We were at the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand for one week in March 2014. Let me first say that, ANY sunny Jamaican break from this past winter on the East Coast of the US is hard to complain about. BUT you are spending your good money, so you should know what to expect when you book.
There are lots of glowing reviews on TripAdvisor about this all-inclusive resort. You cannot go by these alone. It is really important to assess what they say they are offering from the standpoint of your personal level of expectations of a "5-Star" resort. From my perspective, this hotel is at best a 3 on a 0-10 scale.
The food in the international cuisine-themed restaurants (French, Japanese, Italian) is mostly ABYSMAL. Adding insult to injury, service in these dining rooms is inexplicably slow, with long waits to be seated, long waits to have orders taken, first courses served, and between courses....just bad. Of course, you can avoid this problem by going off-site to eat (as we did for several meals during our stay) but this doesn't make economic sense, if the point of purchasing an all-inclusive was to wrap lodging and food into one price.
Additionally, we are tennis players. When choosing a resort, we always pick a hotel that offers tennis courts or access to off-site tennis facilities. The tennis courts at Iberostar Rose Hall had GAPING holes in the fence surrounding them, raggedy nets, pocked playing surfaces, broken furniture courtside....generally, a MESS. For each of the days we were there, diffusers lined the dark hallways, burning (presumably) essential oils and emitting a very heavy "aromatherapy" odor/fragrance, seemingly to mask the smell of mildew that could be discerned underneath. "Butler Service" was apparently part of our package. The "butler" we were assigned, while friendly enough, was never able to carry out any of the requests we made of him--not even to deliver a wine key with which to open the complimentary bottle of wine the hotel had delivered to the room. In fact, he began his butler-spiel with an admonishment that although guests are forbidden to "reserve" pool- or beach-side chaises-longue, we should plan to go down by 7 am if we wanted to be sure to get one. Kind of a bad joke. The staff was very friendly, but their service delivery was hampered by a corporate culture that is unclear on the concept of true "5-Star" service.
While there is so much about this complex that is "Disneyland gone bad"--The art on the walls of the hotel were terrible reproductions of masterworks, repeating the same images every so many hundred feet of hallway. The entertainment venues were "seedy" in the sense that decorative curtains were hanging dejectedly from missing hooks, and seating fabrication was threadbare in spots--yet the young women who performed the role of concierge on each floor were excellent at their job. In fact, a complimentary round of golf that was part of our package (among the reasons we booked here) turned into 3 complimentary rounds, thanks to the concierge staff. Needless to say, this was a bright spot.
The easy access to the beach was also a real plus, the food in the breakfast buffet and grill area was fresh and satisfying, as was much of the lunch fare in the grill-type cafe near the pool and beach. Our room was very spacious, with ample closet space and a comfortable, modern bathroom. So, not a total loss!
There was lots to find objectionable, especially for the price. But at the end of the day, we were in Jamaica, watching the sun set every evening as the Caribbean Sea licked at our toes. How much can you complain under those circumstances?? Keep your expectations low, and you will be fine here. But be mindful that there are LOTS of other (better) options.
In the past we have been very satisfied with stays at Round Hill, Tryall, and in staffed private villas in Montego Bay. None of these is an all-inclusive accommodation, however. We thought we'd try the all-inclusive experience. After this experience at Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, I don't think we ever will again. Good luck to you!
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Grand Rose Hall Hotel Rose Hall
- Iberostar Montego Bay
- Iberostar Hotel Montego Bay
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall Jamaica - Montego Bay