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“Royal Service”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Royal Service”
Reviewed November 7, 2007

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.

Positives:
* 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

Negatives:
* 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.)

Other aspects:
* 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.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank tintable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (638)
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2007

My first trip to Jamaica. My first "all-inclusive" resort.

Jamaica - Customs/airport was great. Very efficient. We were off the plane, thru customs, got our bags, went to the lounge for a Red Stripe and were on our way in about 25 minutes. The two hour trip to the resort was interesting... crazy drivers(not our driver). Take bug repellent - many mosquitos, especially when golfing.

Resort - Beautiful and elegant. There are peacocks and cute little lizards everywhere. The colors of the resort are muted and classy, not at all bright and garish.

Beach - Of all the places i've visited, the swimming is the best. The water is warm, crystal clear and calm. The bottom is clean and smooth. The attendants on the beach are great, they set your chaises and towels, Cleon will bring you any drink. Kemar is sweet and loves to talk about US sports

Golf - I was surprised to find the golf course 20 minutes away and not anywhere near the water. You can only get a slight glimpse of the ocean from Hole 10. It was a little awkward at first having a caddie, but we actually enjoyed it as the day went on. My husband went back the next day and requested our previous caddie, Vincent.

Room - We were in a deluxe oceanfront on the first floor on the west side. I recommend the west side. Next time, i think we would book a larger room. Our room was nice, but small. The toilet/shower room was very small. But the closet was big. The linens were Frette, very soft and smooth.

Dining - May be my only complaint. There were three restaurants
but every night, it seemed one of the restaurants would be closed. Our stay was 5 nights, but I think if I stayed longer I would grow tired of the same thing. Breakfast is good - the mangosas are great. Lunch on the beach - get the Lobster BLTs. Waitresses Natalie and Angelie were so nice. Overall, the food was fine. This being our first all-inclusive, I felt we were constantly trying to fit in our meals. We normally wouldn't have breakfast, lunch and dinner, with endless drinks in between. One night we didn't even eat dinner.

Management/checkout - Staff was great, especially Barbara. There are really nice people there! We were expecting there to be unexpected charges on our bill, but there were none. In that respect, all-inclusives are great!

With the ease of getting to Jamaica, no need to rent a car, no need to make prior reservations for meals or golf - Royal Plantation is a great, beautiful place to go when you need to get away immediately, without a hassle.

  • Liked — Warm staff, ocean, decor
  • Disliked — Mosquitos, variety of restaurants
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jgms4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
triflyer0508
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2007

My wife and I stayed at the Royal Plantation for our honeymoon for one week. The hotel took care of us from stepping foot outside of the airport to taking our luggage to the check-in counter on our departure. We only left the property for a few hours to site see and we don't regret spending the rest of our vacation on the hotel grounds. The food was magnificent and the service was top notch. You will not be disappointed.

  • Liked — The pampering
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank triflyer0508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2007

First of all WOW! If you are looking for an amazing vacation (we were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary), I highly recommend the Royal Plantation.

We visited RP from 9/16 through 9/21 and we wish we had booked extra nights. After 20+ hours of traveling (with flight time and lay-overs from Idaho) we arrived at the Montego Bay airport. Customs and Immigration was a breeze. We were greated by our personal driver who had cold beverages awaiting us. This was a wonderful way to unwind as we had a 90 minute drive ahead of us to Ocho Rios. If anyone is concerned that the drive time is too long, it really isn't. They are doing a great job improving the roads and it gives you an opportunity to see the countryside.

From the minute we arrived on the property, we were treated like family. We have traveled extensively and have been on vacations where you think you are being treated well, but they could really care less. This is not the case in Jamaica. Every where we went we truly felt that the people were sincere and appreciated you being there.

Okay, let's talk weather! We arrived 4 week after Hurricane Dean and we were concerned because all the weather bureaus were stating a 60% chance of rain each day. I do not know if it was a fluke, but we had BEAUTIFUL weather when we were there. Yes, it is correct that there is a chance or rain each day. You will generally wake up to sunny blue sky and by noon, 1pm the clouds start to form around the mountains. The temperature was around 85 degrees each day and the water probably high 70's. It didn't matter to us if it was a bit cloudy in the afternoon. We spent a large amount of time at the beautiful beach each day. Thursday was the only day that it actually rained (around 1pm and only for 15 minutes). Hey, go grab a drink or take a nap. We really lucked out with the weather.

Our room was beautiful. We debated between the Luxe Honeymoon suite or the Luxury Oceanfront suite (1 grade below). We decided on the Luxury Oceanfront suite and thought it was a great choice. The amenities in the room were terrific. While we didn't have a balcony like the Honeymoon suite, we did have a french balcony (basically french doors that opened to a sitting room). We loved it. The bathroom was a typical bathroom with walk-in closet, soaking tub and seperate shower. Friends that we met while there had the Honeymoon suite and their bathroom was much bigger, but who spends time in the bathroom? The Luxury Suite is about 200 sq ft larger than the Premium and Deluxe suites, so you may think why pay the difference. My recommendation is to do so. The Luxury suites and categories higher are generally on the 3rd and 4th floors (4 story building) so you may have a better view. We were on the 3rd floor in the west wing and the views were amazing (check out the photos).

Okay, the food and beverages. FANTASTIC! All the restraunts were great. Room Service was a little slow, but hey you are on vacation. Try the Jerk Chicken, you will not be disappointed! Also, the liquor is top shelf and they do not skimp when making drinks. I typically do not drink a lot of champagne, but this was my drink of choice during the week. The Mangosas are to DIE for and our wonderful beach butler Cleon had them ready for us each day when we arrived at the beach.

Service: I kept this subject last for a reason. We have been to many resorts throughout the U.S., Mexico and Hawaii and I would say that Royal Plantation exceeded our expectations with their service. It was if they knew what you needed before you did. I am not joking! The staff at RP is simply the best. Cleon, the beach butler was one of the nicest people we met. He kept us so content while on the beach, there was never a reason to leave. I have to personally thank Latoya (cocktail waitress/evenings). I got burned on day two (do not use spray sunscreen while at the beach, it is a bit windy and I don't think any even made it on my skin). Latoya noticed that I was burned and brought me two leaves from an aloe vera plant. It worked wonders. She has one of the best personalities. Sebony will definitely entertain you with his singing and his bartender skills. He even has drinks named after himself. The entire Water Sports staff were great. We had a ball snorkeling, sea kayaking and my husband even learned to sail! Thanks as well to Courtney who provided an ointment for me on the last morning as I was stung by a small jelly fish.

Here are just a few recommendations: There are a lot of off-property tours, etc. that the conceirge staff will book for you (i.e. Dunn River Falls and Dolphin Cove). If you are into the "tourist thing" you will probably enjoy this, however they are very staged and many locals are there pushing you to buy their wares. We spoke with other guests who did these activities and they said they were not worth it. While it was not our intention to not leave the resort, there were so many things for us to do (or not do) on property, we did not leave RP until the driver showed to take us back to the airport. Completely up to you!

We met some great people while at RP, Katherine and Chris from Toronto, Steph and Jeff from Indianapolis and Jill and Tom from New Jersey. This resort is wonderful because it is small, quiant and definitely 5 star! This was a great trip for the two of us and we can't wait to go back (think 2009)!

  • Liked — small, quaint and staff met every need
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing!
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank ewicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2007

Simply amazing....
From the moment we arrived at the Montego Bay airport, our treatment was tremendous. Donald Patterson, one of the hotel's drivers picked us up and had refreshments waiting for us in the car. If you have the opportunity to select your driver, I definitely recommend him. He took care of us where ever we needed to go. The trip from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios took approximately 2 hours. We were met at the hotel by Dwight, one of the concierges, who showed us all the property had to offer. The two restaurants, Le Papillon and La Terraza, were both top-notch, the wait staff catered to our every wish. I'd like to especially thank some of the staff who were very special to us:
Donald Patterson
Kenrick
Ray
Morris
Michael
Latoya
Marcia
Iola
Shawn
Dwight
Simony (a pretty good singer and great bartender)
Dennis
and Mark's Band

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank EstherandKevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sowega44
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2007

I booked through a travel agent, I wouldn't recommend that. Just go straight through the hotel. This is a first class hotel. Great for people who are looking for relaxation. I took my mom there to celebrate ending her second round of chemo. It was the best gift I could have ever given her. Each restaurant prepared special dishes for her (she couldn't eat garlic). There were 2 things I wish were different, 1. Restaurants need more Jamaican food and 2. The Grill was closed while we were there.
We also had some ants, but they were there in less than 5 minutes to eliminate the problem.

  • Liked — The service makes you want to live there permanently!
  • Disliked — Not enough on site island food!
  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank sowega44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2007

This is truly paradise...they treat you like royalty. We arrive at RP a couple of days after Hurricane Dean, our plane was delayed so we phoned ahead since we did not want our driver to leave us stranded. No worries, we were several hours late but our driver was waiting for us with cold beverages and an a/c van. We were greeted at the RP when we arrived by the most gracious and accomodating staff. We were served chilled champagne and since my husband does not drink he was served a virgin pina colada. We had not eaten in about 21 hours so while they processed our paperwork and delivered our luggage to our room we enjoyed the afternoon English Tea on the most beautiful terrace with an amazing view of the ocean.

The room - we booked the Honeymoon Grand Luxe Suite in the West Wing. Loved, loved, loved it! Every attention to detail has been made in this room. Our balcony was a separate room in itself. Full wet bar, dining table, chaise lounge chairs, sitting chairs, ceiling fan. Amazing view of the ocean. We would come to our balcony every night after dinner and relax and listen to the band. This is just outside! The bed was amazingly comfortable, pillows were heavenly. The bathroom was amazingly large with a great double jacuzzi, double sinks, roomy closet, separate toilet area and large shower that you can step from the shower to jacuzzi. Plenty of fluffy towels, large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotion, aloe vera gel. Fluffy robes and slippers are provided, along with blow dryer, iron and ironing board. Nothing is forgotten.

The food - amazing! La Terrazza Restaurant absolutely delicious lobster dish and a wonderful creme brule'. Le Pappillion Restaurant had the best beef tenderloin and my husband loved the duck so much that he order it three times during our stay! Do not miss the lobster salad here either...delicious. The Royal Cafe on the beach had a delicious lobster BLT...but do not miss the Jerk Chicken it is scrumptuous. The monday night barbeque is not to be missed. Grilled lobster, steak, pastas, salads and the most amazing desserts. This is set up outside with candles, an amazing band, and the sounds of the ocean waves. What more do you need! Also, 24 hour room service.

The beach - beautiful and relaxing. The minute you arrive at the beach the staff sets you up in the chairs that you select with towels, umbrella, tables, etc. They serve the most delicious mangosas and if you need anything at all just wave your butler flag. They come around and mist you with ice cold rose water...what a treat! The ocean is calm and beautiful and the perfect temperature.

The staff - gracious, attentive and after the first day they know your name the type of drink you like. We felt like family instead of customers. No task is too big or too small.

My husband had an slight accident at the Dunns River Falls and they dressed his cut and came to the room the following day to clean and dress the cut again. We did the jeep safari/Dunns River tour. They set us up with an amazing guide, a total blast! My husband also enjoyed the snorkeling that the hotel offers.

We had a wonderful driver on our return to the airport (David). I left a hair clip in the van and he had driven away but when he realized that I forgot he drove back to the airport to return it to me. Who would do that in the states! We also plan to book some private tours with him next year! He was great!

We enjoyed our stay so much that we booked again for next year! From the manager to the front desk staff, to the beach and restaurant staff, and the most helpful reservation staff... they are truly wonderful! Absolutely a five star establishment! Cannot wait to return!

  • Liked — The food, our room, the property and an amazing staff!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank rbndavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Plantation

Property: Sandals Royal Plantation
Address: Main Street, 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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Plantation 5*
Number of rooms: 74
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

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