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Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club
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Reviewed March 20, 2006

First things first - thanks to Trip advisor for tipping us to Tim Air. A well worth adventure for about $85pp each way we spent 20-30 minutes traveling to our hotel vs. 3 hours on a windy bumpy road!!

What to watch out for -

1) we booked two adjoining (which to us meant connecting) rooms. When we got there we found while our rooms were side by side there was no conncection within the rooms. Apparently the hotel thought we would leave our small children ages 2 and 6 in a room next door to ours with a simple sliding glass door lock for escape? Our travel agent knows our needs and confirmed that we had connecting rooms with the hotel - yet the manager on site told us that they NEVER confirm connecting or even adjoining rooms. And they call themselves a "family" resort - how can that be? Ultimately we spent 1-2 hours waiting to see if they could correct the problem, the first night in one of the two rooms and then had to spend half the second day moving to two connecting rooms. Thanks so much to Caren the manager as she made it happen much sooner than she thought.

2) You may want to bring snack foods - don't get me wrong the food was excellent and readily available, but how much popcorn and fruit can you eat in the afternoon? Or hamburgers and hotdogs as an evening snack?? The gift shop has a very limitted selection of snack foods so bring things you know you and your kids will enjoy.

3) Don't worry about bringing a stroller - there are so many stairs that it is all but impossible to go from one area to another without climbing a few. I found that it was much easier to leave my stroller in the room and carry my 2 year old. Again very nice and well kept grounds, but the stairs are extensive and do need to be better lit at night.

4) The evening entertainment is loud and as far as I can tell WILL be enjoyed by everyone no matter where you are - this seems to go on until 11pm most evenings. Bring headphones and/or your own in room entertainment (i.e. DVD and Player) if you want a quieter evening.

5) If you aren't PADI certified and plan on scuba diving, plan to pay for the resort certification and each dive - this was a bit of a surprise for us as the web site doesn't allude to cost per dive over and above the course.


6) The cost of a private taxi for your own excursion - it appears a bit of extortion as a 20 minute ride to Ocho Rios' cost $40 each way. If you want to guarantee the same drive to return you get ready to pay a bit less, but the drivers may or may not be there at the designated time.

What to enjoy -

1) The food was the best we've had at an all inclusive! And while room service isn't available, you can call and order from the restaurants and then go pick it up yourselves. Works out well if you have a tired or sick child. I highly recommend the Italian restaurant - the best food we had, although the manager is a rude and obnoxious host when it's busy.

2) Kids Kamp - my 6 year old couldn't get enough. My 2 year old would rather spend time with MOm and Dad in the water, however as the kids kamp takes the kids to the pools/beach she was quite content as soon as we were out of site.

3) If you go off site for a day and want a great restaurant in Ocho Rios try The Ruins - fantastic!!! Near Dunns River and the Dolphone cove (which was wonderful for my 6 year old and her dad). The Ruins is built surounding a fairly large waterfall serves fabulous Chinese food.

4) The Sesame Street breakfast - my 2 year old was totally astonished and truly enthralled with the characters. Get there early though as the characgters arrive right at 8:30 and if you want a front seat and breakfast, better to arrive before 8:30.

5)A wide selection of water sports - however in prime time, it is highly recommended that you sign up for the snorkeling/glass bottom boat early as that is a big hit.

6) The two slides - although watch out for the straight one - it's quite the ride.

All in all we had a wonderful vacation. The employees were very nice, the Kids Kamp was well organized with lots of variety and very capable with children of all ages, the food was fabulous and plentiful, and the resort is well kept. Our biggest disappointment was that we were not accomidated with the rooms that we booked - and considering that the cost of all 4 of us in 2 rooms was at least double of what it would have been if we had squeezed into 1 room it seemed as if we had paid for something that they weren't able to deliver at first. They did rectify the situation and all was well, but it does steal that 1st impression and the first full day of relaxation.

13  Thank caledonryans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2006

We recently took an 11 day trip to Beaches Boscobel. This was our third year in a row to this resort. We ran in to a couple who told us about this site and how they were glad that they didn't listen to some of the recent negative feedback. When we got home we were astonished to read some of the feed back posted.

I would like to tell you about our experiences at Beaches Boscobel.

FOOD: There is plenty of it...and many choices. If you are looking for picture perfect plate arrangements, this is not the place for you. If you are looking for good solid cuisine and something for everyone to enjoy you have found the spot!

POOL: The water is clear and free of floating objects except for the actual pool floats and the people. The pool staff are constantly cleaning in and around the pool are and the patio is powerwashed daily.

BEACH: I have seen the complaints that the beach is small; It is not 7 mile beach in Negril, however there is room enough for everyone to enjoy. Seaweed is a part of the marine and ocean life but it is raked accordingly to keep the beach beautiful. The roped off swimming area might be small, but I believe this to be a safety measure for the children, as I saw plenty of adults swimming outside the roped off area. There are local vendors in the water and on one side of the dock, they are friendly and respectful allowing you to browse and not always buy.

ENTERTAINMENT: If you are fortunate enough to go to Beaches Boscobel you will encounter "funpals". They are part of the entertainment staff that run the daily and nightly activities. They are great with kids and they are there to make your vacation FUN!!!!!

CONCEIRGE: If you have a room with concierge service you will not be let down. The entire concierge staff will make you feel like you are the President Of The United States. They will bend over backwards to fulfill your every request (with in reason).

KIDS CAMP: My now 7 year old daughter has been going to Beaches Boscobel Kids Camp since she was 4 years old. The staff at the camp has not changed over the past 3 years. As a parent this is comforting, as she recognizes (as they do her)everyone when we go back. They are very attentive to your child and your child's needs including applying extra suntan lotion and safety during daily activities is always enforced. I have NEVER seen any child mistreated or neglected.

If you are looking for a solid vacation at a reasonable price, filled with fun, great service, good food, a happy staff and some of the nicest people we have ever met give Beaches Boscobel a try.

If you have any questions feel free to email us at jberlin@optonline.net

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
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21  Thank SHBtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
boston
117
Reviewed March 10, 2006

I just got back From Beaches Boscobel in Ocho Rios Jamaica. I went with my 2 best friends... We had the best time... The resort & the staff we the best. There is plenty to do for families with kids or just a few friends hanging out.. The Italian Restaurant was so nice & Eleanor for the adults (16&over) was awesome. No hidden extra charges to eat at any of the Specialty restaurants.. If you have kids you & your kids would love place.
The only bad thing I can say about this place ,other than having to leave ,Was the 2+hr bus ride..Not that it was a bad ride just long... If you do not mind spending an extra $97 a person ,you can take a small plane from the airport in mbj to ocho rios.. It is about a 20-25 min flight...

17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Memphis, TN.
120
Reviewed March 9, 2006

Just got back from Beaches Boscobel. (2/25/06-3/4/06 My family had a great time. We have two kids ages 9 and 5 and they did not want to leave. If you dont want to be around kids, dont go to this resort.The kids had a ball at the kids camp and nightly shows, and the employees went above the call of duty with the kids. Yes the resort definately wouldnt be considered a 5 star resort in the states, keep in mind this is Jamaica. Yes there are cats around the resort, but they did not bother anyone that I saw. We were upgraded to an ocean front terrace without even asking. The staff took our orders for the mini bar and kept it stocked. The beach is small but Im not a beach walker anyway. The food was pretty good at the restaraunts we tried. Friday night was lobster night at the buffet and the lobster were pretty tasty. Many of the employees knew my family by name after a couple of days and they couldnt have been friendlier. The only real complaint I had was the ride from the airport. It took us three hours to arrive, but only two hours on the return trip. I would advise anyone not to take a short vacation to this resort due to the travel time involved. All in all we were pleased with the vacation and would consider returning.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2006

We decided to try an all inclusive resort to ensure a totally stress free vacation. We also liked the idea of having golf and scuba as part of the resort price.

As avid vacation travelers we had high expectations based on the Beaches reputation, and feedback from friends and family on others Sandals resorts. But Beaches Boscobel didn’t live up to our expectations for a average hotel, let alone a high end resort. We have never felt that we got so little for our vacation dollar. Our vacation was anything but stress free. Golf and scuba weren’t up to their billing either.

Realizing early on that the vacation wasn’t up to our expectations we met with the Hotel Manager, Mr. Christ on Monday. He was polite and listened to our complaints and promised to get back to us the next day. By Wednesday we still hadn’t heard from Mr. Christ so we went back to the office. He wasn’t in so we talked to the manager on duty Mr. Seymour and told him we still expected to hear from Mr. Christ and mentioned some additional concerns. We never heard from Mr. Christ again during our stay.

Below is a list of complaints by category. The first category, False advertising, is self explanatory. The next three categories; Stress, Golf and Scuba directly relate to our expectations for this vacation and how Beaches Boscobel failed.

•False Advertising
o The brochure on page 54 & 55 shows a picture that implies the resort is on a long sandy beach. Those same pages contain the phrase “the pleasures of paradise are as endless as its pristine beach”. The beach is far from endless, in fact it measure exactly 104 paces. It is also far from pristine; this tiny beach is overused littered with seaweed. The water is filled with seaweed. The west side of the resort is bordered by cliffs, not the sandy beach of the brochure picture. The east side has a small beach that is filled with hawker’s shacks.
o A few weeks before our departure we decided to “upgrade” to an oceanfront terrace suite. After we get there we found the “upgraded” room was smaller than the premium family room, nothing more than a standard hotel room. Far from Webster’s definition of a “series of connecting rooms used as a living unit”.
oThe full name of the resort is “Beaches Boscobel Resort and Golf Club”. With golf in the name of the resort I assumed the course would be nearby, accessible and convenient. It was none of these. In fact it was so disappointing I gave golf it’s own section.
o Page 56 mentions a “private hidden pool” that doesn’t exist.
o Page 56 also talks about “an incredible private golf and country club”. The club was not private, in fact there are many billboards advertising it as open to the public.
o Page 12 refers to pizza bars and a nightclub for teens. There was no pizza bar and the teen room was disgusting and never had any events, after we mentioned it to management the room was closed for renovation.
o Page 21 highlights “unlimited scuba”. It also states that “everyone can dive twice daily”. The limits to scuba are numerous:
- There is no diving on Sunday.
- Divers who take the resort course can only dive once a day.
- They only take 15 divers at the 9:00 dive and 8 divers for the 11:00 dive.
- The 11:00 dive is primarily a training dive for the resort course students, it barely counts as a dive for certified divers.
o Page 21 also talks about a “different dive site each day. I went to the same dive site twice. When I asked about better dive sites I was told you had to purchase a private dive to get there.
o Page 5 mentions “Unlimited Premium Brand Drinks” but you had to pay extra for any wine that is even drinkable.
o All these page numbers refer to brochure #BCH4047 dated 04/05.

•Stress

o Scheduling golf and scuba was a major hassle. The water sports schedule is not compatible with the golf bus schedule (see below).
o One of the members of our party saw human feces in the main hot tub. When the staff were informed of this they closed the pool for an hour and added chemicals. We would expect the tub to be drained and refilled after such an incident. When we informed Mr. Christ of this, he nodded in agreement. We didn’t feel the hot tub was suitable for use the rest of the trip therefore we stayed out of it.
o One night we didn’t have hot water for our showers.
o Air conditioning in the room was inadequate at times, the air conditioner also leaked condensation on the floor, leaving a semi-permanent puddle.
o We have been on several cruises. These have always had great kids programs, and we expected the same or more from a family resort. The teen program was so poor that most events were cancelled for lack of participation. This meant that kids had to be supervised by there parents, or left unsupervised.
o Concierge service couldn’t book the most important events for us. Part of the reason for upgrading was so we wouldn’t have to wait in lines. I had to be in line 45 minutes before water sports opened to ensure a spot on the dive boat.
o No dive lockers at water sports. This meant that I had to haul my wet dive gear back and forth to our room.
o My family and I were accosted by peddlers hawking their wares from the water and the dock all day long.
o On nice days it was difficult to find chair on the beach because people reserved them with books, towels and other personal items, then rarely sat in them.
o Page 87 says all tipping is strictly prohibited, but it was soon obvious the tipping happens and is expected.
o Food was usually served lukewarm or cold.
o The disco is a tiny dingy room full of teenagers despite the “adults only” sign by the door. One can only assume they were allowed to hang out here because the teen disco was closed.
o The piano bar smells musty, and was always empty. We never saw a piano player in the piano bar all week.
o Nightlife was essentially limited to the overly loud 2nd rate acts on the main stage.
o The surface of the pool bar was covered with a thick coat of mildew in the grout. No effort was made to clean this surface all week.
o Daytime entertainment was inappropriate for children; the MC thrusting his hips and stating “this is why Jamaica is over populated”, advice on how to taunt fat people and songs with obscene lyrics. We are not prudish people by any stretch of the imagination, but the work [...] has no place in a family resort.
o Expressing these concerns to senior management and never hearing back from them was particularly exasperating.

•Golf
o With golf as part of the name of the resort we expected the course to be close, convenient and of high quality. It was none of these.
o The course was a 30 minute bus ride away, and the buses only ran at 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12.
o We needed to be at water sports at 8:30 to sign up for scuba the next day, having only glanced at the bus schedule we assumed it ran every hour. The bellmen watched us waiting for over 15 minutes before we asked about the bus. Were told there was no 9:00 bus, and were offered a $30 cab ride which we accepted.
o We asked Mr. Christ to remove the $30 charge from our room. He said he would, but never did.
o The water sports schedule needs to be compatible with the golf bus.
o The course condition was terrible especially the greens
o There were billboards on the road advertising the “private” course to the public.
o We had to pay for beer and water on the course that was part of our “all inclusive” resort vacation.
o The 2:30 bus never picked us up as scheduled. We had to call the resort to arrange a pickup. We didn’t get back to the resort until after 4:00.
o What should have been an easy 4 ½ hour round of golf kept us away from our families for over 9 hours.

•Scuba
o Scuba is far from unlimited (see above)
o The scheduling is incompatible with the golf schedule (see above)
o The best sites are reserved for “Private dives”.
o The regulators are not in acceptable condition.
- Some had evidence of salt water in the 1st stage.
- Most of the hoses had cracks on the outer covering. While this in and of itself does not indicate imminent failure, it exposes the core to sea water. If it were my gear the hoses would be replaced.
- The seats were so beat up that some couldn’t make a leak free seal with the tank.
o Some of the tank valves leaked, again indicating poor maintenance.
o The tanks were improperly filled from 2800 to 3500 PSI.
- 3000 PSI is standard
- 2800 PSI will give the diver a shortened dive
- 3500 PSI is overfilled, and can lead to damage and catastrophic failure
- At least 1 tank only had 1500 PSI this could create an out of air situation for an inattentive diver.
o The dive staff didn’t use a sign in/out system which could lead to divers left in the water
o The dive staff didn’t enforce dive buddies, another breach of basic scuba safety protocol

We are tolerant people, not chronic complainers. We understand that running a large resort is a complex business, and things go wrong. We made a good faith effort to resolve our issues by discussing them with management in a calm manner. Mr. Christ didn’t even bother getting back to us, nor did he try to do anything to resolve our valid concerns.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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35  Thank Kathy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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