We recently stayed at the Jewel Paradise Cove (June 2014) and must say am a couple minor "issues" away from a perfect stay! The resort is great, in a great location (not too far from Ocho Rios and just over an hour from the airport) and the staff is awesome. The food and activities available were also very good.
The minor issues keeping me from giving the Jewel a perfect score are:
1) No "background" music anywhere except for 1 speaker pointing to the beach. But if you're sitting at any bar or any of the wonderful hammocks located throughout the property don’t expect to hear anything besides silence or at the bars they would play the audio of the TVs. I’m sorry, but if I’m sitting at a outdoor bar enjoying a tropical beverage in a Jamaican paradise, or relaxing by the pool, I would love to hear some reggae or calypso music playing in the background! Doesn’t have to be blaringly loud, but something to make me feel like I’m really in the Caribbean! I can understand that during the World Cup Soccer matches, the audio of the match would be playing, but the matches were only 90 minutes twice a day! The rest of the day, I don’t care to hear the news or SportsCenter!
2) The meal times/options. Let me start by saying the buffet is excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed it each day and in my opinion, it more than makes up for the following issues I have with the other restaurants on site. Let’s start with the “formal” restaurant Platinum. Very pretentious! I can’t believe I took up luggage space with pants and shoes for this! I mean the waiters are wearing white Mickey Mouse looking gloves. Really?! The food was mediocre at best. Jade Samurai was actually pretty good and entertaining as it is teppanyaki style service, however, as for the Golden Sabre Sushi…that’s more of a tiny sushi counter to have appetizers while you wait for a real meal. The “rolls” were literally 1 tiny piece. When I order a roll at any sushi restaurant, it’s usually an 8-10 inch actual roll, cut into about ½ inch wheels, well just 1 of those wheels is what this place calls a “roll”! I ordered everything on the menu TWICE (which only took me about 3 seconds to eat) then left to go eat a real meal at the Italian place Moonstone, which is not bad at all. The pizza available throughout the day is very nice too for a quick hold-me-over bite. Meal times though are a bit of a problem though (mainly for dinner). Everything closes pretty early, by like 9. I like to enjoy the sun and activities throughout the day, have a few drinks as I watch the sunset around 7:30 this time of year (of course the drinks are enjoyed in silence because the bars don’t play music) and before you know it, I have about 30 minutes combined to get ready for dinner before getting shut out. Now, the Aquamarina Grill being open all night is nice, and saved me one night, but you’re limited to hamburger, hot dogs and jerk chicken (which is pretty good).
3) There’s nothing to do immediately outside the resort. We wanted to go and get an authentic Jamaican meal one night and were recommended a couple places in Ocho Rios but the cab ride was estimated to be around 80 USD round trip. That’s a little steep! Kinda makes me wish I would have stayed IN Ocho Rios instead! Maybe if the Jewel would provide some sort of shuttle service making a couple trips a day (and I don’t mean as a tour, even if it’s 15/20 bucks) something like that might be nice in order to allow people the luxury of enjoying the town at their leisure, but having a means of mass transit back and forth at set times, I think that would be nice.
4) Reef protection! This one really hurt me to witness. I am an avid outdoorsman and have grown up fishing and diving the reefs in the Florida Keys. While I don’t consider myself a tree-hugger, I do believe in doing my part in helping protect the environment to the best of my abilities. With that said, while on the snorkeling trip, I was floored to see the crew drop anchor right onto the reef and drag it until it caught. It caught so well that after several attempts at freeing it, a crew member had to jump in the water to release it, and all the while I was cringing at the damage that was being done. I consider reefs and underwater sea life to be absolutely amazing and this resort is blessed with pristine waters and a beautiful reef just off the coast that can be used to share such a wonderful ecosystem with millions of tourists who might not be so fortunate to have ever experienced something similar in their lives. With all its beauty though, the marine ecosystem is incredibly delicate, therefore, dragging a 50-60 pound anchor across it, 2 to 3 times a day, 7 days a week is absolutely appalling and extremely careless. Doing so is destroying the very reefs that are drawing millions of tourists to the Caribbean islands to begin with! And to think all the other countless resorts on the island are more than likely doing the same thing is unbelievable. I honestly don’t know how it has not occurred to anyone to install some simple mooring buoys in an effort to protect this natural habitat.
I know all this might sound harsh, but it really isn’t (well except for the reef thing). Overall our stay was great. I only mention them as constructive criticism because, at least for me, they are keeping the Jewel Paradise Cove as a very good resort rather than an unbelievable resort.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Booking.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Hilton Hotels Direct, Hotels.com, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, getaroom.com, TripOnline SA and HRS so you can book your Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection by Hilton reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Jewel Paradise Cove Resort & Spa Runaway Bay, Curio Collection By Hilton Jamaica