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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed April 21, 2014

A much needed vacation, a large group , but whatever the needs they were met, great food, the lines depending on the time can be long, but good service , staff friendly and accommodating can't wait for my next trip. Yes once you go you know.

Room Tip: choose, rooms with views of the sea nothing beats a Jamaican Sunset.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank MSDEENEWYORK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,261 - 3,267 of 8,756 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2014

I loved the Riu hotel in Ocho rios! I went with two of my close girlfriends the last week of March 2014, and we can't stop talking about Jamaica, weeks later!

I'll start the review with the only issue we had during our entire stay. We arrived on a Wednesday, at around 3:30 and check in was a breeze, there was no one in line and we just walked right up to the counter. I read a lot of reviews saying that check in took a very long time, and I'll admit that on a Friday or Saturday, it was much busier. For us though, no problem. At the front desk, we wrote our names down and the woman began to give us the things we would need. Right off the bat, it was full disclosure, She gave us towel cards and told us they were $20 US each to replace if lost, The safe lock was $50 US to replace, and the gold wristband she placed on us, was a whopping $200 US!! I felt a little worried about the "amount of money" i was responsible for, but I figured we could handle it. We went immediately straight to our room to check it out. We jumped right into our swimsuits and rubbed on some sunblock, when uh oh- one of our wristbands was already missing, not 15 min after check in. We looked and looked and never did find the thing. However, we never bothered to purchase another one. The front desk-as promised, requested the $200 even though it was only moments after check in. BUT, it was never an issue. No one ever questioned her for not having one. I wouldn't recommend losing it, but if you do, probably try and get away with it as long as you can!

Other than that, the whole trip was a dream! The staff was friendly and helpful, and never shy to come and chat on the beach. We booked our excursions with a company called JTL and they were friendly and not pushy at all. The bus drivers and tour guides that take you on the excursions were wonderful and full of energy. The drivers are really flexible and are willing to take you safely to any place you wanted to swing by while on your outing. We made a pit stop at Scotchies where the JTL tour guide Orville who works at the Dunn's river falls, was nice enough to take us in and show us the ropes. They'll take you into the local markets too, all you have to do is ask! The Entertainment was wonderful! The nightly shows were fun and creative! They really get the crowed involved. Some nights, the entertainment staff would walk around and play with the guests by tapping their shoulders and hiding and things like that, and they weren't shy about engaging in conversation either. They seem to really enjoy their job. I cannot say enough about the staff and people all over the island!

The food. It was Fantastic! First and foremost, when you're on vacation, everyone is on a different schedule, so I have to say, no matter what time of day it was, there was food available. I'm a coffee fiend, and I'll admit the coffee was quite good! They had such a wide variety of tropical fruits, it was so much fun to try new things! Ive had all inclusive resort buffets before in other places, and this one was really very good! As for the restaurants.. no complaints! The food was delicious! We ate at the steak house, and the gourmet restaurant, and both meals were perfection. We all ate every scrap of food! And the servers were sweet and attentive- and rather easy on the eyes as well :)

The overall appearance of the hotel itself was quite grand. It was well kept and freshly painted. I should add that our entire experience was within the deluxe adult only side of the resort. I cannot speak for the family side, as we didn't make our way over that way. However, everything was clean. I ever saw the staff cleaning ceiling in the lobby the day we left, which didn't bother me one bit because its nice to know they do clean it. Another common complaint I read about on this site was bugs (cockroaches) and a mildew smell in the rooms. I didn't find either to be true. In fact, the bugs outside were very minimal. The only bug bites I got were two on my legs from when we went zip lining at mystic mountain. The beach was kept tidy as well. People wrote reviews about finding empty cups all over. This was not the case at the beach. The workers cleaned them up promptly. I never set foot at the pool though- who needs a pool when there's and OCEAN!?

Lastly- excursions. Like I mentioned we booked them with JTL which from what i saw had the same trips available as the much more pushy company. I forgot the name but they had orange shirts on. We decided to book Dunn's river falls. To climb the falls, it was only $35 US, although you could bundle it with horseback riding and tubing if you wanted. Either way, water shoes people. They are necessary! you can rent plastic ones or buy them (from the locals!) or from the facility if you need to. But I got mine at Walmart for $5. Also a waterproof camera, or cell phone case would have been really nice! Next time I will absolutely invest! Also if you are interested in buying craft souvenirs from the locals, when you leave the falls, the only way out is through the market. Bring money if your interested. The people can be pushy because it is their main source of income, but just remember not to buy something you don't want, and I don't recommend shopping with your hands. Use your eyes only unless you want them to hound you to buy it. BUT we had fun none the less.
We also booked a trip to mystic mountain ($120 US). You take a chair lift up the mountain side, which is beautiful. Then at the top, there is a small museum about Jamaica. Also there is a little hummingbird garden, which was pretty cool. There's a gift shop, and an infinity pool with a water slide (which we didn't end up having time for unfortunately). The main attraction for us was the zip line. I've been zip lining before in the Dominican and this was very different, but still a blast. I even got to zip upside down. The crew was soo friendly and went out of their way to have fun with us!
The last excursion we went on was the shopping excursion. The cost was about $8 US, but I honestly wouldn't waste the money. The gift shops all had the same cheap stuff which was mostly made in India or Indonesia. In my opinion, I wanted things the locals made, not something that LOOKS like the locals made it. Have the drivers take you to the local markets instead.
One of the best things about the Riu, is it's location. It was a 5-10 minute drive from Dunn's river falls, mystic mountain, dolphin cove, the crappy shopping center ;), and Scotchies. Location location location!

We cannot wait to return!! I hope my incredibly honest review helps others to see the truth about the resort! I couldn't imagine choosing a different resort!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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15  Thank Caitlin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

Had a family weekend with the kids and they enjoyed the amenities....beautiful beach, huge pool with great activities, nice big king size beds for nite time movies and storytelling! The entertainment team did a good job and we enjoyed dinner at the Steakhouse & the Japanese restaurants. Thanks to our sales agent Jason for the superb service and all the assistance.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Nicola D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Stayed there 2 weeks March 30 to April 13, 2014.

Is the Riu a 5 star ?
• Nope, but it is a good 4.
Will you have problems/issues there ?
• Yes, but a quick walk to the front desk with a smile will resolve every problem/issue. Your attitude is key. We found them very willing to help BTW – patience goes a long way.
Is the Riu perfect ?
• No, but it is a beautiful and fun resort with an amazing entertainment team that walks around every morning making friends, say hi to Sheldon for us he was great.
Is the food good ?
A while ago some person said the food tasted like bad school cafeteria food, well if this is the case sign me, my children and my grand children up because we just hit the jack pot.... the food is excellent lots to choose from. Japanese excellent, Steak house good, gourmets very good, buffet the best we have eaten at of any of the AI we have been too.

All in all the RIU delivers on a relaxing and fun vacation, grounds are beautiful , beach very nice the hotels beach is not long but you can keep walking past the hotel and nobody will bug you and you can have an excellent walk. Rooms are very clean and the air conditioner worked like a charm, we did not have that musty smell some are talking about but do remember this is a hot, humid country by the Ocean (what do you expect, really). No problems with our valuables, we used the safe and a couple times forgot to put camera’s and tablets away but no problem they were there when we got back. We would recommend the adult section well worth the money.
Annoyances – these are not quite deal breakers as we would still recommend this place but minor annoyances just the same. No quite bar at night, they have three bars but all within the entertainment area. They do have a sports bar but it is downstairs in a basement like setting and after all we are in the Caribbean and we want to hear the Ocean and feel the breeze. No premium booze just this local stuff that could be harsh and no Blue Mountain coffee, but the coffee was still good. The wine was fine much better than some other AI’s we have been to.
The staff works very hard to help make your vacation successful, kudo’s to Sandra & Denache (messages on the beach) Roxanne in the buffet and of course as mentioned Sheldon the entertainment dude who was always will to show us another card trick. For trips into town ask for Harry Hunter he was the best.
If you go to the local straw market go to stall #34 and Doreen will be happy to serve you without be pushy
Take the time go with an open mind and you will have a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: would recommend the adult section well worth the money
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Dan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

My family and I spent Spring Break at the Riu Ocho Rios, from April 3-10, 2014. Our check-in process was very easy. We had two rooms, and were able to be put next to each other. The staff are very accommodating when we asked for extras. The wait staff was really good about making unsweetened iced tea for us when requested. My younger son celebrated a birthday while we were there, and the front desk sent a cake to the room. That was real treat for him. The room could use some updating compared to other Riu's I've stayed before.

The entertainment staff was a family favorite. My kids ages 7, 14, and 17 all enjoyed the beach, pool, and nightly entertainment. The Africa show in the evening was by far the best. Lisa and Boom Boom are really good with the children in the kids club. Kaston did a good job emceeing the activities. They definitely had their hands full, as a large high school Spring break group arrived. It was entertaining watching them until someone threw up in the pool!

The food was pretty good. We could always find something to eat. The breakfast buffet is pretty repetitive, but it's breakfast, what more are going to serve? The best meals were Mammee Bay and Sir John restaurants for dinner. The Jerk Hut on the beach for lunch was a favorite for myself and husband. Even though tips are included, a little extra here and there is appreciated by all the staff. I usually leave a couple dollars for the housekeeper each day. We would leave a couple dollars for the wait staff, especially when we asked them to make us some iced tea. The bartenders also work very hard, and appreciated a little extra tip from time to time.

We booked a private tour with Christoper Linton (www.chrisjamaicatours.com). He picked us up at the hotel. We drove to the Bob Marley house/mausoleum. It was an 1 1/2 hour drive up the mountain. It was a beautiful drive, but a little nerve racking at the same time. After the tour, we ate lunch at Scotchies. Lunch was delicious. Next we went to the Blue Hole. It's highly recommended. It can only be booked with local tour guides. The river and waterfalls are beautiful. We jumped from rocks, waterfalls, and climbed through caves. It was my oldest son's favorite thing we did. Chris was wonderful and took really good care of us throughout the day.

We also visited Mystic Mountain. I would recommend this excursion also. We rode the Sky Explorer (chair lifts) up the mountain. Rode the Bobsleds, which was a lot of fun. The kids went swimming in the pool overlooking Ocho Rios. Beautiful scenery. Lastly, we zip lined down the mountain. It was terrifying, but fun at the same time. The guides are wonderful, and take really good of you throughout the course.

Now, I will mention, I'm a travel agent. I've stayed at some of the finest resorts, and some not so great. My only criticism would be the room, like I mentioned before. I recently stayed at the Riu Jalisco in Puerta Vallarta. It went through a complete renovation, and the bedding and décor was beautiful. The rest of the resort is beautiful. The "Club" Riu's are basic level Riu. The rooms don't have coffee makers, alarm clocks, or room service. A little research, and you would know that before you went. My family had a great time, and we were able to find a lot to do while at the resort, or going off site too. I would have no problem recommending Riu Ocho to my clients. My last recommendation would be to get out of the resort and interact with the people in Jamaica. They are absolutely wonderful and extremely hardworking.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank ctbjennifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

Went here for a seminar......check in took forever, and ever and ever and ever..........though my room had a mini bar this was empty....but was quickly remidied by the manager.....the ground is breath taking.....well kept.....the food was ok I guess...the lines were looooooooooong.....the ganitorial staff very good and helpful....pastry though needs improvement......entertainment very good....lack seating....room was ok....a dark but ok......over all not bad!

  • Stayed: October 2013
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1  Thank shaunette88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

My wife and I just got back from our week long honeymoon at the Riu in Ocho Rios, April 7th - 14th. My wife wanted the location to be a surprise to her and I was very worried about our stay going into the trip.

Once we got there all I can say is that she was more than impressed by the look and feel of the hotel, and the cleanliness too (and that is saying a lot because she cleans our house twice a week). There is always someone going around and cleaning something, I mean I have never seen a staff cleaning chairs, wall trim, pictures on the wall, etc like this place. I have been to about 10 resorts like this one and this one is by far the cleanest.

We both thought the food was great, and the service at the restaurants is great too. The main buffet is the way to go on pretty much all the meals of the day. For the premium reservation restaurants, the steakhouse and Asian were great, the Gourmet is ok, and don't waste your time with the Japanese. No matter where you went the service was great, except for the Japanese restaurant, and the food was not good either, hence my advice to avoid it.

The upgrade to the Deluxe Wing is greatly encouraged, the pool is very relaxed and quiet and there is never a problem finding chairs near the pool at any time of the day. And if you want a little more noise and fun, the pool bar has fun bartenders and in the afternoon people are drunk and it gets a little more loud and fun. We did both the relaxing part and the fun/drunk part all on the deluxe side. The nicest part we felt about the deluxe side is that kids are not allowed, so there are no little kids running around yelling and splashing in the pool, which is very nice for a honeymoon or couples without kids.

Drinks are about anything that you can imagine and the bar staff are quick on the job, especially if you give them a dollar tip once in awhile. The drinks are not watered down and may even be a little too strong. The beer is always cold if you are a beer drinker, red stripe and red stripe light are available at all of the bars.

The only negative I have is that if you reserve an "Oceanfront" room, be very specific and sure of exactly where the room is before booking. I was told one thing on the phone when I booked and the room we got when we got there was what I would call oceanview, and not oceanfront. I was pretty upset about it at first, but the manager at the front desk got our room changed it 2 days to what I was looking for, so all in all it turned out fine. I would strongly recommend the oceanfront room on the very end of the building, it is directly facing the ocean so when you are on your patio all you see is beach and ocean, awesome for a honeymoon.

I would give this hotel a 4.9 out of 5 overall and would strongly recommend it to a friend.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Spencer W
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 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $221 - $438 (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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