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“Fantastico ............ As always !!”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Just returned after another 2 wonderful weeks at this wonderful resort. We have vacationed there for the past 2 years and on this occasion took our daughter and partner to be Sandalised. They loved it, but I'm sure that they will write their own review.

We stayed in the Butler villas on the Manor side, which was at our request and couldn't have wished for better accommodation. Our Butlers were Dacia and Necia, for the second year running and they were absolutely exceptional, doing all sorts of different things which I won't repeat as it will spoil the surprise element if you are lucky enough to be allocated these wonderful ladies. In fairness, we interacted with many of the Butlers including Shawn (Respect !!), Paula, Suzi Ann and Tasha - all of whom were excellent.

We spent most days at Jamie's Beach and admittedly did spend a little bit of time in the bar there. The staff there (Tony and Dwayne) were absolutely excellent and were ably assisted by the girls on the beach who continually were able to twist my arm to get me another beer and another, and another.... For a beach bar, it was immaculate and we were impressed at Bernard with the brush, who really never stopped brushing the place out from morning to night.

Restaurants were all very good and I cannot recall getting a bad meal. My daughter is coeliac and she was always well catered for. We did speak to Durrant, the F and B manager, who with the assistance of our Butlers ensured that she was always well catered for. The restaurants were always notified in advance by Durrant and things like sauces were made separately. Gluton free pizza and pancakes were also specially made and some of the so called classy restaurants in the UK could really take a leaf out of Sandals book in relation to this and their overall customer service.

As a qualified diver, did 5 dives during the holiday and was, as always, really impressed with the quality of the dive team.

All in all, we had a wonderful time and have already booked for 2015 through the Soon Come Back desk, which gave us a very good deal.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
3  Thank NeilSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,667 - 3,673 of 8,551 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2014

My husband and I choose to be married at Sandals. We purchased the pictures and video that we wanted to shared on 5/31/2014. During the planning process we were assured that the video and pictures would be received in time for our reception. Our plan was to play our beautiful wedding video at the beginning of our reception. The stress started when we still had not received the video the week before. I contacted Sandals and I was told that the video was sent on 5/18/2014 which was when we were still there. I waited and contacted the resort again. I spent hours on hold and waiting for email messages that were useless in helping us resolve our problem. We spent thousands of dollars to be married this way and assured our families (our children) that they would be part of our celebration. We spent $1,200 for 36 pictures and for a 16 min video. After going back and forth we finally received a link from Sandals to share the pictures and the video. The video was there and had not been sent on 5/18/2014 like they said. The video was sent to us on 5/30/2014 and received 4 days after our reception. So after all of the stress we believed we are all set. The video skipped and hesitated all the way through it. We shut it off after feeling extremely disappointed. We had 130 guest sitting there not all that impressed with how Sandals captured our special day so we could share it the way we had planned. The morning of the reception the supervisor called me and said that they would credit us $250. We still have not received that nor did we get any of our honeymoons credits. We asked to use our credit twice to upgrade our room. After waiting two days we decided we didn't want to move all of our things so we asked for a honeymoon video and that was never done because our wedding planner did not get our message. The resort was wonderful because of the employees. The food was good, our room was not cleaned everyday and we listened to the noise involved in installing a walkway the whole week. However all of the good outweighed anything negative we had to say until the chaos when we got home. I would recommend the resort but I would choose another place to be married if you want to share your experience when you get home. Sandals is not the company I thought they were. I am extremely disappointed with their lack of follow up. I sent an email a week ago and I still have not heard anything from them other than the email was forwarded to a manager. What a disappointing result after choosing this company to handle our special day.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Sherry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We returned this evening from Sandals Grande Riviera and I wanted to share some thoughts I haven't seen expressed in the past several reviews. We were celebrating my husband's 40th birthday, so we splurged a bit more than usual. We arranged for a private car transfer through Island Routes both upon arrival and departure (thank you, Annesia Francis, for your help!) and it was such a treat. We were met within moments by Christopher, our driver, and had a lovely drive to the resort, complete with snacks and drinks, and Christopher showed us many things along the way and was very patient with our questions! We were delighted to see him again this morning for our return transfer, and had another great time. It is nice that the travel part was as much fun as the vacation part. Thank you, Christopher!

We chose the Romeo and Juliet honeymoon butler suite and LOVED it!! We joked that we were antisocial because we loved the room so much that we spent a great deal of our time there. We loved having a private pool with floating cushions, chaise loungers with an umbrella for shade, and hot tub and I enjoyed showering outdoors most days. Housekeeping visited multiple times daily and our room was always clean and tidy.

Our wonderful butlers, Makiko and Patrick, were very thoughtful, and called us or stopped by often just to check in with us to see if we needed anything. They went above and beyond to help us or get us anything we asked, and many times even when we didn't ask! We were indecisive about dinner plans, so they suggested most reservations for us and we really enjoyed our meals at Bayside and Reef Terrace and ate pizzas daily from Dino's. Our in-room bar was WELL stocked with our favorites and Patrick and Makiko stuck fruit and cheese and cracker plates in the fridge for us to nibble on (which was appreciated since I usually woke well before my husband!) We also appreciated the thoughtful notes they would leave us. Someone is an artist! :) We chose to walk a lot (especially downhill) rather than using the jitneys but there were several times we would be walking somewhere and either Makiko or Patrick would happen by and offer to give us a lift in the golf cart. Thank you both for pampering us on this trip!

Another thing I appreciated about the resort was its high level of security. Rangers seemed much more visible here than other Sandals properties we have visited. Additionally, a dedicated officer was always patrolling the area around our villa and those of our neighbor, day and night. We felt very safe and protected.

Finally, as an excursion, I would recommend the Sandals Foundation reading road trip. We spent a wonderful morning with the students and staff of the Boscobel Primary School, reading with 4/5 and 7/8 year olds.

I hope my insights are helpful, and I hope you have safe travels and a wonderful experience at Sandals!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mattandanji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

My new husband and I went to Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Resort for our Honeymoon. It was an adult couples only resort all inclusive.
We had the best experience, the facilities were clean, service was amazing, food was awesome, and Drinks were great. Since my husband and I are active, there was plenty to do that was included in the all inclusive: snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving and the extra trips that we took was well worth the money. Everyday we could eat at a variety of restaurants, drink at different swim up bars or sit on the beach and get drinks brought to us. It might seem a little over whelming at first since because it is a big place..But it really is laid out great and the staff are super friendly and always ready to help.
Best time ever and we are hoping to go back again next year.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

My wife and I chose this as our vacation. This was the best decision we ever made. Our butlers Patrick and Makiku made our stay very comfortable and easy. The food and music were awesome! Since we are vegetarians and the master chef from China Doll restaurant was awesome in making a special vegetarian for dinner. She personally came out and wanted to make sure we had enough to eat and liked the food. The food was great and would recommend everyone to try it out. I would definitely recommend to take the catamaran trip to Dunn's River Falls! Biggest party and all around good time! We can not wait to go back! Thank you sandals grande riviera for a memorable time!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mitul29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We spent a week at The Grande Riviera resort, May 31st – June 7th, 2014. This review will be thorough and a little long winded, but if you spend the time to read it all, it should provide you with some helpful insights to this resort.

Based on other reviews and insight from friends and other acquaintances, my expectations were very high for Sandals. Furthermore, butler service from Sandals was considered a “bucket list” item for me. We are by no means “well off”, and worked very hard all year to be able to afford this vacation. More often than not, our lofty expectations were not met. Sandals’ website has a video on it for their butler service that promotes not only meeting your every need, but also anticipating your needs before you know it.

There were 8 people in our party and we had an entire villa to ourselves. When we arrived in Jamaica, as expected, we were escorted to the Sandals lounge in the airport. Our butler representative greeted us and asked us what we wanted to drink, I replied a Hurricane, and the butler rep responded they only had beer and champagne. First, beer & champagne only??? Second, why ask me what I want if all you have is beer & champagne? You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Sandals failed on that attempt.

The bus trip was an hour & a half as others have noted, we did not stop half way through. Once we arrived at the resort, they did not have enough cocktails and hot towels for everyone on the bus. Since I was one of the last ones off, I received neither. Failed attempt #2 at a first impression. We were escorted to butler reception area and introduced to our butlers, Kevin/Dennis for the downstairs rooms, and Ramone/Christine for the upstairs rooms (Christine was off). More on the butlers later.

We were taken to our rooms, they looked beautiful. Loved the separate sitting rooms from the bedroom, and walking out right to the pool deck was very convenient. The bed and sofa were horrible. No support and very uncomfortable. Not once did we have a good night sleep or feel refreshed in the morning.

Not impressed with most of the restaurants. Bayside: Horrible service & bad food. I was told they were out of Cesar salads, but saw multiple ones served at other tables that ordered well after us. Also, the rack of lamb was mostly fat and way over cooked. China Doll: Boring and unimpressive food. Kelly’s Dockside: The design of this restaurant is set up for failure. The dining area is on the dock out in the ocean (very nice), but the kitchen is about 1,000 yards away. The staff runs back and forth with no cover on the food. The food is cold and way overcooked by the time you get it. We spent over 2 hours there for one dinner and were very disappointed. Management asked us how it was, and we let them know of our disappointment. The Manor: It had very good food, but it felt like we were in sauna. No circulation with an open grill right next to the dining area. Valentino’s: The only restaurant where we received both excellent service and good food.

Now the butlers. As noted earlier, I had the expectations that any unreasonable requests would be met, along with some surprises from them. For the first 2 days, requests seem to be received with a concern and procedures would get in the way with meeting those requests. We (as a group) always initiated contact with the butlers, they never contacted us. Some of the requests that we had were: pool towels for our villa, a pool skimmer since the pool was constantly filled with bugs and flying debris, and finally saving beach / main pool chairs. I read numerous reviews where the butlers saved chairs for people, even to the point where non-butler guests were annoyed by it. However, when we requested it, we were told they could not do it. On the 2nd day, we had to call the butlers to have them bring us a snack down by the pool. When they arrived, all they brought were nachos and some empanadas from the pool snack hut. Never got the impression they were “going to the chef to have something created for us” as Sandals likes to promote in their online video. I mentioned earlier that Christine was not present for the first two days, because she was off, but some things seemed to change once she arrived. Christine started calling our other couples on a daily basis to let them know she was on duty and to see if they needed anything. Then Ramone, Dennis & Kevin started to do a little of that along with bringing us drinks daily. Not sure if Christine had an impact, but thank you anyway.
Now, here is where the butlers exceeded our expectations. Two of our guests had birthdays on Thursday & Friday. On Monday, we talked with Kevin & Dennis and asked them to do something a little special for them, and that’s all we said. On Thursday, we came back from the butler party and out on our pool deck was a dinner buffet with a full table set to the nine, a server (Sherika), bartender (Kirk), and a DJ / buffet attendant (Howard). Kevin, Ramone & Christine were also present to help us celebrate. We had a wonderful time and partied all night. The staff was awesome and went way beyond our expectations. We kept saying to each other, “where was this all week??”

All in all, we still had a good vacation, but I will say, take away the birthday party and this review would have been a one star review. In addition, I don’t believe it was worth the extra money we paid to book a Sandals, and I’m still uncertain if it was worth booking a butler suite. Sorry Sandals, I don’t think I will be a member of the Soon Come Back club.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank djr5950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Thank you for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera.

We are happy that you had a fantastic time during your group's birthday celebrations but we noted that you were not satisfied with a few aspects of your stay. We apologize if we did not completely meet your expectations during your visit with us in Jamaica. Your feedback is important to us, as it helps identify areas that we can improve upon to provide an even better vacation experience. Therefore, your concerns and suggestions have been brought to the attention of our Management Team on property. We hope that you will decide to return and allow us the opportunity to serve you more efficiently on a future stay.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We have just returned from a fantastic vacation at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, thanks to the wonderful team at Club Sandals.
Due to our switching from the Manor side to the Seaside prior to arrival, we were disappointed with our room upon check-in. Kudos to Kerian and Verona who went out of their way to work with us to ensure we were happy. It is clear they get their inspiration from their Club Sandals manager Peaches. And a big thanks to Romaine, who is in training, but offered help anytime we saw him.
This was our fourth trip to Sandals, but our first time in Ocho Rios and as in the past it was the staff at Sandals that made the trip special. From Marvalene and Neil at Valentino’s to Andre at the Riviera Main pool swim-up bar who had our next round of drinks poured and waiting when he saw us making our way over. Glenroy and Dwayne from the Bayside Restaurant were attentive every morning.
The Beach Party was a blast with special thanks to Obrian the bartender. We enjoyed the comedic stylings of Captain Tim and “Super” Mario on the glass bottom boat trip. We were always happy to see Donmaur from the photoshop, he would be sure to say hello even if someone else was taking our picture.
This resort has many activities to offer returning guests, more so than our past experiences at Sandals.
The facility was not perfect. The Riviera Hidden pool was not clean and may have been forgotten. The whirlpool near the amphitheater was inoperable.
Overall it was a great trip. Great people, great food and great memories.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TnD80
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £78 - £771 (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 And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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