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Reviewed 3 August 2007

My wife and I have been to Jamaica three times now. On our last vist, we chose to include our children, our 18 year old boy, our 10 year old son, and our two year old daughter. In the past we stayed at Sandals, but chose Beaches this time so we could include the children.

I must say, we were delighted with the Beaches experience. Our apprehension concerning the care of our children was quickly overcome by the professionalism of the Beaches staff at Boscobel. After the very first visit to their child care facilities, our children wanted to go back and were excited about every activity they had to offer. This allowed my wife and I to enjoy our visit, and our kids had a really great time.

Of course, as a family we also spent time together, but it was nice to realize that we also had our time apart, without worrying about whether our kids were enjoying themselves too.

All in all, we, as a family, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in Jamaica, and the Beaches experience was more than we had imagined. I can't imagine anyone complaining about the experience. Everything (and I do mean everything) was above and beyond our expectations. Many thanks to the Sandals/Beaches team for their efforts. We couldn't be more pleased (and we can't wait to go back again)!

  • Stayed: July 2007
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6  Thank TheJamaicaExperience
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2007

Leaving Beaches Boscobel was the most difficult part of the trip. The Jamacian hospitality and service was impecable. The unlimited high quality food and drinks were great. Beaches Boscobel is a great vacation for everyone in the family from the toddlers to the adults. Kids are happy from sunup to sundown. Great entertainment to watersports.

Long ride from airport but well worth it. Everyone should experience Beaches for themselves.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank nursecheers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2007

We decided to go back to Jamaica after a 14-year absence staying at a Sandals resort before. Beaches Boscobel was a great choice for my whole family including my three teenage boys. I heartily recommend Jamaica and especially Beaches for a family. The prices to go to Jamaica are the most reasonable, much less than Cancun for example. They also have a hurricanegurantee so if that happens, you dont lose your vacation.

You arrive in Montego Bay and can relax at the Sandals lounge until your shuttle arrives. I will warn you right now, it takes about two hours to get to Beaches Boscobel and the road is under construction in lots of places. Just sit back and the driver will point out things. They also stop about halfway for a bathroom break. The shop there is much cheaper than at the resort for souvenirs. We arrived late at about midnight and the manager had dinner sent to our room. The room was large and simple, yet comfortable. A fridge was in the room stocked with all types of drinks. Air conditioning works great.

1. Guest Treatment

The strength of the resort is their staff and their treatment of guests. I cant say enough how attentive and kind the employees were to us. Everyone greets you from attendants to waitresses to pool guards. Our housekeeper was impeccable in her care of the room. We struck up great friendships with many of the employees who always stepped up to see that you were taken care of. You were showered with attention every time you ate, someone was always there to fill your glass, take an order, take your plate etc. I honestly cannot provide one negative comment on our treatment at the resort. My wife “adopted” two of the lifeguards, Germaine and Prince, who were a delight to speak to. They called us mom and dad during the trip. There are so many employees we would like to mention as so many were so kind to us.

2. Food/Drink

I saw several reviews showing disappointment with the food. We found it fabulous. Waiters at each restaurant were cheery and seemed to take pride in how well they pleased you. There is something for everyone. Our children loved the informality of the BBQ Pit with jerk chicken, hamburgers and fries. There is also the Bayside Buffet where we ate breakfast and lunch that provided high assortments of different things including a smoothie bar. My wife and I particularly enjoyed Eleanors for a quiet and elegant dinner with white-gloved waiters. The food was superb. There is also Arizona’s, a tex-mex restaurant with ribs, steaks etc. “Sheriff Bill” oversees the seating and will ensure your visit runs smooth. He always had our favorite table ready for us and was a delight to get to know. The Venetian rounded out the palette with Italian dishes.

The bartenders were attentive and each had a favorite drink which ingredients were a secret. Ask for the “dirty banana”, that was my favorite, my wife liked the “bad girl”. The swim up bar at the pool is very busy. I enjoyed the pool by the buffet. One thing to keep in mind. There is no embargo on Cuban cigars and a lot of people, especially the British love to smoke those and the bar attracts those types. If you hate smoking like I do, it could be a problem.

3. Activities

Lots of things to do at Boscobel. One thing you have to try is the scuba diving. If you ever thought about becoming PADI certified, this is the place to do it. My entire family, even my wife, got certified. The two instructors John and Baby J were outstanding. John worked one on one with my wife including her first dive when she was real scared. He was very patient and got her to do it. The entire experience was positive and it was a great thing seeing my entire family diving together, exploring shipwrecks and coral reefs. There are several dives a day as well as snorkeling and glass bottom boat trips. Signups for these activities are a day in advance. I recommend anyone getting in to the resort get down to the waterfront and try to get on for the next day. Signups start at 8:30AM so make sure your there at 8:00AM and you’ll have no problem getting what you want. Lines are heaviest on Mondays and Tuesdays but thin out during the week. If your there by 8:00 you’ll be one of the first in line. There is also windsurfing, banana boats, water bikes, sail boats etc. you don’t need reservations for those just go down and get your vest.

If you have a teenager and they are missing, chances are they are in the Xbox room, that’s where I found mine a lot. My kids are 15 and 13 and we felt comfortable in letting them spread their wings, eat when they want and do what they want. They had a blast and we loved the relaxation. We didn’t check out the little kid stuff as our kids are older but I saw the kids doing a lot of supervised activities with Sesame Street characters.

There is a show each night, music, and games. I would say about the resort is too much American music. I love reggae and would have preferred that as the music of choice. They do play it a lot but there is also the American music as well. They did have steel drums play as well as some of the newer reggae.

There isn’t much shopping near the Boscobel. Its about 20 minutes outside of Ocho Rios and you need to take a shuttle to get to it. Items are pricey in the gift shop and there is a little market next to the resort’s water sports area. People stand at the pier and entice you to come to their shops. They are friendly though so don’t worry about any harassment. They do try to get you to buy and their prices are expensive. A no thank you will get a thank you from them. We did buy some items from them as they were so nice to us. My boys all got their hair corn rowed over there. One day a week, craft makers get to show their goods in the resort at the pool area so you can check that out. Lots of woodwork, trinkets and handmade paintings. One artist will paint what you want if you give him a few days, not a bad price too. He made an 18X24 tropical ocean scene in my color choice with palms and my family swimming for $80.

I heartily recommend this resort as well as the whole Island of Jamaica to anyone who is thinking of going there. The people are great, their culture is wonderful, I love everything there is about Jamaica!

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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8  Thank dswenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2007

We have just returned from 2 weeks staying at Beaches Boscobel (7th July - 21st July) and have had a wonderful holiday there.

The staff were the friendliest bunch and nothing was too much for them to do. We were in room 2114 right on the beach and Karen our chambermaid was an absolute star! Always happy and smiling and willing to have a chat with you. The room was always spotlessly clean with towels and linen changed daily.
The concierge service is great and Karen and StaceyAnne do a fab job - although not too sure about the bingo at the cocktail party!

Our children aged 6 and 8 went to kids camp and couldn't get enough of it - going back to play games in the evening which gave us some quality adult time together. Dawnette and Tashmarie were there 2 favourite staff members and they were fantastic with the children. The kids camp is very well run and fully organised so that they fill every minute of the day. Olivia particularly liked the arts and crafts and Tshirt dyeing. They both made lots of little friends there and are now constantly emailing across the world to them.

The food was excellent and the chefs would always make something a bit special for you in Bayside - Delroy and Michael were complete stars. We tried Eleanors and the food was very good and also Arizona and the BBQ park but we ate mainly in the Bayside restaurant. The waiting staff are very efficient and great fun too.

We spent most days on the beach as the pool tended to be quite crowded and noisy but the kids loved the childrens pool and the slides - and also the help yourself ice cream machine and slush puppies - kid heaven!

All the bar staff were good fun and Sean can make a mean cocktail or 2 - leave it up to her and she makes it up as she goes along!

My only niggle with the hotel is regarding the sunset cruise. We tried twice to book for a family cruise but it was full so went on standby. The boat takes about 26 people but on the day only 9 others bothered to turn up! Some had cancelled and some were no shows so we got on and had a fabulous trip. The guys were a real laugh and the swimming at James Bond beach as the sun was setting was wonderful. I can't understand why people would queue up from 7.30 in the morning to book the cruise and then not bother turning up and so deny others a space. My advise if you are told that the cruise is full is to turn up at 4.45 p.m and ask to go on standby and you are sure to get on.

I agree with another reviewer that some people are incredibly NOISY and shout at each other from across the beach or pool but then the English are always quiet......and not used to the volume of the some of the guests!

The weddings were sweet to watch but we got a bit bored by the time of the 6th one on a Saturday! Bet the vicar is well paid!

Dunns River Falls is a must to go on - you can hire shoes there for $5 a pair which was great bonus but the DVD for $40 was a bit steep but at least showed that we all had a good time!

All in all we had a lovely time at Beaches and would certainly recommend it to families with young children ( the teenagers all seemed to just mope about but then that is what teenagers do!)
It is a long flight from London but well worth it and the road isn't too bad now from the airport - we were amazed at how much it had improved in our 2 weeks. One word of advice is that our plane was the last of the night at 23.50 and all the shops were shut at the airport so buy any souveniers in resort.

Thanks to everyone at the hotel for making our break such fun and so relaxing - you are a credit to the hotel.

Liz Mason - London

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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5  Thank Kenleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2007

We had a great time, the beaches were gorgeous, the people were super nice....My only issue was the whole Seasame Street deal. Fortunately we caught the shows next to the pool, and our 22 month old loved it! Now, my two older kids were not able to do all the activities offered to the kids, because i was unaware that we had to sign them up for the kids camp. And leave them there for how ever long. I was under the impression these were activities that we could of done as a family. We are on vacation as a family dont see the purpose in dropping them off and we go off doing our own thing. Also, i was planning on doing the character breakfast, but that is offered on Wednesdays; we arrived on Thursday and left on Tuesday...so we didnt get the chance. I wanted to do the photo session wth the characters, and that is offered on Tuesday afternoons, we left that morning...again we missed that. I believe the whole Seasame Street needs to be offered so no matter what day you travel you can still have the opportunity to do it. All the water sports were great, we all did enjoy that. The sunset cruise was nice, but my parents did it on Saturday and it was adults only, which is fine, and is why we signed up for MOnday, just we were failed to be told that on mondays kids can go....so our kids missed out on that ride, and i know they would have enjoyed it. We did have a great time, the kids did lot of swimming and really enjoyed the slides in the smaller pool....

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank beachmom10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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