I give this 4* instead of 5* because of the lapses I identify later, though it's quite possible this is the best property in Jamaica. I had not visited the Caribbean in some time, but I find the top end properties in Australia, Asia, on safari, and in the Mediterranean just a step above. That said, talking with the other guests, it was unanimous they preferred this hotel to its competitors on the island.
* fine beach (though a little small), and excellent service on the beach and in the beach restaurant
* perfectly adequate 18 hole golf course 10 min away
* good water sports
* lovely old-world colonial atmosphere
* all rooms with spectacular ocean views.
* excellently trained staff, more so in the French restaurant and at the beach
* with only 2 of 3 restaurants open, the food is repetitive, especially since the "French" and "Italian" restaurants menus might as well be interchangeable. Both menus are out of the 1980s: fussy presentation, overcomplicated sauces, etc... though I understand a new food and beverage manager is already on the case.
* entertainment is disappointing. Only one night a week the performer has any energy, and even he got surpassed by one of the barstaff who performed a couple of numbers. There must be more talented performers on the island.
* bathrooms are a bit underwhelming for a 5* resort
* there were also some minor disconnects (wrong room service menu, long room service waits, waits at breakfast) that are not consistent with a 5* rating
(Note: these negatives are going to mean less for someone staying less than a week.)
* Try to avoid driving from Kingston at all costs. You cannot underestimate how bad the roads are leaving the capital and driving cross island. Furthermore, our driver left us in the car in one of the worst areas of the capital when he filled the car with petrol. To the RP's credit, I understand that was dealt with, though it did take a while for management to get the message how thoroughly traumatized we were on arrival.
It is quite clear each member of staff is proud of an excellent resort and they will do whatever they can to make your stay a great one. We had a great time, and I would like to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •All suite resort and all are serviced by butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers•2 private beaches with beach butler service•The Caribbean’s only Champagne and Caviar Bar•Exquisite International, Mediterranean, Caribbean and French cuisine•24 hour in suite dining•Complimentary transfers from this resort to all Sandals Resorts•Voted Sandals Resorts “World Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award - American Academy of Hospitality Sciences ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
- Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
- Royal Plantation Jamaica
- Sandals Royal Plantation Jamaica/Ocho Rios