Montego Bay

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#2 Riu Palace Jamaica
#2 Riu Palace Jamaica
Montego Bay
Jamaica
38 reviews
Not worthy of the PALACE name
Not sure why this resort is not just a regular Hotel Riu, as it did not live up to other Riu Palaces. Firstly when we checked in, they did not have enough room keys so we were given one key to share between two people. We were told if we required an additional key, we would need to come back to the front desk at a later time. This has occurred in a Riu before, but we were given the option to have a key delivered to our room, and slid under the door when a key was made available. We were not given this option. Additionally we asked a question about when we would be able to meet our tour operator to return our airport transfer card and we were given a made up answer, which resulted in us wasting time two mornings to attempt to meet with him. Not how one wants to spend time on a vacation. The smoking areas (this is designated a non smoking resort which is not noted on any tour operator or Riu sites) are small and uncomfortable. The resort itself is not big, but 12 seats combined between two designated areas is ridiculous. The locations of these areas does not make one feel welcome or wanted. The food is the same everyday at all meals. There was no variety. Again nothing worthy of the Riu Palace name. The service for drinks was considerably slow. Not quick like the other Riu Palaces that we've become accustomed to. The servers and bar staff are the only redeeming thing about the resort. They are very friendly.
#4 Iberostar Rose Hall Beach
#4 Iberostar Rose Hall Beach
Montego Bay
Jamaica
328 reviews
2nd Trip to Iberostar Rose Hall Beach
This is our 2nd time at this resort and we will return for a 3rd trip. We had no complaints from 2018, but they have outdone themselves during our 2020 trip. Food was even better this time. Absolutely loved all the jerk options. Had lunch everyday at the beach buffet and it was always delicious. Love all their fish options. Ate at the steakhouse 2 different nights and steaks were perfectly cooked. Delicious. Anyone should be able to find something delicious to eat here because they cook dishes from just about every culture and are delicious. The perfect opportunity to try foods from other cultures. Room was always well maintained. Check-in staff were courteous and check-in went smoothly and Tash, our concierge was so welcoming and helpful throughout our week. Nice to see one of our favorite lobby bartenders, Patrice was still here and absolutely delightful to interact with. Our favorite beach waitress, Monique was here again this year and she did not disappoint. All the bartenders and waitresses were so friendly and you could always hear some of the waitresses singing while they worked. The entertainment staff at this resort are phenomenal and even can get the quiet and shy folks participating, which they did with my quiet hubby. These are committed and hard working people and deserve the utmost respect for the wages they make. Tipping is our number 1 priority when we vacation at these resorts and although I have witnessed many who do not, they are still treated well and with respect by the staff. We actually visited the resort next door as an option to upgrade but prefer Rose Hall Beach. Actually saw and chatted with folks from the 2 adjoining resorts and they preferred this one for various reasons. Can't say I blame them. Can't wait to return next year.
#12 Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
#12 Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
Montego Bay
Jamaica
10 reviews
Wonderful stay, felt catered to the whole time.
We went to Zilara for our Honeymoon/Winter vacation. We loved our stay, and would certainly go back and recommend it to anyone! Here are some things we thought was worth mentioning: You get access to Hyatt Ziva - 5 minute walk to the family-friendly resort, Ziva, that is attached but operates semi-separately. You can eat at any Ziva food (Coffeeshop, French, Brazilian, Italian, buffet etc.), you can also participate in any of the Ziva activity program, use their beach/pool etc. We stuck to the Zilara activities, but ate many meals at Ziva. Fantastic Restaurants - we loved that we did not have to make reservations, were not limited to how many times/which one we went to. The breakfasts lasted until 11am. We especially loved the French Toast from Urban Heatz and the Brazilian steakhouse. That being said, the buffet restaurant was still fantastic as we tried it once for breakfast, lunch and dinner each. The rest of the time, we went to the restaurants. Genuine service - everyone was very accommodating, no pushy sales pitches and shout-out to Kevin from the Brazilian steakhouse who was able to get us the chocolate lava cake from Petit Pariz, the French restaurant. Great snack options - Jerk Chicken and Pork were very tasty. Also pastries, muffins and smoothies were options during the daytime. The Ziva side has pizza, burger/hot-dog/Jamaican patty cart, a child's dream candy shop, which had wall-to-wall candy, cookies, ice-cream (the cookies and cream flavour had real cookies crumbled into it). We were never more than 50m away from food. Room - spacious, elegant, clean, quality linens, had most things you needed. Only issue was we found the pillows fell flat. There are no bad views in the place. Beaches - We checked out both the Ziva and Zilara beaches. The Zilara water was a bit pebbly. Both beaches have wavebreakers, making the waves quite manageable, even for those who don't swim much/at all. Entertainment - wonderful bubble party, Z crew threw entertaining events, evening live musicians were absolutely incredible - I would have happily paid to see them in a concert! The best all-inclusive resort I've been to!
#19 Sunscape Cove Montego Bay
#19 Sunscape Cove Montego Bay
Montego Bay
Jamaica
12 reviews
Basic Great Time
My Family (2 adults and 2 kids 4 & 7) stayed at the Suncape Cove for 7 nights October 30-November 6. We had a great time. The check-in was smooth. we didn't wait in a line we got to sit at couch and have a drink and cool towel while we completed the paper work required. Our room 3213 (2 doubles) was an oceanview suite and we had decent view of the sea from our balcony. We were given the choice to upgrade to Beachfront for and additional cost but we declined. Our room was located in the furthest block of rooms from the splash amenities so we had walk quiet a bit which we did not mind as the walk was quite peaceful. It was a renovated room and it was clean and comfortable. The Cove side of the resort is quiet. Minus the tree frogs at night which I found annoying but of course its not the hotels fault. Beach This beach/shoreline is full of little rocks and pebbles. I would recommend bringing some water shoes. Also bring a mask and snorkel because there is lots of sea life to see. The Beach is not White Powdery Sand and blue water. The water is clear and clean but not the dream beach we see in commercials. The hotel does cover lots of waterfront so the beach is long and has plenty of space to sit and relax. The pools and entertainment staff were great. Sometimes they wouldn't start games until they had enough participants so they worked hard to recruit. They did a great job at remembering guest names. My kids never wanted to get leave. The pools opened by 9am and the water-park opened at 10. I recommend bringing your own flotation device if you wish to used the lazy river. They only seemed to have 4 or so tubes and they were mostly always in use. All pools seemed to be 2-3ft at their shallowest. There is an adults only pool with a swim up bar. I did not spend much time here as I have kids. However on Saturdays they have a foam party and the entertainment/games are strictly for adults and they ask that any kids that can see in the lobby to leave and make there way to pools on the other side of the facility. The party sounded like a great time. Pool Zumba is so entertaining to watch and the people that joined in seemed to be having a good time. Over Halloween they had a trick or treating and the staff really enjoyed scaring the kids, the kids mostly toddlers were not so appreciative of the efforts. The screaming kids only seemed to make the entertainment staff get spookier. My kids enjoyed the kids club. Parents are not allowed into the building and must sign kids outside. But if you wanted to go in they had a tour in the morning before the club opened. The first few days were were there we had no issue getting towels but the last few days it got busy and by 10am towels became hard to get. They either do not have enough or people do not return them at night to be laundered. Since this hotel does not have a sign in system for the towels people just leave the towels to reserve spaces they seem to have no intention of using. I recommend bringing your own towels. The washrooms here were always clean - wet from wet bathers using it- but so clean i saw many people go in without shoes on. Food We loved the Cove restaurants for Lunch and Dinner. Nice alternative to the Buffet. The buffet was ok nothing special. Rice and peas were great, steamed white rice and sometimes the pasta for kids was hard. I was not a fan of the burgers offered at the Grill during the day. The Grill only had hamburgers, fries, nachos and hotdogs offered as an alternative to the lunch buffet. I would loved it if there was more things like oxtail or curry goat. They had stewed meat options but not oxtail. If you are a vegetarian/vegan there seemed to be some options but not many. Also people did not seemed to be too concerned with what serving utensils went with what food. This is no fault of the hotel just inconsiderate people. I would recommend hitting the buffet when it just opens to try and ensure no cross with a meat product. It would be great if the hotel put the meat options all together seperate from non meat options in buffet. There was a 24hr cafe that had pastries and coffee. I missed having a place that served fries and other junk late at night as I have had at other resorts. Downside- a couple times my oldest noticed things in the pool and when she would tell the staff they did not seem overly interested in checking. one time there was a patch of stuff, I don't know what it was the guy came and checked and said the pool needed to be skimmed but he never did it, I guess it wasn't his job or his job to find someone to clean up whatever was floating. Also there is not eating at the pools. People of course do so anyways but my issue is people bringing glass wear onto the pool deck and it breaking. Nightly entertainment- the Concord Band is decent and there was cultural show that was good. Not many people seemed to attend the show as I have seen at other resorts. I am not sure if its because its not mentioned thought out the day by the entertainment staff but the week I was there people didn't seem to be interested. There was night bar area 10-2. I'm guessing it was a little night club but I never went. Also they have nightly free shuttles to Margaritaville. Bars/Servers There no waitress serving you here at the beach or pool. You will need to get up and get your own drinks. Blessing or curse you decide. I did see someone come by once that the beach but that is. I did find out there is a beach bar that opened near the end of my stay. I seemed to have come during off season so not all bars and restaurants (including buffet) were open all the time. They did provide a daily activity sheet in our room to tell us what would be open. We did the Club meeting and we were taken to Secrets for breakfast. That resort looked amazing. For our troubles we were given $100 to be used with a tour group. Which is alot because most tours seemed to be $100USD per person. Overall my family enjoyed this resort. Its is great for families on a budget just looking for the basics and a fun pool for the kids. We were given hotel credits to be used at the spa for massages but we didn't use them. If you are buying items in the store or in spa this hotel will charge to your room as the have a no cash policy. I do think you can pay by credit card if you wish to pay right away. If you are looking for upscale then this place is not for you. We stayed at the Royalton White Sands a few years ago and comparing the 2 is like apples and oranges.

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