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.

“What to Expect at The Royal Plantation”

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 23 February 2012

We were a couple traveling for 4 nights/5days looking for a relaxing, romantic, luxury vacation. Below is a detailed review of each aspect of the trip. Overall, this resort is intimate, very elegant, beautiful overall with above average food and drinks for an all inclusive. Where it falls short of 5 stars is service which is abysmal for a resort of this caliber.

ARRIVAL:
It takes 30-45 mins to clear customs at MBJ airport. Sandals has a lounge with soft drinks and beer to wait for a shuttle. Bathrooms here nice and clean. Our wait was 30 minutes for the shuttle. The shuttle ride had a total of 8 people, 4 of whom were very loud and obnoxious which made for an extremely unpleasant ride. The road to Ochos Rios is newly built and very smooth with nice sea views. The ride is a little under 2 hours. The driver requires tips.

RESORT:
The resort is very small, especially when compared to the Grande Riveriera next door but it exudes charm. Furnishings are high class with plenty of spaces to relax. There are two beaches, the East and West end (both very small) with lounge chairs to relax. There are 2 piers that are filled with loungers to sun-tan. The West end beach is noisier with more people, a band on some days and it's where the beach bar and restaurant (royal cafe) is located. The east end is quieter and has the watersports poeple. There is a pool and hot tub (both very small). The grounds are tastefully and impeccably manicured.

ROOMS:
We had an orchid view room(the cheapest category). It was spacious with a french balcony looking out at plants and the sea. If you looked down, you had a lovely view of the airconditioner but if you kept your eyes forward, the blue sea was a welcoming sight. The mini bar is well stocked with FULL (not little) sizes of alcohol, sodas, juices and replenished plentifully. The bathrooms are small with a single tub and really bad shower pressure. There is an in room safe that will take laptops.

Rooms are serviced twice a day which is very nice. There is also a pillow menu (which our butler failed to mention but we asked) and that's nice.

ROOM BUTLER:
The butler can make or break your stay. We aren't needy people and happy to do things for ourselves but you HAVE to use your butler to make dinner reservations etc. Our first night, we had a butler that sent us to dinner at the wrong time, sent us for SCUBA at the wrong time (and we had to wake up early only to find we could have slept in). We then got a new butler (not because management made it so but because the butler was rotating off shift). The new butlers were much nicers. They escorted us to dinner which is very nice because they personally seat you and get you started with drinks so you don't have to wait. Other than that, the butlers did draw us a bath and decorate our bed wtih flowers one night (both very nice gestures). You do have to tip your butler. We were unsure of how much and were advised about $50 per bulter (we had 2 not counting the first one who was so bad that we elected not to tip).

Since Sandals highly promotes their butler service, I came back to review what they are supposed to do and they do not do what's advertised. Here are a few things they DID NOT do that Sandals advertises; help us pack/unpack, liase with housekeeping (we came back one night after dinner to find our lunch dishes were still not clear); keep our minibar stocked with preferred items (we got whatever they regularly stock with). We just didn't feel we utilized the butler very much. The escort to dinner (when the butler does it--which is not always) was nice.


BEACH BUTLER:
The beach butlers are nice but service at the East beach (where we hung out) was spotty at best (they came around 2-3 times a day) and non-existent at worst (we went most of one day without ever getting service). The rest of the time, we went to get our own drinks. It's not a far walk to the bar but it's annoying. The west beach gets much better service from what we saw. Towels are scarce at this hotel. They don't keep them out and you have to get them from staff. The watersports staff usually helped us out since the beach butlers were non-existent. You are supposed to tip them (which we didn't since we never saw them).Service (what little there is) is only provided 11am to 4pm (although this is not stated anywhere).


POOL:
The pool is small but faces the ocean and has nice lounging areas that's much less crowded than the beach. Again, service is horrible. We had to wait 30 mins to get a pool towel and only after we asked 3 different staff members (you can only get towels from staff, they don't have it available for us to pick up), we got so tired of waiting for someone to take drink orders that we walked up to the main bar ourselves most time. The service at the pool is near non-existent (perhaps worse than the beach).

RESTAURANT:
There are 2 main restuarants on property; The Terrace and Pappilon. The terrace is a good place for low key breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service is very slow but the food is decent. Pappilon has a dress code but it's very elegant, the food is great and service is pretty decent. They do have tea time every day but the person serving us didnt' know what "decaf" meant. The selection of teas is generic Lipton and Tetley. No tipping needed for restaurants.

ROOM SERVICE:
Takes a minimum of 45 minutes (even if you just order a pot of coffee). The food is decent and they set it up with white table cloth service in your room. The presentation is great. However, they do tend to get your order wrong (especially at breakfast) and in order to get the right stuff, it takes another 45+mins. We got so frustrated that we ended up going to the restaurant so we didn't have to endure the long waits. No tipping needed for room service.

WATERSPORTS:
The watersports department is great. They do 2 snorkeling boat rides and 2 glass bottom boat rides a day, all from the East beach. The sites are within 5 mins. The staff is friendly and hardworking. They taught us how to paddle a surfboard, use a hobie cat sail and ride a beach trike. They also offer kayaks. All are included and no tipping needed.

GRANDE RIVERIA:
The larger grande riveria resort is an easy shuttle ride or quick walk over the beach from Royal Plantation. It's a bigger, noiser resort. We mostly went there for dinner. The restaurants there are spotty. Kelly's dockside has great ambience but lousy food and horrible service. Kimonos has decent food and great service. Valentino's has great food but slow service. The scuba people were VERY uptight. the boat had 20 people and the leader was like a drill seargent, not the relaxed folks we are used to from other caribbean islands. They also made us carry our own gear down the pier, across the beach and to the shop. In contrast, the snorkel staff at Royal plantation always asked us to leave the gear on the boat and they dealt with it. The grande rivera is a good party/activity hotel. The royal plantation is quiet and laid back.


OVERALL:

The property is beautiful and I can see where it could be a "leading hotel" if they had better service. The staff were nice and friendly and always ready with a "yea mon" for whatever you asked but were either slow in getting it or ignored your request altogether.

Room Tip: the rooms with proper balconies have a roof over them so the effect is the same as the french balcon...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank TazDevil30
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

1,832 - 1,836 of 2,612 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2012

Do recommend the food was excellent , the butler service was faultless, hotel was in very good condition, recommend to stay here

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

SiLiW has more or less echoed our thoughts on our trip - but I want to share just how great Royal Plantation is! From the moment we walked through the doors until the butler waved us goodbye we had the best holiday ever. I was taken ill on the Monday whilst eating at SGR next door (nothing to do with the food btw!) and the care I was afforded by the staff at SGR, the nurse, the doctor on call and then our butler, Sheldon, and Imobne the assistant manager cannot be faulted. Sheldon and Imobne stayed well over their "clocking off" time to ensure I was ok and to escort us back to SRP - they checked up on me every single day and even made sure our fridge was stocked with Gatorade to help my recovery! Our other butler was Richard and I can honestly say we had the two best butlers at the Plantation. From drawing hearts in the sand at the beach, to special bubble baths and devising the menu and serving us dinner from Room Service, the whole experience was completely enhanced by Sheldon and Richard. All the staff were so friendly and made us feel like we were the only people there. I cannot recommend the hotel highly enough and we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Lindie163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

This was our second trip to Royal Plantation in two (2) years and the service and resort is still excellent. It all starts with the staff who give it everything they have all the time. Peter Fraser is a wonderful manager who understands how to deliver first rate service and gets it done through his staff. Beach service is very good as Adrian just rocks. The barkeepers at the Wobbly Peacock are great and I am referring to Gladstone and Marcelleus.

In terms of the food, it is fab-o. Le Pappillon for the evening is as good as it gets. The Terrace dining during the day and at night is very good. During the day, you can dine at the beach if you wish or on the patio. The menu is varied and the food/drink very good.

Our butlers were Neal and Fiona and both were good with Neal especially delivering first rate service. It is a relaxing time to connect with your spouse/significant other. If you want loud music with lots of activities, go to the Sandals next door but be prepared for a rowdy bunch of dudes and gals. If you want a private relaxing time with friendly staff, few hassles and a comfortable beach, I highly recommend the Royal Plantation.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NewJerseyButch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

After traveling around the Carribbean we have finally found a place to return to. We experienced an ultimately relaxing week of blissful weather and decadent pampering. The attention to comfort and superb service was hard to leave. All the restaurants had culinary delights to please any palate. The butlers, Marvin and Kenton, we're always attentive. Peter was a fountain of information and eager to please. Olivia's welcoming smile at the Wobbly Peacock and Marcilous's amazing cocktails were our pre-dinner ritual every evening. As all the guests agreed that the Royal Plantation is a definite return destination!

  • Stayed: February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Suzyseaview
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
1,322 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 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $771 - $2,275 (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