RIU Montego Bay, Jamaica - June 2013
We stayed June 2013. We were only 2 weeks back from a Bermuda cruise vacation but wanted to go to Jamaica for a short 4 night get away to celebrate our anniversary. We booked RIU Montego Bay 7 days before. We looked for a resort close to the airport. We both read reviews here on Trip Advisor. We arrived to RIU, there were ample people at reception and no line, but the folks already being taken care of. We booked ocean front accommodations. We asked for an upgrade (I should add that I touched base with RIU via my Agency contact info prior with my reservation # and inquired about an upgrade. I received a very gracious email reply that if one was available when we arrived we will be considered). Within a few minutes (literally 1 or 2) we were handed a key to Suite 6315. I had read about this specific room and knew it was actually the furthest room at the resort- but I also knew that the suite, balcony and view would make up for it. If you have mobility issues, this is not the location for you. Our suite wasn’t ready, so we grabbed a cocktail and walked over to Mahoe Bay for some al fresco lunch. We were both very surprised at the quality of the buffet. It was great! In regard to alcohol, you will not find Grey Goose- go with an open mind and enjoy some good rum. Ask for a double shot if that is how you like your drinks, again, the bar tenders are happy to serve.
We arrived to our suite (a bell man escorted us and our luggage) and were beyond happy. At the end of a 10’ long hallway is a refrigerator and “wall-bar” with vodka, gin, rum, brandy and in the refrigerator is Red Stripe Beer (we don’t drink beer so cannot comment), water and Coke light for mixers. The suite is comprised of a very nice sized living room area with a walk in closet off, the bedroom is across separated by a dresser with swivel flat screen so you can watch from either space- and there are two steps up on each side of the dresser to your bed with huge picture window looking out at the beach, ocean, palm trees (magnificent), from here you can see into the large bath area, spa tub, double sinks, separate water room with toilet and bidet and the shower is large enough for a small party. Since it is a corner, the balcony was huge. The only negative could be that since this is the top floor and there is a huge light on the roof to light the beach at night & at that corner of the balcony the light attracts bugs. If you bring bug spray, a little spray helps a lot. Also, this is Jamaica, housekeeping here does not start at 7am, so your room might not be cleaned by the time you get back from breakfast at 10am. Relax, you’re on vacation. The rest of the resort is very nice as well, clean and beautifully maintained. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The bar tenders are amazing. It really amazed us how Chris at the outdoor bar at night managed the whole bar, mixing as he served and mixed another. The entertainment was entertaining. We love the concept of audience participation & scavenger hunts and the pre shows were always enjoyable.
I agree with many of the other reviews- the buffet food at this resort is great! But, we were able to get reservations for the Asian and the Steakhouse. These are my thoughts: Kalu, the Asian restaurant was good, but for me it was your basic Chinese buffet and nothing extraordinary. The Steakhouse did not enchant me either. It is a prix fix menu. You are brought a table appetizer of vegetable tempura (but I can get this at the buffet) and it was greasy and I didn’t feel like eating greasy food. Then soup and salad or, soup or salad. I had ceaser, Mr. had soup. But, I can get ceasar salad with much less dressing at the buffet, plus it was a salad course and not a meal but it had chicken too. We both ordered steak, medium rare. Mr.’s was, mine although still tasty and tender, was well. Dessert was cheesecake, so we left without dessert as Mr. doesn’t eat cheesecake. I did see it on another table and thought; I could get better at the buffet. Also, it was very buggy. They do have citronella candles burning near the railing; I could do without sniffing citronella. My advice, stick to the buffet, you will be so happy! And there as well, the staff and staff cooking are fabulous! You will always see the Head Chef, he is on top of everything. We saw him at least once a day either in the breakfast buffet checking dishes, helping prepare or finishing off the dishes as well as in the evening. Plus there are different themes at night in the buffet, it was paella our last night.
The plane noise: Yes, the airport is nearby and you hear planes, but it is not earth shattering and doesn’t last longer than 15-30 seconds. Don’t fret it, the luxury is being close to the airport at a great resort and not doing the long travel in a shuttle. There is daily entertainment at the pool as well and non motorized water sports. You can book off-premise tours in the lobby.
The Beach: I am told the beach here is man-made. This accounts for being able to reach down and pull on grass and yes after the grassy area you will feel seaweed underfoot. Bring water shoes if this will bother you or a floaty mat (you can buy in the lobby shop) and you can float right over it. The beach is well maintained and you will see them raking every morning and tidying every evening. The locals that pull up to the shores edge to sell you stuff are not pushy. We bought a hematite necklace for $5.00, if you are a good shopper, you too can do well. We also shopped in the lobby shop and felt the prices there were excellent. If you don’t want to leave this resort, you don’t have to. Remember, there is no room service or beach service here, but there is an in room bar. Note: December 2012 construction of RIU Palace Montego Bay began. This will be a Luxury 238 room adults only resort adjacent to RIU Montego Bay. There will be Room service, complimentary wireless throughout and a beachside bar. Guests here can use the facilities at RIU Montego Bay (Night Club, Sports Bar, and Renova Spa & more). I would recommend RIU Montego Bay. Wish we could have stayed longer!
Feel free to ask me any questions.
- 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