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“first resort 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, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #25 of 63 hotels in Montego Bay
London on
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“first resort vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

I arrived on December 15 and left Dec 22 2013. Since this was my first resort other than disney I dont have much to compare it too. The breakfast and lunch buffet were my favourite but the dinner buffet didnt have anything special. Out of the three restaurants the asian and Italian were best. Most of the staff were very friendly and helpful especially Adrian :)
It was quite irritating to have the people from excursions and the spa bothering you every day but that's their job. Overall a very nice experience and I would return

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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3,541 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
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English first
Charlotte, NC
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

We chose this hotel for our third trip to Jamaica and were a bit disappointed in the ocean here. The hotel is located in a bay and the water is far from the crystal clear waters of Negril that we were used to. The ocean is full of seaweed and the constant churning of the waters from the watersports makes the ocean less than idyllic.

The hotel was what all Riu hotels are...large and bland. There is nothing wrong with the hotel or the staff but there is also nothing to knock your socks off. For half the price that we normally spend to go to Jamaica we were happy with the resort and the staff.

There is no beach service but if you tip a bartender they will take care of you on the beach. We had a favorite...LaRue...and we tipped him well so we had great bar service on the beach.

Overall...you get what you pay for. If you want breathtaking beaches and personalized service try Couples Swept Away for twice the price (well worth the money). But if you are looking to have a good time for less and are a less needy traveler this place will be just fine. We enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Louisville, Kentucky
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

in 24 yrs of returning to jamacia , time and time again, I thought I'd give the RIU a try,...Check in was a not a good impression , I had booked 3 months in advance and had phoned the day before travel, with a man with limited mobility ,...he was sent walking to building 5 , A long long long long way from anything, The man has MS...it was obvious, he was in distress, a new room was given, and thanks for that,...Set the tone I suppose for a lack luster experience, The food, aweful,...I've had better in a roadside stand...most folks were polite, Jamacian people to me are generally nice, and very hard working,....the beach small , crowded , dirty... It's not a beach at all more of a cove, small slimmy, cove...it is a pretty place the pool ares is the highlight....but yes, I hope to return to jamacia , but I don't see returning to Riu..

Room Tip: Upgrade from standard or will be in a closet with a view of a wall and chain link fence,...the garde...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

I have been this location 4 times now and I can tell you that it is a great vacation for families and couples. The staff is great. Very helpful.the rooms are clean ,well kept. It is a large resort with a lot to do for adults and kids. Pool is kept clean and the ocean does not have a lot off seaweed. Food is good, and plenty of variety .

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

Stayed here, , lovely the service and food great.The building does require some painting as a bit worn . Loved the jerk hut and the evening entertainment was fabulous. They did Micheal Jackson's Thriller it was great.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Millville, Delaware
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

We recently stayed here from December 10 through December 19. Frankly, we expected more than what we got.

The physical condition was starting to look quite run down. We were in building 6. The walls in the hallways had been patched and spackled (white), but they had not been painted to match the rest of the walls. All of the buildings seemed to be in need of a good cleaning and painting. Some of the buttons in the elevators were missing. Ashtrays always seemed to be overflowing with cigarette butts. The beds were rock hard.

There seems to be a lack of coordination between departments. I had emailed a week prior to our arrival to arrange dinner reservations in each of the three specialty restaurants, and received a return email confirming dates/times for each. While confirming these after arrival, I was informed that no such reservations had been made.

We eventually tried all three, with varying degrees of enjoyment.

The Italian restaurant was our favorite. The beef entree was easily the best meal we had during our stay. The wait staff was always ready to assist in any way they could.

The Asian restaurant was average. It was a buffet-style. Frankly, we did not see much difference in the selections there and in the main dining hall.

We both thought the Steakhouse was the least succesful. The meat was tough and full of gristle. A definite 'don't bother', at least for us.

The staff was quite friendly, but often seemed overwhelmed. This was especially true on the weekend, when the place was overrun with local visitors.

All in all, this was our least favorite RIU. Far from being a 5 star, I would rate it as a 3, at best. I doubt that we will be back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Ajax, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

My Mother, Husband and myself have just returned from Jamaica where we stayed at the Riu Montego Bay.

On arrival at the Hotel, we were advised by the Asst Mgr that they had no idea that we were travelling together and we stood at the reception desk for approx. 20 minutes whilst they found rooms that were close together. As I walk with a cane and find standing uncomfortable/painful this seemed like a very long time.

Once they had determined our rooms, 5001 (my Mum) and 5012 (Hubby & me), we were pointed in the direction we needed to go and told to take two lefts. We were not accompanied by a member of staff or by our luggage.

When we reached the rooms, 5001 did not have hand towels or soap available but the room was at least clean. 5012 was a disaster, the room had not been cleaned since the last occupants had left - the bathroom was in an apalling state.

Room 5001's safe had not been left open - it took at least 6 phone calls between my Mother and reception and more than 24 hours before the safe was opened for her.

When we called reception about the disgusting condition of room 5012, we were advised that a key to another room would be sent immediately. When we moved into 5003 we had no face cloths - by now the standards of the Hotel were becoming clear - as in there were no standards.

The bedspreads were clean but showing obvious signs of wear and the mattress was okay but not good. The hotel had not provided an additional blanket so it was lucky that the nights were warm.

We went to get a cool drink before dinner and when we returned to our rooms we noticed that the lights in the small alcove/hall outside each of our rooms were not working. We called reception to notify them. It took several phone calls and more than 48 hours before the lights were fixed.

On Sunday morning, I ordered drinks from one of the staff at the pool bar - when I advised him that he had not provided me with the correct drink, he started shouting and loudly confirmed each step of the process several times until he provided the correct drink. This complicated cocktail was white rum with sprite.

We were surprised that a 5 star hotel did not have drinks service in the pool area but when we realised that there wasn't service in the lobby bar/stage area either we were shocked. If a hotel is rated on service - it should be provided. My Mother is 80 years old and should not have to fight her way to the front of a bar to order her drink.

Monday evening we went to the Asian restaurant - which turned out to be a buffet. We arrived at 6:26 instead of 6:30 and when we opened the door. The Hostess yelled at us that they weren't open yet. We moved to some seats nearby and waited for the restuarant to be open. A few people walked in and as we were getting ready to stand, one of the waitresses came to the door, stood beside the Hostess and yelled at us that the restaurant was open now. Apparently walking 10 feet to speak to us was not an option. When we mentioned to the Hostess that we felt that both she and the waitress had been rude, she insisted that she had been polite in her dealing with us and stated that she could not know what the waitress had done despite the fact that there was less than a foot between them at the time.

Having told the Hostess that the waitress was rude, it was something of a shock to be seated at that server's table. When pouring water into our glasses, there were splashes all over the table cloth (this happened in every restuarant at the hotel) and a large amount dripped into my husband's wine glass. I had to ask the waitress to provide him with a fresh glass of wine - I can not believe that she was unaware of the water splashing into his glass.



The restaurant manager came to see us during our meal and was deeply apologetic and understood each of our concerns. She adivsed us the dress code supposely in place for the speciality restaurants didn't actually apply - this was proven over and over as we saw people in dirty shorts, cutoff jeans and baggy t-shirts being allowed in. I should acknowledge that the restaurant manager made every effort for the rest of our stay to touch base with us and hope that things were improving - unfortunately this was not the case.


On Tuesday morning we went to see the Signature/Sunwing reps and were met with "oh well" attitude. Both reps advised us that a 5 star Riu Hotel is not a 5 star Hotel but really a 3 star one. When we expressed astonishment that the Hotel provides you with the rating and you just accept it, they told us we should know this about this chain of hotels. We pointed out that having never stayed in a Riu Hotel we had trusted the rating shown in their books - that got us a shrug. The rep (Lisa) displayed no concern about any of the issues we raised - she actually asked us what we wanted her to do about it. I found that so disturbing that I couldn't come up vwith a response at the time. What I should have asked is that we be immediately tranferred to an actual 5 star resort - but I'm not sure that this tour operator knows what that would be.

On Wednesday night (Dec 11th) we ate at the Steak house - my mother left early as she hadn't been feeling well. My husband ordered a medium rare steak and was given a piece of blackened meat. I ordered the bassa fish fillet - it was not properly cooked so I left most of it. We left before dessert and fortunately returned to our room as I became violently ill and we had to call the maid to come in and clean up the bathroom.

By now we were beyond complaining any futher to the hotel or the reps as we received no response except the shrug of their shoulders.

I should point out that we were sent complimentary wine on Dec 16th - possibly because of our complaints. It felt like too little too late by that point.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, 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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Montego Bay
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Montego Bay
#19 Top resorts 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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