There is no question that the RP is a beautiful property and would be a great vacation. There are just some things that in my opinion set it slightly below what the advertising says. I also believe it is not nearly as nice as a Leading Hotel of the World should be.
For starters the ride to Ochie is long and bumpy but if you researched at all you should be expecting that and it really is not that bad. It actually gives you a really good look as to how Jamaicans live and some insight to their culture. The other posts are correct it is very third world but again if you did any research you would know that. There is not one area outside the hotel that was not “sketchy.” The area where cruise ships port is very dirty, disorganized, and has an almost scary feel to the area. I thought before I came that the area around the port would be at least slightly commercial – but no. There are men with guns in the shopping centers which ultimately seem safe but do add a little tension on a day in town. It is Jamaica and if you go in knowing that than you may love it. Regardless RP makes a nice hideaway from the rest of Jamaica. Also we rented a jet ski (which to hotel doesn’t do) and they took us to the property literally adjoining the RP (we walked over the chess pier by beach! sort of scary) and there were about 25 Jamaicans all over a tiny beach just off to the side of the resort. It was a very sketchy house but the 3rd world atmosphere is hidden from the resort but it does encompass every aspect of Jamaica.
Accommodation: The rooms are a different story – there is no question they did a great job in every room with decorations and amenities. We stayed in the Prime minister suite which if you are going all out I highly recommend. We looked inside and saw the basic room and they were far from basic. I would say that the accommodations in RP are the best thing going for the RP. There were some small hiccups though – a handel fell off the door – shower knob broke – cable went out – ac went out for 4 hours - nothing earth shattering but for what was advertised to be the a leading hotel of the world needed some smoothing over.
One side note to the accommodations if you are going to stay in the Villa Plantana please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (the o is a zero). We were to stay there originally but found the accommodation utterly disappointing in comparison to the advertisement. It is a nice Villa but it is misrepresented –especially when in comparison to the palatial look of the hotel and the prime minister suite. I dont reccomend it for most occasions.
Staff – everyone was extremely fun and happy and nice – no complaints at all – just some small hiccups – the staff is happy to oblige to any request except when the request is not one they are trained to do. What I mean is that it is obvious that the men and women working there are trained well to do what they do, but don’t have the ability to think outside the box – just what they have been taught. I don’t mean that I asked for 1000 brown m&m’s or anything but for example our butler was happy to bring items off the menu from any restaurant at the hotel, but when we wanted appetizers from one and main dishes from another I thought his world was going to fall apart. He was confused and it looked like he couldn’t process the request. Rather than just thinking that he could place 2 different orders at 2 different times – we went through about 4-5 phone calls with him going to different members of staff getting authorization and telling him how it could be done. There were about 2 or 3 such incidents. I don’t want to sound like a snob but when advertised to such a high level, compliance should be at the same level. Whenever we would have the butler bring our food to our room they would literally spend 15-25 min just putting napkins at the exact mathematical angle with the condiments exactly spaced and they would even spend time placing dirty dishes in an organized manner on the tray to take out!! The first time they did it we were watching tv and thought they would quickly plop our food down but after 15 min we felt uncomfortable. Every time after that we just asked them to leave the food on the try and we would get to it – the first time we asked that I got the same “I am going to melt down look” and he even made a lunge at the coke bottle and popped the top after assuring him we were ok. It was nice but bordering crazy.
Hotel/Atmosphere – There is no question the Hotel is beautiful and the facilities are well maintained. Every room in the RP is perfect and all facilities and activities are great. Sure the beach and pool are small but they are perfect for the size of the hotel. Beach service was great but sometimes there wasn’t a server around. Granted we were there in the off season – I don’t know how crowded the pool/beach get but we had them basically to ourselves. Hey if you come in peak time you get peak crowds!!
Food – I thought all the food was excellent! I am now very obsessed with Jerk seasoning. The menu online is not 100% accurate but that is ok. The wait for food I did not feel was extremely long ever also. The only hiccups were that we had food forgotten 2 times. not huge but yet a gain a small hiccup!
Problems : As I stated earlier everything is really nice but just seems to have a small hiccup here and there. It is like the hotel and staff are 90% great but that 10% is noticeable and should not exist in a Worlds Leading Hotel. Here is some of the 10%
1.When we changed rooms fromthe Villa to the suite management did not even offer to decrease our rate which was about a 40% drop in rate. If we had not asked at the end it would not have happened – very unprofessional.
2.I truly (after reading all of these reviews) did not believe that someone being upgraded would affect my trip but I was wrong. Maybe we got unlucky but this woman was upgraded and we knew because she wouldn’t shut up about it. She approached us on the beach and asked us where we were staying and made us feel bad fro being in the nicest room in the resort on our HONEYMOON!! She told another honeymooning couple “Oh living off daddy’s money?” It was rude and obtrusive and I don’t know if that happens often but the simple fact is that when you upgrade someone who could not afford the place you are in you bring in a personality that is on a different level. Rich not rich whatever but you run the risk of bringing in pretty course people.
3.There is a lot of false advertising going on.
a.The Villa is falsely represented - email me!
b.The Golf aspect is misrepresented. There is a golf course you can be shuttled to but ALL Sandals resorts use it as well as anyone else who just wants to go golfing in Jamaica – So the service there is sub par - and you are required to hire a Jamaican caddy. You will have to make your own impression about Jamaicans to see if you enjoy that or not.
c.The caviar bar is litteraly 5 bar stools inside La Papillon. I thought it was its own bar or a side room but you sit in the front of the resturant which is not that big – the caviar is very very good and well prepared buuuut it is very misleading.
4.We overheard a couple who got married there talking with management about the fact that the videographer had butchered their marriage video also – so heads up.
Overall the place is beautiful and the staff is great – as I said earlier it is 90% heaven. The 10% that has not been tightened up yet is the problem. You will more than likely have a great time but know there is the chance that this resort still does not have its ducks in a row. Also, please don’t let these reviews fool you because a lot of the raving reviews are just people who got bumped up into RP. If you have the money to afford the nicest places in the world I would put a lot of places above RP but for what it is and if you really want to hit Jamaica RP is worth a shot.
- 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