I should start my stating that my husband and I had high expectations of our vacation. We read the reviews of Sandals Royal Plantation and have stayed at other 5 star resorts… unfortunately this resort did not meet our expectations. The resort itself is beautiful. It is very small, however it is well appointed. The landscaping is picturesque and the décor unique. The two beaches are tiny; however they seemed to be proportionate to the resort size. There does appear to be an issue with “reserved” beach chairs though. A few mornings we were the first people on the beach, yet multiple chairs had magazines laying on them. The daily resort “newsletter/bulletin” addressed “beach protocol” daily. The bar service on the beach was nice, however the level of service we experienced was not nearly as good as other reviewers remarked it was.
The restaurants and food service left much to be desired. During our very first meal at the resort (at the Royal Cafe), our server commented something to the effect of “What’s the rush? You’re on vacation” when I asked him for the drink menu three times. Not exactly the type of customer service I expect at a 5 star resort. Our first dinner at the resort was disappointing as well. After waiting 45 minutes for our meals during Italian Night at The Terrace, my husband and I were both served the wrong dishes and then had to wait while our meals were prepared again. A few nights later during the “Jamaican Night” at The Terrace, we were seated at a table along the outskirts of the patio dining area and promptly forgotten about. After watching all of the tables around us being served and attended to, we stopped a server from another table and told her that we thought we were forgotten about. The server apologized and a lead/manager did come over and apologize, however this did not change the fact that the service was so lacking.
Breakfast at The Terrace was pretty basic and the menu was the same each morning. Many mornings the egg/omelet station was not ready when breakfast service began. One morning we went to the “continental breakfast” (which is served from 0630-0730) and found only fruit. Since the breakfast service left something to be desired, we ordered room service 2 times. The food was satisfactory, however the first time the food arrived 30+ minutes after the requested delivery time. The second time the food arrived 30 minutes before the requested time.
The French restaurant, Le Papillon, was by far the best restaurant at the resort. I wish that we had dined there earlier in the week as we would have chosen to dine there instead of at The Terrace the other nights. (Note: We enjoyed 4 wonderful meals next door at the Sandals Grande Riviera. A huge thanks to our butler, Neil, for suggesting that we try Soy Sushi Bar.) The Wobbly Peacock Pub at the Royal Plantation was also nice. The servers were all pleasant and their service was good.
The rooms are beautifully appointed and quite comfortable. All rooms have a great view of the ocean. I enjoyed being able to sit in front of the doors and look across the water.
Other amenities/services: The spa is nice, with prices comparable to other resorts. The gift shop is small. I was hoping for a better selection of quality gifts. The shuttles back and forth between Royal Plantation and Grande Riviera (and between RP and the Sandals golf course) are available on demand. I would suggest visiting the Ochi Beach Club at the Sandals Grande Riviera if you are looking for larger beaches and pools (and additional restaurant options). The Dive Shop and staff at the Ochi Beach Club were great.
I will definitely try another Sandals resort; however we will not be returning to the Royal Plantation. This was not a 5 star resort; however we certainly paid 5 star prices. I really wish that the service had been better.
- 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