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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"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
97 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
105 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.
"I must say I was a bit disappointed with this trip"
Beverly on Nov 1, 2008 >
3 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2008
98 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.