Royal Plantation

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

St. Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Caribbean
Sandals Royal Plantation
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 5 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families90
  • Couples93
  • Solo100
  • Business86

More about Royal Plantation

The Royal Plantation gives new meaning to customer service

by A TripAdvisor Member

I have read many of the reviews on your site regarding the Royal Plantation, and I would generally say that I agree with most of them.
There are too many accolades I could give to this resort. I travel to many locations and stay in many very nice hotels and resorts for business and for pleasure. The Royal Plantation ranks as one of the best overall experiences I have ever had. My husband and I just spent about 10 days at this hotel (November, 2003).

The rooms are very nice, wonderful furniture, a good layout with a very generous closet/wardrobe. In each suite is a minibar which is refreshed daily. There is a TV with a VCR (which is great to watch movies to unwind). The resort is beautifully maintained and the staff is exceptionally friendly, polite and eager to fulfill any request you have with pleasure.

My husband and I have stayed at a few top-of-the-line resorts in Jamaica, and this beats them all. Even though the resort is pricey (US $650 per day for the two of us in November) it is worth every penny.

Our only hesitation in coming back would be the hotels one weakness - and something that cannot be easily overcome. It is the beach. It is very small. This was not an issue during our visit, but the hotel was at only about 50% capacity given the time of year. I can imagine that during the height of winter, that the beach would be a bit overcrowded which I wouldn't like much.

Beautiful, peaceful

by TripAdvisor Member utakeatrip

My husband and I spent a week at the Royal Plantation for our honeymoon. The place is great! The service was amazing, the food was terrific, and you truly are treated like royalty. Above all, the private beach is crystal clear. A truly relaxing experience!

It's paradise!!!

by A TripAdvisor Member

Our Wedding and Honeymoon at the Royal Plantation was more beautiful than we had ever imagined. We stayed there for 6 nights, from 11/5/03 - 11/11/03. We had not originally planned to stay here; we were booked in advance at Sandals Royal Caribbean. The Sandals travel agents told us that they were remodeling the resort and ask us if we would mind moving to the Beaches Royal Plantation. I was a little nervous at first because it had taken us months to decide on the Sandals Royal Caribbean for our weddingmoon. I am so glad the travel agents suggested the Royal Plantation. Upon arriving at the Royal Plantation we were greeted in the lobby with champagne and cold towels, which helped makeup for the long car ride from the airport. We stayed in the Prime Minister s Suite and it was amazing. My mouth hit the floor the second we walked in. We had a sitting area with wet bar (full stocked with champagne, wine, beer, soda, etc..), a living room with large balcony, bedroom with King size 4 post bed and another balcony, and large bathroom with jacuzzi tub. It was very clean and stayed that way the whole time we were there. The resort was very relaxing and the staff treated you like royalty. Our wedding was like a fairy tale come true. We said. "I DO" in a gazebo that was beautifully decorated with fresh flowers, ribbons, and surrounded by the ocean. The wedding coordinator and her assistant took care of everything right down to the last little detail. We did not have family at the resort but they treated us no different then the other large wedding parties. Overall, I would highly recommend the Royal Plantation to anyone, especially if you re planning your wedding/honeymoon. The quality and service at the Royal Plantation far exceeded our expectations. We re planning to return for our 5th anniversary.

This place spoiled us rotten!!

by TripAdvisor Member tinaparrotthead

My husband and I spent his 50th birthday and our anniversary at Royal Plantation Nov. 1-8, 2003. We still can't believe the place. In a world where first class is almost impossible to find, not to mention you can't get first class service anywhere, Royal Plantation certainly showed us differently!!!! The staff was friendly, eager to please, personable and always provided ANYTHING we asked for. To say that the property was "clean" doesn't begin to describe the great effort that the staff goes to in providing a spotless resort. Everything from the room, to the bathrooms in the lobby were always spotless. I am an early bird and would get up around 5 every morning and go out and sit on one of the very comfortable porches (yes, I'm a southern girl so it was a covered porch to me and not a lanai) and have coffee. I was always greeted and coffee was always set out even at that time of the morning. Sunrise was incredible, the water was unbelievably clear and georgous and I just cant say enough good things about Royal Plantation! I mean, everyday at 10is started with champagne on the beach and then servers would come around on the beach with a variety of fruit. The staff on the beach (Smurf and Wesley) were WONDERFUL! The Manager (forgot his name unfortunately but he was the one from Portugal) was so friendly and anxious to make sure every guest was happy!!! We loved our evening meals outside and the rest. by the beach has the most wonderful coconut shrimp I've ever tasted! We came back home and were going to plan our next vacation and everywhere that we have thought about just DOES NOT measure up to Royal Plantation. WE WILL BE BACK AND SOON! INCREDIBLE PLACE. Thanks to the whole staff! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!!!!

Best Vacation Ever

by A TripAdvisor Member

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon at Royal Plantation. We
stayed there for 6 nights, from 11/4/03 - 11/10/03. We didn't plan to
stay there originally, we were booked several months in advance at
Sandals Ocho Rios and our travel agent told us a few weeks before that
they were overbooked, etc, and gave us a choice of 3 resorts, for no
additional cost: Sandals Antigua, Sandals Royal Bahamian, and Beaches
Royal Plantation. I am so glad we picked Royal Plantation. I read some
negative reviews of Sandals Royal Bahamian, and mainly picked Royal
Plantation because of the good reviews, as well as the fact that we
could use the other resorts there, 2 of which were within walking
distance (Sandals Ocho Rios and Beaches Grande Sport).
We arrived at RP after a 1 3/4 hour car ride, but the driver was very nice. We were amazed right from the start with the beauty of the grounds and buildings at RP. We were greeted in the lobby with champagne and cold towels, and immediately escorted to our room. Check in took under 5 minutes.

We stayed in the lowest room category, and our room was still amazing. We had a 4 post bed, fully stocked mini bar, nice TV, etc. The room was extremely clean, and every night we received the turndown service.

The resort overall is small and intimate, which provides for a very relaxing, low key vacation. There aren't many activities or partying, etc, but if you want to do that, just go next door to Sandals Ocho Rios.

The restaurants were fantastic, there are 3 total, and 1 is a beach cafe type place where you can get lunch. Another restaurant is called the Bayside which was excellent, you can eat inside or outside, and the service was impeccable. The 3rd was a french restaurant where men have to wear a coat. The food and service here were 2nd to none. Also, each room has 24 hour room service, which was definitely worth it.

The grounds are landscaped very is the beach. We never had any trouble finding a beach chair, seat at the pool, etc. We never had to wait at any of the restaurants either. This could be because we went during the off season.

We got 2 couples massages at the spa, which was very enjoyable.

There was shuttle service available to go to the other resorts, golf course, etc. This was very helpful, the drivers were always very kind and prompt.

We went to the other 3 resorts near us (Sandals Ocho Rios, Beaches
Grande Sport, and Sandals Dunns River) and were not impressed with them
compared to RP. They were not as clean, the service was not as good,
and they were all very crowded.
Overall, I would highly recommend Royal Plantation to anyone, if you can afford it. Had we not been sent here, I don't know if I would have spent all that money, but now that we've been there, it's going to be hard for me to go anywhere else. The quality and service at Royal Plantation far exceed any resort I have ever been to.

Not really better than other Sandals Resorts!

by A TripAdvisor Member

Just returned from a week at the Royal Plantation. It is a nice place.
Though the trip to Ocho Rios was pretty bad. They say the new highway will not be completed until 2005 sometime. I would ask for the puddle jumper flight if you can. They told us if you stay 6 or more nights the flight is free and well worth it. Also I recommend going at a different time of the year as we had heavy winds and the sun goes behind the resort and mountains after about 3:30 or so. It was also rather cloudy everyday. We found this to be the case during the winter months as we have stayed during that time at other resorts in Jamaica. It left us not much time for a lot of sun. Room service was very good, even though serveral times they forgot little things such as syrup for pancakes. I will say that the room cleaning service/turn down was excellent, probably better than most. Never had problems with not enough clean towels or coming back to the room and it not being cleaned up. The spa was very good. It is somewhat small and not much detail for little things that I have experience before such as rose petals on the table, hot tubs in the spa area. I am just use to a little more special attention to those little details that make your experience stand out among others. The staff in all areas were good. Drinks were plentiful, however I'm not so sure about their knowledge of wines. Our travel agent also told us that everything about the service was white glove.
Only on New Years Eve did the staff wear the gloves and only for a very short while when serving our meal. It's not that big of a deal, but the brochure showed it also. If your are a young couple/honeymooners beware unless you need no entertainment, then I suggest you choose another resort. The band stopped playing at 10:00 pm and they were not really very good. The band in the afternoon at the beach lacked everything. No intercom to even hear the two old gentlemen playing on the deck above the beach. Far from the Sandals experiences I have had in the past. It made for a no eventful News Year Eve. Relaxing I guess but no thrills.
Its is good to remember that you may also visit the other Sandals properties nearby. Things are always going on at the others. Hope this is helpful to you. I just wouldn't say that this property stood out anymore then any of the rest of the Sandal properties in Jamaica.

Fabulous Resort

by A TripAdvisor Member

This place was fantastic. I was traveling alone, looking for total relaxation and that's what I got. The staff to a person was wonderful.
Chef Hugo's food is so good that it took two housemaids to zip me into my dinner dress by my fourth day. I had the beach to myself until noon each daY. The sailing was wonderful, the spa was wonderful, I can't think of anything wrong with this place. The pool was small, and not much nightlife, but that's what I was looking for.

Rooms are fabulous! Gorgeous views, a lot of space and the inroom bar is not a mini bar. It's stocked with full quarts of Johnnie Walker, Absolute, Appleton, Gordons Gin and Champagne, plus all the juice, soda and mixers you can imagine.

I felt so at home there. I could go sailing any time (wind permitting).
But I go on and on. Suffice it to say I can't imagine going anywhere else for an elegant, relaxing, welcoming vacation.

Hit and Miss - but probably great for Jamaica

by TripAdvisor Member twominute00

We just returned from a 7 night stay at Beaches RP. I chose this resort for me (mid 30's) and my gf (mid 20's) based on the reviews here.
Ideally, we were hoping for a quiet, plush resort with excellent service and outstanding food. This review is based on my experience worldwide at 4 and 5 star resorts. Beaches RP bills itself as a 5 star resort as given by a hospitality industry group, but is not rated by Mobil or AAA.

Service -- typical of Jamaica, service varies and can be quite spotty.
Most servers have never left the island and are trained from the ground up. A few of the servers were routinely pleasant and smiled but several of the male servers need to be terminated. On one occasion, we arrived before a lunch deadline and after being kept waiting for 15 minutes we were handed the mini-menu rather than the full lunch menu. When I made a comment, I was told we were past the deadline. After several more tries, this was resolved. This was typical of situations at the resort -- push, and you'll eventually get what you asked for. On a positive note, the guys running the watersports were quite friendly and get can obtain you pretty much anything you like. The non-native tennis pro was extremely friendly and a pleasure to practice with. On the downside the absurd dress code is haphazardly applied; at one point *after we were seated a server informed me that my "flip flops" (Bjorn styled leather sandals that cost more than he makes in 2 weeks) were inappropriate. My long linen pants completely covered my feet except when walking. This intrusion was discussed with other RP staff who agreed nothing should have been said after we had been seated. All in all, service was a collection of hits and misses.

Food - The RP bills itself as having the best food and indeed it does when compared to its sister resorts a short walk down the beach. The food at those locations is no better than institutional high school food. The RP has very nice settings, uncrowded and often with live entertainment. The french resteraunt was particularly pleasant. Again however, the food is incredibly spotty in quality when compared to a true 4 star resort in the states or abroad. Examples include undercooked food including a piece of chicken that was completely raw in the center, a possible health risk. Since there is nowhere else to suitably eat, one tires of the food choices at the end of the week. At best, I can give the food a neutral+ to good rating when considering variety vs quality. The resort needs to import nearly all of its food according to the chef, and again, he had to train his entire staff of natives. On a positive note, the Food/Beverage head was extremely pleasant and made an effort to obtain fresh fruit for my daquiri's. Why did I request this? Because they serve SYSCO fruit frozen compote in your drink otherwise. The liquor is plentiful and good. The bartenders are pleasant.

Room - This recieves an excellent rating, plenty of space and creature comforts. We were upgraded from the lowest level one notch up to a top floor ocean view (no balcony). Room cleaning was great. Bed was king and plush.

Amenities - We utilized almost every aspect of the resort and generally found things to be in good repair. There are raquets at the tennis court, plenty of watercraft and a friendly guide to take you out, a knowlegeable tour desk etc.

Location - Ocho Rios is a tiny city located 2-2.5 hours on a bumpy 2 lane opposing ride from Montego Bay. The connecting hop flight to OC is only available once per day and therefore of little value if it does not match your flight times. Vans are cramped and the ride is long. The town offers a few tourist traps. The duty free shops do offer watches below what is achievable here and you can always wear it on your wrist.
I got a quote of 5200 for a double chronograph IWC from Ravi at Royal Shops, an AUTHORIZED watch dealer. Unbeatable, I checked. For an eye opener, ask your driver to stop and accompany you into the local supermarket -- prices are very low. Many drivers are compensated for bringin you to particular places, but its up to you to take control. ** Bonus: for the long ride into OC, I recommend stopping at the Luminous Lagoon as opposed to the stop they provide.

All Inclusive: The resort is claimed as all inclusive. In fact, one will spend money both on an occaisonal tip and of course the tours. The best was the dolphin cove ($102 choice). Plenty of time with the dolphin, great! The dunns river falls trip is sort of fun, but has a high probability of twisting an ankle or scraping knees. NOT recommended for any non-athletic types. Horseback riding at Chukka Cove was fun, but ravages your back-- save this for the last part of your vacation. Finally, the Golf was "included" but in fact getting a cart if you want $40 and caddy mandatory $17 PLUS TIP. The course itself is no better than municipal quality, despite being billed as championship.
Bring cash, buy the local crap outside the front door of the resort and remember that nothing should be more than $5-10.

Other guests: Ranged widely but many were 30's to 40's. Some had been transferred in from other resorts and were oddly out of place. Not the jet set, this is for certain. Perhaps they can be found at the Ritz Carlton located 10 minutes from Montego Bay airport (and better golf/facilities to boot).

Airline: Air Jamaica has insanely cramped coach seats. If you can, get an emergency exit row seat. Upgrades are $130 pp each way, highly overpriced. Food quality was marginal as usual.

Price/Value: We booked our vacation via Vacation Discount Superstore online looking to get a 12% rebate on our land portion, this is still pending. Our total cost before rebate was $5600. I spent about $400 on tours and misc.

OVERALL I rate this as an average to good experience. I would like to have seen the Ritz-Carlton or Half Moon, certainly the golf courses looked more appetizing. Perhaps most tellingly, we do not recommend BRP nor will we return. For the price we paid (among the lowest)

You Will Not Be Disappointed

by A TripAdvisor Member

My wife and I stayed at the RP on 11/13 - 11/19. I went there for rest and relaxation for my 40th birthday. The resort is without a doubt the best of best. Food is out of this world, ( only place I've been too that has lobster and steak on the room service menu.) The service is great. The spa is great. Whatever you need or want is at your beckon call. I can't believe anyone could write anything negative about this resort. I booked the resort through prestige sevice travel on-line and paid 4000.00 for 7 day 6 nights, hopper plane included and a 350.00 spa credit. I am already booked to go back to Jamaica in Aug 2004, see you there.

Hotel Heaven

by PrincessMonja

"Luxury and Fun"

I was lucky enough to stay at the Royal Plantation at Ocho Rios while on an educational trip. What this means is I have seen a lot of hotels, but have only seen a little of the area.


Entrance to Bob Marley tourEntrance to Bob Marley tour

Entrance to Dunn's River Falls parkEntrance to Dunn's River Falls park

Port MariaPort Maria

Dunn's river falls - JamaicaDunn's river falls - Jamaica

Forum Posts

It is easy to WALK from the Cruise Ship Pier to the Dunns River Falls????

by treasure747

I want to visit the Dunns River Falls by myself in April.
It is easy to WALK from the Cruise Ship Pier to the Dunns River Falls.
how long and how far? Is it a good idea to do so? Any suggestion?


Re: It is easy to WALK from the Cruise Ship Pier to the Dunns River Falls????

by jennwerner

I would not try it. Its a busy road to Dunns River Falls and you have to pay to get into the park anyway so I would buy one of the ship excursions that way you are sure to get there and back and get a guided tour of the falls. Well worth the money. I just got back last week.


Re: It is easy to WALK from the Cruise Ship Pier to the Dunns River Falls????

by cricketdog

It's definitely a long walk (3-5 miles???) on a busy highway without sidewalks. If you don't want to book a tour through the cruise ship, just hire a taxi at the pier, negotiate a price BEFORE getting in the cab and be on your way. It will be much cheaper to arrange the trip yourself. Be sure the cab has red license plates otherwise, it's a non-licensed "taxi".

Re: It is easy to WALK from the Cruise Ship Pier to the Dunns River Falls????

by Mark2spark

Leaving the fact that the cruise ship gangway is about a quarter of a mile long, lol, it's NOT 3 - 5 miles to the falls, it's about half to 3/4 of a mile.
But walking isn't a great idea though.
Where the ship docks, there's also boats (about $50 p p) that cruise you up to the bottom of the falls, the beach there is stunning. 10 - 15 mins on a boat.


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 Royal Plantation

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Royal Plantation Jamaica
Royal Plantation Ocho Rios
Sandals Royal Plantation Hotel Ocho Rios

Address: St. Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Caribbean