My husband and I , along with friends from the Edmonton area met at the Riu Ocho Rios for a annual winter escape from the cold Canadian winter. We stayed there from February 11-25th , and as far as we were concerned, it was a totally wonderful vacation. We arrived in the evening , so the 2hr drive was in the dark , had two stops along the way , the drive is part of the adventure. Peter our driver was very informative re Jamaica and Jamaican history, and we were lucky to have him on the return to the airport , but in the light this time. Getting into Jamaica through Sangster Airport was quick , but our return to Toronto was long, drawn out and very confusing. Have sent a letter to Sunquest Vacations/Skyservice through our travel agent to help deal with this problem. The Jamaican flight service deal with departures, and appeared overwhelmed with five Canadian departures in about a three hour time span! We were greeted with Rum Punch in the lobby , our friends had arrived about 30 minutes before us, so they were there too. Both check in with key cards, towel cards and safe lock and key went quickly, as well as the check out. We had jr suites side by side as requested, suites 1331 & 1332, they are on the 4th floor and are dead center of the suite building overlooking the infinety pool and swim up bar, their balconies were larger than most. The beach was beautiful and the seaweed was cleaned off daily. You will see topless women on the beach , no problem mon , be happy ! The pool on the suite side was lovely too, didn't use the other pool. We prefered to swim in to ocean and the snorkelling was amazing just in front of the hotel, never even used fins. We did go on a snorkelling adventure with Scuba Carib, it was just the 4 of us, the captain Michael and the guide Danish. It was $15 USD each, in a glass bottomed boat , it was over an hour. Scuba Carib is near the Jerk Chicken shack, on the beach near the Plantaion Restaurant. The Jerk chicken, pork and suasages were very tasty, but the hot sauce was too much for me, although I really enjoyed the mild one. The buffet was amazing, imagine Lobster Tails, King Crab Legs, shrimp every day as well , on a buffet. The selection for all meals was varied, try the Jamaican patties, callilo, rice & beans , conch soup, etc too !
There was certainly enough variety to find something you would like, even for picky eaters. We stayed for two weeks as I said earlier and none of us had any problems, if you're not sure, take a little of something to try first. The reservations for the a'll carte could be made by phone, 09-12, and 13-17 hrs, for a few days at a time, wait till mid morning or mid afternoon , and the lines weren't busy. We didn't eat at the Tushima and Sir Richards, those didn't appeal to everyone, but we ate at the others. We went for the 1900 hr sitting and never felt rushed, as there were tables set for the 2100 hr sitting. The entertainment as well as the ice breakers were very good. We saw the Michael Jackson show for our 4th time, the previous three times had been other years in Mexico at another Riu resort, and still enjoyed it . We saw on cockroach on the beach, their natural habitat, some beetles, very large grasshoppers and ants. The hallways are open so don't be surprised to see them and the resort does spray. The rooms were cleaned daily, had some towel animals , but not everyday , although had fresh flowers instead. We didn't use the room bar , although had an occassional soda from our bar frig , it was stocked with beer, soda and tonic water, diet and reg pepsi and orange pop. Try the Ting in the machines, its grapefruit based and very refreshing. The hotel sent us a bottle of Champagne, two flutes, a small bottle of Rum, and a gift for our anniversary on the 14th. They will do something special like this for birthdays as well, had Champagne and a fruit tray in Mexico . The staff were friendly , professional and tried to please everyone . We did leave tips everyday for the maid, the servers at breakfast and dinner , as well as the bar we frequented . Take a cab from the resort and go to Dunn's River Falls, it was an awsome climb, from the ocean , up 1000 feet. Just beware of vendors at Dunn's , they are very pushy , shop in Ocho Rios , you can really bargain. Take USD and you will get USD back for change , never had a problem with leaving money, jewellery, cameras etc in our room safe. All in all we had a wonderful time , spending it with very close friends and a little piece of paradise. This was our fourth trip to a Riu Resort in four years and it was definetley up to our expectations!
- 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