I’ll start off by saying that this is my second time at a Sandals and I had a good experience once again. My husband and I visited this resort with a group of friends in late April. While the other couples stayed in the concierge level rooms, we had to opt for the cheaper level “seaside mountain view deluxe” room. When we booked it, we thought we would be in the large, main building facing the mountains. However, we were actually set further back in a separate building which turned out to be better as I think the noise for anyone staying in the main building would be loud since the entertainment auditorium is right next door. Overall, our room was nice, large and clean. I didn’t think the rooms between ours and the higher price level (we went and saw our friends’ rooms) was that much different. Although, they did receive other amenities we did not: access to concierge room (not sure what it is good for), snacks, a bar in their room, free Wifi, and staff member who came around and offered snacks and drinks. The only thing that really irritated me was that our room level did not come with Wifi. In this day and age, it seems archaic to withhold this from customers and really made me feel like I was being nickel and dimed.
Apart from that, the trip was great. We were staying at the older half of the resort closer to the ocean and really enjoyed the quick access to the beach and restaurants. There are 14 or 15 places to eat at the resort and they were all very good. We also booked a zip-lining excursion through Sandals and it was a lot of fun. My husband and I chose to book Dolphin Cove through Expedia as it was cheaper than going through Sandals. Just make sure you call to reserve a time after you book your tickets. Transportation from Sandals will run you about $20. Or, you can call Marvyn with Marvyn’s Paradise Tours and he will take you for $90 (includes dolphin swim package, Sandals will charge you $175 per person for the same exact thing). Note that he will not take you if it is the same day a cruise ship is in port, not sure why. We also book Marvyn to take us to the Blue Hole as Sandals does not offer that excursion and it was the entire groups’ favorite thing by far.
The other half of the resort that offers butler-style suites was very nice and only a five minute shuttle ride from the Riviera side of the resort. The nicest and largest pool is on this half and we enjoyed going here a few of the days as it was much less crowded and we did not have to get there at 8 am to get a lawn chair. Other couples who stayed in this area we talked to though said it was really dead at night and came to our half of the resort for more interaction. So, I guess it depends on what you were looking for.
The only other slightly negative thing I would have to say is that the service from the staff was, at times, inconsistent. Don’t get me wrong, most staff members were very nice. However, there were definitely some that could have been friendlier. For example, I asked to take my coffee with me from the breakfast area one morning and the woman helping us seemed super annoyed and just grabbed the cup from my hand without saying anything and went and filled it up and then handed it back to me (once again in silence). The front desk girl when were checking out was obviously irritated with the other women working the desk with her and made it sort of uncomfortable when she rolled her eyes every time the other woman said anything. Also, some of the hostesses at the restaurants could have been friendlier. Staff members who WERE very nice and friendly include Jerry who was part of the entertainment staff. I very nice waiter whose name I wish I could remember in the French restaurant, and Otis who worked in the breakfast area.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this Sandals. It is especially fun with a group of friends!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, BookIt.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Agoda, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sandals Ochi Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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