Sandals Debuts Revamped Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios
PHOTO: Sandals Ochi Beach Resort now features a signature pool next to the Great House. (All photos by James Shillinglaw)
Sandals Resorts International, continuing its strategy to provide “luxury included” all-inclusive resorts around the Caribbean, on April 11 formally unveiled the refurbished Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Formerly known as Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort, the property has been redeveloped to offer a beach experience, upgraded accommodations and even more dining options.
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, which combines the former Sandals Ocho Rios and Ciboney resorts, features nearly 500 rooms that have been completely refurbished over the past year, as well as seven new Gourmet Discovery Dining options and a new Ochi Beach Club, among other improvements.
“Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is a game changer for the all-inclusive resort experience in Jamaica,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts, in a briefing for media and Sandals’ top-selling travel agents. “With this re-launch, we’ve not only enhanced the resort, but did so with a reimagined guest experience in mind solidifying Sandals Ochi as Jamaica’s most comprehensive resort in the region.”
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort’s enhancements include new Gourmet Discovery Dining options, with 16 restaurants featuring a wide variety of cuisine and 11 bars throughout the resort. These include a number of new concepts for Sandals such as a Southern restaurant, a jerk chicken outlet, a tapas restaurant and a speakeasy bar. Restaurants include Tapas on the Riviera, an international tapas restaurant; Le Gourmand, a high-end French restaurant; Sky, a seafood beachside restaurant; The Southern Table, featuring Southern soulful cooking; Ocean, a beach bar reminiscent of the South of France; Jerk Shack, featuring authentic and casual Jamaican Jerk; and the Rabbit Hole, a new speakeasy bar and nightclub.
Like other Sandals resorts, Sandals Ochi Beach will serve Robert Mondavi Wines, a partnership introduced late last year. Guests can enjoy an expanded complimentary wine list as well as an enhanced Manager’s Wine List and on-resort programming including wine pairings and wine tastings.
Sandals Ochi Beach also features a completely renovated room and suite inventory, including an All-Butler Village where suites are served by English-trained butlers. New accommodations also include Love Nest Dream suites and villas providing a romantic retreat for couples with private plunge pools, balconies, large bathrooms and amenities such as plush terry robes, hand-embroidered Egyptian cotton duvets and plasma TVs. The resort also refurbished its luxury private villa blocks built for couples to travel with friends.
The resort also has a revamped Sandals Ochi Beach Club, restyled with new furniture and deck lounge designed for seclusion and scenic views. The club features a beach party by day and an outdoor nightclub by night. Daily experiences will include cirque-like pop-up entertainment and beachside activities, such as daily themed events such as Sexy Sundays with mixologists; Caribbean Carnivale Beach Party with live DJs and performers; Ho’ Down with a line dance class and mechanical bull ride; Beach Jouvert featuring a cavalcade of color that fills the air with hues of the Caribbean; retro Throwback Thursdays with guests’ favorite games from the past; Ultra Sizzle Pool Party where guests can enjoy a bonfire, guest DJs and fireworks; and Reggae Bonanza for guests to experience authentic Jamaican culture.
PHOTO: Gourmet Discovery Dining options now include the Jerk Shack, a Jamaican eatery
Guests also can enjoy weekly events such as Jamaica Day, Hot White “Choc it Up” Night and Chocolate Buffet as well as Caribbean Pana-rhythm performances. In the upper part of the resort, Popcorn & Palms Cinema features movies under the stars with popcorn.
Sandals Ochi Beach also has new landscaping throughout the resort and new furnishings, including updated furniture, new lighting, Zen ponds and fire pits. It also now features more pools (105) than any other resort in Jamaica, including the newly renovated Oasis Pool or main pool.
When guests arrive at the Great House, formerly known as the Manor, they will walk through a revitalized porte cochere area with fountains and water features. A new transportation hub called The Hop has been added so guests can take a jitney ride down to the beach in minutes. In addition, the resort’s meetings and conference area has a fresh, new look with new drapes, tile and carpet in the corridor.
Sandals Ochi Beach also features new settings and improvements where couples can take their vows during a Sandals WeddingMoon. They can get married on the beach during sunset at the chic Ochi Beach club or on the newly manicured lawns near the Great House. Couples also can be driven from location to location on their big day in a customized Wedding Chariot.
Like other Sandals resorts, Sandals Ochi Beach also includes all activities, such as sailing, kayaking, tennis, beach volleyball and unlimited scuba diving. The resort’s diving program includes dives with a range of depth between 30 and 130 feet with top-of-the-line equipment and guided tours provided. A comprehensive AquaCenter caters to divers certified by PADI, the industry recognized diving organization; non-certified divers looking to dive for the first time can take the PADI Discover Scuba Diving course for a nominal fee in a special scuba certification pool and dive the same day.
More by James Shillinglaw
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