We returned last week from our second visit to this wonderful hotel. Royal Plantation is a member of the ‘Leading Small Hotels of the World’, sister to the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ group. We have stayed at several of the latter in the past and the Royal Plantation sets the bar high, as a standard for the rest.
The food at RP is superb. There is a choice of three restaurants to suit your mood, with three dress codes and cuisine styles. The hotel’s web site explains the details so there is no need to repeat them here, but they are all fabulous.
The suites (all rooms from the awesome Presidential Suite to standard rooms are classed as suites) are excellent (we were given a tour of all the room types last year). Every single one looks out over one of the two private beaches (east or west) to the beautiful, blue Caribbean.
The standard rooms are all spacious with a sitting area, with French doors which open on to the view, large four poster bed, refrigerated mini bar & coffee/tea maker, walk in wardrobe, large double-sink bathroom, safe, flat screen TV with VCR and stereo radio with ipod dock. They are very tastefully decorated, have cool, tiled floors and of course, air conditioning.
There are two private beaches, the east beach houses the water sports facilities and is the quieter of the two. The west beach isn’t exactly a bank holiday at Brighton, (this is an adults only resort – one of its many major plus points) but it is larger, houses the Beach Café and the majority of the sun loungers.
All the staff know that good customer service delivery is at the heart of their success. Some reviewers have commented that they have had to wait a while for drinks or food orders to arrive and occasionally, there is a slight delay. But, this is Jamaica, not New York or London, people come here to get away from cities, the pace of life and events here is slower and much more laid back, that’s what you came for – “Yeh Mon”.
As returnees we were treated exceptionally well and we were recognised immediately by the staff who welcomed us upon arrival. We were also invited to attend a dinner for returning couples which was excellent and a great opportunity to socialise with other guests and senior management of the hotel (as we stayed for two weeks, we were invited twice).
The best treat for us was to be able to spend our last night on one of the two Cabanas (palm roofed, curtained, four poster on the beach), we had a ‘camp fire’, and breakfast served to us on the beach on our last morning. Although we were not honeymooners, this would surely be the perfect romantic way to end a honeymoon, or any vacation for that matter.
Its amazing, but the sea sleeps too, it seems to calm itself at night, the waves are gentler, the perfect background sound for, well, whatever you want to do in a four poster bed under the stars, on a tropical beach ; ). This is arranged at an extra cost, but it really is worth it, I recommend that you book this experience at the earliest opportunity to avoid missing out.
Another special treat is the couples’ champagne celebration in the spa – wonderful.
A quick word about the Royal Plan, the details are readily available from the web site and other reviewers, I’ll just add that the only reason you’d choose not use the plan is insanity.
Are there any negatives? One recent reviewer said that there have been cutbacks and quoted the lack of ‘rose water spraying and flags’. Judging by the date, he seems to have been a contemporary of ours. We did enjoy both of these services, however, they did seem to be dependant upon the return of Cleon to the beach café, from his own vacation. Perhaps, some sort of handover to covering staff might be appropriate. There also seemed to be a smaller selection available at the breakfast buffet, although that’s a relative reduction, there is still a wide and comprehensive choice available.
All the staff are friendly and very helpful but several stand out as true contributors to the general excellence of the Royal Plantation, they are: Cleon, Lenmore and Natalie at the Beach Café, Michael and Devon on the Terrace, and Peter, Christine, Shaun and Nakimo representing management and front of house.
This place is just superb – I can’t fault it! If you don’t try it at least once, you’re missing out.
- 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