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“Not on the Conde Nast Traverler Reader's Choice”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Toronto Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Not on the Conde Nast Traverler Reader's Choice”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

We spent 3 vacations at the RP in the last few years. Last trip was 3 years ago.
We even brought friends with us on our last stay. Always a favorite for my husband and I when we travel without kids (best place to relax) but I have to say that we were not as impress the last time around. I won't go into all the details on why but let's just say the personal touch was lacking and we didn't feel that the fact that it was our 3rd time at the resort made a difference. The room category you get makes the difference....
I was also surprised that the RP didn't make the list of Condé Nast Traveler Reader's Choice Awards. Jamaica Inn next door did and I always wondered if the Jamaica Inn was a better choice but we never wanted to take the chance.
We love the Royal Plantation but I don't think it's as good as it used to be (maybe since SANDALS took over?). Food for thoughts while planning our next trip.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MCDfromCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Hamilton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

I was celebrating my 50th birthday & OMG I won't forget this holiday or birthday as it was so special.
We had never been on a Sandals or an all inclusive holiday before but have been on many different holidays & many different countries but I have to say this has been the best. From the minute we arrived until we left Mark & his staff made us feel so special. We had Marven & Oraine as our butlers & may I say they were 1st class anything we asked for - change of eating place or change of time, transport they always managed to accommodate.
The staff in the dinning areas were also 1st class, there were too many names to remember but Hushane does stick in my mind as being very good. The staff in the Wobbly Peacock were fantastic always served with a smile & the entertainment was fantastic. The 2 main guy's who did the entertainment were such good fun & had everyone in the place dancing. I must mention the drummer/ DJ he was fantastic & even arranged the band to sing happy birthday to me on the Monday night.
Marvin & Oraine did a fantastic job decorating my room on my birthday, it was a lovely surprise to see balloons, banners & towels made into various shapes with chocolates decorating my bed.
The boys excelled themselves on my last night with flowers and petals on the bed & in a lovely hot bath - such a lovely thought on my last night.
I would certainly recommend this resort to everyv one.
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Room Tip: 3 Floor was a great view
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2013

In late September 2013, my wife and I traveled to Jamaica. Our experience was fabulous due to the superior staff and amenities at our resort of choice, the Sandals Royal Plantation (http://www.sandals.com/main/plantation/rp-home.cfm).

We choose the Royal Plantation because it encompassed everything we desired to ensure an enjoyable trip. Knowing that the weather during this time period can be rainy, we liked the fact that all of its rooms had a view of the beach. My wife said, "If it rains, we may still can enjoy a view of the ocean while reading a book. It won't feel like we are 'stuck' in our hotel room." She was also excited by the prospect of a luxurious soak in a deep tub. This led us to choose the Honeymoon Oceanfront Verandah Suite.

Delving deeper into the information on Sandals website, I noted that Royal Plantation has several restaurants providing a mix of cuisines. Visitors can enjoy the formal atmosphere and French food at La Papillion, traditional English pub fare at The Wobbly Peacock, or a nice variety a la carte choices at The Terrace and The Royal Grill. As Anglophiles, we even enjoyed civilized afternoons of "Tea."

Royal Plantation also has reciprocity with another Sandals hotel in Ochos Rios, Sandals Grande Riviera. This meant that we could enjoy additional restaurants and beaches. We took advantage of this during our stay.

The clincher for selecting the Royal Plantation was butler service. Many Sandals properties have butler service, but at the Royal Plantation, every room has a butler (we actually had two - they work in shifts). When I asked the travel agent, "What does this really mean, 'butler service.'" She replied, "Sir, if you are on the beach and have forgotten your book or magazine - call your butler. He will bring it to you."

Sold.

The last part of my research was to peruse reviews of the Royal Plantation. I noted only one criticism, that it is in Ochos Rios, and thus can be an hour and forty minutes to two hours from Montego Bay. My wife and I considered this briefly, and decided this was not a factor for our consideration. We simply recognized that to reach our destination of choice - a car ride would be involved.

To reiterate, after looking back, "Our experience was fabulous due to the superior staff and amenities at our resort of choice, the Sandals Royal Plantation." If you read this far...keep reading to learn why.

Upon arrival at the airport, we cleared customs, and proceeded to the Sandals Lounge. A hostess greeted us, confirmed our reservation and transportation to the Royal Plantation. We grabbed a drink and did not even have time to logon to the lounge's Wi-fi when we were told our driver arrived. Our welcome material said we could ask to stop during the trip to the hotel. Our driver took us to Ultimate Jerk Centre – a jerk chicken and pork restaurant where we enjoyed good food and our first rum drinks – the party started and we were not even to the hotel. ( http://www.ultimatejerkcentre.com/)

Our butlers greeted us at the hotel. One gave us a tour of the facility and the other put our bags in the room. From this point forward, we simply experienced unparalleled service which led to unbelievable relaxation.

The food, whether omelets to order, a seafood entrée, or a fruit plate delivered to our room was delectable. The wait staff on the beach ensured we always had our favorite drink. Our butlers had the mini-bar stocked with our favorite spirits before we arrived, and provided us with several fun surprises each day from “towel animals” to prepared bubble baths. Finally, the weather was good. We did have some rain, but we did survive it while sitting on our verandah with a fabulous view and a good book.

Thus, by day two, we did not want to leave.

Our recreation was minimal. We chose to swim or exercise in the gym each day. We snorkeled each day, some days twice. We also enjoyed a couples’ massage and sea mud wrap in the Red Lane Spa.

As I look back we realized that one of the nice things about this resort is it’s size. There are not so many rooms, so many guests that it feels like one is crowded. You could easily have a private conversation on the beach, or in one of the lounges, but also had ample opportunities to interact with other guests if desired. Additionally, the staff was ever present to ensure guests needs are met, without being bothersome.

The overall result is this….we will be going back to the Royal Plantation.

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean view.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingatestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We have stayed at several Sandals resorts but this is simply the best. If you want a fantastic setting with top quality service then this is the place to book. This all suite butler service hotel is perched above two small but beautiful beaches. The main terrace and restaurants are high above the beach as is the small pool with decking area.As always with most Sandals we have stayed in, the breakfast service is very slow if you want something from the menu and not from the buffet, but after a couple of days the pace of life takes over and we began to accept this. However we did have room service a few times and this was excellent. The food is very good especially the Italian restaurant perched over the main terrace where a different band performed every night under a lovely gazebo under the stars . We enjoyed the left hand beach which had pairs of beds and sunshades beside the warm gently sloping turquoise sea. The beach butlers were always on hand to bring cool towels ,drinks and snacks as required. A small bar and restaurant served light meals during the day and on most days a few local musicians would set up next to the beach and play some melodies that made the setting very relaxing and enjoyable. The main butlers gave us a mobile phone to contact them should we want anything and some nights they escorted us to our evening meal. They were also very clever at leaving some romantic surprises in our room.
We enjoyed the intimacy of the resort but as we were there for 12 nights we were grateful that a regular shuttle bus would take us to the much larger Grand Riviera Sandals resort next door and also up in the hills. This allowed us to dine at many additional restaurants which was great but each time we returned we were struck by how refined and beautiful the setting of our hotel was. The pub was small but had a great atmosphere when the pianist was in full flow.This resort has only about 75 rooms and is an ideal place to go if you want a quiet but classy holiday. The staff and manager were very friendly and we thoroughly recommend this resort.
One word of warning is the journey from Kingston airport is about 3 hours and very hilly and twisty so use Montego bay airport if possible !!

Room Tip: We moved after the first night to a corner room away from the main terrace which gave us better view...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank jim_home
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 26, 2013
Thank you so much for your review. We're so happy that you had an amazing vacation at Sandals Royal Plantation. We always strive to offer intimate and relaxing experiences to our guests, filled with luxurious amenities.

We hope to see you back again for another memorable experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forfar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
162 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We paid for a day pass to attend our daughter and son in law's wedding on October 10th. What a beautiful setting. To be honest, with having mobility issues, I would not return here for a holiday as there are too many stairs and steps to and from the beach.Our day was splendid and from the make-up/hair appointments to the wedding menu, everything was delightful and ran smoothly. Very well co-ordinated and a beautiful spot for the ceremony. Polite, courteous staff and nothing too much trouble. Thank you to everyone involved in the management of our memorable day.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank mouseybrown
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 26, 2013
Thank you for your great review. Even though you only visited for a day, we're so happy that we were able to make your visit a memorable one. We always want to ensure that our guests have incredible experiences, no matter how long they stay. We hope to see you back again in the future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Millsboro, Delaware
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

This was our second visit to The Royal Planation, how wonderful it was to return to paradise, and have the staff remember us from last year. Everyone from the charming beach staff to our smiling butlers, made everyday a pleasure. The second day we were In Jamica, I got very sick, the doctor said it was either something I ate at the airport, or a virus I got on the airplane. We had a sunset lovers cruise already setup, our 17th anniversary, needless to say, I couldn't even sit up no less go on a boat. My husband informed our butler Trifari, who then told us of a nurse on staff at the Grand Rivera. Mark, the general manager of The Royal Planation, sent Tuenesa with us on the shuttle to the nurse. Being in another country, and so sick, I was scared. Nurse Thomas called in Dr. Baker, within 5 minutes, Dr. Baker told us that I was dehydrated, and prescribed the medicine that would make me feel better. By the next day, I was feeling so much better, our vacation was fabulous. Nurse Thomas and the head of customer relations, at the Royal Planation, called the next day to see how I was feeling, I think between the good care from the staff and Dr. Baker, and Chef Peter Hammil's magical chicken soup, it did the trick, to another wonderful week at The Royal Planation.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Carolyn M
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 26, 2013
We're so thrilled to hear of your outstanding stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. Our highly trained staff work hard to ensure that our guests enjoy every minute of their precious vacation time spent with us. So it's great to hear that your stay was such an incredible experience, especially your interactions with our staff members. Thank you for your review!

We can't wait for you to return for another amazing vacation!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Just returned from Celebrating our 45th Wedding anniversary at the most amazing holiday spot.
This was our second visit to this resort and we found it even better than the 1st time.

Management has changed from the 1st time I was there but the commitment to quality and customer service remains their top priority. If anything I would say it has improved. If one is looking for a place to chill out, Plantation offers everything you need.
Great place to celebrate Birthdays, Anniversary, Honeymoon, friends reunions or just to have good time.

I can not wait to go back again next year and god willing many more times in the future.

My thanks to all the Management and all staff members at every level who helped to make our vacation most enjoyable.

Room Tip: Choose a room in the west beach area where it sunny most of the day and closer to the bar and other...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Anthonybedfordshire
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 26, 2013
Thank you so much for your review! We're happy to know that you enjoyed your 45th wedding anniversary at Sandals Royal Plantation. Your stay seemed to be a remarkable one and we're so glad we were able to be a part of your experience.

We can't wait to see you back again next year!
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa 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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