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“Not high end, but a great place!”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here in February of 2013 and really enjoyed it. It's smaller, as is described, but has everything you need. The staff was very helpful with things like when we couldn't get a chair on the beach and booking our ziplining adventure. The food was okay, but gets old after a few days. I recommend leaving the hotel at least once to try a different cuisine. Nothing is close to this hotel so you will have to get a cab to go anywhere (don't believe the front desk when they tell you it's a 5 minute walk). I loved the smaller atmosphere and could spend days sitting in the hot tub. Hint- order "white" rum in your drinks, it helps!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Laura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2013

We have stayed at 5 star,,4 star and some 3 star resorts have enjoyed them all. We stayed at Club Ambiancs MARCH 5 to MARCH 13..Club Ambiance is 3 star and was GREAT,,the food,,the employees were VERY nice... The rooms and grounds are clean and neat,,the nightly entertainment was very good....They also have 2 beaches (prude and nude) for more excitment,try both,,,we didnt ha Heres a tip if this is your FIRST TIME to Jamaica,,,when you go out of resort and people want to sell you something= FIRST, never put it in your hands on it and than say "WE HAVE BEEN TO JAMAICA 5 TIMES,,,DONT NEED IT",,it works !!!!!! The resort has good food and good service with a smile.I can not say enought about great service !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Say Hi to Lincoln for us...........Dunn River Falls,,,,golfing,Green Grotto Caves and Ocho Rios are close to enjoy...If you dont enjoy Jamaica ,,,YOU dont enjoy life,,HAVE FUN FOLKS !!

Room Tip: Room 54 was very nice,,,ocean and pool view
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 13Don
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed for a week Mar 1-8/13. We really liked this older but very private, safe and friendly resort! Food was very good, never went hungry. Lots of choices for breakfast, always salad bar and soup that my husband enjoyed each day! Most days was fries (which I loved) and burgers, but they had salad bar and soup and desert every other day for lunch. Had roast beef, mashed potatoes and yorkshire pudding, lasagna, pastas, fish or many choices while we were there! People were awesome! Richard, Phillip, JR, Melanie, Omar, Storm, Katriana - you were extra friendly and wonderful! No TV to talk about, but we weren't in the room anyway, outside relaxing in quiet setting, nice clean beach that wasn't big but big enough for us to play a volleyball game on and relax. No nude people lounging around - just a few off to one side privately doing whatever they wanted not in our view. Always towels when we went looking, nice clean pool - looked awesome! 3 bars were open while we were there, and during most afternoons we went to all 3. Then went to the Lounge/disco after 11 pm - loads of fun there too dancing to great music! Drinks were great, room was cleaned wonderfully, water pressure great in shower, air conditioner worked perfect! No spa for us, but they went around 3 times for sure while we were outside and asked if we wanted a massage. Hey, there wasn't anything for us to complain about for our whole visit - it was great! Oh, just the waves.... but that was mother natures fault.... we wanted to snorkel more, but it was too rough most of the time we were there. We went around the inside area 4 times though. Got out quite a ways one day and there's lots of different tropical fish around the resort area! If they change in May 2013 to a lifestyle couples resort we won't be back, but if it stays as is with the great staff they have, we'll go again!! We still have more to see, but we did visit 9 Mile and Bob Marley's home and resting place, also Dunn's River Falls was great - we made it to the top!

Room Tip: It's not 5 star, but we knew that when we went. We really enjoyed setting and location. We had a...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank V P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

My husband and I were at Club Ambiance the week of February 23, 2013. We did research before we booked this resort. We have been to Jamaica before, to a five star resort, and that is not what we wanted this time. We wanted a cheaper vacation, without all the luxury that we were paying for, but mostly not using. So, we found Club Ambiance. It had a 3 1/2 star rating. This is what we were looking for, and we were not disappointed. If you want a five star resort, you have to pay for it. So I won't go into the resort being outdated like some other reviews have. In our opinion the room was clean, the staff were friendly, the food was more than adequate. Our room was number 34, overlooking the pool, and it was quiet.
When we were researching we were interested in finding information about snorkling, and we found a few conflicting reviews. I can give you our experience. We wanted to be able to snorkle from the shore and not pay to go out in a boat. We were able to do that at Club Ambiance, but we learned a few things. Take your own snorkle equipment if you can. The resort has good equipment, but you can only borrow it in the afternoon, and it has to be returned by 5 pm. You will miss the best snorkling if you rely on their equipment. They take snorkle groups out in the morning on the boat and need all their equipment for that. The best snorkling is early morning or after 5 pm, because the whole week we were there there were gale force winds every afternoon. The water was too choppy to go out past the barrier. Early morning was the best, calm water, higher water level. We had great snorkling. Club Ambiance has a unique waterfront. It is not an expanse of beach, it is three small beach area, with a rock barrier. It is sheltered and calm, which is nice. We snorkelled in the beach area and saw a ray, lots of puffers, colourful fish, crabs. Going beyond the barrier there is a small ship wreck you can find fairly easily, interesting coral and large schools of fish. We did go out on the snorkle tour on the boat, it costs money. We had a great time, and the coral reef they take you too is quite colourful. They fed the fish which attracted them.
We did try to snorkle when the wind died down in the evening, but the water was too shallow at that point, and you had to be very careful you didn't get scraped on the coral.
You can sign up to go for a bike ride at 4 pm to the local beach, which is about 10 min. Away. This was free. We really enjoyed it. The staff member who took us did tricks on his bike to entertain us, the local beach was beautiful, we played in the surf for about 1/2 hour. Some locals tried to sell us things, but they were very friendly and not aggressive. We enjoyed it. They had another bike ride to some caves that went everyday at 10 am. When you get to the caves it is $20 to get in. We didn't go but talked to others that did, and they really enjoyed it. Saw some big snakes and lots of bats. We also paid for a trip to the Ocho Rios Market, which was fun. The sellers there are very aggressive and there isn't a lot of variety, every stall seems to have the same thing. So look around before you buy, we did find some unique gifts in the end. I was there for my birthday and treated myself to a massage. It was wonderful.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay. My only warning, if you want five star you need to pay for it and go to a five star resort. If you want a nice small resort, nothing fancy, Club Ambiance is just fine.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Merry85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We just returned from Club Ambiance for our second time. We just love it. The staff was the great very friendly and helpful. The food is the best we have had in our four visits around the island. The building is older and has great bones it was cleaner than some of the places charging a whole lot more. To get a true Jamiacian experience and feel safe, this was the one for our group. We'll be going back as soon as possible. Again the staff and the food made for a great time.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank sharris_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Had a great getaway with the girls. The staff is what makes this hotel so fun. You get to know everyone because the hotel is quite small so a lot of interaction between the guests and staff which is always good. The rooms were clean and water pressure was good. The food was ok, nothing to brag about. I preferred the breakfast and the grill for lunch or snack. If you're looking for 4 or 5 star resort this is not the place to be. It's very small and quaint and for people who just wanna chill and relax. Overall we really enjoyed our stay and are going back and staying in the villas right next door.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank bellabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2013

I feel bad giving ANY establishment a poor review, but honesty is what it is all about on trip advisor.
I do not consider myself to have high standards, as I enjoy true tent-camping, rough-and-rugged outdoor adventures, and getting down and dirty when that is the type of fun I am up for. However, when booking a tropical vacation at an ocean-front, all inclusive resort, there is a certain level of basic comforts and amenities that I expect, and unfortunately, those basics were lacking at Club Ambiance.
The exterior appearance of the resort is very dated. The open-air lobby appears clean, but is reminiscent of being in a "picnic pavilion". Everything is...painted wood. Little-to-no modern architectural materials to give it a more modern feel. I have stayed at "rustic" resorts in the past, but those resorts typically used more modern architectural elements such as granite, marble, polished stone, etc. to give the facility a rustic, yet modern feel. Not Club Ambiance...this place just feels seriously out-dated.
Our room was of typical size, with a very nice view of the ocean, a comfortably-sized balcony, and a rather small bathroom. The room was clean, and the bed was comfortable. In reading other reviews, it seems the amenities vary from room-to-room. We stayed in a standard room, and we DID have a refrigerator, a coffee pot, and air conditioning that worked well. Unfortunately, there was NO alarm clock...only a wall-mounted clock that was set to the wrong time our entire stay. Our television only got five channels (one adult) with fuzzy reception, and we had NO remote control. Kind of a pain when you are all comfy in bed and need to walk across the room to adjust the volume or change the channel. Hey...it's the little things when you are on vacation!
The first time I went to use the bathroom sink, I had no water. My husband quickly realized that the water had been turned off UNDER the sink. He turned the knobs back on, and then the sink worked. But, when I went to shut the faucet off, it continuously trickled. It became obvious that the hotel's solution to a leaky faucet was to simply shut the main valves off under the sink, rather than repair it correctly!
We had plenty of hot water, but both the sink and shower faucets were old, and likely clogged with mineral deposits...they sprayed water in all kind of crazy directions.
Maintenance and repairs around the resort were not given any consideration regarding aesthetics. Cracks in walkways were just globbed with patch, broken tiles were replaced with mis-matched tiles, stains were painted over with mis-matched paint. Overall, it gave the feeling that things were being held together with bubble gum and duct tape.
I won't spend too much time talking about the food. Repetitive? Yes. Edible? Yes. Lots of chicken and rice? Yes. Are you going to get bored with food and want to leave the resort for something different?......yes. If experiencing new, varied, and exciting cuisine is a big part of what you enjoy while on vacation, you will definitely be disappointed with the food. However, if you are okay with basic sustenance while traveling, the food at Club Ambiance will suffice.
Drinks, for the most part, were good, but inconsistent. During check-in, our bell hop offered us glasses of rum punch. Very good! A little later, I had a fuzzy navel that was AWESOME, but the next day, the fuzzy navel tasted completely different. Some drinks mixed VERY strong, some very weak. I was unable to get my favorite drink (a margarita), because they had no tequila. But, I guess we were in Jamaica, not Mexico, right? As stated by another reviewer, there were not nearly enough bar stools at the bars...6 stools at a bar that should easily have 15.
The nightly band/singer were very talented...kuddos to them. However, my husband and I are "early-to-bed, early-to-rise" kind of people, and the music was EXTREMELY, and I do mean EXTREMELY loud. The band played until 11:00 pm most nights, and it was impossible to sleep until they finished. As if the volume wasn't bad enough, I could quite clearly feel the vibrations of the bass while laying in bed. Our room number was in the twenties...highway noise was not a problem...it was purely the band that prevented us from going to sleep at our preferred time.
The outdoor pool table is unusable. The table is so warped, that we began to call it "boomerang pool"...if trying to make a gentle shot, the ball would end up rolling around and coming right back to you! The indoor pool table was more user-friendly, but you were not permitted to use it before 10:00 am. The ping-pong (table tennis) table was equipped with a tennis ball. Yes...a tennis ball.
As others have said, there is not a nice long beach to walk, but the little sandy beach area is kept clean and well-groomed. There were not a lot of guests at the resort during our stay, so beach loungers were almost always available.
House keeping takes the towels from your room late-morning, but does not give you fresh towels until they have been laundered, usually in late-afternoon. If you want to shower during that time, you better hang onto a towel in the morning, or you will have to wait until around 4 pm for new towels!
Others have said that the staff "makes" this resort. Overall, the staff were friendly, courteous, and helpful, but I would expect nothing less at any other resort. I can't say that anyone did such an outstanding job that it made up for the inconveniences and disappointments of Club Ambiance.
Sadly, I cannot recommend a stay at Club Ambiance.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank imafarmgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $175 - $325 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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