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“Ja man, No problem.....rules are there to break....Paradise isn't that far away” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Main Road, PO Box 20 | Saint Ann, Runaway Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Ja man, No problem.....rules are there to break....Paradise isn't that far away”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2011

Just returned from Runnaway Bay Jamaica, back to Amsterdam.....a magic place according to the Jamaican but .......a magic place is just that where we came from.

Two years ago we went for the first time, to Negril...Couples hotel....What is there to add to that??? Nothing can beat that.....but still.

Club Ambiance is not a 5* hotel, it is not located on the long sandy beach of Negril where you can swim every morning at 06.00 in the nude with star fish and stingray's...No it's not but that is the only thing it is not. It's a 3* palace with a huge Colonial status and yet with the freedom feeling of what Jamaica is all about. For you as a tourist, as a visitor who spends his holiday with them they are absolutely doing: not their best but their VERY best. I read some one wrote the reception desk was not that nice????? Was he wearing his dark glasses??? Mrs Mckenzie at the reception is one of the most loving and cheerfull people I have ever met.... You have a problem...she will solve it...
We as Dutch are not used to a lot of service (I must admit that there is a huge difference between the US and Europe) but service is their middle name......
The hotel is a all inclusive resort and it was all inclusive....How many cocktails can you drink?, How much wonderfull, fresh food can you taste? How many giant beds do you want in your room? How much sunshine can you wish for?
Beaches...ok, It is not one big one....It is several (4/5) small ones, but they give you the feeling of owning your private beach and sharing it just with some friends and neighbours. In which resort do you know all the guests after 2 day's and do you get in contact with people from all over the world....has a Hot hot hot tub that no one else uses at the moment you use it. Which hotel gives you the feeling that you are not a guest but family even though you do not look very related:-)
My husband and I are very much to ourselves, we do not need any entertainment team on holiday's.... yet the team of CA knew how to trigger us, not with everything but less is more....

Some practical advise: Rooms are clean, Tv is good, pillows for beach beds are picked up near the pool, any time you like. Clean towels as of 07.00 same place. Wine is from Chili and nice (merlot) Beer seems to be very populair, cocktails, hmmm but be care full with the Big Bamboo:-) and walk to the beach near the bar, there is a murena living under the rock, if you feed him/her some bread she might come out of hiding if you feed her sausages it surely will.
The Jamaican people are the most fiendly in the world, tread them that way too and you will have friends for life.......
We'll be back.......
Any questions...please ask

  • Stayed March 2011, 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
    • 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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1,286 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Minden Ontario
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

This resort has only 90 rooms. It has one large pool that was about 82 degrees. Loved it.
The food was good but not great. But I sure didn't starve and I am a little fussy. The omelettes were great. The rooms were adequate. Beds were comfortable. Bathroom was small but good water pressure. You can drink tap water there it is all purified. You can also get cold water at the bar. Bring your own amenities as it is only a 3 star. No long lines for drinks or food. If you want a real beachthis place isn't for you. They had a couple of small man made beaches but nothing to walk along.
We had a few minor problems and when reported they fixed them right away. They have a high percentage of return guests. The internet is high speed and cheap at $10 for
1 1/4 hours. The entertainment crew kept everyone busy with games and quizes. The drinks are very good and lots of choices. There is one a la carte but it costs $20 per person. It is worth every penny. You get soup, salad, appetizer, entree, wine and dessert.
It was hot but not humid there. We had a beautiful view from room 67. Overlooking the pool and seaview as well. I hope to be returning there next March. If you go on the bamboo rafting trip down the Rio Grande River ask for Valentine. He was excellent. Had a wonderful time. Remember it is not a 5 star but it is a wonderful relaxing quite resort.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2011

I read the reviews of both Club Ambiance and Jamaica and still, I thought, I don't know anything about the people writing all the negative stuff. I could have nothing in common with them. Turns out, the people I really have nothing in common with are those who wrote the positive reviews.
Walking into the hotel was like stepping into a cult. Almost every guy who works there belts an exaggerated "Yah Mon!" as he walks past you, fist bumping. But as seemingly friendly as they are, no one is interested in helping you out unless there's something in it for them. In fact, a number of employees we encountered here were working their own business on the outside, whether that was selling drugs, trying to get you a gray market rental car or charging you an insane amount of money for a seemingly simple task, like calling a cab.
After about two days here we were itching to get out of The Compound. We wanted to go to Ocho Rios for dinner one night and check out Evita's. We stood outside the hotel for about a half hour or more, hoping to snag a cab. When we had no luck, we went inside and asked if they could call one for us. Rather than simply arranging a pick up and drop off, they told us--after much consultation in a back room--it would be $70 US, and the cab would take us to dinner, wait for us and bring us home. We were so desperate to leave that we agreed. They told us he'd pick us up in 15 minutes. An hour and a half later the unmarked back alley cab driver showed up (he later told us that he received $50 from the hotel for the outing). He was actually a great conversationalist, and one of the highlights of the trip. But that has little to do with CA.
The food was mediocre at best, drinks are all well drinks and they don't even have fresh lemon or lime to put in them, because they're assuming everyone will want the overly sweet juice concoctions that seem made for spring breakers. Entertainment is a joke, although the person behind it all might do well at a senior center-mixology classes from bartenders who have never heard of any drinks NOT on their own menu; karaoke; a creepy nightclub where you can find the staff making out with guests; scavenger hunts; trivia.
The beach is terrible. It's not only tiny, but don't bother going in the water unless you have shoes on. You'll either cut your feet on coral or get slimed the thick algae growing throughout the lagoon area. And the "nude bathing" area? Talk about a punchline. It's a pen stuck behind a lattice fence, bordered by razor wire.
We arrived here Saturday and by Wednesday we knew that if we wanted to make the best of this vacation we had to leave. So we rented a car (which is ridiculously expensive when you go through a legitimate renal agency--we paid about $75 a day) and drove to Negril. Here, we found a nice hotel (Sea Splash) which was right on the beach. This was the beach we were craving--the kind you see in photos, where you can actually walk the beach, swim in the water and feel refreshed. Our only issue with Negril was the aggressive vendors everywhere. That got old, but compared to the creepy compound it was a welcome relief.
I wouldn't return to Club Ambiance if someone paid me.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
redvers sk
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

We were moved to club ambiance due to over booking at the royal decameron for two nights. It was rundown but clean and the staff were very friendly. With the exception of the front desk which always seemed rude. The food was mediocre, the drinks were so strong they knocked ya on your butt and i actually found myself asking the bartenders to take it easy on me! Which has never happened before in my life! The entertainment crew works hard and has alot of fun. And they have to, there is really nothing to do here. It is a very small resort, no pool and no real beach. There are two man made....i dont know if i want to refer to them as beaches, cause there is sand and water......but the water is only up to your knees at best and it is weedy.
We were put in the honeymoon suite, which was an average room with a fantastic view. The only way i would stay here again is if it were only for a couple of days while doing some tours the ocho rios way. It is nice and close to dunns falls, mystic mountain, ocho rios, chukka tours.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Medina, Ohio
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2011

I would recommend this hotel to couples but not as much for single people. I went there with my fiance and a few friends but there def. weren't many other single people there for my friends to mingle with as much as they would like. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived because the hotel rooms and grounds are kept very clean. I had in my mind that this is a budget hotel and may not be as nice as I think, but I was gladly wrong. The food was also very good even and on some day's they even did a huge buffet bbq outside and served jerk chicken which was very spicy and amazing. The room we stayed in was very nice and spacious. It was nicely decorated and it also had a balcony. The location to this hotel was great because it was close to the many tours we did such as the Catamaran boat ride, the caves, the night tour with the glowing plankton in the water, and it was also only about 20 min. away from dunns falls. The biggest downfall to this hotel is the beach. I don't know if runaway bay in general doesn't have nice beaches but the hotels beach was def. not that good. It was very small and you can only swim out a few feet before you hit the coral reef. If I didn't care about seeing dunns river falls and I were to do it all over again I would probably have stayed in Negril. But if you are set on runaway bay I can gladly recommend this hotel if you are not a big beach person.

  • Stayed December 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.
Columbia, Missouri
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

After reading all of the previous reviews about this resort on trip-advisor...my husband and I decided to "give it a try". It was our first trip to Jamaica...and were looking to relax...so "adult only" was one of the deciding factors (as well as the really good price) in staying here. The resort is smaller...and the room was a bit dated- but clean. The TV was old...and the color was terrible..the remote didn't work- but we didn't watch much TV anyway! The bathroom could have really used remodeling...we struggled with cold/hot water temperatures the whole time...and there was a drip from the ceiling the whole time (we kept a stack of towels in the corner to absorb water). Actually...other than the bathroom...we were pretty impressed with the resort. The beach is not a beach that you can walk down....however, if you go on the free bicycle trip that is offered, you will be taken to a really nice public beach. Because it wasn't crowded, we never had trouble getting beach chairs....and never had to wait in line at the buffet. There was only one restaurant-unless you paid extra for the sit-down ala carte meal that required advance reservations) . The restaurant (buffet) always had several entree choices, several sides, a salad bar and a dessert bar. I cannot complain about the food at all...nor the service while dining- we have stayed at larger resorts- and haven't had this good of food. The wiat staff was friendly...especially the bartenders. The front desk personnel weren't as friendly though. Not a "good impression" when we first arrived....however, we quickly realized that the rest of the staff was very friendly. We didn't have any cell phone service...so we relied on the hotel internet for communication home...it is pretty pricy (5 dollars for 15 minutes).
My husband and I are both in our young 40's...most of the other guests were older. We didn't really bring "dressy" clothes (because the resort's website says...casual- leave your dress clothes at home!) ...and alot of the other couples seemed to get all dressed up for dinner.
The entertainment was good...they have an excellent "house band"...that played til 11:00pm. Three nights of our trip they had special guests for entertainment. During the day they had activities- volleyball, and beach games, etc. The entertainment staff was really "entergetic!".
We took a half day trip to Dunn's Falls...which I highly recommend. We also went on the "Cool Runnings" catamaran/snorkeling trip. It was a lot of fun- and well worth the money. Overalll....we would recommend this resort- as long as you aren't looking for a fancy "mega" resort.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

We are part of the return guest crowd at Club Ambiance...we love it there and consider it our home away from home.

As many others have written - CA is not a 4 star property- but it does have 5 star staff. We have stayed at many pricer places (with better beds, better beaches, bigger buffets, etc) in the Caribbean but have only returned to Club Ambiance! Seven times - and we plan to return again.

I think you need to know yourself and what you want on a vacation...and make your decsions on that. I was interested to read comments from people who were at CA the same time I was - yet I didn't experience pushy activities staff or loud music at the pool. We never had trouble getting a chaise at the pool - no matter what time of the day we arrived.

We find the food to be terrific - very fresh - and very Jamaican. It is not Americanized. There is plenty of variety at each meal....with kudos to the oatmeal & personalized omelets at breakfast, the great tasting soups and burgers at lunch and the ever changing buffets at night. There is something there for everyone....including plenty of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

We have had the same waiters since we first started coming! I love listening to the woman singing as she cleans our room. The bartenders going above & beyond to find me limes for my drink.

We think the house band rocks....we have fond memories of slow dancing under the stars....the entertainment that is brought in is also top notch.

And a note-the gift shop in the lobby is NOT run by the hotel. You can go to Ziggy's future WalMart up the road for plenty of souvenirs.

All in all - we love CA - we have brought friends with us, who have returned and brought friends of their own. We can't wait to go back next year....or maybe before!!!

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
    • 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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Additional Information about Club Ambiance

Address: Main Road, PO Box 20 | Saint Ann, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Ambiance 3*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shuttle Bus service attract an extra charge. Airport Transportation attract an extra charge. Free internet service only in lobby area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Resort All Inclusive Ambiance
Club Ambiance Jamaica/Runaway Bay
Club Ambience Jamaica

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