We just returned from Jewel Runaway Bay. We stayed from March 21-27, 2013. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 kids, ages 12 & 15. We traveled with another family of 4 with kids ages 13 & 16. We can't wait to return next year! I am thrilled to write this review because my friend and I searched these reviews in great detail before we booked our trip!
Just a note, getting through immigration, and getting luggage does take longer than you would hope. Once we had our luggage we did wait about 30 minutes on the bus before we left for the resort waiting for all the arrivals. Our bus made 1 stop before arrived at Jewel. So on to the resort!
We were greeted in a beautiful open air lobby by big warm smiles, and drinks for our family, including fruit punch for the kids. Next we were offered cool towels to freshen up. A guest services person sat with us in the lobby, appointed with beautiful furniture and checked us in while we enjoyed their welcome to the Jewel. We were checked in quickly and our luggage was brought along by a friendly bellman. We did change rooms, as our first room only had 2 twin beds and we needed 2 double beds. We had also requested that we have a room next door to our friends. The next day our friends were able to move to a second floor room near ours---again the staff were very accommodating! We did have a chance to see some of the rooms in building 3 and these seemed a bit larger than ours but we really loved our second floor location that was near the tennis courts and very quiet.
The resort is beautiful! Coconut palms, flowers and wonderfully maintained grounds. There are hammocks throughout the property and lots of places to relax in and take in the view. There were always staff working on raking, or pruning the grounds. There was also always some improvements going on. Fresh paint everywhere, a nice golden color with a soft sea green trim and even a new set of foldable doors at the coral terrace stage were put in while we were there. They were also creating a beautiful water & fire fountain that should be done soon. Across the road was a beautiful golf course that you can either walk to our they will take you over on a golf cart. Near the golf course is also the "Red Ruby Ranch" also part of the resort. They have horses here and a great play area for kids of all ages. This is also where they have laser tag (ages 12 & older), be sure to bring long pants for this game. They offer this 3 times during the day. They have an entire outdoor layout for this laser tag, lots of obstacles to hide behind and far different than anything our kids have done here in the states---they loved it. They also had an outdoor movie and a bonfire at the ranch one night complete with s'mores. Our kids were thrilled when they went over for the movie and when they asked the staff if they could play laser tag the staff just said ---yah mon. The nite tag went on for 2 hours. During the day the next day the kids also got to do archery at the ranch.
Everyday a long list of activities is posted so there is something to do every half hour. A great mix of family friendly games. The entertainment staff were enthusiastic and really encouraged people to play. They gave out Jewel money if you played and at the end of our trip we were able to turn it in for prizes. There were wacky pool games, trivia, horseshoes, bocce ball, cricket, jamaican baseball, beach and pool volleyball, ping pong, pool, checkers, basketball, tennis, golf, tye dye(bring your own shirt or buy one in the souvenir shop), and arts n crafts with Clive--my daughter made a beautiful painted shell. One nite we had a dive-in movie (an Ice Age movie so great for all ages) near the infinity pool and a bonfire on the beach and more smores. We also did the hobie cat and the glass bottom boat rides. They had kayaks but we never found time to fit these in. The snorkeling right off the shore was awesome. Delroy took us out snorkeling one afternoon and it was rough so he took us again the next morning and we saw beautiful coral and fish right outside the swimming area. They also can arrange for snorkeling trips by boat and scuba for an extra fee. We hope to try scuba next time we go. The beach swimming area is beautiful with soft sand and crystal clear water....Great for swimming and great for sand castles. The beach is long enough for a nice walk and you can walk next door as well. There is also a beautiful chapel right on the beach.
The pools were great, one with a volleyball net and a swim area and the other with a swim up bar and infinity edge. The swim up bar area did seem to be a hub of games and activities. All pool areas are close to the beach so you can enjoy the awesome sea view from all locations. We got to do reggaesize with Omar, this was great fun. Getting a pool towel was a bit challenging and we did place flip flops on chairs every morning so that we could get a nice place to sit near the infinity edge pool. I do think they could use more lounge chairs near the pools. There seemed to be lots of lounge chairs at the beach, it would be nice if there were more hammocks down at the beach and maybe a few more near the pool. They did have cabanas that you could rent for the day. There is another pool area in front of the waterfront building that seemed nice but smaller and had a large terrace and hot tub area. This pool area did not seem to get used much while we were there. There is also a Spa in the center of the property with an outdoor hot tub. We did not use the spa but the were staff roaming to ask if you wanted to use the Spa.
The food was amazing and plentiful. We ate at all the restaurants. The Japanese restaurant is great and a fun experience as they cook in front of you. We also enjoyed the buffets at all meals there were many choices and lots of fruits and vegetables of course desserts. Breakfast was our favorite with fresh omelettes and amazing french toast cooked fresh. Eggs any way you want. There was food for all tastes. The open air terrace was shaded and breezy, a wonderful place to enjoy the view of the beach and ocean while trying some great meals. Our kids loved all the food and also loved the ice cream machine. The jamaican grill was a great spot for snacks of jerk chicken, french fries, hamburgers, popcorn and nachos. My only suggestion is that we would have loved to have some homemade salsa with the nachos to complete the snack list.
The drinks at all the bars were tasty and seemed to be well mixed. There was a drink menu so you could try new drinks. Our kids also loved the non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiris and pina coladas. The staff were always friendly and attentive.
We did book one trip to Dolphin Cove, about 20 minutes away to swim with dolphins, and snorkel with stingrays. This was a great park with lots to do and see. Our Apple representative, Phyllicia was wonderful and was available at the resort daily to see how things were going. She was a great resource of information during our stay.
The entertainment was fun and family friendly. We never did stay up past 10:30pm so I cannot comment on the late nite events. There were many listed. The entertainment we did see was great, steel drums, a jamaican group, acrobats and jugglers to name a few, Our kids did visit the teen room that has video games, pool table and foose ball and more slushy drinks. Our kids met others here nitely. There were also computers here to access games or the internet. My only suggestion on the kids programs overall is to list the name of the "go to person" for the teens daily on the board so the kids know who to go to for the different events. They did a nice job of announcing all the activities during the day. At night we did not see the teen disco(9-11pm) up and running. We went by on several nights at 9pm but there was not anybody there. We did not ask anyone about it as our kids found other things to do, ping pong, etc but if the disco had been up and running by 8:45pm or so I know our kids would have loved to "hang out" there. It did look like a cool place and I can only assume if there had been music they would have loved this activity too.
So we had a great week! The staff were always smiling and having fun. The concierge desk always asking how our stay was going and ready to tend to any need. We had one issue with our shower door but this too was tended to within an hour of reporting it. We loved that the resort blended in with the surrounding landscape and that it was only 200 or so rooms and not a "high rise" building. We felt safe letting our kids run around the resort and have the freedom from their parents yet, it was small enough that we knew we could easily find them. Our room was simple and comfortable, we only slept here so just knowing it was clean, and the beds fluffy was what we were looking for. We loved the laid back atmosphere of the staff, the caribbean decor and the casual feel of the resort. There is not any area that feels "stuffy" just a great place to enjoy a week of Jamaican hospitality, warm seas and an amazing property with great activities.
We know that next year they intend to build a waterpark for this resort. I am not sure exactly where they are planning to put it but this should be a great addition to create another area that will be great for kids of all ages.
We are hoping to come back next year and bring some more of our family friends with us to enjoy this slice of paradise. Thank You Jewel Runaway Bay for creating a wonderful family resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort, one of the most complete all-inclusive resorts in the world. Located on 22 lush, oceanfront acres of Jamaica's famed north coast, this spectacular resort offers some of the best SCUBA and golf on the island. Unwind in our new plunge pool suites. Indulge in our new full-service spa. Dine around at up to 5 different restaurants and 5 different free-flowing bars including a swim-up pool bar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Breezes Runaway Bay Resort And Golf Club
- Breezes Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club Hotel Runaway Bay
- Breezes Runaway Bay Jamaica
- Breezes Runaway Bay Hotel
- Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort Jamaica