Not Really A Jamaica Resort Review

Bet you never thought you’d see the name of an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica on this blog huh? I know I’ve mentioned over the years that I’ve won two of my 16 trips to Jamaica and this was one of them. Otherwise, there is no way I’d stay at a place like this….I couldn’t even afford to breathe the air at the Ritz Carlton in Rose Hall, Montego Bay!

I was going through some old trip reports I’ve written on Jamaica chat forums over the years, and I found my Reggae Sumfest trip from July 2006. As I was re-reading it, I laughed because even though I was fairly new to Jamaica back then (that was my 4th trip), I still felt like a misfit in a swanky place like that.  I got lost more times than I can remember because the place is like a small city, and I felt trapped because the contest promoters gave us a free place to stay but DID NOT provide us with the all-inclusive package.  I remember being pissed about that because a can of Pepsi alone was about $8.00 and this resort is in the middle of nowhere so it’s not easy to get somewhere from here.

The bathroom in our room at the Ritz Carlton was all marble and big enough to have a party in.  I didn’t take any pictures of it because this was three years before I started blogging so I wasn’t such a nazi about photos back then. The room was truly amazing and more than comfortable.  The only miserable part I remember was that the girl I brought with me on this trip for two was an A/C freak and I froze to death every night.  Imagine being in Jamaica and sleeping under ALL the sheets and comforters?  Hell, when I lived in Jamaica I didn’t even own any bedding besides a flat sheet or two.

Food at the Ritz…it was just okay.  I think we only ate there twice because we couldn’t really afford it and we were in Jamaica for Sumfest so we didn’t stay on the property very much.  In fact. we missed one entire night of sleep because of Sumfest, which goes until at least 6 am.  The ONE meal I remember was the jerk pork and festival.  The pork was great, but the festival was hard, of course, because it was made in mass quantities on the chance that someone ordered it, as opposed to the fresh and piping hot festival you would get at a local cookshop – made to order.  But who cares? People who stay at the Ritz Carlton probably don’t care about authentic Jamaican food – they could have been in Mexico and not noticed from behind these gates.

There we are in a photo pretending we’re “somebodies” with money in a big resort, saying things like “Charge it to the room!”   That was fun….until we checked out and had to pay.  I still wonder why a trip giveaway would put winners in a hotel that has an all-inclusive option but not give us that option!  This was actually the same promoter who gave away the first trip I won and that trip was 100% covered.

Here is the ONE piece of proof that we were in a Jamaican resort, not a Mexican or a Dominican resort.  This bartender Stephen is probably in millions of tourist’s photos! LOL.  The one great thing about Stephen is that he taught me the Stookie and the Frog back because he thought I should be ready for the big Sumfest event later that night.  He was fun and I’m sure he thought I just wanted to hear “Irie Mon” because it’s cool.

Don’t get me wrong, the Ritz Carlton in Rose Hall, Montego Bay was absolutely gorgeous and I can see why certain people travel this way. It’s just not for me.  It was nice to see the inside of a place that I’d never pay the money to experience.   And I did get to see Lady Saw walking around in the lobby – she was staying here too.

Read more by Kristi Keller, Jamaica My Way

Celeste Duckworth

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