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“Lobster and cocktails - Just lovely”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Hampshire
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Lobster and cocktails - Just lovely”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2012

This hotel is worth the trip. As brits we had a 9.5 hr flight a 1.4hr wait in the arrivals hall (be prepared for Jamaican time at passport control) not sure this is the norm but there was nearly a riot. Then a 1.5 hr transfer (if you have booked a virgin holiday make sure you get on the private transfer to the RP as the rep pointed us to the Sandals lounge but for Virgin Holiday travellers a private transfer is included to this hotel, so we missed out there and had to wait around for the Sandals transport). It was around 9pm (2am UK time) when we arrived at the hotelso were tired. Our butlers were seeing to someone else so were not available when we arrived and in fact we did not use them that much. So much detail has been written previously suffice to say the food and drinks are top quality. We stayed a week and did not get bored of the menu. The service is there if you wish to use it, don't be frightened to ask. We were not use to such service and so did not really know what to ask. We found our own way around the resort (which does not take long so go explore yourself which is part of the adventure) we did not actually bump into our butlers until day 3. I felt if you do not contact them they would not necessarily make first contact with you but I guess this was due to not being available when we first arrived. Beaches are small so no long walks here but plenty of sea activities if you wish to partake in non-motorised sports. Just try them and if you haven't been on a hobie-cat before just ask the watersports chaps and they will take you out. Hotel - superbly clean, great food, quality drinks, good service. We are not regualr gym goers but went 3 times here, nicely airconditioned about 3 runners lots of weights and walkers and TV's to prevent running-boredom. Beware the pool is small and cold and a boiling hot outside tub. Reading this back doesn't seem to reflect the title but it was truly lovely and we enjoyed every minute. Well equipped room (except no slippers), personally I would have preferred to have slippers than bathrobes so don't have to wear outdoor shoes inside. Loved it. Thanks to the Manager for running a great hotel and being visible to his guests and stopping to chat - made a nice touch.

Room Tip: You don't need to upgrade here if you can't afford it, the basic room is just fab.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank SiLiW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (632)
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English first
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

The butler service is the way to go. Orayne, Darren were the best butlers. The barteders Marvelous Marcelouis and Olivia were great. The folks at the scuba center were great also if you like to dive. Vanessa was an awesome buddy. Great place to go of you want to get away to a quiet location with all the bells and whistles.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mergreen11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

Just returned from our trip to RP and had a great time. Would like to mention our wonderful butler Garey and his attention to details also the big man Adrian our beach butler who never forgot us for even one second and made sure I was never alone on my husbands golf days. Servers Gee,Odane,Fitzroy and Dwayne who always made sure our meals were served with a smile. The fabulous hands of Andrew and Lorraine, the couples massage on the cliff was by far the best we have ever had. This is the place we love to go back to because the second you walk thru the door it feels like your home again. If your looking for lazy days on the beach and pampering this is the place. Also thanks to Peter Frasier who makes it all possible.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank imhmwrdbnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

We took our honeymoon at the Royal Plantation, Ocho Rios staying for ten nights from 1st August 2011.

Usually, after a stay at a hotel we write the review and mention a few staff by name because they provided outstanding service. Here, they are too numerous to mention, we were treated so well from start to finish and unwound in paradise after many months of wedding planning. The weather was great, Royal Plantation was peaceful, the food was gorgeous, the Jamaicans were welcoming and we enjoyed a perfect honeymoon.

We would definitely recommend Royal Plantation as a restful relaxing retreat best suited for couples and honeymooners like ourselves. Royal Plantation was perfectly calibrated to meet our needs to the highest standard and it was a joy to stay there.

Things we definitely wanted:

• All inclusive, adults only
• Low / no risk of hurricanes
• Small boutique feel
• World-class service
• High quality food and drink
• Relaxing, stress-free holiday in a world of our own

Things we were worried about / unsure of before going:

• Would the Sandals takeover affect things?
• Would hurricane season impact the weather?
• Would we require jelly shoes in the sea / on the beach?
• How to use the butler service to suit us (we’re pretty self-reliant)

August was off-season for the hotel and for the life of me I can’t guess why. The weather was flawless 31-32 degrees day in day out, no rain, and we had only two days where the skies just clouded over in the afternoon. As a result, we feel we had the best of the weather and the best of the service – with the hotel being less than half-full, we had someone on hand whenever we wanted.

The beach was immaculate and during the day it was repeatedly combed by the resort staff to keep it that way. The sea was clear, warm and safe. (We used jelly shoes only for the trip to nearby Dunn’s River Falls – here they are a must, as is the experience itself.) We found Royal Plantation was literally manicured wherever we went. It carried the hallmark of a great hotel throughout – attention to detail.

The Sandals takeover seemed to have had only minimal impact. There was some staff churn and some Sandals staff from other resorts (outside Jamaica) were being trained who didn’t therefore know much about the hotel or Jamaica but the service was attentive, professional and polite. We made use of the Sandals affiliation to use the Golf & Country Club with free greens fees. The location is a veritable Garden of Eden not to be missed and a twenty minute drive from the resort.

The butler service was something we took a few days to get our heads around. It seemed like more of a responsibility than a luxury to begin with as we fielded a stream of helpful suggestions of doing this or that which a) cost money and b) didn’t interest us. The trick was for us to take control and use them for the things we needed – like planning day trips, arranging special meals and smoothing over tweaks to dining times.

We found the food and drink truly comparable to the finer restaurants found in top European hotels. The celebrated Papillion restaurant delighted us with beautiful meals and crowned these with the best chocolate fondant pudding we’ve ever had. We generally kept to the ‘free’ wine choices which were more than quaffable but there was a separate quality wine list we could use to compliment a meal more closely.

On the Terrace, the simpler food was varied and here we experienced delicious real Jamaican cuisine and had a few lighter, lower fat meals. If we didn’t like anything we saw on the menu or wanted it slightly different, we just asked and they made it up exactly how liked it. The grill by the beach sustained us during the day with lip-smacking jerk chicken, ice-cold ‘mangosas’, champagne cocktails, Red Stripe, you name it.

There are some additional facilities we made use of. The gym is small but usable with a mix of weights and machines. Of the inclusive water sports facilities, we enjoyed snorkelling over the barrier reef, exploring the coastline in a boat trip and sailed a catamaran. The on-site shop carries souvenirs and sunscreen, cigars and a range of rums. The caviar and champagne bar is part of the Papillion restaurant and a useful location to await friends. The main bar is a gem, with award-winning cocktail creators at work (try a Coffee-Tini - awesome!).

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank kjerros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

I was at the Sandals Royal Plantation in December 2011, this resort is beautiful. very intimate and small and has a lot of British charm.
The food was wonderful, as was the service by the staff.
All of the rooms at this resort face the ocean.
if you are someone who likes to have that extra elegance and and high tea at 4:00pm everyday this resort is for you.
if you are someone who likes a very lively resort with lots of action, maybe stay away from Royal Plantation (try Sandals Montego Bay)

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank AshlieW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northumberland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

I had been reading trip advisor reviews for several months prior to our departure for Ocho Rios and had very high expectations for this holiday, however I could never have imagined how special this place really is and that was largely down to the amazing staff at this resort. When I had previously read about other reviewers 'Plantation Family' no disrespect to them, but I really did feel they were being a bit OTT to be honest, but it is remarkably, very much, how myself and my husband felt when we reluctantly had to say our goodbyes at the end our our two week holiday from the 14th-28th January.
We were greeted and directed into the Sandals Lounge from our flight, where we each had a cold drink and waited a few minutes for our transport to arrive. The journey was 1hour and 40 minutes and, as it was dark outside was a bit tedious but the lady driver was lovely and tried to keep us amused with her occasional commentary. At the Plantation we were greeted with cold flannels and a lovely drink. Our Butler and soon to become friend Audel, greeted us and took us to our room. Now, as an English nurse and Carpenter who have more recently migrated to the sunny canary islands to become restaurateurs, being served does not come easily to us, however, Audel 'read' us straight away and made us feel very comfortable and at ease with saying what our expectations would be. He showed us around our suite and offered to unpack for us which we declined. We had previously filled in the on-line preference form and found all our requested premium brand spirits, wines, champagne and soft drinks chilled and waiting for us. We ordered a room service meal as it was late and opened our French doors to a breathtaking view of the Caribbean sea!!
The following day we were introduced to our other lovely butler Sophia. Between them, her and Audel gave us, literally, the holiday of a life time, they surprised us with bubble baths, soft music and champagne after a night out, afternoon snacks after the beach, the most amazing towel art I have ever seen, surprise meals, restaurant bookings for wherever we requested (usually Papillon) and mostly for just chatting and making us laugh and becoming very special friends who we will never forget.
We had room service breakfast on several occasions which was wonderfully cooked and always spot on time, frequently delivered by Audel with a massive smile and a joke!!, other times we had breakfast at the terrace which was always good and if the buffet was not to our liking we simply ordered something decadent from the al la carte menu. Tea and coffee was always served in a proper teapot and coffee jug (and they have Tetly blue) which I was
very happy about as well as a huge selection of speciality teas.
Lunch was usually at the seaside grill and delicious. I don't normally eat seafood but that went out of the window on this holiday. The coconut shrimp was delicious (as were the many lobster dishes served at night). We occasionally went next door to the grand for nachos, enchiladas or patties when we felt like something a bit more spicy at lunchtime and this was always good too. We also went to the Japanese and sushi restaurants at the grand and had a great time, the food was lovely and there was a great buzz about the places but to be honest, we were always happy to go 'home' again after our meals.
Most amazing was the Papillon Restaurant and again this is absolutely down to the fantastic staff in this place. Peter, the restaurant manager always greeted us by name and was lovely and very professional. We almost always had the same server who was Kayon. this young man definitely deserves to be considered butler material, he was wonderful, always anticipating our every need. He even came to find us when we due to leave to say goodbye and wish us a safe journey home!! Melvin, the sommelier kept our glasses full and a smile on our faces with his funny quips and the pianist was excellent, lending a really lovely ambience to the place and finally the kingpin to it all was the fantastic chef Jeffrey who delivered Michelin quality food night after night and after we complemented him, always made a point of coming out to say hello.
The beaches, are small but the beach boys keep to place immaculate, We usually stayed on the west beach and found that by sitting, on the 'chess' pier we had the sun for a little longer. Cleon, the beach butler was great and was constantly around with Mangosa's on a morning or another new and delicious cocktail for us to try, he even brought rosewater around to spray us with and cucumber slices for our eyes.
We did take advantage of the complimentary Scuba diving whilst we were there, we did four dives which were very professionally lead although I was surprised and a bit disappointed at the lack of aquatic life around (nothing the resort can do about that though!!)
We also did the trip on the catamaran to Dunns River Falls, this is a brilliant day out and we never stopped laughing although if you want quiet and restful, probably not the best trip for you. It involved, snorkelling, climbing the falls then back on the Cat for drinks, food and loud lovely Reggae music whilst you sail back to resort. We felt it was really good value for money and immense fun.
We also did the swimming with dolphins which was lovely but didn't bother with all the extra things included as we were told that the stingrays had their barbs surgically removed, a fact which we really didn't like but that is just our opinion.
Whilst there we also renewed our wedding vows and thanks to Naomi, the wedding planner, and the photographer (sorry cant remember his name) as well as our amazing friends Audel and Sophia, who became our wedding guests, we had an amazing day with memories which we will treasure forever. We renewed our vows on the pier then had photos and retired to the drawing room for cake, champagne and canapés. Audel even treated us to a few tunes on the Steinway Piano!!
The only small disappointment was the very small swimming pool but on saying that, we could have gone next door to use one of their pools, including a large complex with music and a swim up bar only a few yards up the beach from us, however, with the beautiful sea and wonderful beach butlers attending to our every whim, why would we want to move????
I can unreservedly recommend this holiday destination to anyone looking for an amazing holiday experience, it has everything for a relaxing pampered time and if you feel you need a little more, you can pop next door (it's about 50 yards up the beach) for more lively activity. (I promise, after just a very few days though, you will become so relaxed, you just wont want to leave The Plantation).
Sorry, this is a bit long but hopefully, you will be able to feel our passion for the place and anticipate your holiday with even more excitement, as I did when I read reviews prior to our visit. If I can answer any questions you have, please feel free to email me via tripadvisor.

Room Tip: all sea view but we has suite 59 overlooking the west beach and grill and thought it was perfect. We...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank lynnevans2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

After three trips to Sandals La Toc (Regency) in St Lucia, and one trip to the Sandals in Cuba, it was time for a change. This year we decided on Sandals Royal Plantation. Basically it ended up costing us the same price as St Lucia the previous year and at SRP we get butlers (at St Lucia we had the entry level room - no butlers). Thats what sold me on it - that and all the positive reviews on Trip Advisor.

For the first time ever we used a travel agent. Ruth DeMuth of TripGuy Travel is fantastic and I highly recommend her. I told her that in St Lucia we had a room right by the pool and I couldn't sleep at night - this year we were put in a nice quiet spot in the resort all because of Ruth. I will definitely book my next trip down south with her.

We arrived at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. We went to the Sandals lounge after customs and had time to change into shorts before being called to our mini-bus to the resort. The Sandals lounge was packed - lots of people going to both Sandals and Beaches, but they get people out really quickly. We were travelling with another couple and we were the only 4 on our mini-bus with the driver David. He doesn't work for Sandals (and tells you so), so expect to tip him when you arrive at the resort. It took about an hour and a half to get to the resort and David had nice cold water for us if we wanted some.

At the resort we were greeted by the staff (I don't remember his name) and introduced to Audell, our butler (along with Sophia whom we would meet in a day or so). We were immediately given whatever drink we wanted - Dirty Bananas was my choice. We completed the paperwork and Audell took us to our room.

The room was fantastic. The French balcony is actually quite nice because we could pull the comfy chairs right up to the railing and watch the ocean. The closet is huge and even had a window overlooking the ocean! A closet with a view! Bathroom had two sinks and a separate toilet/shower area. The bed is super comfortable and instead of a do not distrub sign they give you a tassle to hang outside the door. We filled in our butler preferences before arriving and I requested Gin & Tonic in the mini bar for my husband. This was all there plus white wine and champagne and Red Stripe beer, sodas and juices.

The resort itself is immaculate. Always people cleaning and maintaining it. The staff is amazing - probably the best I've ever seen. They are so friendly and welcoming. Audel and Sophia were great and really did a lot for us. We had towel art (which I LOVE), snacks in the afternoon, and we were even escorted to dinner at Sandals next door one night by Audell. Audell and Sophia had made all our dinner arrangements before we arrived so we didn't even have to think - we just showed up where and when they told us.

The food is really good. I had a surf and turf meal one night at the Beach cafe (Royal Cafe I think its called) and the beef tenderloin was so thick yet you could cut it like butter. And the shrimp that came with it was the largest shrimp I'd ever seen. Really tasty. Dirty Bananas are the best here. We had one while visiting Sandals Grande Riviera and it wasn't nearly as good. The martini list is extensive (and delicious!).

The beach is small but good. We had no problem getting loungers but then we mostly stayed on the East Beach. It rained several mornings, but by the afternoon everything was dry. The resort is home to several peacocks and peahens. There is usually a peacock hanging out on the balcony above the main entrance to the lobby. Sophia got a muffin for my friend to feed him and he was quite happy to get it I think.

When we left, Sophia and a few other staff members stood at the lobby door and waved goodbye until we were out of sight... I was sad to leave. All in all a very good vacation at an excellent resort. I'd be very happy to return sometime soon.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank SputnikOntario
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 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#3 On the Beach 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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