We just spent a week at Sandals Royal Plantation and wanted to share this review to help you if you are considering booking a trip.
What People Love About Sandals Royal Plantation
What makes Sandals Royal Plantation unique is two things, its size and the Butler Elite service provided to every room. There are only 74 ocean-view suites which all have butler service.
Another benefit of staying at Sandals Royal Plantation, is if you want the quiet stay, but still want the amenities you find at the larger resorts you can always take a shuttle to Sandals Ochi which is just down the road.
The guests that enjoy the more laid back and intimate approach love this resort and there is a reason 65% of the visitor rebook a stay.
What People Do Not Like About Sandals Royal Plantation
While some people love that the resort is small and is much quieter than other resorts, some people want more going on and do not want to take a shuttle to another resort to get access to more amenities.
The only way to go scuba diving is to go to Sandals Ochi, which is where you will also find more lively entertainment and more food options.
Sandal’s Royal Plantation has one main pool, a whirlpool, and a small spring-fed pool. These pools are great for lounging and relaxing. Honestly, it is a very small area, but even when the resort is at full capacity, the pool area usually has chairs available.
If you are looking for a more lively environment you can go next door to Sandals Ochi where there are several large pools and whirlpools to enjoy with a few swim up bars as well. Ya Man.
Loungers and umbrellas surround the jacuzzi hot tub.
The Beaches at Sandals Royal Plantation are amazing. The water is clear and the sand is great. The staff rakes the sand daily to keep it free from debris.
Since there are not a lot of rooms at the resort we never had an issue finding free chairs here.
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). And there is great service.
We had someone checking on us every 10 or 15 minutes to see if we wanted a new drink or food.
The East beach is surrounded by a coral reef, making it some of the calmest water in Jamacia. This is also where you take the snorkeling boat, and glass bottom boat tours, and can check out watersports equipment like kayaks and SUPs.
On the West beach, you will find swings, day beds, and tiki huts, perfect for a relaxing day.
There are five restaurants available that are, of course, all-inclusive.
During our stay, we also enjoyed breakfast in our room for a few days, late night room service, and lunch delivered to us on the beach.
We also recommend you look at the restaurants at Sandals Ochi and make recommendations for the restaurants you are interested in upon arrival to make sure you get a chance to eat at all of your top choices.
If you do not feel like going to a restaurant, feel free to give your butler a call and you can enjoy in-room dining as you please.
Le Papillion has french cuisine made with the fresh produce of Jamaica.
You will want to try the herb-crusted rack of lamb and the French onion soup. The restaurant’s signature drink, L’Aphrodisiaque is a blend of St. Remy VSOP brandy, Cointreau, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, and Sprite.
Recommended Order: You will want to try the herb-crusted rack of lamb and the French onion soup.
Enjoy amazing views of the ocean while dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Terrace is a fine a la carte restaurant with the main menu, but also a rotating menu of different cuisines. We had a Jamaican night and an Italian night.
When we were at the resorts, we were jet lagged from Europe and went to bed after dinner. If you are not like us, you will be ready for the nightly entertainment from your table after a meal at the Terrace.
Recommended Order: Try the crab cake and the snapper.
Royal Grill is right on the beach so we get the calming sound of the waves and delicious food for dinner.
One great thing about Royal Grill is it does not require reservations.
Recommended Order: Easy choice, the Surf & Turf!
The tradition of afternoon teatime, which became popular in the 1800s, thrives today at Tea Terrace, a quaint tea bar that offers guests a late afternoon teatime experience. The Tea Terrace celebrates the love of tea with time-honored traditions passed on to the Caribbean islands from Great Britain.
Everyday from 4-5 pm you can enjoy tea service. This comes with your tea of choice which you choose from based on flavors and caffeine content. You also receive a selection of sandwiches. scones, and other small treats.
Wobbly Peacock is a lively pub with just the right mix of energy and easygoing appeal. The gastro pub cuisine provides snacks and opens at 3pm, going till midnight.
An impressive list of ales also adds to the Wobbly Peacock’s authentic pub charm, as this gastropub serves local and imported beer such as Guinness and Newcastle Brown Ale.
Recommended Order: Try the Buffalo chicken wings
No other all-inclusive in the world offers fine caviar available at the Caribbean’s finest and Jamaica’s only Caviar + Champagne bar. You will find a vast wine cellar of international quality and choice and caviar at an additional cost.
Suites & Villas
While most Sandals resorts have a large range of accommodations, Sandals Royal Plantation is an all-suite resort with every suite receiving butler services.
Sitting above the resort’s quiet East Beach is a unique, private three-bedroom Beachfront Villa Plantana. This exclusive retreat boasts its own separate driveway and a stone walkway that leads to the main resort. Expansive living and dining areas create a grand space that opens up to mesmerizing views of the ocean.
The villa includes its own private pool. You can relax on the patio with your favorite cocktail prepared by the villa’s butler.
Governor-General Oceanfront One Bedroom Butler Suite
Located on the top floor of the resort’s Beachfront West Wing, this exceptional Love Nest Butler Suite grants breathtaking views of the serene sea. It includes a spacious living and dining area, a grandmaster bedroom, and an en-suite bath. Outside, the suites’ two walkout balconies invite you to relax and take in the vistas on a chaise lounge and bistro set.
Royal Oceanfront One Bedroom Butler Suite
This regal Love Nest Butler Suite overlooks the resort’s quiet East Beach and offers spectacular ocean views from a private balcony. The suite includes an open living room with a fully stocked bar and a spacious master bedroom with a luxurious marble en-suite bathroom boasts a large Roman tub, walk-in shower, and other elegant touches.
Monarch Oceanfront Butler Suite
Showcasing a breezy living area, the Monarch Oceanfront Butler Suite features dramatic ocean views framed by the French balcony’s oversized sliding glass doors. These highly-coveted suites are located just steps from the beach in the resort’s West Wing.
Marquis Oceanfront B
Sandals Royal Plantation all-inclusive packages start at $324 per person and go up from there depending on the room and time of year you visit.
Honeymoon Packages at Sandals Royal Plantation
Sandals Royal Plantation is an ideal place for a honeymoon. Beyond all the many things included in a stay at a Sandals resort, if you make your trip within 30 days of your wedding date, there are a few add-ons that come free.
For a honeymoon at Sandals Royal Plantation, you will enjoy:
- A bottle of chilled sparkling wine is elegantly arranged in your room to toast your future.
- A special turndown service that includes flower petals on your bed on the first evening of your honeymoon.
- Fresh flowers and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.
Wedding Packages at Sandals Royal Plantation
The free Wedding Package at Sandals includes:
- A personal wedding planning team
- Preparation of marriage documents
- Picturesque ceremony location
- Bridal bouquet and a groom’s boutonniere of fuchsia Dendrobium orchids
- Reception including a wedding cake, table settings, a cocktail reception including a signature cocktail, and more.
When you get married at Sandals Royal Plantation you also receive:
- Breakfast in bed with mimosas for the morning of your choice
- Romantic turn-down service the first evening of your honeymoon.
- Honeymoon dinner with white-glove service in a specialty restaurant.
For an additional price, you can customize your wedding with chair caps, a ceremony structure, and other details.
When you stay longer at the resort, you receive even more. With a 7 night stay, you receive:
- $500 toward license and administrative fees
- $500 towards a room upgrade
- $200 Anniversary credit or videography credit on select packages
- $100 towards scuba, snuba, cabana, or candlelight dinner
The Bells & Whistles packages get even better when more people come to your wedding.
These extras range from tiki torches, sangria bars, Lobster dinners, firepit pa
What is included?
At Sandals resorts, when they say all-inclusive, they really mean you can arrive at the resort without having to worry about what is included and what is not.
Unlimited Fine Dining
For food, there is unlimited fine dining at 5 restaurants, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You also have access to the 17 restaurants and bars at Sandals Ochi.
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.
There is a pub located on the property called the Wobbly Peacock where you can enjoy a drink or you can have your butler bring you a drink by the pool.
In all rooms, there is a mini-fridge with soft drinks, local beer, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks, and a selection of premium liquor as well.
Additionally, every room includes a coffeemaker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee.
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 $20 a day, depending on how much you use their services.
Roundtrip airport transfers
A 90-minute air-conditioned bus transfer from Montego Bay International Airport to Sandals Royal Plantation and back is included.
For an additional cost, you can arrive in a private transfer in a luxury vehicle.
At Sandals, even scuba diving is included. For certified divers, you can dive up to twice a day with two tanks a day!
Scuba courses are not included but start at $120. At Sandals Royal Plantation, you will actually go next door to Sandals Ochi for Scuba diving.
Any guests can choose from water activities like using the Aquatrikes, Underwater Vision (Glass bottom) Boat, Kayaks, Windsurfing, Paddleboard, or going snorkeling.
Around the resort, there is always something to do. You’ll find pool tables, tennis courts, and other land sports.
For all Jamaica, Sandals resorts complimentary green fees are included. Just 15 minutes away will take you to the Sandals Golf & Country Club. All guests enjoy complimentary green fees and complimentary golf clinics are hosted weekly.
Caddies are mandatory and come at a cost of around $20 walking or $30 for a shared cart. Please tip your caddies since they are not Sandals employees.
If you would like a golf cart, shoes or clubs, they are available as well at an additional cost.
If you are looking for a workout, the Red Lane Spa has complimentary classes and workout equipment available.
There is nightly entertainment at the resort which varies between a Jazz trio, a Caribbean steel band, and dancing with the Cabaret performer. Inside the Wobbly Peacock, you can hear live piano melodies.
A few days a week there will be additional cocktail parties in the afternoon.
A Free Wedding at Sandals
If you are staying for over 3 nights you can get married for free!
All Day Room Service is available with a late night menu as well.
What is 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 tours available to book through Sandals including rum tours, ziplines, snorkeling cruises, dolphin encounters, deep-sea fishing, and ATV adventures to name a few.
Is Sandals Royal Plantation a couples-only resort?
Yes, in their own words Sandals states “Because we wanted to make your vacation as romantic and relaxing as possible, only couples may stay at Sandals. But we open our arms to welcome singles, friends, and families to our fabulous Beaches Resorts.”
Which is better; Sandals Royal Plantation or Ochi?
Sandals Royal Plantation provides a small resort feel, while still giving you access to the size and variety that Sandals Ochi has. Since you can experience everything Sandals Ochi has to offer while you are staying at Sandals Royal Plantation, we slightly prefer Sandals Royal Plantation over Ochi, but both are wonderful choices for an all-inclusive experience in Jamaica.
How Far Is Sandals Royal Plantation from the Airport
Sandals provide a 90-minute air-conditioned bus transfer from Montego Bay International Airport to Sandals Royal Plantation and back.
Is there a dress code at the specialty dining locations?
Most restaurants a Sandals have a resort casual dress code. This means shorts or jeans, t-shirts or polo shirts. Swimwear must be covered.
What is included in the butler service?
What we loved most about butler service were the surprises. Going into our room we found snacks and food regularly and while sitting on the beach our butler would brings us food right around lunch time.
You can expect your butler to greet you with scented towels upon arrival, offer welcome cocktails and snacks and escort you to your suite, taking care of your luggage.
Throughout your stay, you can contact them whenever you need anything like making reservations, serving you your favorite drinks, serving you lunch by the pool or on the beach, expediting room service orders and arranging for a romantic dinner for two in your suite or on your patio.