So I recently had the opportunity to visit Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay. This is an all inclusive, adults only hotel with all suite rooms and butler service. I really didn't have any expectations beyond sand and sun, however I left the resort with a greater appreciation for the resort and Jamaica in general.
But first, let's talk about Club Mobay...this is a arrival and departure service which is offered on a space available basis. It is $80 and worth every single penny. Upon my arrival at Sangster International airport in Montego Bay, I was met by a lovely young lady holding a sign with my name on it. She escorted us to a private customs line where there was only one person ahead of us. As I looked over at the regular customs line, I was immediately grateful for this service. The customs agent was quick and efficient and had us on our way in just a couple of minutes. The Club Mobay agent also helped us retrieve our bags and escorted us to the Club Mobay lounge while she went to check on our transfer. We were offered drinks and a snack while we waited, and then we were taken to our transfer. Club Mobay's arrival service was efficient and beneficial but where they really shine is on departure which I'll talk about in a minute.
So we arrived at Iberostar Grand Rose Hall and my immediate impression was that the grounds are immaculate and HUGE! There are three resorts on the property: the Grand, the Suites, and the Beach. Iberostar Suites and Beach are family hotels. I did visit the other two and I'll touch on that. However, stepping into the lobby of the Grand was impressive and we were immediately met by a very friendly porter who escorted us to the front desk. I must say that everyone we encountered during check in was very welcoming. Someone even came from the bar while we were waiting our turn to check in and asked if we'd like a drink. Well, we sure would! Lol
Check in was quick and we were off to find our suite. Now I will say the layout of the hotel and the elevators aren't the most intuitive but you get the hang of it pretty quick. Upon arriving at the room, I was again impressed by the level of detail from the robe and slippers, the amenities, snacks, drinks which included beer, wine, mixers, and a bottle of rum. I quickly fell in love with the balcony which was humongous! There was this really cool chair swing for two along with a table and chairs. I definitely spent my fair share of time out there enjoying the view of the ocean and pools.
The butler came to our room shortly after check in. He gave us a nice overview of the room, the property and other useful information. He also answered all of our questions and was very friendly and eager to help in any way. There is a day and evening butler and the evening butler was just as enthusiastic. The addition of the butler was a very nice touch; we knew that should we have any questions, the butler was just a phone call away. This saved us from standing in line at the front desk on a couple of occasions. Our evening butler went out of his way to be of assistance to include checking on us whenever he saw us around the property. I don't personally need a lot of assistance most of the time, but it was very nice to know it was available.
The butler suggested we head to the concierge desk to schedule reservations for some of the specialty restaurants. They were very helpful in doing that for us. We were able to get reservations at the italian, japanese and steak house restaurants. All three were good, service was excellent but from a food perspective, I would skip the italian restaurant and visit the steak house more than once! The 16 oz Rib Eye lives in my dreams, it was cooked to perfection! I was initially disappointed that most meals are at the buffet because of past buffet experiences. I definitely don't expect the food to be overly flavorful. WELL, let's just say I was blown away by the buffet at the Grand. First, the buffet is quite extensive and I quite enjoyed the grilled shrimp, lobster, fish, steak and chicken which was offered and cooked fresh. There were oxtails on the buffet every day as well as a jerk station, several types of ceviche, seafood paella, beef patties, rum cake, and the list goes on and on. There was so much to choose from. I honestly thought the food would be bland but it was absolutely delicious. There is also a beach grill where you can get a variety of foods. I only ate there once, but there was a nice selection including fish, jerk chicken, and beef patties.
There is a beach party on Thursday nights which is not to be missed. There is live music, a DJ, shows, and audience participation. We really enjoyed it very much, and the crowd was really into it. So if you decide to stay here, I would definitely try to include a Thursday night in your plans. There are also shows in the theater every night. We attended the 70s show and Love and Marriage. There is a schedule outside of the theater so you always know what the night time show will be. The entertainment staff is very talented and we enjoyed the shows very much. The entertainment staff was always smiling and friendly and they hosted different activities throughout the day as well. And they are easy to spot around the property so if you want to know what's going on, just ask them! And for those who really like to party, there is a night club on the property as well located at the Suites hotel. We went one night and it was a lot of fun. The music was a mix of reggae, R&B, and hip hop. Everyone was having a great time. So if you're looking for a bit of club action on your vacation, you can definitely find that at Iberostar.
A word of warning here: staying in the Grand section gets you access to all hotels on the property (food, pool areas, bars, clubs, shows, etc). Staying at the Suites, you only have additional access to the Beach hotel. And the Beach hotel doesn't have access to the other two hotels. So if you want to go the the nightclub, you have to stay at either the Grand or Suites hotel. If you want to attend the beach party, you have to be at the Grand. You will receive a wristband at check in to determine your access levels. There is also an employee posted at select entrances whose entire job is to check those wristbands. The beach is shared by all three hotels so Grand guests can walk the entire stretch. Also if you're interested in unmotorized sports, you will have to visit the Beach section of the property.
I arranged my own private transfer to the resort. I used Clive's transport. They were very efficient, punctual, and the price was fair for the service. I would definitely recommend them and use them again.
Overall, my visit to Iberostar Grand Rose Hall exceeded my expectations. There is really nothing I feel could have been done better as we enjoyed our stay and would definitely return again. I would highly recommend you consider this resort or any of the many Iberostar hotels around the world, I'd be happy to answer any additional questions and help you book your stay! Until next time! :)