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“No Mon!! Never Mon!!”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 6 March 2012

We went to the Riu Ocho Rios on December 26th 2011 for two weeks. We always go away at this time and have been to most of the Caribbean and stayed in many Riu Hotels so feel I am able to comment on the standard of this Riu in comparison to others.

• Doors are opened with a key and it is hit and miss whether you can get it open. They normally just spin round. The rep did say the Hotel was aware of it and they are all being replaced eventually
• Safes - they are not safe. They are barely screwed to the wall and have a barrel that comes out easily. The Hotel has had a number of thefts as you will see on this site
• Food – it is awful. The selection is so poor. We always choose to eat around 8.45 – 9 when the rush has gone. On our 1st night when we did this we ended up with a bowl of soup with no bread. When we went for our main the pots had not been re-stocked and despite going back 3 times over 15 minutes they were still not re-stocked so we had another bowl of soup and no bread again!! We thought this may be a one-off however it was not. The selection was atrocious. You tended to get one choice of meat per sitting. We complained to the Rep and the Manager but it made no difference. New Years Gala was a joke. It was a free for all. Nothing like any of the other ones we have been to on other islands. There was the choice of lobster and rib eye steak and that was it. It wasn’t much better in the al a cartes if you were lucky to get in them. The queues to this from 8am was a nightmare
• Towels – it became a standing joke when we returned to our room as to whether we had any. If you were lucky to get reception to answer when you rang they never managed to get any sent to you.
• Mini bar – this was not stocked up as it should every 2 days. We had to constantly bring bottles of water back to the room from the bar because we had none in the room
• House keeping – non existent
• Noise – the noise in this hotel was unbearable. This was mostly due to the Canadians & Americans that seem to overrun the hotel. There were only 100 English and almost 2000 from across the ocean. They took over the pools by just sitting and drinking all day and getting increasingly louder as the day went on. They do not appear to have volume switches.
• There is NO waiter service at all in this Hotel. It is also a struggle to get to the bar as large gangs crowd round the bar area so you have to fight to get through.
• There is no nice bar. They describe it as though there is a lobby bar however you are sat right next to the entertainment that is blaring out and the gangs round the bar so there is no area for you to sit and have a nice drink and chat in the evening.

At best I would describe this Hotel and cheap and chavvy due to the main clientele it attracts. We did write to Thomson expressing our disappointment at paying a lot of money and receiving terrible standards and service and they confirmed they had received a large number of complaints and did give is a sizeable holiday voucher to use on another holiday. I would definitely NOT recommend this hotel. There are much better holidays that provide a better service and value for money

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank ChezzyBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,926 - 4,932 of 8,719 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2012

I've got 2 children 2 1/2 years old and 14 months old, I've read all the reviews about this resort and took the chance of either I'm going to love it, or hate it.
I've stayed at a Riu resort prior to Ocho Rios so I know what my expectations are for a Riu Resorts. I do believe that everyone has a different experience so I'm going to share my experience for all the Moms and Dads out there that are contemplating this location.

1st time in Jamaica and I must say the good things first.
-Beautiful Island never seen such full palm trees and well kept landscape like this before
-People of the Island are so nice and so generous that it was my pleasure tipping the waiters/waitresses a little more then the norm because they deserve it
-Entertainment People work so hard at their job and do a great job, every afternoon by the pool me, my sister and mom were laughing at the entertainment just a great group of people (Rim/Hot Dog were really good with my kids)
-Pool was kept clean at all times
-Jerk Chicken at the Beach is AMAZING (melts in your mouth)
-Getting warm milk for the baby bottles was a breeze we always sat at the same table so our waiter knew us well and jumped through loops for the kids
-Bus ride was long but the driver was funny, they do stop frequently so my kids were getting a little cranky not their fault a drive is a drive, they do drive very quickly but that doesn't frighten me may scare others that are not used to it.

okay now the bad...these points below are why i wont go back to ocho rios
-I was changed out of my room 3 times, 1st cockroaches (sorry but i understand there are bugs but my kids are not sleeping with cockroaches), 2nd room cockroaches, 3rd room finally clean but the water pipe blew and the employee helping us felt so bad for the kids that they moved us one last time to a large suite at the 3rd block 3rd floor...Very nice room, no cockroaches, no aunts (unless your leaving food everywhere)
-Cleaning ladies would clean the room well when we tipped, if we didn't leave a tip (because we forgot) the room was not cleaned but they refreshed our towels
-The Water was really rough never seen water this rough and i've been to Aruba, Bahamas, Mexico, Cuba, Florida, Dominican Republic, Bora Bora (so compared to all those places I put my kids in the ocean twice)
-When the kids were playing in the sand by the water there was lots of cigarettes, papers and broken glass (I didn't stay at the beach after that because i felt that it wasn't safe for the kids)
-The food was Okay I love fish and there wasn't much fish choices, my kids were Okay because they stuck with the chicken and rice. There wasn't a lot of beef and if there was it wasn't tasty, the restaurants you can reserve are definitely a better choice for food. Breakfast was good had a lot to choose from.
-When we 1st arrived we told the restaurant staff @ St.Annes that it was my mothers birthday and if they can sing her a birthday song and they said to us that they do not do those type of things...The full week that we were there we heard the staff sing happy birthday to a least one person each night at dinner...We laughed about it because we didn't comprehend what made their birthday so different from my mothers.

Overall I'd go back to Jamaica but I wouldn't stay at the Riu, I'd have to say I'm one of those people who had a bad experience and yes my expectations were high especially since I had my two kids with me, I would go back to Jamaica but I do some more research and check out different resorts that when they say 4+ star they truly are.

Room Tip: Tower one is quiet, 2nd Tower is main lobby so lots of action, 3rd is a busy pool side, but I moved...
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

What a great time! I read some of the reviews prior to going and was watching for some of the things that people complained about. I never encountered one of the problems written about.

Flight- Sunwing/ Signature made the early morning flight a breeze. Champagne brekky, Good service by the flight attendants.
Drive to Ocho Rios was a bit longer than I would have liked, but the stop for Red stripes for me and a Stinger for my wife as well as the running commentary of the bus staff made the drive actually enjoyable.

Check in was a breeze. Room was not ready, but we had lunch and had changed into our bathing suits so the short wait was no problem.
Our room was in tower 3 on the ground floor. Great view of beautifully manicured garden and pool. I don't see the need to pay extra for the ocean view. Isn't that what the beach is for?
Food was better than expected. Buffet had everything that you could ask for. They had theme nights and of course the resident "Medicine" lady. Gotta try her medicine.
We got into 3 of the a la cartes. The Gourmet and the Asian were great. The Steak house was a disappointment. Good except for the steak.........l
The Entertainment crew were outstanding. 007 and Pim are the only names I remember, but each and every one of them worked long and hard to make everyones stay enjoyable. The shows were well done. The steel drum and break dancing night sticks out.
Note to Riu- UPGRADE THE SOUND SYSTEM. I get better sound out of my docking station.
The only somewhat grumpy staff member I encountered was the towel guy by the big pool. Long day, bored to tears. Bartenders, servers, waiters were all great and deserving of the tips they got.
Took a day trip to Ocho. Good experience. Be ready to say no a lot. There are bargains to be had. Barter with them. That is how they do business.
Took the Cool Runnings Catamaran. What a Blast! Duns River was awesome both the climb and the scenery. The snorkeling was ok and the ride back was a riot. Booze Cruze!
The Hotel is huge with over 1700 guests. It is very well laid out. Great flow and the felling of openness was great. The beach was fantastic.
I will return Riu Ocho Rios, I will return!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Rllingstne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

This resort should be rated a 3* at best. We had $110 U.S Stolen from our room safe the second day we were there. When we told the Security for the resort we were told that that had never happened before in the history of the resort which at the time was hard to believe and confirmed to be completely untrue after returning home and reading other people's reviews. Our room stunk of mold as did the lobby bar and spa. drugs were being dealt on a daily basis on the beach by the guys who rent out the jet ski's right in front of the resort security. These guys sit on their jet ski's from morning to early evening hissing and bugging everyone to bring them food, drinks and asking if you want to buy "smoke" and they do not take no for an answer. When ordering drinks the bartenders make everything quick and half as then look at you for a tip each time.If you don't tip then they won't serve u. The 24hr snack bar was a joke. Don't waste your money at this resort!!

Room Tip: Rooms in the third building fourth floor have the best views
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank 1982sr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We just returned from our stay Riu Ocho Rios. We were there from 2/22 - 2/26. Overall the stay was GREAT. We can't wait to get to back to Jamaica again and would definitely consider the Riu OR again.

When we arrived at 5:30 on Wednesday we were immediately given a Welcome drink and the check in process started immediately. We were sent off to our rooms and told our bags would follow a few minutes behind. Turns out room 1062 was FAR FAR away. We had an ocean front jr. suite and I think it may have been the furthest point possible from the lobby! We didn't realize until the next day there was a very convenient shortcut through the pool area and entertainment area that cut the hike in half. Would have been nice to know that right away. But hey, no problem mon. The exercise didn't kill us.

Our Jr. Suite was very nice. Just like in the pictures. I noticed immediately that our mini-fridge was not stocked with Red Stripe or much else and mentioned it to the bellman when he arrived. He made a call to the front desk and someone was in to stock our fridge within 15 minutes. In the meantime I tried to find the ice machine. I was told by the bellman that it was 1 floor up and about 2/3 of the way back down the long hall we had come in on. Well I wanted a cocktail, so I hiked to the ice machine. It was tiny and nearly empty. I got about 2 small glasses of half melted cubes out of it. Don't waste effort to use these ice machines. Get ice from the nearest resort bar or restaurant it's probably closer.

We ate at the St. Ann's buffet pretty often. For breakfast it's the only option. And we ate dinner there twice. Seafood night and Jamaican night. (both good). We ate dinner once at the Piccolo italian place (good, better than expected) and once we went off the resort to eat at Bamboo Blue (great). We tried booking into the ala carte restaurants the first morning we were there, but were told they were booked up through our stay. Since were were only there 4 nights it was impossible to get into one of them. That was annoying and disappointing. I think that if I would have made a fuss to a manager or slipped the reservation lady some money I might have been able to get us in, but I decided to let it go. No worries. We had lunch twice at the Jerk Hut. Excellent. Worth the short wait in line. Take your plate of jerk chicken to the Plantation buffet nearby and get yourself a beverage and a cool salad to offset the spicy hot, but delicious, jerk sauce. We stopped once at the Sports Bar because we were told it's the only place for late night food. They have small sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs (but no conditments or way to heat them up) and nachos. Pretty sparse. If you're a late night snacker you might be better off bending the rules and taking something from the buffet back to your room ahead of time.

The mini bar was restocked every 2nd day, but our room was cleaned everyday because we put out the "PLEASE MAKE UP THIS ROOM" sign and we tipped well. The maids made a swan and a heart with towels and flowers on the bed on different days. Very sweet. Having the room cleaned daily cuts down on the sand (and to respond to the reviewer below complaining about sandy sheets - it helps to wipe your feet before getting into bed or entering the room as well.) We saw no bugs in the room except ants and we only saw those when brought food back to our room (which is against the rules) and left it out. The room did have a faint musty odor. It bothered my husband more than it did me, which is odd because I'm very smell sensitive. It's very humid there and I think it would be impossible to keep the room completely smell free. The air conditioning was a little less powerful than we would have liked. We had to make sure to always shut our balcony door extra tightly so it would kick back on after we entered or exited the balcony.

Other things:

1. The 1. 5 hour bus ride from the airport is not a hassle and was, in fact, quite enjoyable.
2. All of the staff were kind and friendly and really took care of you well if you tipped and were not demanding. However, things do not move as crisply as you may be used to at home. Relax. You're on vacation.
3. We were told by other travelers that If you want to hike all the way out to the main road you can get a cab for a $1 instead of $10 a the cab stand in the lobby (not worth it for us)
4. We saw very few vendors (souveniers, jet ski rides etc) while on the property. The resort invites local vendors in on Wednesday nights.
5. Bamboo Blue is worth the money and the short walk. The deck of the restaurant is on the beach. I had the whole grilled lobster with sides for $24. It was great. You can get top shelf liquor there too if you're weary of the rail brands used at the resort.
6. Restaurants charge a 17.5% tax on your bill and many will also add an additional service charge. If you are staying all inclusive and decide to dine off the resort this may be a shock to you.

Have a great trip!

Room Tip: Get a junior suite. A true ocean front room (vs. ocean view) may be quite far from the lobby.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CynthaDelTorro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

Anyone that has not had a good time at this Riu clearly missed the boat. We arrived late (due to weather) and were greeted by smiles friendly staff and a very organized plan. Upon getting to our room we realized that for one person (poor health) the rooms were to far from the elevator and main section of the hotel. In the morning we were assured our request would be considered to be moved and by 1400hrs we were moved side by side to two convenient close rooms. No Problem. Meals were all plentiful, good selections and filling. The Jerk chicken on the beach is to die for!!! Sooo yummy!!! The asian a la carte 10+.
Entertainment Staff 10!! Fun energetic eager and make you feel very welcome. Get to know them.
Rooms were clean stocked and not a problem.
Beach is clean and warm plenty of chairs. Not a big beach but relaxing.
Pool very enteratining. Get up early to stake your chairs. Swim up bar staff are very good. leave them a tip and they are yours :)
As Canadians we are treated like gold pretty much everyone was from Ontario.
We went on the tube trip through the rain forest it was incredible!!! The zip lining (not good) bypass that.
If you want to buy coffee. get it from the rep (ask your tour operator) or get it at duty free.
Second trip with RIU and again loved loved loved it.
These people are not in your face if you look at their stuff (for sale ) theya re happy no pressure at all. Very respectul.
Have a wonderful trip......
Christine

Room Tip: 4th floor building B was very very nice. good view of pool and ocean .
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank oshawafamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We travelled from February 24 2012 to March 2 2012 and I thought this hotel was great. Our room (a Junior Suite) was amazing - it was well appointed and the cleaning staff always kept it immaculate. The food at every restaurant was amazing, especially the a la carte restaurants. We tried the Steakhouse, the Asain restaurant and the Sir Richard Gourment and all 3 were awesome - really tasty food and great service. I would DEFINITELY recommend this hotel to my friends and am looking forward to going again in the future.

Room Tip: The junior suite was great and plenty of room!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Melanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios

Address: | Mammee Bay - St.Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Ocho Rios
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Ocho Rios
#7 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: $261 - $539 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios 3.5*
Number of rooms: 856
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in northern Jamaica, on the beachfront. Two 6-storey buildings and one 5-storey building. Surrounded by 90,000 m2 / 107,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens. Complimentary sun loungers on the beach. 10 Km / 6.2 Miles to Ocho Rios. 4 Km / 2.5 Miles from various shops. 105 Km / 65 miles to Montego Bay airport. 600 M / 1,970 ft. From a bus stop. Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Hotel Ocho Rios
Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica
Riu Ochos Rios
Rio Ocho Rios
Club Hotel Riu Ocho Rios
Rui Ocho Rios
ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios Jamaica

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