Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay
36 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
An Accurate Report
"I can sum up everything you can read about this resort in this quick report:
Its worth the money if youâre budget is under $1000 USD
Beach is great, snorkeling is good, plenty of chairs and huts
Food is good; variety is good
Non-renovated room is more than acceptable
All rooms have flat screen with USA channels
Check In is slower than it should be, but less than 15 minutes.
Staff is friendly, pool is clean, hotel is clean
Outside bathrooms near beach and pool exceptionally clean
Tennis courts in good shape with lights
Kids club area is clean - good caretakers with lots of activities
Live music is good but appears to be the same band each night
Teen area is cool
Shops have pool items (customs will not let water guns thru)
Ocean water perfect temperature
Service at sit-down restaurants is unacceptably slow.
Must stay on management to keep kiddy-pool fountains on
Putt putt course is lacking
Shows each night are very sub par (I canât call them shows)
Construction does not affect stay; itâs in another part of resort
All excursions are over priced from taxi to event.
All souvenirs are overpriced (but found monogram tees 4 for $20)
Hotel room is normal â Holiday Inn room
Room has table with only 1 chair - never seen that before
Pool water too cold
There was one comment posted about the people vacationing there. This is a low-end resort with value prices and it attracts that kind of customer. The 100K plus incomes did not enjoy it as much as us under 100k incomes did. I took a family of four for 7 days at a cost of 884 dollars. The beauty of the resort, and beach, and water, for that long at that price, makes it a GREAT VACATION for value seeking people.
I canât imagine budget travelers having a bad time. Write me if you have any further questions [email protected]"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of December 2008
Loved the Holiday Inn SunSpree
"17 of our family went to this Hotel for my Daughter's Wedding on the Beach a Very Beautiful and Memorable Wedding it was ..What a Great time we had....a Great overall experience, Front Desk Staff were very pleasant and efficient, ...staff in the restaurants were very attentive, food was very good and lots of it at the buffet, ..bar staff were very pleasant, and very good at making suggestions...housekeeping staff were wonderful....entertainment was very good...a really good family hotel...pools were great for the adults and kids alike...the beaches were wonderful...lots of chairs sun and shade, equipment was plentiful...given the opportunity we would go again...however we would not go through the same travel agent...."
- Travel date: Fri 5th of December 2008
Family Friendly Value Resort
"We selected this hotel for a family of 5 to attend a funeral., 11/19-11/24/08. Because this was essentially an unplanned trip, we wanted a hotel that was reasonably priced , all inclusive and in a central location to the events we had to attend. We were 3 adults and 2 children. The hotel was very close to the airport, grounds are well maintained, with a relaxing ambiance. Hotel is clean, staff are very pleasant. The open air lobby is fantastic, provided a very restful and relaxing place to decompress, have drinks , play games with the family. The rooms, however, are small and basic, especially the bath rooms; it was great to have connecting rooms to open up so the kids could run around and watch their own TV shows. The hotel is still being renovated, and one of our rooms needed repairs to the bathroom lights and the toilet; which they fixed. like I said, The staff are friendly, responsive and great, but management needs to do a better job of checking the rooms before they're assigned to guests as accomodations. The hotel provides plenty of food & beverages, as well as entertainment. Some of the restaurants were closed, but the buffet, Grill, and kid shack provided ample variety. ( We are not picky people) . The pool, man- made beach, paddle boats were fun for the kids. . They have a nice playground , which my 5 year old loved, as well as all the ice cream and popcorn they provided. My husband had to work on this trip, and the internet connection was $15.00 US/ day, so keep this in mind. Our check -in was a breeze, but on the last night we were in the lobby we witnessed the longest check -in line I have ever seen at a resort. Those people stayed on line for a very, very long time. Management should alter staffing levels at the front desk when they are expecting a large number of people checking in. Overall, my family liked this resort, and we would consider it for a family vacation."
- Travel date: Thu 4th of December 2008
Great FAMILY Vacation!
"First I must say, I read ALL the reviews for months before going and noticed this place is either loved or hated. We are in our 30's with kids 10 and 5. We went for our Thanskgiving holiday.
My family and I are not picky people and did not pay a lot for the trip with that being said I will give my honest review from my personal point of view.
First, check in was a breeze, front desk staff VERY pleasant, the open air lobby was one of our favorite spots for evening board games which the hotel provided. When we first got into the hotel room in Block 5 it was what I expected, typical room nothing fancy. The bathroom looked to have been re done but was very small and had a big stand up shower, no tub.(not a prob for us but someone with smaller children might need a bath tub) They could use new sliding doors, those were outdated and hard to open but not a BIG issue. Do not expect a fancy room unless you upgrade to a suite, those might be better. Housekeeping staff was extremely friendly and I never worried anything would get stolen but they did have a free safe in the room.
I thought the buffet was fabulous, again we ARE NOT picky eaters. You are in a different country so not everything is going to taste the same as you may be used to. The barefoot bar always had grilled cheese, fries, burgers and hot dogs. Keep in mind it is another country burgers and dogs tasted different. The ketchup was also different not BAD. We only ate at the Italian rest. VERY hard to get reservations and didn't want to waste time waiting in a line for dinner reservations when the buffet had tons to choose from and was a different theme every night. Paul the omelette chef was fantastic! The jerk chicken was great! The Jerk hut also had popcorn, ice cream cones and Nachos with cheese!
Loved the pool not deeper than 3 1/2 feet so GREAT for the young ones and deep enough for the adults. Also have an adult pool with swim up bar but we did not go there. The beach was perfect for us you could walk to the island. The water is NOT deep, I think at the highest tide the deepest part was up to my husbands neck. That was wonderful for us, we are not big ocean swimmers and it made my kids and I feel comfortable snorkeling because you can see the bottom. Great snorkeling, fish are just as curious about you as you are about them. Lots of fish even saw small stingrays! There are vendors who hang out by the island braiding hair and selling suveniers. Very frindly people.
Two bars, one in the lobby and one by the pool. Cups were not to small but if you want to bring an insulated cup to keep your drinks cold that is a good idea. We brought insulated coffee mugs and it kept our drinks cold much longer. Some bartenders were not overly friendly but gave you what you asked for quickly and efficiently. They are not RUDE but you can tell they are not working for the tips, which is prohibted! Absoloutley NO Tipping! Some staff did except tips but secretly.
Great staff in there. My 10 year old thought she was too old for it but my son liked it in there. nice play ground. Lots of activities for kids.
Volley ball, tennis courts, gym, mini golf. Small gym but great equipment. Mini golf course, nothing fancy but the kids liked it. Huge tennis courts. beach volleyball, lots of fun!
There was always some kind of activity for children and adults. Games/contests were fun, they gave away prizes. I can't say much for the night entertainment because we were all so tired we were in bed by 9 every night. But the bands they had seemed good. If you are going for wild night life partying This is NOT the place.
Small area with slot machines, never seemed to busy in there.
My only real complaint has nothing to do with the hotel but some parents. Alot of kids aged 8-13 completley unsupervised and out of control. Actually had to tell a boy to not speak to my daughter because the things he was saying were inappropriate. Sometimes the kids acted like maniacs and I never saw them with their parents or getting disciplined. Maybe the hotel could enforce a rule on how parents should supervise there own children. Then again I figured alot of people must feel safe to let there kids go wherever and do whatever they want with NO supervision. I am not by all means over protective but I think when you stay at a resort with other people, you should have some courtesy for them.
Check out was at 11 and we weren't heading to the airport until 3. They put our bags in a locked room and had a courtesy room with showers and changing rooms to get ready for the flight.
We had a great time. Staff was pleasant and accomadating, food was good but remember things will taste differently than you are used to, grounds were beautiful. Def. a 3 star hotel and they are still doing some renovations. Make the most of your trip, enjoy the weather and you will not be sorry.
Some people we wet went across the street to the shops, we purchased our t-shirts right in the hotel gift shop. Prices not too bad!
If we decide to go back to jamaica, for the right price i would stay here again. Not to mention it is only about 8 minutes from the airport!"
- Travel date: Sat 29th of November 2008
"My husband & I along w/ith our 2children (10&8yrs) just returned from a fantastic vacation. We were so pleased with this resort & the excellent staff...just couldn't believe how great everyone was! The hotel is a bit out-dated, however it was very well kept & super clean! The outside/location of the hotel is a bit questionable, its surroundings are not the most attractive. My only negative complaint was the food in the main buffet, it was a bit bland for our taste. I was also disappointed with the lack of fruits & veggies. I recommend making reservations for dinner, the restaurants are much better & the service is excellent! We also really enjoyed the Barefoot Bar, especially the Jerk Chicken...yummy! Overall we had a really great time & recommend this hotel to anyone with kids;) We also took the Dunns river falls tour & the Jeep safari tour, both awesome!"
- Travel date: Sat 29th of November 2008
Do Not Stay At This Hotel
"This is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. The rooms are horrible, they smell of mildew, the beds are hard, the dresser drawers were broken, the bathroom was moldy and had no hot water. The pillows were covered in sweat stains and the sheets were old and rough. The food is cold, old or not available. The service areas are unclean as are the tables, plates and flatware. The service could not possibly be any worse. The employees could care less about you or any other guest. The management hides from problems and refuses to see disgruntled guests. The best advice a can give is to stay anywhere but here. If you are thinking of having a quick cheap get-a-way, then let me be the first to say spend a couple extra bucks on a place that cares about their guests and the cleanliness of their hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of November 2008
"Holiday Inn Sunspree All-Inclusive Montego Bay stay was just great...My 2 children and I (one a teen) had a really nice time. We travel a lot and don't always visit the same place twice but we are looking forward next spring to revisit...The water, the weather, the friendly services, the nightly entertainment and the all-inclusive choice of perfectly prepared meals are all dynomite...Worth my time and money...This hotel will always have a special place in our hearts,"
- Travel date: Wed 26th of November 2008
Great for kids and handicapped.
"We stayed at the Sunspree MoBay in mid October, and they seemed about half way through renovations. This was our second stay at the Holiday Inn SunSpree (our first was in 2006), and our third in 6 years to Jamaica. Very little at the resort seems to have changed in two years, despite the renovations, though our room had been repainted and had new curtains. There WAS was some new brickwork, walking paths, and furniture in the public areas. IMHO, the ABSOLUTE BEST IMPROVEMENT has been the planting of new palm trees on the beach, and the island. The trees on the island are still small and donât provide very much cover, but the trees on the main beach were perfect (did they add more beach chairs too? Maybe).
The resort is very child friendly, even for children in strollers. Lots of paved walkways, and elevators in every-other-building (most buildings are connected in pairs, via walkways). The pool is glorious for young kids, never getter deeper than 3 Â½ feet, while having a gently sloped entry on one end of the crescent, and stairs into the pool on the other. The resort and pool would even work well for those in wheelchairs, since the pool is well paved to the rest of the resort, and a wheelchair could slide right into the water.
There are shops across the street, with several ânicerâ jewelry shops in the mix. Two of the jewelry shops were even nice enough to have somewhat snooty owners. There is also a top-notch jerk shop-Scotches-
within a short walking distance toward Montego Bay. Watch out for the little Indian grocery storeâ¦if you pay in USD, he may try to overcharge you. We were bitten once, but not the second time.
We were told there was significant staff turnover when the resort changed hands in September, but they hired a good [new] crew. When our AC went out twice, and our hot water stopped flowing, the maintenance crews were prompt and had the units replaced in short order, and the pipe blockages removed quickly. The staff was helpful and smiling, and the maids never took the tips we left for them (a surprise).
The buffet food was average, as were the quality of the unlimited drinks. The jerk chicken served out by the beach was not nearly as tasty as two years ago. Visit Scotches at the END of your stayâ¦.the jerk is so good, that anything you eat at the resort will afterward be a sad imitation. The pool-side entertainment seemed a LITTLE more robust than two years ago, again, with the staff being an overall better mood than during our last stay.
If you want transportation around MoBay, try the guys across the street waiting for business in the little shopping center. We were dubious of their pressuring tactics when we went shopping, but sure enough, they were a better deal than the transportation for tours and local running around arranged by the front staff.
Overall, this was a decent resort, if indeed a bit run down."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of November 2008
Go there expecting a 3-star hotel and you'll be impressed
"My husband and I plus my brother and his girlfriend spent 9 nights at the Holiday Inn Sunspree in Montego Bay and enjoyed our vacation very much. When we arrived at the hotel, we were impressed with the open air lobby. We were served rum punches and checked in quickly. As we headed away from the main lobby toward our room, we got a fantastic view of the lagoon pool and the sea. Very good first impression. Here's the rundown:
We were in room 1336. It had an ocean view and a garden view which we loved. The bed was very comfy, the room was perfectly clean. A/C was nice and cold. The bathroom could use some updating and the shower took forever to get hot, sometimes never did. They only offered that ridiculous shampoo/conditioner combo that never works and, by the end of the week, I practically had dreadlocks like the locals! They added a nice touch with the 9 pm turndown service and a few nights, we had little bottles of Rum waiting for us. That might have been because my husband is a Platinum Priority Club member, though. All in all, the room impressed us very much.
The beach was narrow, with tiki huts for shade. It spanned all the way down the length of the resort so there was ample space to find a spot. Swimming was a little iffy. By the island, it was very shallow and other areas were full of seagrass. But we found a great spot further down where the water was deeper and better for swimming. My husband found a great snorkel spot located by a floating buoy a little ways from shore. If you see a glass bottom boat or a Sandals scuba boat hanging out off the shore, that's where it is. It's hard to swim out there because of the seagrass and shallowness, but if you can find a way out there, it's a beautiful reef. There is NO sailing offered, despite the advertisements. The only water sports offered are kayaking, paddle boats, and snorkel equipment. No Hobie cats or sunfish or any kind of sailing equipment, which really disappointed my husband.
There is no night swimming, which bummed me out. I love swimming under the stars! The lagoon pool is beautiful, though, and there is always lots of room to find a spot to lay out, The adult pool with the swimup bar is not maintained as well.
The food was touch and go. I absolutely loved the breakfast buffet. The omelet station was a favorite, as was the french toast. Lunch was okay at the main restaurant, but we usually chose to eat at the Barefoot Grill by the pool, where you can get burgers, grilled cheese, hot dogs, fries, and fried fish. There's also the Jerk Chicken Hut which my husband loved and they also have soft serve ice cream cones which I loved. Dinner was fabulous at Sorrento restaurant. The bacon wrapped beef tenderloin, calamari, crab cakes, and tiramisu were all excellent. The service can be slow at times, but just keep "island time" in mind. Dinner at the buffet varied from night to night and was pretty good. The dress codes are just somewhat enforced and reservations the day before are a must. They fill up quickly! We loved that there was food available from 7 am- 1 am. We were never hungry, that's for sure!
Staff was very pleasant, for the most part. The assistant manager, Winsome, was very helpful whenever we had a problem.
Service was sometimes slow at the bars, but the drinks were good. The cups used are very small, so if you're a big drinker, you should bring a larger cup with you. There was some inconsistency in how the drinks were made, but that can be said anywhere, I suppose.
There was entertainment offered every night from 9-10:30 and it was usually very lively. I loved the Caribbean Regals Entertainment Group on one of the "Showtime" nights. They were a dancing steel drum band and I enjoyed watching them. It was nice to be able to sit in the lounge chairs with drinks while watching the entertainment each night. After 10:30, the resort is quiet. There is a free shuttle at 10, 11, and 12 to Margaritaville, which is about a 15 minute ride. Then there's a shuttle back at 12, 1, and 2. It is free to get into Margaritaville with the Hoilday Inn all-inclusive bracelet which saves $10.
We loved the Dreamer Catamaran cruise, which was a sunset cruise that sailed to a snorkeling reef where we all got off the boat and snorkeled. Then we sailed to Margaritaville to go down the slide and jump on the water trampolines. They were a very boisterous crew and served drinks, danced, and gave the ladies foot massages. It was a fun evening! We also took a day trip to Negril. Rick's cafe was a unique bar/restaurant. Cliff and tree divers, live music, and the most beautiful sunset in Jamaica. Very cool place!
To sum it up:
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and felt we got an excellent value. It is not a resort I would choose for a destination wedding or a luxurious honeymoon, but it's perfect for a fun, relaxing budget vacation for couples, friends, or families."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of November 2008
"Me and my cousin (two single women in our thirties) stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree in Mont Bay, JA for 5nights in Feb'08. This was my second time and her first time visiting JA. Although the Island is beautiful, the stay at this Resort was horrible! To start with they do not wash their cups with soap, so when you ordered a drink the bartender rinsed a dirty cup with water and his fingers! It was disgusting! All I could think of was how easy it would be to catch TB or any other disease for that matter. Needless to say we bought our own cups at the overpriced gift shop but it was a real drag having to carry around a cup all day! Not to mention the All Inclusive drinks were made up of the worst Bottom Shelf Alcohol ever! The food was less than desirable, infact it was as if we were eating at a fast food joint, tasteless and they served the same thing every day. The rooms, the service and the beach sucked, Not Worth a fraction of the Price we paid! If you want to stay at an awesome resort, with great food, drinks, rooms and staff for half the price of this crappy place, go to Point Village Resort in Nagril, JA..."
- Travel date: Sat 29th of November 2008
great l love this place lam coming very soon
"l had a great time at this place all the staff was so so nice help full everything everyone was great there is so much to do . we have booked up already to go back my kids cant wait ."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of July 2014
"We are Priority Club members so got a waterfront room away from the noisy pool area so were pleased with our accommodations. The water was lovely...could float all day. Food was low quality and flavorless for the most part. Service at restaurants and huts was very bad.....staff acted like they did not see you most of the time. Only once in three days did I get a wait person in the main cafeteria area, so if you are a coffee or tea drinker you may feel a little deprived.our one hour snorkeling trip was only about 45 minutes, perhaps because one of scheduled couples decided to run to their room holding us up. Pool, island and ocean are all very shallow and close at 5 pm which was hugely disappointing. Overall...a place to float and loose weight."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of August 2013