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Beaches BoscobelTerrible Vacation

My wife, two children and I had a six night stay at Beaches Boscobel. Unfortunately, it was among the worst vacations that I've ever had. So many things went wrong during our stay, I can scarcely compile them all.


1) It took over thirty-five minutes for us to check-in. After two flights and a two and a half hour bus ride with a two-year old and a nine-month old, this is by no means acceptable. We need a place as soon as possible to change diapers, nurse, etc.

2) After checking in and waiting an additional ten minutes for a bellman, we were taken to our room. We started to settle in and get the kids ready for dinner. The bellmen and the front desk attendant then reappeared at our room door and rudely told us that we were in the wrong room.

3) We eventually made it to our actual room and, despite making a reservation for two double beds, we were given one king bed. We indicated that this was not what we reserved. The front desk attendant said that they were "100% full" (which we later learned was not true; they were 94% full) and our room could not be moved. She advised us to come by the next day and change our reservation.

4) After leaving a credit card on file, we received a complete stranger's Sandals/Beaches card. I went back to the front desk and asked to receive mine. The attendant said that there was no way for me to receive a new card, nor to cancel the card with my name on it given to another guest. Subjecting my credit card to another guest is grossly negligent.

5) One of the main reasons we chose the resort was the availability of childcare so that my wife and I could have some moments alone. On the second day, we visited the childcare center to scope it out. We found unattended children running around, four year olds climbing in and out of infant bouncy seats, workers not paying any attention to the children or workers yelling at the children, and most shockingly a worker covered in a blanket sleeping in one of the child playhouses. We were VERY disappointed to learn that the staff was in no way sufficiently trustworthy to leave our children. This was all confirmed the next day when while lounging by the pool, we found one of the children who was on our bus screaming for her mother. My wife picked the three year old up, calmed her and went looking for her mother. Alas, she was under the care of the staff. This little girl walked along side the pool for at least 100 feet totally unattended. When my wife came upon the group, one of the workers just said, "Grace! Where have you been?" There was no effort to look for her whatsoever.

6) My wife tried to change the room the next day. She approached the desk at 11 AM. After waiting in line for twenty minutes, she was told they were too busy with checkouts to handle the request. She was asked to come back in thirty minutes. She came back at noon and after waiting in line for ten minutes was told that they had already given all the rooms away and that she "should have come by sooner." We resigned ourselves to stay with the room we had.

7) Our room was filthy. Since we have small children, we need to use the room in the middle of the day for naps. Nap time is no longer than one and a half hours. Despite this, the cleaning person consistently came by our room at 5:30 PM, four hours after nap time, and said that she needed to clean the room now or it wouldn't get cleaned for the day saying, "I came by our room earlier but it had a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on it." We need to get our children bathed and ready for dinner in the five o'clock hour. Keep in mind we were not in our room from 9:30 AM through noon nor from 1:30 PM through 5 PM. Twice our room was not cleaned and twice our towels were not replaced.

8) Upon checkout we were charged $2 for an internal call to reconfirm a reservation at the spa and charged $20 for a key left at "Snapshots." On the last day, we went by to have photos printed. We had photo bracelets wrapped around the keychain. We gave the keychain to the attendant but never received it back. By the time we realized it was missing, Snapshots was closed. Since we checked out the next day before they opened, we were forced to pay for a missing key.

9) Our bus ride to the airport was delayed multiple times because two of Beaches employees who needed a ride to the airport were late. Moreover, we stopped four times on the trip to the airport because a) one had "the munchies" or b) the other had a "toothache." This was done despite the fact that we had a crying nine-month old baby.

I am shocked at low quality of customer service we received during our trip. We paid, by our means, a considerable amount of money for this vacation, assured that it would be worth spending a little more so to make it easier to travel with small children. We could not have been more wrong. I will avoid Beaches and Sandals resorts like the plague.


  • Wb
    wbf Sep 28, 2009

    We stayed at the Beaches Sandy Bay property, also in Jamaica and had several disturbances on our vacation as well. Furthermore, every other guest we asked at the resort was dissatisfied with their room, and other things. I sent Beaches a letter via their website and after one month still have no response. The customer service is definitely lacking. I don't think it's ignorant to expect good customer service when you're booking a vacation that is on the expensive side and is advertised as "luxury included". Here are some of my experiences and perhaps a couple photos of what the room really looks like.

    We looked at the website up and down for three weeks before making our final decision and booking a Jamaican vacation - "luxury included". From the moment of our arrival, before we even were out of the airport, we began to experience frustration and dissatisfaction as well as false advertising. When we arrived at the Beaches lounge there was a porter and a hostess waiting outside the door for us. We assumed they were from Beaches but they quickly told us they were not and would be expecting gratuity. We were unprepared for this since we planned on spending little cash on our all inclusive (including tips) vacation. There also seemed to be a lot of confusion about when the bus would leave. First we were told have a seat and it would leave in 20 minutes but no sooner had we sat down than we were called to get on the bus where we sat in the heat for about 20 minutes! Of course, we had to tip somebody else for taking our bags to the bus. And this was not the beautiful Beaches logo bus that appears in the website video but a run down local tour bus.

    Upon arrival at the resort we were directed to sit in the sweltering, un-airconditioned lobby while they got our room information. There was a lot of back and forth and what seemed like unnecessary waiting without good reason. Eventually we were given keys and told to wait some more until a porter took our bags and showed us to the room. We left the bags and walked ourselves to the room - at last, in the air conditioning but now after a day of travel we still couldn't freshen up because it took over 30 more minutes for the bags to get up there. Considering that there were only us and one other family checking in at that time it seems like almost an hour is a long time to get bags to a room.

    And let's talk about the room, it did not live up to the beautiful website photos either. The decor was the same but much more run down than the pictures indicate. Now I understand that being on a beach does tend to run down a building but I'm not talking so much about wear and tear as just about poor workmanship. Bad patch jobs in the ceiling and paint jobs that didn't properly cover adjacent areas so the paint spilled over and was never cleaned up. I saw our maid sweep and mop our room every day but there were still places on the baseboards and walls that went untouched and dirty - things that I could lightly touch with a wet cloth and the dirt would be cleaned.

    The king sized bed was ridiculous. It creaked and had such a sag in the middle that I spent several uncomfortable nights. I hated to get in bed because it made so much noise and once I was in I didn't want to move for fear of waking our family in the adjoining room. And I was forced to hug the edge lest I be sucked into the sink hole in the middle of the bed. After the 3rd or 4th day my husband noticed some maintenance men fixing a railing next door and asked if they could put a board under our bed to support it. Well they referred us to the front desk who referred us to maintenance who did come and put some support under there and we slept the remaining nights in peace but should it really have come to that? Why wasn't the hotel aware of how bad the bed was - is it never checked? Is the mattress never turned over?

    And if I wasn't being uncomfortable in the bed I was walking around in fear. I cannot believe how much slippery tile is all over that resort! It rains a bit almost every day so the tile was frequently wet and I walked around paranoid - especially when I was carrying my child. It is unreasonable and unsafe that slippery tile be used around a pool and on common walkways in a beach hotel. And after all that stress, it would've been nice to have a relaxing bath to luxuriate in, as most 5 star hotels have, but the bath tub in this room was rusty and uncomfortable.

    Speaking of the beach - we were told via chat before we arrived that my husband could do the resort scuba certification and then could do 2 dives per day. We were not allowed to sign up before arrival. So, when we did arrive we tried to call the dive shop but they were already closed. The next day we called but you have to sign up one day in advance so that postponed our dives for a day. It also turned out that for resort certified there was only one dive per day - not two.

    One reason we chose the Sandy Bay property was that Negril was full but we knew we could have access to all the pools at Negril via shuttle. So when we took the shuttle over to Negril we were deeply disappointed in the water park. The website clearly shows Pirate's Cove with small children having squirters and slides available to them however there is no such structure at Negril and the two slides that were there were not available for our son since he did not meet the height requirement. That was perhaps the biggest disappointment of all.

    And there were many other annoyances such as: the buffet restaurant with outdoor seating never had any working salt shakers. Really! It's humid in Jamaica, shouldn't they do something to prevent the salt shakers from stopping up. And how many times was there an activity on the schedule that we showed up for and it didn't happen - for no apparent reason. Or when I went took my son to the Kid's Club to play Beach Olympics, expecting relay races on the beach, but was told that was really just swimming pool time. How about the talent show that the entertainment staff begged my older son to do several acts for. He agreed to play keyboard, be in 2 skits, and play drums. Drums would be his best talent. But they filled up the show with so much staff talent that they didn't have time for my son's real drumming talent. Just as well since the possibility of winning that was advertised never came to fruition. Or the cappucino machine that seemed like an added bonus but it never worked - it would have been better to not have it at all because I didn't expect it but when I saw it I was constantly disappointed.

    And then there's the general attitude of the staff. I understand Jamaica is a different culture. But they need to understand that they are there to cater to the foreign visitors and understand our expectations. When I told the front desk about my frustration with the water park the girl (Shawn) looked me in the eyes and said, "No one has ever complained before" and then went about her work. I had to request a manager to get myself heard. And frequently the staff was fraternizing with each other and did not stop to attend to a guest once a guest approached. After speaking to some of them I am certain that they have no incentive to provide better service, especially with the long hours and little pay. I will say that one bright spot was Kenniel, Shadraq and Marvin who were shining and did entertain my teenager quite well.

    Prior to departure I imagined that we were beginning a new phase in our travels and starting a tradition of Beaches vacations but after this experience it is unlikely that we will ever choose a Beaches vacation again.

    0 Votes
  • St
    steph100 Dec 03, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My family and I spent 14 nights at Beaches Boscobel. After paying in full I read some horrendous reviews of the resort. When we arrived after a 10 hour flight plus a 2 hour delay we got on a minibus just for the five of us and reached the resort in 1.5 hours checked in and were shown to our room. We had booked two rooms and it was great that we were next door Granny and my eldest daughter in one which was huge and husband myself and son in the other. The rooms were a good size but were dated they were also very clean. There was no bed made up on the pull out sofa for my son but within 5 minutes of calling reception this was dealt with.

    The rest of the fortnight we had a fab time. The Kids 12 and 11 made so may friends they all ate together as a group meaning hubby me and Granny could choose where we liked Elenors and the Italian were great.

    We have also done Sandals obviously pre kids and had an amazing time. The state of the Sandals Resort was great but you have to remember there are no kids. Introduce the children into the mix and things will get drab very quickly. I was happy that everywhere on the resort was spotless the food was good and the service we received was impressive.

    If you go to a resort that actively wants children things will never be perfect but I have to say the holiday we experienced at Boscobel from 13.12.2008 to 27.12 2008 was the best ever.

    0 Votes
  • Fa
    famrod5 Jun 22, 2012

    I too felt the same way. Dirty rooms, staff was a little rude except for maybe 5 or 6. Our room was never really cool and one day we went without A/C until 11pm. The food was not great at all. Beach was horribly dirty. We also paid a substantial amount of money. It was my husband and I and my three sons, ages 15, 10 and 7. I did my research for one whole year prior to our vacation. What I saw on the website was nothing like what we saw when we arrived there. Except for maybe the lobby. The ride from the airport was 2 hours and the driver almost crashed 3 times. He was driving so fast I was afraid for my family's life. We spend only 5 days, 4 nights at Beaches Boscobel and for the money we paid I expected so much more. I felt cheated. We will never return to Beaches or Sandals.

    0 Votes

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