I booked this hotel through Expedia and the listing clearly stated it is beachfront property with a restaurant on site. Although I knew I was taking a risk, I still booked it. It turns out that there is NO restaurant on site. The housekeeper can cook a meal in the kitchen if you order it at least 24 hours in advance AND if they happen to have the food available. The day my plane arrived, I tried to order some food, but was told I would have to either walk about a mile out to the main road, take a taxi into the city or order delivery from "Pizza King." Naturally I was upset because I did not fly all the way to Jamaica to eat "Pizza King." It just so happens the young man working the evening shift felt sorry for me, so he walked out to the main road and bought me some chicken and rice. I tipped him a few dollars, which he said was fine with him. I did place my order from the menu I was provided for the next day, but low and behold the next day I was told they did not have any pancake mix or cheese for my eggs. In a nutshell, if you want food, you can order fish because the guy literally catches it out back at 6 am every morning, but if you want anything other than toast, coffee, juice and cereal, you are out of luck.
I will be fair, the property is very clean and the staff did everything humanly possible to try to make me comfortable, but not being able to get food without a hassle was a serious problem for me. The propery is all the way out buried near the White River where they have the tubing and rafts, so you have to go through Ocho Rios to get there. I took the shuttle from the airport and the driver could not find it. He had to stop at another property and be guided back to the property. The neighborhood was a bit scary upon arrival, but after a few days, I realized the people out lining the streets were the same ones working the rafts and tubes. They didn't seem to cause me any harm.
The beach was beautiful, but seemed a bit deserted at times. I did get a lot of sleep because there was not a lot of foot traffic, but I got tired of taking a taxi back and forth into the city every time I wanted to get out as there are no activities and NO swimming pool at this property. I made good use of the pool and water slide at Margaritaville in the city. As long as you order a drink or a meal, you can obtain a wrist band for unlimited access to their pool. One of the lifeguards at a neighboring hotel gave the telephone number of a local driver who charged me roughly $5 a trip instead of the usual $10, so I called him for most of my rides. I was allowed to use the telephone at the main desk because my cell phone was roaming.
The rooms are spacious. The small TV has basic cable and the air conditioning worked fine. They do have water, soda, chips and small snacks for sale for $1 US (or $100 dollars Jamaican). However, another major drawback was the $60 key deposit. They asked for cash and I only had my credit card, but they were willing to work with me.
So if I were to describe this property, I would just say it is "basic." For the price, you get a bed, a bathroom, beachfront and balcony. You are responsible for your own meals outside of the continental breakfast, transportation and entertainment. The neighborhood and location is iffy, but you get what you pay for.
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- Also Known As:
- Crystal Ripple Beach Hotel Ocho Rios
- Crystal Ripple Beach Lodge Jamaica/Ocho Rios