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PJafrica Nov 11th, 2009 07:13 AM

Jamaica - Montego Bay Iberostar Grand or Ritz?
We booked a room (and already bought air tickets) at the Ritz for our anniversary. There was supposedly an "all inclusive plan" that seemed good. AFTER we made reservations, we found out it is only "all inclusive" at 2 of the restaurants and room service is not included in the price. We are now turned off at the false advertising and thinking we should change our reservation.... We are also concerned because even though we will be going the 1st week in Feb., we are interested in romance, without kids running around.... The Iberostar Grand looks nice for an Adult all-inclusive, but have never been to an Iberostar property. Royal Plantation looks ok if you want to splurge for the royal plan - but that makes it out of our budget. We also were unaware that the beaches in Montego Bay are not particularly nice - which is a big disappointment - but like I said, we already bought our airliine tix. :-(


Thank you!

doug_stallings Nov 11th, 2009 07:51 AM

This isn't exactly false advertising. The Ritz-Carlton is not typically an all-inclusive. All meal plans come with some kind of limits, and if you are satisfied with the price, then why are you getting so worked up about this?

The Iberostar is a nice and relatively new resort. For me, the real clincher is that the Ritz-Carlton has a particularly mediocre beach. I'm not sure the Iberostar is that much better, but it couldn't be worse. And the Ritz-Carlton is having some management issues right now, though I don't know if they are impacting the visitor experience in any way.

Just because you are flying into Montego Bay does not mean you have to stay there, however. MoBay is the main airport on the island, and lots of people go from there to Negril, where the beaches are infinitely better. I would not go the AI route in Negril; there are some lovely romantic small inns right on the beach or in the Rocks area that are beautiful and comfortable. Though you might like the Breezes (formerly Grand Lido), which is upscale and is offering some deals right now.

PJafrica Nov 11th, 2009 08:03 AM

Thanks Doug!

I will look into Negril. We are beach people so that is important to us. If there is anyplace in particular that you love, I'd be interested in hearing your reeommendations!

Weadles Nov 11th, 2009 08:09 AM

I agree with Doug. Negril's beach is ten times nicer than anything in Montego Bay, and the area is much more beautiful and interesting. Look into IDLE AWHILE, a small mostly couples resort ( but not AI) that's on the best part of the beach. If you don't mind being on the cliffs, look into ROCKHOUSE, which offers freestanding beach "huts" on the rocks, with gorgeous sunset views. The restaurant at Rockhouse is one of the best in Negril.

Weadles Nov 11th, 2009 08:11 AM

You can also look into TENSING PEN, which is on the West End ( the cliffs), so away from the beach. I've never stayed there, but it's gotten very good online reviews. My only problem is that I'm such a beach bum, I can't give up a beach location.

KVR Nov 11th, 2009 10:23 AM

If you want AI, Couples/Adult only on a nice beach. Look at Couples Negril. Splurge on the top catagory room. The bathroom is huge. The resort is truly all inclusive. They also include a few off property tours in the base price.

Weadles Nov 11th, 2009 12:26 PM

FYI- Couples is the sister resort of Idle Awhile, so if you're a guest at Idle Awhile you can use the gym/tennis courts/spa at Couples.

schmerl Nov 12th, 2009 04:43 PM

I know the Iberostar Grand in Mexico is pure luxury. If the one in Jamaica is anything even close to it, I would give it a try.

schmerl Nov 12th, 2009 04:49 PM

I know the Iberostar Grand in Mexico is pure luxury. If the one in Jamaica is anything even close to it, I would give it a try.

camsi Nov 18th, 2009 03:43 PM

We were considering Secrets or Iberostar in Mexico on Maroma beach, would Jamaica be a better choice? We are beach people and want the best beach. Opinions?

doug_stallings Nov 18th, 2009 04:05 PM

It depends. Negril has Jamaica's best beaches, but those in Mexico (especially Maroma) have their own fans here.

camsi Nov 18th, 2009 04:57 PM

anyone care to give pros and cons of each?

Weadles Nov 18th, 2009 07:41 PM

I haven't been to Maroma Beach, so can't comment on that, but the beach in Negril is almost 7 miles long. If you wanted to, you could spend most of the day just walking it from end to end. It's one of the most beautiful and endless white powder beaches that I've seen in many years of travel, which is why we keep going back. There's a very lively "scene" on parts of the beach all day long and into the night ( lots of vendors,water sport concession stands, small restaurants, reggae clubs, craft markets) so when you can't lie in the sun anymore, there's plenty to do. Accomodations vary between very rustic/simple and low-key luxury, so if you're looking for something significantly more upscale than that, it might not appeal to you.

pwj155 Nov 19th, 2009 06:59 AM

if you want A/I, couples swept away has the best beach in negril, and it is a very romantic place for an anniversary.
if a non inclusive is what you want, i must agree with the other posts, idle awhile is a great place and you might think of staying on the cliffs for part of your vacation. it's just a short cab ride away. there are many very nice places there such as the rockhouse, tensing pen, catcha falling star, etc.
we've stayed at at both a/i and non inclusives and found that we have more fun at the non inclusives, spend about the same money, and get see more of jamaica.

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