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“Absolutely Relaxing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa

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Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cutlass Bay, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Ottawa, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely Relaxing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

The beach here is excellent, but the food is just ok. The hotel is dated, and various parts show their age and lack of repair, but our rooms were cleaned spotlessly every day, and the staff is friendly (although not speedy.) Our family of 6 plus one other couple were the ONLY people staying at the resort for the first 5 days of our holiday. Lunches were a bit busier, as the hotel is part of a cruise package, and there were cruise ships coming into Ocho every day the week we were there (Dec. 16-23).

If you are expecting a hotel with evening entertainment and lots on the go, this place is not for you. If, however, you want to enjoy the surf, relax on the loungers, read, and spend time with your immediate party, this definitely is the place for you. We loved the location and had a great week of sun and sea. There's just one bar and the bar tenders vary in rules and consistency - generally drinks were handed out in small cups, but we did get our mugs filled a few times (they also ran out of beer on 2 of the days!)

Our group used the pool table daily, but nobody showed up to dance at the disco night. The pool is lovely too, but we definitely made more use of the ocean. The kayaks are seaworthy and available for independent use, or you can go do some snorkelling out on the nearby reef (tips expected). We felt safe and comfortable the whole week, although our sons (18 and 20) were offered drugs on a daily basis. We left the resort for two half day and one full day excursions. It was a great week.

Room Tip: Beachfront superior - gorgeous ocean sounds, very quiet (we were in H ground floor, the kids right a...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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402 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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Ontario
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We just returned from a very pleasant stay at Shaw Park, December 24th-31st.
We had booked a "deluxe" room and were in 215. It's dated but we had loads of hot water and it was cleaned extremely well every day. Great 2nd floor verandah with a table and chairs and a fantastic view of the sea.
A very nice lobby with free wi-fi, which we took advantage of.
They were really working on the beach and it was looking much better by the end of our week.
Swimming was great for us. Sandy bottom, with a bit up a dip to get in but not a problem.
Super friendly staff ( hi Miss Rose and Smilie ). Outdoor dining for all meals was a plus we certainly enjoyed.
We found the food to be very good. A very real Jamaican tone.
So all in all we found Shaw Park to be a very enjoyable stay and if the price was right would certainly return.
The only recommendation we would have is, if you are planning an excursion do it on a day they have cruise ship guests. The one day, there were a few hundred people showed up for a beach/lunch few hours. The hotel handled the masses just fine( thanks to Miss Rose). We did make a suggestion that perhaps on that day they should set aside a few tables for the staying guests which would solve the majority of complaints we heard about the resort.
So in our opinion if you choose Shaw Park and have 3 star expectations you should be pleasantly surprised.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mountain View, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

This hotel is a joke!

for $200 per night, they don't even provide shampoo and conditioner, just a couple of really small soaps. The bathroom is so tiny and you can hardly fit 2 people in there.

this $200 includes "All-inclusive", but the food was way below average, the selection of food was so limited that I don't think you can call it a "buffet". The coconut juice was diluted with water, no taste at all. This "resort" offers nothing other than a simple little beach that was not even clean, how can you expect people to stay on this resort for a whole day? Of course we had to go outside of the property during the day for other entertainments, so naturally we miss lunch during the day.

The worst of all, we discovered blood stains on the sheets. We did not examine closely at night and just crawled into bed, the next morning after we lifted the blankets, we saw those distinct blood stains, it was so gross. I went to tell the front desk, the receptionist was "okay", that's it, no apologies, no offering of refund or anything.

Room Tip: don't stay here
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

My boyfriend and I are in our late-20s and had never been to Jamaica. Both of us are American grad/medical students who wanted to see as much of the country as we could without falling into mega tourist traps/secluded resorts that don't allow one to see much of the country. We also had a limited amount of time and a strict budget. We found this hotel through Delta Airlines, and were able to book it using Sky Miles without any problems! We paid for our stay in full using our miles without any hidden fees or surprises upon check out--very happy about this!

We stayed at Shaw Park for two nights. Both of us were very, very pleased with the service and rooms! Below is an outline of points for those debating on staying here:

- PRIVACY!!!! Oh my goodness, we could not have asked for more privacy--it was so wonderful! The room we stayed in was HUGE with a great balcony and ocean front view! Very quiet, serene, perfect. It was as though we had our own private island. Absolutely loved this! We always felt very safe and secure, too.

- The food was delicious!

- The staff was very kind and helpful! Example: One night we just wanted burgers rather than the big meal offered as the dinner selection at the restaraunt, and the chef went out of his way to make this for us, call our room, and surprise us-- no problems!

- I've read some negative criticism of the "dated" decor. Frankly, I am rather disappointed to read such remarks. The atmosphere was completely charming, well-maintained, and clean. Our AC and television worked perfectly, we had hot clean running water, and no bug problems. The rooms offer a break from the mega resort cookie cutter interiors--a change my boyfriend and I warmly welcomed. For those looking for a typical Disney/Sandals type of atmosphere, you would probably prefer to stay somewhere else. (Photos of our room and hotel atmosphere included...)

- The front desk set us up with transportation that was personalized and fantastic. We had driver take us to Dunns River Falls, pick us up afterward, then show us all around Ocho Rios for a very reasonable fee. In my opinion, much better than some big tour group...

- The one thing that I would have liked would have been wifi... but at the same time, it really forced us to go into complete vacation mode (which is what we needed!)

- Ocho Rios was my favorite area of Jamaica (we also visited Montego Bay and Kingston). I definitely hope to return, and will absolutely book my stay at this same hotel!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

My stay at Shaw Park left a big enough impression to provide motivation for my first review on TripAdvisor. I feel obligated to warn others about it or at least prepare them to show up with tempered expectations. It wasn't completely disastrous, but there were enough mishaps throughout the entirety of our stay that made it very disappointing, especially for the cost. I should be fair and say that the food was decent, and you have direct access to the beach... but that's about it.

1. The place is definitely old and needs some major refurbishment. It was kept clean enough, but don't expect anything nicer than a Motel 6. You can see remnants of how it was quite the hot spot maybe in the 70's, but those glory days are long gone.

2. Upon arrival, we were seated outside on the patio for lunch. Even though we were seated slightly away from a massive swarm of bees that seemed to hover in one particular area by the bar, we would still have several of them fly over and buzz around our food. Not ideal. What made it even less ideal is the fact that we found out that the staff were actually FEEDING the bees sugar water, hence the huge congregation of them. We were notified by a staff member that they were trying to increase pollination after the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the local vegetation. I understand the devastating impact of natural disasters like this to the island and I commend them for their efforts, but POOR CHOICE OF LOCATION! The resort was almost completely vacant during our stay. You couldn't even find another living soul besides at the bar/dining area when 1 of the 2 other families staying there decided to brave the bees to get food or drink. There was an entire other portion of the deck with dining tables that wasn't being used. Regardless, they chose to seat their guests and feed the bees within the same 15 ft radius. The bee infestation was so terrible that my husband received a rum and coke with 3 dead bees in it. You really can't make this stuff up. The waitress didn't appear to be too fazed by it. After watching her go back behind the bar to get him another drink, we saw her shoot out several more bees from the soda gun. They must have been attracted to the sugar, climbed up the dispenser, and gotten stuck there.

3. There are stray cats that loom around the dining area. Cats bother some people, no big deal to others.... until they urinate under the tables while you're eating. Like I said, almost comical but sadly not.

4. Beach towels were stained with blood. They make a big point to sign-out the towels to ensure that you bring them back. Apparently, this is such an effective system that they're still able to use the same towels they had back in the 70's (joking). Regardless, it doesn't matter how many times you wash them. If blood stains are still visible, it's time to throw those things away... or invest in white towels that you can bleach. Also, the beach chairs aren't the cleanest. Most of them were spotted with bird poo that hadn't been scraped off very well.

5. Our tub drain in the bathroom was completely clogged.

6. Our main waitress was quite rude insisting that my chair wasn't scooted up to the table enough while I ate or yelling at another person in our group for getting food from the wrong side of the buffet table. This was completely unnecessary as there was no one else up at the buffet at the time. The other members of staff were pleasant and friendly though, including the front desk ladies, the bartenders, and the other waitress.

7. One of the groundskeepers approached my husband asking him to get him a drink, but told him not to inform the staff members that it was for him. Not a big deal, but it doesn't add to the relaxing beach experience.

Some of these complaints may seem trivial, aside from the bees and the urinating cats, but there were just enough instances to make this an undesirable stay.

I would definitely not recommend this resort to anyone for the price that's listed. Luckily, we were only here for just the weekend during a 3 week stay in Jamaica. I would have felt completely cheated if we would have gone specifically for a vacation/holiday at Shaw Park.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Miramar
2 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The beachfront rooms at this property is what i look forward to every year. The food is Great and the staff is very friendly. My Daughter Loves the beach and the olympic size pool. Looking forward to going back for a relaxing weekend.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

This is an older hotel and it really needs updating. There was no tours available when I got there and the food was okay. The staff is really good and they really make up for everything else. I will not go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa

Address: Cutlass Bay, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#13 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 94
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Also Known As:
Shaw Park Beach Hotel Ocho Rios
Shaw Park Beach Hotel And Spa
Shaw Park Jamaica
Shaw Park Beach Ocho Rios
Shaw Park Hotel Jamaica
Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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