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“Couldn't have asked for more!..”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Brantford, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Couldn't have asked for more!..”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

We vacationed at the SRP Nov. 21 - Dec 1, 2013. My husband and I had not been to a Sandals property since 2010 (Sandals Emerald Bay) and upon seeing this property, we knew we had found our Sandals 'home'! From the moment we arrived we were treated like family and the staff could not have been more friendly and hospitable.
We were in Suite 303, and our butlers were Romaine and Hector. They were wonderful! Such friendly and helpful gentlemen. My birthday fell on the 23rd. We asked Romaine to book the Island Routes Catamaran tour to Dunn's River to celebrate and upon returning, the room was decorated, a warm rose petal bath had been drawn and a birthday card was waiting. It was a very pleasant surprise and much appreciated after climbing the Falls!
The food and service in the restaurants was excellent! I can honestly say we did not have one bad meal during our stay. We were able to attend the Diamond guest luncheon twice (thanks, Kelly Ann!) and the returning guest dinner on the Tuesday evening. These were very special and well done 'perks' for returning guests and the photos and momentos will be cherished. LePapillon served delicious rack of lamb, and fillet and we enjoyed the Lobster BLT and coconut shrimp at the Seaside Grill! Breakfast at the Terrace, was very nice. The views were amazing and being able to order off the menu or use the buffet seemed to accommodate most appetites.(I highly recommend the mediterranean omelette!) One of my favourite Sandals inclusions, is the variety of soups available in the restaurants, and I was not disappointed. I think I tried them all (the pumpkin soup is a favourite)!
Evenings in the Wobbly Peacock were very enjoyable, whether stopping in for a night cap or participating in the singalong. Junior and Yanequia (sorry about the spelling) were always greeting you with a smile and conversation. Wish I could remember everyone's names to give a shout out as all the wait staff were excellent! Days on 'Smoker's Beach", Adrian and Cleon took care of everyone's drinks quickly and efficiently. I don't know how they did it. The Watersports team made sure everyone was comfortable setting up the loungers and having plenty of towels too.
All the staff seemed to be in tune with one another, and there never seemed to be any bumps in the road. I'm sure that this can be attributed in no small part to the GM, Mark Starkey. In all our Sandals stays, I can honestly say that my husband and I have not been treated so hospitably or royally. Mark is very approachable and is eager to hear feedback. Mark took the time to say goodbye to us at our departure (sorry to interrupt your family time!) and we were very surprised to receive an email from him the next day enquiring about our trip home. It is these small special gestures that ensured our booking our return visit to SRP next year before we left. This will mark the first time we have returned for a second visit to a property, but after our experience this year it was apparent we had found our Sandals home and family!
We went to SRP anticipating a relaxing, romantic vacation and we were not disappointed. Thank you Mark and staff for an amazing vacation! Can't wait until November 2014!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank weegibby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Before getting into the specifics of our stay, I'd like to give special thanks to Veronica and her team at Custom Travel in Wallingford, Ct (cttravel.com). They're always great to work with and book through, answering all questions professionally and honestly. Thanks again guys!

We had a great stay at Royal Plantation and this was our second Sandals resort with Whitehouse on the south coast being the first. There's a big difference in the two, with RP being true to it's billing as a "boutique" resort. My wife and I are in our early 40's and prefer a more laid back experience which RP serves up nicely. Beautifully accomidated and set in a great location, RP aims to spoil it's guest and succeeds throughout the experience. The staff experience is top notch and with a smaller resort like this, it's easy to get to know them better. It is a Butler Only Resort and you have two personal butlers that work in shifts and two beach butlers during the day also working in shifts but for all guest. Our butlers Hector and Romaine were great, doing those special little things that were greatly appreciated as well as their day to day services. On the beach where we spent the bulk of our time, Adrian, Cleon and Orang(sp?) were exceptional as well. Just ask for a menu and dinner is served, right there on the beach! Now for a location by location break down.

The room. NOTICE TO SMOKERS! Jamaica as a whole changed it's law regarding smoking in Sept. 2013 and smoking is no longer permitted in the rooms and only allowed in specific locations on the property. Being smokers, we were surprised by this new law having already been to Jamaica just the year before. So the east beach is the smoking beach and it's a great location as well. The rooms are very nice, but don't get in a hurry to shower. The hot water does come, but it takes quite a while to get there. All in all, great room. The bed is comfortable and the accommodations are all you need plus some.

The beaches. There's the East and West beach, seperated by a cozy concrete walking path through the trees just above the edge of the water. We spent all our time on the east beach (smokers) but both are very nice, be it small. For the amount of guest, we didn't experience a lack of chairs. There are concrete docks at both beaches for sun bathing and areas of both beaches get ample sun during the day. There's also plenty of shade, especially at the east beach. The water sports center is also on the east beach and the staff is great! If you desire to use equipment that you don't know how, they'll teach you on the spot. Really good guys.

Restaurants. One of the many task for your butlers is making dinning arrangements. Of the 3 restaurants available in the evening, Papillon and The Terrace both require reservations and you'll find yourself lucky to get same day seating. Never fear though, there's a good room service menu if you choose to let time be of concern for others and miss the call.You can also take the short shuttle ride over to Grande Riviera which we didn't elect to do. Papillon was fantastic and the other reviews were spot on for us in our experience there. There's a lot of pride in every dish though, regardless of which experience you have.

The Spa. Great!! This is always a must do. We had a really good 50 minute massage that was included in our package as returning Sandals guest, then purchased 80 minute massages later in our week. If you're booking for relaxation, get the 80 minute massage and get it early in your stay, you'll be far more relaxed and intuned to the "boutique resort" experience after. Personally, I recommend Kathy! Thanks Kathy for 2 great massages and wonderful advice and yes, I am using the Aloe you recommended for relaxing those tense upper muscles.

Night life. There's very little. The Wobbly Peacock is about the extent of it here. It's a fun piano bar with great bartenders and entertainers in a nice atmosphere. There is nightly entertainment outside mostly consisting of local musical talent and they all did a fantastic job too.

Overal, my wife and I prefer WH over RP regarding a few subtle differences. We don't always desire the louder, crazier atmosphere of the large swim up pool bars but they're nice to have available should you want to do so. RP is very laid back as I said earlier, but in the evening it's a little sleepy too. We also prefer having a looser schedule and just being able to "flow" through a vacation rather than making dinning arrangements for a set time and having to be "on a schedule". RP is a really nice resort and one that we would recommend to anyone that's looking forward to relaxing and being pampered. If you want pool games and music available, it's not the place to go though.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Drmac1970ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toro
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My husband and I just returned from the Royal Plantation. This was our first time staying at a resort in Jamaica. After doing a lot of research we decided on the Royal Plantation - this turned out to be a great decision. Our flight was very late arriving and when we arrived it was close to 11 pm. We were greeted warmly by staff and had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful and charming Jermaine, our fabulous butler. Jermaine had very thoughtfully arranged for a plate of fruit, and crackers and cheese to be waiting for us. That was just the beginning of a week of pampering we received from Jermaine and Shelley - the best butlers ever - and all of the tremendous staff.
The resort itself is small and we found that to be a real advantage. The atmosphere was quiet, happy and relaxing. The food was excellent. I miss my morning breakfast of ackee and salt fish already. The beach was a delight! The minute you arrive your loungers are set up and the charming beach butlers come by regularly to provide you with wonderful drinks - I strongly recommend the Dirty Banana. Lunch is literally steps away with a great menu.
The Pappion is an absolutely superb dining experience where we feasted on 2 occasions. The Grand Riviera is right next door and as guests of RP we were able to venture over to take advantage of the numerous restaurants on that Sandals resort.
We have nothing but the highest praise for everyone at the Royal Plantation. They truly go the extra mile to ensure that your vacation is everything you want it to be. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the beds are soo comfortable that we enjoyed a restful sleep each night.
Spending Christmas Day in paradise was so amazing that we've decided to return for Christmas again next year. Mark, if you are reading this, please make a note of our request to have Jermaine and Shelley as our butlers again next year.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

I really can't understand why anyone would write anything negative about this resort! My partner and I were there for 2 fabulous weeks at the beginning of December 2013. Everything ran smoothly at every stage. Like many people we were uncertain about the butler experience but Marvin and Orayne were more like friends there to guide to us and make sure everything was as we wanted it. We didn't make many demands on them but I am sure they would have been happy to help if we had. The things they did without being asked were appreciated - champagne in the room, cheese, towel art etc. Thanks guys.

Before I go on I must say hi to Mark the fabulous general manager as I know he will be reading this review. Mark runs a very good resort with humour and much dedication. He is always around making sure that everyone is happy and this attitude can be found in each staff member on the site. It doesn't matter if it is their job or not everyone is happy to help. (Thank you to Stephen who made me a bucks fizz in the Wobbly Peacock even though he didn't know where anything was)

We had the basic room type and because we were at the end of the corridor the wifi was intermittent in the room and the water pressure could be weak. Did this mar our holiday? How could it with all the good stuff we encountered.

Food - first class in every restaurant. Although many people we met stayed on our resort we personally liked the idea that we could go over to the Grande Riviera and eat there. We took advantage of Kimonos - amazing theatre style Japanese, Soy - the best sushi, Valentinos - top class Italian (thanks to the fabulous waiters/waitresses who gave us lessons in how to speak like a local), Neptunes - wonderful sandwiches on the beach. Kelly's Dockside is in a beautiful location and we had a wonderful evening there. All necessary arrangements were made by our butlers who were happy to escort us over and make sure everything was ok.

Back at the Royal Plantation we enjoyed a perfect private dinner on the pier for my birthday attended by the amazing Delgardo and arranged by our wonderful butlers. Le Papillon was wonderful both times we visited. The fillet steak with avocado butter was to die for. Jamaican night on the Terrace was fun and the food very tasty. The Royal Grill both for lunch and dinner was fantastic and such a beautiful location. Several reviews had mentioned the chicken nuggets and they are definitely worth mentioning!

The beach butlers, Adrian and Cleon, get a mention in most reviews and it is well deserved. I have no idea how they remember the number of orders they need to remember but they do. Sometimes even anticipating your order and delivering it before you have a chance to ask. Look out for Cleon's colour co-ordinated outfits!

In the bars and restaurants the service is outstanding. You will have read about many of them in other reviews but there are so many others both front of house and behind the scenes who help to make everything run so smoothly. Thanks to Taniqua at the Terrace breakfast who learned that we liked fried plantain and so arranged for some to be brought in a made for us.

Travelling between the Royal Planation and the Grande could not have been easier. A simple regular shuttle bus.

The evening entertainment was fun. One of the things we love about Sandals holidays is the piano bar and we spent many happy nights singing along to Andre's piano playing in the Wobbly Peacock and the Oliver in Etholls bar at the Grande. Both equally enjoyable but very different.

If you understand that you are in Jamaica, not Dubai, and relax and enjoy the pace of life and the friendliness and laid back but caring attitude you cannot fail to have a wonderful experience here. If you are looking for faults of course you can find some, but really, don't waste your time. Just relax and let yourself be taken care of and pampered.

Be friendly and appreciative of what the staff can do for you and they will make your time here the best!

Thank you to all the staff and well done to Mark. I would be happy to answer any specific questions other travellers may have.

Room Tip: The East wing is quieter but the views are probably not as good. We had the most basic room and it...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank StudioFit63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augusta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
93 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Sandals Royal Plantation is perfect for relaxing; if you want excitement and tons of activities, go somewhere else.

If you want amazing food, stay here. I'm not a picky eater by any means, but I do recognize and appreciate excellent cooking. We knew the food was great, but we didn't realize how much better it is than other Sandals' food. We had dinner at the resort next door one evening, and the food and service just did not compare. Unless you just have a real craving for something specific that is served elsewhere, just eat at the resort.

This isn't a great place for impatient people. No one in Jamaica is in a hurry, so when you ask for something to be done, don't expect it to be done quickly. If you ask for breakfast between 8:00am and 8:30am, expect it at 9:00am. If turndown service is supposed to be done by 9:00pm, expect it at 10:00. If you order a drink with dinner, it might arrive with your food. I think if you realize this before your trip, you'll be able to plan ahead a little and enjoy.

I was not impressed by any of the local tours. It seems to me like it would be much better to hire a cab to take you into town to shop or to do any of the other off-property activities. It was miserable being stuck waiting for a bus to take us back and forth, and the prices were absolutely terrible.

Overall, I'd recommend Sandals Royal Plantation, but I'd advise you to be patient, ask for any services far in advance of when you want them, and close the unairconditioned bathroom door if you have the air conditioner on; otherwise, you're just wasting energy.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A_Logan_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

We just got back from the Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Ocho Rios Jamaica. All of the 5 star reviews you read are bang on. The service at this resort is stellar from the time you land until the time you unfortunately have to leave. I wanted to add kudos to all of the staff who bend over backwards to make your stay at the resort amazing and relaxing. Our butlers Chadworth and Ashpole are the best. They are there when you need them but never in your face. All of the staff at the resort including the gentleman that trims all of the beautiful gardens have a warm smile on their faces. As with most Sandals the food is very good and I especially like the French restaurant where the grilled lobster is awesome. One nice feature of the resort since it is the smallest Sandals property is the ability to use the facilities at the sister resort right next door. They have a lot of restaurants and it is a quick shuttle ride or a 5 min walk on the beach side. We liked this resort so much we booked our Xmas holiday here next year. Thanks to Mark the General manager for his obvious attention to details and amazing staff training. If I have one negative on this resort the bathrooms could use an update. Not that they are that bad but when things get used a lot they eventually need to be replaced. Hopefully this time next year they will have done that. (Hint Hint)

Room Tip: All of the rooms are facing the ocean so they are all pretty good. Higher up rooms may have a better...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

We just returned from 2 weeks at the royal plantation. We stayed last year & had a wonderful experience. The staff are still Amazing! they are the best.
However, the hotel now runs out of various food items. Christmas dinner last year was very lavish, it wasn't the same this year . This year everything is being done cheaply. Christmas wasn't festive this year.
We will not return. This saddens us,as we truly love the staff.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank pat t
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

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 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach 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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