Written By: Geoff Millar, Owner – Playa Resorts Jamaica, Ultimate All Inclusive Travel
This month we will look at the Playa Resorts in Jamaica. There are 5 Playa Resorts on the island. The Playa Resorts are all located in either Montego Bay or on the way to Ocho Rios. Several of them were other resorts, taken over by Playa Resorts and given complete makeovers. They are made up of higher end and mid-level all–inclusive resorts. This month we will look at the first 3 Playa resorts located in the Montego Bay area and then finish up next month with the remaining Playa Resorts in Jamaica further up the coast.
We will start with the Hilton Rose Hall resort just outside of Montego Bay. This resort used to be a number of different resorts now taken over by Hilton and Playa resorts. In the past It was a Hilton Resort then a Westin resort, it was then an independent Resort, and now back as a Hilton. This resort sits about 20 minutes from the Montego Bay airport in the upscale area of Rose Hall. It is surrounded by 3 golf courses and has a very nice beach. This is a family all-inclusive resort.
Accommodations this resort include a resort view room with a view of the resort property. This room comes with a King bed or 2 double beds and accommodates up to 4 people. The next accommodation is the mountain view room with a view of the mountains behind the resort It also comes with a King bed or 2 double beds and accommodates up to 4 people. The next category is the partial ocean view room. These rooms are on the side of the building and come with a king bed or 2 doubles and accommodate 4 people. The next is the Ocean View rooms with a view of the ocean but may be slightly obstructed. They have a king or two double beds. In the final room category, we have the Ocean Front rooms. These have an unobstructed view of the ocean and come with one king or two double beds. All the rooms are 370 sq. ft .and come with free WIFI. Now we come to the suites. We start with the 740 sq ft Ocean Front Caribbean 1 bedroom suite which has a king bed or two doubles along with a separate living room with unobstructed ocean views. Next, we have the 1,110 sq ft Ocean Front Royal Suite. With a dining area and mini kitchen. It comes with a king bed or two doubles. This Suite can be configured with 2 connecting rooms expanding its size. The last Suite is the 2,200 sq ft Prime Minister Suite. This Suite comes with a living room, a dining area, a kitchen, 2.5 bathrooms, and 1 bedroom. This category can be connected with 3 additional rooms expanding the space. All. the Suites come with free WIFI.
All accommodations have 24 hr room service.
As far as dining there is a large variety of dining options. There is an International Buffet and 5 A La Carte options. The A La Carte option consist of Jamaican, Asian, Pizza, Seafood, A burger Bar, and a Jerk Shack. AS far as bars they have a swim-up bar, a Patio bar and drinks can be ordered at any of the dining options. Also take advantage of 24 hr room service.
Activities at the resort consist of both sea and land options. They include the large beach for watersports, lounging on the beach and relaxing. There is a large main pool if clients are pool people, and a water park for both kids and adults. On land there is tennis, daily activities and nightly entertainment. There is a kids club with both indoor and outdoor supervised activities. There is also a teens club providing space for the teens to hang out including optional activities. The resort is also very close to 3 of the top Jamaican golf courses. Golf is at an additional cost. There is also access to all the off site tours available on the island. They also have a great wedding Dept providing all the options for clients customized destination weddings.
This resort is geared to the families or couples that want a great family resort that is very affordable and is close to the airport with just a short ride to the resort.
The next Playa resort we will look at is the Hyatt Zilara. This is another resort located in the Rose Hall area of Jamaica. It sits next to the famous Half Moon Bay Resort. This resort used to be the old Ritz Carlton. It also sits only a 15-20 minute ride from the Montego Bay airport. This resort also is a beautiful resort and sits in a very nice upscale area close to 3 of the top golf courses in Jamaica. This resort is an adult only all–inclusive resort.
Accommodations at this resort are made up of 344 rooms and suites. We start with the Standard King or two doubles. All these rooms are slightly larger than a normal standard room, they are 493 sq ft and include one king bed or two doubles. Next, we have the Resort View King or two doubles. The view from this room is the beautiful ground of the resort. We now have the Ocean View King or two doubles which will have an obstructed ocean view. The next will be the Ocean Front Double. This category has two Double beds. We then have the swim-up King or two doubles with a king bed or two double beds. We now go to the Jr. Suites which have 673 sq ft. these first Jr Suite is the Standard Jr with king bed or two doubles and a view of the grounds. The next Jr Suite is the Ocean View Jr Suite. This category only has a king bed. Next is the Ocean Front Jr Suite with only a king bed and a full view of the ocean. The next category is the Swim-up Jr Suite. We now have the Suite Category. The first is the 1022 sq ft one bedroom Ocean View Suite. This Suite has one bedroom with a King bed and butler service. We now have the 1,200 sq ft Ocean Front Grand Butler Suite with separate living room and one king bed. This also has liquor stocked in the minibar and butler service. The 1083 sq ft One bedroom Swim-up Suite comes with a semi-private pool and has one king bed. It has a separate living room. Finally, is the 1145 sq ft Ocean Front Butler Suite with one king bed. This Suite has an upgraded bar and butler service. All accommodations have free WIFI and 24 hr room service.
Dining has a lot to offer with 1 buffet and 7 A La Carte restaurants. The A La Carte restaurants include International, French, Jamaican, Seafood, Italian, Asian, Brazilian, A Jerk Shack, and an English Sports Pub. There is also a coffee bar and a pastry shop. There is a poolside Burger and snack bar. The Playa resort in Jamaica has a number of locations for private dinners. As far as drinks there is the swim-up bar, the Lobby bar with entertainment, the Lagoonz, another swim-up bar, the open air bar, and the piano bar.
Activities at this resort are varied including a number of water sports such as kayaks, sailing, snorkeling or just relaxing on the beach of by the pool. On land there are daily activities such as cooking lessons, dance lessons or golf at one of the 3 golf courses in the area. There is a full workout facility on the property and a wonderful spa.
This resort is for adults that want an upscale adult-only all-inclusive, Playa resort in Jamaica,a fantastic area and at a reasonable cost. Remember that this used to be the Ritz Carlton and still retains some of that feel. My only issue with this resort is that I would not recommend it for beach lovers as the beach tends to be very small and somewhat rocky both in and out of the water.
The last resort we will look at today is the Hyatt Ziva. This is the family all inclusive resort that is located in the same compound as the Hyatt Zilara. It also was part of the old Ritz Carlton so now it is two different resorts the Ziva on one side of the compound and the Zilara on the other side of the compound. They have 2 small beaches on each side but a lot of the facilities are shared by both.
Accommodations on the Ziva side include Standard rooms that are large like the Zilara side. They are 493 sq ft. and come with one king or two double beds. Next, we have the Resort View category with one king and 2 double beds. This category has a view of the resort grounds. The next category is the Deluxe Resort View room. The only difference is that the Deluxe version comes with a sleeper couch. Moving on to the next category we have the Ocean View with King or two Double beds. We then have the Club Level with king or two double beds. This is the resorts concierge level. This has a garden view. Next, we have the Ocean Front Double which only has two double beds. We then have the Swim-up with a king or two double beds. After that we have the Jr Suites that are larger in size, 656 sq ft and providing a king bed or two doubles. The first is the Ocean View jr suite with one king or two double beds. We now move to the Ocean Front Jr Suite with one king or two double beds. The last Jr Suite is the 1030 sq ft Ocean View Butler Jr suite with one king bed. This is still one room with a larger room and a workspace. It also has Butler Service. We now move to the Suites starting with the one bedroom 1012 sq ft Ocean View Suite with a separate bedroom. It comes with a king bed and a sofa bed. We now move to the 1083 sq ft Swim-up Suite with one king bed and a sofa bed. Next, we have the one bedroom Ocean Front Butler Suite that is 1083 sq ft and comes with a king and sofa bed. It also includes butler service. Lastly, we have the 2500 sq ft Presidential Suite which includes a personal butler as well as a mini bar that includes liquor and you get 10% off all spa and salon services. We could certainly write a book about the accommodations but this should give you a good overview of the room categories.
Let’s look at the dining options at the resort, there are many. There are 6 A La Carte restaurants and 1 buffet. Some of the restaurants are shared between the 2 resorts in the compound. As far as A la Carte we have, Italian, Asian, Seafood, Brazilian, a Jamaican Jerk Shack. There is also a coffee and snack shop, an English Pub with pub food. As far as drinks there is the patio bar, the swim-up bar, and the piano bar
As far as activities there is a lot to do for all ages bot on land and in the water. In the water you have the beach, sailing, kayaks, snorkeling, boogie boards, paddle boards or just relaxing by the pool. On land there is a fitness club, a great kid’s club for kids 3-12 with supervised activities. The resort ahs a lot of activities during the day such as dance lessons, cooking lessons, beach volleyball, and water basketball. Don’t forget that you are surrounded by 3 of Jamaica’s top golf courses. This is a great resort for weddings because you have an adult only resort sitting next to a family resort so, accommodations for everyone and the wedding dept is great to work with.
This resort is great for weddings if there will be both adults and children and for clients that want a nice upscale resort at a reasonable price with very little time to and from the airport and in a nice upscale area. Remember that the beaches tend to be smaller and a little rocky both in and out of the water
This concludes our tour of the first three Playa Resorts in Jamaica. We will finish our tour of the Playa Resorts in Jamaica next month. Until then safe travels and good selling