Free shuttle to Rose Hall Great House and other nearby attractions
Room service is available (for a fee)
Free self-parking in a staffed lot
Wi-Fi included in room rate
Not much of interest within walking distance
The Cricket Club is the only late-night entertainment option
Not the best option for romantic couples
The four-pearl Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa is situated on Jamaica’s resort-heavy north shore, a 15-minute drive from Montego Bay's Hip Strip. This all-inclusive hotel offers an excellent list of amenities, including an immaculate private beach, a spa, and plenty of adult- and kid-friendly features. However, the on-site Sugar Mill Falls Water Park -- Jamaica’s largest -- distinguishes the Hilton from other area resorts. The 488 rooms are sharp and contemporary, with large flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and private balconies. The hotel’s only drawback may be the lack of attractions within walking distance. However, a shuttle provides free transportation to Rose Hall Plantation House and other destinations. The nearby Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall is a similarly priced, four-pearl resort with even more dining and nightlife amenities.
Large beachfront all-inclusive with a crisp, modern feel and plenty of family appeal
From the lobby to the common areas to the rooms, the decor is typical of the Hilton brand, with a sharper and more modern look than some of their other Caribbean outposts. The look is crisp and polished throughout the hotel, with metal and glass furnishings blend with island accents like wicker and rattan to create an aesthetic that’s equal parts tropical and contemporary. Various types of stone tiling run across the floors and contemporary-colonial light fixtures hanging overhead in more intimate seating areas, while the grander lobby has some eye-catching art, like the flower-inspired lamps that hang dramatically next to the staircase.
Compared to the hard-partying all-inclusives for which Jamaica is famous, this hotel’s atmosphere is considerably more relaxed and sober. An on-site nightclub offers late-night drinking and entertainment, but otherwise the hotel's boozing scene is rather subdued, with most adult guests gathering at the large terrace bar overlooking the main pool. Overall, the atmosphere is kid-friendly and caters to families with adults looking to have just enough fun -- though not too much -- after the sun goes down. Keep in mind that with a massive waterpark on-site, this hotel does mostly draw families, meaning pools and beaches will be boisterous with kids -- couples in search of romance may want to look elsewhere.
On a resort-heavy road, 15 minutes east of Sangster International Airport
Situated along resort-heavy Route A1, the hotel is convenient to the Hip Strip restaurants, shops, and attractions in downtown Montego Bay. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach the town by car, depending on the destination, but otherwise there are few points of interest within walking distance. The hotel does provide free shuttle transport to Rose Hall Great House and a handful of other nearby attractions.
As with most area hotels, there is no complimentary airport shuttle. However, Sangster International Airport is just 15 minutes west, and several car rental agencies offer counters in the terminal. The island’s taxi service is also a convenient and reasonably affordable transportation option. Shared van shuttles are also available at even lower rates.
Sharp, contemporary rooms with free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and private balconies
The crisp, modern design in the hotel's common areas is carried through to each of its rooms, with a sharp and contemporary effect. Dark -- almost black -- wood furniture has clean lines and contrasts nicely with the otherwise beach-inspired (and on-trend) color palette of sand, gray, and soft blue. White tile floors are laid with subtly striped tan area rugs, and mostly white walls are hung with attractive black-and-white photos or soft watercolors. Touches of glass and metal complete the picture.
The resort features six room categories, five of which offer at least a partial ocean view. Entry-level Resort View rooms, as the name implies, provide views to the hotel's courtyard or garden. At 370 square feet (34 square meters), they’re slightly smaller than comparable four-pearl hotel rooms in the area. Partial Ocean View and Ocean Front Rooms are virtually identical to entry-level rooms. However, they provide slight or full views of the Caribbean Sea. All three categories are available in a single king or two-queen bed configuration. With 740 square feet of living space (69 square feet), One-Bedroom Suites provide a substantially larger floor plan that includes separate living and sleeping areas. The hotel’s flagship suites -- including the Caribbean Royal Suite and Prime Minister Suite -- offer between 1,100 and 2,220 square feet of space (102 to 204 square meters). Floor plans in both are comparable to a luxury condo, with a pantry or full kitchen, larger balconies, non-stocked bars, and the best views on the property.
Rooms feature all of the expected amenities of a four-pearl property. Mini-fridges with bottled water, iPod docks, and large flat-screen TVs are all standard. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies in each room all provide excellent views of either the well-maintained golf course or the Caribbean Sea. Free Wi-Fi is available property-wide, and we found the service to be reliable and very fast. Beds feature pillow-top mattresses and real down comforters and are well-reviewed as plush and comfortable.
The bathrooms likewise feel crisp and modern. Square footage is smaller than expected for a high-end hotel, even in the suites. However, fit and finish is excellent, with granite countertops, large, well-lit mirrors, and wide, under mounted sinks. Shower/tub combos are standard in most rooms, while suites offer stand-up glass showers.
A wide private beach, Jamaica’s largest waterpark, six full restaurants, and a modern spa
An extensive list of amenities ensures that most guests will never need to leave the property. Among the most notable are its immaculate private beach, six restaurants, and a modern, full-service spa. But the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park -- the largest of its kind in Jamaica -- is likely the biggest draw.
All-inclusive rates here include all meals, but not room service. The hotel has dedicated kids' and teens' clubs, which are available at no extra charge. Activities and tours can also be arranged and day care is available as well. The hotel is set up for business meetings and events, with 44,000 square feet of events space (4088 square meters). Wi-Fi is also included.
A wide, private beach with mostly calm, swimmable water
The hotel’s private beach is a wide stretch of sand divided into several smaller beaches. Most areas extend back a good bit from the water, providing a large amount of space for the property’s almost 500 rooms' worth of guests. Wicker-resin lounge chairs and palapas provide substantial shaded seating while private, canopied trellises offer reserved seating just feet from the water. As the beach is strictly private, there’s a noticeable lack of the peddlers and hawkers typically found at many of the island’s other all-inclusives.
There are no breakwaters offshore, which leaves the water completely exposed to the Caribbean Sea. Swimmability therefore relies entirely on the weather and season. During our stay, we found it to be largely calm. The standard all-inclusive packages include the use of typical non-motorized water sports, like snorkel gear, kayaks, and windsurfing equipment.
Large pool complex plus Jamaica’s largest water park
The hotel’s main pool -- the first of two -- is a basic rectangular pool at the center of the property. The space is bookended by a large terrace bar and the beach. While not especially large, this is where the majority of guests gather throughout the day. Of the two pools, the vibe here is quieter and more relaxed.
The second, lagoon-style activity pool is substantially larger and is connected with Sugar Mill Falls Water Park -- the largest waterpark in Jamaica. The space is designed to be kid- and adult-friendly, with a 280-foot (85-meter) slide, a lazy river, three terraced pools, and a jungle garden with a rope suspension bridge. Poolside drink service is available, and a swim-up bar at one end provides an extensive selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. As the entire space fills with children and families, the vibe is considerably louder and livelier.
All-day, all-inclusive dining at six restaurants, including an authentic Italian eatery
The resort is serviced by six full restaurants -- all of which receive positive reviews for the excellent food quality and selection. Meals at each restaurant are included in the hotel's rates.
Fresh is the hotel’s main restaurant. Buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in a casual, modern atmosphere that includes an alfresco terrace with sea views. The menu features typical international fare that’s primarily Western, with a handful of Jamaican delicacies available at each meal. Adjacent to the water park, Mangoes serves a simple menu of burgers, sandwiches, and salads on a casual, outdoor terrace. Seaside Bar & Grille provides a similar space near the main pool with both lunch and dinner service.
The hotel offers three additional a la carte restaurants. However, Luna di Mare is its most intimate and formal, with a gourmet menu of Northern Italian fare. The dining space is adorned with oil paintings, elaborate table settings, and elegant Mediterranean-style chandeliers. Overall, the look and feel is upscale and refined, however, it's all just a bit overdone. Reservations are required, and a strict dress code is enforced.
Modern spa provides a full menu of salon services and massage treatments
The on-site Soothe Spa is bright and inviting. The beige and white color palette with subtle pops of tropical color feels pleasantly modern. The menu features a long list of treatments like Swedish massage, facials, and body wraps, and scrubs. The salon space provides a similarly expansive list of services that includes waxing, hair treatments, and nail services.
There are several small, satellite bars around the property. However, the two main, adult-centric gathering spots are Bar King Frog and The Cricket Club. The former is located on an expansive terrace overlooking the main pool and Caribbean Sea. The bar opens early every day and provides a full liquor menu until well after dinner. The Cricket Club is the property’s only late-night entertainment option with a dedicated bar. However, since the hotel’s clientele isn’t the hard-partying type, the space is rarely busy.
Modest-size gym with a good selection of modern equipment
Most hotel gyms in the area appear to be an afterthought, but the Hilton's fitness center is clean, modern, and bright. Although the space is not especially large, the equipment selection is good with more than a dozen cardio- and strength-training machines. Yoga equipment, workout benches, and free weights are available as well.
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