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“First visit to Jamaica - Sister's trip”

Moon Palace Jamaica Grande
Ranked #19 of 115 Restaurants in Ocho Rios
Restaurant details
Reviewed 17 August 2017 via mobile

We enjoyed a first time sister's vacation at Moon Palace Jamaica. This was our first trip to the country of Jamaica and we, for the most part, enjoyed it. The weather was good the week we were there - not overly hot and minimal rain.

The free water sports area was just a short walk from our room and kept us entertained. We enjoyed aqua bikes, kayaking (single & double), snorkeling (walking into water from the beach), and sailing on a dinghy. They also had water boards. They also have a Flow Rider which we didn't try but the guests who were experiencing the 'ride' seemed to be having a great time. Minimal lines while we were there.

We enjoyed a sunset catamaran trip (which allowed for a nice swim in the sea). Unfortunately, it wasn't a true sunset ride as we were back before the actual sunset. Our fellow passengers were a conference group and they got a bit rowdy. But I believe that it would have been a nicer trip with a general group that booked the trip for the enjoyment of the experience and not a conference crowd. You can also scuba and swim with the dolphins.

In addition to snorkeling from the beach (if you have your own equipment), you can take a snorkel excursion that takes you to a nearby reef. The crew was very friendly and helpful. The guide pointed out many things that could be missed by an inexperienced snorkeler. The fish are not bountiful as other reefs but still a nice trip and worth the $ (and the tip).

Rooms are nice and kept clean. Balconies on the small side. We never received any cute towel animals that I saw in some of the pics. Oh well, we are adults : )

We ordered room service for breakfast the first morning we were there. It was about 30 minutes late from the promised time but when it finally arrived it was hot, tasted good and certainly bountiful.

We were celebrating birthdays on our trip and mine was the day after we left. We were told we would get a birthday cake delivered to our room on the last night. They even asked for our preferred flavor - but we never received it : (

Staff still learning the Palace hospitality. But I believe most of the staff tried their best. Service in the breakfast restaurants was slow. It was hard to get coffee refills. Wish they would leave a pot so refills are readily available. The food is buffet style so getting breakfast food wasn't a problem. Jamaican breakfast food very good - be sure to give it a try.

Spa good - but not the best I have ever used. Pedis and Manis good. I got two scheduled massage appointments the same - was told it was a computer error and they worked it out but I still had to walk back up to the guest schedulers and have them reprint out my spa schedule to show I really did schedule different types of massage services. I tried a scalp massage but it wasn't one. It was more of a light upper body, face and very light hair rubbing. Not the experience I am used to (for a scalp massage). The Awe Spa experience is unique. You go from heat to cold to steam to a relaxing pool and lounge. Give it a try!

The transportation from the airport is 90 minutes which we really didn't like but we knew about it when we booked our trip. Plan to stretch out (well as much as you can on a bus) and enjoy the scenery. Remember they drive on the left side of the road so find a seat on the driver's side for best window views. Also, the bus is NOT handicapped accessible. I use a cane and found it VERY difficult to get on and off the bus. They need to offer an extra step (stool) to best accommodate people with limited mobility. Basically, I had to be carried off the bus : (

Because of this experience we purchased 3 tickets for Club Mobay for our return trip to the airport. I thought it had an added value of a non-bus transportation to the airport and a lounge to wait for your flight after arriving at the airport. WRONG! Evidently it is merely a place to wait for the departure of your plane. We couldn't use the service because by the time the bus got us to the airport we had to scurry to our gate. There wasn't any time to lounge and wait. I probably didn't listen / understand the definite upsale by the Palace staffer. So we paid almost $300 for nothing. Buyer beware!





1  Thank Becky J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (31)
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3 - 7 of 31 reviews

Reviewed 17 August 2017

I stayed at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande. The resort was beautiful! It exceeded my expectations. Weather was beautiful and this was in late July. The property and pools were beautiful and well-maintained. The staff were friendly. Most of the food was really good. We were in the pool during the day and frequently ate at the snack bar in the pool area (the food was very good there especially for a snack bar). One of the staff really went above and beyond to provide excellent customer service (Crystal C.). She was very attentive, friendly, and always smiling. All of the staff were nice, but she really stood out. I would definitely recommend this resort and hope to return one day.

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Thank Carrie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2017

Being a regular visitor to Jamaica Grande in the past I wanted to see and compare how Moon Palace matched up. I was not disappointed. The opulence of this hotel was evident on arrival in the lobby with marble and glass everywhere and replicated throughout the building. The suite was perfect, airy and spacious with a well stocked refrigerator(not just water, beer & soda that's the norm in most other hotels)there was a variety of liquor, beer, soda, juice, water & wine. The closet was spacious so too the bathroom which had the toilet separated by a pocket door. Toiletries were reasonable sized, gone are those one use tiny shampoo and soap. There are enough restaurants where you will be able to find a satisfying meal or snack. The service in these restaurants, and overall was beyond reproach and the food was very good. Moon Palace has a variety of entertainment options for the entire family. If the entertainment is not enough for you, the hotel is in heart of Ocho Rios with various entertainment places within walking distance or a short taxi ride away. The one down was the beach, it had been improved but was still not a good swimming beach. It still contained seaweed, although it was not as much as before it still made for an uncomfortable swim. One benefit of the rehabbing is that you now have more beach for sun tanning. Overall, Moon Palace is deserving of the positive reviews it receives.

1  Thank ronnie893
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2017

Really enjoyed the pools, restaurants, and things the resort had to offer. Wonderful food...incredible steak out on the dock where the Steakhouse is located. Recommend upgrading to a good bottle of wine with your resort credits...wish we had thought of that earlier in our stay. Great times in the piano bar and the staff (Sabrina) was great there including the piano player (Andre). And Sabrina even went to the Italian restaurant to get our favorite after dinner drink, limoncello! Wife really enjoyed the spa and we had fun walking up Dunn River Falls. My brother, his wife, and I went to Magic Mountain and enjoyed the lift to the top, the pool with sliding board at the top with great view of bay (didn't have time to enjoy restaurant at top), hummingbird area and history area, the cool runnings ride was comparable to a one car roller coaster in which you control the speed-what fun! see videos on line, and we also did the zip lining as well (my first time) and even after major back surgery 2 years ago, it was all good! We took a boat cruise from the resort out along the coast and stopped at a small bay to go for a swim. They had some mixed drinks, beer, soda, water and fun music. Nice to get out and about and see a little of the coast line and other resorts. Used one of the small sailboat often, the big water pedal cycle also. The beaches don't have big waves. They have kayaks and sailboards too. They have the swim with the Dolphins area. You can see a mini-show to see a preview. We've done this elsewhere and enjoyed it!
Some of the staff who go above and beyond in service and personality were:
Corey at Momo Asian restaurant, Fitzroy at the Steakhouse, Nicholas and Kerona by the pool. We enjoyed the shows each evening. They had vendors there one night. The resort shop has a lot of things you might use for the beach or for souvenirs. We walked into town one day and went through some of the shops there and got a view things and sampled some rum. Didn't get to the infamous places for jerk chicken but had some at the restaurant by the water that was good. While the shuttle bus trip from airport is maybe 1:45, gives you a chance to see the countryside so keep your camera at the ready. The plus side is there's more to do close to Ocho Rios in the way of excursions.
As members we were surprised to find out that our 10 day stay was interrupted by our room cards not working after 7 days and our free benefits as members should have been used in the first 7 days. Had to call to verify my wife's extra spa benefits. These issues should be better explained up front (after asking a couple times at check-in).

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Thank Viaggiante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2017

This location is amazing! Marble floors throughout the building, amazing service, and EVERY restroom (whether poolside, lobby, etc.) was squeaky clean!

JOVAN was our poolside/beach server. He has the most pleasant, charismatic personality and was polite and prompt with our food and drink orders. If you see him make sure to use him as your server. He'll make sure that you can kick back and enjoy your fun in the sun without running after food and drinks!

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Thank tammy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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