Written on: 14/03/2006 by evie2603 (1 review written)
We stayed at the Sunset Jamaica Grande from 12th-19th February 2006 and had a wonderful time.
We flew Premair Gold with My Travel from Gatwick and despite some of the reviews we read before we left about My Travel we had no complaints despite the journey taking an extra 2 hours on the way there due to bad weather in NE USA.
Arrival at Airport:
The airport was a bit chaotic and it took ages to get our luggage. Apparently the man loading the bags onto the conveyor belt required a sit down after every two bags!!!!! There was also a member of airport staff removing bags from the conveyor belt and stacking them to the side (in front of the conveyor belt blocking one side)- so if you can't find your bag at first don't panic.
When we finally got/found our bags and moved through arrivals to get onto the bus a porter took our bags and put them on a tatty old truck (your bags travel separately from you). He then advised us our $5 tip was not enough (despite us having only 4 bags). We were later advised by our rep that the going rate is $1 per bag.
The transfer from the airport to the hotel took approx. 2 hours and the roads were a little bumpy. However after having been travelling for nearly 15 hours I found this just sent me to sleep!!!!
On arrival we sat in the impressive lobby and received a fruit punch before we checking in very quickly.
We had rooms in the South Tower on the 9th floor. As mentioned in some of the other reviews the rooms are spotlessly clean but "Island Typical" - basic and brightly coloured. We had a fantastic view of the beach, pool area, mountains and part of the town.
We tried all of the bars during our stay, and found all of the staff to be really friendly and helpful. The drinks were strong and the only problem we had was finding one of the elusive ash trays! However bar staff will provide a plastic cup with some water in it as a make-do ash tray if you miss out on a real one.
We ate mainly at the buffet and found it to be very varied with a good selection of Jamaican and US style food. We also had lunch at the Jamalicious Caf one day - which was good (but for really good patties go off of the resort and turn left to Juicies - they were amazing!). We also had dinner at the Italian restaurant one night which was also excellent.
We spent any pool time at the pool by the South Beach. This was definitely the quieter of the two pools (and didn't have a swim up bar - although the walk to the South Beach Bar and Grill took about 30 seconds!!!) It also had individual gazebos so if a rain shower did occur you stayed sheltered! (The rain was really cold). The gazebos also had small separate pools in front of them so it could feel like you had a pool all to yourself!
We sat on the South Beach the one day we spent at the Beach. Due to the rain we had the first two days we were there the water was a little cloudy but we definitely did not see any oil slicks.
We found this a little hit and miss - we found that the bands didn't play enough reggae for our liking. However on two nights it was really good - Monday night there was a four piece male group who were amazing, followed by a male singer who was hysterically funny - he was running around all over the place and even ended up lying on the floor at one point. Then on the Friday night Karen Smith sang and she was fantastic. It was the only night we saw the dance floor completely full.
Out and About:
Unfortunately the weather for our first two days was not very good (it rained and rained and rained!) but we took this as an opportunity to go into the town. Everyone was incredibly friendly and we were hardly approached at all - in fact we felt more hassled when we were in Gran Canaria than we ever did in Ocho Rios. Places to definitely visit are Mama Marleys Bar, the shopping centres (particularly for diamonds - thank you sweetheart!) and Juicy Patties for some of the best chicken patties we've ever had.
We also went on two excursions which we would definitely recommend - the Spirit of Reggae Tour and the Cool Runnings Trip to Dunns River.
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