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“A great Honeymoon”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Jacksonville, FL
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A great Honeymoon”
Reviewed 18 May 2011

We spent a wonderful weeklong Honeymoon at Royal Plantation. We arrived into Jamaica into the busy Montego Bay Airport. Once we arrived we were greeted by a wonderful sales agent from Sandals who welcomed us into their luxury waiting room in the luggage area of the MoBay Airport. You had your choice of Coffee & Teas and On-Tap Beers.

After a short wait in the room they announced that our bellhop had our bags and we were escorted to the Royal Plantation (RP) Van. It was a regular 12 passenger van and luckily we were the only ones on the 2 hour ride to the resort.

Once we arrived to the resort we were welcomed with open arms to the lobby with bubbly champagne waiting for us. After a short wait, Jermaine (our incredible Butler) said his hello and took us on a grand, private tour of the grounds. Jermaine then escorted us to our room where he offered to unpack our bags and press our clothes. The view from our Coconut Plantation Suite was breathtaking. Sounds & Views of the ocean less than 200 feet away and we were excited that we could leave the doors open at night to hear the amazing sounds of the waves crashing near our room.

Here's a recap of some of the other things we LOVED!

Activities in Jamaica:
We went on some wonderful activities during our stay. The "must do's" are:
- Chucka Chuka Zipline
- Dunn's River Falls
- Snorkel at Royal Plantation

A few pieces of advice with the activities:
- The Zipline adventure is about 1.5 hr total. The slow, long drive to & from the adventure is 2.5 hr total and we wish we paid extra for a private cab to the adventure so we could have had more beach time during that day.
- Be ready to tip the tour guides with cash as they'll mention that they want to be tipped with US Dollars during the adventure. They don't ever let that down.
- Do take the private transfer to Dunn's River Falls.
- Royal Plantation snorkeling is so-so. We saw few fish and 1 sting ray which made the trip worth it. They do charge extra for a snorkel trip to a sunken ship. We didn't have time for that but want to next time.

How the hotel went Above & Beyond for us:
- Our butlers (Jermaine & Sheldon) catered to every request we had. You are also given a private cell phone that calls directly to your butler. We really miss Jermaine. He was so incredible and the best part of the trip we rave to everyone about.
- If you want your butler to unpack your bags, escort you to dinner, grab things for you, etc.. You need to mention these to them as they'll not offer to do it.
- Food is incredible. We had Jermaine deliver fresh breakfast to our room every morning. You must get the waffles, french toast & omelet! Food on the terrace & french restaurant was wonderful every night.

The Butlers went Above & Beyond and delivered "Special Touches" without us asking:
- Every night, we returned to our room to be decorated with candles, towel animals, candy and music playing from the radio.
- Jermaine surprised us with fresh coconuts one afternoon! These are a MUST


A few extra things & tips:
- The manager, always found a moment to say hello and Thank us both for being at Royal Plantation. We thought that was a great personal touch!
- The pool is small and hot tub was fun but the beach is better than both combined. For traveling to paradise, we wanted to be by the beach, not the pool anyways.
- The two beaches are very small but have an intimate feel. You won't be walking on these beaches at night.. not enough room for that, but they are great to lounge by and relax.
- Bring long pants & closed toed shoes. You'll be expected to dress up a few nights out of the week while you eat dinner.
- When we left, the entire staff stood outside and shook our hands and waved goodbye to us as the van left for the airport. That was an extremely special touch.

If you're looking for an intimate & relaxing resort, RP is for you. If you want to party and dance all night, go to Ocho Rios Grand which is next door. We took a walk over there one afternoon and ran back to RP right away. Sandals Ocho Rios is very dirty and messy looking and we felt like we were in Spring Break central as we passed college aged kids taking shots. Not to mention, the quality of the staff, no one who worked there that we passed even said hello, vs. at RP, everyone greets you so friendly.

Another MUST during you stay. Book the private 5 course meal on the pier. You get to choose your full menu, get to eat privately on the pier under the bright sky and be entertained by your own private dinner butler Ray.

In addition to the things we loved, we wanted to make aware of a few let downs at the resort. We chose to give RP a 5/5 star rating but we do have a few things that others coming here need to know of.

- When arriving to MoBay, you have the option to purchase a "Private Luxury Transfer". As we found out, it isn't in a luxury car and you don't get wine & cheese upon arrival like we read in another Trip Advisor review.
- Advertised is "Once you exit the ocean, you're greeted by a body mist & foot massage." We had to ask 3 times for a Body Mist before it happened and never got a foot massage and were told you must pay separate for it.
- Don't book the activity "Champagne at Sea". It's advertised as a very luxury style adventure and with its high cost, you'd believe you get your own catamaran. We were even told by a hotel employee that you get to be on a large sailing boat. The "day of" the event, Sheldon (the other butler) told us we were wrong and the trip is not at sunset and will be on a dinky 3 person boat we used for snorkeling with water flying in your face. If we wanted to get a big sailing boat for the two of us, they'd charge us $1900!! We cancelled the activity immediately.
- Seaweed wrap was relaxing but not worth it. It is advertised as "the perfect detox". We didn't feel any different afterwards and suggest you invest your money into a regular massage. Its not even a "true seaweed wrap". They put some weird green stuff on you and wrap you in a foil layer, it's not seaweed being wrapped on you.
- The spa employees try to up-sell you on every item so be ready for that
- Wifi costs way too much and should be free with the cost of the resort that we paid
- The "Scents of Love" couples massage was nice. The website sells it as "on the beach". When we arrived to the massage I was asked to sign an additional invoice on the spot that paid an extra $80 to have the massage on the beach. Not included in the price?? Also, in an ad in a book we showed them with a picture next to Royal Plantation, the massage on the beach is under a luxurious canopy, and when we asked about the picture, they responded "Oh that's at another resort". We were bummed at their false advertising.

It seems as Royal Plantation needs to meet with their marketing staff and make sure what their marketing matches what they sell to their guests and make their resort better at how they explain things.

Other than the things we didn't like here, we got a wonderful and perfect memorable Honeymoon from our stay and wish that you have a wonderful time while here. We will definitely be returning to Royal Plantation and hope they'll fix the few things we listed within the next year.

Room Tip: Book through a travel agent!!
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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9 Thank ScarlettAndStephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank roadie2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Butler, PA
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
1 Thank beatembucs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
4 Thank caviar21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
Thank nikkibrown14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PhillyPa
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank Gardneld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moncton NB CANADA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank travelersmoncton
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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach 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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