Given the other reviews, ratings for this resort, reputation and cost, our expectations were very high. Here's the good and the bad that we experience during our in January 2012.
The good - This resort overall is stunningly beautiful and luxurious. We stayed in a Luxury Villa with private pool and our views were amazing. With the natural beauty, nature sounds, high level of service from the villa staff, and no TV (there wasn't one in the villa), I have never felt so relaxed on a vacation. The beach and pool area are wonderful and the food at the restaurants was the best food we've ever had on a Carribean vacation -- the spiny lobster tail and Jamaican rock shrimp were at the top of our list. We also took advantage of the water sports and had a staff member take us out on the Hobie for a 1-hour sail and it was fantastic. Also, the attitude and genuine kindness of the staff we interacted with showed us the "warm Jamaican heart" of the people there.
The bad (or at least not as good as expected):
A) The Pineapple Kids Club - we were excited to use the club for our 4-year old, but one day when we stopped by at 11:30 (no reservations are required) we were informed that they close from noon-1 pm for lunch. When we returned around 2 pm that day the 1 staff member there was sleeping in the back and there was no one else there, so we left. We tried it again the next day and found that they were not sticking to their themed calendar "nature day" so we left with our somewhat disheartened 4-year old. We decided not to use the club and instead requested a private nanny for 3 hours a day ($10 per hour) to help keep our son busy while we relaxed a bit. The nanny watched over him but didn't interact much or play with him, so we canceled that service.
B) Comfort of the villa - Our villa pool was not heated (front desk staff said none of the villa pools are heated) and it was too cold for swimming. We were very much looking forward to a private pool so this was a big disappointment. Also, the air conditioner in our villa's second bedroom didn't work. We reported the problem 4 times and although maintenance came once, it was not fixed. With the heat and humidity in Jamaica we could not sleep comfortably in this bedroom without air conditioning. After we were home from the trip I did receive an apology email from the manager, but that doesn't make up for their lack of response to our maintenance request while we were there.
C) Meal plan - We liked the half-board plan (breakfast and dinner, but no lunch or beverages) and it included breakfast made to order in our villa (highly recommended) and everything on the restaurant menus. The part we did not like is that we needed to have the same plan for everyone in our reservation, so we also had the half-board plan for our 4-year old, but at half price. Paying over $50 per day for the $10 worth of food our 4-year old ate was not a good a value. I wish they'd had a kids meal plan available like many other 5-start hotels (e.g., Ritz Carlton with Ritz Kids).
D) Tipping - The half-board meal plan that we purchased included a 25% fee for tax and service, but since that money did not go directly to the waitstaff serving us we always left an additional tip on our check, which left us tipping a lot. Also, when tipping our villa staff we weren't sure of the best way to do it or how much to tip. We ended up giving the main housekeeper cash in an envelope with instruction to share the tip with the entire villa staff. We assumed 10-15% of the total villa cost was appropriate so that's what we did. We wanted to make sure all of the staff was well tipped for the great service they provided, but we felt unsure whether we did this right or not. We were told at the front desk that any tips we add on our total bill get divided equally among the 100's of employees servicing the resort, so if we had done that instead, the money would not have gone to the staff serving us. We just didn't feel good about any of this and hope we didn't short the people who work hard and probably rely on tips.
So, would we return to Round Hill? Maybe, but we just didn't love everything about it and for us, the value equation does factor in with a $10,000 vacation.
- Also Known As:
- Round Hill Hotel And Villas
- Round Hill Hotel
- Round Hill Resort
- Round Hill Jamaica
- Round Hill Hotel & Villas Jamaica/Montego Bay
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Captivating and carefree, richly appointed and steeped in tradition, Round Hill takes you away and brings you closer together. Long one of the most beautiful and elegant boutique resorts in the Caribbean, Round Hill caters, with discreet impeccable service and warm Jamaican hospitality, to the needs of its sophisticated guests – families, couples, friends. Escape to understated elegance, in Ralph Lauren-designed oceanfront guest rooms, a luxury villa or a private villa suite with dedicated staff. Make the most of each day, from engaging family programs to relaxing spa treatments. 110 total rooms and suites including 36 Full Oceanfront Guestrooms designed by Ralph Lauren; 26 individually-designed villas along the hillside, most with private pools, ranging from 2 bedrooms up to 6 bedrooms and spacious lawns, verandas, and outdoor living rooms. Located just 20 minutes west of Montego Bay's international airport (MBJ). Luxurious oceanfront spa, complimentary watersports and children's program, excellent dining, all on a private and secluded 110-acre peninsula. ... more less
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