My husband and I stayed at the Sandals Royal Plantation in early September.
I cannot disagree with anything other reviewers have already said. The hotel is beyond super, the staff are excellent, friendly, helpful and efficient. The food was excellent, of a very high standard (the memory of the shrimp in coconut served for lunch at the beach restaurant will forever remain in my memory). The butlers are really helpful and not intrusive which was one of our concerns. On the first day we had Kenton who waded into the sea up to his chest, fully dressed in his butler uniform (complete with shoes), to bring my husband a tray with a full club sandwich lunch as I had told them in advance that my husband was rather partial to these. Hilarious. Unfortunately Kenton then picked up a football injury playing for the hotel (hope you soon get better!) and then Richard and Sherlon took over, seemlessly. I requested a diet coke to be placed in the fridge in the room and thereafter the fridge always had a supply of dc. The housekeeping lady who we met a couple of times was lovely and seemed to appreciate our playing Bob Marley on the in room ipod docking station(s)!
The room was super, best I've encountered in the Caribbean. Jacuzzi corner bath, huge walk in shower with powerful showerhead, walk in wardroom room, iron, ironingboard, hairdrier, safe, umbrellas (unneeded). Two comfy armchairs, loads of drawers, dining table, huge plasma tv (we flicked it on once and the stations were showing Coronation Street and Are You Being Served!). Fabulously comfy and huge bed and the "pillow menu" allowed us to try water pillows etc.
Downside? Went to the huge Sandals next door on our last night as we heard the Kimono Japanese restaurant was super. It's not. We have much better Japanese restaurants in London. We were on a table with 12 Americans who were in their 20s and interested only in drinking games. We rang our butler who sent a taxi (the few hundred yards) to rescue us within an hour. Stay in the Royal Plantation, we couldn't wait to get "home".
It is a long trip from Kingston airport (over two hours) but I believe there is an internal flight that could be taken in a fraction of the time, we would investigate the cost of this if we went back. However, we were in an air conditioned taxi which we had to ourselves with cold bottles of water and really could not moan.
The worst part does not relate to the hotel. The staff at immigration at Kingston airport could not have been more unpleasant or unhelpful. After a 10 hour flight I did not appreciate being grilled about which hotel I was staying at, demands to see the paperwork. Being man handled out of immigration whilst I tried to provide the paperwork to my husband who was also receiving a grilling. Then Customs asking all sorts of questions about my "relationship with that man" ("we're married, does that cause you a problem?") and then ludicrous questions such as what was in my suitcase (hmm for a beach holiday, let me think. My answer was pretty short and sharp). They were so unwelcoming that I wondered whether we had made the right choice of island. I had always wanted to visit Jamaica and this was not what I had thought it would be. However, on reaching the private Sandals lounge our opinion changed immediately. They were so welcoming, friendly and helpful that my mood immediately changed. The immigration and customs people should be ashamed of themselves. Also, the flight (which was not full) had around 200 people on board. Only one person manning the overseas immigration arrivals desk (several manning the desks for those coming from other Caribbean countries). We queued for ages and I received a severe reprimand for using my mobile phone (no idea why). We tourists are bringing a lot of money into Jamaica and to be treated with more courtesy and respect and maybe a smile shouldn't be too much to ask. I've travelled extensively and never had such an unpleasant entry to a country.
At the hotel I would imagine if the resort were full then the beaches would be a bit crowded as they are small (we didn't use the pool area). The resort was quite empty whilst we were there so this was never a problem. Adrian who runs the beach bar and created fabulous cocktails (the BBC is gorgeous) and was a fabulous guy, we miss him! The hotel manager and the lady who manages the butlers were very helpful and approachable. My only comment about the hotel is that the jets in the main jacuzzi by the swimming pool didn't seem to have any effect. A really minor comment though, the water was lovely and I just sat there gazing at the beautiful scenery.
I think they said there were 17 peacocks on the premises, like everyone they were friendly and not intrusive!
We wouldn't hesitate to go back. Am loathe to put too many good things on this review as we don't want floods of people going, we need to keep it to ourselves! This is a gem of a hotel. We had not "done" a Sandals holiday before and visiting the huge resort next door re-enforced our view that they are not for me at all. The Sandals Royal Plantation however is in a league of its own and should be thought of on a whole different level.
Cannot recommend the Royal Plantation highly enough.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Holiday Gems, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ebookers, Evoline ltd, Cancelon, 5viajes2012 S.L. and getaroom.com so you can book your Sandals Royal Plantation reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
- Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
- Royal Plantation Jamaica
- Sandals Royal Plantation Jamaica/Ocho Rios