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Beaches Grand Sport
      #30744 - 04/19/01 06:30 PM (

Anyone who is going to Beaches Grand Sport is lucky! I just got back from there the other day and it was absolutely wonderful. I can't wait to go back. The service was spectactular, the food was good, the accomodations were really nice and there were so many things to do! It is called Grand Sport because they have all of the water sports (except waterski), land sports as well - more than any other resort and certainly at a better price. Very nicely kept and new equipment - better than what we saw Sandals' guests using next door. We went kayaking, bounced on the water trampaline, went snorkeling (took us out on a boat to a reef), glass bottom boat rides, a sunset cruise twice a week, sailed on a Hobie Cat, Rode mountain bikes, rock climbed on their brand new rock (it rivals anything here in my town of Las Vegas), played squash, chess on the giant outdoor board, tennis, played badmittin, jumped on the land trampoline, played shuffleboard, volleyball, went swimming in the two main pools (with swim up bars) as well as our private pool, could have wind surfed at the beach but didn't know how and I didn't feel like taking the lessons they offered. They also offer scuba but we didn't take advantage of that because they don't go in very deep water. Dunn's River Falls was included in the resort price - that was a great time. We went off property to St. Anne's Bay and went horseback riding ($60) for 3 hours - goes through jungle then down to the beach and you actually take the horses into the ocean - deep enough that you get soaked as the horse is running through the water. It was a wonderful time. More about the resort... it is a plantation style complex broken down into 90 or more villas with 2,3 or 4 rooms per villa. Each villas is it's own building with it's own private pool - making it 90 pools! The property has very lush vegetation, completely private from the outside world and just gorgeous. The beach is not located in front of the property - that is a 3 minute shuttle ride down the hill. Next door to Beaches is another Sandals property (Beaches is owned by Sandals). As we went snorkeling each day, the boat took us along the shore of other properties and there wasn't a whole lot going on there - maybe a sail boat here and there but mostly people laying around or no one at all. Felt so lucky to be staying at Beaches because that is where stuff is happening. If I wanted to just lay around all day, I could have done that at home and saved the money but since I live in a desert, going sailing, snorkeing and all the other stuff that I have no access to or money to buy, this was certainly a treat! There were several people from neighboring properties visiting Beachs during our stay - for $85 per day per person anyone can visit and use the facilities; I nearly asked a few of them why they bothered staying anywhere else if they were going to pay additional just to have some fun?! Beaches is one of the cheapest of the Sandals properties. We stayed 5 days for $1160. That's not per person, that's total. Airfare was additional but my boss paid for that anyway. One more thing... twice a week they have themed parties - Friday they have the International Beach Party... the entire beach is transformed into lots of nicely set tables and dozens of food stations set up buffet style - all international food. The presentations were fabulous - they carved things from fruits and other foods. There was a lot of entertainment, very amusing. As we were sitting our table eating, we looked up and could see neighboring resort towers with people looking out from their window and balcony at what was going on at our resort - looking with envy as they sat and did nothing since their resort that they paid much more for had nothing for them but the usual stuff. This being all inclusive was so great! There are four restaurants and two grills - one is open all night by the pool. Like I said, the service was fab!! I live in a tourist town and never have I ever had the service here as I just received at Beaches Grand Sport. I was embarrased to say I was from Las Vegas - people are so rude in America - I didn't know what to expect in Jamaica but perfect service was not a thought at the time! Everyone from the housekeeper to the gardner was friendly and speaking to me first - didn't wait for me to say anything. Nothing was a poblem there. We stayed in the least expensive room which was a room on second story of the villa. Had our own large balcony with table and chairs; swimming was 1 minute away - or as long as it took for me to go downstairs and jump in the pool. The fridge was fully stocked with sodas, soda water and of course a large bottle of Appleton's Rum!! Here's something you won't find in the U.S..... when we returned from Dunns River Falls, we were soaked and so was our money. My husband left money (about 20 Jamican dollars) in his swim shorts which he left hanging in the shower. We had changed clothes and left right away to go eat; when we returned, the housekeeper had tidied everything up including removing the money from the shorts and putting each bill one by one along the rim of the bath tub to dry. Nothing was stolen!!! Better yet, all this wonderful honest service and no tipping!! I can't get this kind of service in Vegas no matter how good the tip! I hope this info has been helpful to someone. I know there is a lot of bad comments about this resort and rightfully so, people went right when it re-opened and that is the worst time to have gone. This is a familiar thing in this town - daily we have hotels and mega resorts opening - every single time there is disaster - worst time to go is in the first 6 months or year; total koas no matter how big or small the hotel. For all those who went to Beaches and had a rotten time from whatever, I must say that is now the best place in Ocho Rios without spending what it costs to go to Sandals Royal or Beachs Royal Plantation. We saw other properties on the way to the resort and on the way out and boy, some are situated right along side the major slums of Ocho Rios. Nothing like viewing barb wire fences and poverty from the check in desk! Not so at Beaches Grand Sport... once inside the resort, there is no idea that anything else exists - trees and plants all over, very mature landscaping and very well kept. Even the beach is groomed every morning -raked clean and spotless. Also they have a European spa on sight - prices are reasonible if your into that kind of stuff. I didin't have the extra money for that but the place was really nice!

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