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“RIU Montego Bay a nice place for a getaway.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Montego Bay

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Hotel Riu Montego Bay
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Mahoe Bay - Ironshore P.O | Montego Bay, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #25 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
Dallas
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“RIU Montego Bay a nice place for a getaway.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the RIU Montego Bay Resort and we have nothing but compliments for the staff and the condition of the hotel. I would give it a higher rating but there are a few issues with this property/location and I'll share them later on. First, the Hotel is a newer property and the rooms are fabulous. I suggest the suite accommodations facing the ocean. The rooms are immaculate and every staff member is friendly and helpful. I guess you can consider the RIU as a cruise ship that doesn't move. There are multiple buildings, each four stories and two of them are adjacent to the beach and I recommend the ocean view again, it's great.

The resort sits on Mahee Bay and is adjacent to a Sandals resort. It has approximately 1/3 mile of beach that is well groomed (literally) with coconut palm trees providing shade.

The restaurants/food are top rate except the three specialty restaurants which didn't provide the high-end dining experience we were hoping for. They were more along the lines of a hybrid buffet with a planned main course. There are three specialties at this resort: Asian, Italian and Steak. All of the other meals are buffet style and while you won't go hungry you won't find an extreme culinary experience either. Dining times are ample and again all of the waitstaff are fantastic and friendly.

There are multiple bars which you can avail yourself of all day long and there are daily classes and activities. I wish however that the beach activities were more available and a bit more understandable as to what's available and when. Given the limited amount of water sports equipment things like kayaking and paddle boats for example get reserved quickly, so take that into account.

The pool area is great and very well maintained, as is the whole property. All in all it's a great place to spend a few days away from it all.

There are many bars so you can avail yourself of a lot of drinking but also bear in mind that the drinks are basic unless you specify otherwise. There is also a mini casino that's not worth much of a look except that's where the ATM is.

As for kids, well while there's a few activities for kids I wouldn't recommend this resort unless the children are small (< 5 years old) or teenagers who can swim and take advantage of the water activities. While we saw many families with children I just feel that there wasn't a lot of things for kids to really do here.

Now for a few of the things I wished I'd known about before my stay.

1) the RIU Montego Bay Resort is in the flight path of the MBY airport. Each of the lodging buildings have red landing lights on top so that should tell you about the proximity to the airport. On the plus side there's probably only 15 to 18 flights a day that take off overhead but they do come late into the evening for example, past 11PM.
2) I felt like I was in a compound rather than a resort. There is shopping across the road and free taxi service to the locations but I felt "directed" to only go into certain shops. We ventured into downtown Montego Bay we were cautioned about the local people multiple times and at one point discouraged. We went instead and paid a $40 round trip cab ride to insure that the hotel driver picked us up as well. I can tell you that going to Downtown Montego Bay and HIP Street is something that everybody should do and not stay bundled up in the resort! Unfortunately there is a lot of competition for your spending dollar so if you can't say No, don't go. There are many street vendors and the Craft Market is also something nice to see but again, the sales pressure is very palpable. There are Tourist Officers in white uniforms that you can seek out all around Montego Bay should you have questions or need assistance.
3) Late one evening my wife and I decided to take a walk down the beach, the lighting was good but not outstanding. while walking we were approached by two men attempting to sell us sea shells. Mind you, this is at a private resort after 11PM. It seems that when it gets dark, these individuals (and others) come onshore to sell their wares. I addressed this complaint with the staff who called the Marine Police.
4) What is and isn't included is a bit strange some of the water activities, like scuba are extra cost so be aware. Also playing billiards or video games are also extra and not included.
5) No food / beverage service except at the designated locations. It would have been nice to have drink service for example on the beach. While you can go to the bar and get your drinks and bring them to the beach, there wasn't any waitstaff taking orders from there. The same can be said for the pool area as well although there is a swim up bar at the pool but nothing around the lounge area.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the ocean. Only two of the six buildings for guests face the ocean and definitely...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Sherbrooke, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

Just returned from 1 week at Riu Montego Bay. Traveled with my husband and 16 month old baby, and 2 other couples.
Ignore the negative reviews! The resort was really nice - quite compact, despite the number of rooms. Everything was well located and close by.

LOCATION:
10 minute drive from the airport. Very convenient. But, due to proximity to ocean there were planes taking off over the resort every day.
Instead of waiting for the bus to take us back to the airport, we took a taxi for $20, which meant we were first in line at the check-in.
FOOD:
The food was great - lots of options. Morning smoothies were really good. However - if travelling with a baby, they only serve cold milk at breakfast, so I recommend bringing powdered milk.
Asian and Steakhouse were terrific. Italian was so-so.
STAFF
Staff were really friendly. Actually found the service staff to be friendlier than the entertainment staff. The entertainment staff didn't really entertain all that much!
BEACH
Beach was really nice - lots of lounge chairs, but the bottom of the water was full of muck and seaweed. Water very warm, though. Not a lot of shade - only palm trees, no "huts", so we spent most of our time at the pool.
POOL
Pool was fantastic! Water always comfortable. There are lounge chairs in the water, which our son loved playing on. There's a "quiet" pool and a louder pool, by the pool bar. There were lots of lounge chairs by the pool, as well as many "huts" to provide shade.
ROOM
We had an ocean view room, which was just above the restaurants. Our friends had garden view rooms and they were quite a bit smaller than ours. So, if traveling with a baby, and using a crib, get the ocean view. Not much room for a crib in the garden view rooms.

Overall, it's a great resort. Everything is close by and very comfortable. Don't know what it would be like in busy season - probably would feel very crowded. Going in November was great because the resort was probably 1/2 full and there was lots of space. I love Jamaica - people are so friendly and easy going. Not as pushy as other countries I've been to (Dominican, Mexico).

Good value for the money.

Room Tip: Building 5 has ocean front and is closest to the beach. Building 4 & 6 are farthest away Rooms...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

We enjoyed practically everything about this hotel, especially our Ocean View room - quite palatial. There were only 1 or 2 little things that could've been better, but it's probably all down to personal taste. We would probably stay here again, but NEVER in March ... it's OVERRUN {but not by the management}!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011 via mobile

A group of 6 of us stayed at the Riu MoBay in early November. Over all it was a good resort for the money. Not a 5 star. Regardless we all had a blast

The entertainment crew was AMAZING! There was always something going on in the pool and on the beach. The Michael Jackson show is a must see!

The food at the resort was good. They always served a variety of different things to satisfy all. The one thing that was disappointing was that all the a la cart resteraunts were Buffett style. The jerk chicken hut on the beach had the best jerk chicken I have ever had. The bartender did an amazing job as well. The even remembered our orders night after night. There was also neve much of a wait at any of the bars.

The room were nice at the Riu. A little outdated but very clean. Maid cheated our room every morning and our mini bar was stocked ever 2 days. We always had enough fresh towels in the room.

The beach at the resort was a disaapointment. It is a man made beach that is quit small. The water is very warm but once you get out into the water about 4 feet the ocean floor is covered is seaweed and slimmy mud. The pool on the other had was great. The ways was warm and the pool had alot of seating area in the water.

Over great resort for the money, we had a blast but was not a luxury resort.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Palm Coast, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2011

Let me just say that this is the first time I have posted a review and I am posting because I want those who are going here to know that some of the reviews are just aren't fair. I was here for 5 days November 19-23rd.

My husband and I had a wonderful time. There is nothing wrong with the food. Of course there are always things you like and things you dont like. The jerk chicken on the beach is the best chicken I have ever had. The Asian restaurant was good (buffet) and the steakhouse was good. We did not do Italian. Having to make reservation is a little annoying if your not used to that but we went down the morning after we arrived and got 2 restaurants on the days and times we requested.

The rooms are very standard but clean. The beds are hard but I never had a problem sleeping in it and either did my husband.

The entertainment staff and shows were great!!! They are sooo friendly at the pool during the day and boy can they dance at the theater at night!

The beach is nice. Not the nicest beach Ive been to, but clean with lots of activities. I had someone offer me weed on the beach one time, the first day, and never again.
,
I read other reviews that said to bring bug spray and I did but never opened it. I never once saw an ant, roach or any kind of bug, day or night, around or in my room. Went out every night, not one mosquito bite.

I think people sometimes forget that this is a 3 star hotel. Dont go looking for 5 stars!! If you do, you will be disappointed. What I care about at a resort are nice people, clean rooms and lots of activities and this place had all 3. Relax, your on vacation, dont sweat the small stuff and enjoy!!!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minne-snow-ta
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

This was the first time my husband and I stayed at a Riu, and our first time to Jamaica. After reading many negative reviews it turned out to be better than I expected. The service and cleanliness was impeccable; the wait staff was always prompt with extra coffee and drinks at the lunch and evening buffets. The jerk chicken hut on the beach was excellent as other reviews have stated. We stayed here during peak season (March 2011) so at times it was a very long wait in line, but well worth it. The resort was at full capacity and on a couple days actually ran out of Red Stripe Light in the pool/beach restaurant. I really liked the fact that you could go in the restaurant (as long as you had on a swimsuit cover up and sandals) close to the pool and help yourself to beer, wine and soda. Bring your own travel mug, it will come in handy!
The frozen concoctions were yummy to try too at the various bars; but again there were times it was a long wait esp at the swim up bar. Tip: walk a little ways past this bar and order your drinks from the theater bar. It was never busy during the day. Again, just have on some sort of swimsuit cover up.
It's true what other reviewers have stated, that there is no drink service on the beach. I didn't mind though since we could go in the restaurant buffet and fill up our travel mugs with beer or soda. We also enjoyed putting some ice and red wine in our mugs and adding a splash of lemon lime soda and fresh squeezed limes; "make your own Sangria"!
I found it odd that there were no bathrooms near the main buffet. When I asked the waitstaff where the nearest restroom was; I was told I could either go back and use the one in my room or go to the lobby. As the resort is quite compact it wasn't that big of a deal to walk to the lobby, maybe 5 mins walk.
The only real disappointment for me was the beach. It is very small and private, (so the only vendors that come in have to arrive on surf boards) but about 3 feet out when you walked, the ocean floor was very weedy and mucky underfoot. The sand on the beach is nice for walking barefoot, but the ocean itself is dark and murky so you can't snorkel or see the bottom. The water had a foul odor as well. This was our first time to Jamaica and we went with friends who had kids along; so they wanted to be close to the airport, so we went knowing it wasn't going to be the beautiful beaches we are used to in Punta Cana.
The animation team was awesome; and the evening shows at the theater were very good; esp the Michael Jackson show. We did venture off the resort and took a cab to Margaritaville; what fun!! The slide that lands you into the ocean was a blast. The kids really enjoyed it.
We also did a trip to Rick's Cafe in Negril to see the amazing sunset. That was fun too but a very long drive!
Another tip: there's a little shop that sells souvenirs outside the front of the resort; just walk down the sidewalk across the street from the main entrance to the Riu. It's right next door to the Harley Davidson shop. They have good prices on t-shirts, jewelry and Jamaica insulated Bubba Keg mugs. Just ignore anyone that approaches you out on the sidewalk wanting to sell you drugs! We felt safe walking there in the daytime in a group. I bought a bag of Blue Mountain coffee here too; wish I had gotten more! It's delicious.
We did see and hear the planes overhead but they didn't bother us. It's true they're loud but they pass by quickly so it wasn't a big deal to us. I'd guess there were 2 or 3 per hour on busiest days. Really not a deal breaker! If you want to be close to the airport that's the price you pay.
I loved the Riu and we are returning to Jamaica in March 2012; this time to the Riu Negril. I really love the beaches in Punta Cana so am hoping Negril will be more like what I'm accustomed to. I would return to Riu Mo Bay if they made improvements to the beach quality.

Room Tip: Ask for a view of the amazing sunset.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensacola, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

I spent the first four days of my trip at another resort and wanted to extend my stay with family in Jamaica. The resort I was at was booked so we found a good deal last minute at the Riu. I had been there before in March and had a great time. The second trip did not disappoint.

I don't know about the bad experiences mentioned in the below reviews, but my family really enjoys this resort. The food isn't too fancy but much better than other resorts in the area. The Jerk Hut is fantastic! The rooms are clean and the staff helpful. Beds are rock hard and this is drawback, but I have nothing else bad to say about it. Well stocked with beer/liquor/soda/mixers in the room and the safe was large. 24 hour sports bar serving snacks and showing ESPN all day is great - casino paid off a couple nice jackpots (not for me but while I was there) and the staff is very helpful and can provide you with whatever you need or advice on where to go. Pools are clean and never felt too crowded. Boats and watersports were nice. The spa is resonably priced and gave my wife and daughter great service with a smile.

The beach is not the best for swimming and you do have do give a few firm "no's" at night with the beach vendors, but no real problems and it's a beautiful place to stay. Close to the airport is a plus and the noise isn't loud in the rooms from takeoffs.

Local transport guys at the entrance to the resort are very helpful with tours and information. 40 USD an hour is the standard rate for a vehicle but you are buying safe transportation with a well informed local. I highly recommend asking for Papa Roy or Big Dread if you want to go somewhere.

I will return again for visit number three as soon as possible. Great choice for a mid priced resort in the area. There is plenty to do for families and those with children.

Room Tip: Building two was close enough to the pool/restaurants and quiet on the ground floor facing a garden...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Montego Bay

Address: Mahoe Bay - Ironshore P.O | Montego Bay, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Montego Bay
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#25 Business Hotel in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Montego Bay 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Opening September 2008 * Located in Montego Bay, on Jamaica's northwest coast * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 2-story main building and 3-story and 4-story annexes * Surrounded by 40,000 m2 / 47,840 sq. yards of lush gardens * 4.5 km / 2.8 miles from Montego Bay * 350 m / 114.8 ft from various shops * 2,7 km / 1.7 miles from Montego Bay airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Montego Bay Resort
Riu Hotel Montego Bay

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