Go! Destination Marketing Caribbean Connection

Shining Brightly - The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa

By Mark Rogers

During the recent 21st annual Jamaican Product Exchange (JAPEX) in Montego Bay, travel agents descended on the island intent on seeing as many resorts as they could during their visit. Within this blur of activity, one resort that stood out in agents’ memories was The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios.

"I really liked the property," said Jeannette Hein, an inside agent with Miami-based America’s Vacation Center Avoya Travel. "I took the time to visit The Jewel on my own. I’ll be recommending the property to my young professional clients in their 30s, although it would also be a good fit for active travelers in their 40s and 50s. I could see them really enjoying the property as well."

Last month, The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa celebrated its first birthday.

The resort has only been opened a short while – Sept. 1 to be exact. The property is well known to most travel agents in its former incarnation as a Sandals’ property.

The Jewel deserves to be on travel agents’ radar. The finishes are superb, with a fine attention to detail. There’s a lively and active atmosphere which is balanced by sophisticated touches here and there, such as the pool concierge offering guests skewers of fresh fruit, a misting of cool fragrance-infused water and ice-cold face towels.

Guests have given high marks to the cleanliness of the rooms, the friendliness of the staff, and the high quality of the food and drinks. One guest remarked, "Kevin (our waiter at the Platinum) was extraordinary. Hard to get service like this at home."

Another guest – one who lives in the Caribbean – did some research on other Jamaica resorts before choosing The Jewel, and remarked: "We can certainly recommend The Jewel to everyone. It’s not one of the very largest resorts, so you get personal attention."

The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa has 250 guest rooms and suites within three buildings – Diamond, Sapphire and Emerald. The rooms have views of the Caribbean Sea, the Jamaican mountains or tropical gardens. The rooms and suites come in seven categories, from the Premier Guest Room category of nice-sized standard guest rooms, some with private balcony; to Honeymoon Haven 1-Bedroom Ocean Front Butler Suite, which provides 855 square feet of over-the-top personal butler service.

All of the resort’s guest rooms have a 4-poster king bed with elegant Colonial décor and tiled floors. The mini-bar is stocked and replenished with water, soda, juices and coffee and tea service. Internet access is wired and available for a modest fee and is complimentary in select room categories. The Jewel also has a complimentary internet café for those who want to stay connected.

"Last April I stayed at The Jewel for one week with my husband," said Rageshree Inkoo Mehta, travel consultant with Windsor Travel in Framingham, MA. "I liked it very much – the flair and the look of the resort. We especially enjoyed dining at The Jade Samurai, which has teppanyaki-style seating. The Japanese chef was very entertaining."

There are six restaurants in all. In addition to The Jade Samurai, guests can choose to dine at Aquamarina Beach Grill, serving up sandwiches, burgers and wraps; Platinum, which provides a la carte breakfast and white-glove dinner service; Moonstone by Dominic, where fine Italian cuisine from the North & South regions of Italy is available, with the option of either indoor or alfresco seating; Court Jesters Fire-Oven Pizza, specializing in custom fire-oven pizza; and Coral Café featuring buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In addition to six bars, The Jewel also has the Bling! Nightclub for those who want to dance the night away.

While the resort’s Radiant Spa is not part of the all-inclusive package, it offers an enticing menu of treatments. The spa has seven treatment rooms, whirlpool, sauna, and locker rooms.

Features at the resort include two pools with swim-up bar and pool concierge service, a 9-Hole Pitch & Putt Golf Course, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts. Non-motorized watersports activities abound. For an additional fee, Resort Divers offers motorized watersports, such as a P.A.D.I., snorkel tour and glass bottom boat ride.

The resort offers complimentary transportation from Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, about a 90-minute drive. This is less tedious than you might think, since much of the drive is scenic along the north shore of the island.

One of The Jewels strongest selling features is its proximity to major Ocho Rios attractions. Three of the area’s premier attractions - Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove and Mystic Mountain – are only one mile away. For some off-resort nightclubbing and shopping, Ocho Rios shops and Margaritaville are only 2.5 miles from the resort.

Valerie Josephs, a travel agent with Maryland-based Got-A-Go travel, has not only toured The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa - she’s already sent a customer there. Both agent and client gave the resort rave reviews.

"It’s a very elegant resort, but it can be booked at a reasonable price," said Josephs. "I’m currently looking at booking a destination wedding there."

The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa

US & Canada: 888-529-5176

Resort Direct: +1 (876) 972-7400



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