With several all-inclusive family resorts to choose from, picking a family friendly Jamaican resort can be difficult. There are so many details to consider from transportation, accommodations and location to food options and activities, when you want to satisfy everyone in your family. The Jewel Runaway Bay Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica was a great fit for a family of four. Here are 10 reasons why.
Jewel Runaway Bay was my home for a week and I couldn’t have hoped for a better resort as a family with small children. Despite being of Jamaican descent, this was our first time to Jamaica as a family and having a two year old and four year old in tow makes travel a bit trickier. After researching the resort like a mad woman, I knew we would have a wonderful Jamaican family vacation at this property. I didn’t know exactly how amazing it would be until we arrived…
10 reasons why Jewel Runaway Bay is the Perfect Family Resort in Jamaica
You really feel the unique Jamaican vibe at this resort. The culture shines through all over. The reggae that’s playing lightly no matter where you are…. The Jamaican brands of food (and rum!)… the beautifully lilting accents and the spontaneous reggae dancing among guests and staff alike. There is an ease and chill vibe about the place no matter where you are on the property. The Jewel is a real Jamaican treat.
2. Free Transfers
When you land at Sangster Int’l. Airport (MBJ) you are let out into a busy area. People are asking to take your bags, offering you tours, asking you where you’re headed. It can be overwhelming. With Jewel, you know you have a car waiting for you to take you directly to the resort with no other stops. You have your own area with a big sign for Jewel Resorts so you are immediately sure you have no worries. The ride to the hotel from the airport was about 1 hour and 15 minutes. We landed in the evening, and were so tired, with two cranky preschoolers. Having the reliable transfers included was clutch! The car was clean, the driver kind (and fast!), and the ride was smooth all the way to the beautiful resort.
3. No Problems Man
In Jamaica there’s a saying “There are no problems man, only situations.” Ha! This is totally true at the Jewel Runaway Bay. We never had a problem. Any request was handled easily with a smile, never with an attitude that we were putting people out. We requested a different room at check-in and our request was immediately granted. We asked for hot chocolate for the kids since none was out, and it was brought immediately, with whipped cream on the side. Nothing was ever an issue.
4. Gorgeous Rooms
If you want to see the room take a peek here. The ceiling was so high it made our already large room feel even grander. We had a king sized bed and each child had their own twin sized bed set up. We still had space for a table with two chairs, a dresser, a couch, a desk with chair and the fridge/entertainment center. That sounds like a lot but the room was so well appointed that everything fit perfectly. The shower had about 6 shower heads and could honestly fit our entire family at once, had we tried. The private plunge pool just set the room over the top.
5. Beautiful Pools
Our room was on the quiet side of the resort. The other side has the water park, a large pool with more activities going on. Our side was for chilling, maxing and relaxing. All the pools were beautiful. Always clean, and my favorite: always lounge chairs available. I did notice some “towel saving” going on early in the morning, but nothing crazy. There was always a place for our family of 4 to sit. They also had pretty cabanas near each pool (and on the beach too) for private, catered relaxation poolside.
6. Amazing Beach
My children loved the beach. My husband took them out deep in the water and they had a blast. The beach at Jewel Runaway Bay was clean, water clear, and sand so soft and free from debris. My poor 2-year old was searching for shells and couldn’t find any because the beach sand was so soft and clear. I didn’t get into the water. I just enjoyed the sand and laying out watching the beautiful Jamaican horizon.
7. Yummy, Thoughtful Food
As mentioned above, I am of Jamaican descent. So I was ready to side eye the food because my family throws down in the kitchen. However, I was pleasantly surprised in Jewel’s offerings, presentation, and flavor. I like my food spicy, so I asked and I received. The chef was available and happy to augment dishes for us. I have a nut allergy and once they all knew they were very cautious with everything I was choosing from the buffet, and were aware in the a la carte restaurants as well. You can let them know at check in. The chef will come to you and discuss your allergies to ensure there are items prepared separately just for you if need be.
8. Active Kids Club
The women at the Jewel Runaway Bay Kids Camp are phenomenal. They treated my children so lovingly. I have issues leaving my kids in the care of non-family members, so trusting the women at the Kids Camp with my babies was a big deal for me. They knew I was anxious and were very reassuring. The facility is secure and full of activities. They have laser tag, petting zoo, horses, bonfires, mini golf, cooking classes, photo shoots, dress up, arts and crafts, and even trivia. The kids area is large, clean and separated by age. The older kids have a cool lounge with video games and movies along with board games where they can “chill out” away from the babies.
9. Top Notch Service
Everywhere we turned we were greeted with smiles, offered assistance, or just a friendly chat. It wasn’t overwhelming or overboard. Everyone was so upbeat and helpful. Looking around at other guests I saw nothing but pleased smiles. Talking to other guests, everyone brought up how friendly and accommodating the service was at the Jewel. The people who work here really make this place a comfortable and stress-free destination.
10. Freedom to do as Little or as Much as You Want
Have you ever been to a resort where the entertainment staff comes around to pull you off your lounger to participate in games you don’t want to play? Me too. And thankfully this never happened at the Jewel. The entertainment staff here really knows how to ‘read a room.’ They were not intrusive at all even if we were right by the active pool. You can relax at the quiet pool or enjoy the beach and nearby activities or you can laze around and do absolutely nothing.
11. The Waterpark!
OK, I couldn’t keep it to just ten reasons. I have to talk about the fantastic Jewel Lagoon waterpark! It is included in your room rate. The kids (and my husband and I) had a blast here. The lazy river was fun to just flow throughout the park. I think this was our favorite part. We spent way too much time there. Jewel Lagoon has two very high slides for everyone 42″ and up, as well as two play structures perfect for younger children with smaller slides on both.
There are cabanas for families to relax together in shade, as well as tons of seating around the waterpark. There is a casual restaurant on site as well. It’s a great spot, and you don’t have to stay at the Jewel Runaway Bay to spend a day at the Jewel Lagoon Waterpark. It’s open to the public each day for a fee.