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“This resort deserves a SIX star rating! Best of the Best!”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 September 2012

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!

Room Tip: East side rooms are quieter. Request a high floor for a great view.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Kristy_R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,784 - 1,788 of 2,665 reviews

Reviewed 19 September 2012

We stayed for 5 nights at the Royal Plantation resort. We had two butlers (Richard and Sheldon) who went above and beyond to help us with anything we needed. The bartender at the resort by the name of Gladstone was a wonderful guy to have around. Not only did he make his famous Gstone martini but he helped us with the Jamaican Joe as well. The kitchen help was also very kind and helped us out with everything we needed. Winston who delivered our breakfast each morning was very helpful with advice and insight on the local culture.

Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
2  Thank Ethan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2012

We had to move form Sandals Whitehous to this property. When we arrived late in the evening at Royal Plantation, we were taken to our room. Unfortunately, this room also had mold issues. Unlike, Whitehouse the situation was handled with professionalism. The night manager David Sleight took us to several other rooms which also had mold issues. Mr. Sleight showed us a smaller room which did not have mold issues, but was hesitant to have us stay in it since it was not the same room grade. We stated we just wanted to sleep in a mold free room and he happily put us into the room. When showing us additional rooms, Mr. Sleight also saw the mold issues. He showed us a room on the second level which was not made up, but unbeknownst to us he communicated to the General Manager, Mr. Fraser the issues and that this room was mold free also.
When we came to breakfast, Mr. Fraser notified us that if the room we saw the night before was acceptable, they would prepare the room for us and would move us. I went to the room with the housekeeping manager, Mr. Robert Frost and stated that the room was great. I than offered to show Mr. Frost how to address some of the mold issues which he happily accepted. I walked around with Mr. Frost and told him several things Sandals Royal Plantation could do to prevent mold growth.
The management and staff at Royal Plantation moved us to the other room which was great. The next day when I woke up, I was pleasantly surprised to see they were already addressing some of the issues. Mr. Frost kindly took us to Scotchies for lunch, which was wonderful. Mr. Frost also stated that the management at Royal Plantation knew we were not looking for an upgrade by making a complaint when we stated we would take the smaller room. Mr. Frost also stated he knew our complaints were legitimate through our conversations.
What was immediately evident was the contrast in the professionalism of the management and the maintenance of the property between Whitehouse and Royal Plantation. Mr. Fraser, Mr. Frost and the Food and Beverage Manager (a gentleman from Portugal) at Royal Plantation were always in the resort working. They all are leaders not managers. A leader shows you the way to the top of the mountain, while a manager states how to get there. The staff at Royal Plantation is enthusiastic and hardworking not only respecting the management but genuinely liking them.
On our visit at Royal Plantation the Food and Beverage Manager asked after every lunch and dinner how was our meal; what was good; and what could be improved. I saw Mr. Fraser working around the resort constantly. Mr. Frost was always on the go working with his staff.
On the wait staff there were several people who were especially wonderful; Taniqua Dillon, Adrian Cole, Romaine Jones, Ge Mar, Natalia, Patrice Hotel Technical Training Programme (HTTP), and Romaine Jones HTTP. Our maids Maria Faulder and Nedalia James were great.
The room we stayed at Sandals Negril (Negril) did not have mold issues. I believe because Negril maintains relatively high occupancy therefore the rooms are not unoccupied for long periods of time therefore the rooms do not get a chance to increase the relative humidity. I think an additional factor that may be assisting Negril is the fact that the room we were in had individual air conditioning units. The concierge Patrice was wonderful at Negril.
When we were at lunch Mr. Robert Frost had mentioned he talked with the Sandals Corporate Environmental and Safety Manger regarding myself and the UWI OESH programme running a class for all of the Sandals properties in Jamaica. I discussed this with representatives of the OESH programme at UWI and they would be very happy to assist in eliminating the mold issues.
As a Registered Sanitarian and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Sanitarians I know Jamaica has wonderful food and water safety. The area where they are falling short of the rest of the world is IAQ. The excuse hoteliers like to use in Jamaica is the humidity, which is false. There are numerous parts of the world including the US which experience high temperatures and humidity but properly condition their space.
Before I travel I research a property’s evaluations. I know for a fact if a CIH stated that a property had IAQ issues I would not stay there. I also know from previous postings that other travelers have not stayed at a hotel because of my review. I have had numerous would be travelers thank me for my honesty.
If it had not been for Mr. Fraser and the Royal Plantation I would have never stayed at Sandals again, due to the ill treatment we received at Whitehouse.

Room Tip: Higher floor has less moisture issues
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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4  Thank Dr Gary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2012

My husband and I recently returned to Jamaica (week of Sept. 1 – 8, 2012) to celebrate our 17th anniversary, having spent our honeymoon there years ago. “Welcome home! was the greeting we received, and so it felt. From the time we eagerly arrived in Montego Bay until the time we reluctantly left, the staff of Sandals made us feel like we had truly arrived home.

Upon arriving (and getting through Customs), we were shown to the Sandals reception area, where refreshing drinks awaited weary travelers. Our bags were collected and handled for us until safely deposited into our room to await our arrival there. A private shuttle, driven by a friendly, wise young woman named Michelle, shared with us her knowledge of the area during the drive to Ocho Rios. Once at the resort, we were taken to a seaside restaurant for lunch while our room was readied.

Our butlers Fiona and Ricardo took care of our every need, including giving us a tour of our resort, escorting us to dinner, creating a towel menagerie to entertain us, preparing hot baths with flowers, and accompanying us on the five minute walk to the dive shop at the neighboring resort, Grand Riviera, to which we also had full access.

The staff at the Grand Riviera dive shop was exceptional. Over the course of six days and eleven dives, the staff showed themselves to be the highest caliber, personally as well as professionally. This included:
Kevin, a quiet but warm-hearted dive instructor who taught us to increase the joy of the underwater world by knowing its creatures through the Fish ID dive specialty;
Ike, a friendly and very competent dive instructor whose primary focus is the safety of the divers;
Dennis, a friendly dive instructor who knows how to show fellow divers a good time; “Mouse,” an outgoing divemaster who knows the reefs inside and out (in the light as well as in the dark, discovered by our fantastic night dive); and
Winston, the only boat captain I know who can park a large boat in a narrow slip in three turns.
These wonderful people helped us reach our PADI Master Scuba Diver certification and helped us celebrate when we reached it.

These and the other dive staff put their whole heart into their work, and this makes all the difference for those fortunate enough to spend time with them. They MADE our vacation awesome, and our hearts were warmed by having gotten to know them. I hope one day you might have that opportunity as well.

As for the rest of our trip, we spent our time alternating between the Royal Plantation and the Grand Riviera. The first provided our luxury and refinement; the latter our entertainment, amusement, and recreation. It was the best of both worlds.

Room Tip: A higher level room means a better view of the ocean. East rooms mean beautiful sunrises - but earl...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Pam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Royal Plantation, responded to this reviewResponded 19 September 2012

We're thrilled to read that you and your husband had such a great stay with us. We always want our guests to feel welcomed and comfortable, as if they have just come home. It's great that you took advantage of the luxury of staying at one resort and playing at another and we're happy you enjoyed your time spent on both properties. I will be sure to let Fiona and Ricardo know of your kind mention. Thank you for your awesome review.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2012

I have read many a review on TA and I thought it only fair to finally take the time to sign up and contribute in fairness to others. This review is based on a Nov. 2011 vacation. Royal Plantation is an absolutely wonderful Caribbean resort. The whole resort is beautifully landscaped and decorated. The food is delicious and the service is excellent. Our every want and need was fulfilled by the resort's friendly and highly trained staff. 24 hour room service was a nice feature, as we occasionally needed a change from the two restuarants that are open at any given meal time. The spa services were fantastic, as well. There is not a lot to do if you are one of those people who are looking for night time entertainment. This suited us just fine. Loved it.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank 3000kmsouth
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

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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $724 - $2,053 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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