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“Simply beautiful!”

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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Los Angeles, CA
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Simply beautiful!”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had a family vacay here from 8/14/14 - 8/20/14 and had an amazing time. Check-in went smoothly as the staff was very nice and helpful. They are very accommodating and will change your room if you're not happy with it. Not like we weren't happy with our room but we wanted to stay in the adult section (gold wrist bands) to enjoy the adult pool and infinity pool and especially the free Wi-Fi for 24 hours a day. The other side of the resort is limited with wifi but it really didn't matter much as the wifi is not that great anyway. The food was okay. The food is the typical buffet stuff but be sure to make reservations the day you arrive to their specialty restaurants which are better. If you're a light drinker then the drinks are just right. If you need extra rum, just ask for extra. :-) The both pools are very nice and big. I wish they had a Jacuzzi though with warm/hot water. The beach is simply gorgeous. The activities and shows are great! Beds are a little hard but you're in paradise. No worries mon! Love that you can kayak or paddle board or use their scuba gear for free. They also give scuba diving lessons at a cost and take you out into the ocean.

This is a BEAUTIFUL place!!!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bolingbrook, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

This was my fifth stay at the Riu Ocho Rios 7/3-9/14 and it certainly did not disappoint!

Getting There: Yes people it is an hour and a half ride from the airport. It really isn't that bad of a ride. For me it’s time to relax after a long day of traveling. Sometimes the drivers stop about 30 minutes into the trip to use the bathroom or to have a snack and a drink. This year our driver did not stop, which was fine with me I just wanted to get to the resort as soon as possible.

Check In/Out: Check-in took only about 15 minutes which was really nice. We were also upgraded when we arrived to the adults’ only section. This made my whole group of 5 very happy! When we checked in there weren't any safe keys which made me a little nervous. I've never had anything stolen while staying at the Riu but it made me nervous. Even in the US I like to lock everything! We were told to return in the morning for a key. When we went we were given keys so problem solved!

Service: As always we received the best service! Every employee that I met was very happy and courteous. In years past I found some of the female works to be a little rude but not this time. The only issue we had was with the maid. One of the days it seemed like she didn't clean our room at all. I’m not quite sure what happened but the next day she was back to normal. One night we had a friendly little lizard in our room. Needless to say I freaked out when I saw it as I opened the bathroom door. So we called the front desk and they sent somebody right away. I’m not quite sure they told him what he was coming to our room for. He seemed just as scared of it as I was. Lol anyway he ended up getting it out oh and did I mention it was close to 2 AM when this happened. So to me the service was really great!

Rooms: Like I stated before we were upgraded to the adults’ only section of the resort. We had a junior suite which gave us extra space. We had a separate living room section where there was a sofa and table where the TV was. It was nice having this extra room. I was sharing a room with my friend and they actually gave us a real king size bed. Not that we needed it. Usually we get the two double beds pushed together which has always worked so that we each have our blankets. Not having that kind of sucked but we made it work. Plus nobody really comes to Jamaica to stay in the room and sleep. Other than the extra space the room is pretty much the same as the standard rooms on the other side of the resort. Also on the adult side you get a card to open you door instead of the key. One perk of the adult only section is that you get free Wi-Fi when you’re in your room. This was pretty nice!

Entertainment: We didn't really go to any shows this year since I have seen them all before. It was pretty nice during dinner time when they had a guy with a steel drum playing. We only went into the club one night just to grab a drink since the other bar was closed. Usually for dancing and stuff we left the resort to go to either Amnesia or Margaritaville. We found out when we got there that the hotel no longer has a deal with Margaritaville. This means that there is no longer a free shuttle a couple of days a week to the club. It sucked that we had to pay $10 per person round trip to go dance. The only plus to this was that we could stay as long as we wanted. Before everybody had to agree on a time to get picked up this was usually way too early! You can also grab a cab if you walk to the gate we did this one of the nights.

Excursions: We only did one excursion this year. We did the catamaran ride to Dunn’s River. We did not climb the falls since all of us have done that a couple of times. We just wanted to ride the boat and snorkel. This trip cost $55 each. While everybody climbed the falls we got to drink and relax on the boat. I've always wanted to do this excursion and I’m so glad that we finally did it. The best part was Suzanne that worked on the boat; she made it lots of fun! After everybody was done climbing the falls we went out to reef to go snorkeling. This was super fun! The whole trip took about 3-3.5 hours.

Food: The food gets better every year. Breakfast is great you can choose from omelets, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, sausage, bacon, ECT. Basically any breakfast dish you can think of they have. One of the days they even had a crêpe station. The only thing I think they should have at this station was whipped cream. My group fell in love with the porridge and the coco tea. For lunch we either went to the jerk hut or the plantation restaurant. I was very happy that they sever fish at almost every meal now. Also the plantation restaurant had a Panini station that was great! On all but one of the nights we had dinner at the buffet. I went with some really picky eaters and everybody was able to find something to each every night. On one of the nights we made a reservation at the Japanese restaurant. This restaurant was great! Everything that we ordered was very tasty. I would say the best part was the fried ice cream. The last time I had fried ice cream this good it was at a Chinese restaurant in Rome when I was a kid. We never went to the sports bar for snacks. If we didn't get back to the resort too late we would just go to get pizza at the Italian restaurant.

Beach/Pool: The beach is great! It was a little rocky on the adults’ only side so we ventured over to the family side when we wanted to get in the water. Also the family side was a little livelier. So we usually started out our day over there. On our second day we took the paddle boats out which were really fun. There weren't any Jet Ski vendors this year which kind of sucked. I know they aren't with the resort but it was always fun. Plus some of the friends I’ve made on the island were Jet Ski vendors. Towards the end of the day when we were winding down we would go back to the adult side since it was quieter. As for the pools we spent most of our time in the adult pool. We went to the family pool once since we use to have a lot of fun over there. We noticed this time that it was seriously run down compared to the adult pool. There were way too many kids running around and splashing so we only stayed for a bit and then left. The adult pool was great! The bartenders were great and always remember what your favorite drink was. The only gripe I had with the pool is that it closes at 6.

Overall: This was a great trip. While we were there we were already making plans for our return next year! If you’re looking to totally relax and not have a worry in the world then this is the place for you. If you are low maintenance then this is the place for you. If you are super picky and want somebody to wait on you hand and foot, this is probably not the place for you.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ccorni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

Star Tip **Before staying in any RIU hotel order yourself a RIU CLASS CARD as this will give you discounts on any of the RIU services like Spa’s and diving courses. (www.riu.class.com)**
We travelled to Jamaica from the end of June / July with Thomsons. The hotel was booked in advance and we could not get the upgrade to the Adult (Delux) side (As recommended by others) on this website. On contacting the hotel were informed that this could only be done on checking in. On arrival we were told that the hotel was full and could not get the desired upgrade for a few days.
The Reception staff were very friendly and helpful and sorted our upgrade from the Red to the Gold wrist band as promised. What did the upgrade entail? And was it worth the money? (USD 441.97 for 12 nights), I am not sure it was!
As a Red Band guest we had a room overlooking the garden away from the pool and beach area, so was fairly quiet. The bed was comfortable (They are all 6ft wide anyway to accommodate the larger framed people). It was clean tidy and air conditioned, with patio doors to the balcony.
As a Gold Band Guest our room was larger to the extent we had a lounge seating area, and a spa bath in the room. There was a Concierge desk (outside the Japanese restaurant) where you could book your fine dining experiences before the Red bands (see below)You could also do your checking out on day of departure without queuing at the Reception desk . You had the additional choice of booking the Japanese Restaurant which the Red bands did not. You had use of the adult only pool which did not have all the entertainment and loud speakers around it. (Both pools had swim up bars). You also had a separate area of beach away from the family area, and therefore quieter. You also got free 24hr WiFi in your room.
This hotel was large spotlessly clean and tidy and accommodated a lot more people in one place than any other hotel that we had stayed in. Sadly it lacked space and facilities particularly in the evenings and was over crowded.
Rooms:- Were all clean tidy, and had well stocked mini bars included. The difference between the two rooms is shown above. We never used the Spa Bath and preferred showers. Air conditioning all worked well. Towels and bedding exchanges regularly and our maid Evette did a great job and left towel sculptures each day. The rooms are noisy with doors banging by inconsiderate guests and the long tiled corridors are very nice except at 5.30am when other guests are departing and are pulling their wheeled cases along click, click, click, click…. Earplugs are a good investment!
Restaurants’:- The Main self-service cafeteria (canteen) St.Ann was the only restaurant open for breakfast you could sit indoors or outdoors on the veranda. Due to the number of people feeding you had to queue for breakfast , which was not ideal and often meant you ate it cold. There was always plenty of choice of hot and cold buffets to select from although the fresh fruit juice seemed to be massively watered down.
Lunch time was better, having four places to eat, the Plantation, the Piccola Italian restaurants as well as the Jerk Chicken hut (near the family pool on the beach) and the Mammee Bay (near the Adult/ Delux Pool). The food was good and there was plenty of choice of hot and cold dishes.
Evening meals were varied from self service at the St. Ann cafeteria which was noisy and you couldn’t relax and enjoy your meal because of the volume of traffic (people) either just walking through or collecting their evening meal. Our waitress Roxanne did a great job, and was a credit to the hotel. The semi self-service at Mammee Bay which became the Steak House was good. The Mandalay (Asian) sadly did not reach the same standard as my take away Chinese at home and the service was poor.
Full waiter service was provided at the Tushima (Japanese) which was very good , and either the Sir John (Red Bands) or Sir Richard (Gold Bands) gourmet restaurants were also very good. It was also great to see that the dress code was enforced at the fine dining restaurants.
Sadly they do not provide Gluten Free menu options, which is difficult for those with dietary needs. As a suggestion it would have been better to have had a local food restaurant doing just Jamaican dishes.
Bars
Plenty to choose from with a whole range of cocktails to sample. The bar staff very friendly and helpful. If you waved a dollar bill you got served quicker!
Beach + pools
For the German readers “There is no shortage of deck chairs at this hotel.” The beach was spotless with white sand and palm trees (very relaxing). Take your own Goggles and snorkels as there is a reef that you can swim around and see all the tropical fish. Beach towels can be exchanged daily. There was no waiter service around the pools or beach and for a 5 star hotel this was poor.
Diving + Water sports
There is a dive centre at the hotel and you can do PADI courses at very reasonable rates and experience dives.(With your RIU CLASS Card). The instructor James Brown and the Dive Master Anthony were excellent. You can hire canoes, pedallos, catamarans etc.
Renova Spa
Good selection of treatments and a good way to start and finish your holiday with a massage. Prices are negotiable despite the fixed prices advertised.
Animation Team
Did a reasonable job which was family orientated. Again due to the size of the hotel the stage and viewing area was not big enough for the number of guests staying. You often could not get seats for the more popular shows, unless you got there early. The volume of the shows was far too loud in our opinion. Should you not wish to sit through the show there is nowhere quiet and relaxing to go for an after dinner drink other than the main foyer.
Tours
There are several tour companies offering different tours all priced in US Dollars, which they will convert to British Sterling or Jamaican Dollars at an enhanced rate. We cycled down the Blue Mountains, did the Dunns River Falls climb and Zip lining over the jungle. All were good days out.
Car Hire +taxi’s
No car hire desk available at the hotel however, there was a taxi desk with the prices published. A two hour shopping trip to Ochi Rios approx. 6 miles away cost $10.00 per person return on the shopping bus. Practice your haggling skills in the market there. The bar near where they drop you off charges USD 7 for two small bottles of coke and the price went upwards.

Security
Was good and visible at the hotel and there was no hassle from hawkers on the beach. There were some tradesmen at the far end of the beach off the property who did some good carvings which were reasonably priced.
Return Trip
The Thomson Rep had us picked up at the hotel at 12noon for a 6.30pm flight. We had to hang around at the airport before the desks even opened. The airport is air conditioned. The Club Mo bay VIP lounge is worth investing in.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hunyani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

Anyone who has anything bad to say about this place is just being a snob! I had the best time of my life despite me being a sun fanatic and there not actually being a great deal of it over the two weeks!
Staff- We were greeted with a welcome drink and friendly staff. All staff from managers to cleaners and gardeners were lovely. Entertainment team best ever.Big hello to mini me, Veronica, Keston and boom boom (kids entertainer who is a fantastic artist).I can't stress how lovely and helpful all staff are.
Room-Fantastic spacious and cleaned every day. TV had plenty of channels. Fridge well stacked with drinks and minibar of rum, gin, vodka and brandy on the wall. We were in room in building above main buffet. View wS spectacular overlooking pool and sea. View from back of room was green rainforest.
Pool-Fab pool area, clean, plenty of beds and choice of shade. Pool bar great atmosphere and happy cheerful staff. Great choice of drinks and lively reggae and r n b music mostly played. Fun games by pool and beach each day.
Food-Excellent choice of food and really good quality in buffet and main restaurants. Staff don't expect tips although I highly recommend tipping as they work so hard.
Beach-excellent, clean and gorgeous clear warm sea. Good choice if water activities all inclusive.
Facilities-gym which my boyfriend used most day' air conditioned and good equipment. Spa looked lovely. Kids entertainment team fab and had own area with mini pool, sandpit and park. Nighttime entertainment amazing with a audience participation, hotel staff show and live band every night! Nightclub with best music ever opened at midnight and sports bar open 24hrs a day with pool and games room.
I will defo return and recommend to all, family's, groups of friends and couples.thank you club hotel riu!

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I visited Riu Ocho Rios with my family and family friends last summer. As soon as we arrived we were greeted with welcome drinks and were very quickly checked in. We were upgraded to the other side of the hotel where all the rooms were junior suites with free wifi and there was a private pool and concierge desk. The upgrade we received was because we had Riu gold member cards.

The rooms were a little dated in decor but the beds were massive and pretty comfy. The bathroom was also a decent size with two mirrors and a whirlpool bath/shower. The liquor dispenser and mini fridge were restocked when needed which was excellent and very convenient.

The food was brilliant, always so much to choose from in the buffet and the other restaurants were relatively easy to make reservations for. Sometimes it was a little busy in the buffet area but you can avoid that by going a little earlier or later.

The beach was gorgeous, always activities going on and the sea was beautifully clear. One thing I must mention is that there are a lot of locals in the sea trying to sell bracelets which can become annoying when you are trying to relax and swim.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the higher level for a better view
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ellepyatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dalhousie, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

stayed two weeks enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of jamaica never any rush or line ups for anyting lots of chairs at the pool and at the beach excellent service everywheres from check in to check out. super clean, food excellent absolutely no complaints. long bus ride over one hour, no big deal. dunns river falls a must, truly enjoyed. would strongly recommend riu ocho rios.

Room Tip: the resort is u-shaped, like a horse shoe we had a perfect room, dead center, third floor facing t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JATA_56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2014

I just recently stayed here for 5 days and I would have to say that this place is mediocre. The overall establishment is decent. Its defiantly a eye catchere as you pull onto a long driveway to the resort and arrive at a beautiful lobby with a stunning view of the ocean. But the first impression is simply a facade. The employees customer service was fair. I wish I could blame it on culture but after staying at other places in Jamaica, thats not the case. The rooms are ok given the fact that I had a nice ocean view and the room was clean. The only thing that really needed improvement was the bed. The bed was sunk in where people had constantly laid on the mattress (a regular flipping of the mattress would have benefited this resort with this issue). As far as the all inclusive goes, the food is fair. There was variety but the food was not very fresh. When I think of a buffet, the food should be changed out very frequently with fresh food, but I did not see that happen very often except on dishes that were been emptied out by the guest. Also all inclusive was not technically all inclusive as they only come to fill your fridge and bar every other day. For the money you pay you should always be stocked with water, juice, and soda. Overall I wouldn't recommend this place. For the money that you pay you would have a better time at a smaller resort and going out to the local bars and restaurants with food and drinks.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank P V
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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