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Reviewed 7 February 2012

Our first stay at The Jewel was among the best experiences I've ever had. The staff was beyond accommodating and friendly. From the time we arrived, we were treated as though we were the only guests at the resort. The quality of the food was the best I have had at an all inclusive resort to date. Additionally, the spa services are amazing. This was also the first small resort I stayed at and I wasn't sure how I would feel about that, but I believe I will continue to shoot for staying at smaller resorts in the future. Everything is easily accessible. I generally do not like to travel to the same place twice, but without a doubt I will be back to Jamaica and wouldn't consider staying anywhere but The Jewel. Keep up the great work!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank Ericka L
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 8 February 2012

Dear guest,
thank you for staying with us at the Jewel and your kind words about the resort. We look forward to your return.
regards,
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2012

Lengthy but hopefully very helpful and informative.

My wife and I have travelled to close to 20 resorts now over the past many years and this was the best by far for us and our group of friends (being 4 couples over 40). We have been travelling as a group of 4 or more couples now for the past 4 years.

To start with, the staff are simply the best we have ever seen in that all of them seem to understand the importance and value of being friendly, outgoing and happy in general about their roll and the impact they can have on their guests.

Check-in was quick, well organized and was trouble free. The girls on the counter were friendly, helpful, smilling and talkative when engauged with conversation. Check-out was quick and easy, no problems.

Sasha, Jason, Mini Me and Whoopy were such a pleasure to be around. Considering the long days they work and the energy they are required to show in doing their jobs 6 days a week, it is simply amazing and rather contageous to see them happily do their job everyday. We got involved in a lot of their pool deck fun games that took shape a couple of times during each afternoon such as mid day madness, crab races, a drinking challenge, a couples towel dance, finding your mate and the fishing bottle race etc. They were respectful of those not wanting to participate and the volume wasn't over powering. We had a lot of fun and laughs with them and other guests. There was a quieter pool over by the piano bar that was great for reading or sleeping if you didn't want to be around the main pool. They had darts, boccie balls, shuffle board, pool volleyball and basketball to mention a few. Way to go, your entertainment staff were the best.

Speaking of entertainment, the nightly entertainment was very good every night. It had a variety of quality singers singing a range of music types from Jamacian, to hip hop, to classic 70's and 80's hits. There was a sax player that was so good the audience gave him a big round of applause after each tune, even though they were all enjoying a wonderful dinner at the time. He equalled Kenny G almost and played a lot of hit hits. There were older Jamaican folk dancers one night that explained the meaning of the dances they were doing and they were very good and full of energy and really seemed to take pride in conveying their history through dance. There was even a very young energetic steel drum band one night that played todays top hits and danced in unison as a group to the music, very entertaining. Also the house band was the best, playing great tunes on into the night.

The "dive-in movies" were a fun touch as were our evenings enjoyed at the piano bar outside signing and listening to great music.

The food, simply amazing and we seemed to be surprised by the quality, quantity and variety of the food each and every day. Mark at the grill was a super guy, so helpfully, happy and friendly. Thanks for cuttling up the hamberger pattyies for me to go on my natchos, mmmm mmmm good! They also served burgers, fries and many kinds of wraps. The omelettes at the buffet were super and quick, served with a smile every time. The bacon was nicley cooked and wasn't laying on pools of grease. The breaded chicken was like KFC and BBQ ribs were delicious. The pizza's were to die for at the pizza place out in the court yard.

The waitresses were simply the best everywhere, Shelly Ann, "smilly" I forget her name, and the rest. Even the bellhopes and front entrance staff at the resort were very friendly and eager to help with anything you needed. We have no concern leaving bags with them while we waited for transportation etc.

The grounds were spectacular and clean as a whistle thanks to guys like Mahadeo, Jackson and Omar etc. I even got a lesson on decorating the pier and gazibo with handmade floral decorations from Mahadeo, what a fine young gentalman he truly is.

We had a nice private dinner on the pier and were served by two tall young gentlemen, one named Joseph, and they couldn't have been more professional, friendly and attentive to our wishes. Right down to the surprise with the red roses they helped us with. Our girls treated us guys to a spa message treatment in return for our surprise treat for them last year. The girls were wonderful and did a great job and we used the facility hot tube, hot cold pools, steam room and sauna. It was nice.

The water sport guys were friendly and considerate in assisting us in getting out sailing. Once they new we were experienced sailers, they helped us get boats as they came available, they didn't hassle us in going out and were friendly and respectfull upon our return. I a lot of other places I have been the staff often make you feel like they are doing you a big favour letting you go out on the hobbie cats. It wasn't that way here.

The beach was ultra clean and beatiful and was kept up again by the hard working grounds guys.

The pools were clean and refreshing, the drinks were very good and mixed to your liking if you asked by guys like Garnet etc. He even created a special drink on the spot for one of our group and called it the "Al special".

The rooms we big and well kept with beautiful furniture and a great job was done by the maids daily, including a surprise "turn down" service. Since you weren't likely getting turned down by your partner at this resort each night, you could always depend on the maid turning you down just to keep you grounded ;).

Our group of 4 couples played the 9 hole chip and put and although it was not in the best of condition of fully dressed, we had a blast. It meet our needs in being something fun to do together as a group.

Again this is my favourite resort yet and I hope to be able to return many more times with many more friends to enjoy the resort and again see your fantastic staff. For those not happy with this resort, perhaps some of the problem may have been with not matching your expectations or holiday type with the correct resort. We saw a wide range of ages and people types here and all that were there with a possitive happy attitude all seemed to be having a great time and enjoying themselves and all the resort had to offer.

To Ricardo, Daine, Carole and the rest of the management team, cheers to a job well done. I hope comments like these reinforce your staffs commitement and understanding that their efforts are not going unnoticed.

Thanks to the Jewel for a wonderful time and we hope to see you all next year. Daine we will be in touch.

Kevin M.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Sapphire building, king bed, small walk-in closet, separate vanity, small washrom with tub/shower, large room with desk, reading chair, bar area with small fridge and it had a balcony and oceanview. Was perfect and was quiet enough at night while sleeping.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Kevin M
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 8 February 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us as well as such a detailed review of your stay. We are so happy that you enjoyed yourself and look forward to your return.
regards,
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

We've been to a large number of all-inclusives and the Jewel was one of the better ones. Every staff member we met was very friendly and helpful including the behind the scenes ones like gardeners and cleaners. The place is not new (the pool has a ©1990 in the design) but the maintenance is great. There's no faded paint or stains anywhere. Our room in the Diamond looked new. The place is very clean with staff cleaning the whole grounds all day. The only "funny smell" that my wife's sensitive nose detected was in the nightclub, Bling, probably from spilled beer. The beach is small, maybe 200 yd. long but it has gates and guards at both ends so you're never bothered. The gym is clean and well outfitted. We didn't use the spa services but they looked nice. We ran into one of the gardeners, Leabert, who gives nature walks a few times a week, pointing out plants and giving some background about them. He gave us a preview but the walk was rained out the next day. The 9 hole par 3 golf course is in rough shape. It looks like it used to be well maintained as some areas still have what looks like Bermuda grass growing, but most of the "fairways" are now what looks like crab grass. Trees have been allowed to overgrow and now most of the greens are so bare I didn't even try to putt. The bunkers are compacted mud. They do have a supply of clubs and balls so I went a few times and just picked a spot hitting wedges into a green. It'd be nice it they revitalized the course.
The food was very good. We usually don't like buffets but the breakfasts and lunch ones were so good we tried dinner once and were not disappointed. The food at the Japanese and Italian restaurants was very good. Surprisingly I didn't care for the food at the nicest restaurant, The Platinum. The dishes were not as described on the menu and the food was only average in quality. There were no lobsters offered when we were there. The drinks were good at all the bars although not all of them stocked premium liquors. The house wines, both red and white, were not great. The sparkling wine wasn't too bad.With all the inexpensive, good wines around today they should look for a different brand.

Room Tip: We were top floor in the Diamond which gave a great view. The Linai rooms have no view. The ones in the Main hotel look like they had nice ocean views. The mountain view ones may be nice because you won't have the wind was significant during most of our week, making using the balcony difficult.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank kpnoon
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 7 February 2012

Dear Guest,
thank you for staying with us as well as your constructive feedback. We look forward to your return.
Regards
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

My boyfriend and I recently returned from The Jewel Dunn’s River resort. We arrived on the 28th of January, 2012 and stayed for a week. I will apologize in advance for the length of this review. I have never left a review about a resort but felt as this was my first negative experience when traveling, I should take the time to do so.

While I was trying to decide which resort we would spend our week at, we had decided on two resorts: either the Jewel, or Sandals Whitehouse. I had emailed them both before deciding and asked them the same questions: What sets you apart from the other resort and what is the possibility of a room upgrade upon arrival. I received answers from both resorts promptly. The Jewel gave me much better answers and seemed to be willing to do whatever they could to make us happy during our stay and provide us with an upgrade if available. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Upon arrival, we were checked into our room ( Sapphire Run of the House Mountain view), we asked for an upgrade and were willing to pay for it. They said it was absolutely not available they were full. End of story. They were no longer interested in speaking with us. So we said well, lets go check out our room, hoping it would be acceptable. Don’t be fooled by “Mountain View”. All this means is “view of the parking lot and/or roof”. You also get a view of the PURPLE resort next door ( I believe it’s a Riu). The room was VERY small and the bathroom was very dingy. We were not impressed.

We went back downstairs and asked again for an upgrade. All of a sudden they could do an upgrade, but it would be an additional $1100.00 for the week as they only had rooms available in the Butler Suites. We said no, absolutely not as we had already spent close to $2,000.00 per person. So they bumped it down to $1,000.00 and then to $900.00. Not happening. So we informed them we were going to go and talk to our tour rep (Sunquest) and ask to be transferred to the Sandals Whitehouse. Their reply: “Ok, fine”.

So off we went to talk to our tour representative. She begged us not to make that decision as she thought we would really enjoy our time at this resort. She said she would speak with the hotel staff and see what she could do. 15 minutes later she returned with one of the ladies from the front desk who wouldn’t even look at us when she spoke. We have now been at the resort for roughly an hour and a half trying to get the rooms sorted out. We were then told that they had a room for us ( miracle seeing as they told us before they were totally full). So off we went to see the room. It was #3103 in the Diamond building. It, again, was very small but had a much nicer bathroom. The view wasn’t much better, overlooked the roof ( which was brown and mouldy looking and had random garbage on it) and some palm trees and if you leaned far out over the railing you could see the ocean. But we thought, well at least its quiet. Or so we thought. We could hear music loudly the first few nights, I’m not sure if it was coming from our resort or the one directly beside.

Other problems with our room were that the shower leaked. Badly. But with the previous service we received we didn’t bother telling the front desk as we figured it wouldn’t change anything. The bathroom door didn’t lock and if you used the whirlpool, it would leave black stuff in the bottom of the bathtub. We also never got any towel animals which is something we always look forward to when traveling. The bed was alright, but very low to the ground and not overly comfortable. No flat screen TV, just a big old square box TV, but we were glad that there were so many stations as it rained most of our trip. This brings me to my next point.

If you are looking for lots of things to do on a resort and lots of activities, this resort is not for you. As I said, we didn’t have the best weather. So we were often looking for other things to fill our time with as tanning and swimming wasn’t usually an option. The two restaurants (Platinum and Moonstone) had pretty good food but were only open at certain times. The staff were great and very accommodating. So you were left with the buffet (coral café) which was only open for breakfast from around 8:00-10:30, closed until 12:30 for lunch which lasted until 2:30pm and then opened again at 6:30ish for dinner. So that left you to eat at either the pizza place ( which took half of your life time to get your order placed and get your food) or the Aquamarine bar and grill which took slightly less time then pizza and they had an equally lacking menu. The staff at the Aquamarine bar and grill were friendly however, which was nice.

Most of the bars were decent, but again nothing came quickly. Unless you had tipped the same person multiple times, then you got slightly faster service. Bar staff were usually very nice and would make you whatever you wanted even if they had never heard of it.

Beach was very small and busy, but gorgeous. Warmest water I have ever been in. Often warmer then the pools (which were dirty compared to other resorts we have been to). The one side of the beach has a long pier separating you from the Riu on the other side. The other side of the beach had a beautiful chain-link fence with security stopping the locals from coming over. However every morning there were swarms of locals walking across the beach to the other side of the fence trying to sell you anything and everything. The locals would then spend the day sitting at the fence trying to sell you things again. Any time you looked their direction they would scream and whistle. They also had jet skis and would whip back and forth in front of the swimming area trying again to sell you anything they had.

The turtle pond is great. Although very dirty, we really enjoyed sitting by the pond watching the fish and turtles. The overall grounds are gorgeous but when you really start to look around you will notice a great deal of things that have been let go. Lots of fountains that have been left off and are an eye sore, and lots of dead plants. There were lots of cats on the resort which was a plus for me as I am an animal lover. They all looked very healthy and we shared pizza with them everyday. The spa and gym were very nice, although even their pools and hot tub were dirty.

The night before we left we went down to the front desk to ask for a late check out as our plane didn’t leave until 10:50pm the following night. They said sure what time did you want to stay till. So we asked for a 4:30pm check out. The girl walked over to the computer ( but it was off, we could see a reflection of the black screen) and then came back to us and said “ Nope sorry we cant. We are booked solid. We can do 12:30”. We had been told when checking in that it wouldn’t be a problem and we informed her of this and she basically just shrugged her shoulders. So we went back up to our room to find our check-out slip in our door. It said “Bag pick up 6:00am. Bus pick up 6:20am. Flight time: 10:50pm.” It also said that late check out was available at $15.00 an hour. So we marched back down to the front desk, showed them our check out sheet and pointed out the errors. The lady scribbled out the 6:00am and 6:20am and changed them both to PM and pushed it back at us without saying anything. No “ Im sorry for the screw up” or “ Im sorry you had to come back down to the front desk because of our error” nothing. It was as if WE had made the error. So we once again asked for a late check out as this was another staff member then we had previously spoken to. She also wasn’t interested in speaking with us and just flat out said “ Sorry not available”. When we brought up the fact that our check out sheet said it was available for $15 an hour, she just shrugged her shoulders. A very common response from the front desk staff it seemed.

This resort could be amazing and we had very high hopes upon arrival. Unfortunately we were left very disappointed. We will return to Jamaica, but NOT to this resort.

Room Tip: DO NOT book a basica room!! Unless you have low standards.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Amanda S
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 7 February 2012

Dear Guest,
great to hear that you will keep coming back to Jamaica as it has by far the warmest people in the world.
As a note for all reading this please please please, if you email me about an upgrade , I will respond to you that I cannot promise anything but will put in a request. The only way you can guarantee a view of the Caribbean Sea is to originally book it. By doing this it will save you from not enjoying your vacation and walking around with a note pad riting down everything that you hate.
Dear Guest, thank you for your feedback and staying at our resort.
regards,
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Jewel for a week starting Jan 28,2012. We were a little worried that the resort was small. However, we quickly saw the great advantages of it. The staff were great, so friendly and fun. The Platinum had fantastic food and Howard was a great waiter. Ty Wong at the Jade Japanese restaurant was very entertaining as he prepared our food. We think that Shaniece must work 24 hour shifts as she always seemed to be around with her beautiful smile. Cassandra always got us (from Liz and Ken, hope you read this Cassandra) our favourite table at the Coral Cafe. Steve and Vidal each took us on great sail boat rides. Junior at the Coral Cafe always had a friendly smile. Yes, the beach is small but the swimming is great. Ricaldo the security guard on the pier was fun to talk to. Garnet makes the best Jamaican Smile drink, we had too many to count. If you are going to do any excursions, you must do the Blue Mountain bike trip. You get a very scenic trip of the mountains and then capped off by a very fun downhill all the way bike ride. The resort is clean and well taken care of.

Room Tip: The Emerald Lanai rooms do not have private balconies, just common exterior walkways. Only the Diamond and Sapphire rooms have private balconies.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank HappyCanadian5573
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 7 February 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us and acknowledging our staff. We hope to see you return and I have passed on the message to Cassandra.
Thanks again
Scott Robbins
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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