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Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Boscobel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 November 2008

After booking the trip in April I began watching and reading reviews here so I would know what to expect when I got there. I have to say I was worried after reading some of the previous reviews and I'm so thankful that my experience was a positive one!!
I too have traveled quite a bit and have been to some nice resorts and also have been on a few cruises and I'm so happy to say that this vacation ranked right up there with the others.
I'll share with you my families experience and the things we liked, loved and some dislikes and maybe it will help you in some decision making.
First, the bus trip!! I'm sure you've read a zillion comments on this and it is LONG! I think the whole day of traveling is what makes it so long. It's not unsafe or uncomfortable. The bus is air conditioned, and the bus driver does show you points of interest along the way. The area you pass through you will see some poverty but it is not unsafe in any way.
Second, the rooms: We got the premium room which is second from the cheapest room. It was HUGE, beautiful, clean and to top it off it had a huge balcony which overlooked the trees,and in the background was the ocean. I couldn't have asked for a better room. My experience was the same with the housekeepers. Only complaint here was our room didn't get cleaned until after 4 every day, and then they turned down the beds at 6. But "no problem" we are on vacation! You can ask for earlier housekeeping if needed. But wasn't that big of a deal.
Third, I'm sure you've also read alot about steps. There are a LOT of steps. 177 from the gym to the lobby area. My boyfriend kept count of the steps as a joke because there are a lot. But my Mom (60) was there for the trip and she is overweight and has a bad knee and managed o.k. There are elevators that go to the beach and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. We just mostly took stairs.
FOOD: It wasn't near as bad as I had read about. I was so scared that I took my own snacks and Mtn. dew as I was afraid I would starve to death. The only problem I had was that since I was so picky I ran out of things to eat and was eating the same things over and over again. And my son who turned five while we were there didn't have alot of choices either, however, the staff was more than wiling to work with us on whatever we needed. My boyfriend really enjoyed it as he loves fish and seafood and there was always plenty of that. I hope that I
don't sound negative because I'm not complaining, i loved everything about the trip, I just want to help those out who will be traveling so they will know what to expect. As picky as I am I always walked away from dinner with a pleasant experience and a more than stuffed belly:)
POOLS: LOVED them!!!! My son loved the kids pool area with the kids slide, my boyfriend, I and my (60 year old) dad loved the bigger slides. The pools were always clean we never had problems finding a chair. Take note: October is there slow time and they said that when it is there busy time you sometimes have to go out at 7:00 am to get a chair. The adult pool with the swim up bar was nice. I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I'd like as I said I did have my five year old with me. Although, they can have as many virgin frozen drinks as they like too. If you drink, it is well worth your money. Because the drinks are great, and FREE!!! We figured between food and drinks we got our moneys worth right there.
BEACH: I really don't want to put anything negative in here but it was def. not the selling point of the trip. It is small which I knew it was going to be when I booked the trip. The water is not real clean, however, still better than Florida ocean. We took the Kayak out one day and the water on out is beautiful. Here is a tip, do everything you can while the sun is shining. We were trying to spread everything out over the week and unfortunately, mother nature sent us some bad weather the last three days we were there and we missed out on a lot of beach stuff. Also, it seems some things are worn out there and they need to replace or purchase new stuff. For instance, we were supposed to go out on the glass bottom boat however, it was canceled because the boat was broke down and one was on it's way from montego bay. Then the banana boat had a hole in it and they were trying to fix it and was canceled til the next day which never happened for us due to the weather. Still, none of these things were worth getting upset over or worth spoiling our trip. We took it as a lesson to be learned and we know to do things differently next time.
TOURS: Here is a MUST< MUST>MUST!!!! We took the Chukka safari and dunns river falls tour. I think it was like 85.00 a person but worth every penny. Our tour guide was awesome, the ride was awesome. He stopped along the way and let us try fresh fruit, he showed us sooo much stuff. We stopped for a break and they cut up fresh fruit, we bought ice cream from a local, we had rum punch, we saw the rain forest ( fern gully), we saw villages where the locals lived, etc. Then when we went to Dunns river falls he gave us pointers on what to do and not to do and how to avoid the over aggressive craft market at the falls. There are plenty of other places to shop and from what I had read we wanted to avoid them. Believe me it is worth it!
We also took a shopping tour through beaches, and it was o.k. They really pushed trying to get you to buy jewelry while your there. We ended up taking a taxi back to the one place to shop because they only give you one hour then take you to a junky place to shop for an hour, which was a waste of time, then the third stop was a local craft market which we were given 20 minutes and that was def. not enough time. I was literally scared to death of the people from everything I had read and let me tell you, they are not aggressive. They do ask you to come take a look at there booth a lot but we are their food source and only income. Never did anyone show any anger or aggression towards me. I did try to give them all a chance and looked at what they had. Which was pretty much what everyone else had. It's so hard to buy from one knowing they all could use the money.
Sesame Street: Here is one thing I looked and looked for and was surprised no one commented much on it. This is the reason I chose this resort for my son. You don't see a whole lot of them. You have to be at the designated place at the designated time in order to catch a glimpse of them. And most of it during the day is just so they can get a picture of them with your child. ( A way of making money for them and costly for me!) After the second day, my son wanted to go to kids camp as this is where most of the sesame street stuff takes place. After much hesitation on my part, as this was supposed to be a "family" vacation, I let him try it out. Needless, to say he loved it and wanted to go back day after day. Which turned out good since it rained for three days and there isn't anything to do indoors. The teachers at the kids Camp were awesome. I joined for a few activities and watched the interaction b/n them and the kids and those girls really are special. I wish we could have boxed them up and brought them home with us. The Sesame street shows at night were good and the kids seemed to love it too. They also had family game shows on stage which my family tended to be in a few of them. My son got a huge kick out of being involved and being on stage. The "funpals" as they called them, Richard, Kay, and Duane were all awesome. I miss them already.
I know this review is long, however, I hope it helps. I can't tell you how much I truely loved this past vacation. I'm not snobby by any means but I do expect good service especially when paying decent money. And I have to say I was worried before we left that I would be disappointed. I feel like I got much more than my moneys worth, not only through material things but also through the wonderful experience I had with my family and the people I met and you can never put a price on that.
Feel free to email me with any questions and I would be more than happy to answer them for you if I can.
Happy traveling, and remember "No, problem mon."

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank jamminnjamaica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,570 - 3,576 of 4,270 reviews

Reviewed 2 November 2008

Just returned from Beaches Boscobel and first impression of the resort is that it needs a good update. We stayed at Sandals 15 yrs ago and thought we would return with the children for a special luxury treat. We arrived after a long journey to find a bedroom that was dusty and very grubby e.g. chipped paint on railings, furniture that had doors missing, chairs that we wouldn't sit on and a bathroom that hadn't been updated for many years.

When we complained the receptionist showed us 2 other rooms both of a similiar standard, because we were tired we accepted the last of the rooms but were feeling very disappointed. The following morning we complained to the duty manager who managed to find yet another room and she inspected it personally before we were allowed to view it. Yet again, the room had seen better days. You can forgive shabby chic if that is what you are paying for and expecting but we were paying top prices and expecting a little luxury!

Other things that differ from Sandals is NO room service, limited choice of resturants (on one night a private party was in one restausrant an other restaurant was closed which left a choice of a seafood buffet, Bar B Q pit or adult only restaurant) and many small touches that we would have expected e.g a chocolate on pillow with turn down service, minibar not always replenished , towels not always replaced etc. etc.

We also got the impression that Sandals/Beaches has become very 'corporate' and the individual touch seems to be lost. Many things that you would expect the be included were an added extra and the staff seem to be trained to sell these extras.

At first we thought it was just us expecting too much but as the week progressed we spoke to many other guests who felt the same.

Staff are trying to do the best to please but the infrastructure is hampering their efforts. To sum up Jamaica is a lovely place and the staff are very friendly but the hotel is on par with a 3* hotel in spain and if you are expecting the ultimate all inclusive holiday then we suggest you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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Thank monty40yorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2008

My family went for a week in October 2008 to Beaches Boscobel. Our party included: myself, my wife, my 14 month old son, my mother and father, my father-in-law, and my aunt and uncle. We all enjoyed the resort.

I have to say that after we booked our trip, we read some reviews of other travelers and were afraid we would be disappointed. I don't know who wrote these negative reviews, but they are wrong.

The food was extremely good, much better than food on cruise ships. The staff were generally very friendly and helpful. The events for small children were very entertaining.

My only complaints are these: the weather was not good; the 2 hour ride from the airport was miserable after flying so long to get there; and the first room my parents were in had no mattress on the bed, only box springs. The resort, of course, cannot control the first two problems. However, we asked to move my parents, and they were moved to a room beside my wife and I which were adjoined. That room was fine.

Don't hesitate to take a trip to this resort because of negative reviews. I would consider going again but for the ride from the airport.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank yeahmonNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2008

When we got to the resort, we could see the ocean from the lobby the unreal blue, turquoise really, of the water. We got a concierge room, and our concierge escorted us to our room giving us a tour of the property as we walked to our room. The concierge service was great, no request was too much. I wanted sugar cane and they called the kitchen and made it happen. Well, the room was nice and large enough. After dinner each evening our pillows were fluffed and the covers turned down. We had a lanai room that overlooked the beach. We opened our door and heard the waves crashing against the beach. The lull of the waves put us to sleep every night we were there. The food was superb. The liquor was great and always available. We had a choice of 5 restaurants serving different cuisine. My favorite was Arizona’s for lunch because it was on the water’s edge with a gazebo on the water, of course I waited to be seated there every day for lunch. I felt the cool Caribbean breeze and the waves crashing against the shore as I enjoyed the succulent jerk and drank pineapple juice with Blue Curacao as blue as the water. The service was excellent. The entertainment was very good. The grounds were pristine. I really couldn’t ask for more.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank LuvNegril2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2008

I have been reading reviews of this resort since June ~ and was becoming increasingly nervous with all the negative reviews as our trip was approaching in October. Let me just clear up the misconception - there is NOTHING to worry about! It is a beautiful resort in a beautiful location! Was it perfect? No. In my 15 years of traveling, have I ever had a PERFECT vacation? NO!

The pool was great and never too busy. Same with the ocean/beach area. Yes, it is relatively small, but never crowded and it is that much easier to keep an eye on your children. The banana boat rides are offered everyday and you can go numerous times if you'd like. Glass bottom boat and snorkeling must be signed up the day before. The water slides were great and the lifeguards were very attentive.

Our room was just as described and expected. We had a beautiful patio overlooking the ocean (premium room - I would recommend making that small upgrade and calling ahead to request a patio/balcony and ocean view). The thermostat is right in the room so you can have it is cool as you would like. We rarely heard any neighbors so it was relatively quiet.

The nightly entertainment was loud and carried across the whole resort, but they respectfully stopped between 10-10:30pm every night. The Sesame Street shows and characters were an absolute delight.

The food was great -- the buffet had numerous selections and everything was prepared fresh. The Arizona was also great for a mid-day luncheon and dinner. The Venetian is great for an airconditioned, delicious dinner. All facilites had excellent wait staff and customer service.

We took one excursion to Dunn's River Falls and that is a MUST SEE/DO. Absolutely breathtaking and a nice break from the routine at the resort.

The Kids Kamp was great. Our 8 year old daughter begged to go everyday. Our 3 year old son is a bit more attached but we also left him on 3 occasions and he thouroughly enjoyed himself. We had a nanny come to our room one night for a couple hours and that was fine as well. You will quickly notice the nannies and child care staff are very compassionate, inviting and nurturing. No worries there!

I hope this gives some of you with an upcoming vacation relief!
We would definitely return!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank palmtreelover49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2008

After reading all the negative reviewsabout this resort, we were very nervous about our reservation. However, we had the best vacation ever. We were greeted in the airport and taken to a special lounge for Sandals/Beaches resorts only. We were offered refreshments and a place to relax. We waited approximately 15 minutes and our transportation was ready. We had our own bus and the bus driver was very friendly. He even stopped along the way to get us a snack, per our request because we had not eaten lunch. The ride to the resort was uneventful and not nearly as terrifying as we anticipated. We were disappointed that it was raining but the driver told us that by 1:00 the rain would be gone. Unbelievably, he was exactly right. The drive was only 1 1/2 hours and we were greeted at the resort with rum punch (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic were available). Our bags were taken to our room and from that point on, we did nothing but relax. Our rooms were unexpectably large, with a special area with a couch and a large balcony. They were very nice rooms and we were given any extra perks that we asked for including a crib and extra water stocked in the room for baby bottles. We were considered to be in a premium family room, which is not one of the top notch rooms. We changed clothes immediately and headed for the pools because that is what our kids had been talking about all day. We were greeted at the pools with refreshments and unlimited drinks. The resort was absolutely beautiful and the pools were fantastic. There was nothing negative at all to say about the resort. My husband and I have been to numerous resorts in the Caribbean and this was by far the nicest. The shows were incredible, both for kids and adults. I couldn't believe the entertainment because usually the shows at resorts are average, at best. We attempted to go to bed early every night because the kids were exhausted, but we could not drag ourselves or our kids away from the shows.

We spent the majority of our time at the waterpark because it was a blast. I thought the slides would be for small children, but I was wrong. They are thrilling for the old and young at heart. The beach was nice, but I have seen better. They had very nice beach accomodations (chairs and umbrellas) but it was small. Our kids loved it though and so did we. My husbad even bought me a massage on the beach our last day which was half the price they initially quoted him at the beginning of our trip.

The food was very good. Our favorite food was from the Italian restaurant. The atmosphere at Eleanors was also wonderful and the food was exquisite. Snacks were availabe all day and night as well as unlimited ice cream. They have a kids area in the main dining room which has small chairs and table and a small smorgasboard with plastic plates where they can get their own food. My kids loved this!!!!

I can not say enough about the staff. We were treated wonderfully by all. My kids baked cookies with cookie monster, danced with characters, etc. I was not worried about my kid's safety at all. The staff was wonderful with our children and not one of them would walk by our infant without making over her. We did not utilize the babysitting services but we talked with another couple who did and their kids never wanted to leave. This couple had also visited other Beaches resorts in Jamaica and said that Boscobel was the best thus far.

We went out on a limb and rented our own taxi for the day to take us to Dunns River Falls and Ocho Rios for shopping. That was a wonderful experience. They met us outside the gates and picked us up. It cost us $130.00 for the entire day and this included two taxis for 12 people. They would drop us off at different locations and would pick us up at the times we asked. They were always early. They also insisted that we not pay them until they dropped us back off at the resort. We felt very safe even with four children under the age of 5. The locals love tourists as that is their main source of income.

My husband and I went out one night to the Piano Bar and had the best time. The bartender Godfrey was wonderful and provided us with fantastic entertainment. He made all these unusual drinks, including one that was on fire. This night was definitely unforgettable.

I can not say enough good things about this resort. We are from an upper middle class background and are usually very particular about our vacations. The housekeepers were great. I entered our room one day and found one of them on all fours in our bathtub scrubbing it down in perfectly manicured and creased uniforms. They also reentered the rooms at night to turn down the covers and leave an itineray of the next days' events on the bed. This was by far the best vacation we have ever taken. My kids are constantly asking to go back and inside my husband and I feel the same way!!!!

5  Thank izzyIllinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2008

My boyfriend and I (25 years old) went to this resort and stayed a week. We thought everything was great! I guess we're not as hard to please as other people posting reviews.... ??? Anyway - here's a review broken down:

The ride to and from the airport is long - 2 hours - but what can you do about it... nothing -- so don't complain. The bus was small, but it was air-conditioned and they ask 1/2 way through the ride if anyone needs a bathroom break.

We checked in, our bags were taken to our room, and a bellman took us to our room. The front desk didn't really tell us where anything was, but you walk around and find out - or ask them -- don't just expect them to tell you.

Our room was nice, clean. The AC didn't seem to work though - it was stuck at 75*.

We thought the food was great. Elenor's had great food- very fancy. The buffet restuarant was good - as it had a different theme each night. So one night was Asian food, one night was Italian, Seafood, Jamaican, etc. If you try hard enough, you won't eat the same thing twice. The Mexican and Italian restuarants were OK. The BBQ place was a BBQ joint - burgers, chicken, ribs, etc and was open inbetween lunch and dinner should you need a snack.

All of the bars were great. No complaints.

The beach was a little small - but big enough. All of the water sports were great. The pools were good too - waterpark was fun and entertaining. They have a gym as well.

There are a lot of stairs around the whole resort.

The entertainment was fun. It went until 10 pm - then there is a 'disco' and piano bar that is open until 2am. We were more concerned about making the most of our days - esp. since we were drinking all day - so being up until 2am was not a concern of ours. They do have a bus that goes to Margaritaville some nights during the week if you wanted to do that.

We went at the end of September. The resort was probably 30% full because kids are just going back to school. It was a great time to go.

The weather was good. Only rained one day on and off all day.
The staff were really nice and knew us by name by the time we left.

We would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gonesomewherewarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

Address: St. Ann, Boscobel, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Mary Parish > Boscobel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Boscobel
Price Range: £306 - £962 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club 4*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Minutes away from the newly renovated Ian Fleming International Airport•Kids Camp with certified nannies to pamper the kids •Supervised Xbox® Play Lounge with flat screen plasma TV’s•Kids can enjoy fun and games with Elmo & friends in our Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure•Adults-only El Dorado bar located on a terrace overlooking the Caribbean Sea •A state of the art “Liquid by Beaches” Disco •Pirates Island Water Park offering eleven slides for all ages•Voted Beaches Resorts ‘World’s Leading Family All-Inclusive’ 14 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club Hotel Boscobel
Beaches Boscobel Resort And Golf Club
Beaches Boscobel Hotel
Beaches Boscobel Ocho Rios
Beaches Ocho Rios

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