My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a 5 night stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. This was our first stay at a Sandals property. After this wonderful experience, I'm afraid we've been spoiled and that no other resort will ever compare! If you are looking for a low key, relaxing vacation that is filled with the best service and finest cuisine, then Royal Plantation is perfect for you. We spent our days lounging on their two beautiful beaches and not lifting a finger for anything! The resort is a bit of a drive from the airport (1.5 hours), but we enjoyed having an opportunity on this drive to see Jamaica outside of the resort setting. The drivers are chosen by the resort so your transfers are safe. They will make a rest stop if you need one and have a cooler in the vehicle with cold drinks. Also, this resort has many stairs down to the beach. Mobility challenged guests may have issues with these.
Rooms: Our travel agent reserved a Royal Orchid Butler Suite for us. This is the least expensive room category, but we found it to be beautiful and completely adequate. If having a large soaking or jacuzzi tub is important to you, or if you require a full balcony, then you will want to invest in one of the more expensive room categories. From our french balcony on the east side 3rd floor, we had a quiet and amazing view of the beach and ocean. Our mini-bar was restocked with our favorite beverages each day. Our king bed was the most comfortable I've experienced away from home. We had double sinks and a large walk-in closet with a safe to protect our valuables while we were out of the room.
Food: Royal Plantation had the best food we've ever experienced at an all-inclusive resort. Each morning we enjoyed breakfast in our room. We often wrote in a breakfast selection on the order card that was not on the in-room menu, and it always arrived perfectly prepared and right on time! We ate lunch at the casual oceanside Royal Grill everyday. Our favorites were the coconut shrimp, lobster BLT sandwich, and jerk chicken. Dinner at Le Papillon was out of this world. Presentation and service at this fine dining restaurant are among the best we've experienced. Be sure to leave room for the warm chocolate pudding for dessert - it is worth the 15 minute wait! Note: To dine at Le Papillon, gentlemen must wear a collared shirt and closed toe shoes. Your butler will also need to make a reservation for you (no worries, mon!). We also snacked on chicken wings and a scotch egg at the Wobbly Peacock Pub soon after we arrived. These were delicious. I enjoyed High Tea at 4 PM many days near the terrace. I'm not a huge tea drinker, so they were happy to brew fresh Blue Mountain coffee for me. The scones and cream were so good! We were so full from breakfast, lunch, and dinner that we didn't need room service at any other time, but there is an extensive 24 hour menu if you get hungry at any time. I enjoyed the house wine (Beringer Stone Cellars) and champagne for the duration of the stay and found them to be perfect for me. There is a manager's wine list that you can purchase from if you wish to upgrade.
Service: This is where Royal Plantation really excels. You are assigned two room butlers when you arrive. They are available to you via a cell phone should you need anything at all. There are also two beach butlers that will take care of you while you soak up the sunshine. After 5 days, we felt like all of the resort employees were our personal friends. Our room butlers Audell & Tafari took great care of us during our stay. The beach butlers Adrian and Cleon made sure our glasses were always full and even misted us with lemon water as we relaxed by the ocean. Gladstone, Shaun, and Rochester were the friendliest bartenders and were always ready with a special concoction if we didn't quite know what we were in the mood to drink. Every single employee went out their way to ask us how we were doing, to say Good Morning, and to treat us as if we were family. We were a little skeptical about being waited on by so many butlers since we are typically pretty self-sufficient, but we ended up enjoying this service and feeling like it was an unusual treat. Be prepared to tip your room butlers and beach butlers for their services.
Activities: I enjoyed water aerobics in the pool many mornings at 10 am. There is usually a mid-day activity such as a dart tournament, beverage mixing contest, kayak race, etc that you can participate in if you're looking for something to do. The resort social hosts work non-stop to make sure that guests are entertained if that's what they're looking for. O'Shane got us out of beach chairs on more than one occasion to do something fun! Evening entertainment always included a live band and a singer on most nights. The Jamaican cultural night is not be missed.
Extras: I surprised my husband with a private candlelit dinner on the pier the evening of our anniversary. My butler worked with me to select the 5 course menu and keep it a surprise until the moment we were on the pier. Our waiter for the evening, Delgardo, ensured that the service was impeccable for the duration. It was well worth the extra $170 fee and created a lifelong memory for us. I highly recommend this for any special occasion. We also booked a Dunn's River Falls climb through the resort and really enjoyed this. Ladies, wear a one piece bathing suit, wear water/tennis shoes, and prepare for a once in a lifetime opportunity! Your guide will lead the way and you will also have the option of purchasing a $40 DVD of your climb. Since we didn't want to risk getting our camera wet, we left it behind and purchased the DVD and found it to be an ideal souvenir. It was delivered directly to our resort later that day. The resort photographer also did a photo shoot for us on our anniversary. The photos are really nice and they will do a good job of upselling (very similar to Portrait Innovations), but we ended up purchasing two of our favorite images for $32. You can purchase a complete photo package if that's what you're looking for.
Exchange Privileges: You have full exchange privileges with Sandals Grande Riviera, a mega all-inclusive resort next door. We walked over on the beach, but you can also arrange for a shuttle. We went over to enjoy some of the after hours nightlife, but quickly retreated to Royal Plantation, which is more our style.
In summary, there isn't a single thing about this vacation that we would have changed. We loved every minute and are trying to figure out when we can get back! Thanks to everybody at Royal Plantation for making our 10th anniversary celebration so special. We hope to see you again soon!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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