Runaway Bay Heart Hotel
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I had the pleasure of staying at this superb hotel in Runaway Bay, Jamaica known as HEART. From the moment I stepped foot upon this gorgeously manicured property I was simply amazed at this hidden gem. From the very professional staff to the very clean well maintained spacious rooms. To the exquisite dinning to my breath taking view of the north coast from my balcony; I was immensely pleased with this hotel. I am looking forward to returning to RunawayBay HEART in the very near future."
- Travel date: Sun 26th of March 2006
The Heart stole my heart!!!
"I have travelled to JA many times and have NEVER stayed at this resort, but I am glad that I decided to this time around. This place is WONDERFUL! The HEART is where all of the locals train to work in the hospitality industry and I must say that ALL of the employees (some trainees) are VERY professional! The hotel sits atop a hill in Runaway Bay and the view of the Carribean Sea is SPECTACTULAR! The lush green surroundings at this place is VERY claming and beautiful. It is the perfect place to sit and read by the pool. There is a gym and a restaurant (which has room service) and there is a gentleman that sits and plays the piano right next to the dining room at night time during dinner. I felt like I was the ONLY guest at the hotel sometimes because it was so quite but I assure you that was NOT the case.
There is a free shuttle that takes you down to a private beach (shared with Sandals Beaches resort) and the gentleman will come pick you up whenever you tell him to. There are some older rooms which are fine, but the newer rooms closer to the road are FABULOUS with wonderful views of the Carribean Sea! The air conditioner was great, and the HOT water and water pressure was ALWAYS GREAT! If you have ever been to Jamaica then beleive me you KNOW that this is a LUXURY. There were also a couple of weddings while I was there and I must admit that they decorated the hall really nice! (I may even have a wedding reception here) The food is OK and not overpriced so if you just want to chill out and not have to leave the hotel you can definitely do so. The hotel gives you an option to include meals in your rate which is a good option to have if you know you will not be leaving the grounds.
All in all even though there really isn't anything in walking distance (which is fine for me) I LOVE this place and will DEFINITELY be returning! I was here during hurricane Dennis and I have to admit that I felt safe the whole time. This hotel is a 4 1/2 star and they will be seeing me again."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of July 2005
I left my Heart @ Runaway bay
"Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but I left mine at
the Heart Hotel in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. I am a frequent vacation traveler
to Jamaica, but have never experienced the professionalism and friendliness
of a staff such as I experienced at my recent 9 day stay at the Heart.
Words cannot describe the hospitality of the hotel staff from Castelli Mae,
the incredibly hard working front desk manager to Mark, who greeted me with
a smile everyday when he arrived on time to drive me to the nearby beach.
Smiles are contagious at the Heart, whether it be from Aunt Brenda at the
front desk who went out of her way to call me on the day of my departure to
wish me a safe flight home or from Owen, "Mr. Patience" with a smile so
bright he could light up the night and the other guys from security, who
always had time for friendly conversation with me each morning. The
extremely competent and friendly food service personnel, Aldaine, Sherwin<
Williams and Garfield "The Cat" always greeted me with a smile and kept me
entertained. Special thanks go out to Francis and Mr. Brown, supervisor of<
maintenance who kept me company during dinner.
The hotel is located just a short walk or complimentary drive to the beach
and daily tours are available from the hotel. From the cleanliness and
tastefulness of the rooms to the beautiful grounds and pool, the Heart Hotel
has it all and I am counting the days until I can go back.
If anyone has any questions about Jamiaca, the people or hotels pleae feel free to e-mail me at ----
If you go to Jamaica..remember.. the staff at the hotels make $15.00- $25.00 a week. Yess, that was not a typo. We pay a lot for such hotels as Breezes but the staff does not get paid well at all. A shirt that may cost us 11.00 in Wallmart, KMart can be bought in Jamaica for $40.00. You do the math. I always pack an extra suitcase or two and bring them clothing that most of my friends children outgrew or never wore. Get to know the people and they will take care of you. I have been to the Heart hotel twice and everyone knows my name.. or face..
- Travel date: Mon 18th of July 2005
The Heart of it all!
"Truly one of the world's best kept secrets! We were originally booked to stay at the Ridgeway Guest House but quickly changed our minds as the internet advertisement was very misleading. We went to Runaway Bay to visit friends and stayed at Runaway Bay "The Heart" Hotel. The staff is to be commended for extending "extraordinary" service during our 4 day stay. If you're looking for serenity this is the place to go. It's hidden away from all of the hustle and bustle off the main roads. There is no beach but the hotel takes you (free pass) to the Sandals to spend the day if you'd like. The pool is just the right size and the staff is unbelievable! We enjoyed our stay and will most definitely return. If you're also needing a very expercienced, talented and cautious driver that won't have you holding your heart in your hand....call Everton McKenjie at Evers Taxi and Tour Guide ------ - very reasonable rates. Enjoy Jamaica - it's a wonderul and fun place!"
- Travel date: Wed 13th of July 2005
"What can i say ..this is not a place to get pampered...but the view is great the staff is wonderful ..The food is awesome..very creative its best to get the breakfast and dinner package ..take a handle on your tours .This is not tourist attraction alot of business locals ..Its nice to get a room facing the beach ..your beach is next to breezes take the shuttle ..or walk to the beach and get some fruits on your way up ..we got sugar cane and mangoes ....i can smell them now.. we have stayed there twice and always go back."
- Travel date: Fri 24th of June 2005
"This is our second stay at the HEART. The rooms are large and clean. Most have spectacular views of the ocean from the hillside location. The beds are firm which I like and the room is modestly furnished. Because this is a training hotel, there will be times when service is slow or not the best but the staff trys very hard. You are fairly isolated at his location, so you must have transportation or pay for a taxi which is expensive to go anywhere. There is considerable road noise because of the road being close to the rooms. Considering the cost of other hotels, this is a bargain and good value for your money."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of May 2005
"I was there for my honeymoon and i must say it was great i enjoy the time I spent there i was on there honeymoon package. I got a candlelight dinner and my waiter RAPHAEL CAMPBELL was WONDERFUL. When you go there ask for him personally.
- Travel date: Mon 13th of December 2004
A very nice place
"Just returned-October 2004
This hotel is located about an hour from the airport in Montego Bay. The hotel is located on a hill, not on the beach. The area is very serene and the grounds are well-kept. Guests to this hotel have access to the Cardiff Hall beach which is about 2 mins. away by shuttle. The beach is very nice also, we did not get hassled or harassed by anyone. You must obtain beach passes from the front desk in order to get in. There are several public beaches near, so be sure to go to the right one.
The staff was VERY helpful and friendly. Everytime we came in or left, they said hello or goodbye. And whoever has gone to Jamaica before knows that this is rare. You could not tell that these people were students.
We did not eat dinner there, but every night we passed the dining area there was a candlelit setting with a live 3 piece acoustic band playing soft music.
The rooms were nice, every room has a balcony w/ table and chairs. Because this place is on a hill, the view of the sea was great. When you enter the room, the AC will not be on. But a little while after turning it on, it gets cool and freezing at night.
Our room had a big walkin closet with iron and ironing board. If you get a room with a king-sized bed, the mattress, to me, is hard. But strangely, I still got a good night sleep. You must get a remote control for your TV from the front desk. We had hot water and an ample amount of fresh towels everyday
The only negative things I can say about this place is the hard king-sized beds. The swimming pool is located right in front of the outside dining area, which is where most people eat dinner. So it is uncomfortable swimming in front of these nicely dressed people while they are trying to eat. And we did have small insects in our room. (We put food in the trash can and when I woke up I killed about 5 giant ants). We also had about 2 centipede-like worms. If you stay on the bottom floor, I would suggest using a towel to close the space under the balcony door. The bottom floor balconies have flower beds in front of them.
But other than these few things. I would highly recommend this hotel. Now, it's not the Ritz or Wyndham. But still, I enjoyed my stay and left happy. And will go again."
- Travel date: Mon 18th of October 2004
The name says it all......
"My fourth time to Jamaica was fantastic, due in large part to excellent accomodations at the Runaway Heart Hotel. The rates were incredible and included breakfast and dinner. The view was very nice overlooking Runaway Bay and a variety of nice homes. The staff was fantastic as they went beyond the call of duty to provide a romatic setting for a weekend getaway. I started with a very nice complimentary rum punch.
Gregory provided excellent service from the front desk and Mr. Cambell kept the kitchen open and made arrangements for a special meal. The breakfast buffett every morning was very nice, featuring all of favorite Jamaican foods prepared fresh. The Jerk Pork Sat. night was a little more elegant than the usual Jerk Center type, but was very nice.
The national dish, Ackee and Saltfish was prepared for my final day Sunday. That's the way to leave Jamaica, with a belly full of Ackee and Saltfish. The only drawback is its proximity to Montego Bay (a good hour plus drive in the daytime). Ocho Rios, however, is only a half-hour away and a great place for tourists and locals alike. I would highly suggest this place for someone who is wanting a fantastic setting for a blossoming romance. It definately worked for me."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of January 2004
Great Value: Off the beaten path
"This was my second trip to Jamaica, my first to the North Coast near Ocho Rios. All the hotels near the city were booked as we were late in finding reservations. We were fortunate to find this one as it was very clean, the food was beautifully presented and served, the staff very accommodating. The service staff are students who are studying to be workers in the restaurant business, I learned. I found the room to be larger than most with a small balcony overlooking a distant view of the bay, the golf course is across the road, hence the name County Club, I suppose. The beach was about a quarter to a half mile away and the hotel provided a driver in a car to bring you. There were lounge chairs on the beach, a refreshment stand, and the water is aquamarine. In order to get to town one can call a private taxi, but we preferred to walk down the hill and catch a van that was bringing the locals to work at other resorts nearby. It cost only $1 each to go into town. This is compared to about $10 for a private cab to bring us back. The Jamaicans seemed pleased that we chose to go with them instead of separately. The pool at the hotel was beautiful and my husband was the only person I saw using it during our stay in February. The town of Ocho Rios is centered on tourism with a new shopping mall ( Chris Blackburn is in the name, I believe) called "Island Something?" This is where the duty-free shops are. We also made the obligatory pass through the local craft market too, but I was sorry I chose to. They are too pushy about your buying from them individually. They expect one to haggle a bit to get a better price. One last thing about the hotel: I requested a massage on Sunday, and the masseuse took a bus especially for my half-hour appointment, which I considered very accommodating. We also bought a tour to Dunns River Falls on a 53' catamaran that included snorkeling on the coral reef for $60 each. Then we climbed the falls which is more difficult than it looks. My advice to tarder than it looks. In order to get back to Montego Bay and the airport we called a tour company and it cost about $40 for two. This is very reasonable as the desk clerk had insisted that we get a private car for about $70! Watch out at the airport as one porter grabbed all the bags from our bus (about 20 pieces) and proceeded to deliver them to the various ticket check in counters. He is very persistent, possessive, and insistent on his tip. My husband may have a different take on this hotel's location, etc. but if you are independent and adventurous and don't expect your every move to be supervised then you will enjoy this hotel. Rates were $75 a night for a double room, food was extra but very reasonable. Better than you would expect, I'd say. You'll be pleasantly surprised."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of March 2003