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“Clean, comfortable but it is the staff that really makes the resort” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort

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Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   * The resort will be closed until March 2015, when it will reopen as a Palace Resort * | P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Winnipeg
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Clean, comfortable but it is the staff that really makes the resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

I stayed at this resort for five days last week while presenting at a workshop. It was my third time there. I stayed in an ocean-view room in the south tower.

Check-in was fine, although there was a little mix-up with the online check-in. Apparently when you check in online, you need to print the form when you do so, and bring it with you. That being said, they still gave us our half hour of free wifi, and no worries with our restaurant reservations as those were being taken care of by the AC Vacations rep.

Our rooms were ready upon arrival around 3:30 pm. When I got upstairs, I discovered some water dripping from the air conditioning vent. I called downstairs and someone was there within 5 minutes. It turned out someone had left the balcony door open, which causes condensation. This was explained, fixed, and one fellow went to get a mop to clean up, even though there wasn't much water on the floor at that point. Better service than I have gotten in other places when there was a problem by far.

The room was basic, but clean and functional. I was on the ninth floor facing the water, and yes, it did look out over the roof of the facilities below, but I still got that breathtaking view of the Caribbean every morning. The bed was fine - much better than the one I had in Brussels a couple of weeks earlier - and the room was kept clean. Water pressure in the bathroom was great and there was never a problem with hot water. The room came with a small walk-in closet, iron and ironing board, tea kettle, alarm clock, and small fridge. The only issues with the room were that it did face the side where the evening entertainment happened, so while I was well away from the disco, the evening entertainment went on until 11 pm and was loud. This likely would not be an issue for someone on holiday, but as I was working, it did keep me up longer than I would have liked. The other issue was kind of odd. When I arrived, there was no bath mat, but lots of towels. After the first day, a floor mat arrived, but the hand towel disappeared never to be seen again. No worries - this is Jamaica and I just used a wash cloth which was always replaced.

Bar service (when I had time) and meal service was fine. The servers in the buffet work very hard and I never had to wait for tea in the morning or water or drinks with other meals. There is a line-up for the omelet station, but it never took more than 10 minutes to get through it and there are lots of other options if one doesn't want to wait. I love a fresh omelet, so I waited. Food was plentiful, and reasonably good - as with any buffet, there are some things they do better and some things that just don't do well in a buffet setting. The lunches and evening meals were fine - there is always a choice of meats, fish, salads, fruit, and the dessert section is guaranteed to help you put on weight. Service was always very friendly, with servers greeting you with a smile and a cheery good morning or hello.

We did manage to try three of the four specialty restaurants. For some reason, the Grand Terrace was not listed as an option for us, so we didn't get in there. My favourite has always been the Italian place and this time was no exception. Both food and service were comparable to fine dining in lots of places in the world. And the wine in the specialty restaurants is a little better than what is available in the buffet (where it is not even palatable.) We also had very good meals in the Ginger Lily and South Beach restaurants. I love the South Beach because you are outside and because the food is more local.

I only spent a short time swimming one morning, so can't comment on all of the beach areas, but this resort is not one to come to for the beach. The pools seem to be lovely and well-used, and there is so much pool space that you should be able to find quiet if that's what you want, or fun if that is more your taste. I can't comment on activities or stuff for children as I was working most of the time I was there. It is a short walk from the resort into Ocho Rios. To the right as you leave the resort are the tourist areas and craft market, and to the left is the area where locals shop. One other thing I would highly recommend is getting off the resort for a tour or two, and not necessarily just the Dunns River Falls tour. The last time I was there we took a tour to a coffee plantation in the hills, and we also did a tour to see Noel Coward's home, Firefly, as well as a fruit plantation. Both tours were really interesting and a chance to see a less touristy side of Jamaica.

As I noted in my header, the staff here was always friendly. It was rare to pass someone anywhere in the resort without them greeting you, and the service from the restaurants to the bars (especially the lobby bar) to the front desk to my one visit to the towel hut was always friendly. I am not sure what happened with the folks who have reviewed this resort and noted unfriendly staff, as we never encountered this.

To sum up, if you are looking for luxury, then pay the money and go for it, but if you are looking for a comfortable, friendly resort where you can soak up the sun, I can recommend the Sunset Jamaica Grande.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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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 (1,310)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Biloxi, Mississippi
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Room was in the worst shape of any resort I've ever visited!!..The air conditoner was leaking from the ceiling, bathtubs were full of scum, mold was all over the walls, the sheets were dirty..The smell was just horrible!!..I ended up getting hospitalized after coming back to the states for a severe upper respiratory infection.. This was most likely due to sleeping in this moldy room..Beware!!..The rooms look nothing like the pictures that are advertised..The only nice thing about this resort was the beautiful beaches...I do not recommend this resort to anyone

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Alberta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This was not my first trip to Jamaica, but it was the first trip to Ocho Rios. I have since been to this hotel twice, and would go back again for sure.
My favorite part of this hotel is the layout of the hotel and the pools. I am not a big "pool" person, but I like the fact that no matter where you are in the hotel, there is a pool close by.
The beaches are wonderful, and I like how they have floating rings that you can relax on. I was there in July 2012 and January 2013, in January the rings were not out, but it is an extra bonus. The rooms were nice, both times I had the exact same room just on different floors, and they were the same, other than a few wicker pieces of furniture. The staff is really nice. On our second trip there a lot of the staff recognized us and gave us the special treatment and we were able to partake in a returning guest dinner, which was fabulous! It fell on our last night there, so it was a great way to end the trip.
The food was good, nothing too crazy good, although I do love the jerk chicken....but doesnt everyone when they go to Jamaica! A few changes have taken place since my first trip, but everything was great! We LOVE the italian restaurant and their bread!! Sooo delicious!
Everything at this hotel was great! Although it is very family friendly, my fiance and I were still able to have 2 very romantic trips together :)

Room Tip: I stayed in the south tower both times, and it was great! Never did get to see the other tower, so I...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brantford, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

The ride from the airport is long! They will stop for beer if you want but it takes almost 2 hrs. The hotel is large and food is good. We never went hungry or thirsty. The waterslides were closed almost the whole time we were there. Beach is nice but lacked chairs! Smaller beach has so much grass and sea urchants. Water shoes are a must! We went on the snorkeling and Dunns river falls tour. Snorkeling was the best, we seen so many awsome things. Dunn river was good to but they are pushy and always trying to get you to buy the video. Also when you are travelling to the boat docks before and after the excursion they stress to stay together dont be alone. Not very comfortitng! T he worst thing to do is go to the markets and shops! People outside are VERY pushy to the point of feeling unsafe. I would only recommend this hotel to people who want to lay around all week. The rooms are also small, we stayed in the large tower and had great views of the cruise ships and the back alley.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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St. Catharines, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We read many reviews and found it very helpful, so here’s ours, we stayed for a week
arriving Mar 6 and travelled with Air Canada vacation as they were able to guarantee
a renovated room which I read was important. The bus ride is 2 hours and our driver
was very informative explaining the island’s history and also stopped part way for drinks,
which I thought was great. Check in was quick and hopefully your room was in the south
tower and on the ninth floor or higher as advised by other reviews which ours was and
we up graded to an ocean front room when we booked our vacation, I think it was worth it.
Again with advice from trip advisor it was noted that getting to know the staff and treating
them with respect would be in your best interest and they were right, no different than how
you want to be treated when you go back home to your own job. SJG does have some
exceptional staff that go over and beyond their job requirements and if you’re fortunate
like we were we found Sonia on our first morning. She always had our table ready, both
breakfast and lunch, greeted us with a smile and after the first day she knew our favorite
beverage and had it waiting when we sat down, it always started our day right. The food
at the buffet and ala cart restaurants was good, there was a lot of variety as tourist from
all over the world have different tastes so it would be difficult to please everyone, but I
found the breakfast buffet with the custom omelet bar the best.
With it being March break it was busy, and I have to say that the students that week were
entertaining and respectful which was nice to see. I noticed they like to drink and so do I which
created some alcohol shortages at times but was soon fixed. The grounds staff were always
busy which showed as the pools and property was always clean. There’s a lot of things
to do and many nearby attractions, one that we did and would recommend is the Dunn’s River
trip, it was fun and make sure you wear the proper bathing suit as the water can be aggressive
at times and cameras are rolling. It was a great week and can’t wait to go back next year
with our kids.

Ken and Pam

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Thomas, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I visited this resort for a wedding that was being done for a friend of the family. There were 21 of us total for the wedding. The trip to the hotel is by bus which takes about 1.5 hrs from the Montego airport. The driver was a very good tourist guide telling us about the area and island for us who have never been like me. I know of someone who has been to the resort before and gave me a heads up. He told me it is family owned resort and you will be welcome with open arms. Well it was different from what happened to him and us. I was not treated like that, but was treated like any other guest. The check in people were very professional in every way they are expected to. They were very busy at the time too, There is a $100 hold on your credit card for the room safe key and towel card. The wrist band is also has charge on it until it is cut off when you get back on the bus. You can keep it after it is cut off if you want. The room I got was an ocean view and town view which was okay. I only slept in the room anyways. The room was quite nice with a nice decorated towels on my bed. They changed everyday during the week. I had 3 cleaning ladies during the week and each of them did their job well. There are rules that have to be followed when leaving them tips and gifts so they don't get into trouble by security. leave a note with the gifts and leave the money on the pillow. Their purses are checked everyday when they leave for your protection. I gave the money to them when I saw them in person so they got the money. The bars are all over the place. They weren't all open at the same time. I think it has to with how much business there was. This was my only complaint is the staffing levels of the bars. I have stayed in Cuba and there were alot of staff at peak times. This didn't happen at this resort. There were long waits for drinks as they only had maybe two bar tenders, but most of the time 1 person serving drinks. I found out that a corporation bought the resort not long ago and they have gone real cheap on labour. I noticed no maintenance people around working in the resort. One of the basketball nets was broken for days. I also noticed that in less busy areas where people can tan or get some quiet time, there were holes from steel pipes in the ground. Kids could have got hurt or the odd tipsy adult. The cots were put on top of those holes instead of capping them off. Maintenance guys could easy take care of that. The holes are off the sidewalk east of the burger shack near the water front. The restaurants were very good. We had the Italian for the wedding party. The buffet is amazing too for all three meals during the day. the burger shack is reopened at 10 pm for those late night munchies till 200am or so. The wedding was put on once the details were finalized. They advertized free weddings on-line. Well it wasn't that free for your information. My friend's parents ended up forking out a bit more money and had to fight for a few more things to have happen. The view of the area is nice especially at night time in the distance.
In town is an experience for those looking for something to bring back. Us guys bought Red Stripe in town cause the resort didn't have the draught tasting that great. We paid anywhere from $1 a bottle at the duty free near the pier where the cruise ships came in to $4 for the single bottles walking down the street buying them from the vendors. There were a few places selling them for $2. The street vendors I found to be very desperate to me after a few days. I bought what I wanted and not needed. I had a dollar figure in my head what I wanted to spend. I found some stuff was cheezy and repetitive. Everyone sells the same stuff, so it comes down to price. The line that came out alot to me is it is free! but leave me something and I made it myself. I eventually told them when do you have time to do that when you are here because I saw the same thing at the other side of town. You have to bargain with all the time and they will. Show in your hand what you want to spend and that is it. Don't make the mistake of pulling out more money and then put half of it away. They aren't stupid when you show a $10 bill and say that is all you have when they clearly saw alot more than that in your hands. When you are in town, you are quite safe. There are tourist officials all over the place who are actually security too. There is also private security and police especially when the boats came in. Me as a single guy was approached by several guys over the week trying to sell me whatever I wanted. I don't touch drugs at all and told them I can't because of my job requires me having randoms. They backed off and never bothered me after that. If you do say yes watch out cause sometimes it becomes a set-up and the undercover cops come and take you away because a easy it is to get, it is very illegal there too. We as a group did Dunn's Falls excursion and loved it. You must have water shoes which can be rented. There are many other excursions that can be done which is explained by your tour rep when you are at the hotel. Over all my experience at the resort was a good one. You can relax and do nothing or get involved with the entertainment that the resort puts on everynight. The food and drinks were very good other than the beer on tap. The workers in the hotel and restaurant took the time to acknowledge me and my friends whenever they walked by us. I will come back again, but only when I have someone to come with. Being single on this trip was okay, but with the amount of stuff you can do, I would like to share it with someone else next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We stayed at the sunset from the 16th to the 26th of april. The only reason I give it a 3* review is because I can't give it a 2 1/2* cause that is all it really deserves. It is quite obvious from the minute you check in that the resort is dirty and in complete diseray. As a business owner myself it is easy to see that the owners of this resort have no interest in making any improvements in anyway. Which is why the majority of the staff that work there take no interest in even being there themselves. The food at the buffet is average at best and the ala cartes were only slightly better, breakfast was good, but after trying the buffet and the ala cartes we decided to eat out everyday. Thank god we were close to the city as was easy to get to the different restos in Ocho Rios. Daytime activities consisted of a childrens treasure hunt in the morning and name that tune in the afternoon with a DJ playing music thats it nothing else. Like the rest of the staff, the entertainment crew wanted nothing to do with the guests. The bar staff made you feel like they were doing you a favour when you wanted a drink, even when you tipped them, which by the way I do for each drink I order. The pools were vaccumed in the morning yet the water was cloudy and dirty, thus leading me to believe that they did not have the chlorine to add. The evening entertainment was a complete joke as it consisted of second rate hasbeen night club singers most everynight. So evenings became quite boring unless you were willing to venture off the resort and run the gauntlet of drug peddlers along your way. I do have to give a positive mention to Sonia Foster in the dinning room she was great and I hope that the other higher quality resorts in the area read this as she is working in a resort way below her qualifications. In summary we did have a great vacations but that was because we had great weather and we enjoyed the excusions that we were able to do. This is a second rate hotel with owners who have no interest in operating in a matter that is condusive to creating customer satisfaction. Thus I can in all good faith say that if you are considering booking at this resort, DON'T, and if you have already booked........ hope that you have good weather, and get out and about town as much as you can.

Room Tip: Without a boubt choose south tower.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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: * The resort will be closed until March 2015, when it will reopen as a Palace Resort * | P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa 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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