Hilton Jamaica Rose Hall

I didn’t really take a vacation last year since I purchased my first house so it was my priority to take vacation as soon as possible in 2013.  I was pretty flush with Hilton points and just wanted to get away and do nothing so I looked at their list of all inclusives.  I wanted to use US Airway miles to get there so I could fly direct and it looked like Montego Bay to the Hilton Rose Hall was my best bet.  At 60,000 points per night for 2 adults all inclusive compared to a normal rate of around $400/night for 2 adults it seemed like a good use of points.

Transit: I just took a normal cab to/from the airport.  It was $35 each way for.

Check in: Check in for Hilton HHonors is at the concierge desk.  The lady reviewed the grounds and applied the wristbands.  I checked in at 11 am with little hesitation from them.  I’m sure that depends on their occupancy the previous night.  There was not anyone at the restaurant reservation desk so I had to check back there later to get reservations at the 2 sit-down restaurants: Luna and Three Palms.

Bus boy: Made sure we swung by the rum bar for the first cocktail.

Food: I enjoyed the buffet.  Some people online say the food is repetitive, but there were several stations, rotating entrees and sides, and plenty of fruits and desserts.  I went with a friend who has a corn allergy and the resort was very accommodating.

Pool: get a chair early.  People go out and mark chairs with their towels before 9 am so after 11 am you will have to ask one of the staff to pull out more chairs for you and find a place for them.  The water was a bit cool, but not bad.

Beach: There was hardly any beach.  It seemed like sand was a technicality and it was nothing like the beaches I’m used to on the Atlantic with plenty of sand.    The beach was quite small especially compared to the number of chairs on it.

Bars: there were plenty of drinks available at your disposal.  If you are a beer drinker you’d better like Red Stripe because that is all you will get.  I decided to drink my fill of rum drinks including strawberry daiquiris.  The Appleton was flowing and there was rarely a wait.

Room: The room was fairly basic.  The room was clean, hot water adequate, and there was a little balcony which was great for drying suits.

Fitness Center: It looked like the fitness center was packed in the morning.  There were 3 ellipticals, several spin bikes, I think 4 treadmills, free weights, and a couple weight machines.  I went around 2 pm each day and it was pretty empty.

Other guests: I think this hotel specializes in Canadian air/hotel packages.  Granted, I went before spring break to avoid lots of kids.  Most of the guests were married Canadian couples with little kids.  I’m sure it may be different during spring break/summer, but it is definitely a family hotel.  It appeared there were plenty of activities for kids.  There is a night club, the Cricket Club, which is open to 2 am, but no one was in there until the Frog Bar closed at midnight and even then most people just went in to get alcohol and leave.

I enjoyed it because I just wanted to relax.  I have no intention to go back because I try not to go to the same countries over and over, but if I feel the urge to return to Jamaica I would stay there again.