I stayed at Club Ambiance for 5 days in July 2012. Although I had read the many mixed reviews for this "resort" I decided to stay there based on it being small, low-key (as opposed to a large resort), and allowing a "true Jamaican experience" (as mentioned by some reviewers). This was a solo trip for me and I had many things planned aside from spending time at the resort.
The size of the resort was nice, however I wouldn't consider it reflective of a true Jamaican experience. During my stay, the resort had very few guests...very scarce. If I had to put a number i would gather maybe 30 on any given day while I was there. The perks to that was there was no waiting at meal times, for bar service, and there was always space (and beach loungers) on the beaches.
The meals were readily available in the main dining area however the selection was minimal. Each meal consisted of 3 to 4 side dishes, 2 meat selections, fruit, salad and dessert. The grill area was also available. Breakfast also included hot cereal daily. Although some foods prepared/served had cultural influence, I was surprised that they did not serve more native foods and fruits. I was appalled at the late night snack, the one night that I did go to check it out...it was fried chicken wings and french fries that were kept warm by a chafing dish. "YUCK". Being a vegetarian, chicken was not an option and luke-warm french fries did not look appealing. Late night snack is self serve and I did not notice any dining room staff "available" in the dark (no lights on) dining room.
Despite the lack of variety with the meals, the food was delicious and I will say that I received some preferential treatment with regards to my last few meals as they were specially prepared for me and delivered to my table. Kudos to that!
Housekeeping services started downhill but redeemed itself by the time I departed. Day 1 towels were retrieved early in the morning but returned after 4 pm. I had NO room service that day as when the attendant came at 4:20 p.m. I was already back in bed taking a nap. OK. Day 2 towels were retrieved early, attendant arrived around 2 pm or so. I left however upon my return I noticed that my linen had not been changed despite a noticeable juice stain on the sheet. I also noticed the the spread had some "dirt" markings. Subsequent days were much better. Early service, clean bed linen and bleach mopped floors!
Hot water was an issue for me...didn't have any for my first two days. At moments, I didn't have any water at all.
Many reviewers stated the rooms could use updating...I will say that they could use better maintenance. Due to the water being very close, there was rust evident in many areas of the room. My room and bathroom ceiling had water spots, the bathroom was clean however the facet knobs were loose in the bathtub/shower. My room was clean but there are very visible signs that maintenance is lacking or slacking. (Side note: this was an upgraded room (honeymoon suite).
I was disappointed to find that the resort does not have water activities available. I planned to spend my last day based at the resort kayaking, etc and when I went to inquire about them I was informed that the resort does not have a license for them. At most, I would expect them to update there website. There were no kayaks, pedalos, or anything water related. Hammocks were also non existent. Didn't ask for an explanation on that.
Despite what seems to be a bad experience, the staff made up for it tremendously. They were very friendly and accommodating. Their positive attitudes overshadowed the "mishaps" , thus allowing me to have an otherwise enjoyable stay. The resort is what it is...no frills but can be enjoyable if you're looking to relax and not looking for mega resort vacation style. Per their website, they make no claim to be more than that however they forgot to update the unavailability of water activities (kayaks, pedalos, etc) and hammocks.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Shuttle Bus service attract an extra charge. Airport Transportation attract an extra charge. Free internet service only in lobby area. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Priceline, Despegar.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Reservation Counter so you can book your Club Ambiance reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Club Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
- Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
- Resort All Inclusive Ambiance
- Club Ambiance Jamaica/Runaway Bay
- Club Ambience Jamaica