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Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa
Ranked #30 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“One sentence can't sum it up”
Reviewed 3 March 2010

Note: if you are one of those people who rate a hotel poorly based on one factor... then don't bother reading my review. Shaw Park is an awesome place to stay and very safe. Every room has a beach/ocean view (2nd and 3dr floors are the best and can leave windows open for ocean sounds while you sleep). Sure, it's an older hotel but it's a small one and you get the know the friendly staff quickly. Smiley is an awesome bartender, the bellhop Craig was a big help, and we got a driver named Crossman to avoid the tourist crowds from the ships. The all inclusive package was just ok. The food was basic but thats not why we took a vacation. The bar was very welcoming and drinks flowed. The only poor expierience we had was based on the concierge lady who didn't seem to know much about stuff do do there execpt for a few snorkling trips that she had flyers on, (that's where our personal driver came handy and got to places avoiding lines.) So make sure you do some research on stuff to do before you go, thankfully I did. One last note... don't try to walk back from town at night to the hotel, not a wise idea. Hit me up if you have any ?'s

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank WorldTravelerChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Montreal
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2010

Old, tired, in need of serious renovations. Bathroom was grubby, tiles missing, no hot water for the most part, bedroom was old with mismatched furniture and decor, patio door windows were dirty. Food was passable, staff were attentive. Would not go back. We went with low expectations and were not disappointed.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank MontrealRuby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Ocho Rios hotels

ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2010

we had such a great time we're already talking about going back! expect older hotel but totally clean, great food, neat people...as americans, we're used to someone asking"can i help you?" will not happen...you have to tell the wait staff what you want as they walk by...but that was the ONLY downer. hoping our canadian friends will see this and agree!
have already recommended to others of like minds.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank travelintammyOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KW Ontario
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2010

I stayed at Shaw Park in Feb. of 2010. Shaw park is definately 'good bang for your buck' if you are simply looking for a hotel to base yourself out of. There was a lack of fruit available, which seems strange given that they boast the 'Shaw Park Garden tour' (I suggested they plant some fruit trees!). Also, the only alcohol available was rum based drinks, beer (which was restricted), and wine, so all inclusive means you have those three to choose from. The food was average, however no traditional Jamaican food was served (which also seemed strange?). You have to ask for toast and bacon table by table for breakfast...also strange? They only have one blender for the bar...so if you like blender drinks...good luck. Bring a large travel mug for coffee, amd one for drinks, as they serve in 6oz glasses. The staff were fantastic, Smiley, Janet, and the rest, all very helpful and very accomodating. All rooms have a wonderul view, no high rise buildings or cruise ships to ruin the atmosphere. The local people were fantastic. When you leave the resort, make a left into the town called 'Exchange". You will pass by Joan, who runs the shop at the bottom of the Calypso ride, she was very reasonable, and does great hair braids for around $25 US. Also, go to Canadian tire and bring your own tube for the Calypso rapids, try the snow tires that kids have with the handles....then take a cab (for $1.00 US) to the top, and jump in!! NEVER take a cab from the hotel desk, they will charge you $20.00US....simply walk left into Exchange, or walk to the right until you see the main road. Hail a taxi for $1.00US per person and head in the market at "Oci". Also, if you walk, go through town.....go right on the main road, past the Petcom gas station a little bit, and then again to the right (you'll see a sign) as there are a lot of shops on the way to town. To change currency, go to the store in the town of Exchange and speak with the wonderful Korean couple who can exchange US currency into Jamaican ($20.00 US was about 1750.00 in Jamaican), left from the hotel, walk down the road, and up the hill to the right......you will see the plaza....stop by and see Joan on the way, then see Careal, he has a little blue stand on the right near the road.....you will see the cars flying by......catch a cab from there...or grab a snack from Careal. He also takes orders for Lobster, for about $25.00 US, or King Fish and other traditional foods....set a price in advance, then watch him cook you a wonderful meal, and sit out back on the bamboo table to enjoy. The hotel charges $45.00 per person for lobster. If you want to see Dunns Fall, it's $15.00 US to get in....take your own cab...there are signs posted to direct you to the top. Bring your own water shoes!! I would also bring bug spray. Walk toward Ochi (Ocho Rios) and stop by Mahogony beach, a great place to snorkle......very clean and clear. The local market in Ochi had wonderful art, remember to negotiate, large portraits were around $40.00US, smaller one's around $15.00...but starting price for either was around $80.00 ...so bargin, bargin, bargin! Great pizza in Ochi, as well as burger king if you need to see familiar junk food. Great fruit market, most items were $1.00 or less (Banannas, grapefruits, mango's.....coconut....)...
Shaw Park hotel is in need of a face lift, some new paint and fixtures would do the trick. The food menu must be improved, and the bar as well. They lack night entertainment, and need to put internet into rooms, not just the lobby. The original wood is nice throughout the hotel, and the lobby is beautiful. The night club needs an overhaul, it could be expanded, and they should serve beer, not just rum. More Carribean tradition could be demonstrated. The owner had a constant "reserved" sign for his favorite table, which was somewhat rude, and dinner was often served late. Not having curried goat ir Jerk chicken was dissapointing. That being said the table service staff were excellent, as were the cleaners. Each room has a balconey, which was nice, all have a/c, and I could use my appliances (bring your own hair dryer). Only some rooms have a safe, at a coast of $2.00 per day. There was no departure tax leaving Jamaica (to Canada)...which was great! The water was ok, no one got sick. We went into the town of exchange before leaving a gave out our left over hygiene products, shoes, and medicines and clothes, as the locals are poor due to lack of employment. We brought soccer balls for the local children, as well as cards and dice.... makeup/ cosmetics/ perfumes to leave for the cleaning staff. We bought a large traditional steel drum, for about $25.00 (see Joan for such items, she gave the best price!!). Travel in groups when you can....don't wander off of the resort at night. Try Evitas for italian (you can walk from Shaw), go right, it's at the end of the long Shaw entrance road. Overall, for the price, you can't complain, and I would probably go again as the beach was awesome. Several guests caught their own lobster while snorkling off of Shaw Park beach!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank KitchenerGURL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2010

Stayed at the hotel earlier this month. Husband and I wanted a last minute trip, but needed 6 nights, not the usual 7 nights, and had very specific dates in mind. Put together a package on Expedia. Some of the reviews gave us pause, but we're pretty easy-going, so we said "what the heck?" and booked it.

The Good:

The staff, for the most part, are very good. Check-in was a breeze. Everyone from the groundskeepers to the maids say "Hello". The rooms were older, but quite large, and very clean. The main building has a beautiful lobby (with free wireless Internet, so bring your laptop!), and I have never stayed at a place this close to the beach. I doubt environmental laws would let someone build this close to the beach these days. Every room has a view, and you can hear the waves from every night, to the point they even kept me awake a few times!.

The food was quite good for the first few days. If you are expecting a six-mile long buffet like at the big resorts, or hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, you will be disappointed. But if you are fine with 3 or 4 meat/fish/pasta entrees, a few sides, a few salads, and 4 or 5 desserts, you'll be fine. Quite a few authentic Jamaican dishes as well - jerked BBQ, rice and peas, festival, and braised callaloo (at breakfast even!)

The main bar is right next to the outdoor dining area. For most of the week, if you asked for a beer, you got Red Stripe in the bottle. Nice touch, since most places give you a plastic cup of draft something-or-other. Before dinner, the bar puts out bowls of fried coconut or banana chips. Addictive.

The Bad:

Mealtimes are pretty regimented. Late afternoon about all you can get (short of paying for room service) are tea sandwiches and booze. if you must have 24 hour access to mass quantities of hamburgers and pasta, this is not your kind of place. By the end of the week, the menu was a little repetitive. I think I saw the same cucumber and tomato salad at every single lunch and dinner.

Table service can be a bit slow. They make you wait to be seated at meals, and it might be a while before they come to take a drink order. You might be 3/4 of the way through your dinner before your drink comes. But, you are in a hurry to go where? Relax, enjoy the view, you are on vacation. The house wine is meh, but I've had far worse at much fancier resorts.

I never did find the TV remote in our room, and quite a few of the channels were either snowy or "not available".

The owner of this place could do a lot to fix it up. Get some card locks for the doors, a few coats of paint, some new watersports gear, etc. A little bit of polish, a bit more attention to detail, and it would be a gem.

The Ugly:

The bar could use a bit of work. They seemed to be out of stuff a lot. No tequila, no whisky, no bananas, etc, and it would take a few days to get re-supplied. A lot of the drinks are made with Tang and other powdered crap. No slushy machine, so the bartenders are constantly washing blenders. A few of the bartenders pour generously, some you can barely taste the booze. I try to tip reasonably well ($2-5 a day) but it's still hit or miss.

A few other tips about the place:

- You can drink the tap water
- They drive on the left in Jamaica. If you are from a place that drives on the right, you must counter the urge to look to your left before crossing the road - it only takes a half second to get yourself killed.
- Dunn's River Falls tour: definately worth it.
- Shopping trips to Ocho Rios: It costs $20 for a car load of people, but that is BOTH WAYS
- Have lunch at the Ocho Rios Jerk Centre at least once. Very tasty, and the jerk conch is amazing.
- Margaritaville is cheezy, but do it once.
- Have your driver take you to Lobster Dave's in the fish market. For about $30 US, you and a friend can have an awesome lobster lunch on the beach.
- if you go downtown, you will be offered "smoke" about every 30 feet. It may seem to be legal, but it's not. At your own risk....
- if you want snacks like chips, nuts, cookies, etc, go to the Petcom gas station just down the road from the hotel. And the booze there is about $5-10 per bottle less than in the tourist traps downtown. Don't wait for the duty free at the airport.

And, finally, if you are going to be cranky and demanding, just stay at home. Things move at a slower pace. Just build in a little extra time, and relax your expectations.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank LibertyBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
1 review
Reviewed 17 February 2010

Booked a trip from sell off vacations and Sunquest. On day 3 got food poisoning (FROM SHAW PARK AS I NEVER ATE ANYWHERE ELSE) and ended up at St. Anna's hospital (THE DR. DIAGNOSED IT). very sick and spent the rest of my vacation in bed. HOLIDAY RUINED. The people in the hotel were very nice to me. I did like the staff. I WOULD NEVER BOOK A TRIP FROM SELL OFF VACATIONS OR SUNQUEST. They took no responsibility that their supplier (Shaw park) gave me food poisoning. I didn't even get a $5.00 gift certificate from Sunquest to say they're sorry. They told me they take no responsibility for any illness while holidaying in their resort. So I guess you get what you pay for. The Hotel did have a musty smell to it but we left the balcony door open the whole time. The people two doors down did get robbed while they were sleeping. The food was pretty bad. The staff were great. It's not their fault they got stuck working there.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank eartwister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sudbury
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2010

We booked as a last second trip for great savings!
We went with an open mind as this place has a three star rating!
We just wanted sun and sand!
We actually got alot more!
Staff was courteous and helpful, food was excellent, accomodations were very clean and rest and relaxation was assured!
I would recommend this trip for low budget trips...it is well worth it!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KenandLisa69
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

Property: 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
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 94
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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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