After visiting a ton of all-inclusives in Mexico, Jamaica, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico I have experienced the range of goods and bads. Obviously, everyone is different and what makes or breaks a vacation will be different for everyone. I had a friend recommend this place and after reading the reviews and seeing the excellent prices we decided to book.
A lot of what we experienced has been mentioned already but I'll keep it brief . . .
The Staff - I found that when approaching staff with a smile, one was returned and even though we had a number of quirks (ie. clock didn't work, remote needed new batteries) any time we approached the front desk Mr. Millington(!), Trudy or one of the other ladies was always willing to help. Peter/Mr. Fix-It always came promptly and fixed what we needed. With the approach of Hurricane Sandy, the staff did a commendable job batting down the hatches and taking on the extra work relocating guests to the main building and delivering food/towels/water, etc. directly to the rooms. We felt safe and looked after. And when the hurricane passed, they had the task of cleaning up. Props go out to . . . Dickiesha, Germaine, and Dalmane Stevens in the buffet, World Don/Rupert at the bar, Kissmarley at the snackbar. All people who helped make our week fun and memorable.
The Rooms - first room in the smaller (Sunset Building) was out-dated but quiet, larger with an extra bathroom area with vanity and a couple extra pieces of furniture. BUT the bed was really uncomfortable and there was no hot water. My traveling companions were just 2 rooms down and had no problem with hot showers so it's a bit of a crap-shoot. When they relocated us to the main building I was put on the 3rd floor with an awesome bed and all the hot I could use. Not to mention the ocean/mountain view. Like I said, each room had it's things that didn't work so if that's a deal breaker for you, you've been warned. I knew what I was getting into so it didn't phase me.
The Food - was a little better than I expected. As people have said, it's a limited dinner buffet but there are a variety of choices each night so I definitely didn't starve. I tried Curried Goat and loved it. Fried Bammy, Collilou (sp?), boiled plantains, jerk chicken, curried chicken, beans/rice all Jamaican food incorporated in the buffet. Loved the breads and the soups were really good. And yes, at breakfast they keep the bacon at the omellette station. Not sure why, but it's there. Oh, and for those that don't think there's any late night food - the Beach Grill at the far end of the property opens between 11and midnight and serves burgers and such til the wee hours. When the weather is too rough, they open the buffet for late night snacks. BTW the Beach Grill serves yummy jerk wings and really tasty burgers (like our Lick's Burgers).
The Hurricane - hit the island while we were there but Montego Bay wasn't hit like the rest of the island. The only affect was our excursion for zip-lining was cancelled due to damage and for the rest of the week, the ocean was far to rough to swim in. We saw more damage from the rough seas after Sandy passed, than the day it hit! I know they had Dunns River Falls closed due to flooding but I'm sure that was short-term.
Things I Loved - I'm a sun lover and am used to getting up early and playing the chair game in Mexico. BUT NO NOT HERE! Not sure if it was because it was low season, or the fact the sun doesn't come up over the building until about 8ish but I never had a problem finding 3 prime seats together. We even moved midday for better sun and found 3 better beds. They have beds set up at the back of the hotel on the fourth floor for the sun lovers that want the sun before it crests the building, nice touch. The mattresses on the boardwalk are soooo comfortable. My bad back loved the cush. The beds around the pools are also really comfortable. I loved the smallness of this place. Easy access to the rooms, buffet and of course, the bars. I also loved the drinks. Yes, served in small cups but they use real cream in the Pinas and bananas in the Dirty Bananas, no slushy mix. And the Mudslides were yummy too. And I loved talking to the staff . . .. they were all really friendly and we never experienced the attitudes some have mentioned. And finally, I loved the true ocean view rooms. We spent a lot of time on the balcony watching the storm, sunsets and watching the planes land at the airport (BTW not an issue for sleeping, not a very busy airport). Speaking of which, I loved the 10 minute drive to the airport. And the 1 minute walk to the Hip Strip.
Things Not So Much Loved - The unbelievably loud music played from the Cornwall Beach Club next door on Friday nights. Or should I say Saturday morning! It didn't stop until almost 4am. Not the hotel's fault but the bass beat was felt through the walls and no amount of ear-plugging could block it out. I like to party but I also like to sleep. Yes, we were hassled for drugs when we hit the streets but it's JAMAICA, you gotta know that's going to happen there! You are also going to catch the odd aroma around the hotel but hey, it's vacation right? Didn't bother me. And yes, they could improve on the food quality but I imagine that would require raising the rates and that's also what's attractive about this place, the cost and location.
A couple things of note - They do have a sign posted about the pools closing at 5pm. That is when the Lifeguard goes home, but on more than one occasion there was a (drunken) game of volleyball that went on in the pool until almost 7pm and we were left alone to finish. No one kicked us out. As well, a couple of times I walked past the jacuzzi at night and there were people in it even though it was technically "closed". And if you're wondering why the clock radio in your room is hard-wired into the outlet, its because us tourists keep stealing them! Not because they don't know how to plug in a clock. For some reason there are random graves on the property. In the bushes right behind the washrooms on the beach is the Kerr family. And by the gym and the kids area at the street side of the hotel are a whole bunch more. There is an old cemetary next door and I guess some graves were just forgotten when property lines were drawn.
Even with Hurricane Sandy we had a really good time. The social aspect to this hotel is wonderful, simply because of it's size. We made friends, both with staff and other guests. I came home rested and thinking about going back. I think if you come in with the right attitude and information you can have a really good experience. Feel free to email questions if you wish . . .
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located five minutes away from Montego Bay International Airport near the commercial district and the Hip Strip, Royal Decameron Montego Beach is a beachfront property on white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. Its facilities and ensure a relaxing holiday environment. This hotel has two restaurants, PassaPassa and Souk, where you can enjoy different international and regional dishes. During the day, you can partake in different recreational activities including dance lessons, aerobics and non-motorized water sports like kayaks, sailboats and diving lessons in the pool. In the evenings, enjoy our shows and dance till you drop at the disco of the Royal Decameron Montego Beach hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jack Tar Village
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach Bay
- Royal Decameron Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach Hotel
- Royal Decameron Montego Bay Jamaica
- Montego Beach
- Decameron Montego Bay
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach All Inclusive