My husband and I went to SGOR for our first year anniversary. We went here for our honeymoon last year and loved it so much we couldn't see going anywhere else for our anniversary. We arrived on a Wednesday and were so glad. Last year we arrived on a Sunday and the immigration lines were VERY LONG. My advice is to travel during the week if possible. We zipped through immigration very quickly. We arrived at the Sandals lounge and grabbed a few drinks and snacks. We booked our trip through Matt Lanza from Jamaica Travel and he arranged for a complimentary private transfer to the resort. (I highly recommend him. We got to the resort. Checked in. Unpacked our luggage and put everything away. Went and ate lunch at the grill on the manor side. Checked out the resort and on our way back to our room, the bus from the airport was JUST getting dropped off.) The Sandals staff helped us find our driver. Once in the car, he had a gift for us. A bottle of champagne sitting in a cooler and handed us some cups to drink.
As we arrived, we were handed a wet cold towel and a glass of champagne. We were the only ones checking in at the time so check in was very quick. We had originally booked the riviera deluxe and got upgraded to the plantation 1 bedroom villa suite. We were unsure about being on the manor side. Last year we stayed on the riviera side in a cottage and loved it! But I do have to say that the manor side is just as nice. We were taken to our room in a jitney. It was the most beautiful drive with all the colorful trees, flowers, and plants. Our room had a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom, kitchen, balcony, and pool that we shared with 3 other rooms. It was BEAUTIFUL! It looked just like the pictures in the magazines and online. In the kitchen we had a fridge stocked with water, juices, wine, and beer. Also on the counter were 5 or 6 bottles of liquor. After we we unpacked our luggage we called for a jitney so we could grab a bite to eat. We went to the grill on the manor side. Had the best cajun fries ever! After we ate, we walked around the manor side and checked everything out along with the activity boards.
Back in our room, there was a knock on the door and it was an employee with her hands full saying "Welcome home!". She handed us a bottle of Appleton Jamaican Rum, Sandals Select tshirts, a plate with 2 cookies on it (which were very delicious by the way). The plate was decorated with chocolate and it said "welcome home". We were also handed an invitation to a Sandals Select cocktails and dinner party. About 5 minutes later we received a phone call from Caren (the director of guest services) asking us if we were going to be in our room because she had something to deliver to us. Caren and Jackie (the evening night manager) arrived with a plate of grapes & cheese. The plate was also decorated with flavored food gels. (It was a very colorful palm tree.) Caren said the Matt (our travel agent) emailed her saying that we would be staying there and told her to take good care of us and also in the letter they left with us said that if we needed ANYTHING to call her extension number. That night we ate at Bayside for dinner and then later went back to the manor side and watched a reggae band play and then grabbed a plate from the chocolate buffet and took it back to our room. Everything chocolate that we ate was amazing.
The next morning we ate breakfast at Marketplace. It was buffet style. Everything was delicious. I loved trying their different breakfast pizzas they had every morning. We ate here almost every morning. One morning we ate at Bayside which was also buffet style. Both are very good. After breakfast almost every morning we would just hang out at the pool and swim up bar. Unless there were activities we wanted to participate in. We went to a cooking class. Tried jerk chicken for the first time. It was fantatstic! We also did a scavenger hunt, name that tune, water sports regatta, pool volleyball, beach volleyball, and other activities. One morning we spent over on the riviera side and did a glass bottom boat ride, aqua trikes, 2 person canoe, and just swam in the ocean. That water is so clear.
We did have a problem with the air conditioner in our room. So we called Caren and she personally went and checked it out with maintenance. It got fixed but a couple of hours later the air coming out was not as cold again. Whoever answered her line connected me to her and she told me how she was at home but she would have Jackie move us to another room. I felt so bad that I had disturbed her at home and I apologized for it. And she said, "honey, you are not disturbing me. I just want to do everything I can to make your stay enjoyable." I thought to myself, "where else could we go that we could get this kind of service? Nowhere." So Jackie called us a few minutes later and said to pack our things up and she would be up shortly to help us move to a different room. She just wanted to first check the air conditioner in our new room to make sure it was blowing out cold air. It wasn't too far of a move. We just moved to a room downstairs. As we were moving, my husband went to grab his suitcase and Jackie told him that was not his job. we just laughed lol
The food was delicious everywhere we ate. Our favorite restaurant at SGOR is Arizona's. Last year the tables were on the beach. This year they moved the tables out on the boardwalk. Just as beautiful though. Bayside was good too. We asked Caren to make reservations for us at Kimono's for our anniversary dinner on Sunday. She suggested Marco Polo for our anniversary. She said it was alot more fancy and romantic. So we took her suggestion and had her book Kimono's at Dunn's River for Saturday night. Kimono's was Wonderful! Everything was so delicious! We were so glad we were able to get reservations. Before dinner we had an appointment to take sunset pictures. Our photographer Floyd asked where we were going for dinner and we told him. His response was "How did you get reservations? I was just talking to a couple earlier that said there weren't any openings til next wednesday." We told him Caren made them for us. He was like "OH that must be why". Sunday night we went to Marco Polo at Dunn's River. Caren was right! Very fancy and very romantic! white glove service. Perfect for our anniversary! My husband loved his surf n turf. I'm not a big seafood fan but his lobster was wonderful! After dinner that night we had time before the next shuttle came so we went to the pizzeria and ordered a pizza to take back to our room for snacking later. It is the best brick oven pizza ever! Those were all the restaurants we ate at. Also after our anniversary dinner when we came back to our room there was a bottle of champage, 2 glasses, a plate full of fresh fruit, and an anniversary card. It was so nice. The other nights there we went to the beach party and the street jamboree and ate at the buffets there. Once again, excellent food! We did not have anything that was not Delicious. I don't understand how people can complain about the food. Everything tastes homemade and very fresh. Speaking of fresh, the fresh fruit was amazing.! Especially the pineapple. We have never had pineapple so sweet.
Our room came with a spa credit. So we booked the scrub a dub dub two in a tub service. It was sooo wonderful! First we got full body exfoliations. Then we sat in a tub in a massage room that was surrounded by candles. They brought us champage. Very romantic. Then we got full body massages. We loved it and decided that we will always splurge at the spa whenever we are there.
The last night we were there we ate at the dinner party for Sandals Select members. When we sat down and I first looked at the menu I didn't think I'd like anything. But I decided to try everything anyway. When they brought the pumpkin soup out, i was very unsure about trying it but did anyway. It was delicious. I wanted more after I finished my bowl. Then came out the salad. Which I was for sure I would not like. The description was like a bed of leaves topped with tomato, pineapple, shrimp, and a dressing. But I tried it anyway. LOVED IT! I could eat it ALL DAY if they'd let me. Then the Filet Mignon came out. I had never had it and i'm a huge fan of chicken. After my first bite, i was sold. I savored every bite. All of Sandals food is wonderfully amazingly delicious. But that was the best meal I had there. Also that night, the managers entertained us. They are so down to earth. You can really tell they love their jobs and love to have fun.
All of the staff is like that. Everyone has a smile on their faces and greets you. Anything you need they are glad to get it for you. We especially loved Caren and Jackie though. They were so wonderful!!! We met alot of other guests and talked to them about what other Sandals they've been to. We were told, by numerous guests, that Antigua and St. Lucia may have the better beaches and scenery but its the staff at SGOR that is more personable, friendly, and makes them feel like family. The morning before we left, Caren came to say good bye. It's funny because before we arrived we talked about doing something different for our next anniversary like another resort or a cruise. But after our experience here and the staff making us feel like we're family we will be definitely be back next year. Caren realized we were sad and said she looks forward to seeing us next year. I told her she definitely would. "Only 52 more weeks!" I said. She laughed so hard at that. But I just love the staff and service and jamaica!!!! I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a memorable vacation!
- 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 Unique Vacations Inc, Booking.com, getaroom.com, Cancelon, Evoline ltd and TripOnline SA 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