Montego Bay is a long way from Edinburgh in Scotland and our expectations of this holiday (vacation) were high; we were not disappointed. From the moment our taxi pulled up at the door, it was obvious that we were going to have a wonderful time.
We had booked a room in the Preferred Club and we did not even have to go through the regular Reception Desk to check-in; the doorman had a list of expected guests and instantly knew to take us over to the dedicated Preferred Club Reception where we were given a glass of 'champagne' whilst we were taken through the details of our stay and then escorted to our room.
The room itself was excellent with a huge bed (not sure if it was King sized or maybe bigger!) a lovely bathroom area including a Jacuzzi [type] tub a seating area and a balcony which had a double ended bath (they called it a soaking tub) on it. Best of all, not only did we have a Mini-Bar fridge, there were also bottles of Rum, Brandy and Vodka on top for us to enjoy (we asked and the vodka was replaced by Gin. Fantastic!).
We arrived at around 6 pm after 19 hours of travelling and so just wanted to get dinner and enjoy a nights sleep. Unfamiliar with the restaurant set-up, we walked up to the Blue Mountain (Jamaican) restaurant expecting to be seated immediately; we were a little taken aback to be told that we would have to wait up to an hour for a table, so chose to go to the one next door instead. The El Pateo (Mexican) was superb.
At breakfast in the morning we encountered the first negative of our stay. Much to our surprise in what aspires to be a 5 star resort, my wife was not given a pot when she asked for tea; instead she got a teabag and a cup of hot water. This turned out to be the way tea was served everywhere in the resort throughout our stay. Not good enough in our opinion.
The second issue we had was to do with the room we had been given and it took over 24 hours and a lot of hanging around before it was resolved. But eventually we were not only escorted to a new room, which was exactly what we wanted, but were told that we would receive the services of a Butler for the rest of our stay as we had been messed around.
Well, what can I say! The first of the team we met was Michael who took us to the room and explained that he and his colleagues were on call 24/7 and gave us a mobile phone with which to call them, anytime. As we were there principally to relax, we didn't make too much use of the service, but the team booked us the best available table at our choice of restaurant each evening and escorted us from our room to it, skipping those having to queue at the desk.
My wife celebrated her birthday during our stay (the main reason we were there) and I quietly asked Michael if he could organise something special. He certainly did! Breakfast - with a bottle of 'champagne' - was delivered to our room on the special morning. When we returned from relaxing on the beach, he had arrange a cake, another bottle of bubbly and had run my wife a bath with candles and rose petals! Dinner that evening was in the Bordeaux Restaurant (French) and was quite superb.
The entertainment at the resort is less intrusive than others we've stayed at, but was not really what we enjoy; the music was very good though. It was a little disappointing to be served drinks in plastic cups though; it looked as though they simply didn't have enough glasses. Again, very poor for an aspiring 5 star resort.
The location of the Wild Orchid is on a beautiful west facing beach and the Preferred Club has exclusive use of the best bit of it. Friendly staff are on hand to fetch you drinks from the bar all day, there are lifeguards on duty - just in case you get in to trouble swimming in the warm Caribbean Sea (not really likely) - and there was no shortage of sun-loungers or towels.
Dining each evening was fantastic. The Portofino (Italian) and Himitsu (Asian) being particularly good (the latter's Teppanyaki table is fantastic entertainment as well as great food!). The bars were excellent too, although it took us until 2 days before we left to find the Lobby bar where we were entertained by Geoffery the barman; seek it out on day one! And of course, one of the features of the Preferred Club is the open bar with plenty of quality spirits on offer, and all-day finger food (and a decent help-yourself breakfast).
Everything in the resort worked just fine, but for some where a little over 3 years old, some of the building and furniture was a little 'shabby'. Didn't spoil the holiday but could be better. One thing about the resort (and Montego Bay/Jamaica in general) which did confuse us is that everything is priced in US$; we were all primed for converting from GBP to (and had taken) JA$. Don't, take US$ if you're going.
Every member of staff we met - and other people we met when we went out of the resort - were without exception very friendly. But our time at the Wild Orchid was made a truly memorable stay by having the services of the Butlers Michael, Refaneta and Dalton, each of whom went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. Thank you guys! (I believe you can book their services in advance and if you want an unforgettable holiday, do it!)
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- Also Known As:
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