We stayed here from April 1 - 11, 2012. It was my husband, myself and 2 kids...11 and 5. We came here last year and loved it so much, we decided we had to stay longer, so booked 10 nights..it still wasn't enough! I could stay here for months I think. I'll break it all down...
Took Jet Blue from JFK to Sangster....JFK was quick and easy, flight was perfect (got extra legroom seats, but not even necessary, plenty of room on Jet Blue). Immigration in Montego Bay was about 20 minutes. We were out pretty quick... We arranged a pickup through Reggae Tours (thats another review I am posting... they are AMAZING... and did me a HUGE favor...I will mention it later) Greeted with a big smile and cold Red Stripes.
We got to the resort in a few minutes. We did not receive a welcome drink...but we just walked in and I went to check in and my husband got some cocktails at the lobby bar (its right there) Our room wasnt ready, but we didnt care, had bathing suits, so we changed in the bathroom and went to the pool. The front desk was very friendly and smiling... no problems there. I told her we would be around later for the key (which turned out to be 4:30 because we had bathing suits and sunscreen....didnt need anything else!) We got our ground floor room as requested. Great location.... we were in 4023. When we walked out, we were right near the entrance back to the hotel and restaurants to to left or to the pool to the right. I had a 'view' of the lazy river and ping pong tables. But, I requested that for convenience, not a view. We are barely in the room...only to shower and sleep. But my kids always need something or have some reason to make me run to the room, so it was very convenient.
The pools were warm enough...chilly for a second, but it was SO HOT when we were there, it was nice to cool off. Everything was super clean. I dont think there was a time I didnt see someone mopping, squee-geeing (it that a word???) the floors, pruning plants, there was someone painting and touching up... it was constant... they keep this place immaculate. There is always someone picking up empty cups... its just very very clean. Our room was always done really early also... the girl didnt do the towel animals (my kids noticed this) but she restocked the fridge and the room was mopped 3 times that we were there. We left her $5 a day...not sure if that made a difference....
We made 5 reservations.... Mexican, Gourmet, Steakhouse, Mediteranean and Japanese. We had Mexican on April 2nd and they had lobster...the waiter told us it was the last night they were serving it. My son got the lobster... I dont care for lobster anyway, but he was happy. Food was good... they have a delicious salsa there are the appetizer station. I could have had appetizers and not even a dinner and been happy there... lots of good things.
The Steakhouse was good... I like that its outdoors, so thats a plus. All our steaks were cooked medium rare as we ordered and very tender.
The Mediterranean was good... I got the pasta and seafood, very tasty, the tomato sauce was very good (and Im an Italian girl from a family that jars their own sauce... so this is a big compliment... :) Once again, the appetizers were very good....
The Japanese, as always, is the BEST.... We had Sabrina as our chef (we also had her last year) and she actually remembered us! She said, Hey werent you here before??? lol.... anyway, she was very entertaining and everything was excellent. We all ate everything on our plates!! Very good.... my favorite
The buffet was great every night.... everything was delicious. I prefered the buffet with the kids because they had more choices.... We went to the Beach resorts buffet one night...I have to say...I liked theirs better!!! It seemed bigger and had different things... very good... I will use that one more often next time I go.
My husband and I got a on Friday night...we let the kids linger at the pool till 6pm...then we went to the room, got them cleaned up, ordered room service for them (chicken nuggets are excellent... they arent nuggets...they are breaded and fried chicken breast cutlets... very good) they ate, we got ready.... we took them to the theater at 8:15 for the kids show... Roxy hosts that... then at 9pm, she gets off the stage, we requested her as our sitter, so she sat with our kids in the theater and watched the Tutti Frutti show, which is all the star friends doing their 'thing'.... we went to dinner at the Gourmet. It was ok... honestly, my least favorite! Very nice and quiet though.... I think I was just tired that night. I was sick for the first 4 days (just a cold I brought from NY with me....) Roxy took our kids back to the room after the show. We went to the nightclub that night (best night to go... all the star friends hang out that night... they are great) We went back to the room at 1:00am and the kids were sleeping... Its $12 a hour for babysitting...awesome deal!
We hung out at the Beach resort one day. Its nice, but I dont think I would stay there. Its a different look, much more 'lush'...pretty plants... no lazy river, but instead a river is there, but its decorative only... the pool is all in one... the main pool, sports pool and jacuzzi are attached. At the suites, they are all separate. Its also a nice place though...I just like the Suites because you can use both. We had gold bracelets and the kids had orange. At the beach, the adults had silver and the kids white... there were TONS of kids on the Suites side with the white bracelets. I noticed the lifeguards and other employees telling adults with silver bracelets they had to leave, but they let the kids stay... my son was playing with a girl the entire time that was staying at the Beach... she was in our resort constantly. So that did add to the HUGE amount of kids running around. There were so many kids there... I did notice some older childless couples and honeymooners... I would never go if I didnt have children...lol... Its a great family place. There were weddings every single day.... some on the beach, some by the lazy river (i didnt like the location.... the ping pong tables are right THERE) But it was fun to watch the weddings.... they always got lots of applause from the 'audience' watching.... so if you are planning a wedding here, and you want privacy, dont get married by the lazy river!! There was always a crowd just feet away watching....
The drinks were great... we were drinking frozen lemonades and vodka by the pool.... they have a great vodka (and its Jamaican...who would of thought????) but those were yummy... the waitresses were constantly walking around taking orders and sometimes just walking around with a tray of water, lemonade and iced tea just asking if anyone wants one. Very good service.
We did have to go and reserve chairs... if we didnt, we had a hard time getting one... the first week there, it was better... less crowded. Very nice guests also.... lots of friendly Canadians and we met a sweet family from London also. By the end of week one (Easter weekend) it got CROWDED. Thats when we had to reserve chairs... there are TONS always available at the beach though. I wish they got rid of the pool loungers and replaced them with the yellow beach loungers. The pool ones are kind of breaking down....the ones at the beach seem sturdier. The beach was beautiful....a little rocky walking in... but I noticed if you walked down towards the Beach resort, there were ALOT less rocks. There were tons of rocks on the Grand side. A little sea grass (sea weed??) was around, but nothing bad. There were sting rays swimming around, so I was cautious. My son doesnt like the beach, so I got my moments with my daughter when I could...I could sit there all day. No shells, but lots of pretty shiny rocks and great little fish swimming around. We went out to the reef and didnt even snorkel, just looked down and saw so many pretty fish.
I will mention this now... this was on Easter Sunday...my daughter and I had a little fish in a bucket...We went to set it free and I dropped my camera in the ocean! I was so upset... But, the friendly Jamaican people made sure I was cheered up. I was actually crying (yes, with tears) because I thought I lost my pictures and also because I didnt have a camera to take pictures of the rest of my trip with. As I was running around upset... I was stopped by a worker. He asked what was wrong and I told him....He took me to the kitchen to get rice (to try to pull the water out of the camera)...then he flagged down a photographer for me and had him check my memory card on his camera...all my pictures were there and safe. I thanked them 100 times...I still didnt have a camera.... I decided to just try to call Gregg at Reggae Tours, because I rented a cell phone from him (great deal.... didnt have to worry about my phone and roaming charges.... paid $30.00 and had a phone with 1000 international minutes) I told him what happened and asked him if he would come get me and bring me somewhere to buy a camera. (the gift shop only sold disposable cameras at $30 a pop) He said he would call me back, he wanted to check something. He called me right back and told me to go the lobby...he sent a driver over with a digital camera!!!!! and he didnt want anything for it! I actually hugged the guy! I gave the driver $20.00 just for his trouble. The camera was great, it even recorded video. They really saved the day! (I would like to note, I asked quite a few guests if they would check my memory card for me to see if I lost my pictures and they all said NO!)
back on track.... anyway.... beach bbq, awesome.... shows at night, great, very talented entertainers. I got dragged up on stage for Ms Iberostar...sooooo embarassing (lol)
The new waterpark is BEAUTIFUL! My daughter went every day for a little while. Its right near the kids club, but not part of it, you have to stay with the children. No smoking, no food or drinks allowed in there. and its only for Suites guests. there was a lifeguard all day also. My daughter took a few spills in there, so she got some first aid... the lifeguard had peroxide and band aids. No one was ever there, which was surpising, I thought it would be packed.
My daughter went to the kids club every day....Its not really organized. The kids kind of just play with eachother and sometimes watch a movie... they made bracelets, painted, coloring.... it was really more of a 'free play'... but my daughter loved it... she even had lunch with them one day. I didnt mind that she went because it kept her out of the intense sun...she usually went after lunch for a couple of hours. My son is 11, so he was just playing with kids he met... so every day, we had an hour or 2 to just lounge around kid free.
oh.... breakfast was great... tons of choices..the juices are delicious, and I miss my soursop already.... so good. we had lunch at the place by the beach every day...lots of choices, convenient to walk over, and most days we had a wonderful Star Friend join us.
BUT saving the best for last... the Star Friends. I stayed in touch with a couple of them from last year...but I have to say, the greeting we got from them was amazing. Big hugs and kisses...they were just so happy to see us. There were so many random employees that remembered us and it blows my mind... they see SO many people, and they actually remembered us (We went to the Iberostar Lindo in Mexico 2 years in a row and NO ONE remembered us....but Jamaica and Mexico are entirely different universes) I have to mention my 'babies', the star friends.... OMG, love this sweet girl, and she can shake her salt shaker...lol . Zena, amazing dancer, beautiful girl, my daughter really took to her. Sting Rae, SUCH a great girl! I wish I could hang out with her every weekend. Roxy, Nikeasha, Mel..in the kids club, thank you all for watching my daughter with SO much love. KiKi, shes awesome, another one I wanted to bring home!!!! Now the boys...ALLLL amazing dancers...they need to be on TV. MoMo, my son adores him...hes SO funny and just awesome. Happy Feat (I have a soft spot for him...) so sweet, such a nice guy and HE CAN DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!! Sparko/Skidules (he had 2 names going on....lol) I just met him this year and just adored him... so sweet. and of course, Krazy Kenny, he was born to be a host...so funny and talented. When we left, there were so many tears and hugs... I cant even explain!
Oh...we took Carribean Air back home... long line for check in... we had passes to Club Mobay but couldnt really use it because there was no time. I bought some coffee and rum cream. We boarded early and took off on time..... nice flight... I will probably use Caribbean Air again... good experience. Landed in JFK at 10:45pm and it was EMPTY.... We use Smart Park JFK and were picked up immediately and brought to our car (no scratches...all good) and were home by 12:30am.
Now I have to start rolling up change....selling things on Ebay.... whatever it takes.... have to get back to my Suites next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Rose Hall Hotel Rose Hall
- Iberostar Montego Bay
- Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Jamaica - Montego Bay