Don’t you just love family vacations? Every year we go on at least two little getaways; one with my husband and two boys and the other with all four of us, my parents, my brother and his girlfriend. A couple weeks ago, we went on our joint family vacation to the fantastic Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is an all-inclusive family resort that has a little of something for everyone to enjoy. The hotel is beautiful and we were immediately taken away into a different realm when we stepped out of our cars, weary from the 3 hour drive to get there. Upon alighting from the car, we were quickly greeted by a bell-hop who placed our bags on a cart and carried them inside. Customer service was off to a great start!
The check-in process was just as pleasant as we were greeted with the usual complimentary fruit punch by a very courteous waiter. Following a quick and easy check-in, we immediately went to the buffet restaurant, as we were well into the lunch period and famished from our journey. To our dismay, we arrived just a few minutes before the end of lunch so the offerings were very limited. But, not to be discouraged, we had what was available and then made our way to the pool so the boys could start having their fun. And fun they had! Their eyes dazzled when they saw the huge waterslide and rushed toward the pool, barely able to contain their excitement. After quickly reminding them to take off their slippers before going into the pool, it was time to splash to their hearts content. I must admit, Gabriel and I were just as excited about the water slide and quickly joined them too. Our first ride down was exhilarating as well as terrifying! I didn’t know whether to love it or hate it! The reaction from the boys – it was a hit! They went on the slide over and over again. I didn’t take any pictures or videos of this but I found some good ones that you will enjoy.
So, clearly, the water was good but the slide wasn’t a hit for me. So, I went to explore. There is a section of the pool called the Lazy River and there is where I found my niche! It was fantastic! It was the greatest and most relaxing feeling to float aimlessly in that tube around the circular section of the pool, lined with sporadic waterfalls and the occasional tunnel. I almost fell asleep.
By now, hours had passed and we all felt like it was just a few minutes ago that we entered the pool. We grudgingly pulled ourselves from the greatness of the pool and made our way to our rooms. To this point, I thought the highlight of the day was the lazy river; man was I wrong! Just outside our ground floor room were a plethora of hammocks anchored by palm trees. My heart skipped a beat as I tested one out – O-M-G! The cool, calm wind from the beach was a welcome addition to the shade of the palm tree and the light swing of the hammock. I, again, fell asleep!
An hour later, I was awakened by Gabriel who reminded me that we need to get ready for dinner. I entered the room to see the boys comfortably wrapped up in the bed playing games on their tablets; another plus for the hotel for them was free Wi-Fi available across the entire property! So far, so good; as all was well and everyone was pleased. Then Gabriel said, “Honey, there’s no mini-bar.” I was surprised because we fully expect a hotel such as the Hilton would have a nice mini-bar in the room. I replied jokingly, “Maybe it has a concealed entrance.” We checked the fancy, modern cupboards and found the mini-fridge with bottles of water, but alas, there was no mini-bar with his favourite rum. But, not to be discouraged, there was plenty of rum at the many bars on the property. So, I sent the boys to shower and get ready. Fast forward an hour later and we were all ready and rearing to go for dinner.
We met with the rest of the family and headed to the restaurant, anxious to sample the offerings on the menu. It was great! Each item we had tasted home-cooked. I was ecstatic! We happily enjoyed our meals while engaging in goodhearted conversation. After a hearty main course, we checked out the dessert section. It was small and the options limited, but upon trying the offerings found out why. Everything was heavenly! I asked the waitress to give the pastry department my regards because they had done well. Dessert was literally the icing on top of the cake!
After dinner, my mother was sleepy so she took the boys back to the room, leaving the night owls to enjoy the hotel nightlife. We had leisure drinks at the bar and chatted until it was time to go to the club. Here, we danced until our feet were tired and then made our way to our rooms to rest up for the next day.
Day 2 – More fun!
Gabriel and I were the first to be up as we were planning to start our day at the hotel’s fitness centre. As this was our regular Saturday morning routine, it was easy for us to get up and head to the gym. We were pleasantly surprised to see that it was well stocked with treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers, a leg curl machine, leg extension machine, dumbbells, medicine balls, stability balls, yoga mats, and kettlebells; we almost didn’t miss our gym! After our workout, we made our way back to the room to get ready for breakfast. Once again, we met the family and had a grand time.
Prior to our next bout of fun in the pool and waterslide, the boys stopped for a game of chess. I watched as Gabriel battled wits with our son, Michael, with Matthew occasionally giving his brother tips. The two games ended closely with Michael almost beating Gabriel both times. So off we went to the pool to repeat the fun of the day before. Just like the previous day, we grudgingly left the pool to have lunch and then made our way to the Teen Zone where we played video games on the Wii, Xbox and PS4 for an hour. If you remember my last post, this was also where my husband almost gave me heart failure by suggesting we take a walk, leaving the boys playing games. We won’t dredge up that story again but feel free to read about it here. Nonetheless, we went to the Cricket Club to play pool and have drinks until it was time to get ready for dinner.
It was a great trip; everyone had fun. The boys played video games, enjoyed the waterslide, good food and free Wi-Fi; all the things important to modern day 11 year olds. My husband and I were able to relax a little, have some fun and still have one-on-one time. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend also had a great time. There were minor hiccups but nothing to spoil the fun. So, I say good job to me for planning it and good job to Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa for living up to the reviews I read online. Cheers to another successful and fun- filled family vacation; mission accomplished!
Where was your last family vacation and how was it?
If you want to plan one in Jamaica, let me know, I can help you plan it to guarantee success.