My husband and two kids (ages 12 & 13) spent 3/31- 4/4 at Sunset Beach. Overall, we had a nice time, but were a bit disappointed, as it was an average resort compared to more recent experiences we have had with value priced all inclusive vacation packages.
My husband and I had been to Jamaica for our honeymoon 19 years ago, and the island is in better shape now. We arrived at the resort around 3 and had no trouble with check in. We had reserved a rollaway bed for the room, and the front desk had assured us one would be brought. The bellmen took our luggage, gave us each a drink and led us up to our room in the B Tower (rm 213)
The room was very clean, but the beds were double beds and were hard as rocks. Our view was probably the worst the resort had (second floor, overlooking the roof to the lobby- very ugly with side glimpses of the water and the mountain) Our first thought was not to worry about the view because we wouldnt be in there much. The AC was on and the room was cold - but the AC was very loud, and on the balcony, it was clanky. The room itself looked as though it had recently been updated, and there were no noticeable signs of wear / tear. There was no lock for the safe, so when we asked at the desk for one, we were advised to check back in the morning because they were all out. On Monday, after checking twice, a safe key became available, so we felt better about leaving our things in the room. Our rollaway bed did not appear until Monday (and we stopped by the front desk several times - the persistence helped) My other "complaint" was the maid service came in at 5:00 in the afternoon - we would leave our room early, and by 4:30, we would need to take a break from the sun, but would have to leave again right away so they could make the room.
We then sought out reservations at the three specialty restaurants, but found no openings for the italian restaurant or the Jamaican one, and a 9:00 on Tuesday for the Asian restaurant, but were advised to check daily in case there were cancellations.
The dinner buffet was a big disappointment - i have been at a lot of all-inclusive resorts where the reviews indicated the food was bland and disappointing, but always disagreed with those reviews. Here, though, was a different story. If you liked pasta, you were in luck, because the pasta bar was great, even though you had to usually stand in line 20 minutes. The rest of the food was very disappointing. The kids didnt like the food at all and ended up eating rolls and dessert alot. The lunches and breakfasts were just as bland - lots of fresh fruit, but the bacon tasted half-cooked, and the meat products were all a bit weird tasting - kind of sweet or super-salty. After having to eat three meals a day with the same menu, it was old. On Tuesday, there was an out door barbeque that had jerk chicken (very good) but otherwise the same old tired entrees in a different setting. My kids liked the beach grill, but thought the hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled cheese looked funny (lighter color) and had a funny taste to them - again - like a sweeter tang to them. They ate a lot of french fries.
The Asian restaurant was actually exceptionally good but eating at 9:00 after a long day in the sun - not so great.
The beach was fantastic - the staff worked very hard to keep things clean, but with lots of kids running around and tourists dropping stuff all over, it was hard to keep clean. The pools started out looking great in the am, but by the end of the day, people had dragged in lots of sand, straws and garbage, especially in the waterpark area. I was surprised at how people just left plates of food and have finished drinks on the ground, on chairs, etc, and couldnt be bothered to put them back in the trash areas of where the meals were supposed to be eaten.
My kids loved the waterpark, and the swim area was beautiful. Lots of the chairs could use some refurbishing, but we always went out early and made sure to get chairs that weren't cracked or broken. We went on the snorkeling tours daily with the resort guide, and it was wonderful. My 12 year old daughter tried out club mongoose for an hour, but no one near her age was there so she didnt try again. My 13 yr old tried out the teen center once, but no one was there. The basketball court was never used, and when he tried to check out a basketball to play, it was flat. There seemed to be a lot more activities on paper than what was actually happening. Plus, we were up early and in the sun all day, so we usually went upstairs after dinner and were in bed by 10.
We took a day trip to Dunn River Falls through the hotel. Marshall was our driver / guide - its a trip that was worth the money and two hr drive. Lunch was at the Sunset beach resort in Ocho Rios - and the food there was even worse.
If I were to do this agin, i would bring my own snorkle equipment, as you can only use the resorts while on the tour. I would be more persistent to get into the restaurants, as people were telling us they were very good.
Again, for the money we paid, it was a good trip, but I was disappointed about having to eat at the buffet all the time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.