Sandals Ochi | Ocho Rios, Jamaica
No, you are not having deja vu… and yes, I did go to Jamaica two weeks in a row. Why? The last trip (with James) was more of a business trip, and you can read about that trip here. This particular trip was planned months ago – I actually planned this trip and gave it to my mom as her Christmas present! This was a very special trip for several personal reasons, but also because I haven’t taken a big trip like this with my mom since I graduated from High School!
Another thing that I have to note about this trip, and this blog post in particular, is that I somehow managed to leave my Nikon camera at home. So if the quality of some of these photo isn’t up to normal standards… that’s why! We did buy a few professional ones, and I had my GoPro (which I HIGHLY recommend) – so it worked out okay! 🙂
Things to Note about Sandals Ochi:
We all know that I love Sandals Resorts, right? Well, this was my 6th Sandals Resort that I have stayed at and my 9th Sandals Resort that I have visited! And as always, please please ask if you ever have questions about any of them!
I plan to create a Blog that simply focuses on a “Tour” of the resort later on. So for right now, I am simply going to list a few things that I loved and a few things that I didn’t love about this particular resort.
- THE PEOPLE – The native people of an island can truly make or break how you feel about an island vacation, and will usually determine if you will return or not. Well, the people of Jamaica are one in a million! And by now, I have stayed in three different cities in Jamaica, so I feel like I can speak for the island when I say YEAH MON!
- Large Resort – I liked the fact that Ochi is the largest of all of the Sandals Resorts! You actually have to take a shuttle to get from end to end, because half of the resort is separated by a road. Some people may not like that, but I like constantly trying new restaurants, bars, etc.
- The Vibe – The vibe at each and every Sandals Resort is very different. The vibe at Sandals Ochi is extremely high-energy and has a bit of a “party vibe”. That may not be a fit for everyone, but it was perfect for us. Since I was traveling with my mom, I didn’t want to pick an overly romantic resort! lol
I didn’t love…
- The Beach – I am 100% a beach person. The beach at Sandals Ochi is very small and all of the chairs are very close together. I like to have a semi-private area on the beach where I can breathe and relax, and that was a bit hard to do here. But, if you are more of a pool person, then there are plenty of options for you!
- The Drive from the Airport – I will say that our driver was absolutely fabulous! If you do go, I hope you get Cheap Charlie as your driver! But the downside is that Sandals Ochi is almost a 2 hour drive from MBJ airport. Meaning, you miss half of your day when you get there, and you have to get up extra early when you leave!
Recap of Our Time at Sandals Ochi:
Surprisingly, we did not leave the resort and go on any excursions on this trip. I know that Jamaica has a ton of beautiful hidden gems to explore. However, we were just excited to relax and spend time together. If you are going to Jamaica soon, Island Routes is a great website to use if you want to look into different excursions that are available!
As mentioned, there is a bit of a drive to get to Sandals Ochi… so we did not arrive until late afternoon. But once we did arrive, we were excited to just sit down, enjoy a drink, and take in the gorgeous views! Sandals Ochi has some great rooftop areas that offer some of the most stunning views!
Later in the evening, we had dinner at Kelly’s Dockside – which is located on a dock over-top-of the ocean! It was a lovely evening and the food was outstanding! The theme for the night was “Broadway” and the entertainment staff put on an excellent Broadway tribute show!
To begin our day, we hopped on the shuttle and went over to the other side of the resort for breakfast. Later, we spent most of the day at the main pool on that side. We took part in a pool exercise class with Ryan, which was fun! Then, I played a game where you were supposed to get a ring over a bottle of rum… which I was not very good at! LOL (pictured below).
Later, we went back over to the beach side of the resort. Snorkeling trips are always free at Sandals Resorts, so we took advantage of that on our first full day at Ochi!
For dinner, we ate at Valentino’s, which is the Italian restaurant on the resort. This is ALWAYS one of my favorite dining experiences, and this particular one was even better than usual!
The theme of this night was “Caribbean Beach Party”! The staff was cutting open fresh coconuts and filling them with rum… and as much as I travel to the Caribbean, this was a first for me! It was soo delicious, I hope to have one again next time!
We spent most of day 3 on the beach! Even though the beach was small, the water was beautiful and crystal clear when the sun was shining! Also, there was a school of yellow fish that lived near the rocks at the end of the beach. I typically spend most of my time in the water, because I love it and because I don’t do hot well. I can’t just lay in a hot chair for hours… that is not for me! We actually ended up pulling some lounge chairs down into the water for a while!
Later, we spent sometime at the rooftop bar that overlooks the ocean. Then, we had dinner at Neptunes – which is located right in the sand on the beach! That is always a cool experience!
The theme for the night was “Reggae Night”. So naturally, we enjoyed reggae music all evening long! And speaking of that, the entertainment staff at Sandals Ochi was one of the best groups that I have seen to date!
We spent our last full day on the beach again, so that part is basically the same. However later in the afternoon, they had a “color party” – where they gave us all colored powder that we eventually threw into the air and onto ourselves. HA. It was way more fun than it sounds 🙂 (Picture below).
For dinner, we ate at the French restaurant on site, where I had one of the best steaks that I have ever had in my life! Pro tip: ALWAYS make reservations at the restaurants that require them – they are the best!
The theme for this night was “White Night”, where you dress in all white clothing and they provide a chocolate buffet! Great concept, right? LOL.
Sadly, we had to head back home… and even more sadly, we had to get on our shuttle for the airport at 6:45 am to catch our 11 am flight (that ended up being delayed). We had several issues with flights being delayed on our way back, but oh well, that stuff happens.
No matter what, we were going to have a good time… but the staff at Sandals Ochi definitely made that easy for us! My mom and I had a great vacation together and I hope we get to go on another one before too long!
As always, please reach out with any travel related questions! I love chatting with you guys and sharing helpful tips!
Later this week, I will be leaving for Bryson City, NC with Olivia for a Spa getaway! 🙂 So stay tuned and thanks for reading my Recap of Sandals Ochi!
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