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“Perfection”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
London
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfection”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2011

My partner and I stayed at the Royal Plantation for a week at the start of March. I cannot praise the hotel staff and management enough on the quality of the service, accomodation and food.
We had our butlers Mario and Garry who were excellent but not often needed due to the constant (yet not intrusive) attention given by every single member of staff.
We utilised the scuba diving next door (very good - but be aware if you dont have a dive log you will have to do a check where you set up your own kit so dont expect to go for a dive on your first morning if this is the case. Also I reccomend that you do the wreck dive - you get to go through some tunnels!) at the sandals grande which only served to re-inforce the qulaity and beauty of the RP. I often couldnt get back to our hotel quick enough (the Sandals Grande guests are not allowed in the RP!).
The beaches were small but perfect and kept very clean. the sun loungers were very comfortable.
The food was stunning, I was not nearly bored after a week there - infact there were still many things I wanted to try. The Papillion was indeed the best restaurant but the Grill was also lovely and such a lovely location right next to the beach (it also did fantastic lunches) and the terrece was worth a visit. Breakfasts were amazing and you could order all sorts of cooked alternatives to the buffet such as eggs bendict or corned beef hash!. We went to Gordons, the butler only restaurant at the sandals grande for one night which was quite good. The seafood starter was amazing - i wouldnt suggest going if you dont like shellfish, as the mains (where you could have meat) were not as good as the starters.
The rooms were lovely
I would suggest you avoid the spa as it is overpriced,£150 for a facial that was average at best.
The cocktails are all very well made, the maritinis especially so (dont forget to try an expresso martini or a chocolatey one after dinner!).
All in all this was the best holiday I have ever been on.
PERFECTION.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank HollyStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

My husband and I are platium sandals select members and we just didn't get the acknowledgment we were expecting. It seems the more sandals you staly at the less the service you get. Last month we stayed at LaTac Regency in St. Lucia and it was terrible and this time in Jamaica better but still as a sandals select member you expect the little extra like the welcome home sign on the door and the welcome gift and thats does not happen here at least for us. This is our 7th stay at sandals and the more stays we have the more dissapointed we get. The butlers are great here and willing to help with anything. The music at night is a little much if you are trying to sleep.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pickme111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
529 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2011

Our vacation didn't start well, with a delayed flight that put us into the resort after dark. Our shuttle driver David Campbell stopped so we could pick up some drinks to make the long drive to the hotel in the dark more tolerable. The road was good, not the usual hilly, stop/start, nausea inducing ride. Our arrival was greeted warmly with a cold drink and they got us checked in and our butler took us to our room. He very formally showed us around, gave us the cell phone and told us it was like the magic lamp, and he was the genie. The room (basic) was lovely, overlooked the ocean and had an EXTREMELY comfortable bed, was very clean, and tastefully decorated.

We were with a group. There was also another large group at the hotel while we were there. As the resort is so small, I found that large groups were very conspicuous. With only 74 rooms, it is easy to see how a group could almost take over the resort.

I had tried to call ahead (before we left) to book into Le Papillon for our large group, so that we could be assured that we would be sitting on the balcony. The woman I spoke to assured me that we would be on the balcony of Le Papillon on three separate nights, which I wrote down. When we tried to confirm this, we discovered that this was not, in fact, done at all, and we had only one reservation to Le Papillon, and that was in the Drawing Room (lovely. Winston Churchill ate there!). I dug in my heels and they sent an assistant manager to look for me on the beach and he swung a deal with me. While we didn't end up with our dinner on the balcony of Le Papillon, he did set up a special dinner for us on the pool deck, which was fabulous (and closer to the water). We also had a dinner on the East beach as a special dinner, and the night in the Drawing Room. For three nights our group was served dinner separately from the other hotel guests, which I thought was quite brilliant of the management. We were a rather boisterous group, and a lot of the hotel guests were looking for a quiet evening, so by setting us aside, we felt very special, and the other hotel guests had their more sedate meal.

The food was very good. We did the buffet breakfast every day, and there was always plenty to choose from and of good quality. FYI - champagne and mimosas are available at breakfast, you just have to ask! We generally ate lunch at the beach grill, and I recommend the jerk pork or chicken - excellent. Dinner was always tasty, and I have to say that the chocolate mousse I had for dessert at Le Papillon has to be the best dessert I have ever had.

We love the nightly entertainment when we go away, and they had very good entertainment at the Royal Plantation. Very talented singers and bands, an opera singer one night who was amazing, and a very entertaining Jamaican show on Friday night. Unfortunately, after that show, there was no other entertainment. They usually had a piano player in the pub, but he is entitled to his days off, and I guess they don't bring anyone else in. The Jamaican show was over at 10:00, and then, there was nothing else on. This was a little disappointing, but the resort is a much quieter resort. I'm sure we could have walked over to the Sandals next door and partied all night, but we didn't. So, if you are interested in partying all night long, this isn't really your place.

The tour operator we booked through, included a Dolphin Experience (swimming with the dolphins) because we booked by a specific date. Again, I printed this off of the computer and had it ready to give the tour girl. Someone else in our group had approached her and assumed that she would have all of our names and details of how we qualified for this. That was DEFINATELY not the case. When we presented the documentation, which was just a printout of the website we booked on, she did some checking and we were able to go and it was wonderful. Great time - those dolphins are strong beasts! I mention this because when I booked a Sandals vacation last year, I qualified for a $250 spa credit. I did not print out any documentation about it and was therefore not granted the credit. I suggest that everyone make sure that you have some documentation to verify any add-ons that the travel company you have booked with may have offered in order to ensure that you get your perk - I don't think that Sandals has the systems in place to know who is entitled to what, or if they do, I have not found that it is all done for you.

I thought the service was impeccable. I had been to Jamaica many years ago, and knew that "Jamaica time" isn't the same as our time, and as a result, I was pleased with the service. I heard others griping about the service being slow, but I had no problems with it at all. The staff were all extremely friendly, and wanted to ensure that you were happy at all times. We didn't use our butler for an awful lot, but when we did ask him for something, they (Richard & Kevin) went out of their way to help us. They left cheese plates in our room, ran us a perfumed bath a couple of times, and brought us all the booze we needed. Adrian the beach waiter was very nice and considerate. The guys who set up the beach chairs were always outstanding to us, and we were always getting them to put out multiple chairs at a time.

The guys in our group golfed every day. The course is about 20 minutes away. They were all happy with the golf course and the caddies. It is up in the mountains, and they got rained on every day they went to play, and a few days they were positively drenched.

Okay, here are my negatives, which are a bit nitpicky, so you can see that overall I loved my vacation:

The weather was lousy. It was was hot enough, but overcast, it rained every day, usually only in the morning before 9, but sometimes it rained at other times, too. We barely had any full out sunshine. Nothing the resort could do about this, although we did ask our butler.

I thought they should have offered yoga at sunrise more often.

We didn't get invited to the returning guests dinner. We found out about it from someone else, and we had our butler arrange with us to get cocktails with them, but I felt badly that we hadn't been invited.

At checkout, I had a bit of an issue that never got resolved. I had bought some items in the gift shop but didn't use the 10% off card that they gave to returning guests. When I tried to get credit for the 10%, I was told that there was no one at the resort authorized to do a VISA credit on a Saturday. What? They tried to correct this at the front desk as we checked out by deducting from our outstanding balance, but they deducted the wrong amount, so I never did get my full 10% (my husband handled it and didn't notice that they hadn't done it right). I found this extremely Mickey Mouse (how can there be NO ONE at the resort who can authorize a VISA credit?), and irritating that they didn't fix the problem correctly. It was a very, very small dollar amount, but I still found it upsetting. Again, this was a very small thing, especially since they handled all of our other snags (restaurant reservations, the dolphin swim) very well and with a little bit extra.

The beach isn't the nicest I've been on. They keep it spotless, constantly raking and cleaning up, but the sand isn't as nice as I've seen at other islands and the beach is small. It is plenty big enough for the number of people at the resort, but you can't walk the beach like you can on other islands. The pool is also very small, and there is no swimup bar, which we love. The swimup bar should be an essential at a 5 star resort, if you ask me!

The crowd at this resort was, during the week we were there, a little bit older. Our group wasn't young (late 40's/early 50's) but there were many people older than us, the majority would have been.

Finally, tipping. This is supposed to be Sandals, where there is no tipping. I felt that there was a little bit of expectation for a tip. I didn't do any tipping myself, and I found the staff to be excellent, but my husband said he definately felt that tipping was expected by the staff.

Okay, I left all my complaining to the end, so I feel the need to finish this review by saying that The Royal Plantation is a first class hotel, with terrific service, accommodations, food and drink. The grounds are beautiful, and it is a beautiful place that I would recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SLT1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2011

Overall a wonderful vacation. What we appreciated the most was the warm, caring professional butler, Mr Kenton Grayson. He gave us outstanding care and service. On one occasion, we walked into Ocho Rios and found ourselves very hot, uncomfortable and my knee was aching from the walk. We called Kenton, he met us within 10 minutes, and escorted us back to the resort in a cab. You have no idea how much we appreciated his caring prompt response. Our whole stay was marked with fun experiences and all our requests were filled. I highly recommend this butler and this resort to anyone looking for a romantic and luxurious vacation.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank delash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Royal Plantation for our honeymoon. It was our first all inclusive and we were not sure of what to expect; however we had heard wondeful things about this place, and they were all true! The beach, resturants, room, service -- everything was exceptional. The staff and butlers went the extra mile to make sure that all our needs were met. My husband is vegetarian and they chef made sure to make something special for him for the evening meals. Our room was a junior suite, however day 2 into our stay, they upgraded us to the next room. All the rooms are ocean view - whichever room you end up choosing to get, you will not be disappointed at all! The spa is wonderful and I made use of it for a massage, as well as to get my nails done-spectacular service and a very relaxing experience. The grounds are beautiful...very serene....It was such a relaxing vacation and we will definately come back here again!!! If you are looking for a place to relax and get pampered, this is the place for you!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RNBVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2011

Lovely place. The property is beautiful! Overall good service. The butlers (personal and beach) are awesome, but significant drop-off in service at the restaurants, etc. Very slow. No management. The butlers are allowed tips, but the other staff are not...

Best view I've ever had. West wing, room 160.

Great overall, but minor things that could be better.

Will post full review later.

Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank bcp71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2011

My husband and I spent four nights at Royal Plantation to celebrate his 40th birthday. It was great! We were looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation away from our kids and Royal Plantation was perfect. The beach is beautiful, the food is great and the service is outstanding. A special thank you to Amy McHugh of Dream Makers Vacation Services, who recommended the resort and made the trip planning very easy for us. Thanks to Amy, after our first night we were upgraded to a beautiful suite with a balcony that could not be beat. On the day of my husband's birthday, we came back to the room to find a cake saying "happy birthday" as well as a birthday banner and rose petals, which was a nice surprise. We truly enjoyed this vacation and I would recommend the resort to anyone looking for the ultimate in relaxation,

Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank jmo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Royal Plantation

Property: Sandals Royal Plantation
Address: Main Street, 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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Royal Plantation 5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•All suite resort and all are serviced by butlers trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers•2 private beaches with beach butler service•The Caribbean’s only Champagne and Caviar Bar•Exquisite International, Mediterranean, Caribbean and French cuisine•24 hour in suite dining•Complimentary transfers from this resort to all Sandals Resorts•Voted Sandals Resorts “World Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand” 18 years in a row•Five Star Diamond Award - American Academy of Hospitality Sciences ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Jamaica
Sandals Royal Plantation Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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