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“Great Hotel but not Vegan or Vegetarian friendly”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Murrieta, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Great Hotel but not Vegan or Vegetarian friendly”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

My husband and I stayed at the RIU OCHO RIOS from June 7-14, 2014. Overall we had a great experience. The hotel is clean and the staff were friendly. The Entertainment crew worked very hard to keep us entertained at night. The Jerk Chicken Hut on the beach was AMAZING!!!!!! We did the Dolphin excursion, the Dunnes River Falls hike and our favorite the 9 Mile Bob Marley Tour. DO THE 9 MILE BOB MARLEY TOUR. AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!

CONS......NOT VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN friendly at all. We are Vegan but knew we would have difficulty maintaing our diet when in Jamaica. There were very few non salad choices. RIU needs to improve upon this. More nightlife was needed after dark. We didn't want to spend 30 dollars on a cab to a place a mile down the road. Alarm clocks were needed in the rooms. Majority of the time we had NO CLUE what time it was. Lastly the dinner reservation line was ALWAYS 10 people deep. They would only have 1 person taking reservations. This took way to long.

Room Tip: Ocean view, Suite a must. Stayed on the Adult side.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KristinPatterson2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

Riu Ocho Rios is a great, family friendly resort. The rooms, common areas and grounds are clean. The staff is friendly and relatively helpful. The food is pretty good, you can generally find something you like even if you're a picky eater.
There is limited wifi in the lobby which can be a tad inconvenient but not a deal breaker.
Overall it's a good and relatively affordable choice.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lizzyhs3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

I stayed at the RIU resort from 6-13-14/ 6-17-14.

When we got to the resort, the front desk staff was very polite and helpful. We stayed on the adult side in a junior suite. They give you a gold band, towel card, and lock for the safe. If you loose either you have to pay.

The WIFI service was supposed to be free for guest staying in suites, NOT TRUE!!! The WIFI was free, if you were in your room. They give you the slowest WIFI service ever (slow as DSL) and if you want faster WIFI, you have to pay. If you want to use WIFI outside you room, you have 9 free hours, then you have to pay, again it’s the slowest WIFI service ever, to speed it up, you have to pay.

Our room was not ready. We checked in around 3:00 pm. The room was not ready until almost 5:00 pm. We were tired and wanted to change and get in the pool, we couldn’t do that.

All the pools close at 7:00 pm (this was suppose to be a vacation and I felt like a kid because the sun was still up and we couldn’t swim).

The food was TERRIBLE!!! We tried all the restaurants, no different. The resort is all-inclusive and for suite guest, you can eat in the restaurants for free (for non-suite, you have to pay to eat in the restaurants). You have to make reservations to eat in the restaurants. However, the resort had one person making reservations for EVERYONE!!! The line was always way to long. Also, when you check-in they give you a piece of paper with all the resort info which said, you can make reservations from 8:00 am – 10: 00 pm. That was a typo, you cannot make reservations after 4:00 pm and due to their typo, they would not accommodate us (WE SHOWED THEM THE PAPER).

The iron was broke in the room, I called the reception area at 8:00 am for a new iron, and they said someone would bring one up. After a half an hour, I went into the hallway and asked housekeeping if they could get us a new iron, she said no because they don’t start working until 9:00 am. Needless to say, I am still waiting on that iron. They did call two days later and ask was everything okay. I said no, where is our iron. He said, “Sorry Mon” we will send one up right away and I am still waiting.

The male staff were friendly, the female staff, not so much. Every time we walked by, they were on the phone or talking to each other and you had to wait for them to finish.

The food in the restaurants: The meat was too dry and service toooooo slow. They do not have enough staff in the restaurants.

The room was just okay. I wasted my money on a suite. Housekeeping does not come to the room until after 3:00 pm and on one of my days, they didn’t come at all. I came to my door and noticed someone put the “do not disturb” sign on my door handle, it wasn’t me and the sign was in my room on the bar.

THE BUGS: Near each room door, there is a light. Well, at night, bugs flop to this light. I had to use my purse to bang the bugs off the door and run in the room every night. GROSS!!!

To get ice, you have to go to the sports bar, which is outside the room area at the sports bar by the pool.


If you have to confirm your ground transportation when leaving, GOOD LUCK. THE RIU CHARGES $1.50 FOR LOCAL CALLS.

The cab rides are over priced!!!!! For two people to go less than a mile to Margaritaville, it was $40.00. I LIVE IN WASHINGTON, DC. I am used to expensive cab rides, but this took the cake..

YOU CANNOT EAT WHEN YOU WANT, YOU CAN ONLY EAT DURING CERTAIN TIMES OF THE DAY. If you are out on an excursion, you better get back for dinner, LOL. If you want food late in the night, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. EVERYTHING IS CLOSED.

Over all review: RIU is more interested in money, not the guest. All-inclusive is not all-inclusive at this resort. I travel a lot and this resort was the absolute worst. I WILL NEVER STAY AT ANOTHER RIU!!!!



PLEASE DON’T WASTE YOU MONEY!!!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank savymonee .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014 via mobile

I had the time of my life. I was treated like a king during my while stay there. Very friendly staff workers. Great customer service all around. The food was good. I loved the jerk hut on the beach. The club at night on the resort is nice. But if you want to check out another club check out margaritaville. If you want a reliable taxi driver while you're down there ask for Sibert in the lobby at the taxi service desk. He's very good. Always on time. Reasonable price for transportation. If you want activities to do check out Dolphin Cove and dunns river falls. They're no more than a 10 minute ride from the resort. The good thing is that riu Ocho rios is close to mostly everything if you want to do daily activities instead of Riu Montego bay. But riu Ocho rios is definitely a place I'll never forget. The beach is lovely and did is the pool. The sports and entertainment team are great too. The live music by the gazebo at night is awesome. Nice ambiance. RIU Ocho Rios is awesome must go.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
8 Thank J-Mac P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tabernacle, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

My boyfriend & I traveled to the RIU Ocho Rios 6/8-6/13. This was our second trip to Jamaica, having previously stayed with my family at Beaches in Negril. After reading a ton of mixed reviews and having stayed at many 5 star luxury hotels with my family in years past, I was nervous. This review is long, but I know that I would have appreciated a very honest review when researching this resort.

Our flight and airport transfer could have not gone more smooth thanks to cheapcarribean.com!

ARRIVAL:
We arrived at the hotel on a Sunday and our first reaction of the lobby was "wow". It was beautiful. Could be a bit overwhelming as there were a ton of people -- some coming and others going . . . but it did not bother us. We got in line for check in and were told our room would not be ready until 3pm. This was very much expected and clearly stated to us when booking, but we thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. After leaving our bags, we were welcomed with a drink and went to have lunch.

ROOM:
We were checked into our room at 3pm on the dot. After walking into our Oceanview Junior Suite on the Deluxe side, we were slightly upset to find two double beds pushed together to make a king and our fridge open and empty with a flithy towel laying under it. After several calls to the front desk and no answer, my boyfriend went to the Deluxe side concierge and they assure us it would be fixed. Within the next few hours a maid came to tie the two beds together making it one and cleaned up the fridge. We aren't much of complainers but were very impressed with their response to the slight issue. Other than that, the room was spotless! The view was beautiful of the grounds, pool, and ocean! I was very impressed with the amount of cleaning the maid did each day. Not only did she refresh our towels and make our beds, she went above and beyond cleaning and even organizing our shoes each day. The only bad thing about the room was the bed, it was VERY hard and uncomfortable. Most days my boyfriend and I would be up early not being able to sleep so we would get our breakfast & a quick workout in and take a long nap on the beach. Our fridge was restocked with plenty of "WATA" each day which we were slightly concerned about! The safe was another thing I read bad reviews about . . . yes it is old school, but we had no issues with it at all. Lastly, we were VERY HAPPY to find that the air conditioning worked great, we always got that "ahhhhh" feeling after coming back to the room sweaty from the beach and pool. One odd thing - no clocks, we just used our phones but it was very weird to not have a clock in the room.

FOOD/DRINKS:
The food at the BREAKFAST buffet was delicious . . . fresh fruit/vegetable smoothies, omelet station, and a huge variety of the basic breakfast dishes. Other than breakfast, I was not a huge fan of the buffet. You could tell the chefs tried very hard to keep the food looking appetizing, constantly wiping the counters and replenishing empty containers, but I am not a big fan of buffets. We ate lunch at the jerk chicken shack every day that we were there and never got sick of it. It was very fresh and absolutely delicious. As for dinner, we ate at Mandalay, Sir Richard, and the Steakhouse. They were all delicious -- and this is coming from someone who lives in the northeast -- an area known for good food. Mandalay was a buffet which again I am not a huge fan of, but it was much smaller and the food was cooked in front of you. My only complaint was that there was not many good desserts anywhere at all. With the exception of Sir Richard, the desserts were little bite sized things with a jello consistency (GROSS). Also, the ice cream never looked appetizing.

The drinks were good. No top shelf liquor but that didn't seem to matter much. Sometimes the drinks were slightly weak but if you mentioned it to the bartender he would gladly top it off for you. Tons of fruity drinks which were delicious, but after the third day my boyfriend's teeth started to hurt from the sugar overload. If you don't love the sugary drinks, there are some other choices. We loved that you never had to wait for a drink, the bartenders were quick and usually had another drink waiting for you before you even asked.

BEACH/POOLS:
The beach was very pretty. I stayed in Negril two years ago which is famous for it's beaches and I thought this one definitely came in a VERY CLOSE second. No rocks, warm, and crystal clear! We never had a problem finding a chair at the beach or pool at any time of the day. Most days we would head to the beach after breakfast until about 3 and then head to the pool on the Deluxe side. The Deluxe side had drink service on the beach and at the pool which was nice. The pool showed its age slightly but was still very nice. It also was very nice to not have vendors bothering you on the beach like in Negril!! As for the other pool, it was very big but we never really spent much time there. There were always activities going on though.

ENTERTAINMENT:
The entertainment team amazed us in their work ethic. They were there until about midnight and when we woke up in the morning, they were already back working with smiles on their faces. The shows were all good, and you could tell they tried very hard to involve everyone. The steel drum band/break dancing was the best show!

Besides the shows, the resort offered paddle boats, kayaks, snorkeling, windsurfing, tennis, and a good amount of excursions.

TIPPING:
Although this is an all inclusive, my boyfriend and I still tipped very generously -- almost every bartender we came in contact with, the same lady who waited on us at breakfast each day, the maid, bellhop, omelet guy, etc. Many of the employees did not seem to expect tips and were very thankful for them. Of course there were a few that were very obvious and clearly stated they'd like a tip (the water sports employees and a few bartenders) which did get slightly annoying.

GYM:
My boyfriend and I went to the gym a few days. It was perfect for a quick workout while on vacation. The machines were old but there were free weights and plenty of equipment to help you get the job done.

Overall, we were very impressed with everything at the Riu Ocho Rios after going there a bit concerned. Besides a few minor things, we had a near perfect stay! I would recommend this resort to people who are on a budget but are looking to get the most for their money. Would we go back? No, only because we don't like to go back to the same places twice. I was definitely amazed at how they served masses of people but you somehow still felt like everything was clean and everyone was personable to the point of remembering your name!

Room Tip: Definitely stay on the Deluxe Side with an ocean view
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Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
22 Thank Aliciaaxx26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 June 2014

I'll remember this hotel for my entire life... 1st time in a Riu and it's now my "must be there" place. Great rooms, beds were awesome too. Everything was always clean (rooms, pools, restaurants...). And don't forget to try the hot fruits salad in the morning. I'll come back for sure !

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jerome M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We have been to many RIU hotels in the carribean but this holiday and hotel is the best we have experienced. The hotel is a perfect location on the beach. The staff are so friendly and make you feel special.

This hotel is well worthy of a 5star.

As we are very well travelled this hotel has everything or more than we have ever found.
It is a very large complex so if you are looking for a small and friendly hotel this would not suit you.
This hotel has 5 restaurants. You have the chioce of the main buffet restaurant or booking th
choice of Gourmet, Italian, Japanese, Steak House.
We tried them all and the only complaint was that the service for the Steak House was very
slow.
Entertainment in this hotel was brilliant. Most RIu hotels are very repetative with the entertainment but this hotel was different. There was far more variety and the team try and get the guests to
participate in different things.
If you are travelling here without children like we did make sure you book into the Adult Only part of this hotel. It has its own section which is quieter and has its own swimming pool and restaurants
etc.

The other side of this hotel is more for families etc.

Comparing the beach to other carribean places we have visited we would say that although the
beach was nice it is a small stretch of beach and not far to walk. Best beaches we have visited are
Dominican Republic and Barbados. Dominican beaches stretch for miles!!

Make sure you try the Jerk Chicken here. It is lovely. They have a hut which serve you this
on the beach.

We went on a couple of trips. Dunne falls is well worth a visit. (Would not recommend for the elderly though as you climb to top of falls)

Bob Marley 9 mile trip is a MUST. They take to where he used to live and show his home etc.

Room Tip: Ask for a room over the pool. You are guaranteed a sea view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Phil1962_12
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 - 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 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: 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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