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“Honeymoon April 1st, 2012 - April 8th, 2012”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
St. Stephen, NB
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Honeymoon April 1st, 2012 - April 8th, 2012”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

My husband and I spent our Honeymoon at Sandals and really have nothing bad to say about the resort! This was our first time travelling outside of Canada and could not have picked a more suiting destination for being first time travelers. I will say that this resort is very much for people who are looking to spend quality time with one another; we are pretty young and most days were kind of bored because most people keep to themselves or the group they travelled with, it wasn't a spot for partying or meeting new people so we wished we had gone with a few people, would have been more fun; the privacy was great at times but 7 days of only really being with one person, newlyweds or not haha it was a little dragging (this is our fault, not the resorts lol).. There were bonuses to it being kind of low key and that was that the pools were never overcrowded and if you arrived at the restaurants at the time they opened you would get the best seats, no lines (rarely).. Jamaican people are so friendly and genuine!
Arrival: The next time we go on vacation I definitely want to book with a resort that is closer to the airport. We didn't mind the trip to the resort because it was a sunny day and our bus driver was hilarious and made sure to point out all the things we drove past that we wouldn’t have noticed otherwise; however, the drive back was killer (2hr bus ride when you know you have a long day of travel back home ahead of you sucked). Yes, the gentleman who totes your bags to the bus and loads them will want a tip, big deal, don't be cheap and grumpy about it, they are working hard and deserve a couple bucks! Same with the bus drivers, if you are lucky enough to have a great driver like we did on the way there you won’t mind throwing him 5 bucks. Once we arrived the check in process was a breeze, (no idea what these people complain about on here, I think some people really think they should be treated like royalty when they are on vacation and really ruin their own trip by knit-picking about everything) the woman who welcomed us was super sweet and all we had to do was fill out a couple sheets of paper, mostly so they can make sure to call you the night before your departure to tell you what time the bus comes to take you to the airport (they send up a sheet of paper also telling you when to have your bags ready, etc). The only negative comment I have is that they really should give you a tour or a map when you check in, we should have gone to the orientation but never ended up, so I suggest doing the orientation because we had no clue where anything was. Also with the long day of travelling when we got there we really just wanted to take a snack back to the room and chill out but there was nothing available that was quick and easy so that was frustrating on the first day.
Room: Loved our room! Huge comfortable bed, very nice clean bathroom with a very large mirror, balcony with a garden view (another complaint I read on here was that you couldn't open the doors, I'm not sure how people survive if they cannot solve simple problems like this! If you step out onto the balcony and move the table over a little more to one side then the doors open no problem, really took us like 2 seconds to solve that issue haha) Our A/C worked amazing our whole stay and those blinds keep 100% of the sunlight out so we found ourselves sleeping in every day! No noise woke us up at all, there were movement noises because obviously people are still working while you're sleeping but it was never enough to wake us from sleep!
Swimming: I loved there were many different options as to where you could spend the afternoon to swim. It was never crowded anywhere! The swim ups were awesome, music playing and the water was always warm! The ocean was also warm and so clear it was amazing! Yes, the beach chairs do fill up fast but if you aren't lazy and walk to the different pools or beach spots we always found a couple free chairs somewhere! And the towels were gone a couple times but there were many different places to get towels and they were always picking up the dirty ones and re-filling them and even if we didn’t get a towel one day it didn’t bother us that much, the sun dries you very quickly! The swim-up bar at the Ochi beach club was our favorite. There were a couple times when we had to wait a long time to get a drink but when you’re on vacation you really shouldn’t be in a rush for everything, you really need to get on Jamaican time and that is laid back and kinda slow haha
Food: We loved the food. Bayside was our favorite, we ate there twice for supper and thought it was better than Kelly's where we needed a reservation! Bayside had more on the menu and it was delish. They had the best selection of pastries, yummmm! The Bayside also has the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet which were both awesome, no wait to eat or order and a great selection of yummy fruits. Most places you eat outside the birds will be waiting for you to drop something for them to scoop up (I can see where this would gross some people out and upset them but I am a positive person and it takes more than a little bird to get under my skin, they were doves and actually kind of pretty, I would trade them for pigeons or seagulls any day haha)
Room Service: No matter what time we decided to leave our room, be it day or evening our room was always turned down, and a few times we had a pretty bunny or puppy made out of towels and flowers with a note from housekeeping. Make sure to bring some items to leave for these ladies in your room, they really deserve it! Someone came by every day at 10am to stock our fridge with water, juice and pop, which I didn't really expect because people on here had said they never had their fridge stocked and called about water that never arrived, this just was not the case with our room at all and we just had the basic room.
Overall: Loved the people in Jamaica. I was really impressed by this resort and really wouldn’t change anything, except maybe having a map of the grounds. My husband and I would go on the pier in the evenings, they have lounge chairs and porch swings that were just awesome to curl up in and look out at the horizon, we were always shocked that no one was out there but happy that we always had our spot every evening! We also had a room credit of $175 for the spa and enjpyed a couple's massage, do this! It was great and much needed after wedding planning! Could have fallen asleep and the ladies were soo nice! They will con you into buying products though haha, and it is hard to say no to them!
If you decide to go to this resort I would say that if you go there with over the top expectations of being waited on hand and food and you don’t have a butler suit you might be disappointed. I think you should slow down and take the time to enjoy the place and everything it has to offer, if you stress yourself out over chipped paint, cracked sidewalks, waiting for a delicious meal or not having a chair at the very second you want one you won’t have a good time. Have patience and appreciate the beauty of the place you’re staying! Be grateful because not everyone gets to experience something like that! If you have this attitude you will have a great vacation and you won’t want to leave!
Cheers from New Brunswick, Canada

Room Tip: We would have been happy anywhere but enjoyed our garden view room, we were close to the elevators a...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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7 Thank Katie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lancaster, PA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

This is my first review ever. I read all the great reviews for this place....and I cannot fathom how our experience was so different. Maybe I'm way more picky than the average person....but I wanted to try to clue people in on what they are really paying for here. Before I get to the details...if you just want free food and alcohol and could care less about anything else....you will have no complaints!

We are currently still at Sandals Grande Riviera....we leave tomorrow and we CAN NOT WAIT. We came here 8 days ago for our wedding. The airport was a mess, which I expected, but the Sandals Lounge area was nice. Bus ride was a little scary but entertaining, and our bus driver was hilarious. The heckling started the minute you got off the plane, but we expected that also.

We got to the resort and waited 4 hours for our room. They lead us to a snack bar which was fine, but we quickly learned a Jamaican "minute" is equal to an hour. We were hot, and exhausted from travel...and frankly just wanted to get to our room. Our room was an oceanview( because when I stay somewhere ocenview...I want to wake up and see it...) but we were on the floor without a balcony (ask about that when you reserve!!!) View was blocked but trees also. I didnt even ask to be moved because trust me- within 5 minutes of being here, you will see what that gets you)

The food here was mediocre at best. I'm not a food snob by any means....but it all tasted like food that was straight out of plastic and reheated. There were a lot of large weird buffets filled with yucky food. We finally had a good meal at the Dockside place, which we had to make a reservation for on Saturday, to eat on Tuesday. If you come here anyway...the snack bar at the Ochi Beach Club was pretty good.

Our wedding was fine because we wanted a calm, quiet and short ceremony. The scenery was what we really cared a about.

One part of the resort- and NOT a small part (an entire beach/pool/side of the resort)- was closed each day because of a "photo shoot" for a magazine. Would have been cool to have a heads up on that. Entire resort packed onto one side of the beach...not enough chairs etc.

One of the worse parts of the entire trip was the relentless hackling for you to go to the spa, or play games, or register for a photo shoot etc. I really wanted to tell them they should focus on what we already paid for....it was ridiculous. Most of the staff is friendly and nice, and they just mock you most of the time (which they think you don't catch on to....lol) They either help you, or straight up ignore you.

The spa here was gross. Massage was great....because it's a massage...but the spa was not spa looking in any stretch of the imagination! Creeped me out a little to be honest.

We are small town, humble, easily pleased people..we just really expected more for what we paid for. I recommend this resort for 21 year olds, or anyone who just wants pretty scenery and doesn't care about much else. We were ready to leave after two days. To top it off, our return flight was canceled (OUR TRAVEL AGENT CALLED AND TOLD THE FRONT DESK AND THEY NEVER TOLD US) Our travel agent called our room directly and we had to go inform the front desk...which of course, they did not like) I'm too scared to ever try another Sandals Resort!!! They have a great marketing campaign, but that's about it.

Room Tip: Oceanside WITH A BALCONY (make sure you specify that!)
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Brandy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, 19 April 2012
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We were married at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica on March 21, 2012 and it was the most perfect week ever! We were in a villa - gorgeous - and much more than we expected. The suite, #7229, was called the Tropical Paradise Estate Poolside One Bedroom Butler Suite. There are tons of pictures of suites and villas on the Sandals website but nothing as massive and lovely as this. I cried when we arrived and again on the day we left. - paradise! Our suite took up the entire first floor of the villa. Upstairs were 2 other suites which we were supposed to share the pool with but no one ever used it but us.

BUTLERS: When we arrived we were brought to a lovely concierge reception room where we sipped yummy rum punch for a few minutes until our butlers arrived to collect us. They took us right to our villa in a golf cart and the luggage came separately. They offered to unpack and iron for us which we declined. They gave us a cell phone so that at any time we could contact one of them for whatever we needed. We rarely used it because they anticipated our every need so perfectly. Sometimes, they would call us in the middle of the day just to ask if they could get us anything, take us anywhere, or just to make sure we were happy. We had 2 main butlers (Keone Israel & Nadine Miller), plus a beach butler (Olmondo) - FABULOUS people - all of them! They were wonderful and treated us like family - as did every staff member we encountered on the resort.

VILLA: Our villa was huge and beautiful, granite everywhere, lovely furniture, super comfy bed, big beautiful bathroom, fantastic kitchen, stocked to the nines with everything you could ever drink. And every day the butlers would bring a special snack treat and leave it in the fridge just in case we needed a snack (jerk shrimp, fruit & cheese tray, cold cut tray, etc).

WEDDING: We eloped so were not travelling with anyone so Sandals provided witnesses for us (our wedding planner and another lady). The wedding was handled perfectly by our wedding planner. The resort photographer did an amazing job on our pictures. When we got back to our villa, our wedding cake was all wrapped nicely and in our fridge - great midnight snack with bubbly.

FOOD: The food in the restaurants was great. Lots of it, hot and really good. It helped too that one of our butlers would pick us up with the golf cart and escort us right to our table every night. The butlers made all our reservations for restaurants, spa, cabanas, etc. Whichever restaurant we ate in our butler made sure our table was beautifully decorated with flowers - such a treat.

ENTERTAINMENT: The nightly entertainment is fantastic! Extremely talented singers, dancers, comedians.

RESORT: The resort itself is massive, so much to see and so beautiful - truly a garden of eden. We enjoyed as much of it as we could and plan to go back again. If you don't have a butler, not to worry, there are these great little trucks called Jitneys that travel constantly up and down the hillside and all over the resort - non-stop service and people seemed to love it.

LOVE IT! I could go on for days about Sandals. It is a gorgeous 5-star resort and our butlers made it the experience of a lifetime!

Room Tip: Get a butler - worth every penny and more!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank HollyHaligonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

My husband and I travel with a group of friends every year to different places, and I have to say that, we had a ball in Jamacia at Sandals. We had a gorgeous suite, with our own private pool that had a wonderful view of the ocean and the resort. The room was clean and stocked with our favorite drinks. The food was good and the drinks were excellent. The service was great, we made a couple of new friends. I can honestly say, from the time we arrived until the time we left Jamaica, Sandals treated our group with a smile at all times. I would definitely recommend this resort for a great vacation.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Ayanna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 April 2012

I just returned from sandals where my girlfriend and i spent a week. as a person who has traveled and being of jamaican heritage the entire staff was very accomadating courteous. But like most vacations there was some dissapointing times but the staff more than made up for some of their fellow workers indescretions and if anyone wants to go to sandals i would highly recomend they go to the grand riviera and when u do make sure to say hello to chakera, ingrid, pateria,jason, garfield, kamika, aleshia, also the entertainment team anton,annalise,joel,dereen, odane and all the rest who made this a memorable vacation. i hope to make it back next year

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Winston F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

My wife and I spent an anniversary there and had a wonderful time. We had a room with a balcony and a beautiful view of the ocean. The room was clean, comfortable and had a nice size bathroom. The food was ok. The drinks were very good and had great service through out the resort was try nice. We recommend the catamaran ride to Dun's River Falls. From the time we arrived until the time we left Jamaica, Sandals treated us with a smile at every turn. We will be back.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank bclemons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

As usual Sandals provides a resort that is clean, with plentiful food and beautiful manicured lawns and grounds. I have to admit confusion about a "luxury" resort chain not providing microwaves in the rooms, when even budget hotels like the Red Roof or Howard Johnson do! This left my husband asking staff to warm in a pan a meal, which they did not infact warm at all, but simply served on a hot plate. Need I mention Red Roof also provides free Wi-fi Internet, which Sandals charged $14 US for one day! Outrageous! Also, I found that there were several efforts to "nickel and dime" guests, by providing 3 antiquated internet kiosk (one of which did not work), that would only work when it collected money, but would freeze or not load web pages during the Internet session. Also, there was no posting on the in-room phones for a charges for local calls, so to my surprise I was met with a $20 US bill for 7 calls, none of which were longer than 7 minutes. The staff were pleasant, accommodating and courteous for the most part. Particularly the IT manager who promised to waive the charge for the useless internet kiosk. The bathroom sink fell apart and I had to have it serviced. The room was otherwise clean and well appointed. I have been to Sandals twice and will likely go again, knowing that I need to plan ahead for some major inconveniences, because the staff, resorts, and restaurants are worth it if the price is right. I had to call the front desk myself to remind them of the day of my departure, as they did not provide departure instructions as is customary, to my room. Having spent $13,000 at the Negril site 3 years ago for my honeymoon, and having a spectacular experience, this was a let down. Clearly if you do not pay for a premiere room, you get a mediocre experience.


The strong points: The restaurants, pleasant staff, beautiful grounds and scenery.
The weak points: Lack of Internet or overly expensive internet service, lack of in-room microwave, maintainence issues in the bathroom.

Room Tip: Stay on the Seaside as the Manor side is across the street on a mountain, and you would need to take...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jillawoina
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 & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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