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Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa
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Reviewed 3 March 2010

This is not a 5 star resort, but is probably 1/2 the price of Sandals or Couples. If you are willing to put up with a few inconveniences you can save some money and have a great time. We arrived on a Saturday, and even though we had a confirmed reservation, the hotel was overbooked. They put us in a facility next door, the blue building, which was clean, but a little "fringey." The next morning we were moved to the main hotel to a great room overlooking the outdoor bar. Every room has a balcony or patio which is literally steps from the beach. The room was small, but very clean, updated, and the bed was great (better than what we have at home). The lobby is beautiful, but the other common areas, dining room, halls, bar etc. are very worn and dated. Worn and torn carpet, peeling pain in places, broken chairs in dining room. Food was good and plentiful. 3 buffets a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lots of local dishes. A meat, fish and pasta as well as salad and veggies at every meal. No hamburgers and hot dogs here. Bar service was the weakest link. Ran out of tequila often. Not really out, just out at the bar and no one going to the store room to get more. In a couple of hours tequila was back. Same with banana rum, whiskey, orange juice, etc. Box-o-wine, white, red or blush are your choices, so if you're a wine purist you're not going to be happy. Red Stripe on tap was plentiful. Tip: take your insulated mug with you. Bar often runs out of glassware and uses 6 oz plastic cups. No real entertainment to speak of, a cheesy karoke singer and a trio switched off nights at dinner. The setting is just breath-takingly beautiful. The bluest water on a stretch of private beach with plenty of lounge chairs. Would I go back? Yes. This is a small, quiet resort ideal for those who are budget conscious and willing to forgo the nicities of a new facility. It is perfect for relaxing, reading and lounging on the beach. Also the toasted banana and coconut chips served at the bar every evening are to die for. If you have the funds and are looking for a shiny new facility with lots of high energy entertainment, keep looking. This ain't it.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KYTraveller55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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5  Thank WorldTravelerChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 June B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank travelintammyOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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4  Thank KitchenerGURL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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