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“Three star resort wrapped in a pretty package” 3 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
Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Three star resort wrapped in a pretty package”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2010

I'll start by saying that this resort is really beautiful. The common areas are luxurious and the rooms are quite nice and clean. However, that is just window dressing used to distract you from the reality.
Usually my husband and I travel to smaller, more intimate resorts so we did brace ourselves for a busier more crowded time. What we did not expect was the way out of control party atmosphere. If you think that Daytona Beach Spring Break sounds like a rocking good time, this is the place for you. If you enjoy making jungle noises at all hours of the day and night, screaming across to people on other balconies and running up and down the halls yelling to your friends at 3 in the morning, then by all means go! The staff won't try to make you settle down and will actually encourage your behaviour with bartending contests at the pool, and hooting and hollering with you at the bars while way overserving you.
If you like long lines, this is also a great place. By the time you get through the buffet from beginning to end, your food is cold. Not that it really matters because it is the same thing over and over again. If you want to avoid this, you can always book a reservation at one of the a la carte restaurants -- just make sure you are up early to stand in the reservation line before the line opens or you won't get in!
No matter where you get your food it is mediocre. The Italian restaurant serves noodles with ketchup, the Asian food is so drenched in soy sauce you can't taste it and the biggest suprise and disappointment is the sea food -- it was terrible! Apparently you can live on an island, surrounded by oceans that are full of fish but not know how to cook them!
If you don't care about the staff or want to get to know about their lives -- also a good place to be. They are all trained in saying and doing the right things, but are not allowed to speak to you on a personal level. If they do linger at your table for longer than the prescribed time limit, a manager will scold them in front of everyone for not working hard enough.
We knew this would not be our dream vacation, but were even more disappointed than we expected. Unless you are a college student looking for a party this probably isn't the place for you.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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La Crosse
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2010

This was our second time to this resort, and would go again!
This resort is HUGE. If you can't walk a lot, don't go there. We went with a group of 6, and two people in the group struggled with the walking, but we were able to get them wheelchairs, No Problem Mon. I personally enjoyed the walking. Burned a few of those extra calories.
There are too few bathrooms. They are not overcrowded, but you always felt like you had to walk a distance to reach one. By the end of the evening, some were overflowing. So if you can't handle that, don't go there. It didn't bother me, but I heard others complaining.
The resort is beautiful. The people were great. The front desk helped us move the two in our group to a room closer to everything.
The food is good. Don't eat everything in one day! The main buffet is pretty much the same thing every day with a little variety. Don't eat like you would normally eat at a buffet and try everything at once. Remember...it will be there tomorrow.
The drinks our good. They are served in a smaller cup. Order Two! Or three? Ask them to top it off with some dark rum. Yeh Mon.
The beds are firm, and the pillows aren't great, but when are they? Bring your own pillow. We slept good. The view from your balcony is amazing! I was in AWE all week.
Anything can go wrong on a vacation. Who can guarantee nothing will go wrong on yours? Nothing went wrong on ours, so I can't say how quick the staff would be to respond.
I love the people at this resort. They really seem like they want to please you, like they truly care. And I didn't see any cockroaches!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
toronto, ontario
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2010

Just thought we would let everyone know that we went to the Riu in Ocho Rios February 2009 and having read the reviews before we left we thought we had made a grave mistake. What a surprise. Nicest vacation my husband and I have had in our 20 years of marriage.The place was clean, food was great, the people and staff were wonderful. It was so great that we are going back this year on February 26, 2010 for two weeks and really looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces.

For those of you who have difficulty with personal service, this is a 5 star all inclusive resort in Jamaica not a 5 star hotel or restaurant in Toronto, New York or London England although I have stayed or eaten all those cities and they don't compare to the type of holiday you get in an all inclusive resort in the carribean. P.S. the price beats $10,000.00 holiday in Europe unless you are on a package tour, which would result for some people in the same complaints i.e. food, service, beds, travel. etc.

Lighten up travelers this is a great great resort. Hope to see you there

Linda and Rick Hall from Toronto

  • Stayed February 2010, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2010

We stayed at the Riu from Jan 25 to 31st and have nothing bad to say about it.
Hotel was clean, rooms were clean (no bugs!), spacious and comfortable.
Our room was overlooking the lagoon which was beautiful and home to some pretty birds. I saw children feeding bread to the fish and turtles that call it home.
Beach was clean, lots of chairs and the water was warm and wonderful for snorkelling. There is a small raft at one end of the swimming area and if you snorkel near that you will be over a small reef teeming with fish. You can take bread but it's not necessary as they are plentiful and friendly.
The food was great - we travelled with a large group and there was something for everyone and nobody got sick.
The grounds are well kept and even when the hotel is full of guests it was clean, clean, clean!
I've read comments about front desk staff being miserable and some wait staff but I can say that we did not have any probelms with any of them.
The line ups for the al a carte reservations are long but move quickly as did check in. We tried the Japanese and Steak House restaurants both of which were good but we still preferred the buffet.
There are 2 pools with swim up bars and lots of seating plus an infinity pool.
There are about 2-4 weddings a day and many places throughout the grounds for great photos.
Down the beach there are a few huts with items for sale but we found the best deals are to be had in Ocho Rios.
We didn't go to the Falls because we had been last year but would recommend it.
Also, a MUST do is to hire a taxi from the front lobby and ask for Roxie! He toured us around for the whole day stopping in many different spots for photos and he is very knowledgeable about the island's history. He showed us many interesting things and told us all about the island life and culture. We found him intesting and very friendly. He took us into a small town for authentic Jamaican patties and took us into Ocho Rios for shopping. It was totally safe and nobody bothered us in any way. The best price for blue mountain coffee was found here too. I have included a photo of him and really suggest you hire him for this trip. It was $100 for the entire day and we split it between 4 people who fit into his car comfortably.
Another must do is the hot tub! Totally relaxing after a day of snorkelling. Beautiful set up.
All in all it was a great holiday and is a nice resort for family members of all ages.
Would we go back? In a minute!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ontario
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2010

Well first off have to say that the hotel is sooo nice and the food was great as well..
We travelled the end of Jan 2010 and stayed on the 3rd floor of the hotel. I dont want to put this resort down but for a 5 star resort this is our experience... The 3rd night of our week my husband and I woke up to one massive cockroach on our wall. And it wasn't a normal size one by any means.... The next morning we went down to the front desk and complained and ask that something be done. So we were told they would spray our room for us... So we settled with that.
2 nights later... another one appeared.... that was it.. for a 5 star resort we were ticked.... Went down to the front desk again and complained and asked to be moved to another room or something.. They said they wouldnt move us and that they would do a "deep clean scrub" of our room.. They tried to blame us by telling us not to leave our patio door open which we never did at anytime... or have open food in our rooms which we never did.... but I failed to mentioned that when the maids clean the doors are all wide open....
Anyways since they didnt want to move us or do anything else but spray they gave us a complementary postcard for our troubles. Ya thats it a postcard. I guess if something goes wrong good luck trying to get things done or fixed... So to us the front desk staff were not helpful at all...
All and all the resort is nice and the staff are friendly ( when you get them on a good day ) but that's another story... Lets just say dont have a "good time" and hang around the bar all day... some bartenders dont like to see people having a good time.. they would rather not serve you and be grouchy with you all week.. ya not sooo much fun...

  • Stayed January 2010
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Montreal
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2010

Went to the Riu Ocho Rios from Jan 15 to 22 2010.
took 1.5 hour bus ride from Montego bay airport to the hotel.
Greeting and check in was very fast and efficient even with many buses arriving simultanously.
I was a little aprehensive to go to such a huge hotel and reading many bad reviews left on this site. I didn't choose this hotel because we booked with a group to get a better rate.

ROOMS: We got a regular room and were very happy with it. We found the room the be very clean and spacious. No bad smell. A/C working fine. No problem with hot water and water pressure. The beds are on the firm side but are ok. You should bring your own pillow as the ones provided felt like pillowcases packed with with towels. We never lacked towels and the mini bar was filled every other day.

They told us the hotel had 940 rooms and was about 80% full that week. We never felt crowded and never waited in line anywere so it didn't feel like there was that many people. Everything is well tought and organized.

STAFF: Such a huge place commands a lot of staff to make it work. So of course you will find a few employees that don't care much about customer satisfaction but most of the staff was very helpfull and friendly.

FOOD: The food was great. The main buffet had a lot of variety and the food was tasty and fresh. The house wine was served at ambiant temperature wich is very hot. They do provide ice buckets to cool wine upon demand. Tipping goes a long way and they do have a few bottles of good Chile or Argentina wines stached away if you ask for the good stuff. Keep on tipping and they will keep on bringing more bottles.
The -a la carte- restaurants were good but not outstanding. We tried the asian and the steakhouse. They were ok but food tasted the same as the buffet so don't bother waiting in line for a reservation... stick with the buffet... The chiken jerky served in the hut on the beach is to die for. I could eat it every day for the rest of my life !

On the beach, they serve drinks in tiny plastic cups, so ring a isolated mug to the beach. You will do less trips to the bar. Your drink will stay cold. No bees will go in it. Nobody will splash it with water...as you can see there are many advantages, it's not only for the drunks.

POOLS: The pools are huge, very nice and clean. The water was a little colder than the sea.
Plenty of chairs you don't need to get up early to get a good spot. At any time during the day, you will find some available. Both pools have pool bars with seats and tables in the pool.

BEACH: The beach is the lengt of the resort. It takes about 15 minutes to walk it end to end so if you like endless walks on the beach, this might not be the best beach choice. Once again, plenty of loungers. Sand is powdery fine and water is a very bright turquoise. There are a few seaweeds patches but nut much.

SHOPPING: on the resort, everything is expensive. No deals to be made. If you go shopping in Ocho Rios, there are some craft markets that you can find some nice treasures. Be careful and go with a group. It's a scary place. Very poor and at every corner there someone out to rob you. It's not a safe place.

We booked a 50 min. sweedish massage. It was very professionnal and relaxing.

The gym looked nice but many cardio equipement were broken.

Wifi worked only in the lobby. About 1.2 mb/s wich is on the slow side.

One advice. The rooms are a loooooooong walk from everything so bring a good set of walking sandals or else your feet will remind you of my advice.

Overall, we really enjoyed our stay and can't find much to complain. It's a beautyful place and we just might come back...

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Ontario
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2010

The hotel is very clean, they are constantly sweeping, mopping, wipping, etc. The people are very polite and the service is great. The rooms were great. The food is excellent with lots of variety. The beach is not white sand but it is still very fine and the water is turquoise. We had nothing to complain about but if I had to find one negative thing, it would be the lumpy pillows. Overall, a great place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Romantic 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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