This photo was taken of the hotel while we were standing on the beach looking back towards the hotel.
Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica is really three hotels in one. The Grand Hotel, Beach Hotel, and the Rose Hall Suites. Our stay was at the Rose Hall Suites which is an all-inclusive resort for adults only. Usually I write about places our family travels. I did go over to the other properties where you could stay with your children. They are nice and I would be willing to go back again with my kids. However, this review will focus primarily on the Rose Hall Suites which is for adults.
The reason we selected this hotel is it is located about 20 to 25 minutes from the airport. While most reviews of Jamaica will tell you that you should stay in Ocho Rios, I really did not want to drive an additional 105 minutes to a hotel after arriving at the airport. We were only on our vacation for four-nights and I wanted to enjoy our time relaxing, not driving.
View from our balcony
The hotel is right on the beach. Our room had a wonderful balcony. The breeze from the ocean was absolutely amazing. Being on the balcony in the afternoons was one of my favorite places to be during our stay.
Being out on the balcony with the ocean breeze was heavenly to me.
The room was so spacious and the layout was perfect!
This door may not seem like a big deal but I think every hotel room should have one. This door was between the hallway from the bathroom to the sleeping area. We only closed it at night. It kept out all the hallway noise. It was so perfect! You will never fully understand how much I enjoyed having this door to block the sound during my sleep! I need GOOD sleep when I'm vacationing away from my children!
This photo was taken standing from the sitting area with the balcony behind me.
When we arrived, we found out golf was included in our package. TravelMan golfed at Cinnamon Hill. He said the course was fine (but he has gotten to play a lot of great courses in his days – golf spoiled he may be). He had a caddy with him and a few holes were oceanside.
Hole on ocean at Cinnamon Hill
While he played golf, I went to the spa on property. Like most resorts, the spa was overpriced and the service was average. I often feel like the therapist isn't giving her best effort as she knows you most likely won't be a repeat customer. In hindsight, I should have spent my morning relaxing at the pool.
The pools are nice. The chairs did tend to fill quickly, but we never had a problem finding some each day. There are basically three pools...a quiet pool, a pool with activities such as water basketball and volleyball, and a bar pool, which was the liveliest of them all. At the pool, the hotel plays the same music everyday, same songs on repeat. And it's Jamaican music, which is nice but can get tiring when there isn't a variety.
While the property was all-inclusive the food was probably the one area I felt needed the most work. Buffets were available for breakfast and lunch. I never found anything I really loved on the buffets. The hotel has five specialty restaurants for dinner. Make your reservations for your entire stay the day you arrive because these restaurants require reservations and they tend to fill up. Room service is available 24-hours; however, we never used it. The room is stocked with a mini bar and two bags of potato chips. Again, the food in general could have been amped up. Other people may disagree, but I am somewhat of a foodie and particular about the quality of my food and selections.
The hotel has a full schedule of activities every day including tennis lessons, spinning, stretching, volleyball tournaments, and other games.
One thing I wish we had known before going (just so we knew how to handle it and we had known to bring some cash) was the tipping policy. We have stayed in all-inclusive resorts before. However, those resorts included the tips. It never occurred to me that there were all-inclusives that didn't include the tips. So the first day, we weren't carrying cash to the pool for the bartenders. Nor did we carry to cash to the restaurants for our servers. On the second day, I inquired with the hotel manager about this via email (as I had noticed some people tipping). Here was the response I received back:
We do allow tipping, but it is not mandatory. This is based on each guests preference. It is not something that is expected by the staff, so there is no standard amount of what is tipped, if a guest chooses to tip. This based on each person's discretion.
I will tell you that it did feel expected by the staff.
Overall, TravelMan and I needed somewhere to get away and relax. Wind down from a busy time in our life. This is exactly what we got! This hotel is clean, beautiful and the view was fantastic. We never left the resort. The ocean was clear, calm and warm. The weather was perfect. We loved it. I came home feeling rejuvenated.
TravelLady Rating: This property was clean, and we would love to visit again. While the food could be amped up, it certainly would not keep us from visiting again. The view was beautiful. Things were done on a grand scale. Our goal was to go away and relax. We were able to do this! Mission accomplished!!!