Just returned from our Honeymoon at Sandals Royal Plantation and figured I'd take a break from researching when we can pull off our next visit and write a review. From when got off the plane in Jamaica to the time we left, Sandals service was impressive.
We arrived in Montego Bay Airport, and after doing the whole immigration/customs thing, we went right into the Sandals airport suite where a Butler greeted us and served us some Champagne, which really hit the spot. We hung out there for about a half hour or so, before our transportation was ready to take us to Ocho Rios, which wasn't a bad ride at all. A little over an hour, but it was interesting to take everything in along the way. Driver was very nice. Once we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by a friendly staff and 2 more glasses of champagne. We hung out for a few minutes and our butler came to bring our luggage to our room.
Once in our room, he offered to unpack for us, which we declined, but was a very cool gesture. He could tell we had had a pretty long day already, so he gave us a quick rundown of the nights activities, and said he'd give us the full tour the next day, which we appreciated. I'll admit, I didn't know what to expect from having a Butler, but it was a really great experience. Our Butler's Neil & Kenroy were perfect. Never pushy or intrusive, always answering our calls, very informative and professional.
I won't go into a daily rundown of our entire trip, but each day seemed to get better & better. We were impressed when we arrived, and impressed when we left (Maybe a little depressed too, having to return to freezing cold NY). The food was excellent. They have a little bit of everything - Jamaican, American, From Surf & Turf to wraps & burgers - all of which hit the spot. Portion sizes were perfect. Always cleared my plate, but never left feeling hungry.
The staff was very friendly. That might be the biggest thing I took away from the trip, just how incredibly nice & genuine everyone was. The maids, the maintenance, the hostesses & servers, the butlers, the bartenders, and the managers & staff, always were pleasant.
Our room was very nice. Comfortable bedding, Amazing views of the beach/ocean. Included iPod/iPhone docks for charging our phones. Bathroom had a tile shower and Jacuzzi tub as well. Ample closet size. More than enough room for a couple to enjoy. Mini bar was always stocked with Soda, Water, Juices, ice. We only used Room Service once, but it was very nice. Feeling like breakfast in bed or a late night snack? Just pick up the phone.
I could go on and on. Perfect place for whatever excuse you can use to get away. For us, it made for an amazing honeymoon. Romantic, Relaxing, Enjoyable. If you want to be a beach bum and relax for a week, or if you want to throw in some adventure and check out the area, this is an ideal spot. We always felt safe, never a concern in that aspect. This was our first trip internationally, as well as our first the Jamaica, and we have no desire to look into trying another resort. We're sold on the Royal Plantation. It's not huge, which we loved. You get to know people, and it's a very relaxed atmosphere.
A few tips that we have to offer:
-Get up fairly early if you want to reserve your spot on the beaches. There is an East & West beach. Both are very nice, but the chairs to people ratio is not 1:1 - Therefore, normally before 8AM, you should head down to the beach and put something on the chairs you want. If you see chairs with a towel, a water bottle, a magazine, pretty much anything on them already, that means they're reserved. We never had our butler's reserve chairs for us, but I've read that you can. But to assure you get the chairs you want, get your butt out of bed and scope it out yourself. :)
-Make reservations (at least 1 night) for Le Papillon restaurant, which is located upstairs at the resort. Beautiful room, wonderful food. Piano player was there during our dinner and it was a really nice touch. He played the song my wife walked down the aisle to during our wedding (A thousand Years) and it was just awesome. We only ate their once, but next time we will get their at least twice. I've also heard great things about the hot pudding dessert, but we ordered the Mousse and crème brulee which were very yummy.
-If you like a little adventure, check out the Blue Hole while you're in Ocho Rios. Just an incredible place. Some hiking & swimming is involved, but it's well worth the trip.
Do yourself a favor and put it on your bucket list. Treat yourself to a week (or more) of tranquility. You won't regret it. We just got back and we're already trying to figure out when we can return.
Before I sign off, I have to give a few shout outs to some staff members :)
Neil & Kenroy, our butlers. Truly made us feel special during our entire stay. Genuinely pleasant people, who know how to impress. And if you want to feel good about yourself, play Neil in billiards :)
Andre (Franky) & Garnet (Papa Smurf), Bartenders. Always on their game. Knew what we wanted before we did. And kept the drinks coming. Great guys, who know how to have fun & make some great drinks.
Romaine, one of our servers. From the first time I had met him, I could just tell he was a good dude. He Hustled, he smiled, he was funny. Something about him just stood out about him. He is a really talented dude with a great personality. One night we had planned a candlelight dinner on the pier and when I realized he was our server, it made our night just that much more special.
Honestly, everyone that works there deserves a shout out. They all were just a delight to encounter. After only being there for a week, you feel like you've gained a bunch of friends. We miss them all already, and we look forward to seeing them all again soon!
NO WORRIES MON!
- 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