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“The Grande Riviera is in fact, GRAND!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“The Grande Riviera is in fact, GRAND!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

Wow, what a resort.
Where to start....
We recently (got home yesterday) returned from a 10 night (3 nights at sandal mo bay and 7 nights at the grande)
This property is about 1.5 hours away from the Montego Bay airport. There are times when you might have to wait a little bit at the sandals lounge at the airport for a bus to be ready to take you over as they try to gather as many people as possible to make 1 large trip.

This property is large but manageable.

The Butler Village:
The butler village is separate from the Riviera side of the property. Although Sandals Grande includes both the butler village and the Riviera each side as its own: Spa, fitness center, gift shop, front desk, restaurants (which you can use no matter what side you stay) Pool with pool bar

The Butler Village:
A bit set back on mountainside. Many of the buildings have 2-4 units that share a small pool which is nice. If you want to join a larger group, the pool on the village side is in one word: AMAZING. Huge pool and pool bar. Tables and stools in the pool to sit/drink/eat.

The polo lounge (in main building) is a great place to grab a pint or two, relax and enjoy. Usually the gathering place for night activities on this side of the resort.

The Riviera side (near the beach) Is also really nice (we stayed in a club level room in the Riviera building)
There are only 4 rooms that include Butler service on this side of the property and they sell quickly.
On this side you will find many different room categories. This resort is large (each side itself it large) so be prepared to do some walking. The grounds are beautifully landscaped so it is nice to sometimes just take a walk and see where you end up.

If you are looking for a party atmosphere: The Ochi Beach club pool or the pool bar near the show/stage area is the place to be.
The Ochi Beach club pool has some great bartenders (Mainly Lopez and Alex) These guys were great and had lots of fun games to play (beer pong, flip cup) Really good music playing.
(sometimes can be a little loud)

If you are looking for a quiet space to relax and read, hit up the beach areas.
I wish the beach areas were a little bigger and perhaps wider than they were, but that's just my preference. I am a big beach person.

Food-My favorite restaurant was hands down Valentinos. The ravioli with the walnut sauce was amazing. The filet melts in your mouth. This is on the Riviera Side.
The French Restaurant (Bayside) was also great for dinner.

The breakfast and lunch food also really good and wide variety.
A big thank you to Peter at Bayside who made us awesome omelets and eggs the way I like them.

Our room (4517) was always well kept. A big thank you to our turn down person Danielle. She always left us extra towels and stopped to say hello. Very friendly and helpful.

If you have mobility issues (ie-need a wheelchair/walker) not the place for you. Lots of stairs at this property.

There is a shuttle that runs every 5 mins or so from the Riviera side over to the butler side. Never had to wait long and a quick ride. Shuttle also makes a stop at the Ochi Beach club area.

The only issue we had really was the check out. (yesterday) we were one of three couples checking out and the process took about 45 minutes which seemed a bit extensive. There were two people doing the check out process, and between phone calls and other random things, it took very long.
Check out should take 10-15 mins tops! The other sandals we have visited takes typically no more than 5 mins. There is no air conditioning either and made the process not pleasant.
Also, we had pre purchased the club mo bay about 3 months before and it was noted on the reservation (I had a print out copy showing paid) but yet they had no record of it.
I told them the confirm number is the same as the sandals booking ID, but still said they had no record.
Long story short, the front desk person called the bus driver who was taking us back to the airport, gave me the confirm number, which was in fact our sandals booking id.

I would certainly return, but also would like to try another sandals property first.

Room Tip: Free wifi in club level rooms and above. I enjoyed the Riviera ride, close to the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LindseyA21
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 review, 15 July 2014
Thank you for your review, Lindsey.
We appreciate you taking the time to share your wonderful experience at Sandals Grande Riviera with us! We are thrilled that you enjoyed your split stay and had a fantastic time in Jamaica! Thank you for also notifying us of your concerns and I will have the resort management team look into these issues to ensure that we do not receive similar feedback in the future.
We look forward to welcoming you to one of your lovely properties soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,964 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,441)
Date | Rating
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English first
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

Have been going to this resort since it was Ciboney. It has always been great service and friendly faces. This trip was disappointing as they are now "bean counters". It is no longer "all-Inclusive" as advertised. You have to pay for a cabana rental, a romantic dinner for 2, certain wines on list, wifi internet, amongst other things.
The butlers, Moria, Suzie and Bertram are hands down the best. They make it great and special!
The best bartender is Ricardo in Manor bar. The best pool bartender is Karome and trainee Brandon is the bomb! Tanice at Sundowner bar Rocks! Gillian, resturant host and Junior, restaurant mgr rocks!
Be advised, there are only really 5 room categories as follows: small lock out room attached to a bigger room in either a duplex or 4 plex villas, the main hotel rooms and the Romeo & Juliet room. They lie and take you for stupid in management. They don't take care of returning guests as they used to.
The food quality has declined: Kellys Dockside, China Doll and marketplace breakfast along with jerk chicken at the grill is all that is good anymore. All else went down hill! Bring back Chef Bill!
The pool is so dirty and falling apart. The tiles are coming off the pool and kicked under chairs! Maintenance has a lot to be desired. Was there when they renovated this pool and knew the workmanship was not going to last. And only 5 rafts for all guests to fight over! Really?
We go twice a year every year but rethinking where we can go instead as this was so not the norm. Big waste of $$$ unfortunately.

Room Tip: Rooms are all nicely renovated BUT beware the category you choose as stated above, there are truly o...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank CharlieKathie
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 review, 15 July 2014
Hello Charlie and Kathie,

Thank you so much for reaching out to us about your most recent stay at Sandals Grande Riviera. We are deeply saddened to see that you were not pleased with certain aspects of this trip and we sincerely apologize for any shortcoming on our part. We value all of our guests' opinions and certainly take your feedback seriously in regards to areas in need of improvement. I will be sharing your review with the resort management team for immediate evaluation and action as needed. I have also sent you a private message for a few additional details about your stay and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Once again, thank you for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shepherdsville, Kentucky
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2014

We spent our honeymoon at this resort and it was amazing. Every staff member was amazing and polite; especially our Butlers Ramone and Christine. They made our trip unforgettable and we would not have changed our choice in destination even if we had too. We will return to this resort at somepoint in our very near future and would recommend this location to anyone that asks where they could spend a week in paradise!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert J
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 review, 15 July 2014
Hello Robert,
Thank you for your review. We couldn't be happier to hear about your wonderful honeymoon experience at Sandals Grande Riviera! We are delighted that you enjoyed every moment of your visit with us and that our resort was the perfect romantic backdrop for this special event.
We cannot wait to welcome you back for another amazing trip to paradise!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anza
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

We arrived at Montego, customs was super easy, no more than a 20 minute wait. I debated going with the MoBay service, but it was def. not needed. Were then whisked right into the Sandals lounge, had time for one beer and then the bus was ready to go! Bus driver was very nice, drive is about an 1 3/4 hours, they will ask halfway if anyone wants to use the bathroom or get jerked chicken. Oh and an FYI, we converted US dollars to Jamaican dollars at the airport, found out later that most of the people we tipped would much more appreciate US dollars vs. Jamaican dollars due to the fluctuation of their dollar, so don't waste your time exchanging money if you have US. We did tip the driver and he was very appreciative! I think we tipped $20.00 for the both of us.

We arrived at Sandals and were immediately greeted with champagne and warm cloths, def. was appreciated after the drive. We decided to go with beach side as we really wanted to be closer to the beach and didn't really want/need butler service and I am so glad we did! We did get concierge level (WORTH IT!!!), so they took us to the concierge room where we got all checked in, they also made reservations for us to go to Kimonos and Kellys Dockside later in the week. We were under the impression that Kelly's was butler only, not the case!

Our room was wonderful! With the concierge level we had full bar/sodas/beer that were restocked daily. And we did have room service (I keep reading that only butler has room service, not the case!) We were in the Honeymoon Hideaway Villas, the perfect location! About 1 minute walk from the beach and most restaurants. Our room was very clean and updated, no issues whatsoever! Rooms were always kept super clean by the staff and our refrigerator was restocked every afternoon.

As for the restaurants, we were NEVER disappointed! Food was awesome. Each morning we went up to the Sabrina's Marketplace on the butler side for a buffet breakfast, and I have to say one of the best buffets I have ever been too! We go to Vegas alot and this ranked way above alot of the best Vegas breakfast buffets. We ate lunch a few times at Beach Bistro, Neptunes and Mariners. These are great for lunch when you are on the beach, often we would get a plate of food and take it back to our lounge chair. We had dinner at Valentinos, Kimono's and Kelly's Dockside. Kelly's was our favorite, filet mignon to die for! Kimono's was great too and loved the "Benihana" style, they had everyone participating! Valentino's was good italian food (portions were a little on the small side though). We did have room service a few nights after a long day at the beach, their jerked chicken wraps are the bomb!

But what made the trip?? The employees! Did not meet a single employee that did not have a smile on their face or went out of their way to get you anything you needed! They were all so nice and friendly!

So, there were a few reviews before leaving that made me a little concerned and wanted to clear up. One were that cats were "everywhere", seriously could not be further from the truth. We saw 3 kittens and one larger cat the entire stay, they were off in the bushes and not bothering anyone! Next is the liquor, they had every liquor you could imagine (including top shelf) and kept your drink full at all times! Often they had a drink at your hand before you could even finish the first one! And our AC ran great! Our room was always a perfect 69 degrees! We did have a few power outages there, but nothing was wasn't just a minor inconvenience.

The only bad part about our trip was Island Routes, rude people that completely screwed up our reservation multiple times (that had been made in advance of the trip), stuck us on a bus that had way too many people. Will never use them again and will book with independent tour companies for our excursions instead!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

Overall: This was one of the best vacations and resulted in so many new experiences. We booked our trip through Mitch @ Tripguy and everything went according to plan.
This was the first time we've kayaked, snorkeled, paddle-board, tried new foods (pig,duck, Jamaican cuisine) and it was all included. We also had a couples massage and did the Catamaran Cruise to Dunn River at an extra cost but it was worth the experience.

Concierge: The staff at Club Sandals is absolutely what made our experience so enjoyable. As soon as we arrived, we were taken to Club Sandals and greeted by Horatio and Keri Ann. Anything we needed they graciously arranged. Keri Ann went above and beyond by escorting us to dinner at Kimono's and to the Beach Party to ensure we were able to take part in the full experience (including drinking coconut juice). Horatio was always a delight and arranged our excursions and massages. Then there was Racquel who handled everything else and always pleasant. Vishal the manager on the beach side displayed such great leadership. He was not only personable when interacting with the staff but spent time getting to know my husband and I. He even personally made calls to grant a personal request for my husband.

Room: We stayed in a Honeymoon Club Villa on the Seaside. The location of the room was the best. It was close to everything including the shuttle needed to visit the Hillside of the resort. However, the bed and pillows were very uncomfortable.

Food: Overall the food was good. We found the breakfast/lunch buffet at Sabrina's and the Grill on the Hillside to be better than on the beach. The Manor and Kimono's were our favorite restaurants. We visited both of them twice. We also enjoyed Kelly's.

Nite-life: I had hope the Nite-life would be a little better but after being up early and participating in so many activities it may not have made a difference.

We would absolutely visit SGR again.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ms N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clemmons, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

This was our 7th trip to SGR and we absolutely loved every minute of it! The staff make this resort the best and we continue to return because of that fact. Everyone is so friendly and will go above and beyond to make sure you are having a wonderful time. We are proud to say many of the staff have become good friends. Some of the people that made this trip extra special were Danielle at the beach club, Kenroy at Bayside, Helron at the front desk, Martin at the Piano bar, Demar at Neptunes, Nerrol at the beach club and Tyrone at the Riviera pool. Danielle made every morning at the beach special by putting towels on our beach chairs and making sure we had drinks at all times. Kenroy at Bayside always greets us with a big smile and even cooked up a special treat for us. Helron made sure to check up on us throughout the week and always had a pleasant personality. He joked with my husband daily which was so much fun! Martin kept the drinks flowing and was so much fun in the piano bar. Demar made our dinner at Neptunes extra special by taking pictures and setting up a special table for us. He is also a great server. Nerrol always makes sure we have everything we need on the beach and even goes snorkeling with us after work. He is a great person and so much fun. Tyrone is also a fun bartender and great person. The resort was gorgeous as always and the food was wonderful! Get the fried ice cream at Soy! So delicious! We tried Soy for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. A special thank you to the staff there for making me feel comfortable trying sushi for the first time. I really enjoyed it! Everyone at SGR are truly great and we cannot wait to go back again next year!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank AmyC_JA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elmvale, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2014

Wow where do I start! TERRIBLE service from the moment we arrived. Suggested by my travel Agent Angela at Jetset Trave. (will never use her again) Half the wedding party was spilt up and put at the beach side which is not walking distance, you take a shuttle bus back n forth. Food portions are VERY small, not accommodating at all, only time we all got to sit together was wedding reception. Pool is dirty, no room service, rooms are very small! Wifi was $14 a day or $45 for the week, never have I ever had to pay for wifi on a all inclusive vacation. I DO NOT reccomend Sandals for a wedding or even a vacation, WAY over priced. Will never go back.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Toddia V
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 review, 13 July 2014
Dear Toddia,
We are truly sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience with us and it was very disheartening to know you left with an unsavory impression of the resort. Guest satisfaction is our #1 priority, and we are never pleased to note that a guest returned home not completely happy with their visit Thank you for your review and notifying us of your concerns. We highly regard your feedback, as this is the means by which we are able to amend any possible shortcomings in our vacation package. If you have any further concerns you with to share with us, please do not hesitate contact our Customer Care Team by email at customerservice@grp.sandals.com.
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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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa 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 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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