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“Beautiful Resort, BUT.....................!”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Beautiful Resort, BUT.....................!”
Reviewed October 4, 2006

My wife and I stayed at the RIU Ocho Rios resort for 7 nights all-inclusive between Sep 23-30. After reading the reviews, we were excited that we chose a world class resort…or so we thought. First, I want to say that the resort itself is beautiful, with great nightly entertainment, friendly staff (except for the front desk staff) and clean & spacious beaches & pools. The jerk hut was by far the best food on the resort and all the buffet restaurants had decent, but not great food. In my opinion, Mandalay (Asian) and Mammee Bay (Steakhouse) were the best of the 4 restaurants followed by Sir Richards and the Japanese Place. The only complaint with respect to food was that after midnight, the only food available was cold sandwiches and hot dogs available at the Sports Bar. There is no room service or 24-hour restaurant that’s open which is quite unacceptable in Jamaica where having the munchies is at a premium!!

Now for the serious part, I do must warn all of you that security at this hotel is inadequate & insufficient and guest safety can be compromised. An incident occurred on the property that violated our privacy and threatened our health & safety. Without running the risk of having my review sensored, all I can say is hide your room and safe keys at all times, especially when you are in your room. Do not leave the keys out in plain sight and be weary of leaving your balcony door open at night when you’re asleep, especially if you are on one of the lower floors of the resort. This is especially true if you only reserved a basic hotel room in what I call the Peasantville building. The front desk staff is also not experienced or trained sufficiently enough to handle serious matters. They lack professionalism, respect, accountability and customer service skills expected from a 5-star resort. If you need to speak with someone about an urgent matter, the Assistant GM Susanna Valli is the only person that we dealt with that genuinely cares about guests concerns. The GM Frank Sonden did not even meet with us personally to apologize regarding our ordeal which was not acceptable.

Also, I read in an earlier review that suggested that guests not use the taxis in front of the hotel because they are overpriced and instead walk 5 munites to the main road and get one. Just be weary about who you flag down along the road in front of the hotel as a couple we met at the resort had a serious incident with one. Plus you can negotiate with those taxis in front of the hotel anyways. Tip: Get 2 taxi drivers and start a bidding war.

One other tip: Pay the extra money to get an oceanview or junior suite room or else you will be walking for 5 minutes just to get to the central area of the resort where the beach\ pool\ bars\ restaurants\ entertainment is or just book the Sandals resort next door where you know the service is exceptional and you can get a medium rare steak delivered to your room at 1am in the morning if you so please.

  • Liked — The Jerk Hut, Pacha Disco, Pools
  • Disliked — The front desk service & security
  • Tips/Secrets — Be overly careful with your valuables
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
27 Thank LionRock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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YORKSHIRE ENGLAND
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2006

We have just returned from a weeks holiday at the riu ocho rios and I felt I had to write a review, the hotel is fantastic catering for all ages and tastes. Situated on its own private stretch of sandy beach with palm trrees and plenty of sun loungers it really did seem like paradise.

The rooms are spacious and clean, with daily maid service providing clean linin, towells and toiletries. There is a well stocked fridge and also optics for those wanting a stronger option..

The hotel is "all inclusive" and that really does mean all inclusive with all brands of drinks and cocktails available, there is a complete variety of food available with a choice of 7 restaurants catering for all tastes, these inc chinese, japanese, steak restaurant and Italian not to mention the fantastic variety available in the main help yourself buffet. The service provided was always second to none as the staff are very professional but also very friendly.

Entertainment was from dawn to dusk, put on by a team of enthusiastic and very energetic jamaicans. Day time saw beach parties and poolside entertainment and the shows they put on at night were fantastic and some of their dance routines were spectacular.

We were a little unsure at first about going off the complex having been told that Jamaica has a high crime rate but after speaking with others in the hotel we soon found that it was as safe (if not safer) than at home and that the the only way to see real Jamaica was to get out and about with the locals. The hotel has its own taxi service traveling into the nearby town of Ocho at a cost of $30 but we found that if you went out onto the main road we could flag down a local taxi for just $1 and they would take us where ever we wanted.

We used a local taxi to go to the Dunns river falls- a must see and do, The falls are spectacular and not as difficult to climb as we thought, we joined a group and had the help of a guide who took charge of all of our cameras and took some wonderful pictures as we made our way to the top, there was also the opportunity to purchase a dvd of our climb which was well worth the $25. The guides work for free but appreciate a small tip at the end, we gave him $10 which seemed the going rate.

Another must in our opinion was a ride on horseback up into the mountains and then along the sea front with "Mr Johny". He can be found opposite the entrance to the complex. He is a local extremely friendly and helpful Jamaican who took us on the horses to show us where he lived and the real Jamaica then we took the horses into the sea to cool off, a truly wonderful experience all for $35, It was fantastic, considering I hadnt been on a horse for 20 yrs I felt completly safe.

All in all this holiday was superb, The hotel, the staff and the location will take a lot of beating, I cant wait to return.

Tina Godsell from Yorkshire.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
19 Thank 01Tina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2006

This place is amazing. My husband and I went to Riu for our honeymoon and had a wonderful and relaxing time. The best vacation we ever had. We plan to go back in two years. The 2 hour bus ride from the airport to the resort is long but you get to see the "real" Jamaica, something everyone should see and don't be afraid to ask the driver questions. There is food and drink everywhere, 24 hours a day, whenever you want it! And the food was amazing, at all of the restaurants. However, St. Ann's was our favorite for breakfast and dinner. The employees were so friendly, helpful and courteous, always making sure we were having a good time and if we needed anything. The pools were so big and beautiful. We truly felt we were in a tropical paradise! We can't wait to go back. Riu is the only way to go! Yea mon!!

  • Liked — We felt so welcome
  • Disliked — Absolutely nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — There is nude sun bathing, but not a lot
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank bdianep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, Scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2006

I went with my fiance and we had such a great time we didn't want to come home. The rooms were excellent and all of the staff at the hotel were so friendly and couldn't do enough to help.

The pools were amazing with swim up bars in both of them and even an infinity pool. We prefered the pool at the Suite side as its lot quieter and more relaxing. We stayed at the beach most days, the weather was perfect and the there is even a bar at the beach. The vendors on the beach did not bother us at all if you are not interested just say no and they won't harrass you, we actually bought some lovely shells from Andrew, what a charachter.

I loved the food, but when you have buffett style restaurants your bound to come across food thats a little bland or overcooked, but you can always find something you like. We went to Sir Richards Restaurant, and the Asian Restaurant We never tried the steak house as i'm a vegetarian. We had to get up about 7am for reservations but it was well worth it.. We were lucky that one person in our group liked to get up early. The buffett was fantastic. Plenty of choice for me and my fiance. The fresh fruit and fruit smoothies in the morning were delicious!!

Dunns River falls is a must, we also visited nine miles were Bob Marley grew up and is laid to rest, that was an amazing experience.

The entertainment team put on amazing shows every night, these people are so talented. The Beach Party was my favourite!

Overall we had a fab time at Jamaica, the hotel was amazing and the people were amazing would definetely go back!!

  • Liked — The staff are amazing and the hotel is beautiful
  • Disliked — I liked everything
  • Tips/Secrets — Take plenty of sunscreen its so hot!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
23 Thank Paulax22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2006

Hotel - Roi Ocho Rios Date - May 29th-June 12th/06 Love the Riu Ocho Rios. Clean as a whistle. My sister and I go to Jamaica every year and this is the first time we stayed in Ocho Rios. We usually go to Mo'Bay (for the last 15 years) but decided to try a new little slice of heaven. The staff and management of hotel were terrific. Beach fantastic and the food was great. We especially loved Paul, at the Jerk Hut on the beach . Yummy!! The big complain everyone had was the booking of reserved restaurants. Who is gong to line up at 7:30 a.m. while on vacation?? We just went to the restaurants and asked and usually got in...if not that night the next...a little tip to the maitre d' didn't hurt either. What the heck, we're on vacation! We love the reggage night(s) in the disco and the bartenders were really on the ball! All in all, as you can tell, we LOVE Jamaica! You do not hear the wonderful music played in Jamaica on very man other islands. Can't wait to go back. Toronto, Canada.

  • Liked — Cleanliness, two sinks, mini bar and refrigerator etc.
  • Disliked — Should supply more pillows/
  • Tips/Secrets — Tip the maid upon arrival!! and when leaving!!
  • Stayed May 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank iriegals
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2006

Very nice property if you like big and sprawling. I tend to like my hotels more intimate. Everything was nicely laid out and conveient to get to. The beach is great. The pool is also wonerful, but I got tired of listening to many variations of the Electric Slide. I would have perfered more traditional Raegee and a little less techno music.

I do agree with many about the food. It's not the best. The jerk Shack is great though. do try to go into town with a driver, Bippi Bipps is fantastic and a nice place on the water.

If you booked your vacation with a tour company i.e. Apple, do attend the orientation. Your rep. is there to help. Please use them, they are wonderful.

All in all, if you do decide to go to Ocho, the RIU is a nice place to stay. But if you are looking for a more intimate, more realistic slice of Jamaica, wait till Breezes Runaway Bay reopens at the end of December. l

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — pool scene
  • Tips/Secrets — go with an open mind
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank lstamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2006

The RIU Ocho Rios is a beautiful resort. It was huge, clean and gorgeous...I went to Jamaica to get married and stayed at the RIU Ocho Rios...although we did not get married at the resort, there were several other weddings that took place on the resort. I was kind of skeptical in the beginning while booking our trip because of the previous reviews I've read....however...this hotel was da bomb! It was very clean, the food was well average for an all inclusive...we did not have any problems with making reservations for any of the resturants on the resort...we ate at all 3 of the resturants....and we traveled with around 20 people...we never had aproblem making any reservations...there were plenty beach towels and chaise for everyone each time we went to the beach...the only downfall is the speediness of the housekeeping...sometimes they wouldn't get to our room until late in the evening...we would have been to the beach and back and they still haven't made it to the room yet...I know this was a huge hotel, however...I think they should try to clean the rooms in the am hours...other than slow housekeeping this resort was great and we will return next year for our anniversary!

  • Liked — The beachfront location
  • Disliked — The slow housekeeping
  • Tips/Secrets — Tips will take you far...
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank hesmine
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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