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“Rocking at the Riu, when can we go back?” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Montego Bay

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Hotel Riu Montego Bay
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   | Mahoe Bay, Ironshore, Montego Bay, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ironshore
Southport
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Rocking at the Riu, when can we go back?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Montego Bay from 29th Oct to 12th November. Two glorious weeks in paradise. Amazing place, would defo go back, can we go tomorrow please?

Rooms -
Bed - huge but as mentioned before on here, hard! The ONLY thing drawing me home (besides our two doggies) was our lovely soft bed.
Bar - fabby! No whisky, but rum, brandy, gin and vodka optics and a fridge full of beer, soft drinks, water and mixers. Topped up every two days.
Bathroom - his and hers sinks, loo, bath with great shower - job's a good 'un.

We were in block 5 and we found this super. Next to the beach and close enough to everything - people who say it's a big complex need their heads testing. I'm the laziest lump going (no really, I am!) and even I thought it was a breeze.

We left a $10 tip for the maid on day 1 as we wanted extra pillows and a non-slip bath mat and a few other bits and bobs. All sorted by the time we got back to the room and service faultless rest of stay.

Pools -
Absolutely stunning - not a thing I could complain about. There are two big pools that have kinda 'petals' so lots of different areas to explore.
Swim-up Bar is quite honestly the best one I've ever seen (and I've visited a few, 'hic') it's not just a bar - with the booths and whirlpools it's like a water based 'club'. It's the focal point in the afternoon and it was really easy to spend a few hours in there. Yes the Americans are loud but what of it? You're on holiday! Paul and I felt it 'made' the holiday, and we're not a couple of twenty-something clubbers - just forty something old farts with a sense of fun.
The poolside sun loungers were the most comfortable I've ever used, wanted to stuff one in my case, but apparently they frown on that.

Restaurants -

Rose Hall (breakfast and dinner buffet)
excellent. Anyone who complains about the selection or quality of the food is insane. It was superb. Spoilt for choice every single meal. Comfortable tables and chairs, overhead fans - quite happy to sit their a couple of hours (unlike some AI's where you feel you have to eat and go).

Mahoe Bay (lunch buffet)
facing the ocean and fabulous choice of food (loved the nachos!). I didn't like the chairs and tables in there, but then I am a fussy bugger.

Mahoe Bay (Evening Grill a la carte)
went twice. First time was great, second time we were less impressed. It was busier and the service was a bit off. Not true a la carte as it's a set appetiser, soup and salad course then choice of main and set dessert - lovely food though.

Asian - (dinner - buffet)
Went three times, inc my birthday and our last night - loved it! Even though it was buffet style it doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.

Italian (dinner buffet/a la carte)
went once, didn't like it, no atmosphere. Food ok, buffet with a la carte main.

BARS -
Swim-up Bar - as mentioned earlier, super duper
Sports Bar 24hr - nice and cool with good choice of international spirits. Not self-service as I imagined, as bar is actually tended. We went up there to play cards some nights - the bar man showed us some neat card tricks. Off the bar is a mini-casino with fruit machines and a cool Pontoon machine. Paul won $60 on that one night!
Lobby Bar - ok, but as it's right next to the theatre where the shows happen, its impossible to just sit in the bar and talk or play cards -but there are other places to go.
Coconut Bar - outside and away from the theatre a little so bit quieter, the staff hang around there off duty- in a nice way, and chat to the guests.

Theatre shows -
on the whole excellent. Some of the dance ones got a bit repetitive when you're there for 14 nights but not too much to get bored. Highlights were the comedy night, the African dance show and the steel drums. Nice because it't cabaret seating and you have access to the full bar. Unlike some places where you are isolated and stuck on stone slabs.

Entertainment - daytime
Really really good, these guys work so incredibly hard - have a go at something, like they say, 'This is Jamaica-mon, nobody cares!'

Negatives -
No tea and coffee making facilities in the room
hard beds
not much in the way of in-room toiletries
no table service from bars, in any area inc poolside
no music in any of the restaurants (how much does it cost for a bit of piped music?)

None of the negatives would keep me away but it does seem odd for a 4+ star hotel not to offer such things.

Don't listen to the moaners, I doubt they'd be happy with anything! Just go and R-E-L-A-X in the place that invested the expression laid-back!

Any questions email me xxx

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • 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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English first
Charlottesville, Virginia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I have visted the Riu last year for the first time. This year I brought my family and came with other friends as well. We had a blast!!! Food, Shows, Drinks, Everything was fantastic!!
MOO MOO your the BOMB !! WINSTON you have control of the bar like no other !! Erron you can whip those killer shots too for sure. Next year, I have to write down more names, before I leave. We had a GREAT TIME AGAIN!! Hats off to all the cooks. Jerk Chicken was great!! Entertainment was off the charts!! We had the luck of getting to watching the Micheal Jackson show twice, last year and this year. All I can say is well be back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Simply the best vacation I have ever been on. The Resort was beautiful and the service was great.
One complaint was the bed. Bed was so hard I woke up sore all over. Please get new beds so that I can visit again and have a better nights sleep...

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Just returned back from this resort on Saturday from an 8 day stay. Overall the resort is beautiful. Grounds are maintained nice and pool bar is one of the best designed areas I have been to. Liquor is not top shelf but they are strong drinks. Sports bar is nice and fun to watch football in. Casino is a joke. 15x15 room with just slots. Food is horrible!!!!!
Some edible items but overall they worst I have had. 3 restaurants on site are far worse than the buffet selection. Staff is great!!!! Made stay very nice. Entertainment was fantastic!!!! Day or night the fun was always around. The beds were bad! Very bad! Hard as a rock. Woke up with bed sores every day but barely slept! Rooms are acceptable though. Old style keys are a joke!

I would not stay here again sadly because of the food and the beds. If that was corrected this resort would be a must visit again.

Ps ocean sucked!

Have fun! Because you will if you go but be prepared to not enjoy the food

Btw. The jerk chicken hit on beach is simply the best chicken I have ever had!!
A must do!!!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

I was excited to visit this Riu especially since it was for a wedding. The Sandy hurricane already past in JA so my family and I are thankful that we made it there for this very special wedding. Check in was a bit hectic since there were so many of us but the front desk manager handled it as best as he could. The disappointment started when I got to my room, the housekeeper was still cleaning it ok no problem but there was such a foul smell in room. As if the room had been closed up for weeks with no air circulation. Others in my party also experienced the same smell in their rooms. Some were granted room changes same night, I got mine the following day.

Their keys are soooo dated. They do not use the key cards which I find odd and the doors are so difficult to open with the key. They really need to change to key cards so at least you do not have to stand outside your room door for minutes trying to work the key in to open the door. I also found it odd that some of my family members requested to have a second key and some were denied because they did not have any. Well if they had key cards it would not be such a problem but of course if you are using regular keys, I can imagine that if it is lost you do not want to bother getting a second one cut. I was fortunate to get a second key but it became a problem for others because you had to make sure you knew where your room mate was at all times in the event he/she wanted to go in the room.

The rooms are clean my only issue was the foul smell. My new room in what they call the "5 building" was better in terms of smell. I preferred the lay out of my first room in the "4 building" but the smell was just unbearable. Housekeeping was not an issue, rooms were always cleaned, fresh towels daily, and even a nice towel swan at times.

The food was so so. Not much to say about it. They tried.

The wedding was great, lots of fun, was just disappointed that it was not on the beach. The beach was the back drop but I guess they had to make quick changes since Sandy had just left the island.

Entertainment was good, I had a few laughs.

The location, well if you do not mind the airplanes flying so low to the hotel compound then no problem. It was frightening to me. It was loud and they fly very low, it is quite scary.

We were all able to go to Dunns River falls in Ocho Rios, our driver Kevin (contact me if you need his info) was very nice and accommodating. Not only did he take us to the falls but we were able to go to KFC in Ocho Rios and Scotchies Jerk Center which you must visit in JA.

Anyone visiting be aware of the phone situation in the room. You are charged for any calls you make and there are no instructions on the phone as to how to use the phone in the room. I called the front desk to ask how to use the phone and she was nice enough to instruct me as well as make me aware there is a fee. Another family member however was not so lucky. The night before check out she received a bill for the calls she made, which made her upset especially since she was not told that she would be for local calls only told how to use the phone when she called front desk.Customer service could be much better if you ask me. Many of us could not leave JA since hurricane sandy was in NY, NJ. The hotel was not so accommodating with the situation either which was disappointing. It took many of us complaining in order for them to give us a break on a lower rate since we had to stay for 2-3 extra days and again they did not even want to give us a break on the phone fees so that we can contact our airline carriers.

Would I stay here again? No, my preference is the RIU in Ocho Rios.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We spent a week at the Riu Montego Bay and had a great time. The facilities are good, the food is great however the hotel allows guests to take food out of the restaurants, the plates are left lying right outside the entrance to the rooms and left there for hours, needless to say the view is terrible and attracts stray cats and cockroaches (yuck).
The bedrooms were clean but in a 7 nights stay the bedroom was only cleaned at around 3 PM after we called the front desk to complain.
Lastly, what 5 starts hotel does not have "card-keys"? that did not make sense to us.
I have to add that all the staff were extremely helpful and provided great service.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

My family and I stayed at the RIU first week of November. I will write my review so everyone can get an idea of the resort. I will explain negative and positive of everything

1. Rooms: negative- the beds are hard as rocks..pillows horrible! My back still hurts...this they can change and need to change!
Positive: clean, decent, we had 2 adjoining rooms for kids that was awesome! Try to request a room near the pool cause that is a perfect location to everything!

2. Beach: negative- the ocean floor is so mucky, nasty...not swim able especially without water shoes!!! Positive: nice sandy area and lots of chairs, water sports

3. Pool- negative -nothing...loved the pool! Swim up bar area is awesome..warm water great!

4. Food- negative- lunch and dinner buffet sucks!! All restaurants horrible! Positive: jerk chicken hut is the best chicken that I ever had...awesome! Breakfast buffet good! Homemade yogurt awesome! So I was fine skipping dinner haha

5. Entertainment- awesome!!! Great shows and a lot going on at the pool and ocean!

6. Grounds are beautiful and people were great!

7. Drinks and bartenders
Awesome!!! Excellent service and great drinks...not watered down at all!!

Overall: if u are looking to spend time at the ocean then don't pick this resort...if u are more into hanging at the pool and don't mind so so food then this is a resort for u ...we will not stay again but mainly because of the beds...we woke up sore everyday! Not a good way to spend a week

Great cab driver...Greg Connel ...truly an amazing man!!! Email before u go he can pick u up at air port and arrange anywhere u want to go! connellgregg@yahoo.com

Hints: Scotty's jerk hut... A short ride for great food :) The snorkel trip offered from the RIU was great...a definite for the money!


Let me know if u have any questions :)

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Montego Bay

Address: | Mahoe Bay, Ironshore, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay > Ironshore
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Ironshore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Montego Bay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 681
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Opening September 2008 * Located in Montego Bay, on Jamaica's northwest coast * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 2-story main building and 3-story and 4-story annexes * Surrounded by 40,000 m2 / 47,840 sq. yards of lush gardens * 4.5 km / 2.8 miles from Montego Bay * 350 m / 114.8 ft from various shops * 2,7 km / 1.7 miles from Montego Bay airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Montego Bay Resort
Riu Hotel Montego Bay
Hotel Riu Montego Bay Ironshore, Jamaica

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