Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jamaica Mon!

Jamaica Mon

So for the first time in the history of my travel adventures I used a TRAVEL AGENT to book my all inclusive trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Normally, I would never do this because unfortunately the Expedia's of the world make it way more cost efficient to book online. Well I ended up booking through a travel agent because she was offering me a rebate of $30 to Shopper's Drug Mart. Her price was the exact same as Expedia, except she handled all of the booking, contacting the hotels to ensure we had cribs and rooms close to our family. So although I didn't save much by booking with the agent, the research time savings I got was super helpful.

We stayed at the Iberostar in Montego Bay, and originally booked Rose Hall Beach resort but got upgraded to the Suites. The suites offers more restaurant options, as well as has a kid friendly play area. I found the staff and service wonderful, and the people super friendly and very attentive. The beaches were beautiful, and the infinity pool was full of people sipping cocktails near the swim-up bar. Below I rate the hotel across key travel categories:

Food - I would give a 3.5/5 - great jerk chicken, the teppanaki restaurant was delish, buffet had lots of great options and I actually preferred eating there, but the mexican didn't feel mexican, and the steakhouse was just okay. 

Activities - 4/5-  Lots of fitness activities during the day, the spa is nice but some of the baths weren't in working order when we were there. I would recommend they have more activities at night, the shows were not as entertaining as I would have hoped for.

Beach front - 5/5 - Beautiful beach, free kayaks, paddleboats, and sailboats available to explore the sea.

Rooms  4.5/5 - Beautiful spacious rooms, the ensuite washroom had the bath and shower separated which I appreciated having a toddler. There was a beautiful balcony and sitting area to enjoy the sounds of the ocean at night as well.

Other activities we did outside of our resort - visited Rick's Cafe and saw locals do some extreme cliff diving, margaritaville which had great apps, swimming with Dolphins and Stingrays which was quite the experience, and local shopping which was very overpriced (I guess our shuttle stamped us as tourists so store clerks felt we should be overcharged).

I definitely enjoyed being able to sit pool and beach front most days, as I needed the relaxation after adjusting to being a working mom commuting into the city. However, if you know me by now I need to be busy on vacation and I found 5 nights of relaxation perfect, probably couldn't handle more than that.

See pictures from my Jamaican vacation below, dancing at Rick's Cafe to some Reggae Tune, and Dolphin Swimming!

Stay tuned my next adventure will be in Europe with my hubby and toddler!