The Iberostar Suites is a great resort. It would probably be easier to provide a breakdown of the relevant items, so here goes:
WIFI: Free wifi in the resort. We’ve been to other all-inclusives where “free wifi” is available but is pretty much non-existent. But(!), it really does work here! Wifi is excellent in the lobby, and it worked equally as well in our room (room 4416). It was a bit spotty by the pool although it seemed to work fine closer to the main entrance of the pool, it was less so as you get to the outer edges, nearer to the beach. I found that the wifi did not work at all on the beach or in any of the restaurants. To me, it mattered most that the wifi was working in our rooms where we were using it the most.
FOOD: The food here was surprisingly good. Here is what is available: Miranda Hill (buffet) open for breakfast, lunch (starts at 1pm), and dinner; Aunt Ruby’s (steakhouse on the beach) open for lunch (starts at 11:30am) and dinner; Calabash (Gourmet) open for dinner; Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean) open for dinner; Maria Bonita (Mexican) open for dinner and late night snack (from 11pm-7am). The salad bar at Maria Bonita and Mare Nostrum are fantastic! You’ll eat so much you’ll think it’s your dinner! Also, the steaks at Aunt Ruby’s are huge so come hungry. The buffet and lunch spots are available to everyone while they are open. The 4 other restaurants require reservations. You can book dinners in advance and the number of dinners you can book depends on your length of stay. We stayed for a week and was able to pre-book at all the restaurants. If you can’t do that, you are able to go to the reservation desk in the main lobby at 9am and try to book something for that night. Guests at the Suites may also go to the two restaurants (Japanese and Cajun) at the Iberostar Beaches resort. We didn’t try either of these but heard from other guests that they were good. There is also a beach BBQ directly in front of Aunt Ruby’s twice a week (it occurred at 12:30 on Monday and Thursday while we were there) and this is not to be missed. The food was great and there was a live band playing steel drums.
POOL: The main pool is a large infinity pool with a swim up bar. The bar does not open til 9am. There is a smaller pool behind the main pool that was used for water polo. We mainly stayed at the main pool. I read other reviews about lack of seats at the main pool but I did not find that to be the case. If you don’t go during busy seasons like spring break, then you should be fine. There is also a small ice cream stand next to the pool bar. You can get a cone with whatever flavor they have in there. There’s not much variety – usually vanilla, chocolate and strawberry but it really hits the spot in the afternoon! The pool does get quite loud so if you prefer quiet, consider hitting the beach instead. There is music pumping all day and activities in the afternoon. And speaking of activities, some of the “crazy games” are pretty embarrassing and we found lots of guests who initially wanted to join the games were later mortified to find out that it was a dance off contest. Besides the dance offs, the other games we witnessed seemed alright. The benefit is that the winner of each game gets a bottle of rum. Btw, the pool is 4 feet deep so it will be fine for most people.
BEACH: The beach had lots of available palapas so there is plenty of shade if you want it. The beach itself is quite rocky until you get further into the ocean so bring water shoes if you have them. If you like snorkerling, there are a bunch of boulders in the beach with lots of fish who has made it their home. We saw a lionfish, parrotfish, a stingray, sea worms and lots of other varieties. The water is nice and clear but the ocean was full of sea grass which washes on to the beach along with tons of rocks. So I didn’t find the beach as beautiful as other places. If you want a less rocky beach though, you can take a walk over to Beaches where the beach itself is rock-free.
ACTIVITIES: There are lots of activities for the guests. The gym is well stocked (weights, treadmills, bikes) and gets packed in the morning. There is spinning in the mornings at 9am but not many bikes (less than 10) so if you want to spin, go early. There is also yoga, ping pong tournaments, beach volleyball, aqua aerobics (in the main pool at noon), stretching, and soccer. The Star Friends arrange all of the activities each day. I, personally, found them to be a bit of a nuisance but other people liked them so it might just be me. If you want a quieter, more calm experience, I suggest going to the Grand where everything is a bit more mellow. On the beach, you can also rent, for an hour each day, kayaks and catamarans.
OTHER: In order of level of the resorts, it would be the Grand, then Suites and then Beaches. Please note that guests at the Suites can go on the property and use the amenities at Beaches, but cannot go on the property or use the amenities at the Grand. Guests at the Grand can go to the Suites and Beaches and guest at the Beaches are stuck at Beaches. It’s also important to note that everyone here works on “island time” which means give everything a 15 minute buffer. We showed up for dinner right at 6:30 (when the restaurants open for dinner) and were left waiting another 10 minutes. The same happened when we tried to get towels in the morning, and when we went for shows. So it’s best to give yourself some buffer time if you don’t like to wait around. There are photographers around the hotels taking pictures which you can purchase later. I found them really annoying since I had no plans on purchasing any photos but if you’re into that, they’ll be buzzing around so there will be plenty of opportunities to get some photos. When you book your flights, keep in mind that the airport tells you to arrive 3 hrs in advance of your departure. I’m sure it’s some scam to get you to spend money at the airport on souvenirs and food but I’m really not sure how strict this is so if you want some time at the pool before you leave, make sure you book a late flight. The ride to the airport is only 15-20 minutes so at least travel time is short. Check out time is noon but you can stay longer at a charge of $10 per hour. Otherwise, there are showers off the main lobby that you can use.
TIPS: The employees at this resort work hard so don’t forget to leave a tip for your cleaning staff, wait staff, and bar staff! A couple of dollars here and there won’t kill you!
In case the Iberostar management is reading this, we received really excellent wait service from the following individuals: Diedre, Narde, O’Neill, Kenneth (aka Shorty/Baldy). The other staff was great but they really stood out to us. Even though we experienced wait service from them once, they were memorable.
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Rose Hall Hotel Rose Hall
- Iberostar Montego Bay
- Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Jamaica - Montego Bay