54 Main Street | PO Box 54, Falmouth, Jamaica
Situated on a three-mile stretch of powder white sands and sparkling sapphire waters on the magnificent island of Jamaica, Breezes Resort & Spa – Trelawny serves up a healthy dose of food, fun & entertainment for everyone.
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"I must say I was a bit disappointed with this trip"
Beverly on Nov 1, 2008 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2008
106 people found this review helpful
Arrival and Flight
Flight from Toronto was great, left on time but took a bit longer to get there due to a hurricaine in Cuba which we had to fly around. Arrival at airport was ok, took awhile to get through the usual line ups. Transfer from the airport was fairly quick, they split our group up into two small buses instead of one of the larger coaches which seemed a bit odd but we were at the hotel in 40 minutes. check in left a bit to be desired, there was only about 5 familys/couples checking in but there was only one person working at the counter so it took a little more than an hour to check in. We were not asked for a credit card imprint at check in but found out the hard way later that if you wish to do any watersports etc with a fee then you must have one on file or pay cash at the reception desk for each thing. We also were not given our safe key (free) at check in and had to come down the next day to request it.
All in all the rooms were ok, I found them quite a bit smaller than I've found in Dominican or Cuba etc, we were on the 5th floor, rooms 543 (my husband and myself) and 544 (3 pre teens). I was a bit shocked to walk into my room and find a full sized patio door in the middle of the room, apparently they had been in the middle of replacing them and somebody forgot to remove it. Other than that our room was fine, not to say it couldn't have used a fresh coat of paint and a little freshening up but heck, you only see the rooms to sleep in so who cares. The kid's room was a little more of a problem, the air conditioning didn't work and the patio door didn't close (2 inch gap,mosquitoes were getting in) and there was a ton of water all over the floor. I must say that one phone call to front desk and all issues (except air conditioner -fixed next morning) were repaired within an hour.
We only tried the one a la carte, Casablanca which was good, service and atmosphere were excellent and the food wasn't too bad, not much of a selection but well prepared.
The buffet was pretty good, a large selection every night, we pretty much always found something to eat and if it wasnt a great night for the buffet we headed down to the grill by the beach/pool which served hotdogs/hamburgers and french fries.
Service at the bars was good, usually quick and not a line up which was nice. Drinks varied by bar and who was serving them but we had no complaints in that area.
Beach and Pools
Beach was beautiful, the little island a few feet out from the beach was great to lay out on and even had hammocks to sleep in if you want. Ocean was nice to horse around in, some days had more waves than others but we had fun. One downfall to the beach and the thing I disliked most about the entire trip was being hassled by the people selling stuff. I tried a firm no, I tried walking away and I was followed and bugged and bugged to buy articles. by the second day my 11 year old daughter who has long hair wouldn't step foot on the beach because the women wouldn't stop hounding her to get her hair braided. the sellers take advantage of the kids by asking their names, inscribing them onto an article they were selling then telling them to bring them to mommy and daddy and ask for the money to pay for the item. We found it frustrating as we couldn't let the kids onto the beach without being a foot behind them to prevent it. Also, we went with the knowledge that drugs would probably be an issue but were surprised to be offered drugs several times within the first hour of stepping foot on the beach. One of the lifeguards (works for the hotel) on the beach offered my 15 yr old son drugs which bothered me quite a bit.
As for the pools, I dont have enough good things to say about them, they were beautiful, well maintained, functional and we had a blast splashing, playing and just lazing about in them.
All in all the grounds were beautiful, lush and very well maintained.
Activities and Entertainment
Theres always some sort of activity on the go that you can join into, especially if you're around the sports pool, they're always doing something which made our days fun. I found the entertainment lacking a bit, the only night I really enjoyed was Friday night when they did a circus show, which was absolutely fantastic!! We were excited upon arrival to find out they were doing a bonfire/beach party on Tuesday night.
We only did one tour, we took the kids to Duns Falls, well worth the money, don't miss this tour if you can help it, it was great fun climbing the falls, I only made it up once but my husband and kids went back down and did it a second time. Make sure if you're planning on this trip, bring runners you don't mind wearing into the water or water shoes for the rocks, don't recommend going in bare feet and if you need to rent water shoes it's anywhere from $5-$10 US to rent them. We didn't book our tour through the hotel, instead followed the lead of several other guests who booked through Dale on the beach, he comes over from Bamboo village next door and wades in the water waiting for customers. dozens of people booked through him during our stay and nobody had any complaints, I know we didn't and he saved us quite a bit of money compared to the hotels rates and we received the exact same tour.
Departure and Check Out
No issues with departure or check out, all went smoothly and we were home before we knew it.
All in all I must say I was a bit disappointed with this trip, We have been on quite a few trips to several different countries and stayed at resorts rated from 2 * all the way up to 5* but I must say although the resort was well represented in the brouchure, my overall experience in Jamaica wasn't what I was hoping for. I felt pressured at every turn for money, hand outs, to buy items which made me spend less time at the beach and more time safely around the pool. We usually go for a walk away from the resort and upon attempting it here we were asked no less than a dozen times for money or even to go back to the hotel and bring them food. I would recommend the hotel to anyone, it was great fun but am sad to say I probably won't return to Jamaica anytime soon.
"Jamaica has better resorts to offer.....stay away from this one"
Linda on Jan 1, 2009 >
2 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: Jan, 2009
107 people found this review helpful
Arrival: December 2008
We booked 2 weeks at the Starfish over Christmas.....mistake.... BIG mistake! The place is poorly run, run down and grossly over rated and over priced!
Initial check-in was fairly painless as there were relatively few guests who arrived at the same time we did.
We had paid extra for a cottage, and thank God we did as some of the horror stories we heard about the rooms in the main hotel building were awful.
The room was OK but I reckon the maids only worked part time. We had to ask for the complimentary mini-bar to be stocked - it was stocked once during our time there (3 small bottles of water and 5 small bottles of sickly Jamaican pop between 4 people for a 2 week stay). There was no hot water, the power kept tripping out, the key-cards wouldn't work, and the kid's bunk bed was on the brink of collapsing each time one of them turned over in the night!
The hotel shop was small and rip-off prices....I bought some decongestant tablets (2 for $2!) - they had an expiry date on the packets of March 2008! The staff were ignorant....plus they never had any change so we ended up walking away with them owing US money each time!
The food in the buffet was decidedly average and often cold. ...you could get a table but obtaining cuttlery, glasses, cups etc to enable you to indulge in a meal was like pulling teeth, waving $$ bills to encourage the waiting staff to actually wait on the table worked, but only sometimes. They were poorly trained, painfully slow and sometimes downright rude. One night we asked 3 different people for a glass of wine......it eventually arrived as we were getting up to leave the table! The choice of food for children was also very poor......my son lived for much of the fortnight on French Fries and bread. He'd have eaten bananas had there been any!
Considering we were in the tropics, the fruit selection on offer was very poor......melon, or perhaps melon, if you were really lucky, melon and pineapple.....oh, and once we actually saw bananas but they disappeared so quickly that you'd have thought there was a shortage (there clearly was here!).
There was nothing for the kids to do at night apart from the games arcade, they charge for everything......machines, pool tables, air hockey, etc. My children actually had money taken from them by a bunch of other kids. There should have been a member of staff in the arcade area but she kept disappearing.
The entertainment was painfully loud and there was no escape from it.
The pool nearest the beach was filthy. The water was almost yellow and you couldn't see the bottom. It was littered with plastic cups, straws, cigarette buts, scum, and heavens knows what else. The filtration system had broken down but they insisted on keeping it open for use despite the fact that there were 3 other pools which were actually quite clean.
The main beach was littered with rubbish and broken glass. They cleaned it occasionally but not nearly enough..... using plastic grass rakes and a trolley. The beach nearest the childrens play area was a health hazard and stank...I have photos, wish I could add them here.....it was scattered with rotting seaweed, all manner of litter and bits of wood with rusty nails sticking out - a British hotel would be shut down for less!
I couldn't believe how stupid and irresponsible the watersports guys were on their jet-skis....cutting in close to the bathers and doing tricks next to where people were paddling kyacks! They are an accident waiting to happen!
All in all, this is a facility which is in dire need of a management shake-up and long overdue for a refurb. How the travel companies can rate it as a 3-4* property is beyond me - its 2* at most!
Jamaica has better resorts to offer.....stay away from this one!
"For the price we paid, who can complain"
Thalia on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
116 people found this review helpful
November 8th 2008 - November 15th 2008
The late flight was great, we arrived in Jamaica at 10:00 pm and got to the hotel at around 11:30 and checked in and all it was about 1:00, check in was a little slow, but it was night, so we didn’t miss much. We got a chance to meet a couple cool people in line.
Departure flight was also late, also great; we got to leave Jamaica the hotel at 7:00 so we enjoyed a full day of sun. We got there late, and left late we enjoyed a full 7 day vacation.
The weather was awesome, sometimes there were clouds, and it rained for like 2-3 mines then it stopped and the sun would come back out. (November is still hurricane season)
4 pools on the premises, the pool by the buffet the only one with a swim up bar, not used ever, mostly in the shade, which can be good for those who burned on the first day.
The second pool by the water slide, not used except for the water slide. The slide was Awesome, I’m a 27 year old woman, and I loved it. So much fun! 3rd pool by the entertainment stage was great where I spend time if I ever went to the pool, not very often though, we would lie on the middle part, and tan. 4th pool, with the pool tables in it, deeper, and cool to lounge in with the chairs. To be honest with you we didn’t spend much time at the pool, we came for the beaches
So there are a lot of mixed reviews about the beaches…
The locals are not allowed on the actual beach however allowed in the water, which is great, that way I know I can leave my stuff on my chair and not be worried about it, and also not have to worry about lying on my chair and being harassed.
When you try and go to the water, they do come to you, and ask you to buy things. What we did, was on the first and second day, we went to all the shops and bought what we had to buy, and then they left us alone. For the most part I believe the best way to handle it, is with a little humor, and by being upfront with them. They will respect a No, however they can be persistent with their sales, just like every good salesperson. If you tell them you are not interested, most times they will reply with “no problem man” “no pressure man” “when you ready”.
The locals are extremely safe. We got to know a couple of them. To be honest at first we were a little scared of the locals, as we have heard bad stories about Jamaica, and how unsafe it is. However these locals are well known around the hotel, and when you leave the hotel with them, the security takes your name and room number, and they also take note of who you are leaving with.
If you want to do any outside the hotel trips, book it with the locals, they will give you the same tour and less money, and most times more fun. They are all fun humorous people. Dale (Radio, a name we gave him) you’ll know who he is, he is always singing and dancing in the water, Squiggly wiggly (with a bleached star on his head, and wears two forks on his wrist as a bracelet) always on the go, either on the boogie board, or surfing. Hanif, the nicest man on the beach, I got bit by sand lice and I so happen to be allergic to them, and he got me aloe, and rubbed my ankle, and didn’t even want money for it. He noticed that I was scratching them and just got it for me, he also took us to the local town, across the street, showed us Ackee trees, and plantain, and etc, all very interesting, it was totally cool to see the local life. Leon, (the lobster man) if you are looking to eat some good lobster, he has a sweet little spot on the beach very well done up with bamboo benches and tables with candles on it. It is the most amazing thing ever and apparently very well priced. Starky, also very nice, Jason, walks around with his dog Gangsta, you can’t miss him. AT first they all want to sell you something, but eventually they just walk by and just want to say Hello “wha gwan”
If you have a chance check out the bamboo village on the other side of the blue doors, they have a lot of neat things, you may be pulled in different direction, but understand that they are all trying to make a couple dollars to feed their family, they are also very understanding when you are not interested. But they will try and convince you otherwise.
I got my hair braided by a lady by the name of Innes (ma mom, is what she is known by) she will braid your hair, and do it over again for you before you leave. I paid 30$ for my hair, a little overpriced, but well worth it, as my hair doesn’t do well with salt water and heat. We chilled with her for a while, and got to know and learn a lot about Jamaica, and the local life. As for the “smoking” , well don’t take offense to it, everyone and their dogs smokes in Jamaica. If your not interested just say no, they won’t bother you again. The beach at night is extremely safe if you want to just chill you can do so and feel safe. And most times the local guys will come join you. The security is all over the beach, they are very adamant about the locals not being on the beach, and the locals respect them, and know they are just doing their jobs, for the most part I felt protected by the security.
The rooms are good enough, you don’t go there for the rooms anyways so who cares as long as the door locks and the shower work’s, it’s all you really need.
Safes are included, however if you loose the key you have to pay $100.00 us.
Was excellent, of course I’m comparing to Cuba, where the food is extremely bland. Every night it was something different and traditional, all I can really say is YUM. Then again I’m not a picky eater, and I love spicy.
There wasn’t much night entertainment; it was more catered to the kids by the pool during the day. I found the local guys on the beach more pleasant and fun to be around than the entertainment people who where not as friendly and outgoing.
Great we had read up on the hotel, on trip advisor. I was afraid of all the negative reviews, but it was probably the reviews that made me know what to expect and take it for what it was, all in the same time as making the best of it, yes the hotel is old, but for the price we paid who can complain.
Just one more thing, we happened to spend a day at breezes Montego bay for a day, and well the beaches @ starfish are 100 times better, and the hotel well they say it’s a 3.5 stars, but I believe it deserves a little more.
Enjoy yourself and say hello the local beach bums (lol) that I’ve mentioned above from Thalia.
"It exceeded our expectations"
Jan on Feb 1, 2009 >
4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
137 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Feb 10 - 17
Flight was on time, the bus for transfer to the hotel was not at the airport when we arrived, but it did arrive within half an hour....it took approx. 35 minutes to arrive at hotel....smooth check in....as I was first in line!!
Rooms are in a need of an upgrade, rather disappointing on initial arrival, but after a few days, the room grew on us......bathroom sadly needs major makeover, but we had lots of hot water most days and lots of pressure for showers etc...the tv had tons of channels, could even watch our local city tv station from Toronto........only problem is, the volume was quite loud and could not be turned down...had a nice balcony and they supplied a bar for your wet clothes.
Restaurants and Bars
main dinner restaurant left alot to be desired, lunch and breakfast were fine...we upgraded and ate at the speciality restaurants..Casablanca, and Guiseppes....wonderful....men need long pants for Casablanca and no open toed shoes were allowed either.......some menu items were not extra....i.e. the lasagna was wonderful and it was included....at Guiseppes....wonderful staff especially Adrian at the Casablanca and Caroldean at Guiseppes....most bar staff very friendly...especially at the pool bar and boy, are they over worked...needed another bar by the pool....too many line ups most of the day...would recommend a Hummingbird drink..........wonderful and healthy with a fresh banana in it!!
grounds were lovely, well kept and clean...pools by the beach were amazing...the private beach located to the right of the resort, is absolutely stunning, the water was so warm and you could walk out quite far...
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
lots of poolside activities, entertainment at night was mostly bands, but not every night.......good music...did not go on any tours....
this was definately a three star resort in many ways, and in some it exceeded our expectations....lots of families with children, so if that is a problem, you may want to stay somewhere else...heard that they are changing ownership in October and becoming a Breezes, so the price will definately go up, but hopefully there will be some renos done at the same time........all in all...considering everything, I would say it was definately rated a 7 out of 10 most days...
Arrival: Feb 10 - 17
Flight was on time, the bus for transfer to the hotel was not at the airport when we arrived, but it did arrive within half an hour....it took approx. 35 minutes to arrive at hotel....smooth check in....as I was first in line!!
Rooms are in a need of an upgrade, rather disappointing on initial arrival, but after a few days, the room grew on us......bathroom sadly needs major makeover, but we had lots of hot water most days and lots of pressure for showers etc...the tv had tons of channels, could even watch our local city tv station from Toronto........only problem is, the volume was quite loud and could not be turned down...had a nice balcony and they supplied a bar for your wet clothes
"This hotel is rated as 3 to 3.5 stars in all listings"
karen on Feb 1, 2009 >
22 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
139 people found this review helpful
Arrival: First I must say this is our 12th visit to this resort. We met one Canadian couple who were on their 18th visit and another couple on their 31st visit. Both couples spoke of many others they had met through the years who had been there anywhere from 10 to 30 times. Most of the returning guests were either from Canada or England. Our Air Canada flight was on time and the lineups at immigration were not too long. Things moved along fairly smoothly. One other flight arriving at same time. Lots of staff but tourists get tired after travelling and get cranky very easily and there is just no pleasing some of them. Our flight attendants were only handing out one immigration card per family but it should have been one per person. We told them we had been to the island many times and that one card per person is required. There was no convincing them that they were wrong and we all had to fill out the additional cards in the airport. This is an error the airlines make....it has nothing to do with the immigration staff so don't take it out on them.
Rooms: Our room was very clean and everthing in working order. Furniture is older but serviceable. Our room on each and every visit has been clean.
The fridges are stocked at the beginning of your visit with Jamaican softdrinks and water. This is not Canada or the U.S. so don't expect the same brands of pop as at home! If you want what is at home...stay at home!! There are 26oz. bottles of gin, rum, vodka and brandy in your room on your arrival. Additional bottles are charged at $7.00 U.S. Drinks are all free at the bar until they close at 1A.M. so there is likely no need of restocking anyway. Water througout the island is safe to drink which is wonderful compared to most other islands in the Caribbean or in Mexico. Bottled water is not necessary and the tap water tastes wonderful.
Food: The food is excellent. We are very picky eaters and have never had a problem finding something to eat. There is a good variety at the buffet every each day. At all meal times the buffet offers traditional Jamaican foods as well as what we are used to at home. Breakfast smoothies, waffles, pancakes, french toast, bacon, sausage, fried eggs or omlettes, potatos or hash brown patties plus Jamaican breakfast items such as bammies or festivals (kind of like a doughnut item), calaloo, Jamaican one pot as well as yogurt, cheeses, danishes, english muffins, toast etc. Of course there is also cereal and even oatmeal. There is always lots of fruit and unlike some reviewers we have never seen them run out of anything. Continental breakfast begins at 6:30am and full breakfast is served from 7:30am to 10a.m. Perhaps the people that have seen a shortage of fruit have shown up right as the buffet is closing. We have been down at the pool having coffee in the morning or out on tours and arrived just before closing for our meals and never had any problems finding something to eat. There is always at least 3 items served to accomodate the favorites of children such as spagetti, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, fries, burgers, hotdogs etc.
There is really no need for any more as these tykes can certainly eat from the regular buffet. Fresh fruit is always available and the salad bar has a wonderful selection. Lots of dessert selections for lunch and dinner. Chocolate items are a little light on the chocolate flavor compared to our style of baking but still very tasty. There are four alacarte restaurants at the resort. The Casablanca offers a more classy dining experience for adults and children over 10 years of age. The Japanese is quite entertaining with the food being prepared in front of you. The Guiseppe offers outdoor dining as does the Reggae cafe outdoor evening dining at the pool. All these restaurants require reservations and a few of the menu items have a surcharge attached to them. The surcharges are very reasonable and a good idea. This is a family resort and many of the families choose to dine at the buffet with their children. Kind of a user pay idea. The grill at the pool bar offers hotdogs, burgers - beef and chicken, jerk chicken, fries, nachos, pizza, popcorn, and Jamaican patties (kind of like a pizza pop) with chicken or veggie style filling. Service is quick and it gives you a few momments of shade from an otherwise very sunny and hot pool area.
Bars: They are well stocked and a drink menu is displayed at each bar. The bartenders are happy and tend to dance along to the music being played. What does seem strange is in the last couple of visits guests are lining up at the bar. This is not necessary and the bartenders prefer you do not line up. While they are waiting for a blender style drink to finish mixing they are more than willing and capable of serving the next guest. It also makes the waitiing time shorter when they are serving more than one guest at a time.
Beach: The beach has been taking a real beating from the weather. The sea level is very high and the undertow has been stripping the sand off the beach. Debris is constantly being brought on shore by the sea but the hotel staff works at cleaning the beach each morning.The resort is trucking in sand on a continuing basis to replenish the beach. By afternoon the beach will likely have some weeds or washed up coconuts on it but I would rather see that than have to walk around the maintenance staff out there with rakes all day! All beaches are public beaches in Jamaica and the locals are thus allowed to pass though the resort beach. They are not allowed to loiter and the security staff quickly sends them on their way if the try to stop and bother the guests. Sure they may ask you more than once to buy something but just be friendly, say no and they leave you alone. The locals are not nearly as aggressive as in Mexico. On either side of the beach there are security guards who will take your name and room number if you are leaving to wander the 'off property' beach. I like having security do this because it shows the resort is being responsible for its guests safety and offers you a peace of mind they want you to feel safe while on the island. We know of one guest who left on the beach and came back through the water. At the end of the afternoon when security checked their list and he was not checked off on the list as having returned to the resort his room was called and he was located to make sure he was back safe and sound.
Pools: There are four pools on the premises and all are kept extremely clean. Staff are out each morning cleaing and adjusting chemical levels. We have never seen the pools dirty or neglected on any of our visits. The most used pools are the sports pool and childrens pool nearest the beach.
Grounds: Each day there are grounds keepers out trimming and tending to the flowers, grass and trees. They are all very knowledgeable about the plants and if you have any questions about a particular type of flower or plant they are more than willing to take the time to tell you about them. We have overheard some guests stating that the leaves are falling off the trees etc but Jamaica has their own seasons and the leaves will fall and flowers will wilt....thats nature!
Activities: There is always something going on around the sports pool. Music starts playing about 9:30 each day and is wonderful to listen to. The have to adjust the volume so that it is heard both close to the acitivies stage as well as on the far side of the pool. So if it is either too loud or too soft move to a spot more to your liking. Aquasize is offered everyday except Sunday. There are games played each day. Something for every age....trivia for adults or children, typical best tan or burn contests, bingo, pool olympics, pool or beach volleyball, pingpong or beer games. T The rock climbing wall is used by people from 5 years of age to people that are 40 or 50 years old. A circus clinic is available for guests to experience the flying trapeze. Each morning a member of the entertainment staff announces the days activities and the are listed on a board on the pool stage as well as near the elevators near the lobby and the buffet so there is no reason for anyone to say the didn't what the acitives of the day were going to be. The acitvies staff are working tremendously long hours. They start their day at 9am and stay until the disco closes in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes working two or three split shifts a day on one day off per week. They are always friendly, outgoing, smiling and more than willing to please you. Huie, Chris, Kevon and Anton are always dancing, singing or mingling with guests around the pool when activies are not going on. Non-motorized watersports are included and you don't have to wait very long to have a chance to go out in the kayaks or sail boats. You do not have to reserve them or book a time. Just advise the water sports staff that you want to use them and they will let you know how long of a wait you have if they are all being used.
Entertainment: There is nightly entertainment. Sometimes it is a singer, steel band, Jamaicain cultural show, the staff circus show is wonderful. There is crab races on Sat nights and Charity casino/pool tournaments on Sunday nights. The best part of the entertainment at this resort is that it is not North American singers and dancers brought to the island to perform in a Vegas style show. Vegas type shows are performed at resorts in Mexico and far too many Caribbean islands....after a few they all look the same. Enjoy what the Jamaican talent has to offer.
Tours: These can be booked either through the resort or the taxi drivers that are at the hotel. When a taxi driver or tour operator takes you from the resort they are required to advise the hotel who they are taking and where they are taking them to. All registered taxi drivers in Jamaica will have a taxi decal displayed on their windshields. Other vehicle owners will offer you trips anywhere you want to go but remember most of them have only minimum insurance and the are not insured to be used as taxis so you are on your own should an accident occur. Throughout our visits to the island we have taken many tours.
Dunns River Falls is wonderful and anyone from 5 years old on up can climb the falls. We have gone on this excursion many times. We always take our camera and have never had it get wet. The guides at the falls always know whose cameras are whose and will take you pictures of you in the water. Our sons climbed with us when they were 5 and 7 and their were no problems at all. It is climbing and it is slippery so if you are not steady on your feet maybe give it a second thought. If it is raining heavily or they have had fairly steady rain they will not let you climb...this is because the rain from the mountains drains into the falls and the water level is too high in some places. If you are unfortunately in this situation please remember it is for your own safety that they will not let you climb.
The luminous lagoon is another great tour. If the sea is calm enough they will take you by boat if not you will be transported by bus. Free rum punch, beer and non alcoholic beverages are included. The reggae music is playing and the the atmosphere is great. As always this resort is looking guests safety and on one of our trips to the lagoon the seas kicked up a bit of a squall on our way to the lagoon so we were returned to the resort by bus rather than back on the boat.
The "Original Canopy Tour" is a lot of fun. Some tours do require a minimum of four people to go so do some inquiring early on in your vacation and do some visiting around the pool with other guests and it usually not a problem to get enough people or you can hire one of the hotel taxi drivers instead. We did the trip to Margaritaville in Montego Bay vacation and it is definately 'memorable'. What happens at Margaritaville stays at Margaritville!
Overall experience: This hotel is rated as 3 to 3.5 stars in all listings. We are in our fourties and have have been to many islands and to many resorts. We have stayed at everything from 2 star to 5+ star resorts including Sandals, Rius and Barcelos. This resort offers so much to their guests and all staff are so warm and friendly. Some reviewers have complaints about service, food, accomodations etc. but some people can't be pleased at any resort. This is the tropics, they have sand flies (not earwigs), they have some ants, they have mosquitos but so do most of the islands. The best way to ensure that bugs are not in you room is to ensure that you do not leave food items or empty unrinsed drink glasses lying around. Bugs are attracted to these type of items no matter where you are. One reviewer at one time stated they saw rats at the resorts....there are no rats in Jamaica!! They do have mongoose but they are not found on the resort. Would I recommend this resort? Absolutely, but not to everyone. You do not find repeat guests that have been to a resort, 10, 15 up to 30 vists at many resorts so that definately speaks for itself. If you are looking for a posh, very exlcusive resort this is not the place for you. This resort is good value for the money compared to other Jamaican resorts. If you want fun, laughter and wonderful vacation memories I would choose this place hands down.
"It's a 3 star resort"
Ryan on Feb 1, 2009 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
120 people found this review helpful
Flight - We flew Sunwing out of Toronto. Flight was delayed an hour, everything else was great.
Check-in - There were alot of us so checking in took quite some time.
Rooms: I'm not a picky person when it comes to things like this, but our room was filthy. Earwigs on the door and in the bathtub. Ants in the sink, on the desk, and on the toilet. The room was very damp when we arrived and there was no water in the mini fridge. We arrived late, so we couldn't buy bottled water from the gift shop because it closes at 9pm. We drank from the tap (which is OK to drink in Jamaica) however would have been nice to have bottled water. My girlfriend stole cleaning supplies from the cleaning staff and cleaned our room inside out for 2 hours on the first night there. We turned on the AC to get rid of the dampness. Once we cleaned our room, had a nice cool,dry room, and bottled water the next day from the gift shop, the rest of our stay in our room was awesome. We only went to our room to sleep anyway. The view from the balcony was awesome and having so many friends there, it was nice to wave to people you knew across the hotel on the other balconies in the morning. Our room was 410 and we had an OK view of the ocean. At night, if the temperature in the room was above 20 degrees celsius, bugs got in through the vents. We also put a towel at the bottom of the door so ants couldn't get in at night. I found myself having to kill them at night while watching TV - the remote didn't work - even after programming it for that TV, it still didn't work - batteries weren't the problem. You will most likely not be impressed with the rooms here, so be ready to clean them yourself on the first night and if you are arriving late, make sure to buy bottled water at the airport beforehand so you can have bottled water. This is a 3 star after all, so expect a 3 star room. If you are prepared for a 3 star room, you'll be fine.
Restaurants and Bars:
The food is awesome! The buffet was great. There is a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a midnight snack buffet that offers a variety of great food. When the buffet isn't open, there is a snack bar by the pool where you can get hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, nachos, and patties (we were obsessed with the chicken patties). We ate at two of the restaurants there - Giuseppe's and Casablanca. The food was some of the best food I've ever had. The steak at both restaurants is amazing! The pork at Casablanca was great! The bars close at 1am so if you plan on drinking after that, you'll have to mix your own from the bottles in your room. Drinks of choice - Hummingbird, Mai Tai, Yellow Bird, and Banana Daquiri. It seems like the closer you get to the lobby, the bars make the drinks stronger. The bartenders at the bar near the snackbar didn't put nearly as much liquor in the drinks as the ones at the lobby. The staff are all fun people. Good sense of humour!
Beach - The beach was very nice...not as big as I was hoping, but most of the time it wasn't hard to get a good spot. The locals aren't allowed on the beach, but are allowed in the water, so they will try to sell you things. Although it can get pretty annoying sometimes, most of them respect you if you don't want to buy anything. Be nice to them, because they are nice to you - they are only trying to feed their children and themselves. Don't be rude to them, they are very nice people. "Everytinz Irie, Mon!" The watersports people should really use some common sense when using the jet skis. As someone else pointed out here, they drive very close to the beach, and do tricks very close to people swimming. This isn't all the time, but on the occasions that they do ride the jet skis, it's dangerous.
Pool - The pools are very well kept, they are clean and cool. The sun is very intense near the pool area so find shade!
Grounds - The grounds are nice...beautiful trees, and gardens, not immaculate, but beautiful. The basketball court could use some work...the tennis courts were nice.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: This resort is geared towards kids during the day. Rock climbing and trivia games are everyday at the pool area. At night, there is usually a band at the stage near the buffet. There is a beach party on Tuesday nights, a circus Friday nights (I think) and a few other activities. But nothing spectacular.
Tours - we did Dunn's River Falls...this was really neat. Great scenery. The first leg of the climb is actually a little more difficult than I expected. The girls we were with were actually pretty scared during the first little bit. After that it gets better. We were worried because we didn't get our DVD of the tour until the day before we left. Our camera man was named "Sugar Daddy" - we had to point out to him that his lense was still on while he was taping at the start of the climb. It's all good fun on this trip. You can't bring your cameras because they WILL get wet. Bring an underwater camera. Anything you have on you WILL get wet. So keep that in mind. Ziplock your money. If you can, buy your own water shoes before coming to Jamaica and make sure they fit. The water shoes we rented at the falls were OK but lots of rocks got in and were a pain in the butt while climbing. Each time we reached a new pool we had to empty our shoes. $7 to rent, $17 to buy at the falls.
We also did snorkeling at the resort. I think we were ripped off a little bit because we only snorkeled for approx. 25 minutes. When others said they were out for an hour and a half. Snorkeling was neat. You are taken to a reef and you get to see a variety of fish.
All non-motorized water sports are free at the resort, you just have to book. Kayaking is great, the big catamarans are fun, and wind surfing is not easy!
Other Comments: There are several locals that we met at the beach who we became friends with during our trip.
Dan was the nicest man on the beach. He didn't harass people like some of the others would, after we said no the first time, he stopped. He is usually found with a white, golf-style hat on, has a goatee, and usually wears a "wife-beater" with long jean shorts on. Very nice man. Treat him good! He has a son named David who we met. On our last day there, we visited his shop, bought all kinds of stuff, and gave him all kinds of gifts and food. His nephew might be seen wearing a corona cowboy hat...Dan himself might be wearing it. We gave this to him.
G-Unit, as we came to call him because of his G-Unit hat, was the coolest guy on the beach. He is not a big man, but totally ripped. He can be found kite-boarding sometimes. After visiting his shop, he walked us out past all the other shops so no one else would bug us. Tony, Dale, and Leon the Lobster man were all very nice! One of the bell hops working in the lobby was also a very cool guy - his name is Winchester. We called him "trouble maker". Good sense of humour and just an all around cool guy. Whenever we saw him in the lobby, he would come over and joke around with us. He will most likely be one of the guys loading and unloading your luggage from the bus. Treat him good too!
We also met a few local kids. We were playing tennis in the far court and they were playing soccer in the field next to the resort. We talked with them for awhile and learned a lot about Jamaica. We learned that in Trelawny, a foreigner can walk anywhere and be "free" - meaning no one will give you any trouble. However, if you are in Montego Bay, you have to walk around with a black person, otherwise you might be robbed. And in Kingston, it doesn't matter who you are with, you will wind up in trouble with the locals. All this according to these kids...they live here so I'll take their word for it.
The kids names were Hakim White(or akeem...I'm not sure), Anthony Johnson, and Kevin Noble. Good kids.
The kids were right - Trelawny is a very safe area in Jamaica. Four of us guys walked out of the resort and down the street to find "Jerry's Bar" because we were hoping that we could see a big UFC fight on Pay Per View there. Jamaica doesn't have pay per view so there was no luck there. But we walked down the street and there were groups of people hanging out on the corners and we were pretty nervous because at first glance they seem sketchy. But what a shocker to find out just how friendly and helpful every single one of them were. We walked past a group a people and two of them came out to talk with us and walked with us to show us where Jerry's Bar was. We met Jerry and he was a cool guy. On our way back, one guy got out of his car as we were walking by...only because he wanted us to follow him so he could show us what Hockey really was...I don't know if it's Ackey or hockey, but apparently it's some kind of fruit. "You don't play with the food, mon!"
Great people in Jamaica. At least the people we met.
Conclusion - We went with a group of 30 people so we could have stayed at a garbage dump and probably still had fun! If you go as just one couple...this resort might be a little boring. Room aren't great, but deal with it...it's a 3 star resort and you aren't there for the room anyway. Food is awesome. Beach is great, and the locals are some of the nicest people I have ever met!
"Call your travel agent and change it , your trip"
Coleen on Jun 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) UNITED STATES MINOR OUTLYING ISLANDS
Visited on: Jun, 2009
135 people found this review helpful
Arrival: May 22 - May 30:
Check in was easy, no wait, and they gave you a nice rum drink to enjoy while going through the process.
We were on the 7th floor and had a great view of the grounds and the ocean, but there were red ants all over the room. How do you get red ants in a room on the 7th floor? There were a couple of days that we had NO hot water at all! When we did have hot water the water pressure was lacking.
Restaurants and Bars::
The alcohol was good and free flowing. The food was not great...to say the least. Breakfast was ok, plenty of a selection, but that was the only meal that was worthwhile. There was little selection for lunch and dinner. In the 8 nights we were there we only had a carving station 2 nights. Other all-inclusives (again, only 3 stars) had carving stations each evening. Their pasta stations (when they had them) consisted of 2 tubs of macaroni and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs. Other places we've stayed at have had the stations where you pick your sauce and your ingredients. The evening selection improved slightly 2 nights, because there was a convention of the Federal Police of Jamaica. Other than that, it was horrible. The last day we were there I bit into a chicken leg, only to find it seriously undercooked. I don't know if this was a coincidence, but the next day I was sick! There were several times that we had to get our own water and silverware, even after they sat us! We paid to go to Giuseppe's and it was really good. Also went to the Japanese and it was fun, but food was extremely salty.
We are easy travelers, we go to St. Martin every year (this will be year #11). We have also gone to Antigua and the Dominican Republic several times to different all-inclusives. These were not 5 stars, mostly 3, or 3 1/2 star. These all far surpassed the Starfish. Suffice to say there were drug dealers offering drugs to my daughter and son-in-law on the beach, as well to others at the resort. They seem to target 20 and 30 something's. Some of these people actually worked for Superclubs! We had people on the beach asking us to get them food and others yelling at us when we elected not to buy what they were selling. At one point we watched the security guards hitting a man with a club...not my idea of a fun vacation! I wanted a long beach to walk but we never felt really safe enough to walk or even stay on the beach! After that happened the security guards came up and said no problem Mon. Yeah, right. The security guards and lifeguards hang around in one spot, and one day they were smoking marijuan.hello. No one says anything about this! The beach was also not nearly as pretty as those in St. Martin and the Dominican Republic.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Chukka Canopy tour was wonderful, the workers did their best to make sure you had a great experience.
The entertainment was vastly lacking. There were several instances where they used male staff members as female impersonators. This was funny the first time, not the 5th, 6th, etc. One night they had a beach party and that was fun, but as soon as they ended the music the locals were begging for food and asking if you wanted marijuana, again! I wish we had read a review like this before we went to the Starfish. If you have reservations, call your travel agent and change them you won't be sorry.
"We had a great time"
Maryanne on Dec 1, 2009 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009
144 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Oct 2009
Arrival through Westjet Vacations was on time. Large bus to resort (with other drops-offs beyong our resort) and one stop for jerk-chicken/beer on the way. WARNING:We had a beer, my son had a pattie and on way out of the restaurant/bar we saw a DEAD RAT. My kids were traumatized.(Don't worry-the review gets better)
Our room was clean, basic and not beautiful. Everything was functional and we were on the 6th floor in mountainview. Crappy view but really quiet at night to sleep. The up/down side of mountainview vs ocean at this resort is the noise. Oceanview faces the entertainment which goes on quiet late. Cottages are a little more secluded. Anyway, the rooms were fine, no hot water/water pressure/ant issues.If I went again, I'd bring an old duvet and leave it there. My biggest complaint was the bedding.
Restaurants and Bars:
When we went, it was the week before Breezes took over so I believe there have been changes re:restaurants. One typical buffet (decent food, lacking in ambience) great japanese, italian, jamaican and beach grill. I liked all the food and we ate well. I don't understand the complaints over food.
Lots of pools and they are clean and well maintained. A couple of water slides, a kiddie pool, 3 hot tubs surrounded by bamboo. The hot tubs were drained each night, so they too were clean. The grounds were very well maintained. Not a huge beach but beautiful, nice little man-made island. We spent most of our time here..Wonderful.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the Nine Mile tour and Dunn's River falls. Booked Nine Mile before we left home and paid way too much. Beyond the gate are some really nice drivers with clean vehicles...book your tours through them. Nine Mile is awesome, we loved it but it's far (almost 2 hours through terrbily windy roads). Worthwhile if y ou are a Marley fan only. Dunn's River Falls was a blast...so much fun.
We had a great time at this resort.It's an older resort and I'd read enough reviews to know what to expect. Rooms are ugly, but beyond that, it's a great value. Wonderful, friendly staff, cold beer, good food...just what we wanted for a holiday.
"Wonderful trip with family"
Lori Smith on Jan 11, 2010 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
236 people found this review helpful
Rooms in tower in definite need of renovation, but otherwise we enjoyed our stay very much. Enjoyed the food, people were wonderful, pools and beach excellent.
Our flight arrived very late d/t snow problems in Edmonton, had to wait at Montego Bay airport for a while for bus to pickup. Checkin was handled fairly quickly and our needs met once in room (crib was brought when requested at 11pm)
Hugely in need of maintenance - closet door hanging off, toilet leaked, no plug for tub, but our view was great (mountain view, but definitely still had an ocean view) and was very quiet. Found our bed quite comfortable. Water issues are a concern but we learned to shower in the morning or late at night (no hot water or pressure from 5 to 7 pm).
Restaurants and Bars:
We only used the buffet and the pool grill. Were not able to make a reservation for the other restaurants. Never had a problem getting a table even with our large group of 10 and the kids always found something to eat. Selection wasn't spectacular but everything I had was good. We ate our lunches at the pool grill - loved the nachos and cheese and burgers. Only thing we had that couldn't eat was the meat pattie things. Kids loved the self serve slushies.
Beautiful sand and swimming beach. Local vendors have access to beach but if you say no thank you they don't bother you. Pools were very nice and actually usable - have been places where the water was so cold you couldn't go in it. My kids loved the variety of pools here.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went on best of Ochos Rios tour. long day but pleasant. Plantation tour is great - guide was awesome. Dunn's River falls is definitely worthwhile, BUT do not do it on a national holiday - was way too crowded. Also be prepared for a very aggressive crowd at the market there. Dolphin Cove was nice - fish & chips EXCELLENT. Good price for dolphin swim compared to many other places.
We enjoyed our stay very much. Rooms aren't the best, but we spent very little time in them. Would return
"Wonderful time at the Starfish Trelawny"
Posted by: Julia
on Mar 23, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
225 people found this review helpful
We were initially disappointed upon our arrival, because the lobby area seemed shabby and old-fashioned, especially at 2 am in the morning! This impression was reinforced when we were given what was probably the worst room in the hotel - number 345 - right next to the air-conditioning units for the entire hotel. We were so tired, we just fell into bed, and the next morning we requested another room. We were offered a choice of two, and chose one on the ground floor, which overlooked the pool and the crazy golf course. From that point on, our holiday was amazing.
Adequate. Somewhat shabby - the bathroom was in great need of renovation, but the bed was reasonably comfortable, there was a mini fridge and a coffee maker. As we didn't intend spending much time in the room other than for sleeping, we were not worried by the poor decorative state. The maid service was good, and we were satisfied with the level of cleanliness in the room.
Restaurants and Bars:
Very good. We used the buffet almost every day and the food was excellent. Wide variety and good quality. We went to the a la carte restaurant once - the Casablanca - which was superb. Beach grill had great jerk chicken and fries, and all the bar staff were great.
The beach was small, but we spent most of our days there. There is a small island just off the beach, but we didn't use that. The locals will try and sell you stuff but a polite 'no thank you' is all that is needed. We actually enjoyed chatting to them, and getting to know some of them - Tony, Super Dave, Charlie, Moses - they are great characters if you take the time to talk to them. Of course, they all want to sell you something, though - so buy a few things, then say "no more!"
The flowers and trees on the grounds are beautiful. We went up to the 7th floor and took pictures of the sea and the surrounding countryside. We got some lovely sunset shots from up there.
We didn't go in the pools at all, but they looked very nice.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We got Moses to take us to Dunn's River Falls. The falls are beautiful, but it was just too commercialized for our taste. We stopped off at Runaway Bay on the way home, and visited Discovery Bay. Great outing.
We went to the Luminous Lagoon one evening, which was fun. Not what I was expecting - I had imagined a palm tree fringed lagoon away from everything, but in fact it was rather industrialized, but still fun. The fish showed as luminous streaks under the water, and we swam in the lagoon. The bottom of the lagoon is very soft mud so don't put your feet down!
We went on the snorkelling trip a couple of times from the resort. This is included in the holiday price. They take you out to the reef. It was okay, but really not that much to see on the days we went.
We loved this place. The staff were friendly, and we met some great folks from the US and Canada.
The only downside to this trip was the travel there and back. On the way there, we had to stop at Punta Cana and there was a 2-hour delay. What should have been a 4 hour journey ended up being almost 12 hours from start to arrival at the resort. The same on the way back, but without the 2 hour delay. This was all due to a hotel overbooking problem, and it was our first (and probably last) experience of travelling with Sunwing. We never had this kind of nightmare with Skyservice or Transat!
Other than that, we had a great time, and apart from the fact that we want to try other places, would recommend this resort, and would probably go back again.