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“An almost perfect vacation... looking forward to going back!!!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 December 2013

Just spent a week at Royal Plantation. This was our first all-inclusive trip ever, first time at Sandals and overall I think the bar has been set very high now for future trips!

We spent months reading the reviews before we got there so we had high expectations given the reviews and most were met!

We stayed on the 3rd floor overlooking the East side of the beach. We got the Plantation room (2nd lowest level) and were a bit nervous that it may be small. We were pleasantly surprised with the size of the room and the sitting area. It was spacious, the bed was super comfy and the sitting area was adequate. We loved keeping the French windows open and hear the crashing of the waves. The view was great – ocean front with some trees on one side but mostly unobstructed. I wouldn’t hesitate getting this room class again. Also I found there was more privacy for the east side rooms than the west. The only con to the room but it may not just be out room was the bathroom. It is pretty dated, the tub looked very worn out and small…. We knew this beforehand as it seems to be a common complaint. Hopefully the reno’s will be done soon…

The beach is small but amazing… all sand, no need for water shoes. The west beach is nicer and non-smoking. The east side has the water sports + you can smoke there. Adrian always did the rounds regularly checking up on everyone and making sure we were ok for drinks. The resort was at capacity so you had to get there early to get prime seating. If you arrived later, you still managed to get a place to sit. The beach area cleared out early though… by 4pm everyone was going up to their rooms. We were stragglers most days staying out til 5-5:30pm. The grill, water sports and life guards start to go away though by 4-4;30.

We really loved this place – there is always staff doing up-keep on the place. Still – this is not a new and modern resort. It has an old-world charm and with that comes imperfections sometimes. We didn’t mind at all but if you want a new modern facility, this is not the place for you.
We are not pool people so the small pool wasn’t a big deal to us… still if you are a pool person, next door at grand Riviera is the place to be then.
There are a lot of stairs… we didn’t mind but if accessibility is important to you then I would contact the resort to make sure there are sufficient accommodations in place for this.

Butlers and Management
Our Butlers were very nice and gracious – Chadworth and Ashpole. We really did not call on them too much though. We prefer to do our own thing and appreciated that they checked in on us every day but did not impose. They do the typical towel art, bubble bath type stuff. It was appreciated but personally we don’t care for gimmicky stuff like that. What we would have liked were snacks… we specifically asked for snacks like bar mix in the room. After requesting it multiple times we gave up and went to the grocery store to pick up what we wanted… a couple chocolates and some salty snacks so that we can nibble when we’re in the room. We also went to the market but were disappointed that the Butlers didn’t sort this out a bit better for us. We basically paid for a $30 cab ride to go to those touristy souvenir shops… we hated that. My husband wanted to go to scotchies and the cab driver said it would be $60 round trip – that seemed pretty ridiculous and the Butlers didn’t really offer us any other options or alternatives. We ended up passing on that.

The other thing we missed was a chit chat with management. Many of the reviews talk about conversations with Mark, how he is always present etc. We saw Mark quite a bit towards the last half of the week but we did not have any interaction with him. It was a full resort though so we weren’t offended or anything… just saying that everyone shouldn’t expect a phone call or a meet’n’ greet with him.

Excursions, Shopping and Activities
We went to Dunn’s River falls – it was a lot of fun. You definitely need water shoes though and be careful as you go up… the guide’s perspective on safety might be a bit too relaxed.. I banged up my knee pretty good but it’s still a lot of fun!!

We went ‘shopping’ but didn’t like it – the cabbie took us to the Taj Mahal and to Sony’s. We found it too gimmicky and the prices were all over the place that it made us question the legitimacy of what they were selling. The jewelry looked like it came from China, the coffee was close to expiring… we didn’t buy anything from there. In hindsight, the craft market would have been a better place to go.

We skipped scotchies because of the price of the cab (as mentioned earlier). We would have loved to do a farm-to-factory type excursion to blue mountain but couldn’t find anything like that… the bicycle tour does not really cover that.

For coffee, the best prices were at the grocery store next to the gas station just up the street from the resort. Run is best purchased at duty free at the airport.

There is a painter who sells his art on the beach. We bought a couple pieces from him. When we went to the souvenir shops we found very similar paintings and carvings to what was being sold on the beach…. So who knows how authentic they are…

There is live band/singer up to 10pm on the terrace. This one lady is super good and so is peter floyd. After 10pm, the entertainment continues at the wobbly peacock. A couple nights there was a DJ - that was a lot of fun to dance to. The piano player was also very talented. What we didn’t like was when the bar staff would start doing hokey pokey or other gimmicky stuff like that – they don’t need to do that.

The water sports is good – there is enough variety… some lessons would have been good though… we weren’t pushy enough to request it so we didn’t do too much in this area because we are not that strong with water sports

This is the toughest part to review…. Yes – the resort serves restaurant quality food… but we found there to be a lack of variety and common taste to it all. With only 3-4 restaurants open at any given time, we got tired of the food. We ate lunch at Dino’s next door and that was terrible. Kelly’s dockside was very good though and a welcome change – great service and atmosphere.
Le Papillon was good – we ate there twice… the French onion soup was amazing and my husband really liked the meat dishes. The service takes forever though – it can be a long drawn out evening so be prepared for that.
The Terrace menu changes up daily – we ate there a number of time for lunch, dinner and breakfast. Great service and good food.
The Grill was our regular lunch spot – the coconut shrimp and gazpacho are delicious.
Still – this is the area that I wish there was more variety… as much as RP doesn’t want ‘junk’… we would have really appreciated some kind of snack bar… a place to get salsa and tortilla chips, or bar mix…. We missed not being able to get this…

We went to the Red Lane spa once for massages. We took the complimentary massage and upgraded it to 50 minutes. The massage itself was amazing… but the pricing was inconsistent. The ladies on the beach trying to book you in gave us a price for the upgrade and we made it clear we wanted a firm massage. At the spa however they only had us booked in for 30 minutes and gave us a different definition of the massage and charged us differently for the upgrade. That left us feeling a bit ripped off so we didn’t go back.

Getting there
From airport to customs to the lounge. That is all the ‘thinking’ you have to do. Once at the lounge, two people receive you, take your bags and sort you out. We found it to be very efficient and organized. The only complaint is trying to find stuff in the lounge… I couldn’t find water to take with us in the shuttle.. so I had to ask… the person I asked didn’t seem too thrilled … this was the one and only time I felt that there was ‘attitude’.

Overall we were very happy with RP. It’s a classy place with very good service. The age range is mixed – I would guess: 25% 40 or less. 50% between 40 – 60. 25% over 60. If we were a bigger group of people travelling together I think we would prefer to stay at a bigger resort with more amenities, music and fun… but for my husband and I, this place was great and we look forward to visiting again.

Over and above our Butlers, our favorite people were:
Akela from the grill – so nice and warm
The bartenders at Wobbly peacock, especially ‘Que’ – they make great cocktails and will adjust the recipe as you like
Sonjay and Dowarge at the Terrace – very gracious and friendly
Adrian on the beach – he always kept the drinks going
There are many more but the names are escaping me….

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean front with butlers. For privacy, security and to make the most of the view I su...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank princessS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2013

We're so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us at Sandals Royal Plantation. We always want to ensure that our guests have wonderful experiences with us and it seems during your stay we accomplished our goal. Thank you for your review.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

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1,444 - 1,450 of 2,627 reviews

Reviewed 22 December 2013

Just returming home after another fabulous vacation at the Sandals Royal Plantation. Like last year, the management and staff made us feel right at home during our stay.
The secluded location with two beautiful private beaches and 3 excellent restaurants is really a little piece of paradise.
Our suite (303), located in a quiet section on the 3rd floor of the East wing, was really comfortable and provided and outstanding view of the ocean.
Our butlers Romaine and Hector took great care of us and really spoiled us. Also, let's not forget Adrian who made sure we had everything we needed on the beach.
Thanks to Mark, Caroline and the entire staff at the Royal plantation for great memories. We are looking forward to see you again next year.
France et Martin from Boucherville, Quebec, Canada.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank FoodeNomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 27 December 2013

It brings us great joy to know that you had an outstanding stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. We truly do our best to ensure that we meet the needs of each guest. We want to not only exceed expectations but also to create a lifetime of amazing memories. Thank you so much for your review.

We hope to welcome you back soon for another awesome stay!

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Reviewed 20 December 2013

If you are looking for a true relaxing getaway, this is the place. There is an activities sheet delivered every morning, but I never saw any activity, excellent! The service is impeccable, in every restaurant, on the beach, every where. If you need a little more action you can walk next door to the grande, but if you wAnt to kick back and relax, be pampered, then the plantation is for you.

Room Tip: All the rooms have butler service.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rockfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

My wife and i have just returned from spending 6 nights (not the planned 7) at the Royal Plantation after travelling approx 90 minuutes on a good highway from Montego Bay. Upon arrival we were eventually escorted by our butler to a room on the ground level corner of the west wing. The good size room was thouroughly beautiful offering nice furnishings, an older bathtub and french balconie. Unfortunately much to our dismay upon opening the curtained windows we found ourselves looking at the main busy pathway from the upper terrace to the beach below and the washrooms at the top of the stairs all of which were direct view. Adding to this disappointment the terrace restaurant towered overhead with outside tables that could allow persons sittinng there full view of whatever was going on in your room IF your curtains remained open. The view of the water was also obstructed. Having travelled so far it was not our intention to be satisfied with hiding ourselves behind closed doors or windows and so we indicated that we would not, could not stay in this room. Unfortuantely, as the hotel was at full capacity there were no other rooms available that evening but we were assured that come the next day something would open up. In the meantime we were offered transport to the Sandals next door which was excepted and we were placed in a beautiful butler villa for the evening. Returning the next day we were again met by our butler and escorted to a gorgous ground level central corner 1 bedroom suite in the east wing. There was a full and private balcony which directly overlooked beautiful flowers, lush greenery and trees and a direct view to the beautiful waters below in front of the east beach. The large room was nicely furnished, had 2 bathrooms (1 of which offered a standard bathtub). In the other was a lovely corner jacuzzi tub with bifold windows that opened fully to the outside, equipped with a separate stand alone shower, a lounge chair with another opening bifold window. This became a favorite room for us and yes while there were no curtains in this particular room we had complete privacy, outside the occasional security guard that periodically made rounds around the back of the building. Laying in the hot sudsy waters, a glass of wine to the side with the windows open to the sounds of the surf, tree frogs, clear star and moon lit skies was like heaven on earth to be honest..sooo relaxing! The resort has 2 small beaches , west & east...with 3 piers stretched between. The west tended to be the busiest (chair to chair) and it is located directly in front of the beach bar/restaurant and is in front of the west wing. The east beach is where the water sports is located and it is a designated smoking area. Although non-smokers we preferred this beach as it was quieter and less packed, In fact we spent most days at the end of the pier in lounge chairs with unobstructed views of the waters ahead and the beach behind and to the side of us. Occasionally one of the boats would tie up, either loading or off loading persons from the various snorkling, glass bottom boat tours all of which didnt bother us in the least. The waters here are extremely clear and warm and while it rained a part of most days and evenings it was extremely hot during our stay. The beach butlers who normally started coming around at about 0900am were there to serve you with whatever premium drink you preferred, (bar opens at 10) and were fairly quick for the most part in getting back to you. They were also quite quick to point out their preference in serving you as opposed to you walking the beach to get your own drinks, a practice of theirs that I personnally do not necessarily agree with. We ate at both the terrace andd french restaurants with the french being our favorite..french onion soup and steaks and rack of lamb delightfully declicious. (breakfast was room service on the balcony each morning). Evening entertainment in our view was spotty at best to be honest and should be reviewed. As well the idea of everone having a butler (in our view) diminishes in a way that very special experience of being one of a few that is pampered by a professional butler(s)
In closing this resort is a classy place no doubt about it and one that Sandals should be proud of. We have been to the majority of their properties now and this is by far one of the best (if not the best) keeping in mind that some properties stand out for their distinct differences as well. I would not hesitate recommending the Royal Plantation to anyone; giving due consideration to your choice of rooms. The Ochos Rios coastal area is extremely lush and beautiful..well worth the visit!


Room Tip: West wing offers better sea, sunrise views but half the building is open to those looking in..East W...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Tramper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2013

Can't say enough good things about Sandals Royal Plantation. It was our first visit to Sandals and we decided on Royal Plantation. We enjoy smaller/boutique hotels and with 74 rooms this place did not disappoint. We have found a new second home. The food and drink was excellent, but high praise goes to the management and staff. We have never had such great service and attention. All suites provide butler service which is a real treat. Our butlers, Jermaine and Shelly were fantastic. GM Mark really goes out of his way to make you feel special. Looking forward to next visit.

Room Tip: All rooms in this 3 storey resort offer ocean views. Higher the better.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank KraigandLora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2013

Kraig and Lora, thank you so much for your review. We're thrilled to read that your first stay at Sandals Royal Plantation was nothing short of amazing. We hope this won't be your last. We look forward to welcoming you back for more wonderful experiences in the future.

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Reviewed 15 December 2013

The Sandals Royal Plantation is a fantastic resort for a relaxing get away. It is a small boutique resort on a hillside overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is classy and upscale yet totally laid back and unassuming. It was built in the 50's and attracted some well known guests such as Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon. We went for a one week stay in early December 2013.

All of the suites come with butler service. Our butlers Audell and Tafari couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.

The resort has two beautiful beaches and a small pool and hot tub area. We never had a problem finding a lounge chair. There were always staff around to offer you drinks.

We went for two wonderful spa treatments and even had an amazing foot massage on the beach.

The restaurants were very nice and the food was amazing. The French restaurant was elegant and you had a choice of inside or outside seating. There was a great piano player entertaining us. The terrace restaurant also offered inside and outside seating and was more casual. The restaurant on the beach was fantastic for lunch. (No pizza and hotdogs here, quality food, not junk). A proper afternoon tea is also served.

If you stay at the Royal Plantation, you have access to the larger Sandals resort next door if you want to try more restaurants or swim in a gigantic Sandals pool with a swim up bar. We decided to try Kelly's Dockside at the larger resort one evening. Not only did Audell make our reservation, he escorted us on the shuttle, seated us at the best table in the restaurant, and poured our first glass of wine!

We were so impressed with the Royal Plantation that we booked our next stay while we were still at the resort.

This was our first experience at a Sandals resort. It was actually our first experience at an all inclusive resort. The Royal Plantation spoiled us and has to be one of Sandals' top resorts.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Glenn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2013

We're so glad to read that you were spoiled at Sandals Royal Plantation. We love to hear our guests boast about what incredible vacations they had at our resort. Thank you so much for your review. We certainly hope to see you back here in the near future for another relaxing stay!

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Reviewed 13 December 2013

Sandals Royal Plantation Dec. 3-11, 2013

The service was fabulous. Special kudos for Sean the bartender, Oshane, and Romaine, as
well as butlers Ricardo and Aaron, and GM Mark. Everyone was extremely
friendly and helpful; the staff was a delight. Ricardo took care of a
somewhat unusually complex set of dining requirements with us and our
friends, and went out of his way to set up a ping pong table for
us. Aaron kindly agreed to play me for an hour, something I had
especially asked for.

The food: Papillon and the Royal Grill / dinner were fabulous. The
rotating menus at the Terrace were great. We especially appreciated
the fact that for breakfast and lunch at Terrace, we could order from
the menu and also use the buffet. The Palette of Small Plates was
great. The variety of choices on the beach grill menu was also
fabulous; we loved the lobster BLTs and the spare ribs.

Complaints about food/service: at Terrace, one night
(International night) the service was abysmal. It took us 1 hour 45
minutes just to get the soup course. It took over 3 hours to get
dessert and we gave up waiting for coffee.

Although it's not an RP issue, our appetizers at Soy at SGR were
fabulous but the food and ambiance at Kimonos were disappointing, and
the noise level was so high we were tempted to leave and go back to
Soy. If a butler is going to recommend Kimonos, it might be good to
give an accompanying warning about the din.

Entertainment: we loved the Jamaican night -- both the buffet and the
entertainment. We also loved the piano music at the Wobbly Peacock, but found
that when there was a DJ the music was a negative, not a positive --
too loud. Fortunately the games room was nearby because the DJ music
drove us from the bar.

We also loved the live entertainment during lunchtime -- both the
steel drum band at the beach grill, and the trio of guys with banjo
and bass box and guitar, at both the Grill and the Terrace. They were
wonderful and it was delightful being serenaded at lunch, with
acoustic music that didn't drown out conversations.

Mangos all the time was a wonderful touch -- fresh mangos at
breakfast, mango daiquiris, and mangosas were all very much
appreciated. Also we loved the fact that the Wobbly Peacock stocked

The special luncheon for diamond level guests was a great idea. And it
was especially classy that a group photo and copy of the menu appeared
in our room when we returned from lunch.

It was also delightful to have Mark give such excellent attention to
his guests, chatting with them on the beach or in the restaurant. He
was unusually approachable, which was a delightful surprise.

We really loved this resort and would happily return to it.

Also let me add that our Travel Agent, Ruth DeMuth of TripGuyTravel gave us absolutely outstanding service. We live in Boston and had to change flights in Miami. She kept track of our flights in case we had a problem and she had to help us change the connecting flight. Her attention to detail is way above the call of duty, and her knowledge of all Sandals resorts is unsurpassed!

Feel free to ask me any questions.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank strathspey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2013

We're so happy to hear that you absolutely loved your amazing stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. We do our best to offer the highest standard of luxury and service and I'm so glad that you enjoyed every moment of you stay. Thank you for your review!

We hope to see you back soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £422 - £1,261 (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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