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Sans Souci Resort and Spa – Ocho Rios

Location: Beachfront – 100 minute drive from Sangster International Airport
All-inclusive – Adults Only148 rooms
Description from resort website: Clothing Optional Beach – 4 restaurants – 6 bars – 4 pools
Sans Souci Resort and Spa Reviews Posted on this page  ~  11
~ Reader’s Vacation Photos  1
  ~ Jamaica Resort Reviews Index
San Souci Resort & Spa Shaun & Nicole ~ Canada

March 2005

We stayed at the Sans Souci resort and Spa Jan 17-24. We have traveled to may first class all inclusive resorts, but this resort tops the list by far. This resort goes the extra mile in everything they do!

BEACH – There are two beaches, one is clothing optional and anyone is welcome at either. At the "regular" beach they have an area that is roped off just for swimming and the other part is open for sea kayaking, water bikes, snorkeling, sailing, and water skiing. (all of which are included). Beach was well groomed and cleared of seaweed each morning. It is not an all white beautiful sand beach like in the Dominican but very nice just the same.

GROUNDS – The grounds are unlike any we have ever seen. Beautifully groomed, with lush vegetation, waterfalls, stone walkways, hammocks throughout and wonderful views. There are a lot of stairs in the resort, it was not a problem for us (early 30’s) but those with knee or mobility problems could find it difficult.

STAFF – the staff were very nice and accommodating. Ricardo, the entertainment director was very helpful, funny and just an all round great guy. The water sports staff were also great.

ROOMS – We had a Jacuzzi suite room, were upgraded when we arrived, a nice surprise. The room was very clean with a nice TV room, bathrooms very spacious. The ONLY complaint we had about the resort in way form was the beds. They were very firm and after a week we were quite happy to return to our bed at home.

SPA – We took full advantage of the spa treatments included. We had the manicures, pedicures, foot / leg massage and full body massage. We had our massage together in a small hut overlooking the ocean, it was wonderful. The staff were great and the girls, especially Marcia, in the salon were delightful! So funny! The mineral pool was very refreshing.

FOOD – This was by far the best resort dining experience we have encountered. The food was second to none, with a great variety to offer at the buffet everyday. The restaurants (Italian and French) were SUPERB. We did not eat dinner at the Caribbean restaurant, so I can’t comment. However we did order room service a couple of times and it was very good, they are very accommodating. Don’t miss the beach grill on Tuesday night (includes all you can eat lobster) and the gala on Friday night. The entertainment during and after the meal was wonderful.

ENTERTAINMENT – The house band that played almost every night was really, really good. During breakfast they would often have a flutist playing. We attended the reggae night and those entertainers were great as well. We went to the piano bar one night, didn’t stay long, found the piano guy to be a bit over the top.

The resort offers so much to do that is included in the price, a week isn’t long enough! We didn’t get to golf or go diving. Both things we wanted to do, but just ran out of time. The other wonderful thing opted to do was to pay an extra $100 US to have a private, served dinner in the wedding gazebo one night. It was absolutely wonderful and the most romantic dinner you could imagine. There is so much more I could tell you about the resort but I recommend going to their website for a full overview of their services and what’s included.

We will definitely return to Sans Souci, it was very relaxing and was pure heaven!

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San Souci Resort & Spa Barb ~ Canada

March 2005

We just came back from the Sans Souci in Jamaica and would return in a minute! It is definitely 5 star. beautiful rooms, immaculate grounds, wonderful food and terrific estheticians in the spa. They have an outstanding Friday night gala they set up on the lawn under the star that is just fabulous. Only advise book reservation in French and International restaurants and your spa treatments early to get your best selection of times.

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San Souci Resort & Spa Jerry & Connie ~ Wisconsin

February 2005

Fantastic!

We visited San Souci Jan/Feb 2005.

That best describes the week my wife and I had at the San Souci. The plush grounds were breathtakingly beautiful. The food was exquisite only to be out done by the service. Even the room service menu was unbelievable.

We stayed in B block and loved it. Close to the beach, both normal and clothing optional. We explored all over the whole resort and can honestly say we did not find a bad room location on the whole place.

A good mix of entertainment and mellowness. A top notch Spa with Fantastic services.

All in all, we have traveled all over the Caribbean and Mexico to find our favorite in San Souci. We thought it was much underrated on a lot of websites and can’t understand what they could possibly be thinking to not give this resort what ever their top rating may be. San Souci scores a perfect Golden 10 with us!

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San Souci Resort & Spa Cleburne, Texas

July 2004

7/12/04 -Quickest flight from US is from Houston – Montego Bay (3 hrs). We stayed the night before at the Hyatt Airport – which I must say gave us exceptional service and allows you to park your vehicle there all week as well as shuttle to/from Geo. Bush Int’l. It was an Air Jamaica flight charter-ed out to Miami Air. This plane was brand new – nice. Customs lines in Montego Bay were rather long but not horrifying. Seems like little to no air conditioning and the upstairs restrooms were worse than worse (either use the plane’s restroom or wait until you go through customs and use the downstairs ones. San Souci resort desk located down from baggage claim – we were immediately on our way to the resort. (2 hr drive w/ stop 1/2 way there for stuff – Cuban cigars, Jerk, etc). You always hear everyone complain about the drive but I thought it was interesting to see a bit of the country so it didn’t bother us. We rode with a fabuous couple from Mass. via Greece (George and Pamela). Check in was quick and painless. Charmain, Guest Services, can see to any of your needs.

We chose the beach front jacuzzi suites w/ balcony. Very nice room – nice entryway w/ coffee area. French doors leading into bedroom w/ nice big bathroom (blow dryer works good so leave yours at home). Another set of french doors leading to front room w/ daily stocked bar. And a set a doors leading to balcony from either room. Nice tile throughout. Bed really comfortable. I’m extremely picky and I liked it. Put our stuff away and headed to beach bar. Orlando, Woodcliff, Diana and Jackie took care of us the entire stay. They are all delightful bartenders. You should take the time to get to know them. Had orientation at 5pm. You can probably just "wing it" on your own. Went back to our room and champagne and cheese/cracker tray were delivered immediately (I wonder if they have that timed). We sat on the balcony and enjoyed this. Ate dinner at the beach side restaurant (casual). Afterwards the resort has a fashion show (Mon. nights). I really enjoyed this – my husband did not. Got bit by resident parrot which drew blood – these are not tame birds.

7/13/04 – Breakfast buffet is to die for. Looked forward to it every day. Talked w/ other guests – seems majority from US which we were glad. There were several of us that hung out the duration of our stay Greek couple (50’s), Us (40’s), John and Barbara -San Diego (30’s), and newlyweds Brad and Melissa -St. Louis (20’s). Ran to boutique and purchased some of the clothes we saw at the fashion show for our kids (ok – some for us too). Headed for our couples massage – the spa area is real nice and the service is excellent. Spent the rest of the day at the beach – husband took catamaran out. That night was Beachside BBQ for all guests – all the lobster you can eat. Tues/Fri nights will be nights you won’t want to miss so I would suggest scheduling your vacation around this. Entertainment that night was nice but we’ve seen better. It was still fun with a few laughs. Travis, the guy in charge of entertainment, is a real nut – real likeable guy. You seem to run into him all around the resort.

7/14/04 – After breakfast we both had facials which I wish could have lasted forever. . Stayed at the pool all day. Took the resorts Glass Bottom Boat tour. Later had manicure/pedicures. The ladies at the Salon are all hilarious. We made reservations for dinner at Pallazina. He had lamb and I had swordfish. Both were excellent. I don’t think they have the same menu every night. Service was exceptional.

7/15/14 – We had room service for breakfast. This was the only time we had room service but some of the others used it quite often and no one had any complaints – said food was real good. Met the St. Louis couple and headed to the clothing optional beach (we didn’t spend any time there – I swear) and met a boat we’d chartered for 1/2 day fishing. For all your fishing needs you want to contact Mark with Triple B Charters 876/382-7509. Tell him Diana at Radio Shack referred you. The boat and crew are top of the line. Within 5 minutes of boarding – you are already trolling – so there’s no waiting an hour to get out to sea. I really wish we’d spent some of that time bottom fishing but it was still real nice. Every afternoon around 3:30pm they have a volleyball game at the pool. A lot of people ususally participate and it gets fun. .

7/16/04 – The entire day is spent w/ the resort setting up lighted canopys for the dinner Gala. You shouldn’t miss this. It is beautiful and there’s more food than an army can eat. All resort guests eat together again. In closing – this is a classy, top-notch resort. Service and food are not surpassed. It is definitely worth a visit.

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San Souci Resort & Spa Casey

March 2004

Just got back from a week at Sans Souci (March 2004). It was a very nice property with a lot of beautiful trees and foliage. We stayed in the G block and had a huge suite, which was old but clean. I recommend staying on the 2nd or 3rd floor for more privacy. It was quite a hike from the room to the beach, but not too bad. I think someone counted 130 steps (some very slippery when wet). Daytime activities/entertainment was lacking. We were able to play bingo once for prizes, beach volleyball once, and a drinking game (mixology class) once in the whole 7 days. Ricardo (or anyone) didn’t show up for one day’s planned activity, so all I can say was that the place is very laid back. Didn’t go on any tours, because they were quite expensive and I didn’t care to go in town shopping or to hike Dunn’s river falls. Food was excellent (highly recommend French restaurant) and the most wines were excellent (pass on the Gato Negro/Blanco wines). Make sure to ask for the premium liquors in your drinks. Very relaxing, and at sometimes, boring trip. You might consider something closer to the airport. Even with the maniac driving, it took two bumpy hours to get to the resort.

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San Souci Resort & Spa Lisa S

October 2003

Just returned from our 2nd visit to San Souci and have nothing but glowing reports!

MoBay Airport: MoBay is getting a little better with arrivals, but still, plan on a bit of a wait for immigrations. Tip: bring a pen on the plane and fill out all your paperwork. Saw so many people wait in line then be turned back because they did not fill out the forms. Customs agents will not let you fill them out at their booth.

San Souci Reception area: Once you get your bags proceed to the end of all the various booths and you will find San Souci’s booth. Charlotte cheerfully greeted us, quickly checked us in and walked us out to our van that was just outside the door. Note: If your bags have rollers you won’t need a porter. We waited just a few minutes for another couple then were on our way. There was probably only 6 – 8 of us on the bus total. The roads are still very bumpy in some areas, but they are working on it. The whole trip was about 1-½ hours.

Check in was relatively fast, the usual paper work. We were greeted with champagne or cocktails and a cool towel. Very refreshing. From there the bellhops took us to our room in G block. We had originally requested G17 (same as 2002) but were given G6. Not a problem! Walked into a large bedroom with large closet, 2 (yes 2) full bathrooms, large sitting room with couch, chairs, writing table, TV, radio/CD player, mini-bar, coffee maker station and another large closet. Husband was ecstatic about his own bathroom and closet. The patio was huge with 2 lounges, table and 4 chairs. Great View.

Now for the other blocks:
G Block (our favorite): highest on bluff. Wonderful view, very large rooms. But even with the elevator, quite a hike. Would not suggest for anyone with knee troubles.

F Block: Also on the bluff. Similar to G block but closer to Casanova and the Piano bar. Can be a bit noisy if they get a party going.

E Block: Did not see, can’t state

D Block: About ½ way between the bluff and the beach. Smaller than G-F blocks. Most with Jacuzzi tub bathroom. Some with patio, some enclosed.

C Block: Large bedrooms and Jacuzzi tubs. All enclosed patios.

A/B block: Rooms are smaller but newest blocks. Right on the beach. Large bathroom, 2 vanity & Jacuzzi tub. Small patio.

All in all your room choice depends mostly on your priorities. We love large, spacious room with a view and some privacy so the G block is perfect for us. For those who would be willing to have a smaller room to be right on the beach and in the center of the activities, than A/B is the way to go.

In my Webshots I have included photos of most of the room categories, including a few of the penthouses (for you honeymooners or those who can afford the price).

Restaurants:
Dinners:
Casanova (French) M-T-W-Th-Sat-Sun Need reservations and men need jacket

Wonderful food. Menu changes weekly and chef special changes daily. They make the best lamb dishes. Tried a different variety each time. We ate there three times and loved it each time. Great, attentive service. Wine served Tarapaca from Chile, an OK basic wine.

Palazzina (Italian) M-W-Th-Sat-Sun Need reservations

Antipasto – wide variety and very fresh. Soup, meat/chicken dishes and then pasta dishes. Was all very good. Pasta was cooked perfectly. Alfredo E Cappo was wonderful. Make sure you arrive hungry, the quantity and quality are great.

Bella Vista (Caribbean) M-W-Th-Sat-Sun No reservations needed

Menu consists of soup, salad and choice of three entrees. Changes daily but the whole week is posted so you can decide ahead of time. Was a great casual meal on the beach (bring bug spray for your legs). We tried the curried goat (1st time), was wonderful! Spicy, but wonderful.

Lunch:
Palazzina
Mixture of hot and cold buffet. Always fresh with a wide assortment.

Beach Grill – C/O and regular beach Great jerk chicken or pork, burgers, pizza, meat pockets and fries. Always hot and tasty. Try and find Seymour, he makes the best jerk around!

Breakfast
Palazzina: Large buffet with made to order eggs, & pancakes. Also yogurt, cereal, fruit, pastries and all the usual sides (bacon, sausage…)

Tuesday night: Beach party
Massive buffet and grills on the beach. LOBSTER on the grill was great! Band and entertainers perform after the meal. Quite a lot of fun.

Friday night: Gala night
Usually held on the lawn under tents but the past 2 years we have always had rain that day and ended up with the Gala at the Palazzina. A very nice event, with loads of food, carving stations, pasta-made-to-order stations, and the desserts! After dinner, they have a band and dancing. Hopefully some year we will catch it on the lawn. I hear it is quite beautiful with white tents, table & chairs and glitter lights everywhere.

Mineral Pool: Very relaxing and refreshing. Very close to the Spa so we would hang out there before any spa treatments. Also has a bar.

Duck pond:
Be sure to grab a roll or bread from breakfast for the ducks. They will be waiting for you. Are really fun to feed every morning.

Beach:
They have enlarged both the regular and C/O beaches. Both are much wider now. Plus a water surge drain/walkway has been added to the beach to help prevent beach erosion. They were almost done by the time we left and it looked really nice. Plus the walkway was an added plus on those days that the sand was scorching hot. The C/O beach is still pretty rocky so you will need beach shoes to venture out into the water.

Spa: We had the complimentary massages, body scrub and manicure/pedicure. All were quite wonderful. Just didn’t want to give up beach time this time for the facial and reflexology, but they were great in 2002 so I would venture to guess 2003 holds the same. Some spa personnel stated that the complimentary service may be discontinued, but could not confirm it. So I would suggest to those booking to get the service in writing just in case the policy changes from the time of booking to the time of arrival.

Tours: We were really just beach bums this trip. Rented a cab for $35 and went into town to get some coffee, cigars and a few souvenirs. We had a great driver, Sylvester Smith at 974-0373 or 0819-7600 (cell). He found us the best prices and offered friendly and fast service.

Also did some snorkeling. Was very nice and clear. Different locations each time. Bring a roll from breakfast and the fish will love you.

Overall view:
Was a little worried when San Souci departed from the Super Clubs chain. But compared to 2002, have seen no changes except for the better. Service was outstanding in every aspect. Housekeeping, restaurant and bar service, beach and property maintenance, everything was well worthy of its 5 star rating. I found the staff to be helpful, knowledgeable, efficient and genuine. Any question or request was handled quickly and correctly. No need to look elsewhere, we have already decided that San Souci will become our annual fall vacation spot.

Any questions or a download of the map, you can email me directly at lsusko@aol.com

Photos: http://community.webshots.com/user/lisa490

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Sans Souci Resort and Spa (formerly Grand Lido)
The reviews below are old reviews from when the resort was Grand Lido Sans Souci.

Grand Lido Sans Souci Doug & Deborah — Markham, Canada

March 2003

Well..we are writing this review after three years! Why? After staying at many deluxe resorts, including Sandals, Secrets, Bavaro Resorts, Palace Resorts, and many, many others – nothing still compares to Grand Lido. Nothing! We doubt nothing ever will. This is the one folks, the real deal, simply the best, and nothing else will ever compare. It’s worth every penny, and then some. This is the ONLY resort we have ever stayed at, where we were dazzled by the food, amenties, the service, and the quality. This is the only resort where everything exceeded our expectations – everything. SuperClubs has a prize jewel here and is truly the pinnacle of all resorts that you will visit. Here is our review:

FOOD
No doubt the most outstanding feature, the food simply never disappoints. No matter where you order, what you order, or when you order, the food is simply the best you will experience anywhere in the Caribbean. How this is accomplished is simply mind-boggling. The food is simply outstanding and world-class in virtually every respect. Some of these meals would easily cost 300.00 in North America.

DRINKS
Again, one of the best selections you will find anywhere. You can order premium scotch, Baileys, specialty drinks, premium beer (Heiniken), or anything else you wish. Some of the "rare" stuff is hidden, so simply ask for something you don’t see. They will probably have it. The "Balloon Bar" stocks the rarest beverages. Ask for a strong drink, and you will be graciously served one.

ROOM
Our room was a deluxe beachfront room with jacuzzi, and a terrific view of the oceanfront. The room was gorgeous, tasteful, and cozy. The rooms in "F" block are horrible however, and are not consistent with a "Deluxe" resort. Beachfront is the way to go folks.

POOLS
The resort has been around for awhile and the pools are not spectacular, yet are clean and not crowded. The mineral pool is very relaxing – and cold! If you wish to wake up and feel refreshed, simply jump into the mineral pool. It works!

GROUNDS
The grounds of Grand Lido Sans Souci are huge, winding, and require time to figure out. This resort is NOT for elderly people because it is on a hillside. Older people will find it tough to walk up the hills and stairs. Of all the resorts we have visited, we found the grounds at this resort to be simply stunning. It features "Jamaica charm", yet is simply gorgeous. If you have a chance, watch the resort nurse with one of the birds. You will laugh your ass off! She can get the bird to do or say anything.

SERVICE
Listen up people! Sandals could learn a lot by visiting a Grand Lido resort! Here’s an example: One afternoon it rained, and we decided to go to the room and read. Within a few minutes there was a knock on the door. A gentleman was standing there with a tray of wine and cheeses. We asked what this was for and he stated: "Well, it’s raining so we figured we may as well bring this up". Where do you find this level of service??!! When you order breakfast room service, everything is exactly as you ordered, perfectly laid out, and brought to your room exactly when you requested. Imagine sitting on your balcony, watching the sun rise, eating beautiful food that is expertly prepared for you. We have only experienced this at Grand Lido.

STAFF
Absolutely wonderful, gracious in every respect, and always aim to please. We have never experienced staff like this anywhere. Again, Sandals could learn a few lessons here. Sans Souci has the best staff in any resort, anywhere in the Caribbean. We are not kidding with this statement! Stay at this resort, then try any resort in the Dominican Republic and you will easily see what we mean.

BEACHFRONT
Again, this resort has been around for awhile and the beach is not huge, sprawling, or particularly "sandy". However, it is comfortable and nice. You are here for terrific food and service, not the beach.

SPA
Imagine having a massage with your spouse in a hut that is perched on top of a cliff, overlooking the Caribbean. We experienced this and only have one thing to say: "Life does not get better than this!" The spa treatments are short of amazing.

EVENTS
One gala night per week that is short of stunning. Everything is laid-out on the lawn with white food tents with lighted ice carvings in front of each one. Candles are lit everywhere. Truly classy and an event you will not want to miss. The Jamaica Night event is one where you will stay up late, drink like crazy, and truly get to know the staff. They know how to party and have fun. Again, the level of service is absolutely outstanding.

TIPPING
There is no tipping at Sans Souci, and none is expected or required to obtain a high-level of service. We truly wish American’s would STOP tipping at all-inclusive resorts! They say "no tipping" and SuperClubs truly means it. You are paying top-dollar to come to this resort, so why would anybody tip? Two staff members informed me that they are paid better than they would at any other resort. We found their comments to be genuine and authentic.

OVERALL
A vacation experience like no other. No other hotel will offer the quality of food, grounds, and service than here. The problem is that you will compare all other properties to Grand Lido once you visit it. We found Sandals to be particularly disappointing after we visited this resort. We left totally relaxed and with a new respect for what premium resorts should consist of. It was a vacation experience we will never forget. (We are picky, willing to pay the price for quality, and usually go on vacation feeling burned-out. Both of us are in high-stress jobs and truly want to relax when our vacation time comes. We truly know great service when we see it.)

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Grand Lido Sans Souci Frank — USA

March 2003

In comparison to some of the other trip reports, this one is going to be brief and to the point. I don’t have the time to tell you, nor do I think you care what I had for dinner every night.

Arrival trip:
We (my wife and I) flew on Feb 7, 2003 via Air Jamaica from Boston. We paid a little more for the non-stop service and to get to Jamaica as early in the day as we could. This was worth it to me as we made it to GLSS and were in the restaurant before they closed the lunch buffet at 3pm. We were the only ones on our flight going to GLSS, which made us a little nervous at first, but resulted in us getting a small taxi just for us which was much more comfortable than the larger vans. The driver was pleasant, although definitely in sales mode, looking for a tip, which I had no problem paying. We will probably fly to Ocho Rios the next time so we can save the time of driving and see the country a little from the air.

The resort:
Our first pleasant surprise was the way we were greeted at check-in, with the immediate offer of a drink from the bar and a wonderful, ice cold face towel (which my wife refused because she was so happy to sweating and hot). Check-in was quick and painless and we were in our room shortly after the 3pm check-in time. It only took us a few hours to get oriented in the resort, we didn’t see any need to take the guided orientation tour. The property is beautiful and everything you have read about there being plenty of lounge chair, where ever you want to lounge, is true. The week we were there was Valentine’s Day and the resort was full but it did not feel it. The pools (all 4 of them) are beautiful and clean. In fact, the entire resort was very clean and well maintained. There are unarmed security people all over the property, 24 hours a day.

The room:
We stayed in A10 which is a first floor beach front Jacuzzi room and we loved it. Being on the first floor we were able to walk out directly to the pool or beach from our patio. The only down side of this was that we could not lock the room when leaving from this door but we had stored all our valuables in the room safe and we are very trusting people. We loved not having to climb the stairs or walk all the way through the resort to get back to our room, especially from the clothing optional beach.

The food:
I am pretty fussy when it comes to my food and I must say I was impressed. I have always avoided all-inclusives because of the mediocre cafeteria food that most serve. This is not the case at GLSS. I would put their restaurants up against our local four diamond restaurant and I think they would win. The wait staff has been trained very well and they are friendly and happy. The only exception to this would be the pool side grill food which, basically, is pool side grill food. Most people go for the wonderful lunch buffet instead. The two special nights were fun and the food was great there as well.

The staff:
I found most of the staff to be courteous, happy and helpful. I was amazed at this because of the no tipping policy and I am sure there are plenty of incentives for the staff to do well – probably like getting fired if they don’t. I found this to be a pleasant change from the diminishing level of service that we accept in the US. The only improvement I would like to see is with the spa staff who do not seem to be happy with their jobs, and I am sure they work very hard.

The spa:
Guys don’t be afraid to try the spa treatments, it’s included so you might as well see try it. I did not do the manicure or pedicure but I did enjoy the facial, massage and body scrub. The only one I would pass on next time is the reflexology, but that is my personal preference. Make sure you book early and if you book together they will put you together for your treatments.

The main beach and water sports: The beaches are far from the most beautiful we have seen and they are acceptable. The main beach is on a cove and the water is very quiet and shallow. The water sports are available and seem to be underutilized. We snorkel but did not bring our gear because we had heard that there is not much to see.

The CO beach and pool: We spent most of our time at the clothing optional beach/pool just basking in the sun. The CO beach is actually an inlet to a small river that the local fishing boats use. When we were there, there was a soft sand spot on the right end of the beach where you could walk out deep without any difficulty; we brought water shoes but only used them the first day. We really enjoyed the freedom and comfort of the CO pool and were nude most of the time. Most of the guys will lose the suit the minute they arrive and the women are mixed about half topless and half nude. Most of the people here were in their 30s, 40s or 50s and the young "babes" only came to check it out then leave. It was actually fun to watch the groups stop by for a drink at the CO pool bar as an excuse to check the place out, then quickly leave.

The night life: On the quiet side but at least there is a place to go for a drink or a dance at night. If you really enjoy active, partying night life, this is not the place for you. Most nights we had our own private party in our room.

Summary: We will definitely be back but probably after we go to Grand Lido Braco first to do a comparison. If you want to do an all inclusive resort and you want to enjoy good food and wonderful service, you will be happy at GLSS. Just remember, a lot of it has to do with your own attitude – relax and enjoy, even if it’s not perfect, you are on vacation.

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Grand Lido Sans Souci Joseph & Michelle Castelli
September 2002

I just got back from GLSS at 2 AM this morning, so this review is fresh. We stayed there from 8/27-9/3.

Rooms:
The rooms were very nice and clean. Much nicer than Couples Ocho Rios where we stayed last year. The only problem with our room was that it was in "G" block. G and F block are on the highest point at the resort which mean LOTS of walking up and down stairs. We did a Lido surprise, and it seemed that alot of the guests in G and F block were surprise packages. Our maid was excellent as was room service.

Food:
The overall quality of the food was good, but not great. Breakfast was OK, but the scrambled eggs were "fake". Lunch was usually quite good with a choice between buffet or an outdoor grill. Dinner was good but not great. The food was tasty and well prepared, but we all wished for more variety. It would have been nice if they had another theme restaurant.

Service:
I thought the service was just OK. The staff moves on Jamaican time. Several mornings I almost finished my breakfast before they came over to pour coffee and it wasn’t crowded. I felt like the front desk staff was aloof, but other than that, the staff were friendly and helpful.

Spa:
My wife had a full massage, reflexology, manicure and pedicure. She said that although they were good, she gets better here in New York. IMPORTANT!!!! IF YOU DO A SURPRISE PACKAGE, SPA TREATMENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED.

Activities:
DISAPPOINTED! I was really hoping to play alot of golf and was so disappointed with the golf course that I only played twice. It was a total cow pasture. I used to be a golf couse superinitendent, so I know what I’m talking about. Another guest was actually paying to go play other courses. I think it qualifies as one of the top 3 worst courses I’ve ever played. Otherwise, the activities were OK.

Transportation:
Going was very smooth. Coming home wasn’t. We had a 3 PM bus and they wanted us to check out at 12. When I requested an hour extension, they told me I would have to pay $75! Are you NUTS! I just spent $3000 and you want to charge me $75 for an hour. That is not good PR at all, especially since the place was half empty. They did let us use a hospitality room which had no cold water and a toilet that didn’t flush. Now the best part: At 3 o’clock our "BUS" pulls up. A Toyota Corolla! for 2 adults and 4 pieces of luggage. Totally unacceptable. The manager said they did it because it was more convenient for us. BULL. It was cheaper for them. My wife had to sit in the back seat with 2 pieces of luggage. Not acceptable for a so-called luxury spa.

Medical:
I pulled my hamstring on my last full day there doing a "beach olympics" that i got harassed into participating in. The nurse took 1/2 hour to get to the beach and then she didn’t have an ice pack. Later on, I sent my wife to the nurse’s station to get me an ice pack and she wouldn’t give it to her! She said she wanted to see me! I had to walk up another hill with a bad muscle pull just so she could give me some ibuprofen. Then the nurse tells me that it would be $140 and 1/2 an hour for a doctor to get there. I felt like the resort should have paid for the Dr. since I injured myself in one of their activities. She gave me an ALREADY USED tube of pain relieving cream. Unreal. God forbid if you really get hurt in Jamaica.

Overall:
I think GLSS is just OK, not great. It is the best resort I’ve stayed at in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean it’s great. I think they could really improve in the finer detail areas. Everybody says "well it’s jamaica, you should expect poor/slow service". I don’t agree, especially for the money people spend there. I think that the employees should adapt, not the guests.

Any and all questions will be answered by emailing joecastelli@si.rr.com.

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Grand Lido Sans Souci Tim & Jennifer Toronto, Canada
July 2002

We should have written this review back in March when we stayed at Sans Souci but we just got around to it now. This was our second trip to this resort and this time we stayed for two weeks rather than our normal one week vacation. We fell in love with it last year and since this was our honeymoon we couldn’t think of anywhere we would rather spend it but in paradise – Grand Lido – Sans Souci.

Between the two of us we have traveled to many of the Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Hawaii and stayed in some very good resorts but to us this is the best. It is not any one thing about the resort that stands out from the rest but just about everything is near perfect.

Flight and Arrival
Booked through Sunquest and flew SkyService from Toronto to Montego Bay and was pleasantly surprised with the on time arrival and decent service based on many previous disappointments with other charters.

Our ride to the resort was uneventful and pleasant and our check-in was seamless. When we arrived we went directly to the front lobby, were met with drinks and told to relax in very comfortable sofas while we filled our some simple check-in forms.

Our Room
We were given a map of the resort, our room key and then we went to our room. It was very spacious (a very large suite with ocean view) but it did not have a balcony which is very important to us. We love to sit on the balcony in the early morning, late afternoon and again in the evening after dinner and dancing. Since we were staying for two weeks I decided to ask for a room with a balcony and although it did take two days it was worth the wait. Our new room was still a suite although smaller than the first but with a beautiful view of the ocean, the gardens and the beautiful hillside. It had a large bathroom with Jacuzzi and although it was in the older section of the building it was well maintained and clean.

Resort and grounds
The resort is absolutely beautiful. It is set on the side of a hill with pathways and gardens everywhere. Since the resort is small (150 rooms) and set on quite a large property is never seems crowded. The spa area in particular is spectacular. Having a massage or body scrub in a hut overhanging the cliff and watching the waves crash on shore is incredible.

Pool and Beach
There are three pools. Main, clothing optional, and mineral pool all of which were relatively small but due to the limited number of rooms none felt crowded. In fact most of the time there would be less than 10 people at any pool. Lounges were always available with the most comfortable cushions I have ever experienced. The only negative is the beach, which, although it cleaned every day had a lot of seaweed washing up each day and is quite small. But the water was fine and beach chairs with lounges were always available. There is a separate clothing optional beach which is quite secluded and very nice although the water is rocky.

Dining
Quality of food is very important to us and we found the restaurants (except the Jamaican which we did not try) from very good to great. The French restaurant included white glove service with very attentive service and exceptional food. The Italian restaurant was a little less formal with very good food. Both restaurants served Chilean, French and Italian wines which were of good to very good quality.

Activities & Entertainment
Everything is included at this all inclusive. Premium liquors and wines, 24 hour room service, laundry and dry cleaning, spa treatments, golf and non motorized water sports. The golf course at Runaway Bay is about 30 minutes away and is quite good for a resort course. I tried wind surfing at the beach and the equipment was better than my talent but it was still fun.

The whole resort is quite relaxing and is not for people who want to party. They would have a flutist or classical guitarist playing for breakfast, lunch and late afternoon which could be heard throughout the complex which was quite magical. In the evening they would have local entertainment and then a short dance session which would generally end by 11pm.

During the day the activity directors would try to entice the guests to play various games without much success since everyone was happy just to relax and enjoy the ambiance.

Our personal favorite activity was to sit on our balcony in late afternoon, surrounded by beautiful trees on the side of the mountain, reading a book, listening to a flutist or saxophonist playing in the garden below us, while sipping a fine Chilean wine as the sun slowly dipped into the ocean. If you want a romantic setting just try that!

Service
The service was very good although not quite as good as the previous year. This is not a reflection on the employees but on the resort who had cut back on the number of staff. The staff always went out of their way to be helpful. In particular Nicole, Rachel, Bobby, Shaggy and Lennon were exceptional.

Management does not hide at this resort. You see them mingling with the guests on a regular basis. One day we mentioned to the bar manager that we had missed being invited to the returning guests lunch. The next day when we went to our room for our late afternoon "rest" we had a bottle of champagne and truffles delivered to our room with an apology from the bar manager who really had no responsibility for the mistake.

Everyone just makes you feel special.

Off Resort
The only activity we did off resort was golf which was good. We just enjoyed the resort so much we didn’t care to leave.

Overall
I could not recommend a resort more than this one. It is not for families (no children permitted) or for those who want to party. But if you are looking for relaxation, romance (with the love of your life) and great food with no worries this is the place. It is not inexpensive but it is good value especially on the Lido Lottery.

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Grand Lido Sans Souci Sharon & Mark Ontario
All we can say about this resort is "WOW". We flew Air Canada from Toronto, and the flight was great. My first impresson of the Jamaican air port, was not the greatest though. People flutter around you, wanting to help you with your bags, just taking the even though you don’t want help. Immigration was very rude to. After you reach where you are to go to catch your bus for your resort, they stand there waiting for a tip, and will not accept Canadian money. Bring American money there, because Canadian money is nothing to them. I feel they ask to often for tips. My theory is, you don’t ask for a tip, and you will get one.

Be prepared for a 2hour bus drive to the resort, making stops on the way. Don’t worry you are aloud to bring drinks on board, and it is air conditioned. The trip is interesting; goats cows, horses, and chickens all over the place, but the cows are tied up.

The resort itself is just amazing. Friendly, clean and they don’t look for tips there. Be prepared to be pampered. Massages, body scrubs, facials, pedicures, manicures, reflexoligy etc. all included. Food is great, room service 24 hours a day. Rooms are very clean and they come in every night to turn your bed down. There was shampoo and soap, and lotions in the room; even aloe vera, for those one who burn. I am the type who burns very easy, but I never burned once. Call it luck or good sun screen. They have hair blowers in the rooms, and you do not need an adapter for things like, shaves and curling irons. Iron and ironing boards are also in rooms. There is even umbrellas, for those rainy days, which you can expext it to rain every day, but never for long. There is entertainment everynight. Never had a boring time, that is for sure. One thing I would highly recommend is a travel clock, for there are no clocks in the rooms.

We never used bug repellent at all. The only things that "bugged" us were the crows, but you get use to them. They were usually seen ay breakfast time. The meals are great. I recommend you try them all. Two restaurants are formal, but there is one on the beach, and it was great. We even had room service a couple of times, and it was also great.

We were there 7 days, but sorry we didn’t do 10, because youiuse 2 days travelling. As for the plane ride home, well it was a 2 hour delay, which we got to toronto very late at night, then had a five hour drive home from there. Air Canada didn’t even offer us a motel for the night, which we had to do, because after 2.5hours driving in a snow storm, we were pretty tired. Oh yes, if you "smoke" get ready to put your cigarretes away, because once you are in the Jamaican airport, you can’t get back out for a smoke. My husband went ten hours without. Trust me he wasn’t impressed. All in all "Grand Lido Sans Souci" is the greastest resort and it will be worth the while checking it out.
Sharon and Mark – February 2001

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