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.
- 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