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“10 years Later It's Still Fantastic - Not Your Typical Sandals Resort”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 May 2011

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.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank roadie2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,963 - 1,969 of 2,627 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2011

Well, we just returned from our 4th visit to the RP, and we had more fun this year than any beforehand. As you'll read in other reviews, the staff and management (Peter Fraser and Trudane Hardware) of this beautiful boutique resort are what makes the RP the jewel that it is. We took the opportunity to partner with our butlers, Chris and Curtis, to really make our stay special (e.g. romantic dinner in our room, coffee in the morning). As always, Natalie and Adrian and Andre took special care of us at the beach. And at the end of the day, Gladstone invented the best martinis in Jamaica! Our special treat this time was a chance to ride a catamaran to snorkel at "James Bond beach", and what a dance party on the way back. ;-) Of course, we re-booked for next year right before we left. To our Jamaican family at the RP, see you in 2012!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank beatembucs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2011

I took my hubsand to Hawaii for his 50th birthday and my hubsand took me to Jamaica for my 50th birthday. I selected my hotel, the Royal Plantation. After reading hundreds & Hundreds of reviews about 5 start hotels I knew I had to try this 5 star Boutique hotel. Amazing and simply unforgettable!! From the airport we drove into Ocho Rios in a mercedes stocked with champagne, stripe beer, wine, jucie, water and lovely finger sandwiches. I was nervous about a 5 star boutique hotel. I have stayed at large 5 star hotels but never this small, elegant concept. Our butlers Curtis and Chris were there at the front entrance with a warm greeting and cool towels to refresh us. They showed us around the exquisite well groomed grounds. Then we were taken to our room. The room can kill a 5 star hotel in an instant. I was pleased. Large marble vanity separate from the large circular whirlpool tub and a wonderful marble and stone shower! The bathroom is my big pepp pive!!. When that is right all else will be! The rest of the room well was absolutely perfect with a lovely exquisite view of the beach and ocean from our lovely dining room space. The bed was comfortable pillow top and air conditioner worked well. Maid service is superior - fresh towels at your request is no problem! room is cleaned early and at night. If I don't up-grade I will always want room 59. Room service was impeccable and I ordered whatever I wanted late at night and especially for breakfast! The food in the french resturant was excellent - the service by our butlers and the staff at large was superior - nothing went wrong that was not solved by our butlers with class, efficiency and graciousness . You simply have to experience this hotel. If you accidently leave something, anything in your room they will send someone to your room to go and get it. No one in the this hotel wants you to be inconvienced in any way. The staff at large is supreamly concerned with serving you in a superior manner - and in the manner that individually suits you. Alot of couples simply wanted to be served on the beach all morning till the sun went down! My hubsand and I did the bicycle tour into the blue mountains - this was worth every penny. We toured up the mountain and drove our mountain bikes down. We saw so many lovely water falls, learned wonderful history about the jamaicans that live in the mountains, the coffee plantations, and we visited a pre school in the mountains- the children blew our minds, they gave us a wonderful mini assembly in their classroom. Dunn River Falls, shopping @ Sony Duty tax free plaza and the flea market. There is a huge sandals hotel next to Royal Plantation. It is such a grand concept that Royal Plantation guest can visit and enjoy any of the amenities over their but they cannot visit the exclusive Royal Plantation. Also bear hug to Andrew @ the Royal Plantation spa. Superior Couples Massage @ the Spa . My hubsand and I look forward to our return to this exquisite 5 star boutique hotel experience - The Royal Plantation!!!!! Leon & Lethia *Chicago*

Room Tip: All of the rooms are ocean and beach view.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank caviar21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2011

My husband and I stayed at the RP during the Easter break, as a secondary school teacher it was a welcome break! away from the bedlam.....! From the outset we had a rather brisk reception at the airport, but were welcomed by our courier onto the RP bus to our resort.
The arrival was brilliant with champagne mangosas, refreshing flannels and a warm welcome from the hotel manager. We were introduced to our butler Garey who showed us to our room.
The resort is very charming and quite private..our room ..310..had a wonderful view and the morning welcomed us with fabulous Caribbean sunshine and the sounds of resident peacocks signaling the day ahead!
The food is amazing...ackee and saltfish for breakfast, fresh juices and a warm Caribbean welcome from the staff at the Terrace restaurant made our day...coconut prawns and Caesar salad was a favourite of ours at the Royal Cafe bar on the beach.
The beach butlers were great and almost read our minds..they brought us iced cocktails and my favourite sparkling wine chilled in a bucket on the beach, they also sprayed us with cold rose mist a very welcoming touch on blistering days.
Our only downside was that although our butlers..Mario and Garey were fabulous we did not feel that we had that personal touch that other residents experienced. We had to request on a daily basis that our favourite tipple was in our room, my husband had to find milk for our morning coffee in our room...seems I am complaining but you expect a standard of service when you are booking a high class resort like this, especially when we found long hairs in the bath on our arrival!!!
Despite this we did have one night before departure, candles lit, towels fashioned into swans and music playing when we arrived back at our suite.
It is a truly fabulous resort and we would return, perhaps with expecting more personal touches and different butlers...

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank nikkibrown14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

My wife and I stayed at RP earlier this month and had a wonderful week at this small, yet wonderful property. I had been looking at RP fornthe past few years so when we booked late last year I was a little anxious due to the recent change to market the property under the Sandals name and the fact that we were used to larger all inclusive properties. Well, I can say that any fears we may of had were quickly removed when we arrived at the hotel and began our week long vacation.
We were greeted by our Butler Garey upon arriving after the 1.5 hour drive from MBJ airport as the sole passengers in a van. Garey turned out to be the more formal member of our Butler tandem with his partner Mario playing the funny, always giggling crazy part of this two very different peas in a pod team! They were always looking to do anything for us although we didn't have too much need for any special requests after giving Mario our dinner requests and golf schedule.
The hotel is gorgeous, with amazing views of the Carribbean and the Jamaican coastline. We were in Suite 301, a corner suite on the eastern side of property that had a French balcony and a separate outside balcony overlooking the pool area. Gorgeous views in all directions although I doubt will spend the extra money for the balcony upgrade next time since we spent more time in front of the French balcony with the sliding doors open than we did on the outside balcony. Room was plenty big with a separate shower area with sink as well as a large vanity sink and mirror where my wife got ready each night. The bed was great, extremely comfortable which is important for me as I suffer from lower back problems and usually experience back pain when we travel due to cheap beds.
The pool area is really small but amazingly there were always chairs available. The west beach area is great, clean with lounge chairs and umbrellas. You do have to go down and reserve an umbrella as the Butlers aren't allowed to do this anymore and the umbrellas will be taken prettly early.
The east beach has the water sports activities that you can signnup for, most ofnthem included. We went snorkeling a few times and enjoyed it immensely.
The west beach also has the beach bar and restaurant where you can enjoy some great food. This is where the beach butlers reside who provided fabulous service to us the entire week. Andre and the other beach butler (sorry I forget his name and hope all worked out with his visit to the Doctor) were great. Very nice men, always asking if we needed anything and both were very outgoing and courteous.
So all that is left is to talk about the food and the overall service that you get at RP. The food was really good. Normally at an all inclusive property, the best meal is usually breakfast. Not here, the lunch menu at the beach had great jerk chicken, pork and shrimp as well as their tremendous coconut shrimp! Nice salads and soups as well. If you want, climb the stairs and have a more formal dining experience at the Terrace Restaurant where you could choose tuna or beef carpaccio appetizer followed by a Red Snapper fillet or grilled steak and shrimp! Always prepared wonderfully and tasting like you ordered it at a fine dining restaurant.
Dinners were more of the same, we ate at Le Papillon 4 times, the Terrace twice and went over to the SGOR one night and had dinner at Gordon's. Everything was wonderful, from the snails to the filet, lamb and Sea Bass. Every meal was prepared perfectly to order and tasted great.nerving sizesnare not overly large, but I never felt hungry or stuffed when we finished...just right portions in our opinion.
Now for service, the people at the RP were just amazingly nice and all seemed anxious to do something extra for you. An example, our first night we were going to eat at Le Papillon. We first went to the Wobbly Peacock for a drink before dinner and as our reservation neared, I realized I didn't know how to get into the restaurant. So I asked Rochester, the young bartender if he could direct me to the restaurant. He looked at me and immediately said, no, I will take you there myself! So at 7:45, he led us upstairs and into Le Papillon. From Mario and Garey through the beach butlers, bartenders and waiters and waitresses, everyone at the RP appears to be focused on one thing...making sure they made your stay as nice as possible!
So if you don't need a swim up bar and a thousand activities being orchestrated for you every day and you enjoy high quality food and 5 star service then the Royal Plantation is a perfect choice.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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2  Thank Gardneld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2011

We were totally enchanted with Sandals Royal Plantation. It is a beautiful location and the staff are incredible! Cornell at the pool; Chris and Curtis our butlers; Trudane and Kelly Ann; Barry who made us his award winning cocktail; and Mr. Fraser, the General Manager, who is doing a great job and is always on hand. Our room was very nice and comfortable. The Papillon Restaurant was top notch. Although the pool and the beach were small, it was never an issue as there was always available lounge chairs and they were never crowded. We enjoyed the staff, the food, the location, the fact that the resort was small and intimate. We also enjoyed "high tea" and participating in the "lanterns" event - a fund raising activity. We missed not having a balcony - but not too much - and thought that the Wifi was very expensive.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank travelersmoncton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2011

I took my wife to Sandals Royal Plantation, and she thought we were going to the movies in our local movie theater. Thanks with the help of Amy, and Dream Makers Vacation Services, the trip and the surprise was a success. But guys, you have not lived until you pack your wife's luggage.

We have been to Sandals several times, but this was our first trip to the Royal Plantation. It is like you have already read -- outstanding. Our butlers were Curtis and Chris. The Peacock Pub was fun. The return dinner had a filet had a lobster tail on top of it - wow. Snorkeling was so/so, and the sailing was fun, but watch the reef.

Met new friends, and my wife won the black jack charity tournament. She also got the royal treatment (just like all the guests do) with rose water mist and cucumbers for her eyes at the beach, and flowers and candles and champagne for her bath.

You won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Yarby
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £423 - £1,254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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