Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Rates and Deals
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Ocho Rios Reviews
May 08, 2007
Traveling to Jamaica is one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Sandals Grande in Ocho Rios is quite possibly one of the nicest resorts I’ve been to. I can’t say enough about it, but there are some things I am going to tell you in this “guide” that will help you to enjoy your stay. I have heard from far too many people that they don’t enjoy the all-inclusive resorts and that Sandals isn’t everything that they hoped it could be. Well, I am going to try to cover all the bases so you can fully enjoy your vacation and want to go back again. Please note that this is ONLY for Sandals Grande in Ocho Rios, I have not been to any other Sandals Resorts. Most importantly keep an open mind and remember YOUR ON VACATION!
1. Sandals Grande has 2 sides:
a. The Riviera
b. The Manor
The Riviera consists of 4 restaurants (* indicate 1-5 with 5 being the best)
1. Arizonas (Western-Style) ***** (the ribs are great)
2. Reef Terrace (Local Food) *
3. Bayside (Buffet) *****+ (awesome buffet for breakfast & lunch)
4. San Gennaro (Italian) **
5. Valentinos (Italian) *****
The Riviera also has a Beach Grill which has excellent food and snacks. You can get nachos, jerk chicken, jerk pork, grilled cheese, fries, fruits, hamburgers, bacon cheeseburgers, fish burgers, etc. You can also get soda from the fountain machine. The Beach Grill serves food all day long, closes around dinner time, and re-opens about 10pm and stays open until 6am. Check the times in your hotel book when you get to your room.
There is also a hidden Beach Grill that is near the newly built pool.
The Riviera also features a game room, where you can rent board games (for free) and take them anywhere on the resort you like. There are also pool tables free of charge. They used to have a few slot machines, but I think that they have been removed. There might be a ping-pong table there as well. It is located near Bayside. It is also where the travel coordinators are located if you wish to plan a day trip.
The Riviera is also the side with the beach. If you want to swim a lot in the Caribbean Sea, this is the side for you. It is a long walk or a bus ride from the Manor side.
There are many pools on the Riviera side. A new pool that was built in 2006 was added to the Riviera side complete with pool bar. Another pool complete with bar is not far from the beach. There is also a “hidden” pool with a volley ball net in the garden walk way.
There are many bars on the Riviera as well. Beverly’s Piano Bar is by far the best bar on Sandals Resort, if you like to sing a long to the piano. (10pm nightly).
The Amphitheater is also located on this side of the resort.
The Manor consists of 4 restaurants
1. Orchids (Asian) ***** (awesome food)
2. Marketplace (local food) **** (great buffet)
3. Manor (local food) Never ate there
The Manor is home to the private villas as well as the Resorts largest pool complete with bar. On this side of the resort, if you are staying in a villa you will have the option to walk to your room (which can be quite a walk) or take a jitney (basically a chauffeured golf cart) to your room. If you are staying in the Manor rooms you will be located in the upper part of the lobby.
The Manor Bar is also a very nice place to hang out. This bar also features a piano.
There is a Pool Grill next to a small pool with a waterfall and slide (one of my favorite pools). There is also a ping-pong table and a pool table under an awning next to the pool. There are only 2 pools on this side of the resort, unless you count the individual pools for use by the villa guests.
I personally have stayed on both sides of the resort. I can’t say I liked one more than the other but each side has its benefits. Both times we booked rooms in the basic room category. The first time (our honeymoon) we were upgraded to a private villa. It was beautiful, with its own kitchen. However, it was a far walk to get to anything. We never used the private pool (which is shared between you and the 4 other apartments in the villa). Since the rooms are cooled by wall air conditioners, the only room we could keep cool was our bedroom. I liked the pool with the waterfall in it because it wasn’t often used. However, it was a long walk to the bar to get drinks.
The second time we went back we had a room on the Riviera side. We had a room in Bamboo Grove. I was disappointed because we were put in a room that wasn’t really that special, just a bed and bathroom. But it turned out to be very nice. The room was always cool because there was less to cool off with the wall air conditioner. We had a very short walk to catch the bus to the Manor side. We seemed to be close to everything. It was a very private building and it was beautiful. But I can’t say that I could pick a side.
One thing that I read a lot about in reviews is that people didn’t know you could get food during the day, that there wasn’t any place to eat lunch, they didn’t know they could go to bars during the day, etc. Please remember to ask questions, read the brochures in your room.
Go to the themed nights. The Caribbean Gala has wonderful food, buffet style. To jazz things up a bit they say you should wear something white to the event. So pack something white in case they do the Caribbean Gala while you are there. Try to get a seat outside because it is VERY HOT under the white tent, and it is loud too. Another thing that they do is the Reggae Beach Party. This is by FAR the BEST event at Sandals. Usually on Friday nights. They have a Reggae band with dancing in the sand. The food is AWESOME, buffet style. They sometimes do a Pool Party at the main pool on the Manor side. This was not as fun as the other two. They also do a staff and guest talent show, which is fun to participate in if you have talent. You win a bottle of rum for participating. There are other themed nights as well, check the lobby boards for information and times.
Remember to check the times a days that the restaurants are open. Some are closed on certain days. I recommend planning your dinner schedule the first night you are there. The book in your room will tell you the times and days so it is easy to plan. I believe they even have menus in the rooms as well. Check them out and plan ahead so you don’t get disappointed.
When staying at Sandals seven nights is really ideal. Anything less than 5 is not worth the trip. I know that it can be expensive but remember your trip includes everything.
Tips for Traveling to Sandals:
-Bring Sunscreen (high SPF) put it on even if you want a tan. Once you get burnt your trip is pretty much shot.
-Bring medications and any type of over the counter things you may need. What they call the pharmacy there is where you go to get weed. (haha). The gift shop sells some things, but it gets expensive.
-MEN bring dress pants and covered shoes. If you plan on going to a nice restaurant at night they are required to get in. No shorts allowed. LADIES, pack a nice dress or two.
-Plan a trip to Island Village. The tour costs $9 per person, but it includes transportation to the Village, and you aren’t going to be hassled by the “Craft Market.” Margaritaville is also here. Do not go on any trip that goes to the “Craft Market” unless you want to be haggled to buy things.
-Take some of the tours. While some can be expensive, they are usually worth it. The Romantic Sunset Cruise was very nice.
-Bring $1 bills for tips. You don’t have to tip in the resort, but anywhere you go they will want tips. For example, at the airport when they carry your bags, they will want a tip. Next the driver who drives you to the Resort will want a tip. If you go on any excursions they will want tips. So be ready. Just roll $1 or 2 into your hand and give it to them.
-The water is safe to drink.
-Relax…if there is a wait at the restaurants don’t sweat it. You’re on vacation and there is nothing else to do anyway!
-Don’t do the water aerobics unless you are REALLY in shape.
-Don’t drink too much, but the cleaning staff will clean up after you if you have too much.
-Good drinks are: Dirty Bananas, Coconut Rum with Sprite & Fruit Punch (all mixed together), B.B.C’s
-The only beer they have is Red Stripe.
-Bring a hat, the sun can be horrible.
-I saw a review that says the Cabanas around the pool are $75 dollars to use, now the last two times I was there (the last time Aug 06) they were free. They only cost money if you wanted to do a candle light dinner in them or have a massage. Granted they are hard to use because people get to them early, they are free.
-Sandals staff is extremely nice if you are patient.
-Take advantage of Resort hopping. Go to Dunn’s River which is only 15 mins away. Its free to go there and you can eat there too!
-Some people judge this resort too hard, but you really have to be open- minded. If you want to frolic on the beach
-The resort is NOT air conditioned. A few of the restaurants are. Eat outside and it is cooler most of the time (if air conditioned is not an option). Your room has a wall air conditioner.
-Pack lightly. Unless you plan on going on many excursions, you will only need nice clothes for dinner, a bathing suit cover up, a few t-shirts, shorts/skirts and most importantly a few bathing suits.
-Take pictures, and most importantly fall back in love again.
If I think of anything else, I will add another review. I tried to cover as much as I could in this review, but sometimes I’m forgetful. So ask question of me, or the staff there.
Please Email Me if you have any questions and check out my pictures.
email me at Jamaica Me Nutts@aol.com
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Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Overview
Escape to the chicest beach resort know as the Caribbean Riviera.
Discover a sprawling paradise where the foliage is so rich and luscious, with a veritable rainbow of flowering trees and plants, that it's easy to escape the cares of the outside world. From a tranquil mountaintop to the white sand beach, you'll be surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of Jamaica. Spanning a luxuriant stretch of the Jamaican coastline, Sandals Grande Riviera is created to enchant you with two distinctive resort experiences in one. The Seaside & Beach Club is home to babbling brooks, fragrant gardens and the chicest beach club in Ocho Rios, where cool drinks and even cooler vibe are enjoyed at stylish beach party by day, and the hottest outdoor lounge in the Caribbean at night.
Those seeking something a little more secluded will find just that in the tranquil Hillside Villas & Great House Suites. Set amidst the unforgettable beauty of the St. Ann Mountains, 93 villa pools and luxurious suites create an exclusive hideaway suited to private moments. At the foot of this mountain-side garden enclave is the plantation-style Great House, a bluff-top manor where people come to gather around the vast zero-entry pool, or in a sophisticated piano bar. Regardless of which side of the resort you choose, you'll discover gourmet global cuisine at 11 exquisite restaurants and magnificent gardens. It all serves as a welcome reminder that, wherever you find yourself at this magnificent resort, it truly is the best of Jamaica.
At Sandals, you're only minutes away from one of the most challenging golf courses in the Caribbean -- the prestigious Sandals Golf & Country Club. Best of all, Sandals lets you score round after round without paying for any green fees. Roundtrip transfers to the golf course are also included from Sandals Grande Riviera.
Red Lane Spa features European style and offers massage rooms, facial rooms, and additional rooms for body wraps and scrubs, hydrotherapy and couples massage. Relax, unwind and pamper yourself. Step into the calm haven of a Red Land Spa, with its rich marbles and deep red mahogany, and you can leave every care behind. All spa services are at an additional fee.
All meals are included in your Sandals vacation. Choose from 11 casual and elegant dining options, from buffet breakfast spreads of all your favorites, beach side grills featuring traditional Jamaican Jerk, to classic Italian, fusion Asian or Western American. Dine at candlelit tables for two on a seaside gazebo, or experience white-gloved service at an Italian trattoria. Each restaurant has its own menu and ambience, making each experience unique. At Sandals, dining is a sharing of culinary arts and warm, personal service that makes every meal an unforgettable experience.
In a corner of the world known for celebrating life, you'll find yourself surrounded by everything that brings a smile to your face. Every water sport under the sun (including unlimited scuba diving). A dozen different ways to get your game on. Lively swim-up bars and nightclubs that will sweep you off your feet. Of course, Sandals has perfected the art of doing nothing, so feel free to do plenty of that, too. After all, there are no schedules to follow in paradise
The Perfect Romantic Getaway - Sandals Resorts have been designed to fulfill and exceed every need and wish that two people in love could ever possibly have. Resort accepts couples only, ages 18 years and older.
Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort Amenities