I will start with Air Jamaica ... I read all the bad reviews about delays and bumping. Thankfully we had absolutely no problems. The only thing I can say is that they are slow in service and it's true that if you have to use the restroom you will either still have your tray in front of you and so will everyone else, so good luck getting out, and the stewardesses carts are usually always in the aisle because they move rather slowly. I didn't find them obnoxious, but didn't find them friendly either.
The bus ride from Montego Bay Airport to the resort - 2.5 hours and don't let anyone tell you differently. There is no way that the roads will be completed anytime soon. It is a little bumpy, but the bus was air conditioned and the seats were comfortable (they even reclined). The views were awesome and getting to see the towns on the way was worthwhile. We stopped halfway through to use the restroom and get something to eat and drink. The local people there were friendly, not too pushy. But in any poorer town you need to watch for the opportunists, they are everywhere. Don't feel all safe because people tell you how great the Jamaicans are. We had a few nice local jamaicans try to run our bus off the road. The Jamaican's who work at the resorts are usually very friendly and helpful (of course). Otherwise they wouldn't be working there and they would be running your bus off the road. The bus ride was okay. I didn't mind at all and neither did the kids. They found it all very exciting.
Arriving at the resort was finally a relief. We were unknowingly upgraded from a family suite to an oceanfront room. Very cool. Don't know why or care why. The room was very clean, the fridge stocked and our luggage was brought right to our room from the bus. I want to comment on the housekeepers at Boscobel. We had Fiona and she was just perfect. She cleaned the room everyday we were there and when we came back to the room it was as if we just arrived everytime. Bath towels and room linens were in adundance and when we requested extra pillows and a blanket they brought it right over. The air conditioning in the room was great, we actually had to keep it on low since it worked so well.
The pools: Extremely clean. Let me comment about 'getting your seats early'. I know that a lot of people say to get to the pools or the beach early to secure a chair. Although there were usually no problems finding a chair or lounge on the beach, the pool chairs filled up fast. Let me tell you why. When people go to the pools they will tend to move around a lot. There are three pools not to mention the bars and places to eat. There is entertainment all over the place. So people will come to the pool early and throw their own towel over 4 or 5 chairs (sometimes as early as 7am) Some of these people probably go back to their room to sleep, go to breakfast, swim a little and it's noon before they ever get back to that chair they left their towels on at 7am. Now, I am from New York and in New York putting towels on 5 chairs, disappearing for 5 or 6 hours and coming back expecting your chairs to be empty just wouldn't happen. Am I rude to refuse to pack up my things and move from a chair which I had been laying on for the past 5 hours because some guy comes back at noon and tells me he put his towel there at 7am that morning? I think not. I think it's rude for people to think it's okay for these chairs to remain empty in case they feel like occupying them sometime in the day by placing a towel there earlier. I say first come, first serve. Unless of course there are things on the chair that plainly show that the occupants are swimming and using the chairs at that time. People wouldn't leave the pool area with their bags still on the chairs. A towel they don't care too much if it gets taken. But the chair thing can be annoying.
Anyway, the pool is great. Towels weren't a problem except by the kids slide pool. Never seemed to be any towels there, but there are towel racks all over. Finding clean, ry towels really wasn't a problem. There are two slides that kept my boys busy for hours. They were so tired from the slides in the pool that they were ready for bed by 6pm. Which isn't such a good thing since the restaurants for dinner don't start until 6:30pm. A bit on the later side for families with little kids who get hungry by 5. But then again, lunch runs late so you could work out the times of the meals by eating lunch a little later. The food was all OK. Eleanor's is very good, not a large selection though. The Venetian was okay. The food was okay but the service was SLOW and the servers not too friendly in that particular restaurant. Arizona's was very good, they had steaks and seafood and chicken with a great buffet center you can eat at while waiting for your food. The service was good but also not too fast. The Bayside was the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast food was okay, the variety was huge! The food was always fresh and hot. The salad and fruit bars were fresh and clean. The lunch buffet was also huge, food okay. And dinner was different each night for the most part. Desserts galore! A little on the bland side, but very pretty and something to please everyone. For all restaurants - get there early! There will be a line, so 1/2 hour before opening will get you seated in the first 15 minutes after opening.
BBQ Park - right by the pools. Opens at 11:30. Food the same everyday. Mostly fried if you like that. I wasn't crazy about this place, but they did have hot dogs and fries for the kids. There is also a self serve ice cream bar right there with a soda machine and popcorn machine so you can help yourself all day long. That was a big hit with my kids and I personally liked the ice cream, it was like vanilla and chocolate ice milk more than ice cream.
The bars - LOVE those bars. The bartenders were all so friendly! They made great drinks, whatever you wanted. We tried new things and taught them a few tricks as well. Favorties were the Pina Coladas and The Miami Vice's. Great service!! When ordering a frozen drink be sure to ask them to use the blender (especially when making pina coladas) because sometimes they will just put rum in the glass and add the frozen pina colada drink from the automatic fountain. Then you are left trying to swirl the rum through the frozen drink and in the process you will melt your drink. Very important - use the blender mon!
Elevators - too few, too small, too slow and too HOT! Beaches needs to improve the elevators over there for sure!
Concierge - okay since we were 'concierge' we were invited on our last night to a Concierge Cocktail party at Appleton's bar. One word: LAME. There were drinks (duh) and some jerk shrimp and fruit and cheese. They did some rounds of BINGO where you win bottles of Appleton's Rum (the same bottles you can have delivered to your room at no charge when you are in concierge) and 10% off their spa services. So basically if you won you got nothing but the opportunity to use their discount spa services, which will cost you a pretty penny if you do, with or without a 10% discount. Waste of time, don't go if you are invited.
Beaches Boscobel Employees - Kudos to them! I have to say that they were extremely nice and helpful in every way they could be. They were also all over the place. Never would you be anywhere that you couldn't find a Beaches employee. I know that in Jamaica working at one of these resorts is very desirable, some of them take a bus 3 hours there and back every day! The gal who does the braids by the pool told me that she is 2.5 hours away! And she comes in everyday to run the braid tent. Imagine that! The people there were just wonderful.
Laundry - Just don't do it. There are three laundry rooms, each with one washer and dryer. It is $3 per wash and $3 per dry. Tokens need to be purchased at the front check in desk. The laundry rooms are difficult to find and when you do find it, chances are the machines will be broken. The room is like a sauna and there is nowhere to sit and wait for the laundry to wash, so you leave and come back. It is a big pain in the neck. Just bring enough clothes with you and remember that Jamaica is damp, and so will your clothes always be. The AC in our room was really good, so things dried out pretty well before we had to pack to go home.
Kids activities - LOTS of them. Always something going on. Sesame Street Characters came around quite a bit. There were parades and stage shows with them. Bake with Cookie Monster, arts and crafts, parties for the kids etc. The nightly entertainment was quite nice. There were reggae bands, family night, karoake, contests, bingo, dancing, etc. And the bar was usually hopping at night. Only thing though - the stage is right in front of the pool and at night you can't sometimes realize the pool is right there. Found it strange that since the pool is open at night there was absolutely no pool lighting at night. They should put lights in the pool to light it up at night. Not only would it look real pretty, it would be a lot safer for people walking and dancing around there at night (especially after sitting at the bar for awhile!)
Check out was easy. Beaches set up for the return to the airport bus ride and our luggage was picked up from our room and loaded onto the bus for us. The bus drivers then transported our luggage into the airport, they also practically begged for tips. Wasted a good 20 minutes of our time pretending they could possibly get us to the head of the airport check in line. Just get on line when you get to the airport. Nobody is going to get you to the front of the line. LOL.
Going home Air Jamaica was on time and the flight was fine. I would probably fly Air Jamaica again if I needed to. Overall we had a great trip and would do it again. Probably not the same resort only because we would rather see something different in the future. I would recommend Beaches Boscobel.
- 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