This is our second time to go to this resort. We LOVED the employees here and that is what brought us back! They are so helpful and want to cater to you, making sure you are happy with everything you want or need. They go above and beyond. We like that all of their water sports are included, they have lots of excursions to choose from if you want to do them, and if you want to just relax, then have at it!
When you arrive at the airport and go through customs, right when you pass through the door they have Sandals reps waiting for you to show you right where to go and welcome you. You can go into their free suit and use the restrooms, get a drink and relax while they take your bags and you wait for your bus to leave. We waited maybe 15 min. by the time we got a drink and used the restroom it was time to leave. It is an hour and half ride, but the scenery is neat to see and learn about the island. You also get to spend time with the others going to the resort and get their story on why they are there and maybe what they are celebrating.
Once you arrive, they again have people right there to greet you, give you a clean wash cloth to wipe your hands and neck and feel refreshed. They take your bags to your room for you and then you check in. Gerard was so welcoming and remembered us from last time and took care of us the whole time, making sure we had anything we needed.
I would plan your excursions before you get there or the first day so you know what your time looks like. Also talk to the visitors on the resort and see if they did any excursions and see what they liked or didn't like.
The food wasn't spectacular, but it was good. We loved the breakfast food, lunch food, and the late night food available. The dinners weren't the best, but they were good! Service as always, AMAZING. Now you have to remember you are on island time and they arent in a hurry, so relax and enjoy your dinners.
They always have events going on you can participate in, if you choose. Fun, entertaining, great music, and again wonderful employees that make your stay the best.
Lots to do...they have plenty of on site events that are free, and then if you choose to go off site to special excursions they have those too.
The first trip we stayed on the village side (the side without the beach) and we didn't like being away from everything and we moved after 2 days to the ocean side. So this time, we knew where we wanted to be-OCEAN SIDE! I can get a pool at home, so I want the BEACH. Really any of these rooms over here (beach side) are great, it's a very short walk to anything on the side you are on. And how much time do you really stay in your room? They do have shuttles going like every 5 min to each side, so the transfer is very easy going side to side. On the village side, you did hav a hill you have to wlak to get up to your room, although they do have little carts/shuttles that run but we hated to wait on them and ended up making the hike up and down the hill. So for that reason we liked the beach side to stay on the best.
I would definately reccomend the couples massage on the beach/boardwalk in the huts! OMG, there is nothing like it. We have had massages all around the world and nothing compares to hearing the ocean while getting a massage. We did this both trips.
Within the last 3 years they have done like 35-42 million dollars in renovations and adding on to the resort and it was incredible what they did. LOVED IT.
The excursiosn we did...last time we did the booze cruize-FUN! it was about 4 hours I think. They took us snorkling for 30 min, then traveled on to the Dunges River Falls, climbed the Falls, then had snacks and drank on the way back, very exciting, entertaining, they have loud music going (but not too loud), etc. This trip we did the sky ride, bob sled, and zip lining. Sky ride was beautiful to see the island from that far up, the bob sled was like a roller coaster-we enjoyed it, and the zip lining wasn't very long-like 4-5 lines and then a free fall. I am afraid of heights and I did it :)
They have a couple of areas of beach, one that is under some trees and its a nice area to get a book when you have had too much sun and relax by the ocean. Then there is a middle part that is an enclosed beach, again calm, no waves, a lilly pad you can swim out to and lay out, relaxing. Then the new beach area that also has a lilly pad to lay out on, you did feel the waves here, great chairs to lay out on, but the beach going int ot he ocean is rocky. that is one thing I didn' tlike aobut this beach area, although we hit this beach everytime! This beach area was also very close to the fun swim up bar pool and you can hear the music from the pool at the beach. What I love about Sandals is that they have servers everywhere to bring you drinks and food no matter where you are: beach, pool, etc. A special thanks to Shawnna, Otis, Ramon, Deno, Jason, Serome, Kevon, Demar, Anita, Alex at the pool bar, etc for spectacular service!
I can't say it enough, I LOVE the employees, that fully give it 1000% all the time and never complain! We stayed in contact with some of them via Facebook and the employees that were still there from 4 years ago (from our first trip) remembered us and welcomed us and very thankful for us ocming back! I know it is a NO TIPPING place, but we can't help to give a few dollars here and there to the ones that give so much and work so hard. We felt what is $10 a day to us, when it is SOO much to them. What we did is got $80 in ones and loved to bless some of the workers that went above and beyond for us by giving $10-12 a day, here and there by leaving $2 to each person that went above and beyond that day for us. Again, this is NOT expected and we did it on the DL b/c we didn't want the employees to get in trouble for us wanting to bless them.
We did one of the water sports this time, sailing. My husband and I weren't comfortable doing it on our own, so Roger one of the beach life guards took us out and it was incredible! He did an amazing job and really made sure our day on the beach (which was everyday) was a great experience.
I would definately go back and recomend this Sandals.
- 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