I stayed at the Iberostar Beach from 12/23 to 12/30 with my husband and 2 kids-15 and 13. The resort was okay. We had friends stay at the Suites next door and loved it but it was booked for our travel dates so we thought we would try the Beach one. I wish we would have come a different time when the Suites was available b/c our visit was just not great.
The pregnant girl that checked us in was not helpful except for telling us that our adjoining rooms request was not being honored and giving us keys to our room. She would answer nothing else and kept referring us to the "concierge", or their idea of it, desk that of course was not open at this time. After getting up at 3 am for our flight and spending 2 hours, yes 2 HOURS, in our customs/immigration line to enter the country I was not in the mood for her lack of information. We ate at the buffet that opened at 6:30 and then headed to bed at 8pm b/c honestly we were dead tired. Well, unannounced to us, there was a beach party that night (Thursdays) that lasted until 11pm. Needless to say, I did not fall asleep until the blasted music stopped outside our oceanfront room. The party was literally right outside our patio. I loved the music they played and would have attended had it been on another night besides our arrival. Not their fault, but I do feel she should have told us about it. The next morning there was a rotten eggs, sewer smell in our bathroom. We complained at the front desk and asked if there were any other holiday celebrations that took place on the beach and if so we would like to be moved. She was not able to inform us of anything else on the beach but referred us, once again to the "concierge" desk. She did tell us she only had 1 room to move us too. Now whether that was b/c we had oceanfront rooms idk. But we needed to be close to our kids so we stayed in our original room. We aren't sure if they ever came and did anything but it only stunk around 7-8 am every morning and we were usually walking the beach then. Our other room issue was the a/c. It seemed to drop down on it's own at night and make our room an ice box. Our kids room a/c could not be adjusted ever. Both rooms were VERY musty. We lit a candle in our room for the hour before bed so I could actually fall asleep. We have traveled to the Caribbean before but this was bad. We have never encountered this intensity in the Bahamas, Dominican or Jamaica the last time we visited. It's true you have to wash all the clothes you bring whether you wear them or not b/c they do stink. So pack conservatively! It was cool at night this time of year and capris were a must for me with a light jacket or sweater.
So when we were in the lobby checking on changing rooms I started a conversation with a man from Iowa to see if he had tips on the resort. His family had checked in the day before about an hour before us so he was new too. He did however ask us if we had our reservations for the Holiday Gala Buffet that night, xmas eve. We had no idea what he was talking about. Well when he checked in he was told all the restaurants, including the normal buffets, were going to be closed and there was 2 sittings for the Holiday Gala Buffet and you had to sign up. So we headed back to the lobby to get signed up in the allotted hours. Then we were never told that men had to wear pants this night when the buffets are normally just no beach attire. They pulled my husband aside in line just as they opened the doors for everyone to be choralled in, and I mean this literally, choralled, and told him he needed to put pants on as well as my son. It was a joke. It was still a buffet, they had nice cargo shorts on and ppl it was still a buffet!! That was our best meal there. The seafood that night was phenomenal!! The food the rest of the days was the same every day. A few different items at lunch and dinner otherwise the same stuff every night. My 15 year old LOVED the pasta station and had that EVERY night. We tried the Asian and the Steakhouse. The Asian was good. Unfortunately, you could not order off the menu and they dictated what you could order from choices the waitress gave you. The kicker was the dessert. They sounded scrumptious on the menu but it ended up you went up and got your own and it was half warm desserts like at the buffet, and many of the same kinds. I was looking forward to the Bananas wrapped in wontons WARM with ice cream and caramel sauce. No dice. The steakhouse was mediocre at best. We went b/c ppl raved about it but I guess being from the Midwest maybe we are spoiled with excellent beef compared to other parts of the country. I did enjoy the baked potato. Service here was bad too. There were 2 waiters for the whole place and once we got our food our waiter never really came back. We had to find him to tip him and the only reason he got a tip was b/c he was very friendly up until we got our food. And it wasn't his fault for the lack of staff. In general, all the waitstaff was good. Some were excellent and really made you feel special even though you were one in many. Those are the ones we tipped. There was one girl, Rose Anne, in the Little River Buffet and she was horrible and just plain crabby. We only saw her at bfast and lunch. Most food station servers were very nice. The pasta server remembered my son after a couple nights and Clauss the head chef always said Hi to my husband when he was checking the buffet. Nice touch.
On to the pool~if you like an ice bath you will enjoy the pool water. Not even kidding. My kids went in our first day there to get a drink and never again. The infinity look is really cool. We had no problem getting chairs but I was an early riser this trip so we were down by the pool by 7:30. Then we would walk the beach, hang out there until our kids got up, go to the buffet and our stuff was never touched whenever we were gone. I did witness a woman get very irate b/c they would not give her towels without her towel card. They really need to refresh the music on the whole property but def. by the pool. On xmas eve and day they played the same 3 Mariah Carey holiday songs. Then after xmas was over, they played the same 5/6 Jamaican songs on a loop. It was nice to finally hear Jamaican music since in the restaurants it is 80's music but not the same songs over and over!! We found the star friends to be annoying and overbearing. Not our cup of tea.
Our room was not cleaned during our stay, by choice, but was clean upon arrival. My kids had their room freshened up 1/2 way thru our week and she made a heart out of a towel with rose petals laid on it. Cute but she saw that it was a brother and sister in the room since we showed up to shower for dinner then and it just seemed weird to me. We never had a problem calling and getting towels right away. The halls were a different story. There was garbage including dirty cups in the stairwells on day 2 of our trip and still there on day 6. FYI-there are no alarm clocks.
The beach was cleaned every morning and it was fine. Not really wavy waters to my kid's disappointment. I read in someone's review that the beach was a nice walk from the Beach hotel to the Grand Hotel. Well it was nice but short. It took less than 15 min. to walk from end to end and back. I am used to the beautiful beaches in Punta Cana where you can walk 45 min. one way-I guess I am spoiled. I was very annoyed our first morning when we were walking the path to the Suites and we were informed we could not walk that property b/c we were Beach guests. You have to stay on the sand not the path. So if you wanted to check out the Suites for another trip you were not allowed. They may have just lost my future business in Jamaica and maybe even Iberostars in general. We did get a $300 credit per room when we booked our trip to use in the future at any of their properties so we may use that and see how another country compares but that would be the only reason I would go.
It rained and/or was cool and windy 2 of our days and the resort was understaffed at the bars to handle the inside crowds. I went and asked for another bartender and then they finally had 2 to handle about 40 ppl. The first guy was busting his balls and could not keep up with demand. It was not his fault but again staffing issues.
We went ziplining the other crummy weather day and it was sunny and dry in the jungle. It was the least adventurous of the zip tours b/c me and my daughter were scared and we had a blast. The ride there is horrendous!! Of course, don't believe that it only takes 4 hours. We left at 8:30, picked up a ton of other ppl and got back at 2:30 and just made the lunch buffet that closes at 3. And as soon as we hit Montego Bay, it started to rain. Ugh! Sometimes you just can't win!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.