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“Ok, but wouldn't return” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Dartmouth, Canada
Level Contributor
69 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Ok, but wouldn't return”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2009

We stayed at this resort for the last week of March to continue our visits to each of the differeny Sandals resorts. I had done a lot of research and while I had seen the negative reviews, was hoping that it wasn't as bad as many of the reviewers made out. To be honest, it wasn't that bad but it also wasn't one of the better Sandals we've been to. No issues at the airport and the ride from the airport was just what we expected, 1.5-2 hours and a chance to see the countryside. Our room was also what we expected, the St. Ann's Plantation Villa 1-bdrm suite. Unfortunately, even as return guests, we were not upgraded which was disappointing. We were told that the resort was fully booked but it was hard to imagine considering the low number of guests visible throughout our stay. We spoke to other return guests at the special dinner, and they confirmed that even after 15 stays, they haven't been upgraded since their 3rd stay. Not a big deal since the room we booked was adequate, but something to keep in mind for those thinking they will be rewarded for loyalty to Sandals. We only used the pool area once or twice, and although it was a bit dirty when we arrived, we found a simple call to the Concierge Desk resulted in a cleaning bright and early the next day. A tip with this room - bring a nightlight. The blackout blinds are very effective, so much so that it is completely pitch black at night, making bathroom trips a bit dicey. And keep the wooden slats closed in your bathroom whenever you're not in the room. We had a visitor one night that may haunt me for weeks to come... We made the trip to the Riviera side to see the other half of the property and the trip between is really not much. Half the time we took the shuttle across and the rest of the time we walked. And the road between the 2 halves is not the chaotic interstate that other reviewers have made it out to be. It is a simple street, and there is a crosswalk right there. Mind you, I learned in the past not to assume that international crosswalk etiquette is the same as at home, so we always kept our eyes open when crossing. The beach on the Riviera is ok, quite narrow but there is always space to find. One thing we weren't aware of is the Beach Club area. This is almost a separate area from the rest of the Riviera as it used to the beach access for the old Beaches Resport, or so we were told. There is a pool here as well as the dive centre and a couple of restaurants, and the beach continues to the rest of the Riviera property. I do have to say that I was quite taken aback at the pool at the beach club. It really looks run-down, and a lot like a community pool that hasn't been well maintained. In fact, we nicknamed it 'The Y'. We tried most of the restaurants as well as several of the buffets, and the food everywhere was quite good. For bars, we never had any problems although the service at the Manor swim-up bar can be a bit slow. We brought big thermal mugs with us so our bar trips were not as frequent as other guests, and we overheard some comments that they wishes they had brought some too. We also went on the Bob Marley Party Cruise. Not sure why it's called Bob Marley except that you can have your picture taken with a rasta hat and dreads, but the cruise was fun. Be forewarned that the bar will not open until after the snorkelling and Dunn's River Falls stop, so not until 1pm or so. Gravol is recommended because the water was incredibly choppy, and those that hadn't dosed themselves beforehand did not fare very well. We took advantage of the "Stay at One, Play at More" program and spent a day at Sandals Dunn's River, where we had stayed 2 years ago. SDR is definitely a nicer property and this return trip sealed the deal. If you plan to go for the day and want to stay for dinner, make sure to go to the Concierge Desk a day or 2 ahead and ask for a day room to shower in. It's not guaranteed that you will get one, but it's much nicer that having to use the spa facilities. The trip back to the airport is the same as the way in but everyone is much quieter. You should expect to be catching your shuttle 5 hours prior to your flight time (2 hours for the drive and the Jamaican-recommended 3 hours before your flight). Overall, the trip was good but I don't think we'll be going back to this Sandals again. Live and learn!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hali-traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,998 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,457)
Date | Rating
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English first
Omaha, Ne
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2009

Just got back from a 2 week stay at the Grand. I read a lot of reviews befor we went and the folks that were not happy probably wouldn't be happy anywhere. The resort is older but in good shape, and a vacation is what YOU make of it. The staff from the gardeners to the upper management are extremelly friendly and accessable. The kids (playmakers) are a hoot, always ready to make your stay fun. Of all the reviews I read there was very little about the golf course. the course is 18 hole, and in good shape for the dry season. the fairways are hard and you get a lot of carry on release. You cant drop a ball on the greens(too hardand fast). The caddies are very knowledgeable and friendly. The food at the resort is good to excellent and plenty of it. the drinks are premium and not watered down( you can get a double or triple if you want. The beach is small and cut into 3 sections.I guess the only thing I didn't like was the no tipping policy, some of the folks there deserved a tip.

Helpful?
10 Thank chunkyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2009

My husband and I hadn't taken a vacation since our honeymoon seventeen years ago. We did a lot of research on the net and chose to spend our second honeymoon at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. We absolutely made the right pick!
I can't adequately express in words how stunningly perfect this holiday was! The cleanliness, the service, all of the staff, everything about the resort was a perfect 10! We wouldn't hesitate to stay at this resort again and again! We met many couples there that had been to this resort three or four times. We now completely understand why they keep returning.
My only tip would be to have all of the photos taken by the resort photographers saved under your room number. This will make it much easier at the end of your stay to browse through the pictures when looking for the ones you wish to purchase.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Halfgassed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Colorado
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2009

We had a wonderful 7 day stay at Sandals Grande. When we weren't relaxing by the pools, we snorkeled, sea kayaked, sailed, or golfed. We also took a Zip Line tour with Chuka tours that was a lot of fun.

We stayed at the Riviera, because we love being by the ocean. The Manor side of the resort has a nicer and bigger pool, but the Riviera side has a good beach and two smaller pools. We also purchased the candle light dinner which was a very romantic high point of the trip.

The only downside to the trip is 1.5 hour ride from the airport, but it does give you a chance to see the Jamaica outside the all-inclusive bubble.

Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank captainlew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburg, MO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 29, 2009

Our son was married at Sandals - what a fabulous vacation/celebration! I really have no complaints about ANYTHING at Sandals, Ocho Rios. The food, drinks, room, service were all wonderful! We have travelled all over and honeswtly can't wait to go back to Sandals's for our next island vacation!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank italianjoyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NE Wisconsin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luv2travel0404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muskego Wi
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Helpful?
2 Thank jamminkev
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

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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 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

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