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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Amex, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Orbitz, Tingo, Travelocity, Despegar.com, Otel, Venere and Agoda so you can book your Hotel Riu Montego Bay reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Montego Bay Resort
- Riu Hotel Montego Bay