Lots to write, both good and bad........we traveled to Jamaica April 10th-16th. We had mixed feelings as we were heading there based on other reviews, but went into it with an open mind and realistic expectations. We've stayed at many 5 star hotels/resorts, but to me 5 star is Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton quality, so we were by no means expecting anything close to that.
Check-In: Strange process that you sit down and fill out a form rather than check in at the desk, but we didn't wait long to get keys to our room, so not a big deal. We were asked if we wanted to upgrade to Diamond Club. We said no and if we changed our mind we would come back the next day. There really isn't any need to go with Diamond Club unless you want the private beach, we spent most of our time around the pool, which doesn't have a Diamond Club area. We booked an ocean view family Jacuzzi suite with the bunk beds, but when we got to our room, no bunk beds, just a large pull out couch in the living area and a king sized bed in the BR. I was upset that it wasn't what we booked, went down to the front desk where she understood, but told there were no rooms we reserved. She indicated this was a nicer room and was an upgrade to what I originally reserved. Truthfully, the room was quite nice and it worked fine for our 6YO and 4YO to share a pullout couch. Bathrooms and showers were great. Beautiful balcony and view overlooking the resort property. Room was clean, fridge stocked daily with a few beers and waters, so no complaints.
The resort grounds are beautiful! Great pools, great water slides, nice beach area, beautiful landscaping, safe and entertaining kids club. Service was great for the most part, food was pretty good, nothing great but good enough variety at the buffet and tasty enough. Restaurants were ok. Japanese hibachi was nice except for the pre-made sushi rolls. Steakhouse was pretty good, ok cuts of meat. Italian restaurant was probably the best, good options and good dessert. It was also a great option for pizza at lunch. Drink service around the pool was good; jerk chicken on the beach was awesome! Ice cream bar was real nice, coffee shop was nice also. Exercise room was adequate, not big, but nice enough and clean. Entertainment options in the evening were pretty good also. There were movies on large screens, shows on the stage, good music, great beach party, talent shows for the guests, among other activities. There are definitely areas for improvement, but we are pretty laid back, so we expected some bumps from a new resort, but nothing that was impacting our goal of having a great family vacation. Truthfully, if it wasn't for the 3 big issues below, I would probably rate this place a 3.5-4 stars with a the potential to be even better.
The 3 big issues:
1. Good news, bad news. Good news is there are an ample amount of security guards on site. Bad news is they are apparently there for a reason. I made a bad decision to leave the resort grounds and walk down the beach. This was a mistake, as the residents of the village 100 yards down the beach are a bit overzealous when it comes to trying to make a buck. I don't blame them for trying to earn a living, but I would think a “5 star” resort should caution their guests about leaving the premises of the resort, especially when reviews from a few months earlier talked about the great shops and an all you can eat lobster stand. I don’t advise anyone to wander from the resort.
2. On at least 4 different occasions during the week we had housekeeping enter our room unannounced (no knock) and once came all the way into our bedroom without announcing themselves. There is no reason for housekeeping to enter your room unannounced and on at least two of these occasions our “Do Not Disturb” sign was on the door. Not acceptable.
3. On our check out day our schedule was a bit different. We slept in so we could pack and we didn't leave our room and go to the pool as early as we did the previous 6 days. We left the room at 9:15 to go grab some breakfast and take a last swim before taking the noon bus back to the airport. All week long I made sure I either had my cash and credit card on me or it was locked in the safe, I even purposely left my watch at home as I was concerned about theft. We had no issues with our cameras, iPads, etc., but this morning for whatever reason I left $40 and my credit card on the dresser, put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and left the room for no more than 90 minutes. When we walked out of the room, the room attendant was there, we thanked her for taking care of the room and the four of us went down the stairs. We returned 90 minutes later and low and behold the credit card was missing. The $40 was still there, but the card was missing. After looking around for a few minutes to make sure I didn’t move it, I called Chase and confirmed that it was used for a $1200 purchase 30 minutes earlier. I cancelled the card, and called security to report the theft. It took an hour for security to arrive at the room, at which point we were literally walking out of the room to check out and catch the bus to the airport. Security said he would investigate and would alert management. When I informed the front desk, they were quite surprised this would happen at their resort and implied that I must have "misplaced" my card. He also asked that he speak with Chase to get information regarding the usage of the card. As annoyed as I was that I wasn’t believed, I called Chase back and while speaking with them the card was declined for another $2500 in purchases in Montego Bay. I gave the GM my business card and told him I expected an update or a report. Needless to say I never received one, which is why I'm writing this review 3+ weeks after returning. To the Royalton’s credit, they did waive the spa treatments I had charged to the room. I’m obviously not responsible for the fraudulent charges on the card, so it was nice of Royalton to take care of the spa charges, but it doesn’t change the fact that my room was entered and the card was stolen.
Sadly enough, if I never left the resort on my own and I didn't leave my credit card on the dresser on my last day, my review would be much better. Maybe it's my fault, but either way it did happen. I’m surprised this is the only review like this, so maybe it’s not commonplace, but I still thought it was important enough to leave a review. So, what would have been a nice review about a new resort that is really quite beautiful turns out to be a so-so review and a warning to prospective travelers to stay on the property and keep an eye on your credit card.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Your All-In Luxury™ vacation starts on one of the Caribbean's most idyllic settings. "White Sands" beach in Jamaica is a powdery white slice of paradise, separating lush tropical gardens from the turquoise Caribbean Sea, just a 35 minute drive from the Montego Bay Airport. A warm reception and chilled cocktail set the tone for a week of extravagance. The elegantly appointed lobby offers a scenic view of the modern resort facilities. After a day of indulging in our extensive and unlimited reservation-free dining and drink services and partaking in our activities, sports, and entertainment program, guests will appreciate the comfort of our modern and spacious rooms. From Luxury Rooms to Diamond Club(R) Luxury Presidential Oceanview One Bedroom Suites, all rooms offer Dreambed™, designed exclusively for Royalton Resorts and adorned in luxurious 250 thread count sheets. All of our 352 luxurious rooms and suites offer our exclusive DreamBed™, 250 thread count sheets, 24 hour concierge service, In-room safe, rain showers, satellite television, stocked minibar, 24 hour room service, and a balcony or terrace. Other amenities include iron and board, coffee/tea maker, and hairdryer. Guests can also take advantage of our All-In Connectivity exclusive features including: • Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort • Unlimited free in-room calling to North America and most of Europe • Convenient USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations in your room • Download our free Royalton app and receive unlimited free calling plan from your mobile device while on our property, as well as unlimited free app-to-app texting. ... more less
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