The Royal Plantation is a small resort. There are only 74 rooms and I get the impression that they are not often all booked out.
The service on entering the resort was amazing. A cool towel, drink and a seat given while arrangements were being made for room allocation along with a friendly welcome and smile.
You have 2 butlers assigned on arrival (available 24 hours) with a mobile phone to call them as and when needed – this is standard for whatever grade room you book.
We had booked for 11 nights initially – on our honeymoon, however what with all the volcano problems in Iceland, extended our stay to a total of 16 nights.
Guests either seem to be on their honeymoon or retired. It is a quiet resort and one where you are able to be intimate with your partner.
-Beds are very comfortable with turndown service in the evenings
-Stocked mini fridge – soft drinks, wine, spirits, water etc. You can request specific items through your butler – we changed to get one whole shelf as diet coke
-The rooms all have some kind of sea view – only 11 rooms in the hotel have balconies
-iPod docking station/speakers in each room which was very handy
-Honeymoon suites not great value for the balcony, however do have more square footage room than the standard rooms. The covered veranda suites would be my future choice for location/size/balcony size
-Slippers and dressing gowns are in each of the rooms, along with some basic toiletries – shower gel/shampoo/conditioner etc.
-The rooms were kept very clean and I never had any issues with the maids. Towels and bedding rotated enough to be kept clean.
-The ‘all inclusive/Royal Plan’ in my opinion is the best option. If you decided to not have the all inclusive, the prices are approx. $40 for breakfast and $75 for dinner per person.
-You need to make reservations for all evening restaurants and I would advise making this your first priority once you settle into your room. The French restaurant (La Papillion) gets very booked up quickly.
-The breakfast is either served from a menu or the option is there to help yourself on the buffet – plenty choice from full fry up, fruit, cereal, pastries, pancakes etc.
-They have small individual bottles of Heinz ketchup/mayo each seating for breakfast/dinner in the Terrace restaurant
-There are two main dinner evening restaurants. The Terrace (more informal) and La Papillion (formal)
-Terrace restaurant has plenty choice/variety each evening with an ever changing menu
-Le Papillion doesn’t change the menu choice – however there are enough options for several visits
-Theme nights are on both Monday (surf and turf) and Thursday (Jamaica night with an little more entertainment that the other nights of the week)
-Room service is free – no charge if you are on the Royal Plan – 24 hours
-They have the best range of alcohol I’ve seen at an all inclusive, all top shelf spirits/international spirits/cocktails/champagne. Beer – red stripe mainly / Heineken/miller/bud light etc. available. Alcohol flows wherever you are in the resort
-High tea is lovely (daily at 4pm). A staff member comes around on a trolley serving tea/coffee/cakes. All teas are available, earl grey, Tetley, English breakfast, herbal teas etc.
-Ocho Rios has a purpose build tourist area, mainly catching people from the cruise ships – tat and jewellery – nothing much interesting to look at. If you do choose to head into town (approx. 5 min drive) take the complimentary transfer (Mon / Wed) as otherwise you will be charged somewhere between $28-40 return and really not worth the money
-Dunns River Falls is quite a climb – I wouldn’t recommend for anyone a little older or more fragile
-Evening has entertainment till 10.30pm each night – live singers, Jamaica night etc. Sometimes a piano player in the piano bar
-2 beaches – 1 really mainly used/served by the beach bar staff
-Plenty space for choosing a sun bed on beach.
-Foot massages are complimentary on the beach, however only when the spa not busy. Not every day.
-Hotel not suitable for disabled – no easy access to the beach – although everyone else at all ages would be fine with the short amount of steps
-Plenty sun on the beach, staff set the beds up for you and move around during the day for you if you want to change direction for the sun, again there is enough shade if required
-The pool is very small – the smallest I have seen at a hotel. If you’re a pool person I wouldn’t recommend this hotel. The pool itself, although small, is clean and quiet. There are approx. 12 seats around the pool and it is at a nice temperature. It isn’t big enough to have a proper swim in. There is also a jacuzzi next to the pool, however I found this too hot (given the Caribbean heat) to get into!
-Adrian who runs the beach bar is amazing – very personable, friendly and brings you drinks before you realise you need a new one!
-Papers are available (same day) at a charge. We ordered the Daily Star UK paper at a cost of $5 per day. There was enough choice of papers. The New York times printed copy is handed out at breakfast free of charge.
-Internet is charged at a rate of other $38 per week or $13.99 per day.
-There is a shop onsite which is pretty standard as a holiday shop. Emergency clothing, limited toiletries etc. however most things you could need.
-Royal Plantation is closer to Kingston airport – 102km. Montego bay is approx 120km. However the roads make a big difference. Montego bay is approx. 1 hour quicker with a transfer time of 1.5 hours, whereas Kingston can be anything from 2.5 hours to 4 hours as the journey takes you through the mountains – very winding roads.
-Dress code – this is generally respected by most guests. Shoes, trousers and shirt should be worn for dinner (most were short sleeved), however suits with jackets should be worn for the French restaurant. Shorts/flip-flops are no appropriate for dinner. All the female guests were generally wearing all types of different dresses for the evening dinners, regardless of which restaurant.
My biggest tip would be to just ASK ASK ASK. All the staff are willing to listen and offer advice, help, additional services, but not always automatically given. You need to speak to people to get more from them.
We also tipped for our service received, generally $2 for every few drinks and $5/10/15 for dinner, depending on the service received. Again this isn’t expected from the staff, however we knew it was gratefully received.
The service on a whole was amazing, staff were friendly, helpful and attentive. The food was of a very high standard. I don’t feel that some reviews were very justified in their criticisms. I felt that there wasn’t much I could complain about at all with this hotel and I LOVE complaining!
More than happy to answer any questions anyone has… enjoy the stay. I would definitely return to this hotel – that is something that I don’t say lightly!
Kath & Jon
- 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