We went to Breezes Runaway Bay for a friend’s wedding. We read good and bad reviews and were relieved that the good reviews were far more accurate. Just like on our first trip to Jamaica, the people that were unhappy acted entitled rather than appreciative towards the staff and were focused on what the rooms lacked rather than how beautiful the tropical grounds and pristine beach are. If you can’t have a fun, relaxing vacation at Breezes Runaway Bay you probably are not going to be happy anywhere.
The rooms – The rooms need updating. The furniture, drapes, and bedspread are old and outdated. However the rooms did have flat screen TV’s, cold AC, and big nice new showers. There were a few chips in the tile and some sloppy craftsmanship but the rooms were clean and comfortable. Do not expect to be wowed by your room. I really didn’t see any value in a room with a plunge pool. They are pretty to look at but not all that private. There is a newer building that would probably be worth the extra money for the newer room. Some rooms have stocked refrigerators free and others can be stocked for a fee. In our room, beer was stocked for $2.50 a can and sodas were $1.00. It seems like it should be free in an all-inclusive but it was not a big deal as there were plenty of drink options within a 2 minute walk. You can get wi-fi access at a rate of $15 for a 24 hour period. That seems a little pricey but I was there to relax, not surf the web so it was not a big deal to me.
The grounds – A tropical paradise with lush vegetation, palm trees, and flowers. They work hard at keeping things trimmed, raked, and looking nice. There were some luggage cart and tennis shoe marks in some of the concrete on the walks that had been rolled over and walked on before completely drying. Anywhere else that would be unacceptable but in Jamaica it is probably commonplace. The layout of the property is excellent with nothing being too far away and nice beach views from pools, bars, and dining areas. There are 3 pools, 1 with a swim-up bar. The infinity pool with the swim-up bar is the party pool with music, entertainment, and a fun crowd. The middle pool has a volleyball net but is much more quiet and relaxed. The 3rd pool is on one end in front of the new building. It is quiet with a nice ocean view. Having those 3 options assures everyone a pool to fit their vacation preferences. The 2 hot tubs are nice to slip in to stay warm during a rain shower.
The beach – The staff rakes and cleans the beach every morning keeping it in top condition. There are plenty of chairs and plenty of trees if you are seeking a little shade. The reef is close to shore but there is a swimming area roped off with a clean, sandy bottom. You can snorkel right off of the beach so bring your mask with you. What the room lacks, the beach makes up for. It is the reason to come to Jamaica.
Vendors - If you do leave the resort to walk down the beach expect the vendors to be a little pushy. Some are nice but most will put the hard sell on you. However, on property the security will not allow guests to be hassled.
Entertainment – There is always something going on. The staff does a great job with games and activities for guests to enjoy. At night there is a disco and either karaoke or piano sing along in the main lobby.
Food – The food was well above average and a pleasant surprise. We had heard that the Japanese steakhouse was the best and the Italian restaurant was just average. In my opinion it is the opposite. Order the steak at the Italian restaurant, it is tender and tasty. The anti-pasta items were great too. Stir fry at the starlight grill was very good. The New Year’s buffet was out of this world with choices and quality and the nightly buffet was good as well. The reggae cafe was great for lunch or a snack.
Activities – I did not play golf but I heard no complaints from golfers I talked to. There were four tennis courts with a nice view of the hills inland from the resort. There is a small but fairly well equipped fitness center upstairs from the main lobby with machines, free-weights, treadmills, and elliptical, and an exercise bike. You can paddle an ocean kayak or have the staff take you out in a small hobie cat. I can’t say enough about how professional the dive staff was or how great the diving was. Dive masters George and E.B. run professional, safe dives and work hard to ensure the safety of the group. The reefs are so close that the boat is always in sight of the resort. Rides to dive sites take a couple of minutes and you are back on the beach in about an hour. It is unreal that reefs that scenic are that close to shore. Diving was great!
The staff – Over 90% of the staff is friendly and very helpful. You get what you give so smile and be respectful and you will get great service. Maids did a great job at keeping the rooms clean daily. Our room was not ready when we arrived at 3:30 pm and we were asked to check back in a couple of hours. That was not a big deal as we were able to put our luggage in our friend’s room and go to the beach. When we checked back at 6pm we were given a room that was already occupied when we got to it. I was told it would be another hour. I didn’t get mad and just expected to get ready for dinner in our friend’s room. Before I could leave the lobby a manager overheard my conversation with the desk clerk and they quickly found me a room that was a small upgrade from what I had paid for. The manager was apologetic and even followed up the next day to make sure everything was ok and that I was a satisfied customer. It would have been nice to have a room initially but they were very busy and mix-ups happen. I was impressed with their willingness to make things right and make sure I was happy.
Our friends had a beautiful beachfront wedding and we had a relaxing vacation. I would not hesitate to return.
The newer building is probably much more up to date than the rest of the resort. Plunge pools are n...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.