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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 4 August 2014

This review is a little dated from 2013, but still was a good, positive stay. I also wanted to include dive photos and video to help show the dive/snorkel conditions.

Couple things to note:

1. If you are staying at Sandals, use a specific Sandals Travel Agent. These individuals are specific for Sandals and ours was a godsend. They will help immensely in understand the resort and local community. This will help extensively for planning and preparation.
2. Purchase travel insurance. Things happen and it is well worth the money. If you are a diver, purchase DAN for yourself and FAMILY! Keep in mind if you get flown out, unless you have family, they stay there. There are a few of the negative reviews that resulted from accidents/injury/loss (that were not responsibility of Sandals) that would have benefited from travel insurance protection.

We stayed for 7 days in a hillside butler suite. Really liked the service and food is very good. Last time we were at Sandals in St. Lucia (La Toc) and big difference upgrading to butler level rooms. Trip from airport was 90 minutes.

Excursions were great--ziplining and dolphin encounter.

We also did the Reading Roadtrip where you can bring a couple books and read to a class of 1-2 graders. This was very rewarding and the kids were great. Another program that is worthwhile is Pack for a Purpose (www.packforapurpose) to donate school/medical supplies in the area. We went a little extra and donated a full carry-on bag with school supplies. Sandals staff was extremely thankful we provided it for their local programs.

Scuba was great. First time diving with my Advanced Open Water. Had at least 1, if not 2 dives per day. Dive shop staff kept all my gear and setup/rinsed after each dive. Also did a night dive and a deep dive. Both were fantastic and deep dive was just me and Divemaster before the normal morning scheduled dives. No night dive pics as camera goofed up on water entry. No flooding, but the memory card barely came unseated. Easy fix to beat camera on solid object to barely set card in slot. Thankfully shock-proof camera.

We had one issue that Sandals managed very well. I came back from a dive to the Great House. My wife was at one of the pools above the main pool. I went to set my octopus down (needed to record my dive off my computer) with her things and I heard a yell from behind me. She was coming down a curving staircase when she slipped and slid down about 15 steps. She came to rest at the bottom against the railing. Both of us are in the medical profession (she's an NP and I'm a medic), so I went through the standard assessment and it looked like soft tissue injury. A manager came over and we walked through the process of notifications and she was able to walk to the nurse's office. Sandals management was very helpful and thankfully, she only had bruises. Over the last two days, the management staff contacted us multiple times to see how she was doing. Everything went well, except for this little mishap. Could it have been prevented? On our end, maybe coming down a wet staircase too quickly was a contributing factor. It would have helped if there was traction tape or a roughed surface on the stairs.

Even with this event, we still plan to go back to Sandals. The staff handled the event very well and we really enjoyed the stay and activities.

Room Tip: Hillside rooms are quieter than beachside. Butler rooms are worth the investment.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
2  Thank Cory M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,726 - 3,732 of 8,763 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2014

Sandal's Grand Riviera was all that I dreamed it would be. The staff was excellent and very accommodating. We had a villa suite with a private pool and it was well worth the extra expense. Our butler Alshane was fantastic! He catered to our every need and went above and beyond our expectations!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank dmurph72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We were at Sandals for a wedding party which apparently they do a ton of. Some things to be aware of if you are planning a wedding here, very important, all your guests must also stay at the hotel or they will charge you $150 for a "day pass" just so your guests can attend your wedding, it's completely ridiculous and basically robbery. It doesn't matter if you don't drink, doesn't matter if you just want to come for a wedding etc you still have to pay and lets face it, making your guests pay to attend your wedding is beyond tacky.


-all inclusive resort means you can walk up to one of multiple bars and order a drink. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable so that was nice.
-several restaurants on site but virtually all of them are serving generic, mass-produced buffet quality food that you can get anywhere. Even the sit down a la carte restaurant we tried was mediocre at best.
-service at the restaurants was appalling...we were at the bride and groom's table and were amazed at how rude they were to the newlyweds. All kinds of stupid mistakes, not filling their water and wine glasses, not serving them first, giving their guests attitude when they received the wrong dish, it was really bad, I've been treated better at a McDonalds
-there are party bros EVERYWHERE. If that's your scene, you wanna hang out with a pack of baseball hat and croakie wearing, keg standing party tools dressed up like a Hollister commercial then this might be just what you're looking for. But why go to Jamaica for this? Why not just go to Panama City in Florida and save yourself a boatload of money!
-Basically if you want to stay in a pre-fab make-believe version of Jamaica and not experience ANY of the culture, the music, the people, the food and you want to pay a fortune to do it and never leave your little resort except to go to and from the airport then you might enjoy this place, otherwise you'll hate it. You can rent a vacation house nearby for about 1/4 of the price.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank snoogle
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 7 August 2014

Hello and thank you for your review of Sandals Grande Riviera.
We are truly disappointed that you did not fully enjoy your day experience at our resort or found that our service was lacking at any point during the wedding. We have received many compliments about the genuine friendliness of our staff and beautiful property, which leaves us quite disappointed that your experience was not similar. For this, we apologize. I will be sharing your feedback with the resort management team and we hope that you will allow us another opportunity to serve you more efficiently on a future visit.

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

My wife and I visited Ocho Rios for our second anniversary and only had ONE regret! The rooms and staff are up to the usual Sandals standard. (First class!!) Rooms were always clean and the staff was always very friendly and accommodating. I even played one on one basketball with one of the lawn guys when he say that i was shooting by myself. The nightlife at Ochie is the best I've been to at a Sandals. The playmakers ensure that you are thoroughly entertained and well instructed (if you don't know the latest dance moves). My ONLY qualm with this trip (not the resort) is the length of time it takes the shuttle to reach the resort. Prepare for a 2.5 - 3 hour drive from Mobay but once you get there and get some pampering you will forget about it I'm sure....

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank Mikeymics
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014 via mobile

This was my second time to Jamaica but our first time staying at a Sandals Resort. First of all we had a great time and will be back to stay with Sandals; just not at this resort. The drive from the airport in Montego Bay to Ochos Rios takes two hours but it is the longest two hours of your life. Jamaica's water and jungles are beautiful but the country is very poor and a definite eye sore. Once at the resort we were rush greeted and then sent to our room. The room was nice. It smelt like fresh paint and was clean. We had a nice garden view with a balcony that we never used. The resort was beautiful and well kept. The staff was okay. Some were more friendly than others which compensated. We loved the snorkeling and paddle boarding. A definite must try. People were always coming to you on the beach and asking if you'd like a drink. The red stripe light is awesome. Give it a try. The pools are nice and get very crowded so get there early to get a good spot. The food was great. There were so many restaurants and options. Definitely recommend Koi (the sushi restaurant) and Sabrina's Italian market for dinner. We tried all the restaurants they had to offer and those were our two favorite. Breakfast at Bayside is delicious. Both sides of the resort offer a buffet breakfast and lunch everyday. Would definitely recommend this resort to couples who like to drink and party for this is a big resort and people tend to get rowdy at the pool bars. We will be staying at a smaller more secluded resort next time.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Saydee09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

The resort staff is so welcoming and tranquil. The resturants food are excellent choices. The facilities are keep clean. And the security is high on beach and hotel. Weddings, couples togetherness, and fun people. Jamaica me crazy!!

Room Tip: We wouldnt want any other way but Sandals... We had our daughters destination wedding at Sandals Ne...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sonia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

We had a wonderful week at Sandal Resort in Ocho Rios. The service was phenomenal, everyone was so friendly and helpful. The butler service was fantastic, so was the bar service and beach personnel. We would recommend this place, as we used it to just relax or participate in lots of activities. this place had everything for everyone.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Kathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Address: Main Street | P.O. Box 771, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts 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: £305 - £797 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Ochi Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 529
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Situated on over 100 acres of lush hillside gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea•529 villas, luxury rooms and suites with fantastic mountain and ocean views•94 pools (7 large public pools), 22 whirlpools•16 dining options including room service for butler serviced suites•2 luxurious Red Lane Spas•Complimentary golf at Jamaica’s most elite and popular golf course, the Sandals Golf & Country Club (Transfers to the golf course are included)•Over 5,000 sq. feet of first class meeting and conference facilities•Recently completed US$60 million renovation/refurbishing exercise•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Grande Riviera ‘Jamaica’s Leading Resort’ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & 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

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