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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
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Reviews (9,149)
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Reviewed 7 July 2014

This resort is about the an hour and a half from the resort but well worth it. We have stayed at other Sandals (Antigua and Royal Bahamian) although we like Antigua and will go back there.
We loved SGR more. Reason being is that this resort is basically 2 sections. The Rivera side, which is right on the beach and the Manor Side (Butler suites) which is away from the beach. We stayed on the Rivera side with a butler. Jackie!!Jackie!! the greatest butler in the world. She was amazing -- anything and everything we wanted we got and on time.
The best parts of this resort is the different areas that you can enjoy, from a quiet tree shaded area to a pool with music.
Restaurants we enjoyed are Soy, Reef and Kelley's Dockside. Japanese was very entertaining. Absolutely loved the people that works on this resort. They appear happier than other Sandals resort. Mr. Roper the GM is obviously doing a great job.
I strongly suggest to for the Club Mobay pass . This cost about $35 per person buy you skip the long lines at the airport and you are wisked away to their lounge. Going out is even better they have an excellent lounge with a full bar and food.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank onlytheislands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2014

My husband and I just returned from sandals grande riviera early this morning and it was with out a doubt our favourite trip so far!
In case you haven't done any research here are some important bits of info you should know before travelling to this resort.
- 1.5 hours from the airport.( longer if you hit rush hour or an accident like we did)
- Stray cats on the property, nice and friendly little kitties that will mostly likely join you for a dinner or two if you are dining at an outdoor restaurants.
- Lots of walking and a ton of stairs. If you are in a wheel chair or have trouble walking you will not enjoy yourself here.
- Small beach but it's broken up into a couple portions. ( We are beach people and it was alright for us)
Butlers: We had a one bedroom butler suite with a semi private pool. This was perfect for us, we made use of our pool almost every afternoon as come 3:00pm it was in the shade and was a nice way to cool down before getting ready for dinner. Our butlers were Marvin and Riccardo and let me tell you, if you have a chance to request them, do it! We met quite a few people on our 12 day trip and almost everyone had a few complaints about their butlers. Not us they picked up on our low key vibe right away. Surprised us with towel art like 7 times, a nice bath with flowers once and delicious snacks like wings, shrimp cocktail, pita and hummus, cracker and cheese and much more. They didn't harass us with phone calls at all just would check in once during the day and would make sure we were on time for all our appointments. If I had to give them a rating out of ten I would give them 20 just because they never missed a beat and sometimes we felt like they were reading our minds. Awesome job you guys!!!!!
The spa: If you go for a certain amount of days you can get a free 30 minute couples massage but they will push you to do the 20 minute upgrade. Don't do this it will cost you $155.00.
The food: It was really great! My favourite was Kelly's dockside and my least favourite was Soy the sushi place. It was good quality but there wasn't much filling in the rolls. The spicy penne pasta from Sabrina's market place was my farouite pasta. The service was consistently good and we never had to wait too long for our dinner anywhere. I really enjoyed the small portions sizes it was quite nice to have a four or five course meal and still be able to move after.
Excursions: We did the zip lining, deep sea fishing and the Dunn's river cruise. The zip lining was fun but for my husband it was not quite as thrilling, although he did enjoy it. For fishing it was the off season but we took a chance anyways. We did not catch anything and I spent the entire time throwing up. That's all I have to say about that. The Dunn's River Cruise is a must. It was the best time ever!!! If you do anything, do this!
Special mentions: Brandon at the manor pool makes the best dirty bananas ever! Clarke at Kelly's dockside had me laughing all night! Tex and singing Steve at Kimonos they weren't even our cooks but came over to song us a song anyways, such a blast! And Melissa our butler trainee she was awesome and I know she will bring great memories to lots of people in the future. Good luck girl!!
Other: The Monday night beach party is a must. It's a great place to meet people and is a rockin good time. But get there early because the food will run out and there is not even close to enough tables and chairs for everyone. The guest and staff talent show will blow your mind. There is some amazingly talented people that work there and they are soo good it's really a shame the world will probably never know their talents. If you book early request a room close to the manor house. We were able to come and go as we pleased without having to call for a ride to our room. It was really nice especially if we forgot something in our room or had to run up to change really quick. Also the have ping pong, rock climbing. crocket. snorkeling and even on the Riviera side a small pool with a volley ball net.

Room Tip: If you want a good quiet sleep stay on the hillside. It was very peaceful an not much of any noise at night.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
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11  Thank Julie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2014

We have stayed at many Sandals resorts and I find there can be great differences between the resorts. A stay here confirmed my experiences.

This resort consists of two sides - the All Butler Riviera villa side, which is not on the beach but across the road in a very hilly area of Ocho Rios. On this side of the resort are villas with butler service and some entry level rooms in the great house. We stayed here in May on a work vacation.

Across the street on the Ochi beach side you'll able to dip your toes into the ocean with more restaurants and many more activities. Some of the rooms on this side offer concierge service. While I say "across the street", it isn't a short walk from one side to the other, you must take a shuttle bus. The bus leaves from the Great House and makes two stops at the Ochi side.

We stayed on the Riviera side and had butler service. We were very excited as this was our first Butler category experience and Sandals brags that butlers are trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers. What we discovered is that just like the different resorts, the extent of how far a butler will go for you can range greatly. We were part of a large group staying here and each villa had it's own set of butlers. Unfortunately, people began talking about what their butlers did and didn't do and there were vastly different experiences within our group.

Upon arrival, we were whisked to meet our butler, Damian, who put us in our golf cart and escorted us to our room in building 8. Damian brought us to our room and completed our check in at the room, a nice touch. He insisted on telling us the room we had was a suite, but it was actually a poolside villa room. Suites have a sitting area, our room did not. Damian showed us where things were quickly, asked if we needed anything. Since we didn't quite know where we were on property, we told him we needed to be picked up at 6:15 and taken to the main house for a meeting we had that evening.We were given a cell phone to use to contact our butler and told us he'd be back at 6:15 to pick us up. He did ask if we wanted him to unpack our clothes but we declined. We tipped him and he departed.

After he left, we unpacked. There was surprisingly little storage space in the room - only three drawers in the dresser for two people. We unpacked what we could fit in the drawers and put the rest in the closet. I find this true at many of Sandals resorts - not enough storage space.

The four poster beds at Sandals are just beautiful, but they are so high that they are difficult to get into. The sides of their bathtubs are extremely high, so for someone with hip replacements it was very hard to get in and out of the tub. We have found the same issue at every Sandals we have stayed at and heard people complaining about it at every resort too. If you are mobility impaired you would have to really think about staying at any Sandals resort due to this. This particular resort is definitely not for those who are not mobile - the hills are so steep that you become winded walking to your room.

We did love the privacy of the villas. We were upstairs in the villa, sharing the floor with another room and on the first floor was a suite. We had the exclusive use of the pool - none of the others in our villa ever used it. There were some maintenance issues we noticed in the pool - the tiles were dirty, the handrail into the pool had quite a bit of rust on it, there were leaves all over the water and the poolside. Having had a pool as a kid and being responsible for the cleaning of said pool, I notice things around a pool that normal people wouldn't. One afternoon when we were swimming a pool maintenance man asked us if we could get out of the pool so he could clean it at 3:00 in the afternoon. I nicely declined since we had just gotten into the pool and only had an hour before we had to shower and move on.

At 6:10, we went downstairs to wait for Damian to pick us up to take us to our scheduled meeting. At 6:25, when we were still waiting, we called and Damian seemed to be surprised at our call. He told us he'd "send someone" and to go stand at a bus stop. We waited another five minutes and when no one arrived, we just started walking and following the carts where we found the main house for our meeting.

The next day, we woke up and went to the Great House for breakfast at Sabrinas Marketplace. The buffet was very limited compared to other all inclusives'. There was one cook on duty who was making eggs, no one else was at the grills when we arrived shortly after opening. I asked for eggs over easy and while the chef was delightful, I had eggs that were cooked in oil and just awful. We tried the place again for lunch and found the same thing - disappointing food, small variety at the buffet and lackluster service.

For the remainder of the day, we were in classes and during classes were hearing amazing things some of the other butlers were doing for our co-workers. One had a butler who provided them with a certain type of whiskey they liked, one had a butler who drew them a flower strewed bath. One had a butler who brought up a cooler with ice for them to keep beer in their room. Another woman I knew said "Gee, my butler didn't do anything like that - he checked me in and I never saw him again." I said to her "Tell me his name is Damian" and she exclaimed "Yes! That's his name". Knowing I wasn't the only one having a problem with him made me realize I wasn't imagining the poor service.

Damian called at 10 AM asking if there was anything he could do for us. I asked for two beach towels in our room (there were none left) as we wanted to try to get a quick swim in after classes were over. I told him we wouldn't be in the room for the rest of the day so we didn't need anything other than that. He announced that our night butler would be Analisa as he was off at night.

We made dinner reservations for the Reef Terrace on the Ochi side that evening and returned to our room late in the afternoon to find one beach towel had been left on the bed instead of two. I used the butler phone again and got Analisa, who said she'd be up with a towel and there she was within five minutes. We told her our disappointment with Damian and she seemed genuinely surprised, telling us Damian had won awards for his fine service. I relayed the story of my co-worker who had the same issues. Analisa apologized and re-iterated if we needed anything, please contact her.

That night we took the shuttle to the Beach side. As we walked around trying to remember where the restaurant was, who walks up to us but Analisa. I said I was surprised to see her and she said she came over to accompany us to the restaurant. This is exactly the kind of service I expected from a butler. Luckily, she was on during the day for the rest of our stay and we were delighted with her. On our last night, we came back to our room to find a beautiful bubble bath drawn for us with flowers strewn around the tub and on the bed. Thank you, Analisa!

Dinner at The Reef was outstanding. Overlooking the ocean, the Caribbean fare was fresh and wonderfully seasoned. The service was excellent. This is a truly romantic restaurant we highly recommend.

The beach here is beautiful. The majority of restaurants are on this side of the resort..The Bayside Restaurant, Soy, Neptunes, Kellys Dockside (which requires reservations and is hard to get into) and the Manor are located here.

On the Grande Riviera side, there is also a central pool area with cabanas that can be rented by the day. The pool is huge and the restaurants are located around the pool. There is Dino's Pizzeria, Bella Napoli, China Doll and a few more. Activities are held around this pool as well.

Our check out was a breeze - we simply turned in our keys and were off and away. Transportation to and from the resorts are always included. It is nearly a 90 minute drive from the Montego Bay airport to this resort.

Again - service and upkeep at Sandals resorts can vary greatly from resort to resort. My experience has been that it seems the Jamaica resorts are a big neglected as Sandals is moving to new islands and doing new builds. It's my opinion that for the price that Sandals charges, they need to look at their resorts and fix what doesn't work. I've seen broken dressers (Beaches Turks Caicos and Sandals Montego Bay) , stained floors, broken lights that aren't fixed even when calling, doors that don't open well (Negril). Food can vary greatly as well - some food is great, some is not so great. You can have the same meal at two different Sandals resorts and they can taste completely different.

I wouldn't stay at this Sandals again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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8  Thank willysgrandma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014 via mobile

Food was great room was clean and on point every day butters berchum and denton were the best I wish I could take them home when we left I didn't consider them our butler but my friends staff was great super friendly and willing to meet your every demand would go back in a minute if I had the chance thanks guys best Vaca ever

  • Stayed: February 2014
    • Value
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1  Thank seacrab911
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 5 July 2014

Thank you for your wonderful review of Sandals Grande Riviera. It sounds like you both had a fantastic time in Jamaica. We're delighted that you enjoyed our luxurious accommodations, delicious dining and the genuine hospitality of our staff. Berchum and Denton are two of our best and I'm so happy to hear they made your stay such an incredible experience.
We look forward to you visiting again with us in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2014

We came back June 2014 for our 10 year anniversary. This time we stayed in the Butler Suites. Spend the extra Get a butler suite. Our butlers felt more like family. We couldnt possibly ask them to come to our room and make us a drink for us in our in room bar that was 4 feet away. Or bring us food or drinks out on the beach. But they will if you ask them to. Its what they do. They brought us a small icechest to take on one of our excursions full of our favorite sodas & water. We told them we were on our anniversary vacation and they set up our room with rose petals spelling out "LOVE" in the tub. They made reservations and met us at our restaurants that we did not need reservations for. This time we were really able to enjoy ourselves. Last time we had to meet with people for the wedding & wedding itself. This time was so much more enjoyable and Our Butlers Ricardo & Tasha And Tanesha from the watersports, Kevin, Anna & The Captain on the Kattamaran and so many others played a HUGE part in our 10th wedding Anniversary being AWESOME!!!! We Love and miss you guys!!!!!We had the best Butler team ever Ricardo & Tasha. When we left we felt as if we left our extended family behind.

Room Tip: Spend the extra Get a butler suite. We stayed in 7211 and it was so close to the great house it was a nice walk. we seemed centralized.When we go back if available we want the same room. They were good size rooms. This time we were really able to enjoy ourselves. Last time we had to meet with people for the wedding & wedding itself. This time was so much more enjoyable. we really felt we were at our Vacation home. The room did not have a hotel room feel at all. Well worth the extra $$. I have stayed in the Villas before on the Sea Side of the property and with this last stay. The Butler way is the only way.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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1  Thank LupeShannon A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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