A group of 5 girls, all in their early 20's and for most of us this was our first trip to a resort outside of Canada.
We were quite anxious, especially after reading some reviews on trip advisor =S.
Upon arriving to Jamaica, we were blown away by the humidity.. we were complaining then but miss it now!
We arrived on a Wednesday and the immigration line was HUGE, it took at least a good hour and half. On this note, make sure when you're leaving you provide yourself ample time as well.
Check in - The lady was not so nice upon check-in, we were told our rooms were not ready (it's about 4pm) we told her this wasn't acceptable......we were quickly then given our room keys. We had asked for adjoining rooms facing the ocean, we're told the Hotel was at full occupancy and not possible. Regardless our rooms were a floor apart.. and we could always see each other walk to their rooms. The room situation worked out well, we had a view of the ocean/pools and the other of the country side.
Rooms - very clean, we were worried about musty smells.. but there were none. Rooms were large, minifridge was well stocked.. though we didn't use it much.. you could typically find us at the bars. AC and ceiling fan were a blessing from the humidity, balconies were an additional plus (compared to what the hilton looks like.. this hotel looks amazing!!)
We made our dinner reservations right after getitng our room keys, we were able to get two confirmed bookings at the Steak House and Japanese restaurant. I'm sure if we tried we could have gotten one at the Cajun restaurant as well. The restauraunts were delicious.. don't expect Japanese to be an over-the-top cultural experience.. but the seafood everywhere is so fresh and tastes great! Being from Alberta I didn't have high expectations of the Steak House.... all I can say is get the Tenderloin!!! It's great! They definately undercook.. so always order one up (I ordered a medium steak and received a PERFECT medium rare!). I understand how the buffet can get boring.. we got bored of it too.. but they try hard.. just mix it up.. there's always lots to choose from.
We read about the towel issue before arriving.. we requested for more immediately.. took some time to arrive.. we made do with the towels. Room service for food took a little while.. easier to just visit the buffet. Didn't like the ceasar salad at all.
Bars - Lobby bar is always packed.. this hotel is a great venue.. we always found a new place to hang out and relax for an hour with some drinks in the evening.. maybe on the lobby terrace, or on the grounds by the pools/waterfall..it's always absolutely breath taking. We went to the Hotel "Disco" three of the nights we were there.. had lots of fun.. the crowd dies around 12am.. but we're young so we partied till at least 2am.
Pools - very clean.. never too full... we always found a place to relax either by the pool or the beach. For a hotel at full occupancy it never felt like that. Mid-day we would make it onto the beach/pool and always find atleast 5 chases next to each other. The beach didn't have much sand.. and there were lots of leaves.. but I'd rather have the trees than no leaves in the sand. To see a beautiful beach.. visit Negril! There was always drink service on the beach as well.
Tips - eeek.. make sure you bring enough ones! We tipped for our room every day, our table for lunch/dinner, and at the bars as we usually stayed for quite a while. We only had one bad incident with tipping which kind of threw me off.. the bellman came into our shuttle (to take us back to the hotel) and advised us that one room did not tip us and he came up all the way to get our bags.. I thought we tipped enough from one person to cover both rooms.. if bellmans expect tips from each person/room then the hotel management definately should make this clear.
Hotel Staff - We were able to overlook any small issues with the hotel simply due to the hotel staff. The bartenders were always fun, and kept our drinks coming. (The bartenders at the disco we're by far the best!) However, it was the Entertainment staff that really made this trip enjoyable for us. Each memory of ours includes one of the entertainers! The shows at night were always fun (have a few drinks first as they can be kinda cheesy!) The entertainers probably are some of the hardest working individuals! They always had stuff to do.. from pool side activities, to providing knowledge about Jamaica, goofing around, sports, jokes etc! The guys were always a riot, MJ, Rayon, Flames, they always kept us laughing. Big Mama, Ebony, Pardise.. and a few more I can't quite remember were great lady entertainers.. taught us how to dance, and told us about the hot spots! Take the time to talk to them, they are all genuine people who made this resort vacation very enjoyable!
We went to Margaritaville on a Saturday - where we paid $10 USD to get in (way more than what we ever pay to club in Canada!)
Visited a local club "Pier 1" on the Friday Night.. it was a great experience, good DJ.. We left by 1:30 am which I recommend to anyone.. safety purposes.
We made a day trip to Negril, surrounding towns and Rick's Cafe... this was a great value! We got to see the inside of Jamaica.. a real sight seeing tour.. a perfect beach and an amazing sunset at Rick's Cafe. We hired our Taxi Driver.. Mr. Green (best driver we have ever had.. he took great care of us.. which we sincerely appreciated.. just ask for him at the conceirge) Paid $200 for the whole day.. which we thought was a great value (each way is approximately 1.5 - 2 hours).
Rick's Cafe - beautiful sunset. Food was bland.. very Americanish.. but after a starving day we didn't mind.. price was typical bar price for food.. the drinks we're fun! Cliff divers were entertaining.. stop by to take great pics!
Some of our group went on the Cools Running tour and said it was the best part of their trip. I didn't go so I won't say anything more.
Over all.. I will definately go back to Jamaica.. this hotel is perfect for families.. when in Jamaica.. don't let the small things bug you, enjoy the beach, sand and carefree days. We might try a different hotel... however; for what we paid.. this hotel was a steal of a deal! Great Value!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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