Having difficulty choosing which Sandals resort to stay at in Jamaica? This post will help make your decision easier by comparing the differences between Sandals Royal Plantation and Sandals Ochi.
I have also written an in-depth review of Sandals Royal Plantation, so if you would prefer more details, check it out!
Otherwise, continue reading to find out what I liked and didn’t like about each resort and discover which one was my favourite.
Sandals Royal Plantation Pros & Cons
- The resort is very small, with only 74 guestrooms (this can be considered a con if you’re looking for a more lively experience.
- Sandals Royal Plantation is intimate and sophisticated with a romantic vibe.
- The private beach is one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in Jamaica.
- There are 4 a la carte restaurants and no buffets.
- Tips are prohibited (except for butlers.)
- Even entry-level rooms have a butler.
- Stay at One Play at 2 Program – You have access to the restaurants and activities at Sandals Ochi. Round-trip transportation is included between resorts.
- All rooms have an ocean view and are just steps away from the beach.
- The pool is TINY. (See the photos below.)
- Less dining options than Sandals Ochi.
- Fewer onsite activities compared to Sandals Ochi.
- The distance to the airport can be a deterrent for some travellers.
- The beach here is fairly small, so if you enjoy long walks on the beach isn’t the place for you.
My Overall Opinion of Sandals Royal Plantation:
This small, intimate resort felt like home from the minute we set foot on the property. It is beautiful both inside and out. We loved our fantastic suite which was located on the west side of the resort just steps from the beach. Even though the beaches at Sandals Royal Plantation are small, they never felt crowded and we could almost always find chairs in the shade. The water was perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and watersports, and the Stay at One Play at 2 Program opened up a whole other realm of possibilities. We also loved that Sandals Royal Plantation definitely had a much more private and relaxed atmosphere than it’s sister resort, Sandals Ochi.
Click here for Sandals Royal Plantation‘s current rates.
Sandals Ochi Pros & Cons
* I didn’t actually stay at Sandals Ochi – I only came here to enjoy the restaurants and tour the resort. Therefore, this pros and cons list is not extensive and doesn’t necessarily depict what it is like to stay at the resort.
- Sandals Ochi is massive. The resort has 529 rooms and 110 beautiful acres to explore! (also see cons…)
- The private beaches are for Sandals guests only.
- There is a choice of 16 impressive restaurants.
- This resort has a variety of free activities including watersports, glass-bottom boat rides, and beach volleyball.
- Tips are prohibited (except for butlers.)
- Roundtrip transfers and included green fees at the nearby Sandals Golf Club.
- Features a new over-the-water wedding chapel complete with a glass floor aisle.
- Lively nightlife scene with theme nights and top-rate entertainers.
- 7 pools to choose from, 2 of which have swim-up bars.
- Sandals Ochi can be much less expensive than its neighbour, Sandals Royal Plantation.
- The resort is huge. Guests staying on the garden side of the property will need to use the circling jitneys to access the beach.
- It’s far from the airport, adding an extra 1.5 hours of travel time to your day. (This can be considered as a pro as it’s a great way to sightsee along the beautiful coastal road.)
- The beach is segmented and the swimming area is divided from the ocean by a large wooden dock.
My Overall Opinion of Sandals Ochi:
Since I didn’t stay at Sandals Ochi my opinion is solely based on my first impressions at the resort. Unfortunately, I found the large size of the property overwhelming and difficult to navigate. I also felt like the atmosphere was slightly less welcoming than Sandals Royal Plantation. We did enjoy that Sandals Ochi had a wide variety of activities, although the beach did leave something to be desired. That being said, the resort is really quite beautiful and I would return in a heartbeat. I would also recommend Sandals Ochi to travellers looking for a destination wedding location in Jamaica as their overwater chapel is one-of-a-kind.
Click here for Sandals Ochi’s current rates.
So… Which Resort Is My Favorite? Sandals Royal Plantation or Sandals Ochi
Sandals Royal Plantation wins hands down! I loved the small property and its intimate sophisticated vibe. We always felt taken care of, especially by our amazing butlers. The restaurants were amazing, and even with four restaurants, we wished we could have stayed longer to sample more dishes. The property including the buildings and the beaches are breathtaking. We couldn’t have asked for more.
That being said, despite its overwhelming size, Sandals Ochi is still a great resort that I would visit again. We just had a better time relaxing next door at Sandals Royal Plantation.
Have you stayed at either Sandals Royal Plantation or Sandals Ochi? We’d love for you to share your experience in the comments section below!
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