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“Not bad...but not great!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sunset Beach Resort, Spa & Water Park

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Sunset Beach Resort, Spa & Water Park
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Montego Freeport Peninsula | PO Box 1168, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Try The Oasis at Sunset
Ranked #19 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
Toronto, ON
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Not bad...but not great!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

Stayed at the Sunset Beach in October. Travelled with Sunwing on an early morning flight so we arrived in Mo Bay around 10:15am. Going through customs at the airport was fine except for a rude agent. Short trip to the resort, got there early and had to wait for a room. Knew that this might happen so we were prepared to wait a little while. We walked around the resort then had lunch and went back to check for our room around 1pm, but still was not ready. We had to wait until around 2:30 to finally get a room and were a little disappointed with it.

We stayed in the Sunrise A tower and our room really needed some TLC. Over the time we stayed there, the shower curtain rail broke and it took 3 days and several requests to get it fixed. As well the counter in the bathroom was coming away from the wall and bits of metal fell off. It got progressively worse each day, to the point where I was afraid to even touch it. Again, we informed the hotel, but nothing was done about it.

Room was kept clean and AC worked fine. Had a nice view of the bay and the beach. We were also near the main reception so luckily we got some WIFI reception in our room, which was the main reason I did not want to switch. Paid $30 US for a week of internet which was the best deal as it was around $5 per hour otherwise!!

Food was good for the most part. Lunch was a little boring most days as the main dish was always some form of chicken. We joked about what kind of chicken it would be for lunch each day. However, there was also fish and vegetarian options as well as the beach grill with yummy jerk chicken or burgers, hot dogs, nachos and fries. Breakfast and dinner was much better- fresh omlettes at breakfast and a variety of North American and Jamaican options at both meals. We had an amazing buffet on the Saturday night gala dinner and for the beach party! Italian and Asian a-la-carte restaurants were also very good.

Beach was okay depending on where you went. We always tried to find a spot close to the beach bar as the ocean near there was clearer and the sand not so rocky. There were lots of weeds though the further you went out into the ocean and some jelly fish after it rained. But overall the water was clear and nice to swim and snorkel in. Lots of beach chairs so never worries around finding any.

We only went on only 1 excursion as the prices were too high. Everything was $100 US or more per person – even a taxi to the city was $20 US each way (for a 10 min ride). I understand that people are trying to make a living, but I hate feeling that I’m getting ripped off at every turn. We did the JUTT Village tour with Larry which was really good and a good price $65 each with lunch. If you do it make sure to bring some supplies for the school kids – they have just one building (more small house) which is the only primary school in the mountain community and they are badly in need of supplies and resources.

We were on a peninsular but the stores were only about 10 minutes away by car. However, the hotel staff did not recommend walking to tourists! So options were a taxi (expensive unless you were sharing a ride) or the hotel shuttle for $10 each. The resort allowed vendors to come onto the grounds to sell so we did not have to go out and buy stuff. They were not pushy at all and seemed willing to negotiate. We did a little shopping in Mo Bay and I found people to be a bit more aggressive. Even when you said no they would keep coming at you. Prices were outrageous for most things like kids t-shirts for $24 US!! We ended up buying gifts at the airport on our way back as it was cheapest.

I enjoyed our vacation as it was restful, which is what we needed. I don’t think I will be back to Jamaica anytime soon. The Resort was a 3 star at best and we got a good deal so we were not expecting much more but we found most things in Jamaica way too expensive!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (800)
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English first
Spring, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We paid for a day pass to this resort through jamaicaforaday.com as an excursion on halloween while on our cruise. We were disappointed in the atmosphere...the highlight of the day was zombie zumba. The buffet was americanized, nothing local really other than a rice/bean concoction. The beaches weren't anything spectacular, the staff didn't really smile much (a few bartenders were friendly). I did find i liked the banana daquiri, and the fresh coconut guy was polite. But some kids were smoking weed in the lil gazebo, the lawn chairs needed to be replaced down on the beaches, the giant chess set was fallin gapart, and there was nothing spectacular about the resort. They did try to have little events to keep guests entertained, and the food was fresh, the resort pretty clean. But we'll book at Hilton Rose Hall if we do this type of excursion again....This was cheaper and closer, and you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Colchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We had a great time, all facilities were first class. Good food and selection, very friendly helpful staff. Given a quiet adjoining rooms as requested, suitable for young children. Towels and bed linen changed daily. Beach towel service. Entertainment good, particularly the Carribean Nights. Clean and tidy in all areas. Well laid out complex. Our wedding party arrangements were handled well to 'sister' hotel. Trips out were good. No complaints!

Room Tip: When taking small children the low rise, 2 storey buildings are best, safer balconies and quieter pa...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We just got back from Sunset Beach and were not happy with the partying after hours mostly because the doors to the rooms in A and B towers are not sound proof. There are major gaps in way the doors fit to the frame, which then transmits the noise to all the rooms on the floor. My wife and I were awake during most of the night because of the party people coming home after midnight were talking and having a good time that awoke us and kept us awake for most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. We saw Mr Carr, the owner, tried to track him down, but it did not happen. We would like to take our family back to this resort because of the food, the staff, and their variety of entertainment.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bozeman, Montana
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

The trip from the airport was quick. The hotel is only 10 minutes from Sangster International Airport. Check-in was quick and the bellman took us right up to our room. The rooms look good in the videos and the website but upon closer inspection they are kinda trashy. The paint-job in the room is very bad, paint all over the borders of the room and they try to give a vaulted ceiling look by painting the ceiling 2 different shades of white-ish. All rooms and balconies are non-smoking but we smoked on the balcony anyway and did not get charged the $250 fee for smoking, but if you want to risk it, go ahead. There are horrible toiletry choices. They have a dispenser for the nastiest shampoo and body-wash, ever! I cannot say all bad things, because the room was kept exceptionally clean. You can tell it's a 3 star at best by the lack of maintenance on the room and the little differences. The air-conditioner and balcony were almost completely rusted through.
The food was OK. The buffet did have a lot of selection and they are "Johnny-on-the-spot" with refilling the buffet, like less than a minute fast! The Asian sucked, the Carribbean we didn't try, but the Italian joint was wonderful. Definitely the best choice for dinner. don't waste your time at the other 2 ala carte's, schedule 3 times at the Italian place (You get 3 reservations a week). The service at the restaurants was superb and the food servers at the buffet were good as well. However, the bar staff is the worst I have ever dealt with ( And we tipped and it changed nothing)!!! The bar staff feels burdened buy you ordering and if they make a mistake they blame it on you. My girlfriend spilled her drink because the bartender put it on his service ledge and she had to reach across a 4 foot bar 5 feet in the air to get it. So the bartender yelled at her and gave her an attitude. I f you do not instantly say you are next at the bar they skip you. The bar staff does not watch for order. I have seen bartenders in the US be swamped and still remember who is next, they do not even try!
The beach is very rocky and not as blue as on the videos. Lots of seashells to pick though! The water activities are average. We liked the paddle-boats. Snorkeling is crappy, nothing to see because the water is so shallow. The water is clear but don't expect Azul blue like Cancun.
The taxi costs $20 each way to the Hip-Strip but if you walk outside the gate of the resort you can get it for $20 round-trip. The tours are OK but don't get a shared tour because you will spend half your day picking up and dropping off people to other resorts. Find some people at the resort and go "Dutch" on the cab.
This place is definitely family oriented. If you want to party, go to another resort. But no matter where you go in Jamaica the cab drivers can get you whatever you need to 'party'. Lots of kids running around and crying babies at the pool and restaurants. That got old quick.
Overall I was not impressed in the least. But our trip was meant to be affordable and that's what we got. But one should absolutely pay an extra $100-$200 per person to stay at a better place. The thing that got me the most was there were so many times I thought that thing could have been better, like the bar staff, the lack of maintenance, and other details they clearly could care less about. You will definitely compare this place to other hotels in a negative fashion. And don't think they speak English there because they don't!!! Jamaicans speak a mixed language called Patwan or something like that. Jamaicans are very difficult to understand and it was easier to communicate in Mexico where they speak another language! The English was better in Mexico.
If you want a cheap get away this is a good option but if you prefer to enjoy the actual resort, then don't come here!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We just returned from Jamaica and stayed at the Sunset Beach Hotel. I am going to go through Pro’s and Con’s of both the hotel and area where the hotel is located.

Pro’s
1. We liked the food

2. The views were nice

3. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and accommodating

Con’s

1. While the hotel was clean it was run down. Not like a dump, but the exterior of the hotel, furnishings in the room etc… We did not like our room – our room was a real let down. When we asked for something better, the staff were gracious and gave us a complimentary upgrade to a room with a view of the bay. We appreciated it but other than a bit of a view – the room was still not what we would have hoped for. This hotel is very much a 3 star.

2. There is no Wifi in the room and the hotel charges $5 per/hour to use the internet café downstairs. In this day and age you expect to have internet in your room.

3. The blow dryer in the room kept turning off – bring a backup drier. This saved me because when the one in the room didn’t work – mine did.

4. There is little in terms of toiletries in the room – bring your own shampoo and conditioner. All that is provided is shampoo in a dispenser and when I bought Pantene conditioner there it cost me $9 bucks.

5. There was no clock in our room which made being on-time for tours somewhat challenging.

6. The tours made available through the hotel were very expensive averaging $100 per/person, per/tour.

7. The beach was a 6 out of 10 – yes the water was very blue to look at but large sections had sea weed and there were sting rays and spiky blow fish. The beach front was also small with many rocky sections.

It’s hard to give a honest review here because you don’t want to be critical because the people that work at this hotel go out of their way to make your time there great – it’s just that the hotel itself is not that great.

Location

1. It is in a harbour so you really get overrun by the cruise ship people. The hotel accommodates the cruise people for food and amenities which is annoying.

2. The hotel is in an industrial area by the harbour so you must take a cab to go out.

3. If you went out it is hard to identify who is a legit cab driver – we bought a $40 cell phone dwn there from DigiCel which was a life saver because we could call our cab from the hotel to get us when we were ready to go home. I do not recommend taking street cabs from downtown Montego Bay – you just don’t know who is who.

4. I found Montego Bay almost scary (and I am well-traveled) – the people would know where you were staying after glancing your bracelet and would tell you they work at your hotel. We had one person ever try to get into our car. We ended up flipping our bracelet inside out which is a great tip because as soon as we did that, we stopped having people approaching us saying that they worked at our hotel.

5. The harassment from the market people is WAY worse in Jamaica than other places and when my husband politely declined visiting one of them – 3 men began shouting at him that he was disrespectful. So scary.

6. I also didn’t like that every moment we had people not trying to sell us marijuana;
rather we had several people trying to sell us cocaine. This has never happened to me on vacation to this degree, ever.

7. Everyone tries to rip you off – even at the gas station. We bought $20 of gas and drove away to see that no gas had been added on the meter – which we learned is a common scam.
We noticed police check points up and down the main highway – none bothered us – we learned that they search cars to reduce crime in Montego Bay because many young men have guns that they shouldn’t have.

Costs

1. Overall we found everything in Jamaica TOO expensive compared to other countries and for what it is. Average cost of lunches out (2 people) $40-$60 – this is for basic burger and fries type lunches.

2. Cost of a towel $20-$30

3. Every tour was set up so that it was hard to take your own pictures – average cost of pictures on tours $25-$100

4. Locker rentals at most water activities - $5 each time

So at the end of the day I am the adventurous type so this was not the country for me. After visiting Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and yes Panama – this was the place I felt the most uneasy about my safety.

We did do almost every tour so if you are curious about tours let me know and I can give you tips – I did the Sea Horseback riding tour, White River Tubing, Bob Marley’s house, Ricks Café, Dolphin Cove (we swam with Dolphins), Dunns River Falls and more..

I hazard to guess that many of the glowing reviews on here were people who got a cheap deal on the hotel so they overlooked the hotels cosmetics, fell in love with the people in the hotel because they were really great and/or spent more time in the hotel so didn’t experience the country the way we did.

If I am being honest I am giving our trip a 7 out of ten (bordering on a 6 because of the shady people in the streets).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

we have just got back from Jamaica . went out there for a wedding my niece .it was wonderful this resort was ideal for us as we had two small children in our party the staff (all of them ) were excellent the spa people (rose marie ) (donna) were great as we had a massage (my husband and i) our nails done for the wedding that was n negril sunset amazing and the resort sunset at the palms . you must do the dunn river falls experience and the rum place appleton estate also the black river trip awesome . we arrive the day after sandy came and it was amazing how quickly they got things back we could not go up to the blue mountains because of flooding ,but we had a great time arrive home and SOOOO cold

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sunset Beach Resort, Spa & Water Park

Address: Montego Freeport Peninsula | PO Box 1168, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sunset Beach Resort, Spa & Water Park 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Consists of two 10-story Sunrise and Sunset Towers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Beach Resort Jamaica
Sunset Beach Jamaica
Sunset Beach Montego Bay
Sunset Beach Resort Spa Montego Bay
Sunset Beach Resort And Spa Jamaica
Beach Resort Sunset
Sunset Beach Resort Montego Bay Jamaica
Sunset Beach Resort Spa Jamaica
Montego Bay Sunset Beach Resort

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