by Courtney Elko
Families will love the pool and white sand beach that overlook Jamaica’s Doctor’s Cave Beach. The rooftop pool on the Sky Deck is surrounded by cabanas and loungers and offers exclusive access to Sky Club Suites guests. The 120 guestrooms and suites feature king or double beds, a mini-fridge, flat screen television, balcony and Wi-Fi. Additionally, the spacious suites feature a soaking tub and massive stand-up showers. The onsite restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner so families will never go hungry.
Our Editor Loves
- Rooftop pool
- Onsite restaurants
- Overlook Doctor's Cave Beach
- Onsite Dining
The hotel was the best part about our trip. We enjoyed the beach and friendly staff of the hotel. You wont be disappointed, I promise, ya mon :)
They have live music and top notch rum punch drinks . You will be a happy camper ya mon!
As a fairly new kid on the block the S Hotel definitely does its best to be an upscale boutique hotel with modern touches. They work hard to make sure your intro is pleasant and comfortable and they certainly definitely get points for customer service upon arrival. This is my POV as a Jamaican born but now American citizen.
They're located about 7 to 10 minutes from the airport and the entry is gated. The surrounding area is typical of Jamaica -- low end & low-brow. A few local shops are just steps from the property and come with all the nearby tourist traps and trappings. Starbucks is also a short walk for those who can't live without an American favorite.The hotel has excellent WiFi but if you want local Internet and calling there's a Digicell store 2 blocks away. The hotel provides direct access to the beach but they close it off after sundown. I learned that the hard way. So if you're thinking of a midnight romp or walk on the sands you'll have to find another point of entry. The beach isn't totally private but there's secured access into the hotel which I appreciated.
I assume this hotel was a complete remodel based on its configuration and materials used; also because of the poor placement of the light fixtures and terrible lighting in the bathroom. It's simply not well thought out and I'm sure a woman wasn't consulted. There's no light switch inside the bathroom area and the existing lighting was too low and ambient for the room size. I could barely see well enough to do my hair or shave my legs. The room and furnishings were nicely appointed and cute but a bit forlorn for the newness of the property. The craftsmanship was more on the higher side of mediocre than high end but I'm into remodeling so I have a keen eye for these things and my standards are way up there. The cleanliness of the room was a 7/10 upon arrival. At this price point I'd expect greater attention to detail. However, the housekeeping ladies were super sweet and accommodating.
If you're staying in a suite that has a tub, there's zero privacy and no door. It's simply a sheer curtain that hides nothing. Perhaps an opaque curtain as an option would have been a more practical choice for those staying with family. The toilet has a door but there's absolutely zero privacy in the shower, tub and sink area. It's completely open to the bedroom with no door or enclosure. I assume they did this for couples and lovers but even frosted glass would allow for some discretion. Poor design consideration in my opinion. But I get what they were going for.
Opt for the "ocean view" room if you don't want to see the actual street and locals walking by, which is what "city view" gets you. Keep in mind the noise level is the same though depending on where you are situated. My first night's sleep was a disaster. All kinds of banging, scooters revving up the street, etc kept me up. But this is what you get for an unsecluded location.
The complimentary & tasty breakfast buffet was included in the price. It was pretty decent and consistent. Eggs, plantains, cabbage, porridge, fruit, etc., hit the spot. Ackee & satfish is included on Sundays. Otherwise you pay extra for it during the week. I ate next door at Usain Bolt's spot to switch it up. Good food and service there.
The pool area was exceptional, especially the 5th floor pool deck. Views were breathtaking and serene. This was my sweet spot on the property. 5 stars for sure. Mosquitoes galore so bring repellent. The bar staff was awesome and attentive.
Hotel Pros: Nice sized room. Comfy bed. Eco-conscious (key needed to keep utilities on). Reasonable rates (if two or more). Pull-out sofa bed a plus if you're with family. High police presence so I felt relatively safe.
Once you leave the complex you'll be overcharged for everything and constantly harassed because locals know you're a tourist. Just ignore them. Walk about 15 minutes up the street and you'll find a few local restaurants that serve anything from jerk pork to lobster. Taxi drivers on the property will price gouge you. They wanted to charge me the equivalent of $30 (US) to drive 5 miles. Opt for catching a shared taxi on the main road and you'll save tons. I paid $1 -2 (US) per trip this way.
Overall, it was a cool spot but I'd opt for an all inclusive next time given the location, price & amenities. But I was very impressed with the staff. Almost every single person I encountered was very friendly and did their best to ensure my stay was pleasant. So even though the price didn't match the accommodations, the staff, central location and views from the property made it worth every penny.