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“It was a pleasure to be there!” 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
New Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“It was a pleasure to be there!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2008

First let me say I find it interesting that one review is awesome and the next is terrible, mine is a great one.
I've never been to Jamaica or experiecned an all-inclusive deal, but I just did both with four very close friends and it was wonderful. If you wanted to do nothing but lie on the beach or get a massage or find many activities to keep busy, this place had a good variety to fufill your needs. The people working at the Riu were genuinely friendly and quite accomodating. Our tour advisor (located inside the hotel) was very helpful with information regarding the hotel (making dinner reservations at the hotel restaurants, etc) but also with activities outside of the facility. I was told before I left for the trip by friends to NOT leave the compound alone, when we did for shopping etc it was with a tour bus, we felt completely fine. Some guests did take a taxi and go out on thier own, don't know if I would be that brave but it worked for them. The rooms were large, clean, the beds were comfortable, the food was good, 4 restaurants to pick from (although the late night snacks were bad-left over sandwichs and cheese, crackers and fruit from dinner) and the alcoholic drinks were great. Although you didn't have tip anyone, we tipped our bar tenders occasionally and they appreciated it, but no one made us feel that we had to. You will hear stories of outside vendors, people bothering you to buy trinkets, etc, our experience wasn't bad; yes they were quite pushy but if we told someone we're not interested or no thank you, they left us alone. The entertainment at the hotel got better every night and the dancers did double duty during the day conducting aerobics or other outside activities, they were a blast! Full of energy and always cheerful. I would go back to the Riu and although I really loved the people at the Montego Bay location, I'd like to try one of the other Riu's on the island or elsewhere. My overall experience was awesome.

  • Liked — The people working there
  • Disliked — although there was food available all day, the late night snacks were bad
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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Penang Island, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

My Husband and I stayed at the Riu from 13 November to 27 November and had a wonderful time. I was very concerned before we left due to some poor reviews but we only experienced one problem which the hotel staff sorted immediately and to our satisfaction.

The short 10 minute trip from the airport to the hotel was well worth having a few planes flying overhead every so often. The noise lasted for less than 10 seconds and was no problem at all. We were greeted at the hotel reception with a cocktail each and check-in was straight forward.

We were in building 2000 and our room was high up with a sea view which is what I requested when I booked. The room was great and the maid did a great job every day. The minibar was restocked every other day and if you wanted more coke etc, then just tip the man and he will oblige.

We had a bit of rain over a few days so a member of staff brought round umbrellas to our rooms which I thought was a nice touch.

The food was great - so much choice. There was a joint of meat every night and the only problem we had was deciding what to have!! The Italian restaurant was lovely but did not enjoy the Asian or Steakhouse at all. You could queue from 8am throughout the day to book into a restaurant for up to 4 days in advance during the week but for weekends, you could only book from the Friday before.

As it was our 9th Wedding Anniversary whilst we were there, my Husband surprised me by booking me a massage followed by a hair cut. I was looked after by Audrey who was great and I would definitely recommend using the Spa facilities.

The entertainment staff were amazing. They tried so hard to please everyone with their shows on an evening (the Michael Jackson show was brilliant) and were around during the day with aqua aerobics etc.

The sports bar was great - my Husband and I regularly played cards and watched football there. The bar maid Sharon Gordon was absolutely lovely and would keep refilling our drinks without being asked. There were nachos with cheese, sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs 24 hours a day. The nachos were great!

The swim-up bar was also good, Philip looked after us with drinks and was a lovely bloke. Make sure you ask for a Miami Vice - lush drink!!

The only 2 problems we had were with the internet and the gift shop. The internet located in the sports bar was approximately £7 for half an hour and you had to purchase your ticket from the gift shop. This was very expensive but you expect to pay extortionate prices whilst on holiday. Unfortunately, the internet speed was extremely slow and one day kept crashing. This meant by the time my Husband had gone down to the gift shop to complain and the woman came up to clear the computer, he'd lost almost 10 minutes of time. The staff in the gift shop were extremely rude and fed us and the hotel management which were brought in to resolve the issue, lies. Once the Riu manager was involved she rectified the situation immediately even thought the gift shop is completely separate from the hotel. The gift shop itself is overpriced as you would expect it to be and all the staff are miserable and rude. I highly recommend going to the shops across the road where you can barter and find things cheaper with friendly staff. The hotel runs a free minibus - just ask at the taxi stand by reception.

The only other downside is the beach. There are plenty of sun loungers on the beach and also by the pool but we favoured the pool as the sea was full of seaweed very close in. I couldn't go any deeper than up to my knees.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you do not need Jamaican Dollars as First Choice told us. Everything is in US Dollars in the hotel gift shop, the shops across the road and the airport.

We tipped a few times throughout our stay but we never felt pressured to do so, the majority of staff were great.

Overall we had a fabulous relaxing holiday and would recommend Jamaica to everybody. The people are amazingly friendly and do everything they can to ensure you have a great holiday.

I would recommend Riu Montego Bay so long as you are not beach people because this is not the hotel for you.

I would definitely stay in another Riu on future trips.

  • Liked — Nothing in particular - the holiday was great
  • Disliked — The gift shop, internet and beach
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, Massachusetts
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

I enjoyed a vacation at this RIU from November 15-22. I also felt apprehension upon reading so many negative reviews. But after spending a week there, I must wonder if some reviewers stayed at a resort in a parallel universe. Sometimes it is hard to believe that we stayed at the same place. But everyone has their own preferences.

The question of the food is an important one. My sister, best friend, and I had no complaints. Sure, there were some buffet items that did not entice us (curried goat, anyone?), but the resort caters to international guests with many different tastes. There were carving stations on various nights of turkey, beef, pork, duck, etc. The fish dishes were great. Our servers were prompt in clearing dirty dishes and knew our drink preferences after the first night. We also enjoyed the steak and Asian restaurants, again with great service.

All of the employees that we interacted with were wonderful - friendly and hard-working, especially the entertainment crew, While the shows might not be Broadway caliber, the dancers were so enthusiastic, friendly, and talented that they charmed us all, even though the girls were disgustingly gorgeous and thin.

Every encounter with the front desk staff was fine with the sole exception that our room had only one key. The manager offered us another room that had two keys, and even said he'd send someone to help us move, but we ultimately decided to stay where we were. We were always treated with the utmost courtesy.

We loved the pools and the bars - had great drinks and no shortage of them.

Should anyone encounter a medical problem, be assured that the RIU nurses are first rate! I had an unfortunate encounter with an elevator that got stuck between floors. While the maintenance crew worked for about 40 minutes to get the doors open, the nurse was present and speaking to me, assuring me that she would not leave. She even worked through an oxygen tube to help me, as the inside of the elevator got very warm. When I finally got out, the nurse took me to her office to check my blood pressure and make sure I was okay. They were super.

I'm sorry that some people did not enjoy the RIU, but I did not want to leave.

  • Liked — Spacious room and great people
  • Disliked — Room had only one key
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
alberta
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2008

We stayed at the Riu Montego Bay November 7th - 14th. My mother got re-married and it was me (18) and my two younger now step-siblings.
It is 10 mins away from the airport and you get to see the ghetto part of jamaica which was interesting. our cab driver notified us that the Riu is one of the nicest of the island.

When we got to the hotel we were greeted with drinks, everyone was just so friendly i couldn't believe it! We got our rooms, and as i was sharing with the kids i was surprised at how big the room was. It had to double beds pushed together to make a really big king bed as well as another queen next to that! It was immaculate and the pictures do not do the rooms justice as they are very nice and in pictures on the site it doesn't look so nice.
the maids are really nice and we found if you leave a small tip on the bed they leave flowers on your beds.

The pool was nice, LOVED the swim-up bar, however the drinks aren't strong at all so don't expect to get drunk off of a couple.

Before i went to the Riu i read all of the reviews from other users and they all said the food was awful, this was NOT true. The breakfest, lunch, and dinner buffets were soo good. Lots of selection and every day it changes. DEFS try the chocolate muffins in the morning and the chocolate cake that is there at lunch and at night. TO DIE FOR! the restaurants arent that great, we liked the buffet lots more. There is so much more food than you can take, our plates were piled ridiculously high each night.
ALSO, go to the jerk hut on the beach the jerk chicken is absolutely amazing.
NO complains whatsoever on the food, and everyone serving water, coffee etc are incredibly nice and have good service.

The entertainment was really good, the michael jackson show was awesome. If you sit a little bit close they might hassle you to go on the stage so beware. they pulled me up onto the stage, but it is a vacation and you are there to enjoy yourself so its good to be wild. While you are there try and find Ovid he doesn't usually dance on stage unless its the preliminarys, but if you make friends with him he will try and find you seating if you are late for the show or he will save you seats himself, he was sooo nice. if anyone finds him could you get his email and post it? (tell him rachel and colten from canada asked for it, thanks.)

there are also lots of activities during the day, sports, games, aerobics, etc.

i would recommend going off the resort, go shopping and bargain its so much fun. also, swimming with the dolphins in ocho rios is really amazing! make sure you book in advance, but its such a fun experience, the same day you can do dunns river falls as they are right across the street from eachother. the dunns river falls is so cool, you climb up a waterfalls, no it is not scary at all, and i am scared of heights we all loved it. those are two must-sees off of the resort.

basically, in conclusion the resort is amazing, everyone in jamaica is nice, everything is irie mon!

  • Liked — everything!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2008

Stayed at the Riu Palace in Mexico last year and this place needs to go quite a distance to get to that standard. Was with a party of 6 adults - ages 28 to 51. Check-in was OK however it took 3 hours for cases to arrive at our room. Rooms are clean and linen changed every 2nd day. Towels changed every day. 2 of our party had to move rooms as the one they were allocated had a damp smell and the air con wasn't operating correctly. Buffet food was OK - there are limits to how many different dishes hotels can offer. Waiters and waitresses are not the quickest to clear your empty dishes when you leave the table to get your next course. Wine is awful - absolute gutrot. There is no room service - unexpected from a "5 Star hotel". A la carte restaurants OK.
Our rooms were within the 4000 block - this can cause a problem if it is raining as there is no shelter to the restaurants.

The main problem with the hotel is that there are hawkers on the beach and just outside the hotel who pester you to buy their goods or travel in their taxis. The minute you venture outside the hotel to cross the road to the shops a plethora of Jamacians want to accompany you - very disconcerting, so much so that the females within our company did not go out even during the day.
The hotel does offer a taxi to take you across the road but we didn't expect we would need to take a 1 minute taxi ride to the shops when we booked this vacation.

Went to Montego Bay for 1 day - not the best resort I've ever visited and again we were houded constantly by taxi drivers.
Went to Margaritaville - be carefull if travelling with partes of 6 or more as there is an additional 18% charge to your bill.

I totally disagree when the excuse is used that the hotel is new and that this has to be recognised. The RIU chain of hotels is worldwide and has vast experience of dealing with all sorts of travellers. This is a hotel & resort which I will definately not be recommending to friends & family.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Unable to move from the hotel without being approached by hawkers
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, MA
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2008

I recently stayed @ Riu Montego Bay and found my experience to be less than satisfactory. Though the landscape was beautiful the beds were extremely hard and uncomfortable. The food was recycled daily; if you had it for dinner you could be sure you'd see it the following morning for breakfast.

The blow dryer in my room didn't work so a call was made to the front desk for a replacement; three hours later a maintenance man knocked my room door as if that was acceptable service. I must have called the front desk a dozen times to inquire about the blow dryer only to have them stop picking up the phone because they knew the call was coming from my room.

  • Liked — The landscape
  • Disliked — The poor front desk service
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Chester, England
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2008

My husband and I have just returned from a fantastic 2 week Holiday

Food was fab - so much choice
Room was excellent - maid came every day, clean towels were left everyday and the fridge was re-stocked every 2 days
Entertainment - brilliant - they had things going on all day and the night time shows were superb - the staff work really hard and are good at what they do.
Bars - fab - the staff were amazing in all the bars, we never had to ask for a drink they just topped it up all the time - they are all so happy and really go the extra mile for you
We had a fab time here and will defo go back.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Beach wasn't the best if I had to pick 1 thing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
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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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