As my husband and I approach our 5th wedding anniversary I can’t help but reminisce about our honeymoon at Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This was our first international trip as a couple and we were eager to travel to a luxurious Caribbean resort with a beautiful sandy beach and delicious cuisine. There we so many great resorts to choose from, but after reading every review I could find we decided on Sandals Royal Plantation, and I’m so glad we did. Keep reading to find out why.
If you’re considering staying here but want to know more about how it compares to Sandals Ochi next door, check out this Sandals Resort Showdown: Sandals Royal Plantation vs Sandals Ochi.
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Sandals Royal Plantation Resort Review – Our Journey from Montego Bay Airport to Sandals Royal Plantation
From the moment we stepped into the Sandals lounge at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay we felt welcomed. We barely had time to have a drink and use the washroom when our shuttle had arrived. It was a nice surprise to have private transportation and we loved that the driver played tour guide as we drove. The coastal road was lovely and we found the drive to Sandals Royal Plantation quite enjoyable after our flight.
Sandals Royal Plantation Resort Review – Sandals Royal Plantation and Great House Oceanfront Suite
When we arrived at Sandals Royal Plantation we were greeted with cool towels and champagne. We were introduced to one of our butlers, Sheldon, who took our bags and showed us to our room, a Great House Oceanfront Suite on the west side of the resort. There was a beautiful bubble bath ready, along with some decorations and a piece of cake. The view was terrific, and we loved the French balcony. Our mini fridge was stocked with extra water, Red Stripe, and Diet Coke as requested. We met our other butler, Richard, on the second day.
Sandals Royal Plantation Resort Review – Food & Drinks
Our meals were outstanding at Sandals Royal Plantation. For breakfast we enjoyed going to Terrace, combining the a la carte menu with the buffet items. We also enjoyed room service several mornings for breakfast. Our butlers went above and beyond, always decorating our dining table with fresh flowers from the gardens.
At lunch, we ate at the Beach Grill. Just steps from the beach we indulged in copious amounts of coconut shripm, swiss burgers and fries. No, that’s not a typo, shrimp was spelled shripm on the menu, which quickly became an inside joke between myself and my husband.
I was worried we would run out of places to try for dinner with so few restaurants onsite, but I was wrong! I wish we could have eaten at every restaurant every night!!
Le Papillion served an elegant French meal overlooking the entertainment on the Terrace. The lamb was my favourite, and my husband loved his duck. At the Royal Grill, the Surf and Turf were spectacular. My steak was cooked perfectly and could be cut with a butter knife. We also enjoyed our meal at the International Night on the Terrace, where I loved the specialty cocktail. (If anyone can send me the recipe for the International Drink of the Terrace, I will be eternally grateful.) The only foods that didn’t appeal to us were the variety of appetizers we ordered from the Wobbly Peacock.
Sandals Royal Plantation Resort Review – Overview
We spent our days lounging on the beach, snorkelling by the piers, and walking around the resort photographing the flowers, as well as the crabs, lizards, birds, frogs, and insects. The snorkelling off the beach and by the piers was fairly good, but watch your step in the rocky areas as we found black sea urchins.
Beach chairs were always available no matter what time of day, and there were chairs in the shade for those of us who wanted them. The beach butlers, Adrian and Cleon, were wonderful. It was great starting the morning with a mangossa while enjoying the breeze from our palapa.
We took the glass bottom boat tour from Sandals Ochi next door since the Sandals Royal Plantation boat was broken. (Although I got the impression that it is never in service.) There was a mix-up with our booking so be sure to find out if they are taking you over to Sandals Ochi by speedboat or if the glass bottom boat is stopping by to pick you up. Heads up that the water can be choppy, so if you are prone to motion sickness prepare yourself by reading my helpful guide on how to avoid seasickness, and what to do if it happens.
It was also nice being able to check out locally handcrafted goods sold by different vendors at the hotel. There are also additional vendors on the small public beach area between Sandals Royal Plantation and Sandals Ochi.
All-inclusive rates at Sandals Royal Plantation start at $ 2,050 CAD per night.
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Have you stayed at Sandals Royal Plantation? I’d love to hear about your vacation in the comments section below!
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