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“An Excellent, Refined, Luxury Getaway”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 February 2014

I'm not one to normally write reviews, but after our stay last week at Sandals Royal Plantation to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, I wanted to share how special this place truly is. As a world traveller, and as everyone notes, the resort is exceptional in its service and staff, its gourmet well-prepared cuisine, a gorgeous hotel rich in history, and it provides a beautiful place to escape and relax.

We are in our late 30s/ early 40s and while we may have been on the younger side, we enjoyed meeting new friends in both other guests and the staff. Our butlers Richard and Sheldon were there if we needed them, and unobtrusive when we didn't. Oshane, Andre, and Junior entertained and served excellent cocktails in the Wobbly Peacock each night following the evening's live entertainment. And Cleon and Adrian kept us well supplied with excellent drinks from the beach bar, a "dirty banana" is the best!

Really, anything you want is available just ask. One guest asked for coconut water and the gardener brought her a coconut fresh off the tree with two straws. A simple question to the head chef about the preparation of breadfruit lead to a great accompaniment at my breakfast the next day. Seriously just ask.

One small thing for improvement-- the spa staff makes endless requests on the beach for you do to services. It would have been nice not to be asked everyday, especially after we had already enjoyed wonderful massages.

All in all a wonderful, relaxing, retreat-- highly recommend!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank sss2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,448 - 1,454 of 2,689 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2014

The Pros Room, Honeymoon Ocean Front Veranda excellent. The room was large, clean, whirlpool tub, Hugh veranda with wet bar and a great ocean view. Food was OK but only two restaurants a little boring. Drinks were top shelf and not watered down. Butlers, Sheldon and Richard were excellent.
Non smoking on grounds except for designated area.
Quite, older reserved crowd.
Cons: if you are a beach person don't come here. The beach is very small and divided into two sections. The sun is gone by 1 PM.
Butlers were great but everybody gets one so nothing special.
Pool is small with no swim up bar.
All inclusive no tipping.? Think again the butlers get approx. $100. Each which is the norm and since you must have a butler service you must tip. Want a drink on the beach or pool side, new Sandals policy you tip. Want a chair at beach or pool you either get up at 6:00 AM and put a towel and personal item on chair or you tip the chair guy and he will unofficial reserve it for you.
Two hour ride from airport to hotel.
This is my second Sandals vacation. St. Lucia much better choice.

Room Tip: Ocean front veranda, second or third floor
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank firstlight03
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 15 February 2014

We regret to hear that we did not meet quite your expectations. We have many guests who feel the direct opposite and have boasted of our exceptional vacation experience. However, as hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review. I will be sure to send your feedback to the General Manager and relevant departments.

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Reviewed 13 February 2014

Royal plantation was better than we could've imagined! The staff was so personable and friendly. The waitstaff and bartenders remembered our names from first day. The room was beautiful with oversized French patio and cushy chairs to watch the beautiful views. There's an amazing hot tub and the beach staff kept the beach immaculate! Having food restrictions, they accommodated and it was the best food we've ever had.
If you're looking for a mature, classy, clean, quiet get away this is perfect. Plus, if you want a bit more excitement you have the ability to walk or shuttle next door to the grande riviera.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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5  Thank Lisa C
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 15 February 2014

It's so wonderful to hear of your phenomenal stay at Sandals Royal Plantation! Our staff works very hard to ensure that the needs of all of our guests are met. We want everyone to feel comfortable and surrounded by luxury. I'm so glad you enjoyed every moment of your stay. Thank you for your review!

We look forward to your return!

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Reviewed 9 February 2014

Hubby and me spent December 19 - Jan 2 at RP and overall had a lovely time. The resort is quite compact (see "resort snapshot": lower left roof: Grill & west beach; pink umbrellas: pool & hot tubs; right roof: gazebo; across from that: entrance to front desk, pub & Le Papillion; front right: The Terrace). Very little walking around compared to most resorts anywhere. However, if you have mobility issues, there are many stairs from the terrace to the beach. There is an elevator in the west building but still a couple dozen stairs before you hit sand.

RP is a great place to stay if you want a quieter experience than large resorts. If you want your stay even quieter, ask for a room on the east side because the west side does hear the spillover of live music during the day (occasionally) and every evening from GR. RP has the same routine: live music most lunches at the Grill and every evening on the terrace, but the music stops by 10:30pm, though the pub is popular after the band packs up.

Jamaica has banned smoking outdoors. While the hotel is also smoke-free, I believe smoking is permitted on the east beach. I thought there were enough umbrellas/palapas on the west beach for shade lovers like myself but if the best did happen to be taken, I would go up to the main terrace and find a comfy sofa to curl up on and read. You can still hear and see the ocean. You can't physically see both beaches at once but there is a path to get from one to the other. This also means there's no real stretch of sand for a long walk. FYI: I spent almost every day at the beach with no sign of sand fleas.

We did have a problem with the beach butlers. They're certainly friendly enough but - and maybe there were more drinkers during our stay - our drinks took too long to arrive (read diluted), more times than not. However, there are others around who can also get you drinks and when you tip C.O.D., as we did, you'll find they'll take good care of you too.

Everyone mentions the great food, but specifically, our steaks arrived exactly as ordered, the lobsters and shrimps and veggies were never over-cooked. Le Papillion's menu never changes but the Terrace's does and its food is just as good. And if you want something off-menu, all you have to do is ask. The quality of food is the best I've had at any of the six all-inclusives I've been to, including Sandals' own Beaches and Exuma Bay. Christmas dinner was a pleasant contemporary take on traditional turkey/ham fare. They threw a great New Year's Eve party.

I would never call this a deal breaker, but we were serenaded every night, dusk to dawn, by tree frogs. They sound like lots of loud crickets. Closing the bathroom door will muffle the sound. There wouldn't be a problem in the room if there weren't - and here's my biggest complaint - open-air bathroom windows. They face the walkway and allow the transfer of noises: music, frogs and passing conversations and, of course, our own noises.

Another slight miss for us was the location of the hot tubs. They are directly behind and below the terrace gazebo. We've always enjoyed a dip in a hot tub after dinner, before retiring to our room (we don't come for the nightlife); however, I was not brazen enough to walk past everyone and the band in my robe to get to them. We had to settle for sundown dips, which just weren't the same.

We went over to GR a few times, mostly for lunch time pizza, and honestly, food-wise, pizza's the only reason to go. You can get a shuttle but sometimes you may get stuck on a scenic route while it makes its rounds into GR's grounds. It's much easier to simply carry on past the west beach pier for a couple of minutes' (tops) walk and you're there. Though if you're dressed for dinner, take the shuttle.

My husband dives and his overall impression was that the diving was pretty good: the water is warm, the sites are close by, the crew is good, relaxed. The down sides were he found the shallow dives boring (not much to see) and they don't offer two-tank dives, meaning a morning dive and an afternoon dive. Average to below-average marine life.

I know everyone says it but it's true: the staff is fantastic. Yes, it's their job to smile and say hello but I spoke with many of them throughout my stay and I truly got the feeling that they enjoy working there. Great staff. Great food. Royal Plantation promises a lot and delivers. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank choosehappiness
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 15 February 2014

Sounds like you truly had a marvelous stay with us! We love to hear our guests boast about our wonderful property, delicious food and our friendly, eager-to-serve staff. Thank you so much for your review. We certainly hope to welcome you back soon for another awesome stay!

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Reviewed 6 February 2014

This was our 4th time at Royal Plantation. The resort is and was beautiful, immaculate with great service all around. Our butlers Ashford and Sheldon were there for whatever we needed and our friends Adrian and Cleon (the beach butlers) are absolutely the best. You will not find better food at any other all inclusive. The nightly entertainment is great.

Now for the downside....On our 2nd and 3rd visit, we got upgraded to a huge balcony suite. Being this was our 4th time, i hoped for the same or even close. We were put in just a regular room. Now, the regular room is still beautiful and i do understand that they really might not have had anything else. I got over it quickly until we got back to our room that night, and our room was never turned down. I'm not being picky, but if you have stayed at this resort before, you come to expect the best. On our 2nd nite, we had made reservations at The Grill, a beachfront restaurant. We walked down to the beach, and the restaurant was closed. They said it was because of weather, but it was a beautiful night with plenty of stars in the sky. Instead they seated us indoors where they put the food for the breakfast buffet. Far cry from beachfront dining. When we complained, they moved us to the inside of The Terrace restaurant. We really like outdoor dining when we are away. A few more minor things-they always had Patron tequilla at the bars, and there was none to found. The Terrace which was always outside dining had limited outside tables and the rest were indoors. The manager used to greet u by name at breakfast every morning and was very visible all day through dinner. We never saw the manager once on this trip.

Obviously something is going on here. Would we go back---yes. It is still a top notch vacation, just not as top notch as before.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank morkScotchPlains
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 8 February 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property.

We are grateful for feedback, inclusive of TripAdvisor posts, as it allows us the opportunity to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Our response to feedback continues to be in word and deed. We want to make sure future guests do not have similar feedback and will take action by notifying the appropriate departments of your remarks - including our General Manager.

We hope that you would afford us an opportunity to offer you a much better stay in the future.

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Reviewed 5 February 2014

My wife and I have just returned from 12 days at Royal Plantation. This is a wonderful hotel and definitely worth staying at, we would have no hesitation in recommending it. The suites are spacious and have lovely views over the beach and Caribbean Sea, are nicely furnished with a well stocked mini bar. The food is superb and is the highest overall standard of any Caribbean hotel we have stayed in. We enjoyed eating at all the dinning options, and there is no shortfall in variety or quality, the coconut shrimp at the Royal Cafe grill at lunchtime does however deserve an extra special mention. The absolute stars of the show at RP are the staff, they were wonderful. They were all very helpful and nothing was to much trouble. It is impossible to name them all, but in particular we would like to give a special mention to Biggs(akaAdrian) and Daniello at the cafe beach bar, and Andre, Oshane and Garnett in the Wobbly Peacock pub.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jan R
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 8 February 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review our resort. We're so thrilled to read that you had such an amazing stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. We always strive to create memorable vacations for two people in love and I'm so happy that we were able to achieve that goal during your visit. I will be sure to forward your review to our staff. They will be so proud to hear of your kind mention.

We can't wait to welcome you back for another incredible experience!

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Reviewed 4 February 2014

We went to the Royal Plantation to relax and veg out - we were not disappointed. The facility is top drawer - the rooms are large and comfortable and well appointed. The food is the best I have ever experienced in my travels. The wine was excellent and certainly flowed freely. The staff are extremely friendly and very attentive to our needs. The entertainment was consistently good showcasing local talent. The guest are for the most part seniors who are looking for a quiet spot to enjoy and I think for the most part they found it. We found no reason to leave the resort during our week's stay.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank JDSMD
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 8 February 2014

Thank you for your review of Sandals Royal Plantation. We're so glad that you enjoyed your time at the resort. Sounds like your stay was a wonderful and relaxing experience and we're thrilled to know that we were able to be a part of that.

We hope to see you back soon!

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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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £408 - £1,160 (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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