Wi-Fi is not included in all-inclusive rates and can be spotty
Un-secured, third-party parking lot across the street
Boisterous vibe won't please everyone
On the northern edge of Montego Bay’s Hip Strip, Royal Decameron Montego Beach Resort is a five to 15-minute walk from dozens of shops, restaurants, attractions. The all-inclusive hotel offers more amenities than most would expect from a two-and-a-half-pearl property, including a soft sand beach, two clean pools, a handful of restaurants and bars, and a small spa. Each of its 144 rooms is bright and airy, with small flat-screen TVs, bottled water, and balconies, though decor is sparse. The general non-stop party vibe may discourage some travelers and the lack of free Wi-Fi is disappointing. Check rates at the nearby SeaGarden Beach Resort for a similarly priced, three-and-a-half-pearl alternative with a more mature atmosphere.
Budget beachfront all-inclusive that feels average in every way
The hotel’s decor is a confusing mix of “Old-World” Caribbean plantation and cheeky nods to Jamaican culture. Bright white exterior walls, large shuttered windows, and bold red awnings all pull inspiration from the island’s centuries-old architecture. Inside, a colorful tropical palette, wooden Rastafarian sculptures, and modern, beach-inspired artwork adorns every common area and gives the hotel a cheerful vibe. The hotel’s two pools, large beach, and overall lively vibe attracts vacationing Americans seeking a cheap, boozy tropical vacation -- be prepared for a fairly rowdy environment, in part fueled by the hotel's all-inclusive rates. While the hotel is nominally family friendly, not many actually pass through here.
Walk to Hip Strip destinations in five to 15 minutes
Situated at the northern edge of Montego Bay’s Hip Strip, the hotel is within a five- to 10-minute walk of many restaurants, bars, stores, and attractions. By car, Sangster International Airport and Aqua Sol Theme Park are five minutes away, while the popular Bob Marley Experience is reachable in ten. Those looking for a taste of the areas history will find the Rose Hall Great House 10 minutes away by car.
With such close proximity to Montego Bay’s services, attractions, and the airport, a rental car likely isn’t necessary. The hotel does not provide airport transportation, though cab service is affordable and easily available outside the terminal. Alternatively, private shuttle buses are ubiquitous and found throughout the island. They're also the most affordable means of transport for those who don’t mind sharing a ride.
Bright rooms with little decor plus flat-screen TVs and balconies
Done up in bold navy blue and white, with pops of red, decor in all rooms is sparse but bright and airy. It's a far cry from the eclectic Caribbean decor downstairs, but at least feels well put-together and cohesive. Tan or gray tile floors and white walls hung with the occasional beach-inspired painting contrast the bold blue accent wall, while white wicker and rattan furniture gives everything a softer, beachy edge. Rooms also have a balcony or terrace that's set with chairs, making for a breezy alternative to hanging out indoors -- some of these include ocean views.
The one-room floor plans in both categories of rooms are virtually identical and quite spacious for a hotel in this category. Every room offers either a single king or two-double bed configuration and an ocean-view balcony. In-room amenities are stripped to the essentials, with the notable exceptions being a small flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, and a large bottle of water (restocked daily). There are no mini-fridges or coffeemakers available. Wi-Fi is paid throughout the property -- despite this being an all-inclusive resort -- and we found the service spotty and unreliable. Beds in all rooms receive positive reviews as firm, but comfortable.
Bathrooms are adequately sized and similar in layout and amenities across all room categories. They’re best described as functional, with few decorative elements of any kind. Beige tile and stark white walls are punctuated with a single splash of burnt orange marble on the countertops. Shower/tub combinations and generic bath amenities are standard in every room. We did spot a bit of wear and shoddy craftsmanship in the bathrooms.
A clean, swimmable beach, two pools, a Jamaican restaurant, and a tiny spa
Royal Decameron Montego Beach Resort offers more amenities than many guests would expect of a two-and-a-half-pearl hotel. The immaculate beach, two pools, two restaurants (including a traditional Jamaican restaurant), and even a tiny spa are the most noteworthy. The hotels all-inclusive rates provide for dining, drinking, activities, non-motorized water sports, as well as kids' activities. However, those rates do not include Wi-Fi, which is spotty and only available for a fee.
The hotel boasts a wide soft sand beach that’s kept immaculately clean with daily raking. Two jetties divide the beach into different areas, each with a distinct feel. The west half of the property is rowdier, with a “spring break” vibe, while the east half is quieter and more relaxed. Plenty of lounge chairs and palapas are provided on either side, and there is ample room to spread out without guests feeling crowded. The water is typically calm and swimmable no matter the time of year.
Two pools, including a lively activity pool and a pool bar
The two adjacent pools are adequately sized, but border on too-small given the size of the hotel. A dedicated activity pool provides near-constant action throughout the day, with a vibe that's loud and lively, bordering on rowdy. A small swim-up bar offers a full liquor menu, though there is no poolside drink service. A few steps away, a second pool offers a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, though it’s situated close enough to the first pool that it rarely feels serene. A few dozen cushioned, wooden lounge chairs surround both pool decks with adequate umbrellas for shade.
Two restaurants, including an open-air Jamaican restaurant
Passa Passa, the hotel’s main restaurant, is situated in the lobby with one open wall providing beach and water views. Aside from the crisp, white table linens, the atmosphere is relaxed and there's no particular dress code. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served as buffets, with a general international menu typical of the area’s hotel buffets. The only other on-site restaurant, Souk, provides dinner-only service in a small, bright space also overlooking the water. The menu is distinctly Jamaican with Western influences used to make many of the island's dishes more familiar (think: Jamaican pasta). Guests seeking additional dining will find plenty of opportunities just a few minutes' walk down the Hip Strip.
The gym has nice beach views, but is tiny. However, the equipment is relatively modern and there's a simple selection of cardio machines, free weights, and pulley machines that are perfectly sufficient for a basic workout.
The spa is likewise tiny, offering just one treatment room that feels like an oversized closet. A full menu of typical massage is available, as is a hot tub a few steps from the spa entrance. Spa services are not included in rates.