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“Adult Couples Resort?” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Adult Couples Resort?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2012

My wife and I spent two weeks from the 10th of January 2012 at this resort and booked on the strength of the advertising and other reviews, I think the easiest way to explain our thoughts is with pros and cons or if you like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but before doing so it may be best to state one thing, don't go during the Canadian Sizzler week.

Good;

The staff are absolutely fantastic, can't praise them highly enough, please treat them all with respect, from the Gardeners through all the Restaurant and facilities staff, just say hi, they are worth at least that.

The overall facilities are great.

The individual apartment was more than adequate.

The food was (execept Dinos) lovely and abundant, don't miss Kimonos, China Doll, Kelly's or Valentinos ( say hi to Hencle, the head waiter) but give Dinos a miss if you can.

The bar drinks were top line as long as you ask for the brand.

The standard wine especially Merlot was good, no need to buy the more expensive stuff on the wine list.

The transport between each area within the Resort was very good and efficient, I just wish we'd known we virtually had no option but to use it, explained in the "bad" notes below.

The Dolphin touch or swim excursion, good but at least an hour too long at the location.

The golf course is good but not exceptional, the clubs they hire out are good quality Teitliest or similar.

Book the Moby lounge at the airport for your return journey, worth the money any day of the week.

The Bad;

The two hour journey from the airport.

The cost of the excursions and the fact they were always longer in duration, steer clear of the Bob Marley Zion Bus or off road options to same.

The main road that runs through the Resort between the Manor Side and the Beach / Riviera side, not ideal for a walk hence the bus journey which as stated is really short and efficient.

No real walkways to get away from everything.

Ocho Rios itself, Personally I wouldn't go walking in it and certainly not after dark.

Canadian Sizzler week, we were ready to come home after the 1st week as it resembled more of an 18-30s holiday than a mature adult location, unbelievably noisy, excessive drinking and swearing.

You can only book for Kelly's or Kimonos and you must get your reservation in for those two the minute you arrive, as for all the others except China Doll you should be prepared to wait or leave your name and go back nearer the offered time and hope you don't have to wait again, not ideal.

Following on from above, Saying you can't book even through your concierge (unless you have a Butler) isn't strictly true as it turned out, if you press the Concierge team to contact the Food & Beverages Manager they CAN book a table.

NON SANDALS STAFF on excursions, transport etc will mention they expect a tip, sometimes more bluntly than is acceptable, this isn't Sandals fault but be aware, have a couple of dollars ready for the Airport baggage handlers coming in and going out, and in my opinion the driver to and from the airport should get $5 or $10, up to you.

If you book "MyTime" through your tour / holiday operator make sure you get any discount applied when checking out, I tried to get my 15% discount which was clearly stated without an end date but was told it had finished, let's just say I got the discount as agreed which amounted to $135

The Ugly;

Not many things really,

Avoid the Canadian Sizzler week as mentioned above.

Avoid going outwith the complext at night.

Take lots of really good quality mozzy sprays, lotions etc or suffer the consequences and the cost of buying them from the resort shop.

If your British, sorry Scottish (as I am) don't be surprised if an American asks what language is spoken in Scotland, we told this one person all spoke English and he told us he spoke "America", mmm, I know he understood us and that it wasnt a joke and also some people speak Gaelic in Scotland but really!

Lastly, the noisy minority could quite easily have spoiled the holiday completely but only spoiled the 1st week and we learned to avoid some areas where they continued to be noisy throughout the 2nd week, for the record, we are not fuddy duddy's, we like fun, meeting people, having nice meals and a few drinks, we hate rude, brash, ignorant people who couldn't care less as long as they are having a good time.

See what you think for yourself and respect the staff, they deserve it.


Mike & Denise Froude Edinburgh.

Room Tip: Book the Manor side of th resort for a quieter night.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Michael F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,457)
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English first
Wawota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

No problem man: a term used by the local Jamaican that refers to any issue raised by tourists to mean that your request is of no considerable consequence to them and you will have to wait a rediculous amount of time to be served or dealt with.
This was by far the worst vacation i've ever had... not that anything in particular was wrong ... everything there had some kind of issue. From the toilet paper holder falling off the wall (reported and never fixed), to the flat volleyballs, not enough sand on the beaches, dive gear tried to drown me and the diving was terrible (nothing but fish traps everywhere and poor vis), Hot with no wind at all and it rained 3 times a day making the walks very slippery. Oh and the place was under construction and appears that it will be for months and months as its all done by hand and wheel barrow.
It was all too much and the last day separated with my girl!!! Don't go here. Please!

Room Tip: We had one of the small 4 room huts between the lobby and the main building... nice and quiet, very...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DWeath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Homewood, Illinois
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

I am unsure how to start this review as I am not a complainer but here goes. Starting at the airport we waited at least 45 min for our bus to resort. What we got was a taxi. Four mid-sized adults (plus driver) in a small car does not make for a pleasant 2 1/2 hour drive. No beer, water or even chatter from driver. Oh well, at least we have an amazing week ahead of us. After many years we are finally doing a 'Sandals'...... Not.
Check in started with us filling out/correcting admission info. The only info on my form correct was our name. Wrong address, phone,state, travel agent everything! (Same with our fellow travelers) Sandals blamed Travel Agent for wrong info. ?????
Room was pretty but as others have mentioned, balcony was so small, door would not open all the way unless you jockeyed around table and chair. The door had a gouge in it where it had hit the table over and over. Our view was the maintance building. (Loud) We had booked a Jasmine Suite as did our friends and their room view was completely overgrown with bamboo. No garden view there, just bamboo. It was so thick it blocked out all light! Amazing. They had no closet door and their mirror had a cloudy film on it. After complaining, much to their credit, Sandals finally moved our rooms to ocean view at no extra cost, One day later, we saw grounds people chopping down some of the over growth of bamboo. Room ameninties included shampoo, conditioner, lotion and aloe from their spa as well as 4 Q-tips and 4 cotton balls. We used the cotton balls and Q-tips and they were never replaced over the course of the week.We should have rationed them better. I was suprised that a resort with the reputation of Sandals did not have things like sunscreen and razors etc available for guests like other (less pricey) resorts we have visited had.
Another thing that ws a suprise was the only rooms that included beer and/or liquor were the cocierige suites. I feel the website was very deceiving in this respect. I understood there would be beer in all fridges. Not so. Also,computers were in the lobby of our building but only available with a credit card no prices listed. Reception desk says it is $0.60 per minute. No thanks. How many ways can Sandals save/make money?
The employees here were excellent and they save this resort. We met and enjoyed many of them. Bishop at the pool bar was lots of fun. Everyone from the lawn guys to the receptionists to the servers were genuinely nice and very pleasant.
The food was all very good. While it was yummy, sometimes the meals ran forever. It was not unusual for our dinners to last 2 1/2 hours. The Japanese restaurant was great food and fun as well.They have a buffet for breakfast and lunch but not dinner.
Some of this property needs attention. Sidewalks sunken and broken. Hidden pool has a crack almost all the way around it, with a nice chunk out of the side of the pool. Every floor has an "icehouse" room and when you go in there is not an ice machine but a large rubber covered tub filled with the ice and a scoop. It looked dirty. The glass elevator was always grimey.
Something that I have not seen addressed is the fact that this resort has lots and lots of steps. 42 steps from the main floor to beach and many restaurants. To go from our room to the scuba center is a maze of up, down, up and down again for a total of 79 stairs. Quite alot for someone with mobility issues. There was a girl on crutches and we saw her struggle.
EVERY person I talked with at the resort had golf charges on their account. Mine was $18.00.Our friends had the same. For others, it was over $200.00. Desk girl said it was a computer problem. My question is "If everyone is billed incorectly, why do we have to bring it up to them?"
I have two theories about this chain of resorts. One is the guests have never visited other comparable properties with more to offer, and the other is that when you get to the butler price level, everything is perfect but not so much for the more frugal traveler.
Overall impression of the resort is that management needs to re-think it's policies before they lose all of the status that their name holds.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank clark1754
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

I think the best part about being at this resort, was the attention you get around the clock by the employees. I feel some went beyond the job to help and assist in making our stay memoriable. The resort itself is beautiful and very well kept. Food at most restaurants was amazing....and plenty of both drinks and food.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lori D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

My husband and I spent Christmas week 2011 at the Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios. Overall, it was a fabulous vacation. The staff at the resort were very friendly and extremely helpful. We have dietary issues that can be difficult to deal with when traveling, but Alberto, the head chef on the manor side, worked closely with us to prepare special breakfasts and make sure that wherever we went to dinner was prepared for our dietary needs. He also reviewed all of the menus with us so that we would know what we could eat at each restaurant. Gilbert Piper, a manager at the bar, worked with us by checking ingredients to some of the mixers and placing soy milk at some of the bars so that I could have mudslides despite my lactose intolerance.

Service at the restaurants was good, although slow at times, but then again where else did we have to go? Carlington was a great server at the manor house restaurant - we had him twice! Analisa, one of the playmakers was great and made us feel right at home participating in various activities, not to mention she learned our names immediately! Nastassia had a lot of energy and was a great MC at several events, and Anton and O'Dane were very friendly playmakers as well. Also, we loved the amphitheater shows! When planning our excursions, Georgia at the concierge desk was extremely helpful and friendly, also learning my name and remembering it days later. We also had been worried about having to take a shuttle from the Manor side to the Riviera side, but it was very easy and the shuttles run so frequently, about every 5 minutes, that it really was a non-issue.

The only negatives primarily occurred during the very beginning of our trip. The bus ride from the airport was miserable, as the air conditioning barely worked on our bus, and we were sitting ont he bus for 30 mins before leaving the airport. But you have to remember, this company is separate from Sandals. Then once we got to the resort, we were placed in a room that had a broken air conditioning and the cable TV wasn't working right either. We complained and we sat for an hour until they sent up a technician but he wasn't able to fix it so we spoke with a manager, Jamie, who immediately moved us to a pool view, ocean view (in the distance) room. Serious upgrade! From that moment on the vacation was wonderful. FYI, those pool view rooms are over the piano bar, so it is noisy at night if you go back to your room early. We didn't mind though. Also, At the manor house, you can only get to your room via staircase, so if you have difficulty with stairs be sure to stay on a different part of the resort. However, know that there are stairs all over the resort, as it is on a hill. It was great for strengthening my legs, and got me motivated to start going to the gym when I returned home!

The only other possible negative would be if you were looking for a long stretch of beach. This resort has many pools and 2 small beaches, but nothing you can take long walks on. We enjoyed the beach in front of Jamie's Bar because it was completely sandy bottom and calm waters.

Overall, the food was great, the service was top notch, everyone was friendly, the activities were fun (not cheesy as I had expected) and there was plenty to do, or not do, depending on our mood. We would highly recommend this resort!! Thanks to everyone at the resort who helped to make our stay fabulous!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aglick722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orchard Park, NY
Level Contributor
108 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

This was our 5th Sandals vacation and second to this property (we were here 3 years ago). Did see where renovations were done - a lot of which was cosmetic in nature to the rooms on the Manor side. They also did a major renovation on the Riviera side at the pool area and it was very nice.

Our overall stay was delightful, as all our Sandals stays have been. We treated ourselves to the "Butler category of service and our two Butlers, LaToya and Nardia were wonderful, but I will agree that the service in certain areas needs great improvement. The "towel carts" at all the pools were empty by 10am (if not earlier) and were never replenished. In the workout rooms, there were towels some days and not others (plus they were bath towels and not small hand-type towels!!) We were never greeted by any Loyalty Manager - only had the obligatory letter in our room. When checking out, had to push to get a $125 credit that should have been taken as soon as I booked the room on-line (was a special on-line offer and the business office said we'd get the credit on our next booking because the hotel and on-line bookings groups are different. I pushed and we got the credit and the hotel was going to fight it out with the on-line group.

Little things like having FRESH coffee in the large urns early in the morning (after having been sitting out all night); the soft-serve ice cream machines should be working full time during the day; hand towels in the ladies restrooms and good hand dryers in all of them, etc.

MBJ Airport now offers MOBAY - which is a passenger waiting lounge as well as escorts to help you "by-pass" the lines for security. The $30pp is probably worth it on weekends when lines would be long, but mid-week, not worth the money. The lounge advertises "free wireless", but there is no service!!

Will continue to vacation at Sandals Resorts - they are decent properties and nice to stay at.

Room Tip: Ocean "view" means you will have a view of the ocean but will not be near it. Ocean "...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Typhoon925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2012

we went there with 3 other couples we met last 2 years at another sandals..but the service. housekeeping.and other little things just wernt there like we come to know going to a sandals resort ( this was our 4th experience with sandals)
when you would talk to a manager sbout it.they would listen.but that was it. i highly believe they were having employee and management isues..but the worst of it all.. i and another one of our friends got THE WORSE CASE OF FOOD POISIONING I THINK ANYONE COULD HAVE. only good thing about it was it happened that last dinner on the last eve we were there..but the 2 hr ride to airport. early the next am was not pretty and then to get on an airplane being so [--] and dehydrated..the last thing that happened there was BAD..and so sad thst is what u remember and talk about. tried finding a manager that am but none avsil and i was so sick and my husband was trying to tend to me and get us packed and get us on that bus on time to get to the airport. we had one of the managers email and said we would notify them when we got home. emailed him twice BUT NO RESPONSE.
I AM SO DISPLEASED THAT THIS SANDALS VACATION WAS NOT SPECIAL AND FANTASTIC LIKE OUR OTHER EXPERIENCES WITH SANDALS.
the long 2 hr ride to ocho rios was not worth the ride. never again..
dont think this sandals would stand up to "sir butch stewart's standards".
so what can ya do. they gotcha there..trip is paid..and they dont hold up the sandals standards..just makes ya wanna go to another companies resorts for our next destination vacation next year

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gotothecarib
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

Property: 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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