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“Had a really nice time” 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Had a really nice time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2008

Just returned on Saturday the 11th. Stayed 1 week. First this is a brand new hotel. Very clean. Had an ocean front room beautiful view. Food was not a problem. Nice gym. Drinks could use a little better quality but were fine. I think for the price 1,500 dollars a person including air fare from Philadelphia it was overall worth it. The hotel staff were wonderful. Could not ask for nicer people. I really could not understand all the negative reviews nor could the other three people that I went with. Vacation is what you make it and we had a wonderful time. I did not book the Ritz and knew that going in. I also think the entertainment staff makes a real effort to put on the shows, don't forget these people have been working all day out in that heat and then perform at 9:30 at night in a arena without air conditioning ,in costume. For me a beach vacation is all about the beach and no this was not my favorite but it to was fine. I think the guy who is worried abou the flies has never been to a picnic or an outside BBQ and should take a cruise. If you already have a preconceived negative attitude you can be sure it will ruin your trip. Like I said in the beginning the hotel is new ,some little things to iron out but with their true concern for their guests I am sure they will work on these things.

  • Liked — Brand new and very clean
  • Disliked — Elevator was far from some rooms and I imagine the steps could be a little much for older people
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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4,249 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
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Charlotte, NC
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2008

My bf and I just returned from a stay at RIU in Montego Bay, Jamaica. While I am about to say some negative things about this hotel, I did try to remain positive during my stay there. The first deal breaker was the food. It was absolutely positively terrible. There were way too many buffets in “unsecured” locations. I am sure that I saw rogue flies flying off with half the contents of the food trays before anyone on two feet could reach the buffet lines. If you weren’t watchful, the pesky flies would swoop in while you were eating and help themselves as well. Breakfast was the best part of the day. After the first day I immediately learned to stuff myself at breakfast because there was nothing to look forward to during the rest of the day. Lunch was very generic day after day and not good quality even when it was Jamaican staple foods. Dinner was more complicated than it needed to be. One had to stand in line starting at 9 in the am to get a “reservation”. The only alternative is to eat more of the same buffet food. You should be warned that you may need to reserve the first day you arrive for the days to come during your stay to ensure a spot. I only managed to muster enthusiasm to the steakhouse for dinner during my stay. I asked for sirloin, but was told they did not have it that night. Go figure. I was then offered a tenderloin. This was a disappointment. I believe they served me roast beef trying to pass it off as a tenderloin instead. Really…. There is nothing available after 10:00 so you should make sure you eat a hearty meal.

The drinks were cheap and nasty. You will read in other reviews that there wasn’t a bar on the beach. I say just drink the ocean water. It tastes about the same. There are no premium brand liquors if that is what you are expecting.

The seaweed in the ocean should be addressed. It appears that if you walk past a certain point, the seaweed disappears. So maybe they could somehow clean it up.

During my stay I had the privilege of going to see the nurse. It all started the morning of my second day there. I was going for breakfast unaware that the staff was mopping the floors and stairs. I stepped on the top stair and proceeded to slip and fall down the stairs to the bottom. I had plenty of witnesses since the entire staff was at the bottom of the stairs at the time. The men did help my bf get me up. I was told by a housekeeper that I ran into later that I should go see the nurse (I didn’t know they had one). After becoming increasingly sore in my arm and shoulder I did go see the nurse. She didn’t examine me, but asked me did I need a doctor. I was really hoping she would examine me and tell me that. She looked like she didn’t know what to say (or was maybe scared of a lawsuit which was the last thing on my mind). Or maybe she really didn’t care. After figuring out nothing medical was going to happen during this visit, I asked for some pain medicine, filled out the incident form and left. You should be encouraged to know that every day following my fall they had “Wet Floor” signs on the halls and stairs leading from my room to the grounds.

The staff was very nice and courteous. I have no complaints about the Jamaicans and their work ethic. I’ve been to Jamaica a few times and I know how hard they work for us tourists that often take them for granted. My complaint is with RIU because I see many of my discomforts as an attempt by hotel management/ownership to skimp on quality. The hotel is actually nice which makes it all the more unfortunate. I will return to Jamaica again, but I will spend the extra money for one of the more established hotels in the area and secure the quality I expect on my vacations.

  • Liked — Staff except the nurse.
  • Disliked — Food and drinks
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2008

We went to Riu Montego Bay in the beginning of October, 2008. Here are some issues you should be aware of before choosing this resort (please consider everything else not mentioned here to be positive experience):

- the hotel is situated where the plane takes off. During the days be prepared to see some planes flying by right over you making loud noise.
- general problem with Riu hotels is the lack of umbrellas on the beach. Since you don't want to cook under the Sun the whole day, this might force you to spend the time around the pool.
- half of the territory where you are allowed to swim in the sea is covered by seaweeds. 99% of the time, they are totally harmless, but twice we felt pain during our stay as we got in touch with a certain, harmful type
- 25% of the swimming area is covered by mud which is not necessary bad but it makes the walking very slow since you can sink down 5-10 inches into the mud. Not to mention that you have no idea what is hiding in it so you will move very carefully.
- for us the air conditioner only turned on when it was set to 18 Celsius. Many times during the night I needed to wake up to turn it on and off as it was either too humid or too cold
- reservation in the restaurant means at least 30 min of queuing.

Hope it helped. If you like to spend most of your time staying by the pool and drinking this resort can be a good choice, otherwise, not recommended.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2008

The resort is beautiful. The rooms are a bit smaller than expected. However, there a things they need to improve. The front desk needs to communicate more with the other departments. We waited 3 hours for a new room after the lights didnt work in our original room, then they gave us a twin instead of a king, then after the 3rd room we were moved. The elevators didnt work and we were on the top floor. We waited in line to make reservations for the restaurants. That SUCKS! They have to change that. The entertainment staff was very good. The buffet was okay.

  • Liked — Entertainment
  • Disliked — Front Desk
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2008

I celebrated my 40th birthday 9/16-9/23 at the Riu Montego Bay and had the best time. From start to finish everything was great. Check in was quick and easy they even give you a drink while you get signed in, the room was clean with a mini bar and stock mini refrig. The food was decent no complaints, we didn't have to wait in any lines to make reservations or to get into the restaurants and the waiters were very friendly and made sure we had everything we needed. The pool and beach area was always clean and they had so many activities, pool parties and contest, beach parties and games, and the entertainment staff was the best of all, very nice and humble young men and women. There was alway some kind of production at night. I really hated to leave and can't wait to go back to celebrate birthday 41.

  • Liked — The resort itself was beautiful, and the entertainment staff made the trip even better
  • Disliked — Housekeeping wasn't the best, room was cleaned late in day or early evening, left old towels behind
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2008


To all of you who have stayed here, as well as, those of you that plan on booking, PLEASE read the email below my signature that, I sent to the RIU corporate headquarters.

Don't let previous bad experiences, and future potentially bad experiences with a vendor go unchallenged. ... Demand satisfaction! ... Don't, in my opinion, do what so many of the folks of the reviews I read did. Their attitude was/is: "Oh well, you have to make the best of things." Or, "No trip is perfect." ... I say, HOGWASH! I don't know about you but, I work very hard for the money I earn, and I'll be [--] to allow someone I HIRE AND PAY TO TAKE CARE OF MY NEEDS WHILE ON VACATION, GET AWAY WITH RUINING IT!

Thank you for reading this. I appreciate you and I appreciate TRIP ADVISOR tremendously.

(The E-mail I sent to RIU is below).

Kindest regards,

"Greetings & Good Cheer,


Below is a link to the largest property review website on the Internet.

You Riu Montego Bay Hotel has just opened and already there are signs of mismanagement.

The Riu name is well known and respected worldwide however, make no mistake, all it takes is one bad apple to bring you down.

Frankly, I made the huge error of booking my stay there for this month (Friday 17 October to Friday 24 October), before checking out the reviews. If I had, I would be going elsewhere. And no, I did not pay the $99 US bargain price. We don't look for bargains, we look for quality.

Originally we were ready to book one of your resorts in Cancun, and the ONLY reason we did not was because the flights from our originating airport of Philadelphia were, much, much more convenient to Montego Bay. That was the ONLY reason! I trusted the Riu name and reputation and thought nothing og booking and paying without doing my due-diligence.

Please have someone act and act now!

Bottom line, if after bringing this to your attention, my wife's and I holiday is ruined because of flies on food, being forced to wait on a line to make a dinner reservation, theft of property due to insufficient security, aggressive sellers on the beach that you do nothing about, and many other TOTALLY AVOIDABLE problems that, based on the reviews, can and most likely will happen, there will be no end to the "stink" I will raise. I will make it my mission to put a kink in the mighty Riu empire.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Here is the link:


Folks, as the saying goes, "Where there's smoke there's fire."

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully submitted,
Antonio Lopez"

Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2008

We stayed at the Riu MoBay for a week - Sept 29-Oct 6. This is our 4th Riu Resort and it did not disappoint. 10 min from airport, check in quick and painless - even upgraded no charge to an oceanfront in building six..

Rooms typical of Riu with cherrywood furniture and marble, granite and ceramic. The set up with the extra door in the hallway leading to the each room is excellent to reduce noise to next to nothing at night if you close it at the hallyway section. Great idea!

Mini fridge stocked daily with beer, soda and water jugs.

Flat screen tv - but really who cares????You go all the way to an island to watch TV?

Pools the best we've been to and we have been travelling as a large group for over 10 years anually, this year twice. Both Riu's.

Great swim up bar area, many tanning beds in the pools and both pools had wheelchair ramps for those who can't do stairs.

Lots of shade around the pools too. As it is just new and not a full capacity yet loungers around the pool or on the beach were not an issue - no need to get up at 6am like many other resorts to save seats.

Food good, lots of selection from morning to night - if you get hungry later on go up to the internet cafe/sports bar at the 2nd floor of lobby - there is a fridge full of sandwiches and snacks - 9.00 US for half hr of internet and it is super fast!!!!!!which was surprising

the staff at the restaurants make minimal money and they work hard...a tip of a couple of bucks goes a long way to ensuring great service...if you eat at same area of restaurant each night they even remember what you drank the night before

the beach is big enough unless you like to walk for hours...seaweed is not an issue in most parts...never saw a jelly fish either and I did water aerobics in the ocean everyday at 10am. Pool aerobics at noon.

free kayaking, singles and doubles, free pedal boats for 2, water calm, clean and you could walk out a fair ways before it got deep, also free catamarans to use which you could take out yourself or the staff would take you out. Ping Pong at the beach and the pool, billiards, beach and pool volleyball, beach bocce ball.

water warm in pools and ocean, palm trees on beach, jerk chicken hut on beach and is amazing

there is a natural breakwater a ways out so the bay stayed very calm.

we went offsite to the diamond plaza across the highway - some sketchy people outside but in the stores very friendly - we shopped and drank while in the one store that had tshirts, etc, liqour and jewellery. I would not wander out at night and not go unless I was in a group.

We hired a driver named Ricky (he had ID and all credentials)who had a large van/bus. He is middle aged has 2 sons - one a biochemist the other in university to become a doctor. He was amazing....he is not one of the "official drivers" inside the hotel site, but just outside the gate.WILL POST RICY;S # WHEN I GET IT FRM A FELLOW TRAVELLER

the official drivers give the hotel a kickback and are more expensive. Ricky took the 8 of us for the whole day leaving at 8am and not back until 6 pm. We went east along the coast to Ocho Rios to go to Dunn's River Falls....highly reccommend it - amazing and only 15.00 US plus rent the climbing water shoes for five bucks. Rikcky made sure our sandals were put altogether and watched over us from the trail beside th falls....

after our treck up the falls we went into Ocho and went to Margaritaville for lunch. Lots of fun, dancing at noon, loud music, a two storey restaurant with a hot tub and giant slide from the 2nd floor down to the first floor and into a pool...lots of laughs and crazy games

We bought Ricky lunch and again he stuck with us the whole time in Ocho.

Meals there reasonalbe...under ten US.

On the way back in the late aftrnoon we stopped at a store for more beer for the guys...Ricky watched over us again...no locals bothered us. We also stopped at the spot Columbus landed at in 1494 = again no one bugged us.

The bars were great - but smokey...many europeans and americans smoking....I wish they would coe out with a smoke free RIU....what a novel idea.

The staff at all the bars were entertaining and strived to please - Renville was awesome, making us special drinks based on our personality and tastes. Lots of fun..and laughs at all the bars.

The entertainment team is working hard....during the day until the wee hours of the morning.

The planes overhead were not bothersome....30 seconds of noise tops...also facinating to watch.

I would highly reccommend this resort. If you are looking for a clean, friendly atmosphere with a nice beach, great pools, kiddy camp, spa, good food and bars - this place is good.

However, if you are looking for a quiet spot with no plane noise and a long beach to walk this is not the place for you. If you want a wild time each night off the resort again don't come here...not smart to go off site at night. Go to Cancum for night life.

Enjoy - I will post some pis when I get a chance.

Gypsybabe Ontario

Stayed October 2008
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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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