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“Expected more...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Moon Palace Jamaica Grande

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Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Main Street | P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Expected more...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

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.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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4,732 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 (1,313)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

We were a group of 4 and stayed here the first week of January 2013 for 1 week. This resort is a 2.5 star at best and definitely not worth the money we paid (we just got back from a vaca in Mexico that cost us $100 cheaper than what we paid here and the resort was a 4.5 star and a zillion times better!)

The pros:
- for the most part the pools are clean and very nice
- the Chinese and Caribbean a la Cartes are delicious. Skip the Italian the food was just bad
- we walked to Juicy Patty which was a 5-10 min walk from the resort and the patties were delicious! We did feel a little uneasy though as you get a lot of 'funny' looks

The cons:
- rooms were not clean and the floors were always wet. Honestly we just felt gross sleeping in there
- the food that was good ran out quickly and they don't restock
- service is super slow; I think on average it took almost 15 mins to get coffee in the morning
- fountain drink station, icecream station were constantly down
- music blasts until 2am daily
- smell of mold was everywhere

We went with low expectations and even still it was a big let down. Definitely a waste of money and we won't be back.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

The first couple of days at Jamaica, we were at the Hilton, in Montego Bay-great place, we left to go to the Sunset Jamaica on a Saturday. We get there, the resort is in a run down area, didn't really bother me. We go to check in, they screwed up our rooms that were suppose to be next to each other, with lots of complaining they upgraded us to a 1 bedroom. The room was huge, but very old, smelly and the air didn't work. The people that worked there were very unfriendly and just miserable. Next day, the breakfast buffet was like a free for all. Totally disgusting. But the best part was there were over 400 college spring breakers, which makes the resort completely not family friendly this time of year. We had some drunk kid get in our face looking for a fight, you could not get a drink because they were blocking the bars. We complained to the life guard that these half naked girls humping the pool were blocking the water slide for the kids. He said to us, not my problem. So, we got there on a Saturday and left on Monday to go back to a real family friendly resort the Hilton at Montego Bay. Let me had it was the same price as the run down, dirty, moldy Sunset Jamaica. I will tell everyone never go there.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
87 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I've been to Jamaica several times --- mainly stay within the compound of the resort we are visiting. I think this hotel may have had it's glory days in the 80s or early 90's is my guess. The smell of mold was profound in the hallway along with ganja. Ahem. It felt odd to know anyone would enter and leave the area or hotel which they did frequently. Our AC was broken in the first room we were given, when the repairman opened the ac vent -- about 5 inches of compacted dust/dirt fell to the ground. We grimaced.

I will say the food was excellent and the beach and sea lovely. However (hate to sound so negative here but trying to be honest) the cruise ships docking almost every day and the large factory in view of the beach not so great.

Room Tip: Try to go as high as possible. The discos stay open VERY late.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
Llanelli, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Just returned from this hotel after a 10 night stay.Beautiful location, good food and lovely staff. Beech is safe and clean, not to much hassle from sellers. However the hotel entertainment only caters for young teenage gangs. The pool area was very noisy with loud "club" music playing. Shame really as we thought we would of had some reggae. If you can try to stay in the South Tower, as this seems to be a little quieter.

Room Tip: Stay away from the North Tower.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Check into our cabana room was very smooth after my husband started shouting at 330
All of a sudden a room was ready for us.
Maid service was just okay - we used our beach towels one day as bathroom towels were not left for us the day before.
Food was very good. We liked the jerk chicken at the bar for lunch and omettes for breakfast. We enjoyed the patties in town at Mothers and bought snacks and red stripe in town daily for our room which had a fridge and air conditioning (my husband spoke to our neighbour who complained of no air conditioning)
The beach and pools were great - I brought a noodle and hovered while my husband snorkeled
Day trip to Dunn River was great took a cab for 20 then 20 us each for entry - we went on a non cruise ship day and had a photographer take us up the first time and he took many great pics for "whatever you want to give me at the top"
I did not enjoy the wilderness ATVing as much. My thumb cramped up and I got really dirty
Had wanted to go on Blue Mountain bike tour but it was 3 hours away so decided against it
Weatherwas great for 6 days and overcast on our last day so no complaints there
Overall we had a very good time and would return to Jamaica - maybe not the SJG

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northborough, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

There is no real oceanfront rooms so don't pay for the upgrade. Was assigned a room in the North tower that was small and our "oceanfront" room was 4 rooftops, a pool, trees and then the ocean. I immediately went to request a new room and was told they were full and to go back the next day. When I arrived the next day i was told the guest extended their stay so I could not switch rooms for another day. Once we switched to the south tower the room was nicer but the same view. Only difference was if you looked to the right you saw the housing complex behind. There are no refrigerators in the rooms. You are only allowed to eat at each restaurant once per week and must use the buffet the rest of the week. The bartenders were extremely slow and the chance of getting a drink from the pool was slim, you were better off getting out and walking around. The lines were constantly being held up because they didn't have enough cups. Only beer is red stripe. The icing on the cake was the last day when the hot tubs were closed because there were feces in them. Talked to a few people that had similar issues and apparently Ben Franklin can help motivate the front desk workers. The ocean was rocky and had seaweed. Negril beaches were much nicer and would stay there if I ever go back. Everyone expects a tip so make sure you bring cash!!

Room Tip: Stay in South totter only,
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moon Palace Jamaica Grande

Address: Main Street | P.O. Box 100, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Moon Palace Jamaica Grande 4.5*
Number of rooms: 705
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

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