What does this all-inclusive include?
Food (grills, Italian, Chop House, Asian, Jamaican, etc.), drinks (juice, smoothies, soda, Red Stripe beer, champagne, wine and top shelf liquors-small sampling shown below), resort activities and water sports (including hobie cats, snorkeling, scuba diving for those certified, etc.). There is a wine bar where a variety of wine brands can be purchased if a specific kind is wanted that is not served from the bar. There is also a coffee bar where specialty coffees, etc. can be purchased if desired. There are several machines around the resort where guests can make their own.
If you don’t do any of the off-site excursions or have separate purchases at the gift store, etc., you can leave with as much money as you brought. One of the main reasons I chose to go in the first place - no worries about what things cost.
Peeps paying for a 5+ night stay with the group will receive free airport transfers, group rates, group goody bags and extras like personalized name necklaces and fun stuff that I add to the mix.
Is airfare included in the cost?
No, airfare is separate. Castaways can assist with airfare as needed. I purchase mine separately and have a non-stop available on Southwest (DC area). However, for other trips I usually price check flights using a search engine like www.kayak.com. Airfare sales are usually announced on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so those are good days to check costs and book flights. If you do book these separately send Castaways your flight schedule so they can add it to your reservation and use it for booking the Sun Holiday shuttle service.
Early morning flights allow more time at the resort on the 1st day and the airport shuttle leaves ~4 hours before your departing flight, so an afternoon departure flight is highly suggested (if you want a chance to get some sleep and breakfast before heading back to reality).
Are airport transfers to/from the resort included?
If you book 5+ nights with the group through Castaways Travel, airport transfers are included (not all agencies include these, so this is a real plus). They use the Sunholiday shuttle service that is frequently used by H2 peeps, which is nice because you can often meet others on the way to the resort and share funny stories or nap in friendly company on the way back to the airport afterwards.
It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the resort on the shuttle, but the drive is around the Jamaican coastline, so the views are amazing. Just make sure you go to the bathroom before you leave the airport (especially if you’ve been drinking) to minimize the need to stop along the way.
What is Club Mobay and is it worth it?
Club Mobay is an expedited entry and departure service that helps speed up immigration and security lines as well as a lounge at the Montego Bay airport where you can have free drinks, snacks and Wi-Fi. Current prices and info can be found here: http://www.vipattractions.com/page/services
Personally, I find it worth doing for departure if you aren’t planning on spending a lot of time shopping at the airport. It doesn’t help with airline lines, but you do get fast tracked through security and the lounge is nice to chillax and catch up on emails, etc. Also, often there are others from H2 who meet up there and hang out together before flights are ready to depart for reality.
Arrival benefit is mixed and really depends on when your flight is arriving. Saturday mid-day can have a lot of flights, so may be more worth doing vs. weekdays. I normally don’t get it for arrival, especially since they have new kiosks there (that often peeps without kids get to use). Also, a few times I got through immigration so fast that I ended up having to wait for baggage and then the shuttle was ready so I only got a quick fill up of my sipper cup before heading out again. However, those who can afford it and like getting some drinks before the ride to the resort have found it worth doing.
If you opt to do either or both, Castaways can make these arrangements for you when you let them know your flight information.
Is tipping allowed?
No. The owner and management want everyone who works at the resort (seen or unseen) rewarded equally. Employees who accept a tip from a guest can be and have been let go. If someone has gone out of their way to make your stay enjoyable, please note their name on the comment card. Management uses these as a way to recognize and award good service.
Most employees work 6 days a week. I am a strong believer in treating everyone equally and with courtesy - it will more than come back to you.
Do I have to get nekkid?
No, the resort is half nude and half clothing optional. There are no requirements to do anything you are not comfortable doing. That said it is not something that should be worried about. People who are at the resort are from all over the US, Canada and the world and have all different body types.
I usually tell peeps to look around a store back home and that is the diversity you will find here. Body and appearance issues seem to disappear while there (it really is amazing). If you are new to the resort, let me know and I will help you be comfortable in whatever you choose to do.
Is this a lifestyle resort?
There are many singles and couples who are not in the lifestyle who love going to this resort. The only requirement is being open-minded about being around what is an adult playground for very diverse slices of life. I estimate that about 40% are monogamous fun peeps and the rest are into a variety of different ways of living and enjoying life.
Helpful hint: If you are sharing a room as a couple or roommates, be sure to communicate any expectations and/or boundaries before you get to H2 and as anything evolves.
What should I pack?
Your passport! Clothing is required in food service areas except for the nude grill; however, it is minimal not formal (unless you want it to be). Group members receive a sample packing list as a guide.
Do I need to convert my money to Jamaican dollars?
US dollars are widely accepted by locals, resort and various stores. There is no need to convert from US to Jamaican dollars. If you do expect to buy anything, make sure to bring low denominations (1s, 5s, and 10s) because the locals may not have appropriate change or may opt to give it back to you in Jamaican currency.
I usually suggest using cash for local vendors and non-airport and resort store purchases. Credit cards are accepted for purchases at the resort and airport.
If I go as a single or as a new couple as part of the Lovin' Life group, am I going to feel like I don’t fit in?
I try to meet everyone who is new to the resort when they get in, so you will know who I am and have a contact throughout the week. I was new once too and understand any worries or reservations about going to what may seem like an over the top place.
Relationship status is not important in my group, personality, being social and respecting others rules over anything. As a single host, I encourage other singles to join us. There will be a lively mix of singles and couples in house.
Many people find a new kind of family that we call ‘framily’ because social status and many other things are left at the door and people get to know each other very quickly. After a week there, it can seem like you have known someone for years and most maintain friendships via Facebook and/or in person long-term. I have been to 2 weddings for children of my H2 peeps and have known others since I first started going. Welcome to your new ‘framily’ (by choice)!
What type of bed(s) are available?
Rooms can have a king-sized bed, 2 twin beds and a few have the option with a 3rd bed setup where the window seat usually exists. Singles usually opt to have 2 beds or the 3rd when 3 gals opt to split the cost. Couples adding a single can request a king with the 3rd window seat/bed option (put this in the secure payment note box).
- If you are booking a three-some (3 gals or a couple and an extra gal) room, Castaways will need to know how to split the payment. Let them know in the notes box on the rsvp form or email them, so they can charge each person the correct amount.
- If you are going as singles - you may find the room has a king bed when you wanted 2 beds. If this happens, do not unpack. Go back to the front desk and ask for the bed to be split or another room that has 2 beds. They will do one of the 2 options (which one is up to them).
Why did I start going to this resort?
A friend who I went to college with and maintained contact with 10 yrs later wanted to go on a 'real' vacation. We were 2 ladies who didn't want to worry about money while at a resort, didn't want kids allowed and needed a place that accepted singles. We went and had so much fun. I started going back every year and haven't been able to stop!
If you had to tell a new visitor one thing what would it be?
Once you go and find out what it means to be free and Lovin' Life, my only warning is that you will want/need to go back.
The Addiction Is REAL!
This book IS dated, but has some decent information, really funny stories and yummy drink recipes. The new owner (who also enjoys the resort as a guest) has done amazing renovations and brought back a great chef, food and top shelf liquor, so ignore anything related to those. The resort vibe is the same fun lovin' one and this may be worth the kindle price for new peeps: Naked Truth About H2 Book (2010)
FAQs for SINGLES
Looking for a roomie/avoid paying the private room cost - feel free to use: Lovin' Life Group Roommate Finder (Facebook Group)
If I opt to rsvp as a single, can I add another person to the room later? How is the rsvp and $ setup?
IF you can afford the trip as a single (private room) and want the lowest cost/GVR room rate, it is may be wise to book while these are more likely to be available (usually before fall hits). If you find a roommate or partner, they can be added to the room up to trip time.
IF you are waiting to find a roommate before booking (the first choice room category may not be available), 2 people can book a room anytime up to trip time based on resort room availability.
Prior to full payment (~end of October):
To add a significant other who you are paying for, you would need to contact Castaways and provide his/her name to be added to the room rsvp. The extra cost would be charged to your payment method when due.
To add a roommate or significant other who is paying his/her own way, they would need to submit a secure payment deposit via the secure payment online form (https://www.formnut.com/up/11190/CTpayment.html) and put your name in the notes box on the bottom of the form, so it is known that they agree to share your room. You will also need to send an email to Castaways (Info@castawaystravel.com ) letting them know that you are ok with adding the person to your room. Castaways won’t add anyone or put anyone together without each person ok’ing the arrangement – no surprises for anyone this way.
If you are booking a three-some (3 gals or a couple and an extra gal) room, Castaways will need to know how to split the payment. Let them know in the notes box on the rsvp form or email them, so they can charge each person the correct amount.
After full payment is made:
Since the full room has been paid, it is up to the 2 people to make payment arrangements between themselves.
To add a roommate, each person needs to send an email to Castaways (Info@castawaystravel.com ) letting them know that it is ok to put the 2 of you in the same room.
To add a significant other, the previously booked partner needs to let Castaways know the name of the person to be added.