HomeArticlesSandals Ochi Luxury Resort in Ocho Rios – Ocho Rios Jamaican All Inclusive Vacations
Sandals Ochi Luxury Resort in Ocho Rios – Ocho Rios Jamaican All Inclusive Vacations
October 9, 2019
One of the newest all-inclusive hotels on the Jamaican scene is Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, a 529-room retreat on the island’s northeast coast. Jamaica’s new Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is situated right on Ocho Rios’ Main Street. Sandals Ochi originally debuted back in 1981 (and was formerly known as Sandals Grande Riviera) but has been revamped over the last six months to the tune of $60 million. The 100-acre property (90 minutes’ drive from the airport in Montego Bay) encompasses the land where Sandals Resorts’ founder Gordon “Butch” Stewart grew up. Post-renovation, Sandals Ochi is now the largest in the chain’s clutch of 21 resorts in seven Caribbean destinations. What is now Sandals Ochi was once two separate resorts, one on the beach, the other sprawled over the hillside opposite. A road separates both sections, each with its own distinctA road separates both sections, each with its own distinct personality. Whichever side of the resort you’re staying on, you have full access to the amenities of the other, accessed via the resort’s complimentary shuttle, The Hop. Beach-loving guests will want to book the oceanfront Riviera Village, which offers an Edenic setting lush with tropical foliage and criss-crossed by freshwater streams. Pictured is an example of a Riviera (beachfront) one-bedroom Club Level at Sandals Ochi. The Beachfront Club Level one-bedroom features a private balcony. For beach-loving honeymooners who want to splurge, a Riviera Honeymoon One Bedroom Butler Suite might be the ticket. The suite offers large, separate bedroom and living room areas, and the luxury of a personal butler. On the hillside, the All-Butler Village offers suites, rooms inside a colonial-style Great House and private villas nearby all serviced by (you guessed it) personal butlers. A typical one-bedroom inside the Great House. Also available in the Great House are Butler Suites, pictured here. They are larger in size than the standard one-bedroom. In addition to the bedroom area, the Great House Butler Suites offer a large living room space, with views of the Jamaican hillside. The bathroom in a Great House Butler Suite. Outside of the Great House, most suites on the Butler Village side of Sandals Ochi are arranged in blocks of two- or four-bedroom villas, which share a small pool between them. They’re spacious (with a kitchenette, living room, and patio or balcony) and decorated in Caribbean colonial style. But the most appealing are the Romeo & Juliet one-bedroom suites, which are completely private. The Romeo & Juliet one-bedroom suites each have their own entrance… …and its own concealed pool. Although they’re highest on the hill (and therefore furthest from the Great House and beach) the privacy and contemporary décor make up for the extra walking. Butlers are relatively rare in room-only hotels, so in an all-inclusive they’re a real treat. Sandals Ochi’s team of “Jeeveses” service four to eight suites. They’ll unpack and re-pack your luggage; make dinner, spa and tour reservations; and deliver breakfast in bed or afternoon cocktails to your suite, all at no extra charge. You may return from the beach one day to find a bubble bath set and flowers festooning the four-poster if you stay in a butler-serviced suite. Note that although butler service is included, they are permitted to accept tips (and are the only Sandals staff allowed to do so). You want pools? Sandals Ochi Beach Resort has ‘em. There are 105 pools (including 98 villa pools) spread over the resort’s acreage, so if you prefer the pool to the beach, you’re in luck. Sandals Ochi’s 105 pools are hugely varied, ranging from from an ocean-sized zero-entry pool with a swim-up bar, to one that cascades down three levels with a firepit. The pool at Ochi Beach Club and the main pools on both sides of the property see the most action. If you prefer peace and quiet, seek out what’s known as the Hidden Pool. Secreted in a banana leaf-shaded corner of the Riviera Village, the Hidden Pool is an oasis of calm. The all-day buffet has long been an all-inclusive dining cliché. And Sandals Ochi does indeed offer buffet meals in some of its restaurants. But with 16 restaurants to choose from you can choose to eat a la carte – and around the world – whenever you please. You can indulge in sushi at Soy. Enjoy a midday snack on the beach with these mini slider burgers. Try French cuisine at Le Gourmand or seafood at Kelly’s Dockside. If none of that fits the bill, try Teppanyaki-style Asian at Kimono’s or fine West Indian at The Manor. Local flavor comes in the form of the fiery local barbecue called jerk at The Jerk Shack. Particularly excellent are the chicken, pork and foil-wrapped fish are served with traditional sides of fried dough called festival. Sandals Ochi also offers guests complimentary 24-hour room service. Some beach lovers aren’t content with sugary sands and gentle waves. For those people there’s Sandals Ochi Beach Club, a South Beach-style night-and-day hub with its own swim-up pool bar, DJ, and Bali beds on the sand. If you want to parade by the pool or to see and be seen on the shoreline, Ochi Beach Club is your spot. Unlike similar beach clubs Stateside, there’s no bottle or cover charge to get in on the action at Ochi Beach Club. Shrinking violets need not apply. Sandals Ochi’s nightclub, The Rabbit Hole, is currently being touted as the Caribbean’s first speakeasy. The Rabbit Hole is a refreshingly modern yet retro alternative to the tired and often-deserted discos usually found at couples-only resorts. You need to know the password, (which changes every day) to get in, and once inside you’re treated to a sophisticated evening of strong drinks and sultry tunes by the resident singer. The performance we witnessed by Phylea Carley was a showstopper we’d gladly have paid extra for (but, of course, didn’t have to). While some tourists want nothing more than to laze on the sand with a fruity cocktail in hand, others are increasingly eager to have a richer experience of the destination, and Sandals Ochi is happy to help. At Sandals Ochi (and other resorts in the chain), guests can book excursions through Island Routes. Although the trips are at an additional charge they’re a convenient way to see more of your destination than the beach. (And, let’s face it, you haven’t really been to Ocho Rios if you haven’t climbed Dunn’s River Falls!). Even honeymooners have to emerge from their suite sometime, and when they do, Sandals Ochi offers novel entertainment in the form of Popcorn & Palms. Popcorn & Palms is an outdoor movie theater on a palm-fringed lawn complete with bean bag-seating and a popcorn-and-pizza concession stand. Sure, you at Sandals Ochi you could take advantage of the included water sports, join a soca dance class, or scale the rock wall. But we found this tropical movie night to be an unexpected, charming (and far less demanding!) alternative.