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“A 3 star hidden gem, for 3 star travellers :0)” 5 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 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“A 3 star hidden gem, for 3 star travellers :0)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

My gf and I just returned from the Shaw Park hotel. A fabulous place all around. I stress to you 5 star travellers... just go somewhere else. If a few paint chips on the wall or a shower that drips bothers you then stay away. This is a 50 yr. old hotel, filled with charm and character. My gf and I booked it because it was a smaller hotel, only 100 rooms. For a few extra bucks we booked the 'superior room' which are located in the eastern wing.
The hotel is clean, refreshing, but it is not new. The rooms have hardwood floors, they creak, they have character. All the rooms have balconies that overlook the private, serene bay. No 5 star hotel in the area has this view, or privacy of its beach. The bathroom was fine, the toilet flushed, the shower had hot water and lots of it. The private beach had wonderful sand, docks you could suntan on, blue green water and a nearby coral reef to snorkel, or the river at the end of the bay you could take one of the free kayaks up. A humorous side note, in the one corner on the other side of the river is a small 6 star resort with a nude beach - but its so far away you can't see anything and they don't bother anyone.
It has one restaurant. It overlooks the blue green water of the private bay. This is where the attentive staff will serve you breakfast lunch and dinner. There is one bar. All the Red Stripe, and liquor/wine you want.
We found the food fantastic. Barbeques almost daily. Different food all the time. Simple buffets, as it is a smaller place, but very good food. My gf and I are easy going and we can't say enough about it. The staff dress formal, they show respect, they don't ask for tips or treat you different whether you do or don't. (and again on that note, a dollar after dinner left on the table is MUCH appreciated - it doesn't take much)
There was not much entertainment at night. Sometimes a singer, sometimes karoke and thats about it. Always a few people around the bar, or sitting at the tables late night enjoying the company. If you need the entertainment of others, or don't want to go to bed before 2am, you will need to go to another hotel, or head into town.
For the price, I cannot recommend this hotel enough. If you want to party all night, go elsewhere. If you want instant service from dozens of servants waiting your beck and call, book the five star.
If your easy going, want to spend some quality time with your spouse, friends, or perhaps a few other travellers, come here.
Other points: pay the little bit extra - get a top floor (3rd floor) superior room. They are a little bit away from the main lobby/bar/restaurant and are very quiet.
You can contact me for some #'s. Book a taxi, go pay respect to BoB Marleys home and take a wonderful tour (only 1.5hr drive away) and see where he grew up, his house etc (and where he is now resting)
Seen a waterfall before? Don't bother with Dunns River Falls. YAWN. Take the horseback trip that goes through the waters around Ocho Rios, or tour the original Appleton Estates Rum plant. Get smashed.
Final words... yah mon, respect to Jah
T & R

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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440 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 (78)
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English first
Moncton, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

We have just returned from a week at Shaw Park Beach Hotel and had the time of our lives. We got a deal we couldn't refuse and decided to give it a try. It is an older Hotel, but one of character with a truly Caribean flavor.The hotel was immaculately clean, the service was great, the food and drinks were good, and it was comforting to be well taken care of so far from home.This is not a party resort, but a great place to relax, take a break,soak up the sun and see the sights.We were treated well by the Manager and staff and made many new friends.If you have any problems, they are only too happy to help. We have stayed at fancy big noisy resorts, but the serenity of this place was amazing and it is right on the beach.It was wonderful to go to sleep each night to the sound of the waves.The beach is beautiful with chairs and 3 piers where you can sunbathe.We found this to be great value for our money! We can't wait to go back!!Jamaica and Shaw Park Beach Hotel Rock!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

On arrival I felt the ambiance of the architecture had a sense of being in periodic colonialism. I felt the warm of the staff at the reception desk was very professional and courteous. I arrived slightly early, but they endeavoured to accommodate me into my room ASAP. The porter was very attentive, in particular to the cable TV which was apparently not working. The bar staff at the bar were all pleasant, entertaining and amusing. The cocktails were satisfactory. The hotel was clean, but I did note the absence of children. From what I could see this there was no entertainment laid on for children – as well as the absence of children. The staff who provided the entertainment worked proficiently with the limited resources they had on board. They had karaoke nights and disco on site which I and my friend thoroughly enjoyed. The operations manager and the catering staff were also very accommodating and were always more than willing to listen to your comments and feedback and make adjustments accordingly. The food was delicious and healthy. The sea view was so scenic, beautiful and so clear. I felt part of the family, but perhaps this has something to do with my parents being Jamaican. I definitely felt at home. Overall, wonderful staff all round – A fantastic holiday and I would definitely return there again.

Carol Gordon

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laval, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

This hotel offers excellent value for your money. The staff is very friendly and wants your well-being first.
The rooms are spacious, clean and there are no unwanted insects, we have seen locusts on the outside, but none in the hotel or the rooms.
The beach is wonderful, you can walk and there are a lot of beach chairs that allow a couple to find their own quiet spot.
All rooms are beachfront and feature silent air conditioning. You go to this hotel to rest and relax; there is not much activity at night (Karaoke & Disco); it’s not a party place.
The food is good, choices of dishes at each meal: Beef, chicken, pork, fish and pasta, just try and you will enjoy.
We would not recommend this hotel for young couples because the average age is around 40 years old.
Several employees are particularly appreciated: Willie, Dunn & Smiley who make good drinks and there is no waiting at the bar. For dinner Lindval provides exceptional service and Miss Rose can organize you an a la carte meal * that you will long remember.
*There is no à la carte restaurant in this hotel, but for a small fee you are prepared filet mignon and lobster in a very romantic setting.
For easy travel, taxis located at The Sunmart 10 minutes from the hotel are inexpensive and will charge you a few dollars to go to Ocho Rios town for shopping or to Dunn’s River Falls. Don’t miss the visit of Dunn's River Falls.
In this hotel, if you have a problem in your room, It will quickly be repaired and / or you will be relocated to another room; the philosophy of the hotel administration is to make their customers "Guests" happy ... Just ask.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

Just got back from 4 days at Shaw Park, thank goodness it was only 4 days. We wouldve left on the first day if we couldve gone somewhere else. The first room they gave us was disgusting, mold, damp and filthy. 2 single beds that were very very small. They moved us the next day to a better room. TV wasnt working neither was the bedside alarm clock or the lights outside the room. Was told that none of the clocks in the rooms worked!! Took 3 visits to the front desk to get someone out to fix the TV. Why are we watching tv on vacation you ask????? Well after dark there was nothing else to do! asked for a diet coke the first night and was told they had no diet pop. If you want to eat chicken and rice every single day then this is the place for you. Dont get me wrong...I like chicken and rice..but not for lunch and dinner every day. Some of the staff were ok, but had 3 of them arguing amongst themselves in front of me once......not good. Just suck it up and pay a bit more and go somewhere else...believe me......Im not that fussy!!! This place is awful and should be either shut down or totally renovated. Cant believe they are still advertising.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

(27/12 - 05/01) After being double booked by my t.agent I was booked in a Shaw Park. Please bear in mind this was a 9 night booking!!! - As soon as we arrived I knew this would not be a place of my own choice, even just by the atmosphere. Everywhere else was booked out so we had no choice. It wasnt long before problems started,
- after being showed to the room it took us 5 minutes to get the door unlocked, It took 2 more times and speaking to the manager before the lock was changed
- the shower was broken on arrival, (fixed the next day)
- then no hot water! (annoying when the beach is so close and that's the main activity for the children!)
- Toilet started leaking, once I reported it the sent HOUSEKEEPING to mop up and leave floor mats during the night yet still no maitanance the next day. After coming in from an external excursion I walked in and slipped on water which had obviously be leaking while we were out and that was the last straw for me as I am pregnant. Masie arranged for us to be moved.

Luckily for me my partner arrived on the 31/12 we stayed that night because it was late, but early the next morning we left and didnt return until th 4th which was when we checked out!!! After waiting 30 minutes for the bell man we we're out of there!

$5 per night for a fridge, $2 per night for a safe, You have to sign the iron in/out EVERY time you need it (dont know how previous customer got it brought to her room!) - ALSO if you are using JAMAICAN DOLLARS to pay they convert at $84JMD to the US dollar!

Beautiful location, but the building needs some serious maintanace, and updating. I think it should be advertised as an adult only hotel as there is close to nothing for children to do. I would never go again even if it was just me and my partner.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

The first trip that I made to the Carribean was in 1989 to Jamaica. For a couple of years I went to Flordia, in 1999 we went to DR and then Cuba. I have had some great trips to DR and Cuba but I longed to get back to Jamaica, mostly as I remembered the food being good.

The other thing that we had wanted to do was to go south at Christmas, however it has always been expensive..........like most people our travel budget is tight.

On Christmas eve I was surfing the internet and I stumbled upon a trip to Jamaica at a very good price..........this allowed me a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.........also no vacation time used.

I checked the resort on Trip Advisor and all reviews were good........we purchased and traveled on Xmas Day.

This resort is accurately discribed as a 3 star resort, however it is clean, well maintained and better than the sum of its parts. I compare it to DR and Cuba and it is head and shoulders above the same rating in those resorts.

Most importantly the food has flavour .......... we actually got back to discussing lunch while we were eating breakfast.....makes me smile again just thinking about it. This resort is not for someone who has experienced a 5 star Jamaician resort, however I do not believe that you would be disappointed.

The resort is small 95 rooms and 2 stories. Our room was on the 1st floor, 8 paces to the beach and 35 paces to the ocean............I have never experienced anything like that before. It was beautiul at night to wake up and listen to the ocean crash on the beach.

Food. As I have said the food is very good. As there are only 95 rooms it is not as extensive as if there were more guests. That said everything that they put out was delicious. Food makes my day and I was easily entertained here.

Beach. The beach is directly in front ot the hotel. It is about a 1/4 mile long and just far enought to go for a short walk. It is raked by hand each morning and is easy to find a beach chair whether you want to be close to people or not. There are also 4 concrete piers that you can plunk your chair on.

Rooms. The rooms are quite small but they are clean and our bed was very comfortable. The rooms were cleaned daily and my wife says they did a good job.......good enough for me. The rooms are connected by a back halway........there is a slight must smell...........and there was a slight odour in our room when we checked in.........it was gone quickly after we opened the sliding door and did not return. I mention this as is a sensitive area for me..............it is one of the first experiences you get and it could easily put someone off and ruin a vacation............open the door and it quickly goes away...........I believe that in Feb Mar when the rooms are rotated quickly there would not even be an odour.

Hotel. The hotel was built in 1965. Given its age it is in marvious condition. They must be keeping the place up. there is some wear and tear in some areas but generally the Hotel is in very good condition. I have seen other 10 year old resorts that were ready to be rebuilt. This place looks very good.

Bars. Again the resort is small. Only one bar is used. It is the beach bar, opens at 11 am and closes when everybody goes to bed. The bar also tends to be the entertainment. The two Barmen (Smiley and Willie) are old time professionals. This act is not to be missed. Smiley has never made the same drink twice and all new drinks have new names. Willie is the only Rasta barman on the Island.......Love and Respect..........I miss the both of you. PS have Willie make you a Dark and Stormy...... rum and ginger beer.......new drink in my line up.

Wait Staff. The wait staff is very efficient. One girl in particular made our week. Deandra, I believe has serious ESP. She was delivering things to me even before I knew I wanted or desired it..........spectular..........On that topic Julie is the Wait Staff supervisor. As some point you are going to ask her for something and she is going to tell you that you can't have it...........ask again.........she has a heart of gold and if it will improve your week I guarantee she will make it happen.........she is not a bad dancer neither.

Tips. The front desk never has enough small US Bills. If you are going get a good supply of small US bills......I was behind all week.

Entertainment. The entertainment was fair, that said it was entertaining.........If you want better there is a Sandals down the road...........just get you wallet out.

Owner and Manager

The resort is privately owned by Earnst Smatt. He is at the hotel most days and takes a personnel role in the operation. If you see him walking and pointing one day ...... the next day you will see maintenance being done. I spoke with him one day and he was quite interested whether I was enjoying my stay. If you enjoy yourself let him know I believe that he really likes to put out a good product. Mr Smatt is a mystery man...........looks like he was a player in his time..........it leaves the wrong impression........he is very much a gentleman.........and from speaking to the staff he takes very good care of them...........I like that.

Manager Michael ???????? Never did get his last name. Keep you eye on him.........he is always in the background watching how the product is delivered. He takes a very hands on approach to the resort and does and exceptional job at making sure that everyone has a good experience. If you get a chance talk with him and let him know how your stay is going...........Tell him Yeep-pee sent you.

Negatives. I have already mentioned the slight must in the back halway, the only other thing that I had heard of is lack of hot water........it did not make sense because as two rooms side by side and one would have loads and the other would be short.............for the record we had lots of very hot water.

Taxi's. The only thing that did not make sense to me was the cost of cabs. Town is about 3 km's away but it costs 20.00 - 30.00 for a cab there and back............it is managable if you car pool. If they could lower the cost of a cab people would use them a lot more and everyone would benifit.

Golf. The course is in the hills behind Ochio Rios. It is a 35.00 Cab Ride..........find a buddy. The golf course is not exceptional but it is OK. The course still has caddies.........what a treat. I much prefer to walk but to walk and have someone else drag the bag............Priceless.

If you are looking for a nice quiet comfortable get away give Shaw Park Beach a second look. The value is exceptional. This was my first time back in Jamaica in a long time but I will not be going anywhere else for the next few years.....it is worth any extra money you might spend.

If you are looking for a party you better bring it with you. The staff will do everything they can to help but most people were in bed by 11 pm.

Love and Respect.........and see you next year.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#13 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#14 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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