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“So much fun”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Clarksburg, Massachusetts
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“So much fun”
Reviewed 24 November 2013

This was our second trip to Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios. We went last year and had so much fun we rebooked our trip for this year and had as much fun if not more... The food was great, the atmosphere superb. We had the best bartenders ever, especially Alex and Tyrone at the swim up pool bar in Ochi Beach Club. If you make it there you have to see these two in action. They created such a memorable time for us and it was the favorite part of our trip. We also met a great playmaker named Romario and hope to see them all again next year.

We'll be going back again and again!!!!

Room Tip: I would definitely recommend the beach side as opposed to the side that is not on the ocean but it...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Susan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dublin, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
197 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Very disappointed with our stay here the hotel itself isn't the issue but some of the staff were very rude and actually seem to forget they were in work and the purpose of their job is to look after the customer,it was like there were no managers around and the staff were just let to do what they please..On the plus side it's a great location for some tours.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Eric M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Courtice, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2013

General: You will love this resort! We had an amazing time and would (and have) recommend this place to our friends.

This review is a bit overdue. My boyfriend and I stayed at Sandals Grande Riviera Ocho Rios in mid-March 2013. We are both in our mid-20's. This was our first Sandals trip, and our first caribbean trip together. It was a beautiful resort, with lots of things to see and do. I think it would be impossible to not find a restraunt or bar you liked here - there were 15 dining options! The staff were wonderful, very friendly and wanted you to have a great time. The resort itself is huge, and well maintained. You can see that they have put money and effort into the renovations, and it looks like a brand new resort.

Flight: We flew through Air Transat from Toronto to Montego Bay. Great uneventful flight. We would fly with Air Transat again for sure. Comfy seats, good in flight entertainment system, and decent food.

Arrival/airport: We arrived at the same time as a few other planes, and there was a bit of a lineup. Nothing TOO crazy and the line did move quickly. They had every lane open to process people through so that really helped. In short: it looks like a huge line, you might have to wait a bit but it goes by quicker than you would expect so don't let this stress you out at all. Try to make sure you have your forms and passports ready so it speeds everything up. You could feel the heat when you got off the plane, so definitely either change when you are at your departing airport or wear layers you can remove. I had on a hoodie over a short sleeved shirt so this was good, but it would have been nice to be in shorts for this part because of the temperature. Something to think about.

Once we got through there, it was easy to find the Sandals lounge - they have airport porters who will carry your bags but it's not that far - and they do expect a tip. We used the porters for taking the bags from the lounge to the bus, and tipped appropriately, but I don't think you need them to help you get the 10 steps to the Sandals lounge. The Sandals staff at the lounge were all very friendly welcoming us "home", and the lounge itself was very clean and well decorated. The bathrooms were nice. The lounge had Red Stripe beer, Rum Punch and Juice. We brought bubba mugs and filled up for the first half of our ride.

Ride to the Resort: As others have mentioned, it's about an hour and 15 min/ 1.5 hour ride with stops. We researched ahead and knew this going in, so it wasn't a big deal. The ride didn't actually feel that long, because the bus was air conditioned, the seats were comfy, and the driver was really friendly and gave us a tour of the Jamaican sights we were passing on the way. About half way through he will ask if you want to stop (we did) for bathroom breaks, and to buy beer/jerk chicken/snacks at a store on the way. The prices were kind of expensive for snacks ($6 CND for pringles) so if this will bother you you might want to pack some extra snacks in your carry on for this part of the trip if you think you will want them.

Arrival at the resort: We were staying on the beach side, but there are two sides to this resort. The bus stopped quickly and dropped everyone off on the Manor Side, which we noticed looked beautiful right away. Our first impression was that the grounds are nicely manicured, and lush. Very romantic looking.

Once we dropped everyone off on the manor side, we went over to the beach side of the property where we were dropped off, and greeted with cool wet towels, and rum punch. We immediately felt relaxed. We sat in comfy chairs in the lounge to check in, and they let us know our room wasn't quite ready, so they had someone escort us to get something to eat. They let us check our bags in at the front desk. Everyone was so friendly welcoming us "home". Neither of us had seen such genuinely friendly, happy people at a resort before. It was so nice!

After we had a quick lunch we went back to the front lobby, and found that our room was ready! They had someone carry our bags for us, which was nice.

The room: We stayed in the two story cottages (Hummingbird Hideaway) which are now club-level (weren't at the time, but now include club level/conceirge service and in-room bar which was awesome).

We absolutely loved these rooms. We were on the top floor (the cottages are only 2 stories high) which was nice because there was no one above us. I would stay in these rooms again, because the location was close to everything, but you didn't have to use an elevator to get anywhere and you didn't have tons of people nearby. The first floor also looked nice, but we had a small view of the ocean as well as of the beautiful gardens being on the second floor - so if you can request the 2nd floor.

The rooms were newly renovated, and have a plasma TV, good-size balcony with a table chairs and bathing suit drying rack, beautiful bathroom, a super comfy king-sized bed, dresser, coffee maker, and a fridge that was replenshed daily (they now also include in-room alcohol which is great). We loved the modern decor and mahogany furniture in these rooms. So clean and pretty looking. The air conditioner worked great! The room was nice and cool all the time.

Housekeeping: Our housekeeper was so nice! She always seemed to come when we were out, and the room was made up several times a day. Everything was spotless. She even surprised us with some flowers and towel animals a couple of nights. Every night the room was turned down. We did use the "do not disturb" button in the room if we were taking a nap, and they were really respectful of that always. Once or twice we accidentally left it on, and keep in mind if you do they won't come in and make up your room (because youre basically requesting them not to), so we made sure to turn it off after that!

Food: Phenomenial! There were so many options to choose from and we never went hungry. Our favorites were the italian restraunt Valentino's, the Jerk Chicken and nachos by the beach (during the day for a snack), the Manor restraunt (amazing ribs!), and China Doll.

Bars: We loved Jamie's sports bar by the beach. The staff there were so friendly and they never let our drinks go empty. We enjoyed playing pool here too. All of the bars had great service, good selection and friendly staff. If you don't know what you'd like ask them to recommend something - it always tastes good! We liked the Jamacian Smile drinks and Dirty Bananas! The beer here is Red Stripe. I would like if they had more "top tier" brands of alcohol available, but everything was name brand they were serving.

Scuba diving: we tried scuba diving with the PADI discover scuba diving resort course and we loved it!! This made our trip! We were able to go on 2 dives when we were there (because we didn't do the course until late in our trip). My advice is to do the course right away (you can only do it on non-arrival or departure days) and then try to go on a couple of dives throughout the week. Great experience and the staff at the diveshop are so friendly and nice. They made this a worry-free experience. We say a couple of rays, every colour of fish you can imagine and 2 sea turtles! The sea turtles were so cool!

Tours: Definitely go on the Red Locks tour which takes you to Dunn's River Falls! You can snorkel on this tour (we didn't because we had scuba'd the day before so it we were still excited by that), climb the water fall at Dunn's river falls, and afterwards there is a party with drinks and snacks! Very fun time! We also saw dolphins beside the catamaran on this tour which was awesome!!

Beach: The beach was well maintained and beautiful. We never had an issue getting a lounge chair. Keep in mind that this beach isn't huge but it was great for relaxing on and we enjoyed it. It is a man made white sand beach, and they take really great care of it so it always looked amazing.

Overall: Great resort! Very romantic atmosphere! We will definitely come back, and we aren't people who like to go to the same resort over and over - but we always say we will forever be comparing future trips to this one!

Room Tip: The Hummingbird Hideaway rooms in the 2-story cottages were perfect!
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Julia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winter Park, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

If you've never had the Butler Suites you've missed an over-the-top experience! They're nestled in the top part of the resort, up on the hills.....service by Anton and Marvin was beyond our expectations!! They will do everything and anything to assure you have the best time. Rating for those 2 was 5+. The manager of the property, Vishal (and I may be spelling his name wrong....sorry V) was on top of every request, suggestion, minor complaint (food) and always available. Staff of the resort could not be better...always smiling and greeting you.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EarlstonHenry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Thank you for your great review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're thrilled to see that you had such a wonderful time. Anton and Marvin are two of our best butlers and it sounds like they took excellent care of you during your stay. Vishal and the entire team will be happy to hear your review. We look forward to your return!
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Berlin, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2013

My husband and I traveled Nov. 8-15, 2013. We are in our low 60's and traveled with another couple. This is our 8th sandals trip.

We stayed in the Bamboo Grove building on the beach side (riviera). Very nice rooms with great garden views and a peck a boo view of the ocean. The only negative about our room was at night the music was very loud till 10:30 and then it got quiet the rest of the evening. Not a problem for us.

The resort gardens are absolutely gorgeous. Lush grown trees and flowers beyond beautiful. This resort has two sides, the beach side and the manor on the mountain, which you could ride a bus that runs every 5 minutes so you never have to wait long to travel on either side.
The beach is not very big and getting in the water at the beach club side was stoney . The water is not super clear but nice. The two pools on the beach side were small but nice with pool bars. The large pool was on the manor side.

The food was delicious in all the restaurants. Best pizza, Kimono's was great and my favorite was Sabrina's for dinner.

I would like to say special " thank you " to Rocco for his friendship and conversation. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Also, I would like to acknowledge others for their great service. At the restaurants were Paul and Troy at the pizzaria, Shana at the manor, Tyrone and Claude at Sabrina's, and Maralene at Valentino's for breakfast. Our housekeeper, Marjorie, met all our needs with pleasure. At the pool Anna was very helpful in getting my husband's ice cream. Tyrone at the come back desk put up with our getting the best deal for another trip. Great smile! Lindsey works hard for the sandals foundation, hugs and more hugs. Come back dinner-excellent!!!

If I have a negative for this resort its the many stairs. Way to many. We are healthy 60 year olds, but this resort is not wheel chair assessable.
As we enjoyed ourselves very much we will not be returning to this resort because we felt the staff as a whole lacked the service sandals is so excelled in giving their guests. Our friends were celebrating their anniversary and my husband's birthday that week and we did not receive any acknowledgement. Our others sandals trips gave us a dessert and champagne in our room. Also, the snorkeling is poor at ocho rios. We are still looking forward to our other sandals trips.

Hope this review is helpful.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lindavich7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
We're happy to read that your stay, overall, was very enjoyable. However, we always strive to offer amazing vacation experiences and anything less than perfect calls for improvement on our part. Usually our staff goes above and beyond to ensure that any special occasions celebrated are made extra special with us. Therefore, I'm surprised to learn this was not the case during your stay. Please accept my apologies. Thank you for your feedback. We hope that you will afford us a chance to offer you a much better stay in the future.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

My wife and I just got back from spending a week in Ja. Spent 4 nights at Sandals and 3 nights at Secrets St. James in Montego Bay. There are 2 parts to the resort: The Manor is across the street on a hill overlooking the beach and the other is The Riviera with some rooms facing the beach and others facing the gardens, Both sides have restaurants and activities that are open to all guests and getting around is relatively easy as there are regular shuttles to move you around. I recommend staying in the club level rooms as there is free wi-fi and a stocked mini bar that's replenished daily. the landscape/grounds, food and staff are excellent.....special mention for Nadera at the Netune restaurant and Lovell at the Reef restaurant who took great care of us. The Club room staff was wonderful also especially Verona and Lydia. All in all it was a wonderful experience for my first trip to Sandals and I will be going back.......

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ilawie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
We're so glad that you had such an incredible stay at Sandals Grande Riviera. Thank you for your review. It seems as if every moment of your stay was enjoyable. I will be sure to share your comments with our staff.They'll be so proud to hear of your kind mention.

We hope to welcome you back soon for an even better experience!
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Canton, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2013

I traveled to Sandals Riviera Beach resort for my cousin's wedding for 4 nights. We stayed in the Riviera Beach building overlooking the water. We had a fantastic time, but I expected more from Sandals since it advertises the highest quality and service.

What I loved:
Rush at the the Riviera swim up bar was amazing! He was the most fun employee! Play Zumi, Zumi at the pool bar with him....so much fun! I saw him working from morning until dark there everyday and he still had the most fun energy all that time.

The beach party was fun at the Ochi Beach Club. Nice buffet on the beach and entertainment.

The steel drum band was amazing! Watch them in the ampitheater on the beach side.

Junior at the Japanese teppanyaki restaurant was a lot of fun.

Jermaine, the bartender at the wedding, was fun. He went out of his way to seek out our party the next night where we were having dinner to say hello and make sure we had fun the night before.

Things I didn't love:
The beach is very small. However, it was well kept.

There were several occasions where there were no towels available on the beach or at the pool.

We had a fridge in our room that was supposed to be filled daily with water/pop/juice. We had to call nightly to ask for more water because it was never filled.

Paper products in the rooms were the cheapest around. Toilet paper reminded me of single ply Scott tissue.

I had to speak with the front desk 3 different times to work out a problem with check out times. I was assured that they would fix it and have the information sent to my room.

My cousin, the bride, had several problems with wedding planning. Things that were planned and taken care of before they arrived at the resort were not. As Sandals advertises stress free "weddingmoons" I was upset for her as she was completely stressed out and in tears because it just wasn't happening that way.

Other things:
Sandals caters to couples, so if you're going to share a room with a friend, there are no rooms offering separate beds. Everyone gets a king size bed.

The second floor, oceanview of the Riviera building is right above Jamie's bar. Jamie's is a lot of fun, but if you want to go to bed before 1am, do not stay in this part of the building. It's VERY loud.

This property is MASSIVE. There are plenty of stairs and lots of walking. But the shuttles come often.

All in all, the trip was nice. I just expected more out of the Sandal's name. I think I'll stick to cruising in the future.

Room Tip: The view from the oceanview rooms in the Riviera building was nice. However, the second floor did n...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gasie01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this review, 23 November 2013
Thank you for your review. We're glad that you had a great time at our resort. Your feedback means a lot to us and we will use it to evaluate all aspects of our resort. We want to ensure that your next stay is an above 5-star experience.

Happy Travels!
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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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