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Our Review of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

We have visited Sandals Ochi twice in the last 6 months and have visited every Sandals Resort and wanted to share this review to help you if you are considering booking a trip.

View of Sandals Ochi beach and hotel rooms

Why We Love Sandals Ochi

Overall, Sandals Ochi is the largest and most affordable Sandals Resort which brings a lot of visitors its way.

  • Large Range of Activities – We loved that there is so much to do on resort and different vibes throughout. If we want to go to the beach and relax or go to a pool with party vibes it is all available to us.
  • Variety of Food – With 16 food options you do not have to worry about repeating meals unless you wanted to.
  • Affordability – This is Sandals’ cheapest resort so it doesn’t break the bank to stay here.

Why Some People Do Not Love Sandals Ochi

No resort is perfect, here are the usual complaints we have heard from our clients.

  • Too big – While some people love the size, others find it too spread out. At Sandals Ochi, the room you pick can have a strong impact on this. If you are on the hillside and want to go to the beach this might annoy you or vise versa.

    We spoke to one couple who had a room on the beach side of the resort but preferred the large pool on the hillside and didn’t like needing to take the shuttle each day to the other side. Another couple said the opposite, they were staying on the hillside and preferred the beachside.
  • Food Wait Times – Because the resort is so large the wait times at restaurants can add up. We recommend always going to restaurants when they open of a few minutes before to get quick service.
Sandals Ochi Hillside Main House Enterance

Recent Improvements to Sandals Ochi

One great thing about Sandals Ochi is they are always improving the property. Many of the rooms have been refreshed in the Bulter village in the last few months and while we were there earlier this year we noticed several other areas were being touched up.

Sandals Ochi Prices & Deals

Sandals Ochi is one of the most affordable Sandals Resorts with prices starting at $250 a night per person. There are also great deals like last-minute free nights and weekly 777 deals. You can check these deals here.

Prefer Video? Watch Our Sandals Ochi Overview on YouTube

Arriving at Sandals Ochi

To get to Sandals Ochi, you have the option of flying into three different airports. The closest airport is Ian Fleming International Airport which is only 15 minutes away, but there are only a few flights per day.

Sandals Lounge at Montego Bay Airport

We have flown into Montego Bay which is a 90-minute drive on well-maintained roads from the resort. A shuttle was quickly provided and the driver stopped at a Jerk shack on the way to the resort.

We have also flown into Kingston which is about 20 minutes shorter than the drive from Kingston, but the roads are windier.

For an additional cost, you can arrive in a private transfer in a luxury vehicle but I do not see much value in this.

Sandals Ochi Accommodations

There are actually two different lobbies where guest check into depending on where the room is located. We arrived at the Hillside since we were staying in the Butler village. After arriving we waited in the Club lounge until our butler arrived and took us to our room on a golf cart.

Newly refreshed bulter village bedroom

Sandals Ochi Hillside vs Riviera Seaside Village

When you are choosing your accommodations you will notice some suites are on the hillside and some are seaside. A road connects both sides with a shuttle running regularly making it easy to get around.

We stayed on the hillside which has several restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and the resort’s largest pool area. If you want to stay by the pool and enjoy entertainment during the day, this is a great option.

View from a hillside oceanview room

If you are looking for quiet areas for relaxing, the Butler Village is going to give you that. We stayed at one of the villas where we had a shared pool with only one other room.

Our suite featured a spacious bedroom and a living room with a sitting area and bar with French-style doors leading directly to the veranda just steps away from the semi-private pool.

If you prefer to stay by the beach, the Riviera Seaside Village includes a variety of rooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, and plenty of pools and beaches to choose from.

Sandals Ochi Food & Drink Review

We loved the food at Sandals Ochi and have some tips to make the most of your time at the resort.

First, make reservations right after you are assigned your room so you get to as many reservation-only restaurants as you want to go to. Get the earliest reservation if you want a quicker service or if you want to have a very relaxed meal, anytime will work. The last tip is to order as much as you would like, especially at Soy where you can try new things you may not have had before.

First, for breakfast, we loved the buffet options. Our favorite place to go was the Southern Table. Located at the Manor, the restaurant had several stations making fresh food including omelets, eggs, smoothies, pancakes, and french toast.

french toast at breakfast and pineapple juice

I would start at the smoothie station and make my order. Instead of waiting around for it, I would go and make my omelet order, go to the buffet and return to pick up my smoothie and omlet.

Breakfast at Vista Gourmet

On the beachside area, the Vista Gourmet has a similar setup and there are also a la carte restaurants and room service.

For lunch, we loved the Jerk Shack, the brick oven pizza, the sliders, and fish tacos at Tapas on the Riviera, and the Quesadillas at The Mariner.

Pizza by the pool aka Paradise

For dinner, Soy was my personal favorite but we also enjoyed Kimonos, the French restaurant, Le Gourmand, and the surf and turf at Vista Gourmet. We also recommend the Lamb Chops and the Insalata Caprese at Valentino’s.

Suchi from Soy

Drinks were always readily available at Sandals Ochi with swim-up bars at most pools and servers checking in with us at our lounge chairs.

Dan sitting for Dinner at the Manor

The Rabit Hole is a stand-out with the best bar of any Sandals Resort in the evening time and great entertainment as well.

The Rabit Hole Enterence

Sandals Ochi Beaches & Pools

At Sandals Ochi there is one long beach separated into 3 different areas. All areas are calm with white sand beaches.

At the Sandals Beach Club, there is a section of the beach with chairs in the sun and some with shade provided by trees. The beach is very nice with white sand and a few anchored floats you can relax on. There is also a pool behind this area with a swim-up bar if you want to change things up and the Neptunes restaurant is located on the sand.

There is a stretch of beach located in the Riviera Seaside Village. This is completely surrounded by the docks at Sandals Ochi and is located near several food options and bars.

The Ochi beach with watersports available

Last is the longest stretch of beach in front of the Riviera Beachfront Tower. Here is where you can try all the watersports and relax in a beach chair with shade provided by the trees.

All are excellent options and are some of the best beaches for relaxing in Jamaica.

Sandals Ochi has 105 freshwater pools, 22 whirlpools, and one scuba dive pool.

The main pool on the hillside

If you are looking for party vibes and fun, go to the Great House pool area. There are actually 3 pools in this area. The main pool has a swim-up bar with very friendly bartenders and where several activities happen throughout the day. One of the smaller pools pictured above is right next to the Great House Cafe so you can easily get a drink and some lunch and eat and drink while in the pool!

Cabanas next to the main pool

The Riviera Pool was Michelle’s favorite. While I was getting scuba certified, she would relax here because the pool area is much quieter than the Great House Pool but still has a swim-up bar and good music playing. There is also a great pizza place next to it making it a perfect spot to enjoy an entire day.

The pool bar at the main pool

Located right off the beach is the Ocho Beach Club Pool. It has its own swim-up bar as well. But If you are looking for someplace really quiet you can go to The Hidden Pool or the Riviera Garden Pool.

With all the villas that come with pools, you can just enjoy the afternoon in your own pool. If you have butler service, they can keep you supplied with food and drinks while you have a good time.

Things to do at Sandals Ochi

At Sandals Ochi you have access to unlimited water sports. You can enjoy aqua trikes, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and glass-bottom boats. Additionally, scuba diving is included! For certified divers, you can dive up to twice a day with two tanks a day! These waters include some of the world’s most renowned reefs, so there are lots to experience.

Dan getting out of the ocean after snorkeling

Scuba courses are not included but start at $120.

During our week at Sandals Ochi I was able to get Open Water Scuba certified in 3 days.

If golf is your thing, your green fees are included at Sandals Golf & Country Club, where you can enjoy a round or two along the emerald fairway overlooking the sea. Transport to and from the golf course is complimentary.

I went for a beginners course to work on my swing and then failed horribly at 9 holes. I recommend going as early as possible before the sun gets too hot to enjoy the golf course.

Enjoy many other on-site activities, including rock climbing, table tennis, beach volleyball, squash, and more.

If you are looking for a workout, the Red Lane Spa has complimentary classes, and workout equipment available.

Entertainment

Along with these amazing activities, this resort also knows how to throw a party. There’s an onsite piano bar, chocolate buffet, talent night, Caribbean night, live bands, karaoke, and even a beach party with fire dancers.

At the Great House Pool area, there is always music bumping with DJs and events throughout the day.

At the Ochi Beach Club, there are even more events going on throughout the day and each night.

During our trip to Sandals Ochi, we went to the All White Night, which included chocolate desserts. We also enjoyed going to the Rabit Hole, a speakeasy-style club with an amazing band and lounge singer.

Sandals Ochi Excursions

We did several excursions and had a great time going to Dunn’s River Falls and The Blue Hole. The best option is to take the Catamaran to Dunns River. That way you avoid the shops with aggressive sales tactics.

Dan diving into the Blue Hole

You can wait till you arrive to book your excursions. I recommend only booking 2 activities per day since the longer excursions can result in a lot of waiting around. Also, I did not find the ATVs or horseback riding worth it, but there are a few great options for ziplines in the area.

Room Service

If you book a room that includes butler service, room service is available 24 hours a day. For Club Sandals accommodation is also available but for a shorter period. We had room service a few times at the resort and it is perfect for breakfast and late-night snacks.

Dan & Michelle ready for dinner

How far is Sandals Ochi from the airport?

Both the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston are approximately one hour and 40 minutes away from Sandals Ochi Resort. Sandals provide complimentary transportation to and from either the airport and the resort. Just approach the Sandals counter or lounge in the airport.

Is Sandals Ochi a couples-only resort?

No, while Sandals has traditionally been couples only, we have seen a lot of groups including family groups with grown adults or wedding parties that were not couples.

The biggest downfall is all the rooms have king size beds and requested rollaway beds are not guaranteed.

Is Sandals Ochi a party resort?

Of Sandals Resorts, Ochi is considered more of a party resort. If that is what you are looking for you will enjoy the large pool near the Manor house.

Does Sandals All-Inclusive include alcohol?

All drinks are included and unlimited at Sandals Resorts. This includes premium spirits and top-rated Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines.

What is included?

At Sandals Resorts, when they say all-inclusive, they mean you can arrive at the resort without having to worry about what is included and what is not.

Unlimited Fine Dining

Sandals Ochi claims the #1 All-Inclusive Dining Experience in the Caribbean. They have 16 restaurants that cover all sorts of cuisines, from Caribbean favorites to Italian and French, to American southern and seafood. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and drinks are all included in your stay.

Unlimited All-Inclusive Drinks

For drinks, Sandals only serves premium brand liquors that are always included and unlimited. As part of the 5-Star Luxury Included® experience, Sandals only serves premium brand liquors that are always included and unlimited. You can order whatever you would like, including specialties you would expect at a tropical resort, like a Pina Colada, Margarita, Blue Lagoon, or a Bahama Mama.

In all rooms, there is a mini-fridge stocked with water, juice, soda, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Wine, and local beer.

Additionally, every room includes a coffeemaker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee.

Tips

At Sandals resorts, even tips, taxes, and gratuities are included for most services you would usually tip for! There is no need to worry about tipping the bartender, the bellman, or your server at one of the specialty restaurants.

Your butler can and will accept tips. We recommend tipping a butler $25 a day, depending on how much you use their services.

Spa therapists and airport transport drivers should also be tipped.

Roundtrip Airport Transfers

Sandals provide complimentary transportation to and from the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay. Transfers are also provided from the Kingston Airport.

What’s Not Included

You can come to Sandals without spending an additional penny, but there are a few opportunities to spend a little bit more.

Spa treatments are available at an additional cost. Could you imagine how many therapists and spa rooms they would need if they were included in the price?

Additionally, the spa staff is some of the few employees that can accept tips, along with butlers, the staff from off-property tours, and the transfer drivers, since they are not employed by Sandals.

While Scuba diving is included in your stay, the courses are not. Be prepared to pay for them or even better, get scuba certified before you come.

Around the pool, you can rent private cabanas at an additional cost. There are over 30 nearby excursions available to book through Sandals including a Jamaica swamp safari village tour, zip lines, snorkeling cruises, dolphin encounters, deep-sea fishing, ATV adventures to name a few.

Compare Sandals Ochi with nearby Sandals Resorts

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