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Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa
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Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed at Shaw Park from Jan.18 to Jan. 25 2013.

First I would like to say not to rely on all the travellers photos prior to 2011 as many things has changed such as the main bar, beach chairs, umbrellas have been changed and/or renovated. While we were there some exterior painting was being done and I was told that they were preparing for a photo shoot.

We arrived at SP six hours later than was scheduled but that's another story with Sunwing which by the way has disappointed us again!

Ok, back to SP, check in was quick and we were courteously greeted, signed in and told to follow the porter/bell boy "Speedy" who took us to our room.

We had a deluxe room with very standard decor yet very colourful. We alway had hot water and the pressure was good, not excellent but ok. The bed was very comfortable. Bring your own shampoo and hair dryer. There is no fridge and no coffee machine in the rooms. (I had my own one cup travel coffee machine). The only thing I missed was a bit more counter space in the bathroom but it was ok.

Don't forget this is a three star so go with an open mind and you won't regret your stay! If you prefer to stay in 5 star resorts when you travel, then this place is not for you.

The decor is old country style. This is a simple, beautiful, fun place to stay and we loved the laid back atmosphere. The grounds are clean and beautiful. All rooms face the ocean. You fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the waves. Location and security is very good.

The food is delicious and tasty with varied selections. I can't believe the negative reviews! Yes it's true there is always pasta in the buffet but prepared differently every time. There is breakfast, lunch, then at 3:00 pm BBQ hamburgs, hotdogs & fries. Then, dinner at 7:00pm with entertainment (sax player, reggae band, two singers Danny & ? who sing at your table while you dine). There was one A La Carte during our stay and it was delicious.
Tip for breakfast: Ask your waiter for an order of bacon as there is none in the buffet. Also, start by putting your bread in the toaster before going to the buffet as the toasters are very slow. lol

As for the cruise shops that stop at the resort, it's ok... they add tables at the far end of the dining area and there is plenty of food. Did not bother us at all and did not cause any line ups. (They were there only twice in the week we were there)

They have a beautiful sit down lounge with a bar but it's closed. Don't know why but it would give the resort a +++

The waiters and bartenders are so friendly, energetic, always smiling and you can feel they are very happy to work at SP. They do not have a "wait for tip attitude" though... please tip for good service! Smiley and Willie we miss you!

And Kelly, she takes care of the kayaking and lifeguard at the beach and pool, she never stops! Always making sure everything is ok and that you are enjoying your tan! (which is what she says, so cute!). She is so adorable! As Stephy says in her review, "give her a nice tip for her service!".

Most of us on the resort were 40+ years old. I would not recommend this resort if you want to party all night. The bar closes at 11:00pm but there was one night we had Danny the guitar player and singer with us and a bunch of us reunited together and the bar stayed open til midnight. Danny sings at tables at dinner time with his partner (twice a week). We all pitched in for the memorable entertainment he has given us way past his duty! When Danny goes at your table and asks if you have a request... ask him to sing "Hotel Ocho Rios" (version of Hotel California). Thank you Danny!

You can enjoy lots of sun and/or shade under the palm trees. The beach is very clean. As of 6:30am the groundkeepers are raking and the beautiful sandy beach awaits for you! And there is plenty of beach chairs. As for the ocean, there is a slight drop after walking a few feet in. Reason I mention is for children supervision but I must say I did not see any children during our stay...

I cannot comment on the pool as we are beach lovers but it seemed quiet, nothing fancy, not to many people, nice place to relax.

Bring your own travel mugs as the drinks are served in small plastic glasses which by the way I've seen at 5* resorts.

My husband helped the local fisherman bring in their catch every morning. Many of us at the resort pitched in and we collected enough $$ to buy them "part" of the sides of their fish net which was all torn. Herby who is so nice is the lead fisherman with his father and two helpers.
They really work hard for not much. We went to town at the marina with Herby and purchased the net and a roll of string for repair! They could use a new pair of paddles...

To sum things up... We loved this resort and will definately go back!!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Rocky960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I have been to Shaw Park Ocho Rios for the last new year eve vacation This place is by far the worst I ever stayed in the my trips in Jamaica. Hotel and rooms needs urgent repair and a little bit of love by the owner. Just don't understand the good reviews posted on this site. Entertainment from animation staff was poor and beach equipment was simply inexistant. A few sea kayaks with old paddles...and a wrecked wind surf board. Beach and view is nice but don't expect to take long walks ! end of the beach reaches a river were locals are just all over you to buy some local Ganja and any service you did not ask for....just harassing !
Food at the only restaurant from the hotel is always the same, day after day, so they make sure there are no surprises. Nightly entertainment from singers at dinner was fine.

Hotel staff is nice and smiling but don't have much experience. We waited about 90 minutes for our meals during The A la carte dinner we had on the first night ! and did not get what we have order....

Rooms are clean and have a great view on the bay. But doesn't make up for the overall bad experience.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a room with a view on the ocean
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank bdiaz_48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We stayed at Shaw Park Jan 25th-Feb 9th we had a standard room that had a shower only and ended up having a plumbing problem on day 3 that couldn't be fixed right away so they gave us an upgrade to a deluxe room that had a full bathroom. We had a fantastic trip because the resort is small and intimate you really do get to meet all the staff and guests and we did make some lifelong friends in our time there. If I had to find something negative to say it would be that the food gets to be very repetitive on tues,wed,and thurs people come off cruise ships and although there was plenty of food it was the same menu for lunch all 3 of those days, also there are no a la cartes and absolutely no seafood except fish. This resort is for people just looking for a nice quiet place where you can step from your room to the beach and go to bed early and where you can meet all sorts of wonderful people.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank traveller7774
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We spent two weeks a Shaw Park (Jan 25-Feb 8) and overall we were impressed with many aspects of the resort. Our room was very nice with a great balcony and an incredible view. The room was clean and comfortable. We had a leaky faucet in the shower which really wasn't a problem and on one occasion there was no hot water. The beach is fantastic, uncrowded (an understatement if there ever was one as there were very few people staying at the resort) and couldn't be easier to access. The lack of guests at the resort made it difficult for staff to organize any activities (billiards, table tennis, volleyball etc) so if that was a big priority you would be disappointed.
My biggest complaint with the resort was the limited food selection and again perhaps the lack of registered guests is the cause or result of that. If you are a meat and potatoes man, get ready to eat a lot of pasta.
As other reviewers have mentioned Shaw Park attracts numerous cruise ship passengers. The resort serves an authentic Jamaican lunch whenever the cruise ships are in port and the menu was basically the same every time featuring of course Jerk Chicken. Like most things it's good in moderation but gets tired.
There is no ala carte to speak of, for Sunwing customers we were entitled to one menu service per week and there were only three entrees to choose from. (fish, turkey and pepper steak) We did learn toward the end of our stay however that there is a limited menu that you can order from. Also bacon is available at breakfast but you have to order it directly from your server.

Stayed: January 2013
3  Thank Rod M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We have just returned from our first trip to Jamaica, staying at Shaw Park Hotel and Spa (Jan 7-21, 2013). This hotel is about 100 years old, formerly part of a 26 acre estate. The hotel is small, and staffed by the most wonderful people. Smiling and happy, looking after our every need, they include Head Cook (Bergen), dining staff (Miss Rose,Tina, Regina, Pebbles and many more), bar staff ("maybe later" Darren, Smiley, Jimmy and others), beach staff (Gary and Kelly and Nathan), the carpenters who worked so hard on rebuilding a gazebo at the end of the big dock that had been wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, only to be crashed into by a catamaran a day or so after we left! Spa ladies, housekeeping (Hazel, Nadine, Janet and more), reception staff ladies...we could not ask for better! It is so nice to see period antiques, as well as the shining woodwork and flooring in the beautiful comfortable lobby area and other areas below, which lends a lovely feeling of warmth and coziness. This must have been a very grand place in its prime years ago! There have been some improvements made according to fellow travellers who were here 2 years ago.

Our room (#52) was kept clean and tidy and from our balcony on the second floor we overlooked the beach and bar area just feet away. Just a note here, shampoo is not supplied so bring your own. Lots of hot water for showers, so no complaints there. We wish there had been a screen for the patio doors in order to leave them open at night for fresh ocean breezes, but we had to close them to keep the few pesky mosquitoes out instead. We were not bothered by any during the day. Karaoke was held at the bar, starting at 9:30 pm (til sometimes much later) and was so loud we actually had to complain. It was then moved to an area further towards the end of the dining area which helped. The music was too loud, but we got used to it, and earplugs helped..that's a hint for you fellow travellers! During the day the music blared from the water activities hut, and while loud, it was more annoying in that there seemed to be only a few songs ever played and they got boring fast! Hint for Gary...perhaps a wider selection of Jamaican music would be a good idea....and quiet time is enjoyable too.

Food was fine, lots of choice at mealtimes, lots of Jamaican flavours to sample. Cruise ship tourists descend 2-3 times a week for lunch, and another hint is to go for your lunch around noon in order to beat the influx of hungry cruise people. The beach is easily walked to and from the river area. There is an old fellow there (George) who paddles around in a small boat showing his mahogany carvings to any interested buyers. We booked an all day "Port Antonio" tour thro our Sunwing Rep, Patrick (a very nice fellow) which included a van pick up and a tour down to Port Antonio, a swim in the Blue Lagoon, waterfalls, lunch on a beach, finishing up with a 2 + hour leisurely trip on a bamboo raft built for two and poled down the Rio Grande River to the ocean. Spectacular vegetation along the way.

All in all, we enjoyed our visit to Shaw Park with the chance to see more of the island with the tour.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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13  Thank StoneybrookAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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