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“The Staff and location make this place!”

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Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #29 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We spent a week at the Shaw Park from 5/19 - 5/26, along with 4 other family members. We booked the trip thru Vacation Express and had direct flights from Cinci to Montego Bay. Upon arrival at the Shaw Park, we were quickly checked into our rooms. During the check-in progress, one of the staff came up to tell us they had saved some dinner for us since we arrived after 10PM. We went to our rooms, dropped off luggage then headed down to the bar. Even though the bar normally closes at 10PM, they readily accommodated us and no one acted put out. Come to find out, there were a TOTAL of 10 guests at the hotel! All of us had come in on the same flight - it was like our own private resort! No the rooms aren't perfect, and no there aren't activities beyond kayaking available, but we knew that going in. We took cards and played euchre every evening after dinner. The rooms are clean, there was plenty of hot water and the air conditioning is cold. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful location on the beach, and there are no locals wanting you to buy stuff from them. I didn't use the pool, but it's a good size and one member of our group preferred that over the ocean. There is no ocean view from the pool, so I stayed on the beach! Shaw Park does have groups that come in, but we didn't find that to be a negative. One day, a group of about 60 middle school kids were there. Their parents had bought this trip for them as a reward for a good school year. The kids were very polite and it was fun watching them have fun! Another day there were a few groups from the cruise ship there. Again, not an inconvenience, but something new to watch.

Food: Most days it was ala carte. We did have a lunch buffet a couple of days, and for breakfast 1 day. The food was good - better than most all inclusive places I have stayed at. There were usually 3 options for lunch and dinner, always a salad and always dessert of some sort. I had red snapper cooked a couple of different ways - very good! Breakfast consisted of eggs - including omelets, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, French toast, pancakes and always some traditional Jamaican dish.

Staff: They are what make this resort! Anthony Morgan - the day time kitchen mgr is wonderful! He's not only personable, but will do anything he can to help make your stay enjoyable. He's also a published poet (in the US)! One day, some of our group wanted cheeseburgers for dinner... he made it happen! He makes sure you're being taken care of and if you aren't, he does it himself. One member of our group wanted chewy bacon, the rest of us crispy - that was remembered and done. They set a table with 6 seats for us for breakfast and dinner - like our own private seating area. Conroy at the bar is very good - again, personable and obviously enjoys what he does. Darren was also very pleasant. We locked ourselves out of our room 1 morning - no problem - the front desk just gave us another key and we took it back when we got into our room. They made sure we got to the buffet while there was still food when groups were there. I don't think I've ever stayed at a place where it was always service with a smile - regardless of what staff member you were dealing with.

If you're looking for a place that offers all the bells and whistles and rooms that look like something out of a magazine, this isn't the place for you. But, if you're looking for a nice quiet vacation on a beautiful beach and a staff that appreciates your presence, then you can't go wrong!

Shout out to our original group - Mary & Pat from Columbus, & Mary & Kent from Covington - and hello to all of the Shaw Park staff who made our vacation memorable!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank krv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michaelgayle, Director of Sales at Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Wow! it sure felt great reading your your review, I have taken note of all your concerns and have pass on the compliments to the staff.
We hope you will consider us again for your next vacation.
Thanks again, and we look forward serving you and your group in the future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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169 - 175 of 524 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2013

I stayed with 3 other family members at this hotel. Other than sunning oneself on the the beach there was nothing to do there. The advertised amenities were non-existent, indeed, the advertizing was false. The pool was filthy and unuseable. There were so many mosquitoes, you couldn't be out at night (where all meals were served) without being 'eaten alive'. Food was limited and mediocre at best. The wait staff was friendly and accomodating, especially a bartender named Smiley. This did not apply to the manager who was arrogant and unresponsive to requests and complaints and publicly disrespectful to his staff. Bar supplies were in short supply (no lemons, limes, club soda & cheap liquor). I would never recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank mebparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michaelgayle, Director of Sales at Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2013

We thank you for your comment and hope that despite this bad experience you did have a relaxed stay with us. We continue to improve the quality of service and the product we offer and that the hotel is know for over the years.
As for your comment relating to the Manager we have passed your comments on.

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Reviewed 11 April 2013

I went here for my birthday...hoping the reviews were not true...well !!!!" they are. .i had a terrible birthday and lost lots of money.. When i checked in..i only saw 2 other ladies in the resort..food that should of been stored certain tenperatures wasnt...the boss hides in his office...did not come to address my concerns...they offered me a different room...no way...the rooms are so outdated...do not trust the pictures ..it worst than it appears...i actually caught a early fight home. .no way i would of laid in there beds / ate there food / left my belongings unattended....vacation/ birthday gone all wrong...:(

  • Stayed: April 2013
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7  Thank deaddddly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michaelgayle, Director of Sales at Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

We thank for taking time out to record your experience here at our wonderful property. I have passed along the comments that are serious, and wish to make a correction to one of these. The pictures that are posted any where on the internet are true of the property, if you have found one that you believe is not, please bring it to my attention.
I would like to apologize for us not been able to meet or surpass your expectations, as you are aware, we are aware we cannot please all our guest but we certainly try as hard, I refer you to those other reviews here that we certainly did meet their needs.
Thanks again, and hopefully we will be able to serve you again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

This is one hotel that has a personality in Jamaica, unlike those monoliths that skirt the edges of the sea on the road to it. It is a colonial style hotel, with only 94 rooms, on Cutlass Bay, a private beach. A small patio off the room with its huge bed, was a walkway width from the sand, and a short distance from the bar.

The all-inclusive meal plan, served on the large outside patio, right next to the water, had a variety of different dishes each day. Once, during the week, they had buffet starter and dessert, with an entree from a menu, served by the ever attendant waiting staff dressed in their red tartan vests.
Live music, featuring different performers, accompanied every evening meal. Even the crew from Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives stayed, and ate, here after filming with Guy Fierri who had stopped off from his cruise to review two Jamaican restaurants.

It is an older hotel, and could do with new carpet, and paint in the halls. There was no shampoo in the bathroom, and the fittings were less than luxury, but quite adequate for our needs. The lobby is the only place with Wi-Fi, but gets you off the beach and away from the bar. It is also where you sign out your beach towels, which your can swap daily for clean ones.

Take sunscreen, and mosquito repellant. Be prepared to be at the back of the food line if a cruise ship's passengers arrive for lunch. They have not figured out that hotel guests should have precedence. Have a massage on the beach for $20. Talk to Kelly, the lifeguard, if you want snorkels, (better to take your own), or to buy the jewelry that she makes while on duty. The patio by the bar is frequented by smokers, so we sat in the eating area, once set for dinner, and played Scrabble on the iPad until the sun vanished and dinner was called.

Kick back, and enjoy paradise. The tours are costly, so walk down the beach and find the White River, right before the nude resort, and hire a bamboo raft for $30 to take you up the shallow waterway.
Do not expect luxury at this hotel, but it has personality that the major chains sorely lack.

Room Tip: You want ground level.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Melanie071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

We stayed at Shaw Park from March 27th until April 3rd. This was our first vacation so I have nothing to compare it to really but this is my opinion (and I am not rich, did not have super high expectations and am an easy going Canadian). First impression was snotty front desk lady..got to the room...I thought it was cute although I'm told by seasoned travelors that they are very tired. Went to check out the "private beach" and was approached by locals who live on a little patch between this resort and the nude resort just to the right of this hotel that wanted us to take a ride on their home made raft down around the corner for $50 each. Food was not my thing, you won't see a buger and fries until you get home put it that way. Afternoon snack is pizza everyday. Here is the fun part of my review...on the third night I went to use the washroom in the middle of the night anf had a staring contest (because I was to afraid to move) for about 45 minutes with a cockroach, until I had the guts to scream for my husband to come kill this ginormous bug which took him at leasr 20 minutes...after this of course I don't sleep and in the morning when we seen another@ one in the hallway and asked the maid what it was (because I spent all night trying to convince myself that it was just a really really big island june bug) she casually says "oh that...that's a roach...a cockroach" my husband steps on it and kicks it aside and no word of a lie..it was there 4 days later when we went home...no one cared to pick it up and dispose of it. And the front desk was not the slightest bit concerned anout it when I told them.Cruise ship people are served with highest priority. Drinks are scarice after 10:00pm NO one goes to the disco EVER...an they have little to no music on this resort. The owner Mr. smitt or whatever his name is flutters in looking high as a kite on what I here is cocaine everynight but no concers are addressed or taken Seriously (although I did not complain however talked to a few that did). The fishing boat drove us 20 feet away for what was supposed to be free (but make no mistake...nothing comes for free in Jamaica) when we got back to shore he demanded money and sat in his boat on the water directly outside of our room threatening us with his boss until we gave him money. The bar guy smiley is about the only positive...I sure hope my next vacation isn't like this. Small resort...no a la cart...only one eating area which is buffet all the time. Hardly a pool..no one ever useda it.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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5  Thank CandyD82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

We read reviews of Shaw Park prior to booking but still came as it appeared this resort could be a quaint resort with a good beach. We met great people who were also travelling from Canada, they made this trip memorable and provided us with lots of great memories.
We were not happy with the service or amenities at Shaw Park. There are some great people who work at the resort but the owner is rude and inconsiderate of his guests. He is also rude to his workers, whenever he showed up you could feel the tension and he yelled at the servers and bartenders. We were with travelers who were robbed/threatened/conned. Our concerns were not well addressed with the resort and the owner made no attempts to apologize for this. Security was said to be increased but then there was an additional situation with a security guard who harassed our friends for tips.
I am quite sure the resort was beautiful at one time but it has consistently gone down hill since then. The place is in dire need of painting, upgrades and repairs. Yet the owner drives two brand new hummers.
Cruise ships dock here throughout the week and crowd the resort. You (as a guest) then have to wait to eat lunch and be served.

Don't go here, you will be disappointed

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank SDL249
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

First thing first...This resort is over 2 hours away from the airport. Before travelling to this resort we read many reviews and overall it sounded and looked like a half decent resort. Being seasoned travellers and spending a lot of time in Cuba, we did go in with an open mind, and lower expectations, and yet we were not prepared for what we experienced at Shaw Park. I'll divide this review into two parts...First the good...Anthony, one of the two dining room managers. he is a very warm and friendly person. He greeted us everyday with a smile and a handshake and said anything we needed just let him know. When he was on, he spent his time making sure the buffet was full and fresh, that everything ran smoothly, and that all the guests were well taken care of. Then there was Kari, at the front desk. She was so nice and always pleasant and made short work of any requests we made of her, and she was very knowledgeable about the resort and the area. Hazel, the sweetheart that took care of our room was amazing. She did an excellent job of keeping up with our sandy water shoes and wet towels...made sure they were in they sun so they were dry next time we used them. Always made sure we had lots of toilet paper and fresh bath towels. Kind felt like havin my mom there, she has a heart of gold and makes you feel so welcome. Our lifeguard Kelly made our trip much more enjoyable. She is an awesome local girl who made us feel at home everyday. She works at this "resort" trying to scrape up enough money to support her family, and save for her future. She has great aspirations to one day leave her home, travel to the USA, and become a marine biologist...all the power to you Kelly!!Then there's Opal, the one and only great bartender...if you can get her when she's tending bar because she also doubles as a waitress and that serves as her primary job. She should be behind the bar full time because she rocks. She serves you right away, makes an awesome strawberry daiquiri and seems to enjoy doing it. Last but not least there's Paul...who can always be seen walking the resort paths plunger in hand, rubber boots on his feet headin our way to fix the toilet that liked to back up and clog...even with very little toilet paper. One of the other few positive things about the resort is most of the food is good. Breakfast buffet always had a selection of scrambled or hard boiled eggs or you could get fresh fried eggs or omelettes from the breakfast grill. The buffet had things like pancakes ,French toast, some kind of vegetable and fish dish, as well as fresh fruit, assorted muffins and pastries and fresh juice and amazing blue mountain coffee. There was sausage too, but didn't taste like sausage here. There was bacon we found out on our second last day, but it's not served in the buffet, you have to ask the waitress for it, and it was more like a secret than public knowledge. Lunch had a choice of chicken or fish or pork prepared in a variety of ways. Also lots of vegetable dishes and various rice or potato sides. Again fresh fruit and pastries for dessert. And dinner was a nice selection again of beef, chicken, fish or pork prepared in a variety of ways, lots of fresh veggies, pastas, and real mashed potatoes. One night we even had roasted turkey done perfectly and a really good ham another night. And don't forget about the abundance of salads..mmm. The only drawback is when the boats and tour buses come in for the day they take priority over the resort folks. They get served first and guests are asked to wait. This didn't sit right with us.

So now here is the rest of the negatives about this resort. The oceanfront deluxe room we booked came with an overflowing toilet and black mold infested curtains. We didn't realize till we were checking in that this resort didn't have any "smoking rooms". We found out from Hazel that the reason is because it's too hard to get the smoke out of the drapes...that's a nice concern, but they don't seem at all concerned about the mold...If they did, they would try washing them. And yes the rooms and in fact the whole resort is out dated. There are power outages, and no emergency lighting anywhere including the stairs and believe me when the light go out it is pitch pitch black. The beds are hard to the extreme. It felt like sleeping on a stone slab. The patio chairs are the same hard iron chairs that are in the dining room except the are no pads or cushions making them extremely uncomfortable. Again though I must say Hazel did a great job with our room. As for the she rest of the resort...the only bar is the beach bar which is a joke. unless you want a beer or a mixed drink like a rum and coke forget it. the bartenders do not like to make blended drinks like pina coladas etc. they either make excuses like the blender is broken or they go so far as to outright refuse to "mash the ice" to make them. Major attitudes, and even tipping well didn't help. The other "bar" apparently was in the "disco", which was so dark and musty we didn't even go in one time. The seating area of the beach bar consists of about ten or so fold up type wooden tables and chairs that are full of splinters and pretty dirty. Of those seats there are maybe three two-seater tables allotted for the smoking area. This is the only place smoking is allowed in this resort. This bar is literally "over" the beach and if you are not careful you will find yourself lying beside bags of garbage like kfc wrappers and empty cups that someone stuffed under the edge of the bar on the sand. The beach is also very small by any standards and by no stretch of the imagination is it white sands. The water is warm and lovely to swim in, but don't expect to snorkel here unless you go out in a boat as there is no fish to see. The red flag was on the beach every day which means rough seas unsafe to swim but didn't seem to matter for swimming just meant lots of waves. Lounge chairs are cheap plastic with big arms very uncomfortable. Beach segregated into 3 sections. One for us guests, one that is rented out to locals, and one nude beach at the adjoing hotel.

Entertainment was almost non- existant unless you count the three various singers that came in when the boats came in. They would perform at dinner and that was it. No games, no sports, no dancing lessons, no nothing. And no gift shop to speak of. One night at dinner we had one very talented vendor set up in the tiny beach bar but I must say he was extremely pushy selling his wares. I understand that the people here are poor and some make their money from their skills and I have no problem with that but he was very pushy like I said and it makes you feel uncomfortable or for some people even obligated.

If you are expecting an a la carte dinner, don't . There is no actual a la carte restaurant. Our package included one dinner at the a la carte restaurant. When we tried to book it with the dining room manager she put us off 3 or 4 times. When we mentioned it to the sunwing rep he said sorry the a la carte restaurant only available on sundays. Then we find out you can have one but it will cost you $30 per person and you sit in the regular dining room and eat off a menu instead of the buffet. If you push the issue hard enough that is.

The owner drives around in hummers and jags and treat his employees like crap. they make $7 a day their money. the bus each way costs $2.50. If they need to borrow bus fare its given to them but not without something expected in return. the staff is yelled at degraded and taken advantage of in every way. how they are treated is reflected in the way a lot of the staff is towards the guests. He needs to remember that its his staff that makes the resort enjoyable for the guests.

The last thing I want to mention is that we didn't feel it appropriate that when we tried to schedule a tour we had booked and paid for online with the agent on site Patrick, we were reprimanded for booking it on-line instead of booking it with him, as he did not make a commission on that tour. Imagine!!
Not to mention he is only there for a couple hours a day because he takes care of 4 resorts so how much help can he really be?

So to sum it all up we strongly recommend that you do not stay at this resort. or if you are at another resort and have the option to take a day trip here don't waste your time or your money. we will never ever return same as most people who come here. and if you do go despite all you've read good luck to you.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank sbeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa

Address: Cutlass Bay, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#13 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £134 - £244 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 94
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Shaw Park Beach Hotel And Spa
Shaw Park Beach Hotel Ocho Rios
Shaw Park Jamaica
Shaw Park Beach Ocho Rios
Shaw Park Hotel Jamaica
Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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