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“A total disgrace 2 star!” 2 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
Scotland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A total disgrace 2 star!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

This is our 3rd time to Jamaica and our 3rd hotel, we like a change first time we stayed in a 5 star the second, Sandals 5 star pluss. On arrival we had a smooth check in which took about 10 minutes the porters were their to take us to our room I had requested a lower room with a resort or sea view, and got to 302 opened the door OK it wasn't 5* but it looked clean, opened the balocony door and was hit by the smell of detergent looked out and I was looking onto a massive air conditioning unit. I didn't get unpacked, just got back into the lift and went and met my Thomas Cook Rep, told her I wanted moved that was no problem to Sancha who went to the manager and got the key to 607, went into room same standard as before but on opening the patio door I was looking onto a concrete roof and nothing more. Went back to reception and Sancha had left but spoke to the deputy manager who said I would have to pay to upgrade to get a view of the resort or the ocean. I refused this request and asked her to call Sancha as I wanted moved to another hotel as I hadn't paid 3K to look at concrete, spoke to Sancha on the telephone who said she would speak to the manager. 15 mins later I was handed the key to room 1403 without paying for an upgrade. Walked into room which had just been renovated, with Plasma TV and fridge, ok so it hand now taken me 2 hours to get a room that I had paid for. The maids were great and the room was cleaned to a high speck with towels changed daily and bedding every 2 days. The food on the first week was ok and we had no problems booking any of the restaurants. On the second week the grill had nothing but chicken and fish (no steaks), the Chinese closed for refurb and the Italian if you could call it that was disgusting. The main hall for diner ran out of most foods daily even simple foods like cheese was a no go. Entertainment was a joke you could bet on snail or crab races if you like that kind of thing, apart from that it was non existant. The hotel leaves alot to the imagination but if you are going ask for the 14th floor which is nearly what you have paid all that money for.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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wiltshire
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2009

this place had really gone downhill since i last stayed there ten years ago. The only saving grace was the south beach grill and the La Diva restaurants. Well done to those teams of chef that made the whole experience a little better than a total disaster. This hotel is not a four star anymore and i think it s rated too high still in the brochures. And that horrible mouldy smell in the rooms. Yuck!
They only had one music tape which played on the hour every hour. Mind numbing.
The surrounding shopping areas are great if you can cope with the hassle from street vendors etc. Next time i am off to Negril. Let me know if this place changes hands again with someone that can restore the splendour this place once had. Cess x

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2009

The hotel was in a great location, but be prepare to be harrassed by sellers at the market. The hotel was close to the clubs, close to the shopping, and close enough to the areas where the locals stay that you can get the true experience of real jamaican life. Dunns River Falls and other attractions are also not far from the resort. The hotel is about hour and 15mins from Mobay and about and hour and a half from Kingston. In terms of the room, it can definitely stand to be upgraded. I stayed in the main building on the 14th floor. There was one baby roach that we saw in the room when we first arrived but that was the only one I saw the entire trip. I had a great view of the beach and the countryside from my balcony- it was gorgeous. The hotel was located on the beach, which was also a great thing!! The security at the hotel was also a great thing. The food...wow what can I say about the food? It could definitely have been better and more of selection for those that don't eat pork or red meat. The dessert buffets were always great. I would stay at this resort again, provided that the price was right.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2009

My husband and I booked an ocean front room and upon arrival were given a sea view room. We complained and were told that all the ocean front rooms were booked out and to check back the next day. Our Virgin rep looked into the matter and we were offered an "upgraded room" to the cabana wing. OMG! It had great views of the ocean but the room was 2* not 4*. The decor was out the 1970s, the bathroom was moldy with broken tiles and stains all over the floor and we even had 3 resident lizards! Nice! The aircon didn't work properly and the fridge was broken. Great start!

Food - this was ok. Ginger Lily and La Diva were nice - good service but limited choice of food.

South Beach Restaurant was terrible! We ended up going to the buffet later that night.

The two grills served very limited choice and the buffet was the same food every night - ok but nothing great.

Entertainment - the entertainment staff tried hard to please - all in all not bad. Plenty of things to join in if you wanted to.

Staff - most had a "couldn't be bothered attitude", front desk were appalling (except Sanique who was most pleasant). The bell boys and bar staff were great tho (Hi to Clayton - howz the back up??!)

The grounds were very nice - clean and tidy and well kept.

Another huge let down was that every time you went out the hotel, either to town or on a trip you were pestered and nagged by the locals to buy their wares. We found this very intimidating. Yes, I appreciate that they are trying to make a living but I'm sure if they just smiled and said hello you would be more willing to go into their shops to check the stuff out but they nearly drag you in and then corner you by putting things in your hand. Not nice.

IWould I go back? Not in a million.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2009

Reason for visit: son and DIL wanted a wedding in Jamaica, but due to economic reasons they decided to marry in the States, and have a religious ceremony in Jamaica. More about that in my trip review. Enough to say ceremony was beautiful and our group of 12 were very happy.
The hotel: Our group arrived at various times on 9/2/09 and none had a problem with check in. Everyone at front desk was very professional and willing to help with "special requests". Our group had requested to be in the South Tower and Cabana rooms, and that is where we were placed. As most of us were early we asked could we use the facility to change clothes and enjoy the beach and bar. Aha, the answer was yes. We watched a group of "grumpies" complain about how long it took to check in, etc. etc. etc. and I thought what a waste of time and energy. You are on vacation so enjoy yourself.
Rooms were clean, airconditioned, running water, and most of our group were ok with their accomodations. One exception was the couple in the cabana room...no airconditioning. moved to oceanfront room. As heads of the clan (LOL) my husband and I had a 1 bedroom suite. Nice utilization of space. Seperate sitting room, 2 baths, looks like two seperate rooms connected. Nice gathering space for group.
Food was ok. Buffett was nice in the early morning. After about 9 am the thundering hordes appear and the complaints are loud about "not enough this, not enough that". Not true. The food tables were kept supplied, but folks still had to complain.
All in all a good value for the money. Great place to vacation with the kids.
Lee Tours provided all transportation for our group and they were great. Also I asked the front desk clerk if we could remove our wristbands prior to leaving for the ceremony because we were going to take a ton of photos and did not want bands to show. She said if we all came together to the front desk she would remove them for free and reattach when we returned. It was a painless procedure and we all thanked her.
No problems with the cats in the restaurant...elevators were slow, but a lot of folks looked as if they would benefit from using the steps. Food in speciality restaurants was good and service was competent. Always enough towels for everyone and no problems with housekeeping.
Cons: need some work on the approach to the resort. Curb appeal counts. Maintenance is a little slack in the public areas. Beachfront landscaping needs to be attended to. Management should think of adding a venalition system in hallways. Air is very stale...ganja..old perfum...cheap cologne....food...other unidentified smells.
Employees: all were courteous, professional and helpful with the exception of the SURLY, SARCASTIC, BAD ATTITUDE CLERK IN THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE OFFICE.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2009

My sister and I just returned from a 6 night stay at The Sunset Jamaica Grande on 9/6/09. We have stayed at this hotel on many occasions since it was 2 separate hotels back in the 1980’s. So we know it very well…thru all of it’s ups and downs!!! We both said this stay was, by far, the best we have had. There seems to be new management and it shows!! I even recognized several workers who have been there for the last 2 years!!! Great Customer Service!!!
ROOM - We stayed in a recently updated North tower room. It had a new calm minimalistic modern ocean blue theme, a wall mounted flat screen TV with cable channels, refrigerator, new bed covers and dark furniture. It seems as though they are slowly updating all of the rooms in the hotel!!
We arrived @ 2pm and had a little wait for our room which was in the semi secluded cabana section. We did not like the room so we called down to the front desk and we ultimately got a North tower room on the 12th floor without any headaches!! We could see the ocean and the main pool area below!!!
ROOM SERVICE – 2 very nice ladies cleaned our room and gave us extra towels daily. We left a very nice tip at the end of our stay!! No one in the hotel made us feel as though they were looking for a tip. I am mentioning tips because some may not know that the service workers in Jamaica do not make much money. They are not servants and should not be expected to perform as such…So I feel that in some instances tips are warranted for their friendly service and because I am able to do it! I believe if it is appropriate to give tips to service workers in any other country, why would I think that Jamaican service workers don’t deserve to be treated the same way??!!
FOOD – Very good variety at buffet, grills, restaurants. We usually have to go into town for authentic Jamaican food but the hotel had a wonderful variety of Jamaican food at every meal.
ENTERTAINMENT – Excellent variety including live acts, nightly theme parties, an outdoor movie night, misc bars and a sports bar in lobby area, mini casino with slots…etc. There were a lot of families on holiday and I have to say that the youngsters and teens were well entertained by staff and each other and also very well disciplined by their parents so as not to be a bother to single guests!!!
MISC- As returning guests, we were treated to a special dinner that included a cocktail hour and free group picture along with a buffet dinner that included wine and live entertainment. We were told that this is a weekly affair and it was very nice!!! It was amazing that so many return guests were families!!!

My sister and I read reviews about this hotel. I almost feel offended that some were so negative and I wish that those who had the bad experiences would return to give the hotel another chance. After all most would give a top name hotel another try!!! Please do not let the bad reviews deter you from staying at this hotel. My sister and I determined that those people may have had one bad experience and after that looked for everything they could possibly find to complain about. There were some things that could be improved in my personal opinion but those things were not important enough for me to take the time out of my wonderful vacation to focus on them or take pictures of them. This is a large hotel with many guests...so you will sometimes find wait lines. If you arrive with a patient , relaxed, somewhat carefree attitude and the determination to enjoy your time away from the J.O.B.!!! or other stress factors...you will have a great time on your vacation holiday. The Sunset Jamaica Grande is not rated as 5 stars (The RITZ Carlton costs much more money!!!...LOL!!!) but it truly is an excellent bargain that offers a great carefree vacation holiday.

Although we usually venture out of the hotel…this was the first time that we did not feel the urge to leave the hotel looking for anything… we spent a little money on bottled water and snacks in the gift shop but overall we spent less than $100 each the whole week. The Jamaica Grande is centrally located in Ocho Rios so one can walk to local souvenir shops, craft market, local markets, restaurants, entertainment. Margaritaville even provides free roundtrip shuttle on certain themed nights with ladies free nights or hotel guests free nights...Very lively atmosphere!

My sister and I include Jamaica in our travels frequently. We have stayed at local homes, local hotels and private villas in the cities of Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios and Kingston and newer hotels such as Riu and Gran Bahia Principe. The larger newer hotels although very nice, seem to have totally lost the Jamaican ambiance. I can’t say that about the Jamaica Grande…because everything about it reminds me that I am in Jamaica!!! We both enjoyed our recent stay at the Sunset Jamaica Grande so much that we will most certainly return again very soon!!!

FantasyTravel365
Los Angeles, California
Sept. 2009

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

This hotel was absolutely horrible! Oversubscribed and understaffed. We booked to stay at the Jamaica Grand for 9 nights. We checked out two days early that should tell you how bad this hotel is. When we arrived the queue to be checked in was ridiculous we had to wait over half an hour to then be told that our room wasn't ready. We had to wait over an hour for our room. When we eventually got to the room there was an overpowering smell of bleach, no fridge and the balcony door was busted! We decided to grin and bear it as we were awaiting the arrival of my mother and our two teenage kids who were arriving on the Virgin flight and due in within 2 hours. We had requested that we have both rooms together. When they checked in they were given a room four rooms away from us not together. After my mum and the kids long transfer from the airport (2 hours) all they wanted to do was unpack and relax. Again the check in was a long process. When they got to their room to our surprise it was already being occupied by someone else! We hurried out of the room as we thought the occupant was in the shower! We then went straight to reception to complain - again having to wait ages. This time my husband was pretty rough with the manager. His parents are from Jamaica so he started to cuss in Jamaican! This seemed to get the manager moving but without an apology. They finally found my mum and the kids another room but this time in the north block! I told them this is totally unacceptable as we requested rooms together for obvious reasons. He then gave us another room in North tower next to my mum and kids so we had to repack and move. When we got to the new room to our dismay it was completely empty, no hangers, no towels and no lights! We also had two single beds that were impossible to push together. By this time I was about to break down and cry my husband was absolutely livid and we then decided that the next day we would have to make a call to our travel agent and see if we could be moved to another hotel. Unfortunately it was a Sunday the next day and she couldn't do anything about it but she would contact the UK representative of the hotel and let her know about our complaint. We got through the next day but the hotel was so packed, locals can buy day passes regardless if the hotrel is at full capapcity so therefore there were not enough loungers for the guests, the pool was murky and the food during the day extended to just burgers, chips and cheese sandwiches. The drinks are watered down and sometimes you had to wait a while to be served. The drinks were always served with loads of ice so after two gulps the drink was finished!
On the Monday we went out for the day and on our return we had a message from the guest services manager saying he had a call from the UK representative saying we were unhappy with our stay at the hotel and he would be happy to speak to us and iron out our issues. We went to the desk to speak to him but he was not there and another lady informed us that they had yet another room change for us as a result of our complaint but if we wanted to take it up we had to move straight away or we lose the rooms! This was inconvenient as my husband had arranged for us to go and see his aunt so instead he went and i had to stay behind repack our stuff again along with my mum and the kids and move to the new rooms. This is now our third room change. We were moved to the 7th floor of the South tower. We had both rooms together this time my husband and I had a proper double bed, lights but no fridge and no hangers. My mum and the kids had no towels so they had to find a housekeeperr to get towels and even then she only wanted to give them two even though three of them were sharing a room. I requested hangers but never got them.
For the next 5 days we decided to stay out of the hotel as much as possible we went to the Dolphin Cove, Dunns River, Montego Bay and Negril. We hired a car so that we could go to as many places as possible.
When we were at the hotel I avoided breakfast as it was like a cattle farm too many people not enough staff my mum and the kids managed to tackle it everyday but I just couldn't put up with it. We booked the restaurants with no problem but found the portions really small but the service at these restaurants were superb.
One of the biggest problems were the lifts. Not enough sometimes you had to wait over 10 minutes for a lift as there were so many people and no air con so by the time you got out you were sweating buckets or ready to collapse. Its a joke! The lifts were so bad that I witnessed a lady with a walking cane give up on the lift and took the stairs - she was on the 7th floor!
In addition to this we all had runny tummys during our entire stay. We were not sure if it was the food or the drinks as i noticed that the tap used for soft drinks such as coke, sprite etc looked unwashed.
My mum and the kids left two days before us and my husband and I could not face any more time at the hotel so we checked out and stayed at my husband's uncles house a drive that was 3 hours away. We didn't care we just needed to get out of that hotel. i can safely say that it was the worst experience i have ever had and happy to officially call it the "holiday from hell!"

Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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:
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 Luxury Hotel in
#12 Top resorts Hotel in
#14 Spa Hotel in
#16 On the Beach Hotel in
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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