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“Return Stay at Royal Plantation”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 18, 2004

We were there at the same time as the couple above (they are great people), although we arrived a little sooner and left a day sooner. It was our 6th stay and 7th visit.

We arrived only a few days after the hurricane. The staff had done a fabulous job of cleanup. It was incredible. You would not have known a storm was there except for a few small things that were cleared up during our stay. They did have to cut enough large limbs that you can now visibly view (and hear) the Sandals Ocho Rios east end.

The staff was still getting used to the Royal Plan vs. European. We did have to sign for meals, but this was not a big issue as long as we pressed before the last course that we were done and ready to go. The bar staff mostly have this down to a science, and it is really a non-issue at the beach and Appleton.

The watersports staff (especially Wesley) were awesome. He set us up on the beach several times, took me on my own glass bottom ride, etc. The water was warm in the ocean and pool.

Service was off at the main restaurant all week with courses missed, wrong dish delivered once, 50 minutes to get an appetizer at the French, wondering where food was, etc. On our arrival day, there was no a/c and no entertainment, but these were storm adjustments. I think. Everyone wondered why we were not allowed to dine outside since it was 90 degrees, etc. No telling how difficult it was for the staff to come and serve when some had problems at home--lost roof, moldy things, far more important than my missing potatoes! The executive chef had already given notice, and I am sure that had something to do with it.

Lots of returnees were there, but most were not RP returning guests. There were 26 displaced Sandals guests--they seemed to be treated better than the 5 RP returning guest couples. All of us noted this, some of us rather vocally. We did get over it and enjoyed mixing with the wonderful folks we met (everyone had their own tale of what happened to their originally planned trip), and I was pleased that the management agreed to have us our own (advertised) returning guest party since they had one for the Sandals guests when the RP guests could not come. All 5 couples were there for the SSG tournament. I think 3 of us won something or other. We met 3 of the 4 other couples last year. The tournament is great, and the events really help to get to know the others. The course was immaculate in spite of the hurricane (where they lost about 100 trees). We were amazed at their dedication. Everyone from Rachel Chandley, Deja Jones, to Butch Stewart were on hand to guarantee our happiness. This was no easy task since at the beginning there was no water, etc. A million kudos! We had fun events at Dunns River and Boscobel and also on the golf course.

Thirty travel writers and tour operators also came in for two days, causing an extra buffet and more odd atmosphere since they were single or unaccompanied for the most part. We were rather shocked by the buffet, we had 3 for the week.

The above is just the negative, but the positive is a huge list. Any rare problem was corrected very quickly. The spa remains top notch. The food selection is just to die for. So many choices. House wines remain very good. The room service attendant, Lenard, went out of his way to serve our breakfast to order in a lovely setting. The bar concierge brought exactly our preferences just by leaving a little note.

We were transported in a town car and made to feel comfortable in the new Sandals lounge from the minute we landed. The road to Ocho Rios has improved.

We had a lovely stay and will return again next year.

11  Thank DebbieH103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,525 - 2,531 of 2,627 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Reviewed September 30, 2004

We stayed at Royal Plantation from June 30th to July 7th, 2004. It was our first time to Jamaica and to a Sandals resort or any all-inclusive resort.

1. The ride fromt the Montego Bay airport to the resort takes about 1.5 - 2 hours. It is bumpy and the way Jamaicans drive makes it a little scary, but we enjoyed the view of the Jamaican life outside the resort.

2. The staff were very friendly and catered to all our needs. I once lost my wedding ring on the beach and returned to the room after giving up finding it. An hour later, a beach attendant (his name was Cleon) found it and called our room.

3. The food was absolutely fantastic. Most of the meals we had were the best we've ever had.

4. The beach is very small, but there were only about 50 guests when we stayed there, so it was ok. The beach loungers were not short at any time.

5. The room is very well air-conditioned and cleanly kept. The in-room bar was stocked well, but not with fancy brand drinks. We had Johnny Walker Red, Appleton Jamaican Rum, some gin, beer (local brand), and many kinds of juice and pops.

6. What we liked the most about this resort is that it is a very quiet place where we can relax. We once made a trip to adjacent Sandals Ocho Rios, and it was a huge place with every facility in the resort crowded. Royal Plantation is a small resort but with even smaller number of guests.

7. The laundry was expensive. It would cost you $3 - $5 US per piece. When we booked the resort, it was an all-inclusive only resort, but they changed the policy to accommodate non-all-inclusive (room only) guests. Then they started putting prices on things (such as food and activities), and we felt they were expensive (we paid the all-inclusive price, so everything was still free to us). For example, a lobster dish would cost you $40 US. There were cheap dishes too (around $15 US) but don't expect your local restaurant price.

Now that they take rooms-only guests, the resort might be more crowded before. But what we experienced was a quiet, well-catered resort with excellent, excellent food.

Feel free to email me to ask more questions.

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2004

My husband & I returned from The RP on 9-27-04. What a beautiful place. It is classified as a boutique hotel & truly lives up to the name. We flew into Ocho Rios via Tim Air on a little puddle jumper. A bit scary but took only 25 minutes as opposed to 2 hrs by car. We were greeted by the GM, Peter Frazier upon our arrival and fed. Our room(101) was outstanding. 2 doors, huge ceremaic bathroon & 4 poster mahogany bed. We were moved into a better room (255) our last 2 days (upgrade). The 55 (numbered) rooms have an outdoor patio along w/ wet bar. Stunning. We were originally booked for a deluxe but due to 50% occupancy were were moved free of charge. THe food was outstanding, cavier bar was excellent but expensive. We were AI but there are add ons. If you booked before 7/1 there isnt a charge for room service. After that it is $10.00 + tip.
The beach service is unbelievable. You are given flags (to wave for service) at 10am, then mango mamosas, followed by fresh fruit, offered cool face towels though out the day and sprayed w/ rose water to cool off. There isnt any immediate service at the pool. I suggest you tell staff you will need service on your way to the pool and they will accomadate you. Very calm & peaceful. You ask & you shall receive.
We cant wait to go back in Feb.

8  Thank silvbill_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2004

I booked this resort for myself and a girlfriend for a 4 night "wives' getaway". I am used to staying in 4-5 star resorts and so booked the BRP over the other resorts in Ocho Rios. Our problems began when we arrived at MBJ. The travel company insisted we had booked a bus to the resort, but we had actually paid extra for a private town car. After one hour of sitting around in the airport waiting for them to clear this w/ BRP, we finally got our town car but only after I tried to use their phone to contact BRP myself. Once at BRP, the mgr came to talk with us at my request, and comped us a spa service each for our trouble, which was much appreciated.

We also thought that the "Royal Plan" we had booked was THE all-inclusive plan which was how it was explained to me when I called Beaches to reserve. Turns out we did not have use of the other resorts, among other things, which we wanted so we could have both quiet and 5-star as well as some nightlife. Again, the mgr was helpful and got us a pass to go to another resort for 1 night.

One other complaint is that the service was very slow. Having traveled a lot in the Caribbean I know we were on "island time" but at times I felt like we were invisible!

All of this being said, we really did enjoy our stay. The other couples at the resort were very friendly, most staff were friendly and helpful, the rooms were very nice, and the beach and water were great as well (and yes, the service on the beach is wonderful).

I would recommend this hotel but just be very clear up front with what you are/are not purchasing, and expect slow service.

15  Thank sailorgrl16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 6, 2004

My husband and I stayed at BRP during Christmas of 2003. Our travel agent promised us that it was like no resort we had ever stayed at. We were thrilled to go to an exclusive adult-only resort. Well, our problems started as soon as we landed in Montego Bay. We had booked a special package deal that included a free round-trip flight to Ocho Rios. We had been to Jamaica before and did not return because we hated the ride from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios, where the hotel is. Long story short, when we tried to check in for the short flight to Ocho Rios, we were told it was booked and could not be accomodated. The staff was very rude and when we asked them to call the BRP and check on our package deal, the staff at BRP was too. After much drama they managed to get us on the flight. From that moment on everything went downhill. There were tons of bugs and mosquitoes in our room. We had to have the room sprayed with bug spray on multiple occasions. We asked to change rooms and were told the resort was full. The beach was tiny, nothing like the brochure pictures. Service is extremely slow, and not once was I offered a drink on the beach. Two days before we were set to leave I asked the woman at the front desk to confirm our seats for the short flight back to Montego Bay. After much pleading and begging, she finally did. To add insult to injury, after we got home, the hotel staff called me daily for a week while I was at work. They insisted we still owed money on the bill, but did not give their names or send proof of the charges. It was really shady and after calling Jamaica numerous times to sort this out, it was taken care of. It is this lack of professionalism that destroys the BRP.

15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2004

I have just returned from spending my honeymoon at the Royal Plantation, the week of August 23-29th. This resort is truly heaven on earth, from the wonderful rooms, food, service and water sports, we could not have asked for a better time. This is truly Jamaica's best kept secret.

6  Thank Lkendall2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2004

6  Thank AndreMC
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

Address: Main Street, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $565 - $1,676 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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