We just returned from a trip to this resort and had a great time. However, this was not until after an initial room allocation in the Riviera side of the property which I would describe as an eighties nightmare and wholly out of sorts with the whole image that Sandals portrays. For example, the resort offers a "rose petals scattered in the bath tub and on the bed" deal. I would not have dreamt of allowing my wife to bathe in the bath that was on offer in the room. Not only was it ant infested, the bath was yellow and the taps crusty. The sink was also cracked. Not good, and in dire need of renovation. The TV was in a wooden case (last seen at my grandpa's house when I was 10) and I had to climb the "wardrobe" ie a wooden frame in order to work the air conditioning unit. "All you Need is Love" say Sandals. "All you need is a Refurb" I say.
That said, we were moved the following day over to the Manor side and located into a villa. We subsequently heard similar stories from others and even members of staff agreed that the guest accommodation down on the Riviera needed sorting out. The difference on both sides is incredible and we still find it hard to see how Sandals can offer such variance in standards of accommodation in the now one property. They should have closed both sides when refurbishing the Manor property.
Restaurants - great variety, always fresh. Valentinos - what is the booking system all about? Queue at 5.30pm for a table the night you want to eat. Why can't you just call from your room? The food was okay but I think it's the image of the queue every day that perpetuates the popularilty of this place more than the food itself ie Italians would cringe at the thought of spaghetti bolognese served with snapper which was the suggestion when I didn't want rice!! Anyway, this is just me being picky, my apologies. I just don't rate it "world class" as Sandals do, that's all, but then I wasn't eating in Italy.
We loved The Manor, great Jamaican/Carribean food, which is what we went for. Cooked well by people who know what they're cooking.
The huge pool by the Manor was popular and a great addition to the Manor side of the property compared to when it was the Ciboney hotel beforehand and you had to go to the beach club. We only wished they could have changed the music at the swim up bar a bit. The same tunes and reggae Britney does your head in a little after a day or two. Oh, and people reserving sun loungers at 7am - come on you British and Americans, this is what we avoid European resorts for!
Anyway, these are just contructive comments and minor. We read the reviews too, and were a bit worried, but as long as you avoid being accomodated in the Riviera until it's done up, this is a great place and great value. Enjoy!
- 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