I've travelled to Cuba twice (Riu and TRYP), Dominican (NH Royal), Mexico twice (Riu and Bahia Principe), and Aruba (Riu Palace). This was my first time to Jamaica and this resort met my expectations. Those who wrote awefull reviews, keep in mind that this is NOT a Riu Palace... it is not a 5 star, nor does it claim to be. It is a 4 star resort and I find the service was equal to all the 4 star resorts I've been to.
It is far from the airport but it's nice to look at the Jamaican culture on the way to the resort and our driver did a wonderful job explaining a few things.
Check in is only ok. We line up and are given a key to the safe and we can't go in the room until 3pm.
We were given a room (2127)... which is really the 1st floor... with almost no view of the ocean even though we paid for ocean view. It was also close to the activity pool which was really loud. We're not the kind to complain and we barely spent time in the room anyway but was disappointed with the location of it. Our friends who asked to be close to us and paid for the same room category got 5th floor and closer to the water with an amazing view. Wish we were treated the same way.
We didnt get the Deluxe section and it did not seem to be worth it... you might get larger rooms but that's it. Other than that, our room was decent. We had a king bed, a bit hard but we still slept really good. It was very cleaned everyday, and always got fresh towels and facecloths as well as towel art. We didn't use the bar in the room much but we did get a birthday cake even though it wasn't our birthday! We are guessing it was sent to the wrong room...but we ate it anyway.
The whole resort was amazingly clean. I witnessed someone on his knees all morning cleaning the tiles by the pool. There was also a cleaning lady for every public bathroom, always in a good mood, even singing at times. We could smell the cleaning products. The glasses we picked up very quickly by the workers on the beach and by the pool. I would like to see more garbage bins though as anytime I needed to throw away something and had to look for one.
By the way... I recall someone writting about "bug infestation" in these reviews... WTF? Really? I haven't seen many bugs at all, saw 1-2 ants, that's it! I noticed the cleaning lady's were equipped with bug spray too. I did however get mosquito bites from hanging in the lobby at night... but it's not anything too bad, about the same I would get back home.
The food was alright. I had a stomach flu before I arrived and I got better on the second day of being there, so I can say their food is good. It tasted good too. There are a lot of options at the main buffet and the a la carte were nice to have for a little change. We went to the Asian, the Gourmet and the Grill. The Gourmet was my favorite, the Asian was good too. The Grill was nothing special.
The entertainment was pretty good. I have to say the crew worked real hard... I saw them at 7am until midnight everyday trying hard to keep everyone happy. During the day they were by the activity pool and the beach and at night there were near the stage where they had music and shows everyday. The shows were just ok. I missed the steel drum and the beach party which I overheard were great. I was just too tired to go. The rest of the week,I found the shows were not as good as what Im used to at other resorts. The one thing I enjoyed was that there was a lot of seating, and tables in an open area... and there are 3 bars around the stage to serve us.
The bar tenders at every bar on the resort were all very nice and worked hard. It might be obvious that they are looking for tips, but I don't mind typing someone who goes the extra mile to make me happy. The drinks didn't seem to be watered down at all. I witnessed a few drunk people.... someone at the activity pool was way too drunk, could barely stand up straight and a bartender told him he was cut off and gave him virgin drinks. I was quite happy to see that they are responsible enough to do that.
The beach was great. There are enough place to sit. The water was the Caribbean aqua blue, the sand is powdery, there are almost no rocks and just a bit of seaweed...very easy to avoid. The vendors were really not so annoying...there were none on the beach itself and the few that was in the water stayed past the boyees and we politely say no thank you and they left us alone.
My one complain is that the resort is extremely busy. There is so many people and most days it was really hard to find a place to sit by the pools. The beach however had lots of chairs. The buffet is also packed when it just opens. It's also hard to find a place to sit at the entertainment area in the evenings. Do not come here if you want a romantic relaxing place. Overall it was a fun vacation and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a fun beach vacation. I would come back maybe one day if I have kids.
Pick a room on level 3 and up.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.