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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
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Reviews (9,039)
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8,262 - 8,267 of 9,039 reviews
Reviewed March 29, 2009

We stayed at Sandals Grande in Ocho Rios Beach and Villa Resort March 12-19 2009. We have never stayed at a Sandals before, but have traveled alot in the past 6 years. This was one of the best vacations we ever had. The food, villas, entertainment, and hospitality were the best . We zipline where ever we go and the Chuka Tour was even better than the last time we stayed in Jamaica in 2005. We also took a Safari Trip and climbed Dunns River. We climbed it in 2005, but had taken a catamaran to the falls. We really enjoyed the Safari almost better. We love history and were given a tour of the town with this tour and our guide was great! The staff make you feel like family, and when it's time to go home, you truly feel like your leaving family. I can't wait to come back next year. We will continue to stay at Sandals. Thanks for a Wonderful Vacations! Laurie and Cliff Adkins

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank luv2travel0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2009

One week ago, my son, his girlfriend, my husband and I all vacationed at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. We had never stayed at this Sandals and were unsure as to how we would like it. We loved it! The staff was great, the food was excellent, and the accommodations were beautiful. There was always something fun to do at night. This resort appeals to all ages, my son and his girlfriend (20's) and my husband and I (50's) all enjoyed it . If you go, you must experience the "Street Party". It was a great time. We do plan to return to this resort in the future.

2  Thank jamminkev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2009

Although apprehensive and anxious about our decision to stay at the Grande Ocho Rios because of some of the very negative reviews posted here we headed to the resort with an open mind and positive attitude. For economic reasons we chose to stay on the Manor Side of the property and upon check in were promptly driven to a Plantation Villa room with shared private pool and balcony overlooking multitudes of lush flowering tropical vegetation. The room was not oversized however plenty big enough, clean and comfortable. The double french doors with wooden shutters on either side opened to a balcony which overlooked the garden pool. Tropical breezes blew through the room and we were never required to give in to air conditioning which was definately available. A cup of Jamaican coffee on the deck in the morning while watching the hummingbirds was a great start to a perfect day. It was a very short walk to the Manor building where we enjoyed a great buffet breakfast each morning in the Marketplace Restaurant. The service was fantastic and being an avid coffee drinker I did not once wait for coffee and was always served with a good morning and a smile. We split our time evenly between the Rivera and Manor side. The pool on the Manor side far out did the pools on the Riviera Side although the Riviera side boasted the ocean. It was a mere 5 - 7 minute wallk to the beach should one decide to take a stroll rather than use the shuttle which ran every ten minutes. We also chose to walk into Ocho Rios which took about 15 minutes. The open markets, shopping and Marguaritaville were experienced free of charge rather than the advertised $28.00 taxi fare. The walk was uneventful and enjoyable. We had the pleasure of purchasing a painting from Headley Thompson, a Jamaican artist, at the open market. Just a note regarding walking at and around the resort. There is one highway to cross which is a Jamiacan highway which means two way traffic, one lane each way and is not difficult to cross. Even though "Jitni's" (transportation) were readily available, we walked on a regular basis, day and night, throughout both sides of the resort. The grounds were immaculately kept and secure. Great job done by all the grounds workers and security personel. Special thanks to Kemar for the coconut water and coconut by our pool. It was our pleasure and delight.

We were always promptly seated for dinner and the presentation of meals was impressive. Even more impressive was that all meals could be enjoyed in the open air on the boardwalk at San Jenarros, on the beach at Arizona's, on the patio overlooking the ocean at the Reef Terrace. Although not a big rum drinker or a partier the wine flowed freely, the Jamaican beer was tasty and Jamaican Rum Cream in a coffee was a great end to a wonderful meal.
The evening entertainment was most enjoyable. Thanks to the audience participants who were most entertaining, uninhibited and a healthy laugh. The steel drum band " The Silverbirds" should not go unseen. They perform in the Amphitheatre on Saturday evenings along with a multitude of dancers. My only regret with this performance is that we did not have money on hand to purchase their CD. Thanks to Latoya, Amelia and all the playmakers for trying so hard to get vacationers involved in the many activites on site. Keep up the good work.
Sandals Dunn's River - free shuttle available at Riviera Side - should not be missed but it is a much smaller resort and our own personal preference would be Sandals Ocho Rios. Do not miss the pizza prepared in the outdoor oven at Sandals Dunns River. Do not complain about the wait simply place your order, go about your business and return later for an awesome pizza.
Other recommendations: Blue Mountain Bike Tour - easy ride downhill while experiencing the real Jamaica. Also a must see/do is the Dunn's River Falls - prepare to get wet.
In a nutshell we had an awesome Sandals/Jamaica experience and would return without question. No issue with contaminated water/food on or off of the resort unlike Mexico. Our immodium stayed in the package.

Jamaica Mon!!! No Problem!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank DanaColdlakeAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2009

Just got back from SGOR last week & had a blast. I read many of the negative reviews on here & after visiting SGOR last year as well, I came to the conclusion that you just can't please everyone. I'll begin with the Montego Bay airport & try to cover everything. Went right to the Sandals lounge & were " Welcomed Home " & had time for a quick drink. We then proceeded to the bus to Sandals. As far as tipping now, people said they were swarmed by people in the airpoprt, we weren't. You only need to tip 2 people there, the red caps who take your bags & the bus driver, not mandatory, but a nice gesture & we were NOT pressured into doing so. We waited about 15 minutes for more people to get on the bus, then we were off. The bus ride is NOT as bad as people say. About 1 hour & 45 minutes with a rest stop in between. Besides the driver, there is another worker on the bus who points out various things on the island on the ride over. Now you can either enjoy the ride, mingle with other people, drink your drinks that you're allowed to bring on or maybe take a nap, that's it, so what makes this ride so bad ? If you did your research when or after you booked the trip, you had to know this was the distance from MoBay to Ocho Rios. Anyway, upon arrival to the resort we were greeted with the usual wet towel & champagne & since we're SSG guests we were upgraded to the Riviera side. I always get the deluxe room & always get upgraded. Lots of people complain about the rooms, but honestly, we were never in them except to get ready for dinner & to sleep. Who goes to the carribbean to spend it inside a hotel room ? Also the complaints of the manor side & riviera side, did you not read the brochure ? It shows you it's split up. I can't understand how some people can travel blindly & know so little about the place their visiting. The bus back & forth between manor & riviera side was maybe 10 minutes the most, we didn't wait long at all, & mind you the resort was fully booked this weekend. Manor side pool is nice & big & was fun during the day, we mainly stayed on the beach side. The beach side has the beach club, another little pool bar, amphitheater & piano bar which was a blast. Now, while the beach is small, again, there are pics of it in the brochure ! Our room was in the main building facing the garden, which was actually a beautiful view. Room was clean & found nothing wrong it. People complaining about cracks in the tiles or chipped painting boggles my mind, we actually laughed about it. On to the food, we waited only 30 minutes one night & that was it, never had a problem anywhere. Wednesday was the White Party on the Manor side , which was like a seafood buffett, good & walked right in. Friday night was the Beach Party on the Riviera side, another buffett & again, walked right in. One night we skipped dinner due to a long a intoxicating day on the Dunns River party cruise, lol, & the last night we had a private candlelight dinner on the beach. The people I saw waiting & complaing were the people that just were out boozing all day & came down to eat at like 800-900. If you know Sandals & the Caribbean, you can't do that. Things are done differently than back home. Get up early & enjoy your day, get to dinner around 600, than enjoy the rest of your night. Most folks are in bed by 1100-1200 anyway. You need to leave your normal routine home & relax on Sandals time. Another thing about timing, you can't sleep all morning, than stroll down to the pool or beach at noon & expect to get a chair, just doesn't work that way. The staff was excellent, everyone was nice, didn't run into any rude people. The entertainment that we managed to see was good too. Sometimes the bar service is slow, but expext it, lots of drink orders & everyone wants a frozen drink which sometimes takes a little longer. If you must do one trip, do the Dunns River Party Cruise. Well worth it, boat takes you snorkeling, then to Dunns River Falls to climb it, then it's one big dance party on the boat on the way back. And that rum punch on board....deadly !!!! Lol ! Also, the Island Village area was nice, went shopping & hung out at Margaritaville there. No one harassed us either to buy their stuff, smile & be nice & you're fine. We hated to leave, they make you leave the resort kinda early, but that extra time is needed combined with the bus ride back, airport check in, immigration & any duty free shopping you may wanna do. We had one hour to spare in the airport after all that. Bottom line, if you're really expecting royalty, go somewhere else. If you wanna relax, laugh & smile, then come here & please people, do some research on the place that you're gonna visit. Any questions for me..feel free....Anthony

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank bonf71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2009

My husband and I traveled here the first week in March for a relaxing beach vacation. We were disappointed in the resort. First, it was too large. We stayed on the Manor side and would have been much happier on the Riviera side nearest the beach. I had booked a room right in the Manor building because we like to be close to the restaurants and pool, which was my own mistake. Check in was confusing and took a very long time even though I did the online check in which was supposed to make it faster. We were upgraded to a villa room which we were not told at check in. The villa room was terrible. It looked like it had not been updated since 1960. The bathtub was stained a dark yellow color and was disgusting. The room was just large enough to walk around the bed. We complained and were then given the original room we had booked which was actually a lot nicer, but noiser as the view was basically the parking lot. We were okay with that as we did not want to spend a fortune on a room. We have had very bad luck at paying extra for ocean views and getting tree or building views instead. The staff was all very friendly and helpful. We thought the food was very good. You do have to get to the restaurants about 15 minutes before they open to get a table for the first dinner seating, or you will have to wait 1 1/2 to 2 hours to eat.. The breakfast service at the Market Place restaurant was terrible. It is a buffet, but they are supposed to bring you coffee. Most of the time it took 20 minutes to a half hour to get coffee and by that time we were pretty much done eating breakfast. The Bayside had much better service. We ended up spending way to much time going back and forth on the shuttle between the Manor side and Riviera side. I was a bit skeptical at booking this resort after reading some of the bad reviews, but my husband is a scuba diver and this resort included that in the price so it ended up being a better deal. Hubby thought the dive shop staff were very good and safety conscious. He enjoyed the scuba diving, but disliked that each dive is a short one tank dive. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. He thought it was rather time consuming to get all the equipment ready each time for such a short dive. The weather was not good for the week we were there either. It rained off and on for all but two days we were there. When talking to one of the locals he said that it does rain a lot in this area because of the mountains. If I would have known that I probably would not have stayed in the Ocho Rios area. This was our third time to Jamaica as it is one of our favorite places. We love jerk chicken, reggae music, and the beautiful beaches and scenery. We would go back to Negril though next time. My husband and I have traveled a lot and usually stay in moderately priced places as we can travel more often that way. My advice to anyone considering this resort is if you have a lot of money to spend on a vacation, stay at a nicer resort. If I would have paid $800 a night for a room at this resort and saw how poorly it was kept up, I would have been really disappointed. There definitely was no attention to detail. No daily or weekly schedules in the rooms. The grounds were dirty. You have to get your own drinks at the beach and pool. Definitely lacking in the "Luxury included" department. The entertainment was okay. The steel drum band on Saturday was great, very unique. Trip to Dunn's River Falls was a lot of fun. This resort is also separated by two roads, one the old highway and the other the new highway. Had the worst massage ever in the spa, which also was not very high on quality or service.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Heidi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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