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“1st Sandal's experience, would definitely go back.”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 2, 2012

We had previously stayed at another all inclusive in Jamaica but wanted to go back to a more luxurious resort and Sandals Royal Plantation certainly fits the bill. From the moment we arrived and were greeted with a cold drink to when we left the standard of service was fantastic. The resort itself is beautiful, lovely gardens and the original Inn is charming with fabulous views out to the sea as you arrive in reception. Peacocks in the grounds, including a few baby ones with Mum! We weren't sure if butler service would be right for us as we tend to just get on with our own thing but you can obviously chose how much your butlers do for you. We chose to be quite low key but did smile each night at the 'towel art' and the bath tub with hibiscus flowers beautifully decorating a bubble bath. Thank you Tafari.
The food was always great, from breakfast through to evening meal. Well worth eating at the Terrace at lunchtime for some chef prepared grilled fish.
We didn't go off resort to try the other Sandals resort next door which was much bigger, although my husband did go off to explore. We did however go on the catamaran trip to Dunns River Falls which was great fun and well worth the money.
We were sorry to leave as it had been a really relaxing time.

Room Tip: We had room 309 in the East Wing, overlooking the Quiet Beach, rooms 306 onwards on that floor had g...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Noo-Noo-Nine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,759 - 1,765 of 2,610 reviews

Reviewed July 1, 2012

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful week at Sandals Royal Plantation. For some background my wife and I are Diamond level guests (10 or more stays at Sandals / Beaches), and have been to most of the Sandals / Beaches resorts and many of the competitors. We expect good service and food and will bring issues to management's attention when we think it is appropriate. We are also fortunate to have the great travel agent Ruth at TripGuy who is always working to make our stays the best.

With that said I have to say that Sandals Royal Plantation has the very best service of any Sandals / Beaches that we've been to. Every person working there gets to know you and does whatever they can do to make your stay the very best.

Our arrival at the resort didn't start at the best. For some reason they couldn't do in room check ins so we had to check in in the lobby. Shortly thereafter we met our butler and she brought us to our room. The room was very disappointing as it was small, poorly laid out, and had a limited view. Within a few minutes of being in the room a chainsaw and tree grinder started up right outside our room. After an hour of this I decided it was time to see management about a room change. All of the management except the Hotel Manager were away at a retreat. I met with the Hotel Manager, explained my concerns, and he immediately moved us to a much nice and quieter room. I was pretty upset at first but the rest of the trip was so exceptional I forgot about the first issue we had immediately. In defense of the management being away I heard it was the first time in 7 years that they had done this. When they returned the next day management was ever present and incredible.

Instead of going through an area by area review of the resort, I'll try to address areas that I had concerns about or that stood out to me. First concern I had was about the very small beach on this property. While the beaches are small, the number guests at the resort and the few number that go to the beach at any time make it more than enjoyable. The only thing you can't do is take long walks along the beach on the property. You can walk along the beach off the property to the Sandals Grande Riviera next door if you want. If you do so though you have to pass by some locals who may ask you if you want to buy stuff so be prepared. While the beach space is limited the service on the beach and the cleanliness is exceptional. The beach butlers are wonderful.

Second concern that I had was with the limited number of restaurants on property. That is not a concern as the food and service are so exceptional you don't need other restaurants. The Royal Cafe had the best coconut shrimp and sundaes we've ever had. The jerk pork and chicken were great. We were amazed at the super food was prepared in such a limited area. The Terrace was incredible for breakfast, lunches, and dinners. Le Papillon's food and staff were on another level of service that you rarely see anywhere. It was simply the best and mouth waters thinking about the food they served. The Executive Chef is everywhere and he stops to talk to all guests about what they thought of the food, how to improve it, make recommendations, etc. I gave him a small suggestion about the chocolate croissants and the next day they were changed. Even small requests like having ginger beer in the room were immediately taken care of. If you have any concerns about the food or service at this resort, don't!! The food and service are great.

Our only real disappointment came when we went to the Sandals Grande Riviera next door. The service and food quality there is horrible. For any guest staying at Royal Plantation the best advice I can give is to limit your time on the Grande and don't eat there. It is such a huge step down in service and food to go to the Grande that we didn't go back there after our first meal there. I even met with the Grande's Food and Beverage Director to give him feedback but he didn't seem to care. I'm sure the Grande is a good resort to stay at but not anywhere at the level of the service or food of Royal Plantation.

Our next concern was about scuba diving being at the Grande while we were staying at Royal Plantation. We were disappointed that we had to go all the way over to the Grande and wait in line there to sign up for diving. Talking to the Hotel Manager he was going to look into setting it up so you could sign up for diving at Royal Plantation instead. Each morning we dove we went down to the beach at Sandals Royal Plantation and they took us boat over to the Grande for diving. The dive organization was very well run and the manager of all dive operations at Beaches / Sandals was there reviewing the operation. The dive sites were close by with only a typical 10 minute boat ride to most of them. There is a good wreck dive, the Kathryn - a 120 ft mine sweeper, that is available for both dives and snorkeling.The dive team has all the equipment the boat for each dive so you don't have to lug any equipment to the boat. After a dive though you need to bring your BC back to the dive shop and sign in for the next dive. The water sports team at Royal Plantation are very helpful and their boat for snorkeling / glass bottom tours is the best one we've seen to date.

This property would be best for couples looking to have a relaxing vacation with super service and food. If you want long walks on the beach, a large pool is important to you, or you want a wild nightlife; this is NOT the resort for you. If you are a person that the room matters to you and you want to be not another number, this is resort for you. Sandals Royal Plantation offers the best service and food you will find at any Beaches or Sandals. We will definitely return!!

Room Tip: The prices at the Spa are pretty high but they usually have half price days. Book your spa treatmen...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank SeverusAlexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 5, 2012

Thank you so much for your great review of Sandals Royal Plantation. I'm so thrilled to know that we were able to meet your expectations. As Diamond Level Guests, you are experts when it comes to your stay at Sandals and your feedback is much appreciated. You keep us on our toes, making sure we live up to our standards and it seems that we did just that during your last visit.

Again, thank you. We can't wait to have you back with us again!

Sincerely,
Cassie C
Review Coordinator
Sandals & Beaches Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I'm finding it hard to come up with anything to say about Royal Plantation that I haven't stated in prior reviews that I've written over the last four years. RP is still like returning to our tropical home away from home. Special thanks to Fiona, Collette, Garfield, Adrian (the beach would never be the same without him), Seaford for his kindness and his tireless work in keeping RP so visually stunning, and a huge shout-out to the whole RP staff (both old & new), for consistently excellent service. If you need transportation to or from the airport, or for any excursions around the island, we were fortunate on this trip to make the acquaintance of Mr. Michael Brandford - a true gentleman and excellent driver...after spending some time with him showing us the sights, sounds, and tastes beyond the gates of RP, we are proud to call him our friend. As always, a special thanks to Mr. Fraser for molding RP into the unique experience that it is, and also the trainer he hired for the staff, Mr. Watson is an excellent addition.

We'll be back again soon...

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank JZSSAV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

We were treated like royalty from the minute we arrived at Royal Plantation. Our butlers, Fiona and Tafari were excellent. The suite, food, drinks and entertainment could not have been better. We will recommend Sandals to all our friends. An adult only resort was the reason it was so relaxing and we needed that. Our lives are very hectic and this gave us a place to regroup and recharge our batteries. The entire staff was very professional and accomodating.
Thank you Royal Plantation and Sandals.
George and June B.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank George B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 2, 2012

Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Royal Plantation. We always want to ensure that our guests have a relaxing and satisfying stay with us and I'm glad that you both had such an amazing time visiting our resort.

We hope that you return in near future!

Sincerely,
Cassie C.
Review Coordinator
Sandals & Beaches Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Royal Plantation was the sixth Sandals property we have stayed at and without question the most exclusive.
On arrival, we were offered a choice of drinks from the bar and checked in by one of our two butlers, Fiona, who was amazing throughout our stay. She escorted us to our room and explained the features. The bar was stocked with the drinks specified on our butler preferences, which I had completed before we travelled, and restaurants booked too. Perfect!
We had breakfast in the restaurant, although any meal at any time could be served in our room. The biggest breakfast menu I have ever seen! Food was fantastic and the service even better. Every member of staff knew our names and our room number – very impressive.
We have experienced issues with securing sunbeds at the other resorts but not this time – we had the pool to ourselves. There are two small beaches either side of the property, but we prefer a pool, which although not very big, was just right, with a Jacuzzi just to the side of it. Every day, we were never short of drinks, which were served to us by either Richard, our other butler, or one of the lads. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone. We were even treated to a spray of mineral water to cool us down whilst sunbathing!! On an afternoon, Seaford, who was one of the gardeners, would bring fresh coconuts to us to drink and then serve the coconut flesh with Demerara sugar – a lovely gesture.
We had lunch at the ‘Royal Café’ and again it was always perfect. With the ‘Grande’ being next door, we took a walk down there every afternoon and spent a couple of hours in the bar at ‘Kelly’s Dockside’ on the pier - a really lovely breeze and great company from Bryce, who always had a glass of wine waiting for us when we arrived.
Returning back, there was a natural spring, which has been converted into a plunge pool – you had to cool down in there – so refreshing.
At 4pm, Sherril would serve afternoon tea – a choice of tea with cakes, scones and pastries – no good for the waistline!
Evenings always started in the ‘Wobbly Peacock’ – all the staff were wonderful, in particular Olivia, Dermaine and Claudine, who we will never forget and always keep in touch with. There was a varied theme every night, from Italian to Jamaican, something to suit everyone’s taste. The food in the ‘Terrace’ suited whichever theme it was that night, or the ‘Papillion’ served its own unique cuisine. The French onion soup was to die for – we even asked for a copy of the recipe.
On Tuesday, Peter Fraser the General Manager, hosted a special dinner for return guests, in the ‘Drawing Room’, which we attended, and were so glad we did. Peter makes everyone feel so at home and really does go out of his way to ensure this is the best holiday you’ve ever had. I don’t eat fish, so they had arranged an individual menu for me, which I appreciated. Meldon, their wine ambassador, served various wines to suit the courses, explaining exactly what they were prior to our tasting. Just very classy.
We only booked one trip through Garfield, at Island Routes, to Bob Marley’s House by 4x4. It was an exceptional day out, which I would recommend to anyone, not only those wanting to specifically go there, but also to see the wonderful views up in the mountains. We were 3000ft above sea level!
Royal Plantation was like stepping back in time, very traditionally English, beautifully decorated, and a service second to none. We really couldn’t fault it in any way whatsoever. It is very quiet and relaxed, so not for you if you are looking for a party style holiday. But if you did want to join in the activities, then with the ‘Grande’ being next door, you could certainly go there for a livelier afternoon or evening.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Toniya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Sandals Royal Plantation is an upscale, all inclusive, adult only, full butler service resort with all the trimmings you need for a relaxing stay on the island. Unlike the larger resorts, such as the 500 room Sandals Grande Riviera next door, the Royal Plantation with only 74 suites, eliminates the stress of finding a spot on the beach or a table at one of the six dining areas. The food was well done for an all inclusive resort and with the special treat of nightly dining on the terrace overlooking the ocean with live music.

The service at the Plantation is impeccable. Every employee from the managers to the cleaning staff seems happy to be there and always great you with a friendly smile. At the top of the service experience is the butler service. Each suite is assigned a team of two butlers that look after your every need during your stay. Our butlers were Adele and Garey and both were amazing and attentive without being obtrusive. They took care of everything from restaurant and activity reservations to finding a cable for my cell phone to connect to the clock radio in the suite.

The resort is older and is showing its age but of course that is also part of its charm. The suites are fully functional including satellite television with all the standard US cable channels plus local stations from Los Angeles and Miami. The air conditioning works perfect and the four poster canopy bed was very comfortable. My only complaint about the suite was the water pressure was very low but adequate to get the salt and suntan lotion washed away.

Another charming feature of the resort is the resident peacocks. From what we could tell there is a family of two males, one female and two babies. You never knew when or where they were going to show up and it was fun to be sitting at dinner and have a five foot long peacock walk up to say hi and of course encourage you to give him one of your fries.

We both utilized the Red Lane Spa and my wife thought it was the best massage she had experienced. Another highlight was the snorkeling just off the beach of the resort which is included at no extra cost. The only excursion we took was the Bicycle Adventure in the Blue Mountains. While it was ok, I wouldn’t recommend it as the bus ride to the start of the “Adventure” is nearly two hours of narrow, bumpy and winding roads and then almost as long back. The cycling is more like coasting as you simply ride down the mountain on a fixed gear beach cruiser so don’t count on a work out. The ride finishes at a beautiful swimming hole complete with a cascading waterfall which was the highlight of the tour before climbing back on the bus for the long ride back to the resort.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to go and relax with unparalleled service, Sandals Royal Plantation is for you.

Room Tip: Don't worry about upgrading to a larger suite. We had the smallest available and it was perfect...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

We have now been home for just under a week and I thought I would let the dust settle before writing a review. I and my wife booked two weeks here for our honeymoon and we were not disappointed.
We had looked over previous reviews and have to say were dismayed by those who rated this resort with one star. Clearly they had their reasons but we also noted that the excellent far outweighed the bad.
Room.
We had suite 60 on the first floor overlooking the West beach. Although the generator was situated out the back it never kept us awake. The room itself was really clean and the bed was extremely comfortable. Both the room and the bed were well sized. The bathroom also had a walk in shower and whirlpool bath. Both were great although the shower took a while to heat up.
Food/Drink.
The food was first class; we didn't have a single meal that was anything but top notch. Le Papillion was a really fantastic dining experience with an extensive menu. We ate there five times and were never less than impressed. The drinks as you would expect are all part of the Sandals package and premium brand drinks. In addition we had some excellent Martinis mixed for us by the expert bar staff - thanks Marcellous and Gladstone. The service is on “Jamaica Time” so if you are in a hurry plan ahead, we didn’t mind this a bit as we were on holiday. The waiting staff is all fantastic too with Shaniel being really attentive and very friendly. The master chef also spoke to us on several occasions to ensure we were happy with the food.
Beach/Water Sports:
The beaches are both really well looked after and there are two glass bottom boat tours and snorkel tours each day which are work a trip. There was plenty of available equipment, such as Kayaks etc but when we visited the hotel it was only 60% full. The beach butlers (Adrian & Cleon) are great at keeping you refreshed with drinks throughout the day and the beach staff regularly rakes the beach to keep it clean.
Butlers:
As an all butler resort the surprising thing is that you don’t really use your butlers as much as you would imagine. We started with Fiona/Richard but Richard went elsewhere and was replaced by Tafari. As per other reviewers we had several baths waiting for us with towels animal arrangements all of which was just indicative of the excellence the staff strive for. Our butlers, when used, were very good, however Olivia who currently works in the bar is now training on the Sandal’s staff programme and will definitely be a brilliant butler as her service in the bar was excellent.
Entertainment/Tours:
The entertainment was fairly standard but different every night and therefore varied. This resort doesn’t market itself on wild nights and they can be taken at the next door resort if that is what you want. Garfield, the Island Routes tour rep was excellent in suggesting and arranging our trips for us and we enjoyed all three excursions. Dunns River Falls, Dolphin Cove, Rafting on the Martha Brae. He is definitely the man to see to arrange those special days out.
Overall:
The resort and ground are excellent and well looked after. It was a real pleasure to stay at this resort where nothing seemed too much trouble. We didn’t really speak to the GM, Pater Fraser, as he was busy with lots of other guests but he even put our luggage in the car upon our departure and really gets involved in the day to day running of the hotel. His staff are a credit to him, in particular Frederico, one of the resort duty managers for whom nothing is too much trouble. Whilst I appreciate that this resort is very different to the vast array of Sandals resorts these staff have convinced me that I would book with Sandals again in the future without any hesitation. Thanks for an unforgettable Honeymoon.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Christian A
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $568 - $1,675 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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