We went to Montego Bay, Jamaica in February 2018 and stayed at the Sunscape Splash Resort. If you like this, you’ll love a couple of other blog posts:
Sunscape Splash is located on the beachfront, around 3 miles south of Montego Bay International Airport. It is around 15-20 minutes by transfer from the airport to the hotel, but this can depend on traffic and if you are the first of last drop-off. We were the first drop-off, which was much appreciated after a long day of travelling!! However, the coach did have a loop of Bob Marley’s greatest hits on loop, which definitely got us acclimatised into Jamaica.
Being a single dad with a 4 year old, we didn’t really need much in way of facilities in the room. The room had a HUGE king sized bed, a fridge, a balcony, a drying rack as well as a shower.
The fridge was replenished every day with a couple of soft drinks and a Red Stripe and the room was tidied every day to a good standard.
The room had a decent sized TV although there was an eclectic selection of channels, featuring some US channels, some local channels and some South American channels. However, you’re not going to Jamaica to watch TV! The free in-hotel WiFi carried up to the rooms very well so using mobile devices also works well (update: wifi is now chargeable for Splash guests, but not for Cove guests) .
The Sunscape Splash rooms are in tower blocks, and using the lifts is very much advised because of the heat! I would have thought that there would be more queues for the lifts, but there wasn’t!
As the hotel is on the beach, you have a lovely stretch of beach to play on and calm water to swim in. Even though we went in February, the water was warm, clear and calm. The best of the water is towards the Cove end of the beach, as there is a lot of seagrass, but it won’t stop you from getting in the water. They rope off the sea so you can’t get too far out to sea, but the water never gets too deep, so less than confident swimmers should still be ok.
The beach has a few pebbles on, but certainly nothing to worry about. There are no beach/pool toys provided, so make sure you bring your own if your child likes to build sandcastles etc! There were enough sun loungers on the beach for people, but I imagine that if the hotel is much busier, then it would be a problem.
There are 5 pools to enjoy at the Sunscape Splash. One of these pools is adults-only, with a swim-up bar and one is a children-only (probably up to 6 years old) paddling pool with small slide. You have a “regular” pool with swim-up bar, an “entertainment” pool, as well as a lazy river with slides.
We hung out at the “entertainment” pool and the sun loungers were taken before the pool was open. However,it didn’t matter that much to us as we were in the pool most of the day! Most of the children played in this pool and they had the music playing all day, with various entertainment occurring throughout.
The lazy river is exactly as it is described, with rubber rings free for use floating around. Feeding into part of the river are the signature slides, which we didn’t manage to get on because Heidi was a bit scared! However, they were big enough so that I would have gone on with her. I think any child older than 7 would be ok to go on their own.
All the swimming pools are relatively shallow (4ft deep or so) and have lifeguards on at all times. As such, the pools are only open during the day (9.30 to 5pm from memory)
As mentioned above, the entertainment pool is where the action is during the day. However, we did go to Kids Club after evening meal a couple of times. There is a timetable on the various notice boards showing what activities are happening.
For Kids Club, they did a different thing each evening and Heidi loved the cook-out that they had one evening. There are no adults allowed in the Kids Club and the children are safe in the enclosed Kids Club section. Each parent gets a pager in case anything goes wrong and you can watch them from a bridge on the lazy river, so if you’re missing them, you can watch them!
The food and drink is free and plentiful! There are 5 restaurants, but with a 4 year old, we found that the buffet restaurant was the best, so she could eat what she fancied. The food was decent quality, especially the breakfasts, and there was plenty of choice.
We ate at the Italian Restaurant a couple of times and the food was of better quality, as to be expected. Service was of decent speed and the atmosphere was lovely as we made friends each evening!
Restaurants/buffet are open at set times, but the 24 hours snack bar is open, well, all the time! You can get a sandwich here, as well as sweet snacks, coffee and ice cream. During the day, there is a pool side snack bar, serving hot dogs, fries, popcorn etc. Perfect for a between meal snack!
There are soft drinks machines in operation and my tip would be to take a decent sized drinks bottle so you don’t have to go to get drinks all the time, especially as the glasses provided are small. There is a bar as well near the entertainment pool, and as I don’t drink, I can only comment that the mocktails got a thumbs up from us!
Sunscape Splash vs Sunscape Cove
I’ve seen various questions as to the difference between Sunscape Splash and Sunscape Cove. As far as I am aware, the Cove has access to a couple more restaurants and the Sunscape Cove rooms are more condominium type, rather than in high rise towers.
The Sunscape Cove rooms tend to be a bit further away from the restaurants, and the service is apparently a bit better, but we certainly had no complaints with the Sunscape Splash facilities.
Heidi and I absolutely loved this hotel. Because of the entertainment, Heidi was a love of all things reggae and that is wonderful to see and hear. The security situation at the time meant that we didn’t see much of the “real” Jamaica, which was a shame. However, because of the hotel security, we felt really safe. Would we come back to the Sunscape Splash? If Heidi had her way, absolutely! She bugs me regularly every day and if your child has enjoyed their holiday, then it’s money well spent!!