The grounds of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort offer 16 restaurants, a beach club and lush gardens. // © 2015 Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Feature image (above): The property is home to a signature Sandals tower. // © 2015 Sandals Ochi Beach Resort
Sandals is once again heating up Jamaica’s coastline with a new debut. After a cool multimillion-dollar renovation, the former Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort has reemerged as Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.
In May, Sandals Resorts International celebrated the relaunch of its largest resort in traditional Sandals style, with free-flowing champagne, late-night parties and a special on-site performance by Shaggy. During the grand opening event, travel agents were given a first-hand look at the new side of Sandals.
In addition to a complete renovation, the hefty investment has provided a new beach concept and renovated culinary and entertainment experiences. When booking a stay, guests can expect expanded butler service with the introduction of the All-Butler Village, a collection of suites tucked in a private hill behind the Great House (formerly known as the Manor). The public areas, including the gardens and beach area, are showing off refreshed and lighter looks with new lighting, Zen ponds and fire pits.
The resort offers guests 16 restaurants and 11 bars as part of its Gourmet Discovery Dining concept. Among these restaurants and bars, several are new to the relaunch. Tapas on the Riviera serves international tapas and small bites; Le Gourmand lets diners take a trip to Paris with its high-end French fare; Sky Terrace serves fresh seafood al fresco, while The Southern Table is the spot for soul food as well as daily breakfast.
For a casual setting, visit Ocean, a beach bar, or Jerk Shack for Jamaican jerk cuisine. The Rabbit Hole, a new speakeasy-style bar is a hidden jewel on the property. Guests will find themselves stepping off the resort and into the back room of a city bar, with sexy cocktails and live jazz. Guests must access The Rabbit Hole with a secret password that changes daily and can only be obtained from staff members. Also new to dining is the resort’s partnership with Robert Mondavi Winery, whose vintages are served in the restaurants and bars on property. Down by the beach, guests will find Ochi Beach Club, which got a face-lift with new furniture and a new deck lounge.
Daily experiences poolside will include pop-up entertainment and daily themes, such as Sexy Sundays, complete with bloody mary cocktails, and Mix + Blend Power Hour with the resort’s mixologists. Other themed experiences include Caribbean Carnivale Beach Party with live DJs; Ho’ Down with line-dance classes and a mechanical bull ride; Ultra Sizzle Pool Party with a bonfire and fireworks; and Reggae Bonanza, which showcases Jamaican culture.
Weekly, the resort will celebrate Jamaica Day and Hot White “Choc It Up” Night, featuring a chocolate buffet and Caribbean performers. For something a little mellower, head over to Popcorn & Palms Cinema for an outdoor flick, complete with popcorn, wine and pizza.