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.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Round Hill Hotel and Villas is situated on a lush 110-acre peninsula just west of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Boasting a guest list of world leaders, cultural icons and Hollywood A-listers, this classic resort continues to attract a jet-set from around the world who enjoy timeless glamour and understated luxury along with pristine natural beaches and the inimitable Caribbean waters. Accommodations include 36 Ralph Lauren-designed oceanfront guest rooms, 90 luxurious villa rooms and suites or a selection of 27 private 2 - 6 bedroom Villas – most with private pools. Other highlights include open-air terrace dining and The Grill at Round Hill, award-winning family programs, an infinity pool, tennis courts, and an Elemis spa located in a beautifully-restored 18th century plantation house. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com, Travelocity.ca, TravelClick, HotelQuickly, Cancelon, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com and Evoline ltd so you can book your Round Hill Hotel & Villas reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Round Hill Hotel And Villas
- Round Hill Resort
- Round Hill Jamaica
- Round Hill Hotel & Villas Jamaica/Montego Bay