We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic May 2009 Vacation!!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic May 2009 Vacation!!”
Reviewed June 3, 2009

Our Sandals experience was simply amazing! We stayed at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios from May 23rd through the 29th. After a hellacious day of running to catch our connection flight and over an hour to go through customs, we were so relieved when we finally got to the Sandals Lounge at the Montego Bay Airport. Immediately, we were whisked away to our waiting bus and had a really fun ride to the Grande. (There is a pit stop on the way to get food/beer/go potty and they dropped the Dunn’s River folks off first). Check-in was a little confusing, I think mostly because this was our first time. We got upgraded (YAY!) and ended up loving, loving, loving the villa we got (on the map, it’s one of the villas marked with a 4). I’d recommend staying on the ocean side…there’s just a whole lot more going on and you’re steps away from the Caribbean Sea.

They gave us the wrong key at check-in so when we got to our room, it wouldn’t open. It was pitch black dark outside and it’s a pretty big resort so we were completely lost and couldn’t find our way back to the Rivera building. (Not to mention like I said, it’d been one LONG day). Thank goodness for ANDREW, a butler working at the resort who not only patiently listened to our problem, but took us to the correct building and stayed with us until we got a new key and the issue was resolved. He wasn’t even our butler but he helped us as though he were….and we were very, very thankful. That was our first taste of the hospitality at Sandals…everyone in the staff was always saying hi and asking how we were doing, etc. We told one person we were on vacation for our birthdays and the next evening they sent a b-day cake to our room, cool!! We were near the amphitheatre which some people could consider a drawback because of the noise (there was a steel drum band performing the night we got there) but it was just background noise, and a lovely noise at that – and we had no problems.

Everyday we’d wake up early, stroll around our side of the resort, swim in the crystal clear blue ocean, swim, loungue on the beach, sip fruity drinks, and eat lol. The food and restaurants was nothing short of WOW and we never, ever had to wait any substantial amount of time. (I recommend Bayside, Arizona Grill, Valentinos (seating at 5:30) Kimonos at Dunn’s River (reservation only, seats at 6). We did the glass bottom boat tour and took both the trike and kayak out on the ocean. It was calm, peaceful, and amazing. Well…except for the nude beach we went by during the glass bottom boat tour…there was a very naked old guy out swimming and we got to see the goods LOL. Thank goodness we were pretty far away!

Dunn’s River is worth taking the 20 minute rude to—they had more fun nighttime activities than the Grande in my opinion. But I really liked staying at our resort better as a whole (be warned though—Grande has a lot of steps and some people may not be able to do that everyday). But my husband and I are 24 and in good health so it was no problem mon. ;-) I think it’s so cool you can stay at one resort but still have full rights at both!

We didn’t get harassed by anyone for anything (but I can’t speak for activities outside of the resort because we didn’t do any). Room turn-down service was always excellent (although you could tell our bathroom was on the old side but it wasn’t dirty or anything). Speaking of the bathroom, a baby lizard jumped in the shower with me one day, lol!! I wish the window they had above the shower was screened in but other than that, no problems with lizards/bugs, etc though you should definitely pack bug spray coming here. The grounds were breathtaking and well kept, soooo beautiful. Skippy the Parrot was great too, everyone should visit him. May is supposed to be the rainiest month but when it did rain, it was for like ½ hour max and then it went right back to tropical perfection. I highly recommend this resort and we will definitely visit Sandals again. :)

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank muzacbox85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

8,409 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    4,950
    2,101
    791
    345
    222
See reviews for
338
6,664
43
89
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,562)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
MONTGOMERY NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

Last year I visited Sandals Dunns River with my father, sister and brother-in-law, leaving my husband and son at home. I had such a wonderful time that when we left we were already talking about coming back. In February 2009 we booked this trip, at the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, through the Penny Sheldon Travel Agency. Initially, we were going to do a friends and family trip but it started getting a little out of hand so we decided to do just a family trip - my husband and me, our son and my dad, my sister and brother-in-law, my in-laws and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Our ages ranged from 18-77.

After arriving at the Sangster International Airport in Jamaica and going through Customs and picking up our luggage we were greeted at the Sandals room. Our luggage was tagged and we were invited in for a cold beverage and use of the facilities. We were then informed that we would have private transportation to the resort, which was totally unexpected. We were walked out to the bus, our luggage was loaded by the porters (who did expect a small gratuity, which was expected and ok w/ us) and we were off to Ocho Rios. The driver informed us of several points of interest as he was driving. It took approximately 1 3/4 hours because we stopped off for beverages on the way and hung out for approx. 15 minutes.

When we arrived at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios we were immediately greeted and handed a cool towel which smelled of almonds and cherry and taken into the Concierge Office. From there, we got into jitneys and were taken up the hill to our villas where several staff members awaited us with champagne. Our luggage was already in our rooms (we still haven't figured out how they got it there so quickly). We had a 4 room villa and 1 room was in the villa next to us. They were awesome!! Full living room with a bar, small kitchen, large bedroom with attached bathroom and private pool out back for us to share. After unpacking we went to the Marketplace for dinner. The food was delicious - especially the tomato soup and lamb!!! After dinner we separated and each explored the Manor side on our own, meeting up later in our own pool.

Our first full day there we all spent the day at the Manor Pool, which is magnificent. The swim up bar got quite a bit of business from us (for alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks). The only complaint we had was that there weren't a lot of umbrellas if someone wanted to get out of the sun. That evening they had a cocktail reception for us at our villa. A table of food was set up, along with a bar and 2 bartenders, Kamarley, one of the Playmakers, was there as a DJ playing music for us and Anthony from the Photoshop was there to take pictures . Earlier in the day we had met our villa neighbors and even invited them over to hang out and party with us. It was a fabulous party!!!

One night we went to the return guest dinner which was first class all the way. Another morning they had a brunch for us behind our villa, complete with mimosas, an omelette station and Anthony from the Photoshop taking pictures.

We spent time and ate on both the Manor and Riviera sides. Some of us went snorkeling, rode the water trikes, went kayaking and took sailing lessons. We saw the Newlywed Game and Talent Show in the amphitheater, put on by the Playmakers. Some of us watched and danced to the band above the Manor pool on chocolate night. One night, everyone called it a night early and I went to Nicole's, the disco, by myself where I hung out with Olivia and Kemoiha, two of the Playmakers and the nicest girls you could meet. I felt totally safe being out by myself. The next night, knowing what a good time I had at Nicole's, my husband took me down there. It wasn't very busy but we hung out with the bartender and dj and had a great time.

One evening we went to Sandals Dunns River for a delicious dinner. Our waiter was a lot of fun and put on a show of his own throughout our meal.

Before going on our trip I was obsessed reading every review and little scrap of information I could find. I honestly don't know where some of these people come from with the complaints they had. Nothing beats Jamaican hospitality and all service we had was over the top. We never wanted for anything and every request we had was granted immediately. The resort is very large (every day we found something new) but we took that as a positive - after all, we were on a family trip and if we felt the need to lose others we could do that easily. The only complaint we did have was the stairs - you're always going up and down. I read this in the reviews before we went and it was true but after the 1st day it didn't seem to matter anymore - except to my mother-in-law who uses a cane and has a hard time getting around, but she was a trooper and was still able to see the entire resort.

Some of the people we fell in love with, who made our vacation extra special, are Megan, Delores (head of housekeeping), Olivia, Kemoiha, Kamarley (Playmakers), Anthony (Photoshop) and Adrian (jitney driver). We met Brian Roper, General Manager, who greeted us with open arms.

I would definitely recommend this resort, especially the villas, to anyone going on a trip with friends and/or family. Everyone can do what they want during the day and meet back at the private pool for drinks and relaxing at night.

THIS WAS THE PERFECT VACATION!!!!!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LMSWEED
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

My wife and I and another couple were there from May 21-26. We have been to Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Cancun, etc together, and in my opinion this was the best vacation yet. I would agree with everyone that the bus ride is long from the airport to the resort and had I not known about it I might have been a little peeved. But do some research people! If you read a few reviews you know about the ride, and since I was expecting it, it was not bad at all. It was a nice way to see Jamaica w/o having to leave the resort. And when you stop to use the restroom, go to the bar and buy a beef patty and a red stripe. Not sure what a beef patty is, but they were delicious! Wish I could find them here.

Pay for the concierge service! We had no confusion or long lines when checking in. They whisked us off to the private room and popped open some champagne. We drank champagne while all the paperwork was filled out. Then we were escorted to a cart where they took us to the Riviera side. If you are a beach person, stay on the riviera side, if you are a pool person stay on the manor side. The longest we had to wait for a ride to the other side was about 3 minutes, so not bad at all. We are beach people so we booked the Riviera side - I can sit at a pool here at home whenever I want. Again, do some research - I also looked at the resort on Google Earth. Pretty easy choice in my opinion. Also with the concierge service we had a bar in our room. Gin, Vodka, Rum, Mixers, Wine, and Champagne every day!

The food was probably the best food at any all inclusive we have been to. We only had one bad meal and that was at the Reef Terrace Restaurant. It was their very first night with a brand new menu and they were a bit confused. Valentinos was exceptional. I had a steak from Arizona that was pretty good as well. A la Carte's had 4 or 5 course meals - make sure you get something from every course. And if you ask for more food, they will bring you some. They also serve wine that I would say is "not bad". Usually at all inclusives, I cannot even taste the wine it is so bad. Their wines here were drinkable, and at some restaurants you could buy a bottle that was even better.

The resort was very clean. The maids did an outstanding job cleaning our room. Bars are very clean. The help was unbelievably friendly. As some people said, the beach is kind of small. However, we never had a problem finding a place to camp out. And by 4pm, the beach would clear off completely and there would be like 6 people out there. The water sports area is great as well. We became friends with one of the employees there - TeTe. If you get a chance to talk to him, don't miss out. He is great and we learned a lot about Jamaica from him. We also went snorkeling for about an hour with him - glass bottom boat rides and snorkeling are free, you just have to sign up.

Overall, this was a great resort with very friendly people. We had a great time. The only thing I could complain about was the bus ride (they can't do anything about that and I knew we would have to) and that it rained a lot (again, nothing they can do about that, it was their rainy season). The water is crystal clear, you dont even need a snorkel mask to see fish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank bigkevj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbridge, VA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2009

This was our second Sandals visit, the first being the Sandals Grande Antigua resort which to us seemed a bit nicer (I think mostly due to the fact that it was a bit newer). Ocho Rios is a bit farther of a drive than we would have liked but once arriving we really enjoyed the villa side (where we stayed) and in particular the signature pool, swim up bar and our butlers. The disconnect from the beach and Riviera side was as convienient as it could have been but did not have a large beachfront, however, the watersports, restaurants, drinks and parties more than made up for the disconnect and lack of beach.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jjmc12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hattiesburg, MS
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2009

We went to Sandals Grand on our honeymoon & loved everything about it. The employees were the nicest people we've met and we had such a wonderful honeymoon. Our room was gorgeous and we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JamieUSM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NH
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2009

Overview: My husband and I are 33 and 30 respectively, and went to Sandals Grande Ocho Rios from May 8-14 to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was our first time at an all-inclusive resort, and our first trip to Jamaica.

Getting There: We flew US Airways from Boston to Montego Bay with a stop in Charlotte. Both flights were fine. We arrived in MBT at 9:45 AM, proceeded through Customs quickly, and went to the Sandals lounge. It was refreshing to get a drink and cool off for a few minutes before boarding the bus. The coordinator informed us that our bus was leaving in 20 minutes. The red cap porters took our bags to the bus(make sure to give them a tip...we had 2 bags and gave him $5). We got on the bus and proceeded to wait for 45 minutes, not 20 as we were originally told. This was our first experience with what we called "Jamaica time". It wasn't too bad waiting, although we were anxious to get on the road and get to the resort. The bus ride was about an hour and a half, with a 10 minute stop at a rest area. I thought the ride would be tedious, but the scenery was beautiful. The bus stopped at Sandal's Dunn's River and dropped those passengers off, and then drove the 15 minutes to the Grande.

Check-In: This was a definite negative in our opinion. The bus brings you to the Manor side (we were staying on the Riviera side), which is fine, but it's a bit confusing when you get off the bus. The concierge people (indicated by the different colored stickers on their Sandals luggage tags) were whisked away, but us and 2 other couples that weren't concierge just stood there waiting not sure what to do. Finally one of the other guests sitting outside told us to follow the check-in lady. They just left our bags out front, unattended, which I wasn't happy about. We followed the lady, who gave us cool towels and champagne. She gave us each an envelope with our room number, resort map, safe key, and room key. (On a side note-make sure you don't lose your safe key as there is a $100 charge!). It turned out we were all staying on the Riviera side. She brought us downstairs to the Market Place restaurant to get lunch (buffet) as they were almost done serving lunch, and then told us to come back upstairs when we were finished and she'd get the shuttle to take us to the Riviera side and our rooms. At this point it was almost 2pm, and we were hot and tired. We grabbed something quick in the buffet, then went upstairs to get the shuttle. Apparently the room they'd originally given us wasn't ready yet, but she told us to switch keys at the Riviera front desk. and she put us on a shuttle. The front desk clerk at the Riviera was much nicer than the one at the Manor side. We had someone show us to our room and bring our luggage. I wish I could remember his name, but he was very friendly. We ended up in the Bamboo Grove building in room 3213.

Room: At first we were a little bummed we didn't get an upgrade, but this room turned out to be perfect for us. It was close to the pools and the Riviera lobby (where you get the shuttle to the Manor), and close to the Riviera building as well. The room wasn't fancy by any means, but it was clean and quiet. Our fridge was stocked daily, and we got towel art and turn down service every day. They were constantly cleaning and restocking towels or whatever we needed.

Grounds: The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, there's no question about that. Everything is well-maintained and very lush. We saw landscapers every day keeping the grounds neat and clean.

Food: This seems to be the biggest point of discussion on this resort. In my opinion, if you are a foodie, you're going to hate the food. However, my husband and I had low expectations. We ate at Bayside, Market Place, Arizona, Orchid's, Valentino's, and San Gennaro during our stay. We also ate lunch at the Beach grill almost every day. Of those, Valentino's and San Gennaro's were our favorites, but we absolutely HATED Orchid's. The food was cold and tasteless. It didn't help that our server was very unfriendly. All in all, we wouldn't go there again, but the other restaurants were just fine. Our favorite meals were the filet mignon at Valentino's, jerk chicken at the grill, and the lasagna at San Gennaro. One thing I disliked about the food/restaurants was that although they tell you they don't put you on a schedule, they do. The breakfast buffet was only open until 10:30, the grill was open from 10:30-5, and the restaurants either opened at 5:30 or 6:00. It also would've been nice to have a buffet option for dinner, as sometimes we felt like grabbing something quick to eat and that wasn't an option at dinner. The portion sizes are a tad on the small side, but we didn't mind because we typically ate 3 or 4 courses during dinner. Plus, if you want more of something, they'll gladly bring it to you.

Activities/Nightlife: There were a lot of evening activities, but we didn't see any daytime activities occurring. Then again, we spent most of our time on the Riviera side, and it looked like most daytime activities were on the Manor side. We liked the Manor and Riviera bars, plus the piano bar on the Riviera side. Never got a chance to go to the nightclub as it didn't open until 10 and we were usually winding down at that point. It would've been nice to have a bar with a little music that wasn't necessarily a disco though.

Pool/Beach: We split our time equally between the beach and pools. As others have said, the beach is small here. However, we found it to be clean, although a bit rocky. The pools were nice enough. Nothing spectacular about them. Some of the pools did need to be re-tiled, but it wasn't a huge turn-off for us. We really liked the pool at the Beach club, because of the proximity to the beach.

Service: We felt that service was pretty hit or miss, particularly with the waitstaff at the restaurants. However, I think that happens at most resorts. The bartenders were very friendly and most of them tried to keep the guests happy. However, as I mentioned before, this resort is definitely on "Jamaica time". If you are in a hurry, you might get frustrated as not many people move quickly, at least in our experience.

Overall: We did have a nice time, and I think this was a good resort to experience for our first time at Sandals. The resort is very large, which is both good and bad. We liked it because it never felt crowded (one day we found a Hidden pool, which we had to ourselves for the entire day!), but on the flipside, all of the stairs, walking, and shuttles got old after a few days. We visited Sandal's Dunn's River one day and preferred that resort much more, I think because it's more compact. We also found that SGOR seemed to have a mostly younger crowd. Not sure if it's because it's one of the less expensive Sandal's resorts, but we would've preferred a more mature crowd. All in all, we had a relaxing time, and would most likely visit another Sandal's resort in the future.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank areno79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2009

kesmit n sheldon our butlers were the best part of our honeymoon they fullfilled our every request or need without a doubt if we didnt have them our honeymoon would of been very disapointing the hotel is very old n not maintained well the grout is green n moldy it needs a lot of updating n maintenance to make it worth all the money the food was ok the best place to eat was san jenaros the beach was very little i had a better time when i went to secrets in punta cana Dominican republic that trip was worth the money

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ramonedelgado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ocho Rios
0.4 mi away
Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn
#2 of 35 in Ocho Rios
1,294 reviews
52.7 mi away
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
0.2 mi away
Sandals Royal Plantation
Sandals Royal Plantation
#3 of 35 in Ocho Rios
2,547 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
56.8 mi away
Secrets St. James Montego Bay
Secrets St. James Montego Bay
#11 of 63 in Montego Bay
6,380 reviews
54.2 mi away
Sandals Montego Bay
Sandals Montego Bay
#8 of 63 in Montego Bay
5,404 reviews
63.0 mi away
Sandals South Coast
Sandals South Coast
#1 of 1 in White House
6,953 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sandals Ochi Beach Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Hotwire, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd 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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing