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“Great time, couldn't ask for better”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great time, couldn't ask for better”
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Our trip would never have happened with out Beach Bum Vacations and Lisa Z. Lisa took great time and effort in helping us select a great resort. She arranged so that we had private transportation to the resort. Once at Sandals Grande Riviera, I was amazed at all that I saw. The staff was extremely friendly and they wanted to make sure we had a good time. Chef Katherine took time to explain all the places we had to enjoy wonderful food at while our housekeeper Shelly would amaze us with towel animals. The staff at the bars and restaurants made you feel like you were there only customers. I enjoy the sand and the sun and there was plenty of time for that. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
17 Thank Sarah W
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, 29 March 2014
We're so thrilled to hear of your outstanding stay at Sandals Grande Riviera. Our highly trained staff work hard to ensure that our guests enjoy every minute of their precious vacation time spent with us. Thank you for your review!

We can't wait for you to return for another amazing vacation!
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014

We stayed at this hotel from 7-21st March 2014. After reading reviews before we stayed i now understand that some people will complain wherever they stay!!! This hotel was absolutley amazing! We stayed on the hillside in a butler villa and it was perfect in every way! It is a very large resort as i already knew but we did not once use the buses, it was nice to walk everywhere! If we did want to catch the bus it also would have been fine as they were every couple of minutes! Nothing to anyone at this resort was a problem, the staff...every single 1 of them were fabulous, all of the restaurants were excellent, the food was 5*, the entertainment was excellent and just everything about this place was the best!!!! I could go in to detail and praise absolutley everything but my short review hopefully sums this resort up! Please dont be put off by reviews, go there and you will have the best holiday!!!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank 380sarah380
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, 29 March 2014
Thank you so much for your great review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're thrilled to read that you had such an amazing vacation with us. You enjoyed our entertainment, delicious dining and the genuine hospitality of our wonderful staff.

We can't wait to welcome you back for another stellar vacation in the near future!
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Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2014

To give a little background, we are 31 years old, married couple, who like to chill and drink during the day and have fun/be social at night.We went in late April of 2013 to the Sandals GR and it was beautiful. We stayed on the hillside in one of the butler suites and the room was really nice. The way it is laid out, there are I believe 3 rooms in a building and you all share a pool. I don't think anyone else was in our building since we never heard or saw them.
For the pros and cons of the butler service/suites....

Pros: They made the reservations for you, room service was available, and we had a mini bar in our room (I think there are other rooms available on the resort that also have all of these benefits minus the reservations). Also, since our room was up a steep hill (hence mountain side), the butler drove you to and from your room by golf cart if requested.

Negatives: I was under the impression there was one butler per couple during their shift. This is not true, our butler was divided between us and I think a few other couples. Therefore, you would often have to wait on her for a bit to come pick you up or get you what you may need, especially if she was on the beach side of the resort. Also, my husband and I have decided we just aren't butler people. We like to go to and from as we please and having to wait on the butler to take you to dinner was annoying to us. Also, when we went to the Italian restaurant for dinner one night, the butler failed to inform my husband he didn't meet the dress code requirements so we had to come all the way back to the room for him to change into dress pants before we could go eat. My husband originally was in nice khaki shorts, loafers, and a nice button down shirt (so it wasn't like he was in cargo shorts and a tshirt). So nothing huge against the butler service, it just wasn't our thing.

Other pros and cons:
The first night we called to get room service (about 8pm) and waited an hour, it never came. We called again, waited an hour, it never came. Finally my husband walked down to the front desk to bring it to their attention and because we were starving....the room service came at 2am. Yes, 2am people. We were asleep by that point, so it only made us more angry that they had woke us up after traveling all day. Also, there was nothing done to fix this mistake, not even an apology from staff or a manager.

If we go back (which we are currently debating between this resort and the Jewel Dunn River) we will stay on the beach side, just because we didn't feel the butler service was worth the price. I did love the pool on the hillside of the resort. It is the big pool that everyone seemed more social at. The beach side pools are smaller but still really nice. The bus to and from each side of the resort was always available and it is a really short trip, basically just across the street so don't let that determine which side you stay on.

I loved the food and drinks and while the beach isn't huge, it didn't feel crowded. We always had a lounger to lay on and the waitresses would bring your drinks to you on the beach which was nice.

We like to have fun and be social in the evenings and the beach bar was really fun at night. One night they had a DJ and there was dancing. It was a lot of fun.

The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars was the room service incident, the constant waiting on butlers, and the dress code thing. Nothing major, just things I feel like the resort manager should have at least apologized for (mainly the rooms service problem). The resort is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! We also stayed at the Sandals Royal Caribean and it was very nice as well. It's a little older, smaller, and more laid back so for our tastes we like the SGR a little bit better.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Leslie M
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, 29 March 2014
Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera! We're so happy to hear of your incredible experience with us. We always strive to create memorable vacations for our guests and I'm glad we were able to make your stay such an amazing visit.

We can't wait to welcome you back in the future for a much better stay that will surely be a 5-star experience!
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Fountain Valley, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We stayed at Sandals in August 2013 and came back again in March 2014 with friends to celebrate a birthday and anniversary. The staff is so wonderful. We especially love Iline works at the Bayside restaurant, Jamar who worked the swim up bar and Shane a Playmaker and MC for the entertainment. These folks went out of their way to ensure we were happy and having fun. Everyone there is just wonderful.
We love this place and I highly recommend it to any couple who wants to relax, have fun and be treated well by all.

Room Tip: Beach facing rooms are amazing, if you don't mind the loud music from Jaimes bar.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen M
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, 29 March 2014
We're so happy that you had such an amazing trip with us! We want all our guests to have the romantic experience of being in paradise and I am delighted to hear that we were able to create that experience for you. I will be sure to let our staff know how impressed you were with their service.

We certainly hope to see you back soon!
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Greenfield, Wisconsin
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We stayed at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios Jamaica. We booked through our travel agent Nancy Finn with Island Getaways. Nancy is wonderful to work with. Very professional, and always has our best interests in mind. She is so sweet, really a joy to work with!

This was our second time at Sandals Grande Riviera. We went last year for our honeymoon and this year for our 1 year anniversary. Everyone is so friendly and the staff is very prompt! Even a few of the workers remembered us from last year! The food is amazing (especially the filet mignon and shrimp!!). We will definitely return back to that resort!!

Room Tip: Book through Nancy Finn at myislandgetaways.com. She will have your best interest in mind and know w...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cassie M
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, 29 March 2014
Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera. We're delighted to read that you had such an awesome time at our resort. We are so happy that we succeeded in creating that luxury romantic experience for you again. You enjoyed every minute of your vacation and it was a pleasure sharing the experience with you.

We look forward to your 3rd return in the near future.
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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

My wife and I stayed at Grande Riviera from 8th to 15th of March. The trip didn't exactly start off with the greatest experience. After a long flight and horribly long line through customs, we finally found the Sandals waiting area in the airport. When we got there a woman came up, asked us for our name and told us to leave our bags so they could tag them. She told us to get a drink and then head to our bus where our driver, Delray was waiting. After getting our drinks we came out to find gentlemen with our bags on a cart ready to take us to the bus. He was a really nice guy until we found out he didn’t work for Sandals and he informed us that, “We take care of each other here in Jamaica.” He said he was going to stand next to the bus until we brought him some money. I know most of this isn’t Sandals fault, but just some advice to not let anyone grab your bags without expecting to tip them. The Sandals people are not going to help you with your bags. You will learn quickly that anyone outside of the Sandals resort is very expectant of tips and will be sure to remind you. The bus driver Delray did do a nice job of making the hour and a half drive and little better by keeping us entertained with interesting facts and music. The bus though is not part of Sandals and you will be reminded of that a few times on your trip. (More tips)

When we finally arrived at the resort it was really late at night, but as soon as we got there the service really picked up. Right away we were offered drinks, a hot towel and made sure we were comfortable. We had a butler suite and from what I understand, if you have a butler suite you are normally given an orientation by one of your butlers. Since we arrived so late we were given one from the gentleman working the front desk. He was great. Very helpful and answered all our questions and got us up to our room. We Stayed in a in a butler suite in the Villa area on the Hillside of the resort and could not have been happier with the suite. The suite had a one bedroom with a large four post bed. It also had a living area, a bar/sink/fridge area and a patio overlooking our pool. We were on the 2nd (top) floor of the Villa. The view was great! The grounds were maintained very well, so you had a beautiful view of trees and plants that went straight out into the ocean. Now, there was a pretty ugly fence to right of us, but you never really seem to notice it. The room was cleaned about twice a day and every time we left and came back home it was always spotless. Being on our honeymoon I am definitely glad we chose to stay on the Hillside with butler service. It was much quieter than the beach side, but you did have to take the buses than ran every few minutes to get to the beach. Honestly though, it really isn’t that big of a deal. (3 minute ride) It would have been nice to just walk to the beach, but as efficient as the buses run it’s never a big deal.

For your butler service you are provided a cell phone with their number in it. It comes in really handy when you need to reach them. Our 2 butlers, Jerome and Rueon, were incredible. I really don’t think we could have done any better than these guys. I would highly recommend them if you can get them. Both guys were fun and always there when you needed them. Now, some people do use the butlers more than others, but they are there whenever you need them to help you with anything from a ride somewhere, maybe some food on the beach or just helping you make plans for the evening. We happened to be there for my wife’s birthday and Rueon brought us breakfast in bed and while I took my wife to the beach for a few hours he set up and beautiful flower petal display with balloons and a piece of cake. Didn’t ask him for any of it, but he took care of it and it was really impressive. Can’t thank him enough. Jerome did a great job remembering everything especially the little things. Things like on the first day when I asked for a meat a cheese tray, he took it upon himself to make sure the fridge had one every day. He was great about calling and checking in on us and making sure we had dinner plans and suggested things for us to do. He suggested taking the boat to Dunn’s River Falls which I would highly recommend. Jerome even called after we got home to make sure we made it home safe. These guys were great.

Now, if you are looking for a place with a lot of beach, this isn’t going to be the place for you. There are basically 3 beach areas that are divided up. One is Open Ocean, one is closed in by a dock and the other is for water sports. No long walks on the beach here. They are all nice and never felt too crowded, but I would have enjoyed more beach. If you happen to be a pool person though, this place has multiple great options for you. Most have a bar nearby for when you are ready for a drink. Every bartender we had was great and could even recommend a great drink if you didn’t know what you wanted.

The food here was probably the most up and down out of anything. The first night we got to have dinner there we ate at Kelly’s Dockside. Terrible. Service was awful and after an hour and a half when we finally got food, it was the wrong food. A few of the tables around us actually got up and left. After 2 ½ hours we did finally get the correct food and it was ok at best. Kimonos the hibachi restaurant was a little disappointing to. Most of the other restaurants though were very good. Disappointing they are only open for a few hours at night. Having a butler really came in handy there because it can be really hard to get a table without them making you a reservation. Lunch at most places were basically the same menu of items. Nothing special there. I would recommend one of the buffets for lunch. They are usually pretty good and have better quality food and more choices.

Overall it was a really good stay. The Sandals people were great, room was very nice and our butlers were incredible. The food had its moments and I would have enjoyed more beach, but overall I think I would definitely go to a Sandals again.

Room Tip: If you want easy access to the beach make sure to stay beach side. If you want quiet stay on Hill si...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank John T
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, 29 March 2014
Thank you so much for your great review! We're so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay at Sandals Grande Riviera. Your honeymoon trip seemed to be an amazing one and it's truly an honor that we were able to be a part of your experience.

We look forward to your return for an even better stay with us!
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Chelan, Washington
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We traveled to the Grand Riviera with two other couples. We chose the butler villa's and after booking our trip we started reading very mixed reviews that caused us to be a little nervous about whether we had made the right choice. Well let me tell you, we made the PERFECT choice! Between the six of us we had Joseph, Stanford, O'Shane and Damien taking care of our every need! These guys went above and beyond every day to make us feel special and pampered. We celebrated our anniversary while we were there and while we were out, O'Shane decorated our room with flowers and jewels and left us a special piece of cake just for the two of us. Another evening we came back to our room to find a hot bubble bath waiting for us! This trip wouldn't have been near as enjoyable had we not had our friendly butlers. The resort has nightly entertainment but we were lucky enough to have daily entertainment with these four guys. I would definitely request all four of them again!! We did the Dunn's River Falls catamaran tour while we were there. OMG!! Can you say fun?! We had a blast on the boat ride there and back. Michelle was a dancing machine that gave our friend a lesson or two!! We just can't find anything bad to say about this place. They know how to treat you. We've been on plenty of vacations and the difference between here and anywhere else we have ever vacationed is the people. Everywhere you go, you are greeted by the most positive, truly grateful people you can imagine. Micheal was a bartender at the pool one of the days we were there and then he was working in the buffet a couple of days later and he actually went out of his way to come over to our table and tell us how grateful he was for folks like us coming to his resort. If we had to chose one thing that could stand to be improved, it would probably be the lunch buffet. While I was perfectly content with soup and salad, my husband would have liked a few more choices. (I didn't even make it past the salad bar to see what else was being offered) And a must have at the breakfast buffet is the fresh squeezed orange juice. Delicious! Even better in a Mimosa! I would definitely return to this resort, despite the 90 minute ride to and from the airport. We had the best driver, Lloyd. He was full of information and made us feel safe both trips. This is definitely on our list of places to visit again.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank DaneilenDerek
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, 29 March 2014
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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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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach 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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