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“My New Home In MoBay!!”
Review of Toby's Resort

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Toby's Resort
Ranked #27 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Reston, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“My New Home In MoBay!!”
Reviewed March 14, 2006

February 24th - 28th.
The gentleman that took my luggage off of the van upon arrival at Toby's absolutely set the tone for a wonderful stay at this very homey and welcoming property. At no time did I feel that I was in a hotel, but the staff makes you feel as if you had been invited to someone's home for a visit. I was in MoBay (4th trip) to celebrate my 50th birthday and it was a birthday to remember on all fronts. This property more than fulfills all of the basic travel needs; clean and well maintained property and grounds, very clean and quiet room, super comfortable bed, too many cable channels including the Jamaican version of MTV, ice cold air conditioning, hot showers (both morning and evening) with water pressure stronger than I get at home and most importantly a very safe and secure environment. I did not feel the need to even use the safety deposit box at the front desk. ( For reference purposes on the US scale of hotels, think Red Roof or Days Inn.) Upon arrival, my room was not ready but that was only because in making my reservation I had said I was visiting for my birthday and the staff had blocked a very nice room for me (Room 40) on the second floor overlooking the pool and courtyard. After only one cold Red Stripe in the bar, I was summoned to my room. Mikele at the front desk and Neil at the bar/restaurant were standouts among a very friendly staff and property owner. (The bar staff can also assist you in experiencing the famous Jamaican botanical offerings - wink, wink!!) I would not hesitate to recommend this property to seasoned travelers who only spend minimal time in the room - for showering, sleeping and changing swim suits! This property is a keeper. As far as MoBay, if you are looking for that one special night out, I skipped Marguerites this time in favor of the new restaurant on the block, Nikkitas in the space that used to be The Native Restaurant. I had Surf-n-Turf (hey it was my birthday!) and it was 4-star all the way! Also, there seemed to be less hair braiders, taxi drivers and weed sellers on the Hip Strip this time. Loved the new addition to the MoBay Sangster Airport, althought when we deplaned, it seemed like we walked across the whole island to get to customs! I was also fortunate enough to be in Jamaica as they elected their first woman president on Feb. 25th, Portia Simpson and learned a lot about Jamaican politics from my "friends" at the hotel bar. And people can't seem to understand why I have been to Jamaica 5 times in 6 years - Jamaicans are a prideful people who treat you well and want you to return again and again. Enjoy this wonderful property!!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank WBNVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 13, 2006

After searching the web for photos of Toby's I was nervous about it. The pictures make Toby's look very small and kind of run down. My family and I were so surprised when we arrived. Toby's is a really cute, tropical, and clean hotel! The Feng Shui at Toby's is outstanding as well! I must admit that Toby's is no Hilton, but it is a very cute place to stay. It really makes you feel like you are on vacation in Jamaica rather than in a fancy hotel in Miami. We stayed at Toby's for 7 nights and each day and night was great. Please be sure to try Toby's Good Eats (the hotel restaurant). I recommend the crepes (yummy!) and the snapper. Carmen, the bartender at the pool, makes the best pina coladas in all of Jamaica!

Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 3, 2006

My wife and I spent this Valentine's Day at Toby's and she absolutely loved it. This was out seventh trip to Jamaica and our first time at a resort that wasn't an all-inclusive. I love Jamaica, and I love Jamaicans, but I had some problems with Toby's. The staff were very nice, but we had to take a ten minute walk to get to Dr's Cave beach, which was like running a gauntlet of hustlers and hucksters. I know these folks are just trying to get by, but "irie mon" didn't always get them to leave you alone. It costs $5 to get on the beach and another $5 for a beach chair and $5 for an umbrella. There is a free beach but the harassement by the locals kept me away.
Our room was comfortable and clean, with cable tv and a small refrigerator, but no coffee maker or cd player. There were no screens on the windows and even with the windows shut mosquitos got in. I'd kill half a dozen every night and still wake up with bites. I'd suggest you bring your own washcloths because their's were in short supply. The king size bed was comfortable, but didn't have fitted sheets so every morning I'd wake up with my face on the mattress. Some have complained about not having hot water, but we didn't find this to be a problem.
Gonzo's serves a wonderful dinner at a great price, but avoid their pancakes at breakfast.
The resort is close to the airport, so no long shuttle ride, but you can hear every plane coming and going. I'd rather have heard the surf.
If you are looking for an economical place to stay, Toby's is a good choice. We brought our own snacks and packaged foods and there are two "supermarkets" close by for sodas, beer, whiskey, etc.
We're not into the nightlife or bar hopping, but the "strip" is close by.
Overall I'd give the resort 2 1/2 stars and would consider it a good value for the money.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2006

My friend and I had a very good experience at Tobey's. We were definitely looking for a cheap place to crash at night after spending the day at the beach, and Toby's delivered. The room was nice, clean, with a new and powewrful air conditioning unit. It had a queen size bed and a twin; we simply tossed a coin to decide who would sleep where. It had a balcony, but we didn't spend muchg time at the room. The TV had many channels, and some from Canada, so that was good. The restaurant at the Hotel was decent, and well priced; it is a good place to have breakfast. We were never around for lunch/dinner so I can't say much to that effect.
Montego Bay is an interesting place to visit. If I had kids I would definitely stay at an all inclusive. There are way too many cars, they driver really fast and carelessly, plus in Jamaica, they drive on the opposite side of the road, and it takes a while to get accostumed to this when trying to cross the road; we would often look to the wrong side and miss cars coming towards us. The sidewalks are very narrow and not continuous; they end abruptly in places and you have to either cross the street or walk on the road.The streets are crowded with very motivated vendors, solicitors and everything under the sun. When walking with my friend, I was offered every illegal substance under the sky. When I was walking alone, I was offered prostitutes and more drugs. (Don't walk alone if you can help it!). The people who offer these "services" are the same people who offer taxis and bracelets and other merchandise. I even had an uncomfortable incident with the police as a guy in the street was hassling me to give him money for a bracelet I didn't want to buy. The police came out of nowhere in a car and jumped on him thinking he was selling me dope. I was also stopped and I was asked what type of transaction had taken place. I explained the situation and I was escorted to my hotel. Buying dope is illegal in Jamaica, also prostitution, eventhough they seem to be so readily available, so be warned.
The only beach at MoBay that we visited was the one at Dr's cave (US$5 for the whole day) this is a small beach and it gets even smaller when the cruises arrive with day visitors as everyone floods in immediately .Fortunately they leave at around 3pm, so the beach becomes nice again. This is a very clean and nice beach, and there is food and drinks on site, so you don't have to go anywhere else. Plus there are no vendors/solicitors inside.
We spent 2 nights in Negril. This was a great break from the hassle that is MoBay. The beach is 7 miles long and most of the hotels are right on the beach. I would definitely recommend staying in MoBay for about 2 days and then staying the rest of the time in Negril. Getting to Negril is very easy and can be cheap. We met two other people at the Hotel and the four us payed for a cab to take is there. The total cost was US$80 plus tip, about 5 dollars total. The driver took us to a hotel in Negril where we spent most of the day and later they took us to a place in the cliffs to watch the sunset. Most drivers do the same(Don't paymore than $80, and don't catch a random taxi on the street). On the way back we arranged to come back in a tour bus with a Company called Tropical Tours (across the Street from the "Negril Tree House" Hotel) for US$20 per person. So our trip to Negril was very cheap I must say.

People in Jamaica are very nice, vendors are annoying but if you say no they stop hassling you, and if buying stuff you have to bargain; it's just the way is done. Service at restaurants is very relaxed slow paced and nothing too special, most places charge automatically 10% gratuity (we were explained this was for the Kitchen, so you must tip on top if you want to tip server) and tax is 17% so bear in this in mind when weating out. (Eating out is not cheap! as everything is based in US$). I recommend changin your money for jamaican dollars, first because you may get a better rate and second, converting to dolars is not easy. So you may not realize how much things are. So be open minded, and if you want luxury and European service stay at an all inclusive.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank boinurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2006

I booked this hotel through travelocity and it was a great experience!! The hotel staff was very lovely and even arranged free transportation to our dinners!! The rooms were nice for the price and very clean. The balconies included in each room were beautiful. In addition to having a great atmosphere due to the service, the bartenders often broke out in song on the patio of the pool and gave us a very authentic show. If you are looking for a place that is perfect and fancy, this is not the place for you, but if you expect to pay $68 a night for a place that is perfect, I suspect you will never find it.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lovelylady226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 3, 2006

We stayed at Toby's for a "layover night" before our flight home. For what it is, it is OK but don't expect much.

First I agree with those cautioning against Montego Bay, which is one big hustle. One road lined with tacky souvenir shops, with the ocean behind them. Doctor's Cove beach was "OK" but really just a thin strip of sand, fairly crowded public beach.

It was nice that Toby's was a bit off the road, and with nice plants, foliage, birdsongs in the morning, etc. But nothing special at all, plain-jane rooms, etc. They really could do well to fix the curtains covering the windows - they totally sagged and gave the place a really low-rent look.

I'd say, if you want a cheap, bare-bones winter break, try it because Toby's and Montego Bay beaches are only a few minutes from the airport, and a good price. But do not expect any level of sophistication or upscale experience in any way.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saginaw, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2006

Toby's was a nice little oasis on Montego Bay's sleazy "hip strip". The restaurant was very good. The hotel staff & security are excellent. My teenager actually left an I-Pod in his room when we departed & we were able to retrieve it a week later. The rooms are tidy and just fine for an affordable inn.
HOWEVER, I cannot recommend Montego Bay to families at all. We have travelled the Carribean and Mexico and have never been harrassed like we were in Montego Bay, i.e. surrounded by people, touched and so on. My 13 yr. old walked 20 feet ahead of us & was offered weed & 'shrooms - at 10a.m. - Christmas morning!
My take on Montego Bay is that it is Disneyland for Alcoholics. If you want to really relax, try Ocho Rios or Negril.

Helpful?
9 Thank DeelightfulTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Toby's Resort

Property: Toby's Resort
Address: 1 Kent Avenue, Montego Bay 00000, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Montego Bay
#22 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Toby's Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to our family owned hotel, geared towards the easy going, adventurous tourists and returning residents seeking for a peaceful and relaxing environment. We are located on the famous "Hip Strip" of Montego Bay, just five minutes away from Donald Sangster International Airport and walking distance from Doctor's Cave Beach and Cornwall Beach, restaurants, nightclubs and duty-free shopping. When you combine an ideal central location, affordability and genuine people who offer a heart-felt welcome and first-class service, the vacation of your dreams begins as our guest at Toby's Resort ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Toby`s Hotel Montego Bay
Tobys Hotel Montego Bay

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