Transfer from airport: 20 minutes
Taxi fare: $35-$40
We spent 3 nights at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and it was great. There is of course always a thing here or there that can be improved, but overall this is a fantastic hotel.
Rooms: We stayed in an ocean front room. The room is very spacious and has all the amenities you would need. However, if you have long hair and use the hair dryer for brushings and so on, I would definitely bring my own as the one in the room is rather simple. It does work fine though. There is also no conditioner in the room. The shower was great and clean, great water pressure and easy to set the temperature. Clean room, comfortable bed, stocked minibar (all-inclusive), you cannot go wrong.
Beach: The beach is great and clean and we could always find chairs along the beach. The hotel has signs posted everywhere that says that you cannot reserve your chairs. I like that and wish other hotels would use this policy as well because it does work. There are many trees on the beach which allows for many shaded spots. The one downside of the beach at this hotel (as well as the sister hotels the Suites and the Grand) is that if you want to walk on the beach you are rather limited. You can basically only walk along those three hotels as it becomes very difficult to go past the dock on one side and past the rock wall on the other side of the beach.
Pool: The pool looked very nice with its swim up bar, Jacuzzi and separate volley ball/scuba pool. However, I did not go in the pool. The first two days the pool was full of guests partying and drinking hard and so I wasn't interested in bathing in whatever was going on there. The staff was very good at keeping these people in check and had managers talk to the guests if they were not behaving in a proper way. For example, some female guests were called out by an entertainment staff and asked to stop their behavior as children were around. After all, it is not an adult only hotel. There were many entertainment options around the pool all day long but the staff was not pushy at all if one chose not to participate. The one area to definitely improve would be the volume of the speaker. One of the entertainment staff was always loud and with the speakers blasting it would make it intolerable to stay around the pool.
Gym: The gym is rather small and was used by many guests as we were there. There were only 2 treadmills, and 2 ellipticals of which one was out of service. There were also 3 spinning bikes and a regular bike. The weight equipment was good but there are just not enough cardio machines. The best time to use the gym is definitely the early morning. It gets really busy in the late afternoon/early evening. There are also classes offered but they are in the spa.
Entertainment/Bars: In general, the staff at this hotel is outstanding. Most of the staff just goes above and beyond to make you feel at home and fulfill your every wish. Others of course do not, but they are a rarity. There is plenty of entertainment at night. We watched two shows, one of which was outstanding and the other one was average. After the shows you can hang out at the cigar bar, the lobby bar, the bar next to the gym with its pool table, big screens, and foosball, or at the disco at the Grand. All of it is included.
Food: Now, I have no idea how some guests fuss about the food because it is outstanding. With the variety and the quality of the food available, one must have some serious food issues to complain about the food. The buffet is great and the quality is constant, be it breakfast, lunch, or diner. That is all there is to say about it.
Scuba shop: The main purpose of our trip was to scuba dive and this part was rather disappointing. Although the dive instructors are pleasant and very professional, other staff members are simply rude and snotty. The dives are absolutely overpriced. The lack of flexibility is also incredible. There is one morning dive and one afternoon dive (night dives are also available, for which you of course need to pay for the rental of the lights). It is not possible to do two tank dives in the morning, you have to come back in the afternoon. Also, the morning dive is a deep dive but you are not allowed to go on a deep dive with them unless you previously went on a shallow dive with them (regardless of being an advanced certified diver). You get a 20% discount by booking in advance online but according to some staff members cannot book that once you checked in at the hotel even if it is to dive 1 or 2 days later which is a total nonsense and rather odd. You can get a 10% discount if you pay cash. Even with the discounts, this place is grossly overpriced. Another oddity is that none of the divers are Jamaican. All dive instructors are foreigners. The only Jamaicans we have seen hand out the gear, the kayaks, or sail boats. The captain of the boat was local though.
Summary: Outstanding staff, food, entertainment options. Unless you are looking for something more secluded/exclusive this is a fantastic pick. If your main purpose is diving you might want to look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This new 5-star- hotel is located in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica. Directly on the beach. Elegant colonial design. Water sports galore. Scuba diving. 3 specialty restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Montego Bay
- Montego Bay Iberostar
- Iberostar Rose Hall Jamaica
- Iberostar Jamaica
- Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Hotel Jamaica - Montego Bay