I loved this place a lot! The grounds were gorgeous and the food was the best I have ever had in a resort and there was not one single dish that wasn't perfection. The staff wore costumes that matched the nationality of the food and every dish was clever, well done and unique. there were butlers who came around the pools with coffees on silver trays, angels with feather wings that offered, beer, and the fabulous turquoise ocean. Certainly a class act in so many ways and the staff were alway so nice to us.
the airport access was a two hour trip. sigh. customs in Jamaica is slow slow!! we were exhausted when we arrived. I also found that the bus drivers got upset that I didn't tip them (it was included and I never thought that through. Then, only had travellers cheques and they were snarly about that. These are not Sandals staff as such. Note to self, bring simple dollar bills next time). I had to run and fight to get my bag away from a guy who was rolling it to his bus and I didn't know who he was. he was doing it for the tip after I had brought it a long long way already, he wanted to get the last 100 feet in. he twisted to keep me from reaching for my baggage and I didn't know who he was. Be prepared to be firm. it's not a sandals thing but Jamaica in general.
Using the bus to get to the second half of the resort was a big pain as it didn't come regularly and sometimes was a good 25 mins wait. The grounds are large which would be hard if you had mobility issues. You could be a half hour getting back to your unit if you were not he other side. But everything is beautiful and it didn't pour on us so I never minded. The shops were better appointed than most resorts and the items were interesting enough to make me actually want to buy something.
The cat situation was just awful awful awful and the staff got quite aggressive if you threw scraps to them. They need to be spayed/culled or else damn well fed and taken care of. They are blind, covered in sores, pitifully thin, they come crying to you and you can tell they are really hurting. Fights are in the bushes all the time in the night near the restaurants, and no wonder. The hideous state of the cats was enough to weigh in my mind as large as the otherwise wonderful time.
And it was the best resort i have ever been to, indeed.
- 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