There are two types of ways to enjoy an all-inclusive resort: Embrace all the amenities and fit in as much as you can during your stay, or try not to lift a finger for the ultimate relaxation getaway. With three kids at home and 10 years without a vacation for just the two of them, Global Connections employees Eric and Christy S. spent a few days at the Hotel RIU Montego Bay in Jamaica, a 24-hour all-inclusive. Since they chose to take it easy and relax to the fullest, they came back recharged and ready to share about their trip.
Since you can book this resort through the Global Connections Travel Agency, it’s a great way to know what you’re heading into!
How was the all-inclusive experience?
Eric: I could sit around and relax all day. That was fantastic.
Christy: This was like an all-encompassing gift over the past few years. I think if we were younger, we would have done more. But we have three kids at home and haven’t had a vacation to ourselves in about 10 years, which is why we took it easy.
What was there to do at the resort?
Eric: I tried to paddleboard and kayak. But I always got there in the afternoon when the breeze picked up and they didn’t want you do go out there because people struggled to come back in. They said it was easier to paddleboard and kayak in the morning, but I slept in. They let me pedal boat, but Christy was never with me and you need two people for those. I also saw people snorkeling.
I did play beach volleyball. They also have a ping-pong table.
We didn’t see any live shows. But you do get to watch cricket. It was pretty fun.
Christy: They had water aerobics, outdoor fitness classes and yoga, too. There are activities going on all day. I went to the spa, which offered a hair/nail salon, massages, hair styling and waxing.
There’s an outdoor spa at the end of the property away from everything. It was by our room where the roped off area gets smaller so you don’t have as many people down at the beach. That was kind of nice because we didn’t have to contend with a crowd while we were out there. When you went from the pool area to the beach, there was a lot more people. But we could always find a chair on the beach below our room.
There’s someone at the front desk who tells you what’s going on each day. They have alternating activity schedules each week.
Eric: We were more like, “Let’s sit here and do nothing.” But if you want activities, you can schedule your day as much as you want.
How were your rooms?
Christy: We had a suite, which faced the ocean. We were on the third floor, so we could go down to the beach or we could sit out on our balcony to watch the sunset. The bathroom had a tub, dual vanity and a box shower with separate toilet area.
Eric: The room had a hydromassage tub. The TV was on a pedestal that rotates back and forth. Just outside the room was a little mini bar where I drank all my rum, along with Red Stripe beer. The staff refilled it every couple days.
So the staff was pretty good?
Christy: They have a lot of great people who work there. And they all have nicknames: Superman, Chop-Chop.
The taxi driver was the Cool Guy. He gave us his card and told us to let him know when we come back to Jamaica. He’d take us anywhere we wanted to go.
Did you go anywhere outside the resort?
Eric: We went to the luminous lagoon. It’s a 30-minute drive in Falmouth. The water isn’t saltwater or freshwater, it’s brackish – a mix between to two – because a river flows into it. When you swim through the lagoon, it actually glows.
Christy: They did have tour guides for different areas. We wanted to do a jeep tour of Jamaica, but it wouldn’t fit into our schedule. Then they suggested that we do it by cab and we looked at each other and said that it didn’t seem as fun.
The resort wasn’t very far from the airport, so it was kind of nice. And there is shopping basically across the street. You can walk to it, we happened to take a cab.
Eric: That’s where I bought my 21-year-old rum, Appleton Estate. I just can’t find any place that has it here. The rum was awesome.
How was the food?
Eric: They had four different restaurants. There was an Italian specialty restaurant and a Japanese steakhouse specialty restaurant. Maho Bay also had a steakhouse where you could get lunch and snacks until 6:30 p.m. Then there was a place called Rose Hall, which served breakfast and buffet dinners.
Christy: The Italian restaurant and Japanese steakhouse were reservation only. We didn’t want to pay the extra fee, so we didn’t eat there. The rest of the food was included, so you could get anything you wanted at Maho Bay during the day.
Eric: The Caribbean jerk sauce: awesome. I put it on anything. I found a barbecue pit on the second day near the beach. Between lunch and dinner, they grilled up whole chickens and made homemade jerk sauce. They would cut you half a chicken. You just eat it on the beach with your Jamaican rum.
What was your favorite moment?
Eric: When I realized my Jamaican rum was included.
If you want to book this and other all-inclusive resorts, check out these great credits you can get from RIU Hotels and Resorts from Jamaica to St. Maarten to Costa Rica.
Photos courtesy of Eric and Christy S.