We just got back from a 5 day vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We stayed at the Riu Montego Bay. The Hotel was very nice and clean. Our room and sheets smelled very sour - like the sheets never properly dried and the whole room smelled the same. This was quickly corrected. We caught our maid and explained what we were smelling. She quickly ran and got very fresh blankets and sheets. We tipped her daily and she always left something nice behind. One day, the bathroom smelled like a fresh powder. A couple of other days, she left fresh flowers on our bed with cute towel arrangements.
They have nice safes in the room to lock valuables up while you're out for the day. One day, we fat fingered our safe code and locked ourselves out of our safe. The staff quickly sent someone to unlock our safe. I would say within 15 minutes. They called the room to make sure someone showed up and resolved our problem.
They stock the mini bar every other day. However, if you call, they will stock it anytime.
We were disappointed in how long it took the staff to deliver our bags to our room. So, either bring your bags to the room yourself (caution: there are no elevators), or pack a change of clothes in a small bag, so you can hit the beach right away. I will say that after waiting 1 1/2 hours on our bags that when we called to say that we were still waiting on our bags, they sent the bags right away.
The food and beverages were as most reviews stated. The food was pretty much the same every day and the meals by reservation aren't worth it. They are buffet with nearly the same items you'll find EVERY DAY at the regular buffets. We had a hard time finding something we liked to eat. The salad was good, but the same every day. The hamburgers have really hard buns. The pizza is ok, but not great. The breakfast is best if you like eggs and pancakes. We never missed breakfast - it was worth eating. You can eat somewhere pretty much until 10:00pm. After that, you can get cold burgers, nachos, and sandwiches in the sports bar. The mixed drinks are horrible - stick to the Red Stripe - it's consistent. Most drinks are very weak and are made with cheap liquor. The only thing I got a buzz on was the beer and wine. The wine is also no name and not great. You can ask to have your drink mixed strong, but it takes all taste away from the drink. The fruity drinks only come with alcohol if you ask for alcohol. They are pretty good, but usually bad when you add the nasty cheap alcohol. Just watch the alcohol they put in your drink. You'll figure out what's good and bad. The bartenders are nice if you're nice to them. They love tips and tend to treat you better if you give tips. They're still very nice without the tips, but we noticed a difference when we tipped. The same workers tend to work at the same bars all week.
We took a couple of trips and other then them taking most of the day, they were good trips. We went to Negril for a 4 hour stay on 7 mile beach. It was great and only $40/per person! However, they advertised that they took you to Margaritaville and they didn't. You can walk up the beach during your 4 hours and visit Margaritaville. It took us about 20 minutes. It was fine - 4 hours in one spot on the beach was really too long with no coverage anyway. Besides we got to see all of the food stands and hotels along the beach. After your beach time, they take you to Rick's Cafe to see the sunset and locals cliff diving. You can jump off a 50 foot cliff into some beautiful water below. It was a lot of fun. Another day we did the Canopy tour ( A little Pricey at $86/per person) - 5 zip lines in the mountains of Montego Bay. This was a really fun trip - took about 4 hours total, but worth it. Take tip money and a camera. You get to see how many of the Jamaicans live - lots of picture opportunities. You are pretty limited with trips in Montego Bay. Most of the activities are in Negril or Ocho Rios. So, you'll pay to get there and it takes a large part of your day.
The "free" snorkeling was a joke. For a $25 deposit, they'll give you what you need to snorkel with in the swimming area. So, to snorkel, you'll pay $28-$38/per person for a 1-2 hour snorkel outing. We really didn't see anything, but it was fun anyway.
The entertainment was hit or miss. Mostly, it depended on the people that volunteer to be in the show. The shows that were just the entertainment crew were sometimes good and sometimes bad. The sound system was not good at all. Sometimes, the sound would completely disappear. Sometimes it was jumpy and sometimes it just skipped to another part of the song. Other times, it was no problem. The Michael Jackson show was worth watching - probably the best show they had.
Overall, we enjoyed our trip. We were just disappointed in the food/beverage. The Hotel is very nice and clean.
- 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