Just returned from Ritz Rose Hall

Aug 7th, 2007, 06:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5
Just returned from Ritz Rose Hall

My thoughts are as follows:

Our family of 3 had a wonderful week at the Ritz in Rose Hall Jamaica. Just as a preliminary note, I'm curious about posters who say it doesn't compare to Four Seasons or other RC properties. I have stayed at a few FS and several RC properties and I thought this resort was great. We wanted and had a very relaxing week at a beautiful property for a very reasonable price. I can't say enough about how relaxing and enjoyable our week was. We only left the property once and that was to visit the hip strip which was gross. So, my perspective on this resort is as one who wanted a completely easy, self-contained, no decisions, relaxing vacation.

THE PROPERTY: The grounds are beautiful, green and lush. It is very manageable in size. The main part of the hotel where the lobby and Horizons/Jasmines restaurant is is flanked on the East and West by hotel rooms. The pool area and Mango's is central. The beach, playground area, Jerk Shack and tennis courts are to the West. Our room was on the East side of the hotel, 4th floor, and we loved the location. Some of the rooms face east and have expansive ocean views, but also a view of the condos going up. Our view was of the ocean and the pool to the west. Really lovely and we could hear the music from the pool in the evenings. They don't play late so it isn't bothersome, just nice. The West Wing of the hotel would be closer to the beach and tennis courts, but we really enjoyed our location in the East Wing. The look of the property is a bit sterile, especially the taupe buildings.

THE RESTAURANTS: We were on the Simply Paradise package and did not try Jasmines or White Witch, so I cannot comment on them other than to say the menu at White Witch looked great, the views are phenomenal and you can "add on" a meal here for $25 pp if you are on the Simply Paradise plan. We had planned to do this, but forgot as Mangos and Horizons are so easy and delicious. Breakfast is buffet style in Horizons each morning. You sit indoors or outside on the terrace. You can have champagne with orange, mango or cranberry juice as you walk in. I loved the mango! Hint, you can get one in a go cup on your way to the pool after breakfast. There is a variety of food at breakfast and you can get omelets and eggs prepared just the way you like. The wait staff in the morning is wonderful. We loved Laurel who made sure I had my Diet Coke and my daughter had her Fruit Loops every morning. On a few mornings there was a guy with a guitar singing -- he has a beautiful voice and was a really nice touch. Lunch is served at Mango's and the Jerk Shack. Very good at both places. Many days, we had food delivered to us poolside in our chairs. The chicken is the best at the Jerk Shack, but the lobster (not on the menu but you can ask for it) is a close second. There is also beverage service all day at the pool from the bar at Mangos. Their Pina Coladas are great. I also learned on the last day that you can have Red Stripe Light. I enjoyed regular old red stripe most of the week! Also pool side is a Smoothy stand. Try the Bob Marley. Yum. And an ice cream cart. My daughter really enjoyed this and it is all included in the Simply Paradise package. We did take a lot of small bills and mostly tipped with those during the week. Dinner is at Mango's or Horizons. We generally opted for Horizons because after an entire day outside, we were ready to eat inside. The food is great both places. Drinks at Cohobas lounge (right off the lobby) are also included and my husband and I sat at the bar one night and had a drink after dinner. We enjoyed talking to the bartender and hearing about his time working at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. (My husband is a Michigan native.) You can also order room service for any of your meals. We did that once for dinner and once for breakfast. Several nights my husband and daughter ordered the chocolate chip cookie plate and milk for a bed time snack. Their chocolate chip cookies are wonderful! Not too sweet. Dress in Horizons and Mangos is casual. I did wear sundresses some nights in Horizons, but tended to wear shorts to Mangos, even for dinner. My husband wore shorts and hawaiian or polo type shirts. At breakfast you will see a lot of cover-ups and workout clothes.

THE ROOMS: We had an oceanview room that we loved. It was spacious enough to spread out and housekeeping kept it neat and tidy. The bathroom was a good size for us as well. It has a separate shower and tub. The Bulgari bath products smell heavenly. White Tea scented. Very fresh. We also found the bed very comfortable, but I like a firm mattress. I had some problems with the high speed internet, but when I did the business center cam right up to the room and addressed them. The cost is $14.95 per day. The closet is very large which is good for chronic overpackers like me. There is an iron and board in the closet, if needed. They are supposed to begin remodeling the rooms this fall. I thought they were lovely as is, but I'm sure they will be upgraded nicely.

THE WORKOUT FACILITY: It is located inside the Spa in the West Wing of the building. It is small but adequate. A few guests ignored the "please don't use the machines for more the 30 minutes during peak times" signs, but otherwise, it was just fine for vacation health maintenance.

THE TENNIS COURTS: There are two hard courts to the west of the beach area. They seem to be well maintained. My husband and I played one morning and he played another day with a fellow guest. I found it a bit hot to be playing tennis, but the courts were nice.

THE WHITE WITCH GOLF COURSE: Even if you don't play golf (I don't) it is worth a shuttle ride up the hill to see this gorgeous facility. My husband played one day (he started at 7am) and LOVED the course. The fee to play was $99 and included a caddy. Caddy's tip is extra. He also went over a few times just to hit balls at the spectacular driving range. This costs $10. The views are amazing. There is a gift shop with cool White Witch hats and apparel.

THE BEACH: Not expansive, but very nice. The best part are the Hobie Cat rides the lifeguards will give you and using the kayaks. I saw several people enjoying the nice blue rafts provided by the hotel in the ocean. There is a walk way that runs along the front of the hotel leading to the beach. In several places the walk way is quite wide and the hotel has loungers there. You can lay and read with the waves literally lapping at your feet. Very gorgeous and relaxing. At the far end of the walk way is a patio area where you can have an outdoor massage through the spa.

THE POOL: This is not a modern zero entry pool, but it was perfect for my daughter. It is 3 feet at the sides and 5 feet in the middle. There are tons of chairs poolside as well as the blue floating mats you can use. The lifeguard will set up an umbrella for you if you want, too. Each morning at 9:30 they have a 45 minute aquacize that I recommend. It's fun and you can feel the toning! When we were there, most of the kids hung at the pool all week. There were plenty of kids in the 6-10 year old range and they all played together. Some days they would swim from 10am until 5pm! There is also a ping pong table poolside that was a big hit and a basketball half court. Again, you can have food and drinks delivered poolside to your heart's content. There were not many teenagers that we noticed and I think this would not be the best resort for teens. Great for the 6-12 crowd.

HAIRBRAIDING: You can have your hair braided right at the pool. I thought it was a little costly $60 for a full head, plus about $10 tax, plus tip. We spent $82 for our daughter's hair. However, she did a great job on her hair and we knew it was clean. And, her braids have really lasted. She had tem done on Tuesday morning and swam in them all week. We left the resort on Sunday and her braids are still in and look good. It was be 2 weeks they've lasted this coming Tuesday.

THE KIDS CLUB: Because most of the kids were at the pool everyday, there wasn't much, if anything, happening at the kids club. We've done 2 Disney cruises in the past so our daughter was really wanting to go to the kids club, but when we called they'd have no other kids. She did attend one day when another family we met was putting their kids in kids club and she had a great day. They swam, did face painting, etc. Also, one night she went to the pj movie night from 6-9pm and there were several kids in the club and she really liked it. Full day is $40. Half day and the Nighttime programs (offered M, W, F and Sat nights) are $20.

THE SHUTTLES: You can take free shuttles to the White Witch and to the Half Moon shopping village, west of the hotel. They have very nice stores and my husband got a good price on a nice watch. He really enjoyed shopping here. The people who own the Ritz are building a shopping center to the east and it looks to be very nice. At least one of the jewelry stres mentioned that it will be moving to the new shopping area soon. I assume there will be free shuttles to this area when it opens.

THE STAFF: This is the best part. The staff is wonderful. Warm, accommodating, friendly, helpful. They learn your name immediately. The bell men are almost scary. "How the heck do you know my name?" RC service, all the way.

LAST THOUGHTS: I purposely chose a quiet mostly activity free vacation where I could lay around, read and relax. The Ritz Rose Hall completely delivered. If you want to do tours, they have a tour desk as well as the concierge to assist. Also, any of the taxi drivers at the hotel (they company has been "approved" by the hotel) can help plan. The property might not be exciting enough for some and there are a lot of kids in the pool if you are honeymooners. Not many teens. I think this would be a great property for a girls' get-away if relaxing is your thing. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.
teaforwendy is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 74
Could you indicate a general price range for the week using the inclusive package?
ohboy2 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 09:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5
We bought a package including airfare (on Champion Air direct from St Louis to MoBay) 2 adults, one child for $3400. At one point the total price went down to $2900, but we didn't have price insurance. This included transportation to and from the airport as well. I thought this was cheap for the value we received!
teaforwendy is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,970
Thank you for such a comprehensive report. Is there any sort of entertainment in the evening?
schmerl is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5
The one Friday night we were there there was quite a crowd at the pool bar/Mango's and they had live music. A lot of people were swimming that night too. On Saturday, not much of a crowd there, but Cohobas lounge off the lobby was pretty busy. Overall, not much real nightlife at this resort -- no dancing, no bar scene. To be fair, we were in bed by 9:30pm most nights so there may be some fun I don't know about.
teaforwendy is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 7,070
That is an excellent price. Were you restricted to the number of drinks you could have and to only selected menu items as part of your inclusive package? Or was it unlimited in the allowed dining areas? Were the dining areas all buffet that you were allowed to use or were some of them ala carte? We intensely dislike buffets due to hygiene concerns so are adamant that we can do ala carte dining at any AI we go to.
Reisender is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5
The only drink restrictions were certain premuim top shelf "call" liquors. They give you a list when you arrive. The only buffet was at breakfast, but you can order omlettes and eggs to your liking. I thought it was excellent. All other meals, you could order whatever you wanted on the menu. We were told you are limited to three courses per meal, but our servers told us the hotel would probably not charge us for salad, soup, entree, dessert. The food was very good. I don't like buffets either...This just seemed so much better than a typical all-inclusive, but at a typical all-inclusive price.
teaforwendy is offline  
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