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“Possibly my best vacation yet” 5 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
South Lyon, Michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Possibly my best vacation yet”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

If you are looking for insight into this resort I will get there, but first I want to start with the people who made this vacation so memorable and that is the workers...

We had Jerome and Rouane as butlers, and they were AMAZING!!! I filled out that butler form prior to going and they did everything we asked and more! Many of the couples we were with made comments about how they wish they had our butlers. I miss those two guys as much as I miss the vacation itself. We weren't particularly high maintenance and our requests were not outlandish, but I guarantee they would do whatever it takes to please their guests even if we were.
Alex at the pool bar was entertaining and energetic. His personality encouraged to us constantly go back to the ochi beach club. Though I don't remember his last name, the playmaker named Jerry, might be one of the best employees a company can have. His positive demeanor and ability to bring out the best in people is unmatched. Plus he is easily the best dancer I've ever seen. Joseph Warner at the manor grill was so polite, sweet, and you can tell he not only cares about making the best food but also making the people that will eat it happy. He and Jerry are so smart, caring, and destined for greatness, that I hope Sandals realizes their potential. Tneisha (I'm sure I spelled it incorrectly,) the playmaker, always had us participating in various pool games and having fun. We met Chantelle on her first day and over the week, she became an asset to Sandals. She was very sweet and loved to interact with people. Everyday we saw her it instantly brought a smile to our face.
Romario and Shawn Day were an absolute blast to hang out with. They are very funny, were good at getting people involved, and along with Jerry, somehow got me to dance. While the pizza was very similar on each side, the best pizzas we had were at bella napoli with Leon as our server. Nicholas the server during the day at dinos pizza went above and beyond to help us and even fetched us some fresh mangos. Jermaine was an excellent server (I know we had him twice and one of the times was at the breakfast on the manor side) Lastly, Topal at soon come back is so sweet and "sings like an angel." Honestly, I know I'm forgetting so many people and these are the people were interacted with that I remember named. Every worker we encountered was so nice and they genuinely wanted to make us happy. I wish I remembered more names because they deserve the recognition! I didn't talk to Vishal but his role was quite clear and he was always looking out for his guests and workers. Caren was so sweet and went out of her way to ensure I was pleased with the resort. Every face we walked by had a smile and said hello. This killed us on our last day when we had to say, "no, it's goodbye."

On to the resort itself...
If you read one review on tripadvisor you read them all but let me just break it down for you.

The atmosphere of this resort is unmatched. You get a feel for the Caribbean and it is exactly what I didn't like about past resorts. There is an awesome beach party for you to drink from coconuts. There is dancing and entertainment. The steelbirds show is fantastic, don't miss it. Every night there is activity. You can dance, sing, drink, and be merry! The workers make sure this happens.

The Beach
-The sand at the beach isn't pure fine or pure white. It is still great though
-The beach is broken into 3 sections. Ochi beach side has some rocks, but it didn't affect anything and claims of these being abundant are exaggerated. The water had some waves, nothing like east coast or La Tok, but enough that if you brought your float you'll be paddling back to shore every few minutes.
-The beach surrounded by the pier is very calm, clear, and not all that deep. Many people often lounged here and relaxed in the water. I for one preferred the beachside due to it not being enclosed. If you are irrationally afraid of sharks, they'd never be able to make it to you in this section! This is an irrational fear for some, I don't believe Jamaica has had a shark attack in over 50 years! No harmful critters in the water from what I saw. A couple schools of fish, a sting ray far from the swimming area, NO sea urchins, stonefish, lion fish etc. Stop worrying =)
-The other beach is primarily for aquasports but you can swim there too. I found the water to be alittle too rough to enjoy the aquasports but the flags were green every day.
-The beach has gorgeous aqua blue water. Maybe not exactly like the website, but let me tell you, we took some photos without a filter that were very very close. I'll post those when I can. Gorgeous water that far exceeded our expectation and it is more like something you'd see in a brochure!

Pools
-3 swimup bars which all have their own atmosphere and all are awesome.
-The manor pool was the typical extravagant gorgeous sandals main pool. I found this to be more relaxed but there were definitely still people partying and playmakers making a great time for everyone.
-Ochi beach club pool was our favorite and had so much activity and fun. I liked this because you can rotate between the beach and the pool. There were also great playmakers and bartenders.
-Pool by the ampitheatre had a fun bartender named andre, but due to flowers there were a lot of bees. Due to plants there was a lot of debris in the water, and due to the broken spicket, sand was dragged into the pool.
-There is a cool quiet pool with a water feature that looks like a slide over by dinos.
-THE TILE IS SLICK! I saw a lot of people almost wipe out and I did! Be very careful when wet or even just walking by the pools.
-The pools in the villa are great, but due to the trees and abundance they will often have debris in them. Ours was cleaned two or three times while we were there. The amount of upkeep is insane, I was once a pool boy, so I understand why there were some leaves in them.

Alcohol
Beer=red stripe which is amazing. I will go to jamaica again and again for this reason. It is so much better than the local beer in other places ex- St. Lucia and Bahamas.
Rum= Appleton which is also amazing. Especially because all the drinks I was having were rum based. I admittedly switched to jack and water to avoid the sweets. The sugary drinks will catch up with you. I found the mixes to be much better than they were last year and this could be due in fact to them being made in a machine and not in a blender every 5 seconds. All Sandals should use the machines for pina coladas and strawberry daquiris as it completely saves productivity. I also think it would be cool if they had a drink menu. I loved almost everything I had, but if you aren't a huge drinker you may not know what to order.
-The bartenders are great. They don't skip on alcohol and if you want them to have a heavy hand they will. You aren't going to be drinking kettleone or the finest of whiskey, but they still have great brands. I'm not a wine drinker, but my wife says their line is good.

Food
-Breakfast does the job. It's nothing you will be raving about, but it is good. I was always trying new fruit. There were smoothies to be made and an excellent omelet station. The buffet also consisted of corn beef hash, pancakes, potatoes etc.
-Lunch, we tried sticking with the pizza as it was very very good. The lunch buffet was decent but not spectacular. The pasta station was actually really good (exceeded my expectations) They had a variety of foods as they have a variety of ethnicities. I always found something to enjoy.

-Dinner the food was very good but I must say not as good as St. Lucia. I enjoyed every meal I had, but if you are expecting 5 star top chef food you may be disappointed. Also, complaints of long wait times are unfounded. I'm sure if you communicate to the staff that you want to eat quickly they would accommodate you. I for one love how long dinner takes because it is an opportunity to eat good food, take in the location, and be with your loved one(s).
Valentinos- this was our best meal hands down. Amazing lamb, great steak and a chicken stuffed with shrimp. The gnochi was excellent but if you are not into spicy food you may want to stay away from it. (I loved it) The ravioli and lasagna was delicious. The lasagna wasn't what I was expecting as it was meatless, but honestly, if you were to call it a stuffed shell, it would have been the best I've ever had! I wasn't going to eat here because I make really great Italian food, but I'm happy I did! It has a cool view too.
Kelly's Dockside- Mahi-Mahi had some bones in it and the filet wasn't all that great. The location is superb but it is a double edged sword as the workers literally run the food to you. It's kind of upsetting people would complain about food temperature because those workers are hustling to get it to you as fast as possible. But at the same time I understand the complaints because it is a restaurant they offer and advertise. I would definitely eat there again because of the atmosphere, it was worth it.
Neptunes- the food was good, not great. Similar menu to kelly's. I had the lamb and it was similar to the way I make it at home. I liked it, but wasn't raving. I think I had the swordfish here, which again was good but not "omg amazing"
Beach party food- I would suggest making dinner reservations for this night, but definitely go to the party. They are battling the elements to keep the food optimal. They do have some meat which is fresh cut, these were all very tasty. I wish there were more sauces available so I could have made the most of it. I wasn't a fan of the cold served seafood.
Welcome back dinner- the food was excellent, my wife's filet mignon was so good, my cut wasn't as good.
Kimonos- been to one hibatchi grill been to them all, but still an awesome time and would do it again.
Manor- I really liked the food here. I was able to eat some curried goat, oxtail, and other food that was from the caribbean.
-All week I wanted to go to Soy, but we couldn't figure out how to fit it into our schedule. I wish it was opened an hr or two earlier, so that we could eat it before getting ready for dinner!
-Each restaurant for dinner and lunch has chicken that was cooked great. I absolutely loved the chicken at this resort.
-I loved how this resort offers the opportunity to eat caribbean food. I wish they put more effort into their jamaican beef patties and offered them with dinner. I went off resort to get a good one! Another suggestion- add some mexican food to the menu somewhere.

In closing, this was the best vacation I've been on. We met so many great workers and also met so many great couples looking to have fun. It was great to meet people from all over the world, from all walks of life, and spend quality time together. I feel as if I made more friends on this trip than I did in the past 10 years. It's important you put things into perspective before going on this trip. If you itemize everything your getting, Sandals is actually a pretty decent deal. Don't go in expecting the nicest resort ever established for the elite of the world. It's luxury, it's great, but it isn't that. If it's your honeymoon, this is something you've dreamed of for so long and Sandals will do everything it can to make you happy, but you have to speak up they are not mind readers. This trip saved sandals for me. While the food and alcohol were big pluses, the star of this resort were the workers. They had personality and remained classy. Other resorts have workers that seem a little robotic.I really want to try more Sandals properties, but the workers here are going to make that decision difficult for me. I will keep my eyes peeled for a good deal to come along because I can't wait to return to Sandals.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I know how important a honeymoon or anniversary is and am more than willing to help you!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank orioles9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Farmington Hills, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

My wife and I had a wonderful time at the Sandals Grande Riviera. Our butlers Anton and Nadine were phenomenal. Anton is definitely the Kevin Hart of Jamaica and Nadine was the, in her own words, "mother of the group". We especially had a great time at the Soy restaurant with our greeter Natoya. Her service was impeccable.

Room Tip: Any room is great but I prefer to see the ocean when I wake up so the Seaside rooms are great.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BeelerJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
167 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Through each step of our booking online and over the phone, Sandals agents encouraged us to prebook any excursions with Island Routes. They constantly mentioned that tours were filling up and that the resort was close to capacity during our visit. Before leaving on our trip we had prebooked and prepaid for an excursion to Dunn's River Falls and the Discover SCUBA lesson. In retrospect, the resort was nowhere near capacity and we had major issues with both reservations (more on this below). My advice is to resist the pushy sales pitches when booking your room and take in the resort for all it is your first day then plan your excursions from there on site.

We didn't wait long at the Sangster International Airport Sandals Lounge before our ride to the resort was ready (but it was enough time to enjoy a few Red Stripes first). We thought it was strange that we rode to the resort in a van that picked up another passenger at a bar but we had no issues. After arriving at the resort we briefly enjoyed some rum punch in the Butler Lounge before our butler drove us to our room. Since it was almost lunch time he offered us lunch right away or a chance to settle in first. He gave us a short tour of our butler poolside honeymoon villa (which was a great choice), then stepped outside while we changed and gave us a ride back to lunch. We were very happy with our room which greeted us with fresh flowers, towel art and champaign. Looking and comparing with the other villas, we were happy that we had views of the ocean from our patio and only one golf cart path in the front of the building which kept nights very quiet. We also heavily utilized room service which was great for late night snacks as something was available 24/7. The stocked bar and minifridge with beer, water, pop and juices was also convenient. Although our pool was shared with our villa of three other couples we were surprised we never saw anyone else using it. It was a nice way to cool down in the evenings and to take a midday break.

After lunch the first day we spent time at the Ochi Beach (the best beach on this resort for staring into the crystal clear ocean), walked to the beach on the Riviera side and enjoyed the pool on that side as well (our favorite of the three main pools). We were able to try tons of different drinks. With only a few repeat orders, I usually just asked for the bartender's personal favorite or favorite drink to make. ODane was our favorite bartender and we were happily surprised each time he stopped to say hello when walking across the resort.

We did not find a restaurant that we didn't like. Restaurants on the Ochi and Riviera side seemed to have better servers and service in general but Manor side was not bad service. Our favorites were China Doll for breakfast (made to order dishes on our Manor side of the resort) and Bella Napoli Pizzeria for lunch (right next to our favorite pool on the Riviera side just up the stairs from the beach and water sports). Neptune's was great for dinner as dining is on the sandy beach with a great view of the Ochi beach. Kelly's provided the only view of sunset and also had some great surf and turf options (thank you to Devoy who fantastically accommodated us the night my wife was ill). Kimono's was great hibachi style food and environment. We wish we would have eaten here sooner in our trip as it's a great chance to talk with other couples eating at your same table.

The morning we had scheduled Discover SCUBA for my wife and a review for myself, we showed up 15 minutes early only to be told that we had not been scheduled and were late as we were supposed to be the 30 minutes early apparently. The dive master at the desk mentioned that they sometimes have issues with prebookings but that we were too late and it would need to be rescheduled for the next morning. They also mentioned that they could not guarantee that she and I would be able to dive together as I was a certified diver and seats on her Discover SCUBA dive boats were given preference to these folks. To get her into the next morning's class when our Dunn's Falls Trip was booked for, the dive master called the Island Routes desk to move our excursion up to later that afternoon (more on that in a bit) and dive the following morning. The next morning we showed up to dive 30 minutes early, my wife took her class and I did my 15 minute refresher for certified divers. Again they mentioned that they could not guarantee me a spot on her boat unless there was room and that we could avoid that issue by paying the additional few hundred dollars and get her certified there. After her class the instructor offered her class of three students the opportunity to dive a special wreck dive not normally open to Discover SCUBA students for $30 extra. Since this was my wife's first dive we decided the normally scheduled dive would be great itself. Because the other students chose the wreck dive the instructor put us on a boat with surprisingly a mix of certified and Discover SCUBA students. We were very happy with the dive and were impressed with the variety and number of fish. The instructors on the trip were very good. After docking we were again offered to certify my wife and further certify myself (something we would have done at home but were told by phone operators that Sandals only accepts PADI which was not the case). My takeaway on diving here is do it; it's fun and is worth the time but be ready to be pressured to spend more money (something we only encountered with Island Routes and our couples massage repeatedly).

The prebooked Dunn's Falls trip became an issue when we showed up an hour early to check in at the Island's Routes desk only to be told that it was no problem but they were not aware we had changed the time of our tour (of course also being suggested to switch to the more expense catamaran ride to the falls, which we declined). Apparently whoever the dive shop spoke with at the Island Routes desk that morning had not written down our change in tour time. This became a problem when we came back to the desk before our tour was supposed to leave and were asked to wait for the rest of the group before departing for the falls. Fifteen minutes after our trip was supposed to leave someone from the desk said our trip was being canceled as the other couple was not coming and that they have a minimum of four for Dunn's. I explained the SCUBA scheduling issue and why our Dunn's tour had been rescheduled. I asked that because of those issues and that we'd been waiting to leave on our trip if she could make some kind of exception. After only offering me a refund, I asked to speak with her manager. While waiting she excused the taxi driver who was going to take us on the tour. I asked him if he would mind waiting since the manager was coming and told her I'd appreciate it if she'd not ask him to leave until the issue was resolved. When the manager came over to our side of the resort, the driver had left again as the woman at the desk did not ask him to stay. After explaining to the manager my situation he said he'd let us go with the driver because of the two issues we'd had. He then had to call the cab company again to send the driver back. While we greatly appreciated the manager making the situation right, there was certainly no convenience of using Island Routes rather than calling the cab company yourself. That being said, the falls were fun to scale and I highly recommend seeing them... just not with Island Routes. We didn't let the issues with SCUBA or getting to the falls dampen our honeymoon at all, we still had a great time. We just felt the inconvenience of both experiences will keep us from ever prebooking any activities on the resort and instead just add on as we go.

In addition to the falls and SCUBA we had plenty to do on property during our honeymoon. Water sports were a great way for us to burn off some energy and enjoy the sun. If there's a sport in particular that you want to try, be sure to check it out as soon as you can as some lessons are only offered once a day and can be wind/wave dependent. High winds kept us from getting a chance to check out stand up paddles and sailing until later in our trip but we had a great time when we did. The instructors did a great job making us comfortable until we were ready to go on our own. Next time I hope the weather cooperates enough to try wind surfing.

Grounds across the three sides of the resort are very well kept and beautiful to take in and enjoy. An afternoon in the hammock was very relaxing. Some evenings we played shuffleboard, with a drink of course. Entertainment was fun each night. We especially liked the Reggae show (very interactive Bob Marley tribute) and the beach party (fun variety acts). I recommend checking out each night's entertainment. It's all different and is a great reason to get out of the room in the evening.

One of the best touches of our stay was Aldrich the butler. He seemed genuinely friendly and happy to help us. When my wife was not feeling well, he constantly restocked our room (a few times throughout the day) with bottled water. We'd be very happy to have him again on a return visit. Returning is something we would really like to do with only a few things we'd do differently. Besides booking the room, we would certainly not preschedule anything more. If we decide to do an excursion, we'll find a company (saw some great ones on tripadvisor) and book it ourselves. We'll also get my wife SCUBA certified before coming down.

Room Tip: Most rooms on the Riviera side looked very close to the main pathway which would be very convenient...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JWhyJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen Cove, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

Sandals Grande Riviera Review - Honeymoon July 2014
7 days/7 nights

This resort was recommended by a Liberty Travel Agent. At first we were thinking of the Sandals in Nassau Bahamas, however this was certainly the best choice for us!

1. Arrival & Departure
Once arrived at MJB you will hang out in the nice sandals lounge until your shuttle has arrived. We didn't wait longer than 20 mins, we were also the only couple in the van for both transports from/to the airport.

If you are fully capable of wheeling your luggage 50ft do not allow the airport "bellhop" to take your luggage he will clearly ask for a tip for the lack of labor performed.

2. Restaurants
Breakfast :
Bayside had the best breakfast buffet with fresh smoothies :) Sabrina's was similar but just okay. We preferred Bayside bc of location and had slightly better food.
China Doll for breakfast was a good change since it wasn't buffet. It is not open everyday, also the door is always shut so it looks closed. We had an awesome breakfast of eggs benedict and steak and eggs. The portions are small for my husband so he ordered two entrees. They are perfectly okay with customers ordering more than one plate :)
Valentino's was never open for breakfast. I think bc July is slower season.

Lunch :
We loved Mariners and the Beach Bistro. The food was good and we loved the nacho bar and self serve ice cream. Plus the location for both was awesome.
Dino's pizza was okay.
Didn't love the lunch buffets at Sabrina's I would skip that. Didn't try the lunch at bayside but I feel it would be similar to Sabrina's.

Dinner :
The Reef, really great food with Caribbean flare. Nice location. The meat and fish were cooked perfectly.
Kimonos, awesome time. I feel the Jamaican hibachi chefs are funnier and have great personality.
Valentino's, okay Italian. But it's hard to get Italian when you're from a very Italian location.
Kelly's Dockside, very good food, cooked to our liking. The only food item that was cold when it came out was the appetizer, other than that it was perfect.
Bayside, also delicious for dinner.

For dinner I would of gone back to Kimonos, Kelly's Dockside, and Bayside.
We didn't get to try Sabrina's (for dinner), The Manor, Soy, or China Doll for dinner.

We do wish they had a Mexican restaurant on the premises. It would add nicely to the tropical atmosphere all around. Maybe China Doll could be transformed to an upscale Mexican, we felt that you can get chinese takeout at home any day.

Waiters we had that we're excellent we're Brandon at Kelly's and Jeremiah at Mariner. Also Tex at Kimonos was hilarious!

3. Room & Butlers
We originally booked a garden view honeymoon suite with semi private pool (this is on the butler side). On arrival our butler got us a sweet ocean view room. Such a nice gesture, this possibly was because we had such an early flight we arrived to the resort before noon.

Our butlers were Scott and Shaw. They were AMAZING and made the honeymoon experience so much better. We really do hope we can head back just for their service again. They went above and beyond making our time excellent and a couple of times we understood why you would want a butler.

My husband got red wine spilled on his shirt by a waitress just before the “White Night”. He called up Scott to take him back to the room to change, made it back in record time!

Shaw made us an amazing (and very funny) towel creation for us the 2nd night. He also delivered my Husband’s Heineken's to Jamie's Sports bar to watch the final World Cup match :).

We enjoyed the butler side and didn't have an issue with the shuttle bus to the other side. Never had to wait longer than 5mins. We are also morning/day people so this was perfectly fine.

Our room was amazing. I was really happy we took advantage of the suite with the pool almost everyday. We had no problems with the room. The pool was a little on the dirty side, and they could have fixed the lounge chairs as two of them were broken/ruined.


4. Bars
We mainly went to the swim up bar at the Riviera pool, and the Manor pool. Also the Polo Lounge and Jamie's sports bar.

We loved the swim up bars, I think this was our favorite part of the day.

The outdoor bars had a minor bee issue, but it didn't seem to be a problem for the guests, only the workers.

5. Events & Playmakers
We loved the Playmaker crew at Jamie's; Chantelle, Jerry, Courtney, and Jason all did a great job at getting everyone playing the daily games.

Next time we vacation here we would like to devote an entire day for these games and participate on the manor side. We did try to participate in the Water Balloon toss however they didn't stick to the schedule and played much earlier than scheduled.

Our favorite night activity was the beach party which is on Mondays we felt it had the best entertainment of the week. Make sure you arrive for at least one Monday night stay :)

6. Pools
Our favorite pool was the Manor pool. It was so large it was fun to lounge around. The Riviera pool was nice too, a bit more relaxing. We never really went to the Ochi beach club pool.

7. Excursions
We did three excursion through our trip and loved them all.

Zip lining @ Chukka - This I believe was the more rustic option. With a 5 min hike, 9 zip lines and one repelling line. Def a good option for the adventurous type. The tour guides were excellent and worked really fast!

ATV Tour @ Chukka - First time ATV'ing and loved it. Again for the adventurous type since you need to maneuver over rocky areas. However easy enough to learn quickly. Make sure to bring water shoes and a bathing suit as there is a 15 foot cliff dive (at your own risk). We both did this and it wasn't as frightening as anticipated.

Catamaran "Booze" Cruise to Dunns River Falls - This is a must do for anyone who plans on going to Dunns River. It was a 4-5 hour trip that included snorkeling on the way over, Dunns River tour, snacks, full bar, and a DJ spinning great music. The crew was amazing they did a great job of serving everyone. The best part was being in the front part of the boat. Traveling back you are against the waves so careful if you're not one for rough waters.

I would do the catamaran again. Maybe a diff. party tour bc I don't need to do the Dunns river again.

8. Other Tips / Comments
- Only beer on tap is Red Stripe. Because we had butler service we were able to get Heineken and/or Guinness but it might take a day and you're only supposed to get a 6-pack a day. Other beer requests would be additional $

- I wish throughout the resort they offered other beer selections, maybe 3-4.

- When we arrived I didn't bring many bills (such as $10s, $5s and $1s) I didn't realize until halfway through the front desk was able to give me change in American money. This is helpful because you will need to tip the tour guides and the drivers to and from the excursions.

- You can tip your butler in cash or credit. However cash is always prefered for the obvious reason they don’t need to claim that to the government in taxes. We gave most in cash, but some on credit.

- Sandal’s Select Members. At the Wednesday night dinner they said if we go to the “Soon Come Back” desk to book another trip we would get $100 off our next vacation. The $100’s wasn’t appetizing, we felt it should've been more like $200-$500 discount. We got more of a discount from our travel agent for paying off the trip when we booked.

- We aren’t HUGE rum drinkers so we were hesitant on the daily rum punches. Although they were excellent! Make sure you get the daily one, now I need to make these at home :)

Room Tip: Take the first flight out. Maybe if you arrive early you have a choice of a better room. We were &qu...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Shannon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

My wife and I took our honeymoon to Sandals Grande Riviera. The pictures of the rooms in the brochure are not what the room really looks like. First we arrived and we waited about an hour for check in (after we asked 4 different people what to do). We loved that our bags were taken up to our room and the guy stocking our fridge was super friendly and nice. He even remembered our names all week! We were shocked on how small our room was and how little storage we had to unpack our clothes. We ended up leaving our clothes in our suitcases because we had no room in the draws to put everything. I took a shower the first night we arrived and right after I put shampoo in my hair the water turned cold and then shut off. We called and they acted like we were making everything up. After about 5 minutes of turning on and off the shower knob the water started flowing again. This happened to me another night and then this happened to my wife the one morning. We reported all 3 incidents and the front desk acted like they did not want to deal with it. Housekeeping was always in our rooms when it was the must inconvenience time, like right after breakfast, in the evening before dinner, or around 9-10 pm each night. We also could hear everything that went on in our hallway and outside our balcony. We could hear all the golf carts with their back up beeper, drunks at 1 in the morning walking back to their rooms, and so much more. The bed was very hard and made lots of noises when we would roll over or get in or out of bed. We found the pools to be very dirty and I even cleaned the leaves out of the one pool myself so we could go swimming. The bartenders were very nice and they knew how to keep a party going and make everyone laugh! The food was alright. We did not like being on a schedule to eat dinner at a certain time everyday. We were not impressed with this resort. We will check out other resorts before coming back to a Sandals resort in the future. Make sure know what you are getting yourself into before you book at this resort.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Daniel H
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, 17 July 2014
Hello Daniel,

We are so sorry to hear that you had this experience with us. We are known for providing high quality vacations with top notch service and unfortunately, during your experience, it seems we did not meet those expectations. We strive to provide our guests with the best vacation experience possible and we appreciate you contacting us as it allows us tot make the necessary improvements to ensure we are meeting this goal. I would like to get a few additional details about your experience and have our resort management team look into your concerns further. Thank you for your review and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

This was our first sandals vacation and our last!! We were extremely disappointed in the quality of our vacation. The room was most definitely not what we seen in brochures.. I have stayed at nicer days Inn, not to mention CLEANER!! When we woke up in the morning we called to order room service so we could have our breakfast out on the patio as we were told we could. When we called, I was told that was not part of our package.. REALLY??? is this not an ALL INCLUSIVE vacation???? I was with a wedding party that was truly dissatisfied with the customer service. I cannot say how many times we were told NO!! From sitting together in restaurants to things that were available to do.. The pool was DISCUSTING.. We had to ask to have someone come clean one of the pools! Some of the chairs were falling apart, the pool beds were tore.. vacations are meant to do at ones time.. not have to make sure you are showered and dresses at certain times to get a meal.. Meals were so small and tasteless!!! I cannot say how truly disappointed we are for this All Inclusive Vacation.. I suggest Sandals rethink advertising All Inclusive.. considering most items are extra!! Room Service, Cabana's,(most of these were empty the entire time we were there!!) internet access, most restaurants are on a schedule..NO ONE SHOULD BE ON A SHEDULE WHEN ON VACATION!!! We go to relax and get away from schedules! Bottom line, definitely NOT the vacation we had been looking forward for....

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tammy P
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, 16 July 2014
Hello Tammy,
Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us about your visit. We regret to hear that you left dissatisfied with some aspects of your stay at Sandals Grande Riviera and that we did not meet your expectations. We apologize for any inconvenience you experienced and we will be contacting the resort management about your concerns for immediate follow-up. If you have further concerns please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Team by email at customerservice@grp.sandals.com, they will be more than happy to assist you further
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwick, Rhode Island, United States
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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.
See more room tips
  • 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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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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury 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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