Guests can upgrade to Sun Club status for exclusive perks
Free, reliable Wi-Fi
Many features are located next door
Some rooms remain unrenovated and outdated
Located 15 minutes from the airport, the beachfront Sunscape Cove is an upper-middle-range, all-inclusive resort. It's the more upscale, calmer sister to next-door Sunscape Splash, which shares its many amenities with Sunscape Cove guests. Boutique atmosphere, a colonial villa-inspired aesthetic, and plantation-like grounds are a refreshing departure from more chaotic Splash. Across both properties, there are four pools, five restaurants, multiple bars, a 24-hour cafe, a state-of-the-art waterpark, water sports, a fitness center, spa, a beauty salon, and excellent Wi-Fi. The 122 guest rooms feature either modern, minimalist decor or have a colonial feel, but guests should note that not all have been renovated -- so some can be dated. Another excellent option is Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort And Spa, which also has Jamaica's largest pool, but rates tend to be higher.
British Colonial villa framed with
lush tropical grounds and an upscale boutique vibe
Sunscape Cove sits right next to its sister resort, Sunscape Splash, and while they might share many amenities and features (most located at Splash), these two are like comparing pineapples and oranges. Splash is busy, bright, rather retro, and crawling with kids, while Cove is much more grown-up in its elegant colonial-inspired aesthetic and laid-back upmarket vibe. In fact, many Splash guests upgrade to the Cove for its calm, boutique-like ambience. The scene begins in the lobby and separate entrance foyer, which mimic the curated living rooms of an exclusive private villa. The foyer marries pavilion wood ceilings with crisp white walls and plantation shutters. White rattan furniture with cushions in greens and blues complement the potted plants and striking artwork of a bird of paradise flower that hangs on the wall, echoing the lush gardens outside. The lobby brings soothing sage into the color mix, along with more sophisticated elements like mid-century modern chairs, gold lamps, royal blue velvet fabric, and large sofas made for lounging.
The theme flows seamlessly to The Terrace restaurant -- a pavilion-style patio extension of the lobby -- with a fresh, white palette dressing its raftered ceiling and suspended fans, tablecloths, napkins, and patio dining chairs. The setting overlooks lush manicured lawns and tropical garden grounds. Da Mario is an elegant trattoria-style space with an aesthetic that perfectly blends its Italian and Mediterranean menu; terra-cotta tiles and bare brick walls add rustic flavor to Roman-esque recessed ceilings and pillars. Crisp whites in the tablecloths and paint -- with vibrant blues in the glassware and seating -- channel the Greek Islands.
Guests can cross over to Splash to enjoy their facilities including Coco Cafe, a casual contemporary spot decorated with oceanic green, blue and teal (with pool and sea views to match), granite-look tabletops, and fun, spherical ball lights overhead. They can also gain entry to Pirate’s Paradise Waterpark, The park is like a destination in itself with two sky-high water slides wrapped around a fort-like castle that’s full of secret pockets to explore and pirate biographies to peruse on the interior walls. The lazy river has plenty of fun floating devices to lounge on, and there is, of course, a pirate ship with pirate-hatted skeletons at its helm.
On a private stretch of beachfront peninsula,
close to the airport and Montego Bay highlights
Sunscape Cove and neighboring sister resort, Sunscape Splash, are set on a long stretch of private beach and marine park, on a Montego Bay peninsula. The resorts sit side-by-side, accessed by a shared gated entrance -- a 15-minute drive from Sangster International Airport. There are a few attractions in close vicinity. Historic highlights in driving distance include Catherine Hall (nine minutes), Sam Sharpe Square (12 minutes away), Bellefield Great House (15 minutes), and Cornwall Gardens (17 minutes). It’s an 11-minute drive to shopping at Hip Strip, 14 minutes to Montego Bay Craft Market, and there are a couple of shopping centers within a five- to 10-minute drive of the resort. If the on-site activities aren’t enough, Dump-Up Beach and Events Park is a 10-minute drive away, and it’s 11 minutes to Aqua Sol Theme Park.
Renovated with a modern minimalist or colonial aesthetic -- all
with balconies, and many with views
Many guest rooms at the Sunscape Cove have been renovated with a clean, contemporary, minimalist aesthetic, dressed in various tones of white across tiled flooring, table settings for two, blackout curtains, bedside drum lamps, headboards, and bedding. Wood trim around the bed and the matching mid-century modern sideboards add contrast, along with bold black flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls. Other rooms take on a more colonial feel with dark wood furniture, headboards, and four-poster beds. Some rooms have yet to be renovated and remain outdated, so request a renovated room to avoid disappointment. Simple white tile bathrooms have spacious walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads plus roomy rectangular vanities. But unrenovated bathrooms can suffer from some dingy tile grout and scratched shower/tub combos. Guests planning to spend time on the balcony (although some are very narrow) should request a good view of the garden or the beach. All rooms are equipped with coffeemakers, minibars, irons and ironing boards, safes, and free individual toiletries and hairdryers in the bathrooms.
Private beach, two restaurants, lobby bar, lounge, and access to all Sunscape Splash amenities
Sunscape Cove packs plenty of appealing features for its all-inclusive nightly price, although many of them are located at its sister resort, Sunscape Splash (situated right next door). Some guests baulk at the short walk to these features, while others prefer the much calmer and more upscale vibe at Cove that offers a “best of both worlds” resort experience. Two a la carte restaurants are located downstairs: Da Mario (Italian and Mediterranean) and The Terrace restaurant (modern international and Jamaican fare). There’s also a lobby bar, while the Sunscape Lounge is available exclusively to Sun Club members. Over at Splash, there’s a buffet, three a la carte restaurants, a grill, several bars, and a cafe. Windows (the buffet restaurant) is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and serves a range of international fare such as American, Italian, Asian and Jamaican. Three a la carte dinner restaurants include Asian-inspired Gohan, Portofino serving Italian (for Sun Club guests only), and Seaside Grill. Coco Cafe is open 24-hours and serves coffee and a range of snacks like sandwiches and light salads, while Barefoot Grill offers a variety of casual snacks. Room service is available as well. Starlight Lounge is open late for partygoers, and the Rendezvous lobby bar also comes alive late at night with post dinner imbibers.
There are four swimming pools shared by both resorts, although they’re all on the Splash side. There’s a main pool with a swim-up bar (Manatees), an activities pool, a quiet pool, and a children’s pool -- and they’re all surrounded by sun loungers (which can fill up fast). Pirate’s Paradise Waterpark features two waterslides enveloping a giant castle, with a lazy river (complete with floating toys), a pirate ship, and plenty of pool to splash around in.
The Explorer’s Club offers plenty of activities for kids throughout the day and evening, such as arts and crafts, sand castle competitions, movie nights, and weekly campouts (with parents’ permission). The Core Zone teens' club is equipped with a range of age-appropriate entertainment and activities that include karaoke, socials, PlayStation, board games, and sporting activities. More adult-oriented features include the state-of-the-art fitness center, spa, and beauty salon. Outdoor activities include tennis, beach volleyball, bocce, poolside dance lessons, and guests can even learn to speak Patois.
Kayaks are available, as is scuba diving and motorized water sports, but the latter aren’t included in the all-inclusive cost. Guests can upgrade to Sun Club status for VIP amenities and services. Reliable Wi-Fi is free throughout.
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