The Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Jamaica, in no uncertain terms, is a true family vacation destination. This hotel was a good choice for us when booking because it was very close to the Airport, so as not to have an additional lengthy bus ride with a child immediately after a long plane ride. But most importantly, at the Hilton Rose Hall, children 5 years old and under stay and eat for free (with the exception of the flight). The resort was not huge, when compared to other large resorts, nor was it crammed and crowded which was very pleasing. The Hilton Jamaica was well designed and laid out, and provided a multitude of options without being over-crowded, and it exuded spacious luxury. There were something for everyone in the family, including a golf course for the average golfers.
Food (8/10 Rating) – The food was exceptionally good and we really enjoyed the variety of dishes at each meal. There were 3 A La Carte Restaurants that needed dinner reservations and a main buffet restaurant that was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried one of the A La Carte one night, which was the Italian restaurant, and although it was great, we still preferred the greater variety at the Buffet so we did not try the other A La Cartes. For lunch, dinner, and snacks, there were at least 6 other choices, including a Juice Bar, Coffee Bar, Jerk BBQ Shack, and a variety of Grills and Bars, but we still mostly frequented the Buffet as it always provided dozens of healthier options to burgers and fries.
What I particularly liked about the buffet was that there were no repetitive dishes, and the menu was constantly changing for each day and each meal; so there were always something exciting to look forward to. There were an abundance of authentic Jamaican food for each meal (yams, dumplings, ackee & salt fish, jerk chicken, fried ripe plantains, etc.) and fresh tropical fruits such as mangoes, papayas, star-apple (I am guessing that this varies depending on what fruits are in seasons). My son particularly enjoyed the soft-serve ice cream at every meal.
Water Park & Pool (10/10 Rating) – This resort had a phenomenal water park that included a lazy river, fountains, many pools, hot tub jacuzzi spas, and many slides for all ages. My son had an amazing time in the water park, so much so that we hardly visited the beach. In particular, the water park included a lazy river which was about 3 feet deep and about 8 feet wide, with the exception to some connecting areas that were about 4 feet deep which opened up to a wider pool area. We used the tube to float around the lazy river countless times where the current carried us down the lengthy river, under many cascading waterfalls, as well as to a swim up bar. The water slides for the little kids were beautifully designed where there were 3 sets of little slides that splashed into 3 separate pools; my son still keeps talking about the slides. And there was a larger slide from the top of the windmill castle for bigger kids (and those still young-at-heart). The pool provided a variety of options for children of all ages. As well, there were numerous cabanas, both around the lazy river and at the main pool; we rented one for a day (which came with a dedicated butler), which was a luxurious treat.
Beach (3/10 Rating) – If you are visiting Jamaica for the clear and pristine water, then this resort (Montego Bay) will not have what you are looking for – try the other resorts in Negril or Ocho Rios …. The three swimming areas were not very big, and there was some seaweed in the water; and personally, I don’t feel comfortable when things are touching my feet in the water 🙂 – so I didn’t spent much time in the water. However, there were endless beach areas for sunbathing, with lots of cabanas, especially on the east beach which was very wide and had easy access to the watersports and the juice bar. Although the swimming areas were limited, it still provide spectacular views of the ocean.
Room (10/10 Rating) – The rooms were very clean and tastefully decorated. In particular, the beds were very comfortable, which personally, is the most element for me. Most rooms provide some view of the ocean, given the design of the hotel. We were not able to get a King size bed, because there were very limited at this resort; so we were told. However, we ended up with two queen beds and were able to push one bed towards the wall, to prevent our child from rolling off the bed. Every night at around 9pm, a maid will come by with a card to check on you to see if you needed any additional supplies such as towels, lotions, soap etc. Although it seems like a great idea, we ensured that we hung the ‘do not disturb’ sign as we were always in the room at that time with our little one fast asleep: the happy result of a full day in the sun at the water park and the beach.
Conclusion – The Hilton Rose Hall Resort is a very beautiful and family-oriented resort and we will definitely return again. There were no resorts fees to pay, nor were we bombarded or approached by anyone to buy anything. So we felt free and safe at all times. The only con I can think of, and only if I have to find one, is that sometimes we had to wait a little longer for an elevator because there was a period when only one elevator was working; but in the grand scheme of things, there are worst things in this world than waiting an extra couple of minutes for an elevator 🙂 As well, frequent Hilton guests (Hilton Honors members) get recognized and receive benefits from the hotel. Also everyone was very friendly and helpful which made our vacation very enjoyable.