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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed March 20, 2014

We started out with a private tranfer from the airport which anyone can do, just ask your travel agent. The ride was 11/2 hrs, but it was pretty view and the driver was very friendly and gave us drinks. We greeted with a welcom blue drink and got our rooms fairly quickly.(there were eight of us) We previously upgraded to the deluxe side which is worth it. One of the rooms we needed two beds and had to wait until the next day. Which they did get us the correct room the next day and was great because it was near the elevator on the third floor. The room was always clean and had towel animals everyday. We did not notice the musty smell while we were there, but I am having a problem getting the smell out of my clothes. I emailed the hotel but they didn't have an answer why this happens.
The food was great, except for the desserts, which look pretty but are tasteless. The have carved turkey, or pork nearly everyday and they even had mashed potatoes and gravy! The breakfast were made to order if you want. We went to the steak house which was good, the red snapper was great. The asian was nice for a change and the gourmet was good too. The only problem with the buffet is that there are no time seatings so it is a crazy to run and get in line for the food. Get there right at 6:30 and no problem. They also have a italtain rest. that is open for lunch and dinner anytime. They had meat sauce pasta that was good and pizza's. We really enjoyed being able to eat outside all the time on the patio since the weather was perfect while we were there.
This is the first resort I have gone to that the pools were warm enough to swim in. I went in both pools and they both have swim up bars. It was fairly easy to get chairs most of the time and under palm trees if you want. The beach was good, not as long as some, but you still could get a little walk in. The ocean was so clear and warm that my friend that rarely goes in the water was in all the time. There is a reef which friends did some snokelling, Also they have paddle boats,sailboasts and kayaks which my freinds all used.
They had a beach party on Monday night which was done well. Included dance contests, relay contests and a show with fire eaters so on. Every night there is a band playing outside right after dinner and then the right across from it is the stage with the usual contests and some sort of dance show. They get tiresome after a few days. But it is great that it is all outside!
The weather was so perfect the week we were there. I even had to buy another sundress because I thought it might be a little cool in the evenings, but was never cool.
They have a few stores around which are good enough to get the usual take home stuff.
Don't go on the organized shopping tour for $10. They take you to this straw market and insist on walking with you to shop and do not leave you alone for a second. We had to hide in the casino until the bus came back. Do take a taxi and go the the good shopping center.
We did zip lining, but would not do it again. It required allot of climbing down the moutains and I could not walk the rest of the week my legs hurt so bad. Do go to the Blue Hole, just ask any taxi driver and they will take you. Short ride there and this group of young men will show you around for tips only. It is beautiful, skip the Dunn's River. You can climb underneath the falls and jump in and swing from a rope.
There is a sports bar downstairs. They have great popcorn all the time! The computer are in there if you need to send emails, a pool table and a mini casino.
Everyone was very friendly and always saying hello. Every thing was always being cleaned, saw no bugs at all. The hotel is a little bit dated, but it makes it more homey. Better the new ones that are modern and cold feeling to them!

Room Tip: We had the third floor deluxe section near the elevator 1516 and very convient to everything.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank dancingdeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,465 - 3,471 of 8,921 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2014

We stayed at the Riu March 8-15 for our wedding. We had 16 people total staying at the resort.
The ride to the hotel was probably around 2 hours, we stopped twice to get drinks. Check-in at the hotel was fabulous!! The drinks were a nice touch, and they upgraded our group to the Deluxe side at no charge so that our whole wedding group could be near each other. Our room had 2 full size beds pushed together as a king(we ended up just sleeping on one but it wasn't a big deal). Our fridge didn't work for a few days but they came to fix it right away when we asked. We used the safe in the room and had no problems with theft. We did not see one bug in our room the entire week. Our room did not smell musty at all but some of the other people in the group complained of it. It is very humid here and it takes a wet swimsuit days to dry- of course it will smell musty occasionally. Our toilet ran sometimes but nothing a jiggle of the handle wouldn't fix. The beds are on the firmer side but I actually like that. Overall the room was great. The free Wi-Fi worked awesome and we were so glad to have it in our room. Mine also worked at the pool most of the time.
We did 2 excursions while in Ocho. We took the Scuba Caribe (people in khaki shorts walking around the resort) for $40 to Dunns RIver Falls. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! It was so much fun and so cheap. They did say they were giving us a wedding rate but it's hard to tell when you are getting a deal or not. The other excursion was Dolphin Cove to swim with dolphins and we booked that at the resort through our Delta rep. Well worth the money!!
Our wedding on the beach was beautiful. Keisha was our wedding coordinator and she was fabulous. I had some of our photography done by Michael Sondern at the resort and he was awesome too!! Our wedding was at 5pm and many of the people had cleared off the beach by then. I would NOT get married before 3pm, it is way too hot and crowded. It was very windy on a few afternoons, including our wedding day but it was " no problem mon".
We ate at 4 of the specialty restaurants after not being too impressed with the buffet on our first night there. The Japanese restaurant was good--- they were out of chicken the night we were there though, which was a little weird. The steakhouse was just okay- some of our steaks were not cooked to order but I ordered the mixed grill and the sausage and chicken were both great. The gourmet restaurant was my favorite. The Chinese restaurant is a buffet and it is very hot in there but we all seemed to like the food. We ate at the Italian restaurant for random meals throughout the week and the pizza is actually pretty good. The main buffet was much better on our last night of the trip than on the first night. The jerk chicken is definitely the food highlight of this resort---stay away from the jerk sauce unless you like REALLY spicy. The barbecue sauce was delicious.
The pool and beach are what make this resort amazing. The swim up bars were a blast. The drinks were all great--- I liked the Bob Marleys, Miami vice, Sledgehammers, etc the best. I usually tipped a dollar or 2 every other round. The beach is very calm and the water is warm. Many people took the little sailboats out and snorkeled right off the beach. We never had any problems finding chairs on the deluxe side. Many of us got massages at the beach hut on the deluxe side and it was so nice. My massage therapist(last name Johnson?) was really sweet.
We were also there during the tragedy on the beach but I did not witness it personally. I hope that this incident prompts the resort to be better trained for emergencies and they definitely need an AED!! So sad for all involved.
The steel drum band was by far the best entertainment. The rest of the shows all seemed the same--dancing just in different costumes. The dancers are very talented and do a great job but some of it was too repetitive and got to be a long show. Not a big deal--have some drinks and relax with friends. The area is VERY smoky which I am not used to. The hotel has all of its bars right next to each other-- the nightlife could probably be better but we tend to " day drink" so it was no problem for us. People who want nightlife make it themselves--- some of the people in our group played " flip cup" and had a blast.
The ride back to the airport didn't take as long--- we got there 3 hours early and still barely made it on our flight. We thought we would have a lot of downtime but getting through security took forever so I would highly recommend giving yourself extra time!!
The resort was kept very clean and the workers were awesome. I was nervous to come here after reading some of the awful reviews. I have no clue how you can stay there and have a bad time.. must be really uptight.. no one likes a fun hater!!!!!

Room Tip: room 1211 a little noisy when entertainment is still going on ... view was alright. a/c was great an...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank Danielle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

We just returned from this resort yesterday and I wish I was still there! I'd like to address the questions we had from reading reviews before we left: First, you DO NOT need to upgrade to the deluxe wing to enjoy this resort. The regular pool is beautiful, the regular each is large and gorgeous. There were always chairs available. Second, the rooms are kept immaculately clean and the ocean/pool views are breath-taking. We had no problem with insects or smells. The staff will do just about anything to accommodate you. They are friendly and a lot of fun. In my opinion the only issue at the Riu that needs to be addressed is the restaurant reservation situation. Be SURE to make your reservations for the whole week the first day of your vacation. If you wait you will be out of luck and forced to eat at the buffet every night. Most of the plentiful food at the buffet is okay but not great. Food at the restaurants is much better. I would have preferred the option of restaurant dining every evening. They need to work on this problem. In general, if you don't have a BLAST at this resort you have no one to blame but yourself!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Sparky3713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

I traveled with five other ladies (Girls Trip) from March 9 -16th. The weather was awesome all week (I think it rained one morning - but had cleared by the end of breakfast). Arriving at the airport was a bit busy as there were so many shuttles and drivers running around - it would have been easy to get lost among the crowds. But, there were representatives there to help direct you to your driver pretty quickly (too quick to finish the first rum punch which costs me $10USD - hint: don't buy drinks at the airport). The 90 minute bus ride was over quick as we were taking in all the scenery.

We arrived at the hotel and received the best service at check-in. Leighton (William) was very friendly and happy. Happy is the best way to describe all the staff at the hotel - everyone was always very happy. And, they remembered your names, and always asked how we were doing and if we needed anything. They remembered our names - it seems so small but wow what a difference. Horrace had our luggage on the rack and ready to go - the whole check-in process seemed to take only about 10 minutes - we were up to our rooms within 30 minutes. We even requested to change rooms with 'no-problem, maa'n'. (some rooms have railing balcony and others have stucco - we wanted one with railing so we could relax in the morning and enjoy the view).

The rooms were very clean (we checked the mattress then the corners of the floors behind the bed). There was only one dresser in our King room - it would have been nice for another cabinet or dresser. There was a full size closet with plenty of hangers (but no luggage rack). But who cares really - we were in Jamaica and didn't intend to spend too much time in the room anyway. The only complaint I could say about the room was limited electrical outlets (I think we had three total around the room (one socket each) so this was a challenge with all the technology these days you need at least 4 or 5. Next time I'll bring a small electrical strip (whatever they are called).

The resort was beautifully decorated with plenty of casual seating throughout - and always kept clean. They had an adult side and a family side with equal amenities on each (pool, swim up bar, and restaurants). The family side had a bit more activities going on so you could choose what kind of day you wanted to have (relax or play games). We spent all our time on the adult side.

The food was amazing in the main restaurants (buffet offered all day) - anything you could think of. We never went hungry and not a craving unsatisfied. The formal restaurants were by reservation early (I suggest making these when you check into the hotel as they fill up fast). Oh - and there is a DRESS CODE - no tanks or shorts. There were three different gift shops (maybe more) throughout the resort, one was even right off the beach (shoes were required - they are very strict about this).

I noticed that not many folks were tipping and rightfully so as the reservations say 'gratuity included'. While the staff were happy to serve anyone with a request - those who tip seemed to get better service in my opinion. We tipped $1 for each drink. Did I say they remembered our names AND our glasses were never empty - ever.

We've taken girls trips to Hawaii and Cancun multiple times and we all agreed this was by far the best vacation ever. Which is strange, because all the other resorts we stayed offered the same service and amenities - so what was so different about this place? The attitudes. Attitude is everything.

We were very sad to leave and can't wait to go back!!

Room Tip: Must get a balcony with a railing (not stucco)
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Cynthia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

After reading all the negative reviews my Husband and I had no expectations whatsoever of this hotel. How wrong we were. I really can't understand the poor reviews. Yes, there are a few things that need improvement but nothing to ruin the holiday. We had a brilliant time.
My main complaint is the rowdiness and rudeness of other guests. Quite a few of the other guests seem incapable of just talking to each other and just shout at each other which is really annoying and totally unnecessary.
I don't know how anyone can moan about the food as it was absolutely amazing. We didn't try any of the restaurants as we were so impressed with the buffet, I don't know how anyone can compare it to a school canteen. We particularly enjoyed the Jamaican food but it was all good. If the food was so bad why do so many guests pile as much food as possible on to their plates? As for comments about rude staff we didn't find any. Most of the staff had big happy smiles on their faces and we met some really amazing people who worked there. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I saw quite a few examples of staff being treated poorly by guests who seem to think that just because they tip, they then have the right to click their fingers when they want some service. I don't know how the staff put up with this sort of behaviour and I know for sure that I wouldn't have the patience to deal with what they have to put up with.
There was a slight musty smell when we first arrived in our room on the family side of the hotel but this disappeared after letting the air in for an hour or so. The rooms aren't 5 star but are perfectly fine, you don't go on holiday to stay in your room. We were really impressed with the size of our balcony, it was great to be able to stretch out.
My only gripes would be the pool and the beach. The pool was huge but didn't think it looked particular clean but with the number of guests including children and the fact that there is a swim up bar it is hardly surprising.
As for the beach, the water was amazing but the sand itself was littered with lots of cigarette butts. If the smokers just got an ash tray or just used a plastic cup for their litter this would be prevented and would make the beach a lot nicer. There was also a lot of china plates and cups left on the beach by guests.
There have been a lot of comments about cockroaches but we didn't see a single one in the 11 days that we were there. I suspect the only people that had cockroaches were the ones who ignored the advice of the hotel and took food to their room and then left their dirty plates on the floor outside. It serves them right.
Personally I think if some of the guests used their common sense and had a bit of respect for the beautiful surroundings they are in then the hotel would benefit greatly. We were expecting a 1 star holiday but it was a solid 4 star holiday and we will definitely be back although we will upgrade to deluxe so we can escape the noise of the pool entertainment!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank katie t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

We had an awesome time staying at the Riu in Ocho rios. The resort was huge and amazing, there was always some kind of entertainment going on. The Beach was my favourite place to relax. The water is warm and calm, and the most beautiful color. The pools were lots of fun also. The food was awesome, so much variety. The staff were all truly amazing. My husband and I went without our kids but we defiantly want to go there again with the kids next time. I can't wait to get back there :)

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Kaja780
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

This was absolutely the worst vacation I have ever taken. I am still in tears over my experience. We had the most unpleasant experience that does not own up to what we expected with our 5 square apple deal. Some of the things my travel companion and I experienced the first day:

First, it took us 3+ hours to get to our resort. The return trip to the airport took less than an hour. Why did this happen? Why did we need to make stops for beer? When we got to our room it smelled of mildew, had a dirty ice bin, there were no liners in the trash cans, and the lights in the shower did not work. All in all is absolutely not a 4 star hotel. The resort is aged and still has actual keys and the lock box even requires a key/lock which we have to insert into the box. Very unsafe, reported thefts, see other reviews. The bathroom has none of the essentials of lotion, or shampoo/conditioner... There is a soap dispenser in the shower, which is supposed to be for what? Neither of us brought shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc (the staples that every hotel provides), so this was a terrible inconvenience.

Because of our late arrival we were denied dinner reservations and had to eat at a buffet - which is the equivalent to a high school cafeteria.

My experience just continued to worsen as the hours passed by. On the second day we found a cockroach on our breakfast table and another on an adjacent seat. Also, the mildew in the room flared my asthma. We definitely had rude staff throughout the hotel, even after tipping generously.

We spoke to the front desk several times. First time, I left crying as they said there was nothing they could do for me. I explained that because of the dirty linens, and the roach at my breakfast table, that not only was my vacation ruined, but so was my state of mind. I could not sleep or eat at this resort because of said issues.

We were stuck in a room we couldn't sleep in, and dining at restaurants that we couldn't eat in due to the obvious roach infestation. We dealt with the front desk staff again,who were just as rude as the first people we spoke to and after an hour of explaining ourselves AGAIN, we were simply moved us to a new room. It was the exact same moldy room. Again, nothing was done to appease our discomfort. Mr. Price, public relations manager, was no help. We just got a shrug, and were told we would have to pay more for an upgrade.

The pool closes before the sun goes down, and the entertainment was like watching a high school talent show. Never will I go to a RIU resort again.
Hated every minute.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
5  Thank VictoriaTheBrute
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

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 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $253 - $393 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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