Moon Palace Ochos Rios Review

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Since my husband and I decided to take an especially long spring break this year, we chose to shack up at two different hotels. So, while we spent the final five nights of our trip at the Holiday Inn Resort in Montego Bay, we spent three nights at the Moon Palace in Ochos Rios first.

Upon our arrival, we were whisked away to check in and get our bracelets and site map. The lobby of this hotel is huge and gorgeous, with beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea and cruise port outside.

Since we arrived later in the day, our room was ready and we were off. We stayed in a traditional room with two queen beds on the 10th floor, and our room was small but sufficient.

What our room lacked in size, it made up for in amenities. We had a large bathroom for starters, along with decent-sized amenities (I hate the small shampoos that only last for one use). We also had a fully-stocked mini fridge with beer, soft drinks, and drink boxes. And even though we don’t drink liquor, we were happy to see they had full-sized bottles of rum, vodka, and scotch.

Moon Palace Ochos Rios: Beaches, Pools, and Entertainment

The Moon Palace in Ochos Rios sits directly across from the cruise port, but right in the thick of the action of Ochos Rios. But despite the fact we were so close to everything, the resort still offers a secluded vibe. You could see the cruise ships across the port, but you weren’t close enough to feel the hustle and bustle. And the fact we were in downtown Ochos Rios meant you could walk out for shopping or dinner any time you wanted.

I loved being so close to the port, mostly because the scenery changed every day. You could see the beautiful Ochos Rios hills any time, but a different cruise ship showed up each morning we were there.

The beach outside the Moon Palace is just steps from the pool, and is absolutely beautiful on its own. Since it’s in the port, there are almost no waves at all. This makes the beach outside Moon Palace perfect for kids to play in and parents to relax in.

The Moon Palace had several pools and swim-up bars, all of which were at the perfect temperature. They even had “hot” hot tubs, which can be a rarity in warm weather climates.

The pool decks were clean, and we never had trouble finding a spot in the shade. The same was true with the beach – there were always dozens of empty chairs under umbrellas or other type of shade.

Like almost all other all-inclusive resorts, the Moon Palace offered nonmotorized watersports for free. That made it easy to take the kids out for a fun kayak trip, and my oldest and I took a whirl on one of those cool-looking sea tricycles. And of course, the Moon Palace had some pretty fun nightly shows. One night, they had a pretty strange aqua ballet show with water dancers. Another night, it was a Michael Jackson show. All the shows were fun and entertaining – at least for a while.

Food and Drink Options

Since the Moon Palace is a little more upscale than your average all-inclusive resort, the food options are better than one might expect. They had some pretty fancy dishes and tons of options on the buffet at each meal. They also had a few sit-down restaurants – Italian, Seafood, Steakhouse, and Hibachi. Our favorite was the Italian by far.

Although we didn’t drink a lot at this resort, they had the largest liquor selection I’ve ever seen at an all-inclusive resort. They did offer Heineken and Red Strip as their beer options, which I was happy to see. The kids were also pleased they offered kid-friendly drinks at the bar – as in, frozen pina coladas and daquiris without the alcohol.

Final Thoughts

If the resort had any downsides, it would be that the hibachi place made you line up at 4:00 p.m. for reservations. We tried twice, but couldn’t get reservations before 9:00 p.m. either time. Since the food was so good elsewhere, however, it was no big deal.

I’ve been to Jamaica enough times that I’m officially a “Jamerican,” I’m told. With that in mind, it’s time I venture out a little bit away from the other resorts I’ve visited. So far, I’ve stayed in Montego Bay five times, Ochos Rios twice, and traveled through several parts of the countryside. Next time, I hope to finally get to Negril for the white sand beaches and famous sunsets.

If you’re thinking of booking an all-inclusive resort, don’t forget there are a ton of options you can book on points. Also remember you can use points to book any type of travel with a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard, which offers flexible “travel credit.” And if you have a flexible travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can book a ton of all-inclusive resorts through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Have you ever stayed at a Moon Palace or Palace Resort before? What’s your favorite all-inclusive brand?


Holly Johnson is a financial expert and award-winning writer whose obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel plays a central role in her work. In addition to serving as Contributing Editor for The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for inspiring…
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
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  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
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  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee:
    $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees:
    No
  • Card Type: Bank


Apply Now
Add to Favorites
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Apply Now

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