Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Adults take center stage here, so it's best to leave the kids at home.
Demi-clad couples sans kids float on free booze and buffets. Some local families come by with kids in tow for the weekend, mostly to gawk at tourists, but the resort does not allow children under 14. This is probably a good thing, since kids would likely be scarred by the sight of all these boozing moms, dads and grandparents.
The staff is gracious and polite, but the waiters have a tendency to get too friendly.
Reception is perfectly professional and housekeeping is top-notch. The waiters and waitresses, though, appear to be just out of college and, like postgrads the world over, are looking to hook up. At first I thought the waitress was just being friendly. But then she invited me to a party and the jig was up!
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 -- making it more wheelchair-friendly.
On Main Street, the highway that loops around the entire island, Jewel is opposite , 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.
The two double beds were a little too firm but otherwise comfortable. The cheap blankets, however, were scratchy, thin and covered with flaky patches of dried-up liquids. With no comforter or extra blankets in sight, I froze!
The room also 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.
A tropical depression during my trip made for choppy water, but I imagine that the narrow beach gets quite cramped during high season. Still, there's plenty to do.
Release your inner carnie at one of the multiple trapezes by the water. There is also an 18-hole golf course adjacent to the property, fully accessible to guests.
Or just pick up a drink by any one of the hotel's three pools.
There is also a game room with slot machines, table tennis, pool, board games and hot tubs (hey, it's Jamaica!). As with most resorts, trivia and bingo games every afternoon draw a rush of seniors at the Beach Terrace.
In the evening, guests of all ages gather to hear the hotel's resident band pump out reggae covers.
Jewel is more suitable for couples than families, and kids under 14 aren't even allowed. That said, I saw plenty of teenagers having the time of their lives. Well, I think I detected a smile.
With three pools and an endless array of activities (including a trapeze!), Jewel Runaway Bay and Golf Resort's massive property lets teens and parents have their own space. The resort definitely emphasizes drinking and partying, though, and most guests are here for that atmosphere, so parents uncomfortable with their kids being around alcohol should probably look elsewhere.
Many rooms also come with double beds, and affordable, all-inclusive rates can make this an attractive option for a family on a budget. Again, a family's experience at Jewel will ultimately depend on what kind of atmosphere parents are comfortable with.
Although it's clean overall, this resort needs to invest in newand .
It is quite incredible that the staff manages to keep a property this large and so close to the beach clean.
However, multiple washings have taken a toll on the. And the may have been dirty--or just ancient. Either way, they were unacceptable.
The Beach Terrace is the only restaurant open for all meals. Food is served buffet-style, with chefs at the stove to slice a piece of roast or cook an omelet to order. The food is good but not great. And definitely stay away from the sushi! Raw fish prepared in bulk and set out in such a tropical clime is a recipe for disaster.
Reggae Café, on a perch over the beach, is the place to go for jerk and fast food. The limited menu is good for a quick fix, but nothing to write home about.
Serve yourself at the. Choose some raw ingredients, take it to your table, and a waiter will deliver it to the wok for the cook to stir-fry. Surprisingly tasty! And this way you know it's freshly cooked!
I didn't get a chance to eat at, the resident hibachi joint. But I saw Japanese tourists happily chowing down without complaint. Reservations are mandatory here, so book a table at check-in.
Finally,is the fancy Italian restaurant with a decidedly cheesy name. Open only for dinner, it requires that guests dress in a formal manner (by formal, they mean pants). Suffice it to say, I only packed shorts and forgot to make a reservation. So I'm depending on you. What did you think?
Wedding packages are pretty standard for an all-inclusive resort -- save for the underwater scuba ceremony.
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.
Stretching out over 20 acres, Jewel offers 3 pools, the Radiant Spa, beachside trapeze, quality liquor, live reggae, decent food, and even bingo (a must-do for swinging retirees). This resort is geared toward couples seeking a non-stop rum fest, and kids under 14 aren't even allowed. Families with younger children should check out nearby Beaches Boscobel instead.