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“Not what I Expected” 3 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
Ontario's Highlands, Canada
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Not what I Expected”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

This was my second trip to Jamaica, first time in Ocho Rios. The bus ride was 1 hour 45 minutes from the airport with a bathroom/drink break half way to the resort.

The resort is located in downtown Ocho Rios, it is safe to walk into town during the day. Tip: if you want to shop where the locals go, turn left out of the resort entrance/exit. If you want to go where the tourists are, turn right. Locals will do anything for money, sell you products, take you on a walking tour, etc. Simply say no if you're not interested and they will leave you alone. We shopped downtown with the locals and entered a supermarket to purchase spices, Blue Mountain coffee, etc at cheaper prices.

We stayed on the 9th floor in the South tower. The room was clean, had updated bedding, flat screen tv, fresh paint and the perfect view. The sliding door was difficult to use and the bathtub looked old and worn.

Food at the buffet was ok. I eat allot of vegetables and found the buffet lacked in the vegetable dept. Tip: arrive early to eat for best selection. If you arrive within an hour of the buffet closing, the food selection will be slim at best. At lunch hour there are 2 snack bars, one serves grilled jerk chicken with salad. The Jerk chicken was our favorite, its spicy, tender, has an excellent bbq flavor and is served with a jerk sauce and bread.

We enjoyed 3 a la carte dinners - the South Beach restaurant was our favorite with local cuisine. Our second favorite was the La Diva Italian restaurant and our least favorite was the Ginger Lily Asian restaurant. Book as soon as you arrive at the resort. If you travel with Air Canada you receive automatic a la carte restaurant reservations.

When looking at the advertised picture of the resort, it looks like there are two large beaches when in fact there is one large beach to the south and one small beach to the north. I tried snorkeling on both sides of the beach and found the water too cloudy and weedy to see anything.

We traveled to Montego Bay and stayed at the sister resort with the family which I found to be much better in all ways.

Room Tip: South tower has updated rooms and is quieter. North tower has older rooms, some that are adjoining...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (1,258)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Greek first
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English first
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

My experience: We paid extra for an ocean front and what we received was a room with a side view, only, of the bay. The air conditioning didn't work and it was almost midnight before someone came to repair it. Once it was fixed, we could no longer lower the air conditioning, and it was always cold. The patio door on our balcony did not close and they never came to fix it. It is an older hotel,and the hallways smell very musty and the people at the front desk (check-in), and the currency desk, are not friendly. You always feel as if you are disturbing them. One of the places where we could exchange towels, was rarely opened.There were not enough bamboo shaded areas, so people were actually arguing over them. You are obliged to buy a calling card from them, if you want to make international phone calls. They then charge you $.30 for every phone call you put through. There was at least 4 of my calls that the calling card could not put through, and I was charged for them anyway.
Having said this, I found that the hotel was very clean. It was very safe. I enjoyed the food. Everyone, other than the services mentioned above were just GREAT. The person cleaning our room,Kimone Campbell, was super. The waiters and waitresses were wonderful. A young man, Andre Smith, served us our coffee and drinks at breakfast and lunch,most of the time,and he was great.I had a wonderful massage by Novelette, and I felt as if I was in heaven.
The hotel was rated as a 4 star, but most people on Trip Advisor have rated it as a 3.5 and I think that I have to agree with them if I take into consideration the negative events that occurred. I think that if cost is the only deciding factor in choosing which hotel to stay, then this is a good place. It is cheaper than the 5 stars, and you do enjoy yourself and feel safe

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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.

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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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#11 On the Beach 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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