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“Not great but ok...” 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 #17 of 39 hotels in Ocho Rios
Muscle Shoals, alabama
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Not great but ok...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

We have just returned home from a week at Sunset Jamaica Grande. First of all, let me say that we had a nice vacation at SJG. SJG has some great amenities.So, if you have already booked this property don't panic over all the bad reviews. The pools are great and the location is close to many of the attractions. However, if I had the opportunity to vacation again in Jamaica, I would book at a different property and probably not in Ocho Rio. Here is a breakdown of the resort:

Location: SJG is in downtown Ocho. (which is not a great area) It is located 7 miles from Dunn's Falls and Dolphine Cove. You can see Myjestic Mountain from the hotel. The side of north tower is located on the ocean and the front faces a cove/bay area. The South tower faces the cove/ bay.

Ocean/ Cove: The ocean is beautiful. There is a sea wall around the ocean so you can not enter the water. (rocky area... No sand) There is a sidewalk, grassy area and chairs. The swimming and beach area is in the cove. The beach area is narrow and swimming areas are marked. The beach area is man made. This was a little disappointing but the surprising and most disappointment was the sugar factory in the cove area. The building is rusty and very unattractive. Also, the Carnival cruise ship parks in the cove which completely blocks the view to the ocean. Luckily, the ship only docks once a week during the summer months.

Lobby/WiFi: The lobby is opened to the outside which is very nice. The furniture is weathered and the cushions are faded and many are torn. There is a bar and slot machines along with a setting area in the lobby. Wifi is available at a fee in the lobby area only. The cost for Wifi is $30.00 a week.

Room: We requested a room in the south tower based on reviews from tripadviser. Our room was a oceanfront with a balcony. From the balcony, we had a view of the bay/ocean, south side pool, parking lot, mountains, and downtown Ocho. It wasn't the view a wanted.....I thought I would get to see the ocean but surprising we did enjoy look at the mountains. We tried to make the best of it. The room was definitely a 3 star room. The bathroom was the worst part of the room. The bath tub was refurbished and the paint was peeling badly. But the room was clean and we did not spend a great deal of time in the room.

Pools: The pool areas were the high point of the resort. The party pool with Crazy Chris was fun to watch. My child enjoyed the waterside. There is a pool for every mood. If you want to relax, go to the south. There is 2 pools with bars. A pool with waterfalls. Pools open at 9 and close at 6.

Food: Breakfast is probality the best meal of the day at the buffet. There are 3 places to eat lunch. The grill (hamburgers, hotdogs, and cheese sandwiches). It was ok but not great. South grill had jerk chicken and salad. The chicken was tasty. Buffet was just ok. At dinner, there are 4 restrauants. Our favorites were the LaDive and Terrance. We didn't like the other choices. You need a reservation to eat at alll the restrauants except for the buffet. We made a reservation for the week on the first day of our vacation. The only time we were not able to make a reservation was for the first night. The restrauants were full and we ate at the buffet. It was ok and we were so tried we didn't care and glad we didn't have to dress up for dinner.

Staff: Staff was friendly and cooperative.

Excursions: We went on 2 excursion. One was booked on Bookit.com and the other at the resort. I wouldn't recommend booking excursions through bookit.com. The phone numbers were wrong and the staff at tour booths had to help locate the tour company. The other was through hotel tour company. Be careful with your tours, our driver told us that a tourist was killed by a local during a horseback excursion. They went with someone from the town trying to get a good deal.

Night Life: We didn't enjoy shows at night and didn't attend the disco.

Jamaicans/ locals: Basically, they are pushy and will not leave you alone. Locals are allowed on the beach area and will try to sell you items, jewelry, tours and drugs. The resort staff said that they will try to give you an item and if you touch it, they will demand for you to pay for it. Use caution!

Room Tip: When visiting Jamaica book an all inclusive hotel if you are not familiar with the area. It would b...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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 (1,273)
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English first
Springville, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

Let me start by saying that our room was nice and very clean - nothing spectacular, but quite comfortable. The people that work at the resort are awesome - all very friendly and helpful. The beach is quite nice and the pools are good. In addition, they do have a really fun dj that plays poolside in the afternoon which we really enjoyed. My biggest complaint is regarding the dining situation. The buffets are good with a nice selection that was quite tasty, but we were also looking forward to eating in one of the various restaurants for dinner during our stay. When we tried to make reservations for the week upon our arrival, either the restaurants were completely booked or the only time that you could get was 9:00 which is way too late for me to eat dinner. Also, when the buffet restaurant is closed, your only options between meals are either the grill that serves only hamburgers, hot dogs, or grilled cheese sandwiches and fries. Although some people may find these foods appealing, I would have loved a healthy option. The exercise room was small and open for limited hours. I think that if you have a family, this resort is a good deal. Overall, we had a good stay, but if I return to Jamaica, I will choose somewhere else

Room Tip: Room in the South Tower are newer than the ones in the North tower.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

If you like Jamaican food this is the place. The traditional food was very good. There were many native Jamaicans staying at the resort who also raved about the traditional Jamaican food. The other food was fine just not high quality. Its a Jamaican resort so they should excel at Jamaican food. My son loved the afternoon french fries and ice cream at the burger/ hot dog grill. The south beach grill had the best tasting food overall. Sonia Foster and Cruise in the dining room provided excellent service while dining at the buffet. The two bartenders at the bar located outside of Ginger Lillies were the two nicest people I met at the resort. I wish I could remember their names because they deserved to have a special mention. She was a slightly older woman and he was a younger man and combined they really set the standard for service and guest relations.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

From the first day I got there, I was catered to in the line. Offered drinks, an unlimited amount of food. Very cozy rooms and TOO many activities and fun things to do. I WILL DEFINITELY come back here, as the service is AMAZING!....I had the luxury of having a candle light dinner, and I must say, waiter Michael Palanchie offered more than I have ever experienced in my life. Definitely a Perfect resort for families, lovers and even just friends. The club, the water slide, the pools, the beach, the volleyball and the daily DJ by the pool.

I recommend this hotel 100%. You will love it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

I have recently just come back from staying at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Ocho Rhios hotel. I have to say I was very impressed with the professionalism of the staff; they were very friendly and accommodating and always had a smile. There were two particular members of staff that stood out for me Marcello and Andre who worked in the restaurant. They were willing, helpful and very approachable and they should be commended for their first class service they provided. I would definitly recommend the hotel to others, however I would have to say that the hotel could do with a face lift as I found some areas needed a coat of paint. The hotel should also focus more on the vegetarian options that they serve as I struggled slightly. Apart from that a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Laurel, Maryland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Where do I start??
1.) Check-in is hell. I got there @3pm which would give me maybe 30 mins to check in and 30 mins to get changed in my room for my cousins wedding. I walk up to the desk ID in hand and the lady @ the desk tells me I needed a printed voucher to check in. This was not sent in the confirmation email. Apparently they need the paper (killing trees) to show "Them" that I actually checked in. I tried to give the first front desk attendant my name and she said no I needed to go to Cust Svc to get it printed and come back. Went to CV they said I had to buy internet for $5/hr to get it and print it off but there is no computer/printer around. She gave me an email dbennett@SUNSETJAMAICAGRAND.jm.com that did not work. I went back to the desk to have some tall guy name started with an O to ask me for my name (didn't I ask for that before?). I gave him my name and lo and behold I was found. I waited another 5 mins before he walked to the back to come back out 5 mins later to tell me that my reservation had been put in for May 9-10...HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! Thankfully he got it cleared up...still late for the wedding though.

2.) The room!! OMG THE ROOM....Generally clean but....the door to the balcony could barely open. I literally had to pull on it like I was doing tug-o-war. The area around the door handle on my room door was warped and falling off. The drop tiles in the bathroom was warped moldy and falling out. The sink cracked everywhere and dirty looking. The phone couldn't even call the front desk with the preset buttons and when I dialed manually NO ONE ANSWERED.

3.) I come back to the hotel @ 1am after the wedding and asked to be connected to my godsisters room and told the guy that I am a guest and my things were in her room I just wanted the room # so I could go up there. He called the room instead and the phone DID NOT WORK! It took 3 tries for her to hear my voice...on a landline phone.

4.) I know there is one cook @ the late night grille but when you give my food away to other people who just walked up and I've been standing there waiting for 20 mins I will be pissed. I even said to him that I had been waiting forever and ...ignored.

5.) The hallways were dank and hot and moist.

6.) The Jamaican breakfast was barely decent. I see why the patrons eat off campus.

7.) Security is a joke. You stop me at the gate to ask why I am coming in and ask my name but write down my name in the middle of your hand?! Really?! Thankfully JA doesn't have any enemies cuz that place would be an easy pass through for an attack. Then some dude (no name tag/uniform to identify who he is) tells me as Im walking away from my car that they cant park there....WELL TELL THE PERSON BEHIND THE WHEEL IM ON FOOT!

8.) If you don't take off your wristband you get charged....but you never cut mine off when I checked out. You think you're slick.

This is why when I go to JA I hate staying at resorts. I'd rather stay at my dad's house.Thank GOD it was only one night. This place needs a total overhaul. Whoever owns those timeshares please I beg you. Demand that they fix this place up you're going to lose your investment. All the money you're putting in is going to waste. Go to RIU or Runwaway Bay H.E.A.R.T Hotel OR something. I know it's more money but you get what you pay for. Unnu ah dash weh yuh money.

Room Tip: Good room? HA!
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 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
    • 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.
Omaha, Nebraska
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Let me start off by saying, when we don't go with the kids, we stay at one of the major resorts (sandals, couples, etc.). So if you are looking to compare this resort to one of them, don't, pay the extra and go there. If you are looking to enjoy your time with the family at a much more affordable price, yet still enjoying an all inclusive resort, this fits the ticket. Between the two families, the kids ages are 8,10, 11, 12.

We arrived and check in when real smooth. We got a key for the safe in the room and there was no deposit. We got assigned the North Tower, knowing now that isn't the nicer of the two, but felt the rooms were very acquitted. Typical Caribbean resort style of room. We felt lucky to get adjoining rooms with our friends.

Pools: All the pools were very clean and well maintained. Both swim-up bars were well staffed and served both us and kids in a timely manor. Water slides were fun for the kids and adults the same, but most the time only one or the other were open. Pools closed at 6 pm every night, which was ok because we adjourned to the beach anyway to watch the sun set. Always a pool chair open anywhere you went.

Beach: Very well maintained and no seaweed. Water was nice temperature and clear with very few waves. Hotel is in a great location if you like the beach. The reef keeps the waves very small. Kayaks and Hobby Kats were free to rent and you could get one pretty quickly. Dewitt at the water sports shop was great to work with and made us feel like family.

Snorkeling: The best snorkeling is really right by the hotel around the rocks. We saw all kinds of fish, rays, and coral. We paid for a trip to the reef, saw different coral, but not really work the price. Around the rocks was perfect for the kids and we did it several times a day.

Food: Isn't something worth complaining about because I never walked away full, but not craving any one thing that I will miss. I will say the best food is the jerk chicken, served on the south beach every day from noon to 3pm. Other than that, the Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner buffet was all that was needed for the kids. We did one of the sit down meals one night and wish we didn't. Kids, want pool, beach, smoothies, beach, beach, pool, and maybe food. In that order. Wasn't worth their time to sit for 2 hours just to eat. The north Beach grill kept you tied over with Hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. Nothing great, but once again, food with kids ins't always a high priority. If you want a nice sit down meal, you might be disappointed.

Drinks: Always good once you find the one that you like. Try them all. Plenty for the kids to drink as well, plus pop was always available and self serve. Cups for some reason were always a shortage, so we brought our own. Worked out great; they were larger and needed less trips.

Staff: I love Jamaicans people. Every one was very kind. I found out by talking, this isn't one of the higher paying resorts for the help, but they all took pride in their job, never expecting a tip, but very thankful if one was given.

Exertions: Ask around and talk with the help. They will give you the best advice. We found a cab driver that would take us to the falls, wait for us, and bring us back for $30. Next day take day you pick us up and took us to the white water rafting for $40. Ocho is a safe place and don't feel you have to stay on the resort.

I have been coming to Jamaica off and on for over 20 years. I'll say it over and over again, the people make Jamaica as great as it is. Unlike many other places, Jamaicans don't want a 'hand out', they want to work for you and get paid a fair price. You may not be interested in what they have to offer, but respect should be given and a NO THANK YOU will usually do the trick.

Room Tip: South tower is newer.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 5
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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