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“Depends what you expect.....” 3 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
River Vale, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Depends what you expect.....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

I had read all the reviews before coming and have to say I was nervous. I called two days before the reservation to please make sure my kids room was next to ours if not connecting. Only family rooms that have 3 double beds connect to a garden view room with a king(really not a king but 2 doubles) ....I also asked if we could make dinner reservations and was told not till you get here. I spoke to Jaswick and I said please make our dinner reservations....I will find you and hook you up . We got in and was told our rooms are on the first floor and connect.

We get to the building and the rooms are on the second floor and do not connect. Ok mildly annoyed....the buffet that night seemed lacking and nobody seemed happy....Only beer and wine available in any restaurants and the alcohol was not only not premium( I mean I can live without grey goose and patron) NO NAME alcohol everywhere....you cannot get any alcohol other than a brand you have never heard of. The reservation restaurants were also mostly buffet but not bad. I liked the Asian & Italian the best(compared to the others)

I got up at 530 am to get a good spot by the pool and was shocked how many chairs were already taken....but everyday 530am I got my chairs and walked the beach. Couldn't get a dinner reservation at 8am that morning...only to get to my room and find a letter from Jaswick with my dinner reservations for the next 3 nights...guess he did hook me up....I found him and thanked him and he gave me extra towels.....ok vacation looking up.

The pool was busy but I expected that at spring break .....the swim up bar was packed but the volleyball pool was fun and the weather was beautiful. The gift shop was reasonable ( $2 per shot glass and $10 for a coffee mug).

The trip was not as expensive as our previous trips to Riviera Maya( we are a family of 6) we definitely could see the difference but if you are looking for an inexpensive vacation and don't mind cheap alcohol you will have a blast.

Pack 2 of your own towels so your spot doesn't get taken and you are not guarding your towels ( they give u towel cards) and I saw a lot of the beach lovers brought gigantic coffee mugs to fill rum runners and piña coladas for the beach. They brought them with them. Bring singles and $5s and tip....I tipped the housekeeper and in return she brough us extras...they never refilled the fridge even though they said they refill them every 3 days.

If the pool bar is crazy crowded...walk into the bar inside by the lobby bathroom...better drinks and less crowded.

You will find the locals canoe up to the beach selling just about anything.

All in all...thank you Jaswick for getting our dinner reservations...and Winston at the pool bar...and Perline our housekeeper...she was very friendly!

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,729 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (880)
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Traveled Apr 1-8th Group of 32 for a wedding
Just recently got back from Jamaica and had a fabulous time here at the RIU. As always, you will read reviews that people think this place is a dive and is not worth the trip, so to that i will have to say that 1- its the first trip ever and have nothing to compare it against or 2- you just cant please them!!!

The location of this hotel is about a 5 min dive from the airport so if you are comming off a plane ride more then 4h this is perfect for you. The only draw back to this is that you do hear the planes come and go so this might add some discomfor for some. To be honest, you can not hear them in the rooms and as the week goes by, drinks flowing, you tend to forget they are there.

The staff at the hotel are excellent and always willing to help out! we had no problems checking in to our room once we got there. They have someone at the front desk greating you with a cool beverage (rum if you want some). The rooms were prity standard with AC, falt screen tv and spacious bathroom. There is a mini bar there for you that gets topped off every 2 days. Appleton is available alonside GIN and VODKA. Red strip beer and mix are in the small fridge. A safe is available if you need it. The beds were fine and not hard like other people have discribed. If you have ever been to a RIU, all rooms look the same. Location of the buildings are alongside to the left (easy to get around). They have a large pool that is clean but busy near the poolbar area. Staff there are friendly and quick. Other people have been reviewing one perticular bartender (Winston)!! he gets great reviews because he does a fabulous job!! Entertainment staff are always looking to get people involved in thier activities around the beach and pool areas. Always happy!

The Beach:
The location is not the best as there is seaweed on the bottom, so this might be a downer for some. There are a lot of sunchairs for you to relax on and the water temp of the ocean feels like a warm bath!! the ocean is not ruff whats so evere so this is great for small children. There are pattle boats and kayaks on the left hand side of the beach you can take out at no cost.

The Food:
Like most RIU its your typical buffet style food with a variety of foods served everyday. You have to look out for the special days were they cook seafood and other specialty foods. Breakfast is the same way with lots to chose from. I you are a very peaky eater then you can not be satisfied. I have been to many resorts around the islands and the food here was good. My fav was the jerk chichen served everyday on the beach shak from 12-3!!!!! verygood chicken. The a-lacarts were good but not any better then the buffet.

The Entertaiment:
Unfortunetly it was not the best i have seen but i still respect the guys doing it because they are also the ones working during the day to get you involved with activities. They do alot so for that, you can't expect proffesionals.

Well! you can get anything you want if they have the right stuff to do it. They do carry a list of drinks but if you ask them to make you a special drink they will do it for you. Im not big on the slushy drinks as its to much sugar but they do taste good. Dont be shy to ask for more alcohol if you feel there is not enough! you paid for it.

The hotel grounds are always clean and workers do a good job of keeping it clear.

They have tour operators that are located in the lobby so reach out to them and you can book a variety of tours. Our Group did a few and everyone was satisfied. Prices rage from the activity you plan on doing. To get an idea, Ocho Rios and Negril are both about 1H40min drive away from this hotel.

You make your trip so what ever bad or good experiances you have read on Trip advisor, only you have control over that. I would recomend talking reviews from people that have traveled more serious then others. There people know what traveling is all about!!!!

Room Tip: House keeping always love a small tip!!! They will treat you like royalty, besides they do work long...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

The location... It takes only 10-12 min from the airport on a bus to get to Riu Montego Bay resort. It was opened 5 years ago and you can tell... Our room was on the first floor. We think that next time it's better to ask for a room on the 3rd floor because of the humidity your clothes get some musty smell. The resort is very clean and very well maintained. The food is tasty, great variety, no complains. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered daily for consecutive 90min. If you used only 10min today... too bad. The next time you can sign-in tomorrow. I cannot understand this. Riu gives so many free things, but cannot afford 24/7 free internet??? Television sets are outdated and nothing exiting in programming. Riu must add NETFLIX channel so everyone can pay and select a movie. The beach is good. If you prefer shade, go to the pool area-there are plenty of big umbrellas. Many people prefer pool, which is big and wonderful. Enjoy your stay!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

This is billed as a 5* hotel, I think thats stretching the system somewhat! The rooms are dated and equipment is not in good working order - several of the drawers wouldn't open (or shut). Room cleaning was good, but the replenishment team often failed to refil the minibar & optics - dispite contacting reception who advised it would be done. With the exception of the reception staff, the team there are great, very friendly and helpful. Some guests tried to improve the service by extensive tipping - i'm not sure this affected the speed of service in most cases. The pool gets very dirty, particualry the swim up bar area. There were often several cups and straws littering the bottom of the pool. I realise its the bad habits of the guests, however, the beach and pool area were often strewn with food, plates and drinks left from the previous day. Food was generally fresh with many items being cooked in view and there was plenty available at all times of the day. Entertainment quality was generally good and the team worked hard to make sure guests enjoyed themselves. The biggest dissappointment of this hotel was the constant and overbearing aircraft noise - which was not highlighted in the brochure or by the travel company. If youre hoping to sleep by the pool or on the beach be prepared for constant rude awakenings!

Room Tip: blocks 2 and 3 are quieter as they are away from the main building and hence the meal set up activit...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Richmond, Virginia
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I visited the RIU at Montego Bay hotel in Feb. 2013. The weather was perfect! I've been meaning to make a review of this hotel only because I'm always reading reviews of travelers before I decide to choose a hotel and decided why not assist others? Overall, this hotel was nice and had efficient amenities. The staff was great, helpful,and pleasant! The positives are the food was decent with plenty of variety but, make sure like all the other reviews I read before I went, to make sure when you arrive for check in, you make reservations for the other restaurants. There are a lot of activities to do on the resort and the staff did a great job of keeping the guests entertained. I loved the all-inclusive! Drinks kept coming and who cares if it wasn't the premium brands?? They use the the local Jamaican brands and the drinks were great! It is in a great location and had shuttles to take you to different venues offered such as the club, Margaritaville. Taxis are expensive unless you are with a large group so it was great to have a free shuttle take us there. The negative sides are, as I said, I would consider this an efficient 3 star hotel. It gives you the basics and with lots of activities so if you don't plan spending a lot of time in the room, it's ok. The rooms have a musty smell. I had to wash all of my clothes when I returned. Even the paper I had in my luggage to the gum was damp. The ventilation in the rooms are not good. The beds are hard, not comfortable at all! Jamaica is still a place I will definitely visit again but, will choose another hotel to just to get a different experience.

Room Tip: Make sure make reservations to experience the "theme" restaurants" when arrive. The J...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The hotel is very well maintained with beautiful grounds.
The entertainment team is well organized, and shows are unique and engaging.
The staff is very friendly. The rooms are very comfortable with free mini-bars. The check-in service is super efficient.
Big thank you to Carlene at the front desk for the efficient check-in service. Also, Craig at the Italian restaurant goes well above and beyond his call of duty - management, please acknowledge.
One dissapointment about the location - the beach looks great, but you will rarely see people in the water. The reason for that??? There is a tremendous amount of seaweeds, and also - there is no sand on the oceanfloor - it reminds me of stepping into a pile of dirt. However, this is not the hotel's fault.

I found another beach close by called "Doctor's Cave" - 5 min on a taxi. Absolutely beatuful, but there is a cover charge to get in.
Riu - you have done a good job otherwise.

For younger and single people - I met a lot of young people from many countries - travelled solo.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Cannot believe the negative comments about this fab hotel - food excellent, drink choices excellent - staff cannot do enough to make your staff a memorable one, they work so hard with smiles on their faces. The entertainment team work very hard, often after midnight and then they appear again fresh faced at 10am to get everyone involved in the days activities.
Yes the airplanes can be heard throughout the day but what do you expect when the hotel is just 7mins away!!! The flights stop about 7pm ish so it doesn't keep you awake at all and you just get used to the noise.
Food is of a good quality with lots to choose and satisfy even the fussy eater, the best is the jerk chicken from the beach hut. Our favourite staff who always made us feel welcome: Winston, Erol, Royston and the jerk chicken chief.
Beach is really clean, again staff work hard to clean everyday - great entertainment in the morning and after 4pm from the local sellers on their kayaks - especially "Skinny" and Tony.
Rooms cleaned to a high standard every day
Cannot belive the negative comments - some people should just stick to Skeggy and moan about that - this was a perfect holiday and we would highly recommend the resort

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
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
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
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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