10.22.08: Flew on Air Jamaica from Los Angeles to Montego Bay. A few of us bought upgrades to their Business/First which was $250 each way, and well worth it for the added comfort. (At Sangster Airport in Montego Bay, several of the hotels have a waiting room/lounge where you can do your hotel check-in and bypass the actual front desk at your hotel. Ritz Carlton is a perfect example: they check you in to your room at the airport, and when you arrive at the resort you are met at the front door and whisked away to your room.)
Upon arrival we transferred to Grand Lido Negril where we were met with smiling faces and surrounded by water and fountains. Further in were large sitting areas where one checks in, and we were escorted to our rooms. Our rooms at Grand Lido were Deluxe Ocean Front with Jacuzzi Bathtubs. The rooms were a little tired. The plaid bedspread matched the curtains and sitting area furniture, which made it look old. The shower overhead was over the Jacuzzi Tub, which is difficult to get into. You needed to go up two steps and then down into the tub. Water pressure was poor. However, the bathrooms did look newly renovated, with marble counters. Since Grand Lido is an all-inclusive, your refrigerator is stocked with beverages. They have several different restaurants on property to enjoy varied dining. We had dinner in their French Restaurant “”Piacere”” (Men need to wear a Coat, but no tie required.) The other restaurants are: La Pasta, Cafe Lido, Gran Terraza, Munasan (Japanese) and Timber House. The public areas were very nice, with large sitting areas. Downstairs was a game room with pool tables, ping pong, slot machines and more. I would rate this property as a 4 Star property.
That afternoon we went to Rick’s Cafe in Negril where you can view the divers who dive from the trees into the water. One can also dive from different locations, though some have incurred injuries doing so.
10.24.08: We checked out of hotel and stopped to see Moon Dance Villas, 1- 2 -3 -4 -5- bedroom villas on the beach in Negril – very luxurious. The 1,2 & 3-bedroom villas did share a pool with each other, however the 4 & 5 bedroom villas had their own private pools. Each villa comes with a personal chef & bartender. An all-inclusive package option is available which includes unlimited food & drinks. Each villa was decorated differently, all very clean, fresh & creative. Each bedroom in each villas had its own bathroom, ideal for couples traveling together or families.
After leaving Moon Dance we inspected Tryall Club and Villas. These villas & condos are individually owned, so you need to be careful choosing one. Some villa owners allow smoking and some do not. We saw some of their 5-bedroom villas. My favorite was Anticipation, perched on top of the mountain, with a private infinity pool and the most gorgeous view of the Caribbean ocean & golf course. We also saw a 2 bedroom which is called By The Way.
After we left Tryall. Finally, we went to Round Hill in Montego Bay. Round Hill is comprised of 27 different villas and a hotel section called Pineapple House, which has 36 Large Ocean front rooms. Rooms had huge black bamboo four-poster King Size bed, two nightstands, a desk, a sitting area with a chair and chaise lounge. Room amenities includede plug-in aromotherapy scent, cancels, umbrellas & ceiling fan. The windows were made up of six windows which all opened at the same time, giving you one of the best views of the ocean. The bathrooms had double sinks, sunekn bathrub and a separate glassed-in shower. The shower had a colossal rain shower head. Water was soft and water pressure was amazing.
10.25.08: Looked at two more villas – Noble House and Silent Waters of which Silent Waters wins hands down. Noble House needs a lot of improvement, and was built in the early 50’s. Each bedroom had it’s own private bathroom, however each room had (unremovable) iron bars, making it seem as if you were caged in. Walls had paint chipping, cracks and dirt.
Silent Waters was to die for. It had a huge outdoor pool surrounding the open-air living room, outdoor patio and bar. Each bedroom had its own private bathroom, some even had outdoor/indoor showers. Each bedroom either had a view of the Caribbean or the jungle. The master bedroom had direct access to its own private pool. Private tennis courts and helicopter pad on premises.
After a quick stop at the Bakery/Gift shop for some Caribbean Rum Cake, we proceeded to rafting on the Martha Brae and to The Ritz Carlton Rose Hill where we had a site inspection and beautiful lunch. We saw a one-bedroom corner oceanfront suite that our clients get upgraded too by virtue of our status with Ritz Carlton. The room had a large bedroom with a good size bathroom, with a sunken tub & separate shower. Good size living room with flat screen TV and a large outdoor sitting area looking out to the beach. The spa was also very beautiful at this resort.
Last we saw Half Moon, a 4-star plus deluxe resort with gorgeous villas. they have few villas that are beachfront; most sit back from the beach. Each has its own private pool. Villas were decorated in soft colors and very clean. The spa was unbelievable and large, with an enormous outdoor relaxation area, a 3-tiered jacuzzi with plants & rocks, and separate pool area.