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“Everything Irie...Almost!” 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 #16 of 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Oromocto, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Everything Irie...Almost!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

We booked this trip very last-minute; 7pm the night before we had to leave. We had planned on visiting the Negril area, but we're so glad we stayed in Ocho Rios. The town is charming, safe to walk around & explore and has everything you could possibly need.

The Sunset on first impression was fantastic. The lobby is spacious, clean and welcoming. Check-in was easy, the front desk staff quite friendly. Be prepared to use a credit card for towels & room safes, and be aware that the safes are lock & key, NOT digitally coded.

We were booked into the North Pointe tower with an ocean view. As you can see from the included photos, we did have the aforementioned ocean view, but directly below us was a less-attractive metal flat roof. However that gorgeous water makes up for it in spades. When we walked into the room, the smell of bleach & cleaning supplies was quite strong, and everything appeared to be clean. The room was small, with two double beds, but everyone knows you don't go to the Caribbean for your room! It was slightly shabby, but adequate and was always cleaned my mid-day. Plenty of towels & bedding, no other frills. No minifridge, but a tea kettle with tea & coffee fixings.

The pools on the resort were fantastic. Well-appointed, very clean, and great to cool off. Not bathwater-warm like you so often find. Very cool waterslides and hottubs too. Always enough lounge chairs to go around and bars to cozy up to. The beach was less inviting; it was small and the water in the bay was quite still. However, this is because the bay has a reef (which offers great snorkelling!) and it keeps rough waves down. Again, lots of chairs & lounges. As well, you can book nighttime candlelit private dinners on the beach, a nice touch!

The food here was great, in my opinion. Something to please everyone. Please try local cuisine, it's so worth it! Curried goat, jerk etc...I enjoyed everything. The a la cartes were really well presented, especially the South Beach Caribbean restaurant. Very filling portions and food made with care.

Every single staff member we encountered was friendly, helpful, smiling and relaxed. It really heightened our experience & enjoyment of the trip. We met a wonderful young man who worked at the hotel who took us on a tour of the island...spectacular! A special shout out to Sandy at the main pool bar for his wonderful concoctions and great conversation.

All in all, a great time. We would go back anytime! Not a 4 Star but a solid 3-3.5

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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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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delaware
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

Just got back on March 6, 2010. Beautiful views. I didn't mind looking at the cruise ships. They were fun to watch. Fantastic beach, pools, and bars. Lots of activities at the hotel including: funny shows, crowd participation, dance contests, dance lessons, ping-pong, talent shows, & bands. We were never bored. Plus there were many adventure tours in Ocho Rios. It was perfect for my 14 yr old son. He didn't like the "teen club" or "disco" much because he needed someone to go with him. Teens did hang together at the beach & music events. Small kids will like the calm water of the cove, the water slides, and the kids club. We loved the food!! Buffet was fantastic for my teen. We had no trouble getting a resv at South Beach and loved it. But do it when you first get there. It was hard to get in as the week went on. We emailed a request for a room in the South Tower so my husband could get wireless internet from the room. He paid $20. for the week to some international service. Our room was a double. Not 5 star decor. Pillows were tiny. But, it was clean and the tile floors were fine for the sand we dragged in. I'd give it 4 stars. If we had been on a "couples" vacation we might have picked Negril, (1 hr from airport) which is quiet, relaxing, laid-back and has a beautiful beach. I was worried we might get tired of sitting on the beach. Especially if the weather was bad. Ocho Rios had more activities and adventures since they cater to the cruise ships. To me, it was worth driving 1-1/2 hrs to be close to them. We used Clive's Transport and they charged $100 each way. We also met one of the locals at the hotel who has his own taxi service/van. His name is "Ricky" and his phone number is [--]. We hired him to drive us around Ocho Rios one day , Bob Marley one day, and even Negril. You'll find him on the right side of the beach. He'll take you anywhere you want to go and make you feel safe. He knew places and views that only the locals know. Awesome! I wish I met him before I went to the craft market. This big, friendly man kept "helping" us around the market by keeping the vendors from hassling us. I thought he was just being nice. Then after an hour he asked me to "compensate" him for his time so I gave him $20 (he asked for $35). After he left I found out my husband had been asked the same thing and he had already compensated him $40. Still, most locals were very friendly and helpful and I loved meeting them. I will be back!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

Got a great deal, so well worth it - wasn't expecting anything opulent. All-inclusives seem to be more expensive in Jamaica. Wasn't disappointed with food - we loved that they offered good quality meats (leg of lamb, prime rib, pork tenderloin, etc.) but had other options too (pasta, fish, salads, etc.). Anyone who complains about food there is just too picky! True, it is older, but they are keeping the place up. The view from our balcony far exceeded anywhere else we've gone and been told we'll get a "view". I'd take a smaller room anytime to get a view like we did (the Caribbean, the inner cove where beach is and cruise ships dock, and hillside of Ocho Rios). Don't go if you're expecting something like the Riu/Dunns River Falls but if you can get a good deal like we did, its well worth the money spent.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Brandon, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2010

We travelled here with a group of about 75 people. The location was excellent! Just a short walk to good shopping. The hotel isn't anything fancy, but the food was great and staff was excellent!

Rooms: we booked a resort-view room and found that almost any room in the hotel comes with an ocean view, albeit a slightly obstructed ocean view, but still a view. We found the balcony door a little difficult to open. The bathrooms could use some upgrading and I don't recommend lifting the mat in the tub, looked a little rusty underneath.

Restaurants: the hotel had a couple of restaurants. We only ate at the buffets for breakfast and supper. Lunch was usually at North or South Beach Grill. Others in our group ate at the other restaurants in the hotel and said that they were really good.

Staff: whether it was the cleaning staff, the cooking or the entertainment staff. Everyone there genuinely looked like they wanted to be there. They were always smiling and singing. The entertainment staff always kept you hopping.

Pools: plenty of choices! Waterslide was great - only had the blue slide running while we were there. The pools were always clean and the temperatures were comfortable.

Beach: the sand was so fine it felt like you were walking on flour! The best part of the beach is that it's a private beach - no vendors coming up to you. We found that if you sat closer to the edge of the property people would approach you - offering to sell you... things... and asking to braid your hair. Simply say "No Thank You" and they will leave you alone.

When you leave the resort property, it's just a short walk to the local craft market and stores. I wouldn't recommend walking the street after dark. The markets can be a little intimidating, I wouldn't say that the vendors are aggressive but they are very pushy. Be polite but firm when you aren't interested in purchasing. If however you are looking to shop in the market, please know that nothing has a price tag. You ask them how much and they ask you "What's your price?". Always talk down the price and if you think they are asking too much, go to the next stall. They have the exact same things.

Shopping tips: US$ is accepted everywhere. If you are buying wood carvings, mahogany is better quality, but it's heavier and you have to watch weight restrictions with certain airlines. Cedar is the lighter option. Because of the humidity in Jamaica, when you get home you might find that your carving will be slightly cracked. Also - with the carvings make sure that they are "finished" and do not have "seed" eyes - another forbidden product. A lot of vendors sell sea shells - I don't know about other countries, but Canada does not allow them to be brought in and it comes with a hefty fine. I would recommend checking with your travel agent to see what is/isn't allowed.

Excursions: we booked the 4x4 Jeep Bob Marley tour with Chukka - an excellent tour company. We also took a ride on a Catamaran (Cool Jazz was the name I think) out to Dunns River Falls where we hiked up the waterfall. A great excursion if you're not afraid to get a little wet. Also - Mystic Mountain is another must on the agenda. You ride up the Tranopy (similar to a ski-lift) to the top of the mountain where you can either bobsled or zip-line (I did both). Never once did I feel unsafe. The staff at Mystic Mountain are very capable and very good at what they do.

Before I went to Ochie I read a lot of reviews on here, some good, some bad. In my personal opinion, with this resort, you get what you pay for. It may not have been the fanciest resort, but I had a fantastic and memorable vacation and can't wait to return!

"Yeah Mon"

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New Brunswick
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2010

Resort is too far from the airport, takes well over 2 hours by the time they drop off all the other people on the way to the other resorts. Food was average in the buffet and we only tried the Chinese Restaurant which was okay. Pools were cold and not really clean, maybe they should filter them longer. Our reservation was cancelled upon our arrival because we didn't show up when we were supposed to. Our flights were delayed and I called the resort and told them we wouldn't be there until the next day, but apparently the message wasn't passed on. We stayed in the not so clean or updated section of the resort with a view of the rooftop, not real nice.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Manitoba
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

I'll first start by saying that this was our first trip to Jamaica and it was absolutely wonderful! Jamaica is an amazing island and I can't wait to go back! And a big part of what made our trip so great was this resort. We had one of the beach front cabana rooms and the location could not have been better! Sure the rooms are old and slightly run down, but honestly, who the heck goes on vacation to stay in their rooms! Just as long as the beds are comfy and clean, that's all that matters to us. So, we originally had one of the 2nd floor rooms and our freinds had the ground level floor, but we just called the front desk and asked if there were any other main floor rooms available and we were nicely anwered with a "No Problem! ". Our's was the 3rd one from the pool, so it was an easy short walk to everything and in the mornings while my husband slept in, I was able to just slip out the patio doors and walk straight to the beach which was only about 35 feet away! Having that room was definitely worth the extra money. We stayed at a VERY big resort in Mexico last year, where we needed to get on a shuttle just to get to the beach! So after being to a place that big before, this one very small in comparison and there are plenty of bars, so if you're walking from one place to the other, you can always stop in between for a refill!

The beach was fabulous! The cruise ships were pretty cool to see come in to the bay. We did lots of snorkeling and I'm not sure what the other reviews are talking about when they say that the water was murky, because this was simply not the case when we were there. The water was beautiful torquise blue and as clear as can be! The water sports were great, but it sucked that the water trampoline wasn't out for us "big kids" to play on! That's o.k though because there was certainly plenty of other things to do.

The food was to die for! Especially at the a-la-cartes. We were fortunate enough to get in at all of the A-la-cartes. My favorite by far was La Diva's. The buffet was good. Always lots of different choices, so there was something for everyone.

The pools were awsome! Very beautifully landscaped and plenty of beach chairs every where. And the music was amazing during the afternoons. Nothing was better then lounging around the pool on a hot Jamaican afternoon, listening to reggae music! The hot tubs were also very nice to use during the nights. I especially liked that they didn't shut down the pools and hot tubs at night - you just swam at your own risk.

Another thing that I don't understand is those who mention the "beggars" on the beach in their reviews. The only people on the beach who might have bugged us were the water activity people who stayed on the sides of the beach. Sure they asked you if you wanted to buy something, but a polite "no thank you" was certainly enough for them to leave you alone.

The location was definitely the best - being right in the middle of Ocho Rios was very convenient. Again, when you go into the town, you will be asked constantly, "Do you want your hair braided" ,"Do you want a taxi", " come look in my store", and of course, "Do you want some ganja?". And with a simple, "No thank you", they leave you alone. Jamaicans are very nice, polite, easy going people and they respect the tourist who come to visit their island, and they're all just trying to make a living! Just be respectful back to them!

So, the ONLY thing that I was disappointed in was the lack of entertainment at this resort. There was nothing for entertainment after 10 pm, so we did alot of "bar hopping" around the resort at night and then we would always end our nights by sitting on our patio, enjoying the warm night, our view of the beach, and some bottles of Red Stripe that we would pick up from town that day!

We're heading to Nigril next time we're in Jamaica, but I would not hesitate for one moment to come back to this resort the next time we are back in Ocho Rios!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Boston
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

As I said, all the reviews have some truth. The beach is nothing to be desired, it is small, man made and is mushy and grassy. I personally love a beach, so for me that was a dissapointment. As far as the rest of the hotel, the pools, waterslide, bars, shows and the staff were great. The food was okay, as is the same with all of the all-inclusives. The fine dining, Ginger Lily and the La Diva were great, it is a must, make reservations the first day. The rooms need some work and are a little musty, but you are in a warm damp climate. We always had fresh towels and a clean room. It is very safe to walk into town. I left the group and went alone one afternoon and never felt nervous. I would say a must is to go to Negril for the day, not on a tour, hire a driver and see the nicest beach you will see, then go to Rick's Cafe and jump in the water. It is a 2 hour drive but so worth it. I had a great group to go on vacations with so I had fun. I am not reccomending this resort, only because of the beach. But if you hate sand and salt water, this is the place to be. If you like to try different, local food, and a nice sandy beach this is not the place for you.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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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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