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“RIU Ocho Rios” 4 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 #12 of 41 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“RIU Ocho Rios”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I stayed at the RIU Ocho Rios in Sept. 2012 and at the RIU Montego Bay in Feb. 2012. Both resorts were exceptional, with RIU Ocho Rios being a little ahead as the beach was nicer in comparison to the man made beach in Montego Bay.
I have read some of the reviews of the various travellers and am not sure if they actually vacationed at this resort or not.
From start to finish it was by far, one of my best vacations. Transfer from the airport to the hotel was seamless, checkin fast and easy, we were on the beach within the hour of arriving at the hotel. (make sure to pack a bag with you're beach wear so you can change, no need to wait for your room.).
The service was exceptional! Nothing we could have asked for was ever a problem. The resort staff were there to ensure you had everything you needed, and if you didn't they would ensure you got it.
The rooms were beautiful and clean. And trust me, I travel to the Carribean frequently and often (Cuba 10 times, Dominican 5 x, Aruba, Bahamas 4 x) therefore, many, many experiences to compare this to. And again, i stress how amazing our stay was.
The food was by far the best selection, tasting and quantity ever! Be prepared to put on a few pounds while there. From the Jerk chicken hut on the beach, to the buffet, snack bar it was always great/tasty and replenished quickly when things ran out.
The bartenders...couldn't ask for better. Drinks were delicious, and they would whip up whatever you asked for, and always with a "smile".
The entertainment team was outstanding, always having fun and encouraging people to participate. You're choice, you can sit back and watch or join in on the activities. They made all the activities inviting and never pressured you to participate.
Vacationers who can honestly say they did not have a great time need to just chill. Enjoy the beach, respect the sunshine and get to know the people of Jamaica! Going back in June :)!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Well first of all let me start off by saying that I was skeptic about staying in an "All-Inclusive" type resort. Thinking that the food would be poor quality, the service would be rushed, and I would feel like a needle in a haystack. Boy was I wrong! Now I am a person who pre-plans everything. I checked Tripadvisor for reviews in hopes to get an idea as to what I was getting myself into. If I dont say anything else that is more important than what Im going to say next, you should really trust my word.... "Don't listen to the negative reviews on here". If you are totally into Luxury and are snoody or booshy, this is not the place for you. If you are ready to have fun and be treated like a decent human being, than the Riu Ocho Rios is the place to go. Okay, so my sister and I planned a "Getaway from it all" type vacay for just us girls for 1 week. We visited the Riu from March 2-9th. After 1hr&30 min ride(which we didnt even notice the length of time because our bus driver had us intrigued by the history lesson in Jamaica during the whole ride) Once we got to the resort, we were greeted by"Jermaine" who was the bell hop/concierge. This guy was the best(I'll tell you more about him later) Drinks as soon as we stepped into the lobby and were directed to the counter to check in...wrist bands, keys and info were given..now to the fun part. So we had to wait to check in because we arrived a lil early before 3pm. This gave us enough time to explore the resort and check the main bar out. There I met THEE MOST WONDERFUL GENTLEMAN AND BARTENDER EVER!!! His name was JASON BERRY!! If you run into this man, please let him know that I still think of him often. There should be more human beings like him in this world. Also there was Henry, Tyrone, and Ruddie who were more than the best at their jobs. Okay, not only were we treated like royalty, but the drinks were the greatest! You have to let them know that you are not a lite drinker to get a heavier hand, if you get what Im saying. And a generous tip would do them good, and they just over all they deserve it. I think I spent more tipping than I did shopping intown. I mean the service was that great. I cant forget the waitresses either, they were friendly and prompt! The entertainment group was always funny and exciting... very great at what they do, but my only complaint would be that the skits were obviously to entertain foreigners, I wanted to see more JAMAICA! If there was more of the culture and Dance Hall present, I would say it was perfect, but Im sure they have to satisfy everyone.
The rooms...well we were upgraded upon arrival, so once we got to the Junior Suite on the Deluxe side, We werent impressed. We actually asked to be changed, and got an Ocean view suite on the right hand side of the resort and it was perfect, Room 2318 to be exact. We could view the ocean and the entertainment going on at the pool during the day. If the noise was an issue, all we had to do was close the terrace door, and it was minimal noise. The only complaint I would say was the room had a little "moldy" smell, but the bathroom was spotless as well as the room itself. The cleaning girl came everyday, and we even left jewelry and money out , eveything was in its right place. After a few drinks one night I lost my gold necklace some where in the room (dont ask me how,lol) but the next day we came into the room after the girl cleaned it, and it was wrapped around the "towel swan" she made on the bed...I'm telling you that if someone has a bad experience at this resort, than it must be one in a million.
The food.. Im not a big eater, so I was happy with the buffet, but I am use to Jamiacan food where I live, so I left the resort to a little bar and grill across the street called " ScallyWags Bar and Grille" which had some of the best Ox Tails and rice & peas I ever had. Great atmosphere and there was Karaoke there too.. If you go ask for Conrad. Great bartender there also. But back to the Riu... I say if you wanna enjoy yourself anf feel safe,The Riu Ocho Rios is the place to go. I plan on going back in May this year, and I just came home. I fell inlove with JA, my 1st time ever there. The Riu Ocho Rios and their Staff helped me feel at home. Remember Jermaine? well one day I tried to make a phone call from the hotel phone in which thy wanted to bill the call to my sisters credit card, so as soon as I turned around to walk away fromt he phone, he asked me if I was okay and if I needed anything? i told him that I just needed to make a local call, and he let me use his cell phone. I mean that was like seeing someone you know and they helped you out in your time of need. it may be small to you, but it was grat to me. Once again, the staff was phenominal, and needs to be the highest pay earners in the entire place. hope I was helpful! Enjoy if you plan on going.

Room Tip: Higher floors are great and with an Ocean view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kingston, jamaica
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Just spent four nights at the Riu and for the most part it was a very enjoyable trip.
The pluses
- Great beach location - this is one of the nicest beaches in Jamaica. The view is absolutely stunning and you have a lot of beach.
- Great entertainment and food service staff - The entertainment staff must be the hardest workers anywhere. They are lively and fun and everywhere. The shows at night are quite good and a lot of fun. Found the staff at the bar and in the restaurants to be generally very helpful and friendly
- Clean, clean, clean - The staff is always cleaning. Never found a bathroom untidy, floors are constantly being wiped and swept
- Food and Beverage - Lots of it. You always seem to be close to a restaurant or a bar. There is plenty of food and quite a range so that you can always find something that you like. If you like Jamaican food - there is plenty of it and if you don't then there is a wide range of other foods to choose from particularly pastas. Lots of options for vegetarians and people with special dietary needs
The Not so Goods
- Tried two specialty restaurants - definitely skip the Asian one. Other guests had warned us but we went anyhow. It is simply a buffet and the food is rather ordinary. There is no ambiance and the staff was not at all courteous or friendly. The other one we did was the steak house which was a bit better but again not really special. They bring the main course to you but you have to go for your salad, soup and dessert. We spent ten minutes in line just for the soup which is much longer than you wait in the main restaurant. The ambiance in the steakhouse is however quite nice and no problems with the staff
- The rooms - nothing special - just the basics. The problem we had was a persistent problem with a moldy smell. After a lot of fussing we moved to a room which was a a little better but the problem was still there. We were disappointed that the front desk did not take us seriously until we demanded to see the manager and then suddenly we were offered the room change. You might want to avoid block three for that reason.

Room Tip: Avoid block three Note that the rooms are built on a long corridor so if you are in room 53 for exa...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Things to do:
- swim (anywere)
- smoke (anywere)
- travel (all over the island)
- jump "high" from the cliff (Rick's cafe)
- laugh (entire trip)
- good food

Don't miss:
- 7 mile beach in Negril (you can stay for one night if you are from other city..)
- Rick's cafe
- Dunn's River Falls & Park
- Bob Marley Museum

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Before we booked this hotel, I had sworn to myself never to stay at another RIU again (too big, too impersonal). However, we were looking to book a last minute vacation with our two kids and the RIU Ocho Rios was a good price. Plus, it is touted as a 5 star, so it couldn't be that bad...

I was wrong. I'll tell you why, but let me first say that the staff working at the Riu were great, particularly the bartenders, servers, kid's club operators, and entertainment crew. I don't blame them for the issues we had with the hotel. I blame the management.

And now, here's why we'll never be back:

Arrival: I'm not sure who to blame this one on - Sunquest (the tour company) or the RIU. We were forced to sit on a hot bus (that was full of people ready to go) for 45 minutes while we waited for the "go ahead" to make the 1 hour 40 minute drive to the resort. I don't know if this was a stall tactic from the hotel or just not caring about the people on the bus. When we arrived, no one told us where to check in, so, of course we went to the check in counter. Wrong place. We had to go stand in another line to check in, and then another to get our bracelets, and then another to get our keys. Our key was missing but the woman never offered to get us another key, so I was sent to the check in counter to get one myself.

Accommodations: 2.5 star is a stretch for the rooms. We weren't staying in the "deluxe" wing so I don't know how their accommodations were but our rooms were musty smelling, the covers on the beds were stained and gross, the tub in the bathroom was mouldy and there was little water pressure or hot water (one night, there was absolutely no hot water at all - or an apology for the inconvenience). The temperatures in the room varied from cool and damp, if the A/C was on, to hot and humid if the A/C was off. There was no happy medium. Plus, a minor annoyance was that the rooms didn't have alarm clocks (weird!), let alone ones with docking stations.

Elevators: Yes, these deserve special mention because they are so disgusting. Carpeted with fabric that looked like it had never been cleaned, dingy, dimly lit and scratched with graffiti. Plus, they were unreliable.

Eating Experience: 2.5 stars. There are five "a la carte" (I use the term very loosely) restaurants and one buffet. If you aren't staying in the deluxe area, you only have access to three of the a la carte restaurants and can only make reservations on three nights. The rest of the time, you have to eat at the buffet. If you're looking for ambiance at any of the restaurants, you're not going to get it: all of the restaurants are very brightly lit at dinner - painfully so. I can see it at the buffet though because it got so congested that you might literally run into 50 people on your way to and from the food if it was the slightest bit dark. The food choices were repetitive and generally not very good (everything cooked kinda tasted the same...). The Asian "a la carte" restaurant is actually just another buffet in a smaller location, and, the night we ate there, they actually had more Asian options at the main buffet! Also, if you like wine, you'll be disappointed. The wine in the buffet restaurant comes from a plastic keg-looking thing with taps (or is it supposed to be a mini replica of a French oak barrel? not sure) that fizzed when it came out. The a la carte restaurants actually offer wine from bottles but it's not much better. For the life of me, I can't understand why they don't offer decent wine for an addiitonal price. I'm sure they would have lots of takers.

Entertainment: The entertainment crew are very outgoing and friendly. The poolside entertainment was good but the nighttime entertainment could use a facelift. Two nights were "productions" of Beauty and the Beast and Grease where the performers lipsynched the songs while dancing on the stage. The dancing was ok but why are they lipsynching?? And why are we sitting here? (oh right, my daughter made us). If I were management, I would have a little more faith in my employees and try something new - maybe focus a bit - or a lot - more on Jamaican culture. We're in Jamaica, after all!

Other activities: There is one ping-pong table that is badly warped from being left outside too long and needs to be replaced. There are pool tables and other games in the dingy, smokey indoor sports bar in the basement of the hotel that you have to pay to use.

So, for anyone thinking of going to this resort, my recommendation would be to look elsewhere, even if it costs a little more money. (For adults, Couples Resorts are great as are Secrets. You won't be disappointed) Otherwise, you may come back from your vacation a little let down and disappointed.

My recommendation to management is to focus on the customer experience a whole lot more - beginning, middle and end - or reduce your star rating to a 3. No one asked how our stay was, no one asked what they could do better, and I talked to a number of people who had issues with the resort. Also, you should embrace the fact that you're located in Jamaica. We've been to Jamaica three times previously and keep returning because we love the country and its people. This is the first resort we stayed at that - at times - felt un-Jamaican. Maybe you should ask your great service and entertainment staff for some tips on how to do this.

Room Tip: Stay in the deluxe area. The "regular" rooms, particularly those in Block B (what are we...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
RiuHotelsandResorts, Social and Community Relations Manager at ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for choosing RIU Hotels and Resorts for your holidays and for taking the time to give us your constructive and valued feedback. For us every comment is helpful in improving the hotel’s services and for ongoing and future staff training.

We were concerned to note that we failed to live up to your expectations.

On the one hand, we would like to thank you for bring up your satisfaction regarding our staff working at the hotel, particularly the bartenders, servers, kid's club operators, and entertainment crew.

On the other hand, we are sorry to hear that our management failed to live up to your expectations. We will raise this issue with those responsible and figure out the problem so that it does not reoccur.

We thank you very much for your helpful and reasonable criticism. We would be delighted if you would honor us with another opportunity to convince you of our RIU service and quality.

With our best wishes we remain,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coldwater, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We just returned from a wedding at Riu, which was fabulous. Compliments to Renford Facet who went over and above expectations. Location and food at the resort was great and the staff at the resort itself are very nice. However Scuba Caribe staff and the gift shop staff leave a lot to be desired. Gift shop prices are incorrect and they will not correct mistakes made at the till - very insulting and rude, and you get no support from front desk. Scuba Caribe staff unfriendly and always looking for tips for every move. Cockroaches in the room and in Sir John restaurant. And no hot water for 3 days, in spite of numerous reports. I am not a complainer but hotel staff do not address issues or attempt to resolve them. This is very disappointing. I think it is pretty basic to expect the room you booked to be the room you booked. Out of our party of 6 rooms, 4 were incorrect. Even the bride and groom were not upgraded which was part of their package. Resolving these basic issues wastes a lot of your precious vacation time and is unacceptable for a resort that claims to be 5 star.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

my fiance and i (both 30) were very hesitant when i read reviews for this hotel, as it was a mix of good and bad - but my parents came back from here and loved it... so i took a chance and booked too. i dont know why the bad reviews - i loved it!

distance - it took about 1.5 to get from the airport to hotel - we had no extra drop offs so it was a quick ride.
once we got to the hotel, everyone was very nice and as we checked in, we received a free upgrade which meant a bigger room and 24 hour free wifi. however, the room is on the other side side of the property. there is 2 pools.. a quiet one and the one with activities.. our room was the on the quiet side (which i guess all the upgraded rooms are) which was great. we lacked a view - as it faced the side of the property; but we weren't in the room so it didn't matter much.
the walk to eat & "busy" beach & "busy" pool are about 5 minutes - which was a nice walk and didnt mind at all. stop being lazy. if you chose not to do the walk if staying in the other building, they have a beach and a pool as well... but its very quiet. All the activities are on the other side of the hotel. again, the walk was nice.

Staff: all the staff were very nice and noone was ever rude to us. very accommodating!

Activities: the entertainment works very hard and are great! some of the activities that were provided were not our style, but theres something for everyone. My fiance played beach volleyball 2x a day and couldnt be happier. The games the staff played at the pools were funny and entertaining.

Spa: we got a massage on the beach and a massage in the spa.. a bit on the pricey side, but i doubt groupons are available.

Buffet: we ate at the buffet all the time, every day there was something different, and it was delicious. We made 3 reservations at the specialty restaurants, and never even went.

overall, we had a great time and the hotel was great. dont listen to the negative reviews.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 6
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
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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#9 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#9 On the Beach 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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