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“Cultural crossroads in Ocho Rios” 4 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
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Cultural crossroads in Ocho Rios”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

It was a return visit to the Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios, via an Air Canada Vacations. After a few days of relax and unwind, It was meetings and workshops with Jamaican teachers. It is a great spot for a conference. I like the place, because it is familiar to me, Jamaican owned and has a variety of activities for all ages. There is also a good mix of "sun-seekers", West Indian tourists and conference goers. The all-inclusive includes drinks, and It is a place where I agree with another reviewer that you "never go hungry or thirstly". I also like the fact that it is in Ocho Rios, rather than an isolated enclave.....but that might be everyone's cup of tea, or "bottle of Red Stripe". I rated sleep quality as average, only because Saturday nights are a bit "jump-up" noisy. It was all around good value for the cost of the AC package.

bmmOttawa

Room Tip: South tower gives "ocean views" but the "far" side view is the hills and bay are...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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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PRINCE ALBERT
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We stayed at the Sunset for two weeks - there were both great and not so great things - among the best part of the stay was the lady at the Palm Dining room - the regular buffet - this lady made us feel like we were the only important clients there!!! - wow what a feeling - she knew what we liked, remembered what we drank etc - her name is Sonia Foster - if you go to the Sunset - ask to sit in Sonia's section - she is amazing and a credit to her profession. The room in the hotel was just OK - but then we didn't spend much time there. There is a very limited number of palapa's on the beach so when it was hot it was too hot to stay on the beach for long - the pools were great and we had a great selection of tours. The poorest part was the evening entertainment - all but did not exist - we were there late in the season - April so maybe that could account - all in all we enjoyed our time there!!

Room Tip: we stayed in the cabana - direct beach access - would definitely recommend it
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#15 Business 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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