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“Good time in Jamaica mon!”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Good time in Jamaica mon!”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

I was here early in January for a wedding. I must say, I had a great time! The beach was beautiful and very clean. Unlike other reviews, I never had a problem finding a beach bench, no matter what time a day. The room was clean and well kept, I was lucky to have a fantastic view with some ocean (albeit never requesting that). The food was fantastic, and the drinks were excellent. Try all of their a la cartes, just book them in advance. The staff are very friendly, but are overworked for sure. Please tip them lots! They deserve it, and a couple dollars for them goes a long way.

Excursions - Dunn River falls with the catamaran is a must, lots of fun! I also did the ziplining, bobsled tour. It was a lot of fun, but a bit overpriced. Don't bother going shopping, they will take you to a tourist area where there are a bunch of souvenir shops that are not well priced (you can pay about the same at the resort souvenir shop). If you want to bring back alcohol, it's actually cheaper at the Duty Free!

In terms of negative, I agree with other reviews- don't book with Sunwing. They seem to always be delayed, no matter what. Other than that, I don't really have complaints about the resort itself. Your experience will be what you make it to be!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank AF1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
93 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

Enjoyed our vacation at this wonderful hotel with friendly staff, and in general good service. This was our first time in Jamaica and I must say that we were impressed we dealt with, professional and yet very friendly, we just loved it. The only negative part is the A la Carte restaurants where you could only book two days in advance, and yet when you go by the places, its only half full and at times, even less. We enjoyed being on the adult side, more chairs available on the beach with the exception of certain guests who reserved their spot, and at times, rows of chairs late at night or really early in the morning to only show up around 11 am or so. The hotel policy ask that guests do not reserve chairs but there will always be 'King/Queen of the castle' around.
Would definitely recommend the place.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view, make sure to say ocean front, otherwise you'll get a room with a view...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank 13Pura_Vida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
63 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

This is my second time at the Riu and I would have to say I think it will be my last. Eighty % Canadian ten % American eight % other and a whooping two % Jamaican travellers. My three stars is mainly for the animation team and the food was not all that bad as far as A/I goes. I stayed here as it was convient to Priory. The prices have gone up in Ochie since my last visit and the Taxis are a higher cost now to get into Ochie town. I wished I had looked into car hire more now. The staff to me seem very hard worked and the hotel was full, sun loungers for the late arrivers were sparce and the beach was maxed with noise and people.
For those who don't know or don't go to the early morning meeting the adult only side is now gold bands only. Do not even attempt to walk through even in torrential down pours as I found out when I was trying to get to the Bamboo beach bar or you will be stopped turned round and escorted back haha Also love how their bit of sea looked cleaner and we laughed about the little red bands holding on to the edge of the Golden beach. Big thank you Thomsons for letting us know we could not escape other peoples kids.
Complaint one day two no iron, day three no iron, day four lost count of the phone calls no iron but that was ok because by now we had run out of hot water. I left the UK with a chest infection and had to bathe in cold water for three days. When I approached the Thomson rep she came back and said there was no report or any complaints. We had lost count on how many times a day we had complained. This is what annoys me most don't shun complaints deal with them. We had to pack and was moved in silence to another room (their idea not ours, turns out they knew about the water all along).
Wifi you get 90 minutes a day free on each of your wifi gadgets. You can pay for it in your rooms as my partner did. I have I-Phone and I-pad so if I turned them on in reception they worked over in my room till the ninety minutes were up. My partner has BB and his did not do this.
Shows were ok the animation team work real hard they did last time too. The steel band they got in were amazing but you had to be sat down early to get a seat with a view. they did beauty and the beast and a few more shows not really my thing but the Africa night was good. These guys work with pride work long hours six days a week and still smile all day.
I had a massarge on the beach next to ours it's called bamboo beach as I once read this lady is very good and I wasn't disappointed. You can also walk past here to the end where you can see the crabs etc basking in the sun and a good photos to be taken.
The jerk hut tasted better this time round and the salds were plenty and very tasty. They always had lots of meats and quite a bit of Jamamican food in the end. They also had paties burger hot dogs etc. I can not complain about the food it was not the best but it was very nice.
We hit a few trips and went into my favorite Ochie town to haggle in the markets. Jamaica to me is so beautiful please don't stay in the hotels and venture and see this for your selfs.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BLACKSAPPHIRE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We stayed at the resort from 15th to 30th Jan, using it as a base. We were in Jamaica to celebrate a friend's 50th; he has a home on the island.

All the negative reviews on this site really made me anxious before we travelled, but I really shouldn't have worried as the resort was ok. However I can't understand all the excellent /very good reviews as there are plenty of areas the hotel could improve upon.

Transfer to the Hotel from the airport was 1 hour and 20 minutes by coach, quite a pleasant drive. Actual check-in was ok, staff could have been friendlier and smiled more, but we had our room keys within 15mins.

When we entered our room it was clear it wasn't the 5th floor twin we had booked, it was in fact a first floor double....we phoned reception who said they would call back in the morning....they never did, but we also never bothered to chase it up as the room was spacious and comfortable. The actual reception staff (who were all very young) were polite and welcoming when I had occasion to make enquires about other things.

The room was of a good size, it did have a slight musty smell (as mentioned by other reviewers) which came and went over our two weeks there. Storage was good, as was the size of the bathroom. The room was clean and well maintained throughout our stay. We saw no ants or cockroaches mentioned in other reviews. We would have liked a kettle, and perhaps a movie channel, but we coped without and on the whole we were pleased with the room.

The resort is big, especially to us as we haven't taken an all inclusive type holiday of this type before. This meant it was busy at all times, but we never had to queue more than a few minutes for food, or drinks.
Despite its size it is kept tidy and clean throughout the day, despite some guests being very messy in shared areas.

There were lots of twenty-somethings out for a good time, and they could be quite loud. During the day it was easy to find a quiet part of the beach, but I think the resort lacks a "quiet bar" or indeed bars with different types of ambience.

The entertainment during the day wasn't to our taste, but people seemed to enjoy the holiday camp type activities. It was easy to find beach space away from the daytime entertainment and it is a lovely, palmed, clean, off-white, sandy beach with crystal blue waters and waves that were never very big so less confident swimmers and children could swim quite safely and happily. There were also free sailing boats available and other acceptably priced watersports, such as scuba or windsailing, could be arranged too.

The evening entertainment was in truth quite poor, but it wasn't why we went to Jamaica, however many people seemed to enjoy it. It was mainly a group of enthusiastic entertainment staff miming to songs while putting on show dances. Their miming was good, sadly their dancing wasn't; uncoordinated and clumpy. The evening entertainment area was also very loud, and as three of the bars are in the performance area it was very difficult to find a spot for a quiet evening drink or to hear conversations.

The size of the resort did mean it was able to offer a variety of on-site activities. However don't use the shops; ridiculously over-priced rubbish which could be purchased in the local town for a tenth of the price. Staff in the shops left a lot to be desired, often preferring to use their mobiles or talk to colleagues than actually serve you. Fortunately the shop staff were not representative of the staff as a whole. The majority of the staff were busy, working hard and still managing to smile and chat nicely with guests. The only rudeness I observed were some guests being really rude to staff. Though I would, if I was the manager, ban mobile phones,

Drinks are ok, though some staff were better than others at mixing them. Wine at dinner was dreadful (local seagrapes make a wine with quite a fortified taste to it) we tended to stick with beer. We are vegetarian and were pleasantly surprised at what we found to eat, and of reasonable quality. Breakfast is excellent, lunch good, evening dinner is just ok. Its cafeteria food, mass catering, not restaurant quality but doesn't deserve the really poor reviews some give it. You can always find something you would like to eat but don't expect a high-end restaurant atmosphere.

The beach and the sea are both great, though it loses the sun at 4.00pm so if it's sunsets you want this is not the resort for you. The sunrises are lovely though and the stars at night are bright and dazzling.

Many reviewers mention petty theft. We were careful (always used the safe for our valuables and took the room number off the room key and safe key). We heard no stories while we were there, and everything was fine. However it did annoy me that the maid didn't use the deadlock on the door when she left our room, rather choosing to just pull it closed. Jamaica outside the resort was safe too and late night walks along the beach were totally safe. Ocho Rios seems to be a safe area of Jamaica provided you take common-sense precautions.

As I said, we were in Jamaica for a friend's birthday so spent a lot of time off resort either with friends or on excursions. The local excursions were brilliant: Mystic Mountain; Horse-riding; Dolphin Cove - all fab, well cared-for animals, beautiful places, great tour staff... just wonderful days out. The only one we didn't enjoy as much was the Ultimate Coyaba Challenge (cycle, garden, museum and waterfall - it was an excursion that couldn't make it's mind up what it wanted to be so failed on all counts really.... the museum, waterfall and garden are beautiful though so I'd recommend a visit there, but not as an excursion.. just grab a taxi). Other holidaymakers really enjoyed the Lion Zion Bus Tour too but we didn't have time for that.

The Rui was an ideal mid-price resort for us to use as a comfortable base and in this sense we would consider going back, but I think there are improvements the resort management could easily make.

If you've experienced all-inclusives before and that's your thing then I would probably recommend Rui to you. For us, we prefer places where you dress for dinner, have quiet areas, high-quality cocktails and an altogether luxurious experience. The Rui isn't that sort of place but it's got a lovely beach, committed staff and is excellently situated. Overall a good holiday because we used the resort as a base and somewhere to unwind.

I hope this review is useful to you.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank alanandcolby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Depew, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

First time to Jamaica and I would go ,back the hotel was nice the staff were very friendly from the entertainers ,bartenders, maids, waiters the people at the front desk 10 minutes to check in with a free upgrade , beach was fantastic ,drinks and jerk on the beach was great ,buffet food was better than the specialty restaurants .I had no problem with one single worker at all they were fantastic ,I can not close this review with out telling you about the Fantastic friend and tour guide I met,his name is Chris Linton he took our party of 6 to the blue hole which is a must see tour and also took us shopping and all the time we have never felt safer all the time we were with him ,check out his web site chrisjamaicatours .com you will be happy you did

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank larry s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2014 via mobile

We went back to this spot 3 rd time this year this time we brought our son with us. We spent Christmas and new year on the property for a total of 3 weeks. It was awesome. There are some changes made which I love. The deluxe wing is now ONLY for deluxe wing and so is the beach. That is super. Makes it quiet and relaxing. If you like lots of action you walk over to the other side. Beach and sea is a dream. Snorkeling right of the beach-superb. Food is to please everyone. I would go back in a flash. Clean and comfortable and the stuff is amazing. Hard working and always smiling. As for the rooms left everything from iPhones to ipad lying around nothing was ever touched. Love places like that. So here is to Riu - thank you for not wasting my money and time ,we will be back :)

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank brygida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2014

My boyfriend and I visited from 01-19-14 to 01-25-14, thanks to the wonderful Midwest winter weather and an unorganized airline we missed out connecting flight and spent over 48 hours trying to reach Jamaica :(, this of course is not the fault of the resort. The only issue that it had led to was in giving our room away. We checked in with the travel agency we used with every delay to keep them up to date which was relayed to the resort. When we finally arrived (after almost two days of horrible travel) thinking we could finally relax we waited another four hours for our room, not acceptable. We had been told everything was fine and we should go have a drink and something to eat, of course not having any clue where you would even go to eat. When we checked back the person was no longer there and nobody had a clue about us. Pan to two hours later, a lesser room then we paid for, we were told that the people in the room we were supposed to have decided to extend their stay. Not buying it, remember we arrived one day late and they had been kept up to date on that. What is more annoying than that is that in the course of this four hour wait we met two other couples that had been in the check in line behind us who for no reason were upgraded to corner suites! (They were both wonderful couples and we were very happy for them, perhaps it was previous travel karma paying them back:) In working with the onsite rep (she was wonderful :) for our travel agency the next day she did take this to the front desk to arrange a room change the next day. At that point we were so sick of trying to get there and get to our vacation, along with the fact that it would have been a move to a worse location we kindly said no. Lesson learned, be more assertive with what you should be given and say no when they ask you to come back later.

I will say that the shuttle ride was wonderful, some may not like the length but I really enjoyed the drive. Kind of like a free excursion :) Also the driver on the way there was a wealth of information, completely fascinated by their culture :) The person that helped with our luggage was also great; his sense of humor was exactly what we needed at that point. Plus after hauling our luggage around for two days it was kind of nice to have someone else do it:) It is a very stunning reception area, it was wonderful to just stand there in the breeze and take it all in.

No complaints about the actual room, everything worked as expected and the housekeeping staff was wonderful. You do have to be smarter than the Jacuzzi tub, I finally figured it out on the last day:) I did like having a retractable clothes line right on the balcony for wet suits.
We stayed on the adult side but found on certain days the other pool area had a better more mellow vibe, depends what you are in the mood for. The entire bar staff throughout were wonderful, as for tipping I assumed it would be no different than the states. No tips = poor service, seems like common sense.

The beach was absolutely wonderful, my first time seeing the ocean and I am in love:) Also my first time snorkeling, best hobby ever (thanks Greg:). Snorkeling there was great, very close to the shore and easy to navigate. There is nothing better than relaxing on the beach with a drink and eating jerk chicken. Although we had quite a bit of rain during our stay we did not let it deter us, the ocean is wet anyway right? I thought they kept the beach well groomed; you can only do so much to control nature. Never had vendors bother us, there are guys on jet skis but they stayed outside the ropes and never approached anyone.

I am not a "foodie" so I am happy with just about anything. We booked restaurants for all nights but after one (which was wonderful) we just opted for the buffets so we did not have to feel so scheduled. I thought the buffets were very good but the jerk chicken shack on the beach was by far my favorite.

We did do two excursions, Cool Running’s and the Blue Hole. You can't book the Blue Hole as it is not an official excursion but you can find a taxi driver to take you. All I can say is best experience ever, look it up in trip advisor under Blue Hole, Ochos Rios. Wonderful!!!!

Some issues in printing boarding pass when leaving but they were quickly cleared up. Leaving Jamaica is just sad period :( The only good part is looking forward to coming back.
Would I stay at this hotel again? Undecided, I tend to not want to do the same this over and over so that may lead me not to. I would love to explore other parts of Jamaica. Was I completely disappointed in this resort? No, some ups some downs but that is going to happen everywhere.

Room Tip: Higher up has better views.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Laura D
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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