Letters to the Editor

Beaches Ocho Rios, an authentic family resort

Monday, September 03, 2018

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Dear Editor,

As a former PR practitioner in the tourism sector I'm constantly scrutinising properties, people and the processes used to welcome and care for guests from around the world. My wife and I, and two other family members stayed at Beaches Ocho Rios and Golf Club recently. We were so well taken care of that we couldn't rest without giving some shout-outs to express our delight.

All the employees were welcoming, polite and helpful, obviously well trained and exuded natural warmth.

Our rooms were well appointed for comfort and convenience, we really lacked nothing. One family member had a slight leg problem. She requested a stool to get on to her bed and immediately housekeeping came to the rescue. For further comfort, and without our prompting, they also provided a bath stool so she could enjoy her shower.

General Manager Brian Roper, who described his executive assistant Jamilia as his “boss”, spends much of his time walking the 22-acre property making sure guests are happy. Front office agent Chayna with her supervisor sorted out whatever concerns guests had and provided solutions immediately — including helping my sister-in-law one early morning with bandage and medication for a nail split when she thought the nurse's station was closed.

We enjoyed the sun, sand, and sea, and the hot tubs. Three uninterrupted hours at the pool bar were perfect for me to read Leonie: Her Autobiography – Leonie Forbes as told to Mervyn Morris, while the skilled bartender Paul kept the cocktails coming.

The glass bottom boat tour was a refreshing experience as “captain” Sheldon and his assistant knowledgeably explained the importance and characteristics of the coral, the coral reefs and sea creatures in the pristine waters. To the delight of guests he added humour as he mused on features of the houses by the seashore towards the end of the tour.

We dined at three of the seven restaurants — Bayside, La Parisienne, and the Venetian — and the cuisine and service were great! Meal servings were aplenty and it was hard to resist the Jamaican dishes (A+ for the jerk pork) as well as the exotic.

Darnelle, a trainee from The University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago, and who assisted us at Bayside, said the resort provided excellent training and experience for him to launch his career.

The amiable director of guest services Mike Hinds went around the dining tables and other areas ensuring that everyone was OK and asked guests for suggestions for improvement.

Beaches Ocho Rios is a perfect family resort and children were well looked after “like royalty”. They had special breakfast with Sesame Street characters and got gifts on special days. On days Big Bird would be seen walking around, even giving an adult a warm and friendly peck on the cheek!

The Skyliner Marching Band and dance troupe from St Mary was a hit with the entire family on Wednesday afternoon. The Thursday night beach party was exhilarating especially for the young guests who soaked up the Jamaican food, music and dance moves.

We also wish to thank others who helped us in various ways, including Nykia, Shaniel, Nickesha, Cordella and Rayon from the front desk; Jodi, Shelly Ann, Kado, Courtney, Hank, Trudy Ann, Tanya, Kady, Ophelia, Shantolee and Tavia from Bayside.

Indeed, we had a wonderful time. Thank you, Beaches Ocho Rios!

Byron Henry

Atlanta, Georgia

USA

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