My husband and I recently spent 4 days at the Sandals Royal Plantation for our honeymoon and it was wonderful. This resort is perfect for couples looking to get away from the craziness that some of the large hotel chains provide (which are great for certain occasions). There is an element of class and sophistication at this resort that can be hard to come by in a rather touristy country.
We had contacted Ruth DeMuth of Trip Guy Travel as we had seen her name come up on a few reviews and we are glad we did! She was awesome to work with! We told her we were looking for something a little more intimate and romantic than where we had had our destination wedding and she delivered. She recommended this resort as being perfect for a honeymoon for their level of service and amenities and she was right.
The staff at this resort are simply amazing and know the perfect balance between making sure you want for nothing while giving you space and privacy. The food was incredible and there are plenty of little surprises (like fresh made coconut chips served at the bar) that make your experience memorable. Our butlers were very friendly and always willing to help (thanks Audell & Tafari!!). The bar staff were hilarious and definitely know how to put together a great cocktail. You don't even have to know what you want and they seem able to come up with the perfect drink!! They are quite simply amazing at their jobs!
The manager's cocktail party was a neat occasion for guests to be able to meet and mingle with the manager and other members of the staff. Senior management seemed to be fairly accessible throughout our stay if you wanted to talk with them about something. William, the F&B manager was always wandering around tables at dinnertime asking how guests were doing and was always willing to chat. The managers and butler even see you off at the end of your stay which was also a nice touch.
Besides the staff, the grounds of this resort are absolutely beautiful. The gardens are immaculate and the beach is clean and well kept. Having spent a week at one of the big resorts, it was a nice change that every couple had some privacy on the beach and had a little spot to themselves. You weren't crawling over top of each other to get to a chair and if there weren't any chairs available, the watersports guy would set some up for you. This was great because you didn't have to worry about waking up at 7:00am to 'reserve' a chairs as is the case elsewhere. The only note here is that there are quite a few stairs to get to and from the beach which may not be ideal for people with mobility concerns.
Despite having quite a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, there were options available to be as active as you wanted as well. There were watersports available right at Royal Plantations and anything that wasn't there was just a short stroll (or bus transfer) away at the Sandals next door. We did a couple of dives and were quite impressed with the quality of the diving. There are a few vendors along the route to the other resort but they were all friendly and not too pushy which was appreciated.
Overall, this resort definitely delivered on being a sophisticated, romantic resort. The only things that we thought could have been better would have been the bath in our suite (we were in a Coconut Grove suite) and a better selection of house wine. If you love your baths, I would recommend getting a different room as our's was pretty utilitarian. We also realize that everyone's taste in wine is different but we didn't enjoy any of the house wines which tainted our dining experience slightly. With the incredible quality of the food, a nice glass of wine would have been the icing on the cake.
If you are looking for a travel agent to assist with any of your trip arrangements, you can't go wrong with Ruth DeMuth. She was very prompt with her responses and full of helpful suggestions. She seems to know the resorts inside and out and can recommend something that will fit what you are looking for (and your budget!). Next time we go down to the Caribbean we will definitely be looking for Ruth's assistance.
- 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