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“We have been all over the Carribean, this is the greatest place.”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Mendon,Ma
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We have been all over the Carribean, this is the greatest place.”
Reviewed 12 May 2009

The service is more than you can believe. Nothing is left to the imagination. The staff is the most friendly....they are without doubt genuine. The room was wonderful, we would have liked an enclosed balcony, but $1400.00 we thought we could live without it. Next time we are going for it.
There is only one downside with dining. Expect to wait a long time to get served when eating at the grill. It is on the beach and the kitchen is small, hence it takes a while for the food to come out. Breakfast is fabulous, dinner at Pappion is really really special. the resort is not stuffy, nor do the staff have an attitude.
Do not take the sunset cruise, the crew is from Sandals next door. They think the party is for them, and they drank more than the guests. Their attitude is poor. When you get used to Royal Plantation service, every thing else pales in comparison. One more thing, take the Royal Plan. It makes your stay all inclusive.
Ross & Jane Mendon, Ma

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank RossSnyder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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PEI
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 May 2009

small boutique hotel that has excellent food,service and people that will truly make it a holiday to remember. The extra effort by the staff of this hotel puts it far and above any other all inclusive we have ever been to. rh

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ricktrip2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Butler, PA
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2009

This was our first return trip to the RP after having such a great experience last year. All we can say is "Why would anyone want to go anywhere else?". Right from the time you get off the plane in Jamaica, you remember why you paid the extra $$ to go to the RP. After a few Red Stripes in the private car from the airport, and being greeted at check-in with a glass of champagne, we felt right at home. So, we booked all of our dinners for the week on the spot and headed for our room. We booked a Honeymoon Ocean View Suite and were lucky to get the same room we had last year. Room 301 with a beautiful view of the entire beach area. Within an hour, we were on the pier and catching the final sun for the day.
Our week was wonderful. Although the weather was somewhat cloudy and wet at times, we balanced our time in the sun with relaxation and reading in the open air lounge. We don't do the tours, but were very happy to just take the kayak out for a diversion. We also enjoyed the fitness center just about every day - it is well-maintained and the equipment impressive for a small resort.
The menus in the restaurants offered a wide enough selection that we were happy with bouncing between La Terrace and the Beach Grill. We were also very happy to see a more international variety of wines this year. However, our favorite night was Martini Moments in the lounge. About a dozen people decided to create an impromptu karaoke with Dennis at the piano. They were still going strong at around 2AM when we had to retire!
Finally, a summary of a week at the RP must mention the expert management and staff. Many thanks to Peter Fraser for the wonderful reception and dinner for returning guests. And, yes, we do have our favorites. Cleon and Inshawn on the beach. Natalie at the Beach Grill. Cammara in the lounge. However, we were treated "royally" by every RP staffer at all times. Just one of the reasons that we re-booked for 2010 right before we left!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank beatembucs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vadosta ga
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2009

We spent 6 nights at the Royal Plantation, and our experience was about as close to perfect as a vacation can get. There were a few minor bumps, which I will detail in a moment, but overall, this resort is fabulous and I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone.

We arrived in at Montego Bay, quickly cleared immigration and headed to the Sandals lounge. We let one of the check in staff know that we were headed to Royal Plantation, and after we had a few moments to use the restrooms and grab a drink, we were called and escorted to our private ride to the resort. Some clairificaiton on this point--if you booked the trip before a certain date, you will have the private transportation. If not, then you will be riding in a small, airconditioned van with up to 3 other couples. We had the private ride to the resort, and a group ride back to the airport. Both were comfortable and fine. In fact, I almost felt guilty taking the private transportation to the resort, as there were 2 other couples on our flight who also went to the RP. It seemed sort of wasteful, but oh well, it was still nice.

On arrival, we were greeted with the champagne and sugar cane. Check in was fairly quick and we were escorted to our room. Our first room was room 359. It was on the highest floor, in the west wing and was located between the Prime Minister's suite and another large suite. In fact, our room was shut off by a locked door from the suite next door and obviously could have been included as part of the larger suite, if that unit had been sold. We assumed that they shut off room 359 and sold it seperately when needed. This was fine for the first two nights, as the suite next door was unoccupied. This room had wood floors, a large bathroom, and a suprise to this American--a bidet.

On the third night, someone had moved in to the larger suite on the other side of the door and we had a big problem. I could hear EVERYTHING going on in the suite next door, since we were only seperated by a 'bedroom' style door (which also had a keyhole that you could see through, and this keyhole happened to be directly across from our bed.) The neighbors were not even being noisy, they just had the t.v. on and I could hear them talking and coughing. It was enough to keep me awake and feeling really angry for a few hours. I sleep lightly and have trouble falling asleep under normal conditions. I did call management, who came and talked to me, and called the room next door. A little while later the noise ceased. I felt kind of bad about it, b/c like I said, the neighbors were not being particularly noisy. It wasn't their fault that their room was so poorly blocked out from our room.

The next day, we asked to be moved to another room, and they moved us to the famous room 261. We liked room 261 much better. It had a light colored tile floor and the much talked about west facing windows that allowed you another view of the sea and extra light, etc. I would request room 261 if we ever return (which hopefully will happen!)

It seems that while we were there, the resort was completely full. I heard several people say that they had never seen so many people there at once. This meant several things. One, we didn't always get the dinner reservation that we wanted. Two, we never really got that fist name, familiar treatment from the staff. They were just busier than usual, I think. Not to say that the service was in any way bad. The service was outstanding, and the staff were warm, friendly and accomodating. I can't rave about the staff enough! I have just read review after review talking about the staff calling you by first name after meeting you one time. We didn't experience that. But still, high marks all around for the service and staff.

Another little problem involved dinner reservations. Thursday night is Jamaica night at La Terrace. It is a themed party involving specialty Jamaica dishes, and some special entertainment, including dancers and a fire-breather. It sounded like great fun. Unfortunately for us, by the time I realized this would be going on and tried to make reservation, the tables were all booked up. I was particularly bummed b/c we had arrived far in advance on a Sunday. I wish that the young man who checked us in had "taken care of us" and recommended that we go ahead and reserve for La Terrace on Thursday night. In his defense, perhaps the reservations rarely get completely full, but I was frustrated that we missed all the fun, and I know there were guests who arrived at a later date than us who did get reservations.

One final note and I will get back to the compliments for the resort. If you want to go off property, and you hire one of the resort's drivers, it will cost $24 U.S. This is to be paid in cash, to the driver and can not be charged to your room. At least that is what the driver told us when he dropped us off back at the resort and we handed him a tip (far less than the $24 required.) We were embarrassed and caught off guard. We assumed that this fee could be charged back to our room. Thankfully, we happened to have the required cash on us, but we felt awkward and foolish about the whole thing. Not to mention that the driver who dropped us off was not the same driver who picked us up, and we were a little skeptical about getting into the car with a man we had not met before. It all turned out fine in the end, but with a little bit more communication, it would have been a much more pleasant experience all around.

We only left the resort twice. Once to go shopping. I don't recommend you do this unless you enjoy being overcharged and subjected to high pressure sales tactics. The only thing we got a good deal on was a box of Cuban cigars for about $6 each.

The gift shop does sell the famous Jamacian coffee. I believe it was either $34 or $36 a pound. You can also buy rum cheaper at the hotel gift shop than at the shopping center we went to.

We also went to Coyaba Gardens and Mahoe Falls (one excursion covers both.) I highly recommend this at $24 per person. We were given a private tour of Coyaba Gardens, which we enjoyed immensely, and saw some amazing plants we had never seen before. Then were were taken for a short climb up the water fall. I didn't really have a good idea of what this would entail, we got completely soaked, which was fine, I just had a different expectation for how it would go. But it was great fun, even though it rained while we climbed. It was actually kind of romantic to be swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls in the rain. Our driver asked us if we wanted to go anywhere else, and when my husband made an unusual request (he is a woodworker and wanted to find some special Jamaican woods to bring home) he took us to a woodworking shop and we got what we were looking for.

Now back to the resort itself. Here are a few things that I don't recall reading in other reviews. The linens were top notch. Everything, from the bathroom towels to the bed linens were wonderful. I LOVED the bathrobes and wish that I had bought one to bring home. The mini bar was well stocked with: two kinds of beer, two kinds of wine, champagne, coke, diet coke, sprite, ginger ale, club soda, bitter lemon, a guava juice blend, some kind of flavored tea, and coffee and tea, plus full sized bottle of rum and vodka. It was restocked daily. One night the maid left chocolates and strawberries for us, plus a bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice. The toiletries in the bathroom were large 4 oz sized bottles of: shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, lotion and an aloe vera cooling gel if you happened to get sunburned. Our second room also had a jar of bath salts by the jacuzzi tub. Maid service came in the morning and also for turndown in the evenings. At turndown time, our towels were also replenished if needed.

The whole resort is spotless. We saw staff members cleaning constantly.

The beach is small but beautiful We didn't feel we missed anything due to the size of the beach. Beach service was divine--drinks, towels, fruit, meals, etc. all for the asking. We both enjoyed swimming out to the floating platform off the beach and sitting or lying on it with a little bit of cool ocean water running across if the waves hit just right. Heaven.

The food was very good. We didn't have a single meal to complain about. But, yes, we did wait a long time on several occasions. Once or twice it was actually pretty annoying.

You must try the coconut chips in the lounge with a pre-dinner drink. We made pigs of ourselves over those coconut chips and are going to try and get a chef friend of ours to recreate them. They were crispy and salty and nutty and unlike anything we had tasted before.

Drink service is extended to the pool and hot tub area, at least in the late afteroon, which is the only time we would move up there to find a shady spot in order to relax with our books out of the sun. We also found this to be a great place to meet our fellow guests.

Even though tips are not required, we tipped constantly in small US bills. The staff works very hard and even though I hope they are well compensated, we felt like giving them some money that we knew would end up in their pockets. I didn't notice that the non-tippers recieved any less service than we did. Tipping was never made a big deal of and was treated discreetly by the employees. Never once did we feel that a tip was being waited on or expected.

You can cash traveler's checks at the hotel front desk, but only for Jamaican dollars. We got a much better exchange rate at the hotel than at the airport.

There is a photographer who roams around, mostly in the evenings and takes pictures that you can then purchase. He was great.

Cigar rolling on Friday night was fun and interesting. You could purchase the cigars you rolled for $8 each.

We stayed in the Delux Oceanfront Suite. This is the catagory with a larger bathroom, but no balcony. We did not miss having that balcony at all, opening the sliding doors on the "French" balcony was wonderful. I don't even think I would pay extra for the large bathroom next time. We barely used the soaking tub and would have been perfectly happy without it.

I hope that we can one day return to this fabulous resort. When we booked our trip, we got a very good deal, as most travel can be gotten on the cheap right now due to the global economy. I don't think we would have come here if it had been full price. There is only so much money this sort of vacation is worth (in my humble opinion.) Plus, we can drive to some nice beach resorts a few hours from our home. However, for the money that we paid, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and feel like we have discovered a secret jewel in Jamaica.

I have a hard time imagining that you will ever regret visiting the Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios. I'm already jealous if you are going sometime soon!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank southgeorgiagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2009

My husband and I chose the Royal Plantation for our 7 day, 6 night honeymoon in mid-April largely based on some of the reviews we read here, so it's only fair to return the favor! Our travel agent hadn't heard of it, but he quickly realized, as we had, that it was a hidden gem. The best part was, it's now owned by Sandals, so the sales are available for the Royal Plantation (RP) in addition to Sandals' other properties. If you choose the all-inclusive package, you get exchange privileges, meaning you can visit the nearby Sandals resorts and eat and drink for free.

But as some other RP guests told us, once you've stayed at the RP, you won't want to go visit any of the other resorts. You have it too good to want to leave!

From start to finish, our experience wad superb. We were picked up in a private van at the airport, greeted with champagne, and shown to our fabulous room - Suite 159. I won't bore you with all the details, but I will say that the entire resort was kept meticulously clean (including the ground and beaches, which were raked daily); the food was well above average (especially the Terrace dinners and of course, Le Papillion); the service was of the highest quality (pulling out ladies' chairs, refolding napkins when you get up, frequently checking in to see if you need anything else); and the place itself is just the picture of luxurious relaxation.

A fantastic plus - we mentioned we were on our honeymoon when we checked in, and the next day we received a bottle of champagne and chocolates delivered to our room, along with a gift certificate for the spa as a courtesy and a thank you for choosing the RP. I used the gift cert for a phenomenal pedicure! It's little touches like that that make the resort so appealing, and well worth the money.

We never felt rushed or crowded - chairs on the beach are not right on top of each other as they were at the Sandals Grande next door, and we frequently had to pool and hot tub to ourselves. Servers came around to the pool and beach frequently asking for drink orders, so we never even had to use our beach flag!

We left believing that you truly get what you pay for. Yes, we spent more than we would have elsewhere, but we ate (and drank! - the minibars in the room are refreshed daily, and everything is included in the all-inclusive plan) like royalty, we enjoyed some fun times (there was live music every evening, a performance on Thursday night and of course, snorkeling was a great time), and overall we had exactly the kind of honeymoon we envisioned: a time for us to relax and unwind without the noise and crowds that can be an issue at mega-resorts. We're already planning our next trip!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JLB88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cayman Islands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2009

We picked Royal Plantation after reading the reviews on this and other sites. And we weren't disappointed. It was pretty awesome and perfect really for a romantic getaway. My husband and I were on a short honeymoon. The best thing about staying at RP by far was the service. We really felt important and everyone was truly very nice. Definitely not a place to go if you want a lot of party-like activities, such as a clubs, etc. But absolutely perfect for romance. We were pleasantly surprised with a spa certificate and champagne and chocolates in our room since they knew we were honeymooners. What a nice touch! And where we did have one unfortunate incident in service, it was immediately ratified by the general manager Peter Fraser. I would recommend this hotel in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cbmof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2009

My husband and I just returned from a week long vacation and found this to be perfect in every way. The food in all of the restaurants is delicious. The service is beyond any we have had in the caribbean, and the accomodations are large and spotless. We found the staff to be highly trained and professional. I loved the fresh fruit, mangosas, and cucumbers for your eyes while on the beach. We would highly recommend this to all savvy travelers. The small size enables the staff to even call you by name during your stay. Absolutely fabulous!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lsgraham521
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 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury 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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