Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Broad beach
  • Prompt, attentive service
  • Large rooms
  • Lagoon-shaped pool
  • "Sesame Street" characters on-site
  • Water park on-site

Cons

  • Kid-friendly scene doesn't apply to teens
  • Adults-only disco is lame
  • Mediocre food

Bottom Line

With Elmo and Grover wandering the beach, dancing, and hosting sing-alongs, Beaches' family focus is clear. Daily Muppet shows, a huge on-site water park, and hair braiding and beading at the Fun Club can ensure happy, sound-sleeping kids. But for adults, there's nothing in particular but a spa, a swim-up bar, and a sad disco. Prepare to play along.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

With waterslides and Muppet sing-alongs, this kid-friendly resort is perfect for parents and their tots.

Kids are everywhere--and with good reason. The signpost on each corner reads "Sesame St." and the staff dresses up as Elmo, Grover, and Zoe for daily sing-alongs. Families with young children will find more than enough to keep the kids amused.

The hotel completed a major renovation in 2013, and an expanded activity roster was among the changes. New additions glass bottom boat tours and scuba diving.

 Service

The extremely polite staff serves up personalized service.

Everyone is extraordinary helpful. When I had trouble logging onto the hotel's Wi-Fi, the staff immediately called its IT specialist to give me personalized service. Whenever I asked for directions, staff members actually stopped what they were doing and walked me wherever I wanted to go!

 Location

It's a 20-minute drive to Ocho Rios, so this resort's not convenient for guests who want to spend lots of time in town.

On Main St., the highway that hugs the coast and wraps around the entire island, Beaches Ocho Rios is a three-minute drive from Moxons, but is 20 minutes from Ocho Rios. It's definitely not the right place for guests who want to travel into town.

 Rooms

Spacious rooms accommodate a slew of people, but some lack a stellar view.

My large room was clean and comfortable. With a pullout couch, it's great for a group of friends. However, my view--of the Beaches gift shop--sucked.

Rooms completed major renovations in 2013, and the rooms now have upgraded decor, making them a better value than they were previously.

 Features

A lagoon-shaped pool, water park and Fun Club keep kids occupied. Adults will appreciate the swim-up bar as well as an expansive beach but should steer clear of the disco.

Beaches Ocho Rios is a huge property. Connected by multiple staircases, it requires plenty of legwork just to get around. Immediately outside the main building, the fountain in the courtyard is the central nervous system of the entire hotel. Walk down any of the paths radiating from this point to access the hotel's features.

First up is the main lagoon-shaped pool. Due to its swim-up bar, it's usually filled with folk, and it 2013 it was expanded to include a lazy zone for the kids and new cabanas. At the far end, the amphitheater is where the staff performs its afternoon Muppet shows. Kids love them.

During my visit, a storm closed down the water park, a complex system of slides that seems to be the domain of shrieking kids having a whale of a time! Once they're tired out, parents can take them to the Fun Club, where they get their hair braided and tie-dye T-shirts.

It's a workout getting to the hotel's gym, which is in a separate building far from the main property. It's also unsupervised, so lift those weights with caution.

For adult pampering, the Red Lane Spa is one floor up from the gym. Plus, its products are in every bathroom.

The resort's actual beach is much broader than most resorts in this part of Jamaica. There are plenty of lounge chairs and a separate station for water sports.

Snooping around the property, an "Adults Only" sign outside a building piqued my interest. Sadly, the door led to a tiny, empty, and pungent disco. Lame.

To bring in outside guests, the hotel charges $85 per person for a daily pass, and it only lasts from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. No bargaining here--I tried!

 Cleanliness

Children are everywhere, but the staff manages to keep this resort immaculate.

For a property this colossal (with a beach, multiple pools and hundreds of kids), it is incredible that I didn't spy a smidgen of dirt anywhere! Enough said.

 Food

A magician will fascinate kids at the otherwise mediocre Venetian restaurant. On-site restaurants offer a variety of cuisines (from Italian to Tex-Mex).

A staircase in the lobby leads downstairs to the Venetian, the hotel's only Italian restaurant. The food's not great, but the roving magician on staff is! And the sommelier tried her best to get us to buy a bottle of wine.

Next to the pool, Bayside is the only restaurant open for breakfast, buffet-style. In the evenings the bar at the far end is a popular poolside lounge. To the north, the adjoining BBQ Park has jerk-flavored fast food.

And then there's Eleanor's for Caribbean cuisine; open for dinner six days of the week (not Thursday).

 Destination Weddings

No-hassle weddings, but the family-friendly focus of the resort means you may have Elmo crashing your beach ceremony

It’s family-fun, not quiet romance.
It’s family-fun, not quiet romance.

Weddings at Beaches are a bit cookie cutter -- you have six stock options, all styled by Martha Stewart, and it's hard to add a personal touch -- but this makes planning the big day easy, and this Sesame-Street-focused resort can be a great option for families. Just note that if any of your guests choose not to stay at the hotel -- or at the nearby Sandals or Royal Plantation sister resorts -- you'll have to pay an extra fee just so that they can access the property.

  • Wedding Size: Up to 200 people (although this might limit where your ceremony and reception can be held); multiple weddings performed daily, on the hour, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Extra Fees: There is a mandatory government and administrative fee; extra fee for any non-hotel guests
  • Wedding Packages: If you book for at least six nights, the basic wedding package is free, and includes a bridal bouquet and grooms boutonniere, prerecorded musical accompaniment, a marriage officer, a two-tiered wedding cake, a personal wedding consultant, a honeymoon breakfast and dinner for the bride and groom, one five-by-seven wedding photograph, and a certified marriage certificate; alternative packages range in price between the thousands.
  • Ceremony Location: Weddings can be held on the beach, on the lawn, in the garden, or under a gazebo; some locations are more private (garden) than others (beach), but all are in clear view of other resort guests.
  • Photographers and Videographers: Photo and video packages are available, or you can choose a la carte photos for 18 five-by-seven shots; no outside photographers or videographers allowed.
  • Music Options: A steel drum band, violinist, or DJ is available; no outside musicians allowed.
  • Food and Drinks: Quick, 30-minute sparkling wine and cold hors d'oeuvres receptions costs a per person rate. Multiple upgrades are available, and at the higest end, you get a three-hour reception with an open bar, hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, champagne, a plated dinner, and a wedding cake.
  • Spa Treatments: Bridal spa treatments include hair styling, makeup, and mani/pedis; no bridal suites provided.
  • Freebies: If the wedding party books more than 10 rooms, the bride and groom get rewarded with a free rehearsal dinner, massages, and mani/pedis.
  • Airport Transportation: Hotel guests can use the free shuttle from Montego Bay International Airport.

 Bottom Line

With Elmo and Grover wandering the beach, dancing, and hosting sing-alongs, Beaches' family focus is clear. Daily Muppet shows, a huge on-site water park, and hair braiding and beading at the Fun Club can ensure happy, sound-sleeping kids. But for adults, there's nothing in particular but a spa, a swim-up bar, and a sad disco. Prepare to play along.

Things You Should Know About Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club

Address

  • Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Beaches Boscobel
  • Beaches Boscobel Hotel
  • Beaches Boscobel Ocho Rios
  • Beaches Ocho Rios

Room Types

  • Deluxe Family Room
  • Grande Luxe Oceanview Suite
  • Honeymoon Beach Suite
  • Honeymoon Grande Luxe Oceanview Suite
  • Honeymoon Luxury Suite
  • Honeymoon Ocean Front Terrace Suite
  • Luxury Family Suite
  • Oceanfront 1 Bedroom Suite
  • Oceanfront Terrace Suite
  • Oceanview 1 Bedroom Suite
  • Owner's Penthouse Oceanview 1 Bedroom Suite
  • Premium Family Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 224
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Address: Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica
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