Three words: Sandals Grande Riviera.
It recently underwent a $60M in renovations and currently is it very aggressively priced so that I can say with confidenece: bar none – the best value in the Caribbean! Butler suites – more affordable than ever! My hunch is that a year from now these deals will not be there.
Golf: 15 minutes transfers, as well as green fees included.
Scuba diving included for certified divers.
And FOOD deserves it’s own chapter. When they say culinary trip around the world – they are not kidding. Only 2 out of 15 restaurants require reservations (Kimonos – tepanyaki style asian restaurant – because of the seating configurations, and Kelly’s Dockside which is Pier outdoor dining restaurant). No getting up in the morning to make specialty dining reservations only to find restaurants booked, just walk in and enjoy! I was really impressed with Neptunes (Mediterannean Seafood), and especially when I tried food at other Neptunes restaurants (Sandals Whitehouse Neptunes for example), because although some items on the menu are the same, the creativity of every chef is evident. For example crab bisque was more stock based at Riviera Grande and more cream based at Whitehouse, both of them superb, but definitelly they let their executive chefs shine.
Ingrediets are fresh, local, chefs are talented and happy – perfect gastronomic experience! And let’s not forget the weekly extras:
- Monday- Jamaica Day and Great House Soiree
- Tuesday- Island Day & Reggae Night & Sandals Coctail Reception & Dinner
- Wednesday- White Party & Chocolate Buffet (come dressed in all white)
- Thursday- Talent show
- Friday- Beach Party
- Saturday- Caribbean Pana-rhythm at the Amphitheatre (steel pan orchestra)
- Sunday- Island Romance & Lovers Game Show
Also premium liquor is included 10 bars throughout the resort, full bar at the concierge and butler categories, fridge with sodas water and beer in other categories.
Spa is another must. Sandals was just awarded Best Spa in the Caribbean by TravelAgeWest Wave Awards for the Red Lane Spa (let me sneak in one more photo of myself as I was at the award ceremony at Four Seasons Beverly Hills – the actual award is in the photo below)
There is an amazing solarium at this spa, with cascading water down the pebble walls.
And as much as I am a beach person, I know a lot of people that are strictly pool people so here is that info as well: 7 main pools and 87 (yes, eighty seven) freshwater villa swimming pool including the enromous zero-entry main Great House pool, 3 cold plunge pools and 22 (twenty two) Hot Tubs.
And Ocho Rios is the place where all the major Jamaican excursions and activities happen: Dunn River Falls, Zip Lining, Horseback riding, etc. etc.
Also, never before offered deals on groups as small as 6 rooms. Last year the deals were at the Royal Bahamian as the Balmoral Tower just opened up in March 2012. We can’t even come close to those prices for bookings that are happening at this time for Sandals Royal Bahamian.
In my opinion Grande Riviera is this 2012-2013 deal to end all deals. As Gordon “Butch” Stewart (Founder & Chairman, Sandals Resorts) says: “More quality inclusions than any other resorts in the world!” Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios Jamaica certainly proves it.
Butch Stewart and myself Sandals Grande Antigua Dec 2011
(couldn’t help myself)
p.s. if you want a beautiful oversized brochure of this property e-mail me your address firstname.lastname@example.org and my office will mail you one.