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Reviewed March 30, 2014

Spent a week over March break with our 14 and 11 year old. This was our 8th all inclusive, first in Jamaica and one of the best. Staff is very friendly, food is fantastic, buffet has a great variety, with something for everyone. Did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants as we did not feel the need due to the great selection at the buffet. Great waiter named Adonis, went out of his way every night to make our meal enjoyable.
Jerk chicken amazing!!! Ate it daily on the beach, a must try.
Rooms are standard, great ocean view from level 3,4&5. Some rooms are far from the lobby, but a little walking doesn't hurt.

Visited the blue hole in Ochos rios. An amazing experience, with experienced locals who guided us through our swim and climb. Booked our day trip from home prior to leaving with a local named Chris Linton(you can find his website by googling his name), not a scam, reliable, delivers what he promises, and spent a great day with his friend and associate named Kelly.
Awesome vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Ivo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

I have just returned from a two week holiday at the ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios with three other people. We are aged between 24-45 and travelled with Thomson.

Jamaica is a beautiful country with some fantastic activities and places to visit. We visited Dunn's, Blue Hole and Mystic Mountain and loved them all, they really made our holiday! Our rep Pauline was a delight and very helpful.

We found the vast majority of staff at the hotel very friendly and helpful. The hotel is very large and split into two sides. We stayed at the deluxe side. The hotel room we had in block one was clean and well presented, it did have a musty smell and high concrete balcony so we did move. The second room was much better and we had no further issues. I would also say that only a few rooms have a proper sea view, most have a partial sea view which is fine but be aware.

The food/drink was generally very good but did get repetitive after two weeks. The deluxe side only had ONE additional Japanese restaurant which was okay. They claim that the Sir Richard restaurant is exclusive to the deluxe side but the other side has the same restaurant called Sir John which served the same menu! Other than this we had to walk 5 minutes every day to the other side of the hotel for coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner. For the extra price we paid to be in the deluxe area we did expect to have our own food areas or snacks at least and not have to stroll to the other side constantly. The jerk chicken was a highlight for us all - must try!

The entertainment was very good but also got repetitive, they never seemed to mix it up and the routines/acts got very predictable. Considering the size of the hotel, the seating in the evenings was very limited. Most nights we had to go around other tables on a chair hunt and on a couple of instances had to fetch a plastic table from the beach for our drinks. To avoid this you have to be ready very early.

The beach and pool areas were very nice, the beach especially was beautiful! I would have expected pool service at the deluxe side as it is hard to relax when you have to constantly fetch drinks from a busy bar. The pool drink selection is great! There were a few rowdy Canadian people that made the area very loud particularly at the swim up bar. We expected the adults only pool to be more peaceful and relaxing but due to this it was not.

The comment I read below stated that wheelchair excess is limited...this is simply not true, there are ramps everywhere, we also felt very safe at all times.

Due to the fantastic people, activities and beach it was an amazing holiday but the hotel is definitely not luxurious or 5*!

Room Tip: Third floor is best, there are many concrete balconies on the fourth that are high and obstruct the view!
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Luke G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

Writing this review by the pool, hotel is lovely, food is excellent, with good choice, and plentiful. Staff are so friendly and welcoming, rooms are good, with a nice feel, and are well equipped. It has seven bars, with three being pool and beach bars, there are four others, with three being in close proximity to the nightly entertainment, and one being a sports bar, so if like us, you're not really into the type of entertainment they provide, or into sports, there is no other option. It's the same with daytime activities around the pool/beach area, if you just want to chill out, there is no way to get away from it as is so loud and overbearing. There is a adult only quiet pool, but you have upgrade for this, and no mention of this on hotel details. Don't get me wrong, these points are not really criticisisums, just observations. Overall great holiday, at a very good price.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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7  Thank track-nut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary and decided on the RIU after rave reviews from friends. Well, the employees (bartenders, front desk, restaurant) were all very sweet and friendly. We didn't have a room on the deluxe side, so it was a trek to get from the lobby to our room on the fifth floor. The room was less than I expected. It was musty without the A/C, and there was mold on the curtains. The towels were in need of some serious fabric softener. No shampoo, conditioner or lotion :(. There was bar soap and a container of "gel." The view from my room was wonderful, although we were on the 5th floor, so we had to stand to see the beach as the balcony was concrete.

The bars were nice, wonderful band. Entertainment troupe was pretty entertaining. We met so many drunk people- shout out to the dude from Canada who's wife kicked him out! Ha! I wish Jet Blue Vacations made it clear that there was a deluxe side, and that more amenites would be afforded, such as 24 hour wifi, exclusive restaurant and pool. The food was just ok. I expected more spice and flavor- this is Jamaica after all. Beware of the "shopping" trip in Ocho Rios......the all inclusive bracelet is like a dollar sign, so when you buy souviniers, you'll likely be ripped off.
We enjoyed Dunns River falls and had a great tour guide. Dolphins were nice too. Enjoyed Bob Marley museum as well. All these outings are extra. Overall, I would say that I felt the accomodations were overpriced, but I did have a wonderful time. I would visit Jamaica again, but will probably shy away from another "all inclusive."

Room Tip: Ask for a room
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank reynellie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2014

All in all, I have to say I had a good time in Ocho Rios! The drinks were good and the water was nice. The rooms fell short of cozy but who stays in their room while in Jamaica anyway?! An hour in and we were all saying, "No worries, Mon!" and it rang true. We had a nice group which contributed to the experience, but I think I would go again with just me and a special someone.

Room Tip: Be careful. "Ocean View" does not preclude looking through trees!!
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank General_000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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