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“Fantastic Vacation!!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Fantastic Vacation!!”
Reviewed November 15, 2005

The Royal is a great place to vacation if you want a place to relax with good food, beautiful amenities and first class service. If you want the Sandals experience with non-stop activities and the mass production mentality, keep looking. My wife and I just returned from the Royal and it was GREAT! The service is outstanding and the food was much better than you would expect. The spa gave us a great couples massage as part of our Treat us like Royalty Bundle. I would highly recommend the river tubing if you want a fun afternoon tour. It was great. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we will definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2005
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17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Charlotte, NC
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2005

My Fiance and I just returned from this undiscovered piece of heaven a few days ago, and I can't STILL can't stop beaming from ear to ear. We had THE most romantic holiday in our entire 8 year relationship, and TRUST ME, we've travelled the world. Royal Plantation is BEAUTIFULLY intimate, yet totally lavish in every 5 star way imaginable, from the fine italian linens and plush down duvets on the beds to the personal beach butlers on the beach (for when we couldn't muster up our strength to get up off our chaise lounge and make it to the Royal Cafe).
However, it's Royal Plantation's staff and service that stand superior to that of any hotel we've ever stayed at. Just judging it against the last two getaways we've taken, the Mandarin Oriental in Miami (where we took our previous getaway a few months ago) and to the Four Seasons in LA (where we stayed last november), the staff (or family as they like to call themselves) at Royal Plantation stand out on top. These guys KNOW how to please and cater to every request, and it was always done with an intoxicatingly beaming smile. Take this story from our stay as an example...Royal Plantation offers complimentary tea on their breezy plantation terrace, for free, every afternoon. However, one afternoon, feeling a little creative, we asked the hotel whether we could have a private tea out in the gardens on a blanket. Before we could even finish the request, their answer was "yes." So we decided to get even more creative and called them back saying we'd changed our minds, and that instead of the tea, we wanted to have a private garden picnic with wine and cheeses and a dessert selection (just for fun, and for the romance of it). Before we could blink, we were rung back to say the butler would be at our room shortly to escort us to our picnic. Low and behold, "knock, knock, knock..." We were taken to one of the hotel's cozy nooks in the gardens and there spread out was an actual tartan blanket, bottle of our favorite wine (sitting chilling it it's silver wine bucket with ice) and the cutest woven picnic basket overflowing with goodies from fresh baked breads, plates of cheeses (at least 7 differest kinds) and the desserts...lots of little tarts, slices of pies and the signiature molten chocolate torte with warm Appleton rum sauce (which we fell in love with the night before at Le Papillon) to top it all off.
I could go on and on and on. I'm heading back right after the new year so I'll write more then. I've found my piece of paradise, life just does not get any better.
PS: did I mention that the beach butlers spend their time misting you with lavender water on the beach (to cool you off) and offering you chilled fresh fruit (at no cost what so ever) should you feel the need to morph into a spoilt prince and princess? they also walk around serving complimentary mango mimosas between 11am-1pm!

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
37 Thank charlottegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2005

Beautiful property, excellent service, wonderful food, pristine cleanliness abounds. My boyfriend and I had the best vacation of our lives! This is paradise. Accolades to the staff and management team for providing us with a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank dfaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 14, 2005

First, we are well traveled and used to excellent to superb service. Second, hotels in Jamaica, like most of the other Carribean hotels/resorts, should not be compared to the Hotel Metropole in Monte-Carlo or The Lodge at Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs....so people that trash this resort should think about going back to those resorts not located 20 paces from the beautiful sea. Fourth, the RP is a small resort for intimacy and romance..not "spring breakers!"
Finally, you get what you pay for...and more if you decide to stay at the RP!

We found the Royal Plantation to be well worth the value and an exceptional quaint resort. If you drink during the day or wine with meals then the all-inclusive is worth it....non-drinkers may just want the European plan.

To begin with a car meets you at the airport..no waiting for a group or a large bus to take you to Ocho rios..we recommend Lawson - you can ask for him by name when you book! (Juta Luxury Tour phone #479-7758). Great car..leather seats..drinks provided during the 90 minute ride and the usual stop as most tours do along the way for a stretch and drink. The ride wasn't as horrid as most say..but we were with an experienced driver in a car..so cant say for others!

The resort is moderate..not tiny..but not huge! Its clean and upscale..and open air like Tahiti / maui..so there are no Monets on the wall. However you are greeted with the host a drink and your bags are taken immediately to your room. The hotel is usually not full spring / fall (depending on events) and you could upgrade or change rooms if desired with no problem).

The pool is small..but I think there is this thing called the Carribean sea 100 feet away to practice for your next triathelon..dont think most people need the olympic sized pool anyway, with the wave pool and swim up bar here....please refer to #4 above - there are plenty of those resorts and with naked people if thats what completes your holiday.

The beach is divided into two moderate sections that have plenty of chairs, hammocks in the shade and flag service (drinks are brought immediatley to you..as is a nice fruit tray). The water sports are limited, but never overbooked..so one could Kyak, sail etc. no problem mon! They have daily guitar/entertainment during lunch.

The rooms are 4 star at best..but this is open air on the beach. Have I seen better sure!..but they are not musty..the air conditioners worked..and stellite Tv with many videos/DvDs to use for free. The mini bar stocked daily..without question. Room service quick and easy..with no hassel. 90% of the rooms have a spectacular view of the Sea!

The food..4 star at best as well..However, some meals were 5 star...None were below 3 star...but it is all you can eat and plenty of selection from sea bass to steak.. the deserts were superb for the most part..and you could eat break from 7-11
lunch 11-4
dinner 6-1030

so plenty of time to eat your fill... try the chocolate cake with liquid center at "Le Papillon"

The amenities - spa 4 to 5 star. The entertainment - there was live music every night. Very quaint and romantic for a couple.. There is only a small library / pool table area and a small piano bar for entertainment (see # 4 above again). Again, this is a quaint, romantic hotel. The musicians were all superb and played all requests (within reason..) and the staff were courteous, friendly and all over themselves to serve you. This place does not have dinner theater or reviews....but creates a nice romantic feeling..besides one can head downtown to "Margaritaville" if you need some of the "party" scene.

Trips - we did the glass bottom trip to reef (free with royal plan) and went to Dunn Falls (take a cab there..no need to take a tour). Cabs are right at the hotel entrance.."Vincent" has a nice van ..CD, air conditioning comfortable. many people enjoyed the horseback riding and the swim with the dolphins.

Last things...very few bugs..but we are on the beach..we didnt need any spray at the resort in sept. For shopping..Ocho Rios has some nice places..if you just want a magnet or shirt..across the street is a small shop with hardrock stuff and the trinkets....if you want gold etc..head downtown..Ocho rios has 2 -3 small areas..but make sure you price before you go..cartier, yerman etc.. are not that cheaper..they also expect you to not know US price and begin there bargaining above what you would pay in the US... so compare prices on the internet.or call a friend before purchase.

Overall..excellent resort...quaint...intimate...romantic..and superior staff and service. Would recommend to friends and family and would return again.

PS We were on our honeymoon!

Feel free to email for further comment/advice - John (mcmanujo@ohse.edu)

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
30 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2005

I stayed at the Royal Plantation fror 4 nights and cannot say enough about our vacation! It was magnificent in every respect. If you are looking for a vacation that is relaxing, elegant, and pampering this is the place. Look no further and treat yourself to this experience. You will not be disappointed!

The accomodations are beautiful and the views from the room are magnificent (see pictures).
The food was wonderful and my boyfriend and I are VERY picky about food. He builds restaurants for a living and we have eaten in many fine places all over Long Island and Manhattan and we found the food at all the restaurants in Royal Plantation to be of excellent quality. We did the Royal plan which I would recommend because the prices onthe menus look rather expensive and with the Royal eveything is included. Food, drinks (all premium...even in the mini bar in you room and they will stock it however you want....full bottles, not miniatures!), and they have a nice selection of wine you can get by the bottle with dinner and they were included as well.

Yes, the resort is small as some other postings have mentioned but that was what made it so charming and elegant. It was off season when we were there so it was not crowded at all and both beaches are immaculate and prisitine. The beach butlers were attentive and replaced your drink before you even finished the one on your table. Which brings me to the best aspect of all about Royal Plantation. The service and attention you receive there is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Everyone addresses you by name and was so friendly you felt like you were staying with family. Since the resort was not too crowded, one night we were there we were invited to a chef's dinner which was spectacular. It was hosted by the resort's manager, executive chef, and sommelier and was a 5 course tasting menu with wine pairings that really was a lot of fun as it allowed you to interact a little with the other guests and the staff. We sat next to the chef and really enjoyed his company.

If you go to Royal Plantation, make sure you have Ralston prepare you a drink. He was our favorite bartender and made a wonderfully delicious "special" drink. And the lobster BLT is not to be missed at the beachside restaurant.
Everyone at the Royal Plantation was wonderful and we cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank Maria M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2005

We are fairly picky travelers as we travel about 250 days a year (mostly abroad) and stay in dozens of hotels each year of a wide variety of levels.

We spent ten days at the RP for a relaxing vacation. And although its majestic décor reveals itself as cheap imitation on the most superficial of inspections, the staff and relative quite was excellent.

Our room was a relaxingly sober beige with (imitation) wood paneling. I was billed as a One bedroom suit, but was only one bedroom and no other room. It was a good size, but not too big. Nevertheless the view was magnificent.

The breakfast (not the early riser continental breakfast which it appears would be the only included in the European plan in the future) was grand and the best meal they served at the resort.

We had dinner one night at the highly touted restaurant—won’t mention nits name s I get stomach pains doing so—and had the worse meal of our stay for the highest price we paid on the Island.

The flambé restaurant is a joke. The chef does not even know what a flambé is. For our so-called flambé bananas the half-cooked bananas were cooked, the sauce sort of light on fire, but quickly put out by a shocked ‘chef’ and then poured over the half-cooked bananas. It was an example of how to destroy an excellent desert.

For food, don’t get the all-inclusive. Instead, eat out as there are enough interesting choices including the neighbor (a ten minute walk) the classier Jamaica Inn.

The beaches are okay, small but not too crowded. The entertainment is minimal and varies in quality. A real kicker is John who plays piano and tells you the white man’s view of Jamaican history during afternoon tea.

It has a nice outdoor heated whirlpool and a very (very) small swimming pool.

A minus is the Sandals next door which looks and sounds like a zoo. A plus are the people working at the RP which make it definitely worth the visit.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank cfjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 10, 2005

Our travel Agent recommended The Royal Plantation for our wedding and our family vacation. The resort is magnificent and we travel quite a bit and we have never experienced such incredible service before.

The resort is so beautiful and the employess are so polite. They goal is to make sure you're happy. When the time came for us to leave we were almost in tears. I did not want to go home. We cannot wait to get back to the peace and tranquility of the resort again. As a matter of fact my husband and I are going back again February 2006

We stayed in the Governor's General Suite, the suite is so beautiful, the master bedroom has a gorgeous poster bed and a juccuzi in the bathoom. There's two seperate balconies with the most breathtaking views. The bar was always full of every kind of alcohol beverage you can think of. Expensive ones. All was inclusive.

The food, breakfast, luch and dinner was incredible, just be careful you can gain major wait from the food. Everything was so delicious.

The pool are is lovely, not as big as some hotel pools I've seen but more luxurious. my family enjoyed it.

The beach attendants were wonderful, laying out towels and made sure we had umbrellas for shade. They made sure we always had drinks. Oh the drinks oh my, any type of tropical drinks you can think of.

The Spa is out of this world. We gave all our families spa treatments, facials and massages. Some member of our families could not keep away from the spa. The couples include me and my husband got couples massage. Allitle bit on the expensive side but well woth it and fabulous.

Restaurants are great. We dine at three different restaurants, two f them we casual but one was very upscale and you had be dress properly.

We paid an all inclusive package including the food I think it's an excellent value for what we got. The only think I did not like is that the travel agent told us all the activities were included. Including going next door to Sandals. Wwe found out when we got there that was not the case. So the activities we extra, kind of expensive so we did not do too much activities. My daughter and younger sister loved jet skiing, so they did allot of that, $20.00 a pop.

From what the travel agent told us we expected a great wedding, well it was nothink like the travel agent explained to us. It was better than we had imagined it would be. Our wedding Cordinator Andre was the most wonderful person we have ever met. He took the time to go over everything little details with us, from the time, site food, music, etc. everything.

Our wedding ceremony took place on the pier and the reception in doors in a beautiful room. We relased two white doves at the wedding. We will absolutely re-new our 10, 25, 50 etc. vows there. I highly recomend the Royal Plantation for any one wedding. Andre Reid is the man, he will give you your dream wedding.

Overall me and my family we definitelygo back for our vacations. It is the best hotel/resort we have ever stayed in. We are extremely happy!

I'm including some of the beautiful picutres we took of the resort, our suite and our wedding.

I want take this opportunity to thank the following peole who made our wedging/vacation enjoyable.

Andre - for giving me my dream wedding.
Durant - for the most romantic diner on the pier.
Susan - for making sure I had the honey moon suite I dreamt of.
Claudete - the couple massage for me and my husband
Neika - for making my hair and face beautiful for my wedding.
Damian - for showing us to our rooms
Restaurant Managers, Supervisors and staffs - for making sure our favorite meals we serve to us. Especialy for my Jaimacan Patties, they were delicous.
Everyone else who made our stay the most memorable. All the managers, The gift shop staff, the Spa staff, the from desk staff, the Concierge. Houskeeping. Thanks to all the Resort Staffs.

Helpful?
21 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 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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