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.
- 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