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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Trip Ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

My wife and I and our best friends just returned from our trip a week ago and this was our best trip ever! We have been to many different places and resorts but have never stayed at a Sandals.The staff at this place was amazing. From the minute we arrived everyone was welcoming and ready to assist to make our stay one to remember. The grounds are absolutely georgeous and everything was very clean and well looked after.The food was great and you will never go hungry. There is too much to list and too many people to thank however we do want to point out a few. Mark, one of the resort managers went out of his way each time we saw him to make sure we would experience the best of everything. Also if you love to scuba dive as much as we do, the PADI dive centre at the resort is second to none. The instructors are professional and are there for your safety every step of the way including the captain of the vessal. My wife and I both completed our Advanced certification here and everyone was very helpful in ensuring we had the best dives and experiences. Special thanks to our instructors Ike and Dennis! If you are going to do any outside activities, make sure to go on the Cat- boat trip to Dunns river falls and the Bob Marley tour as well. They were a blast! Check out the piano bar in the evening and Ricardo will take good care of you and make you laugh! Thanks for everything Sandals, Denis & Michelle Benvegnu.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Diver1_CDN
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
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English first
Newark, Delaware
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Before going on our trip, I read many of the reviews relating to this resort. I admit I became a bit nervous because some of the comments were troubling (and most were very unfounded).

I'll address the topics that "could" generate negative reviews based on our first hand experience. The most important factor (to us) at this resort is knowing where your room is. The resort is basically 2 resorts with many of the rooms away from the beach and up on the hillside. Being "up there" requires a short shuttle ride to/from the beach and if you don't know that in advance, you may not like it as much as being closer to the shoreline. It was obvious when the airport transportation bus was dropping guests off, that many didn't know they were staying "up there". I will also state that "up there" is more upscale and fancy. The main (Great House) pool area is stunning.

My wife and I are "beach people" so we were happy that our room was down near the beach.

The other topic that generated some potentially valid negative comments is the general confusion over "reserved" pool or beach lounge chairs and/or Cabana's. I did notice that the cabana's all had "reserved" signs above them (which was OK with us as we wouldn't want to be in them anyway) , however for other's it seemed easy enough just to "ask". We didn't see anyone turned away from requesting a cabana. The same goes with the beach lounge chairs. We noticed that the beach staff was reserving some of them. We were a bit confused so we simply asked! A young beach staffer "Chaz" graciously explained that anyone can reserve a favorite chair/spot on the beach and he then went above and beyond making sure our chairs were all set up for us each and every morning! Chaz even brought us drinks and in general made our beach experience fantastic.

Other comments saying there was no premium liquor in the bars and/or the food was bad was terribly unfounded. The bars are fully stocked with premium liquors of all types and the food was far above our expectations. We had stayed at a different "all inclusive" resort for two prior years (in Montego Bay) and we thought the food there was "pretty darn good".. By comparison the dining experience at Sandals was incredible! Our first dinner was at the "Reef Terrace" and we really enjoyed it. Later in our stay we met 3 lovely "Soy" staffers (Latoya, Tameka and Susan) who treated us like we were family. The Sushi was also excellent! We had diner up on the hill at Sabrina's one evening and that was also first class. We dined most of the time at Bayside and it was always very good and very convenient. We tried the pizza, burgers and coconut shrimp at several of the other more casual places and were always happy.

We spent many evenings at the outdoor Terrace Bar enjoying the water views, fireplace feature, live music, great drinks and personal service.

Our room (in a garden cottage) was very nice. Walking to/from the room was like being in a tropical paradise. The trees, plants, flowers and water features were breathtaking. The room was very quiet and peaceful. All we could hear were the "tree frogs" and the water cascading from a waterfall outside the room's walkway.

This was our first Sandal's vacation and it will not be our last. We loved it.

Room Tip: Make sure you know where your room is. Rooms up on the hillside require a shuttle to bring you down...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Christopher H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

Just a few observations without repeating what others have said about Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort.
There is a reception room at the airport with beer and washrooms. You’ll only have time for 2-3 glasses before being whisked away on the Sandals shuttle. The shuttle to the resort is an eye-opener in itself. Horn and high-beams are the norm when tailgating as the driver prepares to pass, which is done at any opportunity. Ride shotgun if you dare.
We had a cottage lower floor on the beach side and were quite happy with it. Far enough away from the beach highrise so nothing was heard at night but just a two minute walk to breakfast. No beer in our fridge since we didn’t book a concierge. No trouble reserving our meals ourselves.
The shuttles within the resort are steady all day. We never waited more than a few minutes for a ride. I used the shuttle to transport our dive gear on the first and last day.
You don’t get a sunrise or sunset here since the beach faces north. The sun goes behind the neighbouring buildings at around 4:30 PM. If suntanning is your goal you’re either turning around your lounger to face other beachers or are setting up on the dock facing the beach bar.
We did the Dunns River Falls/Caramaran trip. $75 each. Enjoyed it. Bring your own snorkle gear if you have it but they do provide for all. You leave at 9 and back on the beach by 1:30. The ½ hour snorkle is on top a shallow reef that is well stocked with the common fish. Just remember that you are with around 40 other people. The falls are a hoot, especially if your guide is as animated as ours was. I had a waterproof camera and got lots of great video and stills. There is a photographer assigned to each group that took a pretty good video of our antics. It’ll cost $40. Not sure if it is worth it to some. We were told there would be a Dunns Falls documentary on it, but there isn’t. For the return trip they raised the sails and opened the bar. We had a good speed going and you could tell the staff were well seasoned by the way they danced and served drinks to those who weren’t able to stand. Sandwiches and other finger foods were provided as well.
We enjoyed the nightly entertainment, particularly the history of reggae. The steel drums were also good. Chocolate night/white party is to be experienced (bring a camera).It is held on the mountain side so we used that as an excuse to eat at the chinese restaurant. A really good meal.
Speaking of food, five nights out of seven we had appetizers at the sushi restaurant. Highly recommended. Get there just after opening and sit at the bar. The chefs will prepare “off menu” items as well, if you show an interest.
The bars were well stocked, you just have to specify if you want Bombay, Glenfiddich etc or you got bar rail booze. Beware of the “bang-bang” where you lay on the pool bar and they pour 3 different alcohols into your mouth followed by some juice. I saw one guy do it (there were others including a mother who's daughters were aghast) and a few hours later he was a little under the weather...no suprise there.
The diving.
This is not a dive resort. It may be “included” but they dive once in the morning (deep) and once in the afternoon (shallow). You MUST begin with an afternoon dive to demonstrate your competence and the dive is the day after you sign up. No exceptions that I know of. They do offer one night dive a week. We arrived at the beginning of inclement weather so we didn’t dive for 3 days. Judgement call I know but anywhere that you pay for your dives, if the harbour is open, the dive boats go. They chose not to dive due to poor visibility. The gear provided (everything needed) appeared to be in very good condition. We had our own. The highlight of our three dives was a puffer fish, never saw one before. Thought it was a sea urchin.
The piano bar is a nice place to relax to in the evening. Sometimes they have a sing-along. Lyrics provided. The beach bar is a mad house at night. Difficult to get a drink.
The gift shop is well stocked and decent prices (ask my wife). You get a Sandals in-house credit card for your stay and settle up at departure.
We spent one full afternoon at the mountian side pool and really enjoyed the atmosphere as well as met some enthusiastic people.
The beach party was a lot of fun. The bbq lobster was sooo good.
The airport was a breeze to get through on departure, considering we were dropped off 3 hours before departure. Westjet weighs everything on check in, even your carry on. The departure tax was included on our ticket. Lots of duty free in the terminal.
Next stop, Roatan in Feb-Mar for some real diving. Not as classy as Sandals though.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank coldcda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

We just got back from this beautiful resort. Although I missed being by the beach as we were on the other side of the resort, all in all it was great. Remember to book your restaurants as soon as you arrive as reservations are hard to get. We had rain for most of our trip but the playmakers made it fun....thanks to Shamara and Joel! We also made a friend in Dewayne with the water sports department and he made our trip so much easier by going over and above the call of duty. The room was better then the room we stayed in at the Sandals in Montego Bay by far! Great holiday!!!

Room Tip: We had a villa that was close to the Great House so we could walk and that was awesome as our friend...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank missrepeat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

We have just returned for our 5th trip to the Grande Riviera and it nevers fails to be the BEST!.
The service, food and rooms are outstanding and every employee aims to please with a smile.

Butler Service is well worth the extra money and Stanford and Oren continue to shine and are the most professional,friendly and organized butlers we have had in our 26 trips to Sandals
Resorts.

Ann Marie, Charmaine and Lydia in Housekeeping, always efficient,
friendly and quiet! --Janice at the Manor Pool Bar is a Great Asset as a Cocktail Server and has
our drinks on her tray as soon as she sees at our beach chairs!

Valentino's and Bayside continue to be our Favorites, Wayne and Ashley
and Tanniel always make our dinner experience Fabulous! (Lamb and Lobsters, our favorites!)

We were very impressed with the new TLC Teams that called to check on "How your Vacation was Going" and if you did have a concern that was a great venue to resolve..Great Customer Service Tool!

Shadine at Soon Come Back continues to keep us coming back.....
We booked 3 vacations with her in Nov for 2013 and booked a 2014 vacation with her this trip. She is the Best!

The wide variety of Pools and Beach options make the Grande Riviera a perfect vacation spot for everyone! We can't wait to go back!!

Cold in Utah!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank happyinSLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

This was our7th Sandals vacation so we know what the Sandals standard is.

The resort and the renovations are very nice. The problem rests with management. Our call to Mr. Roper, the GM was deemed unimportant so he delegated the responsibility to return our call to his Director of Guest Services.

She gave us a certificate for breakfast in bed for our trouble. Two days later when we used the certificate, breakfast was not delivered. Our call to the concierge was met with indifference and we eventually went out for breakfast when the concierge did not call us back. The next day, room service called and said hey had breakfast for us and offered no apology or explanation.

Sandals is a great organization and most resorts are spectacular. The service is equally stellar as a general rule. Too bad this resort was the exception. It certainly was evident to us that the staff were in need of guidance and motivation but management at this resort provide neither..

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ang1002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redding
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

First off we would like to thank Kim and all the wonderful ladies at Avanti Travel for helping us plan our vacation. Your insight and experience with this resort, and Sandals in general, made the choice to go to the Grande Riviera simple.
This was our first Sandals experience. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at the Grande Riviera (seaside). We could not imagine a better place to go and we are already planning our return. From the moment we arrived we were taken care of. We are not needy people and the entire staff made us feel so special. I feel sorry for the few that wrote a bad review for this resort. If you were not happy here, good luck being happy anywhere.
The grounds were extraordinary, the ocean view room perfect and the dining amazing. It would be impossible to remember the names of all the staff that made our stay unforgettable but we made friends with several staff members and several guests. The daily and nightly activities, planned and put on by the Playmakers, were a blast. Casey, Joel, Natallia, Shamara, Kemarley, Karah, Rodney, Shayne, thank you all.
Tips and tips. Take some cash as there is no ATM at the resort. There is a safe in the room. If you golf and plan on golfing more than twice, take your clubs. It is $60.00 to rent clubs. You must have a caddie ($17.00) and you tip the caddy, $10.00 is appropriate. You can tip the shuttle bus driver to and from the airport and the folks that handle your luggage at the airport. Plan on tipping the folks on the off-site excursions as well. For convenience, take a credit card to put on file at the resort for shopping as your ATM/Visa cannot be put on file; however you can pay as you go with your ATM/Visa. Don’t over pack, our days were spent in swimsuits. The pools are not heated and were a bit cool but fine once you were in. The ocean water temperature was perfect. We did enjoy dressing up for dinners so a few nice dresses for the women and slacks and couple of collared shirts for the men. After dinner we would change into jeans or nice shorts for the evening entertainment which always led us to Jamie’s bar to finish out our night with some dancing.
The bartenders (day and night crew) at Jamie’s were tremendous. This is from “Virgin Beer”, Anthaniel, Voyston, Karome, Ramone, thank you. Jacquline at the “come back soon desk” thanks for the help and your beautiful daily smile. The room service staff did a phenomenal job cleaning our room daily to include the evening turndown service. We will, without question, return to Sandals.

Rex & Tracey

Room Tip: We are active and enjoyed the ocean view room as it was close to the beach and many of the daily act...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rex B
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa 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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