My husband and I stayed here for a week at the beginning of October as we celebrated our honeymoon. Here’s the rundown:
We stayed in Room 7427, a Bougainvillea Hideaway with butler service. The room itself was really nice, with a separate seating area, a small bar area with the refrigerator and coffee maker, a nice-sized bathroom, and a patio with a table and chairs. There was a pool that was shared with others in the villa (there were four rooms in the villa). The bed was very comfortable. My only complaint is that our room was located right next to a building used by the housekeeping staff, and that got a bit loud. Our bathroom window, which did not shut (there was no glass – just wooden shutters), let in a lot of noise when there were staff using that building. We could hear them stacking/clearing dishes at night and talking early in the morning. It seemed to become more of an annoyance throughout the week, but by that time it wasn’t really worthwhile to complain. We certainly didn’t let it ruin our fabulous honeymoon!
We tried most of the restaurants on the resort. Our favorites were Neptune’s (try the salmon) and Valentino’s. We enjoyed Kimonos, but more for the experience than the food. At Kelly’s Dockside, the view overshadowed the food, which was good but nothing you couldn’t get by visiting a steakhouse back home. Soy was okay but not the best sushi we’ve had. China Doll was our favorite breakfast spot. Overall, we thought the food was great. Also, Jamie’s Sports Bar was a blast!
We really enjoyed this resort because you had the option to spend each day relaxing or take advantage of the many activities each day if you wanted to be more active and adventurous. We did go off the resort once to visit Dunn’s River Falls, but aside from that, we felt there was plenty to do right at Sandals.
We especially enjoyed the watersports that were available. We enjoyed two snorkeling trips and also went out in the sailboats (I think they are called hobeys?) twice. My husband also tried paddle-boarding.
The evening entertainment was impressive, and we tried to make it to each night’s show or event. We especially liked the reggae band. The Playmakers staff did a fantastic job of engaging people in the activities – we participated in several different events at the Manor pool throughout the week, which was a lot of fun.
The resort itself was beautiful and well-maintained – great views of the ocean and lots of little spots to kick back and spend a few quiet moments taking it all in. We loved the Sundowner Bar and the lounge chairs with their own outdoor fireplaces. It was simply a beautiful place.
There were so many people that made our stay really wonderful – the Jamaican people certainly know how to accommodate and entertain! We especially enjoyed our two butlers, Glen and Christine. They went above and beyond to make sure we wouldn’t forget our week at Sandals. The best part was the evening when they surprised us with a bubble bath, champagne and treats, and a trail of petals through our room. Glen and Christine were both polite, efficient, friendly and uber-professional.
Others who made our stay memorable include Richard and Jemar at the watersports area, Gwendolyn at the Red Lane Spa, Glenroy at Valentino’s, Steve at Kimonos, Romain at Kelly’s Dockside, and Playmakers Raquel and Joel. Vishal, the Manor Side manager, introduced himself to us as we checked in and also called later in our stay to ensure we were enjoying ourselves.
Red Lane Spa
We visited the Red Lane Spa twice during our stay. The first time, we had a couples massage, which was absolutely wonderful. I would put it in the top five massages I’ve ever had. The second time we visited the spa, I did the bamboo scrub while my husband got a facial and a men’s pedicure. All of the services were very well done, and we enjoyed the other spa amenities that were available like the steam room and plunge pool. I would advise other Sandals guests to take advantage of the spa discounts – they have specials each day and the services can be quite expensive if you have to pay full price. If you visit during this time of year, you should be able to get an appointment even if you don’t book them until you’re already at Sandals.
The Time of Year
We were fortunate to have great weather for most of the week. It was overcast the day we arrived and the following day, but we enjoyed sunshine and warm temps (upper 80s) for the rest of the week. I would highly recommend coming during this time of year. The resort was not crowded at all, so it wasn’t hard to get dinner reservations or find a lounge chair by the pool. There were enough people around, though, that it didn’t feel like a ghost town or anything. Overall, I think it was perfect timing for our vacation.
Thank you so much, Sandals, for a honeymoon that we will never forget! We can’t wait to go back!
- 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