A newsletter from the Jamaica Tourist Board
to keep you up-to-speed on island happenings. November 2010
Linda Boyce

The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa
By Mark RogerJewell

During the recent mega-fam in Jamaica, travel agents were unanimous in their praise of the newly-opened The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa, located in Ocho Rios. Travel agents gave the resort ultra-high marks for its amenities, upgrades and service. Hopefully this home run with agents will translate into bookings; when I was there last month the resort was struggling with only five percent occupancy. The effect in the public spaces was that of a party where nobody came. The low budget ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios was literally a stone’s throw away, and the high energy hi-jinks, blasting music and shrill cries from guests were a marked contrast to the relatively laid back Jewel. Frankly, The Jewel deserves higher occupancies, since it’s certainly one of the most upscale all-inclusive resorts on the island.

Rick Neufeld, owner of Complete Travel Services in Ankeny, Iowa, was one of the agents who toured The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa.Jewell

“There were lots of renovations and improvements at The Jewel,” observed Neufeld. “The resort needs to be better marketed. They need GoGo and United Vacations; I would love to see MLT coming in to work with them.”

Since Rick Neufeld’s visit, The Jewel has solidified contracts with a variety of wholesalers, including Cheap Caribbean, Expedia, JetBlue, Mark Travel, Sunquest Vacations,  SynXis, TNT Vacations, Travelocity, Travel Impressions, and will soon be signing with Apple Vacations, and Air Canada Vacations

Most agents will remember the property in its former incarnation as the popular Sandals Dunn's River Resort. It opened as The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa on Sept. 1 and is now managed by Aimbridge Hospitality. The finishes are superb, with a fine attention to detail. I encountered some of the friendliest staff in the Caribbean, and on further investigation learned that 90 percent of the staff was holdovers from the time when the resort was managed by Sandals. It’s important to note that the resort caters to guests 18 and over. 

The resort’s 250 rooms are spread out over three towers designated Diamond, Sapphire and Emerald Lanai, with rooms having sea, mountain or garden views. The Diamond Building has the most luxurious rooms and suites with whirlpool tubs and balconies. When staying in the Diamond Building, guests can add Diamond Butler Service, which takes care of all arrangements, packing/unpacking, reservations and beach bungalows.  They also receive Diamond Concierge Service, which gives access to the desk concierge to handle arrangements for shopping trips, excursions and dining reservations. The penultimate room category is Honeymoon Haven. These are one-bedroom ocean front suites having a large living area and balcony. The second highest room category is the 1 Bedroom Ocean View Butler Suite, which also comes with butler service. Jewell

By December the resort will have completed the transition to 32” flat screen TVs in all rooms.

In addition to all the bells-and-whistles you’d expect from an all-inclusive, guests also have access to a pool concierge, beach cabanas, tennis courts and a nine-hole executive golf course. The Jewel’s full-service European Radiant Spa has eight treatment rooms, a whirlpool and sauna.

The resort has six restaurants and five bars. Platinum features continental cuisine and formal, white glove service; Moonstone by Dominic showcases Italian cooking; Coral Cafe  has buffet breakfast and lunch, as well as evening table service featuring West Indies dishes; Jade Samurai requires reservations for teppanyaki-style dining. The informal Court Jesters Fire-Oven Pizza provides customized fire-oven pizza; and the Aquamarina Beach Bar & Grill operates on a surprising 24/7 schedule, serving up sandwiches, burgers and wraps.

According to Daine Golaube, the Jewel’s guest services manager, “We may see other Jewel properties throughout the Caribbean, although the Dunn’s Falls resort will be our flag ship property.”

The Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa

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