I met up with my friends at CA. We stayed from 6/30/12-7/6/12. I usually like to start my reviews or criticism with the positives. I won't this time around; I'll mix in the bad with the good. When I arrived I was taken aback by the Jamaican flag that was waving tall on the roof. It was shredded and washed out and looked like it went to a war and barely survived, whereas the American flag was in pristine condition. That was the first thing that rattled me. I was greeted with a fruit punch and warm smiles. The receptionist that greeted us was Ms. Bailey.
Let’s move on to the room. I was not impressed at all! But I was sorta prepared for that because of the pictures that were posted from my fellow reviewers. I didn't like that the television was one of those old tv where its huge in the back and the screen roundish. Also, there were less than 10 channels and that should NOT classify as cable (it was advertised that they had cable). Also, guess what? The channel reception was bad. There was a constant buzzing noise and static on every channel. I could care less about the tv because I love to read and had no intention of turning it on. However, I took my mother with me to meet up with my friends. I thought it would be a cool early bday gift as she has never been to a hotel much less a resort. She loves to watch her news and her favorite channel is CNN. Turns out that channel had the most static. I went to the front desk and Ms. Baily offered us to move to a second room and that one had a flat screen television. :-) BUT it was less than a 19in but whatever. The channels still had static but not as bad as before and my mom settled for that. Why don't all the rooms have flat screen televisions? According to one of the staff they don't have enough for all the rooms. Ummm, ok. My mom is very weird and walked with her own sheets for the both of us. She immediately stripped the bed. OMG the 3rd layer of sheets were absolutely stained and disgusting. I mean COME ON! This is a resort once a sheet is stained toss it. Don't wash it and re use it. Time to take a shower, the bathroom was gorgeous! I have a thing for tiles and the peach (yes peach) tiles with the beige shower curtain gave the bathroom a good feel. I drew back the curtain and I received the shock of my life. *Deep sigh* The tub was filthy and full of grime. I quickly ran down the stairs to complain. Ms. Baily informed me that housekeeping was closed for the day and no one was around to clean it. At this point I was tired from the drive up (I drove from Kingston to the resort), sweaty and stank of bug repellent and just wanted a bath. I said you know what, just give me some ajax and a scrub pad and I'll do it my bloody self. She was horrified as she should've been because no guest should clean their own bathroom! I didn't care and just wanted a bath. She refused to give me any cleaning items (which was good). I asked to speak to a manager. Neither the manager nor the GM was on duty at that hour but the next person of authority was Damian the entertainment manager. He listened to my complaints intently and was very calm, cool and collected and offered me yet another room. I asked to see them before I said yes. The first one smelled so moldy (like the gym). I mean come on, if a room isn't occupied how about letting some air in? The second room he showed me was room # 5 and the sign that says 'room five' was written with a red marker on a paper and stuck on the wall. Moving on, the room was outdated but the bathroom was clean. I didn't like the feel of it and turned it down. I started to plead for cleaning supplies and he finally broke down and gave me some soap and I used that with one of their washcloth and cleaned the tube. I spoke to the manager the following morning and he offered to upgrade me to a deluxe room. The view was even more gorgeous but even the view wasn't enough to change rooms. Other than the filthy bathroom the room was ok. A housekeeper came in the morning to clean and she pulled out soap, I said uh huh, you don't have any Ajax? She did and used it instead. So what does that tell us ladies and gentlemen? This means that they just use regular liquid soap to clean the tub. This is how you get fungus! Sigh.
Moving on, the dining areas both inside and outside were acceptable. Very nice. The staff was very warm and the food was great. However, there could've been more variety of choices of Jamaican dishes. That was a turn off. Where were the liver and kidney, for breakfast? I was born and raised in Jamaica (I currently live in NY) so I know what I'm talking about. It was just ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, festival and porridge. Don't get me wrong, any American breakfast you wanted they had, but being a Jamaican I was disappointed. Overall, whatever they served on any day were DELISH. If you wanted an afternoon snack then you had Mr. Whitter who was on the grill and can whip up a juicy burger or anything else for that matter, but my favorite was just the burger patty with a grilled cheese sandwich. He was very warm, respectful and accommodating. The bar...just forget it the drinks were super strong just the way I like it! :-) Shout out to Omar and Julius that whipped up wicked drinks.
Ok folks that were my horrible experiences. Oh did I mention the roach I killed on the wall and all the ANTS! Just because we are in the Caribbean does NOT mean ants are acceptable!
The best part was the staff. They were so warm and friendly. I can't stop saying that. They made me overlook the room. I put it in my head that this is just a place to lay my head at night. The entertainment was entertaining. Damian did a great job at that. My favorite night was when they had the Ms. Club Ambiance competition. My friend won! AWESOMENESS! But Storm (she's on the entertainment committee) and Damian were engaging and made the night a BLAST. My second favorite day was Jamaica day. Damian was the Dj and killed it (this means its a good thing)!! I was relaxing on the beach and couldn't help whining in my chair. Then they had a dance class where Omar and Storm taught us some of the popular dances that are used in the clubs for certain dancehall songs. Some I knew and learned the others. They had a mixology class and I think it was the same day. I don't remember the name of the instructor but the drinks where great and Storm and Omar where her assistants and they made it even more fun.
So like I said, the staff where amazing and did a fabulous job. They made me overlook the out dated rooms, the ants, the roach, dirty bathroom, and the missing hammock (I had given my mom a card with a woman relaxing on the beach in a hammock for Mothers Day and she commented that she would like that to be her one day. So I wanted to take a picture of my mom in it and make a postcard from it). Why was the hammock missing? It was ripped up for over year so they took it down. SO BUY A NEW ONE! Bloody hell.
I would totally go back if they revamped the place all because of the STAFF! High five to everyone.
- 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