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Reviewed March 15, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Sandals Grande Riviera 3/1/12-3/8/12 for our ten year anniversay and it was AMAZING!! We didn't mind the bus ride at all, it was very intersting and also very eye opening. I will admit when we first got to the resort we were a little unhappy because we had booked a room on the Riviera side but when we arrived they took us to the Manor side and told us we had been upgraded. My husband and I insisted that we did not want to be upgraded but it was late and they told us the Rivera side did not have any available rooms at our level so we would have to stay just one night on the Manor side and they assured us we would be moved to the Riviera side the next morning. The concierge showed us the suite we would have for the night and we couldn't believe it! They had upgraded us to one of the Romeo and Juliet suites. We had our own totally PRIVATE pool and hot tub for just the two of us,it was WONDERFUL! After they brought our bags to our suite we decided to go out and explore the property and find a place for dinner. We went to check out the Riviera side because we wanted to see where we would be staying and quickly decided there was no place better than the suite we were already in. The Riviera side is VERY nice, there is always something going on and most of the restaurants are on that side too but the Manor side was a little quieter and ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! The next morning we told the concierge that we wanted to keep our upgrade and we were so happy we did. Getting to and from our villa and the Riviera side was no problem at all and actually a lot of fun. We made our dinner resevations the night we got there and had no problems at all. Kelley's Dockside was our favorite, the food was GREAT! The last two days of our trip we reserved a beach cabana which comes with a butler for the day and someone from the spa comes and does massages in your cabana on the beach! HUGE shout out to Ricardo, our beach butler! It rained (the only time it rained) the first day we had the cabana and I was a little disappointed at first but Ricardo can always make you smile and he made our two last days at the resort PERFECT (even with the day of rain)! The whole time we were there I felt like I was in a dream! We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Charity R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 15, 2012

We stayed at Sandals Grande Riviera the first week of March and thought the resort was beautiful, the food was very good and the staff very friendly!

We travelled West Jet from Toronto and they provided us the immigration forms on the plane, stating that we needed only one form per family. However, when we got to immigration at Montego Bay, we actually needed one form per person! The entire flight was scrambling to fill out the extra forms. Luckily we only had to fill more out one more, but there were large families on the plane that had to fill out multiple forms. About 3-4 flights got in at the same time as ours, so it took approx 45 minutes to get through immigration... we went on a Thursday but in talking to some people at the resort that arrived on a Saturday, they waited up to 6 hours as many flights got in at the same time. Weekend travel is definitely busier, I'm sure that was not normal, but be prepared for a bit of a wait at the airport. The bus ride from the airport took approx 2 hours, with one 15 minute stop along the way. However, the driver points out sights, so it's not that bad.

We stayed on the Riviera side, which we preferred. Most of the restaurants, entertainment are on that side. However, the pool on the Manor side was very nice. We had a basic room, no concierge or butler service, and we were treated just as well as anyone! We had no problem making reservations at Kelly's or Kimono's and got the days and times that we wanted. We did, however, go and book those restaurants the first morning we were there and would recommend you do so.

We would have given this resort 5 stars, but there were a few minor things we didn't like:
- The staff are constantly walking around trying to upsell you on services... spa, photographs, come back soon desk, etc. This got a bit annoying as it was a daily occurance, they would come up to you while you were sitting by the pool, stop you while walking to breakfast, etc. We didn't mind it now and then, but I must admit it got a bit too much.
- Chairs at the pool were hard to come by if you didn't "reserve" your chair early! People would put their stuff on chairs and then wouldn't show up for hours at times!
- Our room was great and very comfortable. Our only complaint was the lighting in the bathroom. It was so dark! We asked on several occasions if something could be done, but nothing ever happened.
- Kelly's Restaurant - we booked this for our last dinner at the resort and the food was great. However, we were disappointed with our server... probably the first one we had that wasn't very pleasant or personable. We felt very rushed throughout our dinner... when one course was done, the plate was taken away and right away the next course was served. We really didn't enjoy it as it all felt so rushed... but, like I said the food was very good.
- Not much of a beach. We like to take walks along the beach and you can't do that at this resort!

However, none of these issues would stop us from returning! This was our first time to a Sandals Resort - although we would eventually come back to this resort, we are already looking at the other Sandals resorts to see which one we want to try next!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Canadiens10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2012

We just got back from a 10 day stay at SGR. If you are considering going here, please know that it is a large property and using the shuttle service is a must, but soooo much fun. Though getting to the main building on the side you stay on is a fairly easy walk. We stayed on the Manor side in a 4 unit Villa. The jitneys and shuttle to the Riviera side are a blast to ride on, sometimes like a carnival ride. The ride and the short wait for a ride are made enjoyable because everyone is your neighbor and friend. The entire staff was superb! We just LOVED our housekeeper Charmaine, she is amazing. If you have not gone there yet but are planning to, please take the time to chat with the staff. We learned so much from them. There is so much to do on the grounds as well as away from the property. The food is amazing everywhere you go at SGR. We went to dinner tonight when we got home, easily the worst meal we've had in 10 days. I could go on forever about how much we loved the getaway we had there for our 25th anniversary. This will surely be at the top of our list when the next big vacation is planned.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2012

This was our first Sandals resort but have stayed at many all inclusives! The total experience was incredible! I am not sure if it would have been had we not booked the "butler' category!Some people we spoke with were a little unhappy with "concierge" category. We had or received everything we asked for without hesitation. Our butlers Nicola & Calisia were amazing to say the least and went beyond our expectations! Everyone can find something to complain about if they really want to. Our only complaints were that a couple of times at dinner the food was not very hot. We also found the semi-private pools to be quite cold. The main pool however was a very nice temperature all the time and the bartenders, especially Lopez ,Tresanne,Debbie-anne,Tavar!
Staff- excellent
Room- excellent
Restaurants- Very Good---- Favourites were. China Doll- Kelly's Dockside- Reef Terrace- Want lobster? "No Problem!"
Catamaran Cruise-- Definitely worth it!
Snorkeling was "choppy waters" when we went,but still ok!
Very positive experience. Would definitely return.

Room Tip: butler on manor side
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jcsomers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 14, 2012

As always, Sandals surpassed our expectations! The resort was beautiful and the staff was second to none. A special "shout out" to the bartenders at the Riveria swimup pool bar. Rushanne and Bishop were the best. Thank you guys both for all the laughs. We hired the private car service ( I highly recommend this to everyone) and Price our driver set the tone for our Christmas vacation. Check-in took all of 5 minutes and then we were escorted to our room. We could not have been more thrilled with our room. There are 3 rooms located next to the amphitheater and 30 feet from the Riveria swimup pool bar. Our room number 2066 was right in the middle and it was perfect for my wife and I. At night with the entertainment we could sit on our back porch and watch the show. Since we stayed 9 nights we ate at nearly every restaurant and the quality of the food and service was exceptional. This was our 6th time staying at a Sandals resort and as usual we have never been disappointed. We have stayed at other resorts around the Caribbean but there is a reason we why we love staying at Sandals, you know what you are getting everytime your there. Great service, exceptional food, beautiful grounds and they never disappoint. It may cost a little more than other resorts but it is well worth the extra few dollars. Thank you again Sandals for another fabulous vacation and we cannot wait to see you again shortly.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Andrew F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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