Montego Bay

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#12 Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay
#12 Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Jamaica
434 reviews
Holiday Inn Resort Feb 2024
When we arrived we asked for a complementary room upgrade (we emailed prior to leaving and they said to check when we arrived as it would be on a first come first serve basis.) The gal said we had a perfectly nice room. When we checked in there was a musky smell to the room. The air conditioner ran on and off non stop and was really clunky. It seemed the musky smell was when it ran. We finally just turned it on fan. One bed was comfortable, the other was not. In the bathroom, there was no fan to remove moisture/ humidity, the tub/shower would only turn to a certain temperature (it wasn't even a normal knob it had a black plastic stick you turned on. Cool showers were not fun, we went to the front counter and told them, she sent us to customer relations, to which they said they would send maintenance (they never arrived). We found the pools to be lacking. The adult pool was cold and the “hot tub” was barely warm. Never made it into the main pools hot tub as it was always “being treated” someone we talked to said it was cold too. The main pool was ok-ish. We found the food to be good, desserts were not. The hamburger, tacos, hot dogs, ice cream and jerk chicken offered through the grounds to be very good. The drinks were good, but the lineups were sometimes long. The one bartend at barefoot bar was amazing, high energy & very kind. Also, the main girl that greeted you most days at the restaurant was AMAZING. She greeted you with a smile and genuinely was happy to see you. Most workers were good, but not exceptional like the 2 I mentioned. We quite liked the entertainment, but found some of it too loud. You could not chat in the restaurant while entertaining was happening. Overall our trip to Jamaica and Holiday Inn Resort was good. Whether we would come back to the same resort is in question. It definitely needs soon room maintenance and cleaner air conditioners, along with fans that run to be able to get bathroom moisture out. You could see black spots of mold on the ceiling and I wonder if you took the air condition apart that you would find the same. Having a musky smell indicates mold and you do not want customers to come and end up sick. If that and the pools/hotubs were fixed we would consider coming back. Thank you for your hospitality.
#15 Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
#15 Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Jamaica
45 reviews
Great Trip!
I read a lot of reviews before we went to Secrets Wild Orchid and since we've been back and I wanted to write as comprehensive a review as possible for future visitors. BACKGROUND: Went on a couple's trip from Feb 10-17 2024 (during Super Bowl and Valentine's Day). We booked a Preferred Club King Swim Out that had butler service included. CHECK-IN: The check-in process was a breeze. We arrived around 4:00pm and we were in our room about 30 minutes later. The Preferred Club check-in was nice and relaxed. We were pushed a bit to join a breakfast and sales promotion during our stay. I read about this in advance and simply said no. There was a little more effort to get us to agree, but when I simply said “I don't want to but thanks”, they stopped and that was it. I read reviews of people getting really pestered and pressured during check-in, but this wasn't the case with me. We then met one of our butlers who took us to our room and showed us around a bit. THE ROOM: The room was excellent. Spacious and very clean. Yes, there are some signs of wear and tear (some scratches in the wood closet, an area rug with some worn spots) but nothing that screamed to me that this place was neglected. The bed was firm and comfortable, all the linens, towels, robes, etc. were clean. I requested a bottle of champagne and it was there, chilling on ice. The view was stunning and everything worked. I've read other reviews about how cold the room is and yes, it was quite cold and felt even colder when coming in from the Jamaican heat outside. We were able to adjust the thermostat to get the temperature up slightly. Now saying all of this, I can understand how difficult it must be to maintain a consistent temperature in these suites. I can truly say that we both got used to the cool room temperature and, in fact, welcomed it after being outside all day in the heat. Overall, the room was exactly what I expected. THE BUTLERS: Our butlers were Kenroy and Duran and these two gentlemen were the best. Every day, we had our spot on the beach reserved for us with a cooler full of beer and water and later on a bottle of champagne and a coconut delivered without asking. Every night we had our dinner reservations taken care of which meant that we never had to wait around for dinner. If we needed anything (more drinks, lunch, snorkeling arrangements, a golf cart lift to the other side of the property) all we would have to do is call and they would show up with a smile. I understand that this is a perk that we paid for and that a lot of people complain about lack of beach or pool chairs, waiting for dinner reservations, etc. which are all valid. But if you have the means to do so, I highly recommend the butler service as it takes your vacation to another level. THE PROPERTY: The property was excellent. All three resorts (Wild Orchid, St. James and Breathless) were clean and with beautiful landscaping. I heard some complain about the lack of bottled water on the property, but there are barrels full of iced bottle water throughout the beach. The beach itself was gorgeous. The pool was clean and every night we saw multiple staff ensuring that it would be pristine again first thing in the morning. The fitness centre, although small, had a wide array of machines and some free weights. It can feel cramped in there when there's more than 5 people working out at the same time though. THE FOOD: We tried the Mexican (Il Patio), Italian (Portofino), French (Bordeaux), Jamaican (Blue Mountain), Fusion (Altitudes – Rooftop @ Breathless) and Seafood (Oceana). We skipped the hibachi place as it's not our thing. The food was what you'd expect from a resort: average portion size that is done in a catering fashion. I read reviews of some people complaining that the food was lukewarm and yes, sometimes we did get food that could've been hotter, but this didn't happen regularly. The portions can be on the small side if you're a big eater. But in that case, order more food. It's an all-inclusive. We saw it happen. We ate our breakfasts every day at the World Café buffet, although we had the option of the Preferred Club breakfast buffet (good selection for a small buffet) and a la carte at Bordeaux. We also sampled the jerk chicken from the cart (AMAZING!) and the jerk chicken and pork and patties from the Barefoot Grill (also AMAZING!) for lunch. We also had some snacks from the Preferred Club from time-to-time and they were quite good too. I'd give the food an 8/10. ACTIVITIES: We didn't do much. We mostly stuck to our usual spot relaxing on the Preferred Club beach or at our swim out. We stopped in at the Super Bowl party (which was a great setup on the beach with tons of food and drink) and we went to a couple of the shows (good bands playing reggae music and some standard resort type entertainment). We did get a private snorkel from Floyd the lifeguard which was a highlight of the trip! Highly recommend. THE SERVICE: The service was so friendly. Kenroy and Duran were amazing butlers. Sean and Mathew were fantastic bellmen who were always smiling and joking. The staff that ran the Preferred Club bar and buffet were always happy to see you and get you whatever you needed. The café staff were top notch and efficient and made the best lattes and americanos. Rodney at the rum shop was not only friendly, but very knowledgeable and happy to let us try multiple rums. The lifeguard Floyd was amazing taking us out on a private snorkel where we saw some amazing fish, including an eagle ray. Dowaine and Alona at the Barracuda bar were engaging and awesome. Overall, this was the best service I've ever received on a vacation and I've been to Sandals, Excellence and Barcelo properties before. SUMMARY: This is a great place. If you're the kind of person that can afford a little more to add the Preferred Club butler service to your vacation, I would do it and I would specifically ask for Kenroy and Duran. This made the whole vacation more relaxing and enjoyable. If you're expecting a room that looks like you're the first person ever staying in it… if you're expecting Michelin-star rated meals prepared by world-renowned executive chefs on a daily basis… if you're expecting drinks like Dom Perignon, Clas Azul or Louis XIII cognac… then I'm afraid this place is not going to cut it for you. However, if you want to be treated like royalty, eat well, drink well and stay in a clean, comfortable and well-appointed room, in a beautiful paradise surrounded by friendly people, then book your vacation here.
#20 Royalton Blue Waters
#20 Royalton Blue Waters
Montego Bay
Jamaica
34 reviews
Worst vacation of our life child predator mislead
1. As this issue is a direct safety risk, I will address this issue as top priority. On the day of my sister-in-law's wedding, there was an unidentified individual on the resort following a minor (9 years old girl), of which was the daughter of the groom's party. The child had seen the individual in the hallway when she was walking outside the room and had begun to run away shortly after she had seen them. She was being followed across the corridor and luckily made it to her room prior to any physical contact. As you anticipate, she was in severe distraught after this event and the individual had run off. She suffered psychological trauma, of which she held on close proximity to her mother for the rest of the duration of the stay. Given the significance of the event, the family had filed a report with the front desk and minimal care was attended to the matter. There was a complete regard of ignorance to the safety of the child, as the parents were told “we will look into it”, with no follow up on the subsequent days. Witnesses also had observed this unknown male but unfortunately they were not able to track the individual as they swiftly ran off in the distance, portraying very poor security and safety to the guests of the resort. 2. Lack of communication and commitment to service was evident to ALL of the wedding guests in regards to the renovations/construction being done to the resort. Attached you will find the memo provided by Melanie, which was not even 50% near of reality. It appeared as 25% of the resort was operational, of which the resort was progressively closing despite the guests present on the grounds. Tables/chairs were slowly being taken away, staff were losing compassion as lay-offs were foreseen, bars/restaurants were opening late and closing early and there was a palpable feeling of negativity during the duration of our stay. The staff appeared to have a lack of motivation to provide services, which led to an overall decline in service quality, more so evident to the diamond club individuals who paid for these additions. ALL the slides were closed. The Kids' area was completely walled off. The lazy river was malfunctioning and not working at all, as its purpose was to propel the tubes forward. It was highly suspicious that operations were limiting their energy consumption for savings, as they were rotating the jets in the pool daily. There was continuous noise and dust from the construction. The filth was present on all of the grounds when walking on bare feet, which made the stay very uncomfortable. Despite all of these observations, the memo that we received from Melanie had no consistency to the true projection of the plan and this can be attested by all the 33 guests present for the wedding party. If we had received even 50% of the reality of the situation, we could have an opportunity to change resorts, as it was insufficiently operable. 3. Multiple restaurants were closed during the duration of our stay. It was evident that 3/9 restaurants were open and even despite this fact, there were limited food options in the venues that were open. We had brought 2 young children on the trip, which had very limited options. There was hardly any juice to order, the food tasted very bland and service was very slow in the “a-la Carte's”, despite limited guests at the resort. This is in conjunction to the notion stated above. There was limited options to also obtain basic resources such as water, as the bars/restaurants closed early and having limited supplies. This detail was not depicted in our memo from Melanie a few days prior to departure to the resort. 4. Sewage smell/no hot water was present during the duration of our stay and for most of the guests present. Multiple reports were made to the staff, which a repairman was sent out and had not resolved the issue. We have made multiple calls and despite these measures, there was no resolution. To obtain water that was slightly warm, we had to open the taps for 20 minutes and bathe our kids very quickly, which ended in a crying event every single time. The sewage smell was also not resolved, which appeared to be major structural issue encompassed in the resort. The smell was so potent that we had nights that were very difficult to sleep and had to spray the room to compensate for this. 5. Fire alarms were activated on and off throughout the day without any indication of the situation. This posed as a safety risk, as the guests do not know what orders to follow, in the case of a true event. This included wake up calls from these alarms at 4/5 am, waking up our young children and ourselves. 6. Kids' area closure without any reasonable means to compromise for their activities. Kids club was nowhere to be found and there was completely no entertainment for children, including nightly entertainment. This was also not noted in our memo from Melanie, where you can observe the point states “kids club moved to Blue Water”. You can again find this in the attachment. 7. Phones in the room were not operational. Despite only having the speaker option available and difficulty hearing the individual on the other end, we were unable to get a hold of anyone for duration of 15-20 minutes. This limited our vacation time, which I had to run to the front desk from the room to address our issues. 8. Entertainment area was moved to the sports bar,which had very limited seating and felt concealed, despite having the vacant space to provide this resource. This resulted in less enjoyment as the guests were exposed to the commercial speakers in close proximity. There was also limited energy and motivation from the staff, relaying back to the statements found above.

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