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“Time of Our Lives”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Wilmington, Delaware
1 review
“Time of Our Lives”
Reviewed August 9, 2010

I might be slightly biased since we had our wedding at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, but I will NEVER forget this vacation. From the time our plane landed, everyone in the Sandals welcomed us, helped us with our bags, and encouraged our group to relax because we were officially on vacation. When we arrived at the hotel, we had a group check-in since we were with a large group of family and friends for the wedding...everything went extremely well for having so many people at once. Our honeymoon room was wonderful, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful room for our wedding/honeymoon. It was very clean and was decorated daily with local flowers and towel art. All the food was great, Orchid's and Valentino's were our favorites! We enjoyed all the water activities, snorkeling was amazing! We were initially concerned that one of the pools on the edge of the property was closed and being worked on, but we were very pleased to spend our pool time at the Manor Pool...very beautiful! As for the wedding! The wedding team at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios was AMAZING! We were welcomed with our wedding book and a time to meet with our consultant. She took us around to the different venues and spent a lot of time asking us what we wanted for our wedding. It really made us feel like our wedding was important to her, even though she helps couples with weddings everyday. With our large group we had a rehearsal dinner which went extremely well, I wish I could remember everyones names who helped make that night so enjoyable so I could thank them! We are extremely happy with how our wedding day turned out! On our last night, we were thinking about this amazing trip we had just had and couldn't think of a single thing we would change. The resort and every single employee who made our vacation unforgettable, made our wedding and honeymoon the most amazing trip...we definitely had the time of our lives!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank soontobemrs710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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watervliet,ny
1 review
Reviewed August 9, 2010

My boyfriend and I traveled with another couple to this resort- it was our first trip to Jamaica, and we loved it.
The staff at Sandals is amazing. The food was great and the drinks even better.
We stayed on the Manor side, which we loved, but our room was dated- definitely needs to be renovated. I also didn't like the way the two sides were separated (by a major road), they should build a bridge to connect both sides.
We did the Booze Cruise---which was amazing. A shout out to Randy---I wouldn't have gone snorkling without you.. thank you for making the experience out of this world.
We enjoyed every second of our stay- tryly amazing, can't wait to go back!

Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank jlove08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk, VA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 8, 2010

My husband and I just came back from Sandals Ochos Rios a couple weeks ago. I'll say that we really enjoyed some much needed R&R, but there are some things we wished we wouldve known prior to going. FYI SANDALS MONTEGO BAY IS LITERALLY LOCATED ON THE FLIGHT LINE AT THE AIRPORT!! Sooo glad I didnt book there!!

Before I continue, I want to let you all know that the map on the website is deceiving. This resort is actually two different properties. Although shuttles are consistantly running two and from, the Manor Side, and the Riviera Side. Riviera side is located on the beach! We booked the "Honeymoon Penthouse Mountain View Concierge Room" which is on the Riviera side.

****Bring money for tips*****

Travel: Customs took a LONG TIME. We arrived at about 210 pm on a Sunday, and it was a couple hours. The gentlemen at the airport that take your bags expects a tip, it is suggested 1 us dollar per bag. I gladly tip anyone for service, but the bag guy was pushy about it and asked for it before he even put the bags in the van. It took us about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the resort. Our driver was kinda crazy and got there quick since he didnt stop like some had mentioned. Needless to say, we went straight to the bathroom. My advice, dont start partying at the airport like we did! :) The drivers are not part of the hotel and are contracted so tipping is appreciated and ultimately expected.

Arrival: As soon as we arrived we were greeted with a towel and taken to the seating area where we were served champagne. The staff was very friendly and made the process go quickly. If you plan to use a debit card instead of a credit card, you can chose the amount you want to put on your room. She didnt mention anything about a minimum payment. We put 200 US dollars, and ended up spending more due to the tours we booked.

Room: The rooms were fine. I read many reviews which complained about bugs, paint, etc. Yes, the decor isnt the best, but we didnt spend much time in our room at all so it served its purpose. Oh and ladies, the outlets are just like ours in the US so bring your own hair dryers/products! I'm glad I brought mine. :) The A/C was perfect after a long day outside and worked fine. We included pics.

Food: I also ready all the reviews about the small portions and bad food. I really enjoyed the food and didnt have ANYTHING that I didnt like, but I"m not a picky eater either. I wouldnt say the portions are small, I think they are the size they are supposed to be. We are used to the large portions in the states, so thier portions appear small. My husband is a big guy and thought he was going to have to order another serving, but didnt need to order anything extra. However, if you must eat more, you can order as many entrees as you want......"NO PROBLEM". :) Oh and for the late night munchies, the sandtrap serves food til 2 am so I dont think anyone is going to go hungry here. We at at San Geranno (sp?), Bayside, and Arizona. Try the steak!

Watersports: We did the snorkeling twice. They offer it 3 times a day and they take you out on a glass bottom boat, different locations at the different times. Middle reef is beautiful. However, if you want to snorkel on the beach around the resort I recommend you bring your own mask/snorkel/fins because they will not check out the gear to you.

Night life: It was ok. A couple nights we had a really good time dancing, but other nights it seemed to be kinda dead. Maybe we didnt go to the right places.

Pool: I didnt go to the manor pool, which is the big pretty pool you see in the resort pictures. We pretty much stayed on the riviera side and really enjoyed it. Beware, Jermaine at the pool bar will get you "F'D UP" as he likes to say. He was so much fun and really knew how to get the crowd going. Kerry Ann was also great and took really good care of us. It is all you can drink, but they only serve Red Stripe beer and well jamaican liquors. They did carry Jim Beam and Jack Daniels, Smirnoff, and I think Tangeray but you have to ask for them.

Tours: We only did the Dunns River Falls Caterman Cruise. DO THIS TOUR!! We were looking for the best variety for the price and it is well worth $80/person. The whole crew on the red locks was OUTSTANDING and took care of each guest. The tours are not part of the Sandals staff so tipping is appreciated AND DESERVED! THe actually falls was really nice as well, more people to tip though. FYI: bring your own camera! We followed the brochure and brought the water camera and the pics didnt turn out good at all. REALLY wish we brought our camera. The tour guide will hold your camera for you and keep it dry, they even take pictures througout. This tour is an excellent photo opportunity.

Gift Shop: Waaay overpriced. We took a cab downtown and you can haggle the guys much lower. FYI: dont have the front desk call the cab for you. The cost is 28 US round trip. If you walk to the gate, cabs have a red license plate and other couples paid 15 round trip.

SPA: We only booked 5 nights, so we werent told about a 250 spa credit. The day before we left, we went to settle our room charges and the front desk says, "Did you know you have a 250 spa credit?". I questioned him because we asked about it when we checked in and he said that it was issued two days prior. Had we known sooner we definitately would have used it! My husband and I got pedicures and it was WONDERFUL. Red Lane spa employees are not part of Sandals so again, tipping is acceptable. Fortunately, you are able to charge the tip to your room.

Oh by the ways:
Bring extra cash. We didnt bring much cash with us because the site says its not needed. I have gotten better service than I have in the States and in other countries, so I did tip a little discretely. However, I was never asked or hassled. You will definitely need cash on any tours/excursions you go on. I would recommend lots of 1s and 5s.

Bring your own Mask/Snorkel/Fins and water shoes.

Bring your own waterproof camera.

We really enjoyed our time at this resort. It is very large and we never felt crowded. We will definitely go back, but may try another location. We met lots of nice couples who have been to Sandals many many nights, one gentleman said that was his 14th trip to that particular Sandals. One couple highly recommended Sandals Whitehouse. Its tough to chose considering the great service we got from this Sandals. Enjoy!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mjc1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2010

RESORT OVERALL: The resort is very big and split into two sides, The Manor Side and Rivera Side (Beach Side) Seems the Manor Side is a little more alive. You take a Bus from side to side when you want to go. Not a big deal, they run often. We never waited more than 5 minutes.
ROOM: We had a Romeo and Juliet Suite with Butler Service and private pool and hot tube. Our room had a bedroom and a living room. The bed was big and comfy, the refrig was always stocked with anything we could want. The bathroom was a little dated. (We did find out that all of the Romeo and Juliet suits are all being renovated and will be complete by december)
DINING: If you are looking for 5 Star dining this is not the place for you. By far it is not bad food just not 5 star.. Tons to choose from. My favorite was the Manor House for Diner. Great Steak there. (Room Service has an amazing steak too.)
BUTLER SERVICE: WOW is all I can say. Our Butlers Nardia and Marvin where amazing. You have two butlers assigned to you for your whole stay. They work two shifts morning and evening. They go out of their way for you.
ENTERTAINMENT: The playmakers are wonderful, they truly make sure the guest have a great time. We loved Orlando, Natashia, and Joanna, they are amazing and always wanted us to have a great time. The bartenders Bishop, and Jerome were our favorites. Every employee at the resort goes out of their way to make sure you have a good time.. There are plenty of things to do. They post the weeks activities so you always knows what is going on.
The only thing thing I would say is to make sure you take small bills for tipping. We only took twenties thinking we only needed it for our butlers but totally forgot about bus drivers from airport and baggage handlers. You will also want to slip some of these wonderful employees a little something.
Thanks to Sandals for making our vacation everything I ever wanted...

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jbeaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
1 review
Reviewed August 8, 2010

Your vacation starts as soon as you arrive in the airport, greeters are there to meet you and direct you on your way. Service was outstanding from the time we arrived until the time we departed. The food was amazing, the resort was amazing, the concierge service was out standing.

If you want to just lay back and relax you can. If you want to be adventurous you can. There is something for all to do and enjoy. I highly recommend it.

We are already planning our next visit to one of the many Sandals resorts.

Simply Amazing!!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ya-man0519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cascade, Colorado
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2010

Just returned from Sandals Grande and we had a great trip. We stayed from Aug. 1 to Aug. 6 and loved it. The suite was great, our butlers Nadine and Glenroy did anything we asked of them, and we had a great couples massage down by the water with Janet and Karen. We really enjoyed this resort. There was so much to do. We tried all of the water sports and we took two trips to town. We climbed Dunn's River falls and went on the tranopy bobsled. Those were both great trips and we loved the zipline. Food was great and we enjoyed all of the pools. Overall, this was a great place to come and we had a wonderful honeymoon at Sandals Grande!!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JAP_20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed August 7, 2010

This is not a all inclusive if you read the fine print, spa service, some watersports, and trips out of compound all cost.
We were there for 2 weddings - Both were very different and very good and hopefully they will post on their experiences (one had bad wedding party spa experience)

However the Rooms are another story - those that have not been renovated - look worse than a motel 6 - the colors were just plain ugly. We were in one that had been renovated, a Riviera honeymoon cottage - beware if you’re going to the cottage and don’t see from the outside - that the balcony sliding glass door has dark wood slated doors, those (with curtains) have not been renovated. We would have not known - however there was a late arrival to our party who was on the Manor side who got bumped to the Riviera side, the cottage was in disrepair, the tub didn't have a stopper, the white slats alongside the sliding glass door were stuck open and had to be pounded shut, the bed was hard as a rock and not a 4 poster bed, I would go on but I have others I want to comment on, The semi-private villas with the shared pool also were in bad shape, the living room had a couch, coffee table and desk, and it looked like a space where they took out the TV, the kitchenette was out dated, the stocked bar, was so-so, you had to walk through the bedroom to get to the bathroom, so you had to keep your things put away encase you had guest over to your pool that needed the bathroom. If you had a problem in the room it would take them a while to get to it, the AC wouldn’t come on because the sliding glass door sensor wasn’t working we called, they were fairly quick getting that fixed for us, but they never got the toilet paper holder fixed the whole 8 days we were there. You have to call for a Jettney on the Manor side/ unless you have butler service or are in the Manor House Hotel- to pick you up and bring you down but don't depend on them as you may have to call several times and could have walked down by the time they come to get you.
Now for the restaurants - they have a rotating day closing a couple time a week so we had to get the schedule when we check in - the restaurants in the Riviera Side (except Valentino's) do not have AC they have ceiling fans, With the exception of the Arizona which is out on the water (boardwalk) - This is not good if you’re looking for a relaxing meal - to HOT and humid. The Manor side has 2 that have AC, One for breakfast (Market Place has both) and one for Dinner – Orchids, The Manor might be able to pull you in if it’s raining but it's rather small inside. The Grills do not have AC. The food on the Manor side was much better tasting (breakfast is the same for both location) We had to ask for ICE for out water as they only serve chilled water.

While we were there one of the swim-up pool bar pools was closed for renovation, and they had the 2 other pools closed in the mornings for treatments and one of those was close for private party one night and they kept the sign up for 2 days - this was disappointing as we couldn’t get in the pool to float and relax. The hidden pool was way to warm. I agree with what one said about the water sports equipment - I didn’t feel they were safe to go out in, We did go out on the "glass bottom boat" to go snorkeling (we had our own gear), but those who didn't had to use SGOR - which were kept on the boat in a bucket of salt water (except flippers) - How sanitary is that? If you have your own gear you can see great number of fish out on the “Beach side by the cliff wall” there was also some cool coral near the buoy and freestanding rock.

The Restaurant staff was for the most part great – I do have one complaint we went to Orchids the first night we arrived while we were there we saw at least 2 men being seated in dress shorts. When we when back again on our 5th night my hubby wore his dress shorts and we were not allowed to be seated – I committed on that to the hostess and she said she doesn’t allow shorts in the resultants, (Same hostess as our first night). We went back to our room and hubby changed – we went back. Things are not stated well as to dress attire (Valentino- evening attire, Orchids – Resort evening attire anyone know the difference?)

We did a excursion paid for and booked through SGOR (Jeep to Dunn River Falls) We were suppose to get a tour of the area/ taste of Jamaican food – we were taken up dirt roads and stopped at Maxine’s where we were told we would get a taste of Jamaican food. What we got was bananas, star fruit, and pineapple. NO JERK- so the driver took us to a coffee plantation (NOT BLUE MOUNTAIN) where he hoped we could buy some coffee, no one was there, on the way down the mountain he stopped at a roadside stand we saw the smoking of the chicken – but had to buy a meal, and eat it before Dunn River Falls (a couple of mile away) We bought a whole cut up chicken and 2 sweet potatoes – when we got out we still had over ½ a chicken, so we told the driver he could have some – he finished it off while we were at the falls. Our tour group had 7 persons climbing the falls, Since we were a group of 5 at the falls the photo person was more interested in taking pictures of the other party (hubby and wife) We were not able to get a good picture of the 5 of us together, he was too impatient to wait for us to line up., and expected us to say Ya Mon every 10 seconds. We were disappointed Sandals shouldn’t tell you anything about the tour unless they make sure you can get what you’re paying for

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TheLadyinRedDE
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

Property: 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 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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