|Old Reviews - Breezes (formerly Starfish) Trelawny Resort|
December 3 2009
Arrival: Oct 2009
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Arrival: May 22 - May 30
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Arrival: Feb 10 - 17
Restaurants and Bars
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
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.
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.
Check-in - There were alot of us so checking in took quite some time.
Restaurants and Bars:
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:
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!
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.
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 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!
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.
Safes are included, however if you loose the key you have to pay $100.00 us.
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.
Feel free to contact me for additional information
Arrival: December 19-26/08
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Arrival: December 2008
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!
Arrival and Flight
Beach and Pools
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.
Grounds All in all the grounds were beautiful, lush and very well maintained.
Activities and Entertainment
Departure and Check Out
My husband and I went to this resort on Sept. 19th as our trip to Cuba was cancelled due to Ike. and It was our first time to Jamaica and it wouldn't be a resort we would have picked only for the fact it had 7 floors. We prefer the 1-2 story buildings or bungalows. Of course we were put on the 6th floor and got changed ot the 2nd floor the next day and it was great. We had no problem with the food, we didn't try any of the a la cartes as we were happy with the buffet. Some of the a la cartes were not all inclusive so beware if you book one of them. The resort itself is very clean with lots to do for kids. We hung out at the beach pool everyday and there are cabanas that you can get for some shade. There were lots of activites going on all day plus there are two water slides that seem to be enjoyed by lots of people. There is a rock climbing wall, basketball court, mini golf and a artificial ice rink complete with ice skates and hockey sticks. There is also a trapeze if you are daring enough to try it, but they also had professionals that put on a show every Friday night. We missed that as we arrived on a Friday. They also had a beach buffet supper one night which was fantastic. Set up very nice with tikki torches all around the beach and all the food was cooked on the beach, it was their first time for doing that, and it went over very well with the tourists. The staff were very friendly and the one pool guy saved our cabana for us every day. The bars didn't open until 1030 am which meant some days it was 1100 am, but that was ok. The pools are super with little tables and seating areas right in the pool plus actual pool tables to play a game or two. There is one swim up bar at the main pool around the buffet area. There are a lot of choices for tours to do if you want to. The bottles of rum at the resort are very expensive so wait and get them at the duty free at the airport. We would go back to Jamaica but a different resort. There were a lot of repeat tourists at this resort, so go and enjoy all the activites.
My wife and I just returned from this resort. We're happy and much more relaxed then we were when we left.
Airport to Resort
Food - Restaurants
We just returned from a fabulous vacation at the Starfish Trelawney in Jamaica. All I can say is WOW! We have been to the DR 3 times, Cuba 3 times and now Jamaica. This is definitely in our top 2 vacations.
Tipping is not allowed but is appreciated by the staff. If you are very discreet, you can leave tips with the waiters, bar tenders, etc. They do appreciate it, but are not permitted to pick up monies left on the bar/table etc, so do alot of "handshaking" or some other creative way to pass it along.
We also did the "luminous waters" tour from the hotel. They take you into Falmouth Bay, where the largest concentration of phosphorescence in the world is located and you swim in the dark. You also glow in the dark. It's very cool and well worth the $28 to do it.
My husband and I, we were 45, went Dec. 2005 and had a great time, it was not very busy. We had great weather. We basically sat in the sun most of the time and read books.
The restaurants were very good, we really liked the Casablanca. It didn't cost anything extra and had great food. You needed to be a little dressed up for it. But we like to do that once in awhile. We didn't think the buffet was that great. The Italian place was very good also. You had to pay extra for that.
There were lots of pools, they were a little cold. Not alot of people swimming. You could find shade if you wanted it.
The room was average, but we were surprised to see the alcohol hanging in a cabinet above a small fridge. The fridge had beer, water, and juices in it. Nice, even though we aren't big drinkers.
The beach was nice, but watch out once you get off the property. The locals are always trying to sell you something. They don't let you alone. Don't go alone off the property. The security guys keep the locals away from you on the resort area.
We took the night cruise to swim in the glowing lagoon, pretty neat. We also took a boat out and went snorkling. I love to snorkel.
We would go back there in a heart beat. The people were great, we really liked the workers. They did a good job intertaining during the time we were there. It would be a great place for anyone.
From the Airport
BUFFET & THEME RESTAUTANTS:
Really liked the Japanese… delicious food and our chef Garfield was amazing. We did not enjoy the international, did not try the Italian. There were lots of choices at the buffet. There is a kids section. I really enjoyed all the Caribbean dishes. The desserts are “sinful”. I don’t usually eat desserts, but I did at this resort. The coffee was delicious. There is also the beach grill. At the grill there was jerk chicken, Fries, Hamburger, Hot Dogs, Pizza and amazing chicken, beef and vegetable patties.
My family and I just got back from the Starfish. We were there from 10/17 to 10/22/05. This was our second stay. We stay before in Oct 2003. The first three days of our stay were rainy due to Tropical Storm Wilma, but we still managed to have a good time.
First, I must give "big ups" to the Kiddie Center. We took our 19 month old son there during our stay. The staff in the center was wonderful. The girls are attentive and very loving towards the kids and genuinely enjoyed being with them. In particular, Davia was really great with our son and we got her to baby-sit one night for us on our anniversary. That was a special treat, because my husband and I have our son with us everyday, as he is not in daycare.
Secondly, the beach, the beach, the beach...... The beach is beautiful. The workers rake the sand every morning and come through to pick up trash. There are plenty of activities on the beach to keep you busy. Kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling are all free. The hotel even has a dive shop. Hubby and I don't dive so I can't comment on that, but the boat leaves right from the hotel.
The activity staff is very busy. Everyday there is a list of activities for kids, teens and adults. You can be as active or non-active as you choose to be. Hubby and I decided to be beach bums, so we laid out in the sun, played in the water and read.
Food was plentiful and was good. The hotel makes actual Jamaican dishes, as opposed to American hotel food. If you like Jamaican dishes, you will love the buffet. If spicy foods are not your thing, then stay away from the jerk and curry dishes.
We ate three nights in the buffet and once at the Japanese restaurant and once at the Italian. Both the Japanese and Italian restaurants were very good. But the Japanese restaurant was excellent. The food is prepared right in front of you at your table and was great. "Big ups" to our chef Garfield.
As mentioned before, the rooms are average. They are not five star, but they are clean and neat. Our only complaint about the rooms were that they were very moist. Our clothes in the closets and the dressers were all damp through out our stay. I'm not sure why that is. We stay in an ocean view room and the bathrooms had recently been renovated. That was a definite improvement over our bathroom 2 years ago.
Overall, we really liked the Starfish and found it to be great value for the dollar and we will return for another vacation.
We have just returned from a lovely week at this resort. Debbie’s site has helped us on our travels and I hope this helps someone else on theirs.
There is an operator on site at Starfish, and I only found out once I arrived there, they go out once a day, 9am, cost $45US/ dive. Boat diving, loading right there at the pier if they decide to go, it seemed to be haphazard if they dove on a particular day or not. Once I arrived at Starfish I was not impressed with their operation and extremely glad I had found Scuba Jamaica Divers and was diving with them instead. It appeared that they only deal with certified divers, as I did not see any indication of in pool clinics or certification training or any recognized affiliation. I did not even find out their name, and the only thing posted was their dive rate along with the other water sports listings.
Rum and Cigars:
We found the sellers at all the locations to be too aggressive, they all want you to come in their shop, even if you are just walking by they hassle you to come in, and as soon as you look at anything they start haggling a price. Come see my shop next, save some for me, you promised to come see me next, how much you give me then, it would be better for them to learn to back off and let us browse until we find what we are interested in, although I enjoy the haggling and bartering, I wouldn’t mind paying the asking price if it was fair just to be left to shop in peace. The vendors on the beach at the east end we found to be very aggressive and rude even if you politely told them you weren’t interested. The resort allows vendors to come on the property, they have some kind of rotation so there are only a couple on the property at any one time around the pool bar grill, and they are not pushy they sit back and allow you to browse, if you are interested in something then you approach them and start the bartering process. However there are off site vendors who stroll down the beach and try and ply their wares, they are more aggressive but security keeps them moving on if they see they are hassling you.
Security is highly visible and we felt safe on the resort at all times, but don’t do what you wouldn’t do at home. The grounds are clean and well groomed and there was always someone cleaning up. This resort is fantastic for families with kids. It was spring and Easter break while we were there and the resort was completely full, they had even over booked and they had to move some incoming guests to other resorts. Because it is family oriented, expect the noise of kids having fun, we found the beach to be quiet no music or kids just the ocean and on calm days the motorized water sports. They do a great job of catering to the family. That being said we think that they should do away with the nude beach area and they could stand to remove some of the slot machines and enlarge the area for the gift shop, as there is not room to turn around in there.
There is no night life or animation team, so after 8 things are quiet. There is the Country Club across the road from the resort that the locals visit, we didn’t check it out we were warned to be careful, and so if you are into the evening scene this is probably not the resort for you. There is a trip to MoBay for the evening party goers but it costs, and is a long drive there and back. If you are not into kids and want to be around the pools this is not the place for you, however if you want to be on the beach there was but a few kids there. All the kids activities centered around the pool area. If you want peace and quiet around the pool then this is not the place for you, but you will find it at the beach, albeit a walk back to the bar.
No Problem, Mon! Go and enjoy. Hope this sheds some helpful insight for your trip planning.
We booked this hotel, because of family and friends who have been here a combined 10 times, and had nothing but GREAT things to say about the hotel, and they all had no problems (other than admitting about the out-dated hotel rooms)
So here I go........ We stayed here from Mar11-18. (sorry for the spelling in this, I am still tired)
FROM THE AIRPORT:
One the way there, we did stop for about 5 mins to get a Red-Stripe Beer. On the way home we didnt stop.
As for the check out, a little problem with the bill. they had mistakenly charged us for a trip to Dunns River Falls, that we didn’t take. So they sent us to the Tour Desk and they were very sorry. No biggie, the book that they book trips with, is a mess, I can understand how they can mix up, oh well, someone is happy to have not paid for that trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got downstairs just before 11:00am to check out, there was a bit of a wait, but we were in NO hurry.
When we gave all our cards in and paid, while my mom was still upstairs in the rooms, waiting for us. We asked our Maid Linda (who was awesome) to clean our rooms last, so we could chill in the nice air-conditioned rooms till our bus came at 3:00 (4 hours after check-out) She had no problem.
As for ours. well............ one of the rooms TV’S didn’t work (yes we
realize we werent there to watch TV). and BOTH yes BOTH showers, were the
SHOWERS FROM HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The drains in the showers were VERY VERY
SLOW!!!!!!! I mean after a 10-minute shower, you would be NO WORD OF A LIE
up to your knees in water. BOTH ROOMS were like this. and yes, we did try
to drains each way to see if they were open or closed. So after 5 times of
trying to get someone from the front desk the first 3 days we were there to
do something about it, we just left it.
As for the cottages, they are pretty close to the stage area etc.... Not sure if I would like to stay in them. They are close to everything, that’s about it. But I wouldn’t like the noise. (Since the night entertainment is close, and I think they would be very noisey.)
As for the noise in our rooms, we were right above some kind of air fan thing (right by the employee entrance) We didn’t hear it at all. The most noisest thing was the people who partied on their balconies till 3:00am (no bother to us) or the air-conditioning in the rooms (which was always really nice and cold)
We are pretty easy going and worked our way around it. (Other than the showers, which proved to be a pain in the you know what!)
We had rooms 517&518. 517 (no tv) Had one King bed (that could be used for 2 twins). The rooms were right next to the elevator. This room was a bigger room, then some of the other ones we seen. 518 had 3 single beds (or 1 queen 1 single bed)
Both rooms came with a dresser/desk, 2 night stands, 2 AWESOME comfy chairs, both had patios with 2 chairs and a table (although, both doors, were a pain in the bum to open/close). They also both had mini-bars (with rum, vodka, and I believe gin and brandy----we never really used anything but the Appeltons Rum) Both rooms also had mini-fridges (with mini-freezers inside) that had, 7-up, Sprite (one room) Pepsi, and some kind of Grapefruit drink. We had to purchase Bottled water at the gift shop, as the rooms do not have them.
We DID notice some ants in the rooms. They kept around the door area (on the frame) They were VERY small and hard to notice. They didnt really bother us. Small enough to kind of ignore. Again, just a small thing.
#1- Swim up bar pool (kids water slide, 2 pool tables, star shaped Jacuzzi.) Located right next to the buffet. Never went down this water slide. Did play pool in it, and use the swim up bar. This pool while we were there was never really used. There was maybe 10 people around it with 2 people in it. It is a lot quieter than the other ones. This one was about 3 feet deep
#2- WATERSLIDE (located next to the Sea Shell Bar and Grill (across from other pools) The bigger water slide is located here. The water slide, is a lot funnier than it looks. The pool is not to bad either. Again, its about 3 feet deep.
#3- THE Main pool we used. It was deeper, 5 feet. Along the outside of this pool, there was 25 pool loungers that you could lay on and suntan in the water (water only 2 feet deep) VERY COOL, we loved them. This pool also contained a "Jacuzzi." It also had 2 pool tables, and some areas that you could sit around the outside and drink in the water (with tables, and umbrellas). A lot of people sat around this pool.
#4- Right next to #3. Not as deep maybe 2.5 feet. It has the volleyball net in it. It also has a blue "table top" that has some water coming out, that you can lay on top and suntan on. Again, a lot of people sat around this pool/
Overall, the pools, were always clean, very nice (temp wise) After suntanning for a bit, it was nice to cool off in them. They were never REALLY cold or REALLY hot. Kinda the perfect temp.
The chairs fill up pretty quick (most gone by 10:30-11:00) My dad works midnights back home, so he was always up at 5:30-6:00, go for walks, or be talking with the locals, and the workers, so we always had our choice of seats. He would sit there about 6:30 and read and save our seats, till us gals got up at 9:00. He said that a lot of people come down early with the towels etc..... No biggie, this is what happens at every resort. We would leave our bag/towel when we went and did our stuff in the day (eat, and activities). Nothing was stolen, no towels, seats, etc...
The main front of the beach has a good deal of chairs, that usually fill up quickly. To the right of this beach there is another part of the beach, (quitter) where it is not as busy. Always space ready, but farther from drinks etc....... This area always has a deeper, and bigger swimming area in the ocean.
Just past that is beach (far right of the resort) was the Nude Beach. Never went there. It has a sort of grass wall around it. Did see some people from a distance there. A lot of chairs. It is off the beaten path, so it wont be a big deal if you have kids.
On the left side of the beach, back towards the resort is the Bamboo Village. It gives you a chance to buy from the locals at "Wal-mart" and "sears" They also see basically the same stuff at the resort, from the Bamboo Village Vendors. They are on the resort selling in the day behind the sea shell bar and grill and around 6:00pm they are up infront of the Bar and Grill. You can haggle for the price, but they work hard for it, and need the money, so I didn’t haggle much. I can afford to pay more. They don’t have as much as we do, so just don’t be so cheep, hehehehe. Also, whenever you leave the beach area thats owned by the resort, you will have to give your room number to the security guards. A nice feature.
As for the locals, they will walk across the beach (from the nude beach- to Bamboo Village. They will try to sell you stuff, as soon as they come up to you the security is RIGHT there to tell them to leave you alone. The security was GREAT. I never felt uncomfortable.
The ocean was amazing. So blue and Clean!!!!!! Fun to swim in. One day we had really big waves, and it was fun to jump in them. I would say to wear some sort of "water shoe" to go in as there is some debris in the water (hello it is the ocean!!!!!!!!!!)
Linda (room attendant) was great. Always had left beautiful things for her and we got some back.
Anthony (buffet) SweatChecks, was a pleasure to have around!!!!!!!
Craig (Casablanca) He was the reason we went back a second time to eat (and the food too!!!!!!)
Mark and Bruce (the captains on the Luminous (sp) Lagoon. Bruce, was a really great guy. I wish him the best. Mark, can he dance!!!!!!!!
CAPTAIN FEDIEL- THE BEST!!!!!!!!!! He will really make you have the best ride on a Hobbie Cat EVER!!!!!!! He took us out many many times, for wonderful rides. Just ask him to "let you dip" !!!!! Its fun. If anyone sees him tell Him The Canadians (scott) say hello. We really took care of him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He even took us out one day, and let my dad “drive” the whole time. He was wonderful!
The were all great. Never met one bad person.!
Some ranged from: Best tan/Burn, Beer Drinking Contest, Family Fear-Factor, Best Bathing Suit, Dancing lessons, Bingo, World Trivia, TV/Movie Trivia, to basically anything.
When we were there, we played a lot of shuffle board. We didn’t go on the Rock Climbing wall or trapeze. (you had to pay). The rockclimbing wall, is not to big, but a great size for kids. I think both will cost you $10USD.
We went out on the hobbie cats a lot, same with Kayaking. Tried to Wind Surf, well Im not that great. (all free)
You can pay to go snorkeling, (we didn’t, but Captain fediel took us where they went, and we seen a lot of fish). We also seen a whole lot of Sea Urchins (sp) where you snorkel, so we didn’t go, plus we seen all the fish from the hobbie cat.
When my family was there last year, they had the trampoline in the water. But it want there this year because they were still waiting for a new one to come in (other one was broken)
We went on the Luminous Lagoon (PARTY BOAT). GLOW IN THE DARK. It was very great. worth the $25USD per person. It was awesome. They take you out by boat.(leaves daily at 6;00pm) Free red stripe and rum punch. They go through some history of Falmouth (neat to see where Ben Johansson (track runner) grew up, all the fellow Cancuks!!!!!!!) Then you swim in the lagoon. I cannot remember the exact name of the bug that makes you glow, but you get in and you move around and the water glows. Very cool! Then you take a bus back to the hotel, overall it was probably 2 hours, Nice way to spend the night!
Really enjoyed the bands etc... The Carribean Steele Band was amazing. They also had a beach party, karaoke night (started off well, but the same ppl kept on going up, made it kinda boring) they also had fun games throughout all of this.
Man, can they dance at this resort. Every night was fun to watch.
THE FOOD was great though. Everything, that we ate at the Buffet was good. I am an extremely picky eater (I cannot have nuts, coconut, I cant eat really greasy foods, I also don’t eat seafood, and am Lactose Intolerant. And after all of that I FOUND FOOD TO EAT. I have had problems before at other places, but here, it was no problem. There was a lot of food to choose from. Although, the section of Salad dressings was limited, I couldn’t eat salad (a lot of yogurt, style of dressing, so I was unable to have salad.)
A must do is Casablanca. The food is deffenatly. 5 Star. You get a 5 course meal. Deffenatly worth it, even though there is a dress code. (no sandals/flip flops, men must have closed toe shoes, also they must have dress pants and shirt, ladies no jeans, cut offs etc........ It is nice and cool in there, great food and service. Some menu items you have to pay for (ie: both times we got lobster and steak (we had to pay for) and the pork, fish and chicken were free. Some menu items costed money. My parents are very BIG wine drinkers. They love their wine. They did say that the White House wine, was horrible (they couldn’t drink it) and the red was bad, but bearable. So at Casablancas you are able to purchase Non-house wine. Boy did we 4 bottles for 2 dinners!!!!!!! THERE IS AN AGE LIMIT OF 14 YEARS AND OLDER> No prob for us!
. never went to the Scotch Bonnet (sp) one. We did know some people that went there, although I don’t remember if they liked it or not. It was a lot of Jerk flavored Items.
Guunspe (sp) was an Italian rest. Very nice. There is a $10USD charge to use. (Never went because there is a pasta bar at the Buffet daily, so we got our “pasta fix”
Munanahas (sp) cost $15USD, and was good. Japenensse (sp) food. Great, you get your own personal chef.
Service was always great!
We believe that tipping should be aloud, and there are ways of doing it without being noticed!!!!
This is all up to you. They make between (we heard from different people and employees ) $28USD-$40USD a week. and they were 6 days a week.
So do what you feel is right!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a very poor country, and you will see that on the drive from the airport!
You will all appreciate what you have at home, once you leave!!!!!!
The hotel would be the main reason that we don’t think that we would return (yes, as easy going as we are, we know that you only change/sleep here, but we would like something else)
The employees really made our vacation great.
We went here based on our family and friends great reviews, we did overall have a good time. This is deffenatly a 3-3.5 star hotel. If your expecting anything higher, you will be disappointed. I would like to know how in the heck Air Canada Vacations rates this as a 4. It is soooo not. We got a great price on it, that was tooo good to pass up. but I don’t think I would return, I would like a different crowd of people to be around (Thinking about going to CUBA, if you know what I mean!!!!!!!))
Met a lot of great people (nice to see you Tandoori (sp) How crazy is it that we met!~) Hello, to the nice family from Neapean, Ottawa (the lagoon ride was great!)
Would I recommend it, if you get a good price, and don’t mind being at a 3-3.5 star, then yes.
If you have any questions or anything, feel free to email me at
email@example.com with the subject STARFISH TRELAWNY
We just love your website! It gives us travelers a good insight into the world of resorts. Like hundreds of others, we looked at all websites to gather information prior to booking. Then booked our vacation for 2-weeks (one is never enough) from January 28th to February 11th at the Starfish Trelawny.
Grounds - A good size resort on a small piece of property, not that it made any difference (we found all the resorts, even the high priced ones were on a small pieces of property). You could walk forever down the beach and never get hassled. Grounds keepers & lifeguards kept everything neat and tidy all day. Not many people used the pools as the ocean is great for swimming and the pool water always seemed just a little to chilly. For anyone not wanting topless or nude sunbathing just don’t go down to this area, which is at the end of the beach and surrounded on three sides by a fence. BUT not closed off to the public, which means anyone walking by can look in. Several of us actually had a bit of fun with this as one man as he just kept walking by again and again and again, so we finally gave him a nude show which stopped him from coming back.
Activities / Entertainment - Can’t help out to much here as we rarely participated in any, nor did we stay up late many evenings to see what was happening that evening. However, a few things we would like to mention are all day activities take place down at what they call the sports stage (closest pool to the ocean) and all most all activities involved kids as well as adults, so they take on a different twist. In the lobby you can pick up a copy of the daily activities BUT not everything on the sheet happens or in the order that it says. In addition, evening entertainment changed a few times from what it said would be happening.
Restaurants – We ate mostly at the buffet and always found plenty to keep anyone satisfied. We tried the Casablanca and enjoyed it (ordered food we did not have to pay for), quite enjoyed the Japanese & Italian for a small surcharge and never got to the Jamaican. They like you dress up a bit for these restaurants and most people did, but jeans, runners and sandals were still worn and allowed in. During the day, we snacked out at the beach grill/bar (beside the sport pool).
Tours & Offsite adventures
Town of Falmouth – we did go in shopping for a few hours and found pretty much the same stuff that is found at the bamboo village for about the same price. We were cautioned to really watch our money – but then pickpockets live in all countries don’t they.
Mobay Shopping Tour – Cheap price for this tour (15 US), they do take you to a couple of small malls with decent prices but then you also stop at a grouping of stalls that are just like bamboo village. But with the merchants just a tad more aggressive and each one seemingly having the same stuff to sell but of course at a better price then their neighbour.
Dunn’s River Falls – I’m sorry but we didn’t find anything at all special about these falls. There really not that big & there is nothing special to look at. Look at a picture of the falls and save your money. Of course as with any tour you do (and I do mean any) your guide is expecting a fair sized tip at the end.
Martha Brae River Rafting – Enjoyable raft ride down the Martha Brae. But a very expensive couple of hours. This tour is very close to the resort and takes about 15 minutes to get there. Our raft guide was friendly, pointed out things to us, and answered any questions we had. Along the way there are huts your guide will stop at if you want to purchase crafts, drinks or food. But beware your guide will also have a craft that he made and would very much like you to purchase. We did but then at the end of our ride did not tip on top of our purchase – for which we only paid half of what he was asking.
Day Visit to Hedo 3 – Cost was 60 US per person for a visit from 10 am until 6 pm plus your cost of transportation 60 US return. Not cheap but we really wanted to visit this resort to see if we would vacation there some other time. We enjoyed our day visit very much plus all the activities. And yes we would spend the money to vacation there another time.
Luminous Lagoon – This was fun and yes you do sort of glow. The boat was very crowded so I had to sit out front and was a bit chilly the whole time, so bring a warm sweater.
Our Star Rating – Having traveled to several other resorts in other countries, we rate this resort a 3 star. Would we go back? Sure, but there are still so many other places to see first.
We hope this review assists and gives you some insight into making your vacation plans. Any questions just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
HEY MON!! EVERYTHING BE IRIE!!!
I just had to write about the fantastic time we had in Jamaica. A group of 5 Canadian girls (mid-twenties) went Feb 5-12, 2005. We had some delays with our flight and customs, but from the moment we got to the resort, we were in heaven.
Checkin: 1 of our 2 rooms wasn't ready for when we first got there, but by the time we'd had something to eat at the buffet and a drink, our room was ready for us.
Rooms: we had a room on the 4 and 5th floor (442 and 548) and I really liked them. They were clean, nice views and they had liquor dispensors and some pop in the fridge, but we hardly spent anytime in our room, so we didn't really use it. A nice feature that was with the room was a room safe that you were given the only key to. This does mean that you have to be careful not to loose the key, b/c you have to pay $100 for them to have a locksmith open it if you loose it.
Food: We really enjoyed the food. Ate at the buffet a lot, but we also tried Cassablanca (such good food...perhaps the best meal i've ever had!!!), the Japanese restaurant where a chef cooks your food on a grill right infront of you (a really entertaining night out!), the Jamaican restaurant (good jerk chicken, but dress warmer b/c it can get a little cool down by the beach outside at night)....the buffet has different theme nights everynight, so you could eat there every night and not be tired of it. The beach grill is a good spot to get some food during the day- pizza, burgers, patties....
Drinks: Very good! they have daiquiri and pina colada machines, and i can't even count the number of different drinks that they have listed (i do think that we tried at least one of each).
STAFF: BY FAR MY FAVOURITE PART OF TRIP!! All the staff were soo friendly and always smiling. Do take the oppurtunity to talk with them b/c they really have wonderful senses of humour, are amazing dancers and will make your vacation more pleasant. If you print off this page and have it handy while on vacation, do tell Dowell the lifeguard (watersports) that Heather says hello and ask him to Scooby doo for you- he's a VERY good dancer! If you're into volleyball, the staff will most likely love it if you ask them to play with you. We had a good beach game going a few days there with Lennox. All the waiters were soo friendly... Anthony, Rayon, Solito, ....etc. The bar staff are really great and very accommadating to how much alcohol you prefer!
Trips: We went River Tubing with Chukka Cove and had a fantastic time (~$59 US)! The ride up there seemed to take forever, but chatting with your driver and having them play some reggae helps pass the time (try to avoid sitting in the back of the bus, it's bumpiest back there!). We went to Dunns River falls (~35$ US), the falls were beautiful and i would encourage you to go, but i would try to avoid going through all the huts/vendors at the end....they were the most aggressive sales people that i experienced on the whole trip...and the guides don't just suggest that you tip, they expect it here! so bring money with you (in a bag or something) to avoid having the guides follow you back to the bus!! One of my favourite trips was the shortest, the luminous lagoon party boat ride was fantastic. it's offered through the watersports office in the hotel. $25US for all you can drink and a 2-3hr boat ride with singing and dancing on the cruise! as they said, "the more you drink, the brighter the lights are in the water!!!"
We made a point of trying to experience some of the local flare as well. We went shopping in bamboo village (to the left of the resort when you're facing the beach), where you can find a wide range of items for cheaper than the gift shop and the people are great, they definitely encourage you the look in each of their shops, but if you're not interested a simple thankyou very much and they won't push you any further.
We recommend you don't go to the bar across the street no matter what anyone says.....be safe and DON'T GO! i think you need to make sure that you practise the same common sense as you would anywhere, don't go anywhere alone, put your money in a zippered/buttoned pocket and probably not a bad idea to split it up on you (just bring what you need with you, and leave the rest of your valuables locked in your room safe). One of my friends had her wallet stollen when we went to a big outdoor festival, but i think think this could happen anywhere.
All in all, I had the time of my life and i would definitely go back to jamaica and specifically Starfish. The only thing i would change for next time is to go for more than a week!!!
questions? email me at email@example.com
I thought I wait a year before writing my review hoping the bitter taste in my mouth disappeared but it hasn't, so here goes.
In February of 2004 a group of sixteen travelled to this resort for what was supposed to be my son and daughter-in law's dream wedding, a memory which we now dub "wedding vacation from hell" Lowlihgts were, six sleepless days due to a noisy hotel, a wedding day ruined due to incompetence, and experiencing the worse possible display of lack of customer service. The phrase " I am sorry" does not exist in the Jamaican vocabulary.
Now that's not to say there were not highpoints.... yes the food and drink was good, and the pool facilities were excellent, especially the family pool, the one young child travelling with us had a blast. The musical entertainment was also excellent. However we were there for a wedding and in that respect everything went wrong.
It started off upon our arrival at the airport where our bags were held randsom by a group of red-caps who demanded more than the international going rate to have them loaded onto the shuttle, a mini riot ensued before we finally convinced them that we were not going to fall for their 'shake-down' (the hotel manager later eluded to the fact that he knew about this practice). Upon our arrival at the hotel at 10.30 at night,we were alarmed to learn the front desk had no record of our group of sixteen coming in for a wedding that week(even though we produce confirmation etc.).
So how was the wedding ..... horrible. Originally scheduled for two o'clock on the beach, we had a two hour delay as the hotel's wedding co-ordinator forgot to book a Justice of the Peace, we all waited around until she finally contacted a Minister who agreed to do the ceremony, however would only do a Religous one, so my son and his wife never got to exchange the marriage vows they had written for each other.
So by way of caution I would advise, if you are taking a group down, have your agent offer some guarantees, less chance of everyone passing the buck if things go wrong. If it is a wedding, ask for some referrals on this site. Trust me even the offer of free accommodation on a return trip to that resort hasn't been enough to entice any of the sixteen of us to return to Jamaica...."Been there, done that, will never do that again".
Had an excellent time at the Starfish Trelawny from November 8-15.
This was my first trip to Jamaica and DEFINITELY not my last!
After trying to read every review possbile of this resort, I left Toronto anticipating anything.
If you don't want to be around a lot of children.. (this is obvious) go away during the months that they are in school. There were hardly any when we were there and very many adults!! So every night there was something to do.. and always a lot of participation. A lot of the reviews said that there weren't many adult activities-- I think the adult activies are always provided, it just depends on everyone's participation. So we attended the beach party, many of the nigtly disco parties, concerts and games by the pool, karaoke, etc, etc.
Our only tour was to Dunn's River Falls. My friend said it was brilliant, but I was a little hungover that afternoon. I fell a few times and decided to chicken out about halfway through the climb. We also went to the market in Falmouth. You may consider it a little intimidating at first because everyone looks at you and knows that you're a tourist, but you get used to it. I would suggest going to the market instead of buying things on the resort. You can find the exact same things in Falmouth for a fraction of the cost. So don't get ripped off!
All of the staff on the resort were amazing. I met quite a bit of the them, so many that I couldn't remember the majority of their names.
The food wasn't the greatest, but I am not one for a fancy meal 3 times a day. The breakfast buffet was probably the best meal of the day and then there's dinner at the Casablanca restaurant which was alright. We didn't go to the other restaurants with the surcharge because my friend was on a budget! (HA). Maybe next time. The drinks were excellent and very strong.. ABSOLUTELY no complaints! The red stripe beer is good too.
I could go on and on forever about our wonderful holiday, but all in all, our trip was quite interesting. We met a load of people and were able to exchange contacts with a few and we are now planning a reunion back at the Starfish. I know for the next trip I will be seeing more of the island, doing some more shopping, and taking a lot more pictures. I would recommend this resort to anyone, as long as their expectations aren't too high.
- Bring OFF! You'll need it if you want to do anything at night.
A Bientot Starfish
This was our second trip to the Starfish resort. We loved it last time and left the second time feeling the same way.
Even though our first trip was 2+ years ago, Peter the Bellman recognized and made a fuss over us as soon as we exited the van that took us from the airport in Montego Bay to Trelawny. What a great feeling that was!
We got the same oceanview room on the sixth floor which we loved.
The food was delicious. The Starfish offers a variety of foods. Breakfast fare, burgers, fries, salads, fruit, vegetables,etc. YET they serve delicious kidneys if you wish or Jamaican fare such as Escoveitched Fish, Ackee and Saltfish, Callaloo, Golden Bammy Slices...
Our room attendant, Agatha Young, was outstanding. Janet our floor supervisors was pleasant and helpful. Davian, our dinner host, was wonderful.
We enjoyed the beautiful beach and pools, the waterslide, the numerous bars and food stations. The entertainment was very good. The employees are the best you will find.
We both had 1 hour massages which were so fantastic and the technicians were so professional that were stayed and had facials ---- heaven.
The resort does not have an ATM and there are no banks in the immediately vicinity. The front desk can not always make change so bring enough cash. You will need a cab to get you to the nearest bank or ATM. Some people we met had a hard time cashing their traveler checks at the bank in Falmouth which is the nearest town.
To your left (when facing the water) and through a gate is a local marketplace called Bamboo Village where you can buy very nice shirts and wood carvings. During the day and evenings, these same vendors are allowed to sell their products at the hotel if you do not wish to leave the premises.
I prefer to buy from the vendors since the resort store is expensive. I forgot a camera and paid $22.00 for a throwaway. A bag of chips costs $7.00 U.S. You will definitely want to bring snacks from home. The Duty Free Store was a very big disappointment. I was outraged to note the duty free store at the airport sold the same Polo men's cologne for 1/2 THE PRICE WE PAID AT TOUCH OF GOLD the duty free store at the Starfish. There is no excuse for this kind of mark-up-- so be careful.
At the front of the resort down the road to your right is a Jamaican restaurant called Ponderosa. It is an easy, safe walk. The food is absolutely unbelievable. I had fresh whole steamed snapper with Jamaican vegetables. Several other people had jerked chicken. We all had rice and peas (red beans to us). We had Red Stripe Beer as well as Jamaican fruit drinks. The atmosphere is laid back with many of the local people as customers. The customers and the staff were very friendly. We felt like we were really in Jamaica.
We took a trip to Ochos Rios this time. We hired a cab driver. He took us to a restaurant in Ochos Rios which was ok but nothing like the delicous food at the Ponderosa. The driver took us into the mountains so we could look down on the city of Ochos Rios. He took us through roads that are called Fern Gully (the winding roads is in a gully and the sides are covered top to bottom with ferns. We stopped to see where Christopher Columbus landed. We went to Dunns Falls which was amazing to see. Using a driver appealed to us more than using a tour van because we were able to go where we wanted and when we wanted.
There is no doubt that we will return to the Starfish again and again.
It is the closest you can come to experiencing Jamaica without leaving