My wife and I spent 5 days at the Iberostar Beach in Montego Bay to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was our first time in Jamaica. We absolutely loved it and fully recommend.
Here are some highlights:
– our room was very spacious and well decorated. By the way, we got a ocean front room with a balcony, worth every penny.
– the room and bathroom were very clean, and so was the whole resort actually.
– the beach was semi-private, meaning that only hotel guests were allowed there. There were local vendors walking by (some kayaking by), but they were not very intrusive.
– The food was excellent. We’ve been to resorts at several other Caribbean destinations, but Jamaica beats them all in terms of flavor, in our opinion.
– The restaurants were spacious and not at all crowded. Easy to find a table at any time, with plenty of space to move around and have a private conversation.
– Employees were all very friendly, approachable, hospitable. In particular, the chefs at the specialty restaurants and the bartenders at the lobby bar were great!
– There is plenty of activity to do with no extra cost, such as sailing, paddle boating, kayaking, beach volleyball, aqua fitness, etc. But if you just want to lie on a beach chair sipping drinks all day, no one bothers you.
– There are several excursions you can do within a 1-2 hr drive from the hotel. We did the Dunn’s river falls climb, all conveniently arranged inside the hotel at a reasonable price. It was great.
– On our last night, we reserved a “romantic dinner on the beach” to celebrate our wedding anniversary – this is extra cost, but it was a very memorable and exclusive experience, including a 4-course surf & turf dinner and high quality wine, all under the stars, on the sand, listening to the waves break, all by ourselves.
As you can see by this review so far, we were generally very happy with our stay at the Iberostar beach, but to provide a fair review, here are some areas of improvement:
– there may not be enough beach and pool chairs available at all times. That wasn’t a problem for us, but I suspect that if the hotel was fully booked, it would be hard to get a chair at 10am. Maybe they have some in storage that they can bring out in that case, but that would make the space very crowded.
– the quality of the alcohol used in mixed drinks at the pool and beach bar could be improved. Also, they usually ran out of ingredients such as lime or mint – or even beer – during the day. At the lobby bar, there are much better and plentiful alcohol options.
– this is not so much a hotel issue: but if you booked a package including transfers, keep in mind that the Iberostar is one of the farthest from the Montego Bay airport, so you’ll be the last to be dropped off and first to be picked up, meaning your bus will make several stops on your trip to/from the airport. If I were to do this again, I’d probably decline the hotel transfer and used a private taxi instead.
The property has 2 other resorts: Iberostar suites and Iberostar Grand. The latter is for adults only, more upscale (and more expensive too). Guests of the Grand can visit the other 2 resorts but not the way around. So depending on your budget and expectation, you may want to consider the Grand. We were very satisfied with the Beach, didn’t need anything else.
In sum, we fully recommend the Iberostar beach for anyone visiting Montego Bay.