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“Do I Dare to Compare?” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Grand Rose Hall

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Iberostar Grand Rose Hall
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Main Road | Little River, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rose Hall
New Jersey
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“Do I Dare to Compare?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2010

As we all know, vacation satisfaction is largely about what we expect vs. what we experience as reality. It is obvious from the stellar reviews that the IB Grand Rose Hall has generated, that they are doing a lot right. If we had not stayed at the IB Grand Paraiso in Mexico, we would probably be among that happy group. Unfortunately, we were forced to compare our three visits to Mexico upon arrival at the Grand in Jamaica and I hate to say we were quite disappointed. Since the Grand Paraiso was the first of the "Grand" brand for Iberostar, they went all out to make it their crown jewel and so anything less coming after, is bound to suffer in retrospection. I'll try to compare by the points which really stuck out for us.
I did know that the IBGRH was smaller than it's older sister so size wasn't the real issue. The big difference was the attention to detail in Mexico versus the total lack of the same in Jamaica. In Mx, literally every inch of the place was perfect; every light fixture was magnificent and there were so many. Every one of the bathrooms was a work of art. Every floor surface was gorgeous marble and even the halls connecting different parts of the resort put you on sensory overload. There was a rotunda in the front that was breathtaking. Nothing was run down and the level of maintenance was superior. The minute people started leaving the beach, towels were picked up, chairs lined up and the sand, cleaned and raked. The pool was spotless shortly after closing and ready for the next day. On our first morning in Jamaica I went down to play the towel game and was greeted with last night's mess both at the pool and the beach. Big turnoff. In Mexico, gardens were lush, colorful and perfect as opposed to the bare minimum in Jamaica. In Mx, really good art and sculpture abounded and you didn't know where to look next. In Jamaica you were lucky to see an occasional, unremarkable print. In Mexico the beach was huge and palapas were spread out so that you never had to sit on top of anyone else. The indoor pool in the spa building was spectacular and coming from someone who does not like indoor pools, this is saying a lot. In Jamaica there was a common water circuit but no indoor pool.
The Grand in Jamaica seemed like a smaller, basic outline of Mexico with nothing much filled in. All I could think of, doing a comparison of the two places, was that they just chintzed out on every level in Jamaica and since the architectural style is somewhat over the top for an island resort, if it's not done right, it looks nothing but tacky. All of the hallways were downright dismal and the carpets, well, I won't even go there.
Housekeeping in both places was excellent for us. Our room was cleaned at our convenience in Jamaica and we had turndown service every night. We were pleasantly surprised at the warm reception we received upon check-in as the latest reviewers consistently complained about attitudes or indifference upon arrival. Sara was the epitome of efficiency and graciousness and we were lucky to have had her greet us after a very long day of travel.
As for a beach/water comparison, it was much easier to enter the water in Jamaica as there were no rocks to contend with, like in Mexico. The beach itself was so much smaller in Jamaica and at only 60% occupancy, people were on top of each other, which was never the case in Mexico. The Suites in Ja. had the biggest and best beach of the three connecting resorts.
As for the restaurants, the menus were virtually identical in both places but the food itself was much better in Mexico. Since we haven't been to the Grand Paraiso in a few years, the perceived downturn in quality could be a consequence of economic times across the board. In both resorts, restaurant service was spotty and inconsistent. At IBGRH breakfast buffets, staff who were preparing items like eggs or omlettes seemed clueless. Every morning in Jamaica we actually had to laugh when, after requesting something like "two eggs over" the person acted like it was the first egg they ever cooked and unless you gave them a play by play, the poor eggs were invariably broken or rock hard. One young man would use the spatula to bang on the grill a hundred times when making anything. Maybe he also worked in the Japanese place and thought he was still slicing and dicing.
I hope that everyone who has intentions of staying at the IB Grand Rose Hall without having experienced the IB Grand Paraiso, will take this review with a grain of salt. I'm sure your reality, without having to compare the two resorts will be a pleasant one.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Decatur, Georgia
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2010

Let me tell you that our week seemed to be going along nicely until we met a genuine friend and we couldn't even get them in to spend time together. It was no later than midnight and the downtown clubs were just too much. How embarrassing was it when we couldn't bring our friend in to the resort to hang out in the room. There are guards at every door making it very uncomfortable for friends from the related resort to join - but especially don't bring a Jamaican friend. It appeared that it was based on color when my single friend had to leave and couldn't hang out in the room. I'm so disgusted and we are not partiers - like I had to hear all day long at the pool - like I was on spring break. While I initially thought I would want to come back - I would not advise anything here due to rigid policies and the company's inability to allow their staff to make decisions based on reasoning after hearing loud and crazy partiers all week long - of which I never complained about... think twice before coming here - please - it's an issue of principle - Thank you!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

We normally cruise for our vacations. However this time we attended a family wedding in Jamaica and decided on this hotel because of the positive reviews we read. We also liked the look of the hotel on their web site and the location was good for us.
We were picked up at the airport promptly by the hotel shuttle and processed very quickly once we reached the hotel. They had a nice rum punch waiting for us also.
The room was wonderful value for the money. Very large with a sitting area and tons of closet space. The bathroom was very luxurious and had every amenity and the bar fridge was fully stocked with all kinds of drinks including white wine and red. All complimentary and restocked every day.
Nice big balcony with a cushioned sofa and wicker swing.
The pool areas were very clean and had lovely infinity pools with lots of loungers and beds for everyone.
The servers by the pools were quick and all the staff were very courteous. There was a piano bar off the lobby that served premium liquors and had nightly entertainment. You could also get an assortment of coffees there during the day.
Food was very good and buffets had a good selection.
There were also theme restaurants like Japanese, Surf & Turf etc. The only thing was you had to make reservations for the week at one time or take a chance on booking on the day. Not a big deal though.
The only thing we could complain about was the distance from the main downtown area. Not that we really cared, but if you wanted to go into town it was a pricey ride in a taxi.
Would we go back? Absolutely.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stamford, Connecticut
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

My wife and I have recently returned from a 5-day getaway to the Iberostar Grand. This was our second time to Jamaica, and we were looking to stay at a top notch place. Our requirements were:

1. All-inclusive
2. A+ reviews
3. No kids allowed

Though we loved every bit of our time spent at the Grand, I felt I needed to provide a very fair, honest, and un-biased review as possible…This resort has everything we were looking for, and then some…. But we also found a few quirks, which left a bit room for desire. Please bear with me as I try to be as detailed as possible in hope to provide you with a good idea of what to expect out of this resort.

This is truly a GRAND hotel. If you are looking for a small hide-out place, this is not for you. But if you are looking for a grandiose and luxurious spot, this is THE one!

Where do I begin…

Well, the place is beautiful, and staff is beyond friendly. You feel pampered from the moment you walk in… this place is truly an ‘ALL-INCLUSIVE’ one, and by this I mean that other than motorized water sports, spa, phone calls, and obviously shopping, EVERYTHING else is included in the price, including the mini-bar in your room, the butler, the in-room DVD movies, in-room internet access (bring your laptop if you have one), and even the room- service itself, are all included in the price. If you don’t feel like going anywhere to dine, simply pick up the phone, and order your breakfast/lunch/dinner via room-service, at no additional cost!

The food was good to great, depending on your taste. Not bad, not stellar, just good. For a 5-star hotel I guess we expected a bit more, but overall, I can’t say we were overly disappointed. 6 years ago, my wife and I spent 5 days at Couple Negril, which is a 4-star resort, and thought the food was on-par if not better from some aspects. The 4 ala-carte restaurants (Japanese, Italian, French, Surf & Turf), were OK. The portions were small and too ‘fancy’. They looked more like samples than actual dinner portions. Our favorite one was the Surf & Turf. The rest were just plain OK. The breakfast buffet is great, and the variety is beyond anything we could have possibly ask for. There is so much to try… I think I liked the breakfast the most. In addition to the breakfast buffet, which also serves as a lunch/dinner one, there is also a grill-bar buffet restaurant on the beach. The latter one opens up at 12 and serves lunch between 12 and 4. Between 4 and 6pm, the place serves snacks. The food was good/great, and offers a great variety to enjoy from while cooling down in the Jamaican breeze.

The bars were ok as well. My wife thought that the cocktails at Couples Negril were better. I personally can’t really recall drinks from 6 years ago, and found the cocktails to be just fine. The barmen are super friendly, and I especially appreciated the extra mile they took (no pun intended), to get me the drink I was looking for, after they ran out of one of their rums…. He offered to walk over to one of the other bars and make the drink of us over there, then bring it back.

The staff is super-friendly and constantly make sure you are ok, and all your needs are tended to. We only used the butler once, when I asked to get a firmer pillow off of their ‘pillow menu’ (can you say fancy service? :-) ). The internet café is a cool place, with 4 PCs, but no webcams. It also has 2 pool tables, a small library, and a dart board. Personally, had I known that the in-room internet was included in the price, I would have brought my own laptop and used it in our room.

The 3 swimming pools are beautiful, though they keep them a bit on the cool side. My wife couldn’t stay in the water for more than a few minutes, and had to get out. Oddly, the ocean wasn’t any warmer, and was a bit cool as well. The water are shallow, and fenced in, as there is a substantial amount of seaweed starting to grow some 120 ft from the waterfront line. The ocean was one thing I was not impressed with. It definitely left room for desire, though the water was very clear, and the sand was white and clean – they rake the beach with tractors daily, and maintain it very well.

There are two adjacent Iberostar resorts (beach & Spa, and the Suites), which share the spa and gym with the Grand. Though guests staying in those two hotels cannot come in to the Grand, Grand guests can go over to the other two resorts (not much to see there anyways). There are security personnel, both at the juncture points, and on the beach itself, which enforce the ‘no crossing’ policy for the other hotels’ guests.

The pool staff is cool and fun guys to hang out with, and if you’re not into the pool games, they will leave you alone. The pool-side canopy/cabanas/beds are great, and you just have to make sure you reserve one. I would go down to the pool every morning around 7am, and throw a couple of towels, and some other personal belongings (books, magazines, sunscreen, etc.) on the bed, go back up to my room, then head out to breakfast, and the bed was still available for us around 8:30-9:00. As for the other beach/lounge chairs, unless you are looking for a desirable location (close the beach, swim-up bar, etc.), you will find ample spots that you will not need to reserve.

We were there during the first 5 days of December, and the place was running I’d say, at about 1/3 capacity. Not overly crowded, this was great. Though, we witnessed 4 weddings in 5 days, which means a lot of young happy guests, which means… it can get a bit too loud around the pool area. Not the end of the world, and definitely not deciding factor for us, but if you like peace and quiet, it is something to consider…. – or you can just go down to the beach, and relax in the sun, where the atmosphere is a calmer.

The rooms are huge; there is a big balcony with a swing, in which you can relax. The windows isolate noise very well, and if you close the glass-window/door to the balcony, the noise from the pool is isolated pretty well. The bathrooms are humongous and include his and hers sinks, toilet, shower with a waterfall head, and a big bathtub/Jacuzzi.

The place’s maintenance can be broken down to two parts: long-term and short-term. The short-term maintenance includes all the daily maintenance and up-keeping of the facilities, which are top-notch. The beach is spotless, and pool area is cleaned daily, the hallways are constantly being vacuumed, and even the marble floor at the lobby is polished daily. However, the long term maintenance, which includes repairs and other renovations, leaves room for desire. Not a big issue, but there are areas throughout the resorts where a repair is well overdue, or a repair has been made but in a very amateurish manner. For example, in our bathroom, there was an area where the marble floor meets the wall, and a very bad repair was made, which makes it look as if it was done to just cover up the damage – though the repair itself was a major eyesore…. Again, not a big deal, but something that kind of leaves bad impression about the resorts’ up-keepings.

One thing that ticked us of was the fact that there was no ground transfer to and from the airport included in the price. Couples Negril, which is located much farther from Montego Bay and is considered an inferior resort, offered free transportation. With the Iberostar however, you’ll have to pay around $35/person each way for a transfer, which also stops at other resorts as well… this meant that on check-out day, even though our departure was not until 2:20pm in the afternoon, we were scheduled to be picked up at 10am despite’s the resort’s close proximity to the airport. This pretty much ruined our plans to spend our last few hours by the pool…. We would expect free and direct transfer from a 5-star hotel.

In conclusion, this vacation was a blast. My wife and I are in our early thirties, and couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. There were some pros and cons (summarized below), but overall, we couldn’t have been happier with our choice to stay at this place. For anyone contemplating between the three Iberostar hotels in Montego Bay, I can tell you there is a significant difference in the level of the hotel, amenities, and guests (the other ones are filled with rowdy kids). If you can afford the extra $$$ on the Grand, it’s a no-brainer.

Top-notch service
All-inclusive is truly all-inclusive

Ground transportation is not included in the price
Food could be a tad better
Long-term maintenance

Hope this helps – Enjoy your vacation!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

This was our third time to the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall. Can't say enough about this hotel and the people that work there. When we arrived we went to our room where our butler Reneish had made a welcome back sign out of rose petals...was just beautiful..The hotel was busy the week we were there. We watch 3 weddings take place that were absolutely beautiful..each one a bit different and personalized...If you are looking for a place for a wedding would recommend this place for sure...Met a lot of nice people down there also the workers were like family to us welcoming us back...really had tears in my eyes when we had to check out and say good bye...why go anywhere else? Met alot of people that were return visitors that felt the same way we did. Want to thank Reneish, Ian, Ryan, Daisy the best omlette maker, Danielle at the conceirge desk, Camille, Keeneisha,,,could go on and on...If anyone has any questions regarding the Grand please feel free to write me and I will be happy to answer them for you.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2010

Hubby and I celebrated our 49th Anniversary at this hotel beginning of Dec.,10. Upon arrival we were upgraded to an oceanfront suite from oceanview due to the fact that we were celebrating our Anniv. Cannot complain about anything. Loved the food, restaurants, service, etc. The night of our Anniv when we returned from dinner the jacuzzi was filled with rose petals with some scattered on our kingsize bed along with a bottle of chilled champaign. Best hotel was have ever been to and we have travelled extensively (Amalfi Coast in April, 10). All employees were very friendly and helpful. Would definitely return to this property. Keep up the good work. Thank you Iberostar for making our 49th a wonderful memory. Joan, PWaveJMS@aol.com

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowie, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2010

I stayed at the IB Grand Rose Hall for my birthday with a few girlfriends. We had 2 rooms, 1 was an oceanfront room and the other was a oceanview room. If you opt for the oceanview, you will be just as pleased with the view as with the oceanfront. The main difference is the oceanfront is a bit quieter because the oceanview has views of the pools (they were generally quiet most of the time since it is an adult only resort). The food was great and there are so many options, we ate at the buffet and the japanese and the beach restaurant and we were completely satisfied. Every morning we woke up to our breakfast being delivered to our room :) Loved that.
There were 2 weddings during our stay and we did not feel overcrowded except for having to claim beach loungers early in the AM (we sent our butler out for that). The butlers were very attentive.... 24 hrs a day! Thanks Kenville and Ian :) Everyone was exceptional... I will definitely stay at the Grand again... it was definitely worth it. BTW, Ask about the Boogie Bus to Margaritaville. :)

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Rose Hall

Address: Main Road | Little River, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay > Rose Hall
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Rose Hall
#1 Family Hotel in Rose Hall
#1 Romantic Hotel in Rose Hall
#1 Luxury Hotel in Rose Hall
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Rose Hall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Grand Rose Hall 5*
Number of rooms: 295
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Hotel Rose Hall
Iberostar Montego Bay
Iberostar Hotel Montego Bay
Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Jamaica - Montego Bay

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