Ritz Carlton – Rose Hall, Montego Bay


Not Really A Jamaica Resort Review

Bet you never thought you’d see the name of an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica on this blog huh? I know I’ve mentioned over the years that I’ve won two of my 16 trips to Jamaica and this was one of them. Otherwise there is no way I’d stay at a place like this….I couldn’t even afford to breathe the air at the Ritz Carlton in Rose Hall, Montego Bay!

I was going through some old trip reports I’ve written on Jamaica chat forums over the years and I found my Reggae Sumfest trip from July 2006. As I was re-reading it I laughed because even though I was fairly new to Jamaica back then (that was my 4th trip) I still felt like a misfit in a swanky place like that.  I got lost more times than I can remember because the place is like a small city, and I felt trapped because the contest promoters gave us a free place to stay but DID NOT provide us with the all-inclusive package.  I remember being pissed about that because a can of Pepsi alone was about $8.00 and this resort is in the middle of nowhere so it’s not easy to get somewhere from here.

Ritz Carlton rose hall montego bay

View from our balcony at the Ritz Carlton

 

The bathroom in our room at the Ritz Carlton was all marble and big enough to have a party in.  I didn’t take any pictures of it because this was three years before I started blogging so I wasn’t such a nazi about photos back then.  The room was truly amazing and more than comfortable.  The only miserable part I remember was that the girl I brought with me on this trip for two was an A/C freak and I froze to death every night.  Imagine being in Jamaica and sleeping under ALL the sheets and comforters?  Hell, when I lived in Jamaica I didn’t even own any bedding besides a flat sheet or two.

Food at the Ritz….it was just okay.  I think we only ate there twice because we couldn’t really afford it and we were in Jamaica for Sumfest so we didn’t stay on the property very much.  In fact we missed one entire night of sleep because of Sumfest, which goes til at least 6am.  The ONE meal I remember was the jerk pork and festival.  The pork was great but the festival was hard of course, because it was made in mass quantities on the chance that someone ordered it, as opposed to the fresh and piping hot festival you would get at a local cookshop – made to order.  But who cares, people who stay at the Ritz Carlton probably don’t care about authentic Jamaican food – they could have been in Mexico and not noticed from behind these gates.

Ritz Carlton rose hall montego bay

Jerk Pork and festival at Ritz Carlton, Rose Hall

 

There we are in a photo pretending we’re “somebodies” with money in a big resort, saying things like “Charge it to the room!”   That was fun….until we checked out and had to pay.  I still wonder why a trip giveaway would put winners in a hotel that has an all-inclusive option but not give us that option!  This was actually the same promoter who gave away the first trip I won and that trip was 100% covered.

 

bartender at ritz carlton

Us with Stephen the bartender

 

Here is the ONE piece of proof that we were in a Jamaican resort, not a Mexican or a Dominican resort.  This bartender Stephen is probably in millions of tourist’s photos LOL.  The one great thing about Stephen is that he taught me the Stookie and the Frogback because he thought I should be ready for the big Sumfest event later that night.  He was fun and I’m sure he thought I just wanted to hear “Irie Mon” because it’s cool.

Don’t get me wrong, the Ritz Carlton in Rose Hall, Montego Bay was absolutely gorgeous and I can see why certain people travel this way. It’s just not for me.  But it was nice to see the inside of a place that I’d never pay the money to experience.   And I did get to see Lady Saw walking around in the lobby – she was staying here too.

6 Comments

  • That’s crazy they didn’t give you the all inclusive package. Booo!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Kristi says:

    OMG tell me about it!! Who gives away a prize like that! And I didnt’ know about route taxis back then and the hotel charters wanted $50 usd to get into Mobay! WTF!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • soulshadow55 says:

    Something I’ve learned about my 8 trips to Jamaica is that it’s really worth it to rent a car. Just like you, after a few trips there and trying to get around to different places and being charged outrageous amounts for cab fare. Either go out on the road a hail a route taxi or rent a car. And in Negril you can rent scooters and really get around the area. Love Jamaica – all inclusive or not – it’s in my blood. Can’t wait to go back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Kristi says:

    You’re right SoulShadow! Plus driving yourself is a whole new adventure!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • melody says:

    an old jamaica my way member (forum)!! anyways..they shut down..i was there last year and i have a friend that worked there and when i was there he was headed there to turn in his uniform and name badge…i think a mexican hotel company moved there..(weird). i was so sad because even though i dont stay at hotels when i go there now…it was the only place i stayed for 5 years straight. i would use my points from flying so much throughout the year and cash them in at the hotel! and that would cover a week and a few days for free…havent been able to find that kind of deal since then…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Kristi says:

    Hi Melody! Good to see an old face around here!
    You’re right it did shut down a while back and I don’t know why. The Ritz Carlton name was a pretty big one (under Marriott worldwide) but I guess Jamaica wasn’t for them. I heard it was replaced by Hyatt?? Maybe I’m wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *