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“Nice place to be!”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Nice place to be!”
Reviewed June 10, 2013

We had a great time here. I went with my Dad with the idea of chilling out and doing the normal tourist things. We stayed in the Hotel for the majority of the holiday other than going out for tours etc. We also took the "risk" of walking outside the hotel, and was greeted by a local Jamaican man. He took us back to his village down the road and told us his story about life and how he sees Jamaica as a country. It was amazing to hear another persons opinion who lives and works there. The Hotel had everything you could want. Unlimited alcohol, food, pools, a nice beach, people selling "stuff" on the beach. Was a great holiday and i would return!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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4 Thank EmmanuelPettitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

This was my first trip to Jamaica. June 1- June 5 I went with 5 girlfriends and we had a good time. The lobby is very nice and smoke friendly if you are a smoker. The staff was friendly and very helpful. Check in was not bad but our rooms were not ready we had to come back to see if our rooms were ready, no problem we went to eat then came back to check on the rooms and they were ready (one hour wait). Now the walk to the room was far and the elevator was no where near the rooms. I guess you can tell I don't like to walk LOL!. The rooms are nice and clean. I did not see any roaches like some of the reviews said. I had air conditioning in my room that worked very well. I was on the fourth floor although the numbers on the wall started with 3 so its a little tricky but easy to figure out. By the way I had on a red wrist band they have different colors and I'm not sure what it meant but I felt like the red bands were the lowest. Any way the food was good it was a lot of Jamaican food and American food. If you think your drink taste weak just ask them for some more they will gladly pour more in your cup. Breakfast was the best in my opinion. The entertainment was fine. The club was boring I guess it depends on the crowd that goes there. Please make sure you go to The Jerk Chicken Hut on the beach OMG that is the best food on the island. He is usually out there about 2pm please don't miss him. We did the booze cruise through the hotel which included snorkeling and Dunn's River Falls(bring your water shoes) you can choose different things to do. Now if you go off the grounds to go shopping for souvenirs (the hotel's gift shop is high, bring your own water camera) make sure you bring small bills like ones and fives. The vendors all have the same stuff but each of them will call you over to where they are so you can see what they have it sort of got on my nerves because it's like they try to hold you hostage and please negotiate it they say $10 you say $5 then work your way up never pay the price they ask even if you think the price they gave was fair. I would return to the RIU anytime.

Room Tip: It seems like they put you where the rooms are available. I say ask for a room near the elevator.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank SunRae82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

We, being 2 couples (in our early 50's) stayed at the Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica from April 27 to May 5, 2013.

Check-in was fast. Though we did arrive very late - 11:30 pm at night. Will not take a late flight again as it was a 4 hour and 45 min. flight from Toronto, and then almost a 2 hour bus ride to Ocho Rios from Montego Bay Airport. That being said, we had emailed the resort prior to arriving and asked for an Ocean View room on a high floor and we were pleasantly surprised to have gotten an awesome room, a beautiful full ocean view room as well as partial pool view. Our room was fine. Air conditioning worked fine. We actually had to turn it down a bit. No complaints about our room. Mini bar stocked up every 2 days with beer and pop and every day with new water bottles. We had hot water all week at different times of the day and good water pressure, but our friends 10 rooms down had no hot water all week. It seemed the rooms that were aligned in the same area from main floor to top had water problems.

Our room was cleaned every day by 2 pm. Always fresh towels and a surplus of them. No shortage in our room.

Staff: no problem. everyone treated us really nice. though we take the time to smile and say hello and good nite and even struck up conversations getting to know the staff by name.

Pools: Awesome. Walk in temperature was wonderful. Lots of loungers. No problem getting one thought we were not there at peak time.

Beach: if you like to walk this isn't the beach for you. at best a 1/4 of a mile. we didn't venture past the security sign on the beach that said you were on your own after that point. Didn't feel totally comfortable walking too far (you couldn't anyways) as there was groups of locals hanging around the bushes and trees and didn't look too friendly. You could only walk one way on the beach as the other way was blocked by a pier and you couldn't get beyond it. The beach though was beautiful white soft sand and turquoise waters. Lovely to swim in.

Vendors: not really to many. they gave up after 2 days. they were not allowed to stand on the beach to sell their wares but had to stand in the ocean, haha. I just said no thank you and they didn't bug me after that.

Buffet: No complaints. Actually this resort had the best food we've ever eaten from an Caribbean Island. Burgers, hot dogs, pizza (awesome), french fries with gravy etc. all just like home. Jerk chicken on the beach was to die for. We had it every day. Get in the line at noon as the line does tend to get big and it takes time for the chicken to cook. The most we stood was 30 minutes. Only 1 guy cooking all the chicken and he wasn't handing it out until it was cooked to perfection.

Breakfast and lunch very good - lots to choose from. Dinner was also good. No complaints at all. This resort actually and Coke products not watered down sodas. Nice change. You actually enjoyed your rum and coke.

To be honest we had no complaints with this resort. We had a great time. We made lots of new friends from all over the world. Got to know all the animation team. They worked very hard to make everyone happy. They were not overly invasive of your time. If you didn't want to join they didn't harass you until you joined in the games.

The entire property was very clean and well manicured. Lots of palm trees and beautiful flowers everywhere.

Bottom line is we had a great time, good food and lots of fun day and night.

Weather was the best we've ever had. Daytime was mid-80's and no humidity and I know that because my hair didn't frizz up, lol.

We did only 1 day trip. Dunn River Falls. We did just the Falls only (4 hours from time you left the resort and back). The only problem was after the Falls you are forced to walk through an open air flea market. I found the vendors to be quite aggressive. I just put my blinders on and walked right down the centre and made no eye contact as I wasn't interested in looking at anything. I'm sure there was good buys - but I can't stand being harassed while shopping for souvenirs. I just bought at the resort. They had several souvenir stores on the property - actually cheaper than buying at the airport. So if you are thinking you'll get better prices at the airport on your way home - NO WAY costs were 2 times higher for the same products.

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Hopefully I touched on everything.

Don't believe all the negative reviews. Other than our friends having problems with the hot water, that was the only worse thing that happened all week. Glad it wasn't us, hahaha. Though I'm sure I would have been on the staff's backs until it was fixed or moved me to a different room.

Mary from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank eveline_4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huddersfield
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed June 7, 2013

This was our fourth trip to Jamaica and our third stay at the Riu Ocho Rios. The hotel os ideally positioned for sight seeing and chilling on the beach. The staff were very helpful and very friendly, always trying to bring a smile to your face. The food was very varied and of good quality, they have themed days where the have specific food of theme such as Mexican, French, but this is in addition to the usual choices. If you like a bit of adventure, I would recommend Dunns river in Ocho Rios, you get to climb up the waterfall while it is gushing all around you. not to worry, this is for the young and old, guides help you and you make a huge human chain make it even more safe, it's amazing. if you are a Bob Marley fan I would also recommend nine mile where he was born and where he is also laid to rest. Don't breathe in too deep, the air is filled with an interesting aroma if you know what I mean. The beach at the hotel is nice and big, plenty of room and golden. We never had to fight for a longer even when we went to the beach in the afternoon. Overall, a fantastic holiday at a very good hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for the top floor to prevent noisy people overhead from sliding furniture above you.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank carol ann j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

We stayed at the RIU Ocho Rios for a week in April to photograph a wedding as that is our business(realimagephotograph). The hotel is great...beautiful grounds, good food and a great beach! Snorkelling off the beach is awesome - we saw lots of fish, eels, stingrays etc! The wedding we photographed was held on the beach and was absolutely beautiful!!! The bride and groom were married on the beach under a beautiful gazebo! The beach was wonderful to take pictures! The reception/dinner was fantastic and we had a great time wondering around the grounds after dark taking more pictures of the bride and groom!
If you are thinking of having your wedding here - you made a great choice - the wedding was beautiful and the grounds and beach are fantastic for photographs! We also did a trip to Dunn's River Falls to shoot a trash the dress session with the bride and groom and it was AMAZING!!!! If you are going to Jamaica for your wedding it is well worth the effort and time to do a trash the dress shoot at the falls!!!!
Overall we loved the RIU and they do a great job hosting a wedding!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jwilhelm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013 via mobile

Wow where do I begin...

The trip from the airport was interesting. After dropping everyone else off at their closer resorts, I was relieved when we got to Riu. It was most definitely the most aesthetically pleasing resort that we had stopped at.

Check-in: For those around me, check in seemed to be a piece of cake. I didn't notice a single person with an issue. For me, it took about 15 minutes because I inquired about an upgrade. The girl at the desk came back with a rate and said that for $85, we could upgrade our week-long stay to a Jr. Suite... of course I upgraded!

The room: Rooms are fantastic!! Our view was nothing short of amazing. The rooms themselves are very clean and the maids do a great job. We tipped each day that we requested service. The mini fridge was restocked every other day and the liquor bottles were restocked as needed.

The pools: For the most part, we stayed at the pool on tr deluxe side, also known as the "quiet pool". The pools are massive and accommodate a lot of people. There is also an infinity pool inside of the pool, and two separate areas with jets. The pool on the other side of the resort is known as the "activities pool". This is where the games were played, ie water polo, beer chugging contests, and swimming contests.

The food: There is a large variety of food. If you can't find something you like, there's something wrong with you. My advice... skip the specialty restaurants. They're not that great and you will wait over an hour for your order. This is because the servers take EVERYONE'S order before heading to the kitchen. Side note... the bacon-wrapped steak at the dinner buffet is cooked PERFECTLY.

The staff: AMAZING! Seriously, what in the world do people complain about them for?? I never saw one staff member without a smile on his/her face, and these people work ridiculously long hours! If you get the chance, look for McCain (bar manager) and Milton (bartender). They are awesome and will make sure you have a blast. Make sure you ask for their signature cocktails! We tipped on our drinks occasionally, and they were always strong (sometimes too strong). The entertainment staff was fun, always saying good morning to everyone and engaging in conversation throughout the day. They always had a great turnout for their nightly shows.

The beach: Who doesn't love baby blue warm water? The Caribbean Sea is to die for. The beach itself was always kept pristine. There were always plenty of loungers to sit in at the beach but the same can't be said for the pool.

The peddlers didn't really bother us. We said no once, and they would say "Respect. Enjoy your vacation." Simple as that.

If you know patois, it will come in handy in understanding what the staffers are saying. My parents are Jamaican so it was amusing listening to them talk while all of the tourists had blank stares on their faces.

TIP: If you're in the mood for food from the jerk chicken hut but don't want to walk all the way across the resort, Mammee Bay restaurant serves the same chicken from 12-4 while they're open. If you want your chicken semi-spicy, make sure you put the brown sauce on it. They kinda dumb the chicken down so it's edible for the kids as well.

You won't be disappointed if you choose to come to Riu Ocho Rios!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank TriciaB305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013

Good Resort - Great Fun
Just returned from a girl's trip to Jamaica - our stay at Riu Ocho Rios was good but not great. There were a few things that stopped just short of excellence yet it was tolerable - especially for the value and location of the resort.

The Resort: The place is beautiful! Right on a beautiful strip of beach, the open air lobby and seating areas are great and the pools are excellent. We stayed in an Ocean view Junior Suite which was lovely - we could see both the mountains and the ocean from our balcony. The resort is clean and although as some have written before, you could from time to time sense a musty smell, it was almost to be expected because of the climate in the area. I rarely smelled it in my room. Overall, I loved the look and feel of the resort and it's location.

Our Room: I did enjoy the junior suite - my sister and I were sharing and I never felt crowded. Hot water is dependent on the time of day you take a shower. They advertise free wi-fi in the junior suites but it was slow and inconsistent at best. But who's in Jamaica to surf the net? We worked through it. One of our issues during our stay is that we asked consistently for more wash cloths and out of 6 days, may have received them once or twice. We were limited to only two wash cloths each day. Sometimes, after being on the beach, we would come back to the room to shower and change for the next part of our day and the wash cloths were missing. We then found out they send them out for cleaning and sometimes do not get them back until after 4 p.m. We had towels, but not wash cloths. This is an issue we worked around yet it shouldn't be a guest issue - the resort should have enough wash cloths on hand to replace them each time the room is made up. They obviously have enough towels because those were consistently switched out. When we would ask room attendant about it, they were very hesistant to commit to give us additional wash cloths or bringing them by a certain time. Again, although a minor inconvenience, this is a process and inventory issue of which guests shouldn't have to even be aware exists - it should be fixed.

Service & Food: The service and food were inconsistent. The service, not just in the restaurants but throughout the resort, varied - some people were very accomodating and served in excellence and some treated you as if you were an inconvenience. The food was good at times and but sometimes the items were burned or overcooked. The Riu would take this resort to the next level if everyone were on the same page with the type of service provided and how the food was prepared.

Pool Bars: We frequented the pool and bar on the suite side of the resort and we always had a BALL!!! The pool was not crowded and the bartenders made it a blast. Loved it! I am not a big drinker so I was fine with the strength of my drinks at all of the bars but if you want more liquor, just ask - they will add to it. And don't forget to tip - not just the bartenders but the servers and the room attendant as well.

Entertainment: The entertainment staff worked hard to entertain but the shows fell short. It was much more fun when they were interacting with the guest during the pre-shows, etc. The hit of the week for me was the Steel Drum band - EXCELLENT. Other than that, the shows were just okay. Love the entertainment staff but the shows - not so much. We did plenty of stuff away from the resort as well - went to a local beach party, to a Jamaican dance hall, to Margaritaville, on a few tours, shopping in town, zip lining, etc. So we made our own fun wherever we went :)

I would stay here again but since this was my first trip directly to Jamaica (have been a couple of times on a cruise but that doesn't compare) - I would likely check out a few other resorts so that I could have a comparison. Overall for the price and location - it's worth checking out the Riu Ocho Rios

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sefraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios

Property: ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Address: | Mammee Bay - St.Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios 3.5*
Number of rooms: 856
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in northern Jamaica, on the beachfront. Two 6-storey buildings and one 5-storey building. Surrounded by 90,000 m2 / 107,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 10 Km / 6.2 Miles to Ocho Rios. 4 Km / 2.5 Miles from various shops. 105 Km / 65 miles to Montego Bay airport. 600 M / 1,970 ft. From a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Hotel Ocho Rios
Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica
Riu Ochos Rios
Rio Ocho Rios
Club Hotel Riu Ocho Rios
Rui Ocho Rios
ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica

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