We stayed March 5-March 12, 2011.
I can't disagree with many of the reviews we read before we booked here.
We've never been to Jamaica together before and with all the rave reviews this resort got (and the fact that "The Suites" booked up after we decided to go there) we "splurged" and stayed a week here.
We like great beaches and "March Break" did play into our decision to go to an "adults only" resort in MoBay rather than Negril, due to the likelihood that students might be all over Negril Beach. This beach was not "white powder," but it was clean, soft and easy to walk in with bare feet in the local 28C sun.
The "adults only" nature of "The Grand" was clearly palpable. It was a nice, quiet getaway for us. Average age was 50's and older.
Ocean was crystal-clear and incredibly calm; probably the best oceanfront we've experienced (read my other reviews) An "Eagle Ray" made regular trips up and down the coastline everyday around 4pm, only 6ft out from the beach. I stuck my W/P camera in the water at my feet and got a video of the Ray feeding on the bottom in only 2-3ft of water. The rock-reefs along the shore of the 3 Iberostar resorts were TEAMING with "Lion Fish" and the occasional Puffer Fish and Skate; very easy to see and photograph.
No need for a snorkelling excursion at this resort.
In fact, even though we talked about taking advantage of the "inclusive" golf games, the only "excursion" we did do was to visit the local market very close-by, using the free shuttle service.
The service at "The Grand" beach was the best we've ever experienced. We used this trip as a getaway and we loved eating, drinking, sunning and relaxing at this resort VERY MUCH!
Food was great, wine was the best we've ever had at an all inclusive (that's not necessarily a compliment) and the the beach buffets were AWESOME! Due to all the negative reviews and feedback we got from fellow guests we met, we stayed away from the Italian restaurant. We enjoyed meals at the Gourmet, S&Turf and Japanese restaurants (we booked as soon as we walked into the lobby off the bus), but the buffet was so easy to use and satisfied us, that we agreed we could have enjoyed ourselves just as much if we hadn't eaten at any a la cartes.
I ate Lobster for lunch and supper every day we were there, so I was in heaven. Once I got a Lobster from the beach BBQ that was the consistency of mashed potatoes, but that didn't phase me as there were plenty more to choose from. The burgers and fries on the beach were excellent.
The regular buffet was cozy and we thought service at the buffet was sub-par, but because it was so small, we had no problem getting what we wanted on our own when needed.
We found the locals who worked at the resort to be extremely friendly, and customer service oriented, but somewhat intimidated when spoken to by us. It was an odd thing to experience.
I asked and was told that tips are not "pooled" at this resort. So don't think the tip you give to your waiter is split with your chef. If you see a young local person working hard, tip them and chat with them. One of the "Star" personal on the beach told us she had never even been in the ocean her whole life! Tip the security guard that gets off his chair to chase the local vendors away from the beach. Tip the Life Guard who actually watches out for you. Tip the poor guard that stands ALL DAY at the hallway door separating "The Grand" from the other resorts so that guests registered at the other two Rose Hall resorts can't "crash" The Grand.
We were not impressed with our inclusive "Butler" service and considered it nothing more than an additional layer of bureaucracy that didn't really help with our service satisfaction. The Butlers KNOW when you are in your room and they are always loitering in your face waiting for a tip. Mind you, one of our 4 different butlers actually did what we asked him, immediately when we asked him.
Yes the carpets in the hallways were stained ugly and in need of daily steam-cleanings or out-right replacement, but we never spent a lot of time walking on them to want to complain about them or let them ruin our enjoyable time here.
The rooms were great. The inclusive Spa was massive and in very good repair - we just didn't take the time to use it. (I love saunas and the mens' was clean, wet, spacious and 90C ... but there was no sunshine or a beach in it ... know what I mean?)
Top shelf liquor was available, but a type of local beer and Glenfiddich was not, even though it was listed on the menu. Geeze, I was so angry I drank something else.
Our worst part of our trip was our experience in Sangster airport, arriving and departing, but that had nothing to do with the Iberostar.
If anyone from Iberostar reads my review, I have to say that I got a really bad feeling that we made a mistake booking here when we were brought our welcome Mimosas at the front desk: the serving tray was covered with a filthy-STAINED napkin and my glass was chipped. It didn't ruin my stay, but I sure remembered to write about it, didn't I? The rest of my stay sure made up for it.
You can't go wrong with Iberostar.
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Hotel Rose Hall
- Iberostar Montego Bay
- Iberostar Hotel Montego Bay
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall Jamaica - Montego Bay