We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just when you think you can't be MORE impressed, it's happened again.”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 November 2011

Sometimes you want to try something new, but sometimes you want to do what’s comfortable. Royal Plantation is that space you go to when you need to get away from it all and leave your cares at the doorstep. We love this place. This was our second stay and we’re booked for 2012 to return. I don’t see us trading in that comfortable space for a new dance partner anytime soon. It helps that Royal Plantation is one of the most beautiful properties on Earth, but it’s truly the staff that make this place shine above the rest.

Arrival- We were in the bulkhead exit row of a Delta 757 so we knew we had it made for the mad dash through customs. First off the plane for the second year in a row! Score one for us. We were excited to see the customs liners were fairly short and everything seemed to be running smoothly. However, upon getting to baggage claim we realized we were now on Jamaican time and eventually got our bags. No worries through. Got to the Sandals Lounge to relax a few minutes while our transfer was arranged. We were a little upset to report that they only had Red Stipe Light and the Red Stripe keg was empty. There would be plenty more to come at the resort, so that was minor. We waited a little over 20 minutes and asked the agent when we thought we would be moving this show along. Turns out we were waiting on another couple who was on our same flight. We later learned the poor thing had her bag lost by the airline. She was flustered when we met her but we ended up being good friends with them for the week and her tone was much different by the time we shared a transfer back to the airport.

It was a BUSY day at the hotel when we arrived but we already knew the drill. We gave the credit card, left our bags, and went to the Wobbly Peacock for lunch and drinks while our room was made ready. We knew something was up with the wry smile of Kelly-Ann the “Soon Come Back” loyalty manager. After lunch and a game of pool in the billiard room we were escorted to our suite… a HUGE upgrade! We were asked if would mind spending a few nights in one suite and moving half way through. NO PROBLEM MON! We were in the Verandah suite with a balcony as large as a standard room. It was the perfect place to have breakfast each morning. And the bathroom, well, you’ll just have to see the pictures to believe it. The bathroom may be larger than our bedroom at home! HA!

It was a nice touch to have your butler give you a schedule of dinner reservations for the week. However, we like to eat around 8pm instead of 7:30. No problems there either, it was quickly changed. I think they probably only do the reservations when the resort was full. (Which it was) Certainly takes the guess work out of dinner which we appreciated.

Construction and Updates: From the last time we had stayed at Royal Plantation there have been a few changes which are all for the good. They are currently under construction with a beach bathroom on the east side of the property. Just in the short week we were there the progress on the bathrooms was evident. They will be a nice addition. Also, they are building a new jetty which will then create a bigger crescent beach on the east side with a dedicated spot for the watersports boats. Love this.

Food: The food is among the best we ever have. We are not very wealthy people and this trip each year really is our splurge to relax and something we look forward to and talk about almost daily. This property is more expensive than most but well worth the difference. When you can have room service with eggs benedict for breakfast, lunch with coconut shrimp and lobster BLT’s, and filet mignon with escargot for dinner there isn’t much to complain about. The ONLY and I mean only complaint I had all week was that our breakfast room service order would sometimes be 30 minutes later than we requested the night before and one morning it never arrived at all. We think the door hang-tag may have blown away in the wind. Wasn’t a big deal, we also think it had to do with the property being completely full. You have to allow for that in our opinion. We also enjoy the buffalo wings and the pizza from the pub. Sometimes a nice change to have your butler deliver to the beach for lunch. (Which she did!)

Drinks: You really do get what you pay for when you come to RP. Here we have Makers Mark, Grey Goose, and other liquors you don’t see at other properties. However the biggest difference may be that the pina coladas here are mixed in a blender and not out of a Slurpee machine. Not to mention white and red wines come in the correct glassware. This is a big difference from other resorts; even Sandals. We suggest trying a frozen lemonade with goose, frozen margarita, the g-stone martini (just ask anyone at the peacock bar), and I loved the Rado Coffee-Tini with rum, amaretto, bailey’s, coffee, milk, and cinnamon. A wonderful way to end the day.

Staff: This is where the resort really shines. There really are too many names to mention everyone because everyone has a part in making your stay special. It all starts at the top with Peter Fraser, the long-time general manager of the property. You see him directing others but you also see him serving drinks and opening doors for guests. He truly leads by example. Gladstone is the long-time bar manager at the pub. He’s professional in every sense of the word and remembers what you like and makes sure your glass is always full. If you go to RP make sure to spend some time at the bar with G-stone. You’ll be glad you did. However our brothers from other mothers would have to be Biggs the Beach Butler (Adrian is his real name) and Mickhael the water sports manager. These guys are more than staff to us, they really are family and friends. Each time we’ve been we always feel like we are their most important guests. Biggs will bring you your favorite drink to the beach chair before you even ordered it in the morning. He wants to know about you and never ceases to amaze. And he’s having a baby soon! NEXT WEEK! Always a smile on his face and we can’t thank him enough. It’s a good day when you can start it with a mangosa (mango juice and sparkling wine) in the morning served by Biggs.

Watersports: We found a new love on this trip. Paddle boarding! It’s basically a wind-surfing board without the sail or a surfboard with a paddle. It’s a new trend and we love it. You can go out from the shore and feel freedom with each wave. We loved that and Mickhel always made sure we had a good time. We also enjoy the snorkel and were able to enjoy a trip each morning. If you can, make sure to make it to the shipwreck site the first calm (green flag) day you have. You can’t make it out there in rough seas but if the stars are in order it makes for a great day.

Special event: We were fortunate enough to meet a lady named Cyndi and her “red shirted” crew from Tropic Travel Online. They have over 200 paid nights to Sandals and a large chunk are from RP. They were nice enough to invite us to a private dinner in the green room of the resort. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone from her circle group and shared a great meal together. We also learned a lot from the pros! During the meal we were surprised with a special chef’s choice appetizer of what were basically corn muffins stuffed with ox-tail, seafood, and chicken. A lovely treat.

Thanksgiving: We were there for thanksgiving and the meal served was a nice twist on an old favorite. Jerk-Turkey! I was in heaven. Along with the jerk turkey they had carving stations with prime rib and lamb. I was in a food coma by the end of the night. They also had a special sorell (not sure if I spelled it right) sauce made from a traditional Jamaican berry found only around the holidays.

Sandals Select Dinner: The return guest dinner was an elegant affair! Last year we shared one table with a handful of couples but this year was much different and much busier. I believe there were over 45 people in the conference center for a meal full of filet of beef, chicken, and lobster served in a half-coconut shell. What a treat! We were all enjoying our multi-course meal and arrived to a candle-lit and decorated room with a complimentary bottle of rum to show appreciation. We love this about Sandals.

Entertainment: This resort really is small and we love it that way. If you want the party atmosphere you can go next door to Sandals grand. But we feel you’ll be running back here for more quiet! Garfield is a great social hosts who does hold various activites during the day. We quite enjoyed them! My wife was able to cook with a RP chef during the Iron Chef competition and we were able to mix our own drinks during a mixology course on the pier one day. It was fun and let us interact with the staff on a more personal level. My wife even took part in a complimentary yoga class one day at sunset and each day we made it a point to sweat a little on the tennis courts. And each evening we were treated to live music at dinner and outside under the stars. A vacation is all in what you make of it and we enjoyed every moment.

Last day: We had a 4pm flight so our transfer back to the airport was at noon. We were able to have an early room service breakfast and the staff was nice enough to prepare a to-go lunch for the journey home. However we opted for a final pizza and salad served to us on the tea-terrace after our bags were packed. It was a great end to a wonderful week and one that we’ll look forward to in the future.

Must do: Have a G-stone martini, try paddle boarding, get to know Biggs the Beach Butler, at least walk next door to see the other property, attend at least one entertainment activity, don’t stay in your room all day, try the coconut shrimp on the beach, try the buffalo wings during a game of pool, stick your head under the waterfall at the hot tub, try high tea at least once, and don’t be afraid to ask for anything.

Don’t forget: tennis shoes for tennis, water shoes if you want to try Dunns River falls, make sure to get up early to claim a shaded beach chair if you need one, to leave room in your baggage for duty free items, don’t pack to much, allow your butler to unpack your bags, put a $400 deposit down for your next trip and get a spa credit, and have a great time! Soon come!

Room Tip: the higher the floor the better the view, but the second floor is a happy medium. Less steps to go u...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank mtsublueraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (2,612)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

1,881 - 1,885 of 2,612 reviews

Reviewed 27 November 2011

This is our 2nd visit to this hotel, we loved it so much that we decided to come back after 3 years. Not a great deal has changed apart from getting a personal butler each and the hotel no longer offering a free private transfer from the airport. This is one thing I did miss, it is a long drive approx 1.5 hours to 2 hours one way and sharing a minibus is not the same as a private car, still as soon as we arrived we were greeted with a much needed cool drink and the relevant paperwork to review and sign. This did not take to long and in 1/2 hour we were shown to our room by one of our Butlers. The room was large, clean and the bed very comfortable, we had a Great House oceanfront suite which had no balacony but you could open the French Door windows. The jacuzzi bath, shower and toilet were crammed into a small room, they were joined by another room which had the sink and a walk in wardrobe. The bathroom was quite dark and the shower was not the most powerful shower we have had, but it did the job!
We had room service each morning and it was pleasant sitting in the small 'living room' area with the french window open, but nothing like sitting on a balcony!. This we did miss, however in order to have a proper balcony you would need to pay quite a bit more for this luxury as few rooms had them. The butlers were very good they arranged your trips, reservations for dining and spa treatments they were also on hand if anything went wrong but to be honest, I would rather have had the private transfer as they didn't really do much more than a concierge would have! The beach was small but very well kept, likewise the grounds and the pool area, these were kept clean and tidy and were relaxing to look at. During our first week we found that most sunbeds were taken by 7am then as the hotel got busier, they were being reserved by 6am most of these reservations seemed to be done by either butlers or the beach personnel something that should not happen but if you tip enough it does! Talking of tipping, only butlers are supposed to be tipped which can get quite expensive if you are staying 10 nights or more, we tipped $5 dollars most days but I guess in order to get the best tables you might have to tip more! The food was very good and the buffet was excellent, there was no need to queue as you had set times to eat which I thought was a good idea,you could relax and not worry about getting seated. The drinks were of a high quailty and the measures large. All the staff could not do enough for you, they were all helpful and polite. The evening events were small scale you had live music most nights and during the day you had yoga, tennis and nature walks around the hotel to amuse you. The gym was air conditioned but small, only 1 exercise bike 3 treadmills and 2 step ups plus weights etc.
This is a lovely small hotel, certainly not lively which suited us. If you did want a bit more life then next door at the larger Sandals Resort you could find this and additonal restaurants.

Room Tip: All rooms have an oceanfront view, the French restaurant is the best place to eat and the cocktails...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank armada69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

What a lovely place. Small does not mean inadequate, small means intimate and lovely.

This hotel has it all for those of us that want to decompress. The rooms are nice, a balcony on every room (all overlook the ocean) would be a plus but having French doors open to the sea breeze is great.

The beach butler service was beyond compare. Adrian (the chief of the beach) is amazing. The attention to detail is a gift and he has it! He even brushed off my wife’s toes, covered in sand while on the beach.

My wife spent her 50th birthday there and they knew it and made a tragic event (LOL!), celebratory! I have to give special props to the General Manager, what a wonderful gentleman, his attention to detail and his engagement with the guests is laudatory!

For an all inclusive' the food was extremely good. I love swimming in the ocean and the beach here although small, is exceptional for Jamaica (if you are not in Negril).It is comparable.

Since we are Canadian and not multi millionaires, we are not used to butlers...we had no idea and were somewhat afraid of how we would deal with this. However they were not obtrusive, they were behind the scenes and there when we needed them (for special events etc...)so we breathed a sigh of relief on that one!

I would highly recommend this resort if you are not looking for a crazy party time but a peaceful getaway.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2011

Ok honest experience here goes:
Arrived after long flight with British Airways business class, great flight no problems, a little tired but looking forward to getting transfers to hotel. Was advised by rep to go into Sandals lounge for a refreshment drink, they would call us shortly, waited over an hour ! Every other hotel called bar ours. Eventually driver arrives and we are off, 90 min transfer though. By this time eye lids drooping and getting a little flustered.
Arrived at hotel, small but bijou, then told to wait. 30 mins later eyes now closing and mood not that good we got our keys. Hooray !!
Butler took bags to room, did not offer to empty them, was told to be up early to get a sun bed !!! Good first impression NOT

After a glass of wine (nice wine & great service) BED

1st day, walked around by ourselves found beach, restaurants etc and sun beds

Hotel small but lovely, food great, service at restaurants bars and on the beach excellent however by 10 all sun beds gone and watched people arrive with no where to sit ! Not good.

My opinion after 7 nights:

Hotel romantic, quiet but fun, met some lovely people, rooms clean, grounds well maintained, food excellent, service from waiters etc amazing, view from room good, beach clean.

Needs improving, amount of sun beds, attitudes of butlers, shower/baths need to be updated as took one hour to fill bath and shower pressure poor.

Not amused with: Booked 3 trips, all of which were no more than 7 min drive away. Take for instants Rain forest bob sled, cost 270 dollar for two through the hotel, when in fact its 4 miles up the road and 55 dollar each on entry. Suggest you do a little investigating before booking anything wish we had ! may have saved a lot of money.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Justine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2011

This was our second time staying at the Royal Plantation. The first time was prior to Sandals. Not a lot of differences. The cell phone and 2 butlers was one notable change, for the better. Also, more information pertaining to excursions and spa treatments, again for the better. It was busier and more younger couples than our first visit. We love this resort. My husband and I both have high expectations when it comes to vacations and this place certainly meets them. Our tastes for restaurants, room comforts and ambiance along with expectations for quality service are also high. As long as you switch your mentality to "No worries in Jamaican time" you'll be pleased! We stayed in room 360, the Governors Suite both times. Wandered over to the Sandals next door but quickly returned.

Really the only negative things were the 1.5 hour drive which is much easier to endure if you get a private transfer! The beach was the second, you have to wake early to reserve your chairs on the beach or you don't get where you want. They will squeeze in more chairs for you later but it won't be your choice of location. But that just indicated the resort was full which was a good thing as we know if will be here when we want to come back in the future.

Must Dos:
Try a G Stone martini from Gladstone
Lobster BLT at the cafe
Jamaica night
Candle light dinner on the beach
C-Bar
Le Papillion
Couples message on the pier at sunset
Dunn River Falls
Dune Buggy excursion
Snorkeling
Kayaking

Room Tip: We stayed in room 360, the Governors Suite both times. Best views in the resort!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank 9kidsus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ocho Rios
0.4 km away
Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn
#1 of 35 in Ocho Rios
1,323 reviews
0.3 km away
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
73.6 km away
Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
85.1 km away
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
1.5 km away
Couples Sans Souci
Couples Sans Souci
#3 of 35 in Ocho Rios
3,971 reviews
87.5 km away
Sandals Montego Bay
Sandals Montego Bay
#8 of 63 in Montego Bay
5,501 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sandals Royal Plantation? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $769 - $2,274 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Sandals Royal Plantation reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
Royal Plantation Jamaica

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing