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“Maybe some people can't be pleased?”

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Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Boscobel
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Maybe some people can't be pleased?”
Reviewed April 18, 2004

This was our second trip to Jamaica, but this time we brought the kids.(April 2004). I read these reviews after our return and I just don't understand some of the negative reviews. I think if you take all reviews and look at the percentage of the negatives it will tell you something. I'm not saying that some of these people didn't encounter some problems with their vacation, but I think you have to take things differently in Jamaica. For starters, I think some people should leave their "better than you" attitude at the airport in the U.S. I think for the most part we are used to the hustle and bustle of our lifestyle and we should remember that we are the guests of these people, and didn't we chose to vacation to escape all that? One word to keep in mind, "PATIENCE!" I think overall, our stay at Beaches Boscobel was fantastic! Granted there could be some improvements in areas, but I think that is with any business! I'll just highlight on some of them.
If any of these things will truly piss you off, I would suggest another country to vacation in or perhaps another hotel. Our room lighting was not the best, pretty dark. Pool lounge chairs were reserved most of the time. Sometimes you had to wait a bit at the pool bar for a drink.
Sometimes you had to wait for place setting to arrive at your table at the buffet. Scuba and snorkeling book up pretty fast. Rooms were not made up until the afternoons most of the time. Now I will tell you how to adjust to some of these "minor" problems. Get up earlier to reserve a pool chair, the other bar is just across the pool next to the stage and is no where as busy, establish a rapport with your bartender and be friendly and always say "thank you" including their name. Your service at the bar tends to get better the longer you have been there due to their recognition of you. Lastly, be down at the watersports area about 15 minutes before they open. As long as your room is made up before you go back to bed, is this really an issue? After all you should be outside most of the day anyway. Right? Aside from those minor problems this place was great. I, as well as my wife and children had a blast!
Most of the hotel employees were top notch, and were a pleasure to be around. Ralston and Delroy at the pool bar, Garfield at the front desk, and Patricia at Arts and Crafts, and Marvin at the Arizona restaurant are just but a few to mention!!! The food at the buffet was a nice variety during lunch and dinner and of good quality. Breakfast at the buffet was pretty good, but got a little old after 7 days, but I'm not a huge breakfast fan and really, how many different things can you have for breakfast? Peter, the man making the omelettes was super though! We would definately return to this resort as we had a very memorable vacation and can you really put a price on the kids fond memories of their vacation in Jamaica Mon? I hope this helps someone to decide to go to this resort.

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2004

Visited 4/11 - 4/17 2004 with family of 5 including kids: 11, 8 and 14 months. Skipped the bus ride from Montego Bay after reading reviews and opted for 25 min Airlink flight which we booked for $630 (baby was free). The flight would have been worth the money for the entertainment value alone. Kids sat up front and we got a scenic view of the Jamaican coast. Other guests later confirmed for us the horror of the 2 hour bus ride.

The resort is absolutely huge (22 acres) so plan to walk, a lot. If you have a baby definitely bring a lightweight stroller, even though the ramp access to different areas is spotty, you'll need it. Grounds were beautiful, great vistas galore, lots of places to hide out.

We stayed in an Oceanfront Terrace Suite, also known as Lanai. This was a small upgrade that I highly recommend as these (along with Beachfront) are the only rooms anywhere near the water. Beautiful view, nice semi-private patio with full sun all day. We spent many afternoons sunning and drinking Daquiris (virgin or not) on the patio while the baby napped. Inside room was adequate, clean and sufficient for our needs. The other main advantage to this room is that it is concierge level which entitles you to use of 2 robes (nice) and more importantly a fully stocked liquer bar and mini fridge stocked with whatever you ask for. (Juice, milk for the baby, etc...) This is key because the walk to a bar can be a bit long and you might have to wait a while for a drink depending on the time of day. There are 2 floors of Oceanview Terrace Suites definitely ask for 3rd floor as the view is less restricted (by Palms etc..) and there is less guest traffic.

Resort was full the whole time so we expected a bit of competition for the good watersports, restaurants, bars etc... This is where we learned some things by the end of our trip that I think would come in handy.

Restaurants can be tough to get into at peak dinner hours 7-8:30 except Bayside Buffet which you could basically sit down and eat at any time.
I recommend that you eat early, at first seating (6 or 6:30 depending on restaurant and day) if possible as the selection is better, food is fresher etc... If you want to eat at the Venetian they have a sign up list and the line starts about 1/2 hour before they open so send someone down to sign up and they give you an approximate time to eat...otherwise you could wait an hour or more. The food in general was good, sometimes great..never really bad.

Pool bar is usually packed and you might wait a while for a drink...which you should do at least once as Rawlston the bartender here makes the best drinks on the resort. Ask him for a "Rawlston Top Gun" if you like Rum drinks. If you're impatient than I recommend visiting the Main Bar which is just adjecent to the pool for qucker service.

Kids (and adults) can serve themselves during the day to all you can stand pop, ice cream cones, popcord, virgin daquiris and pena coladas next to the Barbecue park which served very good food. Excellent French Fries. Video game center was very good, kids pool was fun. They also have Billiards and Ping Pong tables.

Watersports were great but there are some things to know about them.
First, book your snorkel, glass bottom boat or fishing trips as soon as you arrive at the resort as they fill up quickly. Also, it would be smart to plan your off property excursions for the first couple of days of your stay since the good watersports will most likely be booked. If you want to scuba you have to show up at the watersports desk at 8:00am and wait until they open at 8:30 as they only allow scuba signup one day in advance. I was really dissapointed with this aspect of the all-inclusive because space was really limited. If you want to snorkel etc..also book yourself for more than one day of this because sometimes if the sea kicks up they cancel everything for the day. Kayaks, Sailing, Water Trikes were pretty much available on demand. Bananna Boat was spotty...but fun if you could get on one. If you want clean beach towels get them at the pool first thing in the morning as people horde them and throw all over chairs to try to reserve them. Also, don't be afraid to move somebodys crappy book or t-shirt to grab a chair...half the time someone has had that stuff sitting there for days. I rented a Jetski from the local next to the property which was fun but couldn't go very far. His rate is $50 for 1/2 hour, not really negotiable although I managed to convince him to give me 10 more minutes for $10.

We did the Dunns Falls and White River Tubing expeditions and both were really fun and highly recommended as they are both really great and helped break up the monotony of the resort. The jerk is much better off property than on (not sure why???) I heard from some guests that the Beach Horseback ride was really great too.

This was our first all inclusive so we learned some things about them on this trip (some good, some bad). Be prepared to compete for resources with other guests (towels, chairs, drinks, etc...) Until you learn some of the tricks you might miss out. Also, a discreet handshake tip will be excepted gratefully by most of the workers at the resort (particularly bartenders) and will definitely get you better service even though this is strictly against the resorts policy.

Overall, I'd say this place is 7 out of 10.

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4 Thank h2ocop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 15, 2004

Sorry this is soooo overdue!

We went to Beaches in April of 2003, when my kids were 2 1/2 and 10 months. The baby slept most of the morning comfortably in the Babysitting room and fell in love with every staff person there. This was a child who, prior to this trip was terrified of anyone not an immediate family member, including her own grandparents!!!!

Robert, our favorite funpal, was smitten with our little girl and took her off our hands often, dancing with her and playing with her while her daddy and I played pool volleyball and enjoyed an afternoon drink.
He even taught her how to dance (so well, she won the Island Princess title!!!). Our son was thrilled to spend his mornings at the PlayCenter with Dorothea and Cleopatro, enjoying eating to his heart's content of french fries one day when they took him to lunch at the BBQ pit. He played in the sand, made wonderful artwork for us and enjoyed meeting other kids his age.

We took advantage of the Nanny service on 2 nights so we could have a quiet meal and both children were safely tucked in bed by the time we returned, happy and content. I've always been leary of leaving the kids with anyone other than family members, but here, it wasn't even a concern. Everyone was totally friendly, helpful, warm, inviting, accomodating, and great with our kids.

When my hubby twisted his ankle on our 2nd day there (BUMMER!) they couldnt' have been more concerned and often helped him around if needed, which he really didn't!

The beach is small, but has plenty of shade and was great for swimming and fun.

The SCUBA staff was exceptionally accomodating - Zia was not only a great teacher, but very helpful in many ways...

The food was plentiful, good and fresh. The italian restaurant was our favorite and the staff was always warm and friendly. Do try the restaurant overlooking the ocean for a great al fresco meal!

Our only snafu was in the room accomodation we were first given - we had booked the rooms with the separate (by a step) bedroom with pullout bed, but didn't get that at first. They were very helpful and within 1 hour ("go, unpack your swimsuits, relax and enjoy, we'll take care of it!!") we had a great room!

If we didn't always like to go new places and try new things, we would go back to Beaches Boscobel again and again and again! We'll definitely do another Beaches resort the next family vacation we take.

  • Stayed April 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 8, 2004

April 2 - April 8th! We just returned from one of the best vacations ever! It really was a great experience for our family - My husband, myself and 3 girls, 5, 8 and 12. The resort is beautiful and the kids' activities plentiful. We met very nice people and the food was the best we've ever had on many travels throughout the islands! The Jamaican people are lovely. The bus ride to the resort is long, but you forget about it once you get there. Try to get Air Jamaica Express for your return trip. I think it was about $63 a ticket for adults and $33 for the kids. It is a 20 minute flight to Montego Bay. The most important thing is to remember not to be in a hurry Mon! As I am typing this, my girls are watching the trip video and keep asking if we can go next year for spring break. We would definitly go back!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 7, 2004

Spent 8 nights from March 14-22 w/ wife and two children (girl 7 & boy 10). I've been to the Carribean dozens of times, Hawaii, Mexico, and Fiji. This is my fourth all-inclusive.Overall we were very pleased, mainly because the children had so much to do. The acivities are endless, though their reviews of the kids camp were less than enthusiastic, however my children are very independant and may have not liked a structured scene. I must say that I had visited this hotel a staggering 32 years ago when it was the Playboy Club and so we were not surprised when my wife, who has asthema, needed to change rooms due to an overpowering musty smell. Still, the staff was more than gracious and did all they could to help us.THE NEGATIVES - Very small beach, tiny swimming area, but worse is that the reef is not yet protected (as is Montego Bay and Negril), and is fished daily and so snorkeling, glass bottom boats and Scuba dives are basically worthless. The reef has almost no fish at all, and what we did see were very small. The coral is more dead than alive. What a shame! Since, undersea activities are important to me and my family, I would not return to Ocho Rios.
However, if it isn't that important, nor is a long beach, then Boscobel is right for you. I didn't feel that the teenagers were having as good a time as the younger ones. Also, be prepared for the evening entertainment which uses a PA system that is audible from throughout the hotel (with the exception of the beach level units). At first, we worried over having to take the elevator down four floors to the beach from the main part of the hotel (including the pools), however, this help segragate people and thus nothing ever seemed that crowded. But BRING WALKIE TALKIES! It helped us a lot to keep track of where the kids were. THE POSITIVES - we found the majority of the staff very helpful and friendly. I have a few minor complaints abouit the water sports guys, but nothing major. The food was on the whole very good - the best being at the VENETIAN ITALIAN RESTAURANT. But like all all-inclusive, starts to get a bit repetitive after a week. If you are a golf nut, this is not for you. Yes they have golf, and yes it was fun, but it is not totally free. Figure about $30 US per person for the caddie (includes tip), a twenty minute bus ride to get there and an okay, but not great course. The weather was great, even though it rained somethimes at night...

If you have any specific questions, I would be more than happy to assist you as best I can. Just email me.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, KY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2004

My husband and 2 teenage boys just returned from Beaches Boscobel. We had a great time, but were a little disappointed in a few things. It is a long ride from the airport to the resort. We had to ride in a small very uncomfortable van. I suggest that you make sure you get to ride in a bigger van/bus that is more comfortable. It is great to see the countryside and learn more about the area that you wouldn't get to see otherwise. Upon arrival everyone was really nice and it didn't take too long to get to our room. We were disappointed in our room, but didn't spend much time there anyway. It was a little small and not very well maintained. The activities were great!! We had a great time playing pool volleyball, pool olympics, and doing aquasize. The "Pool Pals" were all fun and had great attitudes. My oldest got involved with the teen activities and really enjoyed those. There is plenty of variety.
If you want to get a chair with an umbrella or even a chair at all by the pool you will need to rise early (6:30am) and place more than a towel on your chair. We had ours moved a couple of time. The restaurants are good, but do get alittle boring after a few days. The intertainment was good, but better some nights than others. If you need any medication, like tylenol or imodium (recommended) you will need to take your own. It is very expensive in the gift shop. Overall, we had a great time and will consider returning there again. Don't worry it is not as bad and some of the reviews have made it out to be.

Helpful?
3 Thank pkharmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 5, 2004

My husband, two teenagers and I just returned from Beaches Boscobel and are going through withdrawls! The food was excellent, the people were very nice, and the weather was fabulous. Upon reading the reviews, we were expecting to be disappointed. I don't know what these people are talking about!! The only rude people we ran into were the tourists. If you're a beach lover, this isn't the place for you. My family spent every day the pool and were happy as larks. One tip: if you do any off resort trips, try and book them yourself. We did the dolphin cove thing through the hotel. When we got there, another couple that was staying at a condo bought their admission for $100 less! Thats a big deal. Be kind to the people that work there, treat them with respect, and they will bend over backwards to make your stay wonderful. Also, if you get a room near the adult disco on the first floor, immediatley ask for another room. We had to trade rooms because we could hear the DJ until 2:00 a.m. . That was not fun.

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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 And Golf Club
Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club Hotel Boscobel
Beaches Boscobel Hotel
Beaches Boscobel Ocho Rios
Beaches Ocho Rios

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