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“Very good value”
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Very good
12 reviews
Master Suite
Master Suite
Master Suite
Loft with Twin Beds
7.Bath has Spa Shower with Extra Large Shower Head and Hot Water is available in all taps
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Condo/Apartment -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 4
Ocho Rios, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 12 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
English first
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Very good value”
Reviewed 6 February 2016 for a stay in January 2016

All services as good as expected, towels and bed linen and pleasant helper.
Nice accommodation, no problems. All worked well.
Short walk past the well maintained pool to the well maintained beach.
Many supermarkets a short walk away but the fantastic market still only a walk away.
We loved it and didn't want to leave. We're returning next year.
Very good value

Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 65+
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2015 for a stay in October 2015

I have ended up not staying at Sandcastles, but Howard went out of his way to answer all my questions and give me options to make it happen...it counts when you feel wanted. I will certainly look into booking this place.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nidy H
Ithaca, New York
1 review
“Comfortable, Convenient, and Enjoyable”
Reviewed 7 April 2015 for a stay in April 2015

I travelled to Ocho Rios with two friends. The apartment is comfortable, clean, beautiful, and very well located. It is close to the beach, stores, restaurants, and the bus terminal. Miss Lulu, the housekeeper, was helpful and made sure we had everything we needed. Even though we did not have the chance to meet Howard, he was always accesible and very responsive. We had a very good time.

Travelling group: Friends
Your age range 25-34
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renee N
1 review
Reviewed 1 April 2015 for a stay in December 2013

We just came back from a lovely week in Ocho Rios. 6 days was not long enough to take everything in! We spent most of our time soaking up the sun on the nice beach that is by the property (even though it did drizzle a few times). We did manage to get some excursions in too though - Dunn's River is a must see, at first I was a little worried about climbing the falls, but they have a buddy system where the tour guide leads a large group of us, and they tell you where to step and everything. I personally had a blast! Its soo beautiful and the water is so warm (I'm used to colder temps up in Cape Cod). We also went to Margaritaville 3 nights during our stay. Honestly I don't know if it was the pina coladas or what, but we just had soo much fun!! They apparently have a sort of dance-party at night, and they play music and everyone just dances and has a great time. While we were there, there was a cruise that had docked for the evening, so it was a bit crowded, but everyone was just having the time of their lives! The Jamaican locals really know how to put on a party :) There is also a gaming casino right across the road from the Sandcastles resort (you can walk there) for calmer nights. Just go to the front desk and they tell you where everything is.

I was pleasantly surprised by apartment E35 too. It was really spacious, modern, clean and cosy. The loft was more than enough space for me and my two friends. Miss Lulu (the housekeeper) is very attentive but we didn't call upon her much since we spent most of our time outside. I also like that the resort allows us a lot of freedom to plan our own excursions, but if we did want any suggestions, the folks at the front desk were really friendly and helpful (and they have great accents too!). I honestly can't wait to go back to Ocho Rios, I'm already planning my next trip :)

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Liked best: How clean and spacious the condo was!
Liked least: Not being able to stay there longer!
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A total disapointment”
Reviewed 9 February 2015 for a stay in February 2015
person found this review helpful

This place was a real disappointment. We arrived, tired after a day of travel. Lulu met us at the desk and took us to our room, gave us a brief tour and then left. The room was smaller than I expected. It seemed as if the two of us were always in the others way. The view was of a parking lot, but since there were no window screens we didn’t have the windows open anyway.
The restaurant in the resort had good food, but the service was very slow and they wouldn’t take credit cards. Since this was a private rental we couldn’t charge it to our room either. They also only had instant coffee for after dinner. Something that seemed strange in a coffee producing country.
The next morning we found a half dead cockroach on the floor. In fairness I know they are hard to control and can fly in anytime. The place DID seem clean. We mentioned it to the manager and he seemed shocked and didn’t seem to even believe me so I sent him a photo. Later the owners suggested that we may have brought it in along with our luggage. Not quite the apologetic response I expected.
The beach was a public one near the cruise ship dock. Kind of dirty looking with a lot of tourists from the ships walking around and lots of local vendors pushing trinkets on people. Apparently you had to rent a lounge chair but we never got that far.
We walked into town to try and find a nice restaurant for breakfast and some real coffee. Local guys kept coming up to us all friendly like and offering to show us where a good restaurant was. The first one got picked up by the tourist police because what he was doing was illegal. The second one brought us to a local restaurant (not much was open because it was Sunday) and then asked for a tip. Apparently these guys get paid by the restaurants and shops to steer tourists to them and they can be quite aggressive. Looking around town there didn’t seem to be much of interest to go back to. Apparently most of the things to do and nice restaurants in Ocho Rios are not within walking distance of Sand Castle and involve hiring a taxi or tour service of some sort.
The real kicker came back at the room when we tried to take a shower. There was no hot water! This time the manager (Howard Stewart is apparently not the owner contrary to what it says on Trip Advisor) wrote “The hot water gets steaming hot in about 45 mins, so u have to leave it on.”
Really- they expect guests to wait 45 minutes and waste water just to get a shower! We left after only spending two of our pre-paid 10 nights there and they refused to give us even a partial refund.
I will never go back to this place, and probably not even to Ocho Rios unless I can find a nice all inclusive resort where I never have to leave.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
14 Feb 2015
This guest did tell us that he disliked everything:- the condo, the grounds of the property, the beach, the town of Ocho Rios and its people. Hence, we expected this disappointment to be vented into this review. While we were saddened that our guest hated the property and the town of Ocho Rios, the place is exactly as advertised, the pictures are as accurate as they possibly can be, and they are not professionally "touched" up and we have included a picture of exactly what is seen from the small balcony and what you see when you enter the access to the stairs of the condo. We state that the property is "in the heart of Ocho Rios" and we posted pictures of the beach. We could not offer a refund as there was nothing misleading in our brochure and the condo had all the facilities as advertised. (A recent guest pointed out to our housekeeper that 2 burners of our 2 year old electric stove were malfunctioning, and we installed a brand new stove instead of seeking to repair the existing one.) This guest in justifying his request for a refund sent us a close up picture of a cockroach, placed on white tissue and this text message:
""We are hoping you would favor us with some refund. I know that you rely on good reviews on Trip Advisor. I hope we can resolve this in a way we all can live with! Barry""

For the benefit of folks who are considering our accommodation we wish to clarify the issues raised by Barry, so that you can decide if this is your destination for a vacation.

Small space - The condo is larger than what most suites in an all inclusive hotel will offer. There is 665 square feet of living space. This is small in this guest's opinion but most people find it adequate for 2 - 4 persons on vacation.

The view - We have posted on our brochure a picture of what you see from the balcony. which overlooks what many say is well kept and beautiful gardens. Beyond this expanse of lawn and flowers there is a view of the parking lot where guests park.

Cockroach - This is indeed a first for us! Our condo is carefully sterilized after each guest departs and our housekeeper goes through a thorough cleaning ritual which includes treatment for insects. Many all inclusive do not allow guests to take food into their suites as this often attracts insects. As our condo caters for cooking, we are vigilant with our treatment for insects and if small ants come in attracted to food left around, our housekeeper stands ready to do interim treatments. Just tell her about any complaint that you have!

The beach - The beaches all over the island have suffered from a recent period of heavy rainfall and so in some areas the water appears murky but the beach is actually clean and calm just like the pictures that are shown on our brochure. The beach operators charge a fee to enter the beach but access is free for guests of the property. Other tourists just like the ones that stay at an all inclusive will be seen on the beach as they too can pay to enjoy the beach.

Hot water - The condo is supplied with hot water by solar panels and when there are unusually long periods of rainfall and the water is not hot enough the housekeeper shows each guest when checking in where the electric switch is (right on the kitchen wall) to turn on the electric heater. Very hot water is available at all times from all the taps including the kitchen faucet. If the electric switch which is very obvious and has a red button that is lit, is left on for your entire stay there is no need to depend on the solar supply at all!

Restaurants not open on Sundays- Our condo has a listing of numerous restaurants that are open every day and take major credit cards. Our front desk also offers suggestions of various options. We have a tour desk to organize tours of the island and we also offer a group of licensed taxi operators who can take you anywhere on the island including a variety of restaurants. Within walking distance there is a restaurant called Moms and another in the Simons plaza that are opened on Sundays for breakfast as well as other places within a 5 minute drive. Of course for the kids there is also a Burger King within a short walking distance across the road. The restaurant on the complex serves tasty breakfast options 7 days per week but they do not yet take credit cards but will have the card taken at the front desk while they wait on this service to begin.
All inclusive vs. self catering condo- Jamaica has some of the most awesome all inclusive in this side of the world. Prices during the winter season vary from $500 to $1,200 per night (double occupancy) and if you go to the higher end of the scale, a few of these all inclusive offer room service. None of the all inclusive however can offer you double occupancy for $60 per person per night. A self catering condo is for folks who may have special dietary needs or are health conscious and prefer the option of cooking their own foods the way they like it. Some of our guests do not like food prepared in bulk and dining and sharing swimming pools with 300 to 500 other guests. One of our most recent and delightful guest who spent 3 weeks with us asked our housekeeper for additional utensils to season her meats (and our housekeeper gladly provided them) and she requested a muffin tin to bake her own home made muffins! Unfortunately we did not have a muffin tin but we are certainly going to get one as we strive to make out guests feel the maximum comfort in their home away from home vacation condo!

Ocho Rios is a bustling little town near (5 to 10 minutes drive) to major attractions such as Mystic mountains, (home of the bob sled ride and zip lining), climbing the Dunn's River Falls where there is also a white sand beach, tubing down the white river and numerous other activities. Bob Marley Museum is further away but worth visiting. The beach that serves our complex also offers for a fee, snorkeling, a glass bottom boat ride and scuba diving.

Any type of vacation that you choose, whether our fabulous all inclusive or our self catering condo, make it Jamaica again!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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