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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 10, 2007

My husband and I vacationed in Jamaica from April 23rd-May 9th, and stayed at 4 various resorts on the island: Coyaba (montego bay), Royal Plantation (Ocho Rios), Sunset at the Palms (Negril), and Rockhouse (Negril). We are going to review the resorts separately.
This is our first real vacation, and have not travelled extensively, as such, we aren't that picky. Also because we stayed at 4 different places in Jamaica, all the reviews will be in comparison to the other place we stayed there, rather than any places we have stayed in North America. We are both 21, and I am currently pregnant. We are very active people, and were looking for the type of vacation where we could experience the true Jamaican culture, and relax and have a good time. Please keep that in mind, because the type of vacation you are looking for may be different, and as such you may not agree with the thoughts presented.

We stayed at Royal Plantation from April 26th-April30th. I must admit, before we left for our vacation this was the resort I was least looking forward to, because it seemed to 'uppity' and didn't seem unique. Plus I felt that because we are quite young travellor's, and look younger than we actually are, we would be treated differently than other guests. Boy how wrong I was.

We had a private driver pick us up from Coyaba. His name is Melbourne and he's fantastic. It was not uncomfortable to be silent, and I felt comfortable asking questions. Plus, I told him of my studies in history and he proceeded to take me to the oldest Church in Jamaica. It was fantastic. Taking the buses provided by air jamaica is hot, and not as comortable. This was a treat.

Once arrived we were given a cold towel, which smelt just as good as it felt, and a glass of fruit punch. The staff was fantastic, asking us questions and seeming genuinely interested. Our room wasn't ready, so we were escorted to lunch where we met Simone and Laneesha whom made out stay excellent through the entire trip. They found out I was pregnant, and showed me pictures of their children. It was like talking to friends.

Our room was amazing, had a stocked mini bar, big bed, walk in closet so your clothes are out of the way ( something that cannot be taken for granted), and a sitting room. It also had a pillow menu - I made use of the pregnancy one. We also asked for a DVD player because we had brought movies and one was promptly brought - with no questions asked. They have the most comforatable robes, and the shampoo and conditioner is quite high quality. The toilet paper was even monogrammed! They also had q-tips in the room - yay for clean ears.

The grounds are emaculate - full of vegetatuion and animals. Our first day a giant moth came and landed on the wall across from our door and did not leave, we also had a peacock who liked to sleep on our balcony.

The swimming area here is slightly bigger than at Coyaba, but about as deep. The beach is larger, but not by much. Again neither of those things matter to us. The beach staff are amazing. I thought it wouled be awkward to be waited on like that - but they seemed genuine and made everything fun.

The spa is expensive. I am not a spa conniseur - so I dont know if the facial I got was worth the $140 I spent; all I know is that it was pretty fantastic and if it wasnt for the baby kicking me I would have fallen asleep.

They found out it was our honeymoon and brought us champagne and strawberries, and a gift certificate for the spa - it was a nice touch. The gym was perfectly temperatured, and had great machines. The space to do free weights can get a little crowded if there are a lot of people.

The food was amazing at all places - and the Sunday buffet is to die for. The cost of the buffet is $55 a plate - but it is included in the Royal Plan. It is worth doing it if you are not on the plan. They also serve afternoon tea (complimentary) - which even my husband enjoyed. The games room was an actual games room and the bar server would bring us our drinks there so we didnt have to stop our pool game. Bring formal wear for the Papillion. They do have a dress code for all restaurants, which is nice. However, for the Papillion you should be dressed nicely - we saw people being turned away for their attire. We didnt know it was going to be as formal as it was. But it was a great experience for two people who are not used to that kind of dining. They even made something for my husband that wasnt on the menu because he's a vegetarian.

The pool is a good size, but not equipped for lengths. It was perfectly heated and I had fun watching all the lizzards scurrying up to get a drink and then running away. My husband did the scuba diving offered through the resort and really seemed to enjoy it. I went into downtown ocho rios on a sunday (so a lot was closed), but I did it by myself and got to see the real ocho rios and not just the tourist area. Someone did call me a taxi angel and offer to sell me a machete for $10; but I thought that was cool!

Our air conditioner did stop working one night, but I turned it off and let it 'cool down' and then turned it back on and it was fine again. It wasnt as easy to regulate as Coyaba's but I had no problems. There are stairs everywhere here as well. There is an elevator for the rooms, but between the beach, pool, restaurants, and everything else there are stairs - which may be a problem for some people.

They also had an incorrect checkout date for us - they thought we were staying 4 days longer (which would have been great!) but had no problems changing the day and organizing a driver. The staff learned my routine of going to the gym and then coming for breakfast and then had my orange juice and coffee ready for me after I changed - it was marvelous. A gardner would sing to me every morning on my walk to the gym as well, and the one day I didnt go, he saw me later and sang to me then. They also had the New York Times Digest which was nice to read in the morning to catch up on some snippets of news.

This resort was absolutely unbelievable and is hard to top. What made it so great was how genuine and great the staff - at all levels. The manager walked around the resort and I had tea with him one day. I did not feel out of place at this upper class resort, as I thought I would. I would return back here in a flash and am already looking forward to my next trip.

I would reccommend this resort for people who are looking to be pampered in all possible ways. There is enough to do off the resort if you want to do those activities, as well as good ones to do on the resort like cigar rolling and paiting with a local artist. It is not suitable for kids.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Poiyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,351 - 2,357 of 2,577 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2007

I just came back from a friend's wedding in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. Although, he had his wedding at Sandals Ochos Rios Grande, I booked a room at Royal Plantation (also owned by Sandals) for a friend and I. I am so glad that I booked at the Royal Plantation. If you are looking for a place to relax and be pampered, this is it.

This is definitely a place for couples and a romantic getaway. You will stick out if you're single, and if you're with someone, guests and staff assume you're engaged or married.

The service was fantastic, and the food was great. It was not as good as some of the five star restaurants here in the DC metro area, but almost. All the restaurants have an outdoor seating area; it's very relaxing to have the sound of the ocean waves in the background while dining. Also, afternoon tea was served everyday between lunch and dinner (4PM-5PM). All of the rooms are wonderful. We stayed in a deluxe oceanview room, the cheapest one available, and we were not at all disappointed.

The place was so relaxing with such great service that we did not go on any of the excursions we had planned to do. We were content with just relaxing on the resort for the four nights we stayed there. Definitely plan on going back

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with friends
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3  Thank jsc0311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2007

My husband and I happened upon this quaint, tasteful resort by probably what you're doing...internet surfing for a warm and romantic place to enjoy over the V-day week.

We struck gold when finding the Royal Plantation. It was everything we wanted. We didn't want a huge resort with children, or a meat market of singles and pals on the prowl with the mentality of
"spring break." We wanted class. We wanted to dress up in the evenings for dinner and enjoy flambe or caviar and a familiar bottle of champagne. We wanted ocean views everyday along with impeccable, friendly yet unintrusive service. Yes, we hit the jackpot! We got it all. We were on the Royal Plan, which I feel would be the only way to go. It included everything, except the spa services, which were very reasonable. Here's the most important thing I could possibly pass along. I cannot say enough about the staff. For example, the beach butlers would do unexpectedly nice things like, come around with delicious island fresh fruits and cold rosewater towels while you were laying out on the beach. Basically, if you could think it, it would magically appear. This resort is very nice and we travel extensively. They know their stuff and, their stuff is hospitality. I also really loved the fact that they didn't allow sneakers,
"scary" beach attire or muscle shirts at dinner. The Royal Plantation
Resort was relaxing and they accomplished this by making you feel like you were home. Whether sitting out on the veranda, enjoying a carribbean cocktail and breeze, afternoon tea, roomservice, the spa, or a fine dining experience. We fell in love with the Royal Plantation and plan to return very soon. If you get there before we do, please tell them we said, "Hello."

I now have two Valentines...my wonderful husband and, The Royal Plantation Resort.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lasommerstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2007

I went to Royal Planatation for my Honeymoon in June 2006, I stayed there at total of 9 days, 8 nites.
I loved every second of it. I felt like I was transposed into another world and really felt like a queen for 9 days.
The food was amazing, the service was bar-none.
From the elegant evening dining to the afternoon service on the beach, I have zero complaints.
The resort is small, and quaint so you do see a lot of the same coulples and servers every nite. The beach is tiny, but def a lot of room for the few quests to get some privacy.
The rooms are immaculate and well-stocked.
This place is for couples looking for a quiet, romantic, high quality vacation. You will not find any children or singles or partying here.
The price is a little steep, but def worth the splurge for a honeymoon or anniversary!!!! We are already counting the days to go back for our 10 Year Anniversary :-)

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank poconos78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2007

My husband and I came to Royal Plantation to share in the nuptials of some good friends. Not only did we have a good time, but we got to see the filming of "License to Wed" and spotted Adam Sandler, Robin Williams, and Mandy Moore. The filming blocked use of certain areas of the resort while we were there, but there was always a good place to go and relax at.

We arrived at the Montego Bay airport, and we were escorted to a cab pretty quickly after receiving Cokes in the hospitality room at the airport. Cab was old and dusty, but the nice cabbie made up for the older car.

Quick check in, and the staff procured a drink and a cold towel right away.

The room was freshly made up every day and we had a good view of the water. They provide lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and aloe vera for guests. You'll need the aloe vera. Very room closets with plenty of room to unpack. The shower and vent is right next to the hallway, so you can hear people walk by when you are in the bathroom.

My husband is a big fan of the water sports, and the staff was willing to take you snorkeling whenever you felt like it. They also would come out and rescue you when your sailbot or catamaran tipped over. A sailing friend of ours said the equipment was okay, but not great.

We did not go on the all inclusive plan, and usually went off site for the evening. We went to Evita's (good view, good Italian food, would come back) and The Ruins Restaurant (great view, poor service, and the curry almost burned my lips off).

The resort restaurants were a bit high priced, and we experienced a very rude sommelier. My husband and I have never sent a wine back in our life, but a bottle we ordered was nearly rancid and we decided to send it back. The sommelier proceeded to come out and tell us how wrong we were instead of suggesting something else. They didn't charge us for the bottle, but we went elsewhere for dinner after that.

The beaches are not large, but I always found a spot to stretch out. The matresses on top of the recliners are a nice touch. Be aware that they are often out of chair-sized towels at the end of the day, and you'll have to make do with what you bring from your room.

For horseback riding lovers, I would recommend the Hooves trip the resort sells. I'm a rider and took a private ride, and had the best trail ride (cantering up and down the beach) of my life along with getting a naturalist lesson from my guide.

The wedding was a great success, and everyone enjoyed themselves. They started us off up by the tea room, and the ceremony was down by the water. Really impressed with how smoothly they kept it moving, considering the groom met the officiant minutes before the cermony.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Giselle411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2007

February 2007

My wife and I had been to the Royal Plantation as day visitors 3 years ago to visit friends that were staying there. We had promised each other that we would one day make it back to stay several days. This February, we visited and stayed from the 15th to the 19th. All we can say is, wow!! Although costly, we were not disappointed in any way.

Dining: After having just spent 7 days at another resort serving buffet food, what a great change to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner "A la carte", with food prepared fresh just for you. Breakfast on the terrasse overlooking the ocean was a wonderful start to everyday. An opening glass of mimosa or mangosa, strong blue mountain coffee, we usually ordered the special of the day with side orders of lox (smoked salmon) and tropical fruit. This would normally take us to mid afternoon. We would then share a light plate at the Royal Cafe on the beach, accompanied by a Red Stripe beer, or a special concoction from Cibony! Dinner for our 4 nights consisted of 3 nights at the French cuisine "Le Papillon" and one night at the Italian "La Terraza" under the stars. We loved the Papillon for its 5 star food and service and the atmosphere of elegance. Lobster was plentiful, and you must try the Lava cake. Wow. The Terraza was a beautiful experience with a wonderful meal under the stars, with a jazz band playing as well. There is something for everyone. The wine was excellent, we enjoyed Italian, Chile and French red wines. We weren't disappointed.

Room: Our room was in the "west wing" and overlooked the ocean. It was spotless on arrival and was kept that way daily by the excellent daily maid service. We loved the fact the room has a fully stocked bar fridge, and we could serve ourselves and early mimosa in the morning while getting ready. The thick robes and nice slippers were great add ons that made the stay wonderful. All rooms have an ocean view, so regardless of were you are, you will not be disappointed. Since you don't tend to spend that much time in your room, I would suggest that the least expensive Ocean View Deluxe Suite, which we had, will meet the needs of everyone.

Property: Lush, with beautiful flowers and several peacocks wandering the grounds. It was like being in paradise, in paradise! You were far enough from other resorts and the road that you didn't hear any traffic or sounds other than the ocean waves coming in. The pathways are clear, clean and well lighted. The buildings, including the old plantation house, are very well kept.

Beach: We aren't typically beach people, but here we spent our time on the beach. On arrival, someone will set you up with chairs, mattresses and blankets. An umbrella will be provided as well if required. the beach was small and quaint, but with only 77 rooms at the plantation, there was plenty of room for everyone. The beach was well maintained, and raked several times a day to keep it clean. I went for several swims and the water was clear, warm, with a nice white sandy bottom.

Transportation: Dedicated personal transportation to and from the airport was a nice touch. No cramming into a bus with 20 other folks going to 8 different resorts. Here, you get your own car and driver (only the best vehicles are used) and you have a nice relaxing ride. A definite plus considering the state of some of the roads in Jamaica.

Staff: Wow, what can we say!!! My wife and I are socializers, and so we made it a point to speak to as many of the staff as possible, let them know our names, and find out a little bit about each of them. Special thanks to Cibony, for the Cibony Drink Specials and Bar Show! To Barbara for the wonderful Barbara Specials at the Appleton Lounge every afternoon. LaToya, for being sassy, assertive and extremely funny. To Durrant for taking great care of us during dinner (3 times) at Le Papillon. To David for coming by and making sure our meals were as ordered and perfect, and for the nice comments on my wife's attire. To Audell, for his sense of humor and exceptional service. To Dwight for the tour of the grounds and showing us to our room when we first arrived. To Micheal (Curtis), for wonderful breakfast service on the Terrasse. To Wesley for the glass bottom boat tour. To Kova for restocking our room bar everyday, and for the special order of Red Stripe Light. To Suzanne and David, for spending time with us on the Manager's martini evening on Friday, to explain to us options available for our return trip (there will be one!). And to all the other staff that made our stay a memorable one, Thank You!

Recommendation: The hustle and bustle of the daily grind back home, work, kids, school, friends, can sometimes take a toll on your relationship with your significant other. This trip and this stay was an opportunity for my wife and I to spend some quality time together, with the focus squarely on our relationship. We had a strong relationship on arrival, and it was even stronger when we left. We would recommend to anyone wishing to get away to re-energize, refocus or just escape, to consider the Royal Plantation.

Denis & Nathalie
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Canuckace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2007

We have been here three times. It is by far our favorite destination. We are treated like family from the minute we are picked up in a Mercedes Limo at the airport and greeted with, " Welcome home, Mr and Mrs. N....

The food is wonderful; the amenities are more than anyone could hope for. Upon arrival there are gifts on your bed. Your favorite liquor is in the room, if you are a returning guest. If there is anything you drink that they don't have, it will be in the bar that night and an extra bottle in your room the next day.

The staff is at your beck and call at all hours. I was watching the world series one year and it was very late at night. A waitress stayed near the TV room and kept asking me if I wanted anything to drink or eat until I went to bed. They made conch fritters for me this year because I had liked them so much the previous year.

The gold is free, the caddies are great! My caddy Gracie works for me each time and we get along fantastically! I look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces as well as newcomers when I return.

Royal Plantation is one place where you will never be rushed or feel like a guest. The Staff makes you feel like you are home whether in the spa ( world class by the way), on the beach or in one of the three gourmet restaurants. Go there!!! It is a must!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank LINYMan
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
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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $549 - $1,533 (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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