Let me start off by saying this was my first time to Jamaica. I have been to Cuba several times all from 3 - 4 stars so I don't expect really high end hotels etc. After reading the reviews before the trip, which I took with a grain of salt, I would have to say most are fairly accurate.
Upon arriving at Montego Bay airport it was a slow process getting through. We flew with Sunwing and I found trying to find the bus to the resort to be very confusing and disorganized. I was expecting a big bus to take us but ended up being a 10 passenger van. The ride to the hotel was almost two hours which we were expecting but made for a really long day.
Before leaving I tried contacting the hotel via e-mail to request adjoining rooms in the south tower. We got two rooms on the same floor but at almost opposite ends of the hall in the north tower. She claimed this is all she had available and we had to wait another hour for one of the rooms to be ready even though at this point it was almost 5:00 p.m. First impression of the room wasn't the greatest. Our view had a little bit of ocean but overlooked another building and the pool filter. The only thing nice about the room was the TV...everything else felt so narrow and small. I guess we couldn't complain too much our A/C worked too well that we were freezing even turning it way down. We had lots of hot water and never had an issue with this. It would get quite windy out and our patio door would make a really annoying whistling sound constantly. We were on the third floor and never found an issue with the elevators. The girl at the front desk must of saw we were in our 20s and put us on a floor with the same age group. Thing is we aren't really partiers and didn't stay up very late so we would constantly get woke up in the middle of the night with random people just knocking on our doors for no reason. We even had a secuirty guard on our floor some nights but I don't understand what he did because this would happen on nights he was there. Also there was no fridge in the room.
Never had an issue with the cleaning lady she was very nice and always brought us clean towels. The only thing that would be weird is she came at different times each day varying from 1:00 p.m. all the way until 6:00 p.m.
The beach was a bit of a joke. Very narrow and lots of rocks and seaweed. I think the nicest part of the hotel for me was the pool area. I loved the rock formations and the waterfalls with the sway bridge.
I did not enjoy the food. Most things would taste fine but majority of the time 3/4 of us would get sick within half an hour of eating. It just made it really unpleasant. The al la cartes were nothing special at all..you could get the same thing at the buffet. If you do plan on doing this make sure you book right away as it fills up fast - even though the restaurant would be half empty whenever we went to one. The only meal I could count on and looked forward to was breakfast. The omlete line was really long but the two guys cooking them were so nice it made it worth the wait.
Pretty much every bar was a really long wait too. They would have 1-2 bartenders at each bar who really did try to serve everyone as quickly as possible but it was still a long wait. I felt really bad for them. I did like that they had lots of slushy drinks, appleton rum, and the beer was good too.
Entertainment wasn't the greatest. It was hard to get a seat and see anyways. Checked out the disco two nights (when managed to stay up) and it didn't really start to get busy until 11-11:30. They do theme nights so don;t expect to request any music if its not within the theme and again they only had one bartender so it would take forever to get a drink.
It would have been nice just to have one place open for food all the time. Instead every bar and restaurant has random hours so you have to wait a few days to figure out the schedule to know where to go at what time. For anyone wondering if they have 24 hour service - the latest you can get food is 2am.
Three of us got a massage ...$65.00 for 45 minutes. Was just okay for me, not really worth the money.
You have to ask about the beach towels at the front desk and get a voucher than take them to the towel hut located at the light house. Also if your planning on using the safe in your room you need to go to the front desk to get a lock and key. You will also need to provide a credit card incase you loose the key they will charge $100.00.
Gift shop is quite expensive but they have a lot of main essentials and neat things. If you plan on buying souvenirs from here I would highly recommend just waiting until the aiport to come home because they have a lot of neat shops.
They have a couple slot machines in the lobby but I never wasted my money on this - I never saw anyone win anything.
The only way I would go back to this resort is if I was travelling with people on a budget which it is a reasonable price for Jamaica (which is why we chose here in the first place). If i had my preference though I would spend the extra couple hundred and go somewhere else. I did enjoy Jamaica, for the most part the people were really nice and the country is beautiful. Only thing that got annoying was all the waiters and bartenders hitting on my friends and I constantly...it would get uncomfortable. This happened off the resort too so I can't really knock the hotel for this.
We did the Mystic Mountain and Dunns River Falls. Both were enjoyable and the good thing about the location of the resort is its a very short drive to the attractions.
Overall, a vacation is what you make of it and I did enjoy myself. I think the biggest let down for me was the food because almost everything I ate made me sick. I think I had high expectations in this regard as I'm use to the food in Cuba. If it wasn't for the beautiful pool area I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.
Please feel free to ask if you have any questions as I'm sure I have left things out.
- 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