Jamaica is home to 7 of the luxurious adults-only all-inclusive Sandals resorts. Each of these Jamaica Sandals resorts is unique, so it can be tough to choose the best Sandals resort in Jamaica for you.
In this article, we’ll look at the most affordable Sandals resort, Sandals Ochi vs. Sandals South Coast, one of only two Jamaica Sandals to have overwater bungalows.
There are differences and similarities between Sandals Ochi and Sandals South Coast. Our comparison of Sandals Ochi vs. South Coast 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. Sandals South Coast: Overview
If you’re looking for a magical honeymoon destination, you’ll find one at Sandals South Coast, named “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort” in the 2019 World Travel Awards. Sandals South Coast is quiet and serene, nestled along a 2-mile stretch of pristine white beach amid a 500-acre nature preserve.
Sandals South Coast has 9 bars, 7 restaurants, 4 pools (including the largest pool in Jamaica), and 4 whirlpools. Its luxurious accommodations include 12 overwater bungalows for the ultimate honeymoon romance.
Sandals Ochi is the answer to the question, which Sandals is the biggest 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. The beachside is home to the lively Ocho Rios Beach Club. Overall, Sandals Ochi has a more active and party vibe than Sandals South Coast.
Sandals Ochi is also close to popular attractions like Dunn’s River Falls and the Ocho Rios Blue Hole, as well as Sandals Golf & Country Club.
Sandals Ochi vs. South Coast: Location
Sandals Ochi is conveniently located in Ocho Rios, close to many local attractions. How far is Sandals Ochi from the airport? If you fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, it’s a 90-minute drive to Sandals Ochi.
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.
Sandals South Coast is located in White House, along the unspoiled southern coast of Jamaica. It’s about 30 miles from Montego Bay airport. The drive to the resort is rough; you may want to take Dramamine beforehand due to potholes and sharp turns.
At both resorts, complimentary airport transfers are included in your stay.
Sandals Ochi vs. South Coast: Rooms and Suites
One of the reasons that Sandals South Coast is considered to be one of the best Sandals in Jamaica for honeymoons is that it features uber-romantic accommodations like Over-the-Water Bungalows and Swim-Up Rondovals.
The incredible overwater bungalows at Sandals South Coast are set around a heart-shaped walkway and perched over the stunning turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
You get direct access to those gorgeous waters from a large private deck that features a Tranquility Soaking Tub™ for two, an overwater hammock, loungers, an outdoor shower, and a swim-up platform. The beautiful interior has a see-through glass floor insert, a custom king-size bed, and a spa-like bathroom with a rain shower. Overwater bungalows include the services of a personal butler for the ultimate luxury.
The Rondoval Suites at Sandals South Coast feature a private patio with zero-entry access to the river pool plus a private plunge pool, spa-style bathrooms, and a Tranquility Soaking Tub™ for two. These romantic hideaways also come with butler service.
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. FYI, if you want to be able to have room service at either Sandals Ochi or Sandals South Coast, you will need to book a club or butler level room.
Sandals Ochi vs. South Coast: 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.
Sandals South Coast has 7 bars (including swim-up bars) and 9 “global gourmet” restaurants, many of which overlook the beautiful beach. These include Italian, Asian, and Caribbean cuisines; the beachside Mediterranean and Jamaican seafood restaurants; Sushi on the Sand; the Jerk Shack; and a Parisian café.
There’s also in-room dining at both Sandals resorts if you can’t bear to leave your luxury suite. If you book a room that includes butler service, room service is available 24 hours a day. For Club Sandals accommodations, room service is available between 7 am-10 pm. You can also book private dining on the beach for an extra fee.
Sandals Ochi vs. Sandals South Coast: Activities and Amenities
There are plenty of complimentary activities at both Sandals Ochi and Sandals South Coast, including water and land sports. Even scuba diving is included; certified divers can dive up to twice a day at either resort. Sandals Ochi also offers golf.
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. 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.
Everything at Sandals South Coast is designed for relaxation and romance. This includes the pools, which range from a 17,000-square-foot river pool with a swim-up bar (the Caribbean’s longest) to Jamaica’s largest zero-entry pool to two Renaissance-style pools. One of the pools is directly beachfront for the best of both worlds.
The pristine white sand beach stretches for two miles along crystal clear water. There are shade trees and lounge chairs, or you can book a private cabana. Complimentary watersports at Sandals South Coast include kayaking, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, tubing, paddleboarding, wakeboarding, and kneeboarding, as well as snorkeling and scuba diving.
Land activities at Sandals South Coast include day and night tennis in addition to basketball, beach volleyball, pool tables, table tennis, squash, bocce ball, and a fitness center with exercise classes.
Sandals South Coast should be your choice if you’re planning a destination wedding in Jamaica. It features an incredible over-the-water chapel, where you can walk down a glass floor aisle and say your vows with views of the stunning Caribbean on all sides.
If you’re not getting married on this trip, you can still enjoy an overwater experience at Sandals South Coast by visiting the Over-the-Water Bar for a refreshing drink surrounded by the Caribbean. You can even laze the day away with your sweetie in one of the overwater hammocks for two!
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. South Coast: Nightlife
Sandals Ochi is known to have more of a lively atmosphere than Sandals South Coast. 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 South Coast takes on an even more romantic ambiance at night when beach bonfires and fire pits glow around the grounds. In addition to sipping your favorite cocktail at the overwater bar or singing along in the piano bar, you’ll enjoy nightly entertainment including live music, talent nights, and theme nights like Carnival Party, Caribbean Night, and White Night.
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. South Coast: Cost
Sandals Ochi is the most affordable Sandals resort, with rates starting at $217 per person per night.
Although it is a bit more than Sandals Ochi, Sandals South Coast is one of the less expensive Sandals in Jamaica, with rates starting at $308 per person per night.
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; and all tips, taxes, and gratuities.
At Sandals Ochi, your rate also includes greens fees at the golf course.
Now that you’ve read our comparison of Sandals Ochi vs. South Coast, what do you think? Would you choose Sandals Ochi or Sandals South Coast for your Jamaican honeymoon or a romantic escape? Let us know in the comments!
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central American, South America and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.