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“Phenomenal Resort-- wonderful long weekend getaway!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
NYC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Phenomenal Resort-- wonderful long weekend getaway!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2013

My boyfriend and I were looking for a 3 night getaway and Sandals Royal Plantation hit the spot! This was our first time staying at a Sandals, first time to Jamaica, and first time staying at an all inclusive so we weren't sure what to expect. From the moment we stepped onto the property, we were warmly greeted & our butler Adrian showed us to our room, gave a tour of the property, and set us up with our drinks and snacks! Our butlers Adrian and Donard went above and beyond to make our stay amazing! They thought of everything and made sure we were taken care of... and are the biggest reasons we will be returning this August! That said, I have to add that the resort is breathtaking-- it's on the smaller side but it was exactly what we were looking for-- something quant and quiet-- away from all the spring breakers and hustle and bustle. To top it all off, the food & drinks were phenomenal!! We had the opportunity to try Le Papillon which was fantastic! Everything-- from breakfast to the coconut shrimp and jerk chicken at lunch to the fresh grilled fish dinners were out of this world! We are so pleased with our stay that not only did we book our August trip while on this vacation-- but are looking to have our wedding at the resort next year!

Room Tip: Great House Ocean Front Suite
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank kaliblumen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2013

We often enjoy doing split stays between 2 or 3 Sandals resorts. In January/February we spent almost 3 weeks split between Sandals Carlyle, Sandals Royal Plantation and our favourite, Sandals Whitehouse.

We loved the elegance and beauty of this resort. The views from our room and from the terrace and pool were absolutely stunning.

For anyone with mobility issues, please be aware that there are plenty of stairs to maneuvre each day, especially to go to the beach. We booked a Royal Great House Oceanview room which is only located in the West Wing, specifically because the West Wing is the only building with an elevator. Our room was located on the 2nd floor which is the same level as the restaurant area...so a very easy walk.

Our room had a French style balcony...which is not a balcony as such but rather an indoor seating alcove where you open the double doors and sit indoors to see the gorgeous view and hear the waves of the Caribbean. The room was spacious with a separate shower and whirlpool tub, and nice size "walk-in" closet. One point to mention about room locations in the West Wing..on the evenings we retired early, we could hear the music from the terrace, AND the music from Sandals Grande Riviera which is directly behind the West Wing. A little bit of noise overload but it didn't bother us at all...I mention it simply so people can be aware.

There are two beach areas to enjoy and a small pool (only 12 loungers at the pool). Beach and pool drink service was very frequent.

Service was top rate at the resort. There is nothing the staff wouldn't do for you, and though we find this at most Sandals, the level of service at SRP is at an even higher level. This next comment is not a reflection on our particular butlers, but rather a note in general about the butler service. In our experience we've had better and more dedicated butler service at other Sandals resorts...for instance at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Negril and Sandals Emerald Bay. There was nothing wrong at all with our service at Royal Plantation, but I just didn't find it was as good as what we've had on other Sandals vacations.

Food was excellent at all meals and if you don't wish to physically go to the restaurants, but would rather dine on the terrace, you can do so and order from any of the restaurant menus.

There was one glitch to our vacation and it's important for newcomers to know this in advance of packing for their trip...Le Papillon has a dress code which requires long-sleeved shirts. This is not mentioned on the Sandal site nor is it a dress code policy at any other Sandals. As Sandals regulars who have been to or stayed at all Sandals resorts, we've dined at many white-glove restaurants including Gordon's. Hubby has never needed to pack a long sleeved shirt for these...always, collared polo or golf shirts have sufficed with a pair of Dockers and closed toe shoes. Despite having advance "permission" (as relayed by our butlers) for hubby to dine at Le Papillon with his short-sleeved solid white polo shirt, when we arrived there for dinner, it was very apparent from the reaction of the restaurant manager that hubby was not dressed appropriately. And yet, we watched as a gentleman wearing an untucked short-sleeved Tommy Bahama shirt was seated with no problem. We were feeling very uncomfortable and embarrassed at being denied entrance despite having permission, and our butler kindly offered his jacket for my husband to wear (he refused as there was quite a difference in size between the two of them, and hubby was already feeling embarrassed enough).

We fully believe in dress codes. We adhere to them at all Sandals resorts. But SRP...you have a gap here....you can't expect people to pack the proper clothing if you don't communicate it in advance. Your policy is different than at any other Sandals resort. Mr. Fraser, we spoke to you about this and we accepted your very gracious apology concerning our situation. You mentioned that the request for updating the Sandals website had immediately been communicated and would be updated shortly (our conversation on January 25th). You should be made aware that to date, there is no updated information on the Sandals site. It still says Le Papillon requires resort evening wear (elegant wear. dress pants for men, no t-shirts or sleeveless shirts, dress shoes) which is the standard dress code for fine dining restaurants across all Sandals resorts. I expect you are still having to accommodate unaware guests who have not packed a long sleeved shirt and are perhaps going through the same experience we did.

In summary, aside of the issue mentioned above which is important considering it impacts your dining experience at this small and intimate resort, our stay was very enjoyable and we are happy we experienced Sandals Royal Plantation.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank travelpair55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2013 via mobile

My husband and I visited royal plantation for our honeymoon. We had Orayne and Ricardo as our butlers and they were superb! Great food, good alcohol choice and great staff. Such an amazing honeymoon destination. Definitely a five star service!

Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Louise N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Varberg, Hallands Län, Sweden
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2013

A honeymoon paradise! Secluded, calm, romantic, charming, and the best service we have encountered in the world.
We could have not asked for more from our honeymoon. All the rooms had incredible sea views. We loved sleeping with our full patio windows open so we could listening to sound of the waves and feel the cool sea breeze.
Our butler had the best of Jamaican charm - they loved to chat and play. We were pampered to the extreme. The only problem is you could easily pack on extra weight from eating and drinking too much!
The walk to the town center was the most charming experience. Safe, and polite. The locals could not do enough for you. We are coming back again to renew I wedding rights.
Do not not miss this magical experience!

Room Tip: All rooms have incredible sea views!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gary Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2013

My husband and I chose Sandals Royal Plantation for our wedding and honeymoon based on the tripadvisor reviews and because it is a much smaller and more intimate resort. Overall we had a fantastic wedding and honeymoon but there were a few disappointments..

We had a private transfer to the resort. We really enjoyed the drive because our driver was a great entertainer and acted like a tour guide telling us about everything as we drove by it. This made the 1.5 hour journey fly by!

Upon arrival at the RP we were greeted by one of our butlers (Shelly). She took us on a tour of the property immediately because our room was not ready (even though we arrived after 3) but we would have preferred to settle in first. We were impressed with the property and the laid back vibe but not overly impressed with our room (dated décor, small bathtub, etc).

The people that work at RP are exceptionally friendly and helpful! In particular we were really impressed with Delgardo, Daniello, Davin, Duane Hunter and all the housekeeping and buffet staff. Our butler Shelly took some beautiful pictures on our personal camera of our wedding which we really appreciated! Also Jason and O'Shane were great entertainers!

Our Wedding

The onsite wedding consultant Danette was great. Very warm and friendly. Naomi was great too. Overall we had a wonderful wedding! The location was beautiful, the ceremony was very special and we loved our photographer Duane. He really put us at ease (the woman who helped us pick our photos was great too). We had a candlelight dinner on one of the piers and it was one of the best experiences we've had on vacation. It was beautifully decorated, there was a full moon and the food was superb!! We also really enjoyed Delgardo. He was the finishing touch :) The spa also does a great job on hair and makeup!

There were a few minor hitches that I will mention... The trial hair and makeup appointment was not made ahead of time although I was given an appointment time months in advance. I had kept my dress hidden from my fiancé for months but they hung it from the bed while I was at the spa so he saw it and me before the wedding even though we specified that we did not want this and were promised arrangements would be made. Also, the attendant I had paid for to help me with my dress was not arranged either and that made for a last minute scramble. However, all of this was forgotten the moment I walked down the aisle (pier :) ).

Some disappointments:

Throughout our time at RP we had many small miscommunications, issues, and annoyances (but at the end of the day we ignored them and still had a great time). Our butler cell phone charger did not work and we never got a replacement one despite asking for it on more than one occasion. Our phone in our room only worked the first day and for a few hours after one attempt by Aaron the butler to fix it. We complained to the front desk about this several times but it was still not resolved by the end of our vacation. This was highly annoying because we could not call for room service, housekeeping or Anything else! Also, although we thought the housekeeping staff were great and very friendly I don't think the advertised liaison between our butlers and housekeeping happened very often because we had to call 3 times over a 6 day stay because our room had not been done (twice at 9pm and once on the day of our wedding). I missed out on some pics of getting ready for my wedding because the room had not been cleaned (bed not made, dishes, etc from breakfast not cleaned up so not nice for background in pics). We were also not overly impressed with the butlers. I would rather make the arrangements myself and know its done then to rely on them (although I think it was really just one of them that was unreliable). On three occasions reservations we requested were not made. One for a shopping excursion and the second for our "special" honeymoon dinner at the Papillon. Our butlers did not offer to make reservations for the Papillon for any of the nights but we wanted to try it and asked for a reservation there for our honeymoon dinner on our last night at 8 pm (put in request 4 days prior). At around 6:30pm Shelly called to ask where we were planning to eat. We told her and it was obvious that it had not been taken care of. We ended up getting a seat but it was in the corner of the restaurant opposite the host so not the romantic honeymoon dinner we had envisioned. So we never really got the honeymoon dinner that was promised in the wedding package. Another thing we were disappointed with was the desserts. The strawberry shortcake was awful and just had strawberry sauce without any strawberries. However, most of the food was fantastic. Also, no help was offered with packing to leave which would have been very much appreciated as we had to rush to get it done.

Overall we would recommend this resort, and go back again, but we aren't in any rush to. The people, intimate vibe and wonderful food are definitely the highlights of this resort!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelnaturelover2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richmond
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2013

This resort is so relaxing...there is nothing you need to do but enjoy the lovely rooms, the beach, the pool, great cuisine, music at night in an intimate setting where you will get to know the lucky travelers you are sharing space with. The service is impeccable. The butler thing was a bit over the top for us because we are no cell phones on vacation people and the butlers like to keep track of you by cell phone. Had a wonderful couples hot stone massage...read two books on the beach, swam, kayaked. Checked out the large sister resort down the beach...really really happy with our choice.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank vicki z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aughton
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2013

My husband and arrived at Kingston Airport late afternoon after a good flight from Gatwick. We were met by a Sandals representative and along with a number of other guests and shown to our awaiting taxi. This was a very uncomfortable twelve seater van, not good when you have a two and a half hour transfer to Ocho Rios over the mountains (we expected a private transfer)! There is a new road expected to open soon which would make the journey much quicker but until that happens you would be better flying to Montego Bay. On arrival at the hotel we were met by the hotel manager and offered a cocktail before being introduced to our butlers and shown to our suite. The suite was comfortable but in need of updating, the bathroom in particular was old fashioned but everywhere was very clean, the bed was comfortable and linen was of a high standard. The beach is small but very nice, the main problem was there weren't enough sun beds, and some were very old and uncomfortable. Now for the best part, the food, it was amazing! We had never been to an all inclusive hotel before and really didn't expect the food to be so good, particularly in the French restaurant, you need to book this in advance as it gets booked up! We had a problem with one member of staff who was extremely rude over a booking that had been mixed up, we mentioned this to our butlers and the girl in question was removed from the restaurant. On the whole the staff were good. The golf course was ok, but the club house was very poor, the staff, however were great. We had a lovely holiday the weather wasn't great, we went at the beginning of December for two weeks, it's taken all this time for me to get around to writing this review. One more thing, the spa was fantastic very good therapists.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sharon W
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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family 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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