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“It is not even what you paid for” 2 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 #16 of 39 hotels in Ocho Rios
Hastings, Minnesota
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“It is not even what you paid for”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I stayed here from March 10-16 the same time as over 600 college students had taken over the resort. There was no security and it was a mess. Upon arrive we were placed in a room on the twelve floor with a view of the city, yet I paid for an oceanfront room. When I asked about the “oceanfront room” the desk staff informed me that by seeing the ocean that is an oceanfront view, ok glad I paid extra for something that does not really exist. I was so excited to be in Jamaica and my daughter and I decided that we would go get some supper and explore the resort on this first night. After dinner, we walked around a little but were very overwhelmed by the hundreds of drunken college students that were fighting, yelling, and drinking more than should be allowed. Shots were being poured to young students who were very obviously drunk, yet others people could not even get a glass of water.
On the first night at the SJG we enter the elevators and head up to the room, so we think. Instead in the elevator I am accosted by a drunken large college student. I am scared to death, and run to our room and lock the door. I am so angry I go back downstairs to talk to the manager. I speak with the desk manager and tell him what has just happened to me. What do you think happened? Nothing….He told me that I was fine and if I really needed something to come back in the morning. I asked for security on the elevator not only for myself but for other people and I was told I was being silly girl.
The next morning I went and spoke to the Apple Rep and she walked me to the manager on duty. I explained to him again what had happened the night before and he asked me “are you sure that you are not over reacting”? Are you kidding me? Is this the way that guests are being treated? I demanded a room change that would make it so that I was not to be on the elevator ever again. We were after much debating moved to a second floor cabana room. I was just shocked at the lack of concern by those who work here and that same lack of concern would follow the rest of the week.
I knew ahead of time that the food was to be lacking and I was very prepared for that. However, I was not prepared for the lack of choice and the freshness. There was no fresh veggies or more than two fruits and those fruits were served at breakfast were chopped up and served at lunch and dinner. There were no bananas, mangos, coconuts…nothing. Very disappointing.
There were over 600 hundred college students who had taken over the resort and it was allowed. The south side of the beach was their party and their bars. I was never able to access the swim up bar, or the waterslides, or even the beach. I tried and was quickly told that this side of the resort was for the spring break group. I wanted to use those floaty things that are pictured in the resort photos and descriptions, and those along with the hobbies cats and kayaks are on the south beach. I waited for the two men to wait on me as they were too busy trying to hook up with the young girls there. I asked for the floatation rings and was told that they “were not in rotation and will not be available to you”...WHAT? And he walks away to dance with the girls. Just so that you are also aware, there are only 4 kayaks for the entire resort and 1 hobbie cat, and I am guessing no floatation rings.
The reviews were true to the letter when they talked about the dirty rooms, the dirty dishes, the running out of liquor, the lack of security and safety. Past guests were honest when they stated that they never felt safe at the resort and that is exactly how my daughter and I felt. There was such a lack of concern for the guests both in safety and pleasure. I was so disappointed when I was at the bar on the third night. I approached the bar for a drink, and was ignored for over 10 minutes as were many guests. I then pulled out some cash and BAM!! I was served within seconds. So much for all inclusive! I talked to the manager about this right away as I saw that many of the guests that were over 25 were getting ignored unless they had money in their hands. She stated that she understood this, but what was she to do? I told her that this behavior toward the younger guests and ignoring the older guests was not how you get repeat business. She then stated that I should not worry too much as the alcohol that was being served was half water. Really? I paid more money than the students that they were catering to and yet many of us were getting the short end of everything.
Before leaving to Jamaica we requested a medically needed refrigerator in our room. My daughter takes medication that needs to be kept cold. I never got one. Every day twice a day I went and asked for one and stated that it was very important. Every day, twice a day I was told to come back later. This was a prior request and still they could not be bothered to take care of their guests. This was not for food, or beer, this was for medicine that I had to keep cool at all times.
On the Thursday night my daughter and I dressed up and went down to watch the show. I was walking towards the stage and my heel got caught in the cracks/gaps in the concrete sidewalk. I went flying and fell. I cut up my knees and both my hands. The staff saw me and just stood there. I was bleeding and not only hurt but embarrassed. I was finally able to track down the nurse to get it cleaned out and a Band-Aid. I knew that I was not broken; I was hurt but not broken. However, I did not expect to be treated like an idiot. The nurse looked at me and asked what it is that I wanted? I stated that I would like the cuts cleaned up as I am sure the floor was pretty dirty. She sighed and said “this is nothing, you will live”. Yea, I know I will live if I can get this cleaned up. Such disregard and disrespect.
I could handle the dirty rooms, the lack of food, but this is not advertised as it is. I would give this a 2 stars at best. I found the lack of concern or anything just wore me out. I did not like that still at 11 am there were used condoms and such on the beach, as maintance was usually off making money by selling coconuts to the guests. I would never go to this resort again and although it was close to everything, everything just was not worth it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

I just came from this resort. We really enjoyed it. We will be back next year!! They are so friendly.. The hotel is not a 5 star so don't expect that. It was nice neat and clean. We did different things every day the drinks where good we just had them make them strong for us and brought a big jug from the store.. Try this drink called in between the sheets omg the bomb!! Meet so many new people see y'all next year!! Apple vacations yes

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Don't believe all the negative reviews! There must be some very negative, picky people out there! First thing you must remember about this resort is that it is rated 3 and a half to 4 stars. So if you go in realizing this and not expecting 5 star quality you should be fine!!
i'll start with the positives. The girlfriend and I loved the food at the ala cartes and the buffet. there was always variety with changes to the buffet every day, and always some type of Jamaican cuisine on the menu, which we loved. The location was great, right on the beach, and only minutes to walk into town, with the mountains behind the resort and across the bay as well. The resort was large enough to offer different areas to hang out at, yet small enough to get from one area to another rather quickly. the cleaning staff were great and friendly. Our room was updated and clean, with a beautiful view of the mountains, and ocean, and yes we stayed in the north tower, not so sure why there are so many complaints about it. There were events and shows going on all day and night to keep the guests entertained! Staff in the buffet and ala cartes seemed very friendly and accommodating. There is also decent snorkling areas right at the resort. Oh, I cannot forget the wonderful jerk chicken that was available at the south beach grill EVERYDAY!!! mmmmm. we also had no problems booking our ala cartes, had to wait 10 minutes in line and then booked everthing for the week. The grounds were kept very clean with the staff constantly picking up eveyones mess.
The negatives: Few shaded areas by the pools and beach, and people claim the good spots early. however, you can always wake up early and beat them to it!! we did this a few times. The rooms can be noisy in the evening from the nightly entertainment, but usually only til eleven. however we found if we turned our tv on with the sleep mode timer on, it helped drown out the noise, problem solved! Some of the glasses are tiny, so we brought our own large insulated glasses, problem solved. Lines could get long at the bars as sometimes there is only one bartender, and they have to stop and clean there own glasses frequently as well, our large containers once again came in handy enabling us to make fewer trips to the bar. Also at times there was small line ups or no line up at all, so this wasn't always an issue. The bartenders did seem a little grouchy at times, although it is a demanding job and this is somewhat understandable. The ocean water had a fair amount of rocks and seaweed, so we wore our water shoes and we were fine.
So overall we were very happy with the resort and we seemed to find solutions to the small problems we had. We highly recommend this resort and would go back. Go in with an open mind and you should be fine!!

Room Tip: ask for a renovated room
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Orange County, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Started out by getting there and being downgraded from my beach cabana to a room on the 12 th floor. After talking to operations mngr he accomodated me the next day and I had my first floor cabana which I highly recommend you are on the far side of the resort where not to many people go to and you have beach, pool, restaurant and bar. Although rooms are small I didn't notice a smell or anything biggest bummer was only warm water not to hot at all. But the location is ideal for excursions, shopping and dining. And all beach amenities were up and running kayak, paddleboards and hobiecat. Food very mediocre but I expected that bar was always opea and not that long of a wait. Specialty restaurants a lil better but not much. Always felt safe and secure with my 15 yr old. Bed was comfy and was always made up promptly. All and all it was a good little
getaway.....

Room Tip: Upgrade to beachfront cabana elevators do take a long time during morning and afternoon rush. Also y...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Well I travelled here with my sister from April 7-14th......so we got back 2 days ago. The drive in from the airport took 1:45 mins which really could have taken 1:15 by the average person. We were given a room in the North Tower #753. The first night the music was on til 11:30 and we could not sleep through it as we were situated just about the Entertainment and Disco area. We asked to get moved and this took place 2 days later....to the South Tower #816. The room was not as dated. However, which ever Tower you stay in you are guaranteed to be waiting for elevators whether you're going up or you're going down !!
There is ALWAYS a line up at 4 of the outside bars. Always a line up for omlette's (? spelling) in the morning....so don't be in a rush for breakfast.
The grounds are not well kept and the whole area is dirty. I never saw them sweeping !! The air conditioning cannot be turned completely off and you are freezing while you sleep. There is no fan in the bathrooms either.
They do not offer water. You can buy a small or large at the store for 1.50 or 3.50$.
The Entertainment is very lame and does not start on time. If you want wine with your meals at the buffet then you have to ask for it - it is NOT offered.
They could certainly use more fans in the lobby area and the buffet. It would also be nice if they had a list of drinks they offered and what mixture they required. Their drinks are extremely strong so you will think they're great or ask them to 1/2 the alcohol. The coffee is strong - which they are proud of but I would have to ask them to do 1/2 coffee and 1/2 hot water. I know there's nothing positive here - but what can I say !!

In the afternoon you can eat in the main buffet area or the 2 outside grills. They are ALWAYS, either hamburger with fries or the 2nd one is ALWAYS jerk chicken with salad......every single day - day in and day out !! They do not open there Grill's on time. Like most places you have to put a towel out on a chair you prefer - bright and early and there are not alot of huts - they really need many more of those.

For some reason they allow locals to walk down the SMALL beach and try to sell us ANYTHING ! I DO NOT FEEL THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO WALK THE RESORT AREA. They are constantly harassing you. The pools are dirty....all of 3 of them. OMG cigarette butts and the package they come in.. There was a light to light up the pool at night HANGING by wires in a pool and I mentioned it to 3 people and it took 2 hours to have maintenance push it back in.

They say a life guard is on 9-5 - LIES! Sorry it does not happen.

Our deadbolt did not work in our new room so we hoped for the best that no strangers would try to barge in. Our toilet tissue holder was - um NOT THERE.

Well I could go on and on and on.....but I know you get the picture.

We would never recommend this place EVER !!

Room Tip: Low floors in either Tower as you will prefer to take the stairs. You can pay extra to stay in the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Goshen, CT
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I will preface this by saying that I don't like beach vacations in general, so perhaps read this review with that in mind. This hotel is a very large, budget priced, all inclusive resort. This sounded great and in some ways it is, the problem is you are then tied to whatever the place offers. Which in this case is at best mediocre. Drinks included, yay! But if you like beer all they have is red stripe and rs lite, and its served in 6oz juice cups so better ask for two at a time. The wine is literally undrinkable. I've had better vinegar. It comes in red or white, in what look like paper milk cartons. Frozen mixed drinks are available in abundance but better ask for extra rum as they're very weak otherwise. Also if you prefer at least half decent brands forget it, their booze is all strictly bottom shelf. I understand that this place is inexpensive but you get what you pay for. Food at the ala carte restaurants was good, and the buffet terrace food was serviceable if not notable - I've eaten at much better college cafeterias.

Service staff are very friendly, perhaps the best part of this place. Bartenders work hard and wait staff in the restaurants are great. Checkin staff were horrible. We arrived at 1 pm after a long trip from CT to find our room wasn't ready. By 5, despite repeated requests, it still wasn't ready and I had to threaten to cancel our stay and contact our credit card company to get it ready. That seemed to work. The checkin clerk on her computer next to the one I was speaking with was giving me little head bobs and obviously making fun of me, I let that twit have it. Almost left then but wife prevailed on me to let it go. Should have followed my instincts.

Once we got in our room it was ok. Think equivalent to a budget chain in the states. At this price point I was satisfied if not blown away. If you like to shower twice a day (which in this heat you may) make sure to ask for extra towels but be prepared for them not to be available. When we asked housekeeping they said they were out. Also the AC is barely adequate. My wife likes it cold, around 65 deg, and it was never able to get there.

The pool area is very nice, plenty of music and easy to get drinks. The beach itself is ok, but oddly enough it is bisected by a jetty on which the locals operate their own private tours and annoy the crap out of you trying to sell them (and of course other products). Its kind of like having a little of the Jamaica you're trying to avoid shoved in your lap. Stay away from that part of the beach. I'm still not sure why the hotel doesn't just buy this little spit of land. Maybe they can't.

If you want wifi access you are nearly out of luck. It is available in the lobby only and they charge $30/wk for it, and you have to enter the code they sell you each time you log in. Forget sharing it with your group as only one device at a time can log in with the code. I mean, come on guys, every crappy little motel 6 gives you free wifi in your room these days, even the independent restaurants in town have it. Very cheap decision on the part of the hotel.

Overall I have to say I am not enjoying this vacation. The price really suckered me in (paid less than $5000 for five of us in two rms including air from JFK). My mistake I guess because as noted above, you get what you pay for. If you're really restricted in your travel budget it's a good option, otherwise I'd say look elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

So ok, let's start off with the positive aspects. The bar and buffet staff was super nice and very helpful. Buuuutt, the rooms (In the south tower) weren't great looking and we found 4 roaches over our stay, two on the first night :(. The buffet was very, very lackluster and you have to be there before 10 to eat, which sucks if you plan to sleep in during your vacation. But no worries, the food was NOT spectacular..."Ok" at best. The omelet station was the best feature. So after you've missed breakfast, you have to wait until the grill opens at 11, it reminded me of my middle school lunch. Again, not terrible, but if you're hungry you will surely be disappointed. Oh, and there were 3 other roaches in the buffet area as well. So the jerk grill was really, really good chicken was prepared perfectly but it's only open between 12-2:30 so, yea.

When we alerted the front desk about the roach on the first day, they sent someone up to spray the room, the second time I demanded to speak to the manager. No one seemed particularly concerned although they were shocked to hear our complaints. The manager promised he would take care of the situation, we don't know what they did, cleaned the room I guess. Then they brought us two bottles of their cheapest champagne to our dinner haha, they tried. Anyway I wouldn't stay there again, and we will be posting a video of the roach we found by the mash potatoes on youtube. But again, the staff was great, especially the bartenders....beautiful beach and pool area, but them darn roaches.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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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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