First of all I want to say that we really appreciate the help we received from you and your staff. We will definitely use your services again and will recommend you to others.
We had a great time in Jamaica! Of course it was very hot this time of year but there was a moderate breeze/wind every day that really helped to cool you off some. We had no rain. The only excursion we did was to Mysitic Mountain in Ocho Rios for the bobsled and zip lining. We highly recommend this. The bobsled ride was very short but the zip lining was amazing. Our guides on the zip line tour made the experience even better. My kids wanted to go parasailing but we found out it has been banned on that side of the island due to the number of accidents. Once I heard that – I was happy to go ziplining and skip the parasailing.
We really enjoyed the resort. The beach is exactly what we were looking for. We never had any trouble getting a chair by the beach or the pool. There was plenty of shade spots on the beach as well. My husband went Hobie sailing everyday which he absolutely loved. I am a tennis player and was pleasantly surprised that the courts there are really good. We thought the food was very good. I think we tried every restaurant except one. We could have used one more day there since we didn’t get to spend as much time at the water park as we would have liked. Next time we will add a day for sure.
My only complaint with the resort is there welcome/check-in process. When we went to Grand Cayman last year they welcomed us with smiles and drinks the minute we walked in the entrance. At Jewel we walked in and went to the check-in line with our luggage. Someone came and told us we were not allowed to bring the luggage in and we needed to go back to the entrance. Once there, there was no one to direct us and it seemed a bit disorganized. When we checked in we found out our rooms were not together and both rooms had just one king bed. We asked if there was any way if we could get side by side rooms and one room with 2 double beds- it seemed the agent we were working with might have found something but the other agent said it wasn’t possible. I went back later and spoke with a different agent – he told me he would take care of it the next day. So we were able to switch rooms the following day. Once we were settled – we found the staff to be friendly and helpful – it would just be nice if they tried to make a better first impression.
We enjoyed the plunge pool rooms. They cleaned them every morning and we spent quite a bit of time relaxing in or around the pool.
Overall, we would definitely recommend the resort. It was a great getaway!
Jewel Runaway Bay was great! Here are my thoughts and comments:
We went Jan 2-7. Some of the workers reported 60% capacity while we were there vs.100% the week before. It was not crowded at all which was great. Mostly young families, but that probably made sense since older kids would be going back to school. We also heard that this is the only one of the three Jewel properties in Jamaica that is not adults-only, thus the young children. It’s a small resort, but we found no negatives to that. It was a quick walk back to the room and restaurants.
Nothing fancy, but clean. It is important to know that three people means three people. We had two rooms thinking our four daughters could stay in one and we in the other. But when we arrived, each room was set up with a king bed and a twin added (not a rollaway, it was better than that). Fortunately, the bellhop was very willing to arrange the move of the twin out of our room and into theirs. Their room was wall-to-wall beds, but they made it work. I guess I was expecting two double beds in each room. I did see rooms with that arrangement, but I think they were reserved for two adults/two small children.
I was confused when we first arrived as there were no umbrellas or sun canopies on the beach. It was a pleasant surprise to find that they were unnecessary, because there was plenty of shade beneath trees if desired. The beach was beautiful. Perhaps because of the small occupancy, we never had to reserve or fight for chairs. No check in system for towels, you just take them as you need them. We snorkeled right there at the resort, as well as took a ride in two Hobie cats side by side. No charge for any of that.
Golf & Tennis
We didn’t end up playing golf, so no comments on that. Tennis courts were nice and not crowded.
The buffet was fine, but the restaurants were great! We didn’t have a bad meal. We ate all our dinners at the restaurants and only had to wait one time. The Platinum restaurant served unusual offerings in creative ways; snapper on top of a container with a live fish swimming. Pork in a mini model of a smoker, tater tots with a Mr. Potato Head. Other restaurants: pizza, sushi, Japanese steak house, burgers, Italian… all great!
Evening entertainment was okay. Kettle drum performance was outstanding. The water park is next door, so it was not a nuisance at all and was a lot of fun even for adults. There were a lot of daytime activities around the pool and beach, but it almost became annoying as the staff begged over the microphone for participants.
So welcoming, so nice! We never had a single issue. Everyone was helpful and accommodating. They wanted to interact, share their culture, and their love of their home. Someone was always willing to jump into a soccer game with our girls, or just sit and try to teach us Patois.
We only went off resort one day. We hired Richard Brooks with Excursion Ocho Rios to drive us for a day of culture, history, scenery, and adventure. It was $50 per hour and we hired him for six hours. He pointed out the typical highlights, but also took us to see some locals we would never have found on our own. He showed us churches, statues, schools, houses, monuments, plants, and so much along the way. We played in the falls at the Blue Hole, ate jerk at Scotchie’s, shopped for coffee and souvenirs, and saw how coffee grows. Richard was informative and funny. We still listen to the reggae songs he played for us. Highly recommend this type of excursion and Richard specifically.
This was my fourth all-inclusive stay and my favorite.