mom, travelling with my 2 sons...I felt completely safe on this resort. My 15 year old son enjoyed the water slide, and the water/beach volleyball. He also enjoyed the free kayak rentals and he snorkled every day. He loved the nightly shows, and also the teen area with the ping pong tables etc.
The beach was nice, and the pools were clean. The daily activities at the pool could have been a little better, but there was so many things to do at this resort, that we were never bored.
We hired a driver - Paul Williams, to take us off the resort for a day, and visited Dunns Falls, and Dolphin Cove. Both activities, along with Paul Williams services, were great! I pre booked Paul, and our activities before I left Canada, and everything worked out perfectly He also took us up to the Fern Gully, in the mountains to experience the real Jamaica, and we once again felt completely safe, and enjoyed the experience.
Jamaica is a beautiful country, with beautiful people...I would definately visit again, and would not hesitate to stay at this resort.
We are from Atlantic Canada, and stayed Dec 21-29 2012

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longueuil, Quebec, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

We were definitely not disapointed of the staff. At our arrival, a waitor served us some refreshing fruit punch. In the morning, Sonia served us kindly and patiently during the breakfast buffet even though it was always LOADED of people. During diner time Keith always stopped by our table to make sure everything was alright. In the entertainment section Chris is one of the funniest host I have ever encountered. In the bar section close to the casino there is another Sonia who is quite polite and kind as well and in the Jamaica Me Crazy Club both bartenders are pretty fast and make greeattt drinks!!

Overall, our trip was very enjoyable for a winter holiday getaway before christmas. What amazes every time I go to that hotel is the gigantic pools and the fun entertainment I would definitely go back anytime. However, the hotel itself needs some major renovations in the rooms ex: floor, patio doors, rust, air condition. I was in the North Tower and it felt like North Pole at first escpecially downstairs. Also, hiring more staff would be better since I find that they are rushing very often ESPECIALLY in the food section (buffet and snackbar) the lines to wait can take up to half an hour sometimes...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Both my husband and I had a great time. We had a room overlooking the ocean. Staff was friendly. Food and drinks were unlimited & all inclusive. There was an outdoor & indoor band for Christmas eve & an indoor band for Christmas night. The entertainment was great and people were very friendly. The beach was well kept and many pools to choose from. It was an awesome holiday!

Room Tip: I was on the 12th floor...room 1204 to be exact and I had a great view from the balcony and the bed...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

********This hotel is a 3 star ONLY********* not a 4 or 5 as indicated by some travel agents.....
The place was clean, we stayed in the south tower based on other comments on this site. Our view was really pretty facing the water, cove and cruise ship docks, but it was old, run down and smelt musty. NO mattress cover other than a sheet on a sheet and wholes in the mattress.....took pictures..... There is NO organization when you all arrive. 3 people at the MOST at the desk to greet and assign rooms, that even at 3-4 pm were not ready.
The beach was nice, the weather was excellent, the people were great, but the dinner & lunch buffet was terrible, the worst ever.......The restaurants that you have to book each day in advance were excellent, the chinese, Italian and Jamaican were all excellent food. The best dinner we had was the one on the beach under one of the 5 stands all light up and that is an extra $25.00 PER PERSON for the only sea food you'll get (lobster), you have to pay for it but worth it.....and the 2 hour wait...... The music in the middle of the grounds by the pools plays 24 hours a day 7 days a week and does not shut off even after 2-3 am. Our grown up boys 21 & 29 they enjoyed themselves playing beach volley ball, table tennis, frisbee but only 1 good night of entertainment for all. The drinks were OK, NO fruit in the blended, BUT they ran out of Appleton's Rum (their own Jamaican rum) in the whole hotel for almost 2 days. Pools were pretty, but need a little more maint. slippery steps. Waterslides a bonus, one salt water one pool water, ONE out of the two beaches is so rocky you need watershoes, the other is soft white sand, but both my boys stepped on sea urchins and could not get the needles out till we got home-painful and they hide in the sand under the water grass so be careful, they are small and hide in the white sand when you walk in the water...... The guys off site behind the fence with the glass bottom boat (Lasco) is a great guy and we did most of our daily events through him at a reasonable price, less than half of the posted rates through the hotel. I even walked by the fence to Verna who braided my hair (long thick hair) for $35.00 canadian. They wanted $60+++ US in the hotel..... Hey no need for US dollars here, they love the CAD or really if I had to do it again, I'd exchange for Jamaican dollars, it's all the same. Did Dunn River Falls, snorkeling, walked off the resort and into the little town to Treasure Hut casino, very freindly "no worries mon!!!!, see the security guy at the fence he helped us with arranging our trips and hired a driver to take us around and to private beaches, shopping etc......Christmas Day there was nothing offered special for people, and so you know, this is the hotel where all the regular people in Kingston, Mo Bay, & Ocho Rios go when they want to go to a hotel for a weekend.get away....it was a really nice mixture of people & cultures.... we have travelled quite a bit and have been to Jamaica before. After the 1 and 1/2 hour bus ride from the airport to Ocho Rios your a little tired but the scenery was beautiful. The hotel was just not what we expected for what we paid........they even ran out of bread, fresh fruit & bacon two mornings and if you wanted eggs or omelets, the wait was 25 minutes or more as 1 poor guy does 731 rooms worth of people. NO room service, and you get into trouble if you come down to the buffett and take coffee, tea or food up to your room for your hubby........ Strange but the rudest people in all of Jamaica were the guys & gals at the (Customs booth) coming into the country......the whole SunWing plane were told to fill out 1 customs card per family, we all 100+ of us were sent back to the end of lines to fill out one card EACH, then back again for missing a part of the form clearly marked Official use only, then sent back again for the backside of the form they decided needed to be completed.....very frustrating ....wanted to do the zip line and chair lift over the tree's but it was $130.00 USD each.....The only thing we regret not doing but Dunns River a MUST, they have become much more relaxed over the past years as we were allowed to climb on our own and not attached to a chain of hands & feet ......
So no more boo hissing, the country is amazing, the people overall great, safe, the food everywhere other than the resort is great and "Come to Jamaica and feel alright" Will go back but not to this hotel......sorry!!!!!

Room Tip: not sure but anything facing water, 726, 724 those on the south tower had a good view cooler in the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My boyfriend and I just returned from a 5 night stay at the SJ Grande. Overall I would recommend it. The property and pools are clean. Many pools to choose from. However, only one swim up bar was open and the service was very slow! The waterslides were super fun. Wish there was better entertainment by the pools. The music wasn't very "jamaican" either. The food situation is terrible! If you don't make a reservation by 9:00 am the day BEFORE you want to go then the only option is the terrible buffet. There is also a hamburger and hot dog place that isn't too bad for late night munchies. The night life was very lacking too...the "club" on the property was very slow. It is great place for families...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort

Address: P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 730
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 
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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

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