Sandals Ochi Beach!
You probably know by now that we’re big fans of the Sandals family of resorts across the Caribbean.
You can read about the ultimate all-inclusive resorts in our on-going series of Southern Girl Travel Guides to Sandals! including guides to:
Sandals Montego Bay
Sandal Royal Caribbean
Sandals Carlyle (now known as the Sandals Inn)
Sandals Royal Plantation
with more to come.
If you read our last guide to Sandals Royal Plantation, you’ll know that one of the reasons we are such big fans of Royal Planation (one of Sandals smallest resorts at only 74 rooms) is its proximity to one of Sandals’ largest resorts, Sandals Ochi Beach.
Kayaking at Ochi Beach…it’s included!
Ochi Beach features a variety of rooms types, both on the beach and tucked into the hillsides of Ocho Rios, as well as 16 separate and distinct restaurants, 11 bars, the Sandals Golf and Country Club, and a few special surprises.
Today, in our next installment of the Southern Girl Travel Guides to Sandals! we’re featuring Sandals Ochi Beach.
Read a little from Sandals’ official site:
The Most Happening Place is Happening Now…There are two sides to every story. This new all-inclusive resort has a hot new beach club, 11 bars—including the Caribbean’s first speakeasy—and 16 totally on-trend restaurants. It’s exciting and it’s happening – but only when you want it to be. Because the other side of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort offers unsurpassed privacy when you want a more serene escape. A true Garden of Eden encompassing over 100 acres, this resort is so vast and lush that, no matter where you find yourself, you’ll always feel as if there’s plenty of space for just the two of you. All the things that make Jamaica such a uniquely spectacular destination are at the heart of Sandals Ochi. Jamaica’s most dramatic luxury all-inclusive resort has truly arrived.
And having visited recently, we can attest that Ochi Beach really does give you a taste of the best of Jamaica, including the beach, the ocean, and the lush green mountains that make it famous!
Where is Sandal Ochi Beach? Where is Ocho Rios?
We’ve written extensively about how the Montego Bay, Jamaica area can be the perfect spot for a Caribbean getaway.
With resorts like Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Royal Caribbean only a few minutes from the airport, you can lounge on a Jamaican beach less than four hours after taking off from most airports in the Southeast.
If you’re ready to step out a little further into Jamaica, Ochi Beach is a perfect choice as Ocho Rios is just over an hours’ drive from Montego Bay, east along the coast.
The drive itself is part of the fun.
Along the A1 on the way to Ocho Rios
Transfers from the airport are included and you’ll likely get the fun of a stop at one of Jamaica’s famous roadside jerk shacks. The views of the ocean along the way are magnificent!
A quick note on flying into Jamaica: When headed to Ochi Beach, you’ll be flying into the Sangster International Airport. Sangster is one of the largest and busiest airports in the Caribbean and getting through customs and immigration can be a bear – we always use and we HIGHLY recommend that all our clients utilize the services of Club Mobay.
Club Mobay is an arrival and departure club/service whose representatives will meet you at your arrival gate, see you safely through customs and immigration, and settle you into their arrival lounge for a drink or two before they connect you with your ground transportation.
They’ll do the same thing in reverse when it’s time for you to (sadly) leave Jamaica. Club Mobay’s parent company, VIP Attractions, also operates a similar service at Kingston’s airport, known as Club Kingston.
Sandals’ own private arrival lounge is right beside the Club Mobay arrival lounge at Sangster so you’ll be right where you need to be.
If you are using Club Mobay for your arrival, you can pretty easily enjoy both lounges!
This would be a good time to mention the Sandals/Beaches arrival lounge at Sangster.
It’s a cozy spot to enjoy those first few minutes of your all-inclusive experience. The lounge provides a comfortable wait for your transfer to Ocho Rios.
You’ll have places to sit, relax, and enjoy a beer and maybe some rum punch (all are included). Make sure to pick up a copy of the Gleaner – the nearly 200 year-old Jamaican newspaper – and see what’s happening around the island.
You’ll be alerted when your ride is ready and in another hour or so you’ll be pulling up at Sandals Ochi Beach.
Check out this video…Sandals is waiting for you!
Check out a few more of Ochi’s features, again from Sandals’ official site:
- The All-Butler Village & Great House
- The Caribbean Riviera
- Butler service in select categories
- Surrounded by tropical gardens & ocean views
- Ochi Beach Club
- Golf at Sandals Golf & Country Club is included
- Unlimited fine dining at 16 restaurants
- 11 bars including 3 swim-up pool bars
- Caribbean’s first Speakeasy
- Unlimited premium spirits
- Unlimited Mondavi® wines
- 105 pools and 22 whirpools
- Unlimited land and water sports
- Unlimited scuba diving
- Separate scuba pool
- Red Lane® Spa (services extra)
- Free non-stop round trip airport transfers
- Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas
Ochi Beach is unique among Sandals resorts in that there really are two resorts in one. Again from Sandals’ official site:
Choose the energy of the Caribbean Riviera & Ochi Beach Club overlooking half a mile of white-sand beach, or the privacy of the secluded Butler Villas & Great House Estate on the hillside above. Whatever your choice, love is truly all you need.
You’ll have your choice when staying at Sandals Ochi Beach of accommodations on the beach or further up the hillside from the ocean. Here’s a few more official quotes from Sandals on the choice of surroundings at Ochi Beach:
On the beach:
With its crisp white and French blue appointments and totally on-trend offerings, nobody has captured this unique ambiance quite like the Riviera Village, where every view is composed of blue skies and turquoise waters.
In the secluded hillside above:
Tucked naturally into the hillside, the All-Butler Village is a private enclave of villas that includes the exclusive services of a dedicated personal butler trained by the prestigious Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Check out this video from Sandals for a little more of the “feel” of Sandals Ochi:
The Butler Villas on the hillside above the beach are, of course, home to a collection of accommodations that come with the services of one of Sandals specially trained butlers, a treat that will make your stay that much more special.
Enjoy this video from Sandals Grande Antigua and find out a little more about Sandals’ butler service:
While butler service is exclusive to the Villas, nearly everything else at Ochi really is included! Sandals is one of the originators of all-inclusive and we believe they do it extremely well.
Few Thoughts on All-Inclusive: If you haven’t already, read our Southern Girl Travel Guide to Sandals.
You’ll learn more about what all-inclusive means at Sandals. You’ll be pleased. At Sandals (unlike some other all-inclusive resorts) all-inclusive means that nearly every thing really is included in the price of your stay.
All your food and drink will be included. We don’t mean just well-brand liquors either. Everything at the bar is included. The only exception we know of is that some Sandals restaurants will offer more exclusive wines at an extra charge, but we have experienced no pressure to purchase.
We have checked out from a week’s stay at Sandals with absolutely no additional charges and you can, too.
Tips are not allowed unless you are in a butler suite – and even then they are not necessary, but you will likely want to reward the amazing service you will receive. Off-resort you’ll want to be prepared to tip as you would anywhere (we’ve noticed some serious pressure to tip in the airport).
Off-resort excursions do cost extra as do a few other things. Let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll give you all the details.
What are the rooms really like at Ochi?
Sandals is famous for a wide range of room types and categories. At the writing of this guide (February 2018) Sandals has 4 separate room levels at Ochi, with the most affordable rooms being the Great House Luxury room, and the most extravagant being the Butler Villa with 4 One-Bedroom Suites and Private Pool and the Butler Village Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet One Bedroom Villa Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary.
Just drop us a line and we’ll detail all the room features in each category.
Enjoy a few photos of the various room types:
Food & Drink!
Now for our favorite part of Sandals travel – the food and the drink!
Ochi is a little different than many Sandals resorts. Because of its scale, Ochi boasts 16 separate and distinct restaurants! And because of that number, instead of writing a little about each of them here, we are going to refer you to Sandals’ official website for all the details and feature a few of our favorites here.
Before we jump in here are some things to remember on dress codes and reservations:
The dress codes are not at all strict, but they do matter.
Resort casual includes dress shorts or jeans. Any swimwear must be covered and no bare feet.
Sandals considers resort evening to include elegant wear with dress trousers for men, no t-shirts or sleeveless shirts, and dress shoes. Again, the dress codes are enforced, especially resort evening. Men, watch that shoe requirement and make sure to bring a pair of decent shoes in addition to those flip flops and tennis shoes!
Many of the popular restaurants can get rather busy at Sandals and we recommend planning what restaurants you would like to try before your travels. Make a list and meet with the concierge immediately upon your arrival to make reservations.
Don’t wait, especially when traveling during peak times.
Again, check out Sandals’ official site for all the detail on the 16 restaurants that Ochi has to offer, and here are a few of our favorites:
There’s nothing quite like the dining experience at Soy Sushi Bar, a quaint restaurant tucked behind bamboo fronds and adorned with unique Oriental décor, dim lighting, and fresh, delectable sushi. Giving guests a taste of the Far East with traditional and contemporary sushi creations, Soy is named after soy sauce, a customary ingredient in the art of sushi. This remarkable sushi house offers exciting flavors and exotic sushi creations made-to-order. Chefs skillfully prepare sushi using only the freshest ingredients. Guests can enjoy a nightcap or pre-dinner cocktail near the stone-lined fire pits, and inside, will discover great ambiance with the stone statues, pendant lighting, and mahogany furniture.
When it comes to sushi, Soy has plenty of answers. Sample delicacies like the Orange Blossom, a guest favorite with tuna, crabmeat, and avocado rolled with salmon and topped with Tobiko, mango sauce and unagi sauce.
The bar area is popular with groups while the intimate booths create the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two to celebrate a special occasion. With a style that is just as diversified as the inspiring sushi palate, chefs of Soy are eager to present guests with varying flavors of the Far East and share the essence of a consistent house style that is elegantly balanced through their splendid selection of daily specials, soups, sushi, sashimi, and sake.
Soy’s dress code is Resort Casual (see the dress code descriptions above) and reservations are not required. Currently listed hours (which are subject to change) are:
Supper: 6:00pm – 9:00pm (closed on Mondays)
Check out a sample menu.
Soy really is one of our favorite spots at Ochi. Jamaica is a very long way from Japan, but the sushi was surprisingly good, the atmosphere was terrific, and we found ourselves eating supper one night and stopping in for a snack and a drink every other night we visited Ochi.
The staff remembered us on every visit and Soy will be on our short list for our next visit to Ochi.
Neptune, the Roman god of water and the sea, is one of the most well known deities of Roman mythology. It’s said that his powers are at the core of Neptune’s, our Mediterranean seafood restaurant – and after dining here, you just might believe the old tale rings true. For years, the chefs of Neptune’s have made it their mission to provide the most authentic reflection of Mediterranean heritage through robust menu offerings and a sundry setting. From the splendor of the rustic, open-air restaurant design, to the beauty of the turquoise sea, guests are offered a true, coastal Mediterranean experience directly on the beach, against the backdrop of the beautiful Jamaican Riviera.
With casual European elegance, the Neptune-blessed cuisine highlights the best in Mediterranean fare. Eggplant, artichokes, squash, tomatoes, legumes, onions, mushrooms, okra, cucumbers, and herbs are used to embellish three course meals of fresh seafood such as lobster, mussels, octopus, shrimp, salmon, tuna. Traditional delights such as feta lamb kebabs, tzatkiki, and saffron-infused Bouillabaisse are tantalizing temptations. You’ll marvel at sea vistas just within reach, the sweeping views, the inviting, laid back atmosphere, and the divine desserts; but most of all, you’ll laud enticing cuisine said to be touched by a god.
Neptune’s dress code is Resort Casual (see the dress code descriptions above) and reservations are not required. Currently listed hours (which are subject to change) are:
Supper: 6:00pm – 10:00pm (closed on Thursdays)
Check out a sample menu.
Don’t miss Neptune’s. The food is great and dining on the beach really is a great experience!
Discover Pier Excellence. With an unmatched ambience and irresistibly luscious fare, Kelly’s Dockside is the ultimate in dining al fresco. You’ll marvel at the spectacular views, the lantern lighting, and the delectable cuisine of this over-the-water restaurant. Kelly’s is not only situated in an ideal location, but it also boasts sumptuous delights from land and sea that are just as idyllic. It won’t take long to realize the charm of this serene, seaside bar and grill…and be sure to take a romantic stroll to the end of the pier to view the fiery Ocho Rios sunset.
But it’s the famous Kelly’s Sampler that typically steals the limelight with its appetizing combination of jerk chicken wings, conch fritters, beef burritos, marinated feta with sun-dried tomatoes, cured Italian meats, artichokes, and fried rice noodles with marinated vegetables.
The beautiful restaurant lit up by lanterns and the Caribbean sun, mixed with mouthwatering culinary delights and the sound of the waves softly caressing the sand, presents guests with a most romantic evening under the starry sky.
And best of all, guests can indulge in selections from the innovative Kelly’s menu. From perfectly seasoned meats and seafood, to delectable sides and desserts, flavorful combinations with the sauces to accompany them abound. Guests rave about the juicy filet mignon, the sizzling shrimp, and the spicy salmon. With an amazing sunset, gorgeous views, and the best steak and seafood around, it doesn’t get much better than Kelly’s Dockside, a place you’ll want to brag about.
Kelly’s dress code is Resort Casual (see the dress code descriptions above) and reservations are required. Currently listed hours (which are subject to change) are:
Supper: 5:30pm – 9:30pm (closed on Wednesday)
Check out a sample menu.
Where food and drink is concerned, Ochi is unique among Sandals and apparently among resorts across the Caribbean as it has a special speakeasy-style bar/nightclub call the Rabbit Hole.
Check out this video to learn more:
Enjoy a few more dining shots from Ochi:
Activities (other than lounging on the beach, eating, and drinking)
You may never get past the lounging on the beach stage, but if you’re ready for some physical activity and fun, this video should give you an idea of what to expect:
Ochi Beach has a ton of offerings – and nearly all are included.
Here’s a sampling:
On the water you’ll find:
- Paddle Boarding
- Glass Bottom Boat
- Hobie Cats
- Multiple Pools and Whirlpools
Like all Sandals resorts, Ochi also includes Scuba Diving…with just a few limitations on what’s included.
If you’re a diver and have questions, let us now.
On land you’ll find:
- Pool Tables
- Board Games
- Day & Night Tennis
There’s also a well appointed fitness center to help work off all the great food and drink you’ll be enjoying. The above is just a sample.
For a full list of all the activities checkout Ochi’s official site!
How about what’s not included?
Of course, once you leave the resort and venture into Ocho Rios, you’re back to the real world where everything is not included. While that’s always an option, we prefer to spend most of our time hanging out at the resort and relaxing.
There are, however, a few options you really should consider for an extra charge.
Sandals Red Lane Spas are available at every resort. At Sandals Ochi Beach, you can enjoy a number of different treatments including private massages along the beach. Contact us for all the details.
Sandals features Island Routes for off-resort excursions. There are a ton of choices that – if you like – will let you spend time exploring even the interior of Jamaica, making it back to Ochi Beach for a relaxing evening.
Some of your choices include:
- Visiting Dunn’s River Falls
- Taking an off-road 4×4 safari
- Swimming with the dolphins
- Segwaying around an estate
- Taking a reggae cruise on one of those cool resort catamarans
Occasionally, Sandals will even offer a Catamaran cruise as a booking bonus, so reach out and we’ll give you all the details.
Thanks so much for sticking with us this long!
Let’s end with a few shots from Ochi Beach after hours!
Please don’t hesitate to let us know what questions you have about Sandals Ochi – we’ll be happy to arrange your trip to Jamaica today!
And a special thank you to Sandals for allowing us to use the great photos and videos in this post!
Never forget to: