Adam Stewart, son of Sandals founder Butch Stewart, has been on a quest to revamp the Sandals brand for the younger global traveler that seeks a broad and enriching experience rather than just an open bar. Looking at top hospitality resorts on the exclusive island of St. Barths and the French Rivera’s St. Tropez for elegance and inclusive trends for luxurious retreats, Stewart has implemented many new amenities and experiences. After a $60 million investment, Jamaica’s Sandals Grande Riviera Resort is now Sandals Ochi Beach Resort. Before Covid-19 we spent some time amid 100 lush and beautifully landscaped acres Sandals Ochi Beach Resort that is home to 529 villas, luxury styled rooms, and suites. Decorated in a modern plantation style, with mahogany furniture, the earth-toned décor, complete with stone, tile, and marble accents is tropical in feeling and luxurious by nature. A variety of accommodation options are available for guests including villas at Butler Village, which offers guests the opportunity to stay on the hillside of the St. Ann Mountains in a quiet and private setting. The attentive butlers will handle every request with excellence including arranging private dinners and making reservations. The suites and guest rooms at the Great House Village offer the guest a more traditional resort vacation. Perched on the hill and overlooking the sea below, the expansive swimming pool is stunning and there are restaurants overlooking the pools and a swim-up bar that gets lively in the afternoon. Down the hill and across the road, the Riviera Seaside Village offers guests immediate beach access, complete with a hot new beach club, private pools, water sport activities, and waterside dining.
At Sandals Ochi Beach Resort the beach experience includes the Ochi Beach Club where DJs and music enliven the cove beach experience. There are upgraded accommodations, and even more dining options including seven new Gourmet Discovery Dining options.
“Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is a game-changer for the all-inclusive resort experience in Jamaica,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts, during our stay at the festive opening. “With this re-launch, we’ve not only enhanced the resort but did so with the reimagined guest experience in mind, solidifying Sandals Ochi as Jamaica’s most comprehensive resort in the region.”
Like other Sandals Resorts, the couple’s experience is important. There are lovely spots for private dinners, and all the restaurants will help guests celebrate a special occasion. Sandals Ochi Beach Resort features new accommodations for Honeymooners including Love Nest Dream Suites and villas offering a private and romantic retreat for couples with 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; an emerging trend for couples travel.
With 16 restaurants and 11 bars throughout the resort, the guest may be overwhelmed with choices. Even guests that have stayed at other Sandals Resorts with finding new concepts for Sandals Resorts at Ochi. 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 roaring 1920’s themed new speakeasy, and entertainment venue.
The Sandals Ochi Beach Club has been restyled with new furniture and a deck lounge designed for scenic views. At the Beach Club, there is a lively beach party by day and at night it becomes an open-air nightclub. There is no better way to celebrate your trip to Jamaica than dancing the night away at Sandals Ochi Beach Club. Daily experiences will include pop-up entertainment and beachside activities. There are daily themed events: Sexy Sundays with mixologists, Caribbean Carnivale Beach Party with DJs and performers, Ho’ Down, and Beach J’ouvert featuring a cavalcade of color that fills the air with hues of the Caribbean. The list continues to include Throwback Thursdays with guests’ favorite games and Ultra Sizzle Pool Party where guests can enjoy a bonfire and the sounds of guest DJs and fireworks and an amazing Reggae Bonanza.
While the party atmosphere is exciting, guest seeking solitude can rest assured there are plenty of areas for quiet time poolside and oceanside and romantic private dinners. The resort is so large that the guest will still enjoy a sense of discovery days into their adventures. World-class experience at an all-inclusive resort has been redefined at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.
Photography by David Lewis Taylor.
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