Jamaica we came back for you!

Jamaica- Royalton Blue Waters

10 years ago we came to Jamaica for our Honeymoon…we fell in love with the people, the culture, and of course…the food! We made a promise and vowed that we would come back and celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary here and bring along our children (future planning).

I actually had forgotten about this..mommy brain! Then 6 months prior to our 10th anniversary my husband reminded me of the promise we had made.  Oh yes! Had it been 10 years already? Almost 10 years of marriage and 2 kids later..we started planning our anniversary trip back to Jamaica.

We knew this was going to be a different type of trip, 1st trip we stayed at an adults only resort.  We had time to roam the grounds, swim, read and enjoy quiet meals, and even get in some R & R.  This time our priorities were different…we still wanted a 5 star property, nice restaurants where we did not need to make reservations, a mid size resort with a swim up pool, and of course kid friendly amenities..ie: kids club and kids pools. This is how we landed on the Royalton.

Here are some highlights from our trip.

Location

This resort was perfectly located about 35-40 minutes from the airport. This was a must, I told my husband that after a 4 hour commute from Toronto, I needed something that was close to the airport as the kids were most probably already going to be cranky after 4 hours on a plane.  We landed at the airport on time, but were delayed about 40 minute waiting for everyone to board the shuttle to the Hotel. We also had 2 stops at other hotels before we got to the hotel, so although the hotel was only 40 minutes away..it still took us about 2 hours from the time we landed to get to the hotel. I could have done without the stops, straight shuttle to the Hotel would have been much better.

Hotel and Grounds

The hotel and grounds are absolutely stunning!  As we got off the bus were instantly in awe of how beautiful the location was.  We were welcomed with a Blue Royalton as we were getting checked in, nice touch.

 

This was the view I woke up to every morning! It definitely does not get better than this!

Our room was in the most convenient location, we had booked a swim up room and were ecstatic to hear that our request was granted. We were in room 4001 located in building 4 and literally a 30 second walk to the front desk.

I could go on about how great the location was especially when you have 2 kids in tow! We were close to everything, it was literally a 5 minute walk to all the resturants, pools, beach and most importantly kids club. This came in handy when we regularly frequented the front desk, as our room phone did not work for the 4 out of the 7 days we were there. This was hugely inconvenient, we had to walk down to the reception anytime we needed anything.

Royalton Restaurants

The restaurants were a definite hit or a miss, we dined at the Mexican (Armadillo), Steakhouse (Hunter’s), Mediterranean (Opa), Italian (Grazie),  and Japanese (Zen) restaurants. Our favorite hands down was Grazie, which nicely over looked the pool and beach.  We sat outside but under a covered area and enjoyed a nice breeze while we enjoyed a great meal.  Most of these restaurants are not air conditioned (White Sands side), which did not work well with the kids.  We actually had to walk out of Zen as we were all sweating into our food and the kids were definitely not impressed.  I enjoyed my meals at the Italian and the Mediterranean restaurants the most, the rest of them were a serious miss and this seemed to be the consensus within our group.  We were travelling with another couple and their two kids as well.  One thing we actually pleasantly enjoyed was the buffet, everyday they had a fresh choice of fruits, salads, cheeses, meats, fresh made to order pasta station, full dessert section and several specialty areas. They even had fresh sushi one night which was delicious! I will try Sushi anywhere and hope for the best.

 

Too be honest, I love jerk chicken and cant get enough of it.  Although the restaurants were all amazing, we loved the good old jerk chicken they served at the beach hut.  On the days we wanted a quick lunch we frequented the jerk chicken hut, make sure you come early as there is always a line up.

Kids Area and Kids Club
This is definitely a resort that caters to kids, there is a kids pool complete with kids slides and play areas that are zero depth.  My kids thoroughly enjoyed this area and did not want to leave, we had to drag them out! Right across the kid’s pool is the kids club, my oldest spent a few hours here everyday and enjoyed herself.

They had Max and Ruby parties, pinata making, pasta fun, and many other activities..oh yea they also fed them (huge bonus)! My daughter has a peanut allergy and they were very careful when they took her to the buffet to feed her.  There were a few times that the kids club was closed because of outdoor activities which was a bummer, but I think we still got a good go of it.

Swim Out Pool

This was a must for us, one of the reasons we booked this hotel and it did not disappoint.  While the kids napped we took advantage of a few quiet hours and spent them either lounging outside in our private loungers or in the swim up pool.  The water was always a consistently comfortable temperature no matter what time of day it was.

One down side was that the jets in the pool are very loud and made it very hard to sleep at night as the jets went on all night long.  We were woken up by the noise a few times a night, and I felt that there was no noise control.  We heard every single sound that went on outside, sometimes it felt like people who were just outside our  room were actually inside our room talking.  They definitely need to do something about the noise control, it was quite bothersome.

Cabana and Beach

We rented a Cabana 2 days and it was well worth it, we enjoyed 2 days of being treated like royalty.  Cabana 10 had a beautiful view of the beach, there was also a small private pool attached for our use.  The cabanas can be rented from 10am-5pm ($150US) and you are appointed 2 butlers, one that stays with you till about 130pm and then there is a shift change.  We always found the service in the morning to be much better then the service in the afternoon.  We were able to order drinks and food straight to the cabana which was nice and convenient, our baby even napped in the Cabana giving us a few hours of down time.  I would definitely suggest renting Cabanas for couples and for families. Who does not enjoy a bit of extra pampering.

 

All in all we had a great trip, we really enjoyed the grounds, swim up pool, friendly service, and the amenities for kids.  There are definitely some kinks to be worked out as this is a new resort, hope they fix them as the property is really breath taking and the resort holds a lot of potential.  Jamaica will always hold a special place in our hearts, we will be back…..next time to mark another milestone.

 

Frequent Flyer Foodie Ratings:

Royalton Restaurants
Opa– ****
Grazie– ****
Zen– **.5
Hunters– **

The Hotel & Grounds
Royalton Service- ****
Cleanliness- *****
Convenience- ****
Kids Club- *****

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