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“We'd Go Back in a Heartbeat!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rooms Ocho Rios

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Rooms Ocho Rios
2.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ocho Rios Beach | Main st., Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #19 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Cobourg, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“We'd Go Back in a Heartbeat!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

As hundreds of previous reviews have stated, "Rooms" is not a 5 star all-inclusive resort. In saying that, it's exactly why we stayed there. We love to explore the shops, restaurants and culture when we travel, so not feeling the obligation to eat every meal at the hotel was wonderful. We paid only $940 taxes in for the week for BOTH of us, now that's a deal! You're right in the heart of town, so a 10 minute walk in any direction can get you a good meal for less than $5 per person. The salespeople in the streets and markets are aggressive, but anyone who's travelled expects and knows how to deal with it. The wonderful thing is that with the ones in Ochie, once you've made it clear that you're not buying, they stop, smile and tell you sincerely to have a nice day. The beach is beautiful and the water wonderful. The cruise ships dock on weekdays and didn't bother us a bit. Our room was cleaned satisfactorily each day. I had a reflexology treatment by Alicia at the "Rooms" spa and it was great. She knows what she's doing. We didn't eat lunch or dinner at the hotel restaurant at all as we love Jamaican food and wanted to experience as much as possible. "Mothers" and "Juicy Patties" have great Jamaican patties, and two people can eat for less than $5. We also went to "Captain's Grill and Bakery" and had their curried goat. Very good. Don't be afraid to get food from the street vendors. We did twice with good results. "The Ocho Rios Jerk Centre" is a 10 minute walk and the food more than exceeded our expectations. We were actually there 3 times because it was conveniently located at times when we were out exploring and found ourselves hungry. Also very reasonably priced. For our one fancy dinner of the week, we went to Evita's. Excellent! The restaurant sends and pays for a cab both ways for you. We shared the conch fritters. I had the jerk spaghetti and my husband the chicken and mushroom tortellini. We shared a piece of mango/pineapple cheesecake. All excellent. We had the BEST lobster ever at Fisherman's Village. If the thought of being the only tourists surrounded by locals makes you uncomfortable, don't go there. If exploring culture to see where the locals go and what they do and eat there is appealing, this is exactly the place for you. The people are friendly and hospitable. We privately hired a local cab driver (use only the ones with the red licence plates) for $130 who took us on a 5 hour tour through Fern Gully and up to the Bob Marley museum. Cheaper than a day excursion, and we didn't have to follow a specific schedule, or be concerned about what 20 or more other people wanted. Our driver's name was Kelly and we will look for him specifically when we go back. To save money, buy your beer/booze at the General Foods Supermarket located in the plaza directly behind the hotel. We had a full kitchen, which we weren't expecting, so were able to put beer/mix/groceries in the frig. Most rooms don't have kitchens, but buying a cheap cooler and filling it with ice would be cheaper than buying drinks at the hotel bar. We found it a little expensive. All in all a wonderful trip and should we visit Ochie in future, would very likely stay at Rooms again.

I've now written more than I had planned, and could write the same amount again. Please feel free to contact me for more info, or with any questions or concerns. I'm happy to provide as much insight and/or advice as anyone needs or wants about Rooms and our experience in Ocho Rios.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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606 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
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English first
Ottawa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

My friend and I just returned from Room Ocho Rios. While the rooms may need a coat of paint and a bit of updating, it was a great location and we had a very enjoyable stay. The staff at the hotel are friendly and helpful. We stayed in one of the ground floor rooms facing the beach and the sound of the waves was wonderful and relaxing. Some nights if the waves were strong enough, you could feels the vibrations. You are literally on the beach...which is why you are there aren't you? We asked for extra coffee in the room and got it every day - till we figured out we could just pop into the restaurant and ask for a carafe and bring it back to the room as we watched the ships come in. The beds were comfortable and we slept well, although the hallways could get a bit noisy (bathroom "window" was in the hallway and was wooden louvered panels so not exactly soundproof.)

The restaurant on site is not Michelin star by any means but food is good, fast and very reasonably priced. The serving staff are very courteous.They have a fitness centre, a computer for guest use and free wifi in the pool and dining area. Definitely check out the local supermarkets for fresh fruit, etc.

Going out the main gate can be fun...taxi drivers, people wanting to braid your hair and the gauntlet of market vendors can be intimitating but there are access points into town from the beach where you can skip all that. Lots of great restaurants all within walking distance. Juicy Patties is a MUST :)

Lots of shopping around and the vendors are all friendly and are more than willing to drop the prices if you are friendly and haggle with them.

I would not hesitate to go back to this hotel again.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Room from Jan 20 to Jan 27. The Room is a low budget resort for the economic travelers. It is a 3-start resort with appropriate price and service. We found that the room, washroom and balcony were reasonably clean. It is a lot better than most budget hotels or motels in North America.

Our room was on the third floor, facing the beach and it was very quiet. Cleaning lady came every day and did a reasonable job. We asked for more coffee and cream and they were there every time. We felt totally safe inside the resort.

About the breakfast – from these reviews, many people complained about the slow service and lack of varieties. From our experience, service was not slow at all. Breakfast includes cup cakes, loaf cake, bread, cereal, milk, butter, jam, tea, coffee and juice. Most items were in a buffet, except juice. Usually we got our juice 5 minutes after we sat down. You can order from the menu too – about US$5 – US$7.

Tap water is clean and can be used to make coffee.

Do not buy Jamaican dollar at the airport – rate is very low – just J$75 for CAD$1. There is a Scotia Bank and a couple of Jamaican Banks near the Room – rate is J$84 for CAD$1 at that time.

The Room is in the middle of the town. Most amenities, stores and craft market are within 10 to 15 minutes of walk. After you exit the gate, you will meet a lot of aggressive locals trying to selling you things or asking if you need a cab ride. Just answer no with a smith – they are totally harmless – they just try to make a living.

The area to the right of the resort is the tourist area. We felt safe walking around without worrying about our purse and wallet. You don’t have this feeling when you are in Europe. The area to the left of the resort is the local area. There is a big market, grocery stores, bakery and restaurants.

There are a lot of supermarkets (within 5-10 minutes walk). Since the Room is not all- inclusive, we went to the grocery stores to get fruits, snack and other things. A lot of the grocery items are quite cheap. But there is a 17% tax on non-food items.

We went to some local restaurants and they are good: Scothies (jerk chicken and pork), Irish Rover (curry goat) – you need a cab ride to go to these two. Mothers and Juicis (meat patties are excellent) are within 10 minutes walk and the food is cheap – about J$400 for a meal.

There are 2 department stores: Joseph - right at the Room – with a separate entrance. Another one is across the street from Juici. There are numerous stores selling sovereigns, t-shirts, mugs, coffee and jewelry.

We were satisfied with this resort with the expectation of a 3-star resort and the price we paid. People who are disappointed may be due to unreasonable expectations; or they expected a total North-American / European life style in a foreign country.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2011

Just reading the other reviews, remember what you paid! We got a super cheap deal here and it was excellent value. I found the restaurant staff fine. You get hassled out in the town, but that isn't the hotel's fault. The service is not up to western standards, but you are in a culture that doesn't emphasize service, so this is kind of what we expected.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

My 19 year old daughter and her friend were referred by the Flight Center to this hotel. They were led to believe that they were staying at a Sandals resort, in the rooms on the beach. It was her first trip out of the country and she booked it herself. This was expressed to the travel agent. They didn't realize that it was a crap hotel, outside of a resort "Rooms on the Beach", until they go to it.
They got to the hotel and were horrified to find the bedsheets dirty and hairy, the front desk staff would not help them, they slept on towels with their clothes as blankets, as I had read this advice from another review of this hotel on here.
There is some kind of wide shuttered opening in the bathroom wall, to the public hallway, like a vent....big wide vertical wooden slats....not very secure.
There was mold visible on the walls, ceilings and baseboards, there was a 5 year old child kicked out of her room into the hallway next door to them for a while, so her mother could do lord only knows what (locals).
They were terrified to leave the hotel to go eat and so did not eat for a 24 hour period. They tried and were bombarded with locals trying to sell them weed and cocaine and cab rides. They told them no, but were followed so they were scared and turned around to go back to the hotel.
After a very sleepless night talking on facebook with my daughter, I found them space at an all inclusive in Montego Bay (Rose Hall Hilton) that very graciously sent a car to pick them up, an hour and a half away. They had to pay an extra $900 each, right then but were desperate and are now struggling with Air Canada and the Flight Center to get their money back for the crap hotel. We were told that the Flight Center has now put out a warning to not book this hotel anymore.
I told the Flight Center that based on that simple fact, the kids should be reimbursed and how could they send two youngsters, who've never travelled out of the country and are aware that it may not be safe to go out of the resorts in Jamaica, to a crap hotel like that outside of a resort and not even be aware of the state of the actual hotel. Apparently they were going on the word of Air Canada, who the package was actually with. So definitely buyer beware and don't ever stay at this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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
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Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2011

If you're considering booking a stay at Rooms, you should be aware that it is more of a Hotel, than it is a resort. Some reviews I've read seem to forget this. I have no interest in all-inclusive resorts as I like to go out and sample food and drink at various restaurants and bars.

I spent two weeks at Rooms in January 2011 with my SO and our 8 month old daughter. The staff were wonderful... very friendly and courteous, and generally speaking, very accommodating to our requests. The service at the restaurant was great, the food somewhat less so - good for lunch, but we had a couple of really nasty dinners there that kept us away. The restaurant is very reasonable in terms of cost.

Rooms is very close to many restaurants, although there is quite a walk to get to the front gate that could be reduced with a "shortcut" to the shopping centre adjacent to the hotel.

The street vendors/hustlers in Ocho Rios are horrendous! I haven't considered that in my review of this hotel, but would certainly make it a primary concern in a review of traveling to Ocho Rios, (or Jamaica?), in general.

Overall, Rooms is a very clean, friendly hotel and I'd recommend it to anyone who isn't seeking a "resort" experience.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Big River, SK, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

We stayed at Rooms for one week in early November. We arrived early in the morning and were unable to check in to our rooms. The staff was very adamant that we not check in until 'check-in time.' This was an inconvenience but somewhat understandable. We were able to leave our bags behind the front desk until we got into our room.
The staff were all very friendly. Some were a little shy but still very friendly and helpful. The lifeguards were especially helpful, even checking to make sure we were ok when being approached by the beach vendors.
The continental breakfast - which we renamed the 'Rooms Carb Special' was good but consisted of 2 pieces of toast, 2 pieces of sweet bread, and a muffin (more like a cupcake). It was surprising to not have fruit included but it could be ordered. We ate a few meals at the hotel restaurant; the prices for all meals were reasonable and the food was good for the most part. Warning when ordering sausages at breakfast, they can only be described as pink hot dogs - not good.
The rooms are basic but were clean. We had a Junior Suite, 3rd floor. We thought it was great; we turned the couch around, opened the windows and enjoyed the beautiful view. The beds were comfortable enough. There was a safe in the room which was nice for keeping valuables in while out of the room, you can set your own combination. The days we left a tip for the maid, our room either didn't seem as clean or didn't get completed - no towels one day so we stopped leaving a tip and had better service. The water was finicky - usually hotels don't have hot water, this one had no cold or at least it took a lot of adjusting the taps to get an even temperature. Certain times of the day were worse than others as well.
We felt very safe in our room as well as out by the pool or bar.
We found out our second last day that there are fridges available to rent - it is not advertised but if you ask they are available for additional charge.
The location is great - close to restaurants and shopping - you just need to get through the cab drivers offering you anything and everything to get on to the street.
I would recommend this hotel to someone who does not expect something fancy and understands that this is not a 5 star hotel in any way. It is clean, safe, and friendly - these are the things that are important to me on a vacation. There is not a lot to do at the hotel other than hang out on the beach (can't beat the location) so it is best if you just want a good place to sleep. I would stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Rooms Ocho Rios

Address: Ocho Rios Beach | Main st., Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#10 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Rooms Ocho Rios 2.5*
Number of rooms: 97
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the beach in Ocho Rios on Jamaica's North Coast. Just 5 minutes from the world's famous Dunn's River Falls and within walking distance of best shopping and night life in Ocho Rios. Singles, Couples and Families are welcome at Rooms. All rooms are air conditioned, equipped with cable tv, safety deposit boxes, hair dryers,coffee makers and most have a VIEW of the ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rooms Ocho Rios Hotel Ocho Rios
Rooms Hotel Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios Rooms Hotel
Rooms Beach Ocho Rios
Rooms Beach Jamaica
Rooms Ocho Rios Jamaica

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