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“Great Time at Sandals Grande Riviera!”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Time at Sandals Grande Riviera!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2013

My wife and I had a wonderful experience from beginning to end. We went to celebrate my wife's 50th birthday with a once in a blue moon vacation without kids. We started with a couples massage at Red Lane Spa which set the tone for a relaxing week. We took the Dunn's River Falls excursion on the catamaran which we would definitely recommend. Another highlight of our trip was scuba diving. Ike at the dive shop took great care of us. On the night of my wife's birthday, we had a private candlelight dinner on the beach. The service and atmosphere was perfect! We took advantage of the resorts photographer where Valen did a wonderful job making us look good. Even though I am not one to spend for these kinds of extras, the staff in the photo shop made the experience of picking our photos easy and fun. While the quality of the food didn't always match the superb service and ambiance, it was certainly good and we had no complaints. Our last night we ate at Neptune's. Miguel our waiter was great and chef Alex even came out to ask about our dinner. They were both so pleasant and professional, it capped off our week. I worried about getting my money's worth going to an all inclusive resort and have to say I would do it again. My wife was concerned about the size of the beach at the Grand Riviera but again those worries were dismissed as we always felt we had plenty of space. My only real complaint would be the extra 30 dollar service charge on the couple's massage. Perhaps I didn't read the fee schedule close enough while booking. It was truly a remarkable experience from beginning to end. Beautiful scenery, terrific staff and great accommodations. We would book again!

Room Tip: We were glad we stayed in the lower area of the resort as we were closer to most everything we wante...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jhan J
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
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

Wife and I had an incredible time at SGR. Service is top notch, with an incredibly friendly staff that goes out of their way to make sure you're having a great time. Food was fantastic - not a bad meal over a 6 day trip. Be sure to ask to sit at Tex's table at the Japanese Steak House. Bartenders Andre and Bishop kept the drinks and entertainment flowing at the pool bar.

- One very minor downside - because the reef is so close to the beach and the water is shallow, the water sports are more limited than in Negril - no waterskiing or off-resort jet ski rentals. Sailing, kayaks, paddleboards and trikes are all available and fun.

Going back again? "Why Not?"

Room Tip: Stay on the beach side if you're a sun-worshiper. Rooms on the hill are a bit quieter and close...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springville, Utah
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

This was the top rated Sushi we've been at. We hope everyone who loves sushi can go there also.. Thanks So Much Wilson and Verona for making our trip to the resort and our dinners the Best... We also can Thank KerryAnn and Bishop at the bar they were so much fun to go hang and just get the Best funniest names for drinks. Meeting new people and enjoying Our time. The resort was our 1st time and we would go again with some friends and show them how much fun it is to go.

Room Tip: Ocean view by amphitheater and bar with the fire baking pizza for good lunch on balcony or by your o...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BevTroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
239 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this resort to celebrate our one year anniversary. Initially I was very concerned, for a variety of reasons, that I did not choose the best resort. We like the Sandals brand and had only been to SWH so I was concerned about how it would compare.

Food- The food was hit and miss. Our best meal was dinner at the Reef Terrace and the food from the beach party, everything else was just sub-par. Reef Terrace was very very good with beautiful views. Bayside has decent breakfast and the pizza is good at Bella Napoli. Mariners jerk chicken is good as well. There was several restaurants though which is a plus! Every time we asked the bartenders at Jaime's sports bar for one of the famous drinks everyone said we should try ( dirty banana, bob marley etc...) he couldn't make it but he kept alternatives coming. That was a little upsetting but we didn't let it spoil our fun.

Service- The service was below expectations for the Sandals brand. Keep in mind, I’ve only had Sandals Whitehouse to compare it to, but I would assume that the service could be the same between resorts. The resort was hard to navigate but they do have orientations twice daily. If you miss the afternoon one on your first day, you are on your own until the next morning. The place is huge so it took some time finding some of the restaurants and figuring out what was going on. The Daily Breeze was only delivered to my room on the last day so I had to ask another guest where they are, they were at the front desk. Service was slower than usual at the restaurants and we did not get the nightly turndown every night. We advised the hotel, as well as my travel agent that we were celebrating our anniversary and we had nothing special done at all, which I had expected as I know most Sandals will give you a little cake or something in your room. It was kind of disappointing to receive nothing.

The hotel- This resort is HUGE! There are three sides and we stayed on the Riveria side in the main building. On the Riveria side are all the beaches and the Ochi Beach Club (considered a separate area). The Riveria side is definitely the party side. We enjoyed being there with the music and great atmosphere. We also enjoyed the friendly bartenders. The Riveria side is broken into three beaches, the watersports beach, the main beach and the Ochi Beach Club. One of my concerns was that I would not like the broken up beach but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There was plenty of lounging areas and private seating. I enjoyed staying in the main Riveria building as it has a huge convenience factor.

Other- Snapshots was great and the resort is in good location for excursions. Clean facilities, Lots to do even if you don’t leave the resort. Love the steele drum band! Rent a private cabana at the Ochi Beach Club, It is so worth the money! The ride in was nice and smooth, it took about 1 and a ½ hours.

Overall Experience- I enjoyed this lively resort! One main complaint is that it lacked the romance factor. One day they had a Netball tournament between Jamaica and England that the resort hosted. That was cool to watch but afterwards the girls were free to frolic along the beach as they were guests which changed the whole mood of lounging on the beach. I thought this was incredibly odd for a couple’s only resort. That’s one of the main reasons I gave the resort 4 stars. I think I was expecting something different but overall, in retrospect I truly enjoyed myself and would consider going back. I do recommend this resort if you enjoy a party and aren’t looking for the romance factor.

Room Tip: Staying is the Riveria building is convenient to restaurants, bars and beach! Even though you are cl...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Vanessa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

I've been to JA before, never for a honeymoon or on a resort. Sandals or SGR went out of their way to throw in extras, we really couldn't have asked for more. In addition to our room, we got 2 bottles of Champagne, butler villas (but from what we hear it’s now all butlers), couples massage, free spa gift, honeymoon breakfast with items not usually on breakfast menu, personal call from 2 managers to check in us. We appreciated all the effort made. Our room wasn't ready when we initially arrived, but its ok we were too busy drinking.

From what we were told by guests they were undergoing renos, but this was hardly noticeable.
As others stated, most of the action is on the Beach or Riviera side, The shuttles and jitney system does get annoying after 4 the fourth day ad you realize you spend more time than you would like having to wait for a ride. Hopefully they can figure out a more efficient system or upgrade to a rail or tram.

Now onto our Butlers: all their butler staff seem super great + helpful, we were fortunate to have Andre + Olive or Olivia I think. I was hesitant about Butlers at first, but they bent over backwards for us. Also were younger than most of their guests, we didn't use their services much, but when we did they made sure we got our reservations even got us into places that were booked. If you don't contact them, our butlers checked in with us daily and made sure our room was turned down and bar was stocked. If you get a chance to get either of them you will be blown away. I hope to see them both when I return, they totally exceeded our expectations...I do regret not spending more time with them and utilizing their services more.

When you get butler service you get these RED nokia phones with digicel service(great signal works everywhere), to contact butlers only for calls, NO text'ing or instant messaging. I'm assuming by the next time I go they will have those features, since they are pretty standard. Also the volume on the butler phones on them is low at times and is hard to hear them on. Works best with an earpiece of headset that they don't give you. My suggestion would be to upgrade to getter phones.

The Wi-Fi service on resort was great and worked on both sides, speeds slow at times but still great considering we were outside. I'm sure speeds will improve with time.

Bishop at the bar was super cool, also so were all the playmakers, Joel, Tanisha, I miss all the staff, already.

Also make sure you try the blue mountain coffee, it’s addictive and yes its really that good.

All the events they put on were also great, highlights were:
- Couples game show (do this if you get the chance...hilarious),
- Beach Party...amazing,
- Reggaefest feat. superstar in the making Peter Lloyd, his music is inspiring, I wish he did more originals than covers. He is a smart guy and highly intelligent and did a great job of educating guest without force-feeding you education.
- Chocolate fest + All White Party
- Steelpan night
- Jazz night

We went on 4 excursions(catamaran cruise, dunns river falls, shopping, ATV safari, ride, black river safari tour, YS falls, Appleton’s rum tour), totally worth it, some were pricy but island routes has a monopoly on tours for now. Hope they offer more variety in the future.

Food was exceptional, we at all of them, but my standouts in order of quality:
Manor Restaurant - traditional Caribbean dishes, get the escovich fish + curry goat, awesome
Reef Terrace - get the fish + roti, awesome
China Doll - great Chinese dishes, everything we had was good.
Kimonos - tappenyaki style Japanese - not that vegetarian friendly, but still exceptional.
Velentinos - Italian food served small portions on cool plates, but great
Neptunes /Mariners beachside - great, get the coconut shrimp, you won't regret

We had a great time, and wanted to leave feedback/ suggestions but they don't have a box of forms on site, when we left we thought we would get feedback forms but never did. Hopefully they offer this in the future.

My 4 biggest gripes about Sandals Grande Riviera aka SGR:
1.) While the resort has great Wi-Fi (free for those with butlers), I found it strange that there was no business of resource area or a computer or print off docs. if there was one the staff were not too informed about this, c'mon even 2 star hotels have these now a days. Not everyone wants to bring their laptop or tablet on vacation. Please if anyone is reading this, hook this up, I can even sell you or donate one of my old desktops, if needed.

2.) What is up with the lame pop music at the bar and throughout the resort, I don't listen to the radio or pop music, I was shocked to hear that’s what they were playing throughout the resort. I would rather hear some traditional Jamaican tunes or Bob, or Lovers Rock, anything but the current pop out now since most will agree its trash.

3) Not sure its just my tolerance or my liver, but I found that the bar drinks weren't that strong, even when I asked for a double or the strongest drink they had, when I go to an all inclusive I wanna get slithered or tanked....and bro, where the teqilla at?

4.) Lastly its the deceptive pricing @ Snap Shots (resort photo lab), As part of our honeymoon package We got our photo taken by a resort photographer, we got an amazing one, Ricardo I think his name was, unfortunately the great part of this photo experience ended with him. First off the photo lab offers outdated and overpriced packages. They actually sell photo albums like the ones from the 80's with the plastic inserts. This photo lab could use an overhaul and please get with the times and go digital, we use instagram + and FB now. Their pricing is not clearly laid out, packages are all over $120 and at the top of their pricing chart it says 5-9 pics $14, doesn't say if its per pic. So if you aren’t willing to spend over $120 there are no packages for you. My gripe is that 2 of the staff lied to us straight up and told us when we asked, it would only be $14 for 5-9 pics printed or on a CD, when we were done, they had the nerve to charge us $14 per pic on to a CD, who does that? so for a CD of 8 pics it was $126 after taxes & fees. That’s the most expensive CD ever, I'm going frame it and put in a glass case. Like many stores on retort they also say all sales are final, so make sure you know what you are paying for before you agree to anything.

While this photo lab experience could have ruined the trip for some, we didn’t let it get in the way or kill our vibe, we still had a blast and would go back, but would never set foot in Snap shots.

We can't wait to go back to SGR, already started saving for the next get a way.

Once again shout out to the awesome Butler staff and Andre + Olivia you all rock and deserve a round of applause!

Room Tip: Rooms on the Villa side are quieter but all the action is on the beach / riveria side try to get a r...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RicoMagnifico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dulles, Virginia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

Went to Negril for our honeymoon four years ago and loved the beach so much we came back. The beach at SGR in Ocho Rios was very much a disappointment though. Very small, crowded, rocky, and obstructed. That being said, all else was great!

Our week stay was during the last few days this April, we stayed on the villa/mountain side, and our first Sandals experience. Though nice to have butlers, we did not use them much as we preferred to be more self-sufficient and explored on our own. The resort is beautiful but huge and had to take the shuttle from one side of the resort to the other and at times needed to request golf cart rides back to our villa from the Great House. Our room in building 74 was perfection, loved the semi-private pool and even had a gathering at the pool one night with the other three couples in the villa. On most other occasions, just the two of us hung out at the villa pool alone.

Food was great, definitely above average. Our best meal was dinner at The Manor and worst was room service. Be sure to try the Jerk Chicken at Dino's or late night grill (same location). Buffet breakfast at Sabrina's Marketplace was our fav morning option with made-to-order omelettes but drink service on busy mornings were not met. Dinner at The Bayside and The Reef both offered spectacular ocean views.

As previously mentioned, the beach was a disappointment so we found ourselves happily situated at one of the many pools instead. Faves were the two smaller and quieter pools near the Great House which made for quick access to the frozen yogurt machine at the self-serve area at Dino's.

Spa on the mountainside is worth doing.

All-in-all, we will return to a Sandals resort but not likely this location again because of the beach.

Room Tip: Spacious accommodations on the villa side and enjoyed the villa pool.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coopeeta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

We have stayed at many adults only all inclusive including Excellence and Ibersotar. This resort was as good if not better than any of those. It was our first time to a Sandals resort and we were not disappointed, and hope to come back soon!!

If you don't love it here you won't be happy anywhere.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mike24ca
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 Spa 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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