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“so many wonderful things to do,see, eat....so little time!!” 5 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 #16 of 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
British Columbia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“so many wonderful things to do,see, eat....so little time!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2009

We stayed here March 10th thru 17th 2009, it is a great resort. First of all the checkin went smoothly, took some time but had punch to drink and lots to take in what with the open lobby concept and bar in lobby. Frontdesk staff very helpful, could not get safe lock or towel cards that night but first thing next morning went to front desk and got them. Reservations for the alacarte restaurants were 2 days wait but well worth it, best lamb ever in LaDiva, GingerLily had excellent seafood dish and we could not eat it all as portions were huge! SouthBeach was nice for the outdoor atmosphere and great food. Blue mountain coffee with rum cream and decadent desserts to top of an excellent meal at all three. Yes you had to wait in line each morning to get all three but we took turns; got a coffee, got to the lobby around 8 and had reservations by 8:45 - 9:00, while waiting we talked to other guests, got tips on what to do and see and pointers on the restaurants. The buffet had good food with lots of choice, I especially enjoyed the Jamaican corner, after all you are in Jamaica, try some of the ethnic specialities. There was oatmeal or cornmeal every morning, toast and breakfast breads. Pasta made fresh for you at dinner and omelets in the morning.There was a kids corner that served pancakes, french toast etc for breakfast, hamburgers, mac and cheese for lunch. There was a carving station but to tell the truth, I ate mostly from the jamaican corner and dessert table which had lots of choices. I loved Jamalious, we had Jamaican patties, pumpkin soup, fish soup, and Ting; the local special sparkling drink. It served ethnic food only. The grills in the south and north tower served jerk chicken, grilled fish and american food ei. hamburgers hotdogs pizza and chips. Every afternoon after snorkling we would get a plate of jerk chicken and a mug of red stripe, sit on the beach and have a relaxing lunch and soak in the sun. Oh to be there now!
We went on the little sail boats, after a lesson we could take it out ourselves, fun times.
The entertainment was above and beyond expectations. We watched them spend the whole day setting up the pirates and wenches party on Thursday, the beach party on Tuesday and an outdoor party where there was a bar and jerk station set up outside. A steel band played music, people danced and everyone enjoyed themselves. One night drummers came in; FANTASTIC!! Another night dancers entertained. We left the restaurants around 9 pm, went and changed then went to the north tower to check out the entertainment which went until 11 or so. We then got a drink and went and sat on the loungers on the beach and listened to the waves and hum of the night. We would go to our room and sit on the deck and relax to close the day. The room was big, clean (great housekeeping staff), lots of toiletries and hot water. Only thing missing was a fridge.
The bar staff were very entertaining and would mix up their special drink for you. Hummingbird is the drink to have when you don't feel to well the morning after.....Bob Marley for the brave of heart and rum punch........it has a punch. They have daily specials which are good to try. Tip: take a thermos cup of some sort, the drinks are served in small plastic cups, Red Stripe beer deserves a large mug, and the bar staff will mix you a drink in your own cup.
All in all I feel it was a great resort, lots to do, central location, 2 minute walk to market and town. If you feel adventourous go to the left when you come out of the resort but do be sensible. Don't follow the locals, as you could get yourself in some pretty tense situations.
I would go for 2 weeks next time, need more rest days! We did the Dunn's River Falls, fun fun fun. and the tree canopy zip line. That was a blast!
Go, have fun and come back wishing you could have stayed

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 (1,311)
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English first
alberta
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

the staff were friendly, and knowledge . the rooms weren't large but you don't spend alot of time in them anyway. the food was awesome and the entertainment was great.. it takes 2 mins to walk downtown and the locals are great..we plan to return soon!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Goose bAY
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2009

we stayed at the JG for 10 nights a very nice spot. Yes the rooms could use work, however, how much time do you spend in a room. There is so much to do. The Jamaican people on staff were wonderful especially Ricardo Henry, when he took us out on the (wind ship) as I call it, he was wonderful he totally understood my nervousness and was extremely careful, we had made a friend.What we really liked about the resort was the staff, you could have a very interesting conversation with almost all of them and they never forget your face .the people you meet working at the JG are very passionate about their Jamaica and rightly so. the resort had lots to offer and of course there are flaws, it is an all inclusive and it isn't a five star, but nothing a relaxed environment and a little sunshine couldn't take care of and of course a little red wine.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2009

Date of visit Feb 2-9, 2009.
My wife (57) and myself (50) were looking for a relaxing week at an all-inclusive with no hassles. We have visited numerous all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, Mayan Riviera, Puerto Vallarta, Dominican so I have lots of resorts to compare against.
I should preface the review by stating that the weather was far from ideal, dark clouds and strong winds 6 of the 7 days, this made a stay at an average at best resort very stressful.
ROOMS: In a word, dated. Stayed in the South (renovated ?) Tower, room 612. Had the neighbors from hell from UK across the hall. They insisted on slamming doors all day long, leaving at 07:00 or earlier with young children screaming in the hall. The bathroom had no fan, cracks in ceiling and tub,rust, and dirty ceiling tiles. Although, great water pressure. The balcony door was near impossible to open, needed all my strength to open it. At night with the wind howling, made it difficult to sleep. No fridge or mini-bar in room like most resorts in Cancun Mayan Riviera have.
RESTAURANTS: The buffet was very average. In the mornings, frequently would run out of bacon, little to no variety as far as fruit. No hostess to seat you, a free for all. At the dinner buffets, variety was lacking. Usually just one carving station, nothing special. I would highly recommend attempting to get a la carte dining reservations.
We found the service was very poor in the buffet area attempting to get a water or drink.
SPECIALTY DINING: All in all very good. We enjoyed the Ginger Lily and found the Italian very good as well. Went to outdoor South Beach one night, had to wait 30 minutes to get seated, the host seemed more interested in a table of young women.
The beach party was well done, starts at 630, don't be late as they will be out of food.
The South beach had a casual snack area open from 11-5, had jerk chicken on the meu but were out of it 3 of the 7 days. Good casual place for beach snacks and lunch.
Had lunch at Jamalicious once, actually found the food was the best of any for lunch.

Due to the cold weather, only went in the pool once, never did do the waterslide. Pool area is good, various pools on the north and south side. Had 2 hot tubs, supposedly 1 was for adults only, but always young kids splashing about.
The staff did a fairly good job of attempting to entertain the guest by the pool, was a challenge due to the bad weather.
I found the lobby area very dark when there was no sun. Mentioned this to the concierge, I thought it would be common sense to turn some lights on in the lobby area.
We will not return to this resort. We were also there in 1995 before renos were done to the pool and beach area. The level of service has gone downhill considerably. Too many hassles and very average service and food selection.
I would recommend heading to the Mayan Rivera, where they know how to do all inclusives well, especially Iberostar resorts.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
toronto
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

Ok so I realise that this review may be a little late, but I am one busy bee. I love to travel and I have been to Jamaica on countless occasions, but never have I stayed in a hotel there. We were 5 ppl and our age ranges were 15months to 54yrs old. It is always my duty to find the best flights and hotel accomodations. So of course I took to the tripadvisor website to look for the best hotel that would fit our variety in age. We needed a hotel that was baby friendly, but also accomodated a 15yr old and 20yr old, as well as the older adults. This resort was the perfect fit.

1)Huge! This Resort is soo big that there must have been places that we didn't get an opportunity to venture to, because of it's size. But we loved it! Every nook and cranny was nicely polished, taken care of, and although at times abandoned, it was still beautiful. I didn't imagine it to be as big as it was. I think there was something like 8 pools and many eating areas.

2)The welcome. I have been to many all-inclusive hotels that promise a beverage upon arrival and so forth, but none ever do. This hotel however did. They offered us some nice punch as soon as we came in and our suitcases were put on the trolley. The check-in process was a little lengthy but nice.

3) The rooms: They were regular rooms, not extravagant, but nice enough. All we really care about is a clean comfy bed to sleep on and a clean bathroom; and our needs were met. My sister had the baby and needed a crib as well as a fridge to keep the bottles in and they were brought up right away. Before we could even hang up the phone, there was a nice many with our crib and refridgerator. Our view was amazing as well.

4) Food: The food was good, but as buffets usually go; redundant. This wasn't a bad thing, but I am a picky eater so for every breakfast I had the same scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes and pancakes. (strangely enough, I lost weight, not gained)-Lucky.
But if you look hard enough, (not just at the typical North American food) you'll find some nice Jamaican dishes. I am of Jamaican descent and the food was pretty good, although I did not see any jerk pork :( disappointed me a bit. But definitely venture around the place and you can find food just about anywhere.

4) The staff: The staff for the most part were really amazing. Honestly I was surprised. As a Caribeno I know of the stigma that Jamaicans have; rudeness. And most of them were anything but. Very gracious, very helpful, talkative (in a good way) and enjoyable. It says on a sheet of paper once you arrive "do not tip the workers" as gratuity is given to them once you book your stay. However we did give a friend of ours some money. One staff member, she worked at the Jerk Hut by the pool, I did not like her too much. She wasn't rude to me, but was a little snippy with some people. I guess they weren't paying attention and she got upset, which is understandable, but regardless, I didn't appreciate that.

5) I am a person who likes to play in the waves, and this hotel didn't have that actually. Since they are in a bay. But it made do. I had to sacrifice one thing, but gained a whole lot. Even my 15month old nephew got to swim in the Caribbean sea!

I don't know what else to say, this place was a lot of fun. The water slides were fun, the entertainment at night was nice and the food great! I would definitely return to this hotel. In fact I'm thinking of bringing some more family members next time.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2009

Myself and my partner (who is Jamaican) have been to Jamaica several times and as a treat we decided to book ourselves into the Grande! We usually stay self catering down the road for £50/night! Anyway the entrance and setting of the hotel is lovely but it is a let down. The food wasn't to my taste however the restaurants (Italian & Chinese) were quite nice. The staff were friendly although more so to my partner than myself?!?! All in all the hotel is ok but in my opinion over priced and in need of a little face lift!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Mississauga
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

I will keep this review brief because you have all heard it before on TripAdvisor - you get what you pay for at this resort. My biggest "beef" with SJG is the food - too much repetition - bland and boring. The a la carte restaurants are great, but obviously a marketing ploy as you have to book 2 days in advance - which is ridiculous considering every night there were empty tables that could have been used.

My parents had been to this resort several times - they enjoy it because of its location and that has nothing to do with the Resort itself. We never had any problems with noise or with pests in our rooms. The beach was ok and the activities were ok. If your purpose is to just lie by the beach all day - this resort is great...anything beyond that...forget it - best to go to Negril - better sunsets (in the winter months anyways).

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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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