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“Ocho Rios” 5 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
State College, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Ocho Rios”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed in the Sandals Riviera Beach resort for our honeymoon. We booked our vacation with Jennifer Doncsecz of VIP Vacations and couldn't have been happier. Our Sandals resort was a dream come true. Everyone at the resort was extra friendly and welcoming. During the day, there were two separate beach areas, several pools and swim up bars, and many non motorized water sports to partake in. It was great walking into a clean room every afternoon also. The room cleaning services were impeccable. When the sun went down, there were were many wonderful places to eat dinner and different events going on every evening. This all inclusive resort was adults only and the crowd seemed to be of a younger generation. The best part about this resort is that it is two different resorts (beach side and mountain side). Whichever side you stay on, you have access to the other side as well (pools, facilities, restaurants, etc.).My husband and I hope to go back to Sandals Grande Riveria in the future.

  • Stayed July 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?
2 Thank Kara Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,546 reviews from our community

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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 (2,320)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nova Scotia, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

We stayed at this resort the week of April 7th. It was a fantastic time & we definitely didn't want to leave. The weather was fantastic and the property was in excellent shape. It is a large resort, which we really liked. There were lots of options for pools, restaurants, beachfront, lush gardens, quiet places to sit and bars to lounge around in. You have to take a shuttle to get back and forth to the 2 sides, but we never waited more than 5 mins for a shuttle. We opted for Butler service, which was a nice perk, but people should know that the butlers have several clients they are working with. They are excellent at checking in & ensuring you have what you need & helping you out whenever you need, which makes an already relaxing trip, even more relaxing. But they are pretty busy. The food was quite good, there were many a la carte options that had fantastic quality, the buffets were fine....not great but not horrible, which was typical and expected. Overall we loved our time there, were treated great, and it was nice to not have to tip every time you wanted service too!

Room Tip: I personally liked to quiet of the mountain side villas. We stayed in a 1 bedroom and had our own pr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hsjami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OTTAWA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

There are some good things about this resort - the play makers (Natalia is THE BEST), accommodations (our villa was amazing), pool (lots of chairs, towels, etc.) - but enough things that we didn't like that will cause us not to return to this location. We stayed at Sandals Mo Bay 2 years ago and would definitely go back there.

We were 3 couples traveling together but every time we went to eat (buffet or restaurant) it seemed to be a problem for us to sit together, even with butlers making arrangements before hand. There was really only one restaurant where the food was noteworthy - The Manor (Caribbean food). The day we arrived we had to wait for our rooms to be ready so we had lunch at the grill/pizza place. The food was tasteless and cold (the server didn't seem to understand what a side salad was) so we didn't go back there again.

It was also our first experience with butler service and we were excited and looking forward to it but, in the end, not impressed. We were sharing a butler with our friends (along with 6 or 7 other couples it turns out) and we were both admonished, starting on the 1st night, for not 'following protocol'. But the protocol/expectations was never laid out for us so I'm not sure I'd take the butler service again. There didn't seem to be very good communication between our 2 butlers, which required us to double check that things (like our private transfer to the airport upon departure) had been taken care of properly. One seemed disinterested and the other overwhelmed.

It also wasn't clear to us before we booked that the resort was so spread out with the beach across the street requiring a bus ride to get there. The bus runs often and it's a short trip but the ocean is the main reason we go to the Caribbean and we ended up spending more time around the pool this time. And the beach itself is small and chopped up into sections. My husband was very interested in diving but he didn't go out again after his first trip. The dive crew were disorganized and not very helpful.

And why does there always have to be loud music constantly playing, at the beach, at the pool, in the restaurants? Sometimes, you just want some peace and quiet!

But Sandals really knows how to throw a party. The chocolate buffet that followed the manager's dinner was spectacular. I've never seen, or tasted, anything like it before. And the beach party was a lot of fun.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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 YahmonOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Walton Beach FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

This review is long overdue. My husband and I stayed at this resort for 7 nights over Thanksgiving 2012, and booked my trip with Joanne at Beach Bum Vacations. I booked the room at the top of the hill (panoramic ocean vista). Just prior to leaving, Joanne informed me that she sent a request to the resort to upgrade me if possible. I really thought this was a line, so I didn't respond that I didn't want an upgrade (i booked the room i really wanted). When we arrived, the Butler manager informed us that he has been in contact with Joanne and have upgraded us to the Romeo and Juliette Suite. I was impressed. If you do or do not want an upgrade, let her know b/c she is serious when she says she's going to try to hook you up! In the end, we ended back at the original room of choice.

Airport check-in was very organized. No time to sit as our private transfer was ready for us as soon as we arrived at the Sandals Lounge. The views from panoramic rooms were breathtaking (reason #1 why i wanted that room). The resort is large, but i did a lot of research prior to the trip and understood the shuttle system. i thought it was very fast to get from one side of the resort to the other. Our trip was only a few weeks after the hurricane came through, and apart from the dock being worked on, you could hardly tell anything had happened.

Buttlers- We had Denton and Bertram. They were great. By the end of the week, we were really enjoying their company. We were fairly low-maintenance. They escorted us to dinner each night and were seated immediately. Probably my favorite part of having a butler b/c i don't like to wait to eat.

Food- We couldn't get to each restaurant (so many). Loved the coconut shrimp at Mariners. Request Tex at Kimono's. Soy and China doll were good but the portions were SO SMALL. Order multiple items. Kelly's dockside was okay, and it took forever (i understand it's for butler guests only now).

Activities- My husband and friend golfed 4 days and enjoyed it. Listen to your caddy b/c he knows what he's talking about. We also did the Dunns River Falls by boat. Find out which days the cruise ships are not in, and go those days. it will be less crowded. I thought i was so much fun, and VERY COLD! i was warned about the rum punch on the way back, so i was cautious when drinking it. But it didn't take long before i was dancing up a storm. The rum punch is some serious stuff. If you don't want to get drunk, you must avoid it completely!

Spa- The spa treatments are okay. The manor side is a better set-up then the seaside. I did a body wrap, and when it came time to shower off, the water was cold.

We hung out at multiple locations during the day but we enjoyed the manor pool the most. Going to the beach and hanging out at the pool? i don't get it either, but it had such a great vibe! We are more early to bed, early to rise folks, so I don't know what happened late in the evening, but i hear the nightlife was kicking!

We had a great relaxing week and would recommend place to friends. This is our second trip to a Sandals (first one St Lucia).

Room Tip: Don't be scared to stay on the manor side. the travel back and forth is easy.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank clpatch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Grande Riviera in early April and we had a fantastic time! Yes the resort is split into two, but shuttles and jitneys come all the time and it wasn't that big of a deal. I will warn you that arriving at the airport can get crazy hectic. There were porters all over the place grabbing bags and moving things around and it definitely could have been a smidge more organized. Nothing against Sandals, just wanted to give a head's up to travelers.
When we arrived at the resort (yes the bus ride is a little long, but it's on a nice highway and it wasn't "scary" as some other reviewers have said) we checked in fairly easily and were staying in a basic room on the beach side. It was a decent room, nice sized and the AC worked which is all that really mattered. We figured we wouldn't be in the room too much, so we didn't care. The most underwhelming part of the trip was the food, the breakfast buffet was just a normal boring breakfast buffet with subpar food. The two pizza shacks on the resort were pretty good, but overall we were very disappointed with dinners. They just weren't that great, however, some people on here complained about the size of dinner, but everything's included, so order another item. Other than that the trip was fabulous, we had a great time with the bartenders, the weather was fabulous and everyone was so friendly on the resort! The playmakers were really fun and all the activities they arranged kept us busy! So, yes it was fun and I loved that everything was all-inclusive, but I wasn't blown away by the food; however, the weather was fabulous and the workers were all really sweet and willing to help so I'd definitely go to Sandals again. Just maybe not this one.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fgore72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

What a great week of fun in the sun!!!! We enjoyed a week in a bougainvillea honeymoon butler suite, highly recommended!
Even though our villa wasn't on the beach side we enjoyed the more private scene that our room had. The staff is what made this trip over the top. Our butlers Richard "richie rich" and Jeremy took care of our every need and even went out of the way to make sure it was perfect! The bars at the pools were very exciting and had great drinks with premium brands kumar,basil and karmone were my favorite bottle slingers !! I would rate the food as above average but again the staff makes up for any down side. Valentino's was our favorite and is a must go(scallops! You can thank me later)! Rocquel and Ricardo gave us 5star service all week long even if we weren't eating there and when they seen us around the resort . Another must go is Kimora's, ask for Tex you will never forget him! We were there for my sister's wedding and tex stopped by with someone to sing for my sister,Amazing!! We will def be back for another vacation with sandals and this location takes service to the next level!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Campbell_like_soup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

Sandals toots their own horn loudly and often so I expected a lot. To say I was underwhelmed would be an understatement. In one sentence, it appears this hotel suffers from a significant lack of attention to detail. An overview of our trip.

Airport Lounge and Check In: At the airport, we were checked in by a rep and told to wait in the lounge. An empty tray of snacks and a bare kitchen greeted us -- there was beer on tap and water. Upon transfer and arrival at the hotel, check in was very confused! We were shipped back and forth between areas of the hotel, told to wait and not assisted and then finally transferred to a butler check in as we had been "upgraded". All in, about an hour to get our room sorted - not a great first impression.

Room: Our butler suite was nice, but separated us from our group. Our butler seemed fairly indifferent to our requests - which is just as well, since we didn't really need his help. The room was spacious and included a bar and stocked fridge. The bed was high but comfortable and the air con and fans all worked well. Few insects including large ants and (it is believed) a cockroach - but hey - that's nature.

Grounds: Well maintained. Shuttle required to get from side to side and to the beach, but you get accustomed to the back and forth and shuttles come often. The beach is small, but still acceptable. Grounds and paths are all clean, well lit and easy to navigate after a day of familiarization. The place is definitely starting to date itself - very 90's look and feel however.

Food: This is where a lot of the "underwhelm" comes in. Food on the whole generally lacked variety (breakfast buffet was identical day to day) and did not have a ton of choice. Breakfast at the China Doll was horrible - took an endless amount of time despite no one else dining and some of the food was inedible - pancakes had too much baking soda and could not be eaten. Lunch buffet acceptable at MarketPlace, terrible at Bayside. Dinners all fairly miserable with overdone, under seasoned and unmemorable dishes. Best items were local favourites like goat curry and oxtail, but otherwise, nothing special at all and certainly not what Sandals would have you believe in their communication.

Staff: Wow - terrible. Worst we've encountered at any resort in the Caribbean. We also stayed at another resort in Negril on the same trip and staff were so much friendlier and happier there. It seemed that in general staff were either sad or upset to be working at Sandals. We did not encounter happy or pleasant staff (other than a few bartenders) and most just seemed like they had distaste for customers. Many staff members could not keep simple requests straight, would jump from customer to customer and back again, would forget about people. When we settled up for a tour payment with the front desk, the staff member wished us on our way while conveniently forgetting our bills of change. When I mentioned it, she snarked "she knows" and then went to get it. Our butler team was of little use to us but felt the need to call us many times or show up at our door. They were unhelpful with simple requests like transportation questions - fairly useless. Overall, this is probably the biggest reflection to me of poor management. The European chains (eg. Riu and Iberostar) seem to get this component much more than Sandals.

Activities: Good variety of water and land activities, though the glass bottom boat and snorkeling tours revealed how damaged the reef areas -- little left in terms of plant and fish life compared to many other areas in the Caribbean and around the world.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelManTO
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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