Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Runaway Bay, Jamaica

This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Lots of outdoor activities
  • Excellent game room
  • Large guest-rooms
  • Decent food for an all-inclusive
  • 18-hole golf course
  • Various kids' programs for 18 months and up
  • Free Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Beach towels not available at all times

Bottom Line

Stretching out over 20 acres, Jewel offers three pools, the Radiant Spa, beachside trapeze, quality liquor, live reggae, decent food, and even bingo (a must-do for swinging retirees). Families are welcome and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities, as well as various kids' programs suited for a range of ages, from toddlers to teens.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Location

This enormous one-level property is one of the few wheelchair-friendly resorts on the island. Beware the fenced areas that separate the hotel's beach from the public; seedy characters abound.

At 20 acres, Jewel is a pretty large property, though not as gargantuan as Beaches Boscobel. It's also on one level -- unlike other resorts with terraced tiers leading down to the coast -- making it more wheelchair-friendly.

On Main Street, the highway that loops around the entire island, Jewel is opposite Eslyn Villa, a relatively upscale housing community.

The hotel's beach is fenced off at either end so that nonguests--or, more accurately, drug dealers--can't get in. Wandering close to the border, I saw several dealers rattling the fence, twisting their arms through the wire and trying to sell me pot. Kind of like a zombie movie with a twist.

 Rooms

Large rooms with balconies; renovations have been completed since our stay

Veranda looking out onto the lush lawn
Veranda looking out onto the lush lawn

My huge ground-floor room had an airy veranda that looked out onto a lush lawn. If it hadn't taken a good five minutes to lock the sliding door, I might have enjoyed it more.

The two double beds were a little too firm but otherwise comfortable. The cheap blankets we saw during our visit have since been replaced with nicer bedding.

The room didn't have enough outlets. It had two stereos, a phone, an LG flat-screen TV and an air conditioner, but most of the cables were sealed over the outlets. As a result, there were only two usable outlets, and I had to disconnect the TV and a lamp to use them.

The bathroom was a decent size, but the water pressure was much too weak. It also had a gym-style dispenser for body wash, body lotion and shampoo--but no conditioner.

 Features

A spa, fitness center, and 18-hole golf course

  • Three pools, including one with a swim-up bar
  • Radiant Spa with four treatment rooms
  • Fitness center with modern equipment located on the upper level of the main lobby
  • 18-hole gof course next door; guests get free green fees
  • Non-motorized water sports
  • Weekly "dive in" movies
  • Volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts

 Food

Three casual dining restaurants and three formal dining restaurants -- plus a handful of bars and lounges

Of the resort's three formal restaurants, two focus on Japanese cuisine; we advise being wary of the sushi. The third serves Italian fare such as risotto and spaghetti. These restaurants are open for dinner only and require "resort evening casual" dress -- which means pants, dress shorts, or skirts.

If you'd rather dine shirtless and shoeless, the beach bar -- serving up burgers and sandwiches -- has no problem with that. There is also a pizza grill where swimwear is allowed as long as guests wear cover-ups. Coral Cafe is the main resturants, serving Jamaican buffet-style food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

There are a handful of bars and lounges, ranging from a swim-up bar to a jazz bar open late.

 Destination Weddings

Wedding packages are pretty standard for an all-inclusive resort -- save for the underwater scuba ceremony.

The broad stretch of beach
The broad stretch of beach

Unlike at the Sandals and Beaches resorts, you can add your own personal touches. However, most of these extra touches -- like bringing in our photographer -- come with steep fees (in the case of a photographer, an extra $1,000). Likewise, while children younger than 14 can't stay at the resort, they can attend a wedding at the hotel if you're willing to fork over an extra $65 for each guest not staying at the hotel.

  • Wedding Size: Up to 150 people, but the resort may host up to seven weddings in a single day
  • Extra Fees: There is a mandatory government and administrative fee; day pass fee for each guest not staying at the hotel (though you're issued four free passes); extra fee for bringing an outside photographer
  • Wedding Packages: The basic wedding package is free (so long as you book at least a three-night stay), and includes a nondenominational marriage officer, a wedding cake, one bottle of champagne, the bride's bouquet and the groom's boutonniere, breakfast and dinner for the bride and groom.
  • Ceremony Location: On the beach, on the lawn, or under a gazebo; may add decorations (available at the hotel for an extra fee) or bring in your own
  • Photographers and Videographers: Photo packages range in price for 12 five-by-seven prints, or 48 five-by-seven prints, as well as for albums; estxtra fee for negatives; no in-house videographers available.
  • Music Options: DJ, violinist, or a steel drum band for per hour rate; you can also bring in your own music
  • Food and Drinks: Cocktail party options (including hot and cold hors d'oeuvres) range in price with one and a half hours of open bar; buffet options are available and plated dinner options (75 person minimum) start include three-hour open bar
  • Cakes: Free standard wedding cake, which serves 10 people (each additional tier is $50); you can also bring in a cake from an outside vendor
  • Spa Treatments: Spa services for the entire wedding party range in price, and include hair, makeup, and mani/pedis; no bridal suite
  • Freebies: Free horse-and-buggy ride after the ceremony, "just married" T-shirts, and a free night stay on your first wedding anniversary
  • Airport Transportation: Free transportation to and from Montego Bay International Airport for all hotel guests

 Bottom Line

Stretching out over 20 acres, Jewel offers three pools, the Radiant Spa, beachside trapeze, quality liquor, live reggae, decent food, and even bingo (a must-do for swinging retirees). Families are welcome and there are plenty of kid-friendly activities, as well as various kids' programs suited for a range of ages, from toddlers to teens.

Things You Should Know About Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort

Address

  • 8 Riketts Ave., Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Jewel Runaway Bay
  • Jewel Runaway Bay Hotel
  • Jewel Runaway Bay Jamaica
  • Jewel Runaway Bay Resort & Golf Club
  • Runaway Bay Jewel

Room Types

  • 1 Bedroom Ocean Front Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Ocean Front Room
  • Ocean Front Veranda Suite
  • One Bedroom Deluxe Suite
  • Premium Room
  • Veranda Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 266
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Address: 8 Riketts Ave., Runaway Bay, Jamaica
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