10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The Royal Plantation is Simply the Best Resort in Jamaica
"My wife and I chose the Royal Plantation to celebrate her birthday and our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We stayed from 8/20 through 8/25 - and hated to leave. We were familiar with the property as the Plantation Inn, where I have stayed on at least 5 other occasions in the past. The new Royal is so much more than the old Plantation Inn. Kudos to the General Manager, Mr. Fraser, who in addition to sending us a gift of a fruit basket that lasted our entire stay, made sure that everything was taken care of without our having to ask. Thank yous to Andre, both Dwights, Ivorene, Simone, Marilyn, Connie, Wentworth, Horace, Philip, Milton, Dahlia, and Richard the limo driver - as well as the other staff members who took care of us. They all knew our names, and waited on us hand and foot. They are professional, friendly, caring, and loving - we hugged everyone when we left - they made us feel like family!! From the time we exited immigration at the airport in Montego Bay and waited in the private lounge, to the limo ride to the Resort, throughout our stay, and until the time we exited the limosine at the airport six days later - we lived in luxury. Any Presidential Suite in any other five star resort pales in comparison to our room, the Prime Minister's Suite at the Royal. Whatever we needed or desired was only one touch on the telephone away. When we called for anything, it arrived within 5 minutes. The service, the food, the room, the entertainment were all impeccable. A private candlelight dinner on the pier....the gently rolling ocean at our feet, never having to look for a beach chair to lay out on - or go before the crack of dawn to stake out one....lunch wherever you choose. Drinks only a wave of your flag away - or if you are not on the beach or at the bar, your room is fully stocked. I don't think even an alcoholic could drink all the alcohol available in each suite at each in-room bar!!!! I don't know about other people, but I have no problem at all dressing for dinner. I don't like buffets, so the Royal doesn't do them for their meals. Individual service, individual satisfaction. Golf and tennis lessons.....If we were late, they waited for us. Glass bottom boat tours....Windsurfing, scuba (not for me) but available for those who wish it. I simply can not say enough positive things about this place and its people. This was the most memorable and enjoyable vacation of my and my wife's life. We will return to the Royal again and again, and I suggest that if you have not been - by all means go. You deserve the Royal treatment. If you can afford to, spend the money!!! You only live once, and this is the way to go - I promise, you will not regret it. Thank you, Royal Plantation. See you there next year."
- Travel date: 1st September 2004
Treated Like Royalty
"My husband and I visited Jamaica and the Royal Plantation for the first time the week of August 16, 2004. To say we were impressed with the Royal Plantation and staff is an understatement. Every need was already attended to, and every want...only a "flag" away. There are so many great thing I can say about the resort, but the best way to experience it, is first hand. Do yourself a favor and be treated " LIKE ROYALTY" at the Royal Plantation !"
- Travel date: 30th August 2004
First time Beaches guest
"My husband and I decided on Royal Plantation for our honeymoon June 28 - July 5 because of the proximity to NYC, the great beaches, and the appeal of the all-inclusive plan. Let me start with the good points of the resort: 1. the resort is beautiful. The tennis courts, the Spa, the rooms and the facilities are all very new and well kept. 2. the beach is clear and very welcoming 3. the staff is very friendly and accomodating. 4. not having to sign for anything during the stay is a welcome reprieve 5. an ideal resort to get away from kids, since children are not allowed at this resort. 6. the other guests at the resort are very friendly and easy going. We met one couple who decided to get married at the resort and they had such a sweet ceremony on the beach. The negatives: 1. the rooms, while they are spacious and clean, the sheets are not as soft as you might be used to with a supposed 5 star resort. The sheets were so old that they were "peeling"...the cotton blend sheets had little balls of fabric forming on the top that whenever you laid in bed, you thought there was sand on the bed. The pillows are very thin and do not offer much support. The rooms are also very dark. There is not enough lighting in the rooms, and it always felt as though some of the wall sconces had burnt out bulbs. 2. service at the restaurants are really slow. We went to breakfast one morning and waited an hour before our order arrived. Dinner was better, but it is difficult to wait that long in the heat when you are hungry. We opted to always have our breakfast delivered through room service. 3. in the middle of our 8 day stay, we received a note that the hotel was no longer going to be an exclusively all-inclusive hotel. There would be an option of a European Plan for guests coming into the hotel going forward, but we would not be effected. What this translated to was a drop in the service you received at the beach, in particular the "beach butler service." The waitresses hardly came to our chairs to offer beverages like they had in the last couple days. The beach attendants were no longer around to set up the beach chairs for you. 4. the beach is REALLY SMALL. You have two beaches separated by a small inlet which are probably about 50-75ft long each. Although we never felt as though the beach was overcrowded, my husband and I did chuckle when we saw three couples in the water at the same time, and it looked a little tight. All in all, the experience was good. But as other reviewers have mentioned, there were guests who were upgraded from other Beaches/Sandals resorts and I definitely feel that it is unfair to full paying guests. It is no longer under the Beaches flag, as they are trying their hand at the the more upscale market. The resort on the outside is stunning, but there are still many kinks that need to be addressed."
- Travel date: 7th July 2004
13 nights of sheer luxury
"My partner and I have just returned from a 13 night holiday at BRP(5 June - 18 June 2004) I can honestly say in the all the years of travelling abroad this accomodation has to be one of the most luxurious we have ever stayed at. Both of us can do nothing but praise the high standards of all on offer at this resort. We travelled from London Heathtrow with Air Jamaica (10 hour flight!), the flight was suprisingly good and the crew tried their best to look after our needs. We had read all the reviews about how awful the 2 hour bus ride was and both of us were dreading it - but I can say that it wasn't as bad as it had been made out to be, yes it was bumpy and the route was full of twists and turns but I had experienced worse! As we got to BRP we were greeted by a member of staff who offered us a drink and a towel to freshen up, she was very friendly and welcoming - just what you want to see after an 18 hour trip all in all from our front door to BRP! We were then taken to our room and neither of us could believe the standard it was better than it was portrayed in all the brochures. Our view to the ocean was breathtaking and we opened the doors constantly just to hear the waves! Both of us found the staff at BRP to be second to none, there was nothing that the staff would not do for you, we had a concierge named "Oliver" who showed us around - he was fantastic and throughout the holiday we saw him and he always remembered us. The resort was that good that neither of us wanted to leave although we did do Dunns just to say that we did! The food from the 3 restaurants was first class, having eaten in London many times this food is up there with the best, it was superb. This holiday was definitely worth the money and with all its added bonuses we would safely say that BRP was everything that we expected and much more. It was the ultimate in sheer luxury."
- Travel date: 21st June 2004
A holiday to measure all others against
"My wife and i spent our honeymoon here in August 2003, and had the most amazing holiday experience of our lives. When we arrived at Montego Bay we endured the Mini-bus ride from hell to the resort, however since it was after midnight and we were the only ones onboard the driver took it easy and enabled us to get a bit of sleep. We arrived At BRP about 2am, to be greated by glasses of champagne. While we were checking in, a room service order was taken. Before being shown to our room. A corner room with a balcony overlooking the pool and french windows opening up over one of the beaches. The mini-bar was always fully stocked, the room always clean with plenty of towels and fresh robes. Room service was prompt and of a very high standard. The restaurants fantastic. Each member of bar staff had there own special recipe, which obviously had to be sampled. I completely recommend Sibony's Special. The staff were out of this world, would go out of their way to be helpful, supplying myself and other guests with not only a holiday to remember forever, but also news from hone such as sports results etc. The perk of being able to use the other sandals/beaches resorts was great, enabled you to see just how spoilt we really were. The cleanliness at the BRP was amazing. Sitting in the Jacuzzi at midnight with waiteress service was unbelievable. Yes, there were't all the activities to do at BRP. But that isn't what i paid for, we wanted a relaxing break at a fabulous location. And boy did they deliver. Will definately be back."
- Travel date: 25th April 2004
Loved IT -- Best Ever!
"We were at BRP Feb 21 - 28. It was fantastic. The food was unbelievable and included lobster on room service. The coconut shrimp near the beach was terrific. Drinks were wonderful and top shelf. Bartenders enjoyed surprising us with new concoctions. Service was beyond anything we have seen anywhere with everyone being so attentive to all needs. Many staff remembered our names. The most minor problem was taken care of immediately (like a bulb that burned out). The room and view were beautiful. The beach was small, but even during high season there was no problem getting lounges at the beach. While the pool was small, it was never crowded as there were so many places to be for a relatively small number of guests. Loved the spa credit and made maximum use. One small nit pick was that we had to pay $199 each for an upgrade from the highest room at Sandals Ocho Rios. We later found others who were upgraded without charge, although we were told by a Sandals reservation rep that such a charge was the norm. Last, the class of people at the resort was refreshing. We visited "next door" at Sandals Ohch Rios and couldn't wait to get back "home" again. We are looking forward to returning next year."
- Travel date: 27th March 2004
Disappointed to hear they are still "upgrading" people
"I spent my honeymoon at BRP in June 2003. I enjoyed the place but it was irritating to see so many people there who were upgraded from other properties. Not to sound elitist, but I chose this location for a reason. I don't expect to see a large group of people getting a free ride on the vacation for which I paid. I had considered returning but now that I hear that they are still doing that I think I'll pass."
- Travel date: 15th March 2004
"Just returned from a 7 day stay at the Royal Plantation. It was Fantastic. The food was great and the service was above anything I had ever seen. We were orginally schedule to be in the Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay but it was over booked and my Travel Agent asked if we would take the bump. the bus ride was hell but thats not the resorts fault. when we arrived we were giving a $350.00 credit at the spa and gift shop that was very nice. The food was great and the chef was available for any special requests. We went to Sandals Ocho Rios for Italian food one night but it was just OK. This is not like any other Sandals or Beaches as there is no "playmakers" or any organized activities to speak of. If you are looking for excellent food, service and atmosphere this is the place you are looking for. The only drawback I see is that to get to the beach, you have to decend at least two flights of stairs, which isn't bad considering how close you are to the mountains, but come backup is a pain. Like one of the other reviewers we took the Air express back, but the plane broke down and we missed our connection in Montego Bay and had to spend a night in Montego Bay at the expense of Air Jamaica, all in all it was great trip."
- Travel date: 4th March 2004
Better than Heaven!
"Coincidently, I was also at the Royal Plantation between 15th and 23rd February although after reading the review of the New Jersey reviewer, I have to come to the conclusion that either I dreamt I was there or that the other reviewer was staying at a totally different hotel! (My partner has just confirmed that we were indeed there!) Not only was this perhaps the finest hotel I have ever stayed in (and I am a very seasoned traveller) but the service was on a different planet! My experience of management attention was at complete odds to the other reviewer. The manager not only made himself known to me but he joined us for dinner on the beach with another couple (who have been to the BRP every year since inception) on our second night. He was charming personified as were all his senior and junior staff. The food was on a par with the best haute cuisine restaurants in London where a meal of similar quality would cost UK70 per head and again the waiter/waitress service was superlative. Whislt not particularly relavent to this review, I thought it of note that when I offered a member of room -service a tip for bringing us cocktails, he would, under any circumstances accept my gratuity. The Spa staff were "top notch" (I know I'm sounding boring with nothing but good reports but I can only write as I find) and the masseuses were better than any I have found anywhere in the world. (Also, it came as a very nice and unexpected surprise to be told that a credit of US$350 towards spa treatments was available to guests. Finally, I found the entertainment perfect. This was not a holiday resort for children where live bands have to be playing 24/7. This is a sofisticated holiday resort for adults and I simply could not fault it (and I'm ultra-critical when I'm spending big bucks! Miss this hotel at your peril........SIMPLY THE BEST!"
- Travel date: 27th February 2004
Second Time Disappointment
"February 15-22, 2004 Before I say anything negative, let me point out that we were returning guests to BRP. We visited the exact same week last year and fell in love with the place. While much of the resort experience is still excellent, it was definitely downgraded from last year, especially as to entertainment, which went from excellent to fair, at best. Management attention was so prevalent last year. This time, the manager didn't care to introduce himself. The staff however was very nice and attentive.We ran into at least 10 couples who were told upon arrival in Montego Bay that their rooms at other Sandals resorts were unavailable and they were being "upgraded" to BRP. This created a pretty negative vibe at the resort. Many feel it's a scam to get some exposure for this tiny resort. Too bad they feel they need to market this way. My suggestion would be to avoid paying the BRP price, book a high category room at Sandals Montego Bay, and get the upgrade upon arrival.All in all, still a very beautiful place that hasn't yet settled on an identity for itself. First it was Beaches; then Sandals and now the rumor is that it is gravitating away from a Sandals all-inclusive to a more traditional resort with a European Plan option.Time will tell, but next year we won't take any chances; we'll visit elsewhere."
- Travel date: 23rd February 2004
Sandals Royal Plantation is also called
- Royal Plantation Spa & Golf Resort Hotel
- royal plantation ocho rios
- royal plantation hotel