Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Main St, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Caribbean

8 Reviews

Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
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90%

Satisfaction Excellent
Excellent
57%
2695
Very Good
25%
1182
Average
8%
412
Poor
4%
216
Terrible
3%
150

Value Score Great Value!

Costs 23% less than similarly rated 5 star hotels

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Good For Business
  • Families83
  • Couples83
  • Solo76
  • Business90
  • if u have a bad review about this resort u crazy

    by

    we have been to ocho rios 3 TIMES will b our 4th in two days.I have read some of the bad reviews about sandals grande and i cant believe what im reading.some people must have some insecurities not likeing this resort is like not liking one hell of a time everyday u are there.the stuck up people who write those false reviews should just stay home nobody wants to be around jerks like that... ya mon

    Unique Quality: food great, top notch service unmatched from front desk to bartender always professinal they treat u like a king and quenn

  • Horrible Honeymoon- Do NOT Recommend to Anyone

    by

    We went to the Sandals Riviera Grande for our honeymoon April 11-17, 2011, and it was a horrible experience from start to end.
    When we arrived at the Sandal’s resort, the bus stopped at the Manor side and most of the passengers got off. We were told to stay on the bus because we were at the Riviera side and we had a purple sticker on our tag. I watched out the window of the bus and saw my bag had been offloaded and was set aside from the bus. I waited, thinking they would load my bag back on the bus. They did not. So, I scurried off the bus and told them that was my bag and I was going to the Riviera side. They loaded my bag on the bus again, and I double-checked to make sure my husband’s bag had not been offloaded as well. This was very frustrating and chaotic.
    When we arrived in our room on the Riviera Side, the room was very hot and humid, so we turned on the air conditioner. We attended the Sunday night buffet dinner on the Manor side lawn. When we returned to our room after dinner, we found that the air conditioner had leaked gallons of water into our room. Our curtains were soaked, and the floor had standing water from the patio door all the way back to the bed. Thank goodness we had put our luggage on top of the bed! I called the concierge number and told them our room was soaked with water, and they sent a maintenance man in 45 minutes. The maintenance man did not bring any towels with him, and he asked me to call housekeeping. I pressed the housekeeping button on the telephone, and the man who answered said he was not housekeeping. He said I needed to dial “0” and ask for housekeeping. I finally reached housekeeping told them what had happened in our room and water was all over the floor, and a man delivered 3 towels to our room. When he arrived with the towels, he talked to the maintenance man in a language I did not understand, laughed, set the towels down on the bed, and then left the room. So, I began drying the floor with the towels myself. The maintenance man helped me move the chair and other furniture to finish drying the floor, and then he left.
    The next morning, I took a shower and attempted to blow dry my hair. The blow dryer did not work, so I called the concierge number again and told them it didn’t work. They said they would send someone to fix it. I never saw a maintenance man or a call asking me if it had been fixed. This occurred for 3 mornings in a row, and I called the concierge number letting them know the blow dryer did not work for 3 mornings in a row. The blow dryer did not work for the entire trip, and it was never fixed. Ther were also cracks in the bathroom wall around the blow dryer and shaving mirror, from the ceiling to the vanity. The room was sub-standard and we were very disappointed.
    On Monday morning, we decided we would go to the beach. As I was walking into the water, I had to go through a wall of seaweed, and I cut my foot on a rock. For the remainder of the trip, my foot stung every time I got in the water. After cutting my foot, we walked up to the pool to get a towel, but there were no towels available. We checked two towel areas, but both were empty. So, we went back to the beach and waited, hoping they would replenish the towels within a few minutes. After 30 minutes of checking multiple times for towels at the pool, we finally left and walked back to our room soaking wet from the ocean.
    On Monday morning, we attended the Orientation session to learn about all of the things we could do at the resort. We learned that a new restaurant, Kimono’s, was opening on Saturday, but that is was dress clothes only. My husband did not pack any dress clothes because we were unaware that we needed to pack them. We received dozens of emails in the months and weeks before arriving at Sandals trying to sell us beachside massages and candlelight dinners, but not a single email with a “what to pack” list. I also never saw a “what to pack” list on the Web site. So, we did not make reservations to eat dinner at Kimono’s the last night of our trip. On Saturday April 16, we were looking at the restaurant board in the Riviera lobby and noticed that Kimono’s was noted as “casual” clothing. We were confused, so we went to the Concierge desk to ask. The concierge confirmed it was casual dress, but she said the restaurant was completely booked and she could not make a reservation for us. We were frustrated at the inconsistent information we were given. Had we been told it was casual dress, we would have made a reservation for Kimono’s the first day we had arrived.
    Throughout the week, we were repeatedly disturbed and annoyed with the photographers throughout the resort. They interrupted us while we were walking along the beach, laying out in the sun, eating dinner, walking around the resort, literally everywhere!! They would take pictures of us and then start talking to us for 15-30 minutes trying to book a photo session with us. Repeatedly this occurred, and so often that we found ourselves constantly on the “look out” for photographers to avoid. We could not relax. We would purposely walk completely around them just to avoid having to get our picture taken or to speak with them.
    The food throughout the trip was horrible. For breakfast, we often ate at the Seaside Restaurant. We did not eat the bacon because it was half-way cooked, we did not eat the sausage links because they were pink in the middle, the scrambled eggs were probably made from dry flakes because they were gritty and coarse. The pancakes had no flavor, and the milk was warm. The oatmeal was horrible too. We were very disappointed in the quality of the food and the service.
    One of the reasons my husband and I chose the Ocho Rios resort was because he is an avid golfer and golf was “complimentary” at the resort. After spending $137 for 1 round of golf for him, he quickly found out that golf was in no way “complimentary.” He was required to have a $17 caddy and tip him $20-30, then he was charged $60 for a golf cart and $40 to rent clubs. My husband was prepared to pay for clubs because he did not bring his own, but he was not prepared to spend an additional $100 to rent a cart, caddy, and tip. When we arrived at the golf course, there was also a sign by the cash register in the clubhouse that said “Although this is a Sandals resort facility, food and beverages are an additional charge.” So we did not eat or drink anything on the course because it was an additional charge! We only had 2 bottles of water and “shared” a caddy with another man who played golf with us, even though we were charged $17 for a caddy for us, and the man we played golf with was charged $17 for a caddy for him, but we only had 1 caddy for both of us. We were very disappointed in the “complimentary” golf that cost $137 and would not recommend golf to anyone at a Sandals resort.
    We left the resort on Sunday morning. When we checked out at the concierge desk, I asked her if we needed to tip anyone at the airport (like the man who took our bags to the bus upon arrival and told us we had to tip him or else he would not load our bags on the bus). She told us there was no one to tip at the airport and we didn’t need to have any cash for any more tips. She said “everything is Sandals, and you do not tip Sandals.” The bus driver on the way back to the airport stopped on the side of the road half-way between the resort and airport. He stopped in front of a house, got off the bus, and went into the house for about 15 minutes. Everyone on the bus was looking around, asking what was going on. No one knew why he stopped on the side of the road for 15 minutes with a bus full of Sandals guests. It was very confusing and we all felt unsafe.
    When we finally arrived at the airport, the driver asked everyone for a tip as they got off the bus. We were confused, because the concierge said we didn’t need a tip for anyone else. The man in front of us getting off the bus did not have a tip for the bus driver. He said “My money is in my bag.” So, the bus driver said, “Well, you can help me unload all the bags from the bus then.” So the bus driver walked onto the bus and went over to a window, opened the window and began handing all the luggage to the Sandals guest who didn’t have a tip for him. My husband and I could not believe it! We got our bags and left the bus as quickly as we could.
    We were frustrated, upset, disappointed, and would not recommend Sandals to anyone that we know. My husband worked very hard to pay thousands of dollars for our honeymoon, which was supposed to be the trip of our lifetime. Sadly, it was the worst trip we have ever taken and we feel that in no way was it worth nearly $4,000 for the resort and flight costs.
    We sent all of our concerns mentioned above to Sandals and all they responded with was offering 2-night's stay at any Sandal's resort in the next 12 months and stating they are "committed to ensuring total customer satisfaction." Their response was insulting, after everything we went through on our honeymoon. All they have been is UN-committed to our satisfaction and disappointing.

    Unique Quality: Nothing.

  • Disappointing in all aspects

    by

    Accommodations: We originally booked a Plantation Villa on the Manor side. The website doesn’t explain that a busy road separates the Manor side from the Riviera side (ocean). Our original room had a small kitchen area (considering there is no food to be prepared in any manner, not sure why) that was dingy and had appliances that were likely 40 years old. The bathroom was in desperate need of a facelift. The hot water took approximately 20 minutes to begin working. The room’s ceiling fan was about to come out of the ceiling, and there was a sizeable crack in the ceiling. Worse yet, the room was on the 2nd floor of a building with 4 units. The website only shows 2 units, claiming a private pool. Given four units shared the small pool, it was hardly private. The noisy pool was only a patchy piece of shrubbery away from a road that the jitnies (small trucks) used for transportation throughout the Manor side.
    Upon arrival, we called the rude concierge to explain our unwillingness to accept the room’s quality. After 25 minutes passed and no return call, I called again. Again, I continued to wait. Finally, nearly an hour passed before we were contacted about potentially switching rooms. We were first shown a room with an ocean view on the Riviera side. The manager said the room was a downgrade and didn’t want to move us there. The room was much better than the one we booked, and we agreed to pay too much for the room just to get away from where we were!
    After checking the Riviera side’s availability, the manager put us in the Penthouse level room with concierge service. It sounds nice, and the pictures look great, but the room flooded on the first night, didn’t come with necessities like shampoo and conditioner on the first night, and had many broken features (toilet paper holder, towel holder, lamp, etc.). The worst part was the mold. Please see the attached pictures. On the backside of the curtains, the lining was molded. The grout in the bathroom tile (shower and floor) was black from mold and mildew. The mirrors weren’t cleaned the entire week, because we were able to see the names of previous guests written in the fog of the mirror! The exhaust fan was so clogged with dust that it took over an hour to clear the steam from the mirror. Patio doors to the balcony didn’t meet correctly at the base of the door, and a hard rain dumped water in the corner of the room. The lamp that was in the corner of the room (likely flooded more than once) was a potential fire hazard. Simply stated, I’ve stayed in $50 hotels in the US that were cleaner and had nicer staff.

    Food: The food was terrible, plain and simple. Nearly half of the restaurants were closed because of renovations. The hours for each restaurant were limited. At no given moment, were there more than a 5 open (despite advertising 11). The restaurant staff was unable and unwilling to handle special requests. Menu descriptions were not what was served. For example, the “wood fired snapper” on the menu was battered and fried. The wood fire wasn’t even lit, because I walked past the kitchen. The Arizona restaurant had tequila lime chicken on the menu. Instead, we received a chicken breast sitting in a pile of cheddar cream sauce covered with a mountain of cheddar. Nowhere was cheese in the description. The last two evenings, we didn’t eat dinner. The food was free, but it was so terrible that we gladly went hungry! One night’s overcooked roast beef showed up the next day for lunch even drier than the night before. Bacon at breakfast was served with a sizeable part of the bacon wrapper in the serving tray. Bananas were available only 2 days at breakfast. Other fresh fruit was extremely limited. The “fresh” melon tasted like it had been frozen, and even the watermelon had a paler white texture. Restaurant service was underwhelming. On multiple occasions throughout the week, I got tired of watching the staff stand around and chit chat during busy meal times, so I took the pitcher from the staff’s station and filled our glasses.
    Entertainment: The entertainment was sparse and mostly conducted by the hotel’s managers or other resort guests. The best entertainment during the week was a dance-off of other resort guests. The Sandals staff literally pulled them up front, because guests were the source of the evening’s entertainment. After the dance-off, Sandals employees sported the fashions from the Sandals gift shop. One evening, we attended a country/western concert. It was a Jamaican singing old country/western songs. He screamed into the microphone, and the sound was so poor that we left. The amphitheatre was partially flooded, lacking a sufficient drainage system, so we had to watch our steps carefully! Since there wasn’t much to occupy time at the resort, the staff constantly pitched excursions. On a trip to Dunn’s River Falls, the captain of the catamaran mostly mentioned the locations of other excursions. Given the cost of the other trips, I can see why! Every day the resort, multiple resort spa workers asked my wife and I if we had booked our spa. We booked it the first day yet were asked repeatedly throughout the week. Sick of being hustled to book more services at the spa, we just began to look away and not answer the Sandals employees in the lobby.

    Staff: The staff at the resort is hardly hospitable. For example, it was raining one evening, and we came to the front desk to get a sandals umbrella, which are suppose to be in every guest room. Go figure, there was no umbrella in our room. We were told by the front desk that they were out of umbrellas. Although we were a bit disappointed, we could manage without an umbrella. However, walking around the resort (in the rain), we noticed numerous Sandal’s employees with the Sandals umbrella. Never once did an employee offer to walk us where we needed to go under their umbrella. In our opinion, we found this gesture rude and definitely portrayed their lack of guest service. We also encountered numerous incidents where the maid service staff would knock on our door or call when we had the “do not disturb” sign displayed. This type of behavior should not occur at any resort, especially Sandals. During visits to the front desk, we repeatedly encountered front desk employees who would be on the phone while trying to assist us. Again, another example of the lack of guest service we received.
    Sandals vacations are not cheap, and we expected to be treated better!
    We will never vacation at a Sandals resort again!

  • craigdfw's Profile Photo

    Very nice resort in Ocho Rios

    by

    This resort is spacious with nice rooms and good food. Lots to do on property as well as off property. Dunns River Falls, swim with dolphins, horseback riding, etc. are all nearby. A fun place for couples that like to stay up late. Friendly staff.

  • Excellent Resort

    by

    We had a spectacular time at Grande Sandals Ocho Rios. . Service was excellent throughout the resort. All employees were extremely helpful and courteous. All the restaurants had excellent food and no reservations were required at any restaurants. The villa rooms are large with private pools. The resort has many activities and lots of water sports, you are sure to find something you like. Or just lie on the beautiful beach and soak up the sun. If you like diving this is the best place. All the certified instructors are excellent and every dive is a good dive. Instructors go above and beyond to make sure you have a fantastic time. What better place to get certified than in the beautiful warm waters of Jamaica. My husband and I as well as my daughter and her husband both took our advanced certification at this resort. This is our third time returning to this resort. This time we brought our children and their husbands. We stayed for 2 weeks and were sad to go. We travel every year, but find ourselves drawn back to Grande Sandals Ocho Rios. I can’t say enough good things about this resort. Do yourself a favor and give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

    Unique Quality: Excellent diving and water sports. All watersports were included, not extra charge. Beautiful pools and excellent service from all staff.

  • Blatantly Misleading Advertising

    by

    If your main vacation goal is to relax on the beach, participate in a few water sports, you prefer an all-inclusive vacation even if you pay dearly for that convenience, you get excited at the thought of eating out at restaurants such as Applebees and TGI Fridays and can accept that the food at Sandals will be a notch below that, then you might enjoy Sandals Grande Ocho Rios.

    If, on the other hand, you enjoy world class dining and expect Sandals' promises of such, then you might consider a different vacation. For more details, check out my detailed review (this is a non-commercial, ad-free personal travel review): http://www.sandalsgrandeochoriosreviews.com

    1. Of the eight dinner restaurants, they closed at least two and sometimes three every night. They don't disclose that to you in their promotional materials. So, we really didn't have eight restaurants to choose from if 25-35% of them are closed every night. On one evening, some genius in Sandals management actually made the decision to close both Italian restaurants. I mean, why would you close two restaurants that serve the same cuisine, further limiting your guest's dining options?

    2. Some of the restaurants close at 9:00 p.m. Why in the world would they close this early when people are on vacation? During our stay, the majority of dinner traffic arrived between 8 and 8:30 p.m.. Considering two or three restaurants close every night and a bunch of the remaining ones close right as the dinner rush is arriving, this causes long waits at some of the remaining restaurants that stay open "late". I don't consider 10:15 p.m. "late", as most restaurants in my home area, South Florida, stay open until at least 11:00 or later. So much for "dining on my time" as promised in the Sandals catalog

    3. If you see an activity or entertainer scheduled, take it with a grain of salt. Twice, we waited over an hour for the scheduled Piano Bar Sing-Along, only to be told there would be no singer that night. Ooops, they were just kidding....

    4. The food was, well, to put it bluntly, absolutely horrendous. Really, I'm not exaggerating. Check out my food page for pictures and more details and you can decide for yourself if I'm being overly fussy. Sandals' claims are downright lies and this is the main reason I decided to share my disappointment with the world.

    5. Meal portion sizes were pathetic.

    6. On page 37 of the Sandals catalog, we are promised an "in room bar stocked daily with premium brand spirits". We got no-name brand swill instead.

    7. Each restaurant only serves, at most, five entree selections. Some of the restaurants duplicate items as well. So, on any given night, considering 25-35% of the restaurants were closed, and some restaurants duplicated items, we essentially had 20-25 unique menu choices to choose from, less than one typical restaurant would offer at home. Yet, if you click on any of the restaurant "sample menus" on Sandals' web site, you are presented with numerous appetizers and at least eight different entrees, leading you to believe, while they may not be the exact menu choices, you will have an equivalent selection. Not so. Just more Sandals false advertising.

    8. The quality of ingredients was consistently poor and nothing like what is pictured throughout the Sandals catalogue.

    9. The food service staff, from kitchen managers, to cooks, to servers weren't trained properly. From their execution (or lack thereof), I doubt many would qualify to work in any American restaurant past the level of a Waffle House. Frankly, each and every restaurant manager should be immediately fired and replaced with an experienced professional.

    Unique Quality: The resort is very large and pretty. The food was still terrible. Make sure you do not get hurt at SGOR. The nurse is nice but can't do anything but put bandages on. Instead, you will get socked for $220.00 on your "all-inclusive" vacation.

    Directions: Not sure. After we had five seconds to relax after getting off our plane, they rushed us out of the Sandals Lounge at the airport so we could spend 40 minutes sitting on a bus sucking exhaust fumes. After almost two hours of traveling, we arrived.

  • Sandal's Is The Best!

    by

    Very amazing! Have already booked my 2nd stay for this year! Service was amazing along with the food! Ask for the bartender named Rayon! He is the nicest most awesome bartender in the world. Make sure you try a bob marley shot and a monkey brain, oh and a humming bird... all excellent drinks and shots! Stay on the manor or villa side, the beach side is not that great.

  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Garden Of Eden

    by

    When we first arrived I was a little surprised at the size of the property. It was on the small side. But, I must say, it was gorgeous! The grounds are beautifully manicured. Probably my only aesthetic complaint was the main pool. It is behind the outdoor amphitheatre and a huge tarp separates the two.

    We booked a Deluxe (lowest level) room. And were in the Bamboo Grove. Our patio looked out into the garden. The room was beautiful and clean and quiet. I saw one of the Grande Luxe Oceanfront rooms while I was there. The view of the Ocean was incredible, but I liked the room we had better. It really wasn't much bigger than the one we had.

    Unique Quality: There isn't a bad view on the property. Every room has a private balcony. The gardens are gorgeous! It's on the smaller side of the Sandals properties so it's a little more intimate and yet a little more casual. Rumors have it that they will be merging with the Beaches Grande Sport in December 2005. Remember it's an all inclusive so your price includes all your food, drinks, sports (including SCUBA), activities, etc. Do some research on the internet and you can find some great deals and save yourself $$$. If you need help I can give you some suggestions for travel agents and websites that offer Sandals discounts.

More about Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort

Ultra Luxury, Not !

by A TripAdvisor Member

Auto Club of Southern California (AAA) Customer ServicesDear Auto Club,First of all, I want to thank you for your recent travel assistance but would also like to take the opportunity to provide some feedback.On September 1, 2002 my fiancée and I departed Los Angeles Airport and arrived in Montego Bay Jamaica for a seven-night stay at Sandals Ocho Rios. In our opinion the flight and service were what we expected. Upon arrival and after clearing Customs, we were greeted by Apple Vacations representatives at the airport and then conveniently guided directly to a waiting Sky Cap to handle our baggage. The representatives presented these Sky Caps as if they were supplied by Apple Vacations or the Sandals resort to assist us with our bags. We soon discovered that they were independent employees after they practically begged for a tip. Our transportation to the resort was waiting directly outside the airport doors, which was a very short walk for us as well as the Sky Cap. The bus ride from the airport to the resort was long and bumpy but this was to be expected.We arrived at the resort at about nine in the morning with no idea of what to do next. We immediately approached the registration counter to get our room. It was at this time that a Sandals host sat us down where we completed some registration paperwork. It appeared that we had arrived too early for any rooms to be ready so the hosts guided us towards breakfast and told us to check back in an hour for our room. Although we were exhausted, we were also hungry. It turned-out later that the host should have also informed us about the resort?s orientation that was also occurring just about the same time. It happens that we were not able to attend another orientation until later in the week. Following breakfast, we returned to the front desk and received the key to our room. Even though our room was ready, it appeared that the bellmen were not. It was not busy but we patiently waited for about ten to fifteen minutes to be escorted to our room and only until I asked for directions to our room so we could take the bags ourselves, did we get some attention.Upon entering our room, we immediately realized that this was not a ?Luxury Resort.? The furniture was old with chipping paint. Additionally, our ?No Smoking? room had cigarette burns all over the counter tops and dressers and the carpet was stained in many places. I don?t believe I?ve ever stayed in a more neglected room in all my travels. It was obvious that they had done very little in maintaining their rooms besides providing the normal housekeeping services. Upon inquiring, we discovered that moving to a new room would cost us additional money and valuable vacation time. We also quickly returned some of the provided critique forms but also noticed that the box to place them in was over stuffed making it obvious that no one was paying attention to them either. In addition to this, we never saw an Apple Vacations representative at the resort. It would have been nice to speak to one.Unlike our room, the grounds of the resort were very well kept, although, the set-up and location of facilities we found were a little odd. There was only one main swimming pool and it was not user friendly. It was a lot smaller compared to the other resorts and didn?t allow for guest participation in games or social activities. We spent most of our time at the Beaches resort next door. We also found ourselves taking the shuttle to Sandals Dunn?s River resort to enjoy those facilities. We enjoyed social activities at Dunn?s River so much more we even inquired into moving over but the cost was substantial. However, the beach area at Ocho Rios was small but very nice.Being that we aren?t picky eaters, the restaurants turned out to be average. A little more selection and the ability to accommodate more than a couple people a sitting would have been more enjoyable. As you know it is widely advertised that the rules to these resorts were that no gratuities were to be offered or accepted. This apparently didn?t include the bars. We soon discovered that tipping was a normal practice and almost blatantly expected by some of the bar tenders. Even though they attempted to conceal it, it was obviously dictating the quality of service that was provided. The selection was also very limited; I enjoy drinking beer, so when I discovered that there was only one type of beer being offered I was surprised. Additionally, this one type of beer was only offered from the tap, which caused it to be flat. If I wanted to drink another type of beer, I would have to purchase it from the resort store. At one point, I saw other guests with bottled beer and requested some but was told that they were supplied this through their rooms at an additional cost.Entertainment at the resort was very amateur. We only attended because there were no other activities offered. Additionally, at Ocho Rios, the planned beach parties, contests and afternoon music was enjoyable, but only lasted for what seemed like a few minutes. They spent more time setting up and taking down the equipment then providing the actual entertainment. We enjoyed the one included tour to the Falls and inquired about going on some others but didn?t because they were way too expensive.We have traveled to Mexico a few times and have been on a few Cruises. We very much enjoy resort travel especially carefree ?All Inclusive,? resorts where there is little to worry about and allot of opportunity to relax. As you can tell by our experience, we came away from this vacation very unsatisfied in almost every aspect. Although the services provided by the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) were great, I believe that it is only fair that both Apple Vacations along with the Auto Club be aware of initiating customer interest in these poorly run resorts. It is my belief that our money could have been better spent at a true ?Ultra Inclusive? Resort.Again, thank you for the opportunity to provide my opinion and I hope that it assists you in future business interests and the way you provide customer service.It should be noted that this letter was directed to the Auto Club, Apple Vacations and Sandals Resorts. Only the Auto Club and Apple Vacations responded back.

A honeymooners delight!

by TripAdvisor Member Dave_Hooksett_NH

I would like to begin by stating that the ride from the airport to the resort was definitely an experience. Yes there is only a two lane road that is under construction and the driver does not hesitate to pass even when it does not appear to be safe yet this is their way of driving!Upon our arrival at Sandals we were greeted with a glass of champagne, a cool towel (as it was very hot!) and welcoming staff. Check-in was very simple and we were given information by the hotel clerk who explained procedures of the resort and took time to answer our questions.Our room was ready upon our arrival. Although the room was average we had a spectacular view of the gardens. It was maintained daily with fresh linens. The air conditioning and the fan above our bed were the only relief from the oppressive heat.The food was very good. There was always a large variety of food. All the restaurants served a little something different from each other. Jerked chicken and pork was wonderful. The beef was a little tough and scarce in their dishes. The service was always with a smile. At times it was also a little slow, but that is why you are there- To relax!The resort appeared to cater to honeymooners as they provided some activities, but not an over abundance of them. Nightly entertainment was provided yet we were very disappointed with the lack of air conditioning in the disco (we were told that the AC was broken for 2-months). Even though the disco is located on the ocean front, it was very hot as there is hardly a breeze once the sun goes down.Overall the staff was very friendly and accommodating. They appeared eager to please and we never witnessed anyone losing their Jamaican charm. NO PROBLEM MON!Be sure to ask George (pool bar) to make you a BOB MARLEY and tell him that "TEACH" sent you!

Grande Sport NOT for families

by TripAdvisor Member SimTitravelinggal

The resort is lovely, but we felt very misled by the 'Beaches' moniker.
The 'Beaches' resorts are supposed to be the family oriented sites where 'Sandals' sites are intended for couples. Since GS does not allow young children, we still expected a family atmosphere with teenage and young adult activities. Having 2 teenage boys 16 & 18, we expected GS to fit the bill. What we discovered is Grande Sport is a Sandals at which they allow non-couples. All focus is still on couples. We arrived as a family of 4 and were located not only in different villas - but they weren't even adjacent to each other. Not family friendly. There are some singles events, but NOTHING for teens. Even though there is no minimum drinking age, Margarita mixing contests really don't fit the bill. Nightly entertainment with audience participation includes 'put the pole in the hole' which is acceptable for a couples' resort , but made the half dozen families with teenage children very uncomfortable - to say the least. Alcohol is free flowing and served with great enthusiasm by the bartenders, but juice / soda is served in small glasses not so promptly refilled. Getting accurate information is a real challenge. Anyone on the staff will gladly answer your questions, no one ever tells you - "I don't know". If you ask 2 people the same question you will most likely get 2 different answers rather than being directed to the person or dept with the accurate info. Upon check-in you get a one page poor quality xerox with minimal info. There is a very nice 2 inch binder in the room labeled Resort Directory - empty but for the 1 page Environmental Policy. No maps or phone numbers for maintenance, housekeeping, gift shop, activities, dive shop, etc. They don't volunteer info if you don't ask. How you are supposed to know what to ask since you are the guest, I haven't figured out. Brochure accuracy isn't important either - they do NOT have racquetball - they have a squash court - they are not the same. Activities are posted daily on a whiteboard in the lobby of the main house - the week we visited there was no prepublished schedule so you could plan ahead for excursions or make a point of getting up for something. On the other hand, it probably didn't matter since activities were frequently moved or cancelled - or staff did not show up at all. In the week we were there we saw the activities desk actually manned by a staffer exactly 3 times. The scuba and beach staff appeared to be the only staff who took their job seriously, very attentive to safety while still accommodating guests. But note there are only 2 dives a day that are included in the 'all-inclusive' fee (1 tank deep dive morning and 1 tank shallow dive in the afternoon) so 2 tank dives takes all day and you can only sign up for these 1 day in advance - and contrary to what the travel agents tell you, the boats DO fill up. On the other hand - they will gladly arrange custom dives for you for a fee. As you approach the end of your stay the staff gets much less helpful. While you are supposed to be notified via a letter the night before you leave of the time of your departure shuttle, neither of our 2 rooms received it. We had to call 3 times over a 1 hour period to get the luggage picked up and the shuttle had to wait for it. In the haste to check out, one of the teenagers left his wallet in the safe. Called from the airport, we were told that 'IF it was found it would be mailed to us' Calling that night we were told we had to call the next day as we had to talk to the Day manager.
After several calls the next day being routed from operator to front desk to housekeeping ad infinitum, we reached the Day manger who told us it wasn't there. Inquiring again a couple weeks later it was uncovered the wallet WAS there and could be returned IF we provided the FedEx account to charge the shipping to. A hospitable establishment would have simply shipped it when it was discovered. Further - the cash was acknowledged - but never received...

Photos

Our Room at Sandals Ocho RiosOur Room at Sandals Ocho Rios

Sunset from the Sandals Ocho Rios PierSunset from the Sandals Ocho Rios Pier

Open air market across from Sandals Ocho RiosOpen air market across from Sandals Ocho Rios

Forum Posts

Sandals Ocho Rios Grande

by Darpat

Going to be there Jan 19th. Can anyone tell me whether the GreatHouse Luxury room is good. Should I upgrade or is this room ok. I heard it has a private balcony but no instock bar or pool and have to walk or shuttle bus to beach - with I don't mind. More concerned about the state of the room. Clean, comfortable etc. I also hear about a lot of people getting bumped up to better rooms but don't think that will happen as we are travelling at a peak time and expect the hotel to be busy.

Thanks

Comments

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 Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Beach & Villa Resort

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

Sandals Ocho Rios
Ciboney Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Ocho Rios
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach And Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Hotel Ocho Rios

Address: Main St, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Caribbean