(New York City, New York)
Jan 24, 2023
My wife and I traveled here for 4 nights over MLK weekend. Obviously not everyone's experience will be exactly the same (time of year, traveling with children, etc.), but hopefully at least some of these observations will assist with your decision to come to the Jewel Grande. For reference, we have been to about 10 similar all-inclusive resorts over the past few years, so we have some experience with these types of resorts.
STAFF: Without a doubt, the staff/service is the highlight of the resort. Without exaggeration, we did not encounter even one employee anywhere in the resort who wasn't extremely friendly and accommodating. We were told the Jewel Grande pays more than most other resorts; and, in turn, expects more from its employees. Assuming that is true then they are definitely getting what they are paying for. You will not find another similar resort where the staff is this friendly. It definitely makes your experience a lot better, so kudos to everyone at Jewel Grande.
RESORT: Everything in the resort is very clean, and with few exceptions we didn't notice anything in need of repair. One noteworthy item in need of an upgrade is the beach chairs/loungers. These were exceptionally uncomfortable - seemingly designed by a real masochist. Also, while there are more stairs to navigate than most resorts, everything is reasonably close to each other. There really shouldn't be much more than a 5 minute walk to get anywhere. The layout is easy to figure out, so by the end of your first day you should have a good idea where everything is located.
The Jewel Grande does not seem like a big party resort, so if that's what you're looking for I'd suggest somewhere else. But that doesn't mean people aren't out to have a good time. It just doesn't get crazy, with drunken slobs everywhere. While I would encourage the resort to invest in some additional nightlife, they did have a "pop-up" club on the 2nd floor in the main building a couple of nights. Like anything else, if people show up it is fun. Otherwise, they do have some entertainment in the main area by Moonstone/Orchid, usually from around 8-9pm. But most people seem to throw in the towel after that, and not just those with children.
ROOMS: If your expectation is to have a clean and comfortable room then you will not be disappointed. We were located in the Sentry building in an oceanfront room on the 2nd floor. I would highly suggest you do NOT get a room on the 2nd floor (probably not the 3rd floor, either), as we were located directly above the buffet restaurant (and kitchen), which meant noises and smells entering our room at an early hour. If you have young children who need to sleep and/or nap you will definitely not want this room. That aside, however, the rooms are perfectly nice - spacious, clean, comfortable. And I would imagine the noises/smells do not exist on higher floors or others would have mentioned it.
POOLS: There are 2 pools which many others have described extensively. If the weather is hot you will appreciate the pool temps being cool. Otherwise you may not. Unlike other resorts, the swim-up bar didn't see extensive action, but it is there if you want it. The pool by the lobby almost always had available seating, in part because it doesn't receive a lot of sun. Also, if there has been some rain (it happens), please note the red lounge chair cushions are not brought in. As a result, they will be wet for several days... even if they look dry on top. Be prepared for some wet buns if you sit on them.
BEACH: It is effectively a man-made lagoon due to the breakwalls - which you can easily see from photos of the resort. The good news is regardless of surf conditions you will be able to swim in the water. The less good news, as mentioned, is there can be a seaweed issue; but you can't blame the resort for that. There are cabanas for rent, some palapas, and many lounge chairs (by now you should know there are no beach umbrellas... and the chairs can be extremely uncomfortable). Traveling from beach to pool and back is relatively easy, unless you have mobility issues or small children (due to stairs). Food and drink service is available, but it can be just as easy to get things yourself if it's busy.
RESTAURANTS/FOOD: Overall the food is very good. BY FAR, the best food is the Jamaican food, and it's not even close. If you don't try the jerk chicken when it is available from the grill you are really missing out. Pro Tip: order the fish fingers from the outdoor grill. If you even remotely like fish you will not be disappointed. You're welcome. As for the restaurants... the breakfast buffet has more than enough options for you to happily stuff your face. Pro Tip #2: the pastries/bread are the best I've had at any all-inclusive. Huge props to the baker(s) at the Jewel Grande! At most resorts the baked goods all look great, but taste average at best. Here they taste like they came from almost any bakery around. Even the sliced bread was excellent! Again... you're welcome. Moving on to the a la carte restaurants... nothing was bad, so you should always be able to find something you like. Moonstone (Italian) was ok. Not great, but ok. Some pastas weren't so great, but you can order something else if you want. Pierside was solid - similar to other resort hibachi places. The location/views can be great, depending on the time of night you are there. One negative is we had the late seating, so most of the guests were burned out by the time the food came. There are 3 seatings for teppanyaki: 6, 7:30, and 9. I'm sure you can guess the 7:30 fills up the fastest, so get on it if you don't want to eat early or late. We also ate at Le Bouchon. The steak was ok, but perfectly fine for all-inclusives. I love when people complain about things like this, as if they should get a "NYC Steakhouse" experience when they aren't paying anywhere near those prices. Overall this is a solid meal, but don't expect prime beef or Wagyu.
BARS/DRINKS: Dear Jewel Grande, please accept my free gift to you. This will make many of your future guests much happier, and you don't even have to thank me. Here it is: the lobby bar is fine, but there is not nearly enough space (not to mention the lack of chairs). The good news is adjacent to the bar is a largely wasted space currently dedicated to some photo BS. Why not knock down that wall (and maybe build a wall between the current photo space and reception/check-in) so you can double the space of the bar area? You could add tables and chairs, as well as move the piano guy over here instead of where he is now - where basically nobody at the bar can enjoy. Ideally, you would mover the bar itself over, but if that's too much of a project, just knock the wall down. Every resort should have a central location where people can have a drink, talk, hang-out... and Jewel Grande does not have one. Why you made the lobby bar so small is beyond me, but it is something you can fix relatively easily. As always... I'm here to help.
The other 2 bars by each of the pools are nice, but they close early. All of the bartenders make solid drinks and try to accommodate guests as best they can.
Bottom line - this is a very good resort for the money. It is clear the people try very hard to keep the resort clean and comfortable, and they try even harder to ensure their guests are having a good time. If you are looking for a quality all-inclusive then look no further than the Jewel Grande.
Jan 19, 2023
Beautiful Resort, Well maintained, Very friendly staff. Loved staying here! Great location as well. Beautiful beach, Great food, Butlers, Neo, Paul top notch. Room serve was fast, Was the best service over all
(Wokingham, England, United Kingdom)
Jan 18, 2023
We booked this hotel through a booking provider and received confirmation from the hotel that we had booked an oceanfront grand luxe suite. On arrival they said they had no booking for us at all…. An awful experience. We were offered a higher accommodation for much more money, or a worse accommodation for a little less. Taking the less expensive meant staying round the side of the building with very little sea view. A great view of the building next to us and the very noisy 2 lane motorway. On speaking to other people staying there quite a few had experienced something similar at check in. Is this some kind of scam to force you to upgrade and pay more? On the booking site we used it showed our preferred accommodation as available. The hotel were adamant this was not the case and took no responsibility for this misunderstanding, saying it’s better to book direct with them. The suite had also been stripped of any luxury items such as a coffee machine, kettle, rugs, scatter cushions, blankets or throws. We were told we would have to request these items as due to Covid, this was the protocol. I would question this as we moved to a hotel of much higher standard 3 days later where every one of those items was in the room prior to check in. Your rates are overinflated for the tired state of the hotel which is such a pity as the 3 buildings and the spa look fabulous from the outside. The swimming area is very good, but the beach loungers are diabolical and need upgrading to perhaps include cushions on the loungers so you don’t go home in need of a chiropractor! We won’t be returning, despite the manager putting a bottle of sparkling wine and a plate of dessert in our room.
Kevin’s fitness boot camp
Jan 18, 2023
Kevin’s workout was the best workout. So happy to take his class I loved it so much. Got a solid sweat in he’s a great instructor and I recommend people doing his class the whole week. It was the best!
Very average place
Jan 17, 2023
My husband and I spent a week at this resort in January. Positives about this place: The grounds are beautiful, most staff is pleasant and eager to accommodate, good coffee. Things that are average: food, accommodations and entertainment are definitely not five star. On the negative side: if you like a nice beach this is not the one for you, There is a small area for swimming and lots of seagrass, shallow, very short beach to walk. We had issues with the room at first: in the bathroom shower glass was missing (most likely it was broken and removed) and there were no hooks for the towels at all. Air conditioning was extremely loud. Safe was broken as well. No hairdryer?!!! We did get moved to another room after a missable night next day and it was fine. Breakfast restaurant was very disorganized. On check in at breakfast time we were not offered a table so we just chose a vacant one and sat down. In about five minutes we were told the table wasn’t available. So we picked another table and settled. Five minutes later we were told that that table wasn’t available either and we needed to be escorted to the table that staff chose for us. We had no idea about this rule and it wasn’t a pleasant welcome first day experience. This was our third visit to Jamaica, different resorts, and it was our least favorite. It was definitely not worth the price. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this place to a friend.