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“Fun in the sun mon!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort

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Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #15 of 39 hotels in Ocho Rios
East Hartford, Connecticut
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fun in the sun mon!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

This review is based 100% on the experience my wife and I (32 and 36 years old) had at SJG. The bus trip with Jamaica Tours was 2 hours long but that's what we were expecting. On the way to Ocho Rios, we stopped once (which was good because the Red Stripe beer I bought at the airport went right through me) plus 2 other resort stops. On the way back we didn't stop at all. We checked in at 6:00pm and were on our way to our room withing 5 minutes. Our room was an oceanfront room on the 9th floor of the north tower. We heard a lot of negative feedback about the north tower so we tried to stay positive. The view was pretty great but I wouldn't like a room below the 5th floor because you will get a great view of a huge roof. We found the room, furniture, and bathroom to be a little worn but it was something that we soon got used to (nobody spends a lot of time in the rooms if you're doing it right).
I found that my wife and I spent more time at the north pool and bar than the beach. I wish they had more umbrellas around the beach and pool decks so I could spend more time chillin' with my crossword puzzels. By afternoon, we moved our way up to the pool with the water slide and water volleyball 'cause that's where you can find Gizzy and Crazy Chris with music and games. Crazy Chris plays to the crowd and will always put on a good show that will make you laugh to no end.
We found the nightly entertainment to be a little boring due to it mainly being singing (I like it when it's a show or bringing the crowd into it). Pirates night was a show not to be missed and there was a couples game that we enjoyed. We had 1 ship come in on Monday, 1 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday; based on that, we visited Dunn's River Falls on Thursday. Dunn's River is about 5 min away and we visited at about 9:30 in the morning. I would HIGHLY recommend that you visit early in the morning and when there is not a cruise ship at port. Our group of 6 was the first one to go up the falls that day and soon after it looked like ants covering an ant hill (with no cruise ship remember).
I would also recommend not accepting any "gifts" for "free" from any vendors in Ocho Rios. They try to get you to put it in your hand or write your name on the free item and then try to guilt you in to a "tip". You can also get stuff for cheap that way. Also, be carefull of any any locals trying to sound friend and start showing you around, it's not free. It's always OK to just say "no thank you", just be polite (respect mon).
We both thought the spa was as good as any other spa we've been to so far. We had a 60min couples massage for $170. Be very CAREFULL of beach volleyball!!! If you take it as serious as I and most other men did, you will get a bloody knee on the first day. There is VERY hard sand under the softer sand.
We thought the buffet restaurants could be a little better with better service from the wait staff and a little more selection. If you want something, don't wait for them to ask. The a la carte restuarants very pretty good with the best experience being at the South Beach Grill with Shane as our waiter; he was absolutely top notch! We made reservations for all four restaurants on our first morning at about 9:00 in the lobby. I've heard a lot of negativity in the past but I believe they changed thier booking process.
Overall, we would say that we we're happy with our stay at SJG. The staff was pleasant, plenty to do, and food and drink was good.

Room Tip: Look around your room when you first get in; if you can't deal with it then ask for another one...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,254)
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Even though my family and I stayed for 2 nights, we enjoyed ourselves. We stayed in the North tower and the rooms are small and the balcony is tiny. The rooms and balcony in the South tower are more spacious. If we were staying longer, we would have definitely requested to be moved to the South Tower.

Pros - All inclusive for a decent price, clean hotel/rooms and great customer service

Cons - The drinks were watered down, not enough selections of Jamaican food, need to wake up early to make dinner reservations because the restaurants are booked by 10am unless you want to eat from the buffet.

Room Tip: South tower rooms are more spacious
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The hotel really wasn't so bad, but for this price you can definitely find something better in Jamaica. The rooms were clean and the place seemed well maintained. Except for the fact that the maid skipped our room for two days. However, the most important part of an all inclusive is the beach. There were way too many people and not enough chairs to sit on at the hotel's tiny beach. Partially because each day a cruise stopped at the hotel and the hotel's beach was too small to contain everyone. It was also cloudy and rainy most of the day and we were there in March. On our next trip we are definitely going to Negril despite the distance.

On the first day we couldn't find beach chairs at all and while on the hunt for them, one of the workers pulled a beach chair he hid in between the palm trees. We lucked out that day I guess, but paid for our chairs with a nice tip. The water was clean, but filled with sea weeds and sea urchins. There were very few spots to stand on.

As for the food. There were always several options and you'd never go hungry. However, it got boring since they served left overs the whole week and it was the same meal each day. Breakfast, however, was AMAZING. You had the option to choose ingredients for your own specialized omelet and the cooks were incredible. It was also nice to have the option to book 3 dinners in their specialty restaurants to add a bit of a variety.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were DELICIOUS. Definitely one of the strengths of the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Jamaica
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The good things:
1. Breakfast
2. The grounds outdoors are well maintained and are beautiful
3. They have a water slide which is good for the kids and adults as well. (it needs an easier way to get to the top though)
4. Plenty of parking space

The Bad things:
1. I checked in with an infant and I had to call housekeeping three times over a period of about six hours before getting a cot for the baby.
2. Their lunch menu at the grill is restricted to burgers and sandwiches.
3. Dinner and Lunch menu at the buffet is local foods and offers little in variety
4. The restaurants that you need to make reservations to go to are booked out from the day before, and have strict dress codes. If you are staying at the hotel for a single night you won't be able to enjoy any fine dining.
5. Their staff complement were poorly dressed and seem to be made up mostly of trainees.
6. Inside the hotel (chandeliers, stairs and some counters) was in need of cob-webbing/cleaning/dusting.
7. Had to pay for internet.
8. Furniture in the room was ancient, really outdated.

Clearly there are more negatives than positives from this trip. Do better guys, your price should not be the only reason persons decide to stay at your hotel. You are going to need repeat visitors.

Room Tip: "Maybe there are better rooms on the North Tower" ... We stayed in the South Tower!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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St. Catharines
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Just returned from the Sunset Jamaican Grande and I’m so glad I didn’t allow the negative reviews to dissuade me from visiting the wonderful resort. Although there were a couple of minor issues that occurred during our 10 day visit (Feb 2 – 12), I can say with great enthusiasm that the SJG was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had.

CARRIER: This was our first booking with Westjet vacations and I was a little disappointed that they are just equal to all the other carriers out there. Positive – closer gates at Pearson. Negative – not any more friendly or comfortable than other carriers and in-flight movie not available to Jamaica.

ARRIVAL: Positive: No issues clearing Jamaican customs. Negative – having to wait 20 minutes for hotel shuttle and then the 90 minute drive to resort.

CHECK IN: Arrived at the resort at 10:20pm. We were checked in and escorted to our rooms quickly. Positive – Sanjay, our porter offered various points of interest for us (most important – where the bars were located) Negative – Did not receive our welcome cocktail.

ROOM: 817 South Tower. Positive - The room was clean and had ample room. The balcony allowed for an ocean, mountain and city view. Negative – No refrigerators or bottled water in room. (water in room is potable but I like to keep a bottle with me at the beach/pool)

FOOD: We never experienced any issues with the food. The breakfast buffet was typical resort options with the exception of the “Jamaican Breakfast” choices which were quite interesting. We sat in Andre’s section nearly every morning and he was quick to plop down a carafe of coffee and 4 glasses of water. For lunch there was the South Beach Grill which offered jerk chicken and salad or the North Beach Grill which served burgers, dogs and fries. We only visited the lunch buffet the last day we were there but it seemed to have several options. Sophia makes wonderful sandwiches. Positives – Resort does a wonderful job of changing the venue of the dinner buffet. Pool patio BBQ and the Pirates and Wenches beach party broke any monotony people may have had with the buffet. The Super Bowl Sunday tail gate party was outstanding. The 3 ala carte restaurants were very good (especially the Italian) and the Lobster dinner on the beach was spectacular. A very special thank you to Jason and Michael for making my husbands 58th birthday an evening to remember. Positive – The kitchen staff do a remarkable job with presentation and portion size. Negative – Never got the “real” inside scoop on how they make their chicken so moist.

BARS: North Beach, South Beach, 2 Lobby Bars and 2 Swim up (although 1 was usually closed). Positive – The staff were always friendly especially sweet Monica and handsome Horace. Negative – running out of beer and rum on nearly a daily basis is not acceptable for an all inclusive and inadequate staffing of bars.

BEACHES: Both beaches are nice and watching the cruise ships enter port was interesting. Positives – white sand, warm water. Negatives – Lack of palapas/shade.

POOLS: There are 5 pools, 2 hot tubs and a water slide. The activity pool seemed to be hopping daily. Positive – lots to choose from. Negative – too old to climb the water slide (lol)

STAFF: Simply amazing. From Reception to Life Guards we never encountered anyone that didn’t smile and say hello. There are always a few that stand out as exceptional (as mentioned) and some a little less but overall we found the staff to be wonderful.
Positive – friendly, courteous, approachable. Negative – I couldn’t bring them all home with me.

CHECK OUT: Quick and simple. Positive – Hospitality suite for those with later departures. Negative – Having to wait at another resort for 20 minutes due to a transfer time discrepancy.

OVERALL: I am completely mystified as to where the negative reviews come from. We’ve been to many resorts over the last 10 years from 3 stars to 6 stars and the SJG is top 5 in our books. The food was excellent, accommodations very good and the staff were warm and welcoming. There is no way anyone will “starve” at this resort. If the staff was less than polite, then perhaps a smile would have warmed them. We like to show our appreciation by leaving a buck or two for the staff and we are always rewarded with excellent service by doing that. We look forward to returning to Jamaica and the SJG.

One last final comment: The third day of our vacation, I left my pink wallet on a sofa in the main lobby (room key, safe key, cash and credit card). I would like to thank the person who returned it to Guest Relations with everything in tact. This act of kindness is greatly appreciated and restores my faith in humanity. I only wish the resort would have allowed me to leave a post somewhere in the lobby to let others know of your kindness and honesty.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

Room terrible. We paid extra for oceanview, but all we saw was a rooftop. Clothes were always damped because of the AC. Basic necessities not present. No alarm clock, so fridge, no booklet explaining the hotel or list of directory to call around hotel. Soap dispenser was leaking. Toilet seat cover was dirty. AC was noisy.

Food was average. Always the same type of food. The juice machine runs out during midday.
Servers come by once in a while. Better to get your own coffee or drinks by yourself instead of waiting. All tables near the poolside were shaky. Have to try multiple tables until we find a good one. Average restaurants. Limited snacks during the day.

Pools were dirty. Sand,slippers, used styrofoam cups in the pool. Beach was bad. Very very small bay.

Average entertainment. Singers all the time. Line up at the bar and snack bar. Ran out of towels at towel hut.

Leaking ice machine on our floor.

People outside resort followed us, and tried to bring us to show their non-existent "shop". And then ask us for tips. Taxi drivers follow you around. Good thing is that tourist police along the street. People scammed us with prices. Some gave us "free" presents,them later on follows us to ask for tips.

Broken equipment for leisure/ entertainment activities.

Staff was ok.

Won't recommend. Though cheaper. Liveable.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

There are two towers at this hotel to stay in. One is called the north and one is the south tower. The north tower is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. There was sewage all over our bedroom floor one morning when we woke up, it had leaked from the toilet. The staff made us wait for 2 hours before they cleaned it up. They struggled to even say sorry. Eventually they moved us to the south which was slightly better.

The people who say this hotel is great value are mainly Canadians as it costs them a quarter of the price. The food is disgusting. The alcohol is terrible it's mainly water. The staff are just rude. And it really is not safe to go out there we got dragged down a ally bye some crazy locals wanting our money, but we got away. This is a dated and disgusting hotel poorly run with rude staff. If your English don't go there, not very nice to us. They say give me your money all the time, and try and push drugs on you.
Please read this to be aware for your safety.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort

Address: P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
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 ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort 3.5*
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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