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“Last Minute Awesome Vacation!” 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
Cranbury, New Jersey
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Last Minute Awesome Vacation!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

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.

Room Tip: 6315- Corner Suite - Huge Balcony - Amazing view but a far walk if you have mobility issues. If not...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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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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 (804)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Mount Hope, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

Sleep quality poor, food poor, service poor - 3 star at best
Will not return. Beds were hard as a rock. Public washrooms were too few and overused! Bar service at pool was terrible. No bar on the beach. Food was below average. Overall a real dissapointment. Expected better from this hotel chain

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Stirling, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

This is not a Riu Palace, this is a good four star hotel. Do not be put off by negative reports, we all had an excellent holiday. No brand name spirits but red stripe lager - food good but no waiter service for drinks. The entertainment staff make this hotel - excellent shows and friendly staff who made us laugh every day. Rooms are very clean and did not see any cockroaches. Beach is clean and you only encounter seaweed when you swim out which the hotel can do nothing about. Take the snorkelling trip and go to Duns Falls and Mystic Mountain - the Thomson rep was not at all helpfull and looked totally miserable. Bar staff are so hardworking and appreciate manners when asking for drinks. No problems booking the restaurants and the Italian was excellent - I loved Jamaica and would return no problem!!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

I traveled with my husband and kids (ages 22, 18, 12 & 2). Let me start by saying i started getting worried aftervreading some reviews! However, when we got there all my worries were unfounded!
The staff is fantastic! The grounds are beautiful. Our rooms were clean and had no issues with pests, smells, or decor. I read a ton of reviews prior to going where guests had experienced issues. We had none. We left housekeeping a few dollars every day for both rooms and always had plenty of towels.
The beach is small and there is seaweed if you venture far out into the water(chest high). The sand was clean and there were always plenty of loungers available. We saw fish and crabs in the water which was pretty cool!
The pool is large and kept very clean. I saw staff members tending to it several times a day.
The food is very good with a lot of variety. The breakfast and dinner buffets were the best in our opinion. We preferred the Jerk Chicken Hut over the lunch buffet. We celebrated our son's birthday at the italian restaurant (the steak house was booked our entire stay). They had a delicious Italian Rum birthday cake for him!
The drinks are good and they will make them as strong as you want them! The bartenders are always friendly and happy to serve you a drink.
The shows were good. If you get a chance to see the Michael Jackson show take a seat and enjoy! It was fantastic! The staff does a great job getting guests to participate in the pre show. Always had a good laugh. Very entertaining.
We did a lot of research prior to booking this trip. We previously stayed at the RIU in Ochos Rios and had a great experience. So we figured we knew what to expect. Take all the negative reviews with a grain of salt. Every staff member we interacted with was warm, friendly and always wanting to make our family comfortable!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moreno Valley, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Love this place! Let me begin with the one and only bad experience....check in! was a nightmare..we were a party of 8...most of us didnt get to a room until well after dinner....looked like larger groups got in before us....once in other guest had key to rooms....because of total mix ups...we were placed in wrong rooms....we waited outside door while housekeeping cleaned.
Once that was straightened it was heaven!
My room was beautiful 5005! Central air and a ceiling fan...cold! My housekeeper although i never saw her was great! The food was great the special restaurants werent that good. entertainment was Vegas style spectacular! The beach was nice cant blame the resort for the seaweed...problem with other guest being nude I thought disrespectful due to the amount of children. Beach staff friendly....Front desk friendly....Bar staff great! All staff no matter when you saw them very friendly.
Resort reminds me of spring break always alive so if you dont want to be alive all day and night this is not the place....I love it! Thank all of you!!!! Oh...I really enjoyed the jet skiis...I dont think they are part of the resort but they are very professional, friendly and safe..thank you island jet skiis guys(Craig) for my first experience on jet skiis!!!!

Room Tip: building 5 is near beach and close to buffet..of course there is a funny smell outside but you cant...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Valley, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We visited with an infant and a nine year old one week ago. A beautiful resort on the outside, but the room... The brown bed spread had a glob of dried sperm.The bath room was dirty, with the strong smell of urine. When I called to make the report to the receptionist, she became arguementative and it took three tries for the house keeper to finally get it right because the replacements were either stained or had magic marker on them. The infant bed was also very dirty. This was disappointing to say the least. Management also need to do a better job in training the staff. This is supposed to be an all inclusive hotel, some of the staff stood around expecting tips! Cleanliness was not a top priority, roaches...roaches! For theae reasons, this was not worth the price. On a brighter note, the food was excellent and the entertainment was good.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laurel, Maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

We traveled with another couple and everyday either one or both of us had a problem with this resort. It is so unfortunate because the resort has great potential but there is constant mismanagement. Having been an experienced traveler I can tell when corners are being cut. There were a lot of inconsistencies during the trip.

Pool table - after spending a nice amount of money on a "all inclusive" trip they expect me to spend more money to play a game of pool. I have never had such an experience. In places like Sandals things like this are free.

Twenty dollar deposit to play tennis

If you lose the card to get pool towels they want to charge $20.


One key per room, we had to request another key and then wait for them to cut the key.
Ac was broke
Sand in the comforter
Went to steak house and bread wasn't even ready

Manager tried to make amends by having a special dinner but the dinner was all fried food. He did not even check to see what type of food we liked.

Tv went out 5 times

I have never heard of the special restaurants as being buffet style. Most places that I have been to pride themselves on their special restaurants and make these places where you are served. At this place, they tried to cut cost by making 1 restaurant complete buffet, 1 restaurant partial buffet, and only 1 restaurant complete service.

At places I have been to in the past the waiters are welling to get drinks for you at the bar. At this place the waiters are instructed that you are only able to get drinks at the fountain.

There were several times we asked the staff basic things about the resort and they did not know. For instance our friends asked someone in the spa where the tennis courts were and they did not know. The tennis courts were located less than 100 yards away.


They run out of basic supplies. One day we asked for our wash clothes to be replaced and we were told that they did not have any more. Several days they ran out of beach towels for the guest.

This management is cutting corners by not having enough employees available to handle the needed duties. We had a running joke that today the gardener is the cook. There were so many inconsistencies that it was laughable. Even the entertainment went wrong. There were several times the entertainers were dancing to the music only for the album to skip. This was typical for the whole vacation.

Additionally, this is supposed to be a family resort but most entertainment was not appropriate for children.

The thought was nice but the execution was poorly carried out. Things were not thought all of the way through

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.

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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
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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