We are in our 50's and have travelled extensively to the Caribbean staying at resorts such as Sandals (Negril and Whitehouse multiple times), Couples Swept Away and Excellence and Iberostar properites in Mexico. We were excited to stay at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall over New Years due to it's high ratings and our love of Jamaica. The ratings on this board are accurate ... the resort is beautifully kept, the rooms decorated nicely and the customer service excellent. However, the hotel did not lend itself to the type of caribbean resort vacation we have been used to for a number of years.
First, our cons... With so much glass and concrete, it felt like we were in a nice hotel on Miami Beach rather than at a resort in Jamaica. In the evening there are a number of things to do inside the main building (disco, show, etc.), but, no bars are open outside after the pool bar closes. No entertainment is held outside with the exception of the weekly pirate beach party. So, it was not possible to sit outside before or after dinner with a drink and listen to music. The only bar open outside during the day is at the pool (or at the lunch restaurant). If you want a beach chair, be sure to get up by 7:30 am to get one or you are out of luck. Everyone seems to play the chair game by placing towels and books on the ones they want and then they go back to bed. What a pain. As far as the rooms go, they are nicely decorated, but, be sure to book the type that you want. We had read on this board that there wasn't a bad view in the place - they were wrong. We booked the least expensive room of 3 types and were shown 3 options - none of them good. Due to the time we were there, we were told all of the ocean views were sold out so there was nothing to move us to (even for a paid upgrade) during our stay. They post a daily list of who is checking in - it was hard to believe that everyone booked an ocean view or ocean front. There is a pool with a swim up bar, but, hardly anyone was in it. Nothing to float on is provided. For dinner, reservations are a must. We booked the first day we arrived and were only offered 6:30 pm or 9 pm. We were told the times in between were taken by those with longer stays. Towards the end, 8:30 pm at the Italian did open up.
Now for the positives... as stated earlier, the resort and the rooms are very nice. The bars in the rooms and throughout the resort are well stocked. The customer service from the butlers, housekeepers and restaurant staff was great. We did tip frequently, but, it was well deserved. We had the lamb chops and duck at dinner and thought they were both very good. The outside dining option for breakfast and lunch is the closest to the "typical" resort feel that we had while there. We were there over New Years Eve and the fireworks on the beach at midnight were amazing. We also celebrated our anniversary while there and upon arriving back from dinner we found a hot bath ran for us with rose petals and champagne. We took the complimentary shuttle bus to the Rose Hall Shopping area (an outdoor complex only 10 min. away) which was a nice break for a couple of hours one afternoon.
This is a very nice hotel however our preference is one with a more tropical atmosphere when traveling to the Caribbean.
Book an ocean view or ocean front!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for sharing your review. We were disappointed to hear that we had not met all your vacation needs, especially as you mentioned we lacked a Caribbean atmosphere. Despite that opinion, we were encouraged by the fact that you found our rooms, bars, staff and service in general to be satisfactory. We apologize for not being able to accommodate your request, particularly as we were fully backed whilst you were here for New Years’ Eve. It would be a pleasure to host you again so we hope that will not hesitate to return soon.
Quality Manager - Iberostar Jamaica
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.