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“as expected” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mystic Ridge Resort

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Mystic Ridge Resort
3.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   17 DaCosta Dr, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 17 Ocho Rios B&B and Inns
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“as expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

This is going to be a thorough review (ie. long!) but I want to include some helpful tips for fellow travelers and suggestions for the owners/management of this resort and the June Plum restaurant on the property. My husband & I booked a last minute trip through Sunwing to Ocho Rios and decided to give the Mystic a try. Normally we stay at 4-5* resorts, however it was a last minute decision & therefore budget was the biggest factor. We found the pictures of this resort appealing & overall most of the reviews were good. We liked the idea of a breakfast plan as we prefer to venture out and enjoy the local food & culture when traveling. We also prefer smaller resorts over the large ones that tend to be the same no matter where you are, lots of people, busy, not our thing. We don't want fine french cuisine or Italian food when we come to Jamaica we want Jamaican food :) Upon arriving in Jamaica we met a very nice gentleman by the name of Steve. Steve provided our transportation from the airport to the resort & we enjoyed our fun conversation with him while waiting for the other passengers to board the bus. Once we arrived at the resort we were greeted by Kanisha who was friendly and welcoming. We were taken to our room by Renardo, who was also very nice, friendly & polite. We knew from reading the reviews that the biggest issue for most people with the Mystic was being given an unsatisfactory room initially so we knew to expect this. We were shown a main floor standard room and asked for a nicer room. I will say I don't know who the staff in the office behind the front reception were...assuming management of some kind, but when we were negotiating a room change they never came out to introduce themselves or talk to us, which we found to be unprofessional, considering your customers are your business at a hotel & customer service is paramount. Kanisha had to go back and forth between us & the "higher ups" & when we were finally given a 1 bedroom suite upgrade we were informed there would be a charge of $20/night, which we paid. The suite was perfect, clean & updated as shown in pictures, however there was a major issue in the bathroom. There was a huge area of active black mold on the ceiling near the shower, it was wet, we figure from a leak from the loft above? We really would have liked to stay in the suite, however the mold was terrible & we were concerned about our health so we asked for another room. We were told there was nothing available until the next day so we just stayed out of the bathroom unless needed until then. The next day there still wasn't anything available so we stayed in the room one more night. On the third day we were given the loft above which was very nice, clean & updated as in photos & no mold! We could tell right away the air was much better. The only small issue with this room was that the rain head shower head was not positioned properly over the nice large tub..tip to the owners it should be brought out & centered over the tub to avoid pooling of water around tub & on floor. Every time we showered there was a lot of water pooling around the tub & onto the floor...which we tried to mop up with towels as best we could...but which was most likely the cause of the mold issue in the unit below us. A couple of the buildings did look more run down, their roofs & trim work...which should be taken care of, although we do understand Mystic owns about 50% of the buildings, perhaps the more run down ones are privately owned? Basically we enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The staff were very nice. We feel that the owner/management should show a bit more care for their property and clientele. The hot tub was out of service the entire time we were there and the pool bar was never open? There was no explanation for this? The restaurant, which we understand is leased & therefore under separate ownership/management, served up delicious food & reasonable prices. It is rated #2 in Ocho Rios so we did have high expectations which were met. All of the staff were wonderful. There was a problem with items on the menu not being available & two nights in a row there was no wine at all which we found to be completely unacceptable. Again, this falls on the management, not the staff. The breakfasts were good serving up local Jamaican fair and there was always a fresh made omelet for us which was terrific! The coffee was amazing. As far as things to do in the area of "Ochi" we did walk down to the local jerk shack at the bottom of the resort...it's got great jerk & festival! very reasonable. It was early evening though...gets dark around 6pm this time of year, and we were approached a lot to buy drugs. They are not shy about it and if you're not expecting this it could be extremely intimidating. They are quite pushy about it. I felt safe as my husband is a strong man who looks like he can take care of himself...but otherwise I don't know? We met our hotel cab driver, Singh, on the 2nd day of our trip. He took us down, free of charge, to the free local beach..Ochi beach. If you are a beach person this won't do it for you. We've been to some of the nicest beaches in the world so we are spoiled, but it's very small & in a bay where the cruise ships come in. We called up Sing and for a fee he took us down to the beach beside the riu hotel in Mambee bay. There was a $10 charge per person & we had to pay Singh $30 return to get there & back, but I will say we always felt safe with Singh & he is a very good driver. You can go down to the street & pay less for cabs/buses but I don't think I'd feel very secure about it. Anyways, back to the beach, there is a restaurant there, Bamboo Blu and it is very good, we enjoyed another nice meal there, the food was reasonable but the drinks were pricey, $5 for a red stripe and about $8 for a rum ..the beer normally goes for between $2.50-$3 elsewhere. The lawn chairs were $5 each to rent but they told us to go ahead...they "didn't see anything...ha..ha.." but then after having one drink we were told we'd have to pay for them so we quickly got up & said forget it. We didn't care about the fee it was the scam we didn't appreciate & we did pay $10 each to get into the beach so we thought that should be included. We did the Dunn's River Falls which is a must! I will say it's not appropriate for kids under 10 in my opinion...there was a couple of children in our group & 2 of them were crying throughout because they were scared. If you loose your footing you could really hurt yourself as some of the rocks are extremely slippery. We had no problems but were careful to watch where we were going, they tell you not to step on the "black rocks" & that is the best tip! it wouldn't be good for elderly people either or people that aren't as mobile. They take a video but it costs $40 which we thought was outrageous & too bad...we'd probably have paid $20 but it's a bit greedy asking for $40! we did give the tour guys a tip, which is expected, Harris, who more monitored & looked out for our safety had his hand out waiting for it when we were done. Johnny was the camera guy & he was a real hoot, very funny & made it a great experience. Another day we ended up going to Reggae beach which I will say is the best beach as far as Ochi is concerned...it's hard to get an answer from anyone about good beaches there & reviews are mixed. Basically if you are looking for an AMAZING beach I wouldn't say Ochi is the place for it, but Reggae beach was very nice, more natural, you can walk a stretch, again have to pay to get to/from & to get in but at least the lounges are free & there's a restaurant, VERY good food, you can eat right on the beach & we loved that. Our server was really nice, Shanika I think..sorry if I got that wrong! The water was a bit rough so we didn't swim, but really beautiful. Go there on a weekend, monday, tuesday, apparently they have big parties during the day on Wed/Thurs when the cruise ships come in, good deal i think $75 for all you can eat/drink for day, but would be very crowded & completely different vibe. We took a full day personal tour that we arranged with Singh. His son, Alrik (Grayson) (ZaZa), came along for the day to join us and we all had a very nice time. I will say the driving is nuts there so we didn't ever think about renting a car & touring ourselves...which is what we normally do when we travel. Singh was great, he grew up there so he knows a lot. We would highly recommend doing a tour this way, one on one & you don't have to worry about anyone else. It cost us $200 for the day, plus lunch, plus we chipped in $20 for gas, totally worth it! We saw Kingston, Spanish Town, Port Royal and went up to the top of Blue Mountain where they make the coffee. You have to pay a fee there as well and we did buy coffee. It was a great tour and very interesting. The roads wind around & around. We were ok but if you tend to get car sick you'd be best to take a natural gravol or something for nausea before hand. We also enjoyed stopping for lunch on the side of the mountain at the Crystal Edge restaurant. We had fabulous curry goat & shake n bake chicken, yum yum! We met a local Wine rep, Ozzy, who was kind enough to take a photo for us & recommend we check out the Golden Eye resort in Oracabessa..at least for a drink, while we were visiting Ochi. Our last stop on the tour was the Bob Marley Museum, again another charge $20 each, but worth it. It was very cool to see where Bob Marley lived & rehearsed & memorabilia...there was a 20 minute video at the end which was good as well. There were some sights Singh wanted to show us on the way back but as I mentioned before the sun sets quite early at this time of year so we missed a few things....I would suggest maybe heading out earlier in am so you can cram a bit more in, we were pretty relaxed about our departure & I think it was around 9am before we got going. We did venture out to "James Bond" beach one day...be careful as there seems to be some confusion, the reviews I read & photos I saw were something different than what we encountered. This James Bond beach (in Oracabessa area) was very small & man made, all filled in area where the banana boats used to come in according to Singh and another very nice Jamaican, Johny who we met. We had a very nice afternoon speaking with Johny & his wife Bonnie and another lady who had family there, and there is a big restaurant which served up another delicious meal & was extremely reasonable. Our last day we decided to check out Mystic Mountain which was included in our package. We'd read mixed reviews & thought it might be hokey...but Kanisha said we should check it out & well, I can tell you we were very happy we went. The ride on the ski lift up the mountain is beautiful with striking views & very relaxing. We did take the bobsled ride which is like a roller coaster ride thru the jungle! it was short but CRAZY...I screamed the entire time & my husband got the hugest kick out of that of course. We had a nice Mango & rum drink at the restaurant and there is a infinity pool & water slide, which we did not test out. There is a look out tower with more incredible views. We had tried to get into the Golden Eye resort the day before after leaving the small James Bond Beach but were turned away at the gate as there was some "celebrity" staying there? In all fairness we were told to call ahead & didn't do that. So after the Mystic Mountain we decided to give it another try. We asked if we could call the Golden Eye resort from Mystic Mountain & they accommodated us. We did get in for the afternoon & we were extremely happy we made the effort. To me this is more like what I expected of the James Bond Beach. We were taken around by a lovely lady who showed us the different areas of the resort & different types of buildings you can rent & the costs associated. There are beach front homes & lagoon homes which are beautiful & quiet & the water is just gorgeous. Ian Flemming wrote the James Bond Novels here & it was cool to see his old den & photos & memorabilia. The restaurant was great, amazing service. The vibe was very cool. If you read about it you will discover a lot of stars have stayed there...apparently Sting wrote every breath you take there! There are a couple of pools, an infinity pool & one over the ocean shaped like an eye & trimmed in mosaics to resemble an eye! it's a great spot with the ocean splashing up on the rocks around you! there are beautiful lounge chairs with plush cushions & towels & a small beach. They had the best drinks there called 007 Dirty Bananas which I highly recommend. We loved this place & would totally consider staying here a few nights if we return. Overall we really enjoyed our trip and our stay at the Mystic was good. It is a quiet place, many times we felt like it was our own personal resort. I believe with a few improvements as noted above they could kick up their star rating, but for the time being the hotel itself is rated correctly as a 3* in my opinion. Thanks again to the staff for making our stay a good one! We wish you the very best!

Room Tip: As noted in other reviews don't settle for the first room you're shown, the 1 bedroom suites...
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  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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121 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We stayed at the resort/B&B for 2 nights after a cruise from Miami. We had been living in the lap of luxury and didn't expect too much from the Mystic Ridge, so we were not disappointed!

As already mentioned, the hotel is in a beautiful location and the rooms are large and pretty clean BUT the place does feel a little unloved and the staff less than interested in the clients. On arrival, we were told our room wasn't ready, which was fine, as it was only 2.30 pm, but after returning to the desk at 4,we were given an entirely different room to the one we had paid for, and weren't even in the same room as our kids. When I returned to ask to be moved, the lady on reception said our booking did not guarantee us a particular room choice and that all the 2 bed apartments were full, even though I showed her our e-mail from the hotel saying they had our room reserved and were looking forward to seeing us! We had also paid in full up front. The room we were in was a lot less money than the one we'd paid for and I was not happy to say the least. The member of staff was both dismissive and unhelpful.Another lady at reception finally intervened and went to get the manager........at which point things improved greatly.

It is understandable for mistakes to be made in the running of a business, but what it is hard to believe is that staff will be rude and uncompromising. Having explained our problem to the manager, he accepted that the buck ultimately stopped with him and that he would do his best to help us. And he did. We were moved the next day to the appropriate room, given some local gifts and free tickets to the bobsleigh and skyride on the mountain, which we loved. If only the first member of staff had been so accommodating. He even found me a hairdryer when I realised I had forgotten mine; I know they like to be eco, so I was very grateful. The manager, Oliver really was the best thing about the place!

Though we had no experience of breakfast anywhere else in Jamaica, we were not wowed by what was included here! Our teenagers were horrified by the thought of saltfish and callaloo, so ate dumplings with sugar on! I like to think that I am more open minded about trying food in a new country, but even I quickly placed the lids back on the hot dishes on offer; eek. Omelette was pretty tasty, however, and an evening meal we had was perfectly good.

The pool area was ok, though the water could have done with a clean. Barmen were very pleasant, but service was incredibly slow, both at the bars and at breakfast- but perhaps that's just being a picky Westerner. Communal areas could have done with a little TLC, though nothing was terrible. More information about places to go and things to see and what food was available would have proved useful, too.

The overall experience was, as rated, ok; not good, not bad.A shame really, because as previous reviewers have said, it is in a truly beautiful location and has so much lost potential.

Not as 'irie' as we'd have liked. Shame.

Room Tip: Try and get the one you paid for!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Worst choice to stay at this hotel. The rooms are dark, horribly mantained our bed cover was dirty. The hotel service is also very bad the staff was not helpful. If you go to Jamaica stay by the ocean not in a hotel on a mountain.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Top Contributor
198 reviews 198 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
255 helpful votes 255 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

To set things straight, why is this 'huge' resort listed under B&B in Tripadvisor? This place is easily bigger than any of the other hotels in Ochi and definitely NOT a B&B.

My first impression was the worst impression:
This was our first stop on our 10 day trip to Jamaica. This place was beautiful and we were really excited to be there. We had reserved the room online and I had contacted the place several times through emails and phone calls about my room preference. The front desk lady had an attitude and did not even welcome us to the place! Talk about a horrible first impression. She kept saying that my room was not available and would put us in a different room with no curtains, lights etc. After a long flight and a drive straight from MoBay and the 15 mins of deliberation and showing the print outs of my reservations and emails; we were finally given our room which was not ready yet. The 4th night free coupon which is STILL ACTIVE on Tripadvisor was not honored! The 'supervisor' I talked to said it expired in November and it should not be there. I was there on vacation and having a good time. I didn't bother to nit-pick on a few dollars and gave up.

The security guy who was fixing the curtains seemed friendly and I gave him a generous tip hoping that he would help us in a new country with some local tips. I wanted a Digicel SIM and some restaurant suggestions. He happily took the money and never helped us again.

I went to the front desk that evening to get the Wifi password and the lady asked "What's wrong now mon?" - no kidding!! I didn't go to the front desk again to avoid the bad vibes.

This was by far the worst breakfast I had in Jamaica during my trip. I wanted to try some Jamaican food with my omelet and the guy was acting like that is not allowed. It was either eggs and toast OR Jamaican. I told him that this was my first time and I wanted to sample some Jamaican food. It was like asking him for a favor. Anyway, the Jamaican food turned out to be a joke. The dumplings tasted like clay and the yam was tasteless. Their callaloo was the most disgusting thing I had. We had good Jamaican food in every other place in the country.

The first day, we were 'served' breakfast on our table. It took forever for the folks to bring our food. Luckily, the next few days were pseudo buffet where we could choose and they would serve at the station. The portions were decent

Cutting corners:
The place is huge and is undergoing renovation. They are also selling their rooms as apartments for rent/condos. You can see that relentless cost cutting in everything. We bought a bottle of ketchup from the store because they would give us miniscule amounts of ketchup to go with our eggs everyday. Also, their ketchup was pink and disgusting and obviously home made. The juices were too watery and tasteless. The coffee was 'instant' coffee. We also felt that the room service was deteriorating by the day when we were there. The room was clean the first day. The second day, we were missing towels and the coffee bags in our room. The third day, a dead cockroach appeared out of nowhere in our room. I swear it wasn't there earlier. See attached pictures.

We asked for extra towels and coffee in our room. The front desk said they will be delivered and even after a reminder, it never was. We just didn't bother with the front desk ever again except during checkout.

In spite of the dead roach in the room, I would still have left a good review for the place because the location was just wonderful! Our room even backed to the 'Ruins at the Falls' and we could hear the waterfalls from our veranda. We still had a good time in Ochi.

However, the bad customer service was appalling and too much to digest for a place this size. The staff simply didn't care for you -- you were just one of the folks who came and left. I hope the management reads this and fixes this wonderful property by hiring good staff who care and think that they have a job because of the guests.

Room Tip: Choose a place with the view of the falls if possible.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Jamaica
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Stayed at Mystic Ridge for 2 nights. Nicely decorated room, great staff, excellent service. We could hear the rush of the Ruins waterfall from our balcony. Very nice property - and breakfast was great ;).

In addition, we went to Mystic Mountain and got a complimentary sky explorer ride for staying at Mystic Ridge.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We were at the resort for one night and left as soon as we could.

We arrived at night. The room looked ok at first although the hotel help pretty much refused to help us carry the luggage up the stairs to the third floor room ... no elevator.

This was a $210/night for two adults and a kid. The electrical switches in the wall didn't turn on any light. Eventually we found a small bed light and used the light from the bathroom. The windows had no curtains so at 6:30AM it was bright and shiny inside, impossible to sleep. When we arrived the bed for our daughter was not made. It was just a sofa. we called the reception and eventually (past midnight) they brought some bedsheets but by that point my daughter had fallen asleep in our bed so we shared.

The best part was breakfast. 8AM. We are told the ONLY choice for breakfast was salted fish and jamaican dumplings with instant coffee. Really not our choice of breakfast. I asked multiple times if there was real coffee and was told no. We left the table and were about to leave the hotel when a waiter came and told us they were brewing some 'real' coffee for us. We went back and were told they could now offer us some bread and jam. I looked at the miniature jam container and noticed it wasn't sealed. It was repackaged. Looking closer I saw a nice large piece of black mold, right in the middle of the jam. At that point we were done. Took a photo of it, then stood up and left without touching anything else, although the woman sitting down next to us had to comment that we were exaggerating, mold was not so bad.

Well, not for my $200/night.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
New York, New York, United States
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

The staff at mystic Ridge are courteous and helpful. Our two bedroom loft was great and comfortable, the TV was good but not like home. The view from our room was the most breath taking thing to see. Where our room was when you open the door you can see and hear the water fall next door to the resort just delighful. The free breakfast was a pleasure, the portions was great and service wounderful. The kitchen was fully equip with everything would need for about six people, but could use bigger pots. we would definitely go again and recommend this place to anyone who wants quiet time or even family time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Mystic Ridge Resort

Address: 17 DaCosta Dr, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mystic Ridge Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A modern gated complex complete with swimming pool, bar area, restaurant and tennis court. Air conditioned rooms with jacuzzi with king and queen side beds. Can sleep up to 8 people. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crane Ridge Hotel Ocho Rios
Mystic Ridge Resort Jamaica/Ocho Rios

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