How to spend a week at Sandals Ochos Rios Jamaica
Our holiday to Sandals Ochos Rios Jamaica in January was a welcome break from the cold of an English winter. Flying direct with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow, we made sure to make the most of their clubhouse lounge since we decided to upgrade our trip to Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class; the flight to Jamaica is around 10 1/2 hours so we knew an upgrade would be well worth it! Virgin Atlantic’s Upper-Class lounge is an amazing way to begin any holiday; from the unlimited drinks and breakfast to the multitude of spaces within the lounge to space to relax. When flying with Virgin Atlantic, it is always worth treating yourself to that extra special upgrade.
When we arrived at Sandals Ochos Rios Jamaica, the sun was thankfully shining, and the staff were more than helpful in showing us to our Butler Village Suite. The Butler Village Suite at Sandals is very spacious, with plenty of room for two, a large bathroom, lounge area, a kitchenette, and even our own semiprivate pool. Though I can't say we made great use of our pool as we always found ourselves down at the main Hillside pool or the Ochi Beach Club!
Sandals Ochos Rios Jamaica is a very large resort that can accommodate nearly 2000 guests, though thanks to the grandness of the resort it never felt busy, and we never had to wait long for any food or drinks. Sandals Ochos Rios Jamaica is divided into two sections, the Hillside and Riviera side. The Hillside was where we spent most of our time thanks to the large pool and amazing swim up bar service on offer there!
We mostly spent our days tanning poolside before making our way down to the beach on the Riviera side of the resort and enjoying the live entertainment, music, and beautiful Caribbean Sea. With 16 bars and restaurants to choose from at the resort, we only just about managed to visit all of the restaurants and bars. Our two favourite restaurants offered a fusion of Asian cuisine: Soy offered guests fantastic sushi appetisers, while its neighbour Kimono's was a teppanyaki style restaurant with an amazing atmosphere created by the talented chefs. Our favourite bar by far was Jamaica’s one and only speak easy: The Rabbit Hole! The Rabbit Hole served the most fantastical drinks, both from on and off the menu when the bartenders were feeling creative. Open until late, The Rabbit Hole offered music and entertainment long into the night...Though I can't say we made it much past midnight very often as we were always keen to wake up early and enjoy the fantastic breakfast at The Southern Table and Le Gourmand.
Whilst at Sandals Jamaica we decided to book an excursion through their recommended tour group Island Routes - we are so glad we took this suggestion as Island Routes made our trip to Dunn’s River Falls absolutely fantastic. We boarded our catamaran from the Sandals Ochi Dock early in the morning; the crew were extremely efficient at making us feel welcome, and safe, as we left and set sail on the Caribbean Sea.
First, we visited a snorkelling spot to begin with where an excellent guide explained what we were seeing down below us on the reef; there was an abundance of different fish and sea life including Jellyfish and Stingrays buried in the sand. Once we arrived at the Dunn’s River Falls our climbing guide, organised through Island Routes, met us at the dock. They were excellent tour guides and made us feel extremely safe whilst ascending up the 1000-foot waterfall. Visiting Dunn’s River Falls is a fantastic excursion to do your Jamaica holiday and is something I highly recommend to both couples and families visiting Jamaica!
Sadly, all good things must come to an end and after a week in paradise it was time fly home. Our transfer from Sandals to Montego Bay Airport was swift and smooth and all organised by the hotel for us, all we had to do was pack our bags and be ready at the designated time in the lobby. We flew back to Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic and can't wait to return to Jamaica again soon!