10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Very Nice Place: not optimal for some smaller families
"Tryall is a large beautiful property. We stayed in a 1BR greathouse villa. The greathouse is located in the middle of a hill overlooking the main Jamaica highway and the ocean with the beach on the other side of it. There are about 13 greathouse villas, and these use the greathouse pool. The greathouse pool area is often windy because of the hilly location, and the water was quite cold (not heated).
We brought our 3-1/2 year old, and our child met very few kids in her age range. Most children come here with extended and larger families and stay at the larger villas which have both pools and full time cooks. Hence we rarely met other kids for our little girl as we didn't see other kids at the pool or in the restaurant. In addition, with small children, you are essentially required to take a shuttle to the beach.
If the lack of kids and shuttle don't bother you, Tryall is a lovely old world place with good service."
- Travel date: Mon 17th of January 2005
The Round House
"The 14 of us stayed at the 7 bedroom Round House. The house and grounds were very well kept. The pool was excellent and was a huge hit with the kids. The staff was ok, but always seemed to be on the phone when one of us was trying to make a call. Delroy, the head of the house, was helpful when asked to do simple tasks, like calling for the shuttle. But seemed miffed when asked how our steaks were going to be cooked. They didn't have a bbq grill in this lovely 2.3 million dollar villa and boiled our steaks. They were pretty nasty. Don't get me wrong the food was pretty good especially the breakfasts and chicken dishes. Also with 14 people one golf cart was not enough. The reception from the satellite was poor and oftened was out. The house could also use a bigger and better ice machine.
The resort itself was very nice. Nobody in my party ever felt unsafe at anytime. Security was evident if you looked for it but was not overwelming. The beach was nice and clean and the beach attendants were friendly and helpful. The golf courses were very nice. Even if you don't golf you have to take out a cart and tour the course and take pictures by the huge tree. The resturants were fine and the seafood buffet was really good. The cigar shop was excellent and the commisary was well stocked and offered a good selection of beverages, food and grocery items.
All and all I would like to stay at Tryall again."
- Travel date: Fri 10th of September 2004
Wonderful Visit & Wedding
"In general, when it comes to just staying at Tryall, I agree with most of the reviews here.
The villas at the Great House are nice - the rooms are lovely and they are beautifully decorated, but they just don't compare to the private villas outside of the Great House complex. The Great House villas don't have private swimming pools or cooks or laundresses or private property and you end up eating most of your meals in the restaurant or beach cafe which are just ok and a little pricey. The main beach is nice and the ocean (sea) blue and green and warm, but it's not as lovely as the silky white sands of Negril.
The private villas, however, are lovely!!! The staff is incredibly friendly and talented - most of the chefs are quite good - they'll make whatever you want and can prepare authentic Jamaican dishes for you, if you want them. Your food cost ends up being very low - about $35/day/person for 3 great meals - since you just pay for groceries plus you tip the villa staff a total of about $25/day/room. The private swimming pools are terrific, the views lovely, and the property very nice. We especially enjoyed Karma Bay - fantastic property and staff!! Randolin's has one of the nicest pieces of land on the ocean front and a wonderful chef (but no a/c; however our ultra sensitive friends didn't complain about it at all). Our friends staying at Sea Spray, a deluxe villa with a butler, couldn't say enough nice things about the butler! They wanted to take him home with them!!!
For those looking for a destination wedding - I can't recommend Tryall enough! If you want pictures or have questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]
For one thing - yours will be the only wedding that day - which you won't find at most other resorts.
Besides that, Herbert Baur will take excellent care of you - he's able to recommend good & reliable florists, djs, bands and photographers and stay on top of them to make sure they do what you want and when you want them to do it. He's essentially a free wedding coordinator who won't let you down. He's also very fair with prices and will go out of his way to make sure your wedding is your dream wedding! Our wedding even exceeded our expectations.
And the food was good as well - and we are VERY picky New Yorkers who passed on a number of other resorts for our wedding because the food wasn't good enough - incl. almost every all inclusive resort. For our reception we had a a wonderful roast suckling pig, lobster, curried goat and grilled tilapia as entrees.
All of our friends and family, and I do mean ALL, have not stopped raving about our wedding - many said it was the best and most fun wedding they've ever attended.
Another thing to consider about a destination wedding is that having our friends and family come for a few days before the wedding made it even better - because we were able to spend quality time with them and didn't feel as crazy during the actual reception about having to say hello to everyone. Plus everyone was so relaxed and happy by the time the wedding rolled around, that they could just have fun - no anxieties about getting to the wedding on time, getting lost, finding parking, or worrying about driving home drunk or will they know anyone (since they've spent a few days getting to know everyone) or anything.
All in all, I highly recommend it for a wedding and/or a group vacation!"
- Travel date: Wed 11th of August 2004
Tryall - give it a try in a group!
"We just came back from a 2BR Great House Villa at Tryall with our 5 y.o. son. Our villa was extremely large and well-kept. The daily laundry service with pressing was exceptional - we should have packed a lot less! Our maid was not our cook, I don't think she will cook as a matter of fact. The property is well maintained, and the service is above average.
We would do things very differently if we came back. First we would come with a large group with other kids. The kids club is from 10a -12p and 2 - 4p and when it is open it is great. But my son was a little lonely. People go to Tryall in packs and the kids do not mingle. 2. The shuttle to and fro around the property is a drag. Get a golf cart even if it is $37/day if you are going to play golf or go to the beach. 3. Check to see if you have a VCR or DVD before you go - ours was $15 to rent per day. 4. Rent a car or go in a large group - none of the tours are reasonable for 3 people - for example Negril was $120 for transportation alone for three of us. It would have been $20 each (or $60) for a group of six. Also if you rent a car you can play other golf courses like White Witch, Cinnamon Hill, Ironshore etc. They are REALLY far away ($75/round trip) cab fare alone before the green fees, caddies, etc. Right now the front nine water holes which are the "prettiest" are closed - until late fall. 5. Plan on dropping a lot of money on food and drinks and taxis if you don't have a cook or a car.
Our trip to Marguerites at Margarittaville in Montego Bay was $200 US. We think we live in the best restaurant town in the US (Dallas) - the food IN GENERAL was below par. Breakfasts and lunch for three were $50 per meal for food that was less palatable than Denny's. My 35th Birthday dinner for 2 was $120 which was reasonable but I wouldn't rate it above a mid-tier Dallas restaurant. The restaurants at the Great House and the Beach are lovely but I found myself asking my son to settle down. It is wholesome and basically kids go there but it is disconcerting to drop $100 each dinner to control your kid.
Another word to the wise plan on $200 - $300 in tips for the maid ($20/day), golf attendants ($2/day), caddies, drivers, doormen - etc. This is definitely not all inclusive and definitely not for bargain shoppers. We have family that love tennis, golf and going to Tryall, so with a raft of kids we would come back in a pack, but for the money we spent we could have gone to some place with better food and more kids.
You may also want to reconsider the airport transfer deal. We waited 35 minutes at Montego Bay when we got there and Jamaica Tours insisted that get to the airport 2.5 hours before our return flight. When we got there, we got bumped to Jamaica Air from Delta - this I am told is common which extended the wait even longer. (Jamaica Air/Delta did manage to lose my husband's designer golf clubs also on the flight home - they have shown up today) So we were trapped in Montego Bay airport from 1130 - 430p and got home at midnight last night. I was not amused. I wish I had paid a taxi $60 to get me to the airport at 130 instead. And I would never allow myself to get bumped again to Jamaica Air - regardless.
Reasons to go to Tryall - great for groups, great service, nice and large villas, good driving range(s), small, safe kid-friendly beach, no peddlers and obviously tight security and a "safe" place. We were never offered drugs or hassled for example.
Jamaica is Jamaica and if you are demanding, discerning and expect the best like La Sammana in St. Martin or "The Leading Hotels of the World" quality of service - don't go! They are not in the same league. They claim to be but they are not. They cost as much but are not."
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of July 2004
Calypso Villa & Villas by Linda Smith
"Tryall was a wonderfully relaxing resort. We stayed at the Calypso Villa rented through Villas by Linda Smith. The villa is 4 bedroom, with a great pool and staff. The patio is very large, with plenty of seating and lounging. The living room is big, but there is not much else as far as common space in the home. The bedrooms are large with the master having a huge bath. Note that Calypso does not have a water view of the ocean but is directly on the 16th green.
We were provided with 2 golf carts to go to the Great House, beach, etc. Our cook was outstanding - we ate like royalty. Our laundry was done daily - a real treat! The budget estimates for food and tips on Linda Smith's web page proved to be accurate. Tryall is not the place if you require a lot of nightlife or activity. It is the right place if you want a quiet, refined escape from the real world. Golf was good although the front nine was closed for updating. The beach is rather small, but never crowded and proved to be a great place to relax, swim and play in the surf.
I found that Linda Smith fairly represented Calypso and Tryall and would trust her for future bookings."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2004
recommended but with reservations
"Visited the Tryall Club in late April 2004. We rented one of the beach front villas, which was very nice but not air conditioned. That is a drawback to some people so make sure you know in advance. The staff of each villa prepares the food. It was generally good but not wonderful. The island is just coming out of the dry season by late April and the golf course was in pretty good shape unless you got off the fairway, in which case the rough was mostly burned up. The rates at most of the villas dip to shoulder season rates in mid-April. The rainy season begins in May and lasts through most of the summer. There is no reason to venture away from the resort much. There is little shopping and the restaurants in the Montego Bay area are no great shakes, believe me. The poverty in much of the area is quite striking. You're best staying on the resort property. I would go back -- but I wouldn't rush back."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of June 2004
Great Private Pool Villas!
"We stayed at the Tradewinds villas at the Tryall Club for a friends wedding in August 2003. I would recommend booking through Linda's Villas. There are a lot of beautiful villas here, as we were able to visit several others due to other wedding guests staying at different locations. Having your own golf cart to get around is a bonus. We had our own private pool right on the water, literally the waves would crash onto our patio. The villa staff was nice and willing to cook whatever you wanted whenever you wanted it. There was always a Red Stripe waiting in the cooler. Our food was extremely resonable, given that you only pay for groceries and then your staff cooks all of your meals. The golf course was beautiful and the caddies were dead on with their advice on club selection and yardage. Although typical in nature with the occassional peddler, all and all it was a great experience."
- Travel date: Sat 24th of January 2004
"We have been going to Tryall for almost 20 years and find it the most restful and delightful vacation place imaginable. Beautiful villas, all with private pools, employ charming Jamaican staff who cook all the meals, launder your clothes, clean, and generally make sure you don't have to life a finger. Golf course is beautiful and challenging (but not as impossible as the Ritz's White Witch) Plenty of tennis courts and a lovely small beach with water sports. What more could anyone want?"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of November 2003
What a place!
"The Fern Hill villa at Tryall is awesome. We booked direct through the owner through their web site. They gave us 35% off Tryall's rates. The food, golf and house are fantastic. Best trip ever!"
- Travel date: Sun 6th of October 2002
Forget about the all-inclusives, Tryall's the way to go
"Tryall is a a private Club/Resort located on 2200 acres about 25 minutes west of Montego Bay on the road to Negril. No hotel, just private villas that are rented with full staff who take seriously their responsibility for ensuring that you have a worry-free vacation. The facilities are top-notch with a world-renown golf course and world-class tennis facility. Villas ensure maximum privacy and the pampering is unrivalled. Food is unbelievable, prepared by your personal cook to your individual specifications. Our villa staff and the Tryall personnel made us feel very welcome and we'll be heading back next year. Did I mention the great beach and watersports? All-around amazing vacation destination. Also good value- you save a lot on food/beverage costs compared to a hotel and the staff do all the shopping for you."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of August 2002