Just got back from a Jamaica vacation, where I first stayed at Rooms, then at Sandals Grande Riviera. The two were black and white - stay at Sandals, even if it takes saving up longer.
Rooms on the Beach:
STAFF (the worst) - Extremely rude during entire stay. During check in they unfairly gouged us for an extra person charge (beware - even though travel sites like Expedia/Hotwire say the rooms fit up to 4 people, we only included names of 2 out of our 3 people on the reservation itself, and as a result had to pay $25 per night for the extra person. We'll probably dispute this charge, but at the time we just wanted in the room, so we paid it). Staff rolled their eyes and other unwelcoming gestures. Also worth noting, after we checked-in and put our bags in the room, we walked to get food from the town...Upon leaving the gate of the resort, the "security guard" asked us what room we were staying in. Since we had just argued about the "extra-person room charge" with the front desk, and since it was obvious we were leaving the hotel ground for a while, I wasn't eager to give me room number to this guy. I have never had a hotel demand I give my room number when they see me leaving. Weird. So I refused, told them I was a registered guest and that I would provide my room number upon my return. After saying no 3x, they said "fine" and we walked. Next, room keys. We were there for a wedding with a ton of family in different rooms, and with my grandmother present, I asked politely for a room key to her room so I could move room to room easily. They rudely denied the request, saying they "cannot issue everyone an extra key." That may be true, but not everyone requests an extra key, and I had good reason. And, it's a plastic card, give me a break. Next, they're slow-moving. Maybe their idea of "island time" is an excuse for this sluggiishness, but it took their kitchen an hour to make 2 sandwiches when the restaurant area was completely empty (this isn't even room service - we were waiting in the restaurant and it took that long). Generally, all of the staff acted like they hated their job, did not want to be there, and it seemed like they talked to each other about guests. Also, it seemed like they disliked Americans. I know sometimes Americans can have special requests, act entitled, annoying, etc., but I don't think our group acted in any way to deserve the eyerolls and mean treatment we received.
ROOMS - Outdated and dirty. Comforters look like they're never washed, floor is filthy even though made service mops it daily. Bathrooms were the worst. No electric outlet in bathrooms, so all hair or shaving had to be done out in the room. Moldy ceilings and no air vent for steam. Room and bathroom had absolutely terrible lighting - one lamp in the bedroom (and one of our light bulbs were out in the bathroom). Curtains in rooms are also filthy. Hallways are cement, so all sounds echo. I was napping waiting on other family to arrive, and literally, I knew they had arrived from hearing them in the hallway. Noisy echos.
FOOD - The continental breakfast is just okay. Sliced bread, butter, jam, and cereal. That was buffet-style, but they control how much of the other stuff you receive - they bring you one glass of OJ, a muffin and two pieces of fruit. No hot food or meats. Staff acted put-off that I asked for another glass of OJ (their glasses are tiny). Drinks from the swim-up bar were good, but staff unfriendly again. The items from lunch & dinner menu at the restaurant were good, but nothing special.
POOL/BEACH - Pool was very clean and nice. Beach is steps away from the pool and also kept clean. Lounge chairs made laying out on the beach easy. Area of beach we laid-out (right in front of the hotel) had several jellyfish in the water, and one person in our party was stung within minutes of stepping into the ocean. Not sure if it's just this time of year, but it was kind of a buzzkill for swimming. The lifeguard at the pool was nice to apply a vinegar solution to help the stinging, though.
IN SUMMARY - PAY THE EXTRA TO STAY AT ALL-INCLUSIVE SANDALS! It was 1000x better. Staff was so polite compared to Rooms, food was delicious, and rooms were impeccable clean.
Hope this helps warn others!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the beach in Ocho Rios on Jamaica's North Coast. Just 5 minutes from the world's famous Dunn's River Falls and within walking distance of best shopping and night life in Ocho Rios. Singles, Couples and Families are welcome at Rooms. All rooms are air conditioned, equipped with cable tv, safety deposit boxes, hair dryers,coffee makers and most have a VIEW of the ocean. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Rooms Ocho Rios Hotel Ocho Rios
- Rooms Hotel Ocho Rios
- Ocho Rios Rooms Hotel
- Rooms Beach Ocho Rios
- Rooms Beach Jamaica
- Rooms Ocho Rios Jamaica