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“Diving and dive staff just keep getting better” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Tucson, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Diving and dive staff just keep getting better”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2011

I recently returned from a trip to Ocho Rios. The resort and staff are great, but my special interest is in the scuba diving. The dive staff always helps you enjoy your visit. I have been diving in Jamacia since 1997. This year the diving conditions appeared to be improving, both in the marine life and the clarity of the water. A special thanks to Magnum. I was excited last year when he found one seahorse, but this year he found four seahorses. Seahorses have been a rarity for me and to see four this year was fantastic.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DiveTraveler85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,441)
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Trinidad
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2011

Our trip to Sandals Grande Riviera was booked about 8 or 7 weeks in advance when I thought to read some reviews and happened on this webiste. I was quite skeptical about going after reading some of the reviews but the good ones pushed us to trudge on none the less and the trip was also fully paid for already. I'll break it down as best as I can since I know some of thr reviews really guided me on what to expect

Arrival - We arrived at Norman Manly Int'l Airport in Kingston....the drive was 2 hours long and after a flight not the ideal drive to get to the hotel since the roads are very winding and not the smoothest. That being said, I get motion sickness so the drive was difficult for me. When we got there our room wasn't ready and we had another 2 hour wait until it was....this wasn't much of a bother just more of an inconvenience...we ate at the grill and drank at the bar until the room was ready.

Room - AMAZINNGGG!!!!! the view was out of this world....we got an ocean view room and I'm not sure but I think we were upgraded since our room had a small patio which we didn't anticipate...no complaints though!! PERFECT! We were just upstairs the bar and overlooking the ocean!!! was perfect!!

Food - Good food. Sushi was good...breakfast was fab! enjoyed the food.

Staff - they were all quite friendly and it helps to just read their name tags and remember their names....they make the guests feel special so is it so hard to call them by thier names and not think of them as servants?

Manor side vs. Riviera Side - we like the ocean as opposed to the pool so we enjoyed the riviera side. Most of the restaurants are on the Riviera side. The construction on the riviera side isn't complete but the Manor side is done. The construction really wasn't a bother at all to us.

Don't believe the bad reviews, go with an open mind, don't sweat the small stuff and you'll be fine!! the bad reviewers I think are mostly just picky people for the most part.

Room Tip: best bet for ocean view - Riviera Side
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank KBhaggan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2011

For reference, we are in our mid 30's and this was our 3rd trip to Sandals and 4th trip to Jamaica. We read ALL the reviews and were nervous to stay at this property. We wanted a fun and relaxing trip. After our room change, our vacation was AMAZING and I didn't want to leave. We had such a GREAT time and we will definitely return to this property! Don’t be nervous, you will have an INCREDIBLE time!!!

TRANSFERS: We booked round trip private transfers through Reggae Tours which cost $162 and well worth it as we didn't have to wait on everyone else to get to the airport to leave for our resort. The drive was an hour and a half. Our driver was Nicholas and he pointed out various landmarks and made it into a scenic tour for us.

ROOM: When we arrived at the resort, we were promptly greeted by our concierge Georgia. She had wonderful smelling cold towels and a fruity drink waiting for us. We were quickly checked in (Georgia informed us that we had been upgraded to a beautiful ocean view room) and taken to our room on a jitney. We were originally booked on the hillside/Manor in category HV1 Honeymoon Bougainvillea Hideaway Concierge Poolside One Bedroom Villa. We arrived in our room and at first glance it was a nice room. We checked out our view which was of a barb wired fence, pregnant feral cats, and several power lines with the ocean barely peeking through if you stood on your toes. Then I went to the bathroom and there was a moldy tub/shower. The pool was very dirty and our refrigerator was broken. We called the concierge desk and requested a room change and were told the property was fully booked and it would be the next day before we could change OR we could pay $1400 and be placed in a butler room. No problem, we slept the first night in the that room and they changed us over to the Riviera Side category PG Riviera Honeymoon Concierge Room with Private Balcony. Much better room! Our maid, Nichola, kept our room tidy and stocked. NOTE: If you prefer a newly renovated room book a room in the Bamboo Grove or Banyan Grove on the Riviera side. We saw these rooms and they have been gutted and are beautiful!

ACTIVITIES: This isn't a beach property. The beaches are sectioned into three parts and they are pretty rocky and full of seaweed. We spent three days over at the Manor pool with bartender Bishop (WHY NOT!!??) in a cabana with floats reserved by our concierges. Each morning our cabana was decorated with various flowers and towel animals. We had lunch at the grill and Dino's 3 days. Bishop offered to bring us lunch one day. He was so kind and funny always singing. NOTE: Manor pool is the party/activity pool and not quiet, if you want a pizza from Dino's order about 45 min to an hour before you actually want to eat it, Manor cabanas #6-9 are reserved for concierge guests free of charge based on availability (reserve these the day you arrive for the days you want and specify you want a pool float or you will NEVER get one).

Then we discovered the brand new Riviera Beach Club/swim up pool bar. This is a well kept secret! There were so many relaxing, hidden, private areas to read, nap, and admire the ocean view. We spent the next 3 days here enjoying some quiet time. We had lunch at the grill next to this spot and that's the best jerk chicken. Note: This is the place to go for quiet time. The cabanas on this side are for Butler guests, BUT you can purchase them for $70-$125 per day, which includes massages, lunch, drinks, two pool loungers, and butler service.

We attended the White Party and Chocolate buffet and it was yummy with a good band!

RESTAURANTS: We ate at Reef Terrace two nights, Soy and Kimonos, Bayside for breakfast and dinner, Marketside for breakfast, Valentino's, Gordon's, and off property at Toscanini's our last night. The food on property is good. It is NOT 5 star, but it is good and plentiful. The breakfasts were good with made to order omelets, pastries, smoked salmon, bacon, and fresh fruits. We never had an issue getting into the non-reservation restaurants. Our favorite meal was actually off property at Toscanini's Italian restaurant. Our concierges arranged our dinner reservation and transportation was included. Incredible meal and the owner Lella was very knowledgeable and friendly. We felt as if she invited us over to her home for dinner. A must try!

SPA: A therapist came to my room and arranged a package of treatments with me. She phoned the spa and made my appointment. I had a body scrub, facial and hot stone massage with Karen S and it was blissful.

STAFF: I wanted to mention some of the staff members who went out of their way to ensure we were treated like royalty. Georgia and Nicholas Ellis (concierge mgr) on the Manor side made all of our reservations, even off property, reserved our cabana and made sure our room got changed. They followed up with us daily to remind us of parties and special events. Caren Simpson-Kerr, Director of Guest Services, called us one day to ensure we were happy in our new room and gave us a tour of the property and some of the renovated rooms. Caren has a beautiful soul and is one of the reasons we will be back to SGR! Duncan, Shekira and Ann-Marie at the Soon Come Back desks-We had the pleasure of having breakfast with Duncan and Ann-Marie one morning and learned about the Sandals Foundation. Great girls! Our wonderful Riviera concierges Marva and Keriann-They made our stay wonderful, answering our many questions and taking our photos:)

RENOVATIONS: This resort is currently undergoing major renovations. There is a new pool being constructed on the Riviera side, there is major construction going on with rooms and the roofs are being repaired. We were on the 5th floor of the Riviera Building and could hear them banging on the roof. The construction NEVER bothered us and we never heard it past 6pm. I heard the renovations would be completed in 6 to 8 months. Once they are finished this property is going to be even more beautiful.

TIPPING: We brought money to tip the staff that went out of their way for us such as our concierges, maid, servers, and drivers. The service we received from some of the staff was okay while some was exceptional and we thought they deserved the tips


OTHER TIPS: Take some bug spray. If you stay on the manor side, there are jitneys to take you from the manor lobby to your room and back AND there are buses that take you from the Manor lobby to the beach/Riviera side. If you have mobility issues, the Riviera side is the best place to be because there are elevators in the Riviera Building and the Bamboo Building.

Room Tip: Book Banyan and Bamboo Grover for a new room!
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank UGAtraveler76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
G-Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2011

First thing's first...when we called in January 2011, we asked when construction would be finished because we wouldn't book til it was done....they LIED and told us April...when we got there May 4th, the construction was EVERYWHERE! It seemed like every Tom, Dick, and Harry had access to that resort because of the construction. Any people planning on going soon, the construction is no where near complete! On our 3rd day there, our room was robbed! Someone broke the french patio doors, got into the room, and stole $800 out of our safe. What did Sandals do about it? GAVE US THE FINGER! More or less called us liars...saying that it was merely allegations that we even had $800 in that safe and anyone broke in. The latch lock was hanging by a thread...there were hand prints and fingerprints all over that door! We took pictures of the damage and promised them that the photos would surface on Trip Advisor. My boyfriend will post the pics with his review! Management didn't even want to fix the door that was broken by the thief to get in! I never felt so violated in my entire life! To know that we had been being watched by someone for 3 days....knowing the times we would leave and come back to the room every single day! It took hours to get them to fix the door! The doors are NOT secure and anyone can pull them open with it being locked! If they had not fixed the doors, we would have left with 8 days remaining on our vacation there! They say they are not responsible for anything taken out of the safe...well, one of your employees or construction workers did not know whether the safe was locked or not but they still had the gull to break in there and steal. In the last year, we've spent over $10,000 on the same resort and even donated money to their "Sandals Foundation" and they still managed to dump on our heads! Well, we are done with Sandals and we are done with Jamaica!

My camera got misplaced on our second day there...a "good samaritan" picked it up and brought it to the main desk. They put in a safe and I did not get it back for 3 days! They would not even let me identify my own camera! A butler (whom I believe is a possible suspect for our robbery) had to identify it 3 days later. By the time I finally got it back, I was ready to go home because we had been robbed...and I didn't take another picture for the other 8 days we were there. The sewage backed up into room for 2 days before anyone came to fix it. The water began gushing out of the bathtub faucet with full force with all the knobs turned off one evening....took them 3 hours to get it fixed. We went into another couple's room on the Riviera side...they had a waterfall in their room...the air conditioner was steadily pouring water out from it onto the carpet...not to mention the fact that the floor was very soft in several areas. I noticed that there was an abundance of caterpillars, ants, and lizards IN our room.

I think the food improved a good bit from last year but the service was not good at all...nothing to brag about. We weren't attacked by too many people this year to buy drugs...although for the beach party, they had some mighty happy people toking it up on the beach. And we didn't see anyone snorting cocaine off the bar this year.

It's a very beautiful place. We wouldn't have gone there twice in less than a year if we didn't enjoy it the first time. We got close to a lot of people working there...many of them were no longer there this year. In closing, I do not recommend butler service to anyone. You can't trust anyone there, including the management. We are now officially done with Sandals!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank cbrouss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waco, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2011

We stayed May 7-14 on the Manor side conceige level. Great room within walking distance to the hotel. Service was excellent and everybody was as friendly as can be. Georgia was great. The Manor pool was excellent especially Ralson "tastes like chicken". The parties were absolutely wonderful. Will go back next year. For all you complainers all I can say is how you treat them they treat you back. Your on vacation why the rush. Never had any trouble with service at any restaurant , they always came back and asked us if we needed anything more.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank darleney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2011

I really enjoyed my stay@Sandal. i can't wait to come back and vist another one of the great resorts. I came to get married, and I actually did not have to worry about anything. The staff was overly helpful at making sure my needs as well as my fiance' needs were met before, during, and after our wedding ceremony. We plan to be back for our one year anniversary.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MBAmom10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frisco
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2011

Rooms are being renovated/updated, and the one we were in isn't one of the newly renovated. It was okay, but needed work. We were on the Riviera side, and the main pool on that side was also under construction. The PLUS is that it's the water side and the beach is beautiful! Chantel at the tour desk was terrific. Shakera at the Soon Come Back desk was GREAT and so friendly. Best of all, Annalisa with the Playmakers was a gem and absolutely always glad to see us when we'd cross paths. It's important to know that the main road in Ochos Rios separates the two sides of this resort. The resort map doesn't really label it that way. One has to use the shuttles back and forth. Restaurants are almost ALL outdoors, the Italian one was out of commission, getting new carpet. People at the buffet Marketplace were very, very pleasant...and always helpful. Think the constant construction noise was more than a little annoying though, so ask before traveling if that's going to get you down. Last of all...I had a real rude incident with the Gift Shop manager. She didn't realize it, and went the extra mile to make it up to me. Therefore, Heather Spencer moved from "least responsive" to "very responsive in my book. Way to go, Heather. But again....Annalisa was my favorite!! Lots and lots of steps at this resort...not for the elderly or physically challenged!!

Room Tip: Riviera will be best when construction stops.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank WPD481
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Property: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Address: Main Street | P.O. Box 771, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Ochi Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 529
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Situated on over 100 acres of lush hillside gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea•529 villas, luxury rooms and suites with fantastic mountain and ocean views•94 pools (7 large public pools), 22 whirlpools•16 dining options including room service for butler serviced suites•2 luxurious Red Lane Spas•Complimentary golf at Jamaica’s most elite and popular golf course, the Sandals Golf & Country Club (Transfers to the golf course are included)•Over 5,000 sq. feet of first class meeting and conference facilities•Recently completed US$60 million renovation/refurbishing exercise•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Grande Riviera ‘Jamaica’s Leading Resort’ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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