I attended a wedding there with very little in the way of expectations - Sandals Ocho Rios was unable to even meet those.
Food - Pretty lousy to average. This is not "resort quality" food. If you've never been to a resort or stayed at 4/5-star restaurant, you may think this is incredible (plenty of reviews and comments from people I met there would confirm this). However, if you are expecting a high quality experience - THIS IS NOT IT. Quality of food is more like a Holiday Inn.
Couldn't believe the freak show I witnessed in the form of other guests gouging themselves on the food that was rolled out.
Rooms - As of January 2006, the rooms on the Riveria side were still being renovated. The upgraded room furniture is nice (faux mahogany - think Marriott). The bathrooms are pretty lousy - more like something out of Motel 6 / Red Roof Inn.
Location - Would strongly recommend you look elsewhere in the Caribbean. Jamaica ranks low in wealth compared to the rest of the Caribbean and it will be obvious to anyone who has traveled to the Bahamas, USVI, BVI, Dutch Antilles that this is a whole new ballgame - I say this because you will not find a restaurant district or even decent tourist development like you will in the other locations I've mentioned. Having been to Haiti - Ocho Rios looks alot like Port-au-Prince. If you chose to disagree, fine - but what do you think the rationale for all of the all inclusive resorts in Jamaica is - there is nothing outside of the resort compound. The distance from Ocho Rios to the airport in Montego Bay can be a big inconvenience. Again, for those who've never been to the 3rd World, it is an eye-opener, but if you are bent on enjoying your vacation time you need to know that your first and last day on the ground are going to be consumed with the bus ride.
Given the choice, I will never stay at a Sandals property again - would highly recommend St Maarten, Caymans, St Thomas or Puerto Rico. If Sandals OR is all you can afford, you'll probably be happy - if you can spend an additional $500, it may save you a lot in a marriage counseling after the vacation.
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