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“Amazing!!!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Paisley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Amazing!!!”
Reviewed October 7, 2013 via mobile

Just back from our 3rd stay and it was as good as the last 2 visits.

all the staff in royal plantation are excellent and do everything they can to make your holiday special. We were disappointed when we heard Peter had left as gm, but had no need as his replacement Mark is doing an excellent job and deserves credit for the hard work he is doing there.

our butlers Adrian and Donard did a great job and cleon and Adrian on the beach were excellent too. A special mention to Fiona who seemed to be doing a different job ever day and always with a smile on her face!

Oshane and Jason, are the stars for me. Had so much fun dancing the nights away with them. When they are around there is never a dull moment! Most memorable was movie night, lying on beach watching cool runnings on a big screen they had set up!

The food and drink at royal plantation are excellent and nothing is too much, you are guaranteed an excellent holiday here and I would recommend to anyone to go here. Can't wait for our next visit!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Margaret C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this review, October 12, 2013
Thank you so much for your great review! We're happy to know that you enjoyed your 3rd stay at Sandals Royal Plantation and that our staff was able to make your vacation so enjoyable. Your vacation seemed to be an amazing one and we're glad to have been a part of your experience. We can't wait to welcome you back!
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (648)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

have nothing but good things to say about our trip. Everyone from housekeeping and front desk to the cooks and butlers were absolutely outstanding.



Richard and Sheldon showed us a great time and helped with our every need and then some. They were always friendly and out going and I cannot thank them enough for there hard work and dedication to making sure we had an awesome time.



I wish I could write a compliment about every staff member we had a good experience with but unfortunately I don't have that much time. It would take all day. I would however like to mention just a few of them that I found extra helpful and a pleasure to have gotten to know aside from our butlers.



All the bartenders were amazing and friendly but one stands out to me more then the others.

Junior was our favorite bartender and my wife refused to drink a Jamaican smile from anyone but him. He never stopped smiling and laughing. He made everyone he came in contact with feel like he was there just for them.



Oshane was always a laugh and knows how to make people comfortable. He seemed to live at the resort and never leave just in case there was someone who looked a little bored. He was the funniest guy I've ever met and always had something planned to entertain the guests. Weather it was making beaded jewelry, teaching us how to dance like a true Jamaican or just hanging out at the pool or the wobbly peacock he always was upbeat and energetic and kept people going.



Thank you all again for making our honeymoon memorable and one we will never forget. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I guarantee that when we have a second honeymoon in 10-20 years it will be at the royal plantation.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Cbullis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Home we were so sad to leave and we did have the time of our lives all the staff are so nice the food was great Mark the G M is fab what a amazing location our butlers Hector and Romaine were like our family also the bar staff we had room 214 great room not forgetting Caroline H M
thanks to all miss you all .

Room Tip: room 214 was fab on the east side
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank babs123-13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We selected SRP after reading the reviews and hearing constant mention of the impeccable service and secluded atmosphere. After a very hectic few months leading up to the wedding this was exactly what we were looking for. Despite being part of the younger set at the property, we quickly settled in to the slow, serene and relaxed pace. Our third floor room with a picture perfect ocean view quickly became our go-to breakfast spot, with a late afternoon cheese plate always readily available from our wonderful butlers. In room drinks, wine and champagne were plentiful and appreciated. We quickly became attached to our quiet corner of the East beach, with butlers happy to bring you food and snacks as you pass the afternoon away. Food at this resort was truly outstanding and really makes the difference if you, like us, were taking your first stab at a higher end resort such as Sandals, with a bigger price tag than any other 5 night stay you might consider. Believe us, it is worth it. You are spoiled with warmth and kindness, delicious food, bottomless drinks, turquoise calm water. We simply didn't want to leave.

Some tips for the resort would be to ensure that the butler service is a little bit more clearly explained and that a tour is provided of the resort. Our room was missing a few amenities, which was quickly corrected with a call to front desk. Our spa service was outstanding, although there was a little bit of confusion with our booking at the outset.

Overall, we are already recommending this without hesitation. We did not venture over to the bigger sandals because we really weren't looking for a crowd this trip and our food was so amazing, a buffet option just didn't intrigue us. We didn't do any excursions, although the resort is happy to organize anything for you. Only critique, our drive into town was a bit disappointing as our driver really ended up taking us to her friends stores and stalls and we felt slightly pressured to buy items when we would have happily walked around on our own. We were disappointed that we were set up with her which put us off our afternoon in the town.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mustlovehotels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We would like to return to a sandals location, which surprised both of us, to be honest. We enjoyed lazy days at the pool, beach, and bars. We did have several issues with check-in, and our room category was not honored. My husband spoke to several employees and a supervisor before this was fixed and we were switched. This left a bad taste but overall, we had a great time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank K L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
57 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

Jamaica had been on our travel hit list for years. We enjoyed our first Sandals experience at Emerald Bay, Exuma in 2012 that we decided to choose Sandals for our Jamaican journey in April of 2013. Whitehouse and Negril were on our initial shortlist but after reading about Royal Plantation and its history, I was intrigued.

The more reviews I read, the more photos I found online, the more I became smitten with the idea of this place. Remarkably, that "idea" is a reality. At least it was to us. The experience we enjoyed was a sweet combination of a frozen-in-time glamour mixed with modern day elegance. It is a sophisticated resort without stuffiness or pretension. Heaven!

I love that they have maintained an essence of 1950s decor throughout the property. Of course, areas have been refreshed but the vibe is Old Hollywood. There was a time a while ago when I just had to be at the newest, hippest hotels but as I have matured, I appreciate history. So I enjoy the fact that this property has been around for 60+ years. Being able to stay where Noel Coward, Winston Churchill, the Trudeau family and royalty have stayed is fun. And yes, modern day celebs have graced SRP's gates too.

That said, celebrity guest history does not always make a resort special. If you want to say you were at a celebrity frequented hotel, you could just go to Vegas. It is the history here that makes this resort unique. That and the SERVICE. The service is why, in my opinion, so many guests keep going and going and going. We met a couple who have made the Royal Plantation their annual vacation destination for over 20 years! Even though it has changed brand names on a few occasions, the return guest percentage makes it apparent this is a well run ship geared to making guests priority. Hallelujah!

Now to break down our stay, which was only over 5 nights but long enough to feel pampered and return to our jobs relaxed and rejuvenated:

ARRIVAL:
We arrived at MBJ around 1:30 on a weekday and breezed through customs. Yeah! Got to the Sandals Lounge which we loved and enjoyed a quick bevy. 15 minutes later we were on route in a private shuttle as no other guests arrived when we did. I sadly forget our driver's name but he was a gem! Got us there in less than 90 minutes. We enjoyed the scenery and didn't mind the transfer at all. Not as gruelling as expected. The views of the ocean at times were gorgeous! Snapping pics of roadside goats, the "national dish" as our driver called them, was funny. When we got to the resort, our room wasn't ready even though we arrived after 3pm. We were a wee bit worried at first but staff very quickly won us over. :)

ROOM:
We booked the second lowest category as we hoped it would ensure we'd be on the second or third floor to get a better view. The room was wonderful! We had a second story room on the East Wing (which is a little more quiet, I think) and had a view of the East Beach. We loved it! The resort is so small that no matter what room you get, you won't be walking forever to get anywhere, not the we mind walking. Loved the double sinks and walk in closet. The bed was one of the most comfortable ever at a hotel! We had a room with a French balcony and didn't miss the "full" balcony as much as we thought. Of course a balcony would be nice but it wasn't in our budget. We kept the French doors open all night and fell asleep to the serenade of the sea! Ahh! I miss that sound!

BUTLERS
This was our first butler experience and we were excited about it but also apprehensive as we didn't want to feel like we're pushing anyone around. That's just not our style! Our butlers Kenroy and Neil were great. They surprised on a few occasions during our 5 night stay with towel art and notes. We caught Kenroy surprising us with a sublime bubble bath with bubbly one night. :) Thanks Kenroy! Neil brought us a cheese tray in what seemed like an instant one evening upon request and Kenroy organized an AMAZING day trip for us one day that we'll never forget. Notes on that in a bit... My only beef with butler service is not the fault of our butlers but of the website. Prior to departure, we kept getting an email request to submit our butler preferences, so we went online, filled out the forms and excitedly hoped that the items (gin, tonic, and Pinot Grigio) would be in our suite upon arrival. Nope. We did find a few beers and pops in the fridge but did not have the wine and spirits we had requested that we were almost encouraged to order. Not a deal breaker but funny. We just laughed it off. They arrived upon request.

FOOD:
I don't know where to start on this. One word: OUTSTANDING! As with our stay at Emerald Bay, we kept feeling like we needed to ask the waiter for a bill every time we dined as the food and service was that good! Not a single meal felt mass-produced or generic. Every breakfast, lunch and dinner was exquisitely prepared and presented. Service was prompt, friendly and efficient. Often at breakfast we were served the wrong juice for breakfast which was weird but no big deal. How can juice ruin someone's day or vacation? LOL! Food highlights included a classic but updated twist on lamb with mint jelly at Le Papillon, duck at Le Papillon, the Jamaica Night buffet, and beef and seafood at The Terrace for dinner. For lunch, try the jerk chicken and ribs at the Royal Cafe. Lobster was out of season during our April stay so they had a nice shrimp BLT in lieu of the renowned lobster version. One day they even offered a sublime tapas style lunch upstairs on the terrace! Room service is also included and we partook of a delicious in-room breakfast complete with a incredibly amazing set up by the room service attendant. He set our little in-room table up like a fine dining wizard!

ENTERTAINMENT:
This is an area that made me swoon! The musicians this resort has hired for dinner/post dinner entertainment are all incredible! I'm a singer/musician myself and love jazz/funk/pop/classical styles. I appreciate every genre if done well. I can not comprehend why some of the acts who perform at SRP are not Grammy award winning artists. Rojjah, the reggae artist, was one of our faves along with the Mento band who plays during lunch and the jazz combo one night. If you prefer a wild party with a DJ, this property might not be your thing however you can take a shuttle next door to enjoy The Grand Riviera's offerings. We visited twice during the day and thought it was beautiful but a wee bit rambunctious for us. Truly though, staying at the Royal Plantation offers the best of both worlds, if desired.

STAFF
This is where this little resort truly shines. The GM was away while we were there but we did not observe any big gaps in service. Staff standouts included: our butlers Kenroy and Neil, beach butlers, Adrian (Biggs) and Cleon, bartenders Aiken, Seantastic, Andrea and Tanique, and the lovely hotel manager Caroline Cousins, with whom we were blessed to enjoy a few chats. She truly cares about the property and her guests. We understand she came to the resort from Whitehouse and it is evident she is a strong asset. We sadly did not get the names of our housekeeping staff but they did a great job taking care of the room. Thanks as well to Jason and O'Shane the entertainment staff! I want to bottle up their energy! We miss them so much! I think the pianist's name was Dennis while we were there. He was a doll!

WOBBLY PEACOCK PUB:
Loved this pub! No need for a disco here! Even though the vibe is more refined, staff will whoop it up when the crowd demands, still wrapping things up before midnight. It's not a party until 3am resort. In our opinion that gets a "Yeah Mon!" We did whoop it up with a few guests on a couple of nights though. ;)

CUSTOM EXCURSION:
We thought Dunn's River Falls was going to be too touristy for us. We we SO wrong. Sandals offers a catamaran cruise that includes the falls, if that's your thing. It didn't fit with our timing so Kenroy arranged a private morning adventure for us. We told him our wish list: Dunn's River Falls, lunch at Scotchie's and bamboo river rafting on the White River. He called a driver to take us around and set us up to do each attraction at times when we'd experience fewer crowds. We climbed the falls before the masses arrived and practically had the entire place to ourselves! We spent an extra $20 for a private guide. Money WELL spent as he carried our water camera and took pictures we would not have captured otherwise. We felt safe all day and had a blast chatting with our driver. Scotchie's jerk fare is flippin' delicious! The White River bamboo rafting was tranquil and relaxing. A nice way to end our tour. Our guide's name was Noel and he sang Bob Marley tunes and pointed out local plants and landmarks during our one-hour float.

YOGA:
Whether you have done yoga before or not does not matter. I encourage anyone headed here to pack some comfortable clothing and partake of the sunset yoga on the pier with Maji. I took his class on our final evening and kicked myself for not going sooner. It was INCREDIBLE! One of my favourite experiences of our 5 night stay. He caters to everyone whether you are advanced or a newbie so don't be shy. He doesn't judge and is probably one of the most welcoming, open human beings on the planet. When I am stuck in traffic in Toronto, I reflect back to the pier and try to hear his soothing voice! :) Another plus? It's included! Yoga on a pier at sunset by the ocean with a Jamaican yoga master? For free? Priceless!

CONCLUSION
Is this property for everyone? No. It is small. Quite small. There are stairs to the beach with elevator access on the West Wing. The two cove beaches are petite, but cute. We loved them. It's all about preferences. If a long beach, big buffets and a party scene are your thing, this might not be your Sandals. And no worries if it isn't! However, if you don't mind a smaller beach and gourmet food, ultra-attentive service, a little luxury and old school glamour, you'll love it. There was a time when I probably wouldn't have given this resort a chance because it is small. I am so glad I did! Thanks a million to the incredible staff for treating us so well. It's like we found a new family. The best testimony is that we have dates on hold for our return! We may see you all again very soon! :)

Room Tip: The second lowest category put us in a 2nd floor room on the East Wing which was quiet but central...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank TheCanuckChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2013

We just returned Sunday and truly we were sad to leave and are so jealous of the people still there..The grounds were immaculate and the food and service sublime. I hadn't slept that well ever. A background lullaby of gentle waves lapping and rustling palms was so soothing. And wake ups and coffee on our personal balcony were perfect. We stayed in the royal peacock suite. The view and privacy could not be matched. We had a view of the East beach. And quite frankly our favorite beach.. Less. Crowded..We loved all the personal attention given to us by all the staff and our butlers Arron and Riccardo. Spoiled us rotten. I'm understanding why so many come back year after year.. We absolutely loved it.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
10 Thank Tammy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this review, September 26, 2013
We're so happy to hear that you absolutely loved your amazing stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. We do our best to offer the highest standard of luxury and service and I'm so glad that you enjoyed every moment of you stay. Thank you for your review!

We hope to see you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa 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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