The Bottom Line: This is a fabulous resort! Visit while it is still open!
On July 31, 2010, Jamaica will lose a piece of its heart. Unfortunately, Sandals Dunns River will be closing its doors to guests, as they decided not to renew their lease.
It is such a big loss for visitors to the Ocho Rios area. I was fortunate enough to stay at Sandals Dunns River for three nights in October 2009. It is an absolutely beautiful resort, right on the ocean. In virtually all of the rooms, you can open the doors to your balcony and hear the waves crashing to the shore.
Set back from the main highway, guests are greated by a palm-lined driveway. Sandals Dunns River feels like a private hideaway instead of one of the resorts in the most successful Caribbean resort chain. (Then again, I haven't been to a Sandals resort yet that feels like it is part of a chain!) The Italian-style architecture of the Sandals Dunns River lobby is warm and inviting, and most definitely worthy of taking a few photos at any given time of the day or night.
As soon as you get off of the shuttle that brings you to Sandals Dunns River, you feel as though you are royalty. The staff is very friendly and accommodating, from the time you check in until the time you check out. The concierge desk is especially helpful, for those that have booked a concierge level or higher. Everything you could possibly need is right in the lobby, from arranging tours to dining upstairs at Kimonos. Just ask for anything you can't find, as the staff will be more than willing to help you.
The location is everything that a Jamaican hotel should be: Right on the water, surrounded by palm trees, beautiful pier extending into the water, fabulous pool... It is a piece of paradise right in Ocho Rios. Plus, there are so many different attractions that guests can visit, like the famous Dunns River Falls and the lesser known Love Falls.
The rooms are spectacular. Whether you stay in a base room or a butler suite, you will be extremely comfortable. All rooms include a hair dryer, mini-fridge, balcony or patio, king-sized bed, bathtub and shower, vanity area, iron, ironing board, safe, dresser, television, bedside tables and more. If you need anything, just call the front desk and they will take care of you immediately.
Be sure to visit the Tree Bar-- A bar in the lobby that has a huge tree growing out of it. You won't be dissapointed in any of the restaurants-- Just try to avoid going to the poolside grill for early breakfast. And make sure you take advantage of the room service that is offered!
Sandals Dunns River is a piece of paradise. If you can visit it before it closes at the end of July, I highly recommend that you do. You will not be disappointed.
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About the reviewer
Candice Cain (Candice923)
I own the Candy Cain Travel Co. in Brookhaven, NY. I am a certified Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants and my agency is certified by IATA and CLIA. I specialize … more
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Sandals Dunn's River Golf Resort and Spa features one of the island's largest pools with cascading waterfall and ocean vistas. They also provide sailboats or water-skis. Of course, one may engage in snorkeling and scuba diving. The Sandals Golf and Country Club is nearby and the Pitch N' Putt Golf Course is directly at the resort.