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“Royal treatment”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 September 2010

After viewing the resort's website and reading all the reviews for Royal Plantation, we decided to go there to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. Every good thing that you read in the reviews is true! The staff is wonderful and we truly were treated royally.

I was concerned that the trip was off to a bad start when we learned the night before, through our travel agent, that our 6:00 a.m. flight on Air Jamaica was canceled. Had we not called our travel agent at 5:00 p.m. Saturday night, we would have shown up at the airport at 3:30 a.m. and found out there was no flight! Luckily, we were able to book a flight on U.S. Airways and, here's the best part- when we checked in, we got upgraded to First Class at no extra charge!

We were transported to the hotel by a van in which we were the only passengers and the trip took an hour and a half. You pass some rather depressing sights on the way but once at the resort, it is beautiful. We were checked in quickly and then given a tour by our butler, Germaine.. He escorted us to our room and even offered to unpack (and iron!) for us, which we declined. We had booked a luxury oceanfront suite but the next day we were upgraded (at no extra cost!) to the Honeymoon Grand suite on the West wing. It was gorgeous and very private. Germaine prepared a bubble bath with candles, flower petals and chilled champagne for us in the jacuzzi tub which is separate from the bathroom- true luxury. There is a double sink vanity in the bath area and a separate area for the toilet and tub/shower. This suite also has a large walk-in closet. The King size bed with canopy was so comfy. This suite has a TV in the bedroom and a TV in the living room area. We had breakfast one morning on the balcony overlooking the quiet section of beach which we were told, is the water sports beach. But it was always quiet and we never saw anyone on this part of the beach. Book this suite if you can- it is worth it!

We really enjoyed breakfast at the Terrace- there was never a full buffet, although they always had a continental buffet where we got our fresh fruit. We had custom made omelets mostly and on the last day I splurged and tried the chocolate chip coconut pancakes and Jamaican hot chocolate- yum! We ate dinner at the Terrace our first night but ate every other night at the french restaurant which was excellent! We had a favorite table outside and we were entertained by the live bands that played in the Gazebo each night. We even danced on the patio one evening. We ate lunch at the Bayside restaurant which is on the beach. I had coconut shrimp practically every day and it was delish. Hubby was more adventurous and tried the Mahi Mahi, about which he raved and he enjoyed the jerk chicken. We both loved the Iced Coffee Crunch dessert- to die for! We opted for the "Royal Plan" which was the all inclusive and it was definitely worth it.

The Manager's Cocktail party on Monday evening was very enjoyable. We met the general manager, Peter Fraser, who came around and introduced himsellf on the beach that morning and he was very pleasant and welcoming. All the staff members were polite and attentive. We especially commend our two butlers for their efforts as well as Marcia, the front desk manager, Felicia at the Terrace restaurant and Alrick at the beach who always reserved our chaises under the Palapa and even set aside a float for our use. There were Mangosas every morning on the beach along with fresh fruit and a butler walked around spritzing rosewater on the sunbathers.

The resort is very clean and we did not see any insects to speak of. There are peacocks who walk around the property and we saw some little lizards. You can hear the tree frogs but it's not annoying. The beach is small but well kept and aside from work going on to extend the pier, it was quiet and peaceful. The water was warm and calm.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation. We spent 5 nights and 6 days and it just flew by. I highly recommend this resort- it's no surprise that it is listed as one of the Leading Hotels in the world. Go see for yourself.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jerseychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,070 - 2,074 of 2,663 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2010

Chose the Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios for a week of pure indulgence for two main reasons - 2for1 offer on the fully All Inclusive option and it's great reviews on TA. Definitely did not disappoint.
The suites are immaculate, butler service friendly, efficient and unobtrusive. Food was absolutely stunning with plentiful choice and great quality/taste and service. The 'All Inclusive' option was just that - ALL INCLUSIVE. None of that 'between certain hours', or 'only local drinks' etc. Even the wine/rum/beer in the minibar was included. On arrival we requested alcohol-free beer due to the fact my wife was expecting and by the time we returned from the beach they were cooling in the fridge.
Cannot fault the Royal Plantation at all.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank RGandR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2010

We just returned last night from a 5 night stay. As we left the property I felt like I was saying goodbye to new found friends and family. My husband and I have stayed at other all inclusive resorts in Jamaica and we are so glad to have finally found our favorite. I feel like the Royal Plantation is our little secret we don't want spill, but everyone needs to know just how fantastic this place is. From the moment we arrrived and until the moment we left the service never stopped. I have never seen so many people take such pride and ownership in their jobs. It was truly touching to see how everyone there cared about every part of your stay. From Adrian (aka. Hercules) brushing the sand off my feet when I got out of the water, to Collette bringing me my "usual" for breakfast every morning and every single person in between who made our stay absolutely AMAZING!!! The butlers go out of their way to make us feel special and as if we are the only ones at the resort. My husband and I loved the little surprises they would leave for us such as candles and rose petals around the bed after dinner as well as a warm bubble bath that melted away all of your stress. Thanks Chris and Cleon... you guys are AWESOME! I love the small boutique feel of this resort. Everything is close by and you never need to worry if you forgot something in your room because it will only take a second to go back. The food was great. No massive fried feast buffets, everything is fresh and cooked to order. If you don't see something you like, they will be happy to accomadate you as best as they can with whatever you would like (again, the service is the best I have ever seen). The hotel managers are always in sight and periodically checking to make sure you are receiving great service.
Thanks Royal Plantation for an amazing experience and we can't wait to see everyone when we return next year (we already booked a return trip for next August)!
Tristan and Ryan

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tris30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

We revisited Royal Plantation for the 3rd time in 2 years and stayed 12 nights this time. We absolutely love this place. The General Manager Peter Fraser and his new Hotel Manager Supratik Guha are wonderful. Food was great this year although the weather was mostly rainy due to a tropical depression.
Despite the rain, we were in the ocean everyday. Our best day was sunny in the morning, rainy during the middle of the day with a DOUBLE RAINBOW early evening!
Staff that made our visit memorable were Shawn Moses, Driver Sean, Marcia, Adrian, Barry and Marvelle. They exceeded themselves in making us happy!!!
We met some wonderful friends, Lee from Cinncinatti, Virginia and her husband from the East Coast, etc.
Misses: The new butler program instituted in February leaves some room for improvement. Two butlers were assigned to us and their greatest challenge was communication with each other in helping us plan our dinner reservations, outings, special favors. One butler in particular, Orayne, did provide some great service and we had two great baths drawn with unique towel art, candles, etc. Again service is somewhat dependent on the butlers and one of ours was almost invisible. Other guests had some similar issues so hopefully the resort is working out the bugs.
Please note that this is a very quiet resort with no nightlife after 10:00pm unless you retreat to the bar!
i would highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank belwil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2010

Just got back yesterday.....If you are looking into a small, romantic resort that waits on your every need, then stop looking and book this resort. I can go on, and on, and on, and I probably will, so I will try and title the sections....

Tips and Recommendations
This is the most important section, so I am putting it first. I loved everything, but some things could have gone smoother.

1. If you care about a big tub and separate shower, do not book the lowest class room. We did and were very disappointed with the tiny tub and shower. We notified them of this, and within 2 days they upgrade our room for free.

2. I would wait and book any spa treatments or tours until you get to the resort. One, because they run daily specials for the spa at the resort. Two, because their advanced bookings don't seem to get to them. We booked a dinner for deux, a tour to Mystic Mountain, and my father paid for a massage for me for my birthday. We had to show receipts and call several times before things were straightened out. There was never a "problem", but it would have been nice if I didn't have to prove I aldready paid for it. I believe they should have known before I got there.

3. Bring cash with you. You may want to tip everyone extra because they do such a fantastic job. They also have a different beach vendor every day with some nice things to buy. There are not pushy at all, which was very nice.

4. I would recommend traveling here during the summer. The resort was almost empty, so some days it seemed as though there were only 10 people on the beach. This could be why the service was so fabulous, but it was wonderful thinking we had the whole place to ourselves. The weather was fine. It was supposed to storm every day, but it did not. It would rain and then be sunny the rest of the day. Or it would thunder in the AM and be sunny, but we swam anyway...it was fine....NO PROBLEM! :)

5. Go ziplining! It was sooooooo much fun.....and I am terrified of heights!

6. Pay for the dinner on the beach if you are there for your honeymoon. Ray (our special server) was brought in to serve us, and it was FABULOUS! With the sun setting at 6:30 PM, the candles all around us, your feet in the sand, the waves crashing....there is nothing like it. Just do it!

7. Don't drink the water from your bathroom. I think this is what has contributed to the "stomach problems" I have read on here. I didn't think about it until it was too late. I believe they serve you filtered water at the restaurants, but the sink and shower I believe is not filtered. I cannot possibly be the food.....the food is AMAZING!!!!!

Here is the rest of the review:

The Room
Like I said before, the only problem with the basic room was the bathroom. We were upgraded for free two nights later, but the bed was not as nice. Funny, I thought, that the bed in the lower class room was a pillow-top "heaven" mattress, while the mattress in the upgrade room was standard. Hopefully, they will change this as the first bed was extrememly comfortable. The viewsof the water from every room was amazing.

The Food
Let's just say that you could eat lobster every day if you wanted to. Seriously. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was amazing. Breakfast ranged from coconut and chocolate chip pancakes to Eggs Benedict with filet, to an omlet with anything you want. Plus, fresh pastries, fruit, and cereal every morning. The best part was eating outside on the terrace with the view of the water. Lunch...we mostly ate on the beach, but they will get you anything you want from the restaurant. Lobster BLTs, hamburgers, coconut shrimp, jerk chicken....yummy! Dinner was especially wonderful. Their french restaurant, La Papillon, was like any 5 star restaurent here in the US. I wish I could remember the one appetizer- shrimp, lobster, and cheese....it was AMAZING!!!! Dinner included anything from lobster to filet mignon to veal to a rack of lamb to a variety of fish....amazing! Dinner at the Terrace was delicious as well....they had a Surf and Turf night and had a delicious Veal Marsala. All in all...if they didn't have exactly what you wanted, they would make it for you. My husband had a combination of dinners one night and had fish prepared differently another night. JUST ASK....they will do anything they can!

The Spa, Tours, and Extras
I got a massage from...I wish I could remember her name....she was wonderful. I would recommend to wait to book it.....they ran massage specials a few times while we were there, but you have to book the special for that day. The Mystic Mountain tour was fun....the Sky Top ski lift showed gorgeous views of Ocho Rios (but I was terrified the whole time due to the height issue). Then we went on the Bobsled ride which was like a roller coaster....a lot of fun. But, the ziplining was the best! Great fun!!!! We went on the sunset cruise, but that was more of a party atmosphere. The sunset was amazing on the sea and the catamaran was neat, but I would not have paid for it. We got it complimentary through AAA, so we didn't care...but I think it was expensive for what you got. And then you have to tip the crew. You decide. Again, the Dinner for Deux on the beach was amazing....do it!

The Service
First of all, the Jamaican people are the nicest, most friendly, most relaxed people I ever met. From the entrance to the Sandals spot at the airport to the General Manager, Peter Fraser saying good-bye to us when we were leaving....every single person we saw said hello, asked us how we were, and said "no problem". Even the house keepers and the gardeners...so pleasant. No matter what we said or asked for, they did it. I wish I knew everyone's name that made our stay so extraordinary- especially the behind the scene people- the chefs, the housekeepers, etc. But, our butlers- Richard and Cleon were over the top!!!!!! Especially, Cleon. He walked me over to the Sandals Red Lane Spa to purchase something! Miss you, Cleon! Every night was something special. From the candles and flower petals all over the bed, to the snacks and wine left in our room when we came back from our sunset cruise, to the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" spelled out in flowers on the floor, to the romantic bath with flowers, leaves, and champagne set up for us....they both- Richard and Cleon....took our breath away. I could not have dreamt what we were going to experience. We left them a tip, but it wasn't enough.

Others....Adrian....our beach butler gave us a flag to wave him down if we ever needed anything, but I never used it. He predicted everything I wanted even before I asked for it, or would run and get it. Adrian...I miss you already!!!! Colette and Marvette were our servers for breakfast and lunch....you girls were great...thank you! Anthony and Garrey (not sure if I am spelling it right) were our dinner servers....FABULOUS!!! They both got us anything we wanted, recommended different combinations of food, and offer to make it differently. They were especially patient with my indecisive husband. Ray....our dinner on the beach server....thank you for the best night...all of your little tricks and perfect timing made it a magical night. And the guys on the beach who took us snokeling and got our chairs ready every day and kept the beach immaculate....THANK YOU!!!!! Thank you to everyone....oh an thanks to Obrien for the upgrade....we appreciated it! Oh, and Carolyn....request her if you can to drive you back to the airport...I did, but they must have forgot.....she drove very well. I get car sick very easily and did not with her. We had another driver on the way back and I got very sick....I wish they remembered that I requested her.

The Beach and the Grounds
The beach is small, as they say, but it was great. Your rooms are right there, so it is very convenient. The sand is not white, but nice. The water is a mix of colors. Beautiful. I am not sure if the water was better in Mexico, but it was still beautful. We got beach loungers under umbrellas every single day. You can go down early before breakfast and save a spot, but this was not needed when we were there. The grounds were being manicured daily. They were gorgeous. They clean everything...even the flower pots. The resort is older and has character, so it is not the modern type of resorts. Personally, I like the character better. We saw the other resorts as we drove by; this place by far was more beautiful.

The Pool
They have a pool and people went to it, but it's small. I would say this is a place where they can improve. An infinity pool would be nice, but I am not sure where they would put it. Anyway, why go in the pool when the sea is right there?

All in all...it's up to you.....if you want to party every night, get trashed, and don't appreciate character and history....you can book another resort. But, if you want to be waited on hand and foot (or even if you don't), want delicious food, relax, and a beautiful beach...book it. I thought I might be disappointed.....but I was not. and we have stayed at other 5 star resorts.....Iberostar Maya in Mexico and Royal Hideaway in Mexico...both wonderful....but are not in the same league as this reort. Other people who have written lesser reviews about this resort may have stayed there when it was at full capacity or they were crazy because we did not meet one couple who thought differently than we did. And we talked to everyone. Book it...and if you have any questions, e-mail me. :)

Have a wonderful time!

I will post pics soon.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $731 - $2,067 (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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