I'm thrilled to introduce to you Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica - the newest resort in Jamaica. Many have previously known this resort as Sandals Ocho Rios, but with its recent 60 million dollar renovation, the transformation is on such a grand scale, the enhancements so impressive, the resort had to have a new name.
The Sandals Lady clients love this resort because it offers three distinctive vacation experiences: an oceanfront garden oasis called the Riviera Seaside, the hill-top Great House and Riviera Villas, and the hip new Ochi Beach Club.
Sandals Grande Riviera is located on one of Jamaica’s most sought-after stretches of coastline. Known as the Caribbean Riviera, the resort's endless alabaster beaches and crystal-clear waters host living coral reefs. A Grande Promenade stretching far over the sea allows you to stroll above the tide as soft ocean breezes calm the soul. Here, you may relax in diverse settings at seven sparkling pools and the resort’s best-kept secret: a hidden grotto pool tucked into the dense shade of a secluded garden.
Also on Riviera Seaside is Honeymoon beach. This is the most beautiful shoreline on the property. One day you will choose from the many water sports included in your stay and the next you will relax on the beach while you enjoy a tropical drink and the companionship of your loved one.
Great House and Riviera Villas
Tucked in the lush hillsides of Ocho Rios, the Great House and the Riviera Villa Suites with their 93 private and semi-private pools offer a unique blend of privileged seclusion and unparalleled luxury. Accommodations at the Great House feature a one-acre, zero-entry pool and swim-up pool bar. The serenity of relaxing in your private pool-side cabana is an experience not to be missed.
Enjoy a Great House suite with balcony overlooking the pool or relax beside your own private pool in one of the Riviera Villa Suites, hidden from the world, surrounded by trees and countless species of butterflies. Nothing could be more magical than a midnight swim, just the two of you with a chilled bottle of champagne and the scent of night-blooming jasmine all around you.
Ochi Beach Club
Whether you choose to stay in the Riviera Seaside accommodations, at the Great House or in the Riviera Villa suites, you will NOT want to miss the all new Ochi Beach Club. The most exclusive club in Ocho Rios is also the sexiest. Welcome to Sandals' Ochi Beach Club – a seaside world of chic sophistication. Sheer linen curtains waft gently in the sea breeze as you lie on the divan of your private cabana. Newly found friends gather to sip ice–cold dry martinis on the sun deck overlooking the sea. And when the sun goes down, "Ochi" burns even brighter. Enjoy a sensational dinner at the new Kimonos restaurant then dance to the pulsing rhythms of reggae performed by Jamaica's top performers.
Already Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort has been named one of the top hotels in the Caribbean by Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader's Choice Awards, and just recently TripAdvisor has awarded it a Certificate of Excellence. Contact Us today to plan your Caribbean vacation to one of Sandals all inclusive resorts built for romance.
Neal Green - along with his wife Susan - owns All Occasion Catering, Knoxville's premier catering service. Neal also serves on the International Caterers Association's Board of Directors.
We recently sent Neal and Susan to Sandals Royal Plantation to rest after a very busy holiday season and recharge before the hectic wedding season began. Here, we interview Chef Green to get his impressions of the resort and Sandals dining experience in Ocho Rios.
Sandals Royal Plantation is a small, boutique resort with only 74 suites. What did you think about the size of this resort?
Well, it may be small, but it is also a member of the prestigious Leading Small Hotels of the World® for a reason. For us, the size of this resort is absolutely perfect. The service was very personalized, and Sandals Personal Butler Service was wonderful and not to be missed! It could not have been better. Regarding the size of the resort, I was most impressed with the interaction I had with other executive-type guests. We made new friends, and really enjoyed getting to know some very interesting people.
What was your overall impression of Sandals dining experience?
It was great! The food was very good and diverse. It is important to remember where you are, though - especially at dinner time. Here, dinner is a two-and-a-half hour four or five-course gormet meal. Truely fine dining. Of course, if you're just not in the mood, there is always a grill option as well.
Where did you have your most memorable meal at Sandals Royal Plantation?
We had dinner at Le Papillon one night. It is a very elegant, French-inspired restaraunt. I had the filet of beef and my wife had the lobster tail. It was all very fresh, and I was impressed with the portion sizes as well. Later in our trip, I surprised Susan and had our butler arrange a private candle light dinner under the stars on the pier overlooking the ocean. The food during this dinner also came from Le Papillon, and it was very good as well.
[There are two Sandals resorts in the Ocho Rios area of Jamaica - Sandals Royal Plantation, where Neal and Susan stayed, and Sandals Grande Riviera. Guests of Sandals Royal Plantation have full access to all ammenities and activities at Sandals Grande Riviera. Transportation is also included. While there are four dining options at Sandals Royal Plantation, this program expands your dining options to include the 15 options at Sandals Grande Riviera as well.]
Did you take advantage of Sandals Dine Around Ocho Rios program?
Yes, several times. We enjoyed meals at Kimono's Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant, Soy sushi bar, The Mariner's Beach Grill, and Dino's Pizzeria. We did not have a dissapointing meal. Our favorites at Sandals Grande Riviera were China Doll and Manor. China Doll is a very unique, exotic restaurant serving diner and decorated with rich silks in red and gold. The food here was amazing. Their menu offers five courses of selections from all over the Orient. I would recommend the potstikers and sesame crusted snapper filet. Manor is a gorgeous outdoor restaurant serving a la carte diner by the pool. This is a more laid back dinner with some suprisingly sumptious Caribbean entres. We thought that the Dine Around program was the "icing on the cake" for our stay at Sandals Royal Plantation. Although we had fabulous meals at our resort, I would highly recommend guests take advantage of what Sandals Grande Riviera has to offer as well. I am really impressed with the dining options Sandals offers in this area of Jamaica.
Well, I don't need to ask if you'll go back to Sandals Royal Plantation. We've already taken care of that and have you booked for 11 nights next year!
Yes, we're already looking forward to a longer stay this time and reconnecting with some of the friends we made during our stay this year.
What are the three words you would use to describe your dining experience?
Very well done.
[For more on Sandals Royal Plantation, see our recent blog on that resort]
For the ultimate in exclusivity and indulgent pampering, escape to Sandals Royal Plantation, a small, boutique all inclusive resort and spa in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Sandals Royal Plantation is the only resort in the Sandals collection where all rooms are suites and include Sandals Personal Butler Service. Nestled within a magnificent coral bluff on Jamaica's lush north coast, this intimate resort of only 74 ocean-view suites is renowned for its personalized service, unmatched attention to detail and retro-chic sophistication - complete with all the world-class amenities for which Sandals in renowned.
This is the quieter side of Sandals.
All 74 suites at this resort boast a beautiful view of the ocean and include Sandals Personal Butler Service.
The range of impressive amenities includes a bluff top freshwater pool with two whirlpools and poolside butler service, beach butler service including dining and cocktails on the west beach, and Sandals’ comprehensive scuba diving program with a water sports pavilion on the east beach. Lovers of golf will be treated to complimentary green fees at the nearby 18-hole course at Sandals Golf & Country Club.
The dining experience at this resort is unparalleled. The award-winning Le Papillion serving French cuisine is one of the resort’s three gourmet restaurants, while the chic CBar is the island’s only champagne & caviar bar. Guests also enjoy exclusive privileges at the neighboring Sandals Grande Riviera which expand your dining options to 11 more venues.
Catering to those who appreciate refined elegance with an authentic island experience, Sandals Royal Plantation is the quiet side of Sandals and the ideal retreat for whenever you need to recharge.
Look for my next blog - a review of Royal Plantation and the Ocho Rios dine-around option by Neal Green, Owner of Knoxville's premier catering service, All Occasion Catering and Board member to the International Caterers Association Board of Directors.