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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

This is our second stay at a Sandals Resort, but definitely not the last. As with the first at Grande St. Lucian the staff is exceptional. Seeing that you have the best time possible.
Restaurant we dined at were Kelly's Dockside, Sabrina's Marketplace, Kimonos, and Bayside all of which were a great enjoyable experience. Our first breakfast was at Sabrina's which hooked us to return every day. To enjoy their fabulous omelets prepared by Chef Dwayne. He is a supper Chef with a personality to go with it.
The only downside of our stay was the beach which is small for the size of the resort. The pools make up for this, but can still be a challenge to find a lounge chairs. I would suggest you get there early.
Our Butlers, Chris & Romona, were exceptional providing us with treats everyday from the resort's fabulous coconut shrimp to every type of cocktail.
Just remember to checkout Sabrina's chef Dwayne for the most delicious omelets. He will get your day off to a great start.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Kenneth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

We had a fabulous time here for 10 days at the end of January.

Travelled with my husband from Gatwick. Customs etc at Montego Bay was super quick and we were on a coach in no time. It took about 1hr 40 but it was night and raining. When we arrived we waited about 5 mins for the butler who took us to our suite to check in


Our butlers were Scott and Shaw and they were superb, nothing was too much trouble. They booked all out restaurants for us and had no problem changing at very short notice. They checked on us several times a day, made sure we had sparking wine and cheese and biscuits every day at about 5pm (you get the opportunity to make requests and they go out of their way to meet them) Took us wherever we wanted to go including showing us round the whole resort. They ran me several baths which were so beautifully decorated I didn't want to get! Also did special turn downs for us. They were not in any way overbearing and I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to have butler service if you can

They also managed to get the room for an couple of hours extra on the last night for no charge which made a huge difference. If we go back (and I would love to) I would definitely ask for them again.

The suite was perfect, spacious and well stocked. The small pool outside was also great to use and had sun from 7.30am to 3.30pm often we were the only ones using it.

Food in the restaurants was lovely. Neptunes, the seafood,was a favourite (they do have a couple of meat dishes on if you are not keen on fish) and Valentinos and Bayside also delicious. China doll was nice for an a la carte breakfast in the morning. We had room service a couple of times for breakfast which was a bit hit and miss largely because of the temperature of the food.

Couple of points to reiterate from other reviews. Yes the transfer takes a while. Having said that if we could put up with it after an 11 hour flight and 5 hr trip to the Uk airport I'm fairly sure most people can!

The other is that yes you will need to get a little bus between the 2 sites. It's really not an issue though. We NEVER waited more than 2 mins for a bus, often there was one there when we reached the lobby and it takes about 2 mins from the hillside to Ochi Beach Club and 4 mins to the Beach lobby. If this is really an issue then I suggest you stay at home!!

The only gripe we had was on the return journey and nothing to do with Sandals. The queue at check in was long and disorganised not sure if that was Virgin or the airports fault. It meant there was little point in spending 60$ to use the airport lounge. It seemed like Virgin had taken a Delta airlines flight as the plane was packed and perhaps for this reason they didn't have enough staff. Oh to have been travelling in upper class then!!

All in all this was our 3rd trip to sandals and 2nd to Jamaica. This resort is much better than the one at Montego Bay and we would 100% love to go back.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
10  Thank latowler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Sandals Grande Riviera from 1/19th to 1/26th. This was our 5th stay at a Sandal’s and we had an awesome time. After check-in we were introduced to our butlers Dwight and Jermaine. What a dynamic duo! More on them later. As we walked into the lobby the manager Vishal introduced himself to us and this was the start of a great relationship. Vishal had been contacted by the general manager we had met last year at Whitehouse and been told we were coming and could he look out for us. Vishal not only looked out for us but went over and above to take care of us along with Dwight and Jermaine. When we were taken to our room champagne and flowers were waiting and the bedroom was beautifully decorated to welcome us home.
The week continued in this manner. We were totally spoiled by everyone. One afternoon we were brought delicious lobster tails for lunch at the pool once the butlers knew how much we loved it. One afternoon we came back to the room to have a bath drawn and the bathroom unbelievably decorated. Every night at dinner either Dwight or Jermaine made sure our table was decorated and we were always the envy of the restaurant. Additionally, Dwight and Jermaine were 2 of the funniest and warmest people we have had the pleasure to meet. We loved talking with them and learning about them while they thoroughly spoiled us.
Special mention needs to go to the omelet king Dwayne at the Market Place café. We enjoyed our delicious omelets every morning and I was amazed how Dwayne remembered what we liked. I also need to mention our servers Davion in Kelly’s, Jeffrey at China Doll, Sophia at Valentino’s, Alex the bartender at the Dockside bar and Anna Lee at the Manor Pool.
While the resort is large and spread out there was absolutely no problem in navigating the grounds. We stayed in a butler villa on the hill side and had an incredible ocean view. We liked having the quiet and privacy but if we wanted more action it was easy to get to the beach side. The shuttles came regularly and we rarely waited more than 5 minutes. The villa was kept very clean as was the entire resort.
I could go on and on but suffice it to say that in spite of 2 days of rain we still had such a fabulous time and that right there speaks volumes. We had such a great time that we have already booked to return next year. Only 50 more weeks to paradise!

Room Tip: Do not be afraid to stay on the Manor side.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wefisher9161
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

In reading other descriptions of Sandals Grande Riviera I sometimes wonder if the people who react so negatively actually stayed in the same place I did. I would suggest that anyone planning to stay at a Sandals (or actually any resort) should read as much as they can to find out if the place is a fit for them. This place actually could fit for various types of experiences since it is actually two resorts beautifully intertwined. Transportation between the beach and manor side is by constantly running shuttles. So negative folks, note that you must take a shuttle, positive folks note that you must take a shuttle and you meet some really nice people during the 4 to 5 minute ride. We, a group of 8, stayed on the manor side in a butler attended villa. Each villa has its own small pool and 8 lounges. For us, it was perfect. There are some lovely restaurants on this side and quite frankly with the beautiful grounds and pools, nice food venues, wonderful staff and attentive butlers this is quite a vacation in spite of the fact that five days it rained! The beach side seemed a bit more lively and it had lovely grounds and pools as well and more restaurants than the manor side. There are actually three different beach areas and even on the sunniest days we had no trouble finding sunny or shady spots. Note: unlike some other resorts I never felt there were lounge hogs who made it impossible for late rising guests to find the sunny or shade setting they desired. The watersports are on that side. We enjoyed going to the Beach side during the evenings for dinner.

Now for the specifics: When you arrive at the airport there is a Sandals lounge to wait for your shuttle/luggage arrangements. There is coffee, soft drinks and beer and it is quite comfortable. A suggestion would be to add some snacks but we were really there such a short time that it didn’t matter much. Helpful hint: the transport to the resort is by a private shuttle. The Sandals people are very helpful with your luggage but stay with you bags and watch them get on your shuttle as this is a jumping off point for other Sandals as well. Expect to tip these drivers, probably $5 a person is enough, more about tipping later. Negative folks it is at least a one and one half hour ride to the resort. Positive folks it is at least a one and one half hour ride to the resort for you to observe the Jamaican country side, meet fellow travelers, read or just snooze as it is on a highway unlike the wild ride to Whitehouse (which was great fun anyway).

The butler experience: This is an experience neither mandatory or frivolous just “different” from being in a resort on your own. For us, it was a lovely experience, you are taken into a Butlers’ lounge to check in effortlessly. The people there are more than happy to help orient you to the facility and direct you to your first meal or drink. You are then whisked to your villa by golf cart. Note: we were not very far up the hill so walking to the Manor House and pools was a very easy 2-3 minute walk. I don’t know if you can request villas but if you can’t, believe me there are butlers with golf carts to take you around all the time. Since we were 4 couples we had 8 butlers! In reality, it was bit of overkill at some times but other times just perfect. Note: If you in fact, get any of the “super” butlers you will so enjoy them. You will not meet any more professional people than -- Ryan Green, the divine Charlette Mc Lean and Annalisa and Donovan. They love to make your experience a wonderful one, checking in when needed and giving you space when appropriate. Some examples, on our first day the dinner arrangements were made for the entire week, special events were highlighted and the extent of their services outlined. They were amenable to changes as the week progressed. If you ask for ice and extra juice/beer/wine, etc. it is done. If you want fruit or cheese and crackers or even some other sort of snack, ask a day ahead and it is done. We never did ask for breakfast in the room but one of the highlights of the week was a lobster tail lunch for 8 served by the butlers in an area by the pool! Oh, did the ladies ever enjoy finding a drawn bath with rose petals.

Take the orientation of the resort! It is about 45-60 minutes but you can drop out at any point and certainly can stop for a drink in progress. We had the great fortune to have as our tour guide the most wonderful Karah and a trainee, Sabrina. Note to Sandals, “hire Sabrina, she is a treasure”. Karah knows everything and everybody and her tour made our experience so much better. She is on the entertainment staff and with the modestly self proclaimed “fantabulous” Natalia aka Boom Boom you can count on them for a wonderful dancing, singing, conversation, etc. time whether White Night or talent show!

At this point I would like to say that on every one of the seven days we had an event or an experience that made me think this place is a bit special. Examples:

1. Free snorkeling trip, 10 and 11 am everyday.
2. Dwayne, the omelet king, in Sabrinas who told me “you save up for this vacation and I would like to help you enjoy it so you come back”. Wish I had thought to tip him.
3. Sailing lessons at 2 pm with the very, very patient Wesley and sailing the hobie cat by myself.
4. Dancing with Natalia and Romerio
5. THE BEST and I truly mean the THE BEST steel band performance! Do not miss!
6. The excursion to Dunns River Falls right from the dock at Sandals, Hint” bring $10-15 in 5’s to tip the guide and boat crew. A bucket list item.
7. Annalee Green’s smile as she served you at the pool, Melissa and Julia at the Manor House.
8. Jamaican patties, pop corn and ice cream at the grill near the infinity pool
9. Wayne the very pleasant head chef at Sabrinas
10. Sean, the barrista at Sabrinas who made me a “red eye” each day
11. The chocolate buffet
12. Charlette and Ryan finding us on the beach delivering snacks, Red Stripe and Jamaican Smiles (the drink and their smiles).
13. Jason at Kimonos -- good show, good food
14. Relaxing in the Butlers’ lounge after checkout and before departure.

Wow, it looks like I came up with at least two a day!

Restaurants:

Favs: Manor House, The Reefs (beautiful setting), Valentinos.

Good bets: Sabrinas for breakfast and lunch, we went to the China Doll for one a la carte breakfast and found the service very slow, others went and liked it. Mariner was good for lunch as it is on the beach practically. Kimonos is a kind of typical Japanese grill restaurant that we thought was loud and then we added to the noise by having great fun there!

If there were things that should be addressed they were very minor but I will list them anyway:

As the facility is really large with many venues keeping up the physical side of it is a challenge -- our villa showed some signs of wear, all minor; lighting at night on the steps could be improved; one hot tub had no heat, another had no bubbles; we should have had 8 towels and 8 lounge mats at our little pool each day. Housekeeping and turn down service were very good.

Tipping: Understand this is one man’s opinion -- This is always problematic as Sandals presents itself as a no tipping facility except for the Butlers. Depending on how much you use the butlers is how much you should tip. Our rule of thumb was $10 per day per person if we used their services. Others felt $100 per couple for the week was enough. A safe bet would be $100 to $140 per butler for the week as they work real hard. If you use them minimally, adjust the amount. My feeling, for what it is worth is that helping folks from these less affluent nations creates the good will that comes back around.

Others: Whenever we had some really wonderful servers in the we felt the need to add about $5 a couple as we left. Bartenders in the Polo Lounge work really hard so he ended up with tips now and then. Housekeeping is usually forgotten but I felt deserved an extra $20 and turn down service should get a tip as well.

All things being equal, I liked Whitehouse a little better as the white sand and beach had more allure. Grande Riviera might have an edge with staff, though.

I would be glad to answer any questions this review generates.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Anthony P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

This was my first time at Sandals and I must say it truly was a great experience. I did not need a butler to feel special here. I had great servers at Bay side and The Reef, thanks to Kamar and Kenroy. On the beach it was Troy at the pool and Wesley on the hobie kats and kayaks, thanks guys!!!!!! A vacation to remember!!!!

Room Tip: If you have trouble with your feet or legs, stay in an ocean view room, less walking.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank marionmayer3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful stay at this resort complete with butler service and privacy pool. Butlers Humphrey and Damon made our stay that much more pleasant...attentive and very keen to make sure that we were comfortable and well looked after for dinners and activities. This resort is magnificent and extremely well maintained. The staff are great: helpful and always courteous. The food is amazing... plentiful for sure and lots of seafood! It was nice to get the best in brands of liquor... not like other resorts. Met lots of wonderful people there too...
The Manor Pool is awesome.

We are definitely returning... Sandals really = SERVICE to its clients!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank guitarbizz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

My husband and I stayed 9 nights from Jan 17th-26th.

Thank you to our awesome travel agent Ruth DeMuth with Tripguy Travel Agency! Ruth is amazing with her attention to details that really make your vacation special. She makes sure you are VERY well taken care of on the resort and manages all the details beforehand to make the trip stress free.

We had a great time at the resort, enjoying the staff and the beautiful surroundings. Our butlers Alshane and Olmando took great care of us and surprised us with lots of nice "extra's". The food was excellent this year, our favorite dinners were lobster and filet mignon at Bayside (with the amazing view) and Valentinos pasta and the Italian Kiss drink. Drinks were all awesome, my favorite this year was the Kerry Ann special at Dockside Bar during the daytime. My husband went scuba diving almost every day and Kevin Johnson with the dive crew really did a great job making each dive great! The water was so beautiful, brilliant shades of blue and turquoise and so clear. We loved our villa this year (Thanks again Ruth!) it was in a great location and we used the private pool a lot in the afternoon before dinner since it was so peaceful and felt like we were in the jungle with all the vegetation. All the staff was wonderful, approachable and friendly, management was attentive and always present (thank you to Vishal for the nice greeting and send off). Super resort with the best staff! Already booked again for next year.

Room Tip: Loved the quiet jungle feeling of the hillside butler villas, great value!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank sandalsbeachlover
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

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: $90 - $1,044 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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