Geri Bain explores a Jamaican resort with a lot to offer
Ideal for couples looking for a cool, fun-loving atmosphere, the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (formerly Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort) reopened in May after a $60m renovation to become Sandals’ largest resort to date with 529 rooms and sprawling across more than 100 acres.
I loved having 16 eateries to choose from — including a gourmet French restaurant and a ‘jerk’ shack — plus room service in my butler-appointed room, as well as free activities such as sea kayaking, glass-bottom boat/snorkel cruises and tennis lessons. Scuba (for certified divers) is also included in the rate, while golfers pay only mandatory caddy and golf cart fees.
The resort has three distinctive sections and 20 different accommodation types. Ochi Beach Club is party-central, with a swim-up bar, beach volleyball and dance parties. Steps away, the Riviera Seaside Village offers tranquil pools, restaurants, clubs and ocean-view rooms.
I loved all the activity, but was happy to escape to my butler-served suite, with its private pool nestled into the verdant jungle of the Hillside Village, which also has its own set of bars, restaurants and a grand, three-level infinity pool.
Address: Main Street, Ocho Rios, St Ann, Jamaica.
T: 888-SANDALS (726-3257).
Price: All-inclusive rates from $230 per person, per night, including meals, drinks and activities