My husband and I were there April 6 to 16 2013 to celebrate my husband’s 59 birthday.
I did a lot of research prior to booking this trip. Price wise we were able to add 3 nights onto our normal 7 night vacation just by opting for the Beach rather than staying in either of the 2 higher priced sections of this Iberostar resort complex. (The Suites, The Grand)
“Michelle G” from St. John’s Newfoundland has written a very accurate review so to cover information for people considering this hotel my comments will focus more on how requests or problems were dealt with.
We did encounter a couple of small problems that were dealt with promptly either by staff, management, or by the wonderful tour office ladies.
Our booking was actually for a pool side room, & none were available on the day we checked in, so as arranged by front desk we stayed in room 2249 for 2 nights (patio door lock broken, front door mechanism fickle), this room was near the Suites waterpark, very quiet location with a small obstructed ocean view. Employee Nesta reported the lock problems, so hopefully maintenance has solved these problems by now.
As promised we were moved to room 1224 for the remaining 8 nights with a great view of the pool and about a 60% view of the ocean & beach area which was very enjoyable. The noise level was louder, though it never went on too late at night so it was not a problem for us.
Only on one morning did we hear a rooster that was on the opposite side from a pool view room.
I left Erica our room attendant a couple of notes during out stay to refill the shower soap dispenser, and for more note paper. Erica did not let us down, and she consistently kept our room and balcony in excellent condition. Shower pressure was average, no shortage of hot water. No facecloth shortage at this hotel, which is a common hotel complaint in the Caribbean. Mattress was comfortable, as per my norm I improvised to make a suitable pillow by using a cushion from the sofa and pillow case as I can only handle a thin pillow.
NOTE: if you give a gift to an employee you must give the employee a note (signed, and stating your room number along with a gift description) as employees are checked daily to guard against theft.
While at the resort a guest left her cell phone on a table and it was taken. Hotel safe is every good, so please lock up your valuables.
On day 9 my husband’s towel was stolen from a poolside lounger at 8:15a.m. Towel attendant referred me to Guest Services but I discovered they only opened at 9 a.m. so I went to the front desk and I was referred back to Guest Services. Really did not want to waste my time so I sought out the ever present Sergio of the management team. It most definitely helped that Sergio was willing to help me solve this problem (over our long stay we saw him from early morning till late night all over the hotel). This time Sergio explained the problem to the towel attendant, plus other guests came to get towels so she gave them towels and then just handed me one. Problem solved in under 15 minutes and that was mostly used walking to different sections of the hotel.
On day 1 Christal Heaven of Guest Services/Public Relations arranged a surprise birthday cake for my husband’s birthday which even I didn’t know about! She is very good at her job, and she has good people skills.
It didn’t bother us though there were often groups of people who had taken the liberty of moving the lobby chairs to form large circles. If you prefer a quieter drink you had the option of sitting on the other side of the lobby, outside on one of the 2 terraces, or by going to the sports bar. We actually preferred going onto the front lobby terrace as it was quieter, and you could look up at the stars. (We noticed that Big Dipper is upside down)
Public bathrooms were always clean, and never lacking toilet paper or paper towel.
Audience participation nightly shows were entertaining. Budget appears to be far less in Jamaica verses Mexico or the Dominican Republic.
The loudness of the music specifically during the aqua fitness class could be easily adjusted to a lower setting and everyone would benefit! Star Friend instructor had to yell out the instructions, and it really was difficult to hear due to the quality of the speaker being not great. (I read this same complaint by others reviews prior to our trip)
I had spoken to one of the head chefs earlier in our trip and had mentioned that I appreciated all the hard work that goes into preparing all the food. The night before we left we bumped into him outside the steak house and he remembered me. As we talked I had mentioned that I had tried some new to fruits (Jamaican pear, and Jamaican apple) and that I had seen from a distance a woman eating a white fruit, and he told me it was soursop. He said they had received some and to come see him the next morning. Great timing as it would be our last morning. He actually delivered a cut up soursop to our table out on the terrace where we preferred to eat. (soursop has a peach taste though no visual resemblance).
There is a designated smoking area on the left side of the buffet outdoor terrace, though no sign indicating this.
If you don’t like the buffet coffee order a double expresso in a regular cup and add hot milk.
No problems getting a la carte reservations, others reported they did have trouble so book early.
We did not realize until day 3 that information was about the hotel was inside the resort map. (There is an activity schedule board to the left of the towel exchange)
We enjoyed participating in the beach and pool games.
The Pirate Party was fun. We did not eat lunch at the beach BBQ opting for the buffet instead. Hotel staff worked very hard in the heat to set up and clean up.
Drink service throughout the hotel was great (Garth T, Kevin, Lovene). The lemonade is very good and not too sweet. They are all so quick to remember your drink preference.
Our transfer from hotel to airport never showed up, so one of the tour desk reps who happened to be in the lobby making a call actually called our rep to report the problem. Even though our rep was working elsewhere at the time she made a call and we were picked up and did make our flight.
We very much enjoyed our first stay at an Iberostar hotel. The staff and guests we interacted with were all wonderful people ensuring us a very good vacation with many a laugh.