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Hotel Reviews: Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach

So over the Heroes weekend I spent a night at the Holiday Inn and then two nights at Iberostar as a part of the wedding bloggers trip hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board. I arrived tardy to the party so unfortunately I was not able to see the Holiday Inn in all it’s glory but I’ve seen enough to know what I’d recommend them for!

My suite at the Holiday Inn! I lucked out and got the suite (instead of just a room) perfect for families with a living room area separate from the bedroom area complete with double balconies. There was a little dining area, a little work area and a television that I could totally see me banishing the kids to while I watch my own TV in the bedroom:

Then the bell hop said to me “oh but you didn’t get the jacuzzi tub” and I side-eyed him something hard but I wasn’t mad at the room at all! I was extremely comfortable and I loved it. My view from the balcony the next morning:

Yep, it was raining. I got in late the night before so I just had dinner and walked around the property trying to get a feel for the place. They had the usual entertainment out by the pool after dinner and that was fun. I had a few drinks on the lounge chairs watching old white men trying to “give it to me one time, uh!”

Other than the main entertainment, I was kinda disappointed that it didn’t seem much else was happening. The whole property kinda shut down and it was this or bust. Perfect for families. I walked the entire beach area realizing that they had two beaches, one at each end of the property, with lots of sand and space for games and fun and then just a bit of coastline space in between to lay out and read or just catch a tan. I got up early the next morning with the intention of checking out the beaches and activities, but because of the rain I stayed in, played around with some makeup to brighten the gloomy day and then went down to breakfast and my scheduled spa appointment.

Now, Irie is a spa-virgin. Yes, I’ve never had a professional massage before. So, when they said they booked me for a 9:00am Swedish with a male I didn’t give it a second thought. It was when I was in the room naively laying there with my bra on which he had to remove I realised I should have put some thought into cuter underwear! LOL! I can totally see him being hit on by 80 year old great-grandmas hoping to get the happy ending. That Ryan there, I truly wanted to take him home. Sigh…

Anyway we moved to Iberostar that night and I could immediately see the upgrade! However, I won’t lie, I much preferred my Holiday Inn room. The Iberostar room was hot and stuffy and just not as good a time. The property however had much more to offer and had a good mix of family as well as couples and singles and activities geared to either. I headed down to check out the beach on the first morning:

The view outside my room. Iberostar is actually three different properties in one location, The Beach where I was, the Suites and then the Grand. Some more posh than the others etc. We were allowed to use the entire stretch of beach and we all went to the same disco, I think just restaurants and amenities were separated. The beach was sure cleaner by the Grand! Take a look at this beauty!

Flawless!!! I had absolutely no complaints about my view however. I laid up on the beach all morning long and then went in the pool, hung out by the swim up bar and met a few visitors.

The culture of the pool was real funny. Canadians and Europeans scoffing at the loud Americans who were clearly there all morning long getting louder and drunker. I met and chatted with them all, my blue hair being a magnet for conversation. Again people were fascinated about being able to talk to a local who didn’t work there and asked me a myriad of questions like where to go, what to do, is Kingston really as bad as they say, will I get locked up for weed etc etc. I had a blast in the pool and didn’t feel the need to get out and go do anything else, even though there were activities being announced all around. People went by para-sailing  kayaking, playing volleyball, doing beach aerobics in the hot ass sun and I even saw two weddings happening. This was the smaller of the two:

How beautiful those photos will be!

The food at the hotels were great but I am not a fan of hotel buffets really and wish I had the foresight to reserve a table at one of the specialty restaurants before time. Iberostar had a steakhouse, a Japanese and a Cajun restaurant that offered sit and serve service but they all required reservations a day ahead. Phooey! I would have liked to try the Cajun. Iberostar also had many more bars and lounges and they had an all night buffet, perfect for getting in after the disco. Speaking of the disco, I went expecting the absolute worst. I figured it would be cheesy music, empty and lame. Boy was I wrong! I felt like I was at Fiction! The music was bumping and the people were dancing. There was a wedding party on the floor, line dancing quite awkwardly and having a ball and all generations were represented! LOL. I met a guy from Kingston who agreed that he’s never been to a hotel club that was quite like this. Of course the next morning there was a Danish guy in the pool complaining that it was too loud and stuffy. He said people were watching others too much and he wasn’t able to hear himself speak. This is the same guy who got real loud and sang his national anthem for us with his two buddies in the music lounge the next night. LOL I guess he prefers to provide the entertainment than to dance to music 50 decibels too loud. Cheers!

I truly enjoyed my time at both these hotels and would recommend either of them to visitors and Jamaicans alike looking for some comfort, some luxury and a real good time. Compare for yourself and see which one is right for you, if I were travelling with the munchkin I’d be more inclined to stay at the Holiday Inn again however me and my girls? See you at the Iberostar!

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