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“Yeah Mon'”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Yeah Mon'”
Reviewed August 5, 2007

We have just returned from our honeymoon. We had a great time and really enjoyed Jamaica and Sandals. I had read a lot of reviews before going on our trip, so I had a good idea of what to expect. So hopefully, my review can help others.

Ride to resort: The ride is about 1hr and 45 minutes. It really is not that bad. I enjoyed seeing the country side and the local people. The ride back to the airport took two hours and at that point you have seen it all, so it does feel like forever. Anyway, we stopped at a pretty shady rest stop on the way there. My husband and I were starving so we got some over priced snacks, but it really didn't matter. The plantation chips were really good. There were several people on our bus, who got some other snacks (if you know what I mean)
Anyway, when we got to the resort, you check in on the Manor side. Don't forget to tip your driver, they will tell you it is customary. So we were greeted w/cold towels and champagne, which was nice. Then we got on another bus to get to the Rivera side. We were greeted there as well and went to our cottage.

Room: Right away we were disappointed in our lux cottage room. It is not lux it is an average standard room. We had anticipated a refrigerator and the room stunk of smoke. Plus, you could tell it needed some remodeling. By reading all the reviews before going on this trip I had anticipated this. Several people had said don't be afraid to ask for an upgrade. So, right away we went to the front desk and asked for an upgrade. For $100 more a night, we got a pent house suite w/concierge service over looking the gardens. The room was awesome! We had a fully stocked fridge and stocked bar above the fridge. Every morning there were breakfast items in the lobby on our level and before dinner there were tea sandwiches and snacks. The concierges were there to answer any questions we had, to book tours, make dinner reservations etc. We used them as much as we could. We recommended the upgrade to another couple and they did the same thing the very next day.

Food: Be prepared to eat, even when you aren't hungry. For breakfast we ate mostly at the buffet at Bayside. It was really good, and they had a variety of food every morning. Plus the view is so relaxing. We did eat breakfast one day at Valentinos, which was a nice change. Our favorite restaurants were Valentinos, Orchards, and Arizona. Reef Terrace and Bayside would come next. Our least favorite was San Gennaro, we were a bit disappointed. The antipasto bar they had was great, but the dinner portions were way too small, and the menu was deceiving. Plus, I am Italian and grew up in NY so I do have high standards when it comes to Italian food. We did also eat at Kimonos at the Sandals Dunn River resort, which was a really good meal and very entertaining. The portions were the biggest than any other restaurant. We met some other couples that stayed at that resort and they walked us. It is a nice resort a lot smaller, but definitely a bit fancier. There was an older crowd there as well.

Entertainment: This is deffinitely a honeymoon resort. Almost everyone there got married the same day we did or was marrying or got married at the resort that week. With this in mind, you need to take full advantage of what is going on at the resort. The piano bar every night has a sing along. Some of the songs get old, especially the song from Grease. The amphitheater on the Rivera side had entertainment every night pretty much. We enjoyed the bingo night and the couples game show. The talent show was pretty fun too. The Jamaica day party on Friday was nicely done and a lot of fun. Loved the fire guy! We never made it to Nicole's disco on the manor side. Get involved in as much as you can. There is a point system and different events where you win prices. My husband won a bottle of rum playing in a tennis tournament.

Pools and Beach: The best pools by far are on the Manor side. We spent two days up there at the pools. We loved the slide. The pools on the Riveria side don't compare. The Riveria main pool wasn't what I thought it would be. The one by the beach we spent a lot of time in because it had the bar. The beach is good, I knew that it would be small, but it didn't feel overly small. Just know you can't take long walk the beach. The color of the water is amazing though, so clear!! We probably saw about 4 weddings a day either on the beach or on the piers, but they are super fast.

Tours: We went on the booze cruise and had a blast. Climbing the falls was a lot of fun. It had some tough parts, but is definitely worth it. Make sure you bring your own water shoes, or you will have to rent them for $5 each. Plus get a water camera there a lot of photo ops. Also bring a couple of dollars to tip your tour guide, they will ask for it. The snorkeling wasn't what I thought it would be. This was my husbands first time and he enjoyed it, but after snorkeling in the Florida Keys, I was a bit disappointed. There weren't the many colors and fish that I thought we would see. The rest of the booze cruise you drink! My husband took full advantage of that and got quite tipsy off the rum!

Spa: Definitely get a couples massage! It is worth it. You are treated like royalty when you get there and they make you feel very comfortable. It was very relaxing. We tipped our masseuse, but I am not sure if you are supposed.

People: The staff was so friendly and very helpful. They learned our names quickly, especially the concierges. We became friends w/Garfield and Veta Ann. There job was to just circulate the resort and get involved with the guest activities. Don't be afraid to ask questions and say hello, it will make your experience so much better.

  • Liked — The staff, views, and convience of food.
  • Disliked — Needs some remodeling in the cottage areas.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank torts05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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irvine scotland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2007

Hi everyone, i will make this short and sweet,i spent the last hour writing a review about this great hotel and all the staff and how nothing was a problem,i put in photos also just to see when i sent the post topic everything went blank,so don,t listen to all the moaners this place is just great, take my advise try it for youself
alex

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank muffinman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2007

I apologize in advance for the length of this review but I want to include as much info as possible to help everyone planning a vacation.

I spent 6 days and 5 nights here for my honeymoon. Giving you a little background- both my husband and I are of Jamaican descent. He was born there and I was born in the U.S. but visited Jamaica frequently. When both of us travel to JA we usually stay at our respective homes. This was the first "tourist" experience we got to have in JA.

We booked the Honeymoon Oceanview Villa with semiprivate pool on the Manor side. We stayed in Villa 49 at the top of the hill which had the best views- other guests would occasionally come up (with their butlers) to take in the view and get pictures. Our butlers were Kismet and Dainey, but we saw only Kesmit for most of our stay.

If you want nonstop partying or whatever, this might not be the place for you. It was a nice, relaxing vacation with no real worries of paying for anything. Maybe that's also because we from Jamaica and living in NYC, we know the deal with the hustles. Just letting you know, as is with all tourist destinations, hotels and outside vendors will always find ways to get you. Just be smart.

The only extra activity we participated in (booked through the hotel) was the Heritage Horseback Ride. The horseback ride was amazing! It's $73 each and when you get to the beach the sell snacks and souvenir items.

We also went to Dunn's River Falls but we just paid for the cab and admission ourselves and met up with other friends and family. The cab ride is $40 and the hotel can call a legitimate cab for you that will drop you off and come back for you at whatever time you specify. The admission into Dunns River for nonresidents is about $8 US. This is a place you can go without a tour group if you are "smart" (for a lack of a better word). If you feel better/safer going with a group, try finding another couple to go with. You don't need watershoes really unless your feet are sensitive or you're afraid of the rocks. For comfort go ahead and wear them, just make sure you buy them at home (at Target or Walmart or Kmart). There is a place to grab some lunch and they will try to sell you a DVD ($40) or pictures of your climb- just to give you a head's up.

There were a variety of restaurants on both sides as well as "grills" where you could get nachos, hamburgers, french fries, popcorn, etc. Our room included free room service but I am not sure that the lower level rooms have the same privilege. The restaurants do serve smaller portions but you could always ask for another dish, go to one of the grills, or order room service. The food isn't really authentic Jamaican cuisine. The flavors, spices, and combinations of ingredients were Americanized quite a bit. That wasn't that big of a deal to us since we understood we weren't at home but at a hotel catering to a wider variety of non-Jamaicans.

The on-site activities were fun and the staff was really friendly.

We had a blast hanging out in the Manor pools, our pool, and the Riviera beach. The beach is small but it's still a beach and it's still relaxing.

I read numerous reviews where people complained about everything!! These people are just too high-maintenance. Some are even stupid! A few examples:
* Jamaica is not a jungle, it's an island. Bugs will enter your room if you leave your windows open all day and night.
* The ACs work just fine. Sandals promotes energy and earth saving procedures but the quality of their equipment is just fine. When we entered our room everyday it was extremely cool/cold.

Please remember that the staff are people too. While we were there everyone was nice and seemed to be enjoying their jobs. However, if you badger the employees and make crazy demands upon them, they will get attitudes- just think of how you would react. While you might be on vacation, remember that these persons are at work. They are trying their hardest to make you happy- just chill out!!!

One last point- the point of a vacation is to relax and have fun. Go on your vacation thinking you're going to have fun and you will. Go with a negative attitude and you will be miserable.

Hope this was helpful to everyone. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

  • Liked — The laid-back vibe
  • Disliked — It was a bit too Americanized
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank ReggaeFlava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Sandals Grande in Ocho Rios for 6 days last month and the experience was fantastic! The property itself is a little older, but the grounds are beautiful, the beaches wonderful and the service staff excellent. I highly recommend the Katamaran trip to Dunn's River Falls. It was the highlight of our stay.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Daniel_atl2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2007

My wife and I visited Sandals Grande Ocho Rios for our honeymoon, and the resort delivered beyond our expectations. Whenever we required something from the staff, our request was met with an eagerness to please. Everyone was genuinely friendly (a trait common to nearly everyone we met in Jamaica), and took their roles to heart in everything they did; we were always greeted with a smile. There are some establishements that actually make pests of themselves, intruding on conversations to ask if everything is "okay" so much that the experience is actually diminished; This most definitely was NOT the case at Sandals GOR. While dining we did not want for anything; the staff is very skilled at arriving at our table in timely fashion, not interrupting yet making sure we had everything we needed. Our complaints in this department are so minor that they are not even worth mentioning.
The beach itself could have been more expansive, but what the resort lacks in water frontage it more than makes up for in activities. There is a constant flow of snorkling events, as well as ample water-trikes, sailboats, kayaks, and wind-boards to suit everyone. We received sailing lessons from a friendly instructor, and spent a little of the next 3 days skimming across the waves. We would have started sailing sooner, but our attention was riveted on Scuba instruction. The dive shop crew is exceptional at this resort; we earned our scuba certification, and would have continued toward open water certification if there were not other activities we wanted to experience as well (we will continue our diving education now that we are home).
One last service in which this resort excells is the Photoshop. We came home with an excellent collection of professional-grade photos on disc, and look forward to having them printed. The photographers are excellently skilled at choosing location and pose for best result (we really appreciated this service, as our photographer/videographer was a no-show at our wedding and reception).
Outside the resort we recommend the Dunn's River Falls tour, as well as the Canopy tour offered by Chukka. Both are exhilerating!
If you choose Sandals GOR for your next vacation, prepare yourself for the 90 minute bus ride to and from Montego Bay; relax and enjoy the scenery, otherwise you may arrive at your destination all tensed up and not experience the full impact of the quality establishment you've chosen.

  • Liked — Exceptional Service
  • Disliked — Mattress on the bed coudl have been better, as well as the coverlet
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Joshua_1_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2007

We visited SGOR for two weeks in July. Overall we were pleased with the resort and enjoyed our vacation. We had a nice room in the Riviera building. It was clean, comfortable and well maintained. Everything worked as expected. Allthough it is a big resort, we had no problems getting around, and we found the transport between the Manor and Riviera side reasonably frequent. We never waited more than five minutes.
We liked the beach and found plenty of shade there. Unfortunately there was not much shade by any of the pools. The beach area does need some renovation work and looks a little tired.
The main problems we had were with the restaurants. Unless you want to eat a 6.00 pm you will have to go on a waiting list for a table. Sometimes we did not eat till gone 9.00 because of the wait. On Friday night they have a beach party so many of the normal eating areas close. We felt that this was not good at all. They should either change to a reservation system, make the restaurants bigger or keep them open later.
All the staff were very friendly - somewhat laid back, but you are in Jamaica and it's too hot to hurry anyway.
This was our third Sandals holiday and will use them again, and if SGOR is modernised, then will go back there again.

  • Liked — All Inclusive
  • Disliked — Waiting lists at restaurants
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank UkJohnD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilkes barre, pa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2007

we stayed at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios after our stay at sandals dunns river (where we got married) and came here after for a "honeymoon" thinking we can relax and take it easy but it was anything but. we had the grande luxe plantation villa with shared pool. also we had the butler service and all that stuff. well when we got there we got checked in and met our butler and took us to our villa on the manor side. it was nice but needed work. and its in the mountain so bugs bugs bugs everywhere!!! (i hate them from ants to lizards!) we had the in room bar to he asked what drinks we wanted, my hubby wanted jack danials and i wanted coconut rum. he said we will have it by the time we got back from dinner which u can only eat at 6 or 8. so we got back from dinner and there was jack but no rum. we waited 3 days before we got it and we had to leave the next day! he kept making reasons why he couldnt get it but every bar had it. room service was out of everything all the time. the butler was always bothering us on the cell phone they give you. all we wanted to do was relax on the beach or sit by the pool. well to get to the beach you had to walk forever to get to the bus stop or take a ride on a golf cart to the stop. then wait forever to get the bus. then when you got that ride 5 minutes to the riviara lobby and walk forever to even find the beach! it was small no room to be comfortable eveyone was sitting on top of eachother. then the swimming area was in the middle of the square pier. no fun. the there is the "beach club" which was dirty and full of rocks. i have sensitive feet and i gave up trying to swim. the beach club pool was cloudy and dirty. so we went to the beach once in our 4 days there. then we waited for the bus yet again and we back to our villa. and the pool there was covered in leaves and full of mangos! it was "cleaned" once a day. then when we complained they cleaned it 2 times a day. i think we swam in it once. everywhere was just such a long walk. and it was hard trying to find your way around because it is so damn big! and there was so many staff you couldnt get the same service as dunns river. the manor pool was nice but you had to be lucky to get a seat. or pay $100.00(us) for a cabana!!! the pool bar smelled like mold and wasnt cleaned alot. the staff wasnt as nice, and either was the food. there were bugs getting in to our room, long worms and lizards, creepy ants and moths! i hated the place! it was the worst and a waste of money. when we complained to the manager about the service and the rum problem, the pool, ect...he didnt belive us. when we got home we were just tired from it and needed a vacation from that vacation. there was no relaxing. just walking walking walking waiting waiting and more waiting. not worth it!!!! dont waste your money!

  • Liked — the bed
  • Disliked — eveything else!
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank grilledcheese888
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa 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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