We recently stayed at the Riu Montego Bay and had a fabulous family vacation. The hotel is a stones throw away from the airport, don't let that deter you, let it entice you! Skip the expensive add on shuttle and opt to walk to the taxi kiosk and take a cab (private shuttle bus/van) for $20! We were at our hotel in 5 minutes (our family of 4). We skipped the lines for the shuttles and the masses getting on and off them! Wonderful! You can arrange a return taxi at the hotel a day or two ahead of time for the same cost.
The hotel was welcoming, but unable to accommodate early check ins (understandable, but not helpful with an ill child). They will set your bags to the side and you can change into pool wear for your wait.
Our room was a family unit (3 full beds) perfect for our family of 4. The room itself was nice sized, but not modern. The tv was bulky (we watched it late I'm the evenings or late afternoon) and our wall lamps looked like The Hangover might have been filmed there. Definitely a need for repairs. The room itself was comfortable, air conditioned, clean and well stocked. When I say clean I urge you to be skeptical of "clean or cleaned" glasses in your room. Ours were marked intentionally for our use in the room and were there "cleaned" day in and day out. I would wash them out again before reuse. Also our bathroom floor never seemed to be swept, a small thing as we were never there for long periods of time.
The beds were comfortable but the pillows were AWFUL! They had a mini fridge and liquor dispensers in each room, and if your tip a few singles you cam ask for extra of whatever you want/need as they only restock every other day.
We were in building 2 which is away from the main complex, truly a short walk and was quiet when we wanted quiet. I read complaints of thin walls - never heard a peep! We heard complaints of constant power outages - we experienced two blips in power during a rain storm during dinner, but it flickered and came back on. I would suggest a small flashlight(s).
The pool was wonderful, and as recommended I was up early and placed our pool towels on chairs for the day. I am an early riser so this was easy to do and I would grab self serve coffee and chill until the main buffet opened for breakfast. This was our favorite meal of the day. Fresh eggs and omelet yes made to order, plenty of fresh fruit and lots of variety. Lunch was fine at the buffet, but the best bet is the buffet line beside the upper pool bar or the jerk chicken shack.
As far as beverages, if you are a wine lover then you will be disappointed unless you bring your own. I would recommend it, the white wine was tolerable but the red wine was nasty (at least the first two glasses). All the frozen bar drinks were fabulous!
The staff is Topnotch! Absolutely amazing. Christopher at the swim up bar is entertaining, professional, always willing to help out - a true gem! The hotel is very lucky to have him! Tip him well! Maxine and Leach are also amazing!!!! Ask Christopher where his Trip Advisor Excellence Pin is, I gave him this on our recent trip, and he certainly deserved it! Another tip - order/bring double walled/insulated drink cups (we found 32oz ones on Amazon) to take with you. These kept those wonderful drinks cold and frozen, and kept us from standing in line all the time). They were the envy of the pool area!
Trips/Excursions - MUST DO - Margaritaville Catamaran trip. A lot of fun, snorkeling where the fish eat bread out of your hands, beverages, water trampoline at Margaritaville then shopping with our hotel guide for cheaper deals. Don't purchase items at the hotel! Opt to shop here or take the free hotel shuttle across the street to the mall. Go to the grocery store there for your best deal on food items (spices) and rum, rum cakes, rum cream.
DINNER RESERVATIONS - the Asian restaurant was bad, bad, bad. They need to remove it and come up with something else. The Steak house was okay, but the food lacked seasonings!!!! I know, hard to believe but it's true! Chances are you won't get reservations for any of these a la carte restaurants until 3 days out, but try. Truly, we enjoyed the buffet the most for dinner.
TIPPING - bring plenty of $1 bills with you for easy tipping. Although not necessary as it is an all inclusive it is truly appreciated and will get you a little more.
ENTERTAINMENT - the evening entertainment fills up fast so go early and get your table. My family really enjoyed the shows they put on, and the staff work very hard to make it look flawless!
HELPFUL TIP - bring plenty of extra sunblock! The hotels sells a can of spray on block for $24 usd!!!!!!!
Most of all - relax, enjoy and tell Christopher that we miss him!!!!
*****I appreciate Helpful votes*******
- 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