logo Old Reviews - Breezes (formerly Starfish) Trelawny Resort
  Breezes Trelawny Resort   Maryanne ~ Ottawa

December 3 2009

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)

Rooms:
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.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
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.

Other Comments:
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.

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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Coleen ~ Massachusetts, USA

June 2009

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.

Rooms:
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.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
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.

Other Comments:
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.


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Jan ~ Thornhill, Ontario

February 2009

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
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!!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
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....

Other Comments
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...


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort    Karen - Saskatoon, Sk. Canada

February 2009

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/Pools/Grounds:

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.


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Ryan ~ Sudbury, ON, Canada

February 2009

Arrival:
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/Pools/Grounds:
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!


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Thalia

January 2009

Travel dates:
November 8th 2008 - November 15th 2008

Flight:
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.

Weather:
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)

Pools:
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

Beach:
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.

Rooms:
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.

Food:
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.

Entertainment:
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.

Overall experience
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.

Feel free to contact me for additional information
dthalia@hotmail.com


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Patricia ~ Ingersoll

January 2009

Arrival: December 19-26/08
We travelled from Kitchener to Toronto and then onto Montego Bay due to "Snowmageddon" here in southwestern Ontario on December 19/08. We were one of the lucky flights to get out of Pearson, thanks to Sunwing and their wonderful crew.

Rooms:
We stayed in Room 538 overlooking the ocean and the entertainment area. Elevators worked well, hallways carpeted in indoor/outdoor carpet, which is great because the hallways are outdoors. Rooms are basic, a bit dated, but well maintained. TV worked, alarm clock, hairdryer, bar fridge with 5 pops in it and 4-26 oz bottles of liquor (rum, vodka, gin, brandy). If you need a refill of one of these, you are charged $7.00 (cheap compared to home), pop is not replaced, but you can buy the 710 ml bottles in the gift shop for $1.00. We had a king bed, very comfy and a twin bed angled in the corner. We found this handy for luggage. Two chairs in the room, and a small patio table and two chairs on the balcony. There is a drying bar out on the balcony as well. Our room was cleaned daily, sometimes in the a.m. sometimes after lunch. We noticed that a lightbulb had burnt out in the bathroom and my husband called down to the desk. No word of a lie, they were up to our room within ten minutes. After being outdoors for the day, we were taking a break and were playing Yahtzee out on the balcony. Big mistake as my husband bounced two dice off the balcony. Luckily the maintenance man was nearby and gladly went down over the Giuseppe Restaurant and got them for us. What service!

Restaurants and Bars:
As far as meals, we ate at the buffet our last night, preferring to take the opportunity to try the ala cartes. The buffet's food was hot, had a variety of dishes, the soup was wonderful. We aren't dessert people so I can't speak to them. Most days we ate at the Snack Bar enjoying jumbo hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, nachos, meat patty things, (with breading around them). There was a lineup for drinks here, but everyone was patient and was served promptly. No complaints here at all. Guest Services arranged our ala carte meals. We ate in the Japanese restaurant twice, hope you have the pleasure of having "Crazy Chris" as your waiter and Dane as your cook. Many laughs and wonderful memories remain of our evenings there. We ate at Guiseppe's one night and it was very good, hot pasta, great garlic bread with pesto, but the Casablanca restaurant was one of the nicest ala cartes we have been to in all of our caribbean travels. You are welcomed with a drink with an umbrella in it, and then seated at a lovely table with attentive wait staff while listening to a white player piano playing romantic songs. Both times we were there, the meals were second to none and we are so glad we took advantage of these wonderful restaurants. Yes there is an added cost to this, but very reasonable (roughly $130.00 for 5 nights of meals for the two of us) Don't get me wrong, the meals at the buffet were very good, but we were looking to spend time with one another this trip and this option allowed us to have some very special meals together.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Seaweed would wash up on the beach but the staff was out in the morning to rake it up, but there would always be some that would wash in later in the day. Beach was nice, but was windy, most days we were there so we hung out at the pool. We are in our 50's and got a kick out of watching the kids going down the waterslides, and all the kids around the resort were all happy and playing.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We enjoyed playing airhockey for .75 a game, played in Canada for $2.00 a game at a resort hotel there, so the prices weren't bad and kids sure enjoyed the pool tables in the lobby. The bar in the lobby overlooking the pool was nice and relaxing before or after dinner.

Other Comments:
Having just stayed at the new Riu in Montego Bay in October (5 star all the way) we didn't know what to expect at the Starfish. We paid for a 3 star and were pleasantly surprised. The Starfish is very down to earth, fun and more than we would ever have expected. We will definitely return here as we found it a nice fit. All the staff were just terrific and went out of their way to be helpful. A smile goes a long way to make your vacation a pleasant one. Our Sunwing Rep was there every day, Shelley was so helpful. It was nice to know that she was there in case you encountered a problem, which we never did of course. Try the Starfish and you will be pleasantly surprised. We sure were.


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Linda ~ England

January 2009

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!


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort    Beverly ~ Oshawa, Ontario

November 2008

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.

Rooms
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.

Restaurants
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.

Bars
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.

Grounds   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.

Tours
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.

Conclusion
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.


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  Starfish Trelawny Resort   Beth & Al ~ Ontario

October 2008

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.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Kathleen and Mike ~ Oakville, Ontario

March 2007

My wife and I just returned from this resort. We're happy and much more relaxed then we were when we left.

Travel
We went with Sunquest Vacations. The flight from Toronto was short, 4 hours. The flight was very smooth and for me, very uncomfortable. I'm a Big and Tall guy so, there was no leg room for me at all. The in flight movie was a cut up version of Casino Royale. I would fly with Sunquest again however, I'd just get there earlier to get a Fire Exit seat.

Airport to Resort
Well, you land in Montego Bay and are whisked away on a bus. Sunquest people are there to greet you and get you pre-booked into the resort before you hit the bus. They give you a cold bottle of Water and arrange your baggage going to the Bus. When you walk to the bus, the people who moved your bags are there for their tip. You pay them and off you go. The drive they say is 25 minutes which is totally incorrect. It took well over an hour to get there. We stopped at a little bar for 15 minutes to get a drink halfway. $3.00(US) for a Red Stripe (Absolute gauge considering it's $1.50(Cad) at the LCBO) I was happy to pay for a Beer however, the guy behind the bar was nice. The road was very rough as there is quite a bit of construction, the driver called the ride a "Jamaican Butt Massage" and told us it was Jamaica's gift to us for coming. The driver was not reckless and didn't overtake every car on the road he could. Through the bus loudspeaker he gave us a rundown of some of the sites we were passing and got everyone on the bus engaged with each other.

Booking in
Nice big long counter, people are polite and get you booked in very quickly. There are 2 ways to get up to the rooms, 1 elevator is horridly slow so, we used the double set of lifts to the left of the booking in desk. The counter staff were polite and very sweet.

Room
Well, kinda standard smaller sized room, nothing special. Big hard bed (my back is still a bit ouchy) and a single bed off in the corner, perfect for keeping your baggage on. A/C with no dehumidifier in it. The AC blew nice cold air however and the television worked and got some good local stations as well as some big cable stations. (Who needs TV anyway). The bathroom was clean and the water pressure and water temperature were good. There was one shower for me that had no hot water but my sunburn was at the point where cold water was very much needed. We had a "Mountain View" room which basically means our room door faced the outside of the resort, there was however a nice balcony with a little table and 2 chairs that faced the inside of the resort. Room 406.

Food - Restaurants
Food quality was nice in the buffet. Every day it's different food and they keep a bulletin board up with what they're going to be serving. It was the first "All Inclusive" I've been to where there was a charge for some food items. I was VERY disappointed about that aspect. All Inclusive to me means; Everything is Included. We did go to Casablanca and ate the items that were included. The food was okay, it was more a nice change from the Buffet then it was 5 star food. We did not go to The Japanese or the Italian place as I was not willing to pay for food at an "All Inclusive" resort.

Beach
The beach itself is very pretty, lush white sand and wonderfully warm water. The vendors who walked the beach were nice and really only asked you once, they moved on pretty quickly after I'd say no and would move on to someone else. There seemed to be an invisible line on the beach that they would not go past, as in, they would not walk through the chairs and try to sell chair to chair but would stay near to the water and ask you to come to them. If you were walking into the water though, they would come up to you. The drug dealers on the beach were very much a turnoff. Where they seemed to not be bothering families or children, I for some reason was very much accosted at every angle. The security guards on the beach were (In my opinion) slow to respond when the drug dealers tried to peddle their wares on me but, they did respond eventually.

Excursions
The only one we did was the Luminous Waters. Amazing stuff, very much a MUST do and, cheap too.

Staff
The staff were ALL very friendly and accommodating. Many were happy to just sit and chat about where you are from and they try to make sure that your stay on the resort is relaxed and worry free. The entertainment staff at the resort are fun and outgoing and although some of the games they play seemed a bit silly and not well thought out, they do a very good job. The room attendant was very sweet, we made sure to tip her very well and as a result, extra towels (Folded up in cool animals and shapes) and extra soda's in the mini bar were a daily occurrence. Tips are gladly taken providing you are giving the tip secretly and just not flashing the bills around.

Shopping
On the resort, nothing to speak really highly of. VERY overpriced. There is a shopping village just off the resort where you can buy jewellery and local crafts. If you don't want to leave the resort, behind the snack bar near the beach, the resort allows vendors from the shopping village to set up a couple of tables and sell their wares. You can negotiate price with these vendors and you pay them directly, I'm unsure if the hotel charges the vendors to be there or takes a percentile of what they make. I'd hope not.

Summary
I think 3 1/2 is fair star value for this resort. Based only on the harassment of the drug dealers on the beach I wouldn't go back to this resort, but, based on the nice staff and people I would.

Google Maps Link


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Steve and Tanya ~ Nova Scotia, Canada

February 2007

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.

ARRIVAL
We flew with Air Canada Vacations and it was the first time we traveled with this caharter company. I was impressed. I ended up having to check my carry on because I didn't realize that you had to have all your bottled shampoos, sunscreens, etc in a bottle less than 100ml. So, I ended up checking the bag and praying that it made the destination with our other luggage...it did. I liked the free headphones and the hot meals, but the movies were a bit blah... no "blockbusters" on this flight. But they did aid in helping me drift off! And I do enjoy the little computer map of "you are here" showing an approximate of where you are in the air, but they didn't put that on...
All in all the flight down was great and the landing back in Halifax was one of the best I have ever experienced.

THE RESORT
It took about 45 minutes to get to the resort, but we added a 15 minute beer/bathroom break on the way, so we did take and hour. The highway will be great when it is done... I'll leave it at that. The resort is great. Lots to do and an amazing amount of daily activities. We were given a great room on the 7th floor overlooking the ocean. The rooms are not huge but are more than adequate and the maids did a wonderful job. They will NOT accept gifts left on the bed, as they are not permitted to take gifts from guests. They will, however, take money if you leave it on the bed. We tipped our maid two dollars daily. She seemed to really apreciate it. There is a fridge in the room, but it is only stocked with soft drinks. There is a liquor cabinet on the wall and it is "all inclusive". The catch is that you are allowed to drink it all, but if you want a refill you have to pay for it. I also found that this resort is not as "all inclusive" as they advertise. Along with the room bar, you also pay a "supplement" to eat in any of the a al cartes, and depending on which one determines the amount. I found the gift shop on the reosrt to be overpriced. Bottles of beer were $3.50 each.

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.

FOOD
What can I say. The food was amazing. I am a "spicy" food freak and I love Jerk, so I was in 7th heaven. The Japanese restaurant was extrordinary. We did the "tapanyaki" menu. At CasaBlanca we ordered the "All Inclusive" menu and we weren't disappointed. We ate at the Scotch Bonnet restaurant during the Tuesday night "Reggae Beach Party" so we ate on the beach under the lights of Tiki torches adn the lovely full moon. It was all good.

THE BEACH
The beach is lovely. Soft white powder fine sand. Lots of palapas and chairs. Lots of venders selling their "goods". They are aggressive but once you tell them "no" they will actually leave you alone. I found them less aggressive than the vendors in the DR. We walked over to the Bamboo Village and bought some souveniers. We got a Tee, a coverup, a hat and a trinket for a great price. We didn't buy too much because someone had said that the airport was cheaper. It was, but only for rum and coffee. Everything else was way overpriced and in USD, so we ended up not getting a lot of things. The savings for things like Jerk Sauce and that sort of thing was only about .50c a botle over the resort.

EXCUSIONS
We only did two. No first time trip to Jamaica would be complete without climbing the Dunn's River Falls. It was an amazing experience. We did the half day "Falls Only" for $40/person. There were youngsters, oldersters, overweightsters and we even had a guy with a bum leg and he managed to get up the falls. So just because you think you can't...that isn't an excuse. The falls are worth the trip even if you don't climb them.

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.

SUMMARY
All in all we enjoyed our first trip to Jamaica and to the Starfish Trelawney. We would definitely go back.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Sandy

September 2006

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.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Victor & Sylvia ~ Canada

February 2006

From the Airport
Customs was slow with several forms to fill out and hand in. Don't bother tipping the bus driver to board the bus. Our "bus driver" disappeared five minutes before the real bus driver slowed up. Ride to the hotel takes close to an hour.

Hotel:
Hotel is older but rooms were in generally good shape. Check in was fairly quick considering the line up. We had booked two rooms both overlooking the country side. We had requested side by side rooms and we were pleased when we got our rooms as requested. We did have a faulty leaking air conditioner in one room that was not working properly. After a few calls to the front desk, the air conditioner was patched up enough that it kept the room cool enough to sleep in for the rest of the week. The rooms were equiped with a safe. They also had the room stocked with water and soft drinks. Liquor was also available was a dispenser. I was concerned staying in a 3.5 star resort but this hotel while not new, certainly exceeded what I was expecting. The grounds and vegetation were very well kept with a garden staff constantly working to keep them in shape.

Food:
The other reviews have a favourable opinion of the food and I have to agree that this resort has excellent food for the Carribean. Watch out for bones in the chicken dishes however as they cut the meat with matchetes, bones and all. They have a snack bar by the pool with chicken and beef Jamaican patties that were delicious. Nachos, fries and hot dogs were also available. No reports of anyone getting sick at this resort while we were there. We did not attend any of the La Carte restuarants but heard that the Italian one was good. Mixed reviews on the Japanese.

Beach:
The beach was not wide but was clean and easy to walk on. There is an island with loungers that you can wade to in front of the resort. You can walk by the bamboo shopping area along the beach to the next resort. We were told it was safe and several people were also doing the same beach walk. The water is very warm which must be the case year round as we were there in early January. They have a trapoline in the water which was very popular. There is a nude beach to the right of the main beach area blocked from view by a fence. The local shopping area called the bamboo village is just pass the dock. It is worth going to and it is safe to do so. They hassle you a bit to buy but after saying no twice, they usually leave you alone. Loungers were at a premium both at the beach and pool while we were there so go early if you are at the hotel at peak vacation times. There are reefs located a distance offshore but due to the number of waverunners, you would take your life in your hands going to them. The resort offers snorkel trips of approx an hour to the reefs at $20 a person. we did this twice and each time they took us to a different reef. Totally enjoyable with abundant fish(small) and coral. Last day we were at the resort, we had high surf and the bodysurfing was excellent.

Pools:
They have a main pool and then a second one close to the eating area that is often in the shade for much of the day. However, the main pool is huge with pools tables in the water. Although the pool tables are concrete with green outdoor carpeting and the pool cues alluminum, we enjoyed several games.

Activities:
No excuse not to be active at this resort. The activities staff will keep you busy as much as you would like with rock climbing, bingo, dance contests etc. The tennis courts were in good shape and lit at night. We played several times at this time of day to avoid the heat.

Entertainment:
They have a house band and dancers that entertained every night. A little bit on the amateur side but enjoyable. Great New Years celebration but generally the nightlife ends at nine.

Staff:
All the staff were hard working and worked long hours. Some may need a little help with pleasantries but thats the same situation everywhere.

Summary:
We had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. I would recommend the hotel for families as long as people realize that they will be going to an older hotel. The hotel is rated 3.5 stars and I think it is where it should be ranked, no lower or higher.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Linda & Pierre ~ Canada

December 2005

FLIGHT:
We flew on the wings of Air Canada, Boeing 767. Flight was on time and the service was excellent.

AIRPORT/CUSTOMS:
The line up at customs was long and slow, but once you cleared customs everything moved very quickly. We were greeted by the very friendly staff of the Super Club Breezes. The bus ride from the airport to the hotel was about forty five minutes. The roads are very bumpy and lots of pot holes. We did not mind, we were happy to enjoy sunshine and the lush vegetation.

HOTEL:
The resort is older, brightly painted with starfish throughout the property. In the lobby there is a bar. There is a gift shop, exercise room, pool tables, Duty free shops, casino and a Spa. We had booked an ocean view. Our room was nice and our view was awesome. We also had a view of the whole pool area even down to the beach. However, we did notice that our clothes felt damp. Not sure if it is because we left the patio open. There was a mini bar, a coffee maker, TV, clock and CD player in the room. There is a patio table and chairs. The rooms were always cleaned lots of towels and even face cloths.

BUFFET & THEME RESTAUTANTS:
There are three theme restaurants. These you reserve in the lobby area. They are: Japanese, International and Italian.

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.

POOLS:
The pools well maintained. There is a waterslide in the main pool area. Also there is a kids section with a castle and water slid. In one area of the pool which was two feet deep, there were chairs submerged in the pool. It was fun to lay on them. There is a rock for climbing and a trampoline on the beach. Also, swings and slides for the younger children.

BEACH:
The beach…the beach…beautiful firm white sand. The water was warm. The beach was cleaned throughout the day. Always lots of chairs and there is security guards during the day on the beach. We did not encounter any problems.

ACTIVITIES:
The activities team was always doing something that kept families and adults entertained.

ENTERTAINMENT:
The resort has a house band. We really enjoyed them. There was also a different singer each night. There is also the Bubbles Disco. We went one night. It was a much younger crowd. However on Saturdays it is strictly reggae music and adults only.

SUMMARY:
This resort is really more for families. So if you want a more quiet and romantic vacation then this is not the place for you. And it is by no means a four star. We will go back to Jamaica but not to this resort. Please don’t hesitate to contact me d

linda.chauvin@bbdo.ca


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Karen

October 2005

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.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Harry and Frances ~ Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

March 2005

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.

Arrival:
We got in late Sat. around 9pm, While it took some time to get the bus load of us all processed through registration, Melanie the manageress, arranged with the buffet staff to keep some food for us and took our drink orders and got us cold drinks. It was a little crazy and extremely noisy with the crab races going on in the lobby and the pa system cranked as they called the details of the race. Check in went smooth, rm # and keys and safe lock issued, some food and a cold drink put us back in sorts. We identified our luggage to the staff and they brought it up directly to our room.

Room:
A king bed and a ¾ bed, full bath with shower, hairdryer, iron and ironing board. Large double closet with the safe. Long dresser with 6 drawers, mirror, 2 chairs. Soap, shampoo and body wash, ice bucket, coffee maker and cups and coffee and tea bags, and small fridge stocked with pepsi, 7up, and ting soft drinks. Liquor dispenser, with brandy, rum, vodka and gin. TV and cd player boom box and clock radio. Patio with small table and 3 chairs, towel rack for drying swimsuits etc.. The building is laid out like a X pattern with the top of the x to the North. Rooms at the north ends had balconies that faced the ocean. Rooms on the north wings had balconies facing in to the centre which allows view of the ocean and pools, rooms on the south wings had balconies facing out which if you where higher than the trees allowed ocean views also. The centre of the x had open crossover walk ways and the 6th and 7th floors had chairs and sofas to sit and enjoy the view of the resort and ocean. We were located in the south east wing, on the 5th floor, this was just about tree top level, but we could see the ocean over a couple of lower areas in the trees, if you were on the 6th or 7th floor there would be no problem to see the ocean from any room. It was quiet as the door overlooked the front entrance and the patio over looked the service drive and forest. If you get the north wings you are on the pool and basketball court and activities areas and it will be noisier, the south west wing patios overlook the tennis courts and the kitchens and laundry are right below with big fans and motors running. Only issue was the patio door, it stuck a bit and if you pulled too hard to get it open it hit the stop at the end and would come off the track, just lift the bottom of the door and set roller back on the track and all was well, reported it but don’t know if anyone ever got around to look at it. No other issues with the room, everything worked and Linda did a great job of keeping it made up and clean.

Food:
The best food I have hard in my travels in the Caribbean so far. They do a lot of local foods and recipes and they proved to be very tasty. We like to encounter the food of the country and enjoyed it, and who better to do local dishes than the people of the country. It goes without saying everyone has different tastes, but try it and decide for yourself. They provide enough different dishes in local and continental dishes for everyone to find something to suit their palette. The pool bar/grill has great jerked dishes and pasties to burger/dogs and fries, nacho’s and cheese during the day, and becomes the Scotch Bonnet in the evening with dining under the stars and cabana roofs, was very nice and great jerked main dishes, fish, chicken, pork, with great soup, festival bread, and desert. The Casablanca, pants collared shirt and dress wear required, but very nice, quiet setting, formal dining. The buffet we found to be very loud and noisy, like being in a parking garage, had no acoustic damping, everything just echoed, the wait staff were attentive and cleared and kept water glasses full promptly. The desserts were great, full of flavor, especially the chocolate and rum cakes, and the ice cream is made with real cream, loved the rum and raisin, fantastic. And the fruits of the season are all wonderful.

Beach:
There are lots of loungers and some thatched shade stands and lots of sand to go around. There is a beach volleyball area. Motorized water sports, hobbie cats, kayaks, boogie boards. There is an island in the middle which is set up with loungers and that is its only purpose, walk out to it 25-30 ft and it is only 1-1.5ft deep. To the left and right of the island they have motorized launching and activities, and then on the outside of that is a buoyed area for swimming. The swim area on the left has some sea vegetation growing in it, the area to the right does not. Both areas are small and swallow, about 3ft deep at the outer limit. There is a nude area at the East end of the beach, which is closed off on 3 sides but is still open to the beach and anyone walking down the beach, (didn’t know little boys heads could rotate 180 degrees, but they can) and lies adjacent to swimming area. They groom it daily to clear anything that has washed up and smooth the sand. No beach bar, you have to walk back to the pool bar/grill only a few steps if on the west end of the beach next to the pool area, more of hike if on the east end (well need that bit of exercise to keep the beer from settling around the waist). No topless, go to the nude area.

Pools:
Lots of pools, nothing deep, all well maintained and clean. Water loungers, and water slide, hot and cold tubs. Seats and tables in the pool to gather around and chat while having your drink, and even a couple of cement pool tables with astro turf felt built right in the pool. No swim up bars. Lots of loungers, some shade cabanas with mattresses or rent an umbrella for pool or beach. No topless, go to the nude beach area. Pools are closed at 8pm.

Activities:
They have lots of things for families with kids, the kids where having a great time. They also had different activities for adults that included prizes as well as slot machines on the main lobby floor for adults. Ping pong tables, tennis courts, basket ball court, synthetic ice skating rink with hockey nets and sticks, climbing wall, trapeze. They have posted a list of activities for each day on the board in the lobby area, also their internet site has the activity list.

Diving:
I planned my trip to include diving; however, Starfish would not answer my many requests for information via email. I went on line and found Scuba Jamaica Divers had a dive op in the area and they responded immediately with answers and contact information. I contacted and made all arrangements before departing, with Scuba Jamaica Divers at the Pebbles Resort next door. I can highly recommend them; they responded quickly with information and proved to be a top notch dive operation. They went every day at 9am, 11am, and 1pm. It takes about 5 min to walk west down the beach past Bamboo Village, it is the next Resort down the beach. Troy was the dive master/Instructor, and Norman is the boat captain. They are a small operation so it would be wise to contact them and arrange ahead of time to schedule your dives as they serve Pebbles guests first unless you have made a booking. They have one dive boat that can take 12-14 divers at a time but they like to keep the groups smaller. They use 80cu ft alum.tanks @ 3000psi, and they check each tank with a pressure gauge before setting it up with bcd and reg’s. They are PADI certified and run discover scuba as well as full open water certification and advanced courses. They are friendly and skilled and I felt relaxed and at ease with them. They put safety first, and willing do little extras to make your experience better. The first dive of the day is for certified divers, and then 2nd and 3rd dive is dependent on skill level of the group. The second instructor often brings the discover or open water certification group out on the 3rd dive after doing the in pool session in the mourning. So there may be 2 different groups and 2 dive masters. There are lots of different sites, with walls, coral heads, and valleys, drift and anchored sites. They are on the edge of the Cayman Trench, I didn’t get to see the sharks or turtles that they frequently see but others in the group that I was diving with during the week did. I did see lots of other species and fauna that make diving so incredible, rays, eels, flounder, starfish, conch, lobster, crab, Nassau grouper, Cuda, parrot, wrasse, I noted the absence of sgt majors and yellow tail snappers but there are lots of others that I have yet to identify from my books. There are some beautiful fan corals and barrel and vase sponges as well. The wind was blowing strong all week and the visibility was considerably reduced by the end of the week with silt from the beaches working its way off shore, but they went out 3 times a day even with the rough seas, it doesn’t make any difference to getting in or once in the water but getting back on board was a little more interesting. Ever tried to hold the ladder on a boat in rough water, it is always pitching in the opposite direction to you They have a slick system devised. They attach a line to the ladder and throw it out, the group grabs a hold, you remove your fins and pull yourself up to the ladder, hand your fins aboard position yourself in front of the ladder and when the ladder pitches down get your feet on the rung and hang on and up you go. The captain grabs the top of your tank and lifts to take some of the weight off and to steady you when you step on deck. For those that are weaker, just wait for the next pitch down and use your buoyancy to take the next step up. Scuba Jamaica’s pricing was also better than Starfish resort.
Christain and Kelly Rance are the owner/operators and they can be contacted at divejamaica@yahoo.com or fax 876-381-1113, phone 876-973-4910.

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:
I shopped all over for both and found the best prices at the airport in the departure area, too late. 200ml $3, 355ml $5, 710ml $9, 1L $12, 40oz $14, Appleton’s v/x, prices seemed to run the same for the other brands and liqueurs. Cigars, where $14 for 10 Captain Morgans, $15 less than the best price I found any where. The other brands of Cuban and Jamaican also where less than anything else I had priced elsewhere.

General Items:
Although they have an email address to send for information, I never received a single reply to my many repeated requests. We found the resort was to far away from things, and taxi fares where high $5 to the next resort 0.5mi down the road, or $10 3kms to Falmouth. It takes an hour to go to MoBay 20 miles and 2 hours to Ocho Rios 40 miles. The road follows the shoreline, and is in poor condition and extremely narrow, with the outside dual wheel of buses and trucks often riding on the dirt. There is no shoulder and you take your life at risk to try and walk down the road, several tried walking to Falmouth and ended up hailing a taxi. The tours and excursions we found to be high priced and did not fit with what we wanted to see or do. We hired a car and driver, through our Air Canada Rep., for a couple of days. Ask for Mr. Louis at the taxi desk and have him meet you to discuss hiring. This allowed us to go where and when we wanted for less and he even took us to local places of interest on the way that he thought we would enjoy.

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.

Wrap Up:
We had a great time, the people are great. The food was excellent. The best Jerk place from Ocho Rios to Negril is the Pork Pit in MOBay, for jerk and, rice and peas which they cook in coconut milk, inexpensive also, less than $15 for 3 adults with drinks. Second best was the beach bar/grill at the resort. The Ocho Rios jerk center was double the price and not nearly as good. Dive with Scuba Jamaica Divers, see contact info earlier.

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.


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Holly ~ Canada

March 2005

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:
Now I have talked to many people about the amount of time. Some say it takes only 30 minutes. But both times it took us 50 minutes. No big deal. It went by really fast because on the way down. A person from the resort will point out certain places along the way, so the bus ride seems to fly by. The roads are not in the best condition, but you have to remember that you are in a 3rd world country. As for the actually drive, a lot of people said it was going to be "fun". We had a good drive, not one time that I felt uncomfortable. Just a little bumpy. All the houses along the way have a lot of "security" ie: fences, bars on the windows etc....

One the way there, we did stop for about 5 mins to get a Red-Stripe Beer. On the way home we didnt stop.

HOTEL CHECK-IN/OUT:
Hotel check in was a breeze. Didn’t take more than 5 minutes. Janelle helped us out. When we booked we didn’t originally ask for joining rooms, but it was NO problem at all to get them.

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.

ROOMS:
Well here is where the vacation for us, was a bit disappointing. Yes, we all knew that before coming here the rooms were outdated etc....... All of our family and friends had great working rooms prior to our visit that is.....

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.
We talked to a few other people who had the same thing, and others who didn’t.

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.

WATER:
The water is safe to drink at the resort. They do filter it. Coming from a person who drinks AT LEAST 10 glasses a day, and ONLY bottled or BRITA water, I COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE. It tasted amazing. Just like "normal" water. Yes, it was safe to drink, all 4 of us, had it ALL WEEK long and we are fine.

POWER-OUTS:
We didn’t have any power-outages till the last 2 days of our trip. No big deal, they went off for about 30 secs, then back on, then back off, then back on etc.... for about 2-5 mins. Not a big deal. It’s a big and busy hotel, stuff happens (just wouldn’t want to be in the elevator at that time)

POOLS:
AMAZING. This was defiantly. the nicest part of the resort. There were 4 pools.

#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...

BEACH:
One of the things again, that was a bit disappointing. We are used to BIGGER beaches (ie: Dominican and Cuba, where you can walk for MILES and MILES on white sandy beaches etc....) The beach was a decent size, always cleaned, (although, the sometimes we seen smoke butts in the ground, no biggin, again we are really easy going.) There was a lot of chairs to get.

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!!!!!!!!!!)

GROUNDS:
Always someone cleaning etc....... really nice, no complaints. Only took maybe 5 mins to get from your hotel room, to the beach and pool areas. The flowers are beautiful.

STAFF:
We cant say enough about them. They truly made our vacation that much more special.

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.!

ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT:
The staff always had some kind of fun thing to do in the day (a lot took place at the sports stage by the pools)

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!

NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT:
They had a lot of good entertainment. We always enjoyed ourselves. We did go during a week of spring break, so there was a lot of younger kids dancing etc...... some older people might not have found it fun, but it was funnier than hell to watch them dance!

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.

RESTAURANTS:
Buffet- We never had any complaints to this, other than the noise. Of course it was noisy. and then some people would started to do this whole "social thing" (coming from MB, social has a TOTALLY different meaning here than it was there) basically everyone raises there glasses and basically screams for 30 secs, got really annoying, so we opted to not eat in the buffet a lot (again, it was the crowd of people, was different, at the beg, of our stay)

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!

DRINKS:
very good, a lot to choose from. we always found they gave enough liquor, and if they didn’t, just ask. (See housewine comment)

TIPPING:
now this is a no tipping resort. We talked to several employees who say that the tipping (that they claim is included in the cost, they don’t get.)

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!!!!!!

OVERALL:
A nice resort.

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 holly_913@hotmail.com with the subject STARFISH TRELAWNY


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Mary Jane & Glenn ~ Sudbury Ontario

March 2005

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.

The Resort:
Room – Our room was on the sixth floor with a king & single bed. Not an ant to be seen or any other bug for that matter. It was comfortable and clean, no complaints! We had a slight problem with our phone – a polite call got it fixed. Another day our card to enter the room with just would not work and after several exchanges they sent maintenance to have a look and they changed the batteries in the lock. If anything at all was not to your liking, we found all staff eager to make it right, exchange it, or quickly get it fixed. Now quickly to us and quickly in Jamaica is not in the same time zone, but we never really had to wait long at all.

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
Bamboo Village –facing the water go left and you can’t miss it. We did visit several times and never were hassled to purchase anything, although everyone wants you to go see their hut.

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.

Traveler Tips
-bring lots of US $1 and $5 for tipping (we never exchanged any money) and we saw several people trying to exchange $20 for smaller bills but could not as the resort did not have any.
-be prepared to tip for all tours, even though you pay a good price it is expected. We did find this a little daunting after we had just paid $90 US for a short tour.
-Insulated mugs are great or just purchase a mug made from bamboo (available everywhere), they work the same way and now you have a souvenir at the same time.
-purchase your liquor at the airport on the way out, it was the cheapest there then anywhere else we looked.

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 mjdrury@vianet.ca


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Heather ~ Canada

February 2005

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 hgilmer@hotmail.com


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Patricia ~ Cambridge, ON

February 2005

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.).
Only six of us in the group got the accommodation we paid for, the remainder of our party were scattered all over the hotel in sub-standard rooms, now in deference to the hotel we were told that we were booking into 'run of the house' accommodation' however we never imagined that would include being placed in a room that you could only access by going through the kitchen, or that the bride and groom's room would be over the 'exhaust fan of the Japanese restaurant.

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.
Due to over booking, the one out door location set aside for receptions was not available so we were put into one of the conference rooms, looking at the wedding video you wouldn't even know that the location was tropical. In a nutshell the remainder of the week was spent in conference calls to our travel agent back home in Canada and hasseled meetings with the hotel staff to try resolve some of the many other problems experienced by our group.

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".


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Starfish Trelawny Resort C.E. --- Canada

December 2004

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.
The warm sun greeted us when we arrived at Montego Bay Airport. Though as soon as we stepped outside of the airport, we were asked if we were interested in purchasing some "real Jamaican weed". I just said, um.. NO. You WILL be asked, but if you're stern with them they will get the point and leave you alone.
Our driver was very informative and got us to and from the Hotel safely. Check-in went smoothly, the only thing was that we had to wait almost 3 hours for our room. I was so tired from the flight.. I couldn't and didn't really want to argue. I just wanted to have a good time. So my friend and I decided to start the wait with a few drinks.
When we got to our room (Mountainview # 509), it appeared clean, and well maintained. I thought all we would have is a view of just the mountains, that was only from the entrance to our room, but from the balcony we had a view of the whole resort and the ocean. ( I would request this room again!) It was great! -- The AC worked, CD player often worked, and the TV was in order too. In general, the only problem with the room was the ants --which were expected and didn't bother me too much. Who really goes to Jamaica to spend time in their room?!

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.
Across from the hotel is a local's bar..so if you feel like listening/dancing to some real Jamaican music.. Don't be afraid of leaving the resort. The security guards will take your name and room number, and according to them, will come looking for you if you don't return. A lot of people go to Jamaica and are warned never to leave the resort.. give me a break.. have some fun and experience the island for what it really is.. You'll have a great time! And if you're lucky, you'll meet a local or someone who knows the area well and they can show you around.

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.
Some people must remember in order to get respect from people, you must give it. I did witness a few moments where people would have thought that the staff was rude, but that was only because they were being disrespectful towards them. Be NICE and you'll have a good time!!

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.

Tips: - Bring OFF! You'll need it if you want to do anything at night.
- Bring some sort of raid for the ants... unless you want them as your closest friends in your room.
- Be friendly towards the staff and other patrons. They are the ones that make your trip worthwhile.

A Bientot Starfish


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Starfish Trelawny Resort Robert and Ronee from New Jersey

December 2004

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 the resort.


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