My boyfriend and I went on our FIRST all inclusive trip down south at this hotel from march 2nd to march 10th. Having read all the reviews, I was slightly nervous but decided not to stress about it too much and just go and form my own opinion. So here it is:
The first day we arrived it was raining and it stayed like that for most of the trip. I thought the main lobby of the hotel was really nice however we paid for a "cabana" room and I don't know if it was worth the extra money, The walls are paper thin (kinda awkward for couples...) and we were in room 201 which meant it wasn't beachfront because a)we were on the second floor and b) we had a view of basically the pool and the grill. If you get a cabana room try to get the higher numbers as they actually have the view you're paying for.
I thought the food was really good. Buffet and restaurants. Lot's of rice, veggies, chicken, lamb kabobs. I thought there was a good selection for those who are picky and those who are not.
The beach was pretty good (aside from the weather) but it was really annoying how some/most people would literally wake up at 8am to put their towels on the best spots, yet then they would leave for hours at a time. I felt like everyone needed a better lesson in SHARING and realize that it's kinda rude to do that, in my opinion. If people didn't do that, there likely wouldn't be much of an issue of not finding a chair.
Going to town was a little overwhelming. The locals are quite pushy. Everyone and their dog is an "unofficial tour guide". They are really just trying to make money, which I understand, but we don't have a lot of money, so we just wanted to try to blend in and soak up the vibes. I never felt unsafe just overwhelmed. We did end up going in town about 5 times, and I got more comfortable the more we went.
If you want to buy weed you just need to go into town. It's really easy. We got it within 2 minutes of leaving the resort. But if you are a little scared to do that, you can go on the Bob Marley Nine Mile Tour. That was the best part of our trip for me. You get to go on an awesome drive in the mountains, and it's LEGAL to smoke it at the museum. They sell joints, seeds, cakes, quarters and tea. Slightly expensive but the joints are huge. Our guide Dee was amazing. You're lucky if you get her and Russel the driver.
I think the hotel could use more staff, but everyone that was working seemed to be great. I think the real problem is obnoxious people who treat the staff like they are "the help". They are people too, they are trying to do their job the best they can. I would like to see some of the rude people get behind the bar and try serving 30 drunk people with only one other colleague. Have some patience.
I feel like this resort would be best for a group of friends or a family. It didn't feel romantic to me. I think I overpaid. It was basically $3000 for us to go. But this was my first trip so I didn't know what a normal price would be or what I should be getting for my money.
I probably won't go back to this hotel or Ocho Rios for a long time. My stay wasn't good enough to make me a repeat customer but it was decent enough for me to enjoy myself. I also have a feeling that if the weather had been better, I would have had a better time. Although the weather is clearly out of the hotel's control, it still affects my rating on my overall experience.
- 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