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“Had a brilliant stay! Would definitely recommend this hotel”

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Sand Castles Resort
Ranked #19 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Had a brilliant stay! Would definitely recommend this hotel”
Reviewed 26 October 2011

After reading these reviews 2days before I set off I was very tempted just to cancel my whole holiday!

I am delighted to say I had a wonderful experience at this hotel. My room was very modern and decorated to a high standard (although I did privately rent through a owner). Location is spot on. The security are fantastic - one of my friends stayed in another hotel she couldn't even get passed the front gate without being stopped from going any further without authority from me!

Through the back gate is more or less entry straight onto the beach.

I can't wait to go back to Jamaica - I will definitely be staying in this hotel again.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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320 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2011

Stayed at Sandcastles at the end of August. Obviously the season was coming to an end so it was very quiet. Nonetheless the rooms were clean, the staff were very polite and friendly. The breakfast was enourmous (the sort you would have at home and home cooked), I would recommend the ackee and sltfish with two boiled dumplings, a piece of yam and 2 fried dumpling and a green banana!!! you won't have to eat again until 8pm. We were so impressed by the breakfast that we decided to have dinner, which was also enourmous and very tasty. The view from our apartment (D16)of the beach, the caribbean sea, and the ocean liner were stunning. It was in a very good position for shops and restaurants. The swimming pool was clean! It is not 5 star accommodation but we had a comfortable stay. Big up to Mister Cox! see you next year!

Room Tip: D Block overlooked the sea.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sistajean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Parsippany
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2011

So I saw all the bad reviews for Sand Castles, but decided to stay there anyway. I have been to Jamaica many times, and I knew that Sand Castles was a great location. Everything is in walking distance, and it is right on the beach.
First, let me start with a positive. The view from our room was breathtaking. That's about it for the positive.
Upon check in we let the woman know about all of the awful reviews that we saw on trip advisor and she assured us that thoes issues were with guests that book through private owners. Let me just say how wrong she was. It took about an hour to get to our room because it was raining and they had no umbrella (can't control mother nature, but no umbrella?). The first room that they took us to had a leaking roof (good thing that it was raining). We were assured that we would get put into a different room, that took another half hour. The room was clean, but very out dated. We stayed in D30. Our view was spectacular. It looked right onto the beach. The room was spacious.
The day after we checked in we found out that there was only one key for the room, so we had to wait for the woman to clean while we were there the first day of our vacation. The woman who cleaned let us know that the last occupant took the second key home with them. So now there is someone out there with a key to our room.
Housekeeping took our towels everyday, but never left us new ones. We had to call daily for new towels. The towels looked dirty so we ended up using our beach towels and used their towels on the floor of the bathroom because the showers leaked. Anytime that we went out we had to leave the key at the front desk, so that we didn't have to stay and wait for them to clean. The one day housekeeping failed to lock our door after they cleaned. Now after reading about all the theft we made sure that we checked all of our belongings. Luckily nothing was taken. We also had to call and ask for an iron daily. They didn't have enough irons to keep in the rooms, so after we used it we had to return it.
Upon check out we were not even asked how our stay was. I turned in the key, and all I got was a "thanks".

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jensalmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ocho Rios hotels

Manchester
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2011

I'd stayed at Sandcastles 3 years before so knew how brilliant its location was, so wanted to go back there when staying 5 days in Oche before going on to my friend's wedding at Half Moon in Montego Bay. However, I got no responses to my emails or phone calls (no manager available and the promise of a call-back didn't materialise). I then went on Owners Direct and found an apartment at Sandcastles through Palm View Apartments. This worked out really well for me and my 2 friends as it was independently cleaned and kept in good order by the owner's representative. I do think Sand Castles itself was in need of refurbishment so understand what the last reviewer was saying, but it's in a fantastic spot, with access to the lovely Turtle Beach and has beautiful courtyard gardens. Another 2 friends stayed at Rooms on the Beach and had a lovely view and thought it was great and we went to eat at Hibiscus Lodge and thought that was fab - but it was way past the market in the down-town area so not very central - and as my friend had restricted mobility that caused some difficulty. My advice if you want to stay at Sandcastles is find an independent owner rather than go through the hotel itself.

Room Tip: Book with an owner-occupier separately from the hotel
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Walkingfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hoboken, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2011

I spent 4 nights at the hotel left the room at about 12 midnight, in the morning I realized my cash has been stolen, didnt even realized they had stolen my credit card also. They racked up over USD5000.00.

They hotel would clean the room take my towels and did not replace them until way in the evenings.
On one particular day I showered twice with no towels.
Don't go there stay at rooms or turtle towers.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AmberP123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Jamaica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2011

From the moment we checked in the disaster began. The property seemed dated and in dire need of repairs. The room was filthy with hairs and cobweb in corners, it smelt extremely musty. Upon checking the bathroom, I realised that there were no towels and a call was made to the operator who promised to send some to the room. I then decided to call back to make a request for an iron, a remote for the television and to inform them that the refrigerator was not working; however the phone went unanswered for approximately one hour. Out of frustration I walked to the front desk to put in my requests and was given remote and instructions as to how to program it. After numerous attempts to program the remote I gave up. After waiting for three hours without any towel delivery to the room or no sign of maintenance to check the refrigerator, I went in search of a housekeeper. I met a lady on one of the blocks who saw the distress on my face and enqired about my problem. I told her that I was tired of waiting for towels and she then explained to me that they were having an issue with their laundry which resulted in the shortage of linen. Another housekeeper then proceeded to explain that they had towels in stores and that they had informed the manager to pull same and she did not. These very nice ladies removed two towels from a vacant room and offered them to me so that my spouse and I could take a shower after a four hour drive into Ocho Rios and get ready for the party we were there to attend. After telling these ladies about the non programable remote one followed me to the room where she discovered that the wrong remote had been issued to me.
After thinking things could not possibly get worse, they did. Uppon stepping into the shower I realized that the water was frigid. I then went back to the front desk to enquire whether or not we were entitled to hot water or if the room was equipped with such a facility and I was told yes and Maintenance would come to check on it. We then left for a party and when we returned it was obvious that maintenance did not visit the room, because the refrigerator did not work and there was still no hot water. So we both took showers in the freezing water and went to sleep.
After breakfast (11:30 a.m.) I went in search of the front office manager to express my concerns and was told that she was not there as yet, I was also informed that there was no other manager or supervisor on property at 11:30. I then decided to inform the front desk agent again about the condition of the room and she diligently wrote down every complaint. She then told me that she knows how frustrated I was because they as line staff were also frustrated due to the fact that there were times when no manager waspresent and they ( the line staff have to run the property by themselves). I went back to the room and finally a maintenance person arrived. he looked at the refrigerator, flipped a switch( the same switch that we had been flipping from the previous day )and said nothing. He turned off the breaker and turned it back on and thenI asked him to take a look at the bathroom sink which had been clogged from the moment we entered the room. He was also informed about the lack of hot water to which he responded that he was going up unto the roof to fix it. We then left to attend another party. Upon returning we realised nothing had been fixed and took another shower in the freezing water and left for another party.
After all that dancing in hot, muggy Ocho Rios we were looking forward to a shower no matter how cold it would be. When I stepped into the shower and turned the faucet it came off into my hand. I decided to take a shower from the sink and got all soapy only to realise that there was no water in the tap. Fuming I went to the front desk (approximately 3:30 a.m.) and rang the bell repeatedly without anyone responding. Finaly the main gate security came and called the young man from the back to assist me. I then asked for the night manager and was told there was none available. I then repeated my issues to him for what seemed like the millionth time and as expected he started to write them down. I then asked if there was no bakup water supply to which he responded no. I contemplated going into the pool to rinse off the soap from my body then decided not to as the water was so grey and the pool looked very dirty. So I took the most uncomfortable sleep I have ever had in my life.
It was time to check out and I could not have been happier to get away from that hell hole. This is now 12:30 PM and I asked for the front office manger who as expeced was not on property as yet, neither was the General Manager. I was refered to a supervisor who then took out a sheet of paper to write my concerns and thats when I flipped. They has written down all my complaints several times and obviously did not pass on anything. She then proceeded to tell me she was wondering why I was not offered a room change. She had some nerve asking such a stupid question. A room changed can only be approved by a manager or supervisor who was never on property to do so. She then wanted to collect information regarding name and email which I found to be even more stupid. She could have easly pulled my registration card and all the necessary details would have been there.

I believe the owner should step in and evaluate the performance of his managers and invest some tie and money into customer service training. A property small has so much potential, however the team of workers is preventing it from shining. I have worked in hotels for my entire professional career and never have I encountered anything that bad. I will be telling others not to visit this resort. I have one word to discribe the entire resort SLOPPY!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank blaqhart2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Maarten-St. Martin
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2011

My name is Magda and my friend Cawaynet we stayed at the Sandcastle Resort we checked in on July 2nd 2011, I had reservations for 9 nights we were robbed of our personal items like 3 credit cards a digital camera, my drivers license 2 bags went missing my purse containing US cash of approx.$ 1300,00 my house keys and some other personal itmes on Sunday July 3rd not even 24 hours we had checked in to the hotel. We left the items in our room and we left the roommaid in our room about 15 minutes after we realized that we did not take the camera with us to the beach  so Cawayne went back to look for the camera and it was not in the room and then he called me and asked me where the bag with the camera was and I told him just where I left it on the dining room table from the evening before we went to bed and he statred to look for my hand and to discover the bag was not there with my credit cards cash drivers license everything was gone the housemaid was still in the room when we returned and we asked her if she saw the bags and she said no and then we called security and they took a while before they came and they searched the room and then we decided to call the police which took more the 1!/2 hour before they came to the room they also searched and then they took us along with  the house maid to the police station and asked us some questions but up to the time that I left Jamaica I did not recieved my official police report nothing no answer exept we are so sorry for what happened to you we checked out on July 3rd and we went to stay at the Pier View Inn and it went well at that hotel. There was no manager no supervisor on duty that day becaise it was Sunday the security did not search the premises of the hotel neither did the police officers conducted a search to see if they can least locate the missing items the situation was handled very poorly. After we got robbed of our personal items we were then told by several persons outside that we told of what had happened to us that it is accostum of happening at the Sandcastle Resort I do not recomend noone to stay there because it if not safe if you can be robbed and noone can help you.On Monday we spoke to a lady that was filling in for the Manager because the actual Manager was on vacation and she apologized and promised that she will send in our claim of the things that we lost to  Insurance company and that can take a while before we ever get any thing back form the insurance she promised us that she would look into the matter and would give us a call up to this date noone from the hotel ever made contact with us again, She also asked us if when we checked into to resort that we were told by the Frontdesk clerk on July 2nd that the safety deposit box in the room was not working so we could have brought them to the frontdesk where they have safety deposit boxes there we told her that noone told us anything that the boxes were not working in the rooms. I am wondering if our claim to the insurance company will ever be filed. The Sandcastle Resort did refund us our reservation deposit. We also made contact with the Jamaica Tourist Board in Ocho Rios they made contact with an officer who works on these cases but he was not able to help us. On that same day a next guest also reported that her Black berry phone went missing from her hotel room also and nothing was done to help her either we were all staying on the same Block D. The workers all got offensive and had attitudes after that day Sunday July 3rd. I have never in my life saw a roommaid arguing with a guest becaus Cawayne asked the roommaid if by chance it could have been her who took the bags from our room due to the fact that she was the only one in the room and that we did not leave the room earlier and from that moment security everyone got offensive and they were upset when they saw us back on the property on Monday July 3rd where we asked the Frontdesk to ask her supervisor if we can have a look around the property to see if we can find the stolen items hoping that they threw them some where on the proerty. I blocked the credit cards so they are not able to use them they cannot use the drivers license because it is a foreign license. The experience that I had on my trip to the Sandcastle Resort in Ocho Rios was horrible and I do not recomend noone to stay at that hotel apparently these robberies is a costumary happening at the resort and the managment do not help you when you find yourself in this situation. My email address is: maggie_maccow@yahoo.com I have wriiten the truth about what happened to me at the Sandacstle Resort and I do not have any reason to lie about what took place and I am only advising other tourist who would like to stay at the resort to be extra carefull with your personal items

Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank Disapointed98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sand Castles Resort

Property: Sand Castles Resort
Address: 1 Main Street, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sand Castles Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 174
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sand Castles Hotel Ocho Rios
Sand Castles Ocho Rios
Sandcastles Ocho Rios
Sandcastles Beach
Sandcastles Resort Jamaica
Sand Castles Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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