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“Sandals”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Spencerville, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Sandals”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The hotel was simply amazing food out of this world service just great!!!!
Only problem is if you want to eat Ocean side make sure you book before you leave home as we tried the day we arrived and the whole week was already booked by online travellers wish we had on known this ahead of time..

Room Tip: We were on the Mountain very quiet and beautiful
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CoptorDoctor
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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Apt1412
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed for a week. Everything was fantastic. Great service and great food. There are so many beaches and pools that you can spend every day in a new spot. We stayed on the Grande side, and the distance to the beach was no problem. Unless you plan to be back and forth to your room every hour, you don't even notice it.

Room Tip: Suites in the Grande were quieter but further from the beach. The Riviera was closer, but there is...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Apt1412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

Stayed at Sandals Ocho Rios in April with 2 other couples, butler service at one of the four unit villas with individual villa pools. Had stayed at Sandals Montego Bay a couple of years earlier for the first time at a Sandals and enjoyed it very much. Service was very good in both places with very friendly and genuinely helpfull staff, beautiful grounds and rooms/suites. At Grande Riviera, It wasn't apparent that the Villas were separated from the beach by a city street on the website, but everyone used sandals shuttle buses to go back and forth between beach and the Grand House where the front desk is located.
The varied range of restaurants came with an equally varied range of levels. The buffet meals were generally quite good, most deserts whether in the restaurants or buffet looked really good, but were mostly window dressing...cheesecake didn't really taste like cheesecake. However, it made up for it with the delicious and impressive Chocolate buffet night.
As for the service, "NATALLIA" was a terrific ambassador for the sandals chain. The SPA was excellent, soothing and highly recommended. Try the Eucalyptus steam. The couple of regrettable parts of the trip were the experiences related to scuba diving and to the music on the resort. The scuba gang were quite disorganized, sometimes without enough masks for everyone on the boat. One time we waited at the dock since 10:30 to be ontime for the 11:00am dive that eventually left at 12:30 - a full 1.5hrs late. Also, inconsistent answers : one group charged $10 extra to dive the shipwreck, 5 minutes later we're told its $60 ea, next day it was free.....That ended any interest in further dives. As for the music, it appeared to be loud and pounding wherever you happened to be on the beaches. I can understand if high energy music is used during the aquatic exercise sessions, etc. I could even have put up with the volume (if I had to) but to have the music pounding at a loud and high rate all day, every day, didn't even allow you to chat with your travelling friends without yelling. The staff did lower the volume of the pounding music when asked, but it was prevalent throughout the resort regardless of which parts of the beach you moved to.

Even at the beach party, which was otherwise well planned, well laid out, delicious food and very welcoming, "SACHA" was trying to encourage participation in dancing but at the expense of yelling long and hard to the point where she was consistently drowning out the music of her own band - certainly not entertaining. We would definitely go back to Sandals, but to Montego Bay or another Sandals location. We did enjoy our MoBay trip very much, especially when compared to Grande Riviera. At MoBay, much more even quality of food - excellent, and perhaps the smaller venue provided a more consistent experience than the Grande Riviera with 900+ staff.

Room Tip: If you want a room near the ocean, don't stay in the butler suites/villas of Grande Riviera. To...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BigTee123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay here and would love to go back to Jamaica very soon, but I think I enjoyed Jamaica more so than the actual resort.

Pros -
All inclusive is awesome, goes without saying.
The pools were big and beautiful and never too busy. There are several to choose from.
The bartenders were entertaining and fun.
The evening events were entertaining.
The room was beautiful and relaxing. The bed was incredibly comfortable.
The tours we went on were not too far away and were a lot of fun.
The water is BEAUTIFUL. I didn't really swim in the ocean water much but to look at it was breathtaking.
The weather was amazing, even when it is overcast it's almost a good thing because it's still super hot.

Cons -
Service is sometimes very slow. We waited almost an hour for a meal at China Doll one time.
The alcohol and tap beer is watered down. YES, Seriously. We drank almost all day, every day, and not once did I feel like I should have after consuming so much alcohol. The drinks are mostly very sugary and sweet so if you want to just have a drink and get what you're expecting, the cans and bottles of beer were best option, as well as wine. I started to ask for just rum with splash of pinapple to get a normal amount of rum in a drink.

Food -
The food was relatively good for the most part, I didn't have much to complain about here. The only bad meal I had was actually at Kelly's which was really disapointing because I liked everything else about the restaurant. I got the shrimp as my main entree and only recieved about 5 small shrimp and they were not cooked fully so I didn't eat them. Luckily I had filled up on the appetizer platter and the sides that we were offered which were good.
The food portions are somewhat small, especially compared to American standards (not such a bad thing, really, just unexpectedly small sometimes). The food portions are somewhat small, especially compared to American standards (not such a bad thing, really, just unexpectedly small sometimes).

Rooms -
If I could do it all over again, I would not have stayed in the room we stayed in. As many other reviewers mention, the resort is split up into two sides - The hillside and the beach side.
We stayed in the butler suites on the hillside. The room was beautiful and large and it was nice to have our own back deck and pool area, but we really didn't take advantage of all the things a butler can do for you besides making reservations for dinner. I really don't think that most people really need a butler because you get the same kind of housekeeping service in the other rooms and you don't need reservations for most of the restaurants.
We also were over on the beach side for almost everything during the day. Most of the restaurants are over there, the evening entertainment is over there, the BEACH is over there, and not to mention, most of the people we met throughout the week were staying on that side too. Taking the bus back and forth from the hillside kinda ruined the ambiance after a great night too.

Overall I really enjoyed my stay and would love to go back. Jamaica is a beautiful place and really just a magical setting to be in. I would change a few things from my trip but mostly just my expectations. Next time we go we may try Negril for more scenery but no matter where you go in Jamaica, I'm sure you'll love the place and the people and create lots of great memories.

Room Tip: Stay on the beach side, somewhere not near Jamie's. Butlers are unnecessary.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kelly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnhamville, Iowa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

This was our first experience at a Sandals resort, it will not be our last.
The staff was excellent and food was wonderful, and all our needs were tended to promptly.
We didn't stay at the top end villa with a butler, but felt anything we needed was an ask away.
I arranged a candle lite dinner on the beach for my wife's birthday and our waitress found out it was her birthday and had a special dessert plate decorated and came up singing to us with another waitress for my wife, priceless.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jepsenpoint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

We went to Sandals Grande Riviera this past February and I just had to share my experiences! The resort was beautiful and very romantic; however what really made this resort was the people. We stayed in the beautiful Honeymoon Bougainvillia Hideaway one bedroom butler suite, our butlers Anton and Marvin were AMAZING them (Shout Outs!-Anthony, Raquel, Tanisha and Kara) and everyone else at this resort became our friends and really made our stay the best possible. We are already planning our trip back for next February. The tours offered are amazing we went on an ATV tour, honeymoon horseback tour, swimming with the dolphins tour, and deep sea fishing right on the resort, all were amazing but our highlight was catching the 350lb Blue Marlin !! This resort is great because they have so many restaurants for you to choose from the food is amazing and service is yet again AMAZING. The gym is very nice for any fitness junkies we had planned on using it ourselves but were enjoying ourselves so much and felt so relaxed we let ourselves have the week off. The spa was also very nice we went for our complimentary couples massage that was included with are room at the time of booking and it was very relaxing. I would suggest that when you stay you get butler service included with your room they make your stay more relaxing they take care of any dinner reservations, tour bookings, etc. Jaimie`s Sports Bar was fun at night they played great music and everyone was drinking having a good time. If your like us and really like to go out and dance etc Jaimies is the place to be on the resort at night and you can also take a bus two times a week to Margaritaville which was also was a lot of fun. All in all our trip was great and we will be returning next year, strongly recommend this resort to couples everywhere!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Allyshia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
119 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Like many things you have high expectations for, they don't always go as planned.

PROBLEM: our arrival to Montego Bay airport where we had to wait 1 hour 5 min in the immigration line. Others said they waited 1 hr 45 min. An airport employee told us the lines were so long because it was a weekend (Sat). Had we known this, we would have purchased the Club Mobay bundle package for $80/pp which gets you past immigration and security lines without waiting. Sandals doesn't explain this well on their web site. So when we FINALLY got on our bus to the resort, it took a solid 1 hr 45 min to get there, arriving much later than expected.

PROBLEM: we reserved a Luxury Garden Cottage on the seaside. I had requested a 2nd floor room as we wanted more privacy & a nice view from our patio. Well, they did give us what we requested and the room was lovely & brand new, but the view was something to be desired. From the patio, all we saw was the tin roof of a building with junk all around (see the 2 pics I posted of this). Not at all what I expected & very disappointed. So I asked for another room and they said there weren't any other cottages available but that several others would be ready the next day. They said not to unpack -- just take out what we needed for the night -- and they would move us & take care of everything the next day. Said they would call us no later than 1:00pm. So the next day we went back to our room after lunch and waited for the call... and waited... and waited. Finally, we walked down to the lobby about 1:30pm to see if our room was ready. All the employees were different from the ones the night before and none of them knew anything about the room change. When they looked up our account, they said there was a note saying we wanted an ocean view room, of which none were available. We said all we wanted was another cottage room with a view better than a tin roof! They said only one other room was left and let us look at. It was clearly an older room with not as nice of furniture, but the view was 100% better. So we accepted that one and then had to wait another hour & 1/2 for them to clean it. Because of the mess-up over the room switch, I'm sure we missed out on a better room as the lobby was filled with guests that had just checked in. And our first day & 1/2 of waiting to unpack and relax did not start out our vacation very well at all.

After that, we put it behind us & had a great time. Stayed 6 nights. Here are some of our thoughts:

GROUNDS:
The gardens on the seaside are stunningly beautiful. I was surprised how close everything was. It takes only minutes to walk from the Riviera seaside building (where most of the action is) to the seaside lobby and the amphitheater (& pool bar). The Ochi Beach Club is further and you have to go up & down flights of stairs and over piers. We like to walk, so it wasn't a problem for us. To get to the hill side of the resort -- the Villas & Great House -- you have to take a bus or golf cart-type vehicle to get there. The architecture & grounds at the Great House are stunningly beautiful as well, in a totally different way. We just prefer the seaside and all the action.

THE ROOM:
As mentioned, the room we ended up staying in was one of their older cottages. It was pretty nice, but clearly needed some maintenance and updating. The rugs on each side of the bed were filthy, the drawer in the desk was broken and there was some mold around the bottom of the toilet. The bathroom window had louvers you could open & close but no glass in it to keep the AC in and the noise out. Many of the other cottages were brand new with beautiful new furniture & a more modern bathroom. You'd think if they're charging the same price, they would remodel the older rooms to be more in line with the new ones. Also, all the doors to the rooms closed VERY LOUDLY, so you could hear every time one of your neighbors shut the door.

FOOD:
We were thoroughly impressed with the food at this resort. Never had a bad meal and the only one we were somewhat disappointed in was our very first evening at Bayside when we had to wait an extra long time to get our meals after ordering. All our other dinners were prompt and exquisite. We had so many great meals that we can't pick just one favorite, but a few most memorable were at Neptune's, Sabrina's and The Reef. And we had an outstanding meal at Valentino's on our last night. The portions were always just right. The breakfast buffet at Bayside was always good, plenty to chose from, and we never had to wait. One negative I have to give this resort is that we were not allowed to dine at Kelly's Dockside as you have to have a room with butler service to get that privilege. I think that is wrong -- it is like a slap in the face to the other paying guests. And realize that some guests didn't even book a butler room but were automatically upgraded without having to pay extra. That's not right.

ACTIVITIES:
You just can't beat the included activities at Sandals. This is one of the reasons we will be back to a Sandals again. For water activities we sailed, rode a water trike, snorkeled (they take you out on a boat to the reef) and went on a glass bottom boat tour. Scuba diving and golf is also included. You can take the resort scuba lesson for $80/person and then dive up to twice a day for the duration of your stay. Night-time entertainment was usually at the amphitheater and was pretty good most nights. My favorite was the reggae show -- it was awesome! They also have a chocolate buffet night at the Great House, along with a band performing. Wonderful!

SERVICE:
While the overwhelming majority of personnel were very friendly and attentive, there were some that had attitudes, like anywhere else. A couple employees at the water activities clearly seemed as if you were bothering them. There was one good bartender at the amphitheater pool bar (during the day) but he had a problem with not serving people in order. One time I had to wait 30 min to get my drink and that was only after my husband got on him about it. I don't know what was wrong with him. That said, other bartenders, especially at Jamie's Sports Bar, were fantastic! My absolute favorite was Rammone, who made both of us the most incredible drinks. Rommone really made our evenings enjoyable. I also want to give a shout out to Kenroy at The Reef restaurant who went out of his way to make our evening very special.

Another nice touch this Sandals provides is a scheduled free photo shoot. My husband didn't care to do it but I insisted and we ended up really liking & purchasing several of the photos. My profile pic is one of them. You're not obligated to buy anything but the shoot is fun given all the different poses they have you do & places they take you for a backdrop.

All-in-all, we had a great time and wouldn't hesitate to go back. Had it not been for the problem with our room & lack of proper follow-up, I would have given Sandals Grande Riviera 5 stars. And... WE LOVE JAMAICA!! Yeah mon.

Room Tip: Just know what side of the resort you want to be on & if butler service is for you (they do expe...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Linda 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 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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