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“Lobster and Champagne on the quite Oceanside”

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Sandals Royal Plantation
Ranked #2 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 December 2011

I've been to Sandals Whitehouse & Royal Bahemian and this was even better. We are 29 & 33 with kids and this place was the quite we wanted, then when we wanted to party we would go next door ( always wanting to come back to our butler).
Best place we've been to. Never going anywhere else!

  • Stayed: November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank IsaErin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,869 - 1,873 of 2,610 reviews

Reviewed 19 December 2011

We were guests at Royal Plantation from Dec 10th - Dec 17th, 2011.
Our butlers were Garey and Mario and both were excellent.
Room
We stayed in the St Ann Veranda suite room 155. A great location!!!. From our balcony we could view the gazebo where the nightly entertainment took place. In addition the room placement was very central to all the restaurants and the beach. The room itself was spacious, a beautiful view and a great bathroom. Whirlpool tub, walk in shower, toilet and bidet and two sinks/counters, his and hers of course "the hers" was bigger. In addition a walk in closet.
Entertainment
A band every night. It was like going to a party, intimate and fun. An opportunity to meet the wonderful guests staying at the resort.
Food
Spectacular. The french restaurant had wonderful ambiance, a great menu and service. One could eat inside, and listen to the piano player or outside. This restaurant is located from a staircase adjacent to the beautiful lobby.
The terrace restaurant served buffet and a la carte lunch and breakfast and a different menu every evening. The beach grill had the best menu I have ever encountered for this type of dining. In addition the room service was on time and hot when received.
Beach
There are two beaches the west and east beach. Both are lovely. The west beach was the most popular, the east beach had the water sports section. A new beach bathroom just opened when we were there and located on the east beach but easily accessible (without stairs) from the west beach. The beach butlers Cleo and Adrian did a wonderful job and before you could even think of putting up the flag were there to see if you would like anything else.
Travel from the airport
The trip takes 1.5 hours. We arranged a private transfer with the resortt and our driver Abraham Pryce had snacks and beverages for us. The trip was very comfortable and if you can arrange the transfer you will find the money well spent.
Stairs
The resort has multiple stair cases. Fortunately our room location was close to the main set of stairs to the beach 18 wide stairs but not steep. You must also do stairs to the lobby, restaurants and entertainment area. We were informed there are future plans for a glass "tube" elevator that will go directly to the beach.This however will most not likely occur in the next year and thus we will not return until this is completed as I have a knee the can be non cooperative at times and unfortunately decided one day of our visit to do just that.
Age of Guests
All ages - newly weds with the weddings at the resort,up to perhaps guests in their 80's.
Resort exchange program
You can go to the Grand Rivera next store but guests from that resort cannot go to the Royal Plantation. There was no need for us to leave the Royal Plantation.
Pool
A great surprise in the winter months this pool is heated!!! . When we swam we checked the temp 86 F Although small there are not many that use the pool area so it is not a problem nor should it be a concern.
Over all impression
If you want a relaxing, romantic setting you will certainly not be disappointed

Room Tip: If able get a suite with a balcony on the west side
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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10  Thank vangee321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2011

We chose to go to the Royal Plantation in the last week of Nov 11 for our honeymoon as well as my wife's birthday. Niether of us had ever been on a Sandals holiday and we were very much looking forward to it due to the many great comments from friends and the reviews here on Trip Advisor.

However, especially for the price you pay, it was rather disappointing.

First off, when we eventually got hold of our bags at Montego Bay airport (both my wife and I agreed that we'd never waited so long to pick up luggage - we've both been on dozens of holidays before) we were taken to the Sandals lounge. This was great for some refreshments while we waited for our transfer. Sadly though, we were the last Sandals resort to be picked up and almost half an hour later were advised that our transfer was ready. Not really what you needed after a long flight and landing well over an hour earlier...

Anyway, moving onto the resort itself. When we arrived we were offered some refreshments while waiting to be checked in. We were then taken to our room. Now the rooms were great. Lovely beds, comfy pillows, very spacious and a free bar. A walk-in shower as well as a jacuzzi bath. The view outside was great too although a bit too close to the main restaurant. All in all though, probably the best room I've ever stayed in with a great nights sleep every time.

The restaurants in all were disappointing. The menu's were repetitive and not many to choose from. That's my fault, I should have noticed that before booking at this resort. However, the food in Papillion was fantastic. We had our butler book us into that twice. Unfortunately, on the second night the service was extrememly slow. We were there for very nearly 3 hours eating our 3 courses. But as I pointed out to my wife, we weren't in a rush to go anywhere afterwards!

We even went to the sister hotel, Grande Riviera, just walking distance along the beach for dinner one night. It was apparently their best restaurant. The location of Gordon's (renamed Kelly's while we were there) was just amazing. But again the service wasn't just slow but very poor too. We would have to keep reminding our waiter that he had turned up with the wrong food. On top of that,when he was clearing up the table after our starters, he placed our used knives and forks back on the table.........

The snorkling was great. I'd never been before and generally all the watersports were fun.

We took an excursion one day to see the dolphins which was definitely worth it when I got a chance to drive a mini boat.. wow.

All in all, it was an average holiday but when you look into how much you spend you expect so much more.

One last think about the staff though. Although they did make the odd mistake here and there, they tried very hard and were all without exception very friendly.

Room Tip: They all have sea views. Just ask for one on the top floor (third).
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank GoingAlready
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2011

I visited the Sandals Royal Plantation Resort at the beginnng of December and had a great time.

We arrived at the airport and waited in the Sandals suite, which had some pastries, soft drinks, and beer. We had a private transport and the ride was 1.5 hours. During the ride, the driver gives you an envelope from the resort that contained a brochure of the history of the resort and a letter saying that they have "relaxed" the no-tipping policy for the butlers, so unlike other all-inclusives we have visited, tipping is somewhat encouraged here, enough for them to write it down and address the guests. The driver pointed out different sites and offered to stop for jerk chicken, but we wanted to get to the resort.

The grounds were lush and tropical - they have a variety of flowers, there are peacocks (I think I counted 7) and a lot to look at. We were in the East building, looking over the quieter beach. The room was clean and well-appointed - they have a DVD player and we had brought movies, but we forgot that ours were Blu-Ray! We didn't turn on the TV otherwise. There are Molton Brown toiletries and twice-a-day maid service. The bed was comfortable, although when the air conditioner was on, it emitted a somewhat bright light that I had to get used to. We kept the balcony doors open at night and listened to the waves and the melodious crickets.

The food was really good. The breakfast had a menu and a daily buffet with an egg station. There was a typical European menu with cold cuts and cheese and pastries and there were
American foods like eggs and bacon. You could eat lunch at the same place or go to the grill on the beach, which served the burgers and jerk chicken. You can eat at the little restaurant or you can call your butler and ask him or her to deliver it to you. Dinner was very good as well. On one night they had a Jamaican food night where they served lobster tail, jerk chicken, saltfish and ackee, red pea soup, and other local favorites. They had a dance floor and a band. We also ate at the French restaurant, where we had a very nice dinner while the piano played. You could also get room service or have a bite in the Wobbly Peacock Pub.

The drinks were strong and plentiful. My husband's favorite was the Rum Punch, but I sampled many martinis on martini night, and had my standard margarita as well.

The butler service was very nice. Audell and Sophia were so helpful and they would go into our room while we were at dinner and make animals out of the towels and put rose petals down on the bed or start a bubble bath and put champagne on ice for us. They were a great help.

The beaches are very small, but the sand is soft. You cannot walk down the beach to other areas as it is gated off. The resort offers non-motorized water sports, but we did not use them. The water was about 80 degrees and there are no fish or shells or anything in the water - there is some seaweed, but the staff rakes it up throughout the day. The pool is small, yes, but it was wonderful to sit there and be able to take a dip when it got hot. You face the land, not the ocean, to get sun, so it was nice to sit by the pool. There was a hot tub as well, which was nice on the cooler day - be warned, though, the beautiful tree above the hot tub gets a lot of bats in it when the sun sets and I understand from the other guests that the guano sometimes drops on you if you are under the tree for any reason.

Unfortunately, we had rain for several of the days we were there, but when the sun came out, it was wonderful.

We also went to the Red Lane Spa - they use dermalogica products and we had a couples massage and then i had a facial. It was not inexpensive and they add a 12.5% tip on there, so make sure you tip accordingly if you want to add on to that.

The gift shop was nice and several steps above the roadside stands. If you like that kind of thing, the resort actually brings in local crafts, so you buy those as well. The Jamaican dollar is .85 to the American dollar adn they accept American money.

We will definitely go back, but we will try to go at a less rainy time!

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view, I think the East Wing is more quiet.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank FuninPhx71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2011

... since my first review of this property. We have been back twice more, and consider it one of our favourite Jamaican destinations.
We spent 15 days here on this visit and had the oportunity to attend 2 return guest dinners. As a reeminder there are only 74 suites on this property. It was full on the night of the 1st return guest dinner and 24 suites were at that dinner. The second return guest dinner was after the US Thanksgiving and only 28 suites were occupied, BUT 20 suites were represented at the dinner, leaving only 8 suites not at that reception. Those statistics alone speak volumes about the Royal Plantation Spa and Golf Resort.
The beachside washroom was almost completed when we left Dec 4th, and the third pier is well on its way to completion.
Now, the question remains, why did I not rate this property a perfect 5. Well, a five implies perfection, and there is a gaping problem. One must get used to the speed at which your food arrives at the table because each order is truly made to your specifications. However, once that order is complete, one would expect it to arrive at the table piping hot because it was just cooked. Sadly this is not the case.
The breakfast buffet is, in fact, piping hot. However an order from the menu arrives cool. It is my guess that the wait staff is letting orders sit in the kitchen to cool.
For supper, at Le Papillon, I ordered and received a magnificent filet mignon which arrived on a plate so hot it would have burned you if touched. The food next to the plate was of excellent temperature, but anything higher on the plate was approaching cold including the steak.
Of course, down on the beach, it is natural to have your order cool in the seaside breezes.
Serving temperature is my one gripe, but we are looking forward to our next return because General Manager Peter Fraser has assembled a first rate staff the goes the extra mile in every department. Being an all butler suite resort, there is absolutely nothing wanting in the service department. Thank you Shelley-Anne and Jermaine.

Room Tip: If you have any mobility problems, request a second floor room, on the same level as the Terrace res...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Richard T
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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $771 - $2,278 (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

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