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“Not as great as expected”

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Round Hill Hotel & Villas
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hopewell
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Not as great as expected”
Reviewed 1 March 2012

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.

Room Tip: All of the villas are individually furnished and decorated so there is a lot of variation.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank KarenMG_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RoundHillTA, Director of Marketing at Round Hill Hotel & Villas, responded to this review, 2 March 2012
Thank you for taking the time to provide your insights and comments from your recent visit. We're pleased that you felt the warmth and genuine service from our staff, and were able to totally relax. We apologize for the inconsistencies with our Kids Club - families typically return because their children love the kids club and we'll take corrective action immediately. With regards to the 15% service charge that is added to the meal plans and room charge, that is shared throughout everyone at the resort and is not considered a gratuity. Gratuities may be provided if you feel you've received excellent service from anyone, at your discretion. We do hope to see you back for another relaxing vacation.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (405)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Now this was a great 5 days in a wonderful summer-like environment! And coming from the mean winter streets of New York, that's quite a treat. My wife and I stayed in Villa 4, room 40, and couldn't be happier. The privacy factor was perfect. We could keep to ourselves and enjoy our own pool, or we could hit the main beach and be with the other guests (be forewarned, though, virtually half of the other guests include young children who are active).

The food was great -- we chose the daily plan with all meals -- and the staff really made a super effort spicing things up. Special events like Jamaica night, with excellent entertainment, Academy Award Night, and the Beach Barbecue, were big highlights. And this is a great staff of friendly people, believe me ... they are everywhere, so you never need to look far if you need some assistance.

My wife loved the spa -- went there everyday -- while I favored the water sports, like sailing and snorkeling, activities that were at arm's reach at any given moment.

Round Hill is a quick trip to and from the airport, and it is a private compound, so you are never exposed to outsiders, which makes your stay feel more secure. It is a bit pricey, there's no doubt, but I would say it is worth it. Of specific note, the top managers Josef and Omar must be commended for going all out to make all guests feel welcome and cared for.

Round Hill has a rich history, loaded with famous guests who you can see in framed pictures on the main bar wall. Yet it comes off as a cozy, almost humble little hideaway in a corner of Montego Bay. A relaxing place where everyone seems very happy. I am sure my wife and I will return soon.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Luke182
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolcott, Connecticut
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

My husband and I booked a last minute trip to Round Hill and we are so glad we did. We spent one night in the pineapple room. The room is lovely and the view was amazing. However, our AC was not cooling properly and they kindly upgraded us to a villa suite the next morning. Omar, the general manager was excellent. Troy, one of the bellman, also excellent showed us several of the villas that were available. We picked cottage 25 and it was simply amazing. The VILLAS are the way to go. It is worth the extra splurge.You have to go onto their website and check them out. Unbelievable! But thats not all, you have a housekeeper that makes you a lavish breakfast in the morning. Our housekeeper, Joy, we love you. She was a sweetheart. My husband loved waking to the smell of bacon and french toast. She set up our breakfast table in the outdoor living space. The furniture was top knotch. What a great experience. The view was amazing. The pool and jacuzzi were a blast to have right outside your door. There was another couple there but they have their own space on the other side, so you still have your privacy. Accomodations excellent in the villas.

The food in the restaurants is also excellent. We love sitting outside and the setting is just lovely. Views at night are awesome.The service is outstanding. The people that work there are so incredibly nice. I love candles and they have them everywhere. It is very elegant.

The lounge at night had some entertainment and again it was excellent. The fellow who played the piano and the singer was amazing. The lounge is right out of a Casablanca.

They have some theme nights too which are nice. Managers cocktail party was so much fun. Omar is so nice talking with all the guests. Servers walking around with appetizers. Open bar for an hour. Outside on the pool deck with torches lit. It was a very nice setting.

They also have Jamaican night. Wow, was that great. They had it set up outside and it was lovely. The table setting was so pretty. The buffet was really good. The entertainment was so much fun.

Stewart, at the beach bar is excellent. The bar has a tree growing in the middle of it. Set right out on the beach. Great spot to hang out. The water and views are spectacular.

Watersports guys Hercules and Steven are super nice and efficient. Everyone in that department is fantastic. Non-motorized watersports are complimentary which is a plus.

We did not have time to do the spa but I heard it was great. As well as the fitness classes they offer.

All in all, we loved it and cant wait to go back next year. Omar and Joy we love you. Also,cant forget Nerrod our gardener was an excellent addition to the villa. Goofy took us into town for shopping and he is worth asking for. He will take care of you. Whatever your needs are they are so willing to please.

Room Tip: Villas with a pool are worth it.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank vanessa h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glyndon, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Pros:
Amazing food. Been around the world, still the best buffet we've ever had.
Beautifully decorated room.
Exceptional massage and spa treatments
Cons:
We were not aware that there was a wedding the weekend we booked. The guests were rude, loud and used profanity freely and loudly. They had rented out most of the resort. The hotel should have blocked off the two rooms they were not using. Was rather unfair to us, as those guests clearly had priority and monopolized the beach and restaurant. Put a damper on what would have been a lovely trip and management could care less.

Room Tip: Be SURE there is no wedding conflicting with your stay. It will completely ruin your stay! If you...
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Justin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 February 2012

The hotel is wonderful. After 5 days with 2 families (4 children between he ages of 5 and 10) I can say this was one of the best vacations we have had in a long time. The service and food are top notch, the attention to detail superb, and the friendliness amazing. We could not have been happier. My compliments to Josef and the entire crew for making the experience wonderful. We look forward to going back!

Room Tip: upper rooms have high ceilings and a bit more privacy. Lower rooms have a deck.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank loafmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Fantastic service and incredibly talented and friendly staff. They take care of every request with no problem. Secluded, safe and secure it is an ideal getaway that is still close enough to the nightlife of Montego Bay. Ideal for couples and families.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank BackpackBandit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade Serbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

How lucky to escape the extreme European winter and spend two glorious weeks at Round Hill...from January 19th, every moment was quite magical, lyrical, cosy and fun...perfect comfort. Perfect weather and delicious food mitigated by swimming in liquid emerald...why leave? One wonders why,indeed or why bother to die when one could just stay there!!

Room Tip: All good and lovely
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Karageorgevic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Round Hill Hotel & Villas

Property: Round Hill Hotel & Villas
Address: John Pringle Drive, Hopewell, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay > Hopewell
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hopewell
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Round Hill Hotel & Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 95
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 
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Also Known As:
Round Hill Hotel And Villas
Round Hill Resort
Round Hill Jamaica
Round Hill Hotel & Villas Jamaica/Montego Bay

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