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“Don't be fooled”
Review of Royal Reef

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Royal Reef
Ranked #48 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Dallas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't be fooled”
Reviewed 21 August 2008

Don't be fooled by the reviews you may read about this hotel. I wouldn't say that the information provided by the hotel is a lie, but it is very much misrepresented. The hotel is in a very depressed area. It will cost you a minimum of $150.00 USD to go anywhere to do anything. There is a/c, but only in your room, and it's not big enough to cool the room since the windows aren't sealed. Outside your room, such as in the eating and gathering areas, they rely on floor fans, that they quickly turn off once you leave the area. The pool was green, and the salt water pool was black. The "beach" area is not much bigger than a standard bathroom. My wife and I were afraid to go across the street to eat at one of the locations that are mentioned in some of the reviews. We were approached by many young men who wanted to either buy or sell drugs. If we make back to Jamaica, we will NOT be coming back to this hotel. You are better off spending a little extra to stay in one of the all inclusive hotels closer to MBI.

  • Liked — Nothing...Really!
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank travelinman63Dallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2008

I have been traveling to Jamaica for eleven years and have stayed at many places - without a doubt, this is one of the best. I never stay at all-inclusive facilities but do not mind relaxing at a well managed, clean, comfortable establishment. This is it. The food is great and the staff are wonderful.

It is about 20 kilometers east of Montego Bay. The Fish Hut is a great local restaurant within walking distance, The hotel is directly across the street from Greenwood, which has a great neighborhood bar with a pool table for the adventerous.

My only concern is that everyone will read this and there will not be enough room for the group that I bring with me each year.

  • Liked — Locally owned, well managed facility. Off the beaten path.
  • Disliked — No refrigerators in the room and the price of Red Stripe was a little high.
  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank gildayt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2008

We have just returned from a week's stay at the Royal Reef, and it was a wonderful experience. The staff was very warm and friendly and made us feel comfortable from the very beginning. The room was lovely with a nice panoramic view of the ocean and the lush mountainous landscape just across the road. The bathroom was huge, and the small balcony was also a treat. It was exhilarating to go onto the balcony and watch the sunrise each morning.
The included continental breakfast was an added bonus, but the other meals were a bit pricey with a very limited menu. We found a restaurant just across the roadway in a small shopping center with great prices, much better than the hotel's and with more menu choices. We learned from an older staff member that there were many restaurants, bars and clubs in the immediate area; no one told us that upon our arrival. There was also an absence of brochures and activity information in the lobby, but reading material in the room was helpful in planning our outings. We learned from others staying at the hotel, those who went scouting around a few blocks, that there was a lot to offer in the immediate area, and we discovered that the locals were very friendly. We only went out in groups, though no individual encountered any problems when going to the nearby stores.
There was no complimentary shuttle service, and the arranged shuttle was pricey, but we were able to bargain with the driver for great group rates for all of our excursions and he was extremely prompt and very protective of us, not letting the locals overwhelm us to buy things. He drove us around and gave us history lessons while on the way to our chosen destinations. He also guided us to the best shops and restaurants with the best prices, and suggested the best meals. He made our trip much more enjoyable and memorable than we ever could. Forming a relationship with our guide (Dwight) is what made our trip so wonderful. Others who stayed at the hotel gave similar stories about their guides.
We didn't swim in the hotel's pools or beach, but one of the people we met there told us that the water in both pools was fantastic (we stayed gone all the time). She also told us that she went out in the beach, guided by a staff member, and the water remained knee-deep for an "astonishing" distance. We did need insect repellent while on the patio at night.
I would recommend staying at the Royal Reef if you want to be away from the larger resorts and want a bit more privacy. It's 19 rooms offer a more quiet atmosphere, and being 15 minutes from Sangsters Airport gave us more interaction with the local culture. Though local bus transportation is available, I would recommend paying the extra money and using a guide for a more enhanced travel experience while you venture out.

  • Liked — Adventure
  • Disliked — Staff knowledge & info
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank crystken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Andrew, Jamaica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2007

I spent 2 days 2 nights at the Royal Reef during Sumfest, and have to admit that I didn't expect much since it was a small hotel that still had rooms at the almost last minute. But I was delighfully and pleasantly surprised. The nightly rate was a Sumfest rate, but breakfast was included, and the buffet meal was very Jamaican and very good. The staff were all polite and helpful, and I actually felt that they treated us as if we had paid a mint of money at any all-inclusive hotel. You could tell that they felt Royal Reef was just a great place for a guest to be a guest, especially the front house staff.

The room I stayed in was a little small but I saw bigger ones, and the bathrooms were a nice size - not the chucked up worn out looking bathrooms you often find in smaller hotels. The housekeeping staff were quite prompt when handling our requests.

The salt-water pool was an interesting addition, and the steps out to the sea were an unexpected treat - especially since the reef allowed us to walk out a bit into the water. We didn't take any other meals there - prohibitive cost - but the Fish Hut 2 doors down did an excellent job and of course there was Scotchie's Jerk about 10/15 minutes towards Ironshore on the other side.

I would definitely stay there again - but this time during an off-season when MoBay room rates are a bit better.

  • Liked — Staff; the hotel itself was beautiful
  • Disliked — The size of my room and the size of the television
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank LisaBusyBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Reef

Property: Royal Reef
Address: Lot 99 Greenwood | P.O. Box 10, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 19
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Reef Montego Bay

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