On our recent cruise (12-12-12 through 1-3-13), we booked a day trip to the Sunset Grand-- offered through Jamaica for a Day tours. We arranged this visit via the internet before embarking on our voyage. I believe we spent about $50/adult for this all-inclusive day pass to use the property's pools, beaches, non-motorized water sports, enormous buffet, bars, jerk chicken stand, common lounge areas, etc. It was a terrific place to simply relax and soak in the beauty offered at Ocho Rios. We could see our ship (the Destiny) from the beaches, but the Sunset's numerous sparkling clean pools provided a relaxing/laid back retreat.
I was surprised that we were the only passengers from the Destiny at the Sunset. It proved to be an excellent choice for our day (Dec. 31, 2012) on the Island because it was spacious and not overcrowded. The Sunset has water slides for younger kids and an activities staff for teens who are interested in more organized fun. There were guests playing beach volleyball, basketball, sun bathing, participating in pool race games, and snorkeling. My teen boys had plenty of room to throw football on a large stretch of the resort's coastline. My daughter enjoyed the fresh water pools-- as she dislikes the salt water pools on the ship. In keeping with what we have found to be common at Jamaican resorts, a local high school's drum and trumpet band performed and played festive music at the main pool during the noon hour. Yet, the resort was so large that guests could go to at least two other pools, which offered a quiet place to snooze. Part of our family actually had trouble finding us at the Sunset's expansive grounds-- they had climbed the falls prior to joining us at the resort.
The wait staff was helpful and treated us just like their overnight guests. They informed us that the Sunset offered a jerk chicken stand every day at lunch time. It was some of the best jerk chicken I have had on the island!
We never had to wait for services at the many bars. And, Red Stripe beer was on tap-- I have stayed at two other resorts on Jamaica and neither had Red Stripe on tap!
We bought our fill of t-shirts, Blue Mountain Coffee, jerk spices, and other souvenirs at the well stocked gift shop. Although, the Blue Mountain coffee at the gift shop was overpriced as compared to the retail outlets near the dock.
The only reason I am giving the Sunset less than a perfect score is because I feel they could take better care of their beaches. It looked like no raking had happened for a long time. I also did not like the cement ash trays lying between the shrubs that were directly next to the pool areas. And, the bathrooms were far away from most of the pools. Some overnight guests told me their rooms had mold on the ceiling tiles, but they did not mind because they spent very little time in their rooms. I did not see any mold, but this is something that I would not stand for. I did see several areas were being freshly painted around the pool area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, is situated on the north coast of Jamaica, accessible from the Montego Bay airport. Following a multi-million dollar transformation of what was formerly the iconic Sunset Jamaica Grande, the soon to open Moon Palace Jamaica Grande will boast more than 700 guestrooms and suites with oceanfront views of the Caribbean Sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Ocho Rios