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“Sandals Grande Riviera March 21-28, 2012”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Thompson, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Sandals Grande Riviera March 21-28, 2012”
Reviewed 2 April 2012

Was great, first time to a Sandals resort. Very friendly staff, and most were helpful. Resort was VERY BIG! Didn't see much of the other side of the resort. Food was ok, no night buffet, so you had no choice but to eat at what is considered FINE DINING every night. If you are ok with small portions and sitting in a restaurant for 2-3 hours every night then you will enjoy this resort. SMALL BEACH! Rooster crowed outside our room all day and ALL NIGHT! Great bars, great entertainment...all in all, I give it a 4 out of 5

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank nothanks123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bettendorf, Iowa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

We stayed from March 23-31 in a Bougainvillea villa. This was our 3rd trip to Jamaica, first was at Couples Negril, 2nd was at Palladium in Lucea. Our room was further from the beach than I anticipated, but it was nice to have a private pool and quiet area to go to. We would pack a beach bag and stay on the beach side all day and go back to get ready for dinner and go through our pics by the pool with Red Stripe:) Breakfast was ok, lunch (we had both neptunes and both pizza huts) was great and dinners (we ate at Bayside 2X for lobster, Valentinos, Kellys, Soy, and Kimonos) were the best we've had anywhere. The hidden pools and hot tubs were fun to find. We would use them after dinner until late into the night along with a few cocktails. The beach is smaller than other places we've been, but there's plenty of room. It's worth getting concierge for reservations and the fully stocked bar.
Tours: we did the catamaran to Dunn's which was a lot of fun -bringt water shoes and waterproof camera. We also did the free glass bottom boat ride, the couples massage which I was a little annoyed by the masseuses trying to sell products after, but I just politely said we weren't interested. We got talked into doing the Blue Mountain bike tour by friends we were traveling with and it ended up being the best tour we have ever done! I can't put into words the beautiful scenery and people you see on that ride.
Overall, we will definitely return to this or any other Sandals property because of the staff and the beatiful grounds of the resort.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank mokenkad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dearborn, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

this was our second trip back to sandals grande riviera.. and we absolutely love it. the renovation is beautiful.. room was great.. service was great as always.. a little disappointing that the staff had changed since our last trip. this staff was great but when we went before it was a little better. only one original staff member was there.. Odane..who is absolutly awsome! food was good.. we dont eat meat or poultry and the fish options were good but wish there was just a few more. weather was good.. rained a couple times but passed right away. will def be doing another trip to sandals! oh and the only complaint we had was our room was great but for some reason we kept getting woke up by workers outside at like 8am.. didnt happen our first trip so idk??

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank ilona h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carsonville, Michigan
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

This was our first time to a all inclusive resort and I must say we were very happy. I will not say a few things didn't happen but my wife and I we're on vacation and if a minor issue arose it was addressed rather fast. You just have to remember it's island time. Relax enjoy another drink as they are everywhere. May not be 5 star to some people but we had one of the best times on this vacation. The staff was freindly and always smiling. We stayed on the hill side and that where we stay again. Thank you to the fun people at sandals. All the things that happened were trully situations and not problems.

Room Tip: We stayed in a villa. Pools on these are nice to chill alone most time's.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tim g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thompson, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We just back back from Sandals in Ocho Rios. It was an awesome vacation. Before we left i read reviews and was a little uneasy about if we chose the right spot. For those people who complain about this resort must be used to be served on a silver platter. We had a little rain but nothing to complain about. There was no bugs at all.The water was warm. The entertainment was AWESOME at this resort.The staff and housekeepers awesome. They see that you are catered to. The food was great. I probably liked 95% of it. We stayed on the Riveria side which im happy we did because we were closer to the beach. If u are a beach person u would want to stay on this side.This resort is huge. The only complaint we had was there was no buffet after 2:30 on the Riveria side. Some nights we didnt want to get dressed and go out to a restaurant but we had to if we wanted to eat.The Sandtrap Grill on the beach closed @ 4:30 or so and didnt reopen until 10:30 and the pizza place closed at 6. So if we wanted to eat we had to get ready ,which by the time you do shower get to reataurant and finished being served ,you are looking at 2 or 3 hours. You only need reservations for 2 of the restaurants, which u want to reserve when u check in if you want to get in during your stay. Sandals resorts has no tipping allowed .That is their policy. You can tip discreetly and no one ever will know. We booked our trip to the mountains which was done in Jeep, awesone, we then went to Dunns River Falls. OMG everyone must go there once in their life, the experience is awesome. Dont wear your glasses in. There is lockers there for $8 to store your bag in, we stored our money and bag and glasses , when you take the lock back you get $3 back. We bought an underwater camera for $80 @ walmart which works PERFECT.The guide leading you up the falls,stops and takes your camera and takes your pictures.Bring water shoes if not you will have to rent them or buy them.Dont fall for people trying to sell beads and stuff on way in falls,just say no thanks.We visited the market, they try and get you to buy,just say no thanks or if u want to buy barter with them, dont take the first offer or the second one. We also did the glass bottom boat and aqua trikes which is all on the beach,you just walk over and put in your time for when u want to go out.It was all sooo fun.We had a credit for the spa which we used for Manicure and massage, it is so very clean and such a beautiful spa.The Catermeran we didnt do,it would had made me sick. We always got chairs by Jamies Sports Bar on the beach, We LOVED Jamies sports bar and the bartenders. Mudslide and Hummingbird u MUST try. They are very tasty.Made by Michael. Look for him. Very nice young fellow. I advise everyone to do the oreintation at 10 in the morning or 5 i think in evening.Anton showed us where everything was on this resort.He was very informative. If you arent use to silver trays all your life you will love this resort unless youve been to many and you are a person who compares easily....

Room Tip: When u check in and if you stay on the Riveria side ask them not to put you on the side where there...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
12 Thank vickie447
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buhler, Kansas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2012

We just returned from Ocho Rios last night; stayed from March 24-30th. We were in the Honeymoon Bougainvillea Hideaway Villas, which had 4 rooms w/ a private pool. The entire experience was wonderful! We were 2 couples, and our rooms were on the lower level of Building 61.

We used a private driver through Courtney Taylor Tours to get us to the resort quickly, and it was $20 pp. Totally worth it! We were through Immigration within 20 minutes (on a Saturday, no less!), and our driver, Marvin, was there to meet us. We stopped quickly for a Red Stripe at a gas station, and he whisked us to the resort, with commentary all the way. Courtney Taylor Irie Tours <courtney_tay@yahoo.com> Ask for Marvin!

Our husbands visited the Dive Shop once we were on the property, and did several scuba dives everyday of our trip. My husband got certified, and had a great time with the entire dive team, especially Kevin Johnson, who showed expertise and friendly instruction.

Our rooms had wonderful features, but the great patio was wonderful for our husbands' diving gear, which needed room to drip out each day. We enjoyed having coffee and internet access (which you can purchase for the week) on our patio, and met a GREAT pool guy, Andrew, who was very informative about the resort. He walked our 4-some up the hill to a wonderful panoramic view of the sea. We saw many cats, but none were brave enough to approach us. They kept their distance. Thank you, Lorraine, our wonderful housekeeper, for exceptional care.

We enjoyed riding the jitneys, and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a pickup. All we had to do was call! We visited the Concierge Office a lot- and make sure you ask for Charlette! She is a gorgeous gal, and such an outstanding representative for the Sandals operation. She always remembered our names - as did lots of the servers.

We traveled around the resort frequently throughout the day, and never had to wait long for a bus. We tended to hang out by Neptunes during the day, (while our husbands did their scuba diving) so that we could have their wonderful coconut shrimp and jerk chicken for lunch! Make sure you take a Bubba cup (from Walmart) - the bartenders fill them up to the top with your favorite beverage, and it stays cold in the warm Jamaican sun. Bring a long straw from home!

We attended the Returning Sandals Guests dinner on Tuesday evening, and while the event was lively, we were disappointed that we did not get a bottle of Appleton rum (made in Jamaica). Instead, they gave us all a bottle of El Dorado gold rum, bottled in Guyana. We actually left it in our villa for the next occupant, as did our friends next door.

My only complaint in the Food & Beverage department is the absence of White Zinfandel wine offered by the restaurants. Berringers is the wine of the "house" in all restaurants, but they only offer 2 whites and 2 reds, but no white zin. You can purchase a bottle at any time for $38 a bottle, which we did the last evening at Valentino's. We read the reviews before we went, and were amazed at complaints about food quantity. All one has to do is order "double" or "triple" of anything, and it's "no problem, mon"! We did that all the time at Neptune's for lunch. In the evening, we were stuffed by the time the dessert menu was offered, but managed to order "one of everything", and share around the table. It was fun!

We never encountered grumpiness from the staff, in fact, once we smiled and visited with ANY of them, we were met with friendliness right back, every time, no exception. "Treat others like you want to be treated".

Another comment about the Sandals staff members: the same people who serve you dinner at night, drive the jitneys until the wee hours, & work at the desks are the same smiling people who greet you early the next morning. They work killer hours, and continue to be helpful, cheerful, and gracious the next day. Most of them have large families who might live 1 1/2 drive away from the resort. Please be respectful to these hard-working employees.

A word of caution for your consideration of this particular Sandals resort: this place would be a nightmare if you have mobility issues. Steps everywhere, and it's quite a big step into the jitneys and buses! Ramps are rare, and the only elevator I saw was in the Riviera main building.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Marcia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

My wife and I have been to several Sandals resorts and have always enjoyed them. Our favourite until now was Sandals Grande in St. Lucia, but it has met it's match in many ways. We chose to stay in the Villas which are in the hill property, very quiet and each has it"s own pool. We used the Butler service for the first time and would highly recommend it. Bertram and Denton were our butlers. They made sure we had everything we needed, made all the dinner reservations and reserved our chairs by the pool every morning. Each day we would come back to the room and their would be a snack tray waiting for us. My wife was especially pleased with the bubble baths and the various flower arrangements we often found when we got back from the pool or after dinner.
We highly recommend the Villas and the Butler service if you like peace and quiet.
We ate at a different restaurant each evening and all were very good. The best were Kelly"s Dockside, Kimonos, and Valentino's with China Doll close to all of these.
The staff were all very positive, friendly and could not do enough to make sure you were enjoying yourself. We did not meet any Sandals employee that did not foot that description so we are puzzled by some of the review we red before leaving.
There are three beach areas, with the best one being on the left side of the hotel where you can be within fifty yards of the pool, bar, beach, and restaurants.

All in all, an outstanding resort if you are not a person who needs to be able to walk miles on the beac every day.

Room Tip: If you like quiet, pick a villa up the hill, if you want party central stay in the Riviera side
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank Wayne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Property: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Address: Main Street | P.O. Box 771, 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#5 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Ochi Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 529
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Situated on over 100 acres of lush hillside gardens overlooking the Caribbean Sea•529 villas, luxury rooms and suites with fantastic mountain and ocean views•94 pools (7 large public pools), 22 whirlpools•16 dining options including room service for butler serviced suites•2 luxurious Red Lane Spas•Complimentary golf at Jamaica’s most elite and popular golf course, the Sandals Golf & Country Club (Transfers to the golf course are included)•Over 5,000 sq. feet of first class meeting and conference facilities•Recently completed US$60 million renovation/refurbishing exercise•Voted Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row•Voted Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row•Voted Sandals Grande Riviera ‘Jamaica’s Leading Resort’ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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