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“Excellent resort - will definitely go back”

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Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Woodstock, Georgia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent resort - will definitely go back”
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We had a wonderful experience. This resort is so beautiful. We enjoyed the size of it because there is so many areas to explore and because of the size you are never waiting on a lounge chair by a pool. The food was excellent and we went back to Soy for sushi about 4 times. If you eat at Kiminos (which I suggest you do) make sure you get Tex as your cook. He is very entertaining. The housekeeping service was the best that we have ever experienced. There were only a couple of issues that I would warn you about. I had a spa treatment and the pressure to buy their products is pretty high. It did take away from the relaxing experience. If you do a spa treatment make sure you are clear that you do not want to buy their products (that is if you do not). We had a little trouble with the concierge service. Their follow-up wasn't what I would have expected but overall they did their job. I also suggest that you take a ride into town and go to Maragaritivlle. It is an experience! The catamaran trip was also very fun. If you are going to Jamaica I would definitely recommend this resort.

Room Tip: We thorougly enjoyed having a room facing the ocean!
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank Hayley W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Chesapeake, Va
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We've been to lots of Sandals and this was one of the best. I really liked the smaller areas all over for pools, private sitting areas, and beach. The food was pretty standard Sandals fair - OK with some better than others. The pools and pool bars were nice and not overly crowded. The beach was not real big or long, but the part that's there is real nice, calm, clear and warm. The most fun for me was sailing. The wind comes up at around 11AM and dies off at 4. It just right for a Hobie Cat 10-18 and steady side shore. It keeps you from getting too hot, but not so much that the sand blows on you. The U shaped pier was nice and created a great break water. It also had a nice restaurant - Kelly's. One note, however, don't expect them to seat more that 4 at a table. It's apparently a kitchen thing not a table putting together issue. The staff is real friendly (like everywhere in Jamaica) and lots of fun. Entertainment was pretty good and they have a nice open air (covered) theater.

The resort is split into two parts that can be easily assessed via a shuttle that runs every 15 mins. (I think). We never had to wait long. I think you can walk over, but it is up the hill and the shuttle was always there. Once over there, there's a really nice size pool (also a little pool) with bar and cabanas. They have water arobics in this pool and its fun. My buddy and I did some 12oz. curls as the ladies worked out in the water. LOL. They loved it.

We stayed on the beach side. If you like the beach I would advise staying in Bamboo or Riviera.

I took a ride out to the golf course. We got a tour around the course and its pretty nice. Note: golf is included. You just pay for a caddy (required) and cart.

Oh, the bus ride is 1 3/4 hr. or so, but its on a nice big bus and the road is real nice. Not nearly as bad as going over the mountains to The Whitehouse.

Overall one of my favorite Sandals.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CountRone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United States
Level Contributor
102 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2012

We stayed at SGR for our 5th time from April 28th-May 5th. We were already booked for our now 6th trip, but we decided to add this one in earlier and go twice. We obviously love it here. We have been to several Sandals, and it is the only one we repeated. We were also just here in November 2011, and the Great House was closed for renovations then, along with the Sundowner deck. They are both complete and open now, so we got to see those this time, and enjoy the whole resort. There were also many staff members that remembered us, and it was so nice to have them recognize us, and make us feel like we were back home! Since I already have some reviews posted on this resort, I will try to add things that I think are helpful, and you can look at my older reviews if you are interested.
First of all, if you go to this resort and don’t know that it has two sides, that you take a bus back and forth, and that it is at least 90 minutes from the airport, I have no sympathy for you and you have no business writing a negative review about it since you obviously had no idea what you were doing when you booked it! And those busses were available whenever we wanted one. We never waited more than 2 minutes, and it is a 2 minute ride at worst. And since we were on the Manor, we needed jitneys up to our room, and only one time did we wait more than 5 minutes, and it was late. They ran a little slower for late night, but I think they had less people working.
Since we added this trip, we booked the cheapest room, the Riviera Premium, and we were upgraded to our normal room, the Honeymoon Bougainvillea Hideaway Poolside Suite. What an upgrade! Not sure if I have my wonderful travel agent Debi King to thank for this, or Megan, the amazing Beach Club manager, but either way it was much appreciated! We love the Manor side, and were fearful we’d be put on the Riviera side since that is what I booked. We prefer the Manor side because it is quieter in the rooms, the private pools at the rooms, the Polo Lounge is our favorite late night spot, and the breakfast buffet at the Marketplace is better, and the Grill at night is better, which we frequent a lot which I will mention later. And riding jitneys is fun! People seem to try to avoid the Manor, but I don’t think they know what they’re missing. We have been in the same villa (4 rooms per villa) 4 of the 5 times we’ve been there, and we had the exact same room we had in November. What is really funny about this is our room is almost at the very top of the hill, and lookout point (I think that’s what it’s called) is about 5 feet from our room, and we never went there before. I definitely recommend you do. It is almost the highest point on the hill, and you get a great view of the ocean, and you can see the Riviera side of the resort from up there. Go up there and take a few pictures.
Kelly’s bar on the pier is now open during the day, too. I definitely recommend you go out there and get some drinks. There was hardly anyone out there, and you are right on the ocean. Beautiful!
Mariner’s Grill is our favorite place for lunch. My husband likes the coconut shrimp, and I get a veggie burger, and they have spicy mayo and a choice of cheese that the other grills didn’t. And quesadillas. Definitely try lunch over there on one of your first few days. You will probably want to go back!
Our favorite pool was always the Manor pool before, but we actually were at the Beach Club pool a bit more this time. I think it was because we wanted Mariner’s for lunch, and it is right near there. We split our time between the Manor pool and the Beach Club mostly. Also, get a drink and go check out the hidden pool which is over near the Riviera pool. It is deeper, and we were normally in it by ourselves. We hardly went over there during the day this time, so we didn’t enjoy it ourselves. We will next time!
We actually had a lot of rain this trip. Jamie’s is a nice place to be in the rain. The Playmakers were there, so we played flip cup, etc. And you are in an open area, so you can sit and watch the ocean and still feel like you’re outside without getting wet. Normally, rain in Jamaica would only last like 20 minutes, even if it was a down pour, and then it wouldn’t even look like it had rained. This time, it rained hard for an hour or so at a time. If you were dressed up for dinner, this was the worst, so make sure there is an umbrella in your room, and take it with you if it has been a rainy day. Our room was missing its umbrella, and we never thought to ask for one until it was raining again. If we waited, a staff member normally walked by with an umbrella, and would let me walk with them. My husband just got wet (awww, lol).
I am vegetarian, and my travel agent let them know before I arrived (she wrote a very nice letter for us before we went). I am also a picky vegetarian, so sometimes it is hard to find food. The breakfast buffet is great. I normally got an egg white omelet, and a bagel or English muffin. I had many other choices. We didn’t like the lunch buffets too much this time. They used to have a pasta station and sandwich station where they would make yours to order, but I never saw that this time. And dinner is always hit or miss for me. They were pretty good this time about making something for me, but most places actually have a vegetarian option now. The spring rolls at Kimono’s and Soy are very good. Kelly’s had macaroni and cheese that was really good, and I was actually looking forward to having that as I really like mac and cheese. The Manor house let me order fettucine alfredo (which is on the menu with chicken, I just ordered without) to go twice because it was late, and we had gone to dinner and I didn’t get enough food. They brought it up to me at the bar. It was great! And the Select dinner finally made my meal with tofu (which my travel agent specifically pointed out before we went!) And if all else fails, we go to the grill at night. I get a veggie burger or grilled cheese, and I really enjoy it. We normally brought it back to our room, and I think we went every night. It reopens at 10pm and is open until 6am, so there really is just about 24 hour food available. And Soy is awesome! Make sure you check it out, even if you don’t want sushi. The staff was awesome (Verona and Bruce!), and they have tempura and spring rolls, too. You can go there before dinner. We went there about 5 times.
And I can’t forget the wonderful staff!!! This gets hard because there are so many great people, and I won’t remember them all. Megan the beach club manager (extra special thanks to you!!), Patria on the Manor side, Rupert who’s all over, Ricardo and Jason at the Polo lounge, Kemar and Omar at Jamie’s, Oscar and Karorie at Ethel’s, Athaniel at the Riviera pool bar, Basil at the Sundowner, Brian and Jermaine at the Beach Club bar, Chakera and Tyrone at the Soon Come Back desk, Tyrone at Kelly’s bar and Jamie’s, Verona and Bruce at Soy, Carlton the jitney driver, and playmakers Analisa, Josie, Odane, and Lori. Sorry if I forgot you! And our housekeeper Diane. Our room was cleaned each day, and turn down service each night.

I will add a couple negatives just in case someone from the resort reads this. One night we decided to nap after dinner, and get up and go out later. I ordered a wake up call for 11pm. I expected the operator to say it was strange, but he didn’t and said ok, 11pm wake up call. Well, that call never came.
There also was a sheet with all their liquors on it that we saw laying on some of the bars several times, and Absolut Vanilla was listed, but we never saw it. We asked many managers how to get it, they took our room number down, and told us they’d try to find it and tell us which bar had it. We never got any follow up, or any Absolut Vanilla. At home, what I normally drink is flavored vodkas like Cake, Whipped or Vanilla. They don’t have any of those there, so it is really was what I wanted. They have coconut (which used to be CocoMania, and I miss it!), and cranberry, grapefruit and pear flavor. And I’ll add this too, please bring APPLETON back!!! We are in Jamaica!
And we had a spa credit of $100, which isn’t really a credit unless you are already planning to use the spa. The cheapest massage was $146.50, with a service charge and a tip on top of that. For our next trip, we have a spa credit and a soon come back credit (which is now only for the spa. Sandals, please put that back to being a resort credit!) So I guess we’ll be using the spa next time, but neither of us are spa people.
Speaking of our next trip, we booked both of our trips before January when the prices went up. I think the prices went up too high, too fast. The resort was only 65% full while we were there, and I would assume the price increase is part of the reason. The bougainvillea room we have booked for next time is $1000 more than what we booked it for 6 months ago. Talk about an increase!
That’s all the negatives I can think of. Things really do get better at this resort each time we go. All of the public bathrooms have been renovated, too, and I have to add, I was never in one without soap this time. It is a pet peeve of mine when public restroom soap dispensers are empty, especially when there are two. Good job this time!!!
And the airport; the new self service check in is fantastic!! They did not have those back in November. It cut the wait time by at least 30 minutes. You still wait in line to check your bags, but it’s so much faster!
Sorry this is so long, but I don’t know how you will go here and not love it. I have a facebook fan page for this resort, and all of my pictures are on it. I take lots of pictures! It is Fans of Sandals Grande Riviera (Sandals Grande Ocho Rios), https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fans-of-Sandals-Grande-Riviera-Sandals-Grande-Ocho-Rios/179766952072250. And feel free to message me if you have any questions. I love talking about this resort!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BSBgirl337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Park Falls, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Sandals Grande Riveria Resort. The rooms were always kept clean and neat, the food was always presented beautifully, the staff was always helpful and the entertainment was alot of fun. There are many restaurant choices everyday, morning, noon and evening. Drinks were top shelf. We celebrated our 10th anniversary at the resort and were provided with a special treat in our room as well as a special dinner one evening for all returning visitors. We had a great time and would love to visit again. Our only recommendation for those who choose which room they want to stay in.....we did not like the 'waterfall' outside our room. It ran from 7am till around 10pm. We were on the sea side.

Room Tip: The Great House rooms are quieter, and the oceanside rooms are very nice, but they are a distance fr...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Randy-sandy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgway, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2012

We contacted "Beach Bum Vacations" and Marcie was my travel agent. She worked with me to pick the perfect spot to have our wedding/honeymoon and from her recommendations and what I saw from the website we settled on Grande Riviera. It a great decision! We opted for a private villa and it was spectacular. Very clean and modern, the bar was always stocked, and it had all kinds of amenities. We did get the butler service with the private villa, but other than picking us up in a golf cart, they didn't do much more that we could have done ourselves and we had to wait on them alot. They were very nice and it is a good idea if you don't want to leave your room, but for us the money could have been better spent elsewhere. Our wedding was PERFECT! Our wedding planner, Kari, was very professional, friendly, and attentive. We chose the Reef Terrace site which overlooked the ocean AND had garden scenery as well, but was also private. It made for the best photos!(the photographer was great as well) Wedding planning and the wedding itself was stress free. The minister did a fantastic job, the vows were so sweet and his delivery of the ceremony was perfection. They treated us like royalty. The spa did my hair and it was beautiful. The food was very good for the most part, the atmosphere was great, and the staff were friendly. We loved the food at the Reef Terrace and Bayside. Also, if you plan on any trips to the Carribbean/Mexico I recommend contacting Marcie at Beach Bum Vacation marcie@beachbumvacation.com

Room Tip: Private villas are great for couples who want to be in their room and have alone time and luxery, bu...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hayley R
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 (per night): $485 - $1,368
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 And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios
Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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