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. :)
- 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