By: Tom Brussow, Owner, Sunsational Beach Vacations May 5, 2017 I recently had the opportunity to experience the newest all-inclusive resort in Jamaica along with a group of colleagues and our key supplier partner Funjet Vacations. Or, more accurately, the two newest as this is really two resorts in one with the Hideaway at Royalton adults only side and the Royalton Negril family friendly side...Note that Hideaway guests have access to the entire resort. Located in Negril in the beautiful and famous Bloody Bay, the coach bus ride with Jamaica Tours LTD to the resort was about 1 hour and 20 minutes. We did encounter a fair amount of afternoon traffic as we moved from the airport through Montego Bay and on up the coast through the towns of Hanover and Lucea. The good news is that the ride in the modern air conditioned bus is primarily right along the ocean and thanks to the JTL, the Red Stripe beers were nice and cold! Given that the resort only opened on about April 1st, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I had previously been to the Royalton Riviera Cancun and knew that this is definitely going to be one of premier resorts in Negril...I was not disappointed as the resort is really fantastic and has many features that I know our clients will love. Upon arrival you'll notice a large open air lobby with an amazing ocean view. I am also pleased to report that the staff here from start to finish was extremely friendly and service minded. Here's a few more details: The Rooms: The rooms are large and very modern. Pretty much all rooms have an ocean view. Note too that there are a few upgraded rooms types offered including Swim-ups. There is a big flat screen, a large tub and a separate shower and toilet area in room and all have a large balcony or patio. Also, the resort features the Royalton DreamBed™ which I found to be extremely comfortable (for the little time I was actually in it!). One final cool feature is that your room key is a small waterproof bracelet which is very convenient. TIP: Buildings 4 and 6 are close the lobby, the restaurants, and the convention center. As you move away from the lobby you'll have better better pool and beach access. All-in-Connectivity: A signature component of of Royalton resorts is their All-In Luxury®. This includes free Wi-Fi throughout the entire resort for all your devices and free international phone calls from the room. Overall, in my room, the wi-fi quality was very good and I did make a few calls back to the U.S....just dial 777 to start the call. TIP: Also make sure to download the Royalton app before you go as you will find this extremely helpful as well. The Beach and the Ocean: One word...awesome! The beach and the ocean here are fantastic. Because the resort is protected and situated in the famous Bloody Bay, there is a huge stretch of beautiful beach and turquoise water that is very calm and swimmable. The Pools: There are several pools to choose from including a splash pool for the kids. We, of course, gravitated to main pool with the Swim-up bar. The atmosphere here was fun and active but not over the top. I very much enjoyed the reggae sounds and other music choices of the pool DJ. Two of the features I really liked were the very nice and comfortable chaise loungers and the "first come, first serve" no charge cabana beds. This are a great retreat from the sun, especially if you have younger kids, or if you are looking to enjoy an afternoon nap. The Bars and Restaurants: There are six restaurants to choose from plus 24 Hour room service is included. I love the fact that no reservations are required. We ate at the buffet restaurant which is comprised of several different food stations for breakfast and lunch and found the choices and quality were very good. Also enjoyed the Jerk Chicken (the signature dish of Jamaica) so much that I think I had this everyday! Also, don't miss the coconut ice cream...you are on vacation after all! I loved the outdoor bar near the lobby. It was really nice at night with the band playing. I am still marveling (although still slightly confused) why the bartender insisted on balancing my drink on his head! Also recommend the Sport Bar which doubles as a Night Club for the late night crowd. The Beautiful, Big and Very Old Tree: One of my favorite things I discovered at the resort was this very large and majestic tree. It is on the walking path to the pool so you can't miss it. I was told it is over two hundred years old. It is truly an amazing sight especially at night with lights shining on it and great spot for a photo.
The Wedding Gazebo
On the Hideaway side, there is a perfect oceanfront wedding location featuring a contemporary gazebo with a beautiful ocean background. This is located only steps away from the Hideaway rooms which works perfectly as the Bride, Groom and Wedding party can get ready close by in the air conditioned rooms until the ceremony is ready to begin. Guests have a nice shaded area to relax, as well as, a bar just adjacent to the gazebo. Note too that kids are allowed on the adults only Hideaway side for the ceremony but must return back to the Royalton when the wedding is completed. The Grand Lido Negril Yes, it is true. At the far end of the resort is the Au Naturel Grand Lido Negril. The guests here have the option of wearing clothes so it possible you might see slightly more than expected as you walk past this very small 26 room resort on the beach. I would not be too concerned as the guests here are discreet are generally not visible from the Royalton. Our Trip To Ricks's Cafe:One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Rick's Cafe. This is one of the top attractions in Jamaica. It is a bar and restaurant built on cliffs only about 15 minutes from the resort by car or bus and an hour or so by catamaran. The sunset here has beautiful. I took a pass on the jump off the cliffs into the water as I was really enjoying the reggae band and the Red Stripes! Club MoBay: I highly recommend you book the Club Mo Bay VIP services along with your trip. For only $80 per person you'll be personally greeted upon arrival at the end of the hall as you deplane your flight. From there, you'll be escorted to a much shorter VIP line in customs/immigration and on to an air conditioned lounge where can await the arrival of your bags and have a cold drink. On the way home, you'll also bypass the long line at security and proceed up to the gate area and where you'll have access to the private Club Mo Bay lounge. Here you can relax, enjoy a full bar, food, and free wi-fi until your flight is ready to depart. There is no doubt that $80 for this service is well worth it! Want to learn more about this? Just ask or click My Recommendation I would return to this resort in a NY minute and enthusiastically recommend to our clients without hesitation. It will be among the top choices in Negril and in Jamaica overall from my perspective. Not only does it offer a beautiful location, great staff, lot's of amenities and inclusions, it also priced very reasonably for the quality you will experience. If a Jamaica honeymoon, Destination Wedding, or family vacation is in your plans, this could be a perfect choice!