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“best vacation to date”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Waterloo, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“best vacation to date”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Stayed at Club Ambiance Runaway Bay the week of Jan 26th to Feb 2, 2013
We had an amazing vacation and would highly recomend this resort for it's friendly people and exceptional staff. We have vacationed to a few different places and haven't had as good a time. The resort although small is exactly what we both needed. The staff went out of their way to get to know everyone and make our trip a great experience. Storm, Omar, Philip and the rest of the staff made a real difference from having just a OK time to having a great time. They were engaging and fun to be around. We will return to this resort next year for sure!
The beach was a bit of a disappointment but the food and staff more than made up for it.
We had some issues with our air in our first room but they had someone check it and moved us no problems.

Room Tip: Although the garden view is a little quiter the view at the pool and above is much nicer.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sherri M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (182)
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English first
Inverness, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here after taking advantage of a Groupon deal. The price was right and we enjoyed our stay and will be returning. The downside was the swimming beach. It was small, not deep at all and the size of the cove did not allow you to swim any distance. The food choices were limited with a heavy emphasis on chicken served with some of the most delicious sauces we have ever tasted. The soups were to kill for. We enjoyed every meal. The deserts could use some help. They were,on the most part, tasteless. The grill served burgers, hot dogs, and chicken wraps and was open all afternoon. If that was not your choice, the buffet was available for lunch. I would have enjoyed more Jamaican food but when your trying to meet the needs of 200 guest, the middle road is the probably best route. You could even get a snack after 11pm. The drinks used local booze, rather than premium liquor, but the drinks were well made and the liquor flowed freely. All the meals were served buffet style. The rooms were large, clean and, except for a noisy bed, that banged into the wall during "vigorous" bedroom activities, were more than acceptable. The shower had super hot water that could easily boil you like a lobster if you were not careful but the water pressure was great and after the first shower we learned how to adjust it for the most comfortable temperature. Each night the house band played. They were good and entertaining. They have a night club on site but we didn't visit it. During the day, there were lots of activities to keep you busy. The resort is nicely located so there were lots of day trip options available. If you decide to stay at the resort, the resort had a variety of activities for you. Snorkeling, kayaks, SCUBA as well as drinking and trivia games. Most of our 10 day stay was spent at the CO beach. Although the beach lounges needed some help, we enjoyed every minute of our stay.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank BMessersmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Beach
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

My wife and I spent 8 days at Club Ambiance from January 22 -30, 2013. We had last visited Club Ambiance in August, 2012 when the new management team had just taken over and changes were being made. This visit found many changes, both large and small. We were surprised to find the resort so full upon our arrival. We have not seen the hotel at 80% in several years, since the tours from the UK stopped coming, and it was nice to see it so full again. Guests ages ranged from 20s to 70s, with the majority over 40, and were largely from the US, Canada, and EU.

The resort has downsized their staff, but many of the familiar friendly faces we have gotten to know over the years are still there. Many of our favorite barkeepers, housekeepers and entertainment staff remain. The food has the same variety as before but was good. The grill was limited to hot dogs and hamburgers while we were there; our requests for grilled cheese, tuna, or wraps from the grill were refused by the new (not very friendly) grill chef. At times under-staffing was obvious as we had waits for drinks and food.

There have been some upgrades. All new AC units have been installed. Most rooms have new mattresses and some new fixtures such as lamps, but the two rooms we stayed in still had minor maintenance issues such as minor plumbing problems, however the rooms were clean and comfortable as always. There have been some landscaping improvements with more shrubbery around the grounds and more trees and vegetation planted along the beach. New hammocks have been installed on the beach. The thatched cabanas have been repaired.

We had met the new owner’s representative, Jag, on our last trip in August. He, along with the long-time GM, Gilbert, were on site and accessible during our entire visit and went out of their way to ask if everything was okay. In speaking with Jag, he explained that the resort is probably going to become a “lifestyle” resort after April 31 (final details pending), meaning that couples, singles, swingers and “open minded adults” will be welcome. Meanwhile, Jag stated that all beaches at the resort are now at this time clothing optional. We observed that the privacy screen that used to separate the nude beach from the rest of the beach has been removed, and the entire west side of the beach was used for nude bathing. Eliminating the lattice fence and expanding the beach was excellent, as we now have more room and no longer feel like we are hidden away on “the dark side”.

Most of the guests who remained on the property during the day were on the nude beach. Shade on that beach has been increased by repairing the cabanas and adding umbrellas along the water line. We also observed clothed, topless and nude bathers on the resort’s other beaches.

Overall, we had a great time again, and we see good things happening at Club Ambiance. The new management team seems to be making necessary and appropriate repairs and upgrades. Business appears to be up, based on our observations over four years and 10 visits. Since this is an existing resort undergoing renovations of both property and format, business is still not consistent from season to season, according to several staffers we talked to. But it is growing. And the resort is improving. Service is still excellent! Rooms are clean. Drinks still flow freely (all three bars were open while we were there), the entertainment is great, and the property is beautiful. Since it will still take a little time for the changes to take effect; we will return for our 11th time, with hopes of finding the “ambiance” that is unique to Club Ambiance in a new and improved format.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
32 Thank STJWizard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

just return from Club Ambiance..we where there for 8 days....u do get what u pay for..the staff know u by name cuz theres not many people there...the band is always the same one.the entertainment is very little....they say 5 bar ,,but in are 8 day stay there was only one open....hope u like fish an chicken cuz thats there menu but was good...the room are not the best there ants on the furnitures ..the beds are springing an hard ...the bathroom fixtures are rusty ..some A/C works...for some people this is your resort but for us we should of went with are first choice...an the a la carte u have to pay for an no restaurent ..theres no swim up bar u have to get out of the pool an that bar is never open..

Room Tip: pool side are quite all the time ..cuz no one is at the pool
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dave and sylvie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I had trouble finding friends available to vacation with me this year, and after some deliberation decided on Club Ambiance because of the small size and decent reviews.

I made the right choice!

So many return guests, welcoming and friendly staff, and such a lovely country!

There were a few complainers, but I would say that their expectations were set higher than they should have been. This is a reaonably priced three star resort that focuses on personal service. You cannot expect a small location to have a huge buffet, or extravagant entertainment, you have to think smaller and more friendly. As a former food and beverage manager, I have always had high expectations in this area, and I would have been very happy to have many of the staff here on my team. And as a reminder, they don't make a lot of cash in this country, so tips are still welcome even though it is an all inclusive!

I have to say this is the first time I have travelled anywhere and gotten to know people ( guests and staff) in any way...to the point where I have an open invitation to visit. Made some good friends and I know i will be heading to Colorado some time!

Of course, now that my vacation is over, everyone else is free to go, so I'm all set for a return trip in March!!

If you want relaxation, an available becah or pool chair, good food wtih reasonable selection, and to get to talk to some wonderful people... this is the place to go.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank pgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Two couples from Nova Scotia, Canada, just got back from a beautiful week at Club Ambiance on February 4, 2013. The resort is small which is our preference. For such a small (and older resort) we are still amazed at the rave reviews. Everyone we spoke to loved the resort. The staff is awesome and they pretty much knew everyone by first name. The food was excellent - not a huge selection - but very good quality, and we certainly found that we had enough variety. There was always fish and chicken and then a theme for the night - carving station of pork, beef, BBQ chicken, Jamaican night, etc. One day a delicious lunch of Jerk chicken was served on the beach. Most nights we dined outside which was very nice. Rooms were very clean and big with wicker furniture and nice balconies. We met a lot of great people which always makes a vacation even more fun! Great time!!!

Room Tip: We had a room by the main bar and stage. The rooms are quieter by the pool but the music stops at 1...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SDLD1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

This was a groupon deal and let me say that you get what you pay for. Resort is small. The staff is very friendly which helped make my stay bearable. The groupon was for a standard room and the room we received was below my standards. The room was dusty, fixtures rusted and stains on pillows and sheets as well as it gave me and my daughter the heebee geebees. I pulled aout the sanitizing wipes and began to wipe things down. I than decided to do something I usually don't do and that is complain to the front desk. They were really nice and apologized and offered another room an upgrade free of charge. My daughter and I was now in a honeymoon room which was much cleaner and a little more updated. We were satisfied, not overjoyed but were able to cope with the ants, gnats and thumping,scratching and meowing noises we encountered daily during our stay. The food was delicious although not a big variety. There wasn't a lot of activities going on due to lack of participation. There were probably only 50 guests staying there at the time of our visit. Enjoyed the beach area and nightly band entertainment.

Room Tip: Upgrade from a standard if u can. Don't know what the other rooms look like, but bathfixtures we...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chiffonp323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Ambiance

Property: Club Ambiance
Address: Main Road | Saint Ann, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Ambiance 3*
Number of rooms: 90
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 
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Also Known As:
Club Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Resort All Inclusive Ambiance
Club Ambiance Jamaica/Runaway Bay
Club Ambience Jamaica

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