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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Welcome Home!”
Reviewed 15 November 2011

This was our second time staying at the Royal Plantation. The first time was prior to Sandals. Not a lot of differences. The cell phone and 2 butlers was one notable change, for the better. Also, more information pertaining to excursions and spa treatments, again for the better. It was busier and more younger couples than our first visit. We love this resort. My husband and I both have high expectations when it comes to vacations and this place certainly meets them. Our tastes for restaurants, room comforts and ambiance along with expectations for quality service are also high. As long as you switch your mentality to "No worries in Jamaican time" you'll be pleased! We stayed in room 360, the Governors Suite both times. Wandered over to the Sandals next door but quickly returned.

Really the only negative things were the 1.5 hour drive which is much easier to endure if you get a private transfer! The beach was the second, you have to wake early to reserve your chairs on the beach or you don't get where you want. They will squeeze in more chairs for you later but it won't be your choice of location. But that just indicated the resort was full which was a good thing as we know if will be here when we want to come back in the future.

Must Dos:
Try a G Stone martini from Gladstone
Lobster BLT at the cafe
Jamaica night
Candle light dinner on the beach
C-Bar
Le Papillion
Couples message on the pier at sunset
Dunn River Falls
Dune Buggy excursion
Snorkeling
Kayaking

Room Tip: We stayed in room 360, the Governors Suite both times. Best views in the resort!
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 9kidsus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (640)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

All around awesome. Service was next to none. This was our first all-inclusive and we've been to two since. We keep wishing we went back to Sandals in Jamaica. Simply awesome!

  • Stayed December 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mtmaclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2011

Just returned from a 10-day vacation with my wife at the Royal Plantation and it was every bit and more than we expected. The staff are really first class and there was a genuine sadness when we left on Tuesday. All of the staff were outstanding and Audell, Sophie, our butlers and waiting staff, Dwane, Keyron, Natalie and Melden stood out. On the beach, Adrian and Cleon are in a class of their own and Adrian will get you sailing in 30 minutes. Altogether, these guys worked their socks off to give us a holiday of a lifetime and it is an easy decision to plan a return visit. As they say in Jamaica.....Yeh Man!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2011

My husband and I decided to take a mini-moon for 6 days at
Sandals Royal Plantation, on October 10th, 2011. We reserved with sandals because of its
reputation of being the best. The employees were willing to go the extra mile and were very friendly. We met the manager sitting at the bar one evening and he said for us to challenge the hotel to make our stay more enjoyable. We found his statement amusing
and we took him up on the offer. We made some strange requests, which were more or less fulfilled. The restaurant is great. The beach although small was nice. If you wanted more action you are able to go over to it's sister hotel that is very close by. I liked that it is very intimate. The hotel itself was a bit outdated but was clean and well maintained. It's a nice experience but I wouldn’t go back for the money.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank lavender567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lake country,british columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2011

Can't say enough about how wonderful this place is! We spent 2 weeks here and the service was impeccable. We enjoyed the staff very much, all were so friendly and so eager to please, and truly genuine! Would highly recommend this resort. If you are looking for a party or lots of variety you can always enjoy the resort next door; this resort is not for the partier. Most couples that we spoke to that went next door were back very quickly as it was too loud. We did venture over to the Japanese Steak House where we can definitley confirm that it was very loud there. We couldn't even hear our cook or server when they spoke! We were quite happy to return to our resort where we were enjoying the peace and quiet and personal service we had. No need to go next door.

Room Tip: Check into room upgrades. We were there off season and it wasn't very busy so were given a roo...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank janet b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Galloway, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2011

My wife and I will be making our 12th trip back to RP next week. We go back because we love the relaxed atmosphere and the level of service offered. Peter, the GM, has proven to be very approachable with any issues we may have had. While some may say the property and beach are small, we have yet to ever wait for anything, or want for anything and prefer to refer to the property as intimate. The Butler service is a nice touch, but we have found most every staff person more than willing to offer a level far exceeding anything afforded to us back in the US. We anticipate the level of service we have come to expect to continue.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rainer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2011

My husband and I are familiar with the Sandals brand, having previously stayed at Sandals Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas and Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica. This was our first time to Ocho Rios.

TRANSPORT: The ride from Sandals Montego Bay (where we spent our first three days, and which is right next to the airport) to Ocho Rios was exactly 1.5 hours. It was a scenic ride, mostly on highways, and our driver remarked about Jamaican history and culture, historical sites, other resorts, etc. to keep it interesting. He advised there are several rest stops if a bathroom break was needed, but we made no stops. We were told he was a Sandals employee, but we tipped him nonetheless, as we were the only passengers.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Overall, the resort is very beautiful, well maintained, cozy and romantic. The dining rooms, patios and other receiving areas are very formal. The staff are friendly and attentive. The food was excellent, with not one buffet in sight. The guests were mostly middle-aged, with many from Europe and Canada. The beach has lovely water and white sand, although it is a small beach. Most people are seen reading and sunbathing in a very laid back and quiet atmosphere. The one pool on the property was somewhat small but never occupied. The resort was only about half full when we visited, so it never felt crowded.

ARRIVAL/ROOM: We arrived at 2 p.m., and our room was not yet ready. We received a tour from our butler and after eating lunch on the terrace, our room on the east side was ready. The room on the third floor was very similar to our room at Sandals Montego Bay in the Almonds building in concierge class, with two exceptions. There was no Jacuzzi tub, and instead of a full balcony, there was a Juliet balcony. The bedding was very comfortable, and the furnishings were clean, modern and attractive. There was a walk-in closet with lots of storage and shelves, although drawer space was limited. Our view was partially obstructed by some large trees, but otherwise, it was lovely.

BUTLER SERVICE: This was our first time having butlers, and we were very happy with the service from Mario and Garey. Mario was the upmost professional – very formal and classy. He called me “m’lady”! Garey was a little more laid back and fun. It made for a very good balance. The butlers made all of our dinner reservations, booked excursions and spa treatments, delivered room service and tended to special requests for items for our in-room bar. They always seemed to know where to find us without feeling obtrusive. We followed the online suggestions and tipped each butler $20 per day.

HOUSEKEEPING: Housekeeping left a little to be desired. We requested housekeeping to come before noon if at all possible. On our first full day, they didn’t come until just before dinner time. Turn-down service came around at 10 p.m., which was a bit late considering that the evening entertainment is minimal. We were in the room when she came around for turn-down service, so we just declined.

RESORT LAYOUT: One thing I read in review is that there are a lot of stairs. This is an understatement. The building is set up on a cliff above the beach, and I counted 100 stairs between our room and the beach. We were fine with that, but it’s something to keep in mind if you have limited mobility. It’s also worth noting that there is no bathroom at the beach level, so you must go up about half of the stairs to the main level to use the bathroom.

While we were there, they were constructing an additional pier at the far east end of the beach, so there was a lot of construction, and most of the swimming area was cordoned off. They were also constructing an outdoor bathroom. The two beaches are separated by a rocky outcropping with a canopy of greenery and a concrete path. There was butler service on the beach on the west area, but we didn’t see much service on the east area. The butlers advised that they could not reserve beach chairs, but that was not necessary given the small number of guests. The beach butlers were happy to set up chairs wherever you requested.

FOOD: The food at this resort was outstanding compared to other Sandals properties. Everything was prepared to order, with no buffets. The menu in the terrace restaurant changed daily, and the formal La Papillion was the same each night. There were upscale bar snacks in the Wobby Peacock Pub (which was so much better than the Cricketer’s Pub at other Sandals) and excellent beach food at the beach grill (coconut shrimp, jerk chicken, lobster BLT). Bar service was excellent, with true top shelf liquors being used without special request, like Grey Goose vodka. The bartender Demar was great, and there were lots of interesting cocktails on the menu to choose from. We really liked the Caipirinha (Brazilian). They don’t serve Appleton rum anymore. Another guest told us this was due to an issue between Sandals and the Jamaican government. The house rum is El Dorado.

EXCHANGE PRIVLEDGES: There was also the option to get reservations at Sandals Grande Riviera (formerly Sandals Ocho Rios) next door, with many additional dining options. The other property is accessible by crossing over a small public beach that separates the two, and Royal Plantation provides a car transport free of charge at night. We walked around Sandals Grande Riviera, which was also built up with a lot of stairs. The resort was huge and had more of a party atmosphere. It had a lot more Americans and younger couples.

ACTIVITIES: The resort was very low-key with one or two activities per day. While we were there, there was a mixology contest and a fundraiser for the Sandals charity. There was also yoga offered on the pier. Don’t expect pool volleyball, battle of the sexes, etc. There were many more options next door at the neighboring resort. In the evening, there was usually live music. One night, there was a Jamaican culture show. The Sandals Select returning guests dinner is on Tuesday.

WATER SPORTS: We took a glass bottom boat ride and a snorkeling tour. Both were included. There is a very active reef close to the shore. The snorkeling tour included a ride around the coast where we saw some different resort properties and homes.

CONS: The second night of our stay, I came down with some kind of food poisoning or virus. I was extremely ill all night long. In the morning, we notified our butler, who arranged for a doctor and nurse from Sandals Grande Riviera to come to our room. I was given a check up, and the doctor concluded it was gastroenteritis. He provided some Immodium but advised to use it sparingly so my body could flush out whatever was causing the stomach upset. Our butler, Garey, came to the room with Gatorade and chicken soup. For dinner, we ordered room service, and I requested plain pasta, and the chef tried to accommodate (although he added a lot of oil and garlic, which did not settle well). I spent the entire day in bed. Another small complaint: There was a flat-screen TV with a number of U.S. channels, but many of them had no sound or the wrong sound. A few channels were frozen on a static image. It was a little annoying, given I was in bed all day. Our butler was able to get a refund for an excursion to Dunns River Falls that we had booked; it was likely to be canceled anyway due to downpours all day. The following day, we were leaving, and the hotel manager and general manager spoke to us before check out to see how I was doing. They also followed up via e-mail the next day. The situation was handled very well, however it is unfortunate that I became sick. We heard that several other guests had the same issues that day. We saw the doctor visiting a number of other nearby rooms. Sandals has offered to refund one night and provide a credit for one night due to this issue. I am negotiating to get two nights refunded because there are a lot of limitations to redeeming the credit, namely that you can’t take advantage of current offers and promotions and that you give three resorts and travel dates and Sandals picks where you go.

DEPARTURE: We were able to get a private transfer back to the airport on our last day. The vehicle was much more comfortable. It was a traditional taxi with leather seats. Our butler sent us on our way with cold bottled water, and the driver again said to let him know if we needed a bathroom pit stop, especially since I was still ill. The ride back was quiet. We again tipped the driver.

Room Tip: West side rooms have elevator and unobstructed views
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Elizabeth S
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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