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“DISNEY JAMAICA” 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 #11 of 40 Hotels in Ocho Rios
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2010

First should give you a idea who is giving this review. We are middle age couple who have been to 12 different resorts in Jamaica the last 11 years. From Couples-Sandals-Grand Lidos and Breezes to name a few. But all smaller resorts, would say 350 rooms or less.
It started out bad when they put us in a overflow room we think, was on the 5th floor. Air conditioner didn’t work, mold on broken lamp, wall instead of railing on balcony, foot marks all over that wall….to name a few things. We went to front desk right away and they gave us a “Much” better room- it was on the 4th floor. So front desk did help us out when in need, otherwise check in was great. Even though we came in on a large bus that was full. This report is based on almost a full resort. Was told they were at 90% to 95% full.
PROS: Great clean pools, nice beach, plenty of chairs by pool and beach, very clean resort, most of the staff helpful and friendly. Buffet for Breakfast was great, lunch was good, jerk hut was great, dinner was average, large variety of food to pick from. Clean rooms with nice mini frig filled every 2 days. The hotel photo guy “Chris” was so nice…had to buy a picture. All bartenders are fast to serve-great service, lobby-show area bartenders fun and very friendly.
CONS: Gift shop prices very high, no coffee pot in room, no CD player in room, coffee at main dining room not ready for early risers, no brand name liquor-not much top shelf(still had decent liquor though). Bed was very firm but able to sleep, pillows lumpy like sandbags-god awful (would suggest bring a pillow but too much room taken in bag-maybe gift shops will sell them soon at a very premium price (LOL). Pool bartenders tend to be non-friendly. Internet in Sports Bar not working more than its working - charge you $9.00 per half hour. Dress was too casual for buffet dinner we thought. We saw swimwear, muscle shirts, baseball caps and barefoot.
TIPS: Bring Heinz Ketchup packages like I did, unless you like the Grace Ketchup they serve. Bring a one cup coffee maker for room- can’t tell you how many people wanted to buy mine-LOL. Bring float devices for pool. Take a few wash cloths along. A stainless steel mug with lid is nice for pool drinks. “Watch out for steel buffet chairs at the main dining area. Some of the welds have cracked by the arms and backs connect. Saw on man take a big tumble, when he leaned back. Hurt his shoulder and had to see the hotel doctor. Checked every chair I sat in rest of the week and found two more-so be forewarned. Liquor is cheaper at the airport than hotel gift shop. For example $ 19.00 bottle of rum at hotel was $ 6.00 at the airport.
In conclusion we would not come back. It’s a very nice resort but it was just too large of resort for us. Were way too many people and kids running around the resort(Hence the Title)-no one in Jamaica mode (LOL). We prefer the smaller and Adults only resorts (Slower Pace, Older Crowd and more personal service). Wanted to try this type of resort, since we never had before. Still had a great time here and would recommend this resort for family with kids and young people in their twenty’s to early thirty’s.
PS: Why the 5th floor has some rooms with walls. Walls act as a splash guards when it rains.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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Darling's Isle
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

I know my title is a downer, but the resort itself is beautiful, just not the ideal vaca for myself, my Husband, and a couple who came with us. I was worried by the other reviews I read beforehand, but it also helped us get some extras. We left at least 2$ a day for the housecleaning staff and our room was always immaculate, and the same for our bar attendant in our room, and again fully stocked everyday, so I also recommend doing so.
The beach chairs were snatched up pretty quickly when the sun was shining which was only 3 out of the 7 days we were there, no fault of the resort of course, just disappointing. So when the weather isn't at its best they need to have a back up plan to keep people having fun. But there was no entertainment on the beach or even music to get you going during the days of sun shine. I found myself quite bored here. We didn't like the pool, just cause it was also overflowing of (extra full aka really drunk) party people and children, which I found was a bit inappropriate?
The food was amazing and they really went the extra mile to make dinner and every other meal special. The jerk hut on the beach was awesome and smokes out the place so because of the yummy smell, you just have to go and get a plate!
Again the evening entertainment was kind of late and lacking, they are certainly attempting to improve this you can tell! The entertainment highlight of our trip was when Canada won Gold in the Olympics! Which I could have saved a lot of money by watching back at home in a bar or on my couch, and perhaps had way more fun!
All in all a beautiful resort, just so big that it can't make everyone happy I guess?
Oh one last thing, bring a pillow, you'll be glad you did!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Baltimore, Maryland
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

The RIU in Ocho Rios rocks!! We went with a family of four in early May, including 2 kids (7 and 10) and had a blast. We would recommend it to anybody. Here’s our take:

The best part of the resort is the staff. They are great. Not one bad experience. From the moment we arrived, Jermaine (our bellhop) welcomed us with open arms, drinks and laughs... and he set the tone for our entire visit. We saw him almost every day in the lobby and he saw us off on our last day. Then there was Chris, the photographer; Kiki and Big Bird on the entertainment staff; Marvin at the bar; Heather the cleaning lady; Courtney the masseur; and so, so many other great people. This is what makes the resort. These people work so hard and put in incredible hours, yet are so friendly every hour of every day.

In all, I think we probably spent about $150 on tips over a week in Jamaica. On the resort, we tipped frequently but not in high amounts ($1-$5 depending). Off the resort and on the excursions we tipped a little more ($5-$15 depending). The resort staff makes very little money, so they depend heavily on tips. Mind you, they are just as friendly if you don’t tip, but it’s really appreciated when you do.

The resort itself is really nice. Loved the open air lobby with the trade winds blowing in off the Caribbean sea. Loved the pools with the swim up bars, Jacuzzi, games, etc. We enjoyed the ‘party’ pool the most because there was always something going on. We’re not big drinkers but gotta admit we loved sampling every tropical drink under the sun… Pina Coladas, Dr. Funk, Daiquiris, Rum Cream, Copacabana, Mai Tai, Blue Ocean, etc. We never made it to the specialty restaurants primarily because we have kids that are picky eaters. The buffet was good, but not great. Like any buffet, some things are good, some less so. You quickly discover what you like. Loved the omelets and crepes in the morning. And, yes, the Jerk Hut is as great as everybody says.

The beach is awesome. Always found a great spot under a palm tree, nice sand, great water temperature, and usually a nice ocean breeze to keep you cool. There is decent little reef right offshore for snorkeling. It’s not the best reef, but it’s good for kids. Saw mostly reef fish, one sting ray. Trade winds can create some waves and chop, but it’s still a lot of fun. Bring some bread and feed the fish. They follow you everywhere. Kids loved it. Bring your own snorkel gear if you can.

Down the beach and off the resort is a nice little area with local merchants. Sure they’ll push a little to sell you stuff… but they’re just trying to make a living. A little kindness goes a long way and if you are not interested simply give them a polite ‘no thank you’ and they’ll leave you alone. The thing is, these people literally go hungry in the off season if they don’t sell on a given day. We hung out and chatted with them throughout our visit and even brought them some food. It was a nice experience. We also left them some of our stuff when we left.

If I read all the other reviews, I have to admit I’m a little perplexed. Sure the pillows are little lumpy and of course the rooms get a little musty when your dragging in wet towels and swim suits every day, but if that’s what your focused on your missing the big picture. Jamaica is an amazing place. It is culturally rich, the music is great, it has incredible nature and amazing people. If you focus on that, you won’t even notice the few minor cons. My kids, for example, ended up naming the few bugs we saw in our hallway “Bob” and “Marley”. It’s all in the attitude mon. One love.

The only major complaint I have is the foreign management and owners of RIU need to be more respectful of their staff. I don’t think they appreciate how hard they work.

Whatever you do, don’t stay on the resort the whole time. We made several excursions including tubing and horse back riding with Chukka Tours, Dunn’s River Falls, and, best of all, a private tour of the Eastern part of Jamaica (Port Antonio, Frenchman’s Cove, Blue Lagoon, Monkey Island) with Know Jamaica Tours. Javia was our tour guide from Know Jamaica and took us on the 12 hour trip we will never forget. Frenchman’s Cove, in particular, is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. I have a separate review for each of the excursions on Trip Advisor, so look them up if you want some great ideas and tips.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

We spent four of seven of our nights in Jamaica at the RIU for a friends wedding. Upon arrival we were very impressed with the grounds. The RIU is one of the newer hotels in the strip and reflects that in it's style. We got one of the basic rooms and still it was very nice and spacious.
Being that it was an all-inclusive we spent very little out of pocket money while at the resort. Liquor was replenished every other day in our room and between the mutiple bars in the hotel and on the beach, we didn't have any problems getting drinks. As for the food, it was much better than we anticpated. The buffets were actually pretty good we thought. They do have about four retuarants you can eat from BUT you need to make reservations in person by 9am of that day or else they will be booked. We ate at the steakhouse at was not that special or any better than the buffet. The best meal we thought was the Jerk chicken hut they had on the beach. We ate there everyday for lunch!
The beach itself is very beautiful and clean. There was always plenty of chairs on the beach and in the pool area. The only thing I would suggest to be aware of are the guys in jet-skis trying to sell you for a ride. We rented on of them for 45-minutes and after about 15-minutes into the trip our jet ski died on us and left us stranded in the water for about 15-minutes. When the guy finally arrived he towed us not back to the resort but to a series of hut where we were approached by a bunch of "vendors" trying to sell us everything from shells to drugs....very shaddy and intimadating to say the least. When we got back to the beach we heard a few others had similar experiences.
All-in-all the RIU was a great hotel and we would definately go back in the future. BUT remember, you are a tourist with a fat wallet in a poor country where in most cases your month's wage is more than their yearly family income. Keep that in-mind the places you visit off the reservation, who you interact with, and what you plan to buy....like most undeveloped countries the prices you see are ALLways negotiable....don't take offense since it's part if the culture! Happy Travels!

  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Palm Beach, Florida
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

It was our anniversay trip and If you want all inclusive you and a beach thats not ridiculously crowded the RIU Ocho Rios is for you. It was close to all the Activities that we booked. We were greeted with cold towels and a rum punch! The staff was awesome and the view from our room was perfect. The water activites were incldued (excet for parasailing and jet skiing). The strech of beach that RIU has is awesome, my vacation was PERFECT!! Love it and can't wait to go back :-)

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

Before I went to the Riu I think I read every review on this site. So there I was armed with my own pillow, & expecting who knows what! The Riu is a big Hotel, it looks fantastic and it's clean, believe me its clean. The beds are comfortable and huge & really there is nothing at all wrong with the pillows. The rooms are fantastic everything you need plus 4 optics & a fridge with beer & mixers. All inclusive was excellent, I am a very picky eater and I was more than happy with all the food on offer. The buffet is fine, the Jerk chicken Hut was the best & the pizza restaurant was good. We tried a couple of the speciality restaurants, they were nice but in all honesty not sure if it was worth standing in line, that is the one negative thing - the booking system for the restaurants. But if you want to try the restaurants you have to queue up. We had a superior room which I think was worth the extra money. Other members of my family had rooms in the other wing which were nice but it just seemed quieter on the other side of the hotel & the view from our balcony was perfect. We had no problems with any of the staff, the cleaners put petals on the bed and did origami with the towels, the servers in the restaurant were all pleasant and friendly, the staff on the front desk were helpful. The Thomson's rep Pauline is the star of the show. The drinks are part of the all-inclusive so who cares if they are watered down, personally I don't think they are. The drinks are great & the local rum is outstanding. I thought the whole holiday was well worth the money and we had a great time. I would go back without a second thought. I would try and stick to the quieter times of the year I can imagine it getting a bit of a tussle if it were full occupancy.

  • Stayed September 2009, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2010

My boyfriend and I stayed here for 4 nights and really loved it.....
We were checked in promptly after major issues with the transfer from Jamaica Limited Tours (more on that below---NEVER EVER USE THEM). Amoy, at the front desk was amazing and got us back on the right foot, with a rum drink and a quick check-in so we could get right to our room (an hour early). She was also amazing the rest of our stay and was one of the greatest employees we have encountered on all of our travels!
Rooms: Room 2217 was awesome, view was great, maid service was great. Beds are a little hard, but otherwise good.
Hotel Grounds: Immaculate and gorgeous
Beach: a little windy but beautiful and great for swimming or hanging out. You can snorkel to the left of the hotel on your own in the reef...it is awesome.
Service: generally fantastic....we had awesome waiters, bartender and bell boys..... Jermaine McBean, Courtney, Gregory Williams, Brittania, Newton---we loved you.
Pool: was gigantic and lots of fun and clean. Was a little loud with all the entertainment, but the hotel has one entertainment pool and one quiet one.....so take your pick.
Activities: Staff really tried to get people involved and seemed to have lots of fun. Drinking contests, kayaking in the pool and water volleyball seemed to make lots of people happy.
Bars: all the bartenders were great and gave amazing service, even though we noticed that most people did not tip ( we did of course)
Food: available 24 hours a day in various forms. We thought the food was great. We only ate at the buffet and while we occasionally found a not so great food item, each meal presents you with about 100 choices of items, so you would have to be insanely picky to not enjoy it. However, the food is catered to American tastes so you will not find a whole lot of typical jamaican food. Jerk Chicken Shack was great!!!!
Special tips:
1)Bargain with the taxi stand at the front of the hotel....there prices are about 3-4 times higher than you need to pay, if you just tell them its too high, they will immediately lower the price.
2) catch a route taxi home from excursions..... for instance we only paid 500 Jamaican (6$ US) for a ride from dolphin cove (only 5 minutes away) when our hotel wanted 15$.
3) Do not book tours out of the hotel....they charge you at least double what a private driver who really knows the island will charge you. if you need a private driver for airport transfer, dunns river, shopping or anything else please CALL ROXY MENDEZ. [--] He is very affordable (way cheaper than the hotel) He is sweet and funny and knows lots of great things about Jamaica that you won't learn anywhere else. He is a licensed taxi driver and you will be supporting a great local man with a family to feed who really knows the area and made our entire stay worth while.
4) dont skip dunns river falls..... or white river tubing. it is really great. You can always go by yourself and stay away from the crowds by getting a private driver.
5) NEVER EVER arrange an airport pickup by Jamaica Limited Tours. They left us sitting in the airport for almost 3 hours, telling us the bus would be here in 15 min. everytime we asked. (we later found out, this happens ALL the time) So instead of enjoying our morning at the all-inclusive, we spent it angry sitting in the airport. After almost three hours and some expensive phone calls to our american travel agent we were finally given a private driver (still no bus). But he talked on his phone the whole time and told us nothing about jamaica the entire 1.5 hour car ride. When we called to request that we be given a private driver back to the airport (not wanting a repeat of our bus incident, they said they didn't have anyone (this was a lie, according to everyone else we talked to) and wanted us to pay 150$ (twice what it eventually cost us......THANKS ROXY for saving us).
All in all, the Riu was great. Food, service, location, beach, staff and nearby activities make this place top notch. They really take care of you and for 220$ a night (per room, not per person!), for all you can eat and drink...I can 't imagine a better place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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 Family 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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