10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Once you go Ritz, it's hard to go back!
"My husband and I booked our all-incl package to the Ritz Carlton, Mo Bay for July 2002. We STILL talk about it and it's been almost a year!! Normally Ritz doesn't do an all-incl plan, but we delightedly discovered a tiny ad in the Houston Chronicle and have since seen it printed. I was pleased to tell our travel agent "book us at the Ritz, James" after he had all but said 'look, you're too poor for something this fancy-schmancy!" Once there, we had no doubt we made the right decision. If the plane ride alone was indicative of this vacation, we knew we were in for a treat. AirJamaica was the nicest and most accomodating airline we've ever been on (and we travel a lot). Champagne, flip-down LCD screens, headphones, Blue Mountain coffee (the best java in the world...no, really it is..grown in Jamaica. Goes for $40lb US) At the resort, the service is outstanding, no comparison! Most all staff call you by Mr/Mrs 'X". Room service was my absolute favorite!! Fresh made-to-order breakfast wheeled into your room (while I am still under the covers!) on a round, linen covered table with those stainless steel covers over the plate, fresh flowers and jams of all kinds...and the staff asks, "Mrs X, may I pour your coffee for you?" Of course!! Food was excellent!!! I could not imagine staying at the Ritz and it NOT being all-inclu. Each dinner was easily $150-200. Breakfast alone was $60-75 every a.m.! This plan is drinks (GOOD ONES!!), all meals (GREAT ONES, esp lobster pasta made FRESH poolside!! mama-mia!), all non-motorized water sports,....the works! Laying poolside, it really is hard to believe you're there. So you raise your flag (on the chair) and the waitstaff takes another drink or food order, while you contemplate the "other" places you only thought were nice. (sigh) Ok...clearly we had a fab time. But, I do have to give some downsides, right? There was only one pool. Because we were there in July and there were many families there with uncontrolled kids, it madyou were holding on to, or sitting on the stools at the bar! I know they serve drinks to the young & young at heart, but c'mon! I have to stand at the bar b/c some 9y/o is sipping his rooty-tooty smoothie.) Also, the beach is small, but the sand, chairs and overall spreading out room is nice. At night you can really get some "private" time! But the actual water at the beach is a little rocky and not conducive for swimming, much less snorkeling. I highly encourage anyone to stay at the Ritz in Mo Bay. We have a lot of places to see so probably won't return real soon, but would recommend time and again! E-mail me with questions!"
- Travel date: 6th May 2003
Great service/food/golf, mediocre pool
"The Ritz has a lot going for it. Great service. Great food. My husband loved the golf course. Rooms were beautiful, with marble baths and featherbed topped beds. Overall, the grounds and building were lovely.We were underwhelmed by the pool and waterfront area. The pool was boring and not much bigger than your average suburban swim club, so it got crowded quickly. The water was too warm. And the small beach area was gritty (water shoes a must). The one small hot tub was broken the week we were there (4/2003). We spoke to the hotel manager about this, who agreed that the pool was inadequate, and was told that they plan to build another kids-oriented pool in another 1-2 years.The hotel also lacks a game room, making it kind of boring for older kids and teens.Overall, it's a fine choice on a non-busy week. Also good for couples. But on busy holiday weeks, I might prefer to wait until they build the next pool before going back."
- Travel date: 2nd May 2003
"We visited the Ritz Carlton in July of 2002. Since I've been frequenting this site in reviews for this summer's vacation I thought I should contribute. The Ritz was exactly that, the Ritz. The room, the service, the food was excellent. The front desk was very friendly and Simone was an incredible help. I simply can't say enough about the grounds, the cold towels for your face by the pool, the beach side service, everything was first class.My wife and I actually found an all-inclusive deal at the last minute and did 7 nights w/ air for around 1400 each. Well worth it. Especially since dinner was easily over 100 dollars a pop. What did we not like? The fact there was only one pool, which of course means kids, the hot tub turned my shorts a different color because of so much chlorine one night and the beach was not very big. I read reviews before we left about the beach and thought, "They don't know what they're talking about." They did. The swimmable beach area is not very big and the breaker is not that far out. I mention that because they do not want you to swim past that. Because of the waves the water is fairly clear but snorkeling is really not possible off of the beach. However, you can take a guided catamaran out for a ride which was a lot of fun. Our captain for the ride was very funny and cool. I played golf one day at the White Witch golf course which is owned by the Ritz and it is beautiful. Most of the holes have a view of the ocean. Also, you can get a caddy (which I highly recommend because it is a difficult course with lots of hills) for around $12. Great deal! Also, the restaurant at the White Witch is on a hillside with outside seating and a great view of the sun setting over the ocean.I know these reviews can tend to sound negative at times because pointing out the negatives is real easy. So let me reiterate, it was the Ritz and you felt like you were at the Ritz by the way you were treated and the quality of service you receive. The food was awesome! We ate by tresh lobster and was making fresh lobster pasta. Oh my gosh, it was great! To give you an idea of what you can expect, I'll leave you with this. On our last night we were having dinner at the premiere restaurant and our waiter found out it was our last night. So, he and another waiter came over to our table and serenaded us our last night! Very cool. If you go, you'll have a great time."
- Travel date: 24th April 2003
Worst experience ever!
"This was my second trip to the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Jamaica in the past twelve months. I felt it important express my displeasure regarding the customer service I received on this visit to the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in Jamaica. Prior to my visit I would have put Ritz service on par with Four Seasons and Disney, all having exceptional customer service. At this point I would put it on par with a low-end chain hotel. I booked the trip, and paid to bring my sister in law and my brother along as a surprise for my wife. I booked an ocean view suite through Air Jamaica Vacations for six nights (March 20-26, 2003). However upon arrival we were informed that they did not have the suite, and the best they could do was a garden view room. I spent the remainder of my vacation being given the runaround about who was at fault, who was going to deal with the problem, and how it was going to be dealt with. In the end it took until 2 hours before I left for the airport for my return flight to get even moderate satisfaction. Furthermore the wait staff leaves plenty to be desired. If you are considering this location lower your service expectations level, Motel 6 or Red Roof Inn should do!"
- Travel date: 21st April 2003
Beautiful and Relaxing but Watch Your Bills!
"My boyfriend and I recently spent a week at the Ritz Rose Hall. (2/2 to 2/8) Actually it was overbooked with a conference, so for one night we stayed in town at a little hotel. That night was fine -- it was a good chance to see that we weren't missing much in town. I'm used to staying in Puerto Vallarta which is fantastic to spend time in, and Montego Bay proper seemed to have little charm and nothing to do on a saturday night if you're not one for Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. We walked for a bit on Glouchester but the road was busy, sidewalks were dark and tiny, and went back to spend the night watching TV. We had decided to do the all-inclusive at the Ritz after reading here that taxis were $25 each way, and it was the way to go there. So after spending a night in town, we packed off for the other 6 nights at the Ritz. It was lovely. Our days consisted of floating in the pool or roasting along its side, drinking Boat Drinks, smoking what we'd bought in town, eating Jerk Chicken at the shack on the beach. It was idyllic. There were very few other 20-somethings at the hotel, but we were fine with keeping to ourselves. The main conference that week was the "Company Presidents Over 40" or something to that extent (ha!). The beach is small and the sand is rough and once you get in, it's very rocky. We didn't spend but 10 minutes in the waves, which was a shame. We did overtake the pool, which was nice. The property is lovely, the hotel is like an old plantation with walls in beautiful colors of water and sky. Beautiful green lawns and such. As for dining, we had the stellar breakfast buffet every morning at Horizons, lunch at Mangos, then an afternoon snack at mangos (banana split) or the jerk shack on the beach (get honey from horizons for your Bammy and Festival -- it's the best!) Dinners were divided. The steaks were consistently very good, especially at the White Witch. Horizons also had good dinner, and the much-ado Jasmines was fine but Tapas-Style seems like an excuse for overly minute portions and we didn't love it there. Mangos had a cheesy dinner buffet, but why eat there when you can have a nice meal of your choosing elsewhere? White Witch and Horizons were definitely the dinner favorites. After dinner there's a pool table downstairs and live music upstairs. That's about it for entertainment, but that was fine with a young couple in love :) Now, the billing. OY. We had negotiated an all-inclusive rate, and paid 50% down. The all-inclusive was for meals, taxes, everything, even 10% gratuity. Even before we got there, the half-down had tax added on top -- not as agreed. My boyfriend fixed that. Then, on the day before we left the hotel, I decided to check the status of our statement. BIG SHOCK. They didn't have us down for all-inclusive at our agreed rate, they'd listed another $1500 in unexpected charges. We finally got someone to help who fixed that, so we paid the other 50% as predicted, and the add'l tips we had put on the meal charges. All that haggling and I thought it was done... but I checked my credit statement online, and there was an add'l erroneous $1100+ charge, billed the same day we checked out, that was unfounded and I have no idea how that got there. That's still being resolved, but I hate how the billing ordeals are beginning to taint a beautiful property with lovely people. My advice -- go but BEWARE, and keep a good eye out for add'l charges. We're not all the dumb rich americans we may seem!"
- Travel date: 19th February 2003
Wonderful, but avoid at peak times
"We spent our 'family reunion'--12 of us ages 10-82--at this hotel the week after Xmas (including New Years) and we're CRITCAL veterans of many a Carribbean resort and cruise. The food is quite good at all the restaurants and, if you love to eat, go for the all-inclusive plan. The staff is OUTSTANDINGLY pleasant and helpful. The rooms are superior in quality,size, gracious construction and amenities (and we were in standard rooms). However, the hotel was at full occupancy that holiday week and, quite simply, the facilities were NOT adequate for the number of guests. There are only 2 tennis courts--always booked, the Fitness center would be small and unimpressive under the best of circumstances . During this week it was downright unpleasant with lines and impatient guests. There is only one (crowded) pool. The beach, as you can read from other reviews, is poor to mediocre. During our stay, it had a distinct Coney Island vibe...beach chairs crammed together in rows, noisy. Overall,the service was understandably spotty--obviously WAY too many guests for the staff to provide 'Ritz Level" service. Again, all staff members were unfailingly pleasant despite their stress. I personally like lush tropical landscape and was disappointed that the property is landscaped in the bare, formal 'wide English lawn' style. I would LOVE to stay here when it is less crowded (with fewer children, too). Other Ritz resort properties manage to maintain an atmosphere of relaxed serenity during holiday weeks, but not this one."
- Travel date: 9th February 2003
"This hotel was lovely and the service was impeccable. We had a problem with the 1st room that we checked in but the front desk was accommodating and moved us the following day. The staff was very friendly, housekeeping was always timely and courteous. We will definitely return. We were on the all- inclusive plan which is the way to go! Meals were exceptional except for the restaurant at the golf course. The food on breakfast buffet was usually luke warm and soggy.....order off the menu! We had a suite which was very spacious with two bathrooms. If you choose this hotel, you won't be disappointed!"
- Travel date: 8th February 2003
excellent group vacation
"My husband and I along with 22 friends spent a long weekend at the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall in November. I think that our entire party of 24 would agree that the resort exceeded our expectations. We did the key to paradise all inclusive package, and we thought it was quite a bargain. The rooms were beautiful with spacious marble bathrooms. We did find, however, that those who booked garden view and those who paid more for ocean view pretty much had the same view. In one instance a garden and ocean view were next door to each other. The food was very good for an all inclusive; the group's favorites were Jasmines and White Witch. We had great service on the beach with servers who anticipated our every need. The beach was not particularly large, nor was the water an intriguing blue, but lying on a lounge chair shaded by an umbrella with a drink in hand was all that we wanted. Overall, you can not beat the Ritz Carlton Rose Hall key to paradise package for value, service, or accomodations."
- Travel date: 6th January 2003
Ritz Carlton Rose Hall is Great
"We had an incredible stay at the Ritz in mid- December. The weather was great and the resort was spectacular. Here is our review: We were on the all-inclusive package, which allowed us to indulge ourselves without breaking the bank. Room service, beachside food and drink service, all our meals and drinks, and even afternoon tea service were included! Based on the prices listed in the various menus, our deal was an absolute steal. The deal includes a 10% tip on everything, so you typically provide a small additional tip and that's it. The quality of the food was excellent. We ate breakfast in our room usually, and room service was prompt. The buffet at Horizon's is also good. We had lunch by the beach almost everyday at Mango's. We usually had champagne and shrimp cocktail from room service as a snack, followed by dinner, which was always great. We liked the White Witch the best (great lobster, lamb, and carrot soup), but Jasmine's (try the Duck) and Horizon's (try the Mango souffle for desert) were also very good. The french press coffee at Cohoba's is great, too. My girlfriend and I didn't expect much from the beach (based on others' reviews) but we really loved it. The water is warm and relaxing, and we spent hours floating away on the Ritz rafts provided to everyone. The beach chairs were comfortable, with ample shade if desired, and the wait staff was available with a simple raising of the flag. They even brought fruit and rum-scented cold towels around most days, as advertised. We did not find the beach to be rocky, and although not a wide beach for playing sports, etc, we thought it was intimate and just right. Additionally, we went sailing, snorkelling, and kayaking right on the property, and never went to the Rose Hall Beach Club (we didn't need to). Our room was very nice, with a view of the pool and the ocean. We were in the west wing, top floor, which I'd recommend. Perhaps the only negative was that some things in the room (the TV and screen door) didn't work perfectly, but no big deal. Without question, the service was one of the best parts of the trip. Everyone was attentive and genuinely happy to help us, and very proud of their country. They all kept saying "my pleasure" and I actually believe it was! All in all, we thought the resort was incredible. I think 5 nights is ideal here, as you really don't want to leave the property and unless you are happy lying in the sun like we were, a week may be too long. The all inclusive package is a must - without it, the room rates and food prices would make this a very expensive resort; with the package, this resort is a great value in paradise."
- Travel date: 2nd January 2003
First Class...But Certainly Not Perfect!
"Stayed at the Ritz Carlton from 12-13 thru the 19th. First class resort with excellent service. Very well appointed room with private balcony. If you insist on a beautiful carribean beach, this is NOT the place for you! It is a man made beach with a good amount of rocks, seaweed, and the water is not very clear. The beach sand is a bit on the gritty side...not soft and white. I LOVE a good beach, and although I was dissapointed, it was something that we easily adjusted to. The Ritz provides a free shuttle to the Rose Hall Beach as an alternative, and although that beach was a bit nicer, it wasn't that nice and probably not worth the short trip. The pool is nice and large, but not huge as we've seen at other resorts. Hence if the hotel is crowded, so is the pool. They have just one hot tub and it was full most of the time. Although there were few kids when we were there, another pool would have been nice. Whether you were at the pool or the beach, your lounges had a flag, and when you raised the flag a waiter attended to your food or drink needs. Each day we had 2-3 drinks plus a nice lunch served to us right on our lounge chairs. We found the restaurants to be excellent...all of them! Yes, the food is expensive, but we had a $300 all inclusive rate (just out of season) that was reasonable. Although some people complained about Jasmines, we found it to be a very nice change of pace, and with 4 servings there was plenty of food...once again the all inclusive helped minimize the price shock. I love tennis and they only had 2 courts and they were booked many times when I wanted to play. After dinner there is NOTHING to do at the Ritz. Every few days they had a little entertainment but it wasn't much. I would not bring kids to this resort unless they are under 7 because they will be bored! The service from most all the staff was excellent...they will try to satisfy your every request. A lot of the extra items are a bit on the expensive side...such as the ride to and from the air $25 each way) but at least you were secure in their service and it probably isn't worth the hassel to see if you can save a few bucks. We had a great time, and the only real disappointment was the quality of the beach."
- Travel date: 23rd December 2002
Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort Hotel is also called
- ritz carlton jamaica
- ritz carlton hotel
- ritz rose hall