We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good, but not fantastic”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
107 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Good, but not fantastic”
Reviewed January 7, 2011

We stayed during the Thanksgiving holiday and indeed we had a lovely time. However when we arrived at the airport we were met outside the closed lounge and put outside and forgotten. We had to find to transportation from the hotel ourselves. No one seemed to care. The lounge was closed in the airport and forget anything to drink there or in route. What's the point of them advertising something that doesn't exist?
Once at the destination it was nice. The Pappilion was no 5 star restaurant. It was average and the food was repetative. Same menu every night- JOY! It was my anniversary and I only made one special request to eat on the outside deck on that night. Our bulter, Richard couldn't manage it and never bothered to tell us- so when i told him of my disappointment he (Richard) lied and said I never said that and since it was such a great place that should be good enough. NOT! After that Richard spent the rest of our vacation trying to make it up to me and failed miserably at each opportunity. I wanted no more to do with him. Butler my behind! Apparently if you make dinner reservations before you get there you might get to eat out on the porch of the "5 Star" restaurant. I think Richard just didn't care. Another day they left shrimp cocktails in our room after and excursion- we were back 3 hours late and the shrimp were room temp.- Gee I really wanted to die from food poisioning- Thanks again Richard. I dumped them out into the hall- yuck! I will know next time.
Our second butler, Cleon was nice and seemed to be on the right track.
The general manager Peter was great. He worked his behind off to make everyone happy. Our room on the thrid floor was very quiet. The view was nice of the ocean, there is very little beach. Most of the guests are Europeans and none spoke to us. Seemed strange to us, but we didn't care.
The alcohol brand variety at the hotel was poor. No spiced rum, no single malt. What were we paying for? Beer? The food in the restaurants was repetative and got boring.
The golf was fun and our caddie was great, we played twice. Not cheap even if its free, by the time they tack everything on - its about $150 per round.
They bring in locals to sell junk- so if you want a souvenir you don't really have to leave and be harassed by the locals. We never had a moments problem with any locals.
We did the raft trip down the matha brae and went to the coffee plantation- all in all very pleasant and again no one bothered us.
We got a great deal and considered going back but the sale on black Friday we indeed 5-600 more thay we paid for this trip so so we didn't bother to rebook. It was all in all nice, but more because of no kids and small size than anything else.
If I were Peter I would fire Richare as he really lowered my perspective of what a butler does- apparently nothing in his case.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FredFStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,504 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    2,014
    331
    108
    36
    15
See reviews for
55
2,069
15
18
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (640)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

I find it hard to believe that the previous 2 posts vacationed at the same resort as we did!

My husband and I spent another Christmas and New Years at RP and it was wonderful.
This was our first time back since it was brought into the Sandals family so we were a bit concerned that it would start to mirror the other Sandals resorts and lose the class and charm that we have experienced in our previous 4 stays. Grant it, it recently made the conversion, so I guess time will tell if it remains that special place that my husband and I know and love so much. I can say, that as long as Peter Frazier, the GM, is in charge , he will see to it that it remains a "special" place. He is a class act and anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting him, would certainly agree.

Although the weather did not cooperate the week of our stay, which was a shock because we have traveled the same week the past 5 years and it was always sunny and hot, we had a great time. We met some really nice people that we hope to meet up with again next year.

The previous 5 star reviewers covered just about everything so I will not repeat them but I will say they are very accurate
.
The Staff is simply amazing....Gladstone, Andre, Adrian, Winston, Cleon , Richard.. just to name a few, Thank you so much for another memorable stay.

The Food is probably the best of any all inclusive resort. I hate to even say "all inclusive" because most would think of buffets and mediocre food, but dining here is a fine dining experience especially Papillon. (my favorite)

The suites all have wonderful views of the water, nicely decorated and ample in size

The return guest dinner ,as always, is one of our favorite nights. The dinner that is prepared is to die for and you get to meet so many interesting people. Thank you Peter for making the return guest dinner one of the highlights of our vacation.

I highly recommend this resort to people who love to be pampered and want to just relax. I can't think of any better way to end one year and start a new year then a stay at Royal Plantation.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DLanghorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
74 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2011

terrible experience, very tiered rooms, over priced, disgusting food, terrible breakfast, never saw any fresh food/fruits all microwaved
the worst part of the island always cloudy and a lot of rain.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGAIN.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank paolo2404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2011

The Royal Plantation hotel is one of the worst hotels I had the misfortune to stay at. The hotel looks like a poor Holiday Inn and unfortunately the food is even worse! We stayed at the Villa at a cost of over £12,000 for 6 nights. I would suggest there are bed and breakfast hotels with more charm and certainly more charm then this ghastly hotel!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank martinmargull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2011

This was our 11th trip to a sandals resort, but first time to the Royal Plantation. I will say this was our best trip ever. The hotel staff and hotel manager exceeded our expectations. Also, Our travel agent, Amy with Dream Makers Vacations also exceeded our expectations. The hubby and I feel as if we have found our own personal retreat at the Royal Plantation. Upon arriving we were greeted by Curtis, one of our butlers. He provided us with a nice tour of the resort. The property was lovely and you do not feel as if it is as small as it is. In fact we felt cozy, but also felt we had privacy. The tone of the resort is calm and low key. Before going to our room, we had lunch, which was very good. Oh, the lobster BLT was wonderful. Curtis took us to our room, but informed us that the next morning we would be upgraded ( thank you Amy), sorry I do not remember the names of the rooms, but I do know the upgrade was at leat two rooms higher. We had to wait until the next day to change rooms, which was fine. Our first room was 258 on the west wing. This room would have been just fine with us as the room was amazining. We did not have the outside balcony, but the room offered a very nice area to set in with a great view and the sliding door allowed the breeze and ocean sounds to come in. Also we had the large jetted tub and separate shower area.This room was very nice and spacious. The next afternoon we were moved into an east wing room. This room has a standard bathroom, a sitting room with a tv, the bed room, a large walk in closet and an additional room with a jetted tub and separate shower. In addition we had a very nice outside balcony with a nice view.
We ate everywhere and I do not have any thing to say about the food, except it all was wonderful, the meals services etc... all great. One evening we purchased a bottle Moet champagne with our dinner. The only we issue we ran into during our visit was that we purchased the champagne for an over priced amount ( which we knew and expected), but on our last evening when our bill arrived for the week, we noticed an additional "service charge" for the purchase. This I felt was not acceptable and we did not pay for the service charge as we were not informed if this when we made the purchase. So no problem the charge was removed!
The hotel manger, Supratik is just wonderful. He went out of his way to assist us in everyway. Before we knew he was the hotel manger, he was brining us drinks as we were by the pool, such a wonderful person, Thank you for all you did to make our trip wonderful!
Also, the beach butler, Adrian, "G-Stone" Akee(SP sorry), Gary, Winston, Rochester, and I am so sorry I do not remember everyone elses names who were so wonderful, because this list does not do justice to all of you who work so hard and made our trip so nice. Garfield, you are one great guy, my husband said to remind you that on our next visit, you must teach him some of your pool tips and he will be playing darts!!! Also, on this trip we met such a wonderful person, I really do wish I knew his name as he was so kind and thoughtful, he was one of the gardners and truly a very nice man. Thank you for teaching us about the peacoks and allowing us to watch as you fed them, that was the highlight of the trip!!! Also Anthony, who was not our butler, but took care of needs as if he were. You made us laugh and made the trip even better. I could go on and on about the resort staf, everyone was great.
We loved our butler, Michael. Thank you for everything. You are so very kind and ensured every need was taken care of. Thank you for the nice card you gave me. I will keep it close in my office to remind me of your words of wisdom, you are so correct. I look forward to returning so that we can see you again. I will share that while on this trip Michael went our of his way to assit me in so many ways. I had a root canal a while back, while on the trip the crown broke. Thank you so much for helping me find a dentist and for working so hard to help in ensuring all was taken care of. Also Curtis you help in the matter was greatly appreciated!! Both of you are so great at your job!!!
This trip was special to us in that at the returning guest dinner we were provided with the news of our free week to come. Trudane, thank you for all of your assistance and we so very much loved being able to get to know you during the dinner.
I will also say the spa was great, I had two treatments and both were great. We very much loved the stay and will retun as soon as we can!!!!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GushWV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, New York
1 review
Reviewed December 30, 2010

This was our 3rd stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. At first we were a bit concerned that once again they were under the Sandals brand name. While they have been owned and managed by Sandals resort for many years they operated as a separate hotel.
Let me tell you being under the Sandals name has made Royal Plantation even better
The staff including their wonderful GM Peter Fraser is spectacular. Our two butlers Chrstopher and Jermaine were oustanding
The rest of the staff from the beach butlers to the gardners and everything in between wre fantastic
Nothing in Jamaica even comes close to how wonderful Royal Plantation is.
Just stroll over to Sandals Grande right next door and you will see the difference

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank richli2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
Level Contributor
151 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2010

“I knew it would be nice, when there was ice in the urinals”

That about sums up the carefree attitude of our annual trip to Sandals in Jamaica. This time we chose the Royal Plantation property and have already booked for 2011. I read reviews often and sometimes you can hype up a property so much that you are disappointed when you finally arrive. In previous reviews, I’ve heard things like “you learn everyone’s name, and they know your name”. Yeah, sure…

But seriously, I have real friends now in Jamaica that will keep me coming back year after year. Aside from having your own butlers (for every room category) you learn to love the beach butler (Biggs – his nickname) and every other person on the property. If you have a favorite drink, “G-Stone” in the bar will have it made before you sit down.

Arrival
We arrived midday and getting through customs was a breeze. It’s really gotten better over the years. But, unfortunately due to rain in Atlanta our bags came out a little wet. Thankfully bathing suits are meant to get wet. We got comfortable at the Sandals Lounge and watched others board busses while we waited for our transfer. I didn’t realize when traveling to Royal Plantation you aren’t on a typical van to the resort. These vans have “Royal Plantation” on the side and as it turns out we were the only two on the transfer.

The road to Ocho Rios is much better than it’s been in recent years and took about an hour and 45 minutes to arrive. When we got to the resort we were taken to a couch in front of a REAL Christmas Tree. The smell was wonderful. We were given drinks and asked to fill out our paperwork and imprint the credit card. Our room was not ready yet so we headed to the beach for lunch. But after a quick stop to the bathroom to see they provide ice each day in the urinals we knew we were somewhere fancy! Ha!

This is my 5th trip to Sandals and the food here is by FAR the best I’ve ever had. Good food can be overshadowed by poor service but this wasn’t the case at Royal Plantation. The service was also the best we’ve ever experienced. They even brought an extra chair over so my wife could keep her beach bag off the floor. Nice!

We then got our room (Suite 202) we were amazed by the view. The French balcony was actually very good! We weren’t sure what to expect but to be able to swing our doors all the way open was just what we were looking for. We were booked into the Coconut Grove category so we had a king bed and a double vanity with a regular shower/tub combo. The closet is HUGE and to have our butler (Richard and Cleon) unpack for us got the vacation off to the right start. I was worried about the property being too small but it really isn’t that small. However, in all honesty, the room was a little smaller than I anticipated but certainly fit the bill.

One of our favorite places ended up being the HEATED pool. Yup, it’s heated. After all the reviews of this place I never noticed anyone saying it was heated. It was amazing to get in the pool and then to the dual-level hot tub. Perfect for those “chilly” 75 degree evenings in December.

Update: They are also building a Jacuzzi type pool on the beach just to the left of the pier. It looks very nice and will make a great addition to the property.

But, our absolute favorite spot was on the beach with “Biggs” the beach butler at our side. We got to know him and got to learn even more of the local news and language each day of our stay. All you need to do is let him know what you want and he’ll anticipate your every need. Not having to get up from your beach chair is relaxation at it’s finest.

Watersports is always one of our favorite things to do at Sandals properties and at RP you never have to worry about space on the boat or the availability of equipment. One time during our stay we were the only ones on the snorkel trip out to the ship wreck. It was the best snorkel trip of my life! You can only go to the wreck site on very calm days but don’t miss it if you enjoy the sea.

Food

Each afternoon they feature tea on the terrace. It starts at 4pm and is a nice way to dry off (yes, you can go in bathing suit and t-shirt) before heading up to prepare for dinner. They have sandwiches, scones, jams, and pots of tea for all. Really enjoyed that feature.

We were very plesently surprised with not only the quality of the food but the desserts and the ice cream (ask for coconut or pistachio). At other resorts the desserts just aren’t as sweet as we are used to in the states. But here, the warm chocolate pudding is to die for! Grab that every chance you get!

Breakfast was the typical fare, but it’s what we love so why complain? We always ate lunch on the beach. And for dinner the course menus had something for everyone. But do make sure if you have specific dining preferences that you tell your butler well ahead of time.

As for drinks, I am a Crown Royal drinker but they don’t have that at any other Sandals resorts. They did here, but they didn’t have Absolute Vodka or Appleton Rum. That was a downer, but a quick call to their amazing manager (Peter Fraiser) quickly remedied that. They also have Grey Goose vodka but you have to ask for that “under the counter”.

Insider tip: Try Vodka and “ting”. It’s a local grapefruit soda they have at the bar. You’ll love it! Also, don’t miss the buffalo wings from the wobbly peacock pub.

Again, the service is at the top of the game. Even at the pool a member of the bar staff would come down and take drink orders. They’d also bring food to the pool. This is heaven! We were never without anything we needed.

Sandals Select

The resort always makes sure to cater to their returning guests and this one is no exception. Along with the usual t-shirts they provided us with a bottle of rum after the Returning Guest dinner. The meal was formal with many courses and allowed us to make a few new wonderful friends. The prime rib was great!

At that dinner we talked to the loyalty manager and mentioned we would like to try a traditional holiday meal in Jamaica. No problem mon’! The next day we had a lunch prepared with ox tail. Only in Jamaica! It was a nice surprise and a memory I won’t forget.

Best Food: Buffalo Wings from pub, jerk shrimp from beach bar, burger from beach bar, and ANYTHING from the traditional restaurants.


CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

For anyone who has watched the news you know that the weather has been bad in the southeast and the northeast because of the snow. We were due to leave the resort on Christmas Day but our flight was canceled. What are we to do? We are a young couple and this vacation is our annual splurge! We can’t afford another night here. So, I scrambled to find a place to stay in Montego Bay or even at the Sandals inn for the night. We didn’t want to see this ruin our otherwise picture perfect vacation.

This is where Santa himself (GM Peter Fraiser) comes into play. He had been amazing all week. He’s the only manger I’ve seen actually serve drinks and open doors for guests. Truly a class act and someone I admire. After seeing the problem we were in, he simply said Merry Christmas and told us we could be his guest for the night free of charge. We got an extra night in paradise, we are booked for 2011, and have a handful of memories that we’ll cherish for many Christmas’s to come.

Pictures

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2390265&id=38400611&l=26fcc92298

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2390267&id=38400611&l=13c0d4fa26

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank mtsublueraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ocho Rios
0.3 mi away
Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn
#2 of 35 in Ocho Rios
1,260 reviews
0.8 mi away
Hermosa Cove - Jamaica's Villa Hotel
45.7 mi away
Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
52.9 mi away
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
0.2 mi away
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
61.1 mi away
Round Hill Hotel & Villas
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sandals Royal Plantation? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, TravelUp, BookIt.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Sandals Royal Plantation reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Jamaica
Sandals Royal Plantation Jamaica/Ocho Rios

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing