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“Can tell they are new....but improving.”

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Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed February 5, 2014

My husband and I wanted to get away. We chose this place because of past reviews. Unfortunately our weather was rainy and not cooperative, Jewel did the best they could to make the most of it. They passed out umbrellas and were good sports about it. It was spotty clouds most days, and we would have been able to get out and do some water activities, had we been able to get out of the cove.

The "new" part feels to me felt like the staff was not up to speed on duties. The little things like plates empty in the dining room (telling staff and nothing happening), asking for a glass of wine with dinner to three different people, lobby water out most of the time - telling them and next day still empty, asking for diet coke in my room and not getting it, the restaurant being "booked" and waiting two days for reservations and walking by and it is empty. Being on the beach (when there was sun) and not seeing any waitstaff to get a beverage, etc. It seemed like the little details were overlooked in some areas. It's an "experience" to me when we go away and I'm detail oriented and maybe too picky.

The picture of the "Smoothie Bar" is not accurate at all, it's a station in the morning set up in the dining area. I had visions of walking by anytime and grabbing a smoothie. Not so much.

Also a negative was that the water activities are limited to when they can get the boats out of the cove. Many other resorts were diving, boating, snorkeling, catamarans, etc. while we were unable to get out of the bay. No glass bottom boat, no catamaran, no snorkeling, no diving, no nothing due to the layout of their cove. It was unfortunate.

I am gluten/dairy free and feel that the chefs weren't up to speed on that. In talking with the chef, he didn't really know what it meant to be gluten free (asked me if rice and vegetables were okay to eat when he should have known what gluten is (wheat, barley and rye). I was leery to venture far from meat and vegetables. In the sushi restaurant, they were super.

Also, we were placed in an "Adjoining" room. Could hear every sneeze, laugh, throat clearing and conversation of the people next door. Jewel did move us after we asked, which was good. Just beware if you get an adjoining room and aren't friends with the people next door, you will hear them.

The positives.....it's a beautiful place and most of the staff is super nice. Noreen is a super bartender, Geetha (Sushi restaurant), and our singing Kenny Rogers Hibachi gal (forgot her name) was super sweet (and super careful with my food - soy sauce has wheat). Georgia was great for excursions, and many others I can't remember all the names. Oh, and the dive/snorkel staff went out of their way to get us out snorkeling before we left (opened early and took us out). Lloyd took us diving the one day they could get boats out, he was excellent as well as the folks that worked with him.

Overall, I think they are working hard at getting the kinks worked out and the details fine tuned. If we were to go back to Jamaica, I would consider going there again. Emoral (the concierge) was very attentive and he asked me how my stay was and when I said, "okay" and he kept pressing me for details. He wanted to make sure I had a "great" time and everything was perfect. However, I didn't want to go complain to him about the little things, so now he knows.

Jamaica is lovely and this place is on the up and up. I would recommend the Jewel Paradise Cove to people. They are figuring things out and I'm sure the kinks will work out. They did have a fun beach party and goat racing, dancers, and other entertainment.

Room Tip: No adjoining rooms unless you are friends with the folks next door!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Angela S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Dear Angela

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. I want to say that all the concerns and observation brought to our attention will be addressed, and appreciate you sharing. Hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,090 - 3,096 of 3,246 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2014

Excellent service, cleanliness, security and transportation. The food and housekeeping are good with room for improvement. The bar has only Red Stripe for beer and limited liquor brands with no top shelf. With the money we saved staying here we brought our own beer, wine and top shelf liquor and still saved a few thousand $$.

Room Tip: upper level rooms could view into the bathroom of lower level rooms because bathroom windows have no...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank G C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Dear Guest

Thanks for your feedback and it was our pleasure, and hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

After going back and forth for close to 3 months on deciding where to stay we chose(6 of us) JPC. Our initial choice was Couple swept away but after reading the reviews and to be honest the price we figured this was the best deal available. This was my first time to jamaica as the rest of my guests were here before. Upon arriving we were greeted by the front desk with smiles and were quickly offered some drinks. Check in went smooth and while we were waiting for our room we were whisked to the outdoor buffet for lunch. Food was good and choices were plentiful. Our room was clean, bed was nice(maybe too many pillows) and the bathroom was great Loved the shower and there were always plenty of towels. The property is laid out well and has a very tropical feel. The staff are great, always smiling, courteous and ready to help out. . There are 3 pools all with swim up bars and an exciting memorable water slide. The slide is fast and figure on 9 seconds to get through this tunnel of darkness with all right turns. You also get the best view of the resort from the top of the slide and there is also a jacuzzi on top as well as inside all 3 pools. The beach, well more of a cove that reminded me of gilligans island has nice sand and palm trees to lay out but is not your prototypical caribbean beach where you can walk out to crystal blue water and still see your toes in chest deep water. It is the perfect place for an outdoor BBQ and goat races as was the case on our last night. All water sports are included and as long as your not red flagged were fun. The restaurants served the perfect portion size and the food was generally good. Platinum goes out of there way to create a 5 star meal, and tough they fell short it was still a very good dining experience. Jade samurai was definatley fun and the chef got everyone at the table involved. As a note your best advised to order your food plain or ask for light sauce on the side. Aquamarine was great and was located by the ocean pool. Great pub food, jamican jerk chicken and awesome french fires. The pizza grill located by the beach had decent pizzas tough they did run out of Gluten free crust early on.
Overall they cater to their guests dietary requests and were very knowledgable regarding gluten free and as a celiac this helped me tremendously. Night time included a house band that was good, a disco that unfortunately was empty every night, karaoke nightly which my wife let loose and pool tables and pingpong. The staff wasnt overbearing in trying to get people up and about and outside of the talent show which I was recruited for ended up being fun. The drinks were plentiful. The selection could of been more diverse but there was enough to keep everyone happy.The pina colodas at the moonstone were a hit as well as the JW black. Beer was limited to red stripe. Getting too and from the airport was an hour ride along the north coast paralleling the ocean. The golf course was mediocre, tough challenging the fairways were thick and not carpet like im used to playing. The caddies were great and they actually gave us a ride back to the resort after hours. Better weather would of let us enjoyed the resort more but all in all it was a very good resort with a staff that goes out of there way to make your stay a memorable one. Overall a great value. The warm smiles, friendly attitudes and a chance to run a sub 9 on the water slide, and of course my wife, would all bring me back again.

Room Tip: Double doors facing the beach to bring more sunlight into your room
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank 161MDDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Guest

Delighted that you hada great first impression and it was our pleasure, to have met your needs in more ways than one. Hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

Booked this Hotel without knowing it was all inclusive, so was a bit surprised when I rocked up and discovered this, as we'd had some pretty strange/poor experiences at all inclusive hotels in Europe. Basically stationery cruise liners.
Our expectations were quickly put to bed, as we discovered over the following few days. This hotel must be a very a strong contender for one of the best all inclusive hotel experiences in the world.

Location

Midway on the North Coast, about an hour East of Montego Bay by hotel transfer. On Runaway Bay, near St Ann's.

Strengths

Everything is relatively new, so rooms, facilities, public area all 100%
Restaurants, 4 in total, very good, providing plenty of good variation for a weeks stay. Buffet, Modern Jamaican, Japanese and Italian, plus a 24 hour snack outlet doing hot dogs, burgers etc
Staff are brilliant, super friendly, and we're always helpful. Service was nearly always on hand to order drink and food, a total stress free and positive experience
Facilities very good, lots of activities such as diving, sailing, spa, gym, games room, volleyball, tennis etc
Plenty of different areas to lounge outside, so for example if you don't like the relatively noisy private main beach( a lot of hotel driven activities such as volleyball and beach cricket happen here) another quiet smaller beach is just around the corner
Bedrooms very well fitted, lovely comfy beds, and beautiful bathrooms
Free wifi throughout the resort, even worked on the beach! (No issues or hassles at all, unlike the previous hotel I reviewed here). I think this is key must have at Hotels now. Ideal if you want to remote work
If you play Golf, that seemed well covered by local courses, good feedback from other guests
The resort has a nice wine list from a European view, which comes as a extra cost, but very nice to see good US wines being offered at a reasonable price. Issue here was that the wines are stored at A/C room temp, which was not good with the White Wines. They were consistently served at the table too warm.
TV sport coverage is very good, North America sport and European Football coverage while I was there


Concerns

Resort is squarely aimed at the North American market, so it feels very like a US based resort, despite being in Jamaica. This may work well for the North American tourist, but I found it a little bit overwhelming coming from Europe.
Sea swimming is restricted to bouyed off areas close to the beach, so anyone that's a more adventurous swimmer will feel pretty boxed in, told offshore rocks restrict more adventurous swimming
White Wine being served at well above ideal temp, resort needs proper wine refrigeration to sell quality wines
Room keys are a pain, no tolerance to any other electronic kit, and very easy to make inactive


Tips

Would recommend doing the hotel orientation that takes place at 11 every morning, the hotel is pretty big, so it's easy to miss key bits/areas
Down the end of the road to the Hotel, Jam Dung a local bar, if you fancy a short stroll and a small change of scene, ice cold beers and/or other local stuff
TVs have USB ports, so can play media on USB Sticks or other portable devices
When you arrive at the resort check in with the trip help ASAP if you have any interest in any trips, sometimes they need critical mass in terms on numbers to happen. Also might be worth checking a private taxi cost against any booking quotes, we did a trip as a couple rather than as a larger group like this, at small extra cost.
At breakfast don't miss the local fare at the back of the buffet, Ackee and Salt fish springs to mind, delicious. Daily porridge switches very good as well.
Also make sure you try the Jerk Chicken Wrap from the Aquamarine 24 hour bar, it rocks!
Would recommend carrying some US dollar singles to tip the staff on a regular basis, they do an fantastic job here. Reception can charge up larger notes for singles

My other ratings

Vilebrequin Rating 0/5
Tattoo Factor 3/5

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Toolbag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for a detailed review and appreciate every feedback stated. Hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Great vacation experience at Jewel Paradise Cove. Renovated rooms and good food. If a long large beach is a priority then this resort may not be for you as the beach area is small but beautiful. This hotel has some growing pains with a lot of new staff. Most staff were amazing with their service and smiles. You might have to wait forever for a pizza at the Italian restaurant. Our first visit our food was given to someone else and we were the first customers. We had to wait 1 1/2 hours. We received pizza our second visit that was for other guests who had left due to the wait before we received our order. I would recommend that you place your order and then go back in an hour or so to pick up and take to the beach. The Jamaica Jamaica pizza was very good. There are no bath robes, slippers or beer in the rooms unless you upgrade. This is not really normal from our experience for an adult only resort. My wife and I had a fun experience overall. This was our sixth trip to Jamaica. This resort was good value for the money and we prefer the smaller resorts. We will probably go back to Negril for our next trip to Jamaica.

Room Tip: Upgrade or ask for ocean view.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank PH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Guest

Thanks for sharing, and my apologies for the wait at the Court Jesters and the mix up wit hyour order. I am happy thou that did not hamper your vacation.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We had nothing but a great experience. There was so much to do even the rain could not keep us down. The first night we were there we played a contest that they had and won a free trip to Negril. Which was also wonderful. The buffet was mediocre however there were so many other choices to choose from we did not care. On the last night we were there we were told the Italian restaurant would be closed because they were having dinner under the stars. We asked Collin at the front desk if this is true and he said yes. I told him I was bummed because I wanted to try the terima sue. With out hesitation he said I'll see what I can do. We were treated to a special dessert when we got back to our room. They really went out of there way! I also love that they have lifeguards at every pool and beach. It made me feel so much safer to go out into the ocean. We know they do their jobs as well because while we were there one of them had to save a couple who almost got seriously injured. We would definitely recommend and go back!

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank Hollyjeremy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Guest

Thanks for allowing us to share in creating your memories, and it was pleasure and hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We booked a trip to JPC Jan. 23 to 30th. This hotel has been extensively renovated. The rooms are comfortable and very nicely furnished with quality beds, pillows, linens. There are a couple items they should add to the rooms yet, and they may already be doing (full length mirrors and make up mirrors would be nice). The housekeeping staff are top-notch.
The layout is excellent, it only takes a few minutes to wander from one end of the resort to the other, yet you don't feel like you are at a small resort. Beach, pool and bar areas were never overly-crowded although the resort was nearing capacity towards the end of our stay.
Bar service was very good, with a good variety of drinks.
Restaurant service was also very good, with polite staff working very hard to please. The buffet had a decent selection of foods, including Jamaican foods, with a different variety nightly. The breakfast buffet was your typical assortment. All very fresh. The lunch buffet was probably the best of the three meals. The restaurants were well staffed and served delicious plates of food. Platinum had a very nice steak, very tender. Moonstone's pasta and ravioli was mouth watering!
The Jade Samurai was an experience and very tasty as well. The sushi bar could be improved on with more main-stream style sushi (spicy salmon rolls, spider rolls, dragon rolls would have been nice to see). I was not a fan of the sushi offerings, however, that is just my tastes.
The resort pools and hot tubs were really nice, good temperature (not too cold) and nicely designed. The water slide was a big hit, with timed races on some days!
The main beach is large enough to accommodate without feeling like you are packed in. Lots of beach chairs. They did run out of beach towels a few times, but not for long. The sand is golden and the sea washes up bits of shell and coral. There are some fish in this area for snorkeling, as the reefs make a nice little cove around this beach. The reef is nice as it adds a little nature to the area, as opposed to the strip of sand and no natural features option at other resorts. I really like watching the waves crash into the reef from the boardwalk. Seeing the crabs get washed up on to the walkway and then run back down to the water.
The resort offers free glass bottom boat and snorkeling trips which is a wonderful change from the typical "pay for motorized sports". The trips are just off the beach a short way (towards the sister resort Jewel Runaway Bay). They also offer scuba diving and a sunset cruise on certain nights.
The private beach is much smaller, quieter, and is enclosed by rock so the water is very calm here. The snorkeling in this area was absolutely fantastic! Tons of fish, urchins, even a blow fish!
They offer a good variety of trips, we chose to go horseback riding with Hooves (same trip two years ago, even recognized Sharon who sells beer on the beach), and the luminous lagoon tour. Both were worth the time and money spent. Even if you have never been on a horse, this is a good trip. Horses know their job and do exactly what they are supposed to, great for beginner riders!
The Hooves company is located at Seville Park, a former sugar cane plantation. While riding you get a bit of a history lesson on the place and the guide will show you different trees, plants, along the way.
The resort has photographers that circulate the resort. Instead of doing the typical romantic photos, we got creative and had some pretty fun photos (such as balancing spoons on noses in the Platinum restaurant, using chop sticks as eyebrows in the Jade, pretending to attack each other, taking photos of the photographers....), made it a lot more fun!
We did experienced a minor service issue which was immediately rectified by management (thank you Daine).
Overall, this was a really good experience, very relaxing. We came home refreshed and happy.
We definitely recommend this resort and would come back here for sure. All the staff were wonderful and friendly, especially Dimitri (best dancer ever), Barbie (kick-butt volleyball player), Choy (AKA Bok Choy, life guard) and Gerneil (photographer).

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank Samantha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DaineG, Manager at Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Samantha

Thanks for your review and delighted that you had a great and thanks for sharing. I am also happy that whatever challenges was encountered was immediately rectified. Hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton

Address: Paradise Cove Drive, Runaway Bay, Jamaica (Formerly Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#2 Green Hotel in Runaway Bay
#2 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: $281 - $597 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 225
Reservation Options:
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Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection By Hilton Jamaica

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