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“We'll go back to Jamaica but not to this resort.” 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
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“We'll go back to Jamaica but not to this resort.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2009

Overall a very nice resort but with some growing pains if that's what you want to call it. Rooms very nice and comfortable-even the hard beds ( that's all you get in Mexico). Food was good but very repeticious-al a cartes just ok-expected a lot more sea food but there was very little other than the peel me shrimp. Service was very good and all staff very friendly.
Only two washrooms in the whole place!
The beach, what little there is of it, was nice but lots of seaweed in the water-we are used to being able to walk for miles on the beaches of Mexico but not here. You are confined to the riu beach as the Sandals resort next door is fenced off and there is no beach on the other side. Being close to the airport was nice ( no long commute from the airport) but you do get a birds eye view of the belly of the planes as they take off for home every 5-10 min.
If you go to Montego Bay ensure to visit the Hip Strip and Doctor's Cove beach. It is far superior to that of the resort. It is only maybe 10 min to the Hip Strip but it costs $20 rtn for 3hrs. You can bargain a bit with private cabbies but still going to cost at least $15- We loved Jamaica and the people are wonderful so will definitely go back but likeley to Ocho or Negril.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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English first
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

I have very mixed feelings on this resort. Althought I didn't hate it, there was just something missing! I read reviews for several months before going and most reviews were the same. People and service great, food Ok, Beach so so but I thought I'd still send my review! Other reviews were pretty much bang on.

CHECK IN - was great. we arrived at 8:00 am, went for breakfast and by 10:30 most of us had our rooms ready. The front desk staff were funny and kind.

ROOMS - We asked for adjoining rooms as we have four kids with us. We got the rooms but we were a little dissapointed with the set up. Three beds in each room. We had asked for a King sized bed and instead got two doubles pushed together. My husband and I didn't spend $11,000 to sleep in seperate beds! Anyway, we decided that we weren't going to sweat the small stuff. Rooms were always clean and towels always fresh! Our biggest complaint about the beds was that the sheets were very rough!

FOOD- The breakfast buffet was by far everyones favorite! Lunch and Supper were OK but often repeats. The Italian and Asian a la cartes had good food but the Italian plates was not enough food for a grown man. Eat lots of appetizers! We were there for my brothers wedding and had the steak loft booked for the evening. This was by far the worst food and service. Steaks were all fat, a coakroach fell into the musturd and the server just flicked it out without changing the bowl! YIKES. We were served ONE glass of wine each! Very dissapointing especially because when booking with a wedding, the bride and groom had to PAY for each of us to eat there.

Never saw any seafood with the exception of peel and eat shrimp one night with NO seafood sauce. Just wasn't the same.

The jerk chicken hut is awesome. Try making a jerk chicken sandwich! YUMMY

DRINKS- If you like rum, this is the place for you! Tried many drinks but I must say, none of the blender drinks compare to Mexico. My personal favorite was their Rum Cream on ice or in my morning latte! My husband loves rum, so he was in heaven. Our room fridges were refilled every second day.

POOLS and BEACH - Pools were clean and often empty. They had a few games of volleyball and water aerobics every day but my kids pretty much had a pool to themselves! We were a group of 19, and most days managed to be able to sit with each other. We never had to "save" a seat nor would we.

The beach was better than what I had expected to see. The water is clear for about 15 feet then tons of seaweed. It does get mushy the further you go out but if you just want to cool off, it's fine. The beach is hard but OK. The vendors on the beach will offer you everything under the sun but if you say no thanks, they don't hassel you. They often asked me to bring them food. Kind off annyoing.

ENTERTAINMENT - is good. We had a contortionist one night who was great and the Michael Jackson show was also very good. Alot of booty shaking going on and great games involving the audience. The "couples" game had me in stitches! The daily activities are often the same, arm wrestling and drinking competitions. They need to think of something different.

BEACH ACTIVITIES- We used the kayaks and peddle boats. Lots of fun in calm water.

EXCURSIONS- We hired two drivers to take all 19 of us to the Appleton Rum factory. They brought us the scenic route which was amazing. What should have taken us 1 1/2 hours took us 3. Up the high mountain with many cliffs on very narrow raods. We had two pit stops ,one on the way there and one back. We did have four of us who had motion sickness so thank god we stopped. Our driver expalined much of the happenings along the way and always made us feel safe. We stopped in two different towns and tried some great peppered shrimp with the locals. A great experience. The rum factory was fun for anyone who likes rum but our younger kids were bored stiff.

We used the same driver to take us to Negril a couple days later. We spent several hours on the beach and then off to Ricks Cafe. This is a must do if you like to swim. The water is crytal clear and the sunset is immaculate. The divers are amazing and in awesome shape! They can get a little annoying asking for donations but if everyone forked out a buck, it wouldn't be an issue. Help them out, its a great show! Go here if you can.

The NOT SO GOODS- There are only two washrooms in this resort. Nothing near the main buffet or beach.

We had one person in our party of 19 who had bed bugs in her room.

It's too bad there wasn't any room service. If someone is sick, you'd have to walk through the lobby with a plate of food.

The GOODS - Jerk chicken, people,service.
Our 8 yr daughter wandered off one night and when I notified the hotel, they had security in every corner. She was found quickly and the management reacted quickly. Koodos to them!

The planes flying over the resort was not an issue as I can sacrifice noise to a five minute drive to the airport. I would suggest taking a cab to the airport when leaving as by the time we arrived there, the line up was 2 1/2 hours long to check our bags. By the time we got to security they were calling the last boarding call for our flight home. Our transfer arrived at the airport 3 hours before out flight was to leave.

This is a nice resort but there is something missing ( I don't know what, but something!) We paid a heafty price for all of us and both my husband and I just weren't sure if we could truly say it was worth it. It's just OK. We went down for my brothers wedding and we had an awsome experience and were happy to be there for it! We loved Jamaica but would most definetely chose another resort over this one.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, ON
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

We just returned after being at the resort from March 12 - 19. I read all the reviews before I left and I was a bit nervous about what the place would be like! The most important thing I would say is don't believe the negative reviews - this place is great! I was clean - they never stop cleaning the place. The service was excellent - they can't do enough to please you. The beach was fine - yes it's a little smaller than other resorts, and there is some seaweed in spots, but I have no complaints. The rooms were beautiful. We stayed in the 2000 building and were on the top floor - what a fantastic view! The food was excellent, excellent, excellent! Anyone that complained about the food must be extremely fussy! I eat out a lot and found the food here to be among the best. I was a great place for families and you will find a lot of them there but I don't think you'd find it hard to find a quiet spot either. On the other hand, if you're looking for a place where you're not bothered by kids, this is probably not the place for you. The entertainment is just okay. They work hard and do have talent, but they've not yet perfected they're shows....but you're in Jamaica mon - no problem!

Let me end by saying that if you've booked a vacation here you will not be disappointed - enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
malvern uk
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

First time to Jamaica, travelled with Thomson.
Hotel is fine, however now is the time to go, because its showing the build quality isn't up to much.
Staff always ready to please, Bar staff great, Jason is a star. Resturant manager is none stop, always ensuring the quality is first class.
Pool area and beach perfect.
Room perfect
My only problem was other people behaving like it was their meal and drink on earth, and the staff not ensuring dress standards were kept up.
The first few days were great, Tommy and a party of 90 new yorkers, great people. Then a group of Beach party people arrived from Canada with their big jugs, big noise, why do people follow radio stations around pretending to be hip! when they are only recording the show for the next day? saddows
The management should of been firmer with these guests, instead they let them do what they wanted, with no consideration for other guests, this included severe drunkeness, nearly ruining another guests wedding, bubba jugs should be banned from this resort, they are filled in the rooms with dangerous cocktails and by 2pm around the pool the evidence is clear.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

We were at the RIU for 4 days and 3 nights. Overall, it was a lovely experience. The rooms were very clean, the mini bar was great, the bathroom was very spacious with double sinks and granite counter tops, and the balcony was a great space even though we did not have an ocean view. The bed was a bit hard, but we were so tired from the sun and activities we slept great.

The food was fine. They try really hard and there is good stuff to eat you just have to try different items and see what you like. If you do not like buffets this is probably not the place for you. But I am not a huge fan of buffets in general, but still found plenty to eat and enjoy. It was a bummer that we could not get any reservations for the restruants becuase there were none available after waiting in line in the lobby for 45 minutes to make reservations. If you are there for 7 days - it's not big deal because things seem to fill up about 2-3 nights ahead of time. Since we were not there for long - we had to eat at the buffets the whole time. It actually worked out fine - but we were a little bummed. The breakfast buffet was my favorite. Make sure you eat lunch on the beach at the jerk hut on the beach!

Activities - we loved the none motorized water sports - kayaking was AWESOME! I am not a big fan of the group games that were provided, but some people go for that. Drinks were great! Ask for a french kiss with coconut rum!!!!

Service was very freindly and the atmostphere is laid back. Even though that it was U.S. Spring Break time for many colleges and universities ther was a good mix of ages and families/singles/couples.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

Well if werent for the bartender at the Sports bar I probably would not have had such a good time. Im telling everyone who is going to Montego Bay RIU to go and see Owen because he is a great guy and really cares about his guests. He put a smile on my face within 10 minutes of meeting him. Great character.xoxo
As for the hotel itself I thought the beach was swampy and not too great. Water was never clear and instead of sand on the bottom I felt weeds. My friend had bought an expensive snorkling set for the trip and had to leave the resort to get the nice clear water. The room service was excellent!! Always came back to a clean room with towels shaped in different forms and flower petals. Very sweet. There was always food to eat. Yummy!! Lots..Always snacks at the sportsbar and during the day there is a buffet all day. Breakfast was breathtaking. Would never go hungry at the Riu. What I did not like was whenever I went to exchange my money at the front desk they would never give me that
%100 attention needed while counting my money. Instead right in the middle of my counting I had them answering phones and staying on the phone and talking to others around them. I truly did not like that and found it very rude. And that happened everytime I went up front to exchange money. So if you have to change money go to the Cameo in MObay where they stay professional with your money. I think that when people are dealing with other peoples money it takes full attention. The entertainment was awsome at times. I had a blast at the beach party and the night club. The side pool entertainment was great but the woman on the microphone was way to loud. She did not need the microphone with that loud strong voice of hers. More than half of the pool side guests left because she was screaming and they could not conversate with others, read a book or just relax. Simone was my favorite entertainer. Shes cute humble and great preformer. Owen was my favorite friend and bartender. And the female security gaurd up at the front was funny and very sweet. If anyone goes to the Riu just remember to see Owen at the sports bar. You will be taken care of in every angle. Everything NO PROBLEM AND ANYTIME!!! YA MON!
Have fun in Jamaica!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

This place would have probably gotten a good review if I hadnt gotten bitten by bed bugs, my lower legs are covered in bites, I also have them on my face, its disgusting. I contacted the hotel notifying them of the issue (the reaction to the bites didnt occur until the departure day) and gave them a chance to rectify the situation. I received no reply. I visited 3/4 to 3/10/09. The rooms were adequate other than the flesh eating insects and insufficient hair dryers (bring your own). If you get a ground floor room you may want to move if you have neighbors overhead, the floor/ceiling is very thin, we could hear everything and they had a kid that woke up at 6am, very annoying. The pool was too cold. The food was just ok. The crowd was much older than I expected, everyone was either on their honeymoon or 55+ yo. I had a "deep tissue" massage from a guy at the spa, I had to ask for more pressure 3 times with no luck and it just seemed unsufficient. It was not worth it at all. The night life in the hotel is pretty lame, we went to Margaritaville outside the hotel, it was fun. There is a mini bar in the room that is part of the all inclusive and its supposed to be refilled but it took 4 days and 5 requests from us to get the stock refilled once.
Positives, the paddleboats, sailboats and kayaks are free with the all inclusive. The staff was friendly and enjoyable. The transportation was fairly easy. We went ziplining, it was amazing, I would definitely recommend it, $84 each, well worth the money. There is a souvenir "mall" across the street but the prices are outrageous, you can talk them down but you should take a look at duty free before you buy at the souvenir shops. Our return flight took off late causing us to almost miss our connecting flight as we had to go through customs, baggage claim and then security again, make sure you leave at least 2 hours for a transfer.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
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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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