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Reviewed March 22, 2013

I went to Jamacia for the first time in September 2011 for a wedding held at the resort, what an amazing place, we had over 100 people attending the wedding from Canada, US and Jamacia. The staff is top notch, always pleasant, if you have a problem they are alway happy to fix it. The variety of food is great, always hot and fresh. Even the late night resturant always had something for everyone. Now i loved it so much i went back in October 2012 to get married myself, it was like going home ( keep in mind, this is my 2nd trip ever to Jamacia) the staff welcomed us back and made sure as always we had everything we needed. this time we had 84 people, the wedding was held off site at The RUINS, very nice place, the chef there is world renowned, food amazing. Now everyone has a different experience, overall I will go back the The Rui, Ocho Rios in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: If you don't like walking, or you like going back to your room often, stay in the rooms close to the lobby. The Junior suites are great, but then again you are never in your room>
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Trini340
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

I stayed there in Feb 2013 with my partner and it was phenomenal. The room was nice and clean, bed very comfortable and food was delicious. I would recommend the this hotel to couples even thoug it is for families. The kids did not bother the couples.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Marsha B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Location: The Riu Ocho Rios sits on a lovely stretch of beach, just outside of Ocho Rios. It is just a quick shuttle ride to all the attractions (Dunn's River Falls, Town Center, Mystic Mountain, Dolphin Cove, etc.). Getting to Ocho Rios from MoBay is a lengthy ride, but it's worth it.

Beach & Pools: The beach is large and fine. A crew rakes up seaweed every morning. There are LOTS of chairs, so reserving them isn't really necessary, as long as you're on the beach by 9:30 or so. There are NO shade structures, so if you are looking for shade, you'll need to use the palm trees for shade. There are multiple beach activities throughout the day (aerobics, dance class, bocce ball, volleyball, horseshoes, etc.). The pools really are in stark contrast to each other. The "main" pool is huge and is a center of activity. There are shady spots and sunny spots, water volleyball, swim up bar, etc. The "quiet" pool is just that, also with a bar. Depending on what you're looking for, you can find it. Vendors do show up on the beach, but they can’t leave the water. This is only a hassle when you want to swim in the Caribbean.

Food & Drink: We found the food in the buffet restaurant to be better than most Caribbean resorts we've visited. We wanted to try a few of the ala carte places, but when we went to make reservations, ALL WERE BOOKED. We were there for 5 nights, and we weren’t able to try a single ala carte. This is unfortunate. We'd have preferred to have the opportunity to do so. Not sure how to fix this issue. If you are a beer-drinker, you'll be happy with the house beer, Red Stripe (or Red Stripe Light). If you are not, I hope you like rum. By day 3, I was ready for Kentucky bourbon, but I was out of luck. There are no "top shelf" liquors available at any bar. We tried every drink on the drink menu, and few that weren't. My best advice: find Franklyn and ask for his "special" drink. It’s some sort of modified rum punch, but he wouldn’t divulge what it was. It was potent and tasty!

Entertainment: I normally wouldn’t call out “entertainment” as its own subject, but the crew at Riu OR really does a good job of making sure you are having fun. The shows are pretty typical (the dancing just isn’t great), but be sure you are willing to make a fool of yourself if you are “volunteered” to participate in a show or activity.

Rooms: We booked a standard ocean view room. We were in the main building, directly above the main buffet. Our room was just the right size for us (3 of us). The view from the balcony was great! The furnishings were dated, and the TV was old. But we weren’t there to watch TV. The beds were very firm. I didn’t mind the firm bed, but they could have really made a difference with better linens. The bathroom is decent, with double sinks and a shower/tub combo. The in-room mini-bar was adequate. We love Bigga!

Spa: We didn’t use the spa this trip. However, we did find the massage ladies just past the western end of the beach (past the green wall). Instead of $100 for 60 minutes, they charge $60. Sweet ladies. Find them.

Shopping: We took a shuttle into Ocho Rios city center. I would not recommend the "craft market" to anyone. Every stall is the same, and the people are EXTREMELY aggressive. If you do go, BARGAIN. There is a saying, "easy to get in, tough to get out." There are some decent shops for cigars, souvenirs, etc. around the market. Shop there. The people are nice and the selection is good.

Tipping: My 2 cents on tipping is simple. Yes, you are at an all-inclusive, where "tips are included." But you are visiting a 3rd world country. Bartenders, servers, maids, bus drivers, bellmen, etc. work hard to help you have a good vacation. Is it really problematic to leave a dollar or two for good service? You'll get better service, but more importantly, everybody we tipped were genuinely appreciative of our thoughtfulness.

Room Tip: Standard room with ocean view was very adequate for our family (couple + 18 year old).
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank kevster28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

OMGosh!!! my boyfriend and i stayed here 3/12/13- 3/17/13 and we loved it. i am always on trip advisor and i must say the reviews i read about the complaints about this resort or just not needed but everyones stay is different i guess when arrived received our welcome rum punch check in was easy our room was beautiful with a great ocean front room (we booked through yahoo travel & the room was called a jr suite ocean front) we stayed in the deluxe wing of the resort over looking a beautiful infinity pool and stunning beach view we went every where on this resort at 1st we found the sports bar not to be so friendly but we did have fun in there only on the last night we watched the show & my boyfriend tried to hide but they called him on stage it appeared that they were painting in the disco so we never went in there...the food is great all the a la cartes the buffets the bars and the JERK HUT i told the guy im bringing him to the usa and we are going into business together lol the sand on the beach is white soft and cool no matter what time of day we always had a chair the one day it rained was funny bc it went from a light drizzle to a very quick poor down and everyone ran off the beach and we decided to go snorkeling :) you pay a $25 deposit per person to rent the snorkeling gear but when you return it you get it back the balconies are somewhat private you can hear your neighbors we were on the 4th floor so we could see below into others balconies and to talk to your neighbor you kinda have to lean over a bit our room stayed clean different maid everyday we called down to get someone to come stock our fridge on the 3rd day and they came the staff their is amazing all i can say is there or a lot of things to do there the majority of vacationers while we were there were canadian but the entertainment crew made sure to entertain everyone

Room Tip: the beds are firm but i like a firm bed and so does my boyfriend
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank virgobeauty82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2013

We went in Feb. 2010, I just realized I didn't write a review and wanted to catch up. This is a large resort but designed to keep walking to a minimum. We stayed in a Jr. Suite with an ocean view and it was really nice to have the extra space.
We really enjoyed the resort, food, pools and entertainment. Like most all-inclusives the entertainment is more amusing than good but it was fun to watch.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank NZAPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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