Our stay was 3/19-3/25. I have to say I think we got very lucky getting in and out of customs when we got to MBJ. I think it took longer to get out luggage then it did to get out of the airport. We headed right over to the Sandals Lounge they will tag your luggage as to what resort and category you are. It was very nice and we enjoyed a few red strips (I did not see any Rum Punch) with in 15 mins we were called and heading towards our shuttle. the bag handler definitely lets you know you need to tip him but I didn't find it pushy at all. From reading reviews I knew the bag handler and the bus driver were separate so I have him our tip and got on the bus some of the other ppl handed him 10/20 but thought he was the bus drive too. The bus drive is pretty long but my friend and I just chatted it up with some ppl on board and took in the view. We did make the rest stop and didn't mind too much actually got a Strawberry Daiquiri (8USD) for the rest of the ride.
Once we arrived the dropped of on the our side 1st were stayed up on the Villa's. We were met by and nice cool wash cloth that had an amazing aroma to it and definitely perked us up after the long ride. Our Butler Kadesha met us with and great smile and took us to our villa. She had everything lied out for us to look and a few things for us to sign but nothing too time consuming. she gave me a weekly planner to fill out with things that I had already knew we wanted to do and through out the next few days we would update it with what restaurants to and things to do. All my butler preferences were there. Even a Btl of Champagne and some cheese and crackers I requested. At these point I also notice the room was missing the table and chairs I seen in the picture we did have one big chair and coffee table. We booked the St. Anne's Poolside Villa. but think we got the Estate Poolside Villa and later it was kinda of confirmed when we started talking to our neighbors a few days in to our trip who had bookd the Honeymoon Estate Poolside so i'm pretty sure we go down graded. Our Villa was 7424. After that we went down to the Manor pool start or VACA!! The staff even from the get go was very accommodating and once they find out you are just staring your vacation I swear they turn it up a notch :)
For Dinner the 1st night we wanted seafood so Kadesha Suggested Neptuens. They definitly had seafood but I will tell come the end of the week I didn't look at my planner I totally forgot I had even gone there. We enjoyed Kelly's one night and the food was okay the combo app that everyone gets was soso and very dry not very 5 star. Our entree's were okay too they over cooked my boyfriends Fillet but I will tell you the red-wine Demi glaze is amazing!! Also one other perk that I found out that night is that you can pretty much get a surf and turf no matter what. I added a few shrimp to my steak and really enjoyed it My boyfriend was supposed to have gotten Mahi Mahi and Stk but got shrimp instead but considering the kitchen is on the other side of the beach from the dock we didn't mention it. Our server Micheal was great very tentative and professorial. I loved when he came walking over my table with my glass of champagne on his head!! lol We enjoyed Kimonos Junior was our chef and he was fun but it really did take about 2.5hrs for the whole service and the table that was next to us that sat after us had finished before us. Tex was also at the next hibachi beside ours and made the time pass by just enjoying his show. I wasn't too impressed with China Doll and that really amazed but that was another one that if i didn't look at my planner I totally forgot we had gone. We ate at Valentino's on our last night and that was the saving grace. If we had gone there the 1st night we probably would not have gone anywhere else. even though it was an entree I asked if i could get the scallops for an app and they had no problem accommodating for my entree I got the Rack of Lamb my boyfriend got the Caprese for his app and the Gorgonzola stuffed Fillet. So Yummy! One night instead of a restaurant we did the Beach party but I definitely would suggest eating at a restaurant then going for the show. the food was not bad but I just would of preferred to try an other restaurant over the food they had. The Show was amazing and scary lol the fire dancer/eater had my heart in my throat and lefty and righty the one legged pirates were very entertaining definitely have a video recorder on hand for all the performances. The Silverbird steel band blew my mind and the dancers were top notch! The Shows are a must see. We even joined in the game one our last night for the most compatible couple contest we didn't win but we didn't loose either and it really made our last night more memorable. We enjoyed Jamies' sports bar a few nights and just sitting on the dock or on the beach really help you to sink it all in. We also used our pool at the villa everyday whether is was in the morning waiting breakfast (we got breakfast delivered a few times) or at night after all the excitement of the day.
the 1st day we got there I we had the butler book us a couples massage on the Bluff per another review I had read and was told it was the best. we booked on Tuesday for an 11am Massage on Thursday they ask that you get there a half hour early so we did. When we got to the spa we filled out some paper and undressed put on our robs and was told that are ride would be there shortly to get us to go up the the bluffs. at around 1115 the girl told us that they were sorry but that there was a wedding on the bluff and that they were not aware it. I was soo upset but they assured us the the up level of the dock on the beach would be just as good so we did that one instead. We did enjoy it but once we actually seen what the bluffs was I was definitely let down. One more thing if you book a service out side be prepared to walk by everyone on the beach, in the lobby and on your way in your robe. We also did the catamaran to Dunn's River Falls and really enjoyed it. We went on the 9 am trip on Sat which I do suggest because it wasn't too crowded at all.
For the Butler we had 2 Kadesha/Devine they were both great but I don't feel that we utilized them as much as we could of and we only got our room done up 2x during our 6 night stay. Some couple had something new every night. I figured it was because we weren't celebrating anything special. They did do a great job and always had cheese and crackers or a fruit dish in our room and every night we had a btl of water by our bed. We also noticed butlers seating their guest in the restaurants and we only got that on the last night. even the beach party we seen butler's actually finding a seat for them but we were just walked up to it and told to find a seat.
The white party/chocolate buffet were excellent we didn't stay for the show after but enjoyed the event.
The Manor Pool was our favorite but really all them had a great fun vibe and staff. Pizza on the beach side was better than on the manor side in our opinion but took much longer. We also really enjoyed the soft serve ice cream and actually took one for the road the day we left. the bus driver on they way back was much better than the 1st he filled us in on all sorts of info and help the time go by. Check in went very easy at MBJ and we did get the Club Mobay pass and glad we did it was just much more relaxing and just being able to make a few phone call and use the wiFi made it worth it. We didn't have any thing from the bar but believe me we had enough all week.
All and all it was a great trip just the little buts that got in the way but we just sat back and didn't sweat the small stuff. I would still go back in a heart beat!
- 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