Over the Labor Day weekend I had the opportunity to take a pleasure trip, with my spouse. We ventured to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a 3-night stay at the all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara in Rose Hall, which is situated on the grounds of the former Ritz Carlton resort. This resort, having been open just around 6 months, is a dual resort. The Zilara is the adult only side consisting of spa treatment facilities, gym facilities, tennis courts, pools, whirlpools, beach front views, 3 restaurants and 2 bars. Zilara guests also have access to 10 more restaurants and 5 more bars at the adjacent Hyatt Ziva and Rose Hall Square, all within walking distant or a short golf cart ride on the property. The Ziva is family friendly and was the liveliest side while we were there. The Ziva side houses the gift shop and Zen Spa. It is also a shorter walking distance to a larger variety of restaurants. Zilara guest have full access to amenities at both Zilara and Ziva, however this is not reciprocated for Ziva guests.
The Hyatt Zilara is just a 10 minute ride from the Sangster Montego Bay Airport. After completing customs we made our way to a beautiful arrival lounge for the resort within the airport. It was complete with modern yet stately decorations, plush furniture, beverages and cookies. Once the staff checked us into the resort we were escorted to the complimentary shuttle. The resort is surrounded by other resorts but there are a few shopping centers nearby for which shuttle service is provided, such as the Shoppes at Rose Hall, Whittier Village and Blue Diamond Shopping Center. The resort is about 15 minutes away from the Gloucester Ave or “Hip Strip.” Gloucester Ave is a famous tourist area with small boutique hotels, restaurants and public beach. The bell hop at the resort can coordinate a taxi service to take you there, which runs on average $70 round trip.
After receiving welcome drinks, a brief overview of the resort and our keys we were escorted to our room. Our escort, Courtney, provided us with a brief tour of the accommodations and informed us that our 2nd floor junior suite overlooking the pool and beach was their typical honeymoon suite. Included in the room was a fully stocked minibar at no additional charge (restocked daily), spacious ocean view balcony, sitting area with LCD TV greeting you by name, rain shower, robes, slippers, soaker tub and 3 fl oz toiletries instead of the standard 1 fl oz found in many hotel rooms. There were an abundance of light switches. However, none of them controlled the light under the bathroom sink. After a call with the operator I was informed this was a common inquiry and could be easily remedied by being still, it eventually went off.
The room was very comfortable and in a great location for us. There was a pool party one night, so those overlooking the pool where in the middle of all the action until it ended around 11 pm. There are also upgraded room options that include a swim-out deck connecting you to the upper tier of the main pool. Personalized Butler Service is also available at this resort; imagine champagne served to you on your swim-out deck.
The Zilara has a large pool and whirlpool in the center of its rooms. The pool area includes a swim up bar, restaurant and beach access. Plush cabanas can be rented daily but most opted for the pool chairs and umbrellas readily available.
The food options were plentiful with the additional access to restaurants throughout the property and 24-hour room service. There were some standout dishes such as the salmon and skirt steak at HorizonZ, the pizza at Di RoZa and lobster bake at FlavorZ. However, for the most part the food was average. Perhaps with more time we would have experienced even more noteworthy dishes. It’s also important to note that most of the restaurants have a dress code for dinner, no tank tops or flip flops. I was initially turned away from Di RoZa because I was wearing black flip flops and was told that I would have to put on “fancy” sandals.
Each night the resort also offers a special entertainment event. One night was a pool party complete with buffet and DJ, the next night was the beach party with buffet and live band and the following night was a circus show in the Rose Hall Square.
The resort also offers games and wind sport lessons throughout the day. The non-motorized water sports are included in your rate so we took a catamaran sail, with our watersports expert Rob, and also went kayaking from the resort’s beach.
We also took advantage of treatment services at Zen Spa. The staff was polite and accommodating. My husband enjoyed the aromatherapy message and I settled for a facial. I initially requested a body scrub but the staff was not comfortable providing the service to someone 17 weeks pregnant. The facilities were complete with showers, dressing areas, a lounge, steam room, sauna and cold plunge pool.
The staff was helpful and friendly. Expect turn down service and fresh towels nightly in addition to the daily refreshing of your hotel room. The service around the pool was a little less consistent than what we experienced at the restaurants; meaning that the wait for service was longer and towels were frequently out of stock.
Overall, we had a wonderful experience and I thought it was a great value.
Have you stayed at this resort? What were your impressions?