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“Amazing Honeymoon!!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 26, 2010

We arrived at the Montego Bay Airport and were directed to the Sandals Lounge which looks exactly as it does in the photos. We were given a comfortable seat, a cold beer, and a plate of cookies. How could you go wrong? About 15 minutes later, we were escorted to our transportation with our luggage in tow, only to find out that the private mercedes transfer we had paid for was unavailable. Well, the staff at the sandals desk made a couple of fast phone calls and discovered that the reservation was never forwarded to the hotel by our travel agent. Eager to help us begin our honeymoon, the staff at the Sandals desk walked us over to a van which was already at the airport, and thankfully had no other passengers (so in essence, we still had private transportation, just not what we had expected). The driver was apologetic, friendly, informative, and most importantly, had cold refreshments for the one and a half hour ride to the resort. :)

Upon arrival at RP, we were immediately welcomed by many staff members, escorted to comfortable couches to fill out paperwork, and were provided with glasses of chilled champagne. When we informed the staff about the dilemma with the transportation, they too were quite apologetic, and promised they would look into it as soon as possible. (Side bar: by the time we had arrived at RP, all offices were closed and they were unable to look into the conflict at that point. The next morning we went out, sat on the beach, went kayaking, and as we rowed back to shore, saw our butler, Audell, and the sales manager, Winsome, awaiting our arrival. They had taken care of everything without ever involving us or asking for our assistance. It was so wonderful to not have been hassled, bothered, or have to expend any energy attempting to fix the travel agents' mistake), Our one bedroom-honeymoon royal plantation suite was not yet ready, so we were escorted to the beach for lunch....DELICIOUS! Every staff member we encountered on the walk down, as well as in the lobby, made a point of welcoming us, and asking our names...little did we know that they were genuinely interested in us and remembered our names for the entire 9 day duration of our stay.

In an effort to keep this relatively short, the food was absolutely amazing. My wife and I both agree that this was truly some of the best food we have ever eaten, not just at an all inclusive resort, but in general (and we are food snobs!). From the Jamaican beef patties, coconut shrimp, jerk tilapia and conch at the royal cafe, the delicious breakfasts at terrace grill (or on our balcony) comprised of eggs benedict, local fruits and cheeses, pastries and more, to the stunning food at Le Papillion (the tomato crusted grouper with parmesan risotto is a must!), there was not a single item we tasted with which we were unhappy. If there was something on a menu from a different restaurant, they would bring it to you anyway. The desserts were delectable, the wine plentiful, and the staff/waiters all too eager to ensure that everything was just right. It was wonderful.

What to say about our room? It was incredible. Room does not do it justice, as there were 4 rooms in our suite - a living room with an armoire,tv, coffee table, couch and desk, the bedroom with a four post canopy bed, armoire with tv, two night stands and the doors to our spacious balcony with two lounge chairs, a glass table (where we enjoyed many breakfasts) two wrought iron chairs and an incredible view of the ocean. Then there was the bathroom which was standard, outside of which was a hallway that had his and her sinks and vanity mirrors and a full length mirror, and a closet that was spacious enough for us both to get dressed in. Of course, the best part of the suite was the spa room, which had a jacuzzi, shower, french windows which completely opened for more gorgeous ocean views, a comfortable chaise and the fully stocked wet bar. Enough said. The room was always cleaned, typically around lunchtime, and then turndown service every night, usually when we were at dinner.

While many reviews complain about the small size of the beach, we did not find this to be a problem at all. Umbrellas, towels, the most comfortable lounge chairs were plentiful. The sand was white, the water crystal clear, the drinks were flowing...how could you be disappointed? A short walk next door to the Sandals resort reminded you how lucky you are to be staying at RP...you would think you were on a completely different island, let alone a different beach! The beach butlers were wonderful (Jason and Adrian) and we never had to use our flag because they always seemed to know when we needed a refill or more coconut shrimp (which my wife may have had every day!). True to the reviews, as the sun rose higher and the temperature matched it, Jason and Adrian would come around with ice cold rose water and cucumbers for your eyes...my wife was certainly a sight to see! Mangosas were delicious in the mornings, and they would also make them for you at the bar in the lobby if you were not down on the beach.

Each guest is assigned a butler whose job it is to make your stay as memorable as possible. Our butler, Audell, did just that. In fact, he went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for. For example, we had taken an excursion (catamaran cruise to dunns river falls - which was so much fun), and came back to our room 5 hours later to find that he had written us a note to tell us he had filled our jacuzzi tub with warm water, coconut scented bubbles, and we should enjoy after our climb up the falls. We went into the spa room, which was covered in candles, rose petals, smelled delicious, and also found a basket of plantain chips waiting for us. What a wonderful, thoughtful way to end a lovely day. As this was our honeymoon, we had planned to have a romantic candle-lit dinner on our 5th night. We were told that it would be on our balcony, which was slightly disappointing.....but, by 7:30 that night, we still had no details for the evening. As it turns out, that was because Audell was working overtime to ensure this dinner was nothing ordinary. At exactly 8:00, a white gloved waiter knocked on our door and escorted us through a candle lit path, which took us down the stairs, through the lobby, across the main patio, and down the stairs to the jacuzzi/pool area, where a table for two was set, lined with candles and flowers. A jazz quartet was playing in the gazebo and the waiter who had escorted us ran back and forth over the course of 3 hours to serve us the most amazing 6 course meal. When we returned to our room, full, in love, and happy, our room had been decorated with chocolate, rose petals, and candles. What a perfect end to a pefect evening!

All in all we were treated like family for 9 glorious days, and were so sad to see it end. The food is amazing, the service wonderful, the spa relaxing, the beach beautiful, the staff extraordinary, and the resort itself has everything you could ever want. Will we go back again? Without question. If you are hoping to have the vacation of your dreams, look no further.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mattandjoy95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,068 - 2,074 of 2,664 reviews

Reviewed September 24, 2010

Just returned from our 5th trip to Royal Plantation. Like a fine wine, RP gets better with age. Service was excellent, food fantastic, water very nice and the golf courese in great shape. First time using the Butler service, was excellent. Already booked for next yesr..

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Noblehouse47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2010

Feel very lucky to have had another holiday at the Royal Plantation, did not want to leave this fantastic accomodation and its wonderful staff, my husband and I have never had such excellent sevice in a hotel, we just love the Royal Plantation. Missing you all xx

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Spruce O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2010

After viewing the resort's website and reading all the reviews for Royal Plantation, we decided to go there to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. Every good thing that you read in the reviews is true! The staff is wonderful and we truly were treated royally.

I was concerned that the trip was off to a bad start when we learned the night before, through our travel agent, that our 6:00 a.m. flight on Air Jamaica was canceled. Had we not called our travel agent at 5:00 p.m. Saturday night, we would have shown up at the airport at 3:30 a.m. and found out there was no flight! Luckily, we were able to book a flight on U.S. Airways and, here's the best part- when we checked in, we got upgraded to First Class at no extra charge!

We were transported to the hotel by a van in which we were the only passengers and the trip took an hour and a half. You pass some rather depressing sights on the way but once at the resort, it is beautiful. We were checked in quickly and then given a tour by our butler, Germaine.. He escorted us to our room and even offered to unpack (and iron!) for us, which we declined. We had booked a luxury oceanfront suite but the next day we were upgraded (at no extra cost!) to the Honeymoon Grand suite on the West wing. It was gorgeous and very private. Germaine prepared a bubble bath with candles, flower petals and chilled champagne for us in the jacuzzi tub which is separate from the bathroom- true luxury. There is a double sink vanity in the bath area and a separate area for the toilet and tub/shower. This suite also has a large walk-in closet. The King size bed with canopy was so comfy. This suite has a TV in the bedroom and a TV in the living room area. We had breakfast one morning on the balcony overlooking the quiet section of beach which we were told, is the water sports beach. But it was always quiet and we never saw anyone on this part of the beach. Book this suite if you can- it is worth it!

We really enjoyed breakfast at the Terrace- there was never a full buffet, although they always had a continental buffet where we got our fresh fruit. We had custom made omelets mostly and on the last day I splurged and tried the chocolate chip coconut pancakes and Jamaican hot chocolate- yum! We ate dinner at the Terrace our first night but ate every other night at the french restaurant which was excellent! We had a favorite table outside and we were entertained by the live bands that played in the Gazebo each night. We even danced on the patio one evening. We ate lunch at the Bayside restaurant which is on the beach. I had coconut shrimp practically every day and it was delish. Hubby was more adventurous and tried the Mahi Mahi, about which he raved and he enjoyed the jerk chicken. We both loved the Iced Coffee Crunch dessert- to die for! We opted for the "Royal Plan" which was the all inclusive and it was definitely worth it.

The Manager's Cocktail party on Monday evening was very enjoyable. We met the general manager, Peter Fraser, who came around and introduced himsellf on the beach that morning and he was very pleasant and welcoming. All the staff members were polite and attentive. We especially commend our two butlers for their efforts as well as Marcia, the front desk manager, Felicia at the Terrace restaurant and Alrick at the beach who always reserved our chaises under the Palapa and even set aside a float for our use. There were Mangosas every morning on the beach along with fresh fruit and a butler walked around spritzing rosewater on the sunbathers.

The resort is very clean and we did not see any insects to speak of. There are peacocks who walk around the property and we saw some little lizards. You can hear the tree frogs but it's not annoying. The beach is small but well kept and aside from work going on to extend the pier, it was quiet and peaceful. The water was warm and calm.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation. We spent 5 nights and 6 days and it just flew by. I highly recommend this resort- it's no surprise that it is listed as one of the Leading Hotels in the world. Go see for yourself.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jerseychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2010

Chose the Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios for a week of pure indulgence for two main reasons - 2for1 offer on the fully All Inclusive option and it's great reviews on TA. Definitely did not disappoint.
The suites are immaculate, butler service friendly, efficient and unobtrusive. Food was absolutely stunning with plentiful choice and great quality/taste and service. The 'All Inclusive' option was just that - ALL INCLUSIVE. None of that 'between certain hours', or 'only local drinks' etc. Even the wine/rum/beer in the minibar was included. On arrival we requested alcohol-free beer due to the fact my wife was expecting and by the time we returned from the beach they were cooling in the fridge.
Cannot fault the Royal Plantation at all.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RGandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2010

We just returned last night from a 5 night stay. As we left the property I felt like I was saying goodbye to new found friends and family. My husband and I have stayed at other all inclusive resorts in Jamaica and we are so glad to have finally found our favorite. I feel like the Royal Plantation is our little secret we don't want spill, but everyone needs to know just how fantastic this place is. From the moment we arrrived and until the moment we left the service never stopped. I have never seen so many people take such pride and ownership in their jobs. It was truly touching to see how everyone there cared about every part of your stay. From Adrian (aka. Hercules) brushing the sand off my feet when I got out of the water, to Collette bringing me my "usual" for breakfast every morning and every single person in between who made our stay absolutely AMAZING!!! The butlers go out of their way to make us feel special and as if we are the only ones at the resort. My husband and I loved the little surprises they would leave for us such as candles and rose petals around the bed after dinner as well as a warm bubble bath that melted away all of your stress. Thanks Chris and Cleon... you guys are AWESOME! I love the small boutique feel of this resort. Everything is close by and you never need to worry if you forgot something in your room because it will only take a second to go back. The food was great. No massive fried feast buffets, everything is fresh and cooked to order. If you don't see something you like, they will be happy to accomadate you as best as they can with whatever you would like (again, the service is the best I have ever seen). The hotel managers are always in sight and periodically checking to make sure you are receiving great service.
Thanks Royal Plantation for an amazing experience and we can't wait to see everyone when we return next year (we already booked a return trip for next August)!
Thanks,
Tristan and Ryan

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tris30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2010

We revisited Royal Plantation for the 3rd time in 2 years and stayed 12 nights this time. We absolutely love this place. The General Manager Peter Fraser and his new Hotel Manager Supratik Guha are wonderful. Food was great this year although the weather was mostly rainy due to a tropical depression.
Despite the rain, we were in the ocean everyday. Our best day was sunny in the morning, rainy during the middle of the day with a DOUBLE RAINBOW early evening!
Staff that made our visit memorable were Shawn Moses, Driver Sean, Marcia, Adrian, Barry and Marvelle. They exceeded themselves in making us happy!!!
We met some wonderful friends, Lee from Cinncinatti, Virginia and her husband from the East Coast, etc.
Misses: The new butler program instituted in February leaves some room for improvement. Two butlers were assigned to us and their greatest challenge was communication with each other in helping us plan our dinner reservations, outings, special favors. One butler in particular, Orayne, did provide some great service and we had two great baths drawn with unique towel art, candles, etc. Again service is somewhat dependent on the butlers and one of ours was almost invisible. Other guests had some similar issues so hopefully the resort is working out the bugs.
Please note that this is a very quiet resort with no nightlife after 10:00pm unless you retreat to the bar!
i would highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank belwil
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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $581 - $1,646 (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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