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“It was good” 3 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
Toronto, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“It was good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Just stayed at the Riu Montego Bay from December 3rd - December 10th. There was a few complications upon arrival with my room but much of it was worked out with their friendly front desk staff.

I was there with a group to do the Reggae Marathon and Montego Bay was a neutral area for us to do excursions between Negril and Ocho Rios. For us the location was great. It was right across from a shopping area that we visited everyday to have some delicious Blue Mountain coffee at a local cafe. We got to know a few locals in the process, which is always good as well.

Back to the resort - The staff was great, friendly and fun to be around. I was the only male traveling with 3 beautiful females and even though they got a lot of attraction, the staff remained friendly and respectful. Where my experience went wrong was with the food. We found very little we could eat before the race and are bellies were upset if we weren't careful. I am not a picky eater so I tried everything. By the end of our stay I was just looking forward to hash browns in the morning (which we only had once due to the menu). The a la carte's were good, but even then, only a few dishes that were appealing.

All in all it was good but I don't think I would stay here again because food will always make or break a trip for me.

Amazing coffee at the cafe across the street... Amazing.


Room Tip: Tip the front desk staff when you arrive.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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4,253 reviews from our community

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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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Belleville, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

This property is not a five star. More like a 3.5 star. Stayed here Dec 2-9th 2013. The bed was very hard..like sleeping on a bed of bricks. The pillows were hard and lumpy. Thank god we always bring our own pillows. Highly recommended. The check in was great. Lobby ordinary..small vase of flowers that wilted during our stay. The buffet area was drab..selection was the same every day. The ala carts were buffet style. No coffee maker (we brought our own). No clock radio. Staff were great. Entertainment ok. Music at pool caters to young. No Bob Marley music!! Pool was great! Beach small and water murky. Not many excursions for older adults with limitations. Went on an eve tour of Rose Hall. Very creepy..highly recommended. Went to the hip strip and were harassed by venders. Margaretta ville was ok..had a water slide.

Room Tip: Stayed in block # 2. Close to the pool, beach and buffet.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oregon Coast, Oregon
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

We are major RIU fans and have stayed at several of them. The Montego Bay Resort is a disappointment based on what we have come to expect.

It is not a terrible hotel, by any means, but fell short in a number of areas. Here are a few of them.

The hotel appears dated and worn, especially considering that it is only a little more than 4 years old. Bedding is worn and stained, tile in the bath is moldy in places, and the TVs are old box type with non high def reception. Our pillows were stuffed with pieces of foam rubber which made it seem like they were sacks of potatoes. I got ear aches, headaches, a sore jaw, and a sore neck before we were able to get them to come and replace them (it took four calls). They offered four new ones, and we were able to pick out a couple that were adequate.

The beach is minimal. A man-made affair that is shallow and rocky in places. The water is not clear and has lots of grass and seaweed on the bottom - it is not pleasant to wade or swim in it. BTW, the new RIU Palace beach next store is even worse - extremely small. They will have to use the RIU MoBay for many of their activities.

Our biggest disappointment was the bars. They could not produce a mojito because they did not have fresh mint. They produced a salty dog (grapefruit and vodka) that was brown in color and awful tasting. Their Long Island ice tea was mostly coke. The only tequilla was silver, which gave us both horrible headaches after a single margerita before we went to bed. Lots of other examples. The bartenders were upbeat and willing to try, but it did not work. We settled on martinis for most of our stay; by working closely with the lobby bartenders we got them to produce a decent martini for us before each dinner in the evening. If you like rum and coke, you will be in heaven.

Airplanes do fly over (30 per day) at very low altitude since the airport is less than 2 miles away and of course they are loud. This did not bother us, and I doubt than it bothered most people, but it is something to consider.

Okay, so was anything good? Oh yes - plenty! The staff at the resort are great. Very polite, happy, smiling, friendly and on top of almost everything. The entertainment was very good - amazing dancers and music. Great water aerobics in the pool every day. A person fell by steps to the pool right in front of us (another reviewer mentioned this). I have some medical background so I ran to help, but the hotel staff were already on it and handling it perfectly as far as I could tell. I think the whole thing was very well handled.

The pool and beach loungers were comfortable and more than adequate in quantity. Many "towel game" guests, but it was still easy to find a nice place to lay in either sun or shade, and I'd say the hotel was about 70% capacity.

Food was really very good once we figured out what/where we liked. There's a lot available at the buffets and it requires wandering around a bit to get your bearings. Jerk chicken is excellent, steak house is excellent - four perfect rib eye steaks in two weeks, Italian restaurant is excellent. Even the salmon at the Italian restaurant was delicious, and we are from the Pacific Northwest where we believe the best salmon in the world originates.

We would not go here again because of the drink shortcomings, and because of the travel difficulties we experienced (extremely long layover at DFW, and unbelievably long wait for passport clearance (two hours). We saw three people faint while getting through the "corral" to get their clearance. Worst I've ever seen.

Room Tip: This is a big place, spread over a lot of area. You have to make a choice between quiet and private...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brierley Hill, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

visited this hotel and country and found both exceeded expectations, beautiful location, staff very helpful and friendly , food and drink good quality and plenty of it, only problem was long delay getting through immigration at airport

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2013

Let me just start by saying that I have now officially been to Jamaica FIVE times and have booked all of those vacations at the RIU Montego Bay! It's because of the wonderful staff and their welcoming, open arms that I keep coming back. The rooms are always clean, the dining room servers are always smiling and there to offer you a helping hand, the bartenders are the life of the party mixing up all kinds of delicious cocktails and then there is the Entertainment crew, who I hold dear to my heart, because I know just how hard they work to put on a show for their guests every night and entertain you with games and all kinds of activities during the day by the pool! This year, I met Rushawn, one of the activities coordinators and he went out of his way to make us feel welcome every day! He always had a smile on his face and you could tell he genuinely loved his job! I hope to see him there next year when I come back to the RIU! Overall, if you're looking to have a blast, be entertained by the friendliest staff in the world and party all night long (true JAMAICAN style), then the RIU is the place for you :)

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

This was my 4th trip back to The Riu in Montego Bay, Jamaica! The entire staff is very friendly, professional & they offer the BEST entertainment & shows nightly! The shows by the Entertainment Crew are truly amazing! Each one of the crew members are so talented & the nightly shows are a must see! I look forward to returning each year just to see the shows & my Friends on the Entertainment Crew. Each year when we return we are always given a very warm Welcome by the entire staff at The Riu! I would never stay any place else!

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I ( both in our 60's) stayed at the Montego Bay Riu during the last week of November 2013. Motto: Treat people, as you would like to be treated.

This review is broken down like the Clint Eastwood movie 'The Good, The Bad and the Ugly'.

The Good

The resort is well run and maintained by its staff and management. The public washrooms are spotless and well maintained on a daily basis. Our room 2109, was a garden view ( I know what the ocean looks like ;-) ) and we were quite happy with the room. It had a free mini bar with it being restocked every 2nd day with Red Stripe beer, pop, and water. The room was clean, the maid service was friendly and good. We tipped the maid $2.00US daily, because of the good service, everyday we had a nice towel arrangement on our bed. There were no musty smells, bugs, or whatever other posters have complained about in the rooms they had occupied. We left the ceiling fan on during the day and turned off the air conditioner with the curtains closed to keep the sun out. There was no issue of security with our room safe, although other poster have indicated items were taken from their rooms. Our Sunwing rep had mentioned not to leave your smartphones and tablets recharging in your rooms if you are out. (common sense). We recharged our tech toys at night while we slept, and then stored the chargers in our safe while not in use. (If you don't advertise what you have then you minimize any chance of temptation of others while you are away. Just a good practise whenever and wherever you go travelling)

I found the resort well laid out, with its places to eat, drink and rest.
Pool towels are plentiful, and readily available by the main pool. There are 3 main bars and a 24 hours sports bar with snacks and sandwiches upstairs by the washrooms, off the main lobby. The buffet has an excellent choice of well prepared and good food choices. We chose to eat outside on the patio where there were plenty of tables and the service was excellent. Again, we chose to tip $1US after each meal. The steak a la carte was the best of the three a la carte restaurants were we ate, the Asian being the worst, my wife and I walked out after to finish eating at the main buffet. The steak a la carte was a full service, whereas the Asian and Italian were buffet-style.

The excursions by Sunwing on the resort that my wife and I told were well worth the time and money. On Wednesday, we opted for the Appleton's Rum Factory with stops at Black River Safari and Y's Falls for Lunch, an all day event - not for the faint of heart), as the Tour Guide indicated that if you can drive in Jamaica you can drive anywhere. Beautiful picturesque country, with narrow roads with 90 degree unbanked turns that weave it's way through the mountainous terrain with opposing traffic and people walking about tending to their daily business - makes for an exciting roller coaster ride. On Friday was the The John Hall Tour, not as adventurous as the Appleton Excursion, a half day, well spend, got a little of Montego Bay history, visited a primary school, and nature reserve ( with lunch provided ) in the country and ended with a bit of shopping on the way back to the resort.

Saving the best for last - the daily jerk chicken served on the beach. Highly recommend visiting the chef with the best jerk chicken sauce on the beach.

The Bad

The clarity of the ocean. The beach (sand wasn't the white Cuban sand) and availability of beach loungers were all good, just that the water wasn't that clear Caribbean colour that I've come to expect. Apparently the beach was man-made, evident by the lack of shells, coral and seaweed on the shore.

The swim up bar pool. Remember the scene from 'Grown-Ups 2' where they had blue dye to indicate urination in the water, well if the Riu had that in place......

The 'free' (you are expected to tip the driver, so NOT free) shuttle to the Blue Mountain Mall across from the resort. Don't bother going there, unless you take my warning - bargain on all prices, start well below half price, be willing to walk out and don't pay the taxes. This is what the driver mentioned to other couples that we met when we compared notes. Things are generally cheaper elsewhere, found this out after our John Hall Tour.

The Ugly

Witnessed a nasty fall of a fellow traveller by the mixed pool. This happened after a water aerobics class, the man slipped as he stepped out of the pool, by the hand rail, his feet slipped out from underneath him, landed on the concrete, splitting his head open that required several stitches ( as I found out later), if it wasn't for the quick action of a fellow guest staying by his side and yelling for medical help, it mighty of been worse. A pool attendant ran for help getting the nurse, while I ran to lobby to get the desk clerk to dial for an ambulance, while at the desk as luck would have it, a medic identified himself to me, and asked to be taken to accident. The medic had his supplies with him and attended to the fallen man who was bleeding profusely from his head wound. All turned out well, the fallen man had told me the hospital took a scan of his head to determine if there were any other injuries other than the cut on the back of his head. He was released a few hours later and was able to enjoy ( with restraint ) the rest of his stay. When I talked to him on the return flight back to Canada he told me that THE RESORT MANAGEMENT DID NOTHING IN ANY WAY TO EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS OR HELP HIM IN ANY WAY after the fall. He was left on his own. I found this to be a big black mark of the PR side of management. If a hotel guest has an accident on your property, I believe you should at least show an interest in the situation, because the 'Jamaican laid backness' doesn't work here.
A heads up, I saw another man almost slip and fall a couple a days later at the same spot. Be careful, when existing the pool, hold on to the guard rail (that really should be expended), and an anti-slip mat or agent should be put down to prevent slipping.
The entire accident was written up by the Sunwing Rep on the resort, and photographs were taken of the pool area.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 Hotel Riu Montego Bay

Address: | Mahoe Bay, Ironshore, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay > Ironshore
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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