Last month, I took a quick trip to Montego Bay. This was my first time visiting the country of Jamaica.
It was never one of my top places to visit, but once my mom qualified for President’s Club, again, I knew this was a chance for me to do something I would not have done on my own.
Where We Stayed: Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall. The hotel is beautiful on the inside but you can definitely smell the oldness from the property.
When I arrived, the check-in process went very smoothly. They had one of their staff members walk me to my room and showed me the way around the property. This all-inclusive resort has a beautiful interior, complete with a luxe staircase. It has over five different international restaurants and over three bars/lounges. It even has a built-in casino, nightclub and spa. Our room was very spacious and came with our own personal butler. The beds were comfy and the bathrooms were nice and large. I loved that we had dual sinks but on separate ends of the bathroom. They also had a decadent snack bar.
Things I didn’t like: The carpet desperately needed to be updated. This will help reduce the moldy smell in the hallway from guests that have come from the pool or the ocean and are dripping in the hallway. The room does not have actual power outlets by the bed. You have to use a port that was built into the hotel phone. Guests are unable to make their own dinner reservations must go through their butler and reservations can only be made on a half hour time frame, i.e. 6:00pm, 6:30pm, or 7:00pm. The last reservation is at 9:00pm. They do not have name brand alcohol stocked at the pool bars. I had a shot of some kind of obscure tequila and almost died.
What We Did: Montego Bay offers tons of excursions and tours for travelers. Such as swimming with dolphins. horseback riding in the ocean, and visiting a rum distillery. But do to poor weather and limited time, I did not get to do as much as I would have liked.
The one thing we were able to do was rent a catamaran and sail around the ocean. The catamaran had an open carand what they described as nachos…aka chips and salsa and some jerk chicken wings. Unfortunately, it rained during our outing, so it killed the vibe pretty quickly. Outside of people saying it’s not safe to leave the property, I do think it’s important to step out, even if it is just for a little bit (with a tour guide, of course). There are plenty of a fun, safe things to do!
Helpful Tips: When traveling to Montego, make sure to bring your passport. Also, make sure to purchase a speed pass to help expedite the customs process. It costs about $80 and an agent greets you as soon as you get off the plane. They will guide you to customs and you get to moonwalk right past the long lines into your own special area. After you are through customs, the agent will take you to the lounge where you have access to WiFi, snacks and beverages. They will hold your luggage so that you won’t lug it around and they will also take care of your transportation needs. When departing Jamaica and are headed back to the airport, you will have access to the lounge once again. And I have to admit, I prefer this lounge much more. They have a larger spread of tasty foods and alcohol. Well worth the $80!
Overall: Jamaica is a beautiful country, with warm people and a strong sense of pride. Even thought I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted, I feel that I have enjoyed enough where I don’t need to rush to go back. I do recommend visiting and enjoying all the gorgeousness it has to offer.
Until next time…xoxo!