My wife and I stayed at this resort Feb. 24-March 2, 2012. We loved it. The staff members were extremely friendly and helpful, the setting was beautiful, the food was excellent. We came to relax and got what we bargained for. This is a resort for couples, and is laid-back.
There are three restaurants; you can go to any of them, though you need reservations for the French restaurant, Le Papillon, which is quite elegant. Breakfast features a huge buffet, with omelets made to order, cereals, fruits, smoked salmon, meats, cheeses, and much more. Breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the Caribbean. Splendid! There is a restaurant at the beach for lunch and supper, as well as Le Papillon for dinner and the Terrace restaurant for all 3 meals.
We liked the fact that the resort was, truly, all-inclusive. All meals, house wines (Beringer), premium drinks, gratuities, non-motorized water sports, all were included. The staff is not allowed to accept tips, which is a welcome change from the typical resort where one has to wonder who to tip and how much.
The exception on gratuities is for the "butlers." These people are well trained and are there to serve you. We had two, Sophia and Audell, who were very helpful and friendly. The resort provides a butler-phone, so whenever we needed anything taken care of, whether questions on a bill, reservations to go back to the airport, bottled water, or whatever, we would call and be taken care of. The expected gratuity is $50 apiece; the butlers earned it. It was a relief to call someone who knew us rather than to have to go through the front desk.
The resort has nightly entertainment, some of it easy listening and some of it Reggae, with dancing under the stars. We especially liked Rojjah, a rising Reggae star who is fantastic. His exuberance, energy, and love of his music make for marvelous performances.
My wife and I are exceedingly picky when it comes to cleanliness, and we had no complaints on that score. If it meets our standards, it will meet yours!
The water temp, I estimate, was 79F. I went on several snorkeling trips, which were neat. One reef has a lot of fish, like a tropical fish tank.
Our travel agent led us to expect lots of mosquitoes, but were pleasantly amazed that there were virtually no bugs; my wife got one bug bite, and I got none. Even in the crafts market in downtown Ocho Rios there were no bugs.
The resort is small (only 74 rooms) and intimate. The staff get to know you and your preferences. If you're looking for an all-party, all-the-time resort, this is not for you. There is a much larger Sandals resort (Grande Riviera) a few minutes' walk away that is like that. Royal Plantation guests have free and unlimited access to Grande Riviera (meals, golf, scuba, etc.)
The one problem we had was that, one night, there was a very loud party in the strip of private property between Royal Plantation and Grande Riviera. The manager called the police several times, but the noise didn't stop until shortly after midnight.
All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing stay. We highly recommend it.
- 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