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“Wonderful honeymoon”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 April 2010

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.

Rooms:
-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.

Food/Drink:
-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.

Entertainment:
-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

Beach/Pool:
-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!

Other:
-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

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Katherine_on_Holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,064 - 2,070 of 2,611 reviews

Reviewed 26 April 2010

From collection at Montego Bay airport through to our return we could hardly fault the service provided at Royal Plantation; without question the hotel's management and supervisory team are the best that I have seen in any service industry anywhere in the world. It was a slight disappointment that the beach restaurant (Crown Grill) was only open one night of the seven we stayed. Food quality in all places was good with the Terrace Restaurant being the best.
We had a "luxury ocean view" on Royal Plan, there was no balcony but the large sitting area had full height sliding doors opening approx 6 foot wide. The bathroom had a basic whirlpool bath plus a walk in shower, the wasbasin and clothes closet were separate. A bar in the room had full bottles of spirits (gin, vodka, rum, brandy, wines (merlot, chardonay, spakling white) and a full compliment of sodas & fruit juices; all were replenished daily as used.
Our return from Jamaica was delayed by the flight cancellations to Europe (volcanic ash clouds) however the hotel management offered a special "crisis" rate for affected guests and did all that they could to minimise distress.
If you are looking for high energy entertainment and loud party games Royal Plantation is not for you, if you want to be treated as an individual with most of your needs anticipated and supplied quietly/efficiently then Royal Plantation is your heaven.
The only negative was that internet connection is charged extra which is penny pinching for a premium (priced) all inclusive hotel.
It would be wrong to praise individuals, well done to Peter Fraser and all of his staff

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank r.butterworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2010

We stayed 5 days at this hotel - it was sad leaving...the staff were wonderful people....they made our stay very comfortable - my sister's wedding was held at the pier beautifully decorated and the reception was great....

Our stay will be remembered for years to come.....we can't wait to visit the Royal Plantation again!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sabessar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2010

This was our tenth trip to RP and it just keeps getting better and better. The new butler service puts RP in a class by itself. You will not find better service or food in Jamaica. Is it perfect, No but it's as close as anyone is going to get.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank TLove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2010

Our first visit to the Royal Plantation was a wonderful experience. The resort envelops you allowing you to totally relax in a calm, peaceful and beautiful environment. The extremely helpful staff are at hand to ensure that your vacation is what you want it to be which in our case was to unwind enjoy good food and re-charge or batteries for the year ahead. Without doubt we will be returning to the Royal Plantation in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jen1ben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2010

We planned a trip to Royal Plantation for our 10th anniversary and we feel that after many hours of researching other locations we could not have made a better choice. From the moment we arrived we were greeted and everything was done by the book just like we had read about in our brochure. Our butlers Romaine and Jason catered to our every need and went all out to help us have one of our most memorable anniversaries to date!

Our room was perfect and we had a wonderful view of the ocean. The entire resort was very neat and clean. Our golf experience was super!

While you are there they have on site photographers who catch your memorable moments, you feel like you are on the red carpet. A special thank you to Shereen in the photo shop. She and the other two gentlemen went above and beyond to ensure we had great photographs from our week long vaction. Shaun M. in guest services seemed like an old friend and made the best Rum Punch we have ever tasted! We recommend you do the all-inclusive Royal Plan...you won't regret it. The Peacock gift shop is the best, everyone is so nice and helpful. Mr. Fraser you and your staff should be highly commended on a job well done!

J. & A. Davis

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Caress3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2010

The staff is great and very discreet..Cleon, Tonya, Andre, Arnold,Cornell all very kind
The food the drinks, the wine..over my expectations
the snorkeling, windsurfing, catamaran, the beach etc...
The property is very clean and the gardening perfect... Vegetation is very beautifull
We will come back for sure it is the best place I ever experiment
Thank you for a week in paradise
Paule&Yves
Montreal, Canada

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cesamet
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £430 - £1,261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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