Let me start by saying, if you are looking for a week full of 20 something, party all night long resorts this is not it. If you are looking for a truly peaceful, relaxing, want for nothing experience, Sandals Royal Plantation is the only place that you need to look. From the moment that we arrived at the airport and were whisked away to the Sandals Lounge, to the moment we departed the resort we were in total bliss.
While traveling to Sandals Royal Plantation from the airport our driver stopped at a local roadside Jerk Stand, and that was some of the best Jerk Chicken I have ever had. Do not think about US standards of food safety...because you probably would not eat there. It had some of the most amazing views and a very friendly bartender/server/cook. Washed down my Jerk Chicken with a cold Red Stripe, and hopped in the car and on our way we went. Along the drive to the resort our driver kept receiving phone calls from the resort asking about our ETA, because when we arrived they want to make sure you are completely taken care of as soon as your feet hit the grounds of the resort.
When we arrived we were greeted with cool towels to clean our hands and a glass of champagne. Check in was simply, they had us wait in the lobby so our 1st Butler could meet us and take us on a tour of the property and give us our cell phone that was a direct link to both of our butlers that would be assisting us in our stay. Chadworth our main butler greeted us with a warm and friendly smile and took us around and escorted us down to the Royal Grill, I will talk about this restaurant shortly. We ate lunch and then Chadworth called to tell us our room was ready.
We stayed in room 310 on the East Wing, when you hear East Wing you automatically think this place must be huge... but remember it only has 75 rooms so you are very close to everything. This is on the 3rd floor, but if you need an elevator...they do not have one. The room was nicely appointed just like you see in the pictures. I have read reviews that state that they are in need of a remodel/ update, not true, the furnishings and the bathrooms were all very clean and up to date. The bathroom had tropical looking tile that could be taken as old looking but if your are focusing on the room... then you have spent way to much time in there and not enough time on the pristine, lush tropical grounds. I only judge a room on how comfy the bed is, which it was very comfy, the cleanliness of the room and are the furnishing and decor up to date and all of the boxes were checked off here as well.
Many people talk about the lack of chairs on the beach, or you have to get up early to get the best seat. This is accurate to a certain extent, there are plenty of chairs but the best ones with a cabana or shade are taken before the sun even rises. This is not a problem for us because my husband is an early riser. The beaches (2) the east and west beach are small, but with only 75 rooms how much beach front do you need. The beaches are combed every morning and afternoon and the sand is soft and clean. While on the beach you are going to meet 2 of the greatest people in the world, Cleon and Adrian. They are your Beach Butlers who will provide you with endless laughter and do not forget your endless supply of drinks. They will mist you down with rose water when the day begins to warm you and chat you up when the libations take there toll. You want fresh vanilla ice cream and warm apple pie, they will get it. These 2 guys are so passionate about there job and it truly shows. We miss you guys already. I can't forget to mention the lifeguards/water activities guys, especially Jermaine, I asked if they had rafts so I could just go float in the ocean and he said no, but no is not a word that you hear around there. He told me to wait a minute and he would be right back, he went and got his own personal float and gave it to me and made sure it was there the rest of the week for me too. Have I said how much they love their jobs and the people they meet.
The food was outstanding. From our first lunch at the Royal Grill to our last breakfast on the terrace it was amazing, not your typical resort style all inclusive food. Everything that people said about the Coconut Shrimp at the Royal Grill was spot on, on the last day my husband ordered a double order. The Lobster BLT was not all that it cracked up to be, that was really the only let down there. We also dined at Le Papillon, make your reservations as soon as you get to the resort because it fills up fast, actually go ahead and make reservations for two nights, you will not regret it. The food here was excellent. The Terrace is where you will dine the most, the menu changes every night. On Friday they had Jamaican night which was out of this world, try everything, they prepared many authentic local dishes and grilled fresh lobster. The Terrace for breakfast was a bountiful display of every breakfast dish you could think of or you can order off the menu. But make sure you try the Ackee and Saltfish, I was skeptical about it, but I am so glad I did. We left the resort one night and tried the Japanese Steak house, just don't go there. It was aweful the worst service and lackluster food. We saw how the other half "lived" the guests were known by numbers and not names. They had to travel around the resort in shuttles it is so large. Just stay on property!
Now back to our Butlers, Chadworth and Jeramine. Chadworth was our primary butler and helped with so many things. He made sure everything we needed was taken care of, from our dinner reservations to decorating the room and drawing a hot bath with hibiscus flowers. One night he even created my husband and myself lounging in the bed by using towels and our robes, he even put our sunglasses and hats on them. I must say this actually scared the crap out of me, I thought for a brief moment that our key had worked in someone else's door... He was outstanding. I had an allergic reaction to my sun screen one day and I called Jermaine to see if they had any Benedryl and the next thing I knew he had gone to the pharmacy across the street and bought some for me and brought it down to the beach. When I say you want for nothing and they are they for you night and day, I mean it! These guys will be who we ask for the next time we go, which will be next year.
When it was time to depart we were actually very sad, the whole staff was there to say goodbye. We actually made an offer to our friends to escort our son over to Jamaica so we never had to leave, we had several takers of course.
One last note, Ferry the General Managers is one of the nicest and passionate persons I have ever met. You can tell he cares about his staff and his guests. It was a pleasure talking to him on many occasions, he was always out talking to his guests and his staff. His staff are truly happy and shows what type of leader he truly is. Make sure to take the time to talk to the staff, they have some great stories of real life in Jamaica. Seek out Sean he is like the resorts Rock Star grounds keeper, what a great guy!
Thanks for everything
See you next year!
- 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