Traveled November 2019
Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort is a great affordable Jamaica all-inclusive for Families. It’s one of the best Resorts with kids.
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Trip Cost Break Down
- Flights:$580 Total with 2 Southwest Companion Passes & 62k SW Miles, for 4 people would have been over $600 per person over Thanksgiving weekend.
- Hotel: $720 Total($180/nt w/AAA rate went through ebates. When our flight was canceled due to weather we paid $160 for an extra night.
- Entertainment: Included
- Food: $50 Total for Food while traveling
- Taxi Service:$90 RT shuttle from Viator.com
- Airport Parking: $30($6/day economy parking)
If you are looking for an affordable Jamaica All-Inclusive, I would recommend the Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort is a great value. We love the calm shallow water for snorkeling, the island and the swimming pool and all the activities the resort has to offer.
Tips when staying at the Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort
•Bring your own snorkel gear. The resort rents gear, they do run out and no guarantee when they will be returned.
•Use the boats early in your stay. Weather can change and if it’s too windy or if conditions are not safe you will not be able to use the boats. This trip they told us it was too Windy every day. the last day the ocean was like glass. we were told they boats will go up when there is some wind of course we were leaving so I don’t know if they actually did go out.
•Make a reservation when you arrive for the Italian Place. Note each restaurant is closed on certain days. The Italian restaurant is the only one I recommend though we didn’t try the Asian restaurant. This trip we only ate at the Italian restaurant. the mean wasn’t as good as I expected but I also wasn’t feeling well. the AC is very high in the restaurant and even with a fleece on over my dress i was extremely cold. I plan to brin pants next time to wear to the restaurant.
•No need to save lounge chairs by the pool with towels we always saw available ones.
•Snorkeling on the right side of the island has more fish (right side if you are facing toward the island back to the mainland).
•You can bring your own pool floats for the beach and pool if you would like. We didn’t miss them, but they are allowed.
Overview of Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort
This vacation was exactly what our family needed and was a good reminder how entertaining even simple things can be.
Those looking for a fun family getaway at an affordable price. Those who are happy with shallow calm water and are fine with mediocre food.
Those who want high quality food and luxurious amenities, waves or deeper ocean. The resort does not offer expansive beach area for long walks and it is not the beautiful white sand you think of like Negril.
Those who are sensitive to noise. We usually fit into this category and while we were woken up one night we were so tired from the day’s activities we went right to sleep. The walls are thin, and you can hear anyone walking by or talking on their balcony/patio next door. This trip we were on the third floor ocean view. we had no noise issues except the ac which runs a bit loud. our first room we were put in it made a high screaching noise and thankfully we were moved to a remodeled building with a better ac but they still run a little loud but more like white noise. higher up definitely helped with outside noise but it also meant going up 2 flights of stairs because the elevators are on the back of the buildings and our room was in the front-ie ocean view.
Originally We were looking for a cheap getaway. Requirements were: easy access to affordable food, walkable to a decent beach, and a nice pool. The Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort was all this and more. So much so this was our second trip to the resort and we hope to continue visiting each year.
What we enjoyed about the resort
$150/nt-$180/nt with AAA rate can not be beaten! I went in with low expectations because of the rate and this resort surpassed my expectations in every area except food which was fine just not as great as everything else at the resort.
This trip we booked an ocean view room because it was the cheapest option available. we requested a kid’s bunk room but unfortunately, there weren’t any available. As mentioned we were moved from an older building due to AC issue to a newly remodeled building. The room was much nicer and I recommend requesting to stay in one of the remodeled rooms. the remodeled room didn’t have a fridge but we never used one anyway.
Our first trip We were upgraded to a bunk room and while not ocean view it was an ideal location and we could see the ocean from the patio a little. Room 2127 ground floor between the main pool and playground/snack shack. We had everything we wanted within a 1min walk. The room has been renovated so it felt new though you could see imperfections like a painted patch on the ceiling and the curtain by the sliding door was dirty-I never notice that until the last day so honestly could have been from my kids.
The front door would stick sometimes so we had to make sure it was closed and locked before leaving our room. My kids loved the bunks even though u could feel the springs on the mattresses. Our bed was comfortable, and I have a bad back, so I usually complain that beds are too hard. The bunk room gave a feel of a separate room and we liked the privacy.
BEACH and OCEAN Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort
The beach was a plus for us but could be a con for others. The area is shallow in general. There are small narrow beaches along the resort with an island opposite the main resort area.
In-between is a lagoon that is clean sand and shallow water great for small kids, young snorkelers, or simply those that want to chill in calm water no waves and never more than waist-deep.
There are also some smaller side beaches. Snorkeling is great. Lots of fish especially on the right side if you are facing the island. We found a conch, sea urchins, and crabs too. Lots of different birds flying around. I could sit on the island and watch my kids snorkel and play in the sand. And there was always available lounge chairs no matter what time of day
There’s no water slide or lazy river but the pool wraps around the stage connected with bridges that you can swim under, which the kids enjoyed. They called it a lazy river because u could swim around it, though one part is blocked, and you step out, walk over a walkway to the start of the next section. Our kids loved playing hide and seek throughout the pool and our daughter and I even did some water aerobics. The Pool has shallow parts and a zero-entry part there’s a side where there’s a second level ledge so you can sit in the water. There’s a small sprinkler pad too.
ACTIVITIES / ENTERTAINMENT
I would say the resort far exceeded my expectations because entertainment wasn’t a requirement for us. Simply beach and pool. The resort has much more. They have a kid’s club which we didn’t use so I can’t comment on. It has a huge playground that families can take their kids to any time.
They have an entertainment schedule with activities like water aerobics daily at 10:30, some sort of game by the pool like ring toss, minute to win it, and bingo usually in the afternoon. On our first trip, My husband asked the resorts kids club about fish feeding and she told us they go out to the gazebo and if we couldn’t make it we could just bring bread over to feed the fish on our own- which we did, and it was great.
The kids looked forward to the afternoon games on the stage. Corn-hole competition, a balloon game water Olympics. They offer up prizes which often include items from the local vendors that are there selling items for the day. There was also crab racing with large hermit crabs that the kids really got a kick out of. it was $1 per bet.
Any time Sports
They have basketball and tennis courts- they have tennis lessons for kids as part of the kid’s club. There’s shuffle board and botchy ball and a very basic miniature golf course which my kids enjoyed a lot. The resort has pool tables and a ping pong table. They have peddled boats and kayaks and a Hobby Cat which they offer free rides on (my daughter said she felt like Moana).
They had a musician each night during dinner from about 6-8 usually a vocalist though one night they had a great violinist playing all modern songs. Then 8 or 9pm the evening show which always ended by 11pm if not sooner. We didn’t make it up for those as we were up at 6am every day and tired from the sun swimming and wine.
FOOD at Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort
Easy Access to Food
One of our requirements was easy to access cheap food and an all-inclusive def made it easy. 7am breakfast buffet started, 11am-6pm and 10pm-2am the grill is open with burgers fish fry grilled cheese, and french fries. 12-6 snack hut with loaded nachos, hot dogs, popcorn and soft-serve ice cream. 12pm lunch buffet started, 6pm dinner buffet and specialty restaurants started. Jerk hut opens at 12pm and the jerk chicken and pork are very good; the chicken was very tender.
Options for picky, boring eaters but also some authentic Jamaica for the foodies.
My kids are picky and my husband boring though he tries when we travel. He’s happy with burgers and fries; He said the burgers were pretty good. Breakfast was the best selection I’ve ever seen for a cruise/all inclusive. A carving station, some real dinner type entrée, a cooked vegetable and salad on the breakfast buffet. From my husband’s reaction the typical carbs waffles pancakes etc. were just ok. Omelets station, poached egged, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs (runny), bacon, sausage and more.
Lunch and Dinner were a variety and always included something at the grill. And usually had some Jamaica dishes which I was pleased with. The curries were not spicy to my disappointment. I thought the brown stew chicken would have more spice too, but the beef stew had great flavor.
Most meals I found an entree and veggie that I really enjoyed but there were times I had an item and thought this is worse than cruise food because some items were down right terrible and usually because of poor preparation. But overall, we were fine the food and being able to find one enjoyable entrée is exactly what I need.
We drank wine mostly and our kids loved the slushies: Pina colada, strawberry daiquiri and a strawberry banana. Our first evening the bartender asked if they wanted a Mickey Mouse: Strawberry Daiquiri topped with Pina colada topped with a little cola on top. My son loved it so much he had it every day. This trip we learned about the Sponge Bob (strawberry Daiquiri, pina colada and topped with orange juice.
This trip we only ate at the Italian restaurant but on our first trip we ate at 3 of the 4 specialty restaurants. The 4th is the Japanese which is adult only and requires a surcharge. The seafood restaurant I didn’t enjoy and would pass on though they do have a surcharge menu that we didn’t try which may have been good. The terrace Jamaican restaurant was just ok, but I would skip it as you can get a lot of what is offered at the buffet or jerk hut. The Italian restaurant was good and worth a visit or even 2. This trip we both ordered the filet and ordered the shrimp Alfredo to share.
The service was very good. Upon check in we were sent to the special check in area. on our first visit they Upgraded our room- we do not have status at IHG and are just members. I recommend you sign up before you go as it was the first thing they asked when we checked in at the main desk. This visit we had an issue with our air conditioning and they tried to fix it and when they couldn’t they moved us.
From the bartender who suggested the Mickey Mouse to the servers always filling our wine, the house keeping on our first visit that left a towel heart with flowers one day, to the very end when the guy who took our bags offered to weigh our checked bag to see if we were overweight. We didn’t ask for anything outrageous, but they were great with what we did need.
What a typical day was like at the Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort
We woke up each morning got dressed in swimsuits and cover-ups and headed to breakfast at 7am. Then headed over to the island where we spent the morning snorkeling and playing in the sand.
By 11 or 12 we headed over to the pool sometimes having lunch at the burger shack next to it, sometimes eating at the buffet. The kids often wanted an hour in the room to relax so a couple times we grabbed hot dogs ice cream and nachos for the kids from the snack shop for them to enjoy in the room while they relaxed. Afternoons were usually spent at the pool and often there was a game offered on the stage the kids (and us adults) participated in. Around 4/5pm we went back to the room showered and changed for dinner. We enjoyed the evening music offered during dinner time and did not stay up late enough to see the evening shows.
Affordable Family Travel to Jamaica
It’s easy to keep the cost of the trip to $1500 or less. You can book nights starting at $150/night AAA rates on Holiday Inn Jamaica’s website. A Week would only be $1050 all inclusive.
Holiday Inn All Inclusive Jamaica Family Resort is the BEST value resort in Jamaica and honestly the best value we have found anywhere.
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