Historical Traveller Reviews of Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club Hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
We spent a week at boscobell and it was very dissappointing. Not at all what we were promised and nothing whatsoever like the tv commercials we had seen. Horrible place. Would not reccomend.
Great for those with kids
from A TripAdvisor Member
This vacation was the first time in Jamaica with our kids - boys 14 and 18, and a girl 16. We have been to The Grand Lidos in Negril and Braco four times in the last two years, so we weren't going into this blind - we know all about "Jamaica time" and "soon-come." Even though our long-time travel agent recommended Boscobel as the best of the family all-inclusives, we were a little apprehensive after reading the negative reviews on this board. We need not have worried - the place was just fine. I can't imagine where the "old Playboy mansion" comments come from - it looked like a resort to me. The grounds were very lush and well-tended. The room was clean and made-up every day. We had no trouble getting a roll-away and extra towels and pillows. The beach was not huge, but the watersports activities were all in good repair, except for one water-trike that had a broken pedal. Plenty of life vests for those that wanted them. Most activities went off on time, or close to it. The pools were clean and the towels were plentiful if you got there before 9:00 to claim your chairs. They resupplied the towel bins a couple times a day. The main pool area was noisy and crowded, but what do you expect from a resort that caters to families with kids?
Check out your municipal swimming pool at home during a hot summer day and you get the idea. The water slide pool was less crowded, but its proximity to the "zoo" made it a little smelly as the day wore on and the heat/humidity increased. The "zoo" is a bad idea - they should dump it and make more pool-deck space. The activity directors work very hard to keep the kids entertained, toddlers to teens. Mine loved the snorkeling trips and the glass-bottom boat - the little ones I saw all seemed to be having a great time. The evening entertainment was typical Jamaican resort - reggae band, talent show, bingo, etc. The magician was pretty good. If you want great shows, go to Las Vegas. The food at the buffett was good, not great, but the Italian and Jamaican restaurants were excellent - on par with more expensive adult resorts.
Bar service was quick and friendly, although they could use another bartender at the swim-up - those guys really hustled. The self-serve smoothy and soda machines are a great idea, and keep the kids from overwhelming the bartenders with "virgin" drink requests. On the weekend there were some locals on day passes, but not the hordes described in other reviews. We experienced no shortages except that, a couple times, they ran out of Bailey's Irish Cream at the main bar, but that was mostly my fault. I love that stuff. The ride from and back to Mobay is something everyone should experience at least once. After that, call TimAir or Air Jamaica Express for the shuttle to Orcabessa.
All-in-all, it was a great vacation. I would not recommend it to an adult couple - go to the Lidos to be romantically pampered, or to Hedonism for sexy fun. But if you take the kids, and remember that its Jamaica, everyone will come away smiling.
A great time was had by all!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I will say that, if you are looking for a large, beach, go to the Beaches in Negril. However, we were there in 10/02, the place was packed and we never found the beach to be crowded. The restaurants & bars were always well stocked and the staff was always attentive to the needs of the guests. The resort does sell day passes, but many of those guests are staff on their day off. Those guests were not treated any differently, if anything they were given less preferential treatment than the full-time guests. My daughter, who tends to be "clingy" around strangers, begged to go to kids camp every day, because she had so much fun. The counselors were great. The kids were kept busy & happy. The golf course was great and the caddies were so good and knowledgeable that I shot two of my best rounds ever. The food was very good to great, depending on which restaurant you went to. The entertainment was also fantastic. There is no water skiing, but you can rent a wave runner. There is also a small beachside shopping area right next door.
This was our fourth visit to Beaches/Sandals and we are returning there again in 10/03, this time for 10 days. Go there & you will see why we're going back. Beaches anywhere is the best family trip you can find.
best hotel ever stayed in
from A TripAdvisor Member
This hotel is a most fantastic place to stay, the rooms are beautiful and are cleaned perfectly. The swimming pool is imaculate and there are plenty of sunbeds for all. There are many restaurants and buffets which offer a huge variety of foods to suit all tastes. The best thing about it is the friendly staff, they are the most lovely people you could meet, and are well manered and very cheerful. There is a beautiful white sand beach which is quiet and with plenty of shade if needed. All people who go are very friendly too. All facilities are lovely and have tennis courts which i fully enjoyed. I would recommend this hotel to anyone wether you are a couple or a family.
Pleasantly Surprised...Ya Mon!
from A TripAdvisor Member
Well where to start....We just returned from Boscobel today. We were there from 7-3-03 until 7-7-03. We went to attend my sons wedding. We had myself, my wife and our 12 yr old daughter, we stayed at Boscobel. My other daughter, her husband and my other son stayed at Grand Sport, and my son and his new wife stayed at Royal Plantation, and were married at Grand Sport. He also had about 10 friends and there wives as well as the bride's parents and her brother and sister who also stayed at Boscobel.After reading the reviews we almost pulled out, but I figured I could put up with anything to see my son get married, so we went with a lot of trepidation. I AM SO GLAD WE DID! I don't know what the other reviewers were expecting but we had a blast.The Bus Ride. All I can say is clime in and hold on. This was the worst part of the trip. Its two hours of pure amusement park ride, with the real possibility of getting hurt. We actually hit a cow in the middle of Runaway Bay and had to wait at the Police Station for another bus, and the second driver was worse than the first, with a lot of passing in the face of oncoming traffic etc. If you can schedule a commuter flight to and from the hotel DO IT!!! We saw 3 other wrecks on the way in besides the one we were in. Or try to get one of the big buses at the airport, we were in a small 10 passenger van. And don't be afraid to tell your driver you don't like his driving, or slow down ect. My son's driver actually stopped for a beer about half way, leaving them in the car.The Food....The food ranged from good to excellent, the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of fresh fish, especially shellfish. The buffet was good and there was A LOT of food all the time. With the best coffee. The Arizona restaurant was excellent, with good rib steaks, shrimp, swordfish, jerked chicken and pork, and all you wanted. We ate there twice and they would combine dinners like steak and shrimp, etc. The Italian Restaurant in the main lobby was also very very good. I raise and sell custom fed and processed beef, and the tenderloin was the best I have ever had! All the eating areas were very clean and I saw no bugs, and about 6 flies the whole time I was there. We have more trouble with bugs at home than they have.Accommodations.... Our room was also very comfortable, and very quite, we never heard any of our neighbors. We saw no bugs not only in our room but also anywhere on the grounds. We heard crickets but they were different from those here and were very enjoyable to listen to. You do have to bug them about restocking the refrigerator.Grounds... The grounds were very well kept with a lot of beautiful flowering trees. There are a lot of steps but the elevator to the beach is done and between that and the hotel elevator you can probably miss 80% of the stairs.The Beach... I thought the beach was plenty big, I was going to step it off but never got around to it. I would say it is 100 to 150 yards wide. There was plenty of room and we never felt crowded. I enjoyed talking to the shell salesmen that sit out on the boards, very nice guys and very informative about the island.People.... All of the staff was very helpful and very pleasant, and there are a lot of them, we never tipped anybody. They would not let us do anything for ourselves, if you got up to get a drink they told you to sit down and they got it for you. I never did find out if they were selling day passes to the locals. There were always people around that I assumed were Jamaican but they were all very friendly and very polite. They did not "take over the place", and there was always all the food you wanted. The pool was always full of guests and everybody looked like they were having a great time. Playing volleyball, shooting hoops or just floating around on a water mattress etc. There were always clean towels available. We would swim and watch the entertainment every night until 11:00pm. I am not much for reggae and all that Jamaica music but it was ok. It's not like a Las Vegas show though. But they involved the crowd, especially the kids, and every body looked like they were having a great time.Activities.... We did not partake in any of the scheduled activities, sine my daughter is addicted to the water and spent all day and half the night in the ocean or the pool. We never went to the petting zoo (since she has her own at home-we live on a farm) but we never smelled it, and our room was in the first building next to it. All the water sport things were out all day and used a lot by the guests. The lifeguards were really attentive and were constantly calling people in to put on life jackets if they thought they needed them. We did go to Dunn Falls one day and climbed the falls, it was great. Dunn's falls is not part of the package and cost us the bus ride and $10.00 US to get in..They did take Jamaican moneyOverall... All of the people we went with had a great time, I did not hear one complaint about any of the three resorts, the only down side I could see to the Grand Sport is you have to leave the north part and go to the south part across the road to go to the beach, and the beach is very small there. They do have a regular shuttle or you can walk. so they told me. Everybody said they would return. We felt very safe and although my wife and I did stay with our daughter all the time I would have let her go to the pool alone.....something I would not do in Phoenix. There were kids running all over the place. I think it is pretty secure.Well that's about it....I guess the only other thing I would suggest is don't take Travelers checks, take cash. We could not get any US dollars for our US travelers checks even at the front desk, and the gift shop would take them but would only give change in Jamaican and it was hard to find anybody to take Jamaican dollars. Some of the locals would and some would not. May have been they did not know how to covert.While I am no expert on vacations or travel I would be happy to answer any questions about Boscobel and our experiences if you want to e-mail me. email@example.com All I can say is go have fun..no problems YA MON!!!!!!
Never had so much fun doing nothing
After reading many of the reviews on this site. I agree with some and disagree with many. I can see the valid complaints and the ones where...well, they shouldn't let everything get to them...after all, you're on vacation. I am a travel agent and I travel with my eyes open.
I rate service, food quality, rooms and staff even when I don't know I'm doing it. I was in Jamaica for 2 weeks in June and stayed at Boscobel for the entire time. Boscobel is an old playboy hotel and then was a SuperClubs property before Sandals purchased it. They have done major renovations so when you read that it is a new property...it basically is. Those who had visited it when it was a SuperClubs property do not even recognize it now. Yes, the shuttle to the hotel is long, and yes, the roads aren't very good (FYI...they are in the process of highway construction. There are smooth sections and sections under construction so expect delays). And everyone there is on "Jamaican Time" so things are pretty laid back. Don't be afraid to ask your driver to stop for a drink/bathroom break. I can't say enough good things about the staff at Boscobel...especially the best "fun pal" of all...Nicholas. The hotel serves top shelf liquor and the bartenders work their butts off...it's all in a days work they say. The swim up bar takes most of the business and they (O'Brian and Karl) are busy mixing blended drinks and anything tropical you can think of. Yes, the petting zoo is stinky...stay away from it if you don't like it. It is in the far corner of the hotel so you don't even have to go near it.
There is a kids pool with 2 waterslides, as well as a kiddies wading pool, self serve soft ice cream machine, popcorn machine and the best hamburgers! The beach is smaller than expected. We didn't stay at the beach much. It was mostly pool for us. The pool is huge with a nice waterfall. The pool chairs are very nice (mesh) but the beach chair are the hard plastic with slats. The Appleton (beach) bar is the adult bar and has "Adults Time Out" at 3pm everyday. The "Fun Pals" keep you active and you can collect points through out the week and redeem them for prizes at the end. The Piano Bar is ok...it's nice and Air Conditioned if nothing else. It is a nice place to meet new people. The Disco is small and dark. The music is too loud. The food is good. Our favorite was "Arizona's" where you can get the best nachos and cheese.
They also offer a really good grilled shrimp. The entertainment is alright. The best night is when they feature the steel pan band. It seemed to me that the kids/infants program are huge hits (I have no children). But I witnessed many kids crying as their parents dragged them out of the camps. Overall, I loved it. Our rooms were large and clean and very comfortable. Jamaica and it's people are amazing. It's my third trip and it certainly won't be my last!
Can not recommend
I could not believe it- I won a trip to the Beaches Boscobel Resort through a local radio station!For free this place was great- but I would not pay for this vacation or recommend anyone else to either.
Everyone we went with got stomach viruses.The food was lousy at the buffet and the entertainment was not entertaining. The disco was too small and too loud and I actually asked a worker where the rest of the beach was-I was serious! There was nothing to see when we went out snorkeling. Also, the poor animals at the petting zoo looked sickly and uncared for. Traveling to Ochos Rios was neverending too.
our wedding at the boscobel
from A TripAdvisor Member
Having just returned today we feel very disappointed with the package/service we received during our stay at this resort which we were disolutioned to find out it is a franchise of Sandals. It took 5 days for the wedding coordinator to finally contact us which left us feeling that our wedding wasnt very important to them, even though it was our reason for being there. The food had a very minimal selection and the menus were repetitive (ok if you like fries). The staff in the kids camp were lathargic, and not attentive, we only allowed our son to visit for one afternoon. This vacation has left a bitter taste in our mouths, and didn't live up to our expectations, consider the cost. We would not visit this resort again and probably would not recommend it to our friends or family.
Great Family Trip
from A TripAdvisor Member
First, I have to say that we were a little nervous about visiting this resort after reading some of the negative reviews. We were travelling with another family. The children in our group were ages 11,12,15 and 17. We usually take two nice vacations a year and our kids have said that this was the best ever.Our bus ride to the resort was quite enjoyable. Yes, they drive like maniacs, but our driver gave us quite a good tour of the island pointing out many different things along the way and had us listening to regae. We stopped twice once for red stripe and the other for some jerk chicken. The bus was very clean, modern and quite comfortable. If I had to do it over, I would take the bus there and fly back on the return. The return trip we were packed in tightly and were in a hurry to make our flight.I would say that the food for the most part was good. Not as great as some of the cruises that we have taken, but overall no real complaints. Eleanor's is a must, we ate there twice.We commented that the stairs could be a problem for some especially if you had young children. We enjoyed getting the exercise. They are still working on the elevator to the beach. They were installing the glass while we were there.We participated in all of the activities including the scuba diving which our teenagers loved.After our experience I would return to a Beaches property. Probably not the same one, I would enjoy a place with a bigger beach.
The resort is the absolute worst Ive ever visited
from A TripAdvisor Member
this place was a complete dump. We just returned from a weeks stay and we were appalled to see how the locals take over the resort. We went to another beaches property last year and found it to be just as lacking but we figured maybe we caught an off week at an off property so we figured wed give it another try. beaches boscobell was worst than the other one. absolutely horrible. locals pay a small fee and they completly take overthe resort, eating everthing and drinking everything and then they go home at the end of the day and we paying top dollar to stay there are told sorry we have run out. its pathetic. they make it look like its this big vacation corporation when in reality, beaches/sandals are owned by two jamaican guys who very cleverly market thier resorts with lavish comercials. i would love to know what planet those commercials are taped because they didnt represent a fraction of what we saw . do your homework before going. I wish we did. We would have saved thousands. Ill never go back to any of their properties.
Top Local Tips for Ocho Rios
Breakfast with Sesame
Breakfast with Sesame Street is a must for younger kids and well worth the added charge
I have to make a living, I will work within your budget, You should pay a fair price. All things you will hear at the "genuine local craft market". effectively, this a a small area where pushy and competitive Jamaicans try and fleese the tourists with cheap junk. Don't be taken in, one woman had a better mobile phone than I did! Go to the roadside vendors instead particularly just outside Ochi in Fern Gulley.
Do the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour & Dunns River Falls
If you have a chance, do the Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour because it is really fun. The bikes aren't in the best shape, but it is totally worth the $$ in my opinion. On the way there, you see "real Jamaica", you get lunch and a chance to see how the coffee beans are roasted, and then get to ride down the mountain on a bike. At the end, you get to take a swim in a waterfall. Warning: If a Jamaican child asks if you want to take his/her picture, make sure you have a couple bucks for a tip. As soon as the flash pops, they stick their hands out and say, "Tip?" I guess they learn that at a young age... Also, Dunns River Falls is fun, but beware the gift shop they route you through at the end. Don't talk to anyone or even look at any of the items for sale, because you will for sure end up buying something, whether you want to or not!