Pros

  • Access to a wide, palm-lined, crescent shaped beach with lots of lounge chairs
  • Quick walk to Margaritaville and grocery stores
  • Air-conditioned units with kitchens and flat-screen TVs; some ocean views
  • Castle restaurant serves a la carte Jamaican and international fare
  • Scheduled entertainment and games like karaoke and bingo
  • Fun nightclub with white-on-white interiors and VIP room
  • Freshwater pool with slide and lifeguard during daylight hours
  • Cachette Spa offers massages and nail services
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Free parking
  • Arriving guests receive a free welcome rum punch, juice, or soda
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Cons

  • Dated decor and units
  • No elevators to reach guest rooms on second or third floors
  • Fee to use the hotel’s tennis courts and rent tennis rackets and balls
  • Most units have Wi-Fi, but not all
  • Windows are all slatted and no screens to keep out mosquitos
  • Fee to have towels washed
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Bottom Line

Sand Castles Resort is a three-pearl residence-style resort on Main Street within an easy walk to Ocho Rios’s gorgeous beach and shopping centers. The 174 air-conditioned units are a mix of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites. Most units are individually owned and styled to the owners taste, so decor ranges. And though all have kitchenettes and most have ocean views, sadly, they’re almost all dated. The resort’s freshwater pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and cabanas and the slide is a nice plus. Hotel amenities include a tennis court, small gym, Jamaican restaurant, bar, and spa. Regular entertainment keeps things lively. For an Ocho Rios stay with multiple restaurants, a tennis court, spa, and a pool on a cliff overlooking the beach, it’s worth pricing out Hibiscus Lodge Hotel.  

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Amenities

  • Cribs
  • Internet
  • Pool

Oyster Hotel Review

Sand Castles Resort

Scene

Lush, blossoming grounds and lots of activities like music, games, and karaoke

Sand Castles Resort opened in 1986 and its location on Ocho Rios’s Main Street is a great base for exploring the town and nearby attractions. Arriving guests pull up to its canary yellow front building, modeled after a Jamaican Great House (the homes of the country’s colonial landowners). Expect pillars, a gabled roof, dormer windows, and white wood railings. Guests are greeted by staff with free rum punch, juice, or soda. The lobby’s beachy interior has photos of waves on the wall, bamboo seats and couches with brightly patterned plush cushions, and carved parrots. Sand Castles grounds are especially gorgeous. They’re lush and full of grassy lawns, perfectly aligned rows of tall palm trees, and blossoming flowers like ixora, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. Another resort plus are the scheduled activities and entertainment like parties at the bar, bingo by the pool, game nights (dominos, cards), karaoke, and live music. In general, the hotel attracts guests from the United States who want low rates near and a beach resort with self-catering units. 

See More Scene

Location

Central Ocho Rios location across the street from beautiful Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Sand Castles is located on Main Street in central Ocho Rios, across the street from the beach. Across the street from Sand Castles is an ATM and a small market. There’s also a pharmacy a minute from the resort. Nearby restaurants include fast food (like Burger King and KFC), Italian, French, Jamaican, Japanese, Indian, and a Margaritaville, all a two- to three-minute walk from Sand Castles. The Ocho Rios craft market, the best spot for souvenirs, is a five-minute walk away. Ocho Rios’s top attractions include the gorgeous Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove (for open-water swimming with dolphins), and Mystic Mountain at about a seven-minute drive away. The stunning turquoise swimming hole and waterfalls at the Blue Hole are about a 25-minute drive from the resort. Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birthplace, is an hour- and five-minute drive from the resort. Port Antonio, an off-the beaten path oceanfront town glamorized in 1940s and 1950s Hollywood films and loved by Errol Flynn, is a two-hour drive away. Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is about a two-hour drive from Sand Castles Resort. 

See More Location

Rooms

Mixed bag of air-conditioned rooms with king beds, flat-screen TVs, and full kitchens

Sand Castle’s guest rooms are a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom apartments (some with ocean views). Most units are individually owned and managed by the hotel so decor and condition varies greatly. In general, rooms are tired and could use and update. Their textured cement walls are painted in white or pastel green or taupe and show years of sloppy paint jobs. All units have slatted windows but no screens to keep out the mosquitos. We also saw wall sockets dangling out of the walls. Units have either king, queen, or two double beds with camelback headboards, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, irons, and ironing boards. Some have free Wi-Fi, but not all. Furniture includes a mix of couches (sometimes sleeper sofas), love seats, and dated armchairs -- it could be called shabby chic or just shabby. All units have full kitchens with refrigerators, toaster ovens, coffeemakers (but no coffee beans), blenders, microwaves, electric tea kettles, and electric ranges. Some also have electric oven/range combos. The kitchens could use a deep clean. Bathrooms are also a mixed bag. Some have stand-up showers only, while others have bathtubs. Hairdryers, bar soap, and shampoo are provided. 

See More Rooms

Features

Gorgeous shared beach access, pool with slide, Jamaican restaurant, nightclub, spa, gym, and tennis courts

Sand Castles' beach is a gated public beach that’s also shared with other hotels. When cruise ships are in, the beach gets a bit crowded with day trippers and its view also becomes the hulking ships parked at the port. The hotel's freshwater pool has lots of lounge chairs and trees for shade. There’s a lifeguard on duty during the daytime and a big plus is the slide for kids. Staff organizes activities and games like bingo. 

Castle Restaurant overlooks the pool in front of the hotel and serves Jamaican and international cuisine. It’s usually a la carte restaurant but they also occasionally have buffet meals. Sandbar is the hotel’s bar with a clubby white interior. There’s a VIP room and they also serve a light lunch and dinner menu. Evening entertainment can include live music and karaoke. 

Cachette Spa is located up three flights of stairs and offers salon services, manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, and waxing. There’s a small mirror-walled gym next to the pool with a treadmill, weight machine, and elliptical. Sand Castles has tennis facilities including a bright-blue cement tennis court, racket and ball rentals, and available tennis lessons. All are rentable for a fee. 

There’s a small playground and the hotel has activities for kids like tie-dyeing shirts. Sand Castles can arrange tours, drivers, tour guides, airport transfers (for a fee), and babysitters. Laundry service is available (for a fee). There’s supposed to be free Wi-Fi throughout, but signal is best in the lobby and around the pool. 

See More Features

Oyster Hotel Review

Sand Castles Resort

Scene

Lush, blossoming grounds and lots of activities like music, games, and karaoke

Sand Castles Resort opened in 1986 and its location on Ocho Rios’s Main Street is a great base for exploring the town and nearby attractions. Arriving guests pull up to its canary yellow front building, modeled after a Jamaican Great House (the homes of the country’s colonial landowners). Expect pillars, a gabled roof, dormer windows, and white wood railings. Guests are greeted by staff with free rum punch, juice, or soda. The lobby’s beachy interior has photos of waves on the wall, bamboo seats and couches with brightly patterned plush cushions, and carved parrots. Sand Castles grounds are especially gorgeous. They’re lush and full of grassy lawns, perfectly aligned rows of tall palm trees, and blossoming flowers like ixora, bougainvillea, and hibiscus. Another resort plus are the scheduled activities and entertainment like parties at the bar, bingo by the pool, game nights (dominos, cards), karaoke, and live music. In general, the hotel attracts guests from the United States who want low rates near and a beach resort with self-catering units. 

See More Scene

Location

Central Ocho Rios location across the street from beautiful Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Sand Castles is located on Main Street in central Ocho Rios, across the street from the beach. Across the street from Sand Castles is an ATM and a small market. There’s also a pharmacy a minute from the resort. Nearby restaurants include fast food (like Burger King and KFC), Italian, French, Jamaican, Japanese, Indian, and a Margaritaville, all a two- to three-minute walk from Sand Castles. The Ocho Rios craft market, the best spot for souvenirs, is a five-minute walk away. Ocho Rios’s top attractions include the gorgeous Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove (for open-water swimming with dolphins), and Mystic Mountain at about a seven-minute drive away. The stunning turquoise swimming hole and waterfalls at the Blue Hole are about a 25-minute drive from the resort. Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birthplace, is an hour- and five-minute drive from the resort. Port Antonio, an off-the beaten path oceanfront town glamorized in 1940s and 1950s Hollywood films and loved by Errol Flynn, is a two-hour drive away. Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay is about a two-hour drive from Sand Castles Resort. 

See More Location

Rooms

Mixed bag of air-conditioned rooms with king beds, flat-screen TVs, and full kitchens

Sand Castle’s guest rooms are a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedroom apartments (some with ocean views). Most units are individually owned and managed by the hotel so decor and condition varies greatly. In general, rooms are tired and could use and update. Their textured cement walls are painted in white or pastel green or taupe and show years of sloppy paint jobs. All units have slatted windows but no screens to keep out the mosquitos. We also saw wall sockets dangling out of the walls. Units have either king, queen, or two double beds with camelback headboards, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, irons, and ironing boards. Some have free Wi-Fi, but not all. Furniture includes a mix of couches (sometimes sleeper sofas), love seats, and dated armchairs -- it could be called shabby chic or just shabby. All units have full kitchens with refrigerators, toaster ovens, coffeemakers (but no coffee beans), blenders, microwaves, electric tea kettles, and electric ranges. Some also have electric oven/range combos. The kitchens could use a deep clean. Bathrooms are also a mixed bag. Some have stand-up showers only, while others have bathtubs. Hairdryers, bar soap, and shampoo are provided. 

See More Rooms

Features

Gorgeous shared beach access, pool with slide, Jamaican restaurant, nightclub, spa, gym, and tennis courts

Sand Castles' beach is a gated public beach that’s also shared with other hotels. When cruise ships are in, the beach gets a bit crowded with day trippers and its view also becomes the hulking ships parked at the port. The hotel's freshwater pool has lots of lounge chairs and trees for shade. There’s a lifeguard on duty during the daytime and a big plus is the slide for kids. Staff organizes activities and games like bingo. 

Castle Restaurant overlooks the pool in front of the hotel and serves Jamaican and international cuisine. It’s usually a la carte restaurant but they also occasionally have buffet meals. Sandbar is the hotel’s bar with a clubby white interior. There’s a VIP room and they also serve a light lunch and dinner menu. Evening entertainment can include live music and karaoke. 

Cachette Spa is located up three flights of stairs and offers salon services, manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, and waxing. There’s a small mirror-walled gym next to the pool with a treadmill, weight machine, and elliptical. Sand Castles has tennis facilities including a bright-blue cement tennis court, racket and ball rentals, and available tennis lessons. All are rentable for a fee. 

There’s a small playground and the hotel has activities for kids like tie-dyeing shirts. Sand Castles can arrange tours, drivers, tour guides, airport transfers (for a fee), and babysitters. Laundry service is available (for a fee). There’s supposed to be free Wi-Fi throughout, but signal is best in the lobby and around the pool. 

See More Features

Best Rates

Amenities

  • Airport Transportation

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Children's Pool

  • Cribs

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Supervised Kids Activities

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.