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Hotel Riu Montego Bay
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Reviewed June 7, 2009

I took my daughter here for her high school graduation gift and I think she had a pretty good time! I traveled with my mom,my daughter,my sister and her daughter.(my niece) and all I can say is it was the best experience of my life. I won't say that the hotel was perfect,but the staff was amazing. Everybody was so friendly to us and when they found out why we were there,they all wished my daughter well in her upcoming adventure in college!! We did notice all the vendors on the beach selling "pot" but,if you told them you didn't want it they left you alone. I know my daughter had an amazing time. This was my second trip to Jamaica and both times have been wonderful. It doesn't take much for us to have a good time and sit back and enjoy the scenery!! We went on the "booze cruise" in which we went snorkeling and also went to "Margaritaville". That was so much fun and we didn't even drink!! We had a lot of fun going down the waterslide too!! By the way,does no good at all to hold your nose!!!! We also booked another day of snorkeling,they took us to 2 different places to snorkel. My daughter is going to college to study biology so she was totally amazed by this, which really warmed my heart to watch her get all excited about seeing all the fish. The guys on the boat were so nice and very helpful about telling us about the fish and showing first time snorklers how to look for stuff. I can't say that we had any bad experiences on the trip,only the fact that it did rain about 3 of the 5 days we were there,but rain in Jamaica is better than rain in Missouri anyday!! I had a amazing time with my family of just all girls and spending time with my daughter. These will be memories that no one can ever take away from us. The people there always had a smile on their face and always warmed my heart. I loved it there and can't wait till I can go back. If you go to the beach and want to book a day out on the water, look up Kerry Ann,she's the best!! One of the most sweetest people you will ever meet there. The guys on the snorkel boat were "hoots" as well, "Captain Richard" had a BIG CRUSH on my 27 yr old niece!! Everytime I seen him he wanted to know where she was!! He was a sweetheart though. My daughter even says she wants to come back some day and get married there!! We seen several weddings while we were there and they were very pretty!! All and all it was an amazing time, I think some people go into this thinking that it's going to be "perfect" but, if you make the best of it with who you are with,it will be perfect!!! I had an amazing time with my family and we met so many nice people just hanging out at the pool. I wouldn't change a thing about my trip,only stay longer next time!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank berrys5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2009

Just returned from RIU, Mo Bay and I would have to say we had a great vacation aside from a few problems. first the plus side: the views were FANTASTIC!, the grounds were very well-kept, bartenders were awesome( Tanisha Campbell & Clyde especially), jerk hut on beach is a must, entertainment staff are some of the hardest working people that I saw (work 12-16 hour days) ( loved watching Tracy, sweet pea, bobbie socks, Shavonn, hot dog, and all the other who I can't remember names.
Now for the minuses: I had a very special necklace stolen out of my room within 12 hours of arriving. I reported it to the security guard who came to my room and took a "report" and said that he would get back to me the next day. Nothing. 2 days later I went to front desk again and ask to speak to a manager, spoke to Courtney Johnson and he took a "report" and said that he would investigate and get back to me by the end of the day. Nothing. 2 days later, I went to front desk again and spoke to head of security, Phillip Barrett who told me that they were looking into problem and would contact me (even gave me a hug because I was crying since necklace was a gift from my deceased father) Nothing! We left on Friday and not 1 word was said to me at check out! To me, that is terrible customer service!! I'm not really sure exactly what security does at this hotel because I spoke with another lady who had a computer stolen out of her room. There are also vendors openly selling marijuana on the beach and on Thurs night at the show, (right in front of the coconut bar) there were 5 women smoking marijuana.
I read all the reviews for months before we left and I have to say that most of them are accurate. Food is ok, not great. Sheets are rough but tolerable. Airplanes do fly over but not noticable, beach is beautiful to look at but if you go more that 4 feet in the water you are in seaweed/grass, YUK!, bartenders and entertainment staff are WONDERFUL!
My husband and boys did the catamaran cruise and the zip lines and thought both were AWESOME! We tried a lot of wonderful drinks also... miami vice, purple rain, blue ocean,french kiss, strawberry daiquiri,and of course Red Stripe on the rocks!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank bake24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2009

I went for a wedding and I just have to say that everything was just horrible except the day my girlfiend got married. The hotel didn't even know we were staying there for 3 nights. We received a phone call at 11pm the 3rd night asking when we checked in. We had two beds pushed together and the room was so hot and all drinks were warm. Worst service and food. Beach okay.
The only part of the trip that was good was the 12 jerk chicken stand. My parents have stayed in Negril and they said it was the best experience ever.
Don't waste your money on this trip, I swear

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank kparsons123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2009

Prior to our trip we read every single review on tripadvisor and many on other sites. We were so concerned about going here that we probably would have canceled our plans if we weren't traveling with a larger family group. But, we survived and made the most of it. We were there for five days, four nights at the end of May into early June.

All in all, if you like sunbathing, alcohol, smoking pot, buffet food, water activities and feeling hot and wet all the time - this place is for you. If you, however, have dietary restrictions, don't drink or smoke pot and are sensitive to heat we would absolutely stay away. We recommend bringing bug spray, sunscreen, aloe, water, bug bite itch spray or cream. Also, bring good walking sandals because you will be going from your room to the main area a lot. We highly recommend going to Half Moon Bay Resort which is a 3-5 minute cab ride from RIU. It is like paradise and well worth the $10 cab ride. We ate lunch there and were able to walk around the property. It was our favorite part of the trip.

We will start with the problems: there was no air conditioning in two of the eight rooms that were part of our group. All of the rooms are really humid and everything feels damp, there were bed bugs in one of the rooms and we were missing part of the window blind for over a day before it got fixed after talking with multiple people at the front desk who were useless.

When we arrived around 11am we weren't able to check-in until 3pm so we had to leave our luggage in a big pile out in the middle of the lobby. Once we got the key to our room (around 1 pm) we decided to take our luggage ourselves, which we would recommend. If not, you end up waiting around for someone to bring it to you, which took others a long time. There were some pool tables in the sports bar area which were fun ($1 per game). They offer bottled water called Wata which says it is chemically treated but it is all they offer anywhere on site. We brought bottled water from home but wish we had brought more. We had a beach front room which was great, while other rooms faced other buildings. The pot pushers on the beach which everyone wrote about do exist, but we weren't on the beach enough for them to annoy us. We played with our niece who is almost 2 years old in this little kids area with sand but there were no kids activities while we were there. The property isn't that big and it isn't in a good location. You pass a sketchy burger king on your way into the gate and deserted holes nearby. There were no desserts that we were excited about and wish we had brought stuff to snack on at night.

The bed and the mattress are terrible as you have probably already heard from other entries. I do wish we had at least brought a pair of sheets to travel with and then throw out once we were done. The staff are generally very slow to help with any problems. The shampoo and conditioner are found in packets rather than the usual containers we are used to. The shower water temperature was very inconsistent and would be very cold and then really really hot. The walls are thin and we could hear neighbors. The fan in the room became noisy over the time we were there and the AC did as well (like a rattle noise). The rooms are very humid and we would wake up just damp. One of the worst things was the loud noise coming from the pool area at all times. There is nowhere to go and just have it be peaceful. There is constant noise on the property and it became annoying over time. The entertainment we saw at night was not good at all but we didn't see it every night. The planes do fly over all the time since the airport is down the street. There were regularly topless women on the beach, which was a little surprising to us and one older woman stripping down naked and changing right there on the beach! The beach in general was poor. There was no shade and it was so hot and sunny, it was pretty unbearable. It isn't even on the ocean and there are virtually no waves at all. We didn't spend much time over on the beach as a result. Overall, there are few places to escape the noise and the sun. We also ended up with several family members having stomach issues especially towards the end of the trip and even since we have returned home.

The room itself is clean and the bathroom was decent for the most part. We didn't have bed bugs, but we did bring a spray and gave it to our family that ended up with them. The fried food was good, but not everyone could eat that. The jerk chicken on the beach during lunch (see Delroy) was the best part of the food there. The restaurant and bartender staff was very friendly and helpful. Water aerobics is in the pool every afternoon and was fun. The sports bar was nice and we spent time there. Frozen drinks were a hit and the swim up bar was enjoyable for some. Pool and beach volleyball was also a hit with some. With the size group we had, having the resort close to the airport was helpful. The suites were nice and very large. There are alcohol dispensers in the room, again displaying the type of place this is. Breakfast was good. The moon over the water at night and the sunsets were pretty. Jamaica has soda with cane sugar rather than corn syrup, which is really good.

The reviews don't lie. The stuff we have read before/after the trip is accurate. Be sure to choose this place only if you know that it is the type of place you want to go. It was not for us but definitely seemed to be enjoyed by a younger crowd who can drink all day in the sun and party all night. There are definitely other properties on the island that can provide a more relaxing atmosphere and we would definitely choose one of those if we ever go back to Jamaica.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank verdeberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2009

We just returned on May 31st. We met family and friends there, for a wedding. This "resort" is only about a five minute drive from the airport. Our flight arrived late, so check - in was no problem. The staff was friendly. Food was only ok, nothing to cheer about. At lunch time you can get jerk chicken in rice on the beach, it was very good. We booked our tour from an agent named Erica, with Tropical Tours. She was very professional and did not hustle you around like the other tour agents in the lobby. She usually arrives in the lobby around 3pm. As far as the rooms, the are very damp, but keep in mind you are in Jamaica After the reading previous reviews, I packed my own sheets. I did not see any bugs on their sheets, but sprayed it downed just in case. The bed was hard and not that comfortable. Mosquitoes are very bad, so bring bug spray . The rooms were fairly clean each day, and that's very important. Most people should know not to leave your valuable items out in your room. This is our 2nd trip to Jamacia, if you have a choice, go to Ocho Rios. I only stayed here because we decided to be with the wedding party, but I would not return to this resort. If you get a good deal, go for it. It's not that bad, if you are not a very picky person.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank kxk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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