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Round Hill Hotel & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hopewell
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 May 2014

If you have ever wondered what it was like to play with the jet set in the 1960’s and 70’s then Round Hill in Jamaica is a good place to start your research. From the old black-and-white photographs of visiting celebrities, to the piano in the bar, to the colonial style architecture and brass fixtures, the resort is a glimpse of an era of luxury and privilege when Jamaica was regarded as an exclusive destination for the rich and famous with a price tag that few could aspire to. Or could even aspire to today. Make no mistake Round Hill is very far from a cheap resort for masses of tourists; the place is not cheap and the style is not cheap. Round Hill is all about total elegant excellence: the design, the style, the bathroom fixtures, the soap, the towels, the pool, the food and, most importantly, the staff.

As soon as you walk in you are greeted warmly, usually with your name, and there is a genuine desire to make you feel comfortable. A lot of this casual elegance is mediated through the manager, Josef Forstmayr, who is an outstanding professional and who must be one of the best in the business. Clearly he is a very skilful leader and selector of staff. His attention to detail is extraordinary - because nothing is overlooked - and he brings warmth and passion to his work as well as a great sense of humour.

I’ve been on a number of occasions both for work and with my family so I have experienced a variety of sides to it. My children gave it a huge thumbs-up (despite the lack of waterslides, TV’s and other cruder entertainments). The children particularly loved the floor show at dinner – including fire eaters, limbo and contortionists. It felt a bit retro but my children absolutely loved it – they are still talking about the man who put the flaming torch down his underpants.

The food is quite delicious and healthy. A very wide menu with daily specials and a variety of locations to eat. One meal sticks in my mind: a mixed salad with arugula/rocket, the superb house dressing, as well as the avocado and crab salad (I was being greedy). For the main course jumbo shrimp cooked with garlic on a bed of stewed vegetables, with buttery mashed potato. The restaurant was full that night but the meal tasted as if it had been hand-cooked for me (maybe it had – I have no idea how many chefs they have..). The vegetables and salad are grown locally and you can taste it in each mouthful – the tomatoes explode with richsun-filled juice in your mouth. That night there was a whole range of East Asian and Indian curries on offer as well as the standard menu with a full range of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes. I wanted to eat at least eight different dishes. A tour of the kitchens or even a table inside them would be fascinating. The children were able to get all their favourites (pizza, pasta, chicken and rice, fries etc) but they were of high quality.

Gazing out over the sea as a fully-lit cruise ship left Montego Bay, listening to the waves on the beach, drinking Pinot Grigio in the candlelight I could see how good a honeymoon hotel this was.

If the overall style of Round Hill is old-fashioned, elegant, and patrician (and proudly so) the resort is far from being a museum. It is exceptionally tasteful, happy and constantly renewed. Each villa has its own distinct personality and homeliness. The hotel rooms are cool and stylish (designed by Ralph Lauren I was told in a sort of retro-nautical style with big brass fixtures and everything painted white, bamboo beds made in Jamaica, candles and easy chairs and views over the bay) and the entire grounds are a thing of wonder. The gardens are bursting with Jamaican colour: anybody interested in tropical gardens should visit as there is a super-abundance of gorgeous plants and small garden areas arranged in a hybrid species of English/tropical garden (ie ordered chaos). If you care to explore there are walkways and jogging tracks for miles through the woods and coastline.

I never went to the spa but I plan to... one day, when i have more money.

But it is the staff that make it – the sheer care taken with our children was extraordinary. Hercules, the water sports man, had a big impact on their holiday and clearly enjoyed his work; it is a happy, intimate place, the more so because there aren’t loads of people there. The staff never look rushed and seem to take a delight in personal contact in a totally non-formulaic way. The only person who rushes around is Josef Fortmayr who spends his day bounding around the huge complex ensuring everything is perfect and everyone is happy.

Criticisms? My children would lament the lack of water slides and TV’s, which obviously reflects the hotel’s distinct sense of taste that appeals to a more sober crowd. But for me it such a relief to have so little noise, except the tree frogs, cicadas and the water. It’s a great place to read and think. It they could only ban cell phones it would be perfect. The gentle walk along the side of the water on the little trail to the spa house is a perfect way to finish dinner. Tranquility.

My guilty pleasure? The underfloor heating in the hotel rooms – it makes such a difference to a nighttime visit.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Pineapple House are beautiful and stylish but the villas are the best
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jonathan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thanks for the wonderful comments on your recent stay with us. We are happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with s and look forward to welcoming you back to our island paradise.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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623 - 629 of 1,331 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

If you're looking for a relaxing, beach vacation, Round Hill is definitely the place to go! The villas are beautifully appointed with a wonderfully accommodating staff. This was our second visit to Round Hill and we are already talking about our 2015 trip back! The food and service are first rate. The grounds are lush and green and well manicured by the amazing gardening staff who take pride in the upkeep of the resort. The front desk staff could not be more welcoming upon arrival as well as the bellmen and catering staff. Round Hill is truly a Jamaican Garden of Eden!

Room Tip: We have stayed in villas 21 & 23. Both were great villas with pools. Our children stayed in vi...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank DoxieRoxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2014

Dear Valued Past Guest,

Thanks for returning to stay with us for a second visit and for providing us with the wonderful feedback on your stay. We are happy to hear that you are already planning a return trip for 2015 and all of us look forward to welcoming you back.

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Reviewed 29 April 2014

thinking about the last two weeks I especially remember the gentle and attentive staff, friendly and happy, with a good understanding of what everybody needs. I also remember all shades of green and turquoise, as well as birds singing and an overall peace atmosphere. We spent hours at the large sun loungers at the spa lawn, just watching the sea or thinking and talking about our lives and souls.

walking up to lizzies lookout in the morning presented the most beautiful sunrises; overlooking the bay in the other directions presented splendid sunsets. where can you have both of it at the same place?

I enjoyed so many beautiful details, such as the neatly rolled towels at the beach, the impeccable gardening, the giggeling of the staff, the black and white tiles of the reception, the cutest baby rabbits to pet for the kids on easter... thank you for all that.

to give any interested guests an idea about the planes: yes there are some during the day (none at night), but I did not feel disturbed at all, rather watched out for them how they turn into the bay.

and I have one suggestion: a set of umbrellas in each villa would help making the way through a tropical rain!

I really hope to come back.
thank you for making us happy.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Peetraa2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thanks for taking time to write this wonderful review on your recent stay with us. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. All of us look forward to welcoming you back

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We had the BEST four day stay. We are sure to return. Everything is top notch..The room, the view, the staff, (especially the staff), the food, the spa were excellent.
We rank this as one of the best getaways we have ever been to.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thanks for the fantastic comments on your stay. Thanks for the ranking as one of the best getaways. Please feel free to contact us whenever you are ready for another restful break.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

I used to go to Round Hill a child when John and Liz were the heart of special space that people from far and wide travelled to get to for their special holidays. Tourism wasn't a big thing then. It was pure magic. I assumed coming back here all these years later that it would be worth the while only probably for the nostalgia. Little did I know that this place was just as amazing - as classy and utterly beautiful, as pampering, as private and fascinating as it had seemed to me then. It remains a magical kingdom, a holiday like no other surrounded by tasteful, unhurried luxury, a greenness and lushness all around, infinity pools that seem to disappear into their landscape as easily as rivers; dawns and sunsets measuring their journeys in a world that has remained unique and utterly exquisite.

Room Tip: If you are in a large group choose a villa. If on your own, the villa rooms are lovely, but do you w...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank ray m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2014

Dear Valued Past Guest,

Thanks for teh wonderful comments on your recent stay. As a many time past guest, you continue to be great ambassador for Round Hill over the years. We hope that you will continue to return year after year to experience more of what is magical.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

All those ideas that I always had about that ultimate luxurious but laid back/laissez faire hang out in the Caribbean, where you would blend perfectly between postcard sunsets, permanent bird tweeting, dangerously delicious fruity rum cocktails, and a design setting that is noble but never crosses the line to snobbish, with classy personnel and an attitude that combines old colonialism flair with high speed internet and homegrown organic produce on lavish buffets – well, here at Round Hill it all became reality.

I was there for vacations in 1982, 1999, 2013 and yet again for the last two weeks. I have been to a lot of other places but Jamaica and Round Hill in particular feels more and more like a love affair that only gets better.

Whether you treat yo’self at the kids free Spa area to some some really efficient massage techniques (ask for martial arts afficionado Zarren, I’ll never forget that DEEP tissue ;-)), go for a stand up paddle or swim in the ocean, or you walk to the nearby Hopewell village to dine at Lobster Trap - there is a certain easiness to everything you want to do or NOT want to do. Because even when you lie down lazy, cooling off from last nights enthusiastic musical impromptu session with the super-skilled bar pianist and his talented soul crooner friend, suddenly a legendary American designer (who owns a few properties here) shuffles by you wearing a classic fine rip wife beater and some Nike sneakers to find some rest at one of these blue cushioned beach beds he designed himself anyways to enjoy the morning too. It is all so surprisingly relaxing and no big deal at all.

But the very best really is the personnel. Round Hill is famous for Stewart, the Zen master behind the beach bar, Kingsley the concierge, Jackie in service and Donovan, your rather determined master of stretch classes and other routines at the grand Spa facilities. These real characters are working there partly since decades and that is exactly why Round Hill never feels like one of this industrialized resort-experiences. It is almost like a 21st century Grand Budapest Hotel with much better weather.
Oddly enough, the resorts managing director Josef Forstmayr also serves as the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Austria. If you have seen Wes Andersens masterpiece of a movie, you know what I mean.

Room Tip: no matter where, just be a part of it
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Martin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 25 November 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thanks for the excellent feedback on your stay with us.. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay. All of us work hard to keep the resort in an immaculate condition complimented by its natural beauty and the friendliness and attentiveness of the staff. We all look forward to your return visit.

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Reviewed 24 April 2014

I recently had a need for an overnight stay in Montego Bay after visiting another resort in Negril. I wish I had chosen Round Hill Hotel & Villas for my entire stay in Jamaica. The rooms are what one dreams about - large, airy, wooden shutters on all of the windows, large comfortable and panoramic views over the pool and the ocean. The staff are friendly and helpful and the meals were first class. I will visit again.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Graham W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Omar R, General Manager at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2014

Dear Valued Guest,

Thanks for your feedback on your recent stay with us. Although a very short one, we are happy to know that you enjoyed your stay. We hope that you will return in the future to stay with us for a longer time.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Address: John Pringle Drive, Hopewell, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay > Hopewell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hopewell
Price Range: £239 - £672 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Round Hill Hotel & Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Round Hill Hotel and Villas is situated on a lush 110-acre peninsula just west of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Boasting a guest list of world leaders, cultural icons and Hollywood A-listers, this classic resort continues to attract a jet-set from around the world who enjoy timeless glamour and understated luxury along with pristine natural beaches and the inimitable Caribbean waters. Accommodations include 36 Ralph Lauren-designed oceanfront guest rooms, 90 luxurious villa rooms and suites or a selection of 27 private 2 - 6 bedroom Villas – most with private pools. Other highlights include open-air terrace dining and The Grill at Round Hill, award-winning family programs, an infinity pool, tennis courts, and an Elemis spa located in a beautifully-restored 18th century plantation house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Round Hill Hotel And Villas
Round Hill Resort
Round Hill Jamaica
Round Hill Hotel & Villas Jamaica/Montego Bay

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