Work commitments and in particular taking up Captaincy at Windermere Golf Club Cumbria UK has meant time has flown by since returning from our great holiday at Breezes Runaway Bay (BRB). Firstly let me say that we had a wonderful relaxing time, very fond memories now some 5 weeks after returning to a colder than usual winter here in the UK, yet again snow this morning in Windermere.
January 6th & 7th watched the weather forecast, were we going to get away? Manchester & Gatwick airports closed due to snow!! Thankfully come Jan 8th it had improved and the Online Check In with BA worked a treat so off we went to Manchester for a 06.40 flight to Gatwick. As we were travelling World Traveller Plus we had use of the lounge in Manchester on the way out and Gatwick on the way back an unexpected treat. Flights, out to Jamaica and back, on time, seats, services & food great as usual on British Airways. Not as expensive as some people make them out to be when you take into account the complete package of luggage allowance, seats with leg room, in flight service. Well done BA keep Flying the Flag as a full service airline.
Arrived Montego Bay, my that airport has changed since we were last there in 1994 only draw back it was a long work from the flight pier to passport control. Soon in the Super Clubs Lounge where there was a sincere warm welcome from the staff. Cool bottle of water and within 10 minutes on the coach to make our way to Runaway Bay. I think it was the very heavy rain that put a stop to the Red Stripe halt which I was looking forward to.
On arrival at BRB our check in was smooth but laid back in the usual Jamaican way! All the staff is a credit to Breezes, nothing is too much for them and I mean any of them, far to many to mention by name here but we did compliment 3 or 4 in particular on the comment card we left with the resort.
Our holiday was for a Birthday celebration for Elaine and rest and relaxation for me before taking up my Captaincy role and it for fulfilled our wishes. There is so many positive things you can say about BRB it is a great resort and the 2006 redevelopments have truly enhanced the offer available. The Ocean block rooms are a great addition at BRB and we would certainly book one of these again for a return visit to BRB at some time in the future. Good big CLEAN comfortable rooms with plenty of storage. On 2 occasions we experienced the lack of hot water issue that seems to bug this block but who is in a rush and it is Jamaica!! We did request a room change (1036 to 1038) on our first morning, see the comment below, this took about an hour but no worry the weather was torrential rain so nothing better to do. We were told the weather the first 2 weeks in January was most unseasonal this year, but it was warmer than the UK so NO PROBLEM MON!! If you are in an Ocean Front room near the FDR resort next door you may be able to pick up free Wifi, I did for the whole stay.
We were spoilt for choice on the dinning front!! We can’t understand why some people comment on here that there is limited choice. There are FIVE dinning options and the main buffet was varied enough to let you eat different items every meal if you wanted too and are adventurous in what you eat. Bar service and drink choice good and thankfully they still do the Dirty Bananas as well as the traditional Rum & Coke. Let us repeat again all the staff were very friendly and helpful. The evening Cabaret was most enjoyable and varied, we didn’t disco or partake of beach games but those who did seemed to enjoy them selves.
The grounds and the beach are kept in pristine condition and spotlessly clean, the beach is cleaned and raked each morning and the area around the Wedding Chapel was raked regularly before a ceremony and there were plenty of those. There is a team of maintenance guys always on the go looking after the property.
We only once went for a walk along the beach past the resort perimeter fence, ok it was early, say 8am in the morning, no hassle from the beach vendors just an invitation to return if we wanted to.
The main reason we chose BRB in the past, been in 1994 & 2004, and again this time was the golf. A good test of your game with many long par 4’s. The course was in good condition and well maintained considering the heavy rain that Jamaica had had in early January. Notices to indicate preferred lies would have helped, and the bunkers were solid sand so bunker shots were not easy, not that they are easy at the best of times anyway!! I think the sand needs replacing in a lot of bunkers, it is old and getting more like soil than sand, don’t worry you shouldn’t be in the bunkers!! Our Caddy Kennett, number 42, was a treat; we were able to use his services each time we played. The golf school and driving range facility is a great bonus for warming up plus that tuition is included is very good and easy on the pocket. I play golf left handed and used the range on a number off occasions to practise my right handed game ready for my Captains Drive In where an old Right Handed Hickory Shafted Club and Feathery Ball has to be used. The management of large groups tee reservations is an issue as they use a shot gun start approach seems to block up the course if you are playing in a 2 ball. The other issue that I think needs reviewing is that there is not a system for all inclusive guests of BRB, which is part of the complex, to have refreshments without paying extra, so you play you golf and return to the resort main complex without using the 19th hole. If you have an Ocean Front block room with its complimentary hospitality fridge why not take the soft drinks with you when you go to play golf, don’t forget one for your caddy as a treat.
There were three issues that we mentioned on the comment card when we checked out. They are not big ones, we must emphasise they did not spoil our stay at Breezes, they are points we think should looked at and would enhance the enjoyment and experience for future guests to BRB. We discussed them with Keisha the excellent Guest Relations Manager whilst we were waiting for our bus on departure. As an hoteliers and some one in the Hospitality and Tourism industry we am always striving to improve standards. The comments were:-
As Matinos is the fine dinning restaurant the wine glasses should be at least a 12 ounce goblet not the 6 / 8 ounce ones they were using when we were there. This would give a feel of quality & elegance.
The comments made about the design of the Ocean Block rooms were ones that should be fed back to the architects for future developments. The room layouts do not take full advantage of the views, in room 1038 our room the bed could be on the opposite wall so you can lay in bed looking at the ocean instead of at the other ocean block rooms. In some of the rooms (1026 & 1036 in particular) privacy from the passageway is an issue, a screen could easily address this, see picture attached. A rest room near the Ocean Front block pool would be helpful so you don’t have to keep going up to your room on the third floor to use the bathroom.
A comment re bring back the nude beach was a little tongue in cheek, however we did enjoy using it on our previous 2 visits in 1994 & 2004 and had made some good friends on the beach who we have since kept in touch with, one group of Germans we met on the beach have since been to visit us in Windermere.
Our stay at BRB was great, we will be back but not sure when. Many thanks to all the team for the wonderful warm welcome and wonderful service we received during our holiday, still trying to shed some of the lbs put one due to the great food in all their dinning & bar options, such great choice.
By the way if ever BRB need an English Hotelier, Hospitality and Tourism Consultant, I am available at a very reasonable fee!! If any readers of this report wants additional info just let us know. Very best wishes to all at BRB for the rest of 2010.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.