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“Terrible” 1 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
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Terrible”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

Picked us up from our cruise ship (originally gave a $100 deposit, which was $20 a person for my family), there was 32 in our group. We waited 45 minutes for the buses. When we got to the resort they acted like they never had a group before. They crammed us in a little room (all of us). When that didn't work they moved us all to the lobby. Finally almost 45 min later and another of my $200 later, we head to the buffet. Sorry buffet doesn't open until 1215 island time, which is another hour. Hmmm. So we go to get a burger for the kids and the soda machine doesn't work. Stand "in line" for an adult drink, what a joke, 20 min of that, and one bartender. Line doesn't move, and pick the smallest, plastic cup, in your cabinet and that's what you get. Although we never got one. So while I am waiting my husband goes to get towels and guess what??? We have NO towels...and when are you going to have them? I have no clue.. That was it for me. I went for my refund. I only got my $200 back they wouldn't give me back my $100 deposit. Whatever I had to get my kids out of there. My other friend tried to get snorkel gear for his son...we have NO snorkel gear. My one friend who brought his own snorkel gear walked over rocks to get to the water and saw seaweed and cans in the water. In short 19 of us left. We went to Margaritaville and spent my ($200) there and everyone and a great time.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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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 (1,298)
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English first
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

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.

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

My wife and myself just spent our third vacation at Sunset Ja Grande.
This is a very nice resort but what make it special is the people who work there..
Every one is so nice. From maids to mangers.

The person that really stands out and is one of the reasons we keep going back is Calesia Thompson.

Calesia is always so welcoming and helpful. This women really loves her job and it shows in the way she performs it. She seem to constantly go out of her way (and beyond) to make our and everyone else's vacation special. We had a great time as always. Thanks Calesia

Room Tip: Just ask at front desk. they are very helpful
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manassas, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

You get what you pay for. The food is average, the rooms are average and the entertainment is below average. Jamaica is a beautiful place. If you are going to just use the resort as a place to sleep then it works but if you get one day of bad weather and need to stay in it is lacking everything!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ste. Anne, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We were a bit worried after we read some reviews. Some people are never happy, they just like to complain. We had a blast. The staff where just great. Our room was fine, and always comfortable and clean. Some days the room didn't get make up till later in the afternoon but that's because a lot of people would leave and new people were coming in so those rooms needed to be done first.' No problem mon'. The food was delicious and I'm a picky eater. The staff in the buffet were always there to refill your coffee and get your orange juice in the morning. At dinner time the staff keep your wine glasses full. They were always happy to take your pics of you, with your camera. They don't expect tips, but you can give them one while shaking their hand. Was impressed that there was a food station for the kids with kids kind of food even though we didn't have children with us. The grounds and beach were very clean and tidy. Would like to have had more shade spots, but would find some if we went to the beach later. The beach isn't really wide but was fun to get to know people around you faster. It was well worth the $ to stay at this lovely resort. We are going back again without a doubt.

Room Tip: Ask for South Tower, ocean view and upper floors, as Spring breakers are in the North in March. Thi...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centerville
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Prior to going to this resort, I read all of the reviews, good and bad. I figured that it's all relative to what someone is expecting or used to in a vacation resort. I have a budget for my vacations, but I still want a nice place to stay and good food, etc. What I learned with this trip is that you get what you pay for with all-inclusive vacations. But please know these main factors about Sunset Grande Jamaica: 1. The resort is old, not well maintained, and the rooms are just not good. The bed skirts in our room looked like they hadn't been washed in years. 2. The food is not good; very little variety, bland, cold when it should be hot, warm when it should be cold, and the meat was dry. 3. When they say all inclusive as it relates to alcohol that's misleading because there are a very limited number of drinks that they can, or will, make. All of the bartenders skills were sub-par at best, the resort doesn't stock a huge variety of different alcohols, and the only beer served is Red Stripe. The North Side pool bar actually ran out of vodka twice during my 4 day stay. 4. There were no receptacles in the bathroom of our room and the blow dryer was from the 70's I think. 5. After dinner there is nothing to do at this resort except to go to the bar, but from what we found there is only one dance bar here. You don't dare go off property after dark unless you're with a group or a man because the locals are scary and they constantly approach tourists. 6. The all inclusive package we got included non-motorized water sports. In actuality this meant snorkeling and paddle boats; the snorkeling sucked because you're on your own and not permitted to go out far enough to see anything other than seaweed and rocks, and the one and only paddleboat the resort seemed to have was broken. Really? Ridiculous! Like I said, I read the reviews and thought that everyone can have an opinion and it's all relative, but people, trust me, please, the things noted a bove are true and I could go into much more detail, but the bottom line is, I would never, ever spend my money to go back to this resort. I made the best of my time there but I was sorely disappointed. So, still not convinced that this is not the place you should spend your time and money? Well, let me give you a few tips then. You don't need to exchange your american currency into Jamaican; they'll take your money and give you change in American dollars. This resort is two hours from the airport in Montego Bay. We used Jamaican Tours for our transfers and they were good, but book it before you get there. If you get car sick easily bring something to take because that two hours transfer to the resort can get bumpy. They say this is a non-tipping resort because it's all inclusive, but the staff will surely take tips under the table if offered. Some staff will hang there for a minute waiting on a tip, but you're not obligated to tip them. Bring at least one of your own beach towels; each guest gets one towel at a time but the chaise lounges get hot and the portion not covered by a towel is uncomfortable, so two towels on a chair is best. Bring a large travel cup from home, or buy one when you get there because all of the drinks at the resort are served in small plastic (reuseable) cups and you're constantly up getting refills because they're so small. Plus, the cups just seem kinda dirty because they go through them so fast and I wondered how well they were actually being washed each time. If you go to Dunns Falls and plan to climb, you don't need to rent or buy water shoes; your gym shoes from home do just fine and you'll save money regardless of them trying to tell you otherwise. If you like your "thread count" on your bed sheets at home, you might want to consider bringing some with you because the bed sheets are cheap, starched to high heaven and scratchy as hell, as are the bath towels. Oh, and there is some funky type of soap in a dispenser in the shower; we never could figure out if it was shampoo or soap, but hot tip - bring your own body wash from home. Seem like alot of tips and things you should bring with you? It is, and again, my suggestion is to just not go there in the first place, really.

Room Tip: My only helpful room tip is to stay at another resort.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Let me start off by saying this was my first time to Jamaica. I have been to Cuba several times all from 3 - 4 stars so I don't expect really high end hotels etc. After reading the reviews before the trip, which I took with a grain of salt, I would have to say most are fairly accurate.

Upon arriving at Montego Bay airport it was a slow process getting through. We flew with Sunwing and I found trying to find the bus to the resort to be very confusing and disorganized. I was expecting a big bus to take us but ended up being a 10 passenger van. The ride to the hotel was almost two hours which we were expecting but made for a really long day.

Before leaving I tried contacting the hotel via e-mail to request adjoining rooms in the south tower. We got two rooms on the same floor but at almost opposite ends of the hall in the north tower. She claimed this is all she had available and we had to wait another hour for one of the rooms to be ready even though at this point it was almost 5:00 p.m. First impression of the room wasn't the greatest. Our view had a little bit of ocean but overlooked another building and the pool filter. The only thing nice about the room was the TV...everything else felt so narrow and small. I guess we couldn't complain too much our A/C worked too well that we were freezing even turning it way down. We had lots of hot water and never had an issue with this. It would get quite windy out and our patio door would make a really annoying whistling sound constantly. We were on the third floor and never found an issue with the elevators. The girl at the front desk must of saw we were in our 20s and put us on a floor with the same age group. Thing is we aren't really partiers and didn't stay up very late so we would constantly get woke up in the middle of the night with random people just knocking on our doors for no reason. We even had a secuirty guard on our floor some nights but I don't understand what he did because this would happen on nights he was there. Also there was no fridge in the room.

Never had an issue with the cleaning lady she was very nice and always brought us clean towels. The only thing that would be weird is she came at different times each day varying from 1:00 p.m. all the way until 6:00 p.m.

The beach was a bit of a joke. Very narrow and lots of rocks and seaweed. I think the nicest part of the hotel for me was the pool area. I loved the rock formations and the waterfalls with the sway bridge.

I did not enjoy the food. Most things would taste fine but majority of the time 3/4 of us would get sick within half an hour of eating. It just made it really unpleasant. The al la cartes were nothing special at all..you could get the same thing at the buffet. If you do plan on doing this make sure you book right away as it fills up fast - even though the restaurant would be half empty whenever we went to one. The only meal I could count on and looked forward to was breakfast. The omlete line was really long but the two guys cooking them were so nice it made it worth the wait.

Pretty much every bar was a really long wait too. They would have 1-2 bartenders at each bar who really did try to serve everyone as quickly as possible but it was still a long wait. I felt really bad for them. I did like that they had lots of slushy drinks, appleton rum, and the beer was good too.

Entertainment wasn't the greatest. It was hard to get a seat and see anyways. Checked out the disco two nights (when managed to stay up) and it didn't really start to get busy until 11-11:30. They do theme nights so don;t expect to request any music if its not within the theme and again they only had one bartender so it would take forever to get a drink.

It would have been nice just to have one place open for food all the time. Instead every bar and restaurant has random hours so you have to wait a few days to figure out the schedule to know where to go at what time. For anyone wondering if they have 24 hour service - the latest you can get food is 2am.

Three of us got a massage ...$65.00 for 45 minutes. Was just okay for me, not really worth the money.

You have to ask about the beach towels at the front desk and get a voucher than take them to the towel hut located at the light house. Also if your planning on using the safe in your room you need to go to the front desk to get a lock and key. You will also need to provide a credit card incase you loose the key they will charge $100.00.

Gift shop is quite expensive but they have a lot of main essentials and neat things. If you plan on buying souvenirs from here I would highly recommend just waiting until the aiport to come home because they have a lot of neat shops.

They have a couple slot machines in the lobby but I never wasted my money on this - I never saw anyone win anything.

The only way I would go back to this resort is if I was travelling with people on a budget which it is a reasonable price for Jamaica (which is why we chose here in the first place). If i had my preference though I would spend the extra couple hundred and go somewhere else. I did enjoy Jamaica, for the most part the people were really nice and the country is beautiful. Only thing that got annoying was all the waiters and bartenders hitting on my friends and I constantly...it would get uncomfortable. This happened off the resort too so I can't really knock the hotel for this.

We did the Mystic Mountain and Dunns River Falls. Both were enjoyable and the good thing about the location of the resort is its a very short drive to the attractions.

Overall, a vacation is what you make of it and I did enjoy myself. I think the biggest let down for me was the food because almost everything I ate made me sick. I think I had high expectations in this regard as I'm use to the food in Cuba. If it wasn't for the beautiful pool area I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions as I'm sure I have left things out.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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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