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Reviewed 11 June 2012

I went to the Jewel from 5/30-6/3 for a trip with my brother and let me say the Jewel is AWESOME!! As others have mentioned the staff were all really friendly and willing to cater to our needs. The food was great and we particularly loved the jerk chicken wraps and pizza. It was really easy to book excursions at the travel desk and the catamaran ride to Dunn's River Falls is highly recommended!! I definitely suffered from post vacation depression upon my return to the US and I am hoping to go back someday with a bigger group so we can all share in the joy of Jamaica!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank momalley15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daine G, Guest Relations Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2012

Dear Guest;

Thank you for your review, and delighted that you found our resort to be AWESOME! Am also happy that the food was to your liking and that the staff made your experience a memorable one.

Thanks again and hope to host you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Guest Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2012

Exceeded all expectations!!!

DISCLOSURE: For those not looking to read a super long review and just wandering how it was, it was awesome!!! We will be back and that says a lot as we don’t normally go back to the same place twice but we made so many nice memories and this place is the best!!! For others (like me) who like to read all the little details, see below : ) …

First off, let me just say I have no idea how anyone can truly complain about this place. We are pretty seasoned travelers and not new to Jamaica by any means. I did A LOT of homework on this resort just because we really needed a care frère vacations and I have to admit, my expectations were already set pretty high. It exceeded all expectations and we were both extremely sad to leave and return to reality. For those of you like me, I will try to provide as many details as possible so you have any idea of the place as well as a pics

AIRPORT TRANSFER: Although this is technically handled by a third party and Jewel has no control over it, it’s worth mentioning. We opted for the included transfer with JTL and were pleasantly surprised. As we came out of the airport the bus was right there waiting, they put our bags inside for us and the driver told us we have time to smoke a cigarette and just relax for a minute. Before we could finish, we were ready to go, so no waiting there. It was nice and cool on the bus and it was decently clean so no issues there. He also went above what was needed and explained a lot along the way about different areas. When he wasn’t talking music was playing so it got us in the relaxed vacation mode. We stopped at a couple of resorts and it was all very quick. It also gave me a chance to see other places and I am glad I didn’t pick them. Overall, the ride didn’t feel long at all. For those of you that didn’t do your homework please don’t complain about the ride. It’s about an hour and a half driving time. It took us a total two hours from the time we walked out of the airport to the time that we reached the Jewel. That is not bad at all. If you have an issue with that and can’t just enjoy the fact that you’re on vacation regardless then my suggestion would be to pick another place closer to the airport. They may come with the complimentary sound and view of planes as well... The way back was just fine. Check out was super fast, and the bus got us where we needed to go on time. Can’t ask for more than that.

ARRIVAL: I had an idea of what the place looked like but pictures don’t do it justice. We didn’t have to touch our bags and were immediately given a cool towel and a drink and guided in the check in area to have a seat. They took our names and we were on our way to our room in less than 10 minutes. FYI: have a credit card or cash as you need to leave a $200 deposit. If you book anything special it comes out of that, otherwise you get it back at check out.We decided to upgrade since it was our anniversary and my birthday and thanks to Scott…this was possible. We went from a diamond ocean front to a butler suite. We had no idea just how nice it would be. Everyone was super nice from the start and we needed things to be easy after a long day of travel. As we were walked to our room, the bellhop took the time to show us around a bit so we’re not totally lost.

THE ROOM: This totally topped all expectations and really set the mood for the whole vacation. It was honestly one of the cleanest and nicest hotel rooms we’d ever been in and we’ve stayed at plenty of big name hotels. They didn’t hold anything to this. Our room was in the diamond building, room 3316. It was home for a week and more than we ever needed. Minus a kitchen (which I wouldn’t want anyway as I am NOT cooking on vacation) it was pretty much an apartment. Complete with a large hallway, full living room, dining room, nice size bedroom with a huge comfy four poster canopy bed, a desk area, two balconies (one in the bedroom and a large one in the living room), a big closet, a full bath with a sexy jacuzzi bath and a half bath as well. On top of all that the wet bar was stocked with rum, vodka, gin and whiskey. There was a fridge too stocked daily based on what you used or what you asked for. The selection was large; Different kinds of fruit juices, seltzer water, tonic water, plain water, diet coke, regular coke, sprite, a bottle of sparkling wine (which was yummy)..and some other stuff. As a welcome there was also a platter of breadfruit and plantain chips with two bottles of Ting (grapefruit soda). I cannot describe how nice it was and pics don’t really do it justice. If that didn’t do, the view was absolutely amazing!!! We were right on the beach with the sound of the ocean every day and we spend most of our time on the balcony. It was the most relaxing part of our vacation and this topped everything. It was a dream come true!!!

THE RESORT IN GENERAL: It was honestly a VERY clean and well kept place. I was impressed to see someone always cleaning something, not only in the room but all around. The pools were always being cleaned, the tiles, plants, etc. We happen to meet up with the gardener the first morning and went on a nature walk with him where we learned a bunch of cool things. I wish I remembered his name as he needs some sort of recognition for the work and passion he has. Thanks for showing me the cool moving grass! We were both impressed with the amount of plants, flowers and fruits they have growing on the resort. It was beautiful! Besides some really beautiful flowers and trees, they had sour sap, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts…I’m sure I’m missing some things but my hubby was real happy to see the sour sap as he wanted some leaves to make tea from. We really impressed with the gardens. It’s worth mentioning that I only saw ONE bee the whole week…some mentioned a bee problem. It certainly wasn’t a problem when we were there. We also got to meet George (the humming bird) and the see the turtle pond on our tour. Overall, everything is really nicely kept and you can tell they pay attention to details. The Jewel’s lobby is open air but elegant, upstairs there is the Jade restaurant (only one that needs reservations) and down below there is the gift shop which was reasonable prices on some items and we did end up buying some stuff from them.

THE BEACH & POOLS: If you’re looking for a Negril beach, you won’t find it in Ocho Rios at any resort. If you are looking for a clean, safe beach with more than enough room for all the resort’s guest then you’ll be fine at the Jewel. We loved it. It’s nice and clear with the prettiest turquoise blue and the sand is so soft I always took off my flip flops just to feel the sand between my feet. Also, huge plus: the beach was always clean and NEVER full. You do NOT have to fight for beach chairs, towels, umbrellas and shade as we could always find one in whatever spot we wanted. We are not the type to get up early just to find a beach chair on vacation. That’s just ridiculous. I love the water so I used both pools but loved the main pool the most just because it was huge and I loved the waterfall. It is very relaxing, especially at night when you can just float and watch the stars and moon. We didn’t find it to be noisy as others said also and we were there during the hours that the entertainment crew was around. They were all polite to us and Whoopi and Sasha even remembered our names after hearing them once. We didn’t get into the games etc and they don’t force you too but they did insist on having Chadwick sing happy birthday to me which was nice. There is the other pool by the piano bar as well which is smaller but seems to what most call the quiet pool (during the day). At night it switches. Both were very nice. We used one of the hot tubs once too and it was such a nice way to unwind from a long day of doing nothing (lol)… we watched the stars and listened to the ocean and the music from the bon fire for a while.

THE ENTERTAINMENT: There is always something to do, so I am not sure how others found nothing to do. When the night starts to unwind…and if you really have nothing to do… make your own party! You’re on vacation and a beautiful island and on a great resort. There is ALWAYS something to do. We tried to take part in most things just to see what it was all about but most of the times we were so tired (from doing nothing) that we just relaxed. We loved the steel band that played in the Bling. It was awesome and it should be more advertised. They are worth seeing. I took a lot of videos of them just to have that memory. We also went to the beach party which was on my birthday and enjoyed the awesome food and entertainment. There was a snake charmer, some folk dancers and best of all…Mr. Chin the fire man!!! Everyone seemed to love that performance. We also went to the couples and honeymooners party but thanks to me who took forever to get ready, we missed most of it. They decorated cupcakes and won some nice prizes too (trip to Negril, etc)… Worth going to but be on time!!! Thursday they had a bon fire and my hubby loved the music (real vibes)…we just hung out on the beach and in the hot tub listening. We were also there for the manager’s cocktail hour and dinner on the pier Friday BUT we were leaving VERY early in the morning Saturday and we decided to just stay in, pack and enjoy the last few hours of our gorgeous room.
As far as water sports, there are plenty. We took the hobie cat out with Johnie and he took us to laughing waters (beautiful place!)…(thanks Scott for convincing hubby to get on the boat! LoL) I loved it so much that I went back by myself the next day and went out with Vidal. We went by laughing waters but some officials were there so we couldn’t dock (take note and go early so you can go another day if anything). I was fine with that since we’d been already and gotten pics, etc but he made it up by taking me to a little cove and even found some shells for me. So….we back back again Friday with him (with hubby this time)…I loved it and it’s so nice that it’s included. It was very relaxing.
We went snorkeling (I went and hubby stayed on the boat) and Jerry was awesome! If it wasn’t for him helping me out with my mask situation and taking me with him I am not sure I could have done it (it was my first time). He also found shells for me (they make nice presents and memories)… Took pics of me and everything… Ummm..liked it so much that I went again (yes, there is a pattern here). The second time I managed by myself and it was even better then the first time. Saw loads of fish and a sting ray too..eek! The other guide who is always the one at the desk (sorry but forgot his name) was great helping me with my fins and also dove for shells for me..hehe. FYI: It’s $20 if you have your own equipment/ $25 if you don’t and they take you out for a full hour of snorkeling. Hubby paid $10 to just ride on the boat. Cannot beat the price!

FOOD: Now this is a topic that not everyone can agree on as everyone’s taste are different but if it’s one thing they have at the Jewel, its options! I have NO idea who could possibly go hungry here… We had the included room service so we ordered the Jamaican specials for breakfast most days and all were yummy, especially the ackee and saltfish with fried dumplings.

Also, we went down to the buffet (Coral Café) which we loved for breakfast and lunch. Now here there were so many options. Like I said, there is NO way you couldn’t find something you liked. For breakfast they had English muffins, about three types of bagels, three kinds of bread, croissants, pastries, pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon (we don’t eat pork but for those that do, it’s there) potatoes, all kinds of fruits, cheeses, meats, smoothies, yam, escovich fish, dumplings, yam, boiled banana, three kinds of juices…and this was daily so there is no way you can’t find something. You take what you want and however much of it you want. Also, the tables face the ocean so you get the nicest view ever.

For lunch, they had the same vast variety. Tons of different kinds of breads and rolls, rice, fish (the first and best snapper wellington I ever had), chicken, a bunch of coordinating sides, a sandwich station, smoothies and a gazillion deserts! The Coral Café was our favorite…

Second favorite was the Aquamarina Grill…I feel terrible but there was one chef there that stood out and I forgot his name but he was the one ALWAYS smiling. He needs some recognition as he was THE BEST! We loved the jerk chicken wraps and burgers there. They tasted so good we had some every day.

We also ate at the Court Jesters pizza and it was yummy!!! You’d never think Jamaica has such good pizza but we loved the ackee and callaloo pizza, seafood, four cheese mushroom and chocolate heart pizza. So delicious! The girls there are also very nice and always remembered what we liked.

We made a reservation for the Jade on Wednesday for Thursday night just to try it and it was nice. We ended up with the famous Sexy Bubba and his routine relaxed everyone and it was really funny. Some is adult humor, for those that aren’t “adults” and don’t like to laugh, don’t go. We liked it and the food was great. I loved the shrimp and tuna the most but everything was yummy. We had the house wine here too (hubby had red, I had white) and it was just fine too.

We ate the Moonstone although it was very nice and the food was good, it wasn’t our type of thing so we only ate there once. I liked the self serve anti pasta station though and everything there was really good. We did not try the Platinum just because hubby didn’t feel like dressing up for dinner and frankly, we liked the room service or buffet for breakfast so we just didn’t go. Maybe next time.

BARS: There are plenty of them! That’s all I can say on that. The swim up bar at the main pool was our favorite but there are about five or six bars so there is something for everyone. Terrance at the swim up bar makes the best drinks ever…Hubby loved his hurricanes and I tried a bunch of different fruity concoctions. Some must try would be pina coladas, margaritas (yes, in Jamaica!), strawberry daiquiris and my favorite dirty bananas!!!

STAFF: The staff brings the most out of this place and they treated us like royalty. Had it not been for them this beautiful resort would just be a beautiful resort and you wouldn’t get the full vacation experience. I wish I remembered more people’s name (next time I’ll write it down) but they made some of them were Sara (room service), Terrance (swim up bar), Cornell (piano bar), Garnet (tree bar), Whoopi, Sasha and Chadwick (entertainment crew), Mara (maintenance guy), the ever smiling chef (the chef at the Aquamarina Grill that gets off 2am I believe), Sexy Bubba, Vidal, Johnny (waterspouts), Ricardo (concierge desk)….and all of our house keepers who were SO polite and did such thorough job. I was looking at some pics I took and noticed I caught a pic of one even cleaning the balcony ledge. When they clean, they clean!!! Thanks for everything to everyone and many many many thanks to Scott! Oh, and if my review doesn’t have you convinced that these people go above and beyond, the second to last day I ran out of cigarettes and they didn’t have my kind in stock at the gift shop (Newport) plus we didn’t want to go back into town… Ricardo said no worries, made one call and personally brought me some to our room in less than two hours. And even brought back the change which he didn’t have to as that was his tip anyway. When I say this place will take care of you, I mean it!

Hope I didn’t miss anyone or anything. We’ll be back!!!

Sincerely,

Rasta & wife

Room Tip: If you can afford it, get a suite. It was an awesome experience! Otherwise, any room will do as all looked clean and well kept.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank Blue G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daine G, Guest Relations Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2012

Dear Blue G

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! I am delighted that you had an amazing time and all your expectations were exceeded, way above what you were expecting. Thank you for such a very detailed review and it will be shared with each and every staff member, to let them know of the fine job they are doing and it is showing in their service to oir guest.

Thanks again Blue G, and see you soon again.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Guest Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2012

We left Jewel Dunn a few days ago and are still recovering from our loss. The reviews on here were mostly good, the pictures looked good, yet this resort still exceeded our expectations. The grounds are gorgeous, the beach was perfect, the people were friendly, we really had no complaints. The concierge Ricardo served us our beach side dinner, he begged us for some feedback as to what they could improve and we just couldn't help him out. Food ranges from good to great, depending on the restaurant. Pizza really is terrific, and if you spring for the special dinner the food is amazing. Really liked the casual food at Aquamarine, just FYI they don't season the burger or fries, but they have a nice spice mix available, add that to your fries and burger and it's delicious. Did I mention they have self serve nachos? It's almost embarrassing how many times we hit that station up. At night the Italian place is very nice, their antipasti bar is even better than the entrees. Jade is also a fun experience, make sure you put in for reservations right away.

We spent a lot of time at Jasper's bar and pool, it was a lot quieter and relaxed than the other pool. Which is a cool feature, if you want a party during the day you can go to the main pool, or the other if you just want to bask in the sun. Loved the bartenders there, Cornell in the day time was awesome and our night bartender was so great, I can't believe I forgot his name. Staff is a little quiet at first, you just have to chat with them and they come alive. Everyone ranged from quiet and professional to fun and hilarious.

Basically, this resort is really clean, safe and wonderful. Our favorite feature had to be the size, you can see the Riu next door and it just looked so massive and overwhelming. The Jewel Dunn is big enough to have your own space, but small enough to feel intimate and cozy. You see a lot of the same people, and you can get from your room to the beach in no time at all. I would go back in a heartbeat, it was a fantastic stay and we wish we were still there!

Room Tip: Beach view rooms are a little louder at night when they have events, so if you're going for quiet trip probably go with a mountain view room.
Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Robert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daine G, Guest Relations Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2012

Dear Robert C

Thank you for your review and delighted that you had a fantastic time here and I can only imagine th depression that you are going through know "The Jewel Withdrawal". We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback, and happy that you enjoyed all that we had to offer, from the food, drink, service and the staff. Thanks again and hope to see you very soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Guest Service Manager

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Reviewed 10 June 2012

My Boyfriend and I just spent a week at the Jewel, the resort was beautiful, the staff was great, the food was wonderful. I loved everything about this resort, The entertainment staff was great they had lots of fun games for us to enjoy. Our room was beautiful, it overlooked the gradens. My boyfriend and I will be coming back next year. BEST VACATION EVER!!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Melody R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daine G, Guest Relations Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2012

Hi Melody

Thank you for staying with us and it was our pleasure to have hosted you and delighted that you had a great time and enjoyed what we had to offer. Feel free to contact me prior to your next trip and see you soon.

Daine Golaube
Guest Service Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2012

The Jewel is an extremely clean,well manicured, lovely oasis as opposed to the many huge resorts that seem to be the rage in Jamaica.I would return in a heartbeat if only the food situation was better.The Jewel advertises having 6 restaurants--well not exactly in my mind..The Japanese restaurant requires a reservation.However during my stay 5/26-6/2 with occupancy at 65 %( according to several employees) you could only get a reservation for one night and be put on a wait list for a second time,which never came.Food in this restaurant was very good.The Italian restaurant only changes the menu on Sunday so if you come on Saturday or Sunday you are looking at the same selections.Food here was average.The Platinum Club was a Jamaican themed white glove restaurant.Surf and turf here was very good but service was very slow.The Coral Reef served a buffet for breakfast and lunch (average) but was closed for dinner.They also have a Pizza place that only serves pizza which is excellent .In addition there is a place that serves hamburgers,cheeseburgers,fries, and wraps.Burgers and wraps were also very good but not what I would consider dinner fare.
Aside from my complaints about the food this is a remarkable resort and would compare quite favorably with many higher priced resorts.My wife and I are seasoned travelers and have stayed at many resorts during our 17 trips to Jamaica so I feel we are well qualified to voice our opinions.Every thing else about this resort is great and all the friendly employees rate among the best.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank ALLINAGAIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daine G, Guest Relations Manager at Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort & Spa, Ocho Rios,Curio Collection by Hilton, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2012

Dear Guest

Thank your for your review and delighted that you had a great stay, it is unfortunate that our food quality was not to your liking, but I understand that food is a preference and to each it's own preference. With regards to you not gettinga 2nd seating in the Japanese restaurant, we at The Jewel wants to ensure that every guest gets an experience, hence you are placed on a wait list after you have dine their before, no difference if you were at home and you called in for a reservation at a restaurant and it is booked.
Thank you for the feedback on the staff, and this will be shared with them. Thanks again for visiting and hope to see you again soon.

Regards

Daine Golaube
Guest Service Manager

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