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Toby's Resort 2.0

Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient location at the start of MoBay's hip strip and near airport
  • Spacious grounds with hand-painted building murals 
  • Clean (if worn) rooms with private outdoor space and flat-screen TVs
  • Two pools, two bars, and restaurant with room service
  • Meeting rooms, gym, and small spa room on-site
  • Discounted entry to Cornwall Beach
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi
  • Wheelchair accessible throughout

Cons

  • Wi-Fi only available in restaurant area
  • Rooms could use updates and show fair amount of wear and tear
  • Rooms can get buggy

Bottom Line

Toby's Resort is a 65-room, family-run value boutique located at the beginning of MoBay's hip strip. Guests are within walking distance of Doctors Cove and Cornwall beaches (both with entry fees), convenience and craft markets, restaurants, and bars -- and within a 10-minute drive from Montego Bay's Sangster Airport. Slightly neglected guest rooms are clean and have private patios, flat-screen TVs, and a setting within spacious garden grounds. Guests have their pick between two bars, two pools, and in-room or restaurant dining. This spot is ideal for groups on a budget or anyone looking for a convenient place to crash before catching a flight out of Jamaica. 

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Scene

Family-run spot with an independent vibe

Owned since the early '70s by a Chinese-Jamaican family of farmers and flower arrangers, Toby's Resort has grown significantly over the decades. Starting out as a small block of rooms (now the Deluxe Rooms), the hotel has expanded to include two more large blocks of guest rooms and a central collection of single-level buildings housing Standard Rooms. Grounds are generally quiet, but depending on who checks into nearby rooms, loud neighbors can be a nuisance for guests trying to enjoy the garden-facing private patios. Perhaps because the resort is family owned and operated, Toby's has a relaxed guesthouse vibe best suited for independent travelers, especially those looking to soak up a slight taste of local life. Services are available, but only on request, otherwise the hotel stays out of its guests' way, leaving them to do as they please.

Location

Walkable location at the start of the hip strip

Toby's Resort is conveniently located just off of Montego Bay's Glouchester Avenue, known as the "hip strip" amongst tourists and locals. This well-walked stretch of street is lined with restaurants, shops, bars, and beach. While many nearby hotels in MoBay can be noisy at night thanks to never-ending road traffic, Toby's rests on a quiet(er) corner close enough to walk to the action, but far enough away to avoid the bulk of foot and car traffic. One of Montego Bay's most popular and beautiful beaches, Doctors Cove, is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and the famous Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is about a five-minute drive down the strip. The hotel is also just a short 10-minute drive to Sangster International Airport (and luckily lacks the constant cacophony of arriving and departing flights). 

Rooms

Clean rooms that could use some updating and repairs

There are only two main room categories here: Standard and Deluxe. All 65 rooms have motel-style bedding, patios, small but functional bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and air-conditioning; but Deluxe Rooms are brighter with a more contemporary feel as well as mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Unfortunately, even though rooms are clean, there is a high possibility of visible wear and tear, such as peeling paint, holes in the wall, scuffs, broken fixtures, and unusable irons and ironing boards. Some rooms have an extra entrance through the patio doors. At the end of the day, Toby's Deluxe Rooms are some of the better bargains in the area. 

Features

Small property with a surprising selection of features

Toby's may be a small family operation, but the owners have included a few unexpected features that make this tiny value resort stand out among similarly priced hotels in the area. The main pool is located near the center of the property and is surrounded by a slew of sun loungers, a seasonal pool bar, and small dipping/kids' pool. The hotel's second (and smaller) pool, adjacent to the restaurant and bar serving Jamaican specialties, has a trickling waterfall, handful of loungers, and oddly more public vibe (even though it is in a more secluded area). From here guests are only a few yards from a neglected meeting room area and open-air gym (read: no air conditioner) with a small, but surprisingly ample selection of weight equipment. For a more aerobic workout, guests can buy time on the tennis courts next door or take walk around the spacious garden grounds while admiring the hand-painted wall murals. A nice touch is a guest room that has been converted into the hotel's by-appointment spa treatment area. Wi-Fi and parking are free (although Wi-Fi is only available in the restaurant area) and the entire place is wheelchair accessible. 

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Address

1 Kent Avenue, Montego Bay 00000, Caribbean

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