Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Reviews

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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios  

Main St, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

"I'm totally under-whelmed, the worst stay I've ever had so stay away!!"
Posted by: richard on Mar 13, 2013
see all reviews

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Reviews
Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Pictures and Information
Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Ocho Rios Jamaica

#2
of 16 Hotels in Ocho Rios

User rating 3.3

Based on 19 reviews

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Information


Sandals Grande Ocho Rios far exceeds the most lavish dreams of couples searching for that ideal lovers' getaway in the tropic

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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Reviews

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 3.3 of 5 19 reviews
Excellent
  7
Very good
  2
Average
  2
Poor
  5
Terrible
  3
By Occasion...
Business (1)
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Wedding (3)
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Family and Kids (3)
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1 - 10 of 19

"Beautiful soft white sand beaches with warm, blue water"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jessica from Cambridge, Ontario  on Jan 6, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
149 people found this review helpful

Arrival was smooth and welcoming. We were met at the airport by staff and directed into the Sandals lounge for refreshments while we waited to board the bus. My only complaint was that once we were checked in and dropped off at our rooms, we had no idea where to find anything on the resort or where to go for dinner. We had no map or guide for the resort and had to go back to the front desk to request one.

Rooms:
Clean and nicely furnished. Some water damage on the wall near the balcony door but nothing that bothered us.

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent food and drinks! And lots of choices. No reservations required for a la carte, and we ate at a different restaurant every night.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beautiful soft white sand beaches with warm, blue water. I snorkeled from the beach and we also took the boat out to the reef offshore (all included).

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We recommend the Catamaran Party Cruise to Dunns River Falls and snorkeling. We also did an ATV tour.

Other Comments:
Great resort and we are looking forward to going back!

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"Activites on the resort are EXTREMELY expensive"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Alla  on Jan 9, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
142 people found this review helpful

Our stay at Sandals Grande was HORRIBLE, the people at the resort were great, the staff was friendly and nice, but the food, the activities, and the layout was not good. On the Manor side the villas are so far up the hills and covered by the natural growth of the trees, that your pool will never be warm enough to use in December.

Rooms::
The rooms were ok, the room attendant was great.

Restaurants and Bars::
Restaurant and bars were ok, the portions were extremely SMALL and there was no special dinner for Christmas day. The entire mood of the resort on Christmas was just very subdued.

Beach/Pools/Grounds::
The beaches and pools were ok. I wouldn't reccommend that anyone upgrade to the concierge level in December, the private pool was always cold and we could not swim in it even one day. That was a wasted upgrade.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Activites on the resort are EXTREMELY expensive compared to other resorts. You would be best served to go with another hotel activity group and not use the Sandals provided one.

Other Comments::
If you are planning a wedding, do not take the wedding package that is included in the Concierge level. You will find that EVERYTHING is an additional cost. You are given only 1 photo, and depending on how many you need you will have to pay between $600 to $1,200, and this does not include the negatives, this is an additional $200.00(robbery). You will have to pay $89 each for your guest not staying at the resort, and that is only until 6:00pm and doesn't include food. If they have to stay after 6:00pm that is an additonal $90.00. If you want them to have a meal, then that is an additional cost. Flowers, and anything else you would NEED for your wedding will be an additional cost. The basic package only gives you a pastor and a drive to the location.

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"Would I come back? Definitely!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  mytse77@hotmail.com  on Jan 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
155 people found this review helpful

Hi, my name is Michelle and I’m a Sandalsholic. I’m a three-peat user and I can’t get enough of it.
My husband and I travel to the Caribbean about once a year and we always have a great time at a Sandals resort. We arrived in Ocho Rios on the 18th of December and once we retrieved our luggage, we went to the luxurious Sandals lounge (I knew about the lounge from other posts) and relaxed with a Red Stripe in our hands and waited for our shuttle.

Arrival:
Once the shuttle was ready, the porter (not a Sandals employee) took our luggage to the bus and we traveled about an hour and a half to the resort. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we were greeted with an almond scented fresh towel and a glass of bubbly. The front desk person checked us in and I think our room number was 2717. From our balcony we look out directly to the Main pool and we can see the ocean from afar.

About 5 mins after we settled in our room, there was a knock on the door and we were surprised with two warm chocolate cupcakes and a pair of t-shirts for the returned guests. Also there’s an invitation to the returned guest dinner, having been to another returned guest dinner before, we knew we had to go to this one.

Each morning, we check the activity planner and plan our day accordingly. I like to be active while getting a tan so the planner was great for me.

Being that the weather didn't cooperate, we went hot-tubing quite a bit, try different ones around the resort. Some are hotter than others, and some are hidden!

Food:
We ate at the Market Place for breakfast, everything tasted fresh and lots of variety. Hubby has a sweet tooth, and he said Jamaica has the best dessert/bread out of all the countries we’ve been to in the Caribbean. Every night we had dinner at different restaurants, we went to Valentino’s, Manor, Kimono’s, and the Beach Party was awesome. If you can, stay for the show after on the beach, because it was hilarious. If it wasn’t for Colin’s help at the front desk, we wouldn’t have been able to go to Kimono’s at Dunn’s River. Originally we had a reservation for 6:30 but afterwards, we realized that our shuttle to Dunn’s River didn’t leave until 6:30 and we weren’t going to make it on time. So Colin called and got us a reservation at 8:00 and I’m glad he did because our “Blasian” chef was very entertaining.

Spa:
We had three full days of rain and so one day my husband sent me to the spa for a treat. I got the Head to Toe facial and foot massage combo. My face felt so good and I was so relaxed afterwards.

We didn’t get a chance to do any excursions or any water sports because it rained so much, but we did get to hang around the bar and watched people play games to win prizes. The gift shops at either the Manor or the Riviera side both have draws at 6 p.m., you need to fill out a ballot and be present at the shop by 6 and you might get lucky and win some free merchandise. Altogether, we won three bags of Blue Mountain coffee, a Sandals baseball cap, a CD and a t-s

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"Too Far from Montego Bay"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 2.0 of 5

Posted by:  Patricia  on Feb 3, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
170 people found this review helpful

This resort is extremely large - We stayed on the Manor Side in an old villa.
Every morning husband had to do worm removal from the floors for me. Also had a family of gecos or some kind of lizard living in our kitchen. I am not one with nature. Hated taking the bus to the Riviera side and the little jitneys back to our villa. Would rather have been able to walk to ocean side.
Food was excellent, expecially Arizona Rest. We ate there 3 night. Rest. intern from Baltic ( think her name was Jennela) was excellent!!! Friendly and talkative - should do well wherever she winds up. We went back to villa early afternoon one day to nap - no napping for us!!! Workmen outside sawing and hammering. I guess working on one of the other rooms in villa. We would not go back - After staying the Royal Bahamian, this resort seemed like it was in need of a total face lift.

Your Arrival:
Jan. 26. 2010

Rooms:
Villa on Manor side

Restaurants and Bars:
Arizona Restaurant our fav.
San Genaro was only so-so

Beach party was really good.

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"-30 and better than snow"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Liane  on Feb 15, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
163 people found this review helpful

We travelled to Jamaica for a second time staying at Couples Sans Souci in Ochos Rios the last time we were there. We have stayed at other Sandals, Beaches, and many other resorts in the carribean. The purpose of the trip was to attend a wedding with friends and family. First off, this resort is big. It is divided in three sections. The Riviera section, Manor Section and the Villas at the back of the Manor. Our first disappointment is that you have to take a shuttle to the beach if you are staying at the Manor. No big deal you say, well it is when you acccount for everytime you want to go to the beach, time taken away from your holidays. We were apparently upgraded to the the Villas when we were suppose to stay at Riviera side were the beach is. The bride had requested that the guest attending were to stay in one area instead we were split up all over the Manor side. There is alot of walking which can be good or bad. Good because you can walk off the tasty food that Jamaica offers, bad if you need to go back to the room and you are quiet far,or you can wait for a tram to take you. O.K. so we stayed on the Manor side and did alot of lounging around the pool. They are like little fourplex and on a good not we never heard our neighbors.

Your Arrival:
Our arrival went smoothly going through immigration in Montego Bay was a breeze. Since it was Sandals we all went to the Sandals Bar and a few red stripe beer until everyone got there (there was 26 of us). The bus ride was as previously mentioned close to 2 hours with a stop in between for bathroom and more red stripe. Sandals was ready for us and everyone was checked in fairly smoothly. We attended the welcome/parking lot supper. All of the other restaurants are closed during these theme nights just like the beach party supper everything is closed unless you go to a grill to get a hamburger/fries/hotdogs/nachos. The first night was great fun for everyone and it's a good start to your holiday were you can unwind, mingle and celebrate the fact that you are on holidays!

Rooms:
Ahhhh, the rooms....well they are in need of some fresh paint and a little elbow grease cleaning. I bring Lysol or dysinfected spray, nuts you say. Well think about all of those people that were there before you and wonder how well they clean. Not taking any chances to be sick or pick up something during my holidays. The maid did our beds and cleaned our room very well. These villas are big and have a little kitchenette, why I don't know. Not planning to cook and there are no utensils and the stove does not work. As previously mentioned in other reviews the pool in front of the room is cool it is far to shade to warm up and had no desire to go for a dip, nice to look at though. Everything worked fine in the room no issues, watch out for the bed it is high nearly killed myself getting out, forgot how high it was. I'm 5"2 so clearly had to make sure I watched my step going in and out of bed, very comfortable bed and pillows.If you are like us we are out very early soaking in every minute of our holiday and if you are all day in the sun and indulging of alcohol needless to say, we slept like babies. Fridge was stocked up with water, pop, fruit juice and we asked for beer one day and he gave it to us. Ask for it and they probably will give you what you want.

Restaurants and Bars:
All of the restaurant were really good, the only issue is the Market and the omelette station it was far to slow some waited 20-30 minutes for an omelette and some gave up all together like my husband who loves the omelette station in the resorts no luck at this one. Some of the staff was friendly some others weren't but most of them were generally well cordial. They say no tipping but boy they did accept and the only issues here is that they were not happy with a few dollars it seems like they wanted 17%-20% of whatever you would tip at home. Bars of course like previous reviews not enough staff for the bars unless you tip them well (not pleased with that concept, I do not always carry cash). We had a few issues in trying to book or get everyone to attend meals they do not like having to seat a big group, so after one or two tries decide just to go two or four at a time it doesn't matter if you don't all sit together and it was much easier to do it this way. We had a rehearsal supper and that was fantastic the food and the entertainment was superb!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
As mentioned every time you want to go to the beach you jump into a van that takes you there. (The beach is located on the Riviera side). A bit of an issue we did have an idea by the previous reviews and now we know why we don't book at a big resort! The pool was great and with the hottub close by it gave you some option of course the pool bar is close but again they were not enough bartenders for this huge resort. The grounds were well maintained spectacular flowers.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
When you attend a Sandals you can partake in the other Sandals resort near by and the closest one to us was Sandals Dunn River. We went there on the recommendation to try the Pizza...mmmmmmmmmmmm that's all I can say about that. We also went to the Italian restaurant there and very delissssh. Make sure men that you have a collar on your shirts and closed toe sandals out of the 12 every one happen to have the criteria and in we went. We took in the Catamaran/snorkeling/dunns river climb it was all good just found that after the river climb they took us back in hurry a bit disappointed in that. Snorkeling was o.k. I asked them if they fed the fish it's cool when they do that because you will a variey of species and for the ones that have never snorkeled get to see something. Also did the horseback riding in the ocean, totally enjoyed this I was always concerned because on other resorts the horses look thin and always put it off to doing it but these horses are nice and healthy and they were all calm, this was of all things I have done on resorts the a huge high great feeling of running in the ocean with these horses, thank you Patrick and his crew for a great memory. Jill our orientation queen and activity guide you are one of a kind and enjoyed meeting you, everytime I went somewhere, there she was and she remembered us, people like you make up for everything else.

Other Comments:
The wedding was great, fantastic! The bride & groom seemed very happy with everything. The wedding planner kept us on a schedule for toast, cutting of the cake, the bride & groom dance and all other request that had been made by the wedding couple. I love destination weddings especially when everything went as smoothly as this one! Thanks for inviting us we loved it! Congratulations Stephanie & Richard xoxo.

Would I recommend this resort not if you love the beach stick with what you booked for. For a wedding yes, but be careful with large groups and the ages that are travelling with you and attending. Dunns River Sandals is on a smaller scale and more to our liking mind you I think it is more expensive because most of the rooms are ocean view not sure on that one but you can always go and spend the day at the Sandals we were at if you book at the Dunns. I can honestly say that out of the 26 who attended everyone seemed happy and content and for the ones that have travelled before know that this resort is to big and not a 5 we were rating it more as 3+. Places travelled: D.R. Cuba St.Lucia Aruba Mexico Jamaica

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"What an awesome vacation"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Deb  on Mar 25, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
207 people found this review helpful

After reading some of the reviews for Sandal Ocho Rios I was a bit leary on picking the resort...but all of our fears were set aside the moment we arrived.

Your Arrival:
We were greeted by friendly staff and check in was smooth and easy. Our bags were wisked away from us and sent directly to our little villa (which we were upgraded into).

Rooms:
Our room was fabulous. It was in one of the fourplex units with a pool right outside our balcony door. We had a seperate bedroom with a sitting room and a little kitchen....although we did not use the kitchen the full size fridge was kept stocked with all the beverages that we wanted. Our room was cleaned on a daily basis and we were always welcomed with a little treat of some kind on our bed when we got back from our daily excursions.

Restaurants and Bars:

Most of the restauants were fabulous...especially the Orchid. Their Filet minion was to die for. The only restraunt that I did not care for was the Valentinos but that is only because I have a cheese allergy and most of the food was prepared with cheese but I am sure that any Italian lover would really like this restraunt. Otherwise we can not complain about any of the food and there was always someplace to eat no matter what the time of day. From the beach grills to the buffet at breakfast we ate and ate and ate!

All of the bars were great....you sure did not have to wait long before you got a drink.

We loved the swim up pool bars and spent a lot of time in the water. Try the swim up bar on the Riveria side....say hello to Sharon....she is a great bartender and never let my glass get empty!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were spotless....the gardeners were at work everyday cleaning up any of the fallen leaves and when any work was being done they covered up stuff so that it did not look too messy.

The beach was a bit on the small size but very clean and as a rule we did not have a problem finding a place to sit when we went down there. The beach was split into three sections and the middle one by Jamie's Sports bar was our favorite.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on three off resort excursions and had an absolute grand time. From Dunns River Falls to zip line/bobled at Mystic Mountain to tubing down the river......fun was had by all of us.

Other Comments:
The only draw back of this resort is that it is quite large in size and there are two sides to the resort divided by the highway. But with the shuttles back and forth from the Manor side to the Riveria side transfer went quite smoothly.

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"Will be Returning"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Darlene  on May 10, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
211 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
At the airport we were greeted by friendly staff making us feel very welcome and not rushed. We were taken to our bus and on our way to the resort with little effort.. then uh oh the bus the bus the bus was ON FIRE!! Everyone got out safely and we were a group who smiled through it removed the luggage from the bus and within 20 minutes were on the road again in a new air conditioned bus. Unbelieveable service... at the resort they were waiting for us with a very refreshing almond towel...and check in was not a race to get there first it was a have a seat a drink and your lugggage is headed to your rooms no stress!

Rooms:
Our room was just as promised, airconditioned, romantic and very very clean. Lots of room and storage area for luggage. A treat on the bed everyday from our maid who was a true sweetie. One irritant would be that depending on the day Housekeeping sometimes would be cleaning the room at 4 or 5 in the evening when you may want to be getting ready for dinner...now they would allow you in your room and return but ...like I said a minor minor minor irritant hardly worth mentioning. Our fridge was kept stocked with what we requested ( diet drinks and water) Coffee was always there, at times they forgot sugar but we were never without as we grabbed extra at breakie.

Restaurants and Bars:
WOW... so delicious... best food ever and I have been to 10 resorts and on 4 cruises..Hands down this resort knows how to serve food. Always HOT always how you ordered it. To name some wonderful people here is a must..Bishop, from the sports bar. Alicka the hostess with the mostess at Arizona's restaurant and Junior who always made you feel like you were the most important guest, both at breakie and at Valentinos. Kevoie at the Sundowner was always checking on us as well...Thank you all for the wonderful stay.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Riviera pool always had room for people, a great time was had everyday. The garden pool on the Rivierra side was so relaxing...perfect for a relax after late Pianno bar nights. Pool swim up bar often got busy and there was a bit of a wait at times but usually someone would come in and give them a hand...floating mats were fun to attempt to stay on. perfection

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The staff were always fun... Tiffany and Lori of the Playmakers were the friendliest people and always were ensuring all around them had fun or had a nice relaxing game of crib whichever the guest wanted.

Off resort... Mystic Mountain was phenomenal, Dolphin Cove was the best Dolphin swim I have ever had, we have done it 3 times, Golf was so much fun..I was sure I would hate it but the patience of the worlds best Caddy ( Sophie) made the experience a joy that I will be doing again.

Other Comments:
One thing should be mentioned...stairs..this is not a resort for you if you can not do stairs they are everywhere. But hands down we will be back quite probably next year and we never, before now repeat a destination resort.

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"treatment of members of staff was very racist and disrespectful."

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  bridgette  on Jul 27, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Jamaica
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
214 people found this review helpful

on the week end of july 23 2010 a group of us went to this hotel, at first we were not allowed to check in at the regular check in poinht this was done outdoor in the boiling sun.Rude comments were also meeted out to us one member asked one worker to take a photograph and his comment was that he does not work without being paid, another person was told "nuh badda mash it up"one other person was told that the parrot on the property does not talk to black people.One worker's comment when he saw us on the last day was "dem nuh gawn yet".what a way to treat us in our own country.we were promised a coctail for us of which we got all dressed up only to see that the coctail was held in an area where there was no light, the whole racism was too blatant we need to release ourselves from the chains we still seem to be in because this whole situation has really brought me back to slavery.You need to change your style towards locals.We were very disgruntled and would never ever put a foot on your property not as a group or as a couple

Arrival:
friday july 23 2010

Rooms:
4238

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"One Love!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Donna  on Oct 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Sep, 2010 | Wedding | With Group
249 people found this review helpful

This was our 10th stay at Sandals. We were hosted once again by the most splendid folks on the planet who made our 10th anniversary wedding renewal nothing short of perfection.
We travelled with a group of 13 to the hotel for one week. Upgrades galore and the Royal treatment around every corner.
The wedding department deserves an honourable mention as they made our special day incredibly memorable. Some strings were pulled to make very special arrangements for us. The cost of the services is nominal in comparison to the exceptional service and very personal touches received.

Arrival:
As a number of our guests are return guests, check in was very quick. All of our guests, new and return received upgrades as we had requested.

Rooms:
What can I say, we all received ocean view rooms in the Riviera Building.
Spectacular!

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent food as always. It has a gourmet flare. Some folks feel that the portions are not big enough at the ala cartes. To which I suggest the buffet.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Impeccable. Even in rainy season, the grounds and amenities are spotless.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities were limited due to weather, however I strongly suggest the Dunn's River Falls tour, shopping at Island Village and the Taj Mahal as well as the Helicopter tours courtesy of Island Hoppers.

Other Comments:
Soon Come Back!

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"Beautiful mature landscaping But not a 5 star"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ralf  on Nov 21, 2010  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
346 people found this review helpful

Having recently returned from two weeks (November 2 to 16, 2010) at the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach and Villa resort, it is with great reluctance that I have to write this e-mail on our experience at this resort and in doing so, hopefully prevent others from a similar misunderstanding or experience.

Having traveled extensively the past 43 years, both for pleasure and business throughout a good part of the world including USA, Canada, Europe, Caribbean, Asia and North Africa, I am able to objectively look at resorts and places based on local conditions, people and the environment.

Also, taking into account our previous two stays at Beaches Resorts, including the one at Negril Jamaica, and the recommendation of travel agent, the extensive marketing material, brochures and TV advertisements, we were surely assured of an all inclusive luxury vacation at the five star Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. Our expectations were at this high level only to be dashed shortly after arrival to a much lower level at best a 3 star rating. Even though the vacation package cost was less than the brochure rate, one must remember that this is low season and ALL resorts reduce their prices to attract customers BUT the standards are never compromised.

With the cost of this vacation, even at the discounted price, it was twice as expensive for half of the services that could have been at a luxury 5+ star Mexican beach resort or at similar cost for a resort in Aruba or St. Lucia.

Never at any time or on any other trip to anywhere in the world did I empathically state that I wanted to go home on the second day, this indicates the level of frustration and disappointment about this resort, it was the accumulative little things AND first impression.

On the positive side, the people, country and the mature landscaping of the resort was impressive and the strolls amongst the various villa pathways and overall grounds was a pleasure, but that is where it about stops. We must give full credit to Sandals with their foundation to improve the lives and environment of Jamaica and we full heartily gave our support to their “Golden” preschool building efforts.

Arrival:
Upon arriving at Montego Bay airport, clearing customs and heading directly to the Sandals lounge, we were greeted by Sandals staff, placed our luggage in theirs hands and we were told to wait for the transfer bus.

Transfer to/from Resort

- Advised transfer bus here, exit Sandals lounge have to identify baggage to “Redcap”, “Redcap” place on cart, wheeled to minibus.
- Baggage placed on bus, MUST pay “Redcap”, trip to resort, independent driver and bus, again payment required to unload baggage.
- Return trip the reverse procedure.
- Last time at Beaches in Negril, luggage was tagged and room marked at airport lounge, all check-in info given on bus to resort. All was taken care of by Sandals.

Check-in

- Upon check-in fill out form with information that was provided by travel agent, online pre-registration and on-line Sandals chat
- All three were provided with my Sandals number; however, it was not in their system
- No time for hot towel or drink, form to fill out, cramped area to write, etc. and go to reception for credit card imprint.

Rooms:
Room Issues

- Room number mix-up we were sent to wrong room, key did not work, new keys brought out. Why not redirect to correct room???
- Booking was for Manor building but sent to villa, as an upgrade? Even though they did not have Sandals number?
- Villa room was supposedly concierge but with old décor and furnishings.
- Next day, after dinner, during a major downpour, dropped off at villa, got to room, BOTH keys did not work. Cannot get into room, had to walk 5 minutes through pouring rain to front desk, told I must have put card next to cell phone or camera for it not to work. My wife had hers in a purse, it did not work either. New keys issued.
- Four days later, same thing happened, four new cards programmed but this time two given without end date. (These worked for the remaining time)
- Concierge features in room three bottles of alcohol, all had their seals broken and not usable
- No telephone directory to any resort items by the phone or anywhere in the room. Limited to what was printed on daily activity sheet.
- Inconsistent room services, not all towels replaced when needed, pool towels taken and not replaced, dust bunnies by our baggage.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food

- Overall the food was good and acceptable with no major gastronomical problems but the variety for a tropical country and from previous stays in Jamaica was considerably reduced and inconsistent between days. The size and selection was about half of that in our last Mexican and Beaches stay.
- Also, although they advertise multiple a la carte restaurants, there are only two distinct ones, Orchids and Valentio’s, the rest are reshuffled from snack bar, breakfast and lunch buffets rooms. These two distinct ones, in my opinion were close to a 5 star, the others on the pier, patio, terrace or in buffet rooms, a novelty but not 5 star, maybe a 3+
- The snack bars were avoided, after two attempts. Either overcooked or raw burgers, inedible hotdog, associated buns or questionable fries.

- As a returning Sandals/Beaches guest, we had the pleasure of the manager’s dinner, since a 2 week stay we attended both dinners, first was nicely prepared chicken but the second was Italian lasagna. (Last Beaches manager dinner was lobster)
- In all the restaurants, even though coffee or tea is part of the meal, none was ever offered or available.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities

- The sports center was difficult to figure out, due to poor weather and rough seas, requested snorkel fins only ( have own mask & snorkel) from water sport center to practice within the calm area within break wall. They stated, they do not give these to guests unless they are on the boat snorkeling tour. Talked to guests that went diving and found out how rough seas where, 2 to 6 foot waves. This I could not snorkel in.
- Without asking could not find out about tennis, rackets, tennis balls and or court usage.
- They did provide their normal pool activities, rock climbing and games as weather permitted.
- The best evening entertainment was the Sandals “Encore” where the best talent from their other resorts where in competition. Managed to see the show by hearing it was on, not really open to the guests.

Other Comments:
The Resort

- In general the resort is showing its age and they are renovating as time goes by, however, first impressions are important and long lasting, cannot understand why two long peeling strips of yellow paint are hanging from ceiling in Market Place Restaurant, very visible, the side of the waterfall from the upper pool to the lower has a large flaked area of paint, and multiple steps need edge painting for safety. Yet they find the money to repaint the curbs green, ceiling at entrance and replace fully functional TV with flat panels.

Overall, if an issue was identified, all verbal efforts were made to resolve the problem, however, mostly talk and hoping guests do not follow-up. The resort setup, three tier guest consisting of “normal”, “concierge” and “butler” made for a class guest society, this should not be in an all inclusive, all guests equal except for room locations or view. Only “butler guests” had 24 hour room service and other perks. Most of the employees were trying to please, service improves with “tips”, and some went far beyond what could be expected. These were few and selective.

Sad to say, based on this experience and our opinion, this is NOT a 5 star resort and we therefore cannot trust the literature or any other advertisement of any Sandals resort or property for another vacation. This was our last Sandals experience.


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