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Reviewed September 20, 2009

We had an excellent time at the Iberostar Grand. From the time we walked through the doors of the lobby, we knew this was going to be a very special vacation spot. Service was superb, starting with the warm hand towels given to us as we approached the front desk, along with the tropical rum drinks as we checked in. The rooms were immaculate and provided breathtaking views of the beach/ocean. We especially loved the cocoonlike love seat, which hung from the ceiling as well as the plush bed and jacuzzi tub (If you go, ask the butler to draw a bubble bath for you, you will never look at a bath the same ever again). The food was ...well lets just say we over did it. Lobster, shrimp, jerk shrimp, curry shrimp, lobster, lamb, beef tenderloin, lobster, sea bass, cod and much more.Did I say lobster? Kudos to Victoria, one of the chefs in the Cornwall Buffet Restaurant. She was very helpful, kind and friendly. We ate there every morning for breakfast and once for dinner. We also ate daily at the Port Maria Beach Restaurant, where we ate, of course, lots of Lobster. Overall, our stay at the Iberostar Grand was unforgetable. We would like to thank Dwayne Buchanan, Sales Manager, for the wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank TurkeyP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2009

So many people have written very accurate reviews about this place that it seems pointless to rewrite the same thing. However, I will try to offer something new. To sum it up, this a wonderful place to stay if you want excellent service, an immaculately clean room, very good food, and a beautiful view from your room. We were there from September 5th to September 11th.

I struggled with where we should go and reluctantly decided to book at the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall. I am 6 month pregnant with our 2nd child and wanted a very relaxing break before the next one is born. We stayed at Sandals Negril 4 years ago for our honeymoon and fell in love with the country. As much as I loved Sandals, I just couldn’t justify spending that much money for this trip, but I still wanted the same level of service and quality resort. I finally narrowed the choices down to Couples Negril (because we loved the beach at Negril), Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites. I decided on the Grand over the suites because I wanted better service, nicer food, and the assurance of an adults only experience, and I choose the Grand over Couples, because some of the reviews about the cleanliness of the rooms were troubling, and Couples doesn’t offer room service. I knew before we left that the Grand was lacking some of the things I wanted, but I don’t think any resort can satisfy all your needs. I knew the Grand’s beach would be rockier than Negril’s, and that many of the included activities at other resorts would cost extra at the Grand (snorkeling, shopping day trips, and hoby cat use).

My research paid off when we got there. I wasn’t surprised about the rocky beach, but I did find myself missing the beauty of the Negril beach more than I thought I would. Additionally, I was prepared to do my souvenir shopping at the gift shop or airport.

Let me do the typical break down for you and give you my opinions on each of the important areas.

Beach – It was a beautiful, green-blue Caribbean beach. You will not be disappointed with the view from your room. However, if you really enjoy swimming in the sea, you will either need to bring water shoes, travel down the beach to the suites or beaches resorts to get in the water, or tough it out while you walk over 6 to 8 feet of sharp rocks to get in at the Grand side. Is the beach as nice as Negrils, no. Is it still beautiful, yes. Will you be disappointed, not if you can accept the rocks.

Beach and Pool Loungers/Beds – To answer the question I hear from people all over this site, Yes, there are plenty of both beds and loungers. No, you don’t need to get up at 6 in the morning to reserve them. We never had a problem getting one any time we needed them.

Pool Floats – they don’t have many of them, but if you ask the pool concierge in the morning they might have one or two. They are not all the same and to be honest they look like they were left from previous guests. I knew this before we left so I picked up a couple from Walmart before we left. We never had them blown up and actually didn’t need them most of the time. If you need a float for the lazy river at the suites they have about 6 inner tubes floating around that you can use. However, you will be disappointed in the lazy river….it’s really lazy!

Beach activities – Dressel Divers are a pain in the butt. Honestly, they were the only part of this vacation that I didn’t like. Unfortunately, they are the group in control of the snorkel equipment, kayaks, and hoby cats. They pressure you into buying over priced insurance on the equipment by showing you a high price list. If you buy it, they stop bugging you, but if you don’t, it’s the same talk every time. They sit on their butts everyday in their little hut and do nothing, but if you ask to use the equipment, they look at the sky and say they aren’t sure the weather will cooperate. After 1 or 2 times of this, we just ignored them and told them we wanted to use it anyway. We did take the Snorkeling trip out to the reef ($35 per person). It was about an hour long and very enjoyable. I wish it would have been included in the trip, but it wasn’t. Oh well.

Wrist bands – Yes, you do have to wear one the entire time you are there. The wrist bands at the grand are transparent, the suites are blue, and the beach resort is orange. They are a little annoying, but get over it. It’s about 1/2 inch wide and they trim it so it won’t scratch you.

Star Friends – They are the most enthusiastic and nicest people you could ever meet. At the Grand, they don’t pressure your to get involved in activities as much as they do at the Suites. We didn’t join them for any of the activities, but the people who did seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Buffets – Yummy, yummy, yummy. The Port Maria lunch buffet was a nice mid day break. There is a wonderful breeze and great food. I was always impressed with the wait staff (especially Richard or Ricardo….I honestly can’t remember his name. I thought it was Ricardo, but my husband swears it’s Richard….either way, he was the nicest, courteous young man I met down there). We tried the beachfront Jamaican BBQ Buffet on Tuesday at the Suites but it didn’t compare to the Jamaican BBQ buffet the Grand had on Thursday. You can walk over the buffet at the Suites (Aunt Ruby’s) but I think you’ll be disappointed after you see the service and food at the Grand buffet. My only complaint…I could never tell which salad dressing I was having. They never labeled them and many times I found myself with a salad dressing I didn’t expect. If you’re confused, you can ask one of the many staff members.

Drinks – not much to say other than they are good. I couldn’t have any alcohol because of the pregnancy, but I had more than a few blended fruit punches. They were refreshing and delicious!

Restaurants – we were able to eat at all of them. I didn’t find any of them better the rest. The service was a little slow, but who cares, you’re on vacation. Don’t feel stupid about asking was something is, I think they get those questions all the time. One bit of advice, unless you’re really familiar will cracking open a crab leg, I don’t recommend the seafood platter appetizer at the surf and turf. It’s just a messy, frustrating experience you should avoid. We never had a problem getting a reservation at of them. We asked the concierge or butler every morning what was available and made our decision from there. Sometime the times were limited, but there was always an opening.

Rooms – Spacious, beautiful, and wonderful views. We booked an ocean view room but our travel agent put a note on the reservation that it was our anniversary so we were upgraded to a 3rd floor ocean view room upon our arrival. Even if we would have ended up in an ocean view room, I don’t think we would have been disappointed with the view. Since the property is so new, there weren’t any condition issues with the room (other than a wobbly toilet seat that was promptly fixed once we notified the butler). It was cleaned twice a day and the mini bar was stocked daily with anything we wanted. I am a clean freak and I couldn’t find a single thing to complain about (and that never happens). If you can find dirt on this property (either in the room or on the grounds), I would be surprised. Additionally, I forgot to ask for a non-smoking room, but I couldn’t even tell that the room we were given was a smoking room.

Room Service – Highly recommended! We had breakfast brought to our room every morning. They bring a standard breakfast (coffee, tea, juice, milk, pastries, and jams) plus anything else you want as a side dish. Our typical order was Coffee, Orange juice, Grapefruit juice, two baskets of pastries (I was pregnant and they were so tasty), fried and scrambled eggs (which come with hash browns and bacon), and a fruit plate. The breakfast was delivered on time every morning but one. They room service delivery guy was very kind and always checked to be sure we had everything. I also had a midnight craving and ordered a chicken and bacon club sandwich. It was delivered hot and was bigger than expected.

Tipping – Is it expected? Certainly not. Is it appreciated? Yes, it really is. Did we tip all the time? No, we only tipped when someone gave us service that was exceptional. How much? I think it depends on what you’re tipping for. We never tipped our butler because we always had a different one anytime we needed something. Also, the butler never did the hard work, he just tracked down someone else to take care of us. We gave the Room Service gentle man a buck or two on 3 or 4 mornings because he was very attentive to our requests. The airport transfer driver got about a buck a bag each way. On the last day we gave 5 dollars to one of the buffet wait staff that always went out of his way to make sure we were happy. No one looked down at us for not tipping more and they certainly didn’t hang around in an uncomfortable manner waiting for a tip.

Would we go back? If they put an Iberostar in Negril, absolutely! Would we go back to the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall? Yes, although I really liked the Negril beach much better. Book your vacation to the Iberostar Grand and I guarantee you will be happy you did. By the way, don’t over pay for your vacation. We looked at more than 10 different booking places and no one was able to beat Tami from TripSurfer.net. I found her though the forums on Trip advisor and she beat every other companies price! It took her a couple hours to get back to me with the final price, but it was well worth the wait. I will never go to another travel site or travel agent again. She was nice, knowledgeable, and price competitive.

Hopefully you’ve learned something new from my review, but if you still have questions, post a question in the forums. I never had a question that wasn’t answered quickly.

Enjoy your vacation!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank erishome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2009

I spent seven nights in Jamaica with our friends, their daughters and my daughter. We had a wonderful time in an 'all inclusive' resort. Arise when you feel like it, spend time by the beach, away from the resort or poolside, very good food and bottomless glasses of whatever you are drinking. Buffet dining experiences or gourmet restaurants to dine in an atmosphere of gracious and customer friendly service. Your glass is never empty unless you let the staff know to only fill upon request.

When you feel guilty about the calories taken in, there is a fully equipped gym with personal training staff to assist you and some classes including spinning when occupancy allows. (There is a schedule but they never had classes. The gym staff would not hold a spin class for one person). After burning the calories, you enjoy time in the spa (ladies and gents are separated). which offers the usual treats plus five jacuzzi adventures with water temps from 104 degress to a cold well of 59 degrees mixed between a wet sauna and dry sauna, Swiss and rustic showers. Alao a Wellness Pool which is coed.

24 hour room service- 'all inclusive', theatre shows, disco and internet access if you need to keep in touch with the real world. Tired of being pampered then just retreat to your hotel room. Need more to occupy your busy schedule, contact your butler or your concierge- 'all inclusive'or add some excursions at varying additional rates. Do not fear the hotel shuttle to outside selective dance areas such as Margaritaville or just hang in the hotel bars for a wide assorment of mixed drinks or simply prime liqours and wines or beers. Room service is also available for booze delivery. I noticed a room having a large bottle of Grey Goose delivered or just utilize the mini bar in your room, fully stocked .

More on food. Be it the breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet fully catered with any and all food fares you can imagine be it international or Jamaican, vegan or meat eater, heathy or gluttony. Other choice includes four goutmet restaurants serving, Italian, Surf and Turf, Japanese or simply all things Gourmet. Can you imagine unlimited lobster for lunch or dinner. It was great.

Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
7  Thank Sylvie1950
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2009

We stayed at the Grand for our honeymoon from Aug. 9-16, and must say we loved every minute of it! The service was impeccable, although there was a slight hiccup at our "romantic dinner" night - the staff went above and beyond to make up for this (especially Pilar the pr manager who was an absolute sweetheart), which made our stay all the more enjoyable.

The rooms are amazing, we stayed at one of the ocean front suites, and the views of the ocean are beautiful (balcony is a good size and comfortable with a couch etc). Turn down/house keeping service was always prompt, butler service was great as well (if you don't ask for them, you won't see much of the butlers, but they are always available if you contact them when you need something). (Dennis was one of our butlers, he was just great! Ask for him, he'll make your day.) The food was good - there's always a supply of lobster on the menus in almost all the restaurants. They had jerk chicken day, where they had a jerk chicken buffet party on the beach - it was just delicious and actually authentic Jamaican!

The resort itself is gorgeous, and very well maintained/clean, pools are great, as well as the day beds on the beach. You can't go wrong coming here, it's also couples only which was perfect for us. Can't stress enough about how great the service was here. We wished we got all the names of the concierge girls, they were the best - very helpful and accommodating! We definitely look forward to returning here for vacation. Also, make sure you get the couples massage at the spa - very relaxing and pampering! And, if you want a little adventure - try the zipling, dune buggies, and dunns river falls.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank sg2009NewYorkCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2009

This hotel was amazing! The whole experience was amazing! I've stayed at a RIU in Playa Del Carmen Mexico... and I thought it was the best until I stayed at the El Dorado Royale Spa Resort in Riviera Maya Mexico... but the Iberostar Grand in Montego Bay was one of a kind. It will be hard to try out another new place. I am not a super-seasoned traveler, but I met several during my stay. They said they have been everywhere and NEVER received service even close to this caliber. l would have to agree! The staff at this hotel were 2nd to none. Morris at the swim-up bar was the best bartender I have ever encountered. Kennesha (the waitress on the beach) greeted my wife and I every day by first name after we introduced ourselves only once on the first day.(and you got drinks on the beds out on the beach every 10-15 minutes..not once an hr like some places) Victoria greeted my wife by name everyday at the omelet station and asked if she would like the usual! The beach was a little pebbley where you enter the water, but then it is fine once you get in (i hear the beach in Negril is better..but this one was still beautiful... and not to mention you were in the hotel 10-15 mins after leaving the airport!) The food was really good... but the best was the authentic Jamaican Jerk food that was cooked out on the beach on Thursday. I was actually TIRED of eating lobster! You get as many lobster tails as you want...even on the lunch buffet! The room service was good. My wife ordered sushi, and I ordered KOBE BEEF BURGERS!(multiple times)... You can order a bag of doritos, a plate of french fries, Fanta soda, beer, DVDs..whatever.. anytime! Great romantic rooms. As soon as we got there we were upgraded to an Oceanfront Room. Total Privacy. Loveseat swing and daybed on your balcony. Beautiful view. Separate his and hers sinks, separate shower and jacuzzi tub. Tell your butler (yes you have a 24-hr butler) to draw your wife a bath at midnight.. then go eat dinner, catch a show (very talented cast), drink (all top shelf liquor- Crown Royal, Beefeater, Henessey, Grey Goose, etc..not the well liquor like you get everywhere else).. and when you open your door to go to bed.. you will have a candlelit path lined with rose petals to a bubble bath. -- this is all inclusive! .. be nice and tip good and frequent- they earn every penny! Great security at your resort- I saw security walking the beach at 3am. There were a couple of locals on canoes selling things in the water, but I was never approached like you get at other resorts. The only thing I would change is to add a little more authentic Jamaican entertainment and food... maybe an extra cookout day on the beach, or some beach entertainment with local bands in the evening would add to the experience. But I have no complaints. It was much better than Mexico. The staff is twice as friendly, and they speak English show you can shoot the breeze with them. Awesome, awesome, awesome place!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank yeahmonSEMissouri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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