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
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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Reviews
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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Ocho Rios Jamaica

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
Very good
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1 - 10 of 19

"I'm totally under-whelmed, the worst stay I've ever had so stay away!!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  richard  on Mar 13, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2013 | Wedding | Family and Kids
674 people found this review helpful

After my arrival we had to be relocated the next morning because of all the noise from construction. The next room was next to the laundry pickup and the sounds golf cart alarms was 24 hours a day. The bed was good but that's pretty much it. they cleaned the rooms at 4 pm daily which made for difficult showers and changing.

The food was subpar and every meal was tiny portions, overcook and lacking any quality of preparation. The final blow was we had to wait for 2 hours to even get a seat and then it took another hour to get the meal served on the table. The manager of the restaurant had no idea how to run a restaurant.

Drinks very weak and the poorest of liquors. Had to request proper mixers and still used as little liquor as possible.

this worse than a cruise ship as they charge you to make a phone call to the adjacent property. Buses not on time, the pick up service never comes even after several calls. The refills for the in room frig weak at best and they only put tiny bottles of juice or water. Pretty much the Carnival of the land resorts, cheap, shitty service and overpriced to say the very least.

The wedding party had to move rooms since they had partitioned their room and add fuel to the fire, the entire planned event was totally screwed up by a novice DJ who got the sequence totally wrong and decided on his own to add some stupid local dancer which blew the wedding party over the edge with that crapp.

Overall I'd strongly suggest finding another resort of quality and forget any Sandals locations.

The worst I've ever seen and I live out of a suitcase most of the year so I'd know a quality resort if it were possible. They advertise strongly but fail to deliver.


Room Number:
7346 AND 7501


7346 AND 7501

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"Good service but room for improvement"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Steve  on Mar 29, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
773 people found this review helpful

So, this was me and my wife's first exotic trip and I was told Sandals was the place to go. Personally, I commend the staff for being attentive to our every need and very hospitable from our conceierge to the grounds personnel. I mingled with everyone and give the staff the highest marks. What I knock Sandals for is all the extra's one must purchase to truly experience what you see on the website. As another person posted, the beach was small! They ran out of towels on 4 of the 6 days we were there. Lighting was poor in the room, especially the bathroom where the ladies like to apply makeup. Because we stayed on the beach side, the music was loud when us 'old people' wanted to go to bed. Lastly, I really looked forward to relaxing with a couples massage but felt $240 for one hour was too expensive. I get massages stateside all the time so a warm breeze with Jamaican hands can't be that much better. I'm not cheap, I just didn't want to drop such an excessive amount for one flippin hour without a happy ending. If the spa offered more reasonable rates, they wouldn't have to solicit the guests for business. Restaurants were good but the portion sizes extremely small. I thought all inclusive was as much as I could eat and drink. The drinking was no problem but when I asked the waiter for a second helping, he looked at me like I asked him for a 10 yr old boy. The trip was wonderful and I don't regret it but it was also educational and we will consider other resorts before returning to this one. Hope this helps.

Trip to the resort was hair raising. The return trip to the airport was much better.

Restaurants and Bars:
The bartenders were nice, funny, and let the rum flow! No complaints here.

Beach was small. Pools were nice with the swim up bars and the grounds were impeccable.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
At every tour we attended, the vendors were like carnies wanting you to buy their stuff...very aggressive.

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"They won't let me tell u how bad it was!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Marc  on Mar 29, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
781 people found this review helpful

We were so dissappointed by our experience. The Travel Agent had convinced us that we had finally reached a level of income and age that a Sandals vacation was warranted. That we had earned the "best of the best" and all they did was take our money and treat us poorly. We have been to several "all-inclusives" and this one just took our money and our pride away.

Flight departed from Toronto on Sunday January 15 and returned on January 22.

We arrived at the resort only to find silence. There was no one available, which was fine, but the shuttle driver was reluctant to let us remove our own bags from the vehicle so we had to wait. Soon a Porter was located and with our bags in hand we rushed off to check in, only to find we the Porter chancing after us telling us that we needed to tip the driver. Hmm, this was a bit bold, and a little unexpected.
• The check in was slow and cumbersome to say the least. Six people (three couples were on the shuttle bus) and there were three staff members standing behind the check-in desk. For some reason only one staff member acknowledge the shuttles arrival and began booking us in one by one. I guess it would have been too much to have each desk staff member assist in the check-in process.

Restaurants and Bars:
Breakfast at the Bayside was barely adequate which was very unfortunate since it is the same breakfast every morning. There was super salty bacon, dry breads and pastries, some mixed meats and a greasy omelet station. Thank goodness for fruits, toast and peanut butter. Not quite what I expected from a Sandals resort. Last year the Flight Center booked us into the Paradisius Resort in the Mayan Riviera and the buffet for breakfast, lunch or supper was far, far superior.
• After leaving breakfast we went to the front desk to make reservations for the two restaurants which we were told was almost mandatory if you wanted to ensure a position. At the front desk we were informed by the unwelcoming staff that there was no availability for the week. Stunned, we tried to explain that we only arrived last night and begged them to find something. They simply shrugged and said that they could do nothing. Only after asking to speak with a resort manager the front desk staff decided to call the restaurants to see if they could indeed book us something. It later became abundantly clear that many tourists fail to show up for their reservations since they double book or drink to much during the day. Simply put, the front desk service was again inattentive and would rather argue then try to resolve the concern. There would have been room on any given night if we were willing to wait for table to become available due to cancellations or no-shows, so why the conflict.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We then booked a shopping tour for the next day. The tour cost $20 per person or $40 per couple and lasted two hours. We were told to show up at 9:40 for a 10:00 o’clock departure. We arrived as requested and waited and waited. By 10:10 I asked the young lady Chaniqua who booked our tour why we needed to show up so early since she only arrived at 10:00 herself and why the shuttle was no where to be found. She assured us that the shuttle was indeed on its way and that we simply needed to be patient. As fate would have it, during our wait we learned that we could book a taxi for $13 and it would take us shopping in town and we could stay as long as we liked. Upon hearing this news I asked Chiniqua to cancel our excursion and please call us a taxi. Understandably she was not thrilled but she complied, or at least so it appeared. After waiting 30 minutes for a taxi, a Porter named Clinton walked by and asked what we were waiting for. I told him and he said that he would call the taxi again, but he soon returned to inform us that Chaniqua had never called the taxi, she had simply left us abandoned and waiting. Okay, things are not getting better; we began counting down the days that this vacation would be over.
• The following evening we are walking around the resort when a downpour occurred so we took shelter near an outside lounge beside the amphitheater where we met an older couple from New York. They were well travelled and had stayed at many Sandal resorts and confirmed our impression of this resort. They simply said “please, please do not judge Sandal resorts by this one. This is very poor and we have an appointment with the manager to express our dissatisfaction”. Intrigued and trapped by the rain we decided to socialize further and enjoy further substandard service. The young bartender seemed more intent on conversing with the young lady at the far end of the bar than attending to other patrons. As the night progressed the young lady became more interested in the bartender and the bartender became more intent on her to the point that we had to walk into the bar to get service regularly.

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"Very disappointed"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Scott  on Jan 3, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2012 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
792 people found this review helpful

I found the level of service very poor. On more than one occassion we missed our tee time/dinner reservation because the staff did not inform us of the correct day or time. It was like they were all new!!!

Another example was the new years eve party, no one informed us it was included, we were lead to believe we had to purchase an excursion, with which it was included??

The food was ok, not great. There is very little beach.

The best part was we stayed in a villa, and we could get away from the loud music played in the main pools.

I would never go back to this resort.

Room Number:

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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 2.00 of 5

Posted by:  Sandra  on Jun 29, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
872 people found this review helpful

My boyfriend and I stayed on the Riviera Beach side and let me tell you, WE WILL NEVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN! We've been to many places before Ocho Rios, e.g. Dominican Republic, Cancun, Cuba, Costa Rica... and Jamaica, is at the bottom of our list. We were not expecting to have the time of our lives, but even relaxing on the beach front was not enjoyable. The water was dirty and not clear/blue like expected and the sand was not white and SOOOOOO dirty as well! The food was also NOT up to par and coffee (which I need every morning), was SUCH a disappointment. The only thing that we were satisfied with was our actual hotel room, however, we woke up every morning to the sounds of construction as they were renovating. We sure didn't get our money's worth for this trip. At best and I mean at ABSOLUTE BEST, this should have been a 4 star resort, NOT 5!!!! (and believe me, 1 star difference can make a huge difference in price...especially going from anything to a 5) Of course, everyone has their own expectations and maybe ours were a bit high seeing we've had such great experiences our other vacations. Take my review with a grain of salt and do your research. If you do end up coming here, I really hope you have a better time than we did.

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"The best time ever"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  Phil  on May 23, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2011 | Wedding | With Spouse/Partner
856 people found this review helpful

Well my spouse and i just got back from sandals on our honeymoon. And it blew our mind i would give it 20 out of 10 the staff was so nice, it was so clean , alot of stuff to do besides just swim they had beach partys, and they have playmakers that get paid to just have fun and make the guest happy. Just got back sunday and already booked our 1 yr anniv trip to there lol. Was thinking about tryin a different location at first but since we know everyone there.

Room Number:

Room Block:

As soon as we got there we got a tour and of course had a jamaican smile daquri, pina colida , and rum

The room was great always had a stocked fridge, had bottles of liquar, plenty of coffie and the do the towl folding on the bed and flowers all over the bed was very romantic.

Restaurants and Bars:
They had 2 swim up bars and 3 night clubs/bars was always a good time at jamies sports bar at night and a polo club bar, they had 2 grills and 4 restaurants and a couple formal ones where have to dres up.

the had a big pool at the manor side that was so huge and had another on by the grill with a slide, and on the riveraa side had a nice size one with a swim up bar and. And the beach was amazing clear blue water warm water nice sandy beach very clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Ok this is where we first met anton,joel,kimberly,lori and others they are the playmakers aka entertament team they were in charge with coming up with activites they had a couple's game show. reggae party, all white party, live music and talent,shows and so so much more on the resort they had snorklin, salin, glass bottom boat, giant pictionary,alot of drinking games, rock climbing, fish a prize, casino night. Off the resort they have dolphin cove u can swin with dolphins ,snorkel with sting rays, feed sharks,. And the have zipling through the forest was alwsome , bamboo rafting was very relaxing and nice for couples to do, atv, horse back riding and swim, they have a hugh wallfall place where you can walk in the falls,and lil amusement place with bobsled ride, they will take you ofcouple off the resort and let you shop at local merchants was really nice to interact with the locals and help te out with money for there work they take so much pride in what they make

Other Comments:
I suggest anyone that is thinking of going to sandals go to ochio rios gran rivera the best had so much fun the best place ever felt like family they treat you so nice even the locals, its not dirty over there they take pride in there country, tough us alot of vauable lesson's. And all food and drinks are included what else can u ask for was woth every penny only a year to go till we will be back lol. Anyone has ?'s dont be affarid to ask i will elp you

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"Nice resort-Staff very friendly"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  rory  on Mar 11, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
889 people found this review helpful

My wife and I just got back on March 9,2011, The taxi ride was a wild experience, next time we'll just wait for the bus ride. The taxi ride makes for a fun story to tell our firends. We had a conciere room, villa with a pool. Nice room and clean. Frig. always stocked with what we wanted. Full size bottle of alcholo, beer,water,etc. I dont wont spend to extra money next time on the conciere, cuz we didnt really spend that much time in your room. Resort is big and alot of activits to do, nice little places to hange out and hide with your partner. All the food is good alot of drinking its one big party. All the bartners are really cool and fun and they will drink along with you. Go see a bartdender is nike namey is CHUG he works in the sports bar on the beach. But over all i would recomend this resort all the staff is very friendly and helpful.

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Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  Cass  on Mar 7, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | With friend
899 people found this review helpful

If you like to stay in dirty motels then you'll love this resort. We stayed on the Manor side in a villa(Paid extra to have our own private pool). We arrived upon our villa to see that pool looked like a lagoon...It hadn't been vaccumed for god knows how long,the patio was black from all the dirt,and there were towels left on the old,needed to be repaired lounge chairs. I'm guessing they were from the previous guests that left towels and noone came to clean up the pool. We got into our villa..we didn't even wanna take our shoes off the floor was soo dirty. We than inspected the rest of the villa..we found hair(NOT OURS!!) In the bath tub.The kitchen was really crappy,with an old dirty fridge filled with crap drinks and no name booze. You couldn't make a rez for dinner so when dinner came around if you didnt wait on line outside for 45min before the restaurant opened you would have to eat at the buffet(which was aweful) The only good restaurant was Valentinos.All others were low grade crap food. The beach was very small on the riviera side.Not to mention the hammering because of construction while trying to relax by the beach.The pool on the manor side was dirty with mold growning on the swim up bar...And top shelf liquor consisted of JD and Cointreau..everything else was no name forget about a good martini..The nitelife was aweful..They had nothing going on and the activities for the day were the same EVERYDAY!!! WORST VACATION EVER!!!

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"Not safe!!!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 1.00 of 5

Posted by:  kathy  on Mar 7, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
936 people found this review helpful

We stayed at Sandals in Ocho Rios for 6 nights and I would not recommend this resort to anyone!! The second day we were there I had $850.00 stolen from my safe. The next day our son had his Iphone stolen from the room. The next day my daughter had a glass taken from her room and when she asked the conciere about it, somehow it reappeared.
Our son's fiancee had her credit card used for unauthorized purchases and when we came home our son-in-law had his debit card used for unauthorized purchases

We were told we would receive a copy of the report taken from security before we left and never have received it yet! When asked if we had travel insurance we told them we didn't and they said that was too bad. Maybe they need to get insurance for their employee's sticky fingers!

The hotel is beautiful and the bar service great but staying here will cost a lot more than what you paid for your trip!!

Room Block:

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"Beautiful mature landscaping But not a 5 star"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
User Rating:  Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Review: 3.00 of 5

Posted by:  Ralf  on Nov 21, 2010  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
917 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.

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.


- 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.

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:

- 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:

- 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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