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“Ocho Rios No Problem, Mon!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Mammee Bay, St Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #11 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Ocho Rios No Problem, Mon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

This 5 star resort does not disappoint in any way. The amazing sparkling turquoise waters of Jamaica are dimmed only by the broad gleaming smiles of the staff throughout the Riu. These people go out of their way to ensure that their guests find their own smiles each and every day. Every request is responded to immediately with "No problem, Mon! You're in Jamaica. We're gonna make everything alright".

The Entertainment Crew here at the Riu (& I say here because we're still guests with 3 more days before we leave) are the hardest working, most fun and energetic group we have ever encountered in any resort. Levon, George, Brady, Kevin, Pim, BoomBoom, Peacock & the rest of them start their day early in the morning and don't seem to quit until the last guest leaves. The gentle nudge they give you to join in the organized and unorganized activities is just right...no pressure, just encouragement. The time and attention spent on little kids and big kids (I'm talking those over 18) is fantastic: reggae dance lessons & volleyball on the beach are a must do. The evening shows are must sees as this crew performs reggae dance moves taken to a whole new level every night of the week in a pre-show that incorporates audience participation, generating. much laughter and applause. There is always a theme show (musicals) to round out the evenings.

The food here is superb with enough variety to satisfy every appetite. The presentation of buffets is a feast for the eyes. The restaurant chefs and service staff are plentiful, standing by waiting to offer their assistance and ensure there is nothing amiss from your dining experience.

The rooms are well appointed, kept meticulously clean in a very timely routine. Towels and linens are bright white and replenished every day and sometimes twice a day if required.

The two pools are well maintained and staffed. Both have a full bar on site, each with a swim up bar. Of the two, the main pool is the busier, louder however it's all in good family fun! The deluxe pool offers a more personalized bar service with a chair side service and this pool is quieter, offering a more peaceful environment for those not wanting to indulge in the pool games and loud music.

Riu Ocho Rios is a 5 star in every way. So much more friendly, safe and memorable than we could have hoped for.

Room Tip: Upgrade to deluxe rooms well worth it. Rooms 1361 & 1364 are beach FRONT (not just beach view...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 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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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
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Dallas
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My wife and I were guests at the Riu Ochos Rios for a destination wedding in early Decemeber. Overall the resort was nice with a good number of activities and space. Our room was nice and spacious and the staff kept it clean throughout the stay. The buffet food was actually the best I've had when it comes to all inclusives, but the on site restaurants were not that impressive. The bar-tending also wasn't very consistent as some staffers were much better than others.

The resort is in a great location in Ochos Rios and we were able to easily venture off and participate a numerous off site activities. Overall this was a great stay for our first time in Jamaica.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you plan on buying duty free liquor please do so at the airport. We were suckered by numerous people and vendors into buying alcohol on the island and packing it in our bags because they said the airport was more expensive. In reality the airport had a better selection, cheaper or the same prices and was also duty free and they also know the correct limit of how much you can carry duty free. On the island we were told we could pack 3 bottles each person duty free but the custom's agent back stateside showed us the document where it says 2 BOTTLES duty free.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Great Resort amazing beaches and the staff fantastic. the only complaint is the bed and the pillows. food was good always lots of suggestions. and the staff made it all good. if you go say hello to stephanie she does breakfast in the buffet and works in the first section to you left. by second morning she knew what we took in our coffee. oh ya thats great to

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kennebunk, Maine
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Hotel was clean and designed with ease in mind. The beach was pristine every day and the hotel did a great job monitoring just the right amount of cajoling by the entertainment staff. They were great!
The food was plentiful to say the least and better than most all inclusive hotels we have stayed at. Highly recommend the jerk chicken on the beach. My kids and I ate there every day.

Be sure to be explicit if you want a true Ocean view room. Most are partial view! Be sure to ask!

Kids loved it and would go back

Room Tip: Be specific if you want a true ocean view room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmette, Illinois, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Just returned from a family trip, Dec 27, '12--Jan 2, '13. We had two 20 yrs olds, a 14 and a 10. We won't go back, and it was hardly a relaxing vacation.

Pluses: Fabulous beach. Large pools. Location--near Dunn's River, Dolphin Cove (but then, so are a a lot of hotels). The kids loved the smoothies. The "12-hr" snack restaurant is a good idea-- but the snacks (pizza, pasta) were mediocre. The rooms were decent, AC worked, we had no ants and there was all you could drink cheap, hard liquor (we didn't care).There was daily room service but sometimes didn't arrive until 4pm. The beach crew was good and pay-for snorkeling is close by.

Negatives: The worst thing was the behavior of the non-family crowd. While there were many families, the cheaper price attracts a a lot of groups/couples without kids.They party the whole day and as it gets later they get loud and foul-mouthed. Many of them sat at the pool swim-up bar the entire day, smoking and drinking. One day a fight literally broke out at the swim-up and whistle-blowing staff rushed in. One woman stood on the pool deck and furiously threw f-bombs. Families with little kids took off. Fortunately, that particular group left a day later (btw, they were not young and looked like biker wanna-bes). Yet, there was always a large group of partiers at the swim-up getting wrecked.

Everything was a struggle. We traveled by ourselves and check-in took a long time. They didn't have the rooms we paid for. Impossible to get reservations in the restaurnats and the buffet was pure chaos (people bumping and tripping over each other). They were constantly running out of dishes.You had to search for a table and pounce when one opened. For some reason they won't leave a pitcher of water on the table. Unless you went to the pool at 7am and staked out chairs, there were none to be had. There is music played all day at the beach/pool and "fun activities"--women dressing men up as women to reggae music etc. Our little kids found it funny. Our 20 yr olds asked if they ever turned off the loud music so that you could hear the waves.

Plus or minus depending on your attitude: there are entertainment shows at night. We went once--some people seemed to enjoy them. You are treated to a Michael Jackson dance show at the buffet dinner--interesting for a Jamaican resort. The beach is the better place to go but little kids like pools, and with it the above problems. People are allowed to eat jerky chicken/pork sitting on the side of the pool with feet dangling in the water and then leave the plate, but that means you can also do it. You can participate in the pool-side dance contest. There is beach volleyball and bocce.

I was told that the formula for this Riu is the same as for other Rius. We will find another.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Spent 24 - 31 December here with partner. Hotel was very full, but I cannot say we spent any time waiting for anything - the huge number of guests only really became an issue if we wanted to watch a show - a seat could be hard to find then. The ride from the airport took 1 hour and twenty minutes. As we travelled with Thompson we got priority check in - all quick and easy. We did have a bit of trouble finding our room - the normal route was out of commission as it was pouring with rain, however an extremely helpful female member of staff led our little party through what seemed like a labyrinth (all became clear and quick in the daylight).
We had a standard room on the fourth floor (you could just about see the sea around next door's balcony). Room was perfectly nice, huge bed which is NOT hard (and I am the girl who couldn't sleep at Ceasar's Palace because the bed wasn't soft enough). No issues with wildlife at all, except we saw some tiny little ants on the balcony one morning. They didn't hurt us, and we didn't hurt them.
Breaking the habits of a lifetime I did go to the Rep's meeting on the first morning. This was worthwhile because the Thompson Rep Pauline is an absolute hoot. She tells it like it is and gives very realistic advice.
I would not describe the food as the best thing about the hotel. It is perfectly edible and you'll never go hungry, but there was nothing I went into raptures over. We tried two of the A la Cartes: Sir Richard (Gourmet) - so so, and Mandalay (Chinese) - quite nice. A gala dinner took place on Christmas Eve, but we were so shell shocked from the journey, we didn't really take much notice (although I did manage to take full advantage of the Champaign on offer). Drink does flow with gusto - get used to the taste of rum, because it seems to find its way into everything. And no the drinks are NOT watered down.
I did not go the party pool, but 'enjoyed' the sound of the entertainment crew whipping the crowd into a frenzy a few times from my room which over looked it. We spent quite a lot of time at the quieter pool, which is very nice although quite cold first thing. The beach is lovely, with shade from palm trees and plenty of sun beds. Beautiful firm and fine sand. Apparently some people (who write reviews) have an issue with seaweed - huh? There is hardly any to be seen.
We didn't do any trips as we were only there for a week, but we did take the Thompson shopping trip into Ocho Rios - which worked out half the price of a taxi. If you can't stand being hassled, this is not for you. Although everyone warns you about the aggressive sellers in the Craft market, we found the shopkeepers in the little mall to be just as much of a nuisance - they follow you round the shop.
If you are thinking about going to the Riu, please don't let some the reviews here put you off. I honestly do not recognise half of what they are talking about. I've been to many all-inclusives including some in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. I would say that Jamaica is the best of the lot and that this is a lovely hotel with extremely friendly staff and excellent facilities.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Plains, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Family and I just got back from a short trip to Jamaica over the holiday. We were excited to be on vacation and, no less, at an all-inclusive hotel, but let's break down what the Riu Ocho Rios is really about:

Pros:
- Good food, for the most part (especially the island fare -- jerk chicken on the beach and ackee breakfasts are a must). The burger I had at the lunch buffet tasted like a seasoned stone so I stuck to Jerk Hut on most days after that (open from 12 to 4, not a minute earlier or later)
- Feels bigger than it is, which I guess is a semi-plus
- Beach and pool close together, not too far from Building 3's rooms
- Good drinks and friendly service at the pool bar
- Cable TV with US channels (Storage Wars before bed is nice)

Cons:
- Front desk attendants could care less. Had to switch rooms twice with no sort of apology for the inconvenience. Actually, it was like we were inconveniencing them for bringing up the broken TV, AC, phone, etc.
- Rooms smell moldy/musty... pretty unpleasant and it sticks to your clothes but your nose can get used to almost anything
- Building 3 (the largest on the resort I think) is not well maintained... at all. Elevators covered in graffiti and creaky as hell (they smell worse than the rooms, like frat boy BO and mosquito repellent at once), walls peeling and stained, etc.
- Restaurant reservation staff about as flippant as the front desk staff -- told us the steakhouse was booked solid for two weeks but that we could show up when they opened and try to get a table. We did and were seated in the very back of the restaurant. Meanwhile, the entire front of the place was empty -- a bunch of no shows sprinkled with a bit of BS
- Design of the hotel leaves a gaping tower of shade over the beach for most of the afternoon. The water, while clear and pristine from a distance, is actually cloudy and littered with trash

I expected more from a Riu all-inclusive vacation. That said, it wasn't a terrible experience. How bad can it be when you're that close to the sun?

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios

Address: Mammee Bay, St Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Family Hotel in Ocho Rios
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#9 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios 3.5*
Number of rooms: 846
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in northern Jamaica, on the beachfront. Two 6-storey buildings and one 5-storey building. Surrounded by 90,000 m2 / 107,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 10 Km / 6.2 Miles to Ocho Rios. 4 Km / 2.5 Miles from various shops. 105 Km / 65 miles to Montego Bay airport. 600 M / 1,970 ft. From a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Hotel Ocho Rios
Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica
Riu Ochos Rios
Rio Ocho Rios
Club Hotel Riu Ocho Rios
Rui Ocho Rios
ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica

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