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“An authentic touch of Italy in the Caribbean” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Reef

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Royal Reef
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Lot 99 Greenwood | P.O. Box 10, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“An authentic touch of Italy in the Caribbean”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

There were only two dishes I could recommend in Jamaica: ice cream at the Devon House, in Kingston, and curried goat - wherever they prepare it well. I do love spicy food but it no longer agrees with me; consequently, most of the fare on the island is taboo for me. I am also allergic to Jamaica's 'Known Name' resorts. They have no character and none of the local flavor. Why travel there for something I can get much nearer to home? The newly renovated Royal Reef Hotel, in the Greenwood section of Montego Bay, on the way to Ocho Rios, and its restaurant, the Corallo, where a real surprise and made the trip worthwhile. The hotel has no pretenses. It is not a luxury establishment with, a spa, 5 bad, non-descript restaurants and a price to match. It is a lovely boutique hotel with clean, comfortable rooms - they could use some up-dating - with both fresh water and salt water pools and with a beach that is not worst than most Jamaican beaches. If you want beautiful, wide, fine-sand beaches Jamaica is not the place. The hotel has only one restaurant, the Corallo, but it is much preferable to 5 elegant venues all serving bad food. The Corallo is a little gem. Ugo, the manager, is very engaged in insuring that each customer will have a great experience and the chef, also Italian, makes you think that you are on the Italian sea shore. Everything I tried, pasta, risotto, fish, dessert was delicious and the initial eggplant flam was superb. The wine list is small and affordable but everything on it accompanies perfectly the excellent food. If you like local flavor and do not need to bring the USA along with you, stay at the Royal Reef Hotel but, wherever you are on Jamaica's North coast do yourself a favor and have at least one meal at the Corallo.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 5 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.
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16 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3
    8
    1
    0
    4
See reviews for
3
8
Solo
0
3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bellport, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

I have recently stayed just after Xmas holidays at the newly renovated Royal Reef Hotel. The place is run by a lovely Italian guy and therefore he has opened in the hotel space a great Italian restaurant, named Corallo, partnering with a young chef from Milan. The food was delicious, well presented and very affordable and everyone was very helpful.
The hotel is perfect for people who want to avoid the impersonal feeling of a big "all inclusive" place and want to discover the North coast of Jamaica by themselves. You can rent a car and from Royal Reef go as far as Negril or Ocho Rios. But come back to Corallo for the food!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
New York City
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

I have recently experienced the best Italian food I have ever had in Jamaica for sure, but also in any other restaurants around the world. The place is Corallo and it is the new restaurant opened in the recently refurbished Royal Reef Hotel on the beach in Montego Bay in Greenwood on the road to Ocho Rios. The food, well presented, authentic Italian and very appetizing, is cooked by a young Italian chef and the little hotel is now run by a charming Italian couple.
A great new addition and a welcome change from the world of "all inclusive" hotels in Jamaica and some great food for those of us who often frequent Montego Bay.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NEW YORK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

This place is a rundown old beach beach house that's hope to be a motel; If you going to Jamaica, get a Known name resort, like Hilton, Holiday INN and etc with all inclusive this may save you a lifetime regret or even save you life!

This is my first review, I hope it helps

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
rlb1613
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2009

I would first like to say that the website does not match the hotel in any way at all! They had their cab service pick us up, which ended up costing us about 50, plus tip. We drove through a very poverty stricken area to get to this hotel..there is nothing even remotely warm or cozy about this area of town!

Once getting to the hotel we were greeted and shown to our room. The room smelled, so we opened the windowns to let some air in and went down to the "beach". To get there we passed the restaurants and bars that were not in service, 2 pools that were both only 1/2 full (with excessive debris on the surface of them), and found a rocky area with no sand! At this point we decided to go back to our room to discuss whether we would want to stay there or not. When we got back to our room we walked out to the balcony (which was a community balcony where all rooms were connected) to find quite the surprise in our flower pot. We found a steak knife with a handle wrapped in duck tape stuck in the flowers! This was the final straw. We called the Ritz and had them come pick us up immediatly. Officially the shortest stay I've had in any hotel to date.

I have never felt more scared or uncomfortable about staying anywhere in my life. Spend a little more and get the real experience that Jamaica has to offer!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Jamaica
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

My wife and I have visited quite a number of vacation spots all over the world, and are always looking to experience different adventures. On our most recent trip to Jamaica last December, we wanted to do just that. While we certainly have enjoyed staying at some of the larger all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, we wanted to try somewhere that was not only smaller but also quieter. We decided on the 20 room Royal Reef Hotel in Montego Bay based on the recommedation of a friend who had previously stayed there.

We picked up our car from the car rental agency at the airport in Montego Bay and drove a quick 15 minutes to the hotel. The newly constructed highway along the north coast of the island made the ride very easy, and the developments along the way makes you feel that you are never far away from anything. We were greeted very warmly by the hotel's receptionist and were quickly taken to our room on the second floor. We had a large, clean, nicely decorated room with a balcony, and a good view of the lush hillside. The TV was pretty small but that's not a priority for us on vacaton. During the times we choose to have breakfast and dinner at the hotel, the food was great and service was good. The beach area and main swimming pool were both small but really did not bother us at all. The property has one main dining area, 2 bars, one by the beach and one by the main swimming pool .

The Fish Hut restaurant was great for seafood and less than 5 minutes away, and appx. 10 minutes away, there is also Scotchies which served great Jerk Chicken and Jerk Pork. The City of Montego Bay is about 15 -20 minutes from the hotel and affords fine shopping and dining. The newly built Shoppes at Rose Hall are also good for shopping, and the Chukka Adventure ATV tour in the hills of Rose Hall was pretty cool.

So we did'nt have nightly entertainment, a fancy nightclub or multiple restautants to choose from, but staying at the Royal Reef allowed us to get away from the larger all inclusive resorts for a change and experience the other side of Jamaica. Overall, we think the room and food prices were reasonable, the property was clean, and the staff was really great. Royal Reef provided the kind of peacefulness we wanted on this trip and we certainly would not hesitate in staying here again.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Dallas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2008

Don't be fooled by the reviews you may read about this hotel. I wouldn't say that the information provided by the hotel is a lie, but it is very much misrepresented. The hotel is in a very depressed area. It will cost you a minimum of $150.00 USD to go anywhere to do anything. There is a/c, but only in your room, and it's not big enough to cool the room since the windows aren't sealed. Outside your room, such as in the eating and gathering areas, they rely on floor fans, that they quickly turn off once you leave the area. The pool was green, and the salt water pool was black. The "beach" area is not much bigger than a standard bathroom. My wife and I were afraid to go across the street to eat at one of the locations that are mentioned in some of the reviews. We were approached by many young men who wanted to either buy or sell drugs. If we make back to Jamaica, we will NOT be coming back to this hotel. You are better off spending a little extra to stay in one of the all inclusive hotels closer to MBI.

  • Liked — Nothing...Really!
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 Royal Reef

Address: Lot 99 Greenwood | P.O. Box 10, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Reef 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Reef Montego Bay

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