My husband and I arrived home last night from our first ever vacation (I.e., our honeymoon, babymoon and first vacay all rolled into one). We very much enjoyed our stay at the Hilton. The staff was EXCELLENT (for the most part, there were a few who were obviously not thrilled to be at work that day). We received wonderful service from nearly every staff member we encountered. I have to say though there were a few areas lacking:
- the food wasn't amazing. The breakfast buffet was the best part when we figured out the made-to-order omelets and French toast were where it was at. The other meals at Fresh were not great. The Italian place was the same food as the buffet, just packaged differently. We could only get a 9:00 pm reservation for the night we did Italian, and had to wait quite awhile to be seated. It was obviously very busy and the wait staff seemed rushed. Dinner at the three palms was by far the best. We went there two nights in a row. The service there was superb and the food was very good. The two seaside places were ok, but nothing amazing. Our first day we were famished when we arrived, and ate at the poolside bar. The nachos were terrible, but my husband really enjoyed the veggie "fajitas". The jerkmos chicken and festivales were delicious. The other thing (as a pregnant person, food was obviously my top priority) about the food was that I felt limited in availability. The menu at the poolside places was limited and the same daily, and there were no late night options for food. Since I pretty much want to eat constantly, I would have loved to see a pizza/ice cream place open all the time. It also would have been nice to have a coffee shop. We love coffee, but there never seemed to be any down by the buffet.
-our room was a pleasant surprise in that it had a balcony and ocean/golf course view. There were a few disappointments here though. There was only one chair at the desk, so we had to sit on the beds, which got uncomfortable. The only light in the room was the two wall sconces between the bed, the bathroom light and the hall light. Usually in Hilton properties there's a desk lamp and a floor lamp. The placement of the desk felt a little odd, only because the coffee maker had to be plugged into the outlet on the opposite wall, so we had to brew coffee on the floor, which was weird. The other strange thing about our room was that there was NO decoration at all. No pictures, no fake plants, nothing. Besides the view, I appreciated the little refrigerator and 2 free bottles of water/day. The in-room coffee was AMAZING. Usually in-room coffee is terrible, so this was a pleasant surprise. Oh, and we also had trouble getting hot water consistently. Washing my face at night, the water never got warm, even after running it for 10-15 minutes.
-the Internet situation kind of sucked. There was one small area where you could use it, so we crowded in with a bunch of others so we could FaceTime back home with our 2-year-old. It just seems silly to charge $12/day for something that is so widely available for free these days. This was pretty minor though, since the point of our trip was to disconnect for awhile.
-the beach was ok. Plenty of beach chairs/tables, and the sand was nice. They kept the beach pretty clean of seaweed too. But, there was LOTS of seaweed in the water and our first day it smelled like eggs. Maybe it's sensitive pregnancy nose, but it was stinky.
-Hilton HHonors - I was told at checkin that I wouldn't earn points for my stay because I booked through a third party. To me, this is ridiculous. I focused my vacation search on Hilton properties just for that reason, and am still upset that my loyalty isn't going to be rewarded.
In all, we had a very nice (albeit too short!) trip. The one thing that sticks out in my mind was the quality of the service we received. I've stayed at a lot of hotels in a lot of places, and have never received such wonderful service. The staff truly made our experience great. If we go to Jamaica again, I can't say that we'd definitely stay at the Hilton, but it would be a top contender. It'd be a great place to go with a family, because there were so many families though, makes it hard to have an adult focused vacation if you're looking for that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.