First off, we booked our honeymoon with Tami Santini from Paradise Getaways and we thought we wanted to go to Jamaica so when we began the process of looking for a place Tami pointed us in the right direction! Sandals Grande Riviera was absolutely amazing! We were there from 8/6 through 8/13.
The ride to the resort was about 1 1/2 hours, I originally was dreading this after a long flight but it wasn't that bad. To see Jamaica was really eye opening! The resorts are absolutely beautiful but the poverty in the country was shocking to see in person. Driving was a trip haha! Not only do they drive on the left hand side instead of the right like in the US, they drive like maniacs! When someone wanted to pass the other vehicles would just split into the shoulders of the road until they were passed and then would merge back into the lanes. Never felt like I was going to die or anything but it was quite interesting!
At Sandals, we did a Butler suite on the Grande side (villas), our suite was at the very top of the resort over looking the ocean, it was a breathtaking view! Our Butlers were Denton & Bertram and they were wonderful taking care of our every need :).
There were so many food choices that we didn't make it to all the restaurants but the ones we did had amazing food! It was nice to be able to try different types of food from various cultures. They did a few different buffets during the week which had so many different choices of food. I think our favorites of the week were Neptunes and Kellys by the dockside and soy! We went to soy with some friends we met while traveling and it was such a blast, the staff got involved in some suki bombs with everyone and enjoyed some delicious sushi made by Arturo. When at Mariners/Neptunes for lunch one day Delmar told us to ask for Kiryrie at Kellys by the dockside that night and he would take good care of us! Boy did he....we heard others from the resort complaining about the food not coming out cold since they had to walk down the dock with the food after it was prepared which doesn't seem possible because the night we went the weather was crap it was rainy and windy. Our food was not cold at all, it was very delicious. We ate breakfast at the marketplace everyday except for the one day we got it delivered to our patio at the villa. When we went to the manor for dinner, they allowed us to order for the marketplace next door also which was great because we could order stuff from both restaurants :)
On our last night, we went to the reef terrace, which was pretty busy for dinner. Poor Brandon (our server) seemed to be the only one working the tables, he was doing a great job! He even brought my dessert out on a plate balancing it on his head.
The attractions are what really surprised us, there was soo much to do. We did a few excursions which were great but I think even if we would have stayed at the resort we would have had so much to keep us busy and having a good time. The swim up bars were a great spot to hang out. Both Andrew and Bishop were the best when they were bartending! Andrew brought us drinks over when we needed refills during a card game in the pool with some friends we had met. Bishop always had great drinks ready for you, balancing them on his head or just interacting with the people in the pool. He knew I liked to be surprised, the one day he made a drink to match the color of my shirt and it was fabulous! The playmakers were always having a good time with the crowd. We loved Natalya, Josie, Natassia, and Karah! They kept the party going no matter what time of day with things like beer chugging contest, flip cup, name that show, couples scavenger hunts it was a lot of fun even if you didn't participate in all of them.
We were there while they were celebrating their 50th anniversary which they had so much going on because of that it was a lot of fun! There was entertainment every night at the Ampetitheather, which was a lot of fun. We loved the reggae show, the steel drum band, and the couples game show (that was hilarious). The only thing we would have liked to see in the ampetitheater would be someone serving drinks/refilling drinks because you would have to get up and walk down to the bar to get a drink and come back. No it wasn't far so not that big of a complaint but that would have made it that much better.
We did a couples massage which was fabulous, we did it Tuesday morning after arriving on Monday and it was such a great way to start off our week. The only downfall is we did get left in the steam room and had to come out on our own because we couldnt handle the steam any longer but it wasn't that big of a deal. We were apologized to and taken care of immediately.
We went deep sea fishing, zipling and snorkeling also. The deep sea fishing and ziplining were through island routes. Wouldn't recommend the deep sea fishing as much just because the amount of fish you catch to the time/money that is cost to go isn't really worth it to me. The ziplining was a lot of fun though, we would definitely go again. Our tour guides had so much fun making jokes and picking on us tourists but it was all in fun and games. I was not expecting the 30 ft drop and they made me go first, it wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be but I was very nervous going first!
Overall the staff at Sandals Grande Riviera was absolutely wonderful, everyone in Jamaica is so happy and care free. We are already thinking about when we can make it back, and have become Sandals select members!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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