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“Came for a wedding, got a movie production”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Came for a wedding, got a movie production”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2007

My husband and I came to Royal Plantation to share in the nuptials of some good friends. Not only did we have a good time, but we got to see the filming of "License to Wed" and spotted Adam Sandler, Robin Williams, and Mandy Moore. The filming blocked use of certain areas of the resort while we were there, but there was always a good place to go and relax at.

We arrived at the Montego Bay airport, and we were escorted to a cab pretty quickly after receiving Cokes in the hospitality room at the airport. Cab was old and dusty, but the nice cabbie made up for the older car.

Quick check in, and the staff procured a drink and a cold towel right away.

The room was freshly made up every day and we had a good view of the water. They provide lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and aloe vera for guests. You'll need the aloe vera. Very room closets with plenty of room to unpack. The shower and vent is right next to the hallway, so you can hear people walk by when you are in the bathroom.

My husband is a big fan of the water sports, and the staff was willing to take you snorkeling whenever you felt like it. They also would come out and rescue you when your sailbot or catamaran tipped over. A sailing friend of ours said the equipment was okay, but not great.

We did not go on the all inclusive plan, and usually went off site for the evening. We went to Evita's (good view, good Italian food, would come back) and The Ruins Restaurant (great view, poor service, and the curry almost burned my lips off).

The resort restaurants were a bit high priced, and we experienced a very rude sommelier. My husband and I have never sent a wine back in our life, but a bottle we ordered was nearly rancid and we decided to send it back. The sommelier proceeded to come out and tell us how wrong we were instead of suggesting something else. They didn't charge us for the bottle, but we went elsewhere for dinner after that.

The beaches are not large, but I always found a spot to stretch out. The matresses on top of the recliners are a nice touch. Be aware that they are often out of chair-sized towels at the end of the day, and you'll have to make do with what you bring from your room.

For horseback riding lovers, I would recommend the Hooves trip the resort sells. I'm a rider and took a private ride, and had the best trail ride (cantering up and down the beach) of my life along with getting a naturalist lesson from my guide.

The wedding was a great success, and everyone enjoyed themselves. They started us off up by the tea room, and the ceremony was down by the water. Really impressed with how smoothly they kept it moving, considering the groom met the officiant minutes before the cermony.

  • Stayed July 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank Giselle411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2007

February 2007

My wife and I had been to the Royal Plantation as day visitors 3 years ago to visit friends that were staying there. We had promised each other that we would one day make it back to stay several days. This February, we visited and stayed from the 15th to the 19th. All we can say is, wow!! Although costly, we were not disappointed in any way.

Dining: After having just spent 7 days at another resort serving buffet food, what a great change to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner "A la carte", with food prepared fresh just for you. Breakfast on the terrasse overlooking the ocean was a wonderful start to everyday. An opening glass of mimosa or mangosa, strong blue mountain coffee, we usually ordered the special of the day with side orders of lox (smoked salmon) and tropical fruit. This would normally take us to mid afternoon. We would then share a light plate at the Royal Cafe on the beach, accompanied by a Red Stripe beer, or a special concoction from Cibony! Dinner for our 4 nights consisted of 3 nights at the French cuisine "Le Papillon" and one night at the Italian "La Terraza" under the stars. We loved the Papillon for its 5 star food and service and the atmosphere of elegance. Lobster was plentiful, and you must try the Lava cake. Wow. The Terraza was a beautiful experience with a wonderful meal under the stars, with a jazz band playing as well. There is something for everyone. The wine was excellent, we enjoyed Italian, Chile and French red wines. We weren't disappointed.

Room: Our room was in the "west wing" and overlooked the ocean. It was spotless on arrival and was kept that way daily by the excellent daily maid service. We loved the fact the room has a fully stocked bar fridge, and we could serve ourselves and early mimosa in the morning while getting ready. The thick robes and nice slippers were great add ons that made the stay wonderful. All rooms have an ocean view, so regardless of were you are, you will not be disappointed. Since you don't tend to spend that much time in your room, I would suggest that the least expensive Ocean View Deluxe Suite, which we had, will meet the needs of everyone.

Property: Lush, with beautiful flowers and several peacocks wandering the grounds. It was like being in paradise, in paradise! You were far enough from other resorts and the road that you didn't hear any traffic or sounds other than the ocean waves coming in. The pathways are clear, clean and well lighted. The buildings, including the old plantation house, are very well kept.

Beach: We aren't typically beach people, but here we spent our time on the beach. On arrival, someone will set you up with chairs, mattresses and blankets. An umbrella will be provided as well if required. the beach was small and quaint, but with only 77 rooms at the plantation, there was plenty of room for everyone. The beach was well maintained, and raked several times a day to keep it clean. I went for several swims and the water was clear, warm, with a nice white sandy bottom.

Transportation: Dedicated personal transportation to and from the airport was a nice touch. No cramming into a bus with 20 other folks going to 8 different resorts. Here, you get your own car and driver (only the best vehicles are used) and you have a nice relaxing ride. A definite plus considering the state of some of the roads in Jamaica.

Staff: Wow, what can we say!!! My wife and I are socializers, and so we made it a point to speak to as many of the staff as possible, let them know our names, and find out a little bit about each of them. Special thanks to Cibony, for the Cibony Drink Specials and Bar Show! To Barbara for the wonderful Barbara Specials at the Appleton Lounge every afternoon. LaToya, for being sassy, assertive and extremely funny. To Durrant for taking great care of us during dinner (3 times) at Le Papillon. To David for coming by and making sure our meals were as ordered and perfect, and for the nice comments on my wife's attire. To Audell, for his sense of humor and exceptional service. To Dwight for the tour of the grounds and showing us to our room when we first arrived. To Micheal (Curtis), for wonderful breakfast service on the Terrasse. To Wesley for the glass bottom boat tour. To Kova for restocking our room bar everyday, and for the special order of Red Stripe Light. To Suzanne and David, for spending time with us on the Manager's martini evening on Friday, to explain to us options available for our return trip (there will be one!). And to all the other staff that made our stay a memorable one, Thank You!

Recommendation: The hustle and bustle of the daily grind back home, work, kids, school, friends, can sometimes take a toll on your relationship with your significant other. This trip and this stay was an opportunity for my wife and I to spend some quality time together, with the focus squarely on our relationship. We had a strong relationship on arrival, and it was even stronger when we left. We would recommend to anyone wishing to get away to re-energize, refocus or just escape, to consider the Royal Plantation.

Denis & Nathalie
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

  • Liked — Quality of treatment, and attention to detail.
  • Stayed February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Canuckace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2007

We have been here three times. It is by far our favorite destination. We are treated like family from the minute we are picked up in a Mercedes Limo at the airport and greeted with, " Welcome home, Mr and Mrs. N....

The food is wonderful; the amenities are more than anyone could hope for. Upon arrival there are gifts on your bed. Your favorite liquor is in the room, if you are a returning guest. If there is anything you drink that they don't have, it will be in the bar that night and an extra bottle in your room the next day.

The staff is at your beck and call at all hours. I was watching the world series one year and it was very late at night. A waitress stayed near the TV room and kept asking me if I wanted anything to drink or eat until I went to bed. They made conch fritters for me this year because I had liked them so much the previous year.

The gold is free, the caddies are great! My caddy Gracie works for me each time and we get along fantastically! I look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces as well as newcomers when I return.

Royal Plantation is one place where you will never be rushed or feel like a guest. The Staff makes you feel like you are home whether in the spa ( world class by the way), on the beach or in one of the three gourmet restaurants. Go there!!! It is a must!

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank LINYMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
65 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2007

My wife and I travel extensivley and just retured to COLD Toronto , Canada after spening last week at Royal Plantation.March 2-7.

Now , Royal Plantation is a very fitting name for this resort as the expierence for us began the minute we were graciously met at the airport in Montego Bay .The welcome mat was out and the "ROYALS" were , well ----my wife and I!

The service at this resort is nothing short of exceptional, and the management team should be congradulated that the brand PROMISE of the property and the attributes inherit at Royal Plantation are bought into by everyone on staff! That is a very difficult accomplishment and the result was an atmosphere of MOTIVATED , COMMITTED, DEDICATED staff that work for one common goal.

Make my wife and I happy!

Yes we felt special and whether we we on the beach, at the pool , in one of the restaurants or sitting in the piano bar , I mean it when I say EVERYONE from the beach boys, the bar tenders, to the managers of the property ensured that WE had a great time .

What added to the expierence was the other vacationers .The QUALITY of the folks was such that we made new friends that we actually shared a few dinners.
Private time or friendly chats you make the choice.

Other than golfing off the property I don't no why you would leave as I am sure everyone else in the area would be dieing to GET IN , why would we try to get out?The golfing was fun and although not a world class course , the caddies were good and the grass was green . /15 minutes by van and yes RP ensured I got there and returned safely.

The rooms were first rate and the mini bar was not mini!

Everything on the Royal Plan was included and I mean EVERYTHING.No surprises at the end of your stay. 15% is added to all transactions and I imagine the cash is shared at the end of the day BUT again this was only paper work as the ROYAL PLAN included the 15%.gratuity.

We tipped an extra 5%/10% on every bill in cash to reward the waiter at the time.They deserved it!


The only extras were the spa which we found very relaxing and proffessional.The on site gift shop met not leaving the property (very good product selection).

Snorkeling, kayaking, or just sitting on the beach Royal Plantation was exceptional and we will be back!

Did I mention the food ........................yes it was fit for ROYALS and I guess , that was us!

Royal Pantation set a very high standard for our future vacations.

  • Liked — World class service
  • Disliked — distance to my room from the beach
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank JC/GC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2007

I stayed at Royal Plantation, with my Brother for a short vacation, as we had planned to visit family in the Caribbean. The stay was Superb. It was a wonderful experience; it was truly like paradise. The beach was fantastic and secluded which I liked. The best part was waving my RP flag for service on the beach, having mango mimosas and being sprayed down with water rose water! The food was delicious and I ordered a special breakfast with no problems. The room was marvellous, with so many drinks in the mini fridge and relaxing in the Jacuzzi. Martini moments were great. I only wished my head was not spinning so I could try some more varieties. The service was admirable and the staff was courteous. I can truthfully say I was pampered and wish I had booked longer to stay at the Hotel.

The only disappointed aspect of my stay was that we had some pictures taken and paid for them and the Photographer did not post them to me. It was a memorable stay and it would have been nice to have an aide-memoir.

Overall, absolutely fabulous and I would definitely recommend staying at Royal Plantation in true Jamaican Style.

  • Liked — Guest rooms and Food.
  • Disliked — Photographer on site.
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank CRE-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2007

My husband and I have just returned from a blissfully relaxed week (Feb. 19th-26th) at the Royal Plantation. Like so many others who have posted on this site about their RP experience, I can say in all honesty that our holiday exceeded our expectations–and our expectations were pretty high.

If you’re looking for a high-octane party atmosphere, a swim-up bar, and an endless stretch of beach, this is not the place for you. But if, like us, you want a romantic getaway in an idyllic, secluded spot where you are made to feel like a most welcome guest, consider the Royal Plantation. The resort is small, intimate, and beautiful; lush greenery and exotic flowers abound. The decor and furnishings are elegant yet comfortable throughout. The open plan of the public spaces allows you to enjoy the spectacular setting and the warm Caribbean breezes while eating, socializing, reading, or just daydreaming. The two beaches are small, private, and perfectly clean. Management is highly visible and always approachable, and the smiling, friendly staff provide superb service.

Because this was our first trip to Jamaica and we were unfamiliar with restaurants in the Ocho Rios area, we opted for the all-inclusive Royal Plan, and we felt it was a good choice. The food was consistently excellent, and several of the meals we had were truly memorable. Don’t miss the Parmesan souffle and the pumpkin ravioli in La Terraza, or the Ice Cream Coffee Crunch down at the beachside Royal Café.

We have only one small quibble, and that is with the difficulty we experienced in trying to reach the RP by email. The inquiries we made before our arrival regarding spa and dinner reservations and golf tee-off times were automatically routed through the Sandals website, and it took three or four days before we received generic replies from the same site. This was unexpected from a resort that prides itself on the personal touch and in all other respects does such an excellent job of providing it.

One point I would like to make: the highway from Montego Bay Airport to Ocho Rios was considerably better than what we had been led to expect from previous postings on this site. As of Monday Feb. 26th, there was still a lot of road construction underway between Rose Hall and the airport. There were delays, and the detours were very rough and bumpy. What would normally have taken 15 or 20 minutes to travel, according to our driver, took nearly an hour. However, the Jamaican government intends to have the highway completed in time for the Cricket World Cup, which opens March 5th, so it may well be done by now. Between Rose Hall and Ocho Rios, the road is as good as any secondary provincial or state highway in Canada or the U.S.–in some spots better. And the courteous and well-informed drivers provided by the Royal Plantation made our trip to and from the resort informative and entertaining.

We loved the Royal Plantation, and we loved Jamaica: its beautiful landscape, its warm breezes, its lively music, but most of all its witty, gracious, hospitable people. We’ll be back.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
14 Thank KB56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knoxville
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2007

My wife and I (age 50, upper-middle class suburbanites) just returned from a near-perfect 4-night stay (2/28--3/2/07). If you are looking for a superior, all-inclusive (my bill at check-out was $0) Caribbean resort in a private, beautifully-landscaped, oceanfront small hotel setting, look no farther than the Royal Plantation.
We studied the Trip Advisor comments carefully before leaving, and have found them to be very accurate.
Observations & Tips:
1) The private car ride (Royal Plan only...group van if not on RP)from Montego Bay to the RP was fine, 100 mins each way, bumpy for only about 10-15 mins. TIP: Request our driver, Donald Patterson, who was courteous, and navigated both trips safely, without risky maneuvers.
2) February-March is one of two "Dry Seasons" and our weather was perfect (mostly sunny, Temp 75 (night), 85 (day).
3) Given that only 50% of the 75 suites were occupied, we found the dining/bar service and quality to be exceptional, typical of 4 and 5-Star B & B's in the US, far better than larger all-inclusive Caribbean resorts. TIP: Book reservations at the French restaurant when you check in.
4) Every single employee smiled and was courteous. A few of our fellow vacationers seemed to feel that they deserved immediate attention at all times; their boorish behavior failed to rattle any employee, though I gladly would have provided them a whack to the head.
5) Swimmers may be disappointed with the small pool (15x30 ft).
TIP: A large, usually deserted, roped-in area off the East beach provides a 100x50 yd "ocean pool."
6) A much larger, Sandals "sister resort" sits immediately west. TIP: If you really are interested, they have more activities and nightlife, to which RP residents are entitled.
7) The RP hotel faces North, toward the ocean. The East Wing is more private, with views across a small bay and to the ocean. The West Wing rooms overlook the ocean and Hotel Terrace (music until 11 PM). Some lower level suites will have limited ocean views. TIP: For the best views, request the 3rd floor of the East wing or the 3rd-4th floor of the West wing.
8) The beach front is about 150 yards across, divided into a "mostly-sunny" West beach (with bar/small restaurant) and "mostly-shaded" East beach (with watersports and 2 garden-hammocks. A natural reef extends along most of the hotel's oceanfront, about 200-300 yards from shore. This creates beautiful aqua-velva water at the shoreline, and deeper blue water farther out. TIP for sailors: 2 Hobie Cats (no jib) and several smaller craft are available for free. The wind usually is from the East, so 1 or 2 tacks to the NE/SE will avoid the reef on the way out. . .aim East on the way in. The guys at the "shanty" will take you out the first time, if you ask.
9) 2 nice tennis courts (lighted) in the gardens have free, decent
racquets/balls. (Call the spa for reservations.)
10) Facts about the Royal Plan (all inclusive):
a) Virtually everything is covered, including about 15 decent House wines, but not another 25 "Select Vintages."
b) You are to sign each restaurant/bar bill (since you do not wear any ugly bracelets). Each bill leaves a line to add a tip. Realize that servers automatically receive an 18% gratuity on your total tab. (Leave extra if you wish.)
c) Depending upon your degree of gluttony, and upon how much you hate to watch your bill grow, the Royal Plan should help you relax and feel like you are getting a bargain.
TIP: Check available rates (with and without the all-inclusive Royal Plan) and figure you'll spend $250-$500 daily per couple on food/drinks/tips without the Royal Plan. (As moderate drinkers and diners, we spent $300/day).
FINAL TIP: Book it and you won't regret it!!!

  • Liked — Service/Food/Setting
  • Disliked — Expensive, but a reasonable bargain considering the experience.
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
34 Thank TravelDocSouthEast
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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Spa 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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