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Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mammee Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 13 December 2011

Jewel Dunn’s River Resort and Spa - Ocho Rios, Jamaica - December 5 - 10, 2011


Let me preface that we were supposed to go to this resort in July, 2010 when it was still a Sandals. The resort closed before our departure date and we didn’t want to stay at another Sandals in the area, so we went to Key West instead. I am glad that it turned out that way based on our 2 prior Sandals experiences as we really enjoyed the Jewel.

Flight - We flew American Airlines against my better judgment and I was right. The night before our departure it snowed, which is rare in West Texas so getting out the next morning was a challenge and a true test of patience. When we got to the airport and checked-in we were told no delays they just have to de-ice the plane. We were supposed to take off at 7am and that's when they started the de-icing. Then they started having trouble with the machine working properly. They worked on it for 2 hours and then borrowed Southwest's de-icier and finished up. We didn't take off until 9:45am. Our connecting flight in Dallas to MBJ left at 10:10am. Needless to say we missed our flight. So when we finally got to Dallas they re-routed us 3 hours later to Miami. We were then delayed in Miami for 2 1/2 hours due to “mechanical difficulties” and finally left for MBJ at 10:30pm. Arrived at MBJ at midnight and got to the resort at 2:30am.

Unfortunately, from our departure point for International flights we are stuck with AA or Continental and Continental doesn’t go to every destination AA does, so it’s either put up with AA or sit at home. I wouldn’t be as upset except AA basically did the same thing to us a few years back when we went to Cancun. As icing on the cake, when we received our luggage in MBJ, AA had broken off the wheels to both of our suitcases.

Resort - We booked the lowest category room and received an comp upgrade to an ocean view room in the Sapphire building Room #2318. The resort was at low capacity and we appreciated the upgrade. The room was a little on the small side and apparently at one time was a concierge room as it had the cabinet for liquor bottles, but no liquor was in them. The balcony was nice and we could see a good part of the ocean through the palm trees, but the palm trees completely covered the view of the main pool. The only real thing I would change about the room is to add a ceiling fan and place a mirror over the desk so it can also be used as a vanity since the bathroom area is small.

Dining - We enjoyed all of the dining. We have to many AI hotels/resorts and the Jewel food quality and taste is very good in comparison. We were able to eat at all of the restaurants except Platinum for dinner. We were staying just enough nights to eat at every restaurant but since we missed the first night we missed Platinum. We did eat in Platinum twice for breakfast. However, the menu was the same. We found the buffet at breakfast to be very good. No lines, no waiting or having to go around other guests. The selection was basic fare and not as lavish as I have seen at other resorts. However, if staying longer than 5 nights, it might have become a little too repetitive. We did not eat at the buffet for lunch or dinner.

We enjoyed the beach party and the pier dinner. There was threat of rain before the pier dinner and we appreciated that they waited it out and started late instead of moving indoors. The 5 course selection was very good, but portion size very small. It took 2 hours to complete due to the many people attending. When dinner was completed, we ended up going to the snack bar and getting a hamburger before retiring for the night.

Unfortunately, we missed the Thursday night beach bonfire since it started too late for us. We went over there at 9pm and stayed until 10pm and nothing was going on, so we turned in for the night. It started up about 10:30pm and lasted until midnight as we could hear the very loud music from our room. As far as the entertainment goes, we enjoyed what they had, the only thing is it’s started way too late for us with the exception of the beach party. We generally like to eat at 6pm, so the entertainment should start around 8pm instead of 10pm or 11pm. I wished they would have had a real steel drum band one night.

We did the resort picture package. I so wanted to do this for our 10th wedding anniversary last year, but that’s OK. The photographer took us all over the resort and took our picture at various locations. We got 30 pictures on a CD for $60. It was so worth it.

We loved the pools and beach. I’ve read many people say the beach is small, but to us it was fine. The sand was soft and there are no rocks to enter the water. The ocean temp was good as well as the pools. We usually go to Mexico in December and the pools there are too cold to swim in at that time of year. The hot tubs were actually hot. The pools were one of the main reasons for booking this resort and we thoroughly enjoyed them. We liked the beach better than the one at the RIU Tropical Bay in Negril.

Excursions - I hired A-Z Jamaican Planners on-line for our excursions. Our driver was Oscar, who was a true gem and great guide. On Wednesday he took us to Dunn’s River Falls, Coyaba Gardens, Mahoe Falls, Shaw Park Gardens, Margaritaville, Island Village for shopping and Scotchies. Dunn’s River Falls, Coyba Gardens, Mahoe Falls, Shaw Park Gardens had lots of stairs and walking then I expected. By the end of the day we were hurting pretty bad, but it was worth it. We didn’t climb the falls at Dunn’s River as it would have been to much for us. We look around and took some pictures and left. I really loved the gardens at Coyaba and Shaw Park. Very lush and tropical and the waterfalls there were very nice.

Before entering Dunn’s River I told DH to not touch anything or engaged in conversation with anyone trying to sale something. Of course he doesn’t listen to me and as we are heading out a guy handed him a carving of a turtle and told him to take it “it’s free mon”. So he took it. Of course if you hold it, it’s yours in their eyes. I told the guy “no thank you” and tried to give it back and he puts his hands behind his back and starts trying to negotiate a price. I placed the turtle on the ground and we walk away. A lady yells after us “Don’t believe everything you read”. Really? Because I’ve read things like this many, many times.

When we went to the Island Shopping Center, I told Oscar I wanted a few food items to make a couple of gifts baskets for Christmas gifts. So he took me to this store and I told the guy at the counter what I wanted. I planned to purchase 3 small rum cakes, 3 bottles of jerk sauce, 3 small packages of coffee, 1 small bottle of rum cream, 2 wooden vases and 1 set of wooden candles. Of course there are no prices on any of this and when I asked him the price he told me he would give me a good deal. So when he rang up everything he told me it would be $250US. No way. So he came down to $150. No, so we left. I ended up buying everything somewhere else for $80.

On Friday, Oscar took us to the rafting on the Martha Brae. The river and lushness reminded me of when we did the Black River excursion when we went to Negril a few years back. We enjoyed the trip. Afterward, we went to Glistening Waters restaurant for lunch. The meal was very good. When we were leaving we saw some stingrays in the water by the white fence. I would definitely recommend A-Z Jamaican Planners and Oscar for excursions and sightseeing.

They weather was perfect. No too hot. It did rain almost every night while we were sleeping, but in the morning it would be clear and sunny. We had a great vacation. I actually liked the Ocho Rios area better than Negril and would return to the Jewel and Ocho Rios. However, I would like to stay in Montego Bay once just because we haven’t before.

I have our pictures posted at:

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank KVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carol B, Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 6 August 2014

Good day, due to glitches in our computer system your comments were not seen or responded to previously. The team at The Jewel Dunn’s River wish to apologize for this and want to express our appreciation for your feedback. Please be assured that we have now corrected the computer glitch and thank you for your comments. We certainly appreciate that you took the time to give us you your feedback as we continue to ensure our service delivery and product exceed your expectations. We look forward to the opportunity to host you again at our resort.

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5,011 - 5,015 of 5,888 reviews

Reviewed 12 December 2011

The absolutely best hotel I've stayed. 5 star to the max. Cleanliness, courtesy, comfort, tranquil, serene. Absolutely the best staff. Do not hesitate to book the Jewel, I returned home on such a high. The food was delicious, the buffet sumptious. Spotless in and out. Would highly, highly recommend the Jewel. Thanks June all our excursions were absolutely enjoyable. At 60+ I went zip lining. Can't believe it. I could rant on and on, but book the Jewel and you will see and experience what I'm talking about. YA MON
D&L

Room Tip: Take the mountain view rooms. with the lights at night up in the mountain, chilling on your balcony...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Decatur611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rasbrat, Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us at the Jewel. I am glad that you enjoyed the property as well as the fun tours that are offered in Jamaica.
Thanks again and we look forward to your return.
Regards,
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 12 December 2011

The Jewell is just that, a jewell. From the moment we arrived until we boarded the shuttle for the airport every thing was perfect. Check-in was quick and professional and included a cool towel and a refreshing rum punch.
We had booked a butler suite and we met Larnell( one of our two butlers) and were escourted to our suite. Larnell had prepared a platter of cheese and crackers, and the room was stocked with all the liquid refreshments we would need including an array of premium liquors.
Our butlers did everything from reserving beach cabanas and bringing snacks and drinks to us on the beach to making dinner reservations for us each night. Every task was performed with a smile. Larnell and Fabian were the absolute picture of a professional butler, plus they soon became lifelong friends.
As for the rest of the staff, they were just as friendly and professional. Kelso is a lifeguard who took time out to take us on a catamaran sail to James Bond Beach and visited with us each day. I have a leg that doesn't work well and Kelso was always there to lend a hand. Floyd was another staff person who was always ready to anwser a question, grab a drink, or just sit and talk. Shenesa was our waitress each morning and was always there with a pot of blue mountain coffee or anything we required. After the first day we were always greeted by name with a big, friendly smile.
Our room was beautiful, with two furnished balconies and a large well appointed bath. Each night when we returned, the bed was turned down, and sprinkled with flower petals among the towel sculptures. The first night we found a plate with two heart shaped cakes drizzled with chocolate sauce.
I could go on for hours about our Jewell experience, but suffice it to say that it was our best vacation ever and we are already planning our return this spring. Give the Jewell a try and you won't be dissappointed.

Room Tip: I think a room facing the beach on the 3rd floor or higher gives you a great view of the beach and p...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rasbrat, Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2011

Dear guest,
Thank you for your wonderful comments and naming the staff that helped make your stay special. We calculate the times that each staff member's name get mentioned and the top mentioned team member each month recieves and award with cash prizes.
Thanks again and we look forward to your return.
Regards,
Scott Robbins
Hotel manager

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Reviewed 11 December 2011

I will start by saying my wife and I are All-Inclusive finatics. The Jewel is approx. our 20th AI.

Property: The grounds are well kept, and beautiful. You can tell it is an older resort, but it is clean and very nice.

Staff: Service was good, and everyone seemed to be willing to help with any need or concern. EXCEPT...the morning buffet staff. They are absolutely terrible. mostly unfriendly, slow, and unatentive. They didnt seem to mind if you never got your coffee/drink order, and got mad when I tried to get it myself after waiting 10minutes. This was a daily occurance.

Room: We had the "Diamond concierge Oceanview suite". Rooms are a little dated, but nice and clean with a stocked fridge, alcohol despencers in the room. You have a private balcony with nice views of the ocean. I would not reccomend paying extra for concierge/24hr room service unless you like to eat a lot in your room. Concierge is not needed since they told me I had to book my excursions thru the outfitter at the resort, and late night snacks with more options are available at the snack bar 24/7

Food: After going to several AI resorts in the past I know the food is average at best. Jewel is no exception. The breakfast buffet food is good if you can get over the poor service. Court Jesters has good pizza. The rest of the food is just OK. I will say I liked the desserts very much here.

Pools: The pools were very nice and staff was always cleaning the areas. The main pool had a lot of dead bugs in it due to the HUGE bee problem at the resort. Both swim up bars were great. All the bartenders did a great job serving everyone with a smile. Know this going in that there is a HUGE problem with bees at the resort. I was never stung but several people were while I was there. The hot tubs at the resort are a great idea and made for a nice way to finish off the day. The hot tubs were warm most of the time but on a few occasions were not very warm.

Ocean: The water was nice and warm enough to swim in. A reef is about 500yds out to sea, so the water on the beach is nice and calm. Very little sea weed, and you can go a long way out while standing up.The beach is not very scenic because of a pier on 1 side and a nasty fence with bob-wire on the other. The bob-wire side is there because of the drug dealers constantly hounding you to buy weed/cocaine/mushrooms etc. The beach is about 200yds long. Some say it was small I didnt think so.

Entertainment: I gotta give it to Jewel, they had the best entertainment of any resort I have been to. From the kids around the pool/beach all day playing games to the bands and activities at night, everyone did a great job. activities were available untill 230am nightly, but the resort was dead quiet before midnight every night.

Must do is renting a cab from "RUSTY" and have him take you to BLUE HOLE for a few hours. Its about 30minutes away and it is a spectacular waterfall that you can dive into or swing off a rope into. My wife and I were the only people there the entire time! Rusty also drove us around the area and showed us things most tourists dont get to see. He also took us to a great Jerk shop for lunch. It was safe fun and the best part of our trip!!

My wife and I never stay at the same resort twice. If a friend were to ask about staying at the resort I probably would reccomend it after telling them about the little things theat needed improving.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank khevin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rasbrat, Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your comments and I passed them on to the appropriate managers as we strive to get better each day. We hope to see you back again to make it a great experience.
Thanks again
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 11 December 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Jewel Nov 24 to Dec 3. It was by far the best resort that we have stayed at and they do everything and anything to make it an amazing experience.

I have been lucky enough to travel to Jamaica several times over the last 3 years and stay at various all inclusive resorts. We selected the Jewel for our honeymoon and we were in the Diamond Premier Room. I will say if you are looking for an amazing experience, filled with relaxation or a party atmosphere, the Jewel has it all! We loved everything and are planning on coming back so I will share our top things that we enjoyed / found which really sets the Jewel apart from the others:

The Food: Excellent! All meals, including the buffet for breakfast and lunch are put together with care. The nightly restaurants offer so many selections and the quality was above our expectations. We travel to Jamaica for the food and believe me you will not go hungry. Just as for more if you are and they will happily bring it to you.

Staff: Words can't even explain how hard they work to make you happy. Management even makes a point of getting to know the guests and they even have a managers cocktail party to make sure all guests know how to reach them and speak freely on what you like or have concerns about with the resort. Make sure you check out their photo staff and packages...they offer amazing deals and probably the best prices I have seen at any all inclusive and the quality is also great.

Hot tub in the SPA: This is a hidden treasure! If you want a quiet place to relax this is the place. The temperature is amazing and it is rarely used. My husband and I seemed to be the only ones there each day. This was like our private place to talk and enjoy the drinks we brought with us from the piano bar.

Entertainment: There is no shortage here. In the evenings they have done their best to provide something for everyone and they do this well. Between the local band that plays 2 times a night, the piano bar, the disco, the tree bar for lounging, Dive in move (GREAT IDEA) there is something for everyone. On nights when you want quiet time, just lounge in the tree bar or by the pool and piano bar. For those nights that you want to party...it's the disco and show or beach party that will get you moving. I will say that we had nights where we wanted to chill and others that we partied and never were bored at all.

Location: Within the resort everything is a 2 minute walk...to the ocean...the food...the spa...the everything...Best part is how close it is to the Dunn's River Falls. In 4 previous trips we always said we would go but because the fall are so far away from the other main tourist locations in Jamaica we never wanted to give up a day for the excursion. At the Jewel it is 1 mile..yes 5 minutes up the road so we finally went. It was so worth it and believe me you don't lose a whole day just a couple of hours which is perfect and then you are right back at the pool bar eating a jerk chicken wrap and laughing about the fun experience. Make sure you do Dunn's River...it is right next door and you will regret it if you don't!

Tip: Do what you would with any travel. If you don't want to be near the elevators, ask. If you need a quiet location, ask. If you need anything just ask...believe me they deliver.

Special thank you to Scott (the manager), Renee at the front desk, Colin from the tree bar and Loyd so funny and fun! you make our honeymoon so amazing! There were so many other people..too many to list but Thank you Jewel you really were what we needed and exceeded all of our expectations!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank Paige_N_Ki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rasbrat, Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you for spending time with us at The Jewel as well as your comments on he property and the staff. We look forward to your return.
regards,
Scott Robbins

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton

Address: Mammee Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Mammee Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Mammee Bay
Price Range: €220 - €385 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton 4*
Number of rooms: 250
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Introducing The Jewel Dunn’s River, a new Jamaican beach resort located mere moments from one of Jamaica’s top attractions – spectacular Dunn’s River Falls. The Caribbean’s most romantic, adults-only Jamaican resort is the perfect spot for couples, honeymooners and idyllic weddings. Plus, our all-inclusive resort features the unique ‘Jewel Only’ exclusives you can only discover here. Imagine watching a movie from the comfort of a pool raft and dining by candlelight on a pristine beach – that’s just the beginning. Now visualize your first breath in the morning being filled with fresh ocean air from your room’s private balcony. Picture yourself sipping handmade rum punch served by a pool concierge. Anything is possible at The Jewel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Jewel Dunn`s River Beach Hotel Ocho Rios
The Jewel Dunn`s River Beach Resort And Spa

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