Fly Away: Royalton Blue Waters
When looking for a holiday vacation, we immediately thought about the Royalton Luxury Resorts. In May, my mom and I vacationed at the Royalton in Riviera Maya, Mexico and LOVED it!!! I will likely do a flashback post outlining that trip since it biased this one a bit. When I found out the Royalton Blue Waters resort in Montego Bay opened in November, we jumped at the chance to check it out (and scored a wonderful 5-night all-inclusive with airfare package deal!). Here is our journey:
We arrived at the Montego Bay airport and once we reached the bottom of the off-ramp, we were greeted by two women. We selected the Mobay Fast Track to expedite our airport experience, and we were whisked through airport customs in less than 10 minutes! We sat in the VIP guest lounge, but by the time we ordered our first rum punch, our private transportation had arrived! We were well on our way to the resort.
After a 40-minute drive, we arrived at Royalton Blue Waters and were quickly greeted by the bellhop and escorted to check-in. The woman at check-in knew we upgraded to Diamond Club and escorted us to the pretty Diamond Club Lounge were we had snacks and began sipping champagne.
As a quick aside, The Diamond Club upgrade provides: Preferred room locations; Butler service; In-suite liquors; Preferential reservations at the a la carte restaurants; an Exclusive Diamond Club beach area with waiter service; Access to the Diamond Club Lounge; Upgraded room service selection; and more!
I would definitely recommend the upgrade. The perks of having reservations for the restaurants and having access to the Diamond Club members’ beach are worth it. At the other Royalton resort, Diamond Club members also had their own pools on the resort. At the Diamond Club Lounge, we met Omar who was the lounge host and super friendly and welcoming (he also checked in on us throughout our stay). Since we arrived early (around 12pm), our room wasn’t quite ready; however, after a quick walk around the resort, our room was ready.
We walked into our gorgeous room!!! But…I quickly noticed we only had one king bed. We had reserved two queen double beds. We went back to check-in and they attempted to correct the issue, but no rooms in our suite class were available for days. Days later we noticed the same situation happening to other folks, so be sure to confirm before you arrive. Moving on…
Back to our gorgeous room, we see our nice, large bathroom area—a private commode, dual rainstorm shower heads in the shower, and a Jacuzzi tub. The rest of the room was also spacious with a king bed (*groan*), couch, nice sized TV, a desk, and plenty of storage space for clothing. The bed and pillows were verrrrry comfortable; allowing me some great sleep during our trip. We also had a swim-out pool off of our large patio. The patio, swim-out pool, and beautiful view of the bluest ocean were remarkable.
The grounds of the resort were also immaculate. Although we resided on the Blue Waters resort, the grounds also merge with the Royalton White Sands resort—to which Blue Waters residents also had access. The Blue Waters resort had clean, modern architecture and design.
Several pools were available through the resort including a kiddie pool with slides and a lazy river which I enjoyed…
The beaches were clean and seaweed-free and the resort even had its own island/sandbar! You can also go parasailing and rent kayaks. Each day we were there, a beachside wedding occurred which looked glamorous with the crystal clear blue ocean in the background.
For those coming to party on their vacation, there are enough bars everywhere, including swim-up bars at several pools. Enjoy traditional drinks, flavored martinis and daiquiris, or their Bob Marley! There are Diamond Club-only bars along the beach and the servers will bring your drinks directly to your beach chair (Thanks, Yvonne!).
The spa is also very nice. As a part of our package, we received $300 in resort credits—including 2, $50 credit for the spa. I had a nice 50-minute thermal massage.
Royalton Resorts has amazing restaurants. Boasting 11 different restaurants (a few have yet to open), the Blue Waters resort had something for everyone.
For breakfast, we spent a few mornings at the main Gourmet Marche buffet (which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner). The buffet had a good selection of hot and cold items with your traditional breakfast fare with a few unique options each day. We also ordered room service for breakfast—sampling their omelets and steak and eggs—which were also good choices.
I can’t speak much about the lunch options on the resort because on the first day, while touring the resort, I encountered a long line at this hut on the beach. What is this hype about? I jumped in the line and it was a nice buffet ending with Jerk chicken and pork! Hell yeah, mon! The Jerk chicken and Jamaican patties were a hit and guests crowded the hut day after day—and so did I.
We had dinner at 5 of the restaurants: Opa Mediterranean Cuisine, Zen Teppanyaki, Hunter Steakhouse, Grazie Italian Trattoria, and Jade Asian Fusion. Each had unique options from menu with a wide selection of food choices. As you can see from the pictures, there is something for everyone. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, the staff were always certain to ask about them prior to sitting down. My favorite was the Jade Asian Fusion restaurant. Their menu had Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese food options. Please note their funky deconstructed salads!
Entertainment is also a perk of the Royalton resorts. There is always something happening on the resort for everyone to enjoy. Dancing, trivia, poolside games, and bingo were just some of the activities we watched/participated. Even the Kid’s Club had an awesome DJ and dance party! Each night there were entertainers—ranging from singers to acrobats—who all put on a great show. Afterwards everyone headed to the sports bar to dance it out with the DJ. Although the DJ was great (playing reggae, reggaeton, soca, and current Hip Hop and Pop) and got everyone moving, there was no space to dance! The sports bar is incredibly small. I wish they would move it outside on nice days (it rained briefly a couple evenings while we were there).
We decided on two excursions through Nexus Tours—the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth and the Mystic Mountain in Ochos Rios. For the Luminous Lagoon tour, as the sun was setting, we were whisked away by bus to Falmouth. Since the sun had not completely set, we were given a tour of the city of Falmouth and our guide provided details about their rich culture. Once it was pitch black, we arrived to the small port and spent a few minutes at a Tiki bar. Once our boat was ready, we boarded and began our venture into the Lagoon. Our two guides again provided us with information about the rich history of Falmouth and explained how the lagoon became so luminous—microorganisms called dinoflagellates swimming in the mixture of salt and fresh water—making it one of only 4 of these glowing lagoons in the world. We were also entertained with music and rum. As we were approaching the lagoon, you could see the glowing blue water coming off the ripples from the boat. Once docked, we jumped off the boat, and swam and splashed around—glowing with every move. How cool!! It was difficult to take pictures, so plan ahead to set your cameras accordingly.
For Mystic Mountain, we took a 40-minute bus ride to Ochos Rios. We disembarked and received our entrance bracelet and boarded a lift through the rain forest to get to the main park. The lift gave you great views of the Ochos Rios coastline. Once at the top, we decided to do the Jamaican bobsled ride. You heard me…Cool Runnings style! At 40 miles per hour, we zipped and turned through the rainforest. After a quick lunch, we then went ziplining through the rainforest as well. Two hilarious guides escorted us through 5 lines through the forest. Thrilling and fun!
We then boarded the bus and had a quick drive down the road to Dunn’s River Falls. So, I was mistaken when I booked this excursion…I thought I was going to be lounging on a beach and posing next to the falls. Noooooooo! We realized we had a 1000+ foot climb up the falls; slipping and sliding on rocks. Although we had nice views of the falls—more intense than what I anticipated, as we were IN the falls—it was an exhausting climb. Not for the faint of heart (literally, there are warning signs before you start). Still a beautiful excursion.
When we returned, sore and beaten, our butler had made us a bath! Winning!
Our departure was just as easy as our arrival (logistically, not emotionally. Haha). The private transportation picked us up 10 minutes early and navigation through the airport was quick. We had the Mobay Fast Track once again—decked out with a red carpet—and sat in their VIP lounge until boarding for our plane was called. Back to the tundra we go…
There were some incredible perks of the resort:
- Cabana rental: For Sunday (can’t miss football!), we rented a cabana near one of the main pools. Beautiful space with a swim-up pool, chaise loungers, fully stocked bar, and a big screen TV. We had our own cabana butler who took care of us all day. For just $75, you could rent the cabana with the perks for most of the day. Tip: Rent cabanas #9 and 10 for beautiful ocean views.
- Family-friendly: As stated in the Entertainment section, there were activities for everyone, especially those families going with children. Plenty of kids sections and activities to where the little ones would be occupied.
- Entertainment: See above.
However, I must note some of the not-so-good parts too:
- Service: In addition to the room snafu, the service was mediocre. As a newly opened resort, it was clear they were gaining their footing. One of our butlers was not answering our small requests for the first day and a half. As another example, at the buffet, servers didn’t appear to have assigned tables so it was difficult to get beverages or other items you may need. Given our impeccable service at their sister resort, I believe this could be corrected with time.
- Family-friendly: Although this is a perk, couples and party people may not want all the children around. At our previous resort in Riviera Maya, there were adults-only sections and pools. This resort didn’t have any.
Overall, it was a wonderful, fun, and relaxing trip at Royalton Blue Waters. Although the resort has service-related kinks to work out, I would recommend the resort, particularly for those going with family and children.
*Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post. All opinions are purely my own*