We first came 10 years ago for our honeymoon, when the Riyal Plantation was owned by Beaches. My husband surprised me with a second honeymoon there for our 10th anniversary. It's not a typical Sandals (nor was it Beaches) resort.. It's quiet and luxurious with excellent food and impeccable service.
It stands above many of the higher priced hotels in Jamaica because it's an all-butler hotel. You really can't do anything yourself! Waiters patrol the beach for drink orders, the butlers take care of all restaurant reservations, and all needs are met. I mentioned in passing that I wish they offered sushi, and the next day our butler Mario delivered some to our room! He also brought a bottle of champagne down to our cabana for our big day, and decorated our room nightly with hyacinth and bouganvilla petals and candles.
The Plantation is small - it has only 74 rooms - and the beaches and pool lounges fill up quickly .It's very intimate, with only 2 restaurants and a beach grill.The landscaping is beautiful - lots of color everywhere - but there are no grounds to stroll. We took advantage of the kayaks and snorkeling that was offered (they offer other activities as well). They have a complete spa which we took advantage of a couple of times. Those facilities are very nice, too. Next door is Sandals Ocho Rios so if you want golf, big pools, screaming deejays, chugging contests, and a dozen mediocre restaurant choices, you can walk over there.
My only complaint revolves around breakfast.The Terrace restaurant serves up a fantastic breakfast but it needs to open earlier (right now it opens at 7:30). They also remove the coffee/pastry bar from the sitting room when the restaurant opens. They need to relax their service a bit in the morning so if someone just wants to grab a cup and head to the pool they don't have to be greeted, then seated and then served.
Also, they don't automatically upgrade if better rooms are available. Our room was a lower-priced one, but perfectly appointed. Still, since the place was only 2/3 full it would have been nice to have been upgraded.
The Royal Plantation is for people who want to get away for peace and quie, not for those who want to party all night and spend the day nursing their hangovers at a swim-up bar. If you want pampering, good food and to really feel like you're a guest, not just a room number, choose the Plantation.
If you go, ask for Mario to be your butler! He made our stay even more enjoyable.
- 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