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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed April 13, 2007

Sandals Ocho Rios is great!
People are friendly, it is very clean and with lots to do.

Entertainment all the time.....

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NSgetaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 13, 2007

This was my wife and my first vacation in 15 years. We were a little concerned with what to expect going out of the U.S. for the first time in 15 years. Wow what an experience . The entire trip was a trip of a lifetime. The food was excellent, in every place we dined. The entire staff was very helpful in every way. We were blessed to have two of what had to be the Butlers in the Sandals system: Bertram and Damon have to be the most courteous and caring people you would ever hope to meet and call a friend. Iam sure we left an impression on both of them also, when you leave you feel as though you are leaving a part of your family behind and friends for life. Thank you for the vacation of a lifetime, from the food to the excellent service of everything.

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Thank Golfertexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2007

This is our 3rd trip to Sandal's Ocho Rios in the last 5 years, and the first
time since they have expanded. For perspective my hubby and I are in our
mid-30's, very fit, middle-upper class, with 3 kids who currently live in the
South, but have lived just about everywhere and vacation atleast once a year.
To start I must say that the upkeep of the facility has dropped a bit since our
last visit in Nov 2004. It just seems like they got too big too quick to keep up.
Hopefully they will be able to catch up. One point I think they could improve
on is the fact that their employees seem to have free range at the property (
wandering constantly, eating at the facilities, riding the elevators, riding the
shuttles)..I would suggest that they find a way to make their employees less
visable. The addition of the new dining facilites was a plus. The food, as
always , was fanatastic. Whatever you want just ask...if it is not on the menu
or you want more just ask. They will get it for
you....or atleast try. For example....we noticed on our 2nd day that they
were running out of cognac, so we mentioned it to Laurel Bryan( I'll get back to
him later) and they never ran out again. My hubby is an avid golfer and took
full advantage of the golf course. I went up there one day to walk the course
wtih him. It is beautiful and easy to walk. For the cost $1 per hole for your
caddy ( plus tip)....you just can't beat it. Don't bother to get a cart.....
the walking is good for you after all of the food and drink. There are almost
too many pools. On our earlier trips there was only 1 swim up bar pool, but now
there are 3 or 4.... that just spreads out the partiers too much. We always
liked that before. You knew that if you wanted to have some good conversation
you knew where to go. I would suggest that you go to the pool bar up on the
Manor side for the best time. Now I must admit when we first got there I was a
little dissapointed. It seemed like the !
facility had lost it's personal touch that we loved so much before. We were put in a small "upgraded" room and were frustrated, but said nothing.
However on our 2nd morning there the Rest. Manager Laurel Bryan stopped by to
see how our meal was and turned our whole trip around. Within 1 hour he was
able to get us into a larger room and turned our whole mood around. He really
took the time to make sure all was right and it made our stay ideal. We noticed
that he had this effect not only on us, but on others also. He has spend his
life not only in Jamaica, but also in Europe and the States..in other words he
is able to relate to all of his clients. Sandals is not perfect or brand new,
but it is worth the $$$.

p.s. Rum is only $2.50 for the small bottles and $5.00 for the large ones at
the duty free in the airport...wait and buy it on the way out of town.

p.s.s. Laurel is a retired Marine.... for all you Devil Dogs.... I am sure I
need to say no more...you understand!!!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank bleggettknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2007

My husband and I are celebrating our 10-year anniversary and we just returned from a 4-day stay at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort. My only complaints are the traveling and my stay was not long enough. It took us almost 12 hours to get there and even longer to get home. We flew with Spirit airlines and have vowed to NEVER do that again. We had to 2 layovers on the way home and we were only traveling from Jamaica to Georgia....both layovers were in Florida alone. It was very unorganized. Our stay at Sandals, however, was AMAZING! We stayed in a one-bedroom suite in the Oceanview Villas. There are 4 suites in each villa that share a small private pool; each suite has a small living room and a small full kitchen (fully stocked with choice of alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages.). Our room package came with concierge and butler service. We had 2 butlers that took care of us; Ricardo and Andre. These guys were amazingly helpful and always went the extra mile to make our anniversary extra special. We were given a special cellular phone that kept us in contact with them at all times. If we needed a ride, had a question, or even needed to have something brought to us from our room; all we had to do was call them from this phone. They were always waiting and ready to help with whatever we needed. I don't think our stay would have been, the same without those 2 guys. When we return; we will most defiantly request them again!
Sandals is beautiful...everywhere you look there are beautiful flowers, statues...the grounds are amazing. The food there was very good; however, our favorite restaurant was The Manor. The chef there actually came out to our table to talk to us. The drinks were also VERY GOOD.......especially the Yellow Bird!
They offer a number of tours. The one we choose to do was the Hooves Horseback Tour. This ride took us to the ocean where we got to ride the horses in the ocean. IT WAS AMAZING! The tour guides were very helpful and extremely nice (not to mention, very funny).
I would also like to comment on the Jamaican people. They are some of the nicest, most respectful people I have ever met. They always have a smile on their face and they are so laid back...you always hear about them saying "No Worries Mon" and it is truly their attitude in life. It was very refreshing.
My husband and I been on 2 cruises, one to the Bahamas and one to Mexico. This was our first trip to an all-inclusive resort and it exceeded our expectations by far. If I had to pick between the Bahamas, Mexico or Jamaica; it would be Jamaica again and again. We are already planning next years trip back to Sandals Grande Ocho Rios.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank mhami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2007

I haven't booked a hotel in about 5 years without using Tripadvisor. In all of that time and the hundreds of reviews and properties that I have looked into, I don't think a place has had such a Hot or Cold response as SGOR. I was there from march 17th -24th and here is the truth as I see it!

Bus Ride; based on some of the reviews, I was prepared for this hair-raising third world experience, it is simply not the case. We were in the Sandal's airport lounge for about 5 minutes before our name was called. We loaded into a modern shuttle bus with other SGOR guests. The trip was 2 hours tops along a scenic main road on the coast of Jamaica. The halfway stop was about 5-10 minutes, just long enough for everyone to use the facilities and grab a drink. When we arrived at SGOR, my wife(who also read every review of SGOR) looked at me and said "that's the whole ride?" Other than the fact that they drive on the left side of the road, we really didn't understand the problems with the bus trip.

Check-in and Accomodations: They basically check-in the entire bus at the same time. They unload and separate your luggage while everyone is taken into the lobby and sat down on sofas and given your check in information. You are given champagne and hot towels upon arrival. Once you are checked in, you and your luggage are taken to your room. We booked the basic(cheapest) manor room, and were upgraded to a honeymoon plantation villa. This seems to happen quite often. Our villa contained two upper units and one lower, and shared a pool. We considered forgoing the upgrade to stay at the manor house, but we were glad we didn't. The room was excellent and we had a huge balcony with an ocean & jungle view. We also had a stocked mini fridge which I don' t believe the manor rooms had. We were only two rows of villas from the manor house and the walk was downhill so it worked out fine.

Food/Service: We felt the food was good and plentiful. I would call it "cruise ship" gourmet. My wife and I aren't really picky nor sophisticated eaters and we found everything to be excellent. I would imagine that if you are used to spending $50-$100 a person while dining out, nothing here will impress you. We had to wait a total of "0" minutes to be seated for our entire stay. Dinner never took more than an hour, unless we extended it with conversation with our dinner companions. We ate at all of the restaurants except Orchids.(ran out of time!) The service in the restaraunts and the entire resort was wonderful. Keep in mind that at an all-inclusive over 7 days, you will have hundreds of encounters with staff. As humans, they have different personalites and mannerisms, but overall, service was excellent.

Entertainment: Plenty of activities to keep you going day and night. The watersports staff was great. THey have 4 snorkeling trips per day(weather permitting). To use an item, you simply tell them and your off in minutes. We did it all, kayaking, hobie-cats, water trikes, etc. Evening entertainment was also plentiful and varied as well. Yes, sometimes the disco was sparsely attended, but if your wanting to have some drinks and dance with your wife, what's the problem? I highly recommend the Steel drum show and Reggae Fest. My wife won the SGOR tennis tournament so she thought that was cool. The great thing about this place is that the beach, pools, jacuzzis, and pool restaraunts never close. We met a couple that was going down to the beach club at 2 am each morning and partying with about 10-15 other people. The bartenders would leave them some gallon size jugs of rum punch under the counters for them to drink when they were out there. You can really create your own entertainment.

Golf: The golf was great, however, "free" golf really costs about $30-50 depending on how generous you are with your caddy. It is still substantially less than normal "resort" golf and the course is in excellent condition. If you have never used a caddy before, you owe it to yourself to go, it is really cool. The only time I touched my ball was when I teed off. The caddy was probably the best source of local information on the whole trip! The golf course is about a 15-20 minute ride and is an interesting excursion on it's own.

Excursions:We did the Dunns River Falls bus excursion, and the shopping tour. It rained 6 of the 7 days we were there so many of the other tours were cancelled or modified in some way. Others have complained about the shopping tour, this is not sandal's fault. It was cheaper than cab fare and they take you to 3 different shopping areas. We're not shoppers but we did it because it was something to do while it was raining. It is your standard duty free tourist shopping centers.

Sandals Dunns River:
We took the shuttle over there for an afternoon. I snorkeled while my wife sunned on the beach. Nice place but I prefererred the Seclusion of SGOR.

OVERALL:We thoroughly loved everything about this vacation. The first few days we wondered if we were at the same place as some of the negative reviewers. We definitely felt that this was an exceptional value and were satisfied with the Sandal's Concept. We even booked for next year before this stay was up. (they give some decent incentives to do so).

TIPS/Advice: 1.This is a huge resort, it really is 2 resorts divided by a road. The entire resort is on an incline. The "jitney's" and shuttle busses are plentiful and effiecient, however, if you prefer to have everything more accesible this may not be the place for you.
2.If you are strictly a "beach" person, you may prefer a larger and more active beach. Sandals dunn river has a larger more "active" beach, but it is also busy and you can see Ocho Rios and the cruise ship pier as well. I enjoyed SGOR because of its seclusion. From the beach, all you see is ocean and jungle.
3. Unless your a hard core shopper, just wait to buy your souvenirs at the airport shops on your return trip. You'll have about 2 hours to kill and they have all of the same stuff that you see in town at the same prices.
4.Carry a decent amount of small bills with you when leave the property, you don't have to tip on propety(although it can be useful) but everyone you encounter on your excursions are working for tips.
5.You can Rainproof your vacation by getting your SCUBA certification before you arrive. The only ocean activity that runs during the rainy days are certified dives on the reef.
6.Don't be afraid of Jamaicans! They are happy that you are there and love to tell you about their country.
7. Relax, it's your vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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33  Thank azroyalsfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2007

We loved Sandals Ocho Rios. It was beautiful, we would definately go back. We got a complimentary upgrade and everything. You should be advised that the resort is seperated into two parts. One right on the beach, The Riviera, and the other across the street that you have to take a shuttle to, The Manor. The Manor has a big, really nice pool. We were not aware of the seperated resort, as the brochure never mentioned it. That was the only set back. The shuttle runs constantly, so it's not a big deal. It was like staying at 2 resorts, plus Sandals Dunn's River was 10 minutes down the street.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Tully2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2007

Like many others, I've read the good, the bad and the ugly about this property. All I can say is it truly is entirely what you make of it.
We went for our honeymoon from the 19th thru the 26th of March and stayed in the Oceanfront 1 Bedroom Luxury Suite w/Butler service. The two Butlers were AWESOME! If you see either Vernon or Franklin tell them that Nate and Vicky say hello! We miss them already! Two of the greatest people and obviously did whatever you needed. We are more of the "do it yourself" type people, so if you are not totally prepared to request them to do a lot for you, it is probably not worth it. We mostly asked them to book tours and asked many questions about the land and the people, which they were very happy to answer.
It did rain everyday for at least awhile. It's what the locals call liquid sunshine...and that's great, but after 2 days of it, it's just plain RAIN! Still, we didn't let it ruin our vacation!
We did the shopping tour, which I would NOT recommend unless you are totally prepared to be followed and stalked constantly. They take you to 2 strip mallish places and then to the Island Village where you are literally pulled in all different directions by the vendors. It was way to overwhelming for me and they truly did not have anything different then the gift shop at Sandals.
We did also take the Katt Booze Cruise to Dunn's River Falls. Awesome time! They took us out and it was beautiful on the water, we learned how to snorkel, which is fun and last but certainly not least we climbed the falls. Like other reviews...be ready to tip! On a side note the video was offered to us for $40 at the end, but when we said no he found us again at the bottom and offered it at a lower price. If we learned one thing it was never pay FULL price! The falls were fun to climb, but a bit harder then I thought it would be. I think that was mostly because of all the rain that they had that week, it made the falls much more forceful. Also, there was a native Jamaican family climbing and one of the girls must've lost her footing, because she came flying down the falls right past us. Kind of scary, but she ended up being ok.
The food was great and you did have a lot of choices and opportunity to try new foods.
The nightlife was ok, but not the best. Again it is what you make of it. I think we would have had a lot more fun if we had gone with other people we knew, but it was our honeymoon so that just wasn't going to happen! :)
You will meet a lot of people if you take the time to say hello, everyone was interested in meeting other couples. A word to the wise, it's easier to remember them by state then really by name since you do meet tons of people. So here's our shout out to North Dakota, California (where's your hat man?) and Pennsylvania!
Have a great time if you're going!!!
Nate and Vicky (Wisconsin)

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank WisconsinLaCrosse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $132 - $1,024 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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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

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