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“Excellent Resort”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Excellent Resort”
Reviewed March 19, 2007

Was at the Resort last week (Mar 11-18, 2007) and it was a wonderful experience. Arrived at the hotel around 9pm and headed right to the room to change and head back to the bar. The Jr Suite room that we booked was very nice and I would recommend the Suites if you go. The hotel was clean and very nice, the staff were friendly and very helpful, if needed (we also had the key problem that a few others experienced ( 3 times throught the week) but it was not problem and they came to the room to fix the lock. The beach was amazing and the pools were great, lots of room to swim. The food was amazing and I would recommend the Steakhouse, Tushima and St. Ann's Buffet (mostly cause that's where we ate most of the time), the buffet was excellent and there was nothing you wanted that you couldn't find. Seafood was in abundance. I would definitely stay there again and today recommended it to a friend to go next month. I can attest to the 'positive' reviews that are on this site and everything they say is 'spot on', as for the negative reviews, if you want to have a bad time, you can find it anywhere and it seems to follow some people.....
I must note that I saw several designer made handbags during my stay, guess they couldn't keep out the 'riff raff'.
Robert


  • Liked — The Food
  • Disliked — The American and European Tourists (Just Rude)
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Bumble37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Value
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milwaukee
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2007

I have to start this by saying that the Riu is an absolutly beautiful
resort. The atmosphere is great and relaxing. We had a great time on our trip and I thought I would just cover a few positives and negatives. First off I thought service was wonderful. I am a server in the states and I couldn't of asked for better. Everyone was friendly and there right away when needed for drinks. Yeah Richard!!!! My plate dissapeared moments after I was finished and everyone had a smile and a nice comment. (This was a huge difference from the Sandals we had attended the wedding at where bar staff was standing around talking and looked bothered when you ordered a drink) My only comments was that there wasn't that much night night life for our single friends. The resort is fun till around 11 but then seems to slow down. This is actually a plus for most people but we got a little bored. On the other hand I don't have kids but i have to say how impressed I was with how caring and loving the staff was who worked with the little ones. The kids seemed to really be having a blast :). Now here is my only downer. I really have to be honest in the fact that I felt the food was pretty bad. I had a really good steak in the gourmet restaurant but a really lousey one in the steakhouse. Some times there was good stuff but by day three I was really searching for something on the buffet I felt like eating. But for us food can't make or break our trip. So I've gotta say give props to this resort on everything else and would definately recommend it!

  • Liked — How beautiful the resort was
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
23 Thank angylgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2007

We just got back today, Monday 3/19. I would rate this resort a 4. We have been to Jamaica for five years now, five different resorts. The staff here was great for the most part. The gift shop staff was a bit difficult. Not too accomodating for an exchange of a shirt size. Needed two ID's to use our credit card. We had a group of ten with three Jr. Suites and they would not put us together. We requested this months in advance. I didn't understand the tipping that was going on. We paid for an all inclusive and so many people were tipping. It made us feel awkward. The resorts in the past had no tipping. The staff would loose their jobs if they accepted cash. Rooms were awesome. Pools were clean. A bit difficult to find chairs at the one pool if you weren't there early. People would save them with their towels, then you wouldn't see them again for hours. Watch the guys on the beach that are not part of the resort. You will be approached. Food was good. Call brand liquors would have made the drinks a bit better. I have been to a few resorts that had better activitiy staff. We had 6 children with us from ten to twenty-two. They stayed active but it would have been fun if they did more pool games and beach games with them. It's posted in the lobby but they should come around and announce it. Overall no problems...typical Jamaica. Those those that have never been to Jamaica aren't familiar with the long travel times, the slow pace, and the roads. They aren't in a hurry....it's not like some of the other countries.

  • Liked — Clean
  • Disliked — Resort is large...be ready to walk
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank adllenfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2007

Just got back last Friday night from the Riu -The place is beautiful! Lovely room, even better pool - the service was good everywhere but our room - Every day something was missing. One day neither bed had a comforter on it - the fridge was never re-stocked and on our final day the maid was hovering outside our room at 8am asking when we would be out of the room (check out is at noon). The service in the restaurants and bars were second to none - no problems there at all. Food was OK. Breakfast was never a problem, lunch was ok and dinner was ok - We ate at the steakhouse one night and the asian restaurant one night - no matter what time we called after the second night we could never get in to the restaurants - Even when calling in at 9:15am. Might have liked the food better at dinner if I could have ordered off a menu. The rooms do smell musty, and I have had to wash my clothes in my suitcase twice to get the smell out.

I had a great time though - The weather was beautiful - The beach was gorgeous and the pool was great fun - All very well maintained...

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank iahawk97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario,Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2007

My wife and I just returned from Ocho Rios and it was a great week.
We landed in Jamaica around 11pm and it was 82degF!
The transfer to the resort was not bad. It took us around 1.5hrs to get to the Riu and it was not as rough as some reviews I have read about the ride. When we reached there, we were offered punch and rum at the main check it area....a nice treat to start off our week.
The weather all week could have been better. Lots of overcast days but that is something we could not control.
The beach was nicely groomed each morning as the staff cleaned out the seaweed that was washed ashore from the night. There was alot of beach loungers and we had no problem finding one even though we didn't get to the beach till the afternoon. The 2 pools have swim up bars to keep us hydrated and the bartenders were very friendly. One pool is generally quieter then the other.
There was plenty of food and very tasty as well. The jerk hut on the beach was excellent and the sweet and hot sauces was great. Most of the lunches we had were on the beach as they always have some events happening like the coconut party or the manager's party. The buffet resturant was ok with everyday food we can get here at home but it was sufficient. I would definately recommend the Sir John / Sir Richard dinner resturants and the food and service was great. We didn't care for the Mamee dinner as the service was terrible and it took us 1.5hrs for our meal to show up. The chinese food at the Asiatria was tasty as well but they did not serve authentic chinese there as I was hoping for.
You need to make reservations at the a-la-carts the day of which makes it a pain and you had to call it in and that was a bigger pain as the phone is 90% busy !
The nightly entertainment was good. Most of the night they kept us laughing and happy. Lots of dancing going on and they tried to bring people out to the dance floor to teach us new tricks!
Well, writing this really bring back memories as I look out the window to see snow falling. We really miss the Riu already.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
21 Thank jywwu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2007

I have just got back from a one week stay at the Riu, having booked through a late deal website. Overall I had an excellent trip, and given that I use the Trip Advisor website every time I go away, it is only fair for me to write and tell you all about the Riu.

Our tour operator told us the Riu was four star, I think it is a very superior four star, I wouldn't say it is a five star (which is what the Riu bills itself as), it hasn't got that exclusive, slightly subdued air that you would expect at a five star hotel, I think that is partly due to the large scale of the hotel, but is noticeable in some of the small details as well (e.g. the consumables in the rooms, lack of a live pianist at dinner, drinks selection at the bar etc).

The hotel is about an hour and a half by road from Montego Bay airport (other travellers who had been there the year before tell me that the road is much improved since they last visited - the road is a bit bumpy in places, but no bumpier than many country roads in England, and it's a wide enough road, so I wouldn't say the journey was scary). The hotel is a little way out of the town, so you can feel a bit stuck, although it is pretty easy to get a taxi or bus into town, it's more of an inconvenience than anything. There is quite a bit to do at the hotel, so it shouldn't be a big issue if you are there for a week.

We got a very warm welcome at the hotel - fruit punch with optional rum was served, and our bags were taken straight to our room.

On the day we arrived the elevator/lift wasn't working at our end of the building, so we had to walk to an alternative lift. It was fixed the following day though.

The room itself I couldn't fault - the beds are comfy, quite firm, two sinks in the bathroom as well as the usual shower/bath/toilet etc., and there is a small fridge containing soft drinks, tonic water and beer (plus an optical containing four bottles of spirits - the bar and fridge is replenished every two days). On the Trip Advisor Jamaica overview, someone had commented to take an extension lead as the electrical sockets can be in odd places - I agree with them, if you have space in your luggage and have a few electrical devices you may find it useful to take an extension lead to the Riu.

The room along with the rest of the hotel is spotlessly clean; I read on one of the other reviews that another Trip Advisor member didn't get great room service. I think anything of a service nature can be hit and miss, all I can say is that on my visit the team that covered our area of the hotel did an excellent job.

The food was pretty good; there was only one evening where the selection was not great (that night most of the meat had a lot of bones in).

The breakfast selection was the best I have seen at any hotel, including among other things toast and a selection of bread and cake, fresh fruit, freshly prepared fruit juices and smoothies, cooked breakfast (including doughnuts and cinnamon flavoured French toast), cold meats and cheese and on most days smoked salmon as well, and eggs cooked in four or five different ways (including pick n mix omelette).

For lunch, you can eat at the buffet in the Mammee Bay restaurant, the Italian restaurant or the jerk bar or BBQ on the beach (the jerk chicken is very good, worth the ten minute queue).

In the evening, there is a main buffet, which has the most choice, as an alternative you can book into a number of specialist restaurants. We tried the Mammee Bay steakhouse, which was okay (the steak was char grilled and tasty, but the vegetables were quite hard), the Sir Richard gourmet, which I thought was excellent (although it takes quite a long time due to the presentation of the food etc, so don't go there if you want a quick bite to eat), the Mandalay Chinese, where the starters and desserts were good, but the main courses were so salty I struggled to eat them, and the Italian restaurant - on the night we went there, the pasta and meat choices were not great, however the next day I popped by for a snack, and had some nice lasagna, so it's worth keeping an eye out for that. The puddings/desserts are quite samey across all the restaurants, the tiramisu and ice cream are good, but most of the other options weren't anything special.

The facilities on site were also very good - two large pools with swim up bars (although the music they play can be quite loud, so you may find the beach a bit quieter), non motorised water sports are included in the all inclusive package, and the gym is small but good for a hotel gym, however it is surprisingly popular (if you want to get on a treadmill or elliptical trainer, make sure you reserve a 30 minute slot with the gym reception, as otherwise you might have to be content with a bike or rower - some mornings before breakfast it was so busy you couldn't even get on one of those). There is also internet access in the boutique shop, although it is quite pricey at $9 for half hour.

The only other advice I can give is that some of the male members of staff can be in my opinion a bit overly familiar. If you are a single female, do not confess to not having a partner; instead tell enquirers that your boyfriend/husband is at home. Otherwise you will not be left alone, and although I am sure it is supposed to be flattering, by the end of your trip you will find the unwanted attention quite annoying.

That aside, I had a really nice break at the Riu. I went with a member of my family, this would be a good hotel for couples, as well as families, and if you are looking for a relaxing holiday rather than lots of lively nightlife, I would recommend it.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
26 Thank CDelicata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2007

From the start the staff was wonderful and very friendly. The resort looked fabulous and the food was very good. We have been to Jamaica before and will return again some day. I loved the resort. It was so large you didn't feel crowded. The RIU has everything you could want in a hotel except we found the beds to be very hard. Each morning I would wake with a backache. At first I thought this was just our room but when I checked with my 4 other rooms occupied by my children they all complained of the same thing. Because my children knew how uncomfortable I was with the beds they bought me a spa package. That was fabulous! I recommend you try out the spa and the nightly entertainment was fabulous. I have stayed at a RIU in Cancun and will continue to look for RIU's in our future vacations. Top notch hotel, beach and service, just didn't like the rock hard beds.
The tours were all wonderful (Bob Marley tour, Bike ride Tour, Dunns River Falls) and we had a great time at the markets.

Stayed January 2007
Helpful?
11 Thank Sandi H
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 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa 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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