Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Reviews – Jamaica Hotels – Sandals Grande Ocho Rios

We travelled to Jamaica for a second time staying at Couples Sans Souci in Ochos Rios the last time we were there. We have stayed at other Sandals, Beaches, and many other resorts in the carribean. The purpose of the trip was to attend a wedding with friends and family. First off, this resort is big. It is divided in three sections. The Riviera section, Manor Section and the Villas at the back of the Manor. Our first disappointment is that you have to take a shuttle to the beach if you are staying at the Manor. No big deal you say, well it is when you acccount for everytime you want to go to the beach, time taken away from your holidays. We were apparently upgraded to the the Villas when we were suppose to stay at Riviera side were the beach is. The bride had requested that the guest attending were to stay in one area instead we were split up all over the Manor side. There is alot of walking which can be good or bad. Good because you can walk off the tasty food that Jamaica offers, bad if you need to go back to the room and you are quiet far,or you can wait for a tram to take you. O.K. so we stayed on the Manor side and did alot of lounging around the pool. They are like little fourplex and on a good not we never heard our neighbors.

Your Arrival:
Our arrival went smoothly going through immigration in Montego Bay was a breeze. Since it was Sandals we all went to the Sandals Bar and a few red stripe beer until everyone got there (there was 26 of us). The bus ride was as previously mentioned close to 2 hours with a stop in between for bathroom and more red stripe. Sandals was ready for us and everyone was checked in fairly smoothly. We attended the welcome/parking lot supper. All of the other restaurants are closed during these theme nights just like the beach party supper everything is closed unless you go to a grill to get a hamburger/fries/hotdogs/nachos. The first night was great fun for everyone and it’s a good start to your holiday were you can unwind, mingle and celebrate the fact that you are on holidays!

Rooms:
Ahhhh, the rooms….well they are in need of some fresh paint and a little elbow grease cleaning. I bring Lysol or dysinfected spray, nuts you say. Well think about all of those people that were there before you and wonder how well they clean. Not taking any chances to be sick or pick up something during my holidays. The maid did our beds and cleaned our room very well. These villas are big and have a little kitchenette, why I don’t know. Not planning to cook and there are no utensils and the stove does not work. As previously mentioned in other reviews the pool in front of the room is cool it is far to shade to warm up and had no desire to go for a dip, nice to look at though. Everything worked fine in the room no issues, watch out for the bed it is high nearly killed myself getting out, forgot how high it was. I’m 5"2 so clearly had to make sure I watched my step going in and out of bed, very comfortable bed and pillows.If you are like us we are out very early soaking in every minute of our holiday and if you are all day in the sun and indulging of alcohol needless to say, we slept like babies. Fridge was stocked up with water, pop, fruit juice and we asked for beer one day and he gave it to us. Ask for it and they probably will give you what you want.

Restaurants and Bars:
All of the restaurant were really good, the only issue is the Market and the omelette station it was far to slow some waited 20-30 minutes for an omelette and some gave up all together like my husband who loves the omelette station in the resorts no luck at this one. Some of the staff was friendly some others weren’t but most of them were generally well cordial. They say no tipping but boy they did accept and the only issues here is that they were not happy with a few dollars it seems like they wanted 17%-20% of whatever you would tip at home. Bars of course like previous reviews not enough staff for the bars unless you tip them well (not pleased with that concept, I do not always carry cash). We had a few issues in trying to book or get everyone to attend meals they do not like having to seat a big group, so after one or two tries decide just to go two or four at a time it doesn’t matter if you don’t all sit together and it was much easier to do it this way. We had a rehearsal supper and that was fantastic the food and the entertainment was superb!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
As mentioned every time you want to go to the beach you jump into a van that takes you there. (The beach is located on the Riviera side). A bit of an issue we did have an idea by the previous reviews and now we know why we don’t book at a big resort! The pool was great and with the hottub close by it gave you some option of course the pool bar is close but again they were not enough bartenders for this huge resort. The grounds were well maintained spectacular flowers.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
When you attend a Sandals you can partake in the other Sandals resort near by and the closest one to us was Sandals Dunn River. We went there on the recommendation to try the Pizza…mmmmmmmmmmmm that’s all I can say about that. We also went to the Italian restaurant there and very delissssh. Make sure men that you have a collar on your shirts and closed toe sandals out of the 12 every one happen to have the criteria and in we went. We took in the Catamaran/snorkeling/dunns river climb it was all good just found that after the river climb they took us back in hurry a bit disappointed in that. Snorkeling was o.k. I asked them if they fed the fish it’s cool when they do that because you will a variey of species and for the ones that have never snorkeled get to see something. Also did the horseback riding in the ocean, totally enjoyed this I was always concerned because on other resorts the horses look thin and always put it off to doing it but these horses are nice and healthy and they were all calm, this was of all things I have done on resorts the a huge high great feeling of running in the ocean with these horses, thank you Patrick and his crew for a great memory. Jill our orientation queen and activity guide you are one of a kind and enjoyed meeting you, everytime I went somewhere, there she was and she remembered us, people like you make up for everything else.

Other Comments: The wedding was great, fantastic! The bride & groom seemed very happy with everything. The wedding planner kept us on a schedule for toast, cutting of the cake, the bride & groom dance and all other request that had been made by the wedding couple. I love destination weddings especially when everything went as smoothly as this one! Thanks for inviting us we loved it! Congratulations Stephanie & Richard xoxo.

Would I recommend this resort not if you love the beach stick with what you booked for. For a wedding yes, but be careful with large groups and the ages that are travelling with you and attending. Dunns River Sandals is on a smaller scale and more to our liking mind you I think it is more expensive because most of the rooms are ocean view not sure on that one but you can always go and spend the day at the Sandals we were at if you book at the Dunns. I can honestly say that out of the 26 who attended everyone seemed happy and content and for the ones that have travelled before know that this resort is to big and not a 5 we were rating it more as 3+. Places travelled: D.R. Cuba St.Lucia Aruba Mexico Jamaica

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