r hotel kingstonOur Visit to R Hotel

If you have a business trip, R Hotel just might be the place for you. It is described as Kingston’s only Extended Stay Hotel. I am not saying it is solely for business people, because we definitely didn’t visit for a formal business occasion.  It is one of the hotels found in the corporate area of Jamaica. It is mostly a business hotel, found in the business and entertainment district of New Kingston, Jamaica.

cityscape day r rotel
New Kingston, Jamaica – Kingston Business and Entertainment District

Another reason why I could confirm it’s chiefly built for business purposes is because of it’s simplicity. Yes, business people do focus on the comfort, but they also would be a bit more objective. I don’t think the architecture, aesthetics and luxuriousness of the hotel would matter much to them. Therefore, for that crowd, it’s a definite go. Maybe my judgement is wrong however. Take this with a grain of salt. You will have to be the judge of everything.

Eyebrow raising moments

Interestingly, there were a few eyebrow raising moments. The pool for one is unbelievable. When I saw the pool, I was actually still looking for the pool, then I realised there were not other pools around. My expectations were too high for such a small building and land space. This isn’t the first eyebrow raising instance however. The very first was when they called before the check in date, asking if we’ll still be coming. That was a bit shady and we were suspect. Maybe it’s something they typically do as a part of their customer service regime, but the first thing that actually came to mind was, “are things that bad?” To me, it seems as if on a daily basis, they have a relatively small number of bookings, and thus, they try their best to ensure that those who have booked still show up. If it is truly a customer service move, then hats off! This is a really unique move. Hotels and resorts in Jamaica frankly do not do that.

Location and Scenery

cityscape sunset r hotel

Talk about views! Views from the 876, as they’d say. One of the most welcoming and attractive things about staying at R Hotel is the beautiful view of the city. Who doesn’t like a cityscape? There is something incredibly amazing about standing on a high-rise building, looking down and over in the city. Unlike at Spanish Court Hotel, which is a stone’s throw away from R hotel, we had a better view of the city, as it feels more central. It is located closer to St. Andrew’s capital, Half Way Tree, which is the most central location in Kingston. You get a good enough elevation from the 5th floor where the life of R Hotel is. If you want to know if the location is safe, you can check out our previous blog post about our visit to the Spanish Court Hotel.


The land space is very small! I find it very interesting how they were able to fit a hotel there. It may not have had much perimeter, but it was tall enough to still feel like a hotel. Without the land space being a factor, I believe that they are somewhat cheap, especially based on how the facilities are built, from the not-so-great structural design, to the amenities. Maybe cheap is not the right word to use, but resourceful. That’s a reasonable way to put it. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I admire how they utilise their resources, and make best use of the small land space that they have. I’ll give them that.

Services included at the Facility:

  • A rooftop restaurant and bar
  • A rooftop swimming lap pool
  • Art Gallery
  • Secure basement parking
  • Gym
  • Meeting room access

Of course, some places, we didn’t have access to, for example the meeting room, as we were not on a business expedition. We also didn’t access the art gallery, but R Hotel has a variety of art pieces and murals on display.

I am not certain if other visitors have gotten this feeling, but R Hotel feels more like a restaurant than a hotel to me. I am not certain if it’s because apart from being on the 5th floor at District 5, there is nothing much to do, or if it’s because we don’t see many people walking the residential areas. Most of the rooms on our floor were also opened and were being cleaned, so throughout the time we spent there, so that’s a given.


The rooms and living area felt less like a vacation spot, and more like an apartment. Some of the rooms even had a kitchenette with sink, cupboard, microwave and a hot plate. I can imagine that persons have went grocery shopping to get their own food and literally have had a whole life where they have to cook at R Hotel. Haha! I think the kitchenette was the most unique feature of the room, everything else was basic.

The bed was very low. It felt uncomfortable stooping too low to lie on the bed. It was also two twin beds conjoined as one. I didn’t even want to start on the pillows…I mean, cushions on the bed. There were no bed pillows, the things they had on the bed were literally cushions, and only four were there! The rooms are also small in comparison to other hotels/resorts we’ve visited. Despite, the appearance and features of the room didn’t even make up for the limit in size. The room was just too disappointing. We didn’t even stay there 90% of the time.

The bathroom was okay however. It was a bit small, but it was presentable, so that wasn’t a big deal. Our room also had no iron. We had to ask room service for one. The previous guest could have gone away with the one that was there. The room had all the requisite liveable features for business people, so as long as they are comfortable, R Hotel would’ve done a fair enough job.


The food is also one of the not so good parts of R Hotel, but it deserves a category for itself. Their dining facility is called District 5. It is open and doesn’t require you to book the hotel to access it. You can always call in to make a reservation.

The good thing about staying here for a night is that there is complementary breakfast. With this, you spend less. Well, of course it has to be a part of the package, lest it wouldn’t be worth it. I must say that despite, they were extremely frugal with the breakfast. They diced the fruits in very small pieces and served us in a tea cup. I suspect however, that because there are not typically much guests, they overprice the food a bit, and they serve the “free” breakfast in bits.

For lunch and dinner however, you’d have to pay. We did not stay long enough to need lunch, but at least for dinner they did better with the quantity. It was even more than what we were served at Spanish Court Hotel. Quantity however does not determine quality. The quantity was greater, but the quality was nothing compared to that at Spanish Court Hotel. The “Jamaican style fried chicken”, as it was named on the menu had an odd texture and taste, and was slightly burned. The supposed jerk sauce was not spicy and was drowned in cinnamon and thyme. What to Know Before Visiting R Hotel, Kingston's Extended Stay Business HotelMaybe that was my judgement, especially since I’m a foodie, and I am keen on flavour and smell. Nevertheless, do not let this deter you from trying the food at District 5. If you have any doubt, check out the bar. We can vouch for that!

Overall Impression of R Hotel

Unlike Spanish Court Hotel, I can’t say I’d go back to R hotel. Though R Hotel is a business hotel, it really felt more like a restaurant than a hotel, or somewhere you stay for an extended time. Or maybe, it felt like an apartment. It felt more residential than vacational. It is comfortable enough to stay, and what I admire most is that they are efficient in their use of space – the pool being covered to provide seating space for restaurant guests, for example.

On the flip end, for the time we spent there, there was no form of entertainment. They had a stage, but there was no evidence that anything would’ve happened. They are also very keen on COVID-19 regulations, which isn’t inherently a bad thing, but this restricts them from doing some of the things they claim to have done in the past, like the opening of the pool. What to Know Before Visiting R Hotel, Kingston's Extended Stay Business HotelThere wasn’t much to do than to sit, talk and enjoy they scenery. To me, it is more of a sight seeing experience, because trust me, the view of the city, sea and mountain from the roof is an absolutely pleasant sight.

If your aim is entertainment, without bringing your own entertainment, I would not recommend, however, if your aim is objectively business-based, then this might be the perfect hotel for you to stay. After all, it’s a business hotel, therefore, it’s features and facilities were designed for such purposes. R Hotel is conducive for business trips, so if that is your goal, you know where to go.

For recommendations on some of the best times to visit Jamaica, you can check out our guide here.

If you’re traveling to Jamaica alone, ensure you take all the necessary measures to keep safe. Read about how you can stay safe while visiting Jamaica. If you decide to visit any resort, be sure to tag us in your photos and videos @resortcaribbean, and follow our socials: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube.



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