My husband and I just returned from our trip, which was Oct. 17th-22nd. We had a wonderful time at the Sandals Ocho Rios Resort and it was our first time out of the U.S. Much like other reviewers, I would agree that the airport is a bit hectic and the bus ride to the the resort is not much fun. The ride is very long, and after a long day of travelling, you just want to get to your destination. One suggestion is to keep a close eye on your luggage from the time you claim it at the airport, until it is in your room at the resort. We talked with a surprising number of couples, who had not arrived with their luggage. It was misplaced and they had to take taxis into town to try and buy some clothing! It took about 15 minutes after our arrival at the resort and we were in our villa, drinking red stripe beer and enjoying a cheese and cracker plate that was in our fridge. We had the plantation villa suite w/ private pool & butler service on the manor side. Our accomodations were wonderful, beautiful and peaceful. It took us a full day to adjust to the slow, relaxed pace of Jamaica and find our way around the resort. It is a large resort, but we never had any trouble getting around, shuttles were plentiful and easy to access. We enjoyed a couples massage, which was a first for us and I would strongly suggest that everyone try something at the spa as it is very nice! We did the Dunns River Falls tour one day and the Canopy Tour the next. The Falls Tour was neat, but we think we took the tour with someone who did not work as an official tour guide. A woman met us on the trail down to the falls and asked if we had a guide. We said "No" so she said she would be our guide. She took pictures of us and led us right past other large guided groups. At the top, we thanked her, tipped her and as we walked away we noticed that all of the other guides were in uniform with name badges. Ooops!! Oh well, we had a nice tour and didn't have to wait in any lines. Ha! Ha! I loved the canopy tour, it was very exciting and we paid $30 for the pictures afterwards and they were great. The ride up the mountains for the canopy tour gave a great view of the rural Jamaican lifestyle. The beach at Sandals Ocho Rios is small and divided into three areas, so beach lovers might miss out some. We attended a talent show one evening which was fun and their were events planned daily for anyone to attend. The pools were wonderful and seemed to be located everywhere. Of course the Manor side pool was incredible! Great hot tubs too! There were even hot tubs located among our villa's up on the hillside. The food was not so great. Our favorite meal was at the Reef Terrace. The service was good, our waiter was very friendly and entertaining. We had a beautiful view of the ocean and there was even a cruise ship way out at sea. San Gennaro's was bad enough, that we got up and walked out. Bad food and service. We had dinner at Orchid's twice, mostly because the food was o.k. and it was close to our villa. Almost every night we ordered room service around 11pm. Several times we had breakfast at our villa poolside. The room service was very good and efficient. I would comment that the dress code was not as elegant as I had believed it would be. Daytime dress was very casual, people walked around in towels and swimsuits. Evenings my husband wore black suit pants and nice shirt and I wore a nice dress and we were dressed up compared to other guests!
The Butler Service was well worth the extra money. Our butlers, Marvin & Denton made our stay much more relaxed and more special. Our fridge was always stocked (we drank them out of Red Stripe one night!), they made our dinner reservations and either walked us to dinner or came and found us at dinner to see that evrything was o.k. One night the wait at Orchid's was one hour, but our reservations by our butler let us walk right in an be seated. Very nice bonus! They also booked all of our tours, all we had to do was call Marvin or Denton, tell them what we wanted to do the next day and it was taken care of for us.
Overall I would say that most of the reviews discussing the airport, travel to and from the resort , etc. was right on. The resort itself was very nice and we would definitely go back!
P.S. We spent around $350 tipping. Tipping definitely occurs and in some places it is expected.
- 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