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Sunscape Splash Montego Bay
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3,109 - 3,114 of 6,940 reviews
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I booked this resort through Jet Blue Getaways based on the idea that I wanted to travel to Jamaica, and the price couldn't be beat ($2250 for round trip nonstop flight from JFK to MBJ, seven nights in the all-inclusive property, and round trip transport from MBJ to the hotel).

PROS: Price.

FOOD: Food, the buffet food is not "bad" by any means but it is beyond repetitive. The buffet is the only option for breakfast and lunch other than a burger type shack for lunch. The burger/beach shack (I don't know the name) was alright... It's grilled cheese, fries, and frozen burgers. The three sit down restaurants they have require reservations but the guest services desk is quite helpful with this. The Asian restaurant was wonderful; however, everything we had was fried (Sweet & Sour Chicken, Egg Roll, etc). The Italian Restaurant was horrible.The food was not as described. I was excited all week to get the Creme Brule, and it came out cold and the caramelized sugar on top was not hard, warm, or even sweet (how do you have unsweetened sugar?!?) The Caribbean Restaurant was okay. The soup with pig tail (I was a little weird-ed out, but decided to go for it anyway) was amazing! The Pull-Pork was not American "Pulled Pork" it was soft but not shredded, and was alright. The dessert, once again what I was excited about, that I ordered was a fried banana with ice cream. It was a fried banana with sherbert.... but, it wasn't fried when I ordered it. It came out lukewarm and most definitely was microwaved. Overall, I wasn't impressed by the food.
ACTIVITIES: The nights that had the circus, pirate party, and things of that nature were fun and gave us something to do; however, be warned... Most of this starts at 8. So, with dinner reservations at 6, 7, 8, and 9... you have a 50% chance of missing the entertainment. All of the entertainment/activities are written on a white board near the entrance to the buffet. There were multiple things throughout the day that Jay and I had wanted to do; however, they never seemed to either take place, or happen according to schedule. We would walk over to the main pool a few minutes early (which is not the "main pool" listed on the map, its the one by the water park), and either the event just wouldn't be there or it would be wrapping up before its start time.

CAUTION: You are in Jamaica, and the locals are rather pushy with their goods. If you leave the resort, expect this. Whether you're at the craft market, or trying to get a bite to eat, you're going to be pushed into buying something. I understood this going in. HOWEVER, RED FLAG RIGHT HERE, while we were at the resort getting a drink in the lobby bar, a local offered us cocaine (read that again... not marijuana... cocaine). We said no multiple times, and when that didn't work, we shrugged it off and said we'd find him later. After that, we avoided the lobby and went through the side door to get to our room when we were ready to go back up. We assumed we avoided the problem. We were in our room, lazily getting ready for dinner while watching a movie, and the phone rang. It was him! He called our room and asked to speak to Jay and hassled him some more. Here's are my issues with this... FIRST: um, hello? don't offer me drugs ESPECIALLY while I'm in the confines of the resort. It's one thing to be offered marijuana while we're out an about by some guy on the street, but we're in the resort! SECOND: NO MEANS NO! Leave it. Walk away. Go bother someone else. THIRD: How did he know where our room was?!?! I think this is the part that I am skeeved out by the most. We didn't give him our room number and there are three buildings of rooms, the two towers and the U shaped rooms near the water park. With just the towers, there are ten floors per tower, surely he didn't just randomly dial and get it right. Did he follow us? Did he ask a staff member? FOURTH: How did he call? I don't believe you can call from the outside, so he must have used a lobby/resort phone which would make a staff member responsible for helping him. Overall, this was a brief issue but it freaked me out.

GUEST SERVICES/TAXIS: Guest Services were beyond helpful. Everyone was friendly even with the most obvious questions. I had set up a dinner on the beach where they customized the menu perfectly to avoid things that Jay doesn't eat. As far as transportation goes, I suggest booking transportation when you book your flight/vacation package. I paid $12 round trip for Jay and I to be brought from MBJ to the resort and back at the end of our vacation. $12. That's it. There may have been tax, so let's round that up to $15. (I also tipped the two drivers). When I looked on the sign to see what the Taxi company who is set up in the resort's rate was... $40, one way. (I don't know if we each had to pay or if it's a flat rate, but either way, that is a huge difference).

CHECK IN/CHECK OUT: Super quick, Super easy, Super comprehensible, No problems.

STAFF: Everyone was friendly. Everyone always looked amazing, too. Very professional. The girls who work the front desk/guest services... their hair was always immaculate. I wish my curls stayed in place all day like theirs!

OTHER TRAVELERS: Everyone was wonderful and friendly. I didn't run into anyone with a bad mood. I smoke, and with Jamaica's new smoking policies, you have to smoke in designated areas... So, I made conversation with most of the other smokers while I was doing so.

TIPS: Jay and I brought $200 in singles for tips. We tipped a dollar or so a drink, ten bucks per sit down dinner, five bucks for the omelet guy (he's amazing!) per day, we gave the buffet staff a few bucks when they filled our coffee... I didn't ask anyone what their paychecks looked like in the resort... however, I did ask our tour guide what Jamaica's minimum wage looked like, and I forget what he said it was but it equaled about $50 a week USD. Their price of living is different than ours; however, think about working at a minimum wage job full time, it is still REALLY hard to make ends meet, let alone buy your child the new pair of sneaks he needs or what not. I didn't see many others tipping and it's your own decision but I don't feel it goes unappreciated. We had enough with the money we brought to tip everyone, including taxi drivers.


OVERALL: I don't know if I would travel back to this location... but, I wouldn't change a thing either. It was nice, it was relaxing, it was warm.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room. We were only on the third floor but still had a spectacular view.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank KellyAnn828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I chose this resort based on a groupon that made it a real bargain. However, it is still reasonably priced compared to many of the resorts in Montego Bay. Calling in to book with the Groupon was set to specific times which was a bit more difficult as I had to do it from work, but still a relatively easy process.

I had read some of the reviews and was unsure what to expect, but we were very happy with our experiences there.

Staff
Check in was very smooth and the staff was very polite and answered any of my questions. Our bags were taken from us directly from our taxi, and security at the gate was thorough.
The elevator was slow some of the time and we were ont he 8th floor, which occasionally was a bit irritating, but other than for dinner reservations we were never in a hurry.

Food service
We did go to both the jamaican restaurant, and the asian restaurant, and the service here was excellent. My fiance is local and works at a smaller resort in Runaway Bay, and really enjoyed this option ( more so the jamaican food though) The service was attentive and remembered us from day to day in these restaurants. The buffet staff in the main restaurant was efficient, but the room was so large we did not get to know anyone there. Food was good, nothing amazing... but i will say breakfast omelettes were right up there. My fiance's favourite spot was the snack spot as there was always jerk chicken throughout the day. The 2 guys that were serving there had personality plus and were great to go to.

We found the service very different from bar to bar as well as the quality of the drinks. We loved the service on the beach at the hut and the drinks were always excellent. The lobby bar was also good, and the pool bar was reasonable. We were not happy with the service or the quality of the drinks in the main bar. The bar itself is very wide which automatically puts the bartenders at a long distance from you, which even makes being heard difficult at times.

One night all the dining tables from the buffet were taken outside in front of a stage where a group of young drummers performed. The outdoor buffet was nice, and the service for drinks at the table was excellent. There were some trainees there who were trying very hard to please.

Housekeeping was very efficient, and was always willing to come back later, or we would go on the balcony while she was int he room. Things were clean and well made up!


Entertainment
The entertainment crew has a difficult job of trying to please families of all ages. They do a very good job and make the kids feel really comfortable. We really enjoyed the music out by the pool int he afternoon.
We were disappinted that the day mixology was scheduled we went to the bar and it was not taking place, nor were we given any explanation. As a couple a lot of the activities were not what we were looking for, but we werent that interested in doing much other than relaxing anyways.
There are lots of places to relax and getting a lounger was never an issue.

We also did not partake in any of the water activities, but many seemed to be enjoying.
the one thing we did find was that after the entertainment ended, the place pretty much died. There was a disco hidden in the one pub, but no one every danced. A few people did play the pool table.

Location
We did not want to leave the resort grounds this time, but you are very close to many activities if you choose to. We stopped at the Martha Brae on the way to Runaway Bay, and I felt spending 60 dollars for the raft trip there was well worth it.

We were on the 8th floor with a view of the ocean and the bay.The view was amazing, and we enjoyed watching the cruise ships coming in and out. Because we could see so much we really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony.

Vendors

The facility has regular vendors that come in and there are different people on different days. I did purchase a dress that was made for me that day for 40 dollars! Cant argue with that.



I woudl definitely say this is a great place for families. We really enjoyed watching the kids having a great time and I would certainly go back with youngsters!
For couples looking for romance this is not ideal, but they should really be looking for adults only facilities anyways. Fine for relaxation though! I think you would feel lonely going solo and would be better off finding a smaller resort.

That being said we had four great days of relaxation with enough beach, pool and activities to keep us entertained. Its a solid three star and I believe a good value. Would reccomend to any family

Room Tip: I woudl choose one higher up in a tower if you want a good view. With families it may be easier to be lower just to avoid long rides in the elevator
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank pgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

I read a lot of reviews about this place before I booked. Those that were complaining seemed to be the sort that had 5 star expectations but only a 3 star budget, so I generally ignore the whiners. I am going to make this review long-winded on purpose.

Check in was a breeze. When we found out we were placed on the 1st floor, we asked if we could have a higher floor, and that was accommodated with a smile and no extra charge. In the end we stayed with the 1st floor, and no one was annoyed at our flip-flopping; instead they brought us a rum-filled drink and said "no worries, take your time, you're here, be happy with your decision"! The view of the sunset from the room was spectacular. If you aren't on the ocean front side, go ahead and request a room change, it's worth the effort to move. If you read a review that the night entertainment is too loud and plays until 2a.m., the reviewer is just whiney. We were 1st floor directly above the stage. Yes it was loud until 10p.m., but there wasn't a single night the noise lasted past 10. Anyone stating it lasted until 2a.m. must've had a one-off night? The kids slept fine and when asked, had no complaints about any noise whatsoever. We always had hot water and the pressure was fine. I don't know why people are whining about this, but I'm saying from our point of view: the water pressure was great and constantly hot.

The food was great, too! Those who whine that the buffet was too boring should examine themselves, morally. There are plenty of hungry people out there who would love to have the meal you are having, there is no need to complain (sorry to say this here, but c'mon, you know it's true!). The buffet was great and allowed you to mix up your plate enough that nothing needed to be the same two nights in a row. A la carts: Book the day you arrive for your future a la cart dates, that's common sense. If you wait until the night you're hoping to dine at an a la cart, you're going to be disappointed. I recommend the Asian. Byron's Caribbean was slow, yes, but a quick check in with ourselves and we remembered we were on "island time", and that anxious North American rushed feeling simply dissolved.

Our room was exceptionally clean and bright. I had lowered my expectations in this department, but was pleasantly surprised. Our maid was a wonderful lady who never stopped smiling. We tipped her a few bucks throughout the week, and she left some playful towel animals and used the kids' stuff as props with her creations - the kids loved the surprise each day.

The water park was a great babysitter for our pre-teens. If you have kids - even the ornery teenager - this park seemed to bring the best out of the kids. The water slides were down for a few hours the first day, but this was a good thing as it turns out they were fixing them up and grinding down the bumps, so if you read reviews that the slides rips the skin off of your back, that has been fixed, and they are as smooth as can be.

My one and only complaint, and this is to you Hotel Manager: because we were on the first floor, and there were nine floors above us, inconsiderate people constantly flicked their cigarette butts off of their balcony which of course our balcony collected. People spitting big loogies from above also seemed to neglect the impact of their actions and where their ignorance would land. So, manager, I would like to see stickers placed on the windows and balconies that ask people to consider their actions to those below them before discarding butts or spitting onto the area beneath them. Several floors of smokers tossing their butts below created a daily pile of waste that was really gross.

So, Potential Traveller, before you book, be honest with yourself: do you understand that this hotel is a great bang-for-buck place? This is NOT a 5-star resort. If you have a 3-star budget, but have high expectations, then DO NOT BOOK HERE. You are only making yourself miserable; skip this trip, continue to save and book that 5-star hotel when you are ready to pay for that service. You'll be happy you waited if you are high-maintenance. However, if you have realistic expectations and understand that this is a budget-friendly option that offers some of the friendliest staff you'll ever meet, some good food, a safe environment and some AMAZING snorkeling (you have to snorkel if you come here, swim out to the reefs about 100ft off shore - it's worth the effort), then this is the place for you. To the lady that paid $10 000+ for her family of four to stay here, I don't know how you got so hosed, but we paid just under $1000 each for 8 days, and I think we got what we paid for. We never had to wait for a beach chair at the beach or at the pool. If you book at peak season and the hotel is at capacity, be realistic and understand that the hotel is running at maximum and in those times, it's busy. In January, there were several chairs for each guest, easily.

And don't be tactless and complain about any construction. Remember, we are on vacation, but the workers are living their everyday lives. A hotel cannot ignore construction for all guests until the slow season, maintenance is a constant thing for all constructed things. I had to move my chair one day because the paint fumes were a bit strong by the pool. Moving my chair in a tropical paradise while I am tanning and sweating while someone is working around me is a 1st-world problem in a 3rd-world country - I was happy to move 20 feet and not complain. Get a grip, the construction is temporary and for the betterment of the property and all who experience it!

Last tip: People complaining about the merchants in town... If you go to a touristy area such as the Hip Strip, then you are asking to be begged for your business. A simple "I am OK, thanks" is enough to have them not ask you again. My recommendation: hire a taxi and negotiate a fair deal (the prices posted at the hotel can easily be sliced in half if you offer to buy them lunch). Tell your driver to take you to a safe place that is away from the tourists. Buy him lunch at a place of his choosing (he'll take you to a great local spot guaranteed), and go walk about a town away from the tourists and engage the local people. Don't worry, you're safe, he won't bring you to harm. Chat with the locals and realize how beautiful and friendly they are. Jamaicans are among the warmest people I have met on this planet!

I had several frank discussions with the staff. While not one of them complained about their job, and each stated they were very happy to work at the resort, they did confess that they only make $1.50 - $3.50 p/hour, and that our tip money really does make the difference for them. So please consider budgeting $100 in tip money for the week you are there. If you can afford to go to Jamaica, you can surely budget a few extra dollars to help the workers directly.

Have fun everyone, travel safely!

Room Tip: I'd ask for the ocean facing rooms. This isn't simply for the view, but because the rooms facing the other side get direct sunlight all day and the air-conditioner couldn't keep up with the hot sun.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
28  Thank tannedfeller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Although this is not related to the hotel, we flew Air Transat and I just have to say how nice it was to fly with them. The updated planes with individual screens that allow you to view your own selection of movies/shows certainly makes the flight go by a lot quicker.
When reviewing a resort I like to keep in mind the value based on the price we paid. We paid just under $1150 (taxes in) during the first week of Jan. and based on that amount, there are very few resorts to choose from and we also lower our expectations.
I am comparing this resort against others that I have stayed at in Jamaica (Royal Decameron-Runaway Bay, Holiday Inn Sunspree- Montego Bay, Breezes-Trawlany, Bahia Principe- Runaway Bay, Riu- Ocho Rios.).

Rooms- Very nice, and very clean. Just so you know for planning:
-rooms do not have a fridge (however I know they do have some, so if you really need one inquire prior to going about getting one)
-Large screen TVs with quite a few English channels.
-There is a closet with about 9 hangers (I bring extra to hang all clothes)
-There are 3 dresser drawers
-Safety Deposit Box. You do not have pay for these, however they want your credit card information. They will charge you if you lose the key. The funny part is they took my information and then never told me they did not have a key available. You have to go back the next day or two to see if one is available. (after the morning check outs- so obviously they do not have enough for all the rooms)

Check in- it was your typical confusion- they gave us the room key, but nothing else. Had to go back for SDB key next couple of days, and then had to go back for towel cards. It would just make it so much easier if they took a few moments to explain everything and gave you all the cards/keys when you check in.

Beach- so this was my greatest disappointment with the resort. The beach sand itself along the edge is nice enough in parts (clean). Except for the odd spot, most of the areas you swim it is full of weeds. The other problem is the width of the beach area. It is very narrow and there is not a lot of area to walk along. If you’re trying to walk along the beach, you will be weaving in and out of chairs to get by.

Pools- 4 pools- Adults only with swim up bar- great for meeting others at the bar. “Lap pool” which is quiet. The activity pools with had lots of music and activities to keep you busy. Then there is the kid’s lazy river and slide pool. This area is what makes it such a great place for families with children.

Food- Always found something to eat. Again for a 3 ½ resort I would say overall the food was good. At other resorts there seems to be more Jerk chicken available and we missed having Jamaican patties. They did have some Jerk chicken at the snack bar, but it was usually just the dark meat and not the nice white meat. There is a guy that goes around selling the Jamaican patties, but at $2 apiece. We went to 2 la a carts. The Italian was excellent- we had the Lamb chops and pizza and it was so good! We went to the Asian and enjoyed the crispy chicken with the side of sweet and sour sauce and had the pork- it was very good as well. It did not seem that they were tracking the number of times you go to the la a carts and friends of ours went almost every night during their stay. We found the service to be very good in the food area, always bringing you water and asking if you want drinks. The snack bar food was pretty good, but had long line ups at times and sometimes the food was cold.

Just to note- They have the beach BBQ on Tuesday nights with the Steel Drum Band and it was very good and they have the Saturday night BBQ. You can appreciate the hours it takes for them to set these venues up. Therefore you might want to book your al a carts on different nights than these ones.

Entertainment- The steel band and the night of the Magic show was excellent. The rest of the nights were just “okay”. It is hard to pin point the difference, but at this resort we felt it lacked the “Jamaica vibe”. Even when the bands (other than the steel band) were playing, it was mostly all types of music, but very little reggae music. We love to go to Jamaica so we can listen to their music and eat their foods.

Day Trip- Because we had never been to Negril and want to book our next vacation there, we hired a cab to bring us there for the day. (cost is around $200 for Negril and Rick’s Café). We had been recommended by friends to hire Stanley to be our driver and we are so glad we did. Stanley has both a van and bus so he can accommodate just 2 people or several people. He is a union taxi employee and is mainly stationed out of the Holiday Inn Sunpree, but will provide services to anyone. Negril was absolutely beautiful. We then also went to Rick’s Café. I have never seen such beautiful color of water (my camera did not do it justice). If you’re interested in seeking Stanley’s services, his number is 1-876-868-4583. Or www.stanleystours.weebly.com I usually don’t promote people on reviews, but Stanley speaks excellent English, has spent many years in Canada as well and was so patient with our thousands of questions about Jamaica during our ride to Negril.

In summary we feel that Sunset Beaches is a great resort for those on a budget (like us) and
families with small children. We don’t want to be negative, as they do have a lot going for them, it’s just that for us, we will find a resort with a nicer beach to swim in for out next trip (with the understanding that we will need to pay more money for it)
We were in room 1009 (10th floor- the highest one) and did have an awesome view!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank RalryToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

We visited Sunset Beach Resort in Montego Bay for the second time from December 15-21, 2013 (we were also there in April 2013). We had 3 adults and one 17 year old. We really enjoy this spot as it is extremely clean and well looked after and the staff is great (special thanks to the staff at the guest services and Coswayne at the front!) We enjoy the snorkelling available right on the beach and the great fish life you can see without leaving the resort. We visited the Italian a la carte and had a great meal; all other meals we had at the buffet were standard buffet meals; however, hot and lots of variety. We also enjoyed, as return visitors, a dinner with the managers which was lovely. We took a day trip booked through guest services with Chukka on their dune buggy afternoon trip. Saw lots of the country and hillsides and an old sugar can plantation. Be prepared to get wet (especially if you are the passenger!). Also took a shopping tour and as always a visit to Margarita Ville. We also enjoy that the resort is close to the airport; so once you arrive in Montego Bay, you are at the resort in no time. We will definitely return in the future as we have had nothing but good experiences here.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Carol L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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