There are 7 adults-only all-inclusive Sandals resorts in Jamaica; of these, the 3 Sandals in Ocho Rios are Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation, and Sandals Dunn’s River (which opens May 2023).
In this article, we will look at the differences and similarities between Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation. Our comparison of Sandals Ochi vs. Royal Plantation will help you choose which Sandals resort is best for your Jamaica honeymoon or romantic vacation.
(Want an overview of all of them? Check out our article “Which Sandals Resort in Jamaica Should You Go To?”)
Sandals Ochi vs Royal Plantation Cost
Sandals Ochi is the most affordable Sandals resort, with rates starting at $243 per person per night.
Since Sandals Royal Plantation is an all-butler-suite resort, it is more expensive than Sandals Ochi, with rates starting at $368 per person per night.
Deal for Sandals Ochi vs Royal Plantation
When looking at price, current promotions can have a strong effect. If you are booking last minute you can even get a 4th night free at each resort. Make sure to check the deals here before you book.
As at every Sandals, your all-inclusive rate covers complimentary airport transfers; all dining and beverages including unlimited premium liquors and unlimited Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines; a stocked minibar in your room; a coffee maker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee; water sports and equipment plus professional instruction; WiFi; daily and nightly entertainment; unlimited land sports; state-of-the-art fitness center; greens fees and transfers to the golf course; and all tips, taxes, and gratuities.
Sandals Ochi vs. Sandals Royal Plantation Overview
While Sandals Ochi and Royal Plantation are basically next door to each other, they are very different.
In general, Sandals Royal Plantation is best if you want a quiet vacation with the option to go to Sandals Ochi for a change of scenery and more dinner options. Sandals Ochi is best for variety and affordability.
Sandals Royal Plantation is one of the best-rated Sandals resorts and offers a more relaxed, sophisticated vibe. Sandals Ochi is the most affordable Sandals resort and has a livelier atmosphere.
FYI, if you’re staying at Sandals Royal Plantation, you have access to all the amenities and facilities at Sandals Ochi. Sandals Ochi guests cannot go to Sandals Royal Plantation, likely because it is so small.
How far is Sandals Royal Plantation from Sandals Ochi? It’s located just next door.
Sandals Royal Plantation is an excellent choice if you are looking for a quiet resort to relax. What makes Royal Plantation unique is two things, its small size and the Butler Elite service provided to every room. Since the resort is small, your butler and other staff will always be nearby to serve you a drink, bring you some food, help you schedule an excursion, or anything else you may need.
You can laze by the pool or wander the beautifully manicured lawns adorned with peacocks showing off their colors. The resort is has antique furnishings that pair with innovative creations (such as the only champagne and caviar bar in Jamaica) harmoniously at Sandals Royal Plantation.
Sandals Royal Plantation resort reviews talk about the more laid back and intimate approach here, which is why 65% of visitors rebook a stay.
If you want a small resort, but also want to stay active you can also go next door to Sandal Ochi which has multiple pools, scuba diving, tons of restaurants, and late-night entertainment. You can either take the shuttle or take a 5-minute walk.
Sandals Ochi on the other hand is the biggest resort in Jamaica. Covering 100 acres, it offers tons of activities plus 16 restaurants and 11 bars. Whether you like tranquility, excitement, or both, Sandals Ochi has it all.
The resort is split into two sides: the hillside and the beachside. On the hillside, you can find serene villas with full butler service and private pools as well as the Main House with the largest pool. The beachside is home to the lively Ocho Rios Beach Club. Overall, Sandals Ochi has a more active and party vibe than Sandals Royal Plantation.
Both have access to the Sandals Golf & Country Club, which is recognized to be one of Jamaica’s finest, with tumbling fairways creating an 18-hole course over 700 feet above sea level. Private golfing lessons are available should you want to improve your technique.
Sandals Ochi vs. Royal Plantation Location
Both Sandals Ochi and Royal Plantation are conveniently located in Ocho Rios, close to many local attractions. How far is Sandals Ochi or Royal Plantation from the airport? If you fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, it’s a 90-minute drive.
You can also fly into Ian Fleming International Airport, which is just outside Ocho Rios so offers a shorter transfer time of about 30 minutes. However, there aren’t as many flights from the U.S. to this airport as there are to Sangster.
As at every Sandals, your airport transfers are complimentary.
Sandals Ochi vs Royal Plantation Beaches
The beaches at Sandals Royal Plantation are small and quiet, with clear water and clean white sand. There are two different beaches and since they are small, the staff at the beachside bar and cafe is always close, making sure you have anything you need. This is really what makes the difference to us.
Among Sandals resorts, these beaches are some of the best. They are private so no one will be there to try to sell you anything (except some Sandals employees from the spa and loyalty office).
The East beach is surrounded by a coral reef, making it some of the calmest water in Jamacia. From here you can take snorkeling and scuba excursions as well as glass bottom boat tours, or check out watersports equipment like kayaks and paddleboards.
On the West beach, you will find swings, day beds, and tiki huts, perfect for a relaxing day.
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 that has beach 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, and Neptune’s 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.
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 vs Royal Plantation Activities and Amenities
There are plenty of complimentary activities at both Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation, including water and land sports. Even scuba diving is included; certified divers can dive up to twice a day at either resort.
Water sports at Sandals Ochi include aqua trikes, kayaks, windsurfing, sailboats, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddle boards. Land activities include beach volleyball, day and night tennis, table tennis, shuffleboard, lawn chess, bocce ball, squash, horseshoes, rock climbing, pool tables, board games, and a fitness center.
Golf is also included at Sandals Ochi and Sandals Royal Plantation. You’ll get complimentary greens fees at and transportation to and from Sandals Golf & Country Club, where you can enjoy a round or two along the emerald fairway overlooking the sea.
Sandals Ochi offers 7 pools (plus 100 private pools, located at some suites), as well as multiple whirlpools. There are swim-up bars at three of the pools, including the oceanfront pool at the beach club. The white sand beach here is separated into three different areas, which all feature calm water but have different vibes.
Is Sandals Ochi a party resort? This resort is a great destination if you’re looking for a good time. With a hot new beach club and 11 bars, there is always something going on. But if you’re looking to enjoy some downtime, this resort has plenty of areas to allow for that as well.
Sandals Royal Plantation offers a variety of complimentary water and land activities as well. These include scuba diving, snorkeling, Hobie Cat sailing, paddleboarding, glass bottom boat rides, kayaking, and tennis and land sports. There’s also a fitness center, and guests here enjoy complimentary greens fees at and transfers to the Golf & Country Club as well.
Sandals Royal Plantation has one main small pool, a whirlpool, and a small spring-fed pool. These pools are great for lounging and relaxing.
Both Sandals locations offer the full-service Red Lane Spa for a wide range of restorative spa services (at an extra cost). You can also book area excursions from both locations (also at an extra cost).
Sandals Ochi vs Royal Plantation Rooms and Suites
There are only 74 ocean-view suites nestled along the beachside at Sandals Royal Plantation and every room includes butler service Each of the room styles qualifies as a Love Nest luxury suite, with the balance of tropical Jamaica and old-school elegance forming the perfect home-away-from-home.
These rooms feel a bit outdated, but loyal guest like this traditional feel.
Amazing suites here include the Governor-General Oceanfront One Bedroom Butler Suite, which has breathtaking sea views of the serene sea, a spacious living and dining area, a grand master bedroom, and two furnished balconies; or the Royal Oceanfront One Bedroom Butler Suite, which overlooks the resort’s quiet East Beach and offers spectacular ocean views from a private balcony plus an open living room, a spacious master bedroom, and a luxurious marble ensuite bathroom with large Roman tub and walk-in shower.
Sandals Ochi offers a variety of luxurious rooms and suites, including some that are in separate villas tucked into a lush hillside. Swanky options here include the Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet Bedroom Villa Suite with a Private Pool Sanctuary, featuring a walled courtyard with its own pool and hot tub, as well as an outdoor rain shower.
There are also beautiful beachfront, poolside, or secluded garden suites available. The Riviera Honeymoon Beachfront Bedroom Butler Suite is beautifully arranged for maximum space and luxury plus excellent ocean views. These suites feature an enormous living room with a wet bar, a spacious bedroom with a king four-poster bed; and a spa-like bathroom with a sunken whirlpool tub and walk-in shower. French doors lead onto an oversized furnished balcony.
Both of these suites include personal butler service.
Sandals Ochi vs Royal Plantation Food and Drink
Sandals Ochi has 16 restaurants (the most of any Sandals resort) and 11 bars, including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy. The restaurants at Sandals Ochi serve a wide variety of cuisine including gourmet French, Italian, Asian, Caribbean, sushi, Southern, Mediterranean, seafood, pizza, and tapas. Many have water views, some are beachfront, and one is even over the water.
There are five restaurants at Sandals Royal Plantation, serving French cuisine, international cuisine, grilled items, Caribbean and Jamaican dishes, British pub fare, and seafood. The Terrace features ocean views, and Royal Grill is on the beach. There’s also the Tea Terrace, a quaint tea bar that offers guests a late afternoon teatime experience.
At both Sandals Ochi and Royal Plantation, you can also take advantage of room service or request private dining options like a candlelight dinner on the beach (for an extra fee). If you are in a club level room, you can get room service between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.; butler suites get 24/7 room service.
As usual at Sandals resorts, your all-inclusive rate covers unlimited meals and snacks plus beverages including premium liquors and Robert Mondavi wines.
Sandals Ochi vs. Royal Plantation Nightlife
Sandals Ochi is known to have more of a lively atmosphere than Sandals Royal Plantation. It has 11 bars, including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy as well as 2 swim-up bars and a piano bar. It also offers nightly entertainment including shows in an amphitheater, live music, a piano bar, a chocolate buffet, talent night, karaoke, and beach parties with fire dancers.
Sandals Royal Plantation has two bars, including the Caribbean’s finest and Jamaica’s only Caviar + Champagne bar. You will find a vast wine cellar of international quality and caviar at an additional cost.
There is also nightly entertainment and live shows at Sandals Royal Plantation, but it definitely offers a quieter atmosphere than Sandals Ochi.
As part of the 5-Star Luxury Included® experience, Sandals only serves premium brand liquors. You can order whatever you like, including specialties you would expect at a tropical resort, like a Pina Colada, Margarita, Blue Lagoon, or a Bahama Mama.
Sandals Ochi vs. Royal Plantation Honeymoon Package
If you get married and then honeymoon at Sandals Ochi or Royal Plantation, or if you come here within 30 days of your wedding date, you’ll get Sandals’ complimentary honeymoon package.
This includes a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, special turndown service with flower petals on your bed the first evening of your honeymoon, fresh flowers, and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.
Now that you’ve read our comparison of Sandals Ochi vs. Royal Plantation, what do you think? Would you choose Sandals Ochi or Sandals Royal Plantation for your Jamaican honeymoon or romantic escape? Let us know in the comments!