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Sandals Royal Plantation
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Reviewed 11 March 2007

I stayed at Royal Plantation, with my Brother for a short vacation, as we had planned to visit family in the Caribbean. The stay was Superb. It was a wonderful experience; it was truly like paradise. The beach was fantastic and secluded which I liked. The best part was waving my RP flag for service on the beach, having mango mimosas and being sprayed down with water rose water! The food was delicious and I ordered a special breakfast with no problems. The room was marvellous, with so many drinks in the mini fridge and relaxing in the Jacuzzi. Martini moments were great. I only wished my head was not spinning so I could try some more varieties. The service was admirable and the staff was courteous. I can truthfully say I was pampered and wish I had booked longer to stay at the Hotel.

The only disappointed aspect of my stay was that we had some pictures taken and paid for them and the Photographer did not post them to me. It was a memorable stay and it would have been nice to have an aide-memoir.

Overall, absolutely fabulous and I would definitely recommend staying at Royal Plantation in true Jamaican Style.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank CRE-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2007

My husband and I have just returned from a blissfully relaxed week (Feb. 19th-26th) at the Royal Plantation. Like so many others who have posted on this site about their RP experience, I can say in all honesty that our holiday exceeded our expectations–and our expectations were pretty high.

If you’re looking for a high-octane party atmosphere, a swim-up bar, and an endless stretch of beach, this is not the place for you. But if, like us, you want a romantic getaway in an idyllic, secluded spot where you are made to feel like a most welcome guest, consider the Royal Plantation. The resort is small, intimate, and beautiful; lush greenery and exotic flowers abound. The decor and furnishings are elegant yet comfortable throughout. The open plan of the public spaces allows you to enjoy the spectacular setting and the warm Caribbean breezes while eating, socializing, reading, or just daydreaming. The two beaches are small, private, and perfectly clean. Management is highly visible and always approachable, and the smiling, friendly staff provide superb service.

Because this was our first trip to Jamaica and we were unfamiliar with restaurants in the Ocho Rios area, we opted for the all-inclusive Royal Plan, and we felt it was a good choice. The food was consistently excellent, and several of the meals we had were truly memorable. Don’t miss the Parmesan souffle and the pumpkin ravioli in La Terraza, or the Ice Cream Coffee Crunch down at the beachside Royal Café.

We have only one small quibble, and that is with the difficulty we experienced in trying to reach the RP by email. The inquiries we made before our arrival regarding spa and dinner reservations and golf tee-off times were automatically routed through the Sandals website, and it took three or four days before we received generic replies from the same site. This was unexpected from a resort that prides itself on the personal touch and in all other respects does such an excellent job of providing it.

One point I would like to make: the highway from Montego Bay Airport to Ocho Rios was considerably better than what we had been led to expect from previous postings on this site. As of Monday Feb. 26th, there was still a lot of road construction underway between Rose Hall and the airport. There were delays, and the detours were very rough and bumpy. What would normally have taken 15 or 20 minutes to travel, according to our driver, took nearly an hour. However, the Jamaican government intends to have the highway completed in time for the Cricket World Cup, which opens March 5th, so it may well be done by now. Between Rose Hall and Ocho Rios, the road is as good as any secondary provincial or state highway in Canada or the U.S.–in some spots better. And the courteous and well-informed drivers provided by the Royal Plantation made our trip to and from the resort informative and entertaining.

We loved the Royal Plantation, and we loved Jamaica: its beautiful landscape, its warm breezes, its lively music, but most of all its witty, gracious, hospitable people. We’ll be back.

Stayed: February 2007
14  Thank KB56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2007

My wife and I (age 50, upper-middle class suburbanites) just returned from a near-perfect 4-night stay (2/28--3/2/07). If you are looking for a superior, all-inclusive (my bill at check-out was $0) Caribbean resort in a private, beautifully-landscaped, oceanfront small hotel setting, look no farther than the Royal Plantation.
We studied the Trip Advisor comments carefully before leaving, and have found them to be very accurate.
Observations & Tips:
1) The private car ride (Royal Plan only...group van if not on RP)from Montego Bay to the RP was fine, 100 mins each way, bumpy for only about 10-15 mins. TIP: Request our driver, Donald Patterson, who was courteous, and navigated both trips safely, without risky maneuvers.
2) February-March is one of two "Dry Seasons" and our weather was perfect (mostly sunny, Temp 75 (night), 85 (day).
3) Given that only 50% of the 75 suites were occupied, we found the dining/bar service and quality to be exceptional, typical of 4 and 5-Star B & B's in the US, far better than larger all-inclusive Caribbean resorts. TIP: Book reservations at the French restaurant when you check in.
4) Every single employee smiled and was courteous. A few of our fellow vacationers seemed to feel that they deserved immediate attention at all times; their boorish behavior failed to rattle any employee, though I gladly would have provided them a whack to the head.
5) Swimmers may be disappointed with the small pool (15x30 ft).
TIP: A large, usually deserted, roped-in area off the East beach provides a 100x50 yd "ocean pool."
6) A much larger, Sandals "sister resort" sits immediately west. TIP: If you really are interested, they have more activities and nightlife, to which RP residents are entitled.
7) The RP hotel faces North, toward the ocean. The East Wing is more private, with views across a small bay and to the ocean. The West Wing rooms overlook the ocean and Hotel Terrace (music until 11 PM). Some lower level suites will have limited ocean views. TIP: For the best views, request the 3rd floor of the East wing or the 3rd-4th floor of the West wing.
8) The beach front is about 150 yards across, divided into a "mostly-sunny" West beach (with bar/small restaurant) and "mostly-shaded" East beach (with watersports and 2 garden-hammocks. A natural reef extends along most of the hotel's oceanfront, about 200-300 yards from shore. This creates beautiful aqua-velva water at the shoreline, and deeper blue water farther out. TIP for sailors: 2 Hobie Cats (no jib) and several smaller craft are available for free. The wind usually is from the East, so 1 or 2 tacks to the NE/SE will avoid the reef on the way out. . .aim East on the way in. The guys at the "shanty" will take you out the first time, if you ask.
9) 2 nice tennis courts (lighted) in the gardens have free, decent
racquets/balls. (Call the spa for reservations.)
10) Facts about the Royal Plan (all inclusive):
a) Virtually everything is covered, including about 15 decent House wines, but not another 25 "Select Vintages."
b) You are to sign each restaurant/bar bill (since you do not wear any ugly bracelets). Each bill leaves a line to add a tip. Realize that servers automatically receive an 18% gratuity on your total tab. (Leave extra if you wish.)
c) Depending upon your degree of gluttony, and upon how much you hate to watch your bill grow, the Royal Plan should help you relax and feel like you are getting a bargain.
TIP: Check available rates (with and without the all-inclusive Royal Plan) and figure you'll spend $250-$500 daily per couple on food/drinks/tips without the Royal Plan. (As moderate drinkers and diners, we spent $300/day).
FINAL TIP: Book it and you won't regret it!!!

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
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34  Thank TravelDocSouthEast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2007

My husband and I just returned from our fifth stay at the Royal Plantation and were beyond pleased with how this beautiful hotel has really come into it's own over the years. Since fully transitioning from the original all inclusive concept into a hotel with both EP and AI (called the Royal Plan) options, it seems to us RP has finally and very successfully found it's identity.

This particular trip after a year's absence from the property was sheer perfection from start to finish. We loved our Honeymoon Grande Luxe Oceanfront suite in the East wing of the hotel. Having stayed previously in the West wing version of this room category, it was a nice change of pace to stay in the quieter, more private East wing. We actually preferred this version of the room as it is far more spacious inside, yet still has a walkout balcony which, although overlooking the pool deck, is very private due to the lush foliage that has matured around the property.

Dining was superb in all venues and despite the $10 charge for room service, we still made liberal use of it and were always pleased with how prompt and correct our orders were. The addition of the Royal Grill down on the beach (open five nights per week) is excellent. Although the atmosphere is informal (nice change of pace to be able to dine in shorts and casual attire), the food was excellent. The grilled lobster I had was some of the best I've had anywhere in the Caribbean.

A dinner at Le Papillon is always an experience to look forward to, but this year it was truly outstanding. From the escargot to our main entrees (and everything in between), this was a meal to truly remember. Service here, as it is everywhere on the property, was completely exceptional.

Finally, kudos to the GM Peter Fraser, RM Suzanne Millwood, and Sales Manager Andre Reid for making us feel so welcome again. The hotel had a large insurance convention going on for three and a half days of our stay, but never once did it impede on service or the friendliness of RP's wonderful staff of employees.

I also want to mention that nightly entertainment was much livelier than in past visits. There was a good variety of musical styles...really something for everyone. Keep up the good work on this front, please.

RP is a beautiful lush haven for just getting away and unwinding from the realities of life at home. We found exactly what we were looking for as we always do and came home refreshed and relaxed. Thank you...we'll be "home" again soon!

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank barrister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2007

This was the best vacation I could have ever asked for. We stayed for 8 nights. When we arrived they more than surpassed our expectations. The staff was very attentive and remembered our names and preferences throughout the stay. I had heard that the food can be quite boring, but with three different restaurants I was able to try something new every night. I did not have one bad meal. The beach is quite small, but was very well kept, and more than large enough for the number of guests. All in all it was a great stay, and we will be saving our pennies to go back.

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank ZachNj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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