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“The Perfect vacation for two people to spend quality time together!”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed May 10, 2011

We stayed at the Riviera - (Beach side) of this resort and WOW - everything is beautifully kept - the grounds, the rooms and everywhere you went, there was someone working to keep the resort perfect. I am a fitness person so the only thing I thought needed inhancement was the Fitness Room. It could use some updated equipment. Otherwise, Awesome trip and plan to go back!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Bamboo Garden building -perfect
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank sunchicveres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,549 - 6,555 of 8,772 reviews

Reviewed May 10, 2011

I'm writing this review at the request of a playmaker so here i go. 95% of the trip was wonderful. Here are the kinks that need working out:

my resort credit was never applied until 3 hours before checkout even though i was told it would be done on the first day.

my feet were flea bitten by the cats roaming the reef terrace restaurant

the quality of the liquor has gone down, my husband knows what johnny walker black taste like and whatever was in that bottle was not it.

for some reason the chefs hate cooking a steak well done even if you ordered it that way

the beach party(fri nite)...you are losing the interest of younger guest. the 2 hours of sedate music had them and older guest leaving early..beach party last year was great, high energy for the whole party.

please spell out the room category that is being booked at the soon come back desk for the next year. we were under the impression we booked a conceirge suite, but only had initials on our paperwork, we actually got a conceirge room. we did like the upgrade to an ocean view, but still disappointed because we were expecting 2 rooms.

We will definitely go back, the people, food, activities, ammenities, etc. can't be beat. hopefully the resort will address the kinks and be back to 100% soon.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Prk238
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We were glad we got our room at the Riviera portion of the resort. It was right by the ocean, with the main restaurant for breakfast and lunch right there. Two or three bars, lots of beach chairs and lots of shade (for those of us who are sun savvy). We took the shuttle to the Manor section a few times and while the pool there is large with the swim up bar, we much preferred being right at the water. This was also close to the water sports area. The staff were excellent and friendly - lots of activities, although some started on time, some were several minutes late. The events at night were entertaining, especially the Street Festival and the Silver Birds steel band. Don't miss the Chocolate Buffet! The Playmakers - Josie, Kareema, Nastassia et al were fun and tried to help everyone have a good time! The choice of restaurants for dinner was great - you only had to reserve at Kimonos. My husband worried about the 'dress shoe' foot wear regulation for some restaurants (he only had running shoes), but if we mentioned Jason's name, no problem. Is it really necessary to insist on dress shoes for dinner? We feel that as long as you have the collared shirt and pants - and you look respectable - that was OK. One complaint - there was limited fresh pineapple at the breakfast buffet, otherwise we enjoyed the choice of food.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank runner94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We got to the airport and after going through customs we were sitting in the Sandals lounge waiting for the shuttle. 15 minutes later the shuttle was there to pick us up. It was really hot and the A/C didn't work...somebody mentionned this to the driver and he said it was broken.
When we got to the hotel lobby, they quickly checked us in and brought us to our room. We had done our research and we knew that our room category wasn't updated as of yet
(Honeymoon Bougainvillea with concierge service) on the manor side. The room was ok and everything worked well except for the toilet and the shower on certain occasions. We got what we booked so I can't complain too much about it!
I am not too sure about Concierge service to be honest. They are supposed to do the guest check-in, make sure that you liquor is always stocked and help you with golf reservations, etc. The price that people pay to go to a Sandals resort, it should have liquor and mini-bars in all category of rooms. I mean, you get that in a 3 star in the Dominican! Another issue about the minibar is that the stock is 4 beers and juice, water etc. We had a villa with our own pool so we spent alot of time there. 4 beers didn't go a long way so we called the concierge and when he arrived he was not very happy that we asked for more beer because the regular stock is 4. I was paying for this service and he was trying to make me feel bad! Now give him $$$ and then you will get better service. The no tipping policy is not reinforced and is very hard to control because the resort is so large.
The food was ok. My favorites were Valentino's and Orchid's. Kimono's was just ok for me. The entertainment was fun but the food was not that good. We had breakfast on the Manor's side. The service there was aweful. Somemornings the waiters bring you coffee and other mornings they didn't. One morning as I was eating my breakfast that I stood 30 minutes in line for an omelette, I asked our waiter for a glass of orange juice and he said that it's self-serve. The service was the same at Dino's pizzeria and the grill. One night at Valentino's there was something in my wine glass so I asked the waitress if I could get a new glass and she said that that's how thry polished the wine glasses. She eventually changed it but was not impressed and her body language made this apparent.
The beach is divided in 3 small beaches. It was nice and we always found a spot to swim. The water was beautiful and warm!
The pools were very nice both at the Manor and beachside. Our private pool was very refreshing. The poolboy would come almost everyday to take out the dead leaves since we were surrounded by trees. I would've liked for them to have cleaned the bottom of the pool since it was a bit dirty. There's a lot of construction on the RIviera side and there will still be for many months.
We went golfing and they are still trying to update the course. It is in bad condition right now. They are taking out crabgrass that has taken over the golfcourse so you can imagine tha mess. We still managed to have fun. Buddy the caddy is always a delight! I love his "one liners"....so funny!
I had the "hot stone massage" at the spa. This is the best massage ever!!
All in all, we still managed to have fun! This is the 3rd Sandals and it does not come even close to the others. I will still continue to go to Sandals resorts just not this one!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank nicaribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2011

If your looking for a place that is just like America than you'll have a great time being confined with southern folks.

Sandals doesn't give back to the local people and Govt. They take the money out of the country and give nothing back! real classy! Jamaica is a lovely, safe, and beautiful nation, but the sandals Mgmt doesn't want you to spend your money anywhere else, GODFORBID the locals get to make a living.

Sandals, you lost two irie American customers with your abhorent policies

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kyle72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2011

My boyfriend and I vacationed at Sandals Grande Riviera May 1-7, 2011 and had an absolutely wonderful time. However, we had done our research beforehand and knew what to expect. We were a little nervous having read many negative reviews, but these people had clearly not done their research before they booked or were just general negative nancies.
Spa: I had a wonderful massage my first day there. Definitely do not book your spa treatment before you get there because they have daily specials that they publish in the daily activities newspaper.
Golf: The course could be really nice, but it is in rough shape right now. Our caddies, however, were AWESOME. We had Carl for two rounds and then Buddy for our last day. We mentioned to Carl that we wanted to try Jamaican mangos and, although he was busy and could not be our caddy on our last day, he sent a mango along to us through Buddy. They both gave us great advice on our golf game and were a pleasure to have as our caddies.
Excursions: We booked an excursion through an outside company before we left for our trip and saved a lot of money doing so. We went horseback riding and to Dunns River Falls and had a great time doing both. If you do want to do Dunns River Falls, I would highly recommend just calling for a taxi to take you there and not booking an excursion through the hotel. You will save a lot of money. My boyfriend and I arrived at Dunns River Falls without a group and one of the photographers swooped us up and said he was going to take us through the Falls himself. We were a little skeptical at first, but he took our camera and took pictures of us the entire way up the Falls. Having him as our guide was great because we did not have to wait in a line of people in a large group going up the falls and we got so many great pictures. Obviously, tipping him for taking just the two of us ($30-40) was more expensive than if we had gone in a group ($10ish), but it was TOTALLY worth it.
Water sports: We went snorkeling, attempted to learn to windsurf, and did some kayaking on our trip. For some of the more difficult watersports, you do have to take a lesson first, so make sure you call the water sports office or look at the daily newspaper to figure out when those lessons are. We had so much fun and the water sports guys are friendly and capable teachers.
Restaurants: We ate at Neptunes- very good and romantic under the stars, Kimonos- you must make a reservation- very fun and tasty, Valentinos- nice and romantic, Gordons- you do NOT need butler service to eat here- if you have Concierge service, you can make your reservations through the concierge, the food was great, especially the filet, Manor Restaurant- skippable, nothing special really, and on Friday we went to the Beach buffet, which was very fun and pretty tasty. For Valentinos, we went on Tuesday night and got there early because the concierge had told us we needed to be there early to get a table. However, you could have walked in at 7 and gotten a table too. I would recommend going to Valentinos on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday nights- I think it is much busier on Thursday nights because it is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, we met a couple who tried to go to Valentinos at 8:30, but got turned away because the restaurant closes at 9. Overall, our dinners were very tasty and there were enough options that even a picky eater like myself could find something I liked.
Breakfast and Lunch: Because we stayed on the Manor side, we ate breakfast at the Market Place every morning and generally had lunch on the Manor side as well. There were enough options that you could find something you liked at breakfast and the omelets were wonderful. Our one complaint about breakfast is that it would have been nice if they had had more local fruits available. For lunch, Dino’s pizza and the Great House grill (next to each other near the smaller Manor pool) were OK, but we ate at the Bayside Restaurant for lunch our last day and wished we had discovered it earlier- great buffet with so many options and really tasty food.
Bars: In our opinion, the best bars were the Manor pool swim up bar for day-time drinking and Jamie’s for night-time revelry. Ralston at the Manor pool swim up bar and Anthaniel and Milton at Jamie’s were all wonderful and so good to us during our stay. My boyfriend had tons of fun with the bartenders and playmakers during the chugging contest, which seemed to continue all week after he’d won. We went to Jamie’s almost every night and never failed to leave drunk and happy. Every night Anthaniel or Milton would ask us what we were having and we would always reply “whatever you’re making” and it was ALWAYS tasty. Throughout the evening if we wanted more drinks, all we had to do was hold up two fingers for two more drinks and something wonderful would be passed our way a few minutes later.
Playmakers: Once you do an activity with one of the playmakers or talk to them for a few minutes, they will remember you for the rest of your stay and reach out to you to do more fun activities. Nastasia and Joel were so much fun and we always had a good time when we did an activity (beach volleyball, chugging contests, etc).
Tipping: Yes, you do have to tip outside of Sandals. This means the red-caps that help you with your bags at the airport, the bus driver, any excursions you do, and the caddies at the golf course. From what we experienced though, you want to tip these people because they generally provide you with excellent service. We even did some tipping at Sandals itself when we were provided with exceptional service and we found that a few well-placed tips went a long way. We began our vacation expecting to not tip at all at the resort, but we truly felt that the people we met deserved the tips that we gave them.
Overall, take time to talk to people- both on the resort and off the resort and the other guests. Jamaicans are so friendly and the people are what really made this trip special for us. When we read reviews like this before we left for our trip, we thought that of course they are going to be nice because this is a service industry. However, many people we met went above and beyond our expectations.
Now, for a few negatives we experienced:
Our room was only OK. We stayed in a Bourgainvillea Concierge One Bedroom Suite Villa with a shared pool on the Manor side. Our room had apparently been updated, but we were seriously unimpressed with our bathroom. It was not very nice and when you took a shower, the water alternated between scalding hot and freezing cold. We were excited though that we expected a “garden view,” but could actually see the ocean from our patio! Overall we would say that the workmanship in Jamaica is just not as good as it is in the US. Realistically though, you don’t spend hardly any time in your room. So the only thing that was really annoying was the shower.
Yes, there is construction ongoing. I think there was one villa on the Manor side that was under construction, but it did not bother us at all. There is more extensive construction going on on the Riviera side. They are building a new pool, which looks like it will be incredible when it is done. I think if we were to go to Sandals Grande Riviera again, we would want to stay on the Riviera side because there is so much more to do there in terms of bars and restaurants and activities, but I would not want to stay there now during the construction because you risk being in a room next door to the renovations.
Overall, we had a fantastic trip and would definitely recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SGandAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2011

We arrived April 30th for a 6 night stay to include a wedding, and the wedding of another couple later that same day. We had some initial challenges with our rooms being on opposite sides of the manor side as well as some coordinating issues as far as the weddings go (to be expected when trying to pull of 2 in one day!) but overall everything was AMAZING.

ROOM: Our room was nice. A little bit dated but well maintained. The maid service was outstanding (although the other couple had trouble getting towels) and our fridge/bar area were well stocked our entire trip. I love that they make little animals out of the towels and add fresh flowers to them. Very simple but fun touch!! My only complaint about the room was that mid-shower the water would either shut off completely, get boiling hot, or freezing cold. I really have nothing bad to say!

FOOD: The food was good. Its what you would expect for an all inclusive resort. It is by no means gourmet but it was very good. The girl who makes the omlettes at the manor buffet is a sweetheart! Dinos was OK. My husband must have eated 6 pizzas there that week so it certainly wasn't too bad! Valentinos was good but really slow. Kimonos was good food but we were a little disappointed that the didn't actually cut any of the food in front of you. This is a Japanese steakhouse style restaurant so it was strange. Definitely spring for the romantic candlelight dinner on the beach if you can swing it! To die for!!

WEDDING: The wedding was fantastic. Flowers were beautiful and everything went really well. The minister is very funny and the ceremony was short and to the point. The cake and the food at the included 30 min reception were not good at all but they were free so I guess its to be expected. ***A word of caution when booking a wedding--the people who book the trip and the wedding are out of Miami. They are great and they will tell you anything you want to hear to get you to book your trip. They have no idea how things work on the reort.*** Just go into it expecting this and be willing to be flexible when you get there and everything will be fine!

WEDDING COORDINATOR (on-site): Vinnette deserves her own section on this. She was incredible. We had 2 weddings booked back to back and were told (by Miami) that this would be fine--no problem mon. Well, it wasn't--but Vinnette worked with us, listened to our ideas, made several phone calls and made it happen! We ended up moving both wedding times due to logistics (one minister, one videographer and our desire to be at each others weddings but NOT do a double wedding). Everything was perfect!! She was so much fun! You can even see her dancing in the background in our video--she clearly loves her job and it shows. She was great--I can't say enough good things about her!

EXCURSIONS:
Zip-line canopy tour (Chukka): This was so much fun. The instructors were great although could have been a little bit more patient and taken their time with people. They do this all day and I think maybe lose sight of the fact that its actually pretty scary for some people. It was hard to understand instructions at times but overall everything was safe and fun and I would definitely do it again!
Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour (8:30 am to 4:30 pm): Don't do it. 3 1/2 hour bus ride (they will not tell you this) for a 1 hour roll down a mountain on a bike with barely functioning brakes. The scenery and history are amazing but the tour was very disappointing. The best parts of this are the brunch and lunch that they serve--authentic Jamaican food--and the bus driver. Yes, the bus driver. Clive was great.
Island Vibes Catamaran Cruise (8:30 am to 1:00 pm): This was a blast! We were a little nervous because it is referred to as a booze cruise. We wer all there to have fun but we are far from spring breakers looking to get hammered. You cruise out to the harbor and do some snorkeling and then over to Dunns River Falls. This is one of the most visited attractions in all of Jamaica. It was fun. I don't know that it was the best thing we did but definitely worth visiting. On the way back to the resort the bar is open and the party starts. There is a DJ and the crew keeps everyone entertained--and well hydrated! It was a blast! Would definitely recommend.

Overall everything was great!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mrsgatc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Address: Main Street | P.O. Box 771, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $417 - $1,048 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Ochi Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 529
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Situated on over 100 acres of lush hillside gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea•529 villas, luxury rooms and suites with fantastic mountain and ocean views•94 pools (7 large public pools), 22 whirlpools•16 dining options including room service for butler serviced suites•2 luxurious Red Lane Spas•Complimentary golf at Jamaica’s most elite and popular golf course, the Sandals Golf & Country Club (Transfers to the golf course are included)•Over 5,000 sq. feet of first class meeting and conference facilities•Recently completed US$60 million renovation/refurbishing exercise•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Grande Riviera ‘Jamaica’s Leading Resort’ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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