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“Awesome but a bit overpriced” 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
North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Awesome but a bit overpriced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Stayed at the RIU for 9 days over the Christmas Holiday. I felt the place was great....Ok a few baby little things but not bad...You are 3 minutes from the Airport so plan on hearing the planes taking off every 10 minutes all day. The beds are not the greatest comfort, No one will bring you drinks while you are lounging at the pool, but there is a swim up bar so no problem. The food came with all the choices you can imagine, take advantage of the reserved rest Little Italy, Asian & The Steak House...all will permit shorts not requiring long pants for men. The Excursions were far better than other places I have visited in the past. While I felt they were so much higher in cost, it was justified..(Dolphines, 4 Wheeling, Zip Lining etc)...take advantage of these excursions well worth it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,069)
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English first
Clinton Township, MI
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Check in tips: do not let anyone take your luggage to your room, take your shuttle ticket, or offer to help you unless you plan to start tipping right away! Also, book your restaurants immediately upon checking in as you only get to eat at each speciality restaurant 1x, if there are even reservations available.

The second we got off our shuttle, a lady took our shuttle ticket for our return, and walked us to the front desk to "help" with the check in process (which we were perfectly fine to do on our own). Our room wasn't ready, so she tried getting us to start booking all of our excursions, which we planned to do, but just wanted to relax after a day of traveling! Then she took out shuttle ticket so we were forced to go see her eventually in order to get it back.

The bell boy then insisted that he take up luggage to our rooms. When we told him we didn't have a room yet, he went to the front desk, and got our key (which one would think is nice). He took us to the room, and it still was not ready, he just wanted a tip, by this point, we were annoyed because we missed the whole check in process, didn't have a map, any hotel tips, or anything and write left in our room with a maid staring at us and our luggage in her way.

Food: Breakfast was the best. Cannot say anything positive about lunch or dinner. Very disappointed as we hoped the food would be outstanding and it was not even close. Buffet dinners and lunch got boring, and many of the same foods all around, just in a different spot.

Jerk chicken was yummy. Eating it everyday gets a bit boring. Specialty restaurants are definitely better than the buffet...but still not amazing.

The bread was fresh and VERY tasty. French fries were good :-) You will find at least a few things you will like and probably stick to them the whole time. I had no problem eating even though I wasn't satisfied with the food. So...it couldn't have been that bad!!! Just wished it was better.

Drinks: Plentiful and strong! Wine wasn't great, and Red Stripe got old after a few days...but overall it was great. Bring your own mug/container so it lasts longer :-)

Entertainment: Best part of the resort. The crew is very talented and works hard morning, day and night to keep you entertained. Aerobics on the beach and water in the morning, dance lessons afternoon, pool activities, and night shows all kept the vibe fun! Tip: get seats right after dinner, starts to fill up around 8 and if you wait until the show starts at 9, you will be standing.

Rooms: need updating. Not best bed, murky smell like most Caribbean places. We did not have an alarm clock and others did. Was an average room. Bathroom part was nice.

Beach Tips: get your seats early. We took a towel out to the beach or pool before breakfast. Lots of chairs on the beach.

Water is nice, but lots of seaweed. Beach was typical. Was nice enough for the purpose :-)
Be careful of being approached by locals in their canoes trying to sell drugs and seashells. They come around in the morning and linger. It gets annoying as they will follow you if you don't say "no". There is beach security in the morning that keeps an eye on them.

Resort: was nice and kept up. Bathrooms always being cleaned, service was good for the most part. Grounds are pretty and workers always maintaining it. Layout of the resort is a bit off as all rooms/buildings are to one side versus it being more even,y spread out. But location of everything was fine.

Night life: gets a bit boring after dinner, before show. Shows don't start until 9. Music would be nice beforehand. After the shows, there is the Disco. It gets old after a night or two depending on who is in there.

Excursions/Taxi's: taxis are very expensive. Some people were getting to know bartenders, who them took them up of the resort on their own..showing them the island. You are best off with the excursions you book through the agencies right there. They include shuttle, etc. Just remember and expect to spend an extra $20 and up for tipping, and extras (souvenir, food, etc)

Also, we were very disappointed that anytime we asked for change (for tipping) no one could help us or bounced us back and forth rudely. So if you don't bring your own singles, etc...good luck trying to find people at the resort to help you!

Overall...if you are just coming for a relaxing get away, you will be satisfied. If you are hoping for exquisite dining, and great food, this is not the place. We had fun. But we're more than ready to come home.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

All inclusive is awesome! This place made me love Jamaica. Service is great, food is above avg for mostly buffets, beach left more to be desired! Love the jerk chicken stand right on the beach! Going back soooooon!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
leigh
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

We are an English family with 2 teenage kids and we have recently returned from Riu at Montego Bay and before we went we were reading the reviews and we did get a little aprehensive about going, but we did notice all the negative reviews were from the Americans !, so I will give you a 100% accurate review of this resort.
I will start with the check in at the resort, quick and straightforward, no problems and the reception staff were polite and welcoming.
The room was very clean, the mini bar was fully stocked, plenty of towels in the bathroom which was also clean to a high standard, no problems or complaints.
The Beach was beautiful, clean, soft sand, no rubbish anywhere,plenty of sunbeds, the pool area was immaculate, the pools were cleaned and treated everynight, plenty of sunbeds again, the pool bar did get busy at lunchtimes but it was with people who were enjoying themselves, if you wanted a quiet drink then there was other bars to go to,
The staff was absolutly amazing, especially the Entertainment staff, they all worked so hard in keeping everybody happy, they was always something to do, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water polo, water areobics, beach areobics, if you didn't want to do anything then sunbathe and watch, full credit the the entertainment staff, the bar staff were friendly and always willing to make a cocktail for you with a smile.
The food and drink were exceptional, there was the main food restaurant (Rose Hall) which was all buffet and the choice was outstanding, and yes you could have something different everynight but that was your choice, there was so much to choose from and everywhere was clean, there was 3 other restaurants the Italian, the Asian and the Steak House these 3 restaurants you had to make reservations , which was easy enough all you had to do was ask ! We went to all the restaurants and it would be very difficult to choose a favorite as they were all excellent. The breakfast was in the main Rose Hall and was buffet and yet again the choice was outstanding, from different breads, omlettes, full cooked breakfast, fruit, cereal, smoothies, just too much to mention. Lunch time, you could go to the Jerk Chicken hut on the beach and the chicken was so tasty, or you could go the Rose Hall or the Steak House for a buffet, which consisted of everything you could think of, the staff again in the restaurants were friendly and polite all the time, you could never go short of food. It was always available.
The choice of drinks was amazing, you could have anything to drink at any time of the day, from beer to cocktails, there was never a shortage of drinks or food.
There was water sports available, Kayaking, the peddle boats which were all good fun and the water sports staff were helpful.
Every afternoon about 3pm the entertainment staff played games in the pool with the guests which were a laugh and great fun, everybody was enjoying themselves.
The Entertainment at night was amazing, the staff worked so hard putting shows together and they really got guests involved, the Micheal Jackson show was brilliant, then there was Mamma Mia, Grease, all was fantastic.
There was no thefts, no illnesses, no cockroach infestation (as mentioned in some reviews) in fact we didn't see any cockroaches, no mosquitos, the sunbeds were cleaned daily, the resort was so clean and tidy.
All in all the Riu Montego Bay is a 5 star resort, yes we will be returning next year with no hesitations whatsoever.
I must say I am shocked at the negative reviews, not sure where these people stayed but it certainly wasn't the Riu Montego Bay, anybody travelling to this resort please do not read the negative reviews as they are completely false and untrue and very unfair. This resort is a 5 star, it was outstanding, fantastic place to visit and I'm so glad I did. We had an amazing holiday.

Room Tip: All rooms are equally good, they are all exceptionally clean, we was in block 5 and had a view of th...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, SK, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

So I was a little concerned about all the poor reviews but I had a great Christmas vacation with my 2 teens and with my sister and her family:-) This was my first time in Jamaica - so here is the true scoop - very clean resort- food wasn't extraordinary but the Christmas eve supper was AMAZING. Breakfast was great - recommend the omelets and bacon! We went to the Italian restaurant -would not recommend it as it wasn't great but we had a 9 p.m. setting and most of the food was not available ; however, we has 2 reservations for the steak house and yes one type of steak was not available but on both nights (one at 9 and one at 7 ) the service and food was awesome. We had steak, chicken and the ribs - all were great! Drinks were not watered down as previously commented - most drinks consisted of rum - of course you are in Jamaica! Rooms were very clean - no complaints. I was in block 3 and my sister's family in block 4. We wanted to be in the same building and at the beginning we were disappointed but it worked out well - it truly is what you make of it. You really are not in your room except to sleep there is so much to do. We did the beach - I have seen nicer beaches but it is a nice beach much better than snow! Yes there was seaweed but it wasn't that bad as reported. The pool was awesome - totally recommend the pool water lounges! We went zip lining and horseback riding - both were great. We also took a cab to the hip strip - make sure you barter on the cab prices! Do not shop at the Banana store on hip strip if you are planning to use a credit card heard a lot of bad things - we were okay but even the tourism police advise to stay away! Overall a great time was had by all! If you have any questions please ask!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

The hotel was clean and staff was decent, but not a 5 star experience. The food/drink/wine selection was very limited. Poor beach area and lounge chairs were awful. The beds were uncomfortable and the sheets were not changed the entire time. Overall a reasonable resort if it was a much cheaper price point.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

This resort gave a new definition to the phrase: "all inclusive." Their defintion of all inclusive is flat soda and jerk chicken. The food flat out sucked and even though it looked like there was a variety, it was same thing over and over but in a different spot. You can't get a reservation for for a restaurant at all and when you do, the steakhouse runs out of steak. Not only when we first get there do we have a broken safe, a messed up tv and an empty mini bar, but we decide to go kayaking and we are given no directions whatsoever!! So not knowing how to kayak, my son gets hit in the head and has to undergo two stitiches and when we rush for first aid on the beach, there is nothing to keep the cut to stop from bleeding on the beach. And speaking of the beach, how are you supposed to spend a vacation in Jamaica when the sand is hard and you can't even swim in the water, and there's men flocking the beach in kayaks selling marijuana? What kind of vacation is that? Even though my family and I tried to make the best of it, this not something you want when you are supposed to be at a 5 star resort hotel on an island, espcially when you spend the money that it costs to stay there. Instead of spending our hard earned money on Christmas gifts etc, we instead wasted it on a vaction we don't want to remember.

Room Tip: Make sure you know how close the beds to each other and the AC works well, being you are on an islan...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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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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