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Reviewed March 17, 2013

Stayed at the Riu Ocho Rios (Mar 8 to15) for the second time in 2 years and it was again fantastic! The service and food was fantastic, weather was amazing! Have no complaints what so ever. Shout out to Kevin from the entertainment crue! Best of luck in the US following your dreams from that crazy Gypsy couple you met LOL :) This resort is a guaranteed good time!! Ignore bad reviews.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jason O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I have to disagree with the positive reviews having just returned on March 16th from Riu Ocho Rios hotel. I'm a seasoned traveler and have been to a few other RIU's already and this one just does not compare to some others I have seen. There are both positives and negatives so I'll explain and give you a few pics also. I'll hit on the things most important in any review:

TRAVEL TIME: it's a MUST to take a prepaid bus to the hotel. it is 1.5 hours from the airport and they stop once for a restroom break. we didn't want one. myself and others just wanted to get to the hotel already.

CHECK IN: easy, no credit card was requested, but....no rooms ready until 3pm so i arrived at 12pm and had to change, eat, and try to unwind until a room was ready. you are given a real key to your room no card, and a safe lock, and towel cards. hefty charges should you lose any of these.

FOOD: day 1 was hungry and ate at the italian restaurant for the first and last time. simple salads, pastas, nothing over the top. Breakfast- very good. ST Anne's buffet. omelets prepared, eggs, potatoes, fruit, bacon, sausage, french toast, etc..best part were preblended from real fruit smoothies..delicious. LUNCH: every day same thing, never impressive near the pool side. boring, lacking taste and flavor. There is a Jerked Chicken hut and this was a better choice for lunch. DINNERS; Sir Richard/ Sir John- same menu but for deluxe customers Sir Richard, for other guests, Sir John. I ate at both. Steak was very good but again not superb. This all inclusive had no lobster options at all and on vacation I definitely wanted that and have had this at many other all inclusives. This made the restaurants lackluster to me. The buffet dinners were above average with many selections but the menus were routine. Best part here was outside the buffet were 3 large skillets with homemade foods being cooked, go for those. The Mammabee Steakhouse was a miss for me. Taken in 20 mins after the reservation, no nice views or fancy decour, and the steak was a bit fatty for me . Sir John much better steak. Bottom line: i have had better service and better food along with choices at other all inclusives. I specifically wanted lobster, more seafood dishes than just one fish offered at dinner, service was slow and painstaking. Dinner could go on for 2 hours or more and I expected better faster service. No alcoholic drinks were offered either at dinners only beer or wine. another miss.

SERVICE: the staff work hard but at no other all inclusive did I feel the "pressure" to constantly tip. when a server puts their arms around you to say "how's things, what do you need?" When the server grabs your glass and says "Let me get you a refill."- you know, they want a tip. and i obliged. but there was no end to it. Bring like 10 singles per day for tip money. Staff did work hard and were friendly but the tip suggestions were annoying and not warranted. they seemed down when guests did not tip and it was noticeable.

POOL: two total pools. one very large pool near the buffet which was a very noisy pool. too noisy. the staff kept playing loud music which i was all for, but then they'd stop the song and talk over it and that was killin' me. just play the song and let it play! they would stop the song and play games with the guests and sometimes take over the pool for games. i'd rather have the Dee jay play great music and please stop talking over it. The 2nd pool was on the deluxe side and was quiet and had no music at all or entertainment there.

i see no point in paying for a deluxe room since the added restaurants were no big deal and also Sir Richard (for deluxe guests only) has the same menu as Sir John (for non deluxe guests.)

The resort is enormous but walkable and for this reason I'd give it a 4 star based on size.
the entertainment at night i found poor and there was no market at all at the resort, just gift shops. all inclusives typically have each night the locals selling materials and gifts and this hotel had none of that at all. This made it like a 3-3.5 Star Resort to me.

**WI-FI- wireless internet: very important point here. you can only access free internet in the lobby, AND...you had 90 minutes per day to use it from the time you signed in. So, if you signed in at 10am on your own portable device (which you must have), by 1130am it would sign you out for the day and no more wireless. you could not use it for 10 mins and come back later. it simply signed you out within 90 mins of your first log in. awful.

I would not return to this resort but mainly b/c i have been around, (see my reviews) and I know the better value I could get elsewhere at other RIU's and in other countries.

it is fine for a first time trip and all inclusive though. try to see Dunn's River Falls. i paid for the excursion but due to high winds my excursion was cancelled.

Weather March 11-16th- sunny and 80's each day until the last two when it was overcast and very windy.
enjoy your trip should you go! know that the RIU can be noisy, guests like to yell off their balconies throughout the day and night and the nearby Jewel Dunn hotel was much much quieter. up to you what you seek.
mattresses were great compared to others. very restful sleep except for noisy neighbors. see one of my photos showing the doors to each room right across from each other. i had a family with kids who woke up at 7am and i heard them come and go while trying to stay sleeping. reminded me of being home with neighbors making noise that disrupted my sleep.
safe was used daily. no problems.

Room Tip: choose a higher floor and away from noise if you want quiet otherwise doesn't much matter. deluxe side was ultra quiet.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lovetheislands19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

The hotel was the most amazing hotel I'd ever stayed in and I've stayed in quite a lot.

From the moment we were checked in to the moment we were checked out, the whole experience couldn't have been any better or more perfect.

The staff were brilliant, helpful, kind, funny and entertaining.

The food was delicious every single day, there was something for everyone and anyone who complains about the food in this place has clearly got food issues.

The beach was stunning, the bars were great, the rooms were more than comfortable. We upgraded to junior suite and it was worth every penny. We were treated like royalty the whole time and were sad when we came home and went back to reality.

Will definitely be returning.

Anyone who had anything bad about this hotel must have stayed somewhere else as I can't think of one negative thing to say.

I highly recommend this place for everyone.

Room Tip: Well worth upgrading to junior suite if you can
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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10  Thank BNT8114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

The resort is gorgeous! Perfect layout step out of the pool & on to the beach! It's truly all inclusive. No need 2 leave the property but I suggest u do. Ocho Rios has a lot to offer for tourists. I only had 1 disappointment & that was the resorts entertainment department ; it needs considerable improvement. I'm a experienced cruiser & the entertainment on the cruise ship is 5 star. The resort I would give just 1 star. Most shows were long, boring, and some even seem to have amateur performing ( or inexperienced). I would recommend that Riu's entertainment group take a cruise & take notes! Everything else that 1 would expect a resort to deliver is achieved by the Riu! I would go back without hesitation.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank NicoleD8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

It was awesome. Everyone was just having a really great time!!! It reminded me of magic kingdom and definitely did not disappoint. Will definitely consider going back and even checking out other riu vacation destinations.

Stayed: March 2013
5  Thank Alex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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