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Jamaica – A Room with a View (and Butler!)

A whirlwind weekend in Jamaica is not enough! I’ve just returned to The States, and I’m already looking at my calendar to pencil in a return visit. The food, the amenities, the activites, and the people were all world class! A few of my favorite things include waking up to a beautiful view of the beach, getting out in to nature that I can’t find at home (there aren’t too many rainforests in Orlando), and having a fantastic meal with new friends. My stay in Jamaica offered all of these in spades.

I’m still on “Island Time”, but look forward to articles on great activities that you must do in a Jamaican visit, as well as another Smart Women Travelers’ “Sights From” video. First things first, I’d like to share with you one of my most pleasurable hotel stays at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall.

The Hotel

Located just outside of Montego Bay, and just a quick jaunt from Sangster International Airport, the Iberostar Grand Hotel offered a great location for my visit. The hotel itself is, of course, on the beach, and close to some of the more adventurous activities to the East and the more leisurely attractions to the West. The Montego Bay Convention Center, the largest convention center in the English-speaking Caribbean, is a mere five minute drive away. And if you’re looking to get some golfing in, a round at nearby Cinnamon Hill Golf Course is included in your stay.

Don’t let the simple exterior of Iberostar Grand deceive you! The interior design of the hotel must be seen to be believed. From the lobby to the beachside bars, the little details all over the property were fantastic.

The Grand is just one of the three hotels on site. With 295 rooms that limit occupancy to only two people, it is the more adult friendly of the three. The other two hotels are The Suites and The Beach, with the former offering larger rooms and more amenities than the later. All three hotels are all-inclusive with both fine dining options alongside casual ones.

The Room

My home away from home at The Grand was wonderful.  The bathroom included two sinks, a jacuzzi bathtub, and a rain shower head. The hallway had a daily stocked mini-fridge, as well as more storage space than I could use. Each room comes with a butler (yes, a butler!) who had no issue with me requesting more apple juice in the fridge or ordering a firmer pillow off of the room’s pillow menu.

Room Service is included at no additional charge, just in case getting out of the comfortable bed proves too taxing. My view overlooking the courtyard and pools was slightly obstructed by palm trees, but I still enjoyed some time out there on the comfortable patio furniture.

Even though it would have been nice to fully unplug from a busy life for a few days, I would have gone through withdrawal.  I did find that electrical outlets were hard to come by. I had to unplug a lamp or iPod dock to power up some of my gadgets. Internet is the room is free of charge, though wired only. My butler brought me an ethernet cord and my login information, but it’d be nice if they told me during check-in or offered wi-fi that went past just the lobby.  (I still can’t believe I had a butler!)

The Restaurants

The Iberostar offered three different ways to dine; the previously mentioned room service, casual dining, and a la carte dining. Aside from a few quick trips to the breakfast buffet and some late night snacks at the after-hours buffet, all of my meals were at the a la carte restaurants. A casual dress code is enforced (so don’t look like you came in right from the beach), but the fare was worth getting “dressed up” for. I wined and dined on seafood, hibachi grilled chicken, and filets, all with delicious appetizers and desserts.

The a la carte restaurants weren’t as crowded as I thought they would have been. I assume that the dress code and 24 hour advance reservations needed turned off a few guests who were in full-on relaxation mode.

ETC…

Speaking of relaxation mode, the hotel wasn’t full of “early-riser” guests. You won’t see a lot of people walking the grounds until after 8, when most of the shops and restaurants open.

At night, the hotel offers theaters, music clubs, karaoke (if you’re feeling adventurous), and a nightclub. The theaters offer a new show every night, and the music clubs have different themed nights. The karaoke was held in a bar that was a little smokey, but still fun. The nightclub was full of young people dancing way past my bed time and everyone looked to be having a great time.

Overall, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall comes highly recommended.  You get all-inclusive amenities, tasty restaurants, a great staff and fantastic Montego Bay location.  Oh, and did I mention the butler?

Many thanks to the Jamaica Tourist Board for hosting an awesome trip!

To receive a free copy of our ebook, 70 Secrets to Safe Travel — Because Your Life Can Change in a Heartbeat, and for more travel savvy info to help you travel smarter, safer and with more enjoyment, visit SmartWomenTravelers.com and PearlsofTravelWisdom.com. Watch for my new book, Business Travel Success – How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive and Travel with Confidence, being published by Morgan James in 2011.

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