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“Return visit to SGR”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 1 December 2013

We were in SGR from the 17 till the 24 of November 2013.This was our second visit to Sandals Grand Riviera. The last was 2 years go when my wife and I had a great time. This occasion was equally as enjoyable.
To those who have not been there, the resort is huge .....so much so that it comprises of the Riviera (beach) side and the Manor House (hill) side.
We had a Butler Room on the Manor House side , which was lovely. Our Butlers were Nicola and Kemeshia. They were wonderful. We were given a mobile phone and were in contact with our Butlers constantly satisfy our whims and fancies. They were very very helpful in arranging our dinner bookings, arranging our pickups ( sometimes driving the buggies themselves to pick us up), bring our breakfast in our villa etc.
The Staff at SGR are very , very friendly. They are always helpful and engaging. I have a small story to tell which shows the efforts taken for customer care. We vacated our villa on our last day at 11am. As our flight was at 830pm, we requested and were kindly assigned a different villa to change and freshen up before leaving for the airport. After getting back to The UK and unpacking, my wife noticed that a ring given to her by my parents on our wedding day (of great sentimental value) was not on her finger. All hell broke loose as we looked everywhere to try find the said ring, but to no avail. I then phoned SGR and spoke directly to Vishal, who is the Manager of The Manor House , explaining the situation. By this stage, if I am being truthful , my wife and I were resigned to the fact that we would not see the ring ever again. Vishal set into action by speaking to the staff who were in the villa after we left but no one came across a ring. Vishal even went to the villa himself to make sure that nothing was missed. He phoned us back later saying that nothing was found and for us, we just accepted that that was it. We thanked Vishal for his endeavours and efforts and were just thankful that he tried. A day later, my wife was just putting away the jewellery pouch ( which she checked when she was frantically trying to find the said ring) and there it was, in the pouch. We were overjoyed in finding it .......it was unbelievable . We then emailed Vishal to tell him the good news and he phoned us back immediately to say hat he was very glad that the ring was recovered.
We are returning again in February 2014.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Toothfarrier
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 reviewResponded 4 December 2013

We're so thrilled to read of your incredible stay at Sandals Grande Riviera. We're even more excited to hear that you were so impressed with our level of service. We always strive to uphold the highest levels of service and quality and we appreciate you taking notice. Thank you for your review.

We look forward to seeing you back in 2014!

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4,450 - 4,456 of 8,680 reviews

Reviewed 30 November 2013

Didn't realize there were two areas to this resort which was okay because you could pretty much get a shuttle every 10 minutes or so to go back and forth. I myself was glad I was on the oceanside instead of the hillside. Most things were on the oceanside but there were 4 restaurants, a grill & pizzeria and a huge pool on the hillside and all the rest of the restaurants were on the oceanside. I like the beach that's why I preferred that side. Although the beach was not that big but there was excellent waitress service on the beach side. We rarely had to go to the sports bar for a drink because our favorite waitress Annalee was always there when we needed a drink. There were a lot of stair walking down to the beach and then up to the restaurants and back down again for people who may not be able to handle going up and down stairs all the time. It was good exercise to work off all that food and drink. Overall I had a great time and really had nothing to complain about. The food at all 3 of the grills was fantastic for daytime eating. We never did make it to any of the buffets for lunch. Great burgers, jerk chicken, coconut shrimp...lots to choose from for lunch.

Room Tip: We had an oceanview room but I know it is always nice to have concierge service which means there is...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Waligirl
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 reviewResponded 4 December 2013

Thank you for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We always strive to create amazing vacations for our guests and we're thrilled to read we were able to do that during your stay. Our team will be so happy to hear of your kind words.

We all hope to welcome you back very soon!

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Reviewed 30 November 2013

We have checked into Sandals Grande Riviera for Thanksgiving week 2013, in a one bedroom suite villa, through the timeshare section of the property. The one bedroom suite has a king size bed, one bath, small living room, and small adjacent kitchenette space with a bar size fridge and coffee maker (no microwave). The fridge was stocked with water and juices, no alcohol.

Once we cleared customs, we turned left and the Sandals office is right there, they will take and tag your luggage, and you can get a beer or cold water drink while you wait for your bus driver to call you. Ride from the airport was about two hours, included in the cost of the accommodations, but it is customary to tip the driver, as well as the luggage boys from the airport (they will be very explicit about that). Driver usually makes a stop where you can buy a beer and eat some local jerk chicken, which we did, but it was a bit pricey, if not to hungry, wait until you get to the resort (we paid $20 with tip for two beers and small portions of jerk chicken).

Once at the resort, we were checked in pretty fast. When using the timeshare, there are no butler services included, we could have added that for $1,000 more per week but decided not to, which turned out fine. Butlers are very nice and they make reservations for dinner (although only one restaurant, Kymono's, requires one), they could surprise you with breakfast on your patio or arrange flower petals on your beach chairs and dinner tables, they give you rides in their golf carts when you need it or they call you a jitney, etc. However we did not feel like we lacked on anything by not having one, and in fact we met a few folks who were running away from their butlers, who kept harassing them with phone calls and looking for them diligently at the beach, it was actually pretty funny.

The timeshare villas are all located up the hill in "butler village". The entire resort is very vertically set up, so it may be difficult for those with mobility issues. There are two sections - a beach section (Riviera Seaside and Ochi Beach Club) and the hill section where we were (Great House and butler village). The one bedroom villas in the timeshare sections are four villas in a building, two downstairs and two upstairs, and they share a private pool each. We never used it, we took off and spent the day at the beach or main pool.

Jitneys can be called by calling the front desk or dialing the phone from the jitney section, and they will come get you and take you to Great House, where the lobby, restaurants, and main pool are. Some butler village villas are within walking distance down the hill to the Great House, others are further away. Going down the hill is easy, coming up is a bit of a problem especially after dinner and drinks, but you can get a jitney from in front of the Great House, or call your butler to take you, if you have one. Shuttles come every few minutes and connect Great House and the beach section, with two stops at the beach section - Ochi Beach Club and Riviera Seaside.

The resort is very spread out, and vertically set up, and there are many stairs everywhere - but with the jitneys and buses and without special mobility issues, we did fine.

Tipping is not allowed at the resort, we have tipped our maid - you must leave tip next to her card for her to take it. Maid service was excellent and every day she made another towel figure for us. We have also seen people slipping away tips for excellent service, but I hear it can threaten an employee's job if they are caught. The staff here is amazing, best I have ever seen, they remember our names what we eat, everything we talked with them about.

Foodwise: best breakfast is Valentino's a la carte. Breakfast and lunch buffets suffered from cold food, flies, and bees. Avoid the buffets at all cost. Best lunch for us was ordering fresh made food at Mariner's Grill (during the day you can sit at the wood tables on the beach which at night become Neptune's restaurant). Dinners are very good, the best were Kymono's, Manor House and China Doll. I found Valentino's to be subpar and couldn't really call that authentic Italian food. Others have spoken highly of it. Portions are very small which is great, because you can always ask for more, and you are not wasting any. Try jerk chicken at the Mariner grill, sirloin steak and curried goat at Manor House, and anything at China Doll. Also Bella Napoli pizza next to the Riviera pool is very good, and the guys there are great. I was disappointed with food and service at Dino's pizzeria by the Great House.

China Doll was my far our favorite. The team there - Ramona, Gellian, Kerry-Ana, Jeffrey, Varnal, Jamie, Durrant, Carleen at the bar - we got to know all of them and it was like family going back every time. Also the playmakers - Taneisha and Joseph - went out of their way with energy and service. Kirk at the Bella Napoli pizzeria, Milton at Manor House, Andre at Jaime's bar, Julia at the front desk - it's like the Oscars, you want to mention everyone's names but still forget some, you can't thank them enough.

The vegetation is luxuriant and so beautiful, like living in a botanical garden. The noise of the forest at night in insane - crickets, critters, tree frogs, very loud like in the amazon, we enjoyed it, it was relaxing to hear. There are bugs, plenty of them, and mosquitos, bring your repellant and use it, I have had over 20 bites and they are itching like crazy.

Chocolate night on Wednesday is lots of fun. The atmosphere at Great House pool is nice and overall more upscale than the beach area. The beach are has two-three different areas, the one in the middle by Riviera hotel suites is guarded by a dig/dock, so water is clear and calm for swimming, and snorkeling is great, you can feed bread to the fish and they will all gather around you. The other side Ochi Beach Club has nicer padded chairs but there is not much of a breeze and the beach is not as nice. Overall the beach is narrow and short, no place to walk on the beach for leisure walks.

Would we return? Absolutely, with lots of repellant for bugs, and outside the rainy season (we did get a bit of rainy days).

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank aprata
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 reviewResponded 4 December 2013

Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're so happy to read that you were pleased with our gorgeous property, delicious food and friendly staff. We strive to create amazing experiences for our guests. Therefore, your comments make us proud and confirm that we are on the right track!

We look forward to welcoming you back for another fantastic vacation in the near future!

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Reviewed 28 November 2013

My husband and I stayed at SGR from Nov 13-22, 2013. Although we enjoy new travel experiences, this is the first time we have ever returned to the same resort. With so many wonderful places to see around the world, it certainly says something about this property and MOST importantly, the staff and service.

We booked on the Manor side in a Butler Village Honeymoon Poolside villa room and requested our butlers upon booking, but unfortunately one had moved on to Sandals Turks & Caicos. Our disappointment was short lived when we met Shawn and Scott. Since this was not our first Sandals butler experience, it was difficult not to make comparisons, but suffice it to say, these two gentlemen exceeded our expectations in every way and have become our favourite butlers. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawn and Scott for your stay.

We quickly settled into a comfortable rhythm, rising early to enjoy coffee on the patio, then off to either breakfast at China Doll (a butler service perk) or room service served by Shawn or Scott, followed by settling in to loungers by the Manor pool. After lunch at either Sabrina's, Dino's pizzeria or something served poolside by our butlers, we usually ended up back in our room to enjoy the shared pool. We basically had the Villa's semi-private pool to ourselves during our entire stay.

Our last visit was a year-and-a-half ago and there have been some subtle changes. Poolside loungers and Cabanas are not longer reserved by your butler, but we had no difficulty finding spots on our own. If the towel station was empty, we simply asked the nearby attendant and he quickly brought some more.

We also noticed the distinct absence of Management at various events (Manager's cocktail party, Sandals Select cocktail party, etc.). In the past we have enjoyed the opportunity to speak with managers about their resort and staff. One notable exception was a gentleman we saw constantly throughout the Manor side, interacting with all levels of staff. We now know it was Vishal, the property manager and our only regret was not introducing ourselves to commend him on the operation.

As for the resort highlights, there is little I can add to what previous posters have mentioned. Yes, there are two distinct sections to the resort, but jitneys, butler golf carts and shuttle buses ferry guests around quite efficiently.

Dining: We like to dine out and I must stay, there wasn’t a bad meal the entire trip. Our favourite restaurants are Valentino’s (prepare to enjoy the experience at a relaxed pace), China Doll, The Reef Terrace and Kelly's. I also enjoyed the sushi at Soy.

Entertainment: We enjoyed the nightly entertainment, especially the Silver Birds steel drum band and musical performer Peter Lloyd, a very talented gentleman!

Staff: I would be remiss not to mention the incredible staff we met - Davion at Kelly's, Brendan at The Reef, Renick and Alex at the Riviera poolside bar, Anthaniel at Miss Ethel's, hostess Marvelene at The Reef and Valentinos's, Darren and Basil at the Manor swim-up bar, Jennifer and Donette at the spa and Topal at the Soon Come Back Desk.

We enjoyed our time at SGR so much that we’ve planned to return the same time next year!

Room Tip: Manor side is quiet, but the Riviera side is closer to the beach.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank K-Mark
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 reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're so happy that you had another great stay with us. It was a pleasure hosting you and we truly appreciate your comments and observations. We can't wait to welcome you back next year for yet another amazing experience!

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Reviewed 28 November 2013

We are no strangers to Sandals having got engaged, married and more recently in March this year celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary all at The Grande St Lucia. We love the sandals brand and resorts and without a doubt the difference between them and the competition is the incredible staff they have that go above and beyond to make sure your holiday is the best.

Vishal the manager of The Grande Riviera is a superb example of this, Grande Riviera runs smoothly and efficiently under his management and he leads from the front, always smiling and making sure the guests are all having a good time. He takes the time to walk round his resort to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves; he obviously takes great pride in his job and wants to make sure that The Sandals brand continues to be the best. He always had time and made sure he came to say hello or shared a laugh with us on a daily basis, please pass on our thanks to him for making our holiday so memorable.

There are some other members of The Riviera team that I would like to thank as they are a credit to Vishal and his hotel and I would be grateful if you could pass on these names, so that they get the recognition that they deserve, they all work so hard to make things so good but in particular please thank the following people.

Jermaine and Dwight our butlers were quite simply the best I have ever experienced, how they can possibly look after so many rooms on a daily basis and keep things together is amazing, nothing was too much trouble for them, they are exceptional, thank them both from the bottom of our hearts.

Romona (China Doll) always smiling and always working

Jamie (China Doll) brilliant waiter and general entertainer

Anthony (China Doll) the tallest and happiest guy I have ever met

Marlon (Lifeguard) always happy to make sure you are having a good day, should talk to more guests he is a great advert for the company

Basil, Darren and Frank (Poolside Bar) hilarious and always there to make sure you have a drink to cool down and are having a good time

Chevanise I think she is a an intern (Poolside) lovely smile and great service

Junior (Breakfast) and Missian (Breakfast/lunch restaurant) true ambassadors for the resort, their meet and greet skills are the best

Keep up the good work Sandals and thank you for yet another great holiday.

Hope fully see you next year if the prices don’t get too high!!!!!!

Thanks again.

Andy and Denise

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Andy S
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 reviewResponded 30 November 2013

We're delighted to read about your amazing vacation at Sandals Grande Riviera. It's so encouraging when guests post about how much they enjoyed their time with us and the genuine hospitality of our friendly staff. We're glad that you had such a wonderful stay, and we thank you for your review.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year!

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Reviewed 27 November 2013

This was our 11th Sandals, and 7th time at this resort, so obviously, we love it here. I had a credit from hurricane Sandy last year, and we had booked a villa like we normally do, but the price on the Great House room dropped for a few days several months ago, and it was such a great deal that I changed our booking. With the deal we got, I really don't have much room to complain, and by switching to the Great House room, I saved $1000. However, we did have a few hiccups through the week, so I don't feel I can give this trip a full 5 rating. I don't feel like I should give a 5 unless everything is absolutely perfect. However, it is definitely still our favorite resort. We didn't want to go home, and we would go there again in a heartbeat! We actually booked it already! : )

We landed a few minutes early, and we were through the Immigration line in 10-15 minutes. I was really happy we didn't pay for Club Mobay, but the Sandals lounge was completely under construction, so there was nowhere to sit. And only 1 of the 2 bathroom stalls were working. When I left the bathroom, they called us to our bus, so having nowhere to sit wasn't really an issue. I actually got car sick on the ride to the resort which has never happened before. The driver was going really fast, and we got there in about an hour and a half even though it rained toward the end of the ride. That might be what did it, or it is possibly because I was really hungry. I never would have said this before, but if you get motion sickness, I'd take something.

We were lucky enough to be upgraded to "our" villa when we got there that we have been in 5 times before. We were given the villa, but no Concierge or Butler service. At most Sandals, I wouldn't have thought anything of that, but with the whole hillside being Butler now, I was kind of surprised that we were put up there without one. Our first day, our fridge didn't get filled since the Butlers do that now (and it was almost empty when we arrived), and there were very few jitneys running. Once we asked to get the fridge filled, they were better about it the rest of the week. The number of available jitneys got better through the week, as well. Maybe they were short staffed when we got there? I'm not sure, but be sure to look for Carlton the jitney driver! Not only did he remember us, but he remembered our room number from a year ago!!! The staff here are amazing!!!

As far as the hillside being all Butler, I wasn't happy when they made the change, and after being there, I'm still not too thrilled about it. Since our room was up there, and they didn't give us a Butler, I had to explain to many people throughout the week why we didn't have a Butler. I got sick of explaining it. Guests would ask where our room was, and then the next question was usually "who are your Butlers?". And it doesn't really seem like we were missing much either because almost everyone we met were disappointed with their Butlers. My advice to you is, if you are not happy with your Butlers, speak up ASAP. If you wait to complain until the last day, there's nothing they can do for you. There's also a lot more traffic on the hillside now that so many Butler carts are up there all the time. Jitneys would drive us down the path, and be blocked by two Butler carts in front of them. We couldn't hear them from our room, but we were almost at the very top of the hill. If you were further down, you would probably hear them. And, my biggest frustration with the Butlers is that if their cart is empty, and they're driving down to the Great House, they will not pick you up if you are walking down the hill. Really? In the past I understood because only the highest rooms had Butlers. Now, all of the villas are supposed to have them (yes, except for us, lol, but they didn't know that), and it would take 2 seconds for guests to hop on the back when they're already headed there. If they're not getting a tip from you, apparently they can't be bothered. I thought it was kind of rude.

As far as being "second rate" since we didn't have Butlers, that was not an issue at all! Bartenders, waiters, playmakers, etc, none of them care if you have a Butler! Or even know whether or not you have one. We still got great service from the rest of the staff even though we didn't have a Butler.

I really don't find Butler service necessary. The main thing I was going to use them for was to request the liquor we wanted in our room, and for room service. I found out on our last day that we could still get room service, and we got it around midnight one night, and it was quick, the order was correct, and it was really good! But, your Butler doesn't really bring you that anyway. And apparently you're only allowed to request one special bottle of liquor in your room? That was the first I heard of that. We bought a bottle of Cocomania at the incoming Duty Free store at the airport since we weren't sure we'd have liquor in the room, so if there's something you really want, you might want to purchase it there since you can only ask your Butler for one.

We booked again for 2015 at the Soon Come Back desk, and booked our usual villa, so we will have a Butler then. Perhaps I will like it better once we have one for ourselves, but overall, I preferred the hillside the old way without Butlers. In my opinion, there are too many Butler rooms now. If everyone has a Butler, it's not "special" anymore. I will definitely update you about our experience in 2015. : ) My booking didn't go directly to my travel agent for some reason, but we already got it transferred to her, and it was really quick and easy. Her name is Debi King, and she is on facebook. If you're looking for a great ta that you can ask anything, and who will answer you day or night, she is it!

As for the rest of our trip, most of it was fantastic, as it normally is! We love the pools, and how the resort is setup. We like to bounce around all day, so it's nice that whatever area you start at, everything you need is nearby. The resort is huge, but whatever pool you pick, or if you hang out on the beach, food and drinks are always nearby and always fast! We stayed at Whitehouse earlier this year, and I didn't like how everything was in one spot on the piazza. Anytime you wanted food you had to walk back over there, and I was just so bored with the same thing everyday. We didn't do the same thing any day at SGR, and that's what we like. We swam in the Manor pool one day, the hidden pool another day, our villa pool another. You get what I mean...

What we did do the same each day is eat at Soy! Susan remembered us as soon as she saw us, as did the chefs. My husband loves sushi. I don't eat meat, so I love the veggie spring rolls and the tempura. We ate there 5 of the 7 days. Alturo (might be spelled wrong, sorry!) the chef made my husband all kinds of special sushi that wasn't on the menu. He loved it!

The busses from the Manor side to the Riviera side were running constantly. If we waited 5 minutes, that's the longest it ever took. If you think taking a bus back and forth is going to bother you, then it probably will. I like that SGR is like two resorts in one, and that there is a free shuttle running all day long between the two. You don't need to plan to take the bus on a schedule like you do at the Sandals in Montego Bay or St Lucia. If you decide you want to go to the other side, you just need to go to the bus stop and wait a couple minutes. Perfect! I also think riding jitneys is fun! : )

We spent just about every night at the Polo Lounge with our favorite bartender, Ricardo. He's been at the resort since we started going, and he's a great bartender! He can make you whatever you want, even if you don't know what you want! : ) Our trip would not have been the same without him.

The staff at the Soon Come Back desk are also fantastic, and really welcome you back "home". Tyrone, Chakera and Topal stop to say hi anytime they see you, and are very helpful if you need anything. We ate dinner with Chakera one night, and had lunch with Tyrone one day, and he sat with us at the Select dinner. I miss the staff at this resort as much as I miss Jamaica!

The menus in the restaurants have all recently changed, and with me being vegetarian, if I'd known this ahead of time, I'd have met with the chef when we arrived. I try not to do that because they want you to plan all your meals for the week, and we don't really like planning ahead. However, a lot of what I used to eat was taken off the menu, so I had a harder time than normal finding food. Since we ate at Soy almost everyday, we had a lot of food to go, so I had Valentino's to go and ate it in the Riviera lobby, and we both got Sabrina's Marketplace to go and ate it in our room. Valentino's is air conditioned now, by the way. I've seen a lot of complaints on here before. My biggest disappointment for the week was that the veggie burgers that I absolutely LOVE are nowhere to be found now! There is a Mediterranean veggie burger on Mariner's menu now that is not a burger at all. Just mushrooms and eggplant in a pita. The Great House grill doesn't have them on the menu anymore, and the Beach Bistro still has them on the menu, but they never actually had them. They are my favorite thing to eat there, and after asking around all week, I was able to get one for lunch on Wednesday, thanks to Demar and chef Alberto. They are sooo good, and I really hope they're back on the menu in 2015! We are going to SGSL for our free week next, and I will be contacting the resort before I go and meeting with the chef. Lesson learned.

Speaking of lunch, our worst issue with food for the week is that I ordered a GBT without the bacon at Mariner's for lunch on our last day, and the guacamole was brown! I had taken a bite of it before I realized, and I have a pretty sensitive stomach, and that was enough to make me sick. Unfortunately we were on our way to the Diamond luncheon (we hadn't eaten breakfast so we stopped at Mariner's first), and the luncheon was really great, but I couldn't enjoy it because my stomach was upset. Guacamole should be green, and had been fine when I ordered it earlier in the week. The sandwich never should have been served like that!

While I am mentioning negatives, NFL football is really important to us, and I contacted several people before we arrived to make sure they still had NFL Sunday ticket. If it was an issue, we were going to go into town to watch it. Well, they do still have it, but it's not working properly. There are only 2 tv's at the Polo Lounge, and some people were watching soccer on one at 1:00. I went and told someone right away that it wasn't working on the 2nd tv, but no one could really help. Luckily, the soccer game ended before 1:30, so we switched to that tv and it worked on that one. A manager showed up about another hour later and asked if we had the game we wanted. We actually wanted to watch 2 different games, so the two tv's would have been helpful. He told us he'd go call the cable company so we could watch them both, and he never came back. Fortunately all of us in the bar were interested in the same 2 games, so we just switched back and forth. Some of the people that came over to the Polo Lounge tried to watch it at Jamie's, and Sunday ticket was not working on that tv either. Since I assume the resort is paying for the package regardless, and since it's very important to some guests (especially the ones who ask before they arrive, lol) it would be nice if they get all the bar tv's to pick it up! The second tv wasn't working all week. By the time we left, all that was on it was snow.

Tv's aside, as far as nightlife, I don't know how a resort could be any better. We went to bed before 2am on two nights, and one night we were just tired, and the other was the night before we left and we had to pack early the next morning. It is easy to be out late at this resort. We spent most nights at the Polo Lounge just because it's our favorite. Some nights it was crowded, some nights it was just us and a few other couples, but it's fun no matter what. Ethel's sing-a-longs are also fun, and Jamie's is great, but we leave when the club music starts at 11pm. We don't like it being so loud that you can't order a drink without screaming, but if you want to dance, that's where you should go. And be sure to go see the Silver Birds! They are fantastic!

We also took a trip over to Beaches Ocho Rios. I wrote a separate review for it, and we LOVED it! I recommend you take a trip over there. It is free to use the resort, you just have to pay for your cab there. If you ask the front desk to call you a cab, it will be $20 per person round trip. It was 15-20 minutes if that. We went with a friend, and we were talking the whole ride, so if flew by! We had our best lunch of the week there, and loved the water slides.

So everything was not absolutely perfect, but it didn't change how much I love the resort, or keep us from having a great time. Even with being there so many times, I still feel like there's so much to do that you can't do it all in a week. You can't eat at all the restaurants, and you can try all the pools in a week, but we missed the Riviera one this time. And we like the Polo Lounge a lot, and it's closest to our room, so we spent most of our nights there, but we could've gone to Jamie's and Ethel's a lot more than we did. And that's what I love about this resort. I'd much rather have so much to do that I can't do it all than only have a couple things to do, and be bored in the middle of the week. I can't imagine finding a resort I like better than this one.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
6  Thank BSBgirl337
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 reviewResponded 30 November 2013

Thank you for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. After 7 visits, it's clear that you love our resort! We're so happy to read of your fantastic stay spent at our resort. As always, it was an honor to host you. It's so great to know that we can still exceed your expectations during your stay and we can't wait to welcome you back for another wonderful experience very soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Overall, we had a great trip for our honeymoon. We stayed in the "Butler Village Honeymoon Poolside Villa" room category, which is the cheapest on the butler side. The room was nice and clean and the bed was nice a comfy. We spent most of our water time at the beach and never used the semi-private pool behind our villa (too cold).

Butler Experience: I chose our butlers based off of the reviews I saw here, and was excited when I found out we were assigned this particular couple. However, our butler experience fell short of my expectations. I guess having a butler is a matter of preference, but we could've done without them and been just fine. One of our butlers didn't even let us know he had the last two days of our vacation off and never even said goodbye. This was upsetting because we chose to tip our butlers at the end of our trip and would've like to thank each one in person, but we ended up having to give his portion to his partner. I can't help but feel if we had tipped them on a daily basis, we might've gotten a little better service or some of those extra touches that I've seen others talk about.

Food: The food wasn't bad, but nothing spectacular. I'd say our worst experience was at Kelly's dockside for dinner. I ordered grilled pork chops and he got the filet mignon. Both were tough and unsatisfying. All of our other meals were ok. The food at the beach party on Friday night was good.

Activities: Do the catamaran tour to Dunns River Falls - pricey at about $100/person but lots of fun! Take advantage of all the included water activities. However, if you happen to have your butler book a glass bottom boat tour, make sure they don't cancel it because of water conditions before you get all the way over there (something I wish our butler had followed up on). Be sure to take out one of the wind surfers (hobbie cats). They are super easy to navigate and if you've never used one, they'll give you a quick lesson before sending you on your way. If you're a swimmer, don't leave the island without snorkeling. The water and the fish are beautiful!

Make sure you get a daily activities calendar the night before so you can see what activities you'd like to do the next day. There were a few activities we thought would be fun but when we got to the area, there was nothing going on...I don't know if it was because of lack of participation or no staff to run it, but this happened on more than one occasion. The shows at the amphitheater are nice...just make sure your butler doesn't schedule your dinner time during any of the activities you'd like to do.

Room Service: By the end of the trip, we stopped calling for room service because it never came. One night we ordered cheese and crackers and a couple of desserts...an hour later we called back and they said they had no record of us ordering anything. On another morning, we had our butler bring us breakfast to the room, but we didn't have any butter or jelly for our toast. We called our butler and he said he'd notify room service. We just laughed, I didn't even wait for them, I just ended up walking over to the Great House to get it myself. And of course, it never came. Housekeeping had the same issue - one night they left us with no washcloths and we finally received them after three phone calls. So if you need to call for anything, I hope you're ready to be persistent!

Other than that, the resort is beautiful, the staff are friendly, and there are plenty of little cute couples-areas to just sit and relax with your mate! We enjoyed swinging in the hammock and relaxing on the daybed in front of the fire pit at night! But we also spent plenty of time locked away in our room...hey, we're honeymooners :-)

Overall nice trip. This was our first all-inclusive resort experience. We would consider checking out another all-inclusive resort before returning to Sandals.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Angie A
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 reviewResponded 30 November 2013

It's good to know that your honeymoon stay was enjoyable overall. However, we're disappointed that your experience was less than stellar as we always strive to provide amazing experiences for our guests. Your feedback helps us to identify our areas of improvement. Thank you for your review.

We hope to welcome you back for a much better experience in the future!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £286 - £791 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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