3 freshwater pools with ocean views, and a giant beachside hot tub
Spa with (expensive) island-inspired treatments
4 buffet and a la carte restaurants, and afternoon tea
Free non-motorized water sports, a fitness center, and 4 tennis courts
Small casino, nightclub and six bars on-site
Overall very tired resort (but renovations to many rooms in 2011)
Inappropriate mix of kid-friendly and adult-only amenities (drinking contests, nude beach, late-night parties…)
The all-inclusive, 430-room Sunset, which features a kids' club and an impressive water park, could be a decent family destination -- were it not for the decidedly adult drinking contests, nude beach, and late-night parties. This barely mid-range property is dated, and room amenities are scarce, inconsistent and cheap, but it’s an acceptable budget option for those who need little more than a bed and a nice beach. The Sunset Tower was renovated in 2011, and rooms have upgraded amenities, including flat-screen TVs, newer bathrooms, and nicer decor.
A 20-minute, $25 cab ride from Montego Bay International Airport and 15 minutes to the Hip Strip.
The resort is a 20-minute, $25 cab ride from the airport in Montego Bay; that's close enough to hear a handful of planes each day. It is a 15-minute drive from the Hip Strip in Montego Bay, where giant cocktails at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville draw a steady stream of tourists. But most guests never leave the resort unless they're on a guided tour, which the hotel will help to plan.
With top golf courses, some of Jamaica's most luxurious retreats, and a narrow coastline backed by jungle-like green hills, Montego Bay ("MoBay") is both Jamaica's second-largest city and a prime vacation hub. At its center is the Hip Strip, a tourist-focused street with kitschy clubs like Margaritaville (don't forget your free bong!) and somewhat sketchy casinos and live music venues like Coral Cliff (a popular place to score drugs).
20-minute drive to Montego Bay International Airport
15-minute drive to Hip Strip
25-minute drive to Greenwood Great House, an historic Georgian-style building and antique museum
25-minute drive to legendary Rose Hall Great House
Short, narrow stretches of beach are around the resort, and a nude beach is farther away.
Short pockets of beach line the resort, interrupted by man-made rock-cluster dams. The sand was a narrow 15 feet at most places during low tide, with rocks and shells cluttering otherwise beautiful white sand. Signs warn of sea urchins and jellyfish (as is the case elsewhere in Jamaica), but it never seemed to stop any of the kids from splashing around. There is rarely a struggle for lounge chairs, though most are stacked shoulder-to-shoulder. Slightly secluded beach space can be found on the furthest reaches of the resort, likely because they're a long way from a bar.
Farther down the beach, about 50 yards in from stern "no cameras" and "adults only" postings, lies the au naturel beach, which skirts the question of "clothing optional" and enforces no bathing suits at all. I spoke with a self-proclaimed "absolutely bonkers" British couple from Yorkshire who were staying at the resort for a wedding. On the nude beach, they created an array of scandalous photos involving the bouquet. They were later booted from the beach for failing to comply with the no-camera policy.
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