To start: the transfer was fine, it took about 1:30 hours. It was an easy journey in a modern air conditioned coach. The coach travelled along the coast road so there was plenty to see and soak in for our first visual taste of Jamaica.
On arrival at our hotel we checked in very easily & within 15 minutes we were on our way to our room. All guests are given plastic wrist bands, whilst practical these were a bit annoying as when you ventured outside the hotel resort they were like identification tags to every tradesman with something to sell. We might as well of had the words ‘tourists, please take advantage’ written on our foreheads. If you do own any large bracelet/bangle ladies, then I suggest you bring them so you can cover the wrist band up when you are outside the resort.
Our room was supposed to be partial sea view, but we had no sea view whatsoever (thanks Thomsons), but we did overlook some beautiful tropical gardens. We brought our own kettle and adaptor plug however I didn’t realise that I also needed a voltage transformer thingy, the kettle would get hot but never boil, you also need a voltage transformer if your bring hair straighteners too. Our room was spotlessly clean, we never saw one bug inside. Yes there were some outside, but that’s what you would expect on a tropical island.
Food: we found the food to be excellent. The range in the main restaurant was huge. I’ve never seen the option for liver & onions at breakfast before, but hey don’t knock it until you have tried it. Tips- if you like brown sauce or Earl Grey tea, bring your own as I never saw any. We tried the Asian and Steak restaurants too, but to be honest, the food was the same as in the St Anne’s restaurant. The catering staff are amazing, every evening we were served an exciting array of food. It’s the Caribbean so expect local cuisine.
The pools were lovely, we mainly stayed on the beach, we were never ‘harassed’ but once or twice we were offered jewellery or ‘other stuff’ by a local trader swimming past in the sea, they were very polite and moved on quickly if you weren’t interested. It was a tad surreal though. They aren’t allowed onto the beach so have to trade in the sea only. There are security men on motor buggies keeping an eye on things. The beach is paradisiac.
We did the trip to Bob Marley’s house, which was a lovely day out. The journey was over the mountains and the views were exhilarating, we stopped at Devon House on the way, you must try the ice-cream there, and on the way back we went to a shopping mall in Kingston.
We also went to Dunns River Falls, which was a nice morning out, it was only 10 mins drive from the hotel. Best to bring your water shoes for this trip as the rocks are slippery. The market stall traders at the Dunns River were very aggressive, you have to walk through them to get to the exit, if you ask the way out, they send you back round again until you purchase something, me and my husband after going round in circles for a while noticed a hole in the fence and had to make a quick escape through that!
The Spa at the hotel I found to be really expensive, twice the price of what we would pay in the UK. Hair braiding was 80 US dollars, massages were between 100-200 US dollars.
Entertainment was first class, the staff seemed to work from 09:30-2300 hours each day. For 16 days straight we saw the same team but they worked so hard, there was a different themed show every night.
Oh and don’t bother bringing any Jamaican currency as we weren’t asked for it once, everywhere took US dollars, even little market traders on the roadside wanted US dollars.
Overall this was an amazing holiday, lovely resort and beautiful country. I would love to go again, but not for 16 nights at the same hotel. Other guests and the staff couldn’t believe that the Brits stayed for so long, so I think maybe a 2 center option would be better for next time.
- 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