Yes it’s true. Royal Plantation really is as great as everyone says it is. We found it through the outstanding reviews on Trip Advisor and stayed six nights in November 2008. This review is for all those people like us who read every single review before making a booking. We’ll try and include some different feedback to help other guests make the most of their visit.
The resort is gorgeous. The grounds, our room, the beach, the restaurants are all beautiful. It is a very romantic place.
Service is great, just like everyone says. Though it is a little inconsistent at times and they are all on Jamaican time. Once you accept the way it is and start to relax then it all clicks perfectly. We had great room service experiences (Jermaine is the best; he brought us lots of bottled water). We recommend the Frenchman’s Picnic (cheese plate) while getting ready for dinner with the balcony doors open.
Dining - the gloves are off on this one. The Royal Grill was by far the best dinner dining at Royal Plantation. Maybe it was the chef, maybe it was the fact that the grill is smaller (15 tables?), but our food was steaming hot, right off the grill, the service was more prompt than the other places, and the food was just yummier. We had the fresh snapper up at the fancy French restaurant, Le Papillon, one night and then tried the jerk snapper down at the grill and it was so much better. It was also so romantic down at the grill. If you go early, try and get a table by the rail and you can hear the surf and feel the ocean breeze.
The manager’s barbecue (Monday night) was absolutely fantastic. The food and entertainment were both outstanding. The vocalist Roja was awesome. The cultural presentation on Friday night was also really fun. The limbo guy was so impressive!
They are serious about making reservations for dinner. The Royal Grill and Le Papillon fill up so if you don't get in you end up at La Terrace which isn’t very special in our opinion.
We always took in the breakfast buffet in the mornings. Fresh coffee, neat local fare, comforting omelets, French toast etc, and a huge fresh fruit spread. Make sure to try the Johnny cakes and the mango. The escowich (fish) was good too.
For lunch we recommend the beach grill – ordered to your chairs on the beach. Our favourite was cold Red Stripes with Jamaica patties, jerk chicken or coconut shrimp.
Water sports are fantastic – mainly because the resort is so small. The snorkeling is a like a private trip since there are never many people going. A far cry from the jammed Sandals snorkel boat you see go by. I really don’t think they could fit one more person on that boat! Snorkelling was so neat - bring a Johnny cake from breakfast with you to feed the fish and you'll be wowed at the tropical wonder of snorkelling Jamaica.The staff at the water sports hut are very helpful. You can even borrow a snorkel mask and pipe and check out the fishes that live on the ends of the piers - very cool.
Excursions - we did Dunn’s River Falls and had a great time. Very neat place. Bring water shoes if you can and don’t bring your expensive digital camera – waterproof durable cameras only for this adventure as you will definitely be submerged and soaked at least once during the climb.
Souvenirs – Royal Plantation invites a couple select vendors into the ground to sell souvenirs. If you don’t want to leave the resort (though there is a craft market just outside the gates, not sure if it is there all the time) you can pick up some jewelry or carvings made by the people selling them. They are very discreetly set up at the beach and very friendly. You wouldn’t even know they were there, they don’t approach anyone and there is only one table every other day or so. We bought some jewelry and a carved wooden turtle. Don’t be afraid to barter with them.
Overall we had a great time, relaxed to the max, and hope to go back again someday.
- 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