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“Barnes-Evans Jamaica 2013 Ocho Rios”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Winchester, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Barnes-Evans Jamaica 2013 Ocho Rios”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Why haven't we done this sooner, I don't know. This was the best vacation we have ever been on. From the time we checked in with the Sandals rep at the airport to Club Mobay when we departed, we were treated like royalty. Where to begin, the 90 minute ride from the airport to Ocho Rios was eventful because our driver, Ewing, drove like a bat out of hell. But when he wasn't passing someone he was giving us an informative tour of the island. When we arrived at the resort we were greeted by our butlers and never saw our bags again until we actually got to the room. Before we went to our room we went to one of the grills and pizzerias to get something to eat. I got the jerk chicken and jerk chicken pizza. It was great! We also had some rum punch with our meal. This was the beginning of nonstop eating and drinking. There were 14 restaurants and grills and they were all great. The portions were small so we always ordered two different entrees. That way we could have variety. The bartenders made you any drink you wanted. My favorite became the rum runner. My wife loved the Jamaican smile. It's a mixture of piña colada and daiquiri and rum. The pools and the beach were not crowded at all and it was very relaxing. The waters ports was fun with sailing and kayaking. There was always something to do there when you're not eating and drinking. When was that???? The evening entertainment was nice. I sang karaoke and rocked the place. The white/chocolate party was nice. We missed most of it though. On our last night there they had a beach bash with different shows and food. And of course there was dancing. We hung out at Jamie's almost every night that turned from a bar lounge during the day to a club at night. So much fun. We are already booked for 2015 and scheduling our 10 year wedding anniversary in 2017 in Negril. Can't wait!!!!!!!

Room Tip: Don't worry about trying to get the best room available when you book. They upgraded us at no co...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank TeamBarnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hollywood
1 review
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Helron (the concierge), Janoy "Nemo" (the water activities lifeguard) and Ken (the tennis instructor) made our stay in Jamaica memorable because of their welcoming attitudes. They treated us as if we were their biological family. We traveled with 20 relatives to celebrate a destination wedding and we all left with the same outlook; WE WILL BE BACK :) !!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Shellie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davie, Florida, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We visited June 12 - 19/2013

What can I say! This was the time of my life! My husband and I decided to get married at Sandals and researched which particular property we wanted to choose. I had already visited all three of the Montego Bay locations and wanted to try something new for both of us. I noticed that The Grande Riviera location had been newly renovated and was the largest location on the island. I figured that would give us and our the guests that attended our wedding more choices and more variety as far as restaurants and activities were concerned.

From the moment that we arrived, it was like a fairy tale! We were treated like a king and queen... and then our butler arrived! Damien transported us to our room via golf cart. He showed us all of the splendid features and then gave us time to get acquainted with all of the amenities. After such a long trip, we were just not ready to explore the actual resort so we ordered room service. That left a little to be desired because the selection was limited but it did the job. Besides, there was already a fancy cheese plate, chocolate covered apple, and bottle of champagne already in the room for us!

After unpacking, eating, and resting, we decided to call our butler to pick us up and show us around. Shift change had already happened so we now got in contact with our second butler, Gladstone. LOVE HIM!!!!! He was willing to do any and everything for us. I can't say enough about him!

As for the wedding, Kamesha and her wedding team treated us like royalty. Even though my bridal party was there to help me, Kamesha told them to relax and she did all of the hard work to help me get ready. She also made sure that my girls had positive picture opportunities to show their involvement. We were all totally pampered the whole time!

The wedding itself was beautiful and amazing. I couldn't have asked for more!

I cannot wait for our 1 year anniversary to visit again!

Love you, Sandals Team!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Camille G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Florida
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

Sandals works hard to pamper their guests, and Grand Riveria is no exception. The staff is wonderful and the rooms are perfect. We enjoyed our stay overall. My only suggestion for Sandals is to work on their food in the restaurants they do have, and consider adding some convenience to these restaurants. Most of the restaurants require too much dressing up, and the food/atmospher in every one of them (except for the grill & pizzeria) has a sit-down, formal feel to it. It would be nice to have at least one of them that is more of a relaxed, casual feel (i.e. Chili's, Applebees, etc.). When I've been out by the beach all day & it's so hot/humid, I didn't feel like dressing up (or putting clothes on really - the bathing suit & tank top is good enough) or putting on makeup, etc. But each restaurant I would feel out of place if I didn't. There's also the times that I just wanted a club sandwich or a good burger or maybe some chicken fingers (something light and quick). But that was nowhere to be found on the property besides the grill that didn't open until 10:30 pm (and the burgers are not even Burger King quality). Really, the quality of the food seriously needs to be looked at and reconsidered at this property. I'm usually pretty easy going and definitely am not expecting 4 or 5 star quality. But, I really didn't enjoy the food.

However, that is my ONLY major complaint about the property. The only other small complaint is that there is no ATM on the property and the front desk only takes a cash advance at certain times (in the morning) & they give you back local currency (when the locals prefer US dollars). They also had a very small maximum.

Everything else went great. The grounds are beautiful. The staff is unbelievable. The rooms are great. And the pools are awesome.

One last thing to note (and this is not of any fault of Sandals), be wary when purchasing the DVDs and picture CDs at certain off-site excursions. We bought a picture CD from Chukka Adventure Tours, only to get home & discover that they sold us a blank CD. We thoroughly enjoyed our excursion and the tour guides were great, but this was a huge disappointment. We couldn't take our own pictures on this particular excusions because of the terrain, so we solely depended on their CD to capture our memories. How dissappointed we are that we don't have them now. I have emailed them several times, received one email back from them that they would look into, and haven't heard anything since. So, I would suggest you have them take the CD out after they burn the images & put into another machine to show you that you really are getting what you pay for.

Room Tip: I'm glad we chose the beachside at Grand Riveria. The Ocho beach club might be nice, but we did...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kari J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We stayed at the Grand Riviera Fri, June 14 to Sat Jun 22. Since it was a Friday the immigration line wasn't bad at all. Waited 20 minutes tops. We had a few minutes at the Sandals lounge and then waited about 10 minutes on the bus before we left. I was worried that we were going to be held captive on the bus but it didn't happen. Bus trip took about 1 hr and 45 min the bus driver was entertaining.

Our rooms were ready after a quick lunch. I was curious if we would be upgraded since we got the lowest level room but my brother and I (& our wives) are Diamond members. Two other couples in our group were located on the Manor side

The room was Concierge level located in the main Riviera building top floor ocean front!!! Woo Hoo!! The room was a typical Sandals room but the view was totally awesome. Probably one of the best upgrades we've ever gotten.

Being Concierge is that you got free internet. It worked all over the place. I thought the internet worked great. Used both my phone and IPad. You can sign up to four devices at once.

Weather was dicey Sat and Sun with some rain but the rest of the trip was perfect!! The internet showed it being really windy but the resort must be protected because it was breezy at best.

Food - Every restaurant was really good. Thank god we are not picky eaters like some are in previous reviews - we would never travel with people like that. Life is too short!

We had met the F&B manager, Patric on our last trip during his first week. He is the best!! A couple of times we had to sit in two groups but we were right next to each other - no biggie. Soy had great sushi. Kimonos is always a favorite. The Manor house restaurant had great steaks. We did family style eating at China Doll - that is the way to go so you can try almost every dish (Ribs were the best).

We all got to go to Kelly's the final night (thanks to Patric for setting up a table for 10) and it was very good. The server messed up the orders because it was a huge table but it was OK in the end. I loved the Chicken Alfredo & Filet Mignon. Kelly's ended up with a special cake that the exec chef made just for us!!

We had breakfast at the buffets at either side. The Riviera side seemed to have more choices. Calzones and pizza were equally good on both sides (easier to get pizza on the Riviera side). Chili burgers and chili dogs are a must for lunch at the Seaside grill as well as for midnight snacking - Hot dog, burgers and nachos!!

Being Diamond member they took us to Scotchie's for lunch. We had jerk pork and chicken. It was really good!! Nice touch Sandals! The returning guest party was nice nothing special however my brother and I got our second set of Sandals.

Friday night BBQ was really good. Lots of choices. Ribs were the best.

What I was blown away with was the Chocolate buffet Wed night. It was the best one I've ever attended including cruises. It was presented really well. Lots to select wasn't like it was picked over after a few minutes. Well made chocolate (white) cover cake & brownie pieces and strawberries. There was tons left over - I was full. Tasted really good. Very moist not dry.

We played tennis each morning with Ken (pro). He is really good. My brother and I played him and my wife. He was really fun to play against.

We mostly stayed at the Manor pool during the morning and early afternoon. We went to the Ochi beach club in the late afternoon so we can play volleyball. If you like to play bring your own ball - theirs is horrible! Play ranged from really good to jungle ball. However we got to play doubles with a couple of the water sport guys (Claude & Clayton) - they are really good and tall!! We barely lost to them but we beat Claude and another playmaker to avenge our losses!! We gave our VB to Claude so hopefully it's there for people to use.

Manor pool is really large and laidback at times it can be active. The Ochi beach club seems to be more of a party atmosphere. Depends on the groups staying there I'm guessing. We loved Basil at the Manor pool bar and Rush at the Amphitheater pool. People who say the drinks are not strong are nuts. You can always have them top it off. Service was never an issue

Floats were never really a problem. As usual there are always a couple of float hoggies (people lying on two floats!). The beach is very smallish (but nice) so if you are a beach person then I would not recommend this resort for you.

Love the playmakers but this is the one area that the resort lacks. The playmakers never follow the schedule. They don't interact as much as I'm used to. We enjoyed hanging out with Raquel, Kemarley and Shane. The intern, Holly was actually the best of the group!

This Sandals has the best night life I've seen so far of all the Sandals. Jamie's Bar is hopping each night. Dancing and drinking till 1 am. The bartenders at the piano bar are always doing tricks. The Karaoke was pretty fun and decent singers! Plus we got to see a couple of amazing basketball games (Heat & SA)

Overall this was a great trip. The resort has a lot of stairs so you do a lot of walking but we don't mind. I like the fact that there are different worlds within the same resort. Makes it more interesting - love the variety!! We are planning on coming back in two years – I would definitely recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Riveira (beach) is the best side to be at
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank VegasPat44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springboro, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband and I went there for Memorial Day weekend. That was great time to go, you were able to enjoy the resort without being around large crowds at all times. I would say that we needed more then just the long weekend to enjoy all that the resort has to offer. It really is like having three resorts all in one. We stayed on the beach side, we did not have a butler.

There were several locations to eat at, I believe that there were 15 on the grounds. The breakfast buffet was very nice, they had a large selection. With the amount of time that we had it really limited us to try everything. We ate at the both of the pizza restaurants. Which bar far was my favorite.

The swim up bars were really nice. The bartenders did a fantastic job at keeping the party going. Very interactive, so if you are wanting to meet other couples and make new friends it is very possible.

The pools were so nice, and the chairs in the pool were fantastic! There are so many places to just hang out and watch the ocean and relax. It is a great place to just relax. I cannot say that enough, there is something calming about the entire resort. The staff will make what ever request you have happen.

My favorite part of the trip was snorkeling. It was amazing!! The bottom of the boat that they took you on is glass so it is like you are getting two for one!

The room was really nice it was not a big room but it was perfect! When we would return to our room for the night the bed was turned down and there was always some sort of surprise!

The one thing that I would have to say is not so great is the transportation. To get to this specific resort it takes close to two hours. And they seem to forget that we are wanting to enjoy the beach not the bus ride and take their time. I really enjoyed our stay but I would consider going to a resort that is closer to the airport.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DeaAnnaN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lynchburg, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband and I, along with another couple just returned from vacation from Sandals Grande Riviera. Overall, we had a wonderful time! We were sad that we had to leave. The staff was wonderful. They really took good care of us. Everthing was wonderful! This was our second time staying at a Sandals. We stayed at Sandals Montego Bay about 5 years ago. We like Sandals Grande better. It was so much more to do and it was a much bigger resort. Overall, the food was pretty good. We enjoyed The Manor and Kelly's restaurant the best. We had origionally booked our reservations to stay in the Banyan Grove Honeymoon Hummingbird Hideway, on the ocean side; but for some reason when we got there; they put us in the Great House on the Manor side. This was an oceanview room. I asked about the change when I got there, and they said the Manor side room was what they had in the computer. They said it must be an upgrade. So, I got excited about that. When I got to the room, it was not what I expected as an upgrade. It was supposingly an upgrade; but I really didn't see much upgrade as far as the room was concern. This room was smaller than the Banyan Grove room. So, I guess the oceanview was the upgrade. I had a view of the main pool, and then the view of the ocean was behind the pool. The view was nice, but I would have rather stayed in the Banyan Grove room. They probably would have tried to accomodate me, but I didn't say anything. I just left it alone. Our other friends that went with us stayed in the Banyan Grove room. Their room was much bigger and more modern than ours. It was newly renovated. Our room was nice; but not as newly renovated as theirs. We had an older faded chair in our room. Also, they were on the beach side. Next time I go, we will definately stay on the beach side. You have to use the shuttle to go back and forth from the beach side to the manor side. It wasn't too bad; just a little time consuming. It usually was only a 5 to 10 minute wait for the shuttle. There was really not much to do on the manor side. They just had the very nice pool. I would recommend staying on the beach side, because it is closer to everything and closer to the beach. It is also more lively on the beach side. Overall, my experience was great. I look forward to hopefully returning next year.

Room Tip: If you are looking for lively; stay on the beach side. If you are looking for more laid back, quiet...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tinyt5
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach 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 & 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

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