Here is the lengthy review I left, I felt that other's reviews were very helpful in getting me prepared for the trip:
We stayed at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites last week. I read a ton of reviews and scoured the forums before we left, so I feel like I was as prepared as I could be as we had never traveled to Jamaica before. And with that, I can not understand how people were disappointed in this resort. It was a very clean, well manicured property with a beautiful lobby, pool, grounds, and rooms. They were constantly cleaning something, painting something, and trimming the plants.
I was disappointed that our room was not ready when we got there at 3pm. I had read this in reviews so I was not surprised, but really wanted to shower and change after almost 24 hours of traveling to get there. It was thankfully ready by 3:30 and we were very pleased when we saw the room. We emailed the day before arriving and asked for an ocean room, which we were told could not be promised but is what we got. We were on the 4th flood with nothing but ocean views! The room was very clean and much more updated than I was expecting. We had a very large king sized bed, our 7 yr old slept on the pull out, and our 2 yr old in a crib. There was plently of room for all of us. The shower was clean and our kids loved the giant bath with the fun spraying wand. There was a musty smell that increased throughout our stay, but we kept the slider closed to keep the room air-conditioned and I felt that was to be expected in Jamaica in July. I read ahead of time about tipping the maids to ensure good service. The first full day I left them a small gift and small cash and asked for only water and beer in the mini fridge. We did not get that. So the next day I took all the soda out and asked again with a $5 tip for only water and beer and we did get it that time. It was not a big deal and they did a great job of cleaning the room every day.
The staff was pleasant for the most part. I did feel a bit like the staff was only waiting for tips, but I assume that’s an AI thing. My parents stayed at the Beach resort and it was interesting to compare staff at the two. I liked our bartenders much better, but liked their entertainers a little more (those ours were really fun too). I LOVED the pool side Star team at both resorts. The aerobics classes were a blast, and were not something I expected to enjoy at all. The kids club staff was fantastic on both sides as well. They were all very alert to safety concerns while still keeping everything really fun. My daughter particularly liked Tinkerbell on the Beaches side. There were a few bartenders on the Beaches side who were grouchy and constantly denied blended drinks to people because they took “too much time”, this included a Miami Vice, Jelly Bean, and he said he was out of mint for Mojitos. I learned to avoid this bartender and found all of them at the Suites side to be very nice and accommodating. I also leaned to ask for floaters as the drinks are very weak. I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining I found the shows to be. I was laughing harder than I can remember in a long time at the Couples show they did that used couples from the audience.
The food was fine. We live in So Cal so we are extremely spoiled in terms of the food available to us, so no the food didn’t blow my mind but it was good and served it’s purpose. I liked the Steakhouse the best, but getting a reservation there with 6 people was a disaster. While the Japanese restaurant was very entertaining, the food was not up to the sushi and Japanese standards we are used to. But it was fun and I would definitely do it again. I felt the breakfast buffet had a large selection of fresh food. We always got there early so I don’t know what it was like later in the morning but everything we ate was very fresh and the coffee was good. The have amazing fresh fruit juices only at the breakfast buffet that I wish I could have taken to the bar for mixed drinks. Next time I would bring an insulated cup to do that sort of thing. I am not used to vacationing at AI, so I found the scheduling of the restaurants to be very annoying and diminished our overall vacation experience. I read you could call before you leave and schedule some for your first few days, but when I called I was told they only do that for parties of 12 or more. While we waited for our room to be ready we went straight over to schedule dinners, and there was very little available at that point. We ate at the buffet that first night, and couldn’t get a reservation for the Japanese restaurant until 9 pm our second night. We were all so hungry by that time the next night we were miserable, and our 2 year old fell asleep before the main course was served :/ The next night we had 7pm reservations at the Steakhouse, but at the pool that day the Star staff encouraged our daughter to participate in the talent show that was at 8pm. This was the first thing she expressed interest in so we really wanted her to be able to join, so I ended up having to leave dinner before the main course was served with her to go to the theater. I found all that scheduling to be a major hassle!
We got up early every day and left our belongings on chairs before we went to eat breakfast. There were plenty of people who beat us and took the best, shaded spots but we were always able to find something suitable. The pool was beautiful, but the chemicals they use to keep it that way definitely irritated all of our skin. It may be that we went in early in the day so close to when they treat it, but even a pink hat my daughter took into the pool had bleach marks on the top. The lazy river was cute but too lazy for us. We ended up walking it a few times, but mostly stuck to the main pool and all the entertainment that was centered around it.
We did not spend very much time at the beach. We live at the beach so that was not a big draw for us. My daughter was stung by something the first 20 min she was in the water and refused to get back in the rest of the time. We heard from others next to us that there were small jelly fish in the snorkeling areas and white bugs that bite on the sea grass that was floating around. There were still plenty of people in the water so it could not have been too much of a problem. As others mentioned in other reviews, I wish there were more food/snack options at that pool and beach areas for those spending all day out there.
Overall this is a beautiful resort that does a good job keeping their guests entertained. I think I am just not much of an AI type of traveler, but if I take that out of it I can’t see how anyone could complain about this resort!