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“A Great Relaxing Holiday” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 36 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Great Relaxing Holiday”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

We stayed at this hotel at end Feb 2012 for two weeks and had a great time. The hotel is very clean; the staff are very friendly and go out of their way to be helpful. The entertainment staff work all day and night none stop and include young and old alike in the activities.

The food was superb with excellent menus and service. The room was cleaned daily, there was plenty clean towels for both the bathroom and the beach/pool area.


Joan and Stephen - Sunderland England.

Room Tip: Try not to get a room next to the lift. People tend to chat and say their "goodnight's&quo...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Joan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

Anyone who faults this hotel really needs their heads testing! Ive stayed in loads of hotels around the world and this is by far the best! Everything from the staff to the food is absolutely fantastic!! Trust me BOOK IT!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank lukenmicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2012

We spent a fantastic 2 weeks at Clubhotel Ocho Rios, and had a wedding in the middle of it. I have never been anywhere where everyone is so friendly. It is a very large resort - so you had to walk quite alot, but that isn't so bad when your all inclusive and so much food all around. We were a party of 14. We arrived 1 wk before our wedding. Our Holiday Rep Pauline new all about us when we arrived and had all the info to hand about who we needed to meet. With regard to the wedding side they have the pretty well organised and we just had to tick the boxes and sign. The Wedding co-ordinators are to relaxed you can't help to go with their flow. If your a bride in Ocho Rios you must get your hair and make-up done by Nicole she is amazing. Its a bit expensive don't bother with the trial as they charge you for that too. That isn't to say we did have a couple of hiccups but we were ready for the wedding and on time too!!! On the holiday side - wow! the beach was amazing, there was never any problems getting sunbeds. The jerk chicken served from the hut at lunchtime is a must although pick your time as the queue could be long. If I had a complaint it would be the entertainment in the evening - too loud for us but we did have a 22 month child who was struggling with the time difference!!! Although my 18 yr old son and daughter and friends enjoyed the nightclub most nights!! We would definately return, when our younger son is a bit older. Think there is something for everyone.

Room Tip: go for the south side as quieter but not at ground level as you get traffic passing
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jamaicabride33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Just returned to Toronto from a 7-day stay at the RIU Ocho Rios from Feb 28-March 6. Here`s a detailed breakdown and analysis for those considering staying at this resort.

Bus trip to and from the hotel

It’s a fairly long drive from the airport in Mo Bay to Ocho Rios (about 1.5 hrs). With my vacation package (Sunwing), cold beers were available for $4 on the way to the hotel (they weren’t offered on the way back to the airport).

If you have a non-camel bladder, make sure you use the john before you board the bus, because stopping seemed unlikely and there was no bathroom on the bus (that’s actually where the beer was stored). My travelling companion almost resorted to using an empty can.

Bus workers were solid and the guide had a lot of interesting gems about the country.

Check in

Pretty straightforward, although the initial room key provided did not work, necessitating a walk back to reception. This was straightened out pretty fast and presented no probs for the rest of the trip. The workers at front desk were very helpful throughout the trip. Staff offering rum punch while you wait to check in, which is nice.

The room

Garden Suite Jr room overlooked the main pool and the ocean. Lovely view and good spot for some early morning rays. In fact, the way the hotel is designed, I’d be surprised if there is a room with a poor view.

“Double accommodation” here means two double beds pushed together (which, incidentally, is the inverse of the RIU king bed, which is also two double beds pushed together). As we were two male friends, we had no interest in being that close together, so we had to make a bit of space, which the room was not designed to accommodate.

Bedding was lame (blanket reminded me of something from a Motel 6). Otherwise functional if not spectacular.

Shower was light on water pressure, but no probs with hot water.

Bar fridge was amply stocked upon arrival, but if I had only one legitimate complaint about my visit, it was the fact that re-stocking simply didn’t happen unless I went goose-chasing. Guests are supposed to have the bar fridge re-stocked every second day, but not this guest. A bit of a pain in the neck, too, since I had to trek down to reception (nobody was manning the phone when I enquired about this). I had to nag a bit but the hotel finally sent a worker to fill me up with beers. I tipped him well but didn’t see him again.

The old-ish TV in the room had a few interesting stations, reception was generally great. Watch some local TVJ when you’re there.

The food

Lots of it and available at pretty much all hours of the day and night. You won’t go hungry, except from perhaps a lack of variety. Quality/taste of the food was marginal, but this is partly a result of taste buds and adaptation. Neither I nor my friend fell ill, so that’s a good sign.

Buffet was often very busy and full of many impatient and line-cutting morons, but that’s life. Elbows out!

Be sure to try the jerk chicken served daily on the beach for lunch. Highlight of my trip in terms of cuisine.

As for the sit-down a la carte restaurants: I’ve read a lot of whining about the difficulty in obtaining reservations of your choice. It’s a fair point if you have a very specific reason to eat at a certain time on a particular day, but otherwise, just have someone wake up reasonably early (e.g., 8am) on your first day to line up and sign up for your a la carte options. My buddy lined up for all of 20 minutes and came back with our allotted three reservations, one for each of the themed restaurants. We obtained the reservations on Wednesday for late sittings on each of Friday, Saturday and Monday.

All in all, I didn’t see this as hugely problematic, but if you have specific times you had in mind, good luck.

The food and service at the a la carte’s were a notch above average in terms of quality. Steak restaurant was decent food, as was the gourmet restaurant. House wine was gruesome.

The bars and the booze

Same as the food. Lots of bars at all hours of the day and night. Quantity trumps quality in terms of the available liquor products.

Disco left something to be desired. Nice tracks playing, but this place had a pretty awful smell, akin to raw sewage. I avoided it entirely after that experience.

Tip well and be rewarded with faster service. Either way, these folks work hard to keep the crowd well-watered. I had great conversations with many of the bartenders and met a few new friends as a result.

The entertainment

The evening main show was pretty decent. Great dancers and different themes. Hard to get a seat, depending on what time you eat dinner (I eat late, so I never seemed to get to the stage before 8:30pm).

During the day, the event staff are quite good and they keep the crowd engaged and enthused. If you want to learn how to dance Jamaican style, lessons take place on the beach. It’s a riot and a laugh watching hammered, middle-aged ladies wine up their uncoordinated bodies.

The pools

Beautifully designed pools: one pumping and raucous; the other more sedate. If you want a seat, better sign up early because people show no sense of reason when it comes to poolside chairs. I laughed watching a couple emerge at 7am to drape their towels over two chairs. I saw them return at 1pm, so that’s the type of behaviour you’re up against if you’d like to sun yourself by the pool. I find it incredibly self-absorbed and unrealistic to think you can “reserve” a chair that is actually available for anyone to use. The hotel has a “first come first served” rule in place, so if you leave your chair for 30 minutes and someone takes the chair, you’re out of luck (which is as it should be—I’m looking at you, German tourists).

The beach

More than adequate. Not huge, but you can walk off the property to the west and the beach goes on for quite awhile. Roman style ruins in the distance if you take a bit of a walk down the beach.

Never a struggle to find a recliner chair and there were many trees providing shade. The beach chairs are in need of replacement.

Clear blue water that is very accessible, plenty of room for swimming. The snorkelling was weak close to shore, but if you’re a strong swimmer, the reef beckons. Be very careful anywhere near it, though, because when the tide crashes over the reef, there is a rip-back effect which is strong and caught me off guard.

The hotel did a very good job keeping the rif-raff off the beach. Police/security patrols were frequent and I wasn’t bothered once by someone selling me trinkets (at least during the daytime).

I was approached a couple of times at night on the beach by guys selling everything from weed to coke to god knows what else. Indulge at your leisure but keep your eyes on the prize. A few hustlers out there will take advantage of the uninitiated.

Ganja smoking: I got the impression that it wasn’t rampant, but steady. Smokers were courteous and not in your face about it. Ample supplies abound.

The little stuff you need to know

Families: If you are a family with young children, this might not be for you. I can’t speak to the children’s programming since I didn’t participate, but the overall vibe was decidedly young adult, with lots of sexual and drug references. Hilarious, but as a parent myself, I can see that this might be a drawback. If you are a relaxed and progressive parnet, no worries at all. If you are an uptight nervous nelly, go to Disney.

Smoking: pretty much allowed everywhere, so for the do-gooder moralizing types who have re-fashioned Western nightlife in their own lame, smokeless image, this is not the place for you.

Tipping: not expected but highly appreciated. Pretty basic principle: provide me with good service I give you a tip.

Tour operator: no complaints. Ensure that you attend the orientation session on your first full day there. Valuable pointers and some important information are provided.

Casino: it’s in the sports bar. Lots of automated slot machines. I won $40.

Excursions: do at least one. We did the Dunn’s River catamaran tour and it was a blast. About $90 and well worth every penny. If you do some research before your trip, you can hire a private tour guide who will give you a proper excursion that you’ll never forget. Dolphin cove was also highly recommended, but costly. Be wary about jumping into any old taxi. Negotiate your price up front.

Shopping: many tourists will be thrown off when they (for example) go shopping in Ocho Rios, because a lot of the vendors are aggressive. Really aggressive. A polite no is the right way to go, but many people find the experience intimidating. If you can hack the heat and do a bit of haggling, you will score interesting items for a great price. If you prefer to stay on the resort, vendors are brought in who set up their wares in the hallways of the main hotel area. Sweet stuff on sale, no pressure.

In the final analysis

For the price ($1400 Cdn), I came home most satisfied. It’s not the Ritz and it could stand some upgrading/renovations, but for what you’re paying and for most of your human needs, it’s solid value for money.

Young adults will have a great time here. Good party atmosphere.

Depending on your expectations, this place hits the mark. If you want cushy, amped up service and elaborate amenities, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.

So we’ll rate this a 7 out of 10.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank seezuhnedtravlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Salem, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

The resort was wonderful! Well kept up and pretty good entertainment on the grounds. It was a large property which is good and bad. Here is the good, many things to do even though you share it with many others, the property is spread out and so are the crowds. Bad, you have to walk seems like miles to get from your room to just about anywnere else on the property, don't forget your towel or anything else! I spent a fair amount of time traveling from room to restaurant, back to room to change for pool etc. I would have rather spent the time at the pools or bars. The hotel staff are personable and friendly, they are always busy, but don't be afraid to ask for anything you should need, they are very accommodating, a very nice member of the restaurant staff even went to the Jerk shack to get me a "plate" so I did not have to wait in another line! I rewarded him with a small tip, so he offered to "assist" me again should I need anything. He was my coffee in the morning "go to guy" from then on in, for a small fee, I got a pot of coffee every morning at 7 AM (Buffet, near lobby) ready for you to pick up and enjoy anywhere you please! That is my traveler helpful hint of the week!

Room Tip: I upgraded to a King bed ocean view suite, it was will worth it even though I was a long way from th...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank beckertrailers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

I am another reviewer who does not understand how anyone could complain about this resort at all! It's like my mother says, "some folks would gripe if you hung them with a new rope." Our experience here was nothing short of perfect and spectacular! :)

We arrived Thursday evening, March 1 - and were checked in within 30 minutes of arriving at the hotel. We were greeted by Jermaine, who very graciously prepared us our first rum punch of the trip. We had booked a standard room, but were graciously upgraded by Damian to a gorgeous suite in building 3 of the property. Couldn't believe our luck! :) We immediately unpacked and went back downstairs to find some food, since we had nothing to eat since breakfast that morning very early at the airport. We found the pizzaria open and had wine and food till we were full. We spent the evening drinking and relaxing before heading to bed.

We spent 3 days around the pool and while there are no waiters to come take drink orders, the pool bar was very close and we always were in the mood to "get in and cool off" anyway. The drinks were not watered down at all in our opinion. And, if we thought we needed a bit more rum in any of them - they are more than happy to oblige! Anything you want, mon, is fine with them! :) The one thing here that I would say is to take a hand towel with you to the pool because they were always out of paper towel in the bathrooms near the pool.

I used the fitness center twice - 3 treadmills, a bicycle and a elliptical. Also, some weight machines. Take a hand towel with you here too, as I never saw any in the main room at all. Afternoon is a better time to get a free machine than mornings of course.

We ate at the buffet every morning for breakfast - it was always very good. We ate at the buffet one night for supper, one night at the Japanese and one night at the Steakhouse. The Japanese was okay - food was good - steakhouse was better in our opinion - the french onion soup is awesome! We saw 3 of the shows while we were here and liked all of them very much. We didn't get to know much of the entertainment staff, but PIM - he was outstanding. He does water aerobics every day at the main pool at noon.

We did have a couples massage one day in the spa - was $80 each for us - and it was good, nothing like my regular massage therapist, but they are just wanting to make you relax, not work on problem areas.

We always like to try new places when we go on vacation - but given the opportunity - I would definitely go back to this resort! Very beautiful place all around! So glad we didn't listen to the nay-sayers on this one!

Room Tip: Building 3 - and ask for oceanfront - worth every penny!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TravelBabe15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2012

Just returned from 11 nights at the RIU Ocho Rios. (Feb 25-March7). Negative reviews = totally unwarranted! I've travelled around the world and this property is by far one of the best AI I have stayed at, the staff and service are incredible, the beach (and that blue water) are one of the best beaches I have seen, food was excellent, hotel is beautiful, and our weather was very good for the entire 11 days. You are near the mtns so early morning showers (then it clears off) tends to be the norm. RIU is known for its consistency and this one doesn't disappoint.

I think if people are complaining (and there always are complainers), they are really 'looking' for things as there wasn't one thing that would ruin my holiday here.

Go with confidence - you'll love it! If anyone would like further details, I would be happy to share details on all areas if you have concerns.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Karen W
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

Property: ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Address: | Mammee Bay, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios 3.5*
Number of rooms: 846
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, Amex, 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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