Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall All-Inclusive Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Montego Bay, Jamaica

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Big all-suite rooms with bold, high-end decor
  • Free access to all three Iberostar resorts’ features, including a total of 15 bars and 11 a la carte restaurants
  • Plenty of activities -- free tennis, golf, non-motorized water sports, and a PADI dive center
  • Huge infinity-edge pool with mellow vibe
  • Expansive spa with hydrotherapy room, juice bar, and Pilates and yoga studio
  • All-inclusive rates cover all meals and drinks, including top-shelf liquor
  • No kids allowed (a con for some)

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • No kids allowed (a pro for some)

Bottom Line

The best of the three Iberostar resorts in Montego Bay, this 295-room all-suite hotel is light years beyond its neighbors in terms of decor, food, and features. While some elements remain shared with the lesser Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites -- for instance, the spa, fitness center, casino, nightclub, and shops -- guests at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall get the pick of the litter with free access to all three resorts’ restaurants, bars, pools, and beaches. The rates might be higher, but for good reason.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The most luxurious option in the Iberostar trio of resorts, with stylish rooms, plenty of gourmet dining options, and innumerable features thanks to access to the other Iberostar resorts’ grounds

The Iberostar chain is a big fan of classifications. Its trio of resorts in Montego Bay are categorized as good (Iberostar Rose Hall Beach), better (Iberostar Rose Hall Suites), and best (Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall), and the separation between the three is iron-clad. Guests can trade down and take advantage of the features at the lesser resorts, but the opposite is not true. This is great for guests at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, because it means that they can visit all three resorts, gaining access to five pools, 15 bars, and 11 a la carte restaurants, as well as the entirety of the resort complex’s half-mile beach. It also means that while guests at the other resorts must suffer more crowds, Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall is completely off-limits to guests at the other two hotels and feels less overrun.

Yet another designation in Iberostar’s hierarchical repertoire is its upper-echelon Grand Collection, of which Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall is a member. This doesn’t really have any concrete, tangible significance except that Grand Collection hotels are adult-only properties that are, on the whole, much nicer -- and of course more expensive -- than regular Iberostar hotels. At some resorts, this sort of classification might not be worth the added cost, but in the case of Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall, it definitely is.

Upon entering the lobby of the Iberostar Grand, guests may wonder if they've accidentally landed in Las Vegas rather than Montego Bay. A cathedral-like rotunda clad in marble features metallic gold and red velvet furnishings, as well as reproductions of cubist and modernist paintings. The scene is opulent to a ridiculous degree, with guests in swim trunks and halter tops looking out of place against the surroundings.

The resort is a big newer than the other Iberostar Montego Bay resorts (the Grand opened in 2008, while the other two properties were completed the year earlier). The rooms are significantly more luxurious, featuring massive marble bathrooms, free well-stocked minibars with tons of snacks and liquor, and plush, high-design furnishings such as white leather benches, brocade fainting couches, and hanging wicker swings on the balconies. The pool is also nicer, with more upscale lounge chairs and cozy sun beds; the restaurants are more diverse in cuisine; and the services include benefits such as free green fees at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course and butlers for certain rooms.

Still, many of the mediocre elements found at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites hotels are part of the package here as well. For instance, the resorts share the same small casino, nightclub, shops, and meeting rooms. Only the spa, which is also shared, is on par with the Iberostar Grand's level of luxury, featuring a hydrotherapy relaxation room, outdoor treatment room, boutique, salon, juice bar, fitness center, and spinning and Pilates studio.

 Location

In Rose Hall, Jamaica's golf resort capital, less than 20 minutes by cab from the Montego Bay airport

Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall is situated within the mall-like complex that houses all three Iberostar resorts, along the northern coast of Montego Bay where most of the city’s megaresorts and golf clubs are located. Aside from that, there isn’t a whole lot else going on immediately near the resort, save for a few shopping plazas that definitely don’t look any more enticing than the hotel’s on-site boutiques. While nothing outside the grounds is within walking distance, the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Montego Bay Airport, and fun, and appropriately named, Hip Strip neighborhood are a short drive away.

  • 17-minute drive to Montego Bay International Airport
  • 7-minute drive to Half Moon Golf Course
  • 8-minute drive to Cinnamon Hill Golf Course (guests receive one free round with a three- or four-night stay, and two free rounds with a five-night stay)
  • 20-minute drive to Hip Strip, for restaurants, bar, clubs, and shops

 Rooms

Plush rooms with big marble mathrooms, sitting areas, and large balconies

The rooms at Iberostar Grand are stylish and high-end, with rich fabrics and materials such as leather, marble, silk, and brocade on modern wood furnishings. The color scheme of turquoise and red is certainly bold and not very Jamaican -- it may feel a bit “Las Vegas” to some -- but it's certainly a big step up from the generic style of the other Iberostar resorts. Marble bathrooms are big and have deep Jacuzzi tubs, walk-in shower stalls with rainfall showerheads, and his-and-hers vanities on opposite walls. Balconies are roomy as well, featuring hanging wicker swings, couches, coffee tables, and ceiling fans.

The 293 suites are all almost identical, except that some come with a king-size bed and some come with two queen beds, and views are of either the garden or the ocean. There are also two additional Presidential Suites.

Of note is the fact that the suites are about the same size as the suites at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, so while guests get significant decor upgrades here, they don't get more space.

  • Large balconies with ocean or garden view
  • Separate sitting areas
  • Free fully stocked minibars are replenished daily and feature Carib and Red Stripe beer, sodas, bottled water, wine, liquor, and snacks.
  • DVD/CD players
  • Pillow menu
  • Porter service
  • Packing and unpacking service
  • Wi-Fi (for a fee)
  • Free 24-hour room service
  • Forest Essentials toiletries include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, bar soap, body lotion, sewing kit, and vanity pack
  • Coffeemakers with Jamaican gourmet coffee packets in all units
  • 32-inch LG flat-screen TVs
  • Bathrobes
  • iHome MP3-enabled alarm clocks
  • Nightly turndown service
  • Ceiling fans and air conditioning

 Beach

Not nearly as crowded as neighboring Iberostar resorts

Iberostar Grand’s portion of the trio of resorts’ half-mile stretch of beach is -- no big surprise here -- the best. Sure, the sand is about the same half-powdery-half-pebbly consistency, and the water is just as clear and blue as anywhere else, but the beach stands out for what it’s missing: crowds and loud noise. There are lovely sun beds in addition to the generic yellow lounge chairs, and palapa umbrellas shade guests far more efficiently than the brushy little trees on Iberostar Rose Hall Beach’s sands. A volleyball net provides opportunity for a little bit of activity, and a beach grill means guests need not even leave the sand for a bite to eat.

Guests who find the atmosphere too serene can hop on over to the beaches at both Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites for a more energetic vibe -- think cheesy dance parties, aerobics classes, volleyball tournaments, and loud music.

We did see unattractive tire marks on the sand in front of all three properties.

 Pool

A mammoth infinity-edge pool overlooking a quiet beach

Iberostar Grand’s pool is huge. It features multiple levels of water, a volleyball net, a footbridge, a swim-up bar, and fancy padded lounge chairs and sun beds shaded by palapa umbrellas and cabanas. Though pools at the other Iberostar resorts are equally large, the vibe here couldn’t be more different -- it's mellow and relaxing, with few crowds, few partiers, and best of all, no obnoxious music pumped loudly through the speakers.

In addition to the swim-up bar (which is staffed with enough bartenders to handle the demand, unlike at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach), guests can also order beverages from a wait staff that wanders the grounds. It’s not always easy to find one of these staff members, however.

There's little reason for guests to visit the pools at the other Iberostar resorts, which are loud, rowdy, and crowded, but guests are allowed to should they choose.

 Spa

Expansive spa with hydrotherapy room, salon, juice bar, and an outdoor treatment room

Spa Sensations is shared between all three Iberostar properties in Montego Bay. It has a salon featuring hair, make-up, and nail services; a relaxation room with Jacuzzi and hydrotherapy pool; a boutique featuring a variety of products; and extensive fitness center that includes a juice bar and a Pilates and spinning studio. Signature treatments incorporate local ingredients such as coffee, cocoa, and oranges, and span a variety of specialties including Shiatsu, Swedish, and Turkish massage. The spa’s outdoor treatment room is located on a private balcony overlooking the pool and the Caribbean Sea -- not quite as serene as, say, the tree-house treatment rooms at Couples Negril, but soothing nonetheless.

 Family

This luxury property is for adults only

Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall does not allow kids. Those guests who wish to bring the entire family should book at neighboring Iberostar Rose Hall Suites or Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, both of which share a fabulous kids' club and water park.

 Food

Six excellent on-site options, 24-hour room service, and seven more a la carte restaurants at neighboring Iberostar resorts

On-site dining options at Iberostar Grand are diverse. They include the obligatory buffet and 24-hour beach grill, as well as four a la carte restaurants specializing in gourmet, Japanese, steak, and Italian cuisine. But the variety doesn’t stop there, as guests also have access to an additional seven a la carte restaurants at the neighboring Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites hotels. While the food and service is generally better at Iberostar Grand, the change of scenery might be welcome for guests on a long trip.

Reservations aren’t difficult to get here (unlike at the neighboring Iberostar properties), room service is delivered promptly by a butler, venues are elegantly designed, and a la carte and buffet restaurants alike serve excellent fare that generally exceeds expectations for an all-inclusive. Iberostar clearly knows how to treats its guests well -- it just chooses not to do it at the less expensive Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites hotels.

 Drinks

All drinks, including top-shelf liquor, are included

Drinks are typically strong at the Iberostar Grand, and top-shelf liquor is included in the rates (such as Dewar’s and Tanqueray). There are five bars, including a swim-up bar, an elegant lobby piano bar, and a theater bar. Many bartenders have a specialty -- guests will do best to inquire if they are looking for the best cocktail at the bar. During my 2012 visit, Randy was known for making a mean Dirty Banana at the lobby bar, while at the pool bar, guests in the know asked Sentillman for a Wiki-Wacky-Woo.

 All-Inclusive

All-inclusive rates include food, booze, and water sports

Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall is an all-inclusive resort. All meals (including specialty restaurants and room service), drinks, and non-motorized water sports are covered in the rates.

  • All meals and drinks, including top-shelf liquor
  • Free round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course (two free rounds for longer stays)
  • Free non-motorized water sports
  • Free access to all restaurants, pools, beaches, and amenities at Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites
  • Free round of golf with a three-night or longer stay

 Services

Welcome cocktails, a 24-hour concierge, and butler service for some units

  • Welcome cocktail and cold towel at check-in
  • 24-hour front desk and concierge to assist with activities, restaurant reservations, and off-site excursions
  • Gift shops
  • Business center with computer access (for a fee)
  • Wi-Fi in the lobby and rooms (for a fee)
  • Extensive meeting and banquet facilities
  • 24-hour doctor or nurse on call
  • 24-hour room service
  • Laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee)
  • Free parking
  • Butlers in some units

 Entertainment

A theater with nightly performances, and weekly beach parties on the sand

  • Game room
  • Nightclub
  • Theater with free nightly performances
  • Weekly beach parties with buffet dinners on the sand

 Physical Activities

Plenty of on-site activities, both land- and water-based

The fitness center at the spa is modern and well-equipped, with a juice bar, Pilates and yoga studio, and a decent amount of cardio weight machines. Unfortunately, it closes at the ridiculously early hour of 7 p.m.

Other activities include free non-motorized water sports (windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and catamaran cruising) and free classes and events such as aqua aerobics on the beach and beach volleyball tournaments. Scuba diving and parasailing are also available for an extra fee.

Land-based sports include tennis, billiards, foosball, and ping-pong, as well as golf at the nearby Cinnamon Hills Golf Course (Iberostar guests receive preferred rates).

 Casino

A small casino and lounging area

Shared with the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach, the casino is nothing special, with a dozen or so digital gaming machines and an adjoining room that attempts a sports bar vibe, with a dart board, TVs showing sports, and a card table.

 Weddings

Wedding packages and on-site planners available

Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall offers plenty of options for weddings small and large. Enclaves throughout the resort offer private locales for intimate nuptials, and several meeting rooms are available for cocktail hours and receptions. The resort has an on-site wedding team that assists with details, such as the wedding cake, bouquet, music, photography, and catering.

 Handicap

Sprawling grounds and non-ADA-compliant rooms are not ideal for guests with mobility issues.

The resort does not have any ADA-compliant rooms, and the expansive grounds require a number of steps and long walks. Guests with mobility impairments should consider staying elsewhere.

 Bottom Line

The best of the three Iberostar resorts in Montego Bay, this 295-room all-suite hotel is light years beyond its neighbors in terms of decor, food, and features. While some elements remain shared with the lesser Iberostar Rose Hall Beach and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites -- for instance, the spa, fitness center, casino, nightclub, and shops -- guests at Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall get the pick of the litter with free access to all three resorts’ restaurants, bars, pools, and beaches. The rates might be higher, but for good reason.

Things You Should Know About Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall All-Inclusive

Address

  • Rose Hall Main Road, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Room Types

  • Gardenview Suite
  • Ocean Suite
  • Standard Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 295
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
Address: Rose Hall Main Road, Montego Bay, Jamaica
(See Map)
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