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Reviewed 22 April 2008

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at the Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. We had a good time, but only because we made the most of our trip. I will NEVER return to this resort, let alone recommend it. We paid over $4,000, and I feel completely taken advantage of. The first day, we were supposed to be greeted in our room by a bottle of champagne with a menu for breakfast in bed the following morning, as well as flower petals in the bed. The resort apparently forgot about us, and we did not receive our champagne til our last day there. We never receieved breakfast in bed or flower petals. Unless you pay extra for butler service, your refrigerators are not stocked with alcohol and you are not allowed any room service. Staff were INCREDIBLY rude, at restaurants, the front desk, gift shop, etc. A server at a snack stand completely ignored us when we tried to place an order. I almost accidentally bumped into another server after turning around in one restaurant. His response: he stepped back, rolled his eyes, sighed very loudly, and motioned for me to continue past. On our day of checkout, we were not assisted with our luggage. The man at the desk mumbled every word and talked so low we could not understand him. He handed my husband a paper to sign and said nothing else. We were not thanked, asked to come back, or wished a safe trip home. Reservations for restaurants were not allowed, and waits were anywhere from 30min - 2hrs. The buffets were only fully stocked one day out of the seven we were there. Food quality was very poor - meets were very tough and gristly or contained large portions of fat. Service was incredibly slow. You were made to feel uncomfortable having to ask anybody for anything. At first we thought we were being nit-picky til we talked with several other couples with similar complaints. Please save yourself the trouble and book your vaca/honeymoon somewhere else.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sweetpea3507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2008

Like many other travelers, we were a bit nervous about our trip because of the bad reviews. However, we were very pleased with our vacation and would not hesitate to return.

We stayed on the manor side in a 3-room suite with semi-private pool. Our room was clean and the bar was stocked daily ;) We had no trouble with the jitney service, although we mostly preferred to walk since we were eating sooo much. Speaking of food, it was good. Not 5-star fantastic, but good. I enjoyed all my appetizers (single serving portions, not US restaurant style which can feed a table), and dinners (again, not large portions, but I was always full after dinner). If dinner was not enough food, you can always order more. On our first night, my husband couldn't decide between two entrees, so the waiter just brought him both! Drinks were great, service was quick, no complaints about the bar service.

There are many options for pool-side lounging. The large manor pool, with the volleyball net and swim-up bar; a smaller pool area next to the Manor grill (perfect for lunch by the pool). I prefered the smaller pool only because there were umbrellas. It is HOT in the middle of the day and being fair-skinned, I needed some cover! I never used the pools on the riveria side, but the beaches over there were great. There were always chairs available, and the swim-up raft was great!

We were able to go on two excursions (Chukka Tours, additional cost). The first was the ATV safari. Four miles up a mountain on a four-wheeler (be prepared to get muddy!), and four miles back, followed by cliff diving off a 15 foot ledge. Our second excursion was the ocean safari, small little boats that can best be described as a jet-ski sitting in a life raft. The excursion lasted around 1.5-2 hours and also included snorkeling. Both excursions were great, and we would love to do them again.

Our next Jamaican vacation will probably be in Negril because we would like to see another part of the island. However, I would have no problem staying at the SGOR again.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank 313traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2008

Sandals continues to provide great service in great locations. We have been to 5 different properties on 3 different islands and have never been dissapointed.
The Ocho Rios property is huge, really two resorts in one. We stayed at the Riveria near the beach. Lot's of great restaurants and activities.
Service in Jamiaca has improved dramatically over the last 10 years and Sandals is clearly the leader.
The only negative that I give this resort is that the facility is getting a little old and needs some refurb. Nothing serious however.
For those that enjoy Hobie Cat sailing, this location is perfect for the beginner or the more experienced.

Would we return? perhaps but there are still of number of other Sandals locations that we want to visit.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Yell0wBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2008

It was our greatest vacation ever! We liked it so much we booked another vacation for next year when we got home. It was by far the most plesant experience we ever had.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank jlnl924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2008

I have just returned from my honeymoon/wedding at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios. Let me preface this review by saying that our wedding took place at nearby Beaches Boscobel (we have a 2 year old son) and then we moved to Sandals for our honeymoon. Beaches is the only other all inclusive resort I have been to, that I can compare to Sandals.
Upon arriving, we realized we were booked in a "Manor" room which is on the mountain side of the highway. Thinking that our "oceanview" room would be on the beach, we requested to be switched. The front desk clerk who helped us immediately did everything she could to get us a room we wanted, and at no upgrade charge.
I wish I could upload photos, because the grounds are absolutely immaculate! They are so well thought out and just gorgeous! The Riveria side (ocean side) has a main pool with an ampitheater (with nightly entertainment) and pool bar, a pool on the beach (also with a pool bar), a "garden" pool back in among the trees and a "hidden" pool. The Manor side also has at least 3 pools. The beach is great, although not very big. It is also immaculately kept and there are plenty of lounge chairs, water sports and snack bars. We stayed on the Riveria side completely, feeling no reason to take the shuttle across to the Manor side. If you are interested, the shuttle runs about every 10 minutes. There are plenty of restaurants on trhe Riveria side, and the beach too :) We enjoyed sailing the hobie cats, and did this pretty much everyday. We also snorkeled twice, which was probably one of the best perks of the resort!
Having been to Beaches, and comparing the two, the only aspect I found lacking at this Sandals was the staff. There seemed to be a lot less staff, and they just weren't as friendly. Not to say that they were mean, but they were not as pleasant. At Beaches, any staff member you walked by would smile and say hi, asking where we were from and making light conversation. They all went out of their way to make us feel welcome and more at home. At Sandals, it was not quite as warm. It sometimes took us awhile to get served at the bar, like we were being ignored. The drink selection varied, since some days they did not have certain liquors in stock. The front desk and souvenir store staff acted like it was a chore to help guests. Having said that, the Watersports staff were friendly, and our boat captain was pretty cool!
Also, at the restaurants, service was extremely slow. I recommend getting there when the restaurant opens to avoid an hour wait. I think if you have butler service, your butler can make you reservations. The food is pretty good, not as bad as I expected after reading other reviews. As for the portion sizes, I found that if you ate slowly and enjoyed the food, they were plenty! Most restaurants offered at least 3 courses to a meal. Overall, we had a great time and would definitely stay at a Sandals resort again. I just wish the staff had been as welcoming as they were at their sister resort!

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank mamamcnaught
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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