Is Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, Jamaica worth visiting?
Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Resort is the first of three resorts in the Iberostar chain, built and opened by Spanish owners in Jamaica. The name would suggest this, because it’s derived from “Iberian”, which is essentially Spanish and Italian. I bet no one recognized this connection! Iberostar is a luxurious all-inclusive resort located in Montego Bay, Jamaica. All Iberostar resorts basically share the same property. They are: Iberostar Grand Rose Hall, Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach.
The chain of resorts sit 16 km or approximately 10 miles from the Montego Bay Jamaica (MBJ) airport, making it ideal geographically. If you want to savor in your last moments at the destination, you don’t have to worry about missing your flight.
Star of the West
Iberostar a household name locally, has grown popular internationally since it’s establishment, making it the star of the west. As the name suggests, the resort boasts a beautiful beachfront location, laying on the Rose Hall Beach, and offers guests a range of amenities and activities to make their stay enjoyable and memorable. The resort features stylish and spacious rooms and suites, all decorated with varying styles of furnishings. The time the Resort Caribbean team visited was a great time of the year because we got a deal. From time to time, the resort gives deals. You just have to follow-up with the their offerings on their website.
Things to do near Iberostar
Many might have heard about the tale of Annie Palmer, The White Witch of Rose Hall. Don’t worry, the tale has nothing to do with the resort, but you can visit the location nearby. The Rose Hall Great House is 3.2 miles from Iberostar Rose Hall Beach. It lives some spooky tales about gruesome killings in the past. If you’re into that type of haunted house adventure, then tell us about your experience when you visit.
There are other excursions that you could embark on to nearby attractions such as the Martha Brae River, Chukka Eco-Adventure, the White Witch Golf Course.
Architecture and Aesthetic
Because the property is relatively large(considering that some amenities are shared), the location of some things aren’t as straightforward. At first, it was a challenge finding some of the facilities. Even the journey of going back to the bedroom can be lengthy and challenging. Unlike many resorts, everything isn’t in a straight line or definite angles. Finding your room or sections of the building is like going through a maze. The living space also somewhat felt like a dormitory/camp. However, from the outside, it’s designed like an old European great house.
The first set of establishment you’ll see when you enter from the east will be Iberostar Rose Hall Beach. West of that are the Selection Suites, then beside those is The Iberostar Grand, each consecutively being newer.
Rose Hall Beach vs Selection Suites vs Grande
Rose Hall Beach is the first establishment. Therefore, it doesn’t have as many new features as the others. This is what we suppose they use as a marketing base. It’s easy to offer deals for Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, while maintaining the relevance and profits for the Selection Suites and Iberostar Grande.
As mentioned, some of the newer amenities such as the gym, disco, sports facilities and lazy river are at the newest facilities. Both the Selection Suites and Iberostar Grande share the same resources internally. If you’ve booked Rose Hall Beach, you should be able to use common facilities over there that aren’t at that section. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to reach the other resorts from Rose Hall Beach, from the inside(however you could travel along the beach front and cross all three properties but you won’t be able to go up onto the property, it will be just the beach front as security will direct you back) but have to travel from outside(not outside of the property). Nonetheless, if you don’t want to walk, you can take a golf buggy. We did and it was fun, multiple times 😉
Activities and Facilities at Iberostar
Iberostar offers activities on land, water and air. Guests can indulge in a variety of activities, including water sports, basketball, tennis and golf, or simply relax by the pool or on the beautiful sandy beach. The resort also features a full-service spa, providing a range of rejuvenating treatments and services and a gym.
Iberostar offers a small range of activities you can get involved in. Some of these include:
Swimming (on land) and Scuba Diving
I don’t always opt to get wet on resort trips, however, I couldn’t resist the call of the water. Iberostar is a place where you can get one with water. What did they say in Avatar? “Water connects all things.” Have you ever heard of scuba diving in a pool? We also tried it out. The result and experience was amazing!
Iberostar offers dance lessons both at daytime on the beach and night time during the entertainment session. You can learn the latest and most iconic Jamaican moves to go home and brag that you’re now a Jamaican because you can do them.
Sporting Activities and Facilities
Iberostar has a Basketball and Tennis courts, both indoor and outdoor tennis, and a pool board in the lobby area.. The outdoor sporting facilities are located in front the main entrance of Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites and Grand. It was an interesting journey trying to find it. There are also two football goal posts on the basketball court. I was most excited about the basketball court feature! I was there without people lining up waiting on the opportunity to shoot a hoop. It’s rare to get a whole court to yourself.
Star Camp (kids)
There is an entire section for children to play and have fun, so when you’re booking your trip, ensure you factor in entertainment for your children. We didn’t see many children, but that doesn’t take away from it being a family friendly resort.
You can learn popular Jamaican art-styles such as crochet, jewelry making with beads, and tie and dye. There are also craftsmen selling items like these in make-shift boat stalls on the beach front.
What’s a resort without entertainment? Iberostar Rose Hall engages it’s guests in authentic Jamaican-themed entertainment at day and night. Entertainment ranges from dance-offs to concerts to disco.
Iberostar Rose Hall Resort in Jamaica offers a variety of water activities for guests of all ages. Some of the water activities available at the resort include:
The resort offers snorkeling excursions to explore the beautiful coral reefs and marine life in the Caribbean Sea.
For certified divers, the resort offers scuba diving excursions to explore the deeper waters around Jamaica.
Guests can enjoy a peaceful kayak ride along the coastline of the resort or out into the open sea.
Paddle-boarding is a fun way to explore the waters while getting a great workout at the same time.
For those seeking a bit of adventure, the resort offers windsurfing lessons and rentals.
Join a friendly game of water polo with other guests and enjoy some friendly competition in the pool.
The resort offers a range of water aerobics classes for guests to stay fit and active during their vacation.
We also observed adventurous guests in parachutes attached to boats over the beach. This is maybe not classified as water activity, but it’s definitely air activity. Overall, Iberostar Rose Hall Resort offers plenty of exciting water activities for guests to enjoy during their stay.
Other facilities and features
Other features include wedding hosting and planning, photoshop, gift and snack shop, Ice-cream shop (I didn’t get to try it, but was told the ice-cream is great! I can imagine it tastes expensive. Taste it and let me know).
As you step into the spacious old fashioned bedroom with a modern touch, you’ll be immediately struck by the sense of history and elegance at the same time. The room is flooded with natural light, thanks to the large windows and doors that go out to the balcony, enabling you to have a perfect view of the activities on the beach. The window hangs a drape on the wall, which is the perfect backdrop to make your YouTube, reels or TikTok videos. Even though the room is not very large, it still felt very spacious. If you’re claustrophobic like me, you don’t have to worry!
Though some fixtures give it an antique look, such as the TV on the dresser, it’s the modern touches that really make this room stand out. The height of the room and ceiling design, a minimalist desk with a lamp and chair occupy another corner of the room, perfect for catching up on work or browsing the internet.
There were five distinct detractors.
The biggest one is the door! I can’t stop ranting about this. The door handle was old and defective, which made the door challenging to open from the outside, because of this, I rarely wanted to leave the room, because I couldn’t bother with the stress of trying to get back inside.
Secondly, there wasn’t a mirror that you could use while getting dressed. The only mirror was behind the room door on the wall outside the bathroom.
No Vanity Setting in Bathroom
Thirdly, the bathroom isn’t female friendly because it doesn’t have vanity setting such as mirror lights or magnifying mirror to do your makeup.
No Drinking Water
Fourthly, there was no drinking water in the room. Drinking water overall at the resort isn’t as accessible. While it’s innovative to have water outlets around the property, they are only a few and they can be very far from the bedroom, like in our case. Alternatively, you can ask for water at the bar and it’s poured into a class, but they don’t have bottled water. Therefore, we recommend that you travel with your water bottle.
No Room Service
Lastly, there was no room service. With the various challenges that exist with walking the property and finding your way around, you additionally have to walk all the way down to a restaurant for food. You cannot even take the plates out the restaurant, so you’re on your own if you’re hungry after dinner.
Iberostar has a wide range of dining options, from international cuisine to local Jamaican specialties and guests can enjoy delicious meals at any of the on-site restaurants. However, though there is a range of eating outlet options, there isn’t much variety for persons who don’t reserve some of these restaurants. There is a buffet restaurant “Little River Buffet” with a variety of food especially Jamaican and Italian, however, during certain times of the day, there aren’t many desirable options. One of the limitations is that during non main meal hours, it’s not easy to get something to eat. If you miss breakfast, lunch or supper, the only other time/place that you can eat is at a jerk shop on the beach front. It serves jerk chicken and pork, patties and salad from 12 pm.
The other options include: Samurai Japanese Restaurant and Olivetti Italian Restaurant. There are other restaurants at the other Iberostar locations, however, they aren’t inter-accessible.
The resort also has several bars and lounges, offering refreshing drinks and cocktails throughout the day. Not necessarily a swim-up bar, but two of these are outside in the beach/pool vicinity. Others are inside. There is a bar in the lobby that served us a customary drink, which brings me to the next topic…customer service.
While the customer service wasn’t the best, the staff at Iberostar Rose Hall Resort are friendly and accommodating, ensuring that guests have an enjoyable and stress-free vacation experience. An example of this is when my bowl of ice-cream was accidentally spilled, with the bowl breaking on the floor. They told me not to worry about it, and immediately went to clean it up. Another instance is when the bartender in the lobby offered to make up one of his specials made with run cream, cinnamon, and some other ingredients. We don’t want to share his secret recipe. You’ll just have to go and try it. He was very vibrant and full of life. Additionally, though there was no room service, they have an app that is user friendly. You can use it to learn more about the features of the resort, as well as to make reservations at the restaurants.
Overall, Iberostar Rose hall Beach Resort is an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travelers seeking a luxurious and unforgettable Jamaican vacation. It’s a popular resort in Jamaica, which means you should visit at least once. Though there are not many food or entertainment options, if those aren’t your main motivations for staying, we believe you’ll have a great experience. Please let us know of your experience if you visit, and let us know if it was worth it. Follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Youtube.