Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort
STAYED HERE September 2015
When I made the reservation I was not sure what to expect, as the price was very low. We only paid $385 for both of us for 3 nights, and that is including the all inclusive. I thought it was a stellar deal…..unless of course it wasnt.
You know what I mean, you think you get a stellar deal until you get to the resort and realize you have booked yourself into a dive and you would rather sleep on the beach than in the room, and eat there? forget it!
Lucky for us, the Sunspree did not turn out that way and we really did get a stellar deal!
The resort is an ocean front setting with some really nice beach areas for lounging or swimming. The water was not deep, as a matter of fact it was hard to find a spot deep enough for swimming. But great for just taking your drink into the ocean and plopping your butt down!
There is a tiny little island off the main shore, maybe 40 feet or so? You walk through the shallow bay to get there and there are palm trees and lounge chairs set up there. There is no bar service there, so you have to walk back for each drink, or take the suggestion of my friend and bring your own big assed cup to fill up at the bar.
There are enough bars here too, that no matter which beach area you choose you will always be fairly close to a bar, so you wont have to go thirsty. All of the beaches I sampled were quiet and peaceful. Could be the time of year I went or it could just be the clientele the resort attracts. I went mid-September, so kids had just returned to school, that may be why it was so quiet. I hardly saw any kids at all during my stay.
They do have a nice little play area here, where kids must be accompanied by adults and they have a kids club too. The playground is shaded in the morning by the building, but in the afternoon it is out in the sun, so that equipment is going to get pretty hot!
There is a big main pool where there is a stage for entertainment. They do some activities during the day, like salsa dancing or aerobics in the pool, but the real use is for the shows at night. Watch the activities board for nightly events.
There is also an adult pool, smaller and quieter, with a swim up bar and they usually have the radio going. Next to that is the adult beach, where along with the lounge chairs are cabanas for 2. At the end of the beach are local crafters set up in small buildings, where you can buy good Jamaican stuff……yep, even that stuff, though it is illegal here, so don’t go getting caught!
Also some great cabanas on the adult beach where you can have a little more privacy and just kick back and relax. No extra charge for the cabanas and you get bar service here.
The food here was decent, but nothing to write home about. There is a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the only game going for breakfast but for lunch you can mix it up a bit at the pool bar with burgers, fish or grilled cheese sandwiches, or further down the beach you can find The Jerk Hut, where they will serve you up some jerk chicken or pork along with some bread and of course a cold drink. All enjoyed with a view of the ocean.
For dinner you can make a reservation at one of the other dining venues. We tried the Seabreeze, which serves up seafood. It was again, ok, but nothing to rave about. They did have, for an extra $25, lobster and steak, but we opted for the included food on the menu.
They also have a Japanese diner that incurs an extra $20 charge, or an Italian restaurant that is complimentary. There is also Da Terrace for Jamaican cuisine, but I heard from one of the guests that you shouldn’t bother. They were from the UK and I got the feeling they just didnt like Jamaican food, not that it was cooked badly. If you go and give it a try, let me know how you liked it.
Along with the beaches they have some non-motorized water sports including kayaks, which I saw, and paddleboats, which I did not see. They also loan you snorkel gear for no charge, which is nice.
A word of caution about the beach towels here. Don’t lose them or it will cost you $20. You will also incur a $100 dollar charge if you lose the wrist band they put on you at check in. I kind of felt like I was being tagged for a research project and I lost track of how many times I scratched myself with the sharp edge of the wristband, and on my sensitive sunburned skin!
The rooms are a decent size, and we had an ocean front room with a nice sized balcony. The balcony is a beautiful place to sit and drink your morning coffee (coffeepots and coffee in the room THANK GOODNESS!) or to sit and write up a review of the hotel. I could get used to an office like this.
A couple of funky things with the rooms. The toilet is set very low. I kept feeling like I had missed when I went to sit down, a kind of weird situation. The other is the shower. If you are a shower fanatic, beware! We had to let it run a good 5 minutes to get the warm water to us and I swear the water pressure was created by 2 gerbils peeing! Hardly a trickle coming out of the shower makes the showering process much longer than it needs to be.
The only other negative I had about the resort was that sometimes the staff really couldnt care less if you were there or not. It was kind of hit and miss. Sometimes you got wonderful service full of smiles and “ya mons” and sometimes you just flat got ignored and not a smile in sight!
All in all, I would give this resort a 4 out of 5 rating for this price point. It is not luxury, but you are not paying for luxury here. I would not be afraid to send families here as it is not a party resort and they have activities for the kids. I also would not be afraid to send couples here who are looking to relax.
I would not send foodies to this resort, as they would be very disappointed.
If you would like to book this resort for your Jamaican holiday
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If you stay at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Jamaica, add your comments and let me know your thoughts!