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“One of the best mid-range options in Runaway Bay!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Runaway Bay Heart Hotel

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Runaway Bay Heart Hotel
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Rickets Dr | P.O. Box 98, Runaway Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“One of the best mid-range options in Runaway Bay!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

Runaway Bay Heart

My partner and I stayed at Runaway Bay Heart earlier this year for a week. (We looked at most of the other mid-range options in the area before settling on Runaway Bay Heart.) It was a near perfect base to explore the surrounding area and the hotel was somewhere great to go "home" to at the end of the day.

Pros
- Excellent value
- Spacious comfortable rooms
- Tasteful furnishing
- Awesome views
- Beautiful pool & bar area
- Great breakfast
- Polite staff
- Beautifully landscaped grounds. Well maintained.

Pro/con:
- My other half loved the peace and quiet and wants to return for exactly that reason. It was a bit too quiet for me but I'd happily return.

Cons
- Room wasn't always cleaned very well
- Some of the furnishings are a bit tired.
- Buffet meals left a lot to be desired
- Bathroom felt too exposed. No glass windows and shutters had no mesh. Other hotel guests can see into bathroom if shutters are open.

- Another reviewer mentions an ants invasion. Heed the warning!! We were a bit silly and left some food lying around. It didn't take long for army of ants to appear. I know we're in a bug zone but there were just way tooooo many of them for a hotel of this class!!! The rooms should either be treated with insecticide or repellent.

-I agree with other reviewers about the place being too laid back. Some of the managers don't appear to care enough about customers so it's no surprise some of the trainees tend to follow suit from time to time.

  • Liked — Beautiful grounds.
  • Disliked — Perhaps the quiet evenings. Too few people so there wasn't any kind of buzz at all.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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46 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
gil512
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2008

My husband, sister, pre-teen daughter and I stayed at the HEART hotel for about 2 weeks in August. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone with children, pre-teens, young adults, middle to older aged adults who want to have fun both onsite and offsite because they would be bored within the first day.

The hotel is clean and the staff are courteous but that is about it. There is no entertainment aside from board games. The piano bar is usually empty therefore the pianist does not play and even then who wants to travel to a beautiful island in the caribbean where the sole source of entertainment is listening to a piano?

The hotel is located at the top of a very steep hill, approximately 6-7 NY city blocks. There are no lights along the path, therefore if you venture out during the evening you would have a very dark walk back up to the hotel. One evening we were going to take a walk from the hotel to the beach at the bottom of the hill and the security guard (seemed to be a supervisor) told us that he would not recommend us taking the walk with it being so dark outside, mind you it was about 8pm.

The rooms seemed to be cleaned anytime between 11am and 2:30pm. often the cleaning people would knock on our doors at 11am and we would leave for the day, returning at 2pm only to find the room half done. I would suggest anyone staying there to try and avoid any room numbered over 300 because you are then at the extreme far side of the hotel block. The gym does not have working equipment, one treadmill worked, the fans did not work, the exercise bikes did not work.

The hotel is clean and quiet but not meant for someone who does not have a car and can therefore get around or people who do not have activities planned out. This is for the person who will use the room only to sleep at night (or during the day) and does not plan on doing anything at all at the hotel except for watching tv, sitting on the balcony, swimming in the pool. The pool has a lifeguard, the sign says he should be there from 11am - 4pm, I'm assuming because there aren't many guests he does not remain by the pool and even if you are there during those times, he may only come up to put up the sign stating he is off duty (even if it is between the 11am - 4pm time).

We would never stay at the hotel again or recommend it. It would only be for someone who under doctors advise was told that they should have no stimulation, someone who wants minimal contact with the outside world. Not for a family looking to enjoy themselves on site and off. The food from the children's menu was not good, one thing that stuck in my mind was the hot dog my daughter ordered, it was the worst thing we tasted, it was also red. We purchased food from the local places at the bottom of the hill that tasted good and cost less.

We would never complain or have anything negative to say about the staff and site because the staff were perfect and the site was very clean , security is tight, but for people looking to enjoy themselves on days when they might not be able to leave the hotel, this is not the place. It is not convenient to anything if you don't have a car, especially at night or if you plan to return to the hotel at night due to the walk leading up to the hotel is not lighted.

We have learned that next time we will plan better, save money and stay at a hotel that offers some type of entertainment. The hotel lists that day/night passes are available to hotels close to them but that is not the case, this is not offered. You can go to area hotels and ask about day or night passes which allows you to visit the hotels for a period of time during the day or night, we did this for the Franklyn D. Resort which is located about 20 minutes away (by foot) from HEART hotel. Breezes is also close by and there is a new hotel across the street that might have been a better option.

Its very boring, so keep that in mind when thinking about price. Unless you have planned activities for yourself and family, or don't plan on having time for planned "vacation" type activities don't stay there.

  • Liked — the site was clean and staff were nice
  • Disliked — boring, no entertainment, location at top of steep hill, gym no good
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2008

Anyway.... my flight.....Manchester -Montego bay £399.11p for 14 days and also Hotel booked seperately $66 per night,.dates 10th -24th December.both booked courtesy of my boyfriend Val (thank you Bush Man...hehe).....

Arrived at airport and after being picked up was quickly transported to this lovely Hotel........

Booked in a discovered that an email requesting great view/balcony had been honoured.....

This hotel is advertised as 3* and by european standards i would consider it to be about that.

The room was an end room on block 3? or 5?....upper floor(there were only 2) .great balcony and beautiful large bay window opposite the bed with a really wide windowsill ,you could sit 2 people on on fully,and we did...lol....

Bed was quite large...decor had a green almost jungly feel to it and woodwork was dark.....nice rattan on chairs and rattan rocking chair.....a/c worked and wasnt noisy.
Excellent fully opening balcony window/door....it seemed like the whole wall was open....large balcony with table and 4 chairs

Not quite fullsize fridge in room...clean....

Plenty of built in wardrobe/closet space with safe(if i remember correctly?)
Iron and ironing board inside...
.
Plenty of lighting including bedside,overhead ,freestanding lamp in corner and lamp by television....

Coffee maker with full stock of beverages and accompaniments...

Bathroom was clean and fine..quite spacious with large sink,full size bath and over bath shower....
White fittings....hairdryer on wall........
toiletries provided..
But had no mesh for bug on slatted window ...so you might get a surprise at times!!!

We never had much trouble with mosquitos due to burning incense in the room,i took loads of incense sticks with me and dotted them about where and when needed.
There was no mesh on the slat windows so bugs etc could be a problem for some.....

Ants invaded on the 2nd day...killed the lot with Chanel No 5...

The hotel is a training hotel for those seeking careers in hospitality and the staff work extremely hard and long hours.

We tipped quite a lot and they deserved it....

We mainly used the hotel as a base and travelled out most days to various places including Ochi,Negril,Brownstown(family),Christiana(started as a detour...lol)and also Kingston.
I believe the Hotel has a private beach but we never used it but instead took a dip most mornings in the sea behind the bar 'Flavours'

The food was of a good quailty and standardexcept for one or two days,it seems there were different Chefs on....

Room service was of course on the famous 'Jamaican time' but was beautifully presented when it came..

We ate at the restaurant for some breakfasts but the room service was to much of a temptation and we ate mostly, still pyjama clad on our balcony .....
It overlooked a golf course and we could see the sea in the distance...the grounds/garden just below our balcony.. were really nice...just one tree uprooted due to last hurricane or something like that...

The rest of the hotel grounds were maintained to a high standard.
The night time entertainment was low key and unobtrusive with the occasional piano bar nite...really nice for the late evening diners......
When we did stay in for the night ,we mainly stayed aroud the outside bar...its round with comfy bar stools.....staff pleasant and overworked at times.....please remember to tip......

They really enjoyed my English/Liverpool humour(it seemed...lol) and there were a few LFC supporters working there...also one MUFC supporter but we won't mention him....lol.
The guests were of a good mix,no unruly or loud types and the children that were in residence were beautifully behaved.

The nice thing was,that there was a wedding there nearly every day and the wedding guests did a run through of the ceremony the night before right by this Bar.....

It was nice watching the tired Grooms and best men mistiming their steps but working diligently for hours...lol..until the Brides to be and their Sisters,Mothers...etc...decided they were perfect....

It was great to people watch and join in,at times helping with the next days decorations....i can now wrap silk around a pillar with one hand...lol
The other non-weding guests were from all over including the USA and Germany....

I dont know the prices of anything because we had a tab and i don't deal with it...(thanks again darling) but i dont think any meals or drinks were overly expensive...

Front desk coped with anything we through at them including 2 requests during the fortnight to clean our car.....

If you are looking for a quiet ,low key hotel with minimum noise or obnoxious guests then this is an ideal place.....

24 hour security and they asked us most times even though they knew us....so that was a good sign in my opinion.
If it was beachfront it would be fantastic......

xxx.

  • Liked — QUIET AND LAID BACK
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2008

I spent my honeymoon at Runaway Bay Heart Hotel in Feb 2008 and it was truly wonderful. The food was authentic Jamaican food, i would know because i'm a Jamaican. The staff was professional, pleasant and very helpful. The rooms and grounds were clean, it was overrall a wonderful experience. I'm definitely going back for my anniversary.

  • Liked — The privacy and quietness of the hotel.
  • Disliked — The beach; the hotel is not close to the beach so they enable guests to go to a private beach via a hourly shuttle service. The beach grounds needs to be renovated.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Lutz, Florida
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2008

We stumbled across this training hotel for those seeking careers in hospitality while driving around looking for a place to stay for one night before a week on the beach. We were quite satisfied. In short, it's reasonably priced, clean, and comfortable with great ocean views and a shuttle to their private beach (which we never took). The food (both breakfast and dinner) was great and the service good. The entire hotel was quiet and clean.

  • Liked — Clean, up-to-date, and reasonably priced.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Boston, MA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2008

My Girlfriend and I were in Jamaica for a friends wedding. We were unable to book a room at the resort we were staying at for the night of the wedding, so we moved to the HEART for our last night. The price was great, and the grounds were lovely, but that was about it. The staff gave new meaning to the term "Jamaican Time." The service at the resorts was always top notch, but here it was too laid back. The front desk told me they would arrange a bus for us to the airport, they never did. They told me they would take care of finding my reservation info when I could not find my print out with my receipt, they never did. When we asked the waiter to bring us our check at breakfast because our bus (which I arranged) was going to arrive soon, he waited another 1/2 hour and brought it to us right as the bus arrived. They even mopped the floor and did not put the "Caution Slippery Floors" warnings anywhere near where they mopped, so I almost fell down on the wet floor. So, if you are looking for an affordable room to get to pre-planned events in the area, you could do much worse. But if you are looking for a place to stay that is going to be the center of your vacation, I would suggest the resorts.

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2007

I've stayed at this hoel several times over the past 3 years. I feel very comfortable there but this hotel is not for everyone. If you are used to the NY way of life with the rushing around I would suggest you stay someplace else. Jamaica in itself is slow moving. You are on vacation so I suggest before you go do all the reading you can on "their" way of life.
This hotel is inexpensive and clean. Maybe they can update things but this is the way it is. I stayed at the Royal De Cameron and left the next morning. If you want a clean room which is up the hill from the beach this is the place to stay. I have learned over the years to just chill out. I plan my days and have no problem. If you are bringing a family and want to do all the site seeing you can save lots of money staying at this hotel. Since swimming with the dolphins is an expense and everything else you can save a bundle staying here. The prices are about 95.00 per nt. based on two adults and children under 13 I think are free. You can get a room that has two double beds and look how much cheaper this would be. If you want the all inclusive you can stay at the Jamaica Grand hotel where I stayed years ago. With that comes a price tag of around 300.00 for two and with children they charge no matter what the age. It all depends on each family. I also traveled alone to Jamaica.
If anyone needs know anything about renting a phone in Jamaica or if you need pick up from airport please feel free to contac me. Gail10036@aol.com
I've made friends there over the years and recently took my sister in law with her kids and my 14 year old. It's all what you make of it. Everything is ire mon in Jamaica.
Let me give you some advice. If you want to stay at the Heart with their very reasonalble rates you can spend the day in Ocho Rios Jamaican Grand hotel. Each adult is 60.00 and children under 13 is 30.00. With this you can eat from around 9:30 am till 6:pm. All you can eat and all you can drink. unlimited. Its fantastic. They have more pools than I can count. It's a beautiul hotel with spectacular grounds. Bring your passports to the hotel. They need id. Very secure hotel. You can use all their water sports that is non mortorized for free. They have a swim up pool bar. Games for kids to play and so on, It's a great day for the kids.
I usually h it two hotels this way I can see what they are like. With the money you save by staying at the Heart you can go other places.
If you have any questions re $$, places to stay, what to bring and what to expect at the airport please e-mail me.


Ire mon

Gail

Stayed January 2007
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 Runaway Bay Heart Hotel

Address: Rickets Dr | P.O. Box 98, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Runaway Bay Heart Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 56
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Runaway Bay Heart Hotel Jamaica

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