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“Fantastic Vacation!”

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Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Boscobel
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Ontario
Level 6 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Fantastic Vacation!”
Reviewed March 21, 2011

I have to say, before we left, I was quite worried because of some of the reports that I had read. At this point, I figure you just can't please all the people all the time. We just got back yesterday from one week at the resort with our 3, 5 and 8 year old kiddos. We had an amazing trip! There were blips but you're going to face that anywhere. Overall it was a wonderful vacation with incredible staff and facilities.

Trip from airport: My son gets motion sick on buses so we opted for a private transfer to and from the airport. We booked it through Lees Taxi and Tours who we also used for a day outing while there. Our driver Michael was amazing! So knowledgable and so sweet to the children. It took us about 1.5 hours to get to the resort but the road was smooth sailing and it was nice to see the island.

Room: We booked a luxury family suite. I had requested the West wing as it was further from the stage. Our check in was late (about 4pm) which was a bit of a pain but the staff was very nice. Our room was located in the East wing and very close to the stage. I did tell them that the location wasn't good for us but they were booked. After being jolted awake that evening (we were up at 2am to get to teh airport so we all went to bed early ... which we did every night anyway really), I called front desk. That day we were moved to the same room in the other wing. Perfect location, away from the stage and close to teh water park. Our maid was wonderful and was able to provide extra water for us, extra blankets for the pull out and anything else we needed. The room was always clean, everything seemed new. We're very picky and generally stay in high end resorts/hotels when we travel.We were very happy with the room.

Kids activiites: Amazing! We didn't put our kids in the kids camp as our plan was to go on vacation to spend more time with them. We did do many of the kids activities as a family though (cooking with cookie monster, evening shows, visit from Dolphin Cove, etc.). We met a few other families with the same plan and our kids became close friends that week. We spend most of our time at the waterpark which all the kids loved but we also enjoyed the main pool as well as the beach. Now, yes, the beach is small and maybe too many chairs as it takes up a lot of the beach but with small children, it was perfect. You could always keep them close and they had a blast. I recommend taking sand toys and leaving them with other familes before you go. We also did the glass bottom boat tour (windy our day so we didn't get to the reef) and all three kiddos went with us on the catamaran! The water staff there are wonderful!

Food: We ate at all places except Elenors as no kiddos under 12 allowed in that one. The buffet was nice with plenty of options. Arizonas was wonderful and we regret not trying that til the end of the trip because we would have eaten there more often. Many love the Venetian but quite honestly, our meal was terrible. We ate three different things and all of them were terrible. I couldn't eat any of mine. Might have been a bad night but we didn't give it a second chance.

A few extra things we did:

1) Tuck in with Zoe. Well worth the expense! The kids LOVED it. ITs the highlight of my 5 year old's trip. Stacy Ann arranged it for us even though it was her day off. She did an incredible job.

2) Family pictures on teh beach were wonderful. The session is complementary but if you want a disc, it costs extra. For us, well worth it. The pics, along with pics taken at teh slides and shows, were well worth the extra expense.

3) Day outing with Lees Taxi and Tours. Booked it through Norma well in advance. Our driver was Micheal and he was amazing. We visited a local school and spent a few hours there. We visited Coyoba Gardens and Falls, Shaw Lookout, Ferngully. We ate at Scotchies which was fantastic. We then toured Dunns River Falls briefly. We didn't climb it as the kdis are too small but it was interesting to see. We also planned to visit Enchanted GArdens but the kids were tired. AFter facing the mobs of sellers in the market at Dunns River, we opted to skip shopping in Ocho Rios and just headed back to the resort early. We ended up shopping at the resort and along side the resort. The full day tour cost us $150US plus entrance fees and tip and was definitely something we'd do again.

4) My 5 yr old had her hair braided at the spa on the beach. It was wonderful. Jackie did it and was so gentle. She loved having it done. Just bring a hat or wrap so that your little one doesn't burn their head.

I had heard in advance that tipping wasn't permitted. We didn't want to risk anyone losing their job so we brought small gift packages for our maid and others that made a difference in our trip. Everyone that received one truly appreciated it. We left one each day for our maid, we gave one to Jackie (who did my daughters hair .. we also left her a tip the day of because Red Lane staff can be tipped) and we gave one to our driver as they had toys I thought his kids would enjoy. The staff at the resort is incredible. They work so hard and they're all so very nice. We didn't run into one person who had a 'mood' while we were there.

Overall, it was a wonderful week. It was different for us as there were many scheduled kids things that we wanted to partake it and we were at the waterpark watching three kids a lot so it probably wasn't as relaxing as our trip to Mexico last year but overall, I think the kids enjoyed their time more than our trip to Mexico. Its a fantastic place so for anyone going, don't worry. I'm pretty picky and we had a great time! I'm missing those pina coladas though!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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3 Thank casperjj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Mississauga, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed March 20, 2011

We visited Beaches Boscobel for one week with a 3 and a 5 year old. They really enjoyed their holidays. The beach, the swimming pool, the water slides, the food selection and the friendly staff. When the kids slept, we enjoyed sailing the catamarans and kayaking. Just a perfect place for a family holiday with young children.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank passaat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

We travelled to beaches the first week of march 2011. The resort was beautiful, the staff so friendly, the food delicious and plentiful, and so much to do. Our three year old loved the sesame characters and shows, the waterpark and the beach. There was heaps to do - banana boats, sailing, snorkelling, glass bottom boat. We didn't see anything on the boat ride but every thing else was awesome. It was a two hour bus ride from the airport but it wouldn't stop us from returning. It went by quickly and the driver was great. I really don't understand how anyone would be unhappy with this resort.

The only thing that wasn't ideal was that there were stairs to our room and we had a stroller. If you are traveling with a stroller, be sure to ask for a ground floor room.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank born2fly2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

If anything, I think I laughed more this year at the stage shows than last year...for whatever reason, maybe it was the particular group that was there during my visit, but people seemed to laugh and enjoy the entertainment, while I hurled watching Slinky do his thing...I just wished they had him and Zapata every night (okay I'm kidding). What a laugh, but in all seriousness some good shows with some amazing talent, the gymnast stuff blows your mind, that the people enjoyed, especially the kids.

If you have never been, you wouldn't realize the scope of the renovations but being there last year and arriving this year it was plainly obvious that there was a serious revamp, starting wiht the brand new deck and modified pool, new chairs, new umbrellas, new stone work everywhere and the "Beaches" waterfall revamped to display a new expanded seating area at the Bayside. Total repaint outside and in the rooms. Our rooms were repainted and retiled but no new tv set/wall unit yet, which was no biggie for us. Very clean and we all slept very well. Pizza oven pumped out delicious pizzas, which wasn't there last year. New lighted up palm trees at the pool area which weren't always on, unfortunately and new railings were being installed as we speak. There was always something being improved while we were there. The stage was redone with a nice light show and the Sesame Street shows were very well done. Yes, the beach is small but compared to last year's decrepit and weary looking beach , it was rebuilt, lots of sand and clean, however it is next to the sea, people, so you will find seaweed sometimes!

Like I said last year, the staff here are truly exceptional. I don't quite understand the comment about the bar staff but Dwight and Arron were excellent and very welcoming, hospitable guys. They made you whatever and worked their collective butts off. They all do. Maybe management should supply more staff? Maybe another bartender perhaps? The staff make the trip. There are better places, I am sure of it however what good is a better place if the staff does not treat you AND your kids the way that these people do? My kids loved the camps, millions of screaming, crying kids made all parents relax as we were all in the same boat, the glorious sound of forks falling incessantly at dinner, kids temper tantrums as they were all overtired, it was great! I truly felt sorry for people who came here without kids because our stay was just bursting with kids which was great for my kids who made friends and being a smaller resort were never far away.

No Zantac, no Imodium, no Gravol, no problem! The food was very good in my opinion and stomach-wise I felt the same there as I did at home which is a good thing when going to the Carribean. Jerk chicken, jamaican patties. Rum is rum, but they had the good stuff at the main bar, not at the pool bar, so if you want a Remy Martin, GM, Johnny Walker, Drambuie, etc...it was there.

We will go to another Beaches resort, no question.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank coladin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

My family and I just returned home from Beaches Boscobel. I had read all the reviews prior to going and had read many mixed reviews. Let me start by saying the service was wonderful, all the staff were friendly and made you feel welcome. This resort is no way near a 5 star resort like it advertises. It doesent really look like the pictures in the books or on the website. If you are a beach person this is not the resort for you. The beach is terrible. There is basically no beach. The pool and waterpark were good, although the water in the main pool was freezing, between 72-78 degrees. Even in the heat that was a bit too cold. They dont tell you when you book your all inclusive trip that things like the crafts are not free, they are extra and they are expensive. I was not happy with that as my kids really were looking forward to doing the crafts. I did not expect to be paying out money all the time for things that you were made to believe were free. The rooms were in need of major renovations, especially the bathrooms. Overall we did have a good time. I would not recommend this resort to family or friends. Not worth the money we spent. Expected much more from the Beaches name. In fact I am now very weary about going to a Beaches resort in the future. There are many more resorts that are 5 star for a fraction of the price and that are much nicer.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank reggieandwillie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2011

We have three kids, 6, 8 and 12yrs old. They LOVED this place, and there was nothing negative that they would say about this resort. They loved the kids club, entertainment, food, beach, and pools.

However if you have high expectations for a resort that you could be spending $8000-$10000 for a weeks vacation for a family of 4 or 5, then this may not be an ideal place for you.

We have visited 3 Sandals resorts so we were expecting fantastic food/drinks, and service.

The food was pretty good, but nothing exceptional. The Service was GREAT at all the restaurants, however for some reason at any of the bars you would walk up to, or swim up to, to order a drink... the staff was their BUT friendly. Most of the bar staff would "greet" you by looking at you, and nodding their head slightly, and after the drink was "plopped" in front of you, they turned their back without saying a word, to walk away, or speak with the next "valued" guest.

This was very frustrating.

Also frustrating was the lack of premium, or even sub premium alcohol. If you wanted rum, you were served "eldorado" brand from Guyana? They didn't serve any Jamaican rum at the resort. You couldn't order a bottle of Red Stripe beer, or any beer for that matter. They only served watered down beer on tap.

The mixed drinks were great, but again, it felt like you were bothering the bartender if you were to ask for one.

The kids loved the Waterpark, and X-box arcade, and the staff that dealt with the children were fantastic.

The drive to the resort from the airport made for a long day of travel, and we got stuck taking a bus that was VERY old, and stopped at multiple resorts. There is no Sandals or Beaches shuttle.

This is a resort with lots of fun entertainment, even at night, but be aware that it is very noisy as well.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank JAL0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2011

After reading some pretty negative comments in January 2011 I nearly demanded that my wife cancel the reservation she made after a special offer for booking. Beaches offered a refund, but encouraged us to come see for ourselves. We were completely satisfied with our stay at Beaches Boscobel. The service was exceptional and the staff went out of their way to make the week a wonderful experience. The meals were plentiful for all tastes and the Beach although small was adequate. We did an off resort trip to Dunn River Falls and had a great time. We travelled with a 6 and 7 yo and the Kids Camp was a great experience for them. My wife is very picky on who watches our kids, but the staff was wonderful and the kids pleated to go back once we took them. The slides were great and the inclusive alcohol, pool bar, and even mini bars in room were free flowing with all the beverages.
My wife and I enjoyed the Sailing on the Hobie Waves and even the gym was much better than the reviews portrayed. The vendors in the water on the Beach were there all day ,but not once begged me to come buy anything.
The Banana Tube rides were great and we did this everyday.
The entertainment at night was varied and tasteful. We were in bed at 8pm totally exhausted from the days activities and were early to rise to start another day in Paradise.
For all the naysayers - I hope they stay away so there will be more room for me next time.
Cheers to the Staff for a great experience!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wold2sail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

Property: Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club
Address: St. Ann, Boscobel, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Mary Parish > Boscobel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Boscobel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club 4*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Minutes away from the newly renovated Ian Fleming International Airport•Kids Camp with certified nannies to pamper the kids •Supervised Xbox® Play Lounge with flat screen plasma TV’s•Kids can enjoy fun and games with Elmo & friends in our Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure•Adults-only El Dorado bar located on a terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea •A state of the art “Liquid by Beaches” Disco •Pirates Island Water Park offering eleven slides for all ages•Voted Beaches Resorts ‘World’s Leading Family All-Inclusive’ 14 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club Hotel Boscobel
Beaches Boscobel Resort And Golf Club
Beaches Boscobel Hotel
Beaches Boscobel Ocho Rios
Beaches Ocho Rios

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