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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 13 April 2009

This was our 21st trip to the Carribean. The Rio hotel is very nice. I think when you read the reviews you will find them pretty much on target. The beds were hard, but we slept great. The food was very good. The beach was nice, the pool was nice also. Not enough activities at the pool though. The shows were what you would expect from an all-inclusive hotel. The casino was pretty cool. This is just a nice place to stay. I read one review before we went about "if you look for something wrong, you will find it" I can say that about every hotel we have stayed at. The positives far out way the bad at the Rio. You are in paradise, who is looking for bad things. Dunns River Falls are much cheaper if you take a taxi from the hotel there, then walk the falls without a guide you do not need one! Make sure you go when the cruise ships are not there. We waited for them to leave and had the Falls to our selves, maybe 6 other people. JERK HUT IS A MUST, only a little hot sauce though! You will have a great time here, no worries...Ya Mon! My only complaint with this hotel was they didn't have CBS. We had to go into town to watch Michigan State make their run at the National Championship. GO STATE!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank chairman16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,743 - 6,749 of 8,919 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2009

My best friend and her (now) husband chose this resort to get married at. My husband and I arrived with our party of 15 people. Check in was smooth, though I was a little weired out about everyone being expected to leave their luggage in the middle of the lobby until each room was ready.

The rooms are lovely! . Our hotel room was 2nd floor overlooking the swim bar with the ocean in the distance. Beautiful!

Staff: Were all great! The bartenders were awesome! Keesha was lovely! (BEST DRINK EVER: Jamaica Rum cream mixed with Strawberry Daquari!!!) Andre the maintence guy was on top of our door issues.

Rooms: We read a lot of complaints about the hardness of the beds ... well ... they are harder... but still comfortable! Our hotel key kept locking us out, which though challenging, we were in Jamaica for crying out loud! We just rolled with the punches ... The bathroom was great, nice, deep tubs! Maid services were good. The hotel was very short on hand towels, but again ... we just rolled with it ... we had plenty of other towels we could use in place of them! (The in-room mini bar was fun!)

Restaurants: We managed to make it to all of the available buffets / restaurants offered. We have ZERO complaints about the food. (Word to the wise - reservations can be tricky for some of the special restaurants - when they explain to you that there will be a line up in the morning - they mean it! Be in line 45 min early prior to reservations being taken)
The buffets were awesome - loved the variety of food/drinks!!

Activities: It is well worth going to the hotels orientation your first morning! They give away tours in a draw! Though we didn't win, we found a great deal and ended up doing the Dolphin Cove "swim with the dolphins" tour and the "Cool Runnings/ Dunns River Falls" tour. Both were well worth the money and great experiences! (Personally, I would not recommend taking children on the Cool Runnings boat ... it's a party scene! Fun for us, but not so much for kids.)

Entertainment: The hotels entertainment crew / nightly shows are fantastic! We didn't catch ever single show, but the ones we did were often jaw dropping. The onsite club was so-so. We only went to it one night ... its nothing special. We did catch the hotel bus into Ochos Rios. (It was $10 / person + tipping if you choose to do so.) It was a bit of a rip off as there are plenty of cabs we could have taken for a lot cheaper! Overall, it was still great to get into the city and experience the local market. (Bartering skills a MAJOR ASSET!)

BEACH scene: The only great day of weather we had was my best friends wedding! No complaints though! Would have liked to try out the paddle boats / etc. but the water was too choppy. (This of course has to do more with the time of year we went.) Things to be prepared for include: stray dogs on the beach and locals trying to sell you weed or other merchanise.

WOMEN BE WARNED: The majority of the time I was with my husband BUT the few times when I was alone or with my best friend / bridal party - we were mobbed by the male locals / hotel employees. (I would not recommend going here if I were a single female or traveling with strictly a group of females.) Though I never felt in danger, it became overwhelming very quickly!

WEDDING: My best friends wedding went off without a hitch. They chose to hire the steel drum band. We all agreed it was worth every penny!

Overall, without a second thought, we would do this trip again and stay here!!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank canadian_soul_rider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2009

A fantastic place if you want comfort, laughter, relaxation and warm and crystal waters.

From the minute we arrived at the hotel, everything was great. We were given a room on the deluxe wing (even though we didn't pay for it or even asked for it, but we showed our Riu class member card). The room, a junior suite, was gigantic, well decorated (according to Riu style) and we had a magnificent view, overlooking the ocean (most room had ocean view). The pool on the deluxe side was very good, even though we spent few time there. With a sea like that it's a crime to spend all day at the pool (in my opinion, of course).

Plenty of food, lots of restaurants and all quite good ( although you had to make a reservation between 5 and 6 everyday) and if you feel hungry at 2 a.m., there's a bar at the casino/internet room, where there are always very good sandwiches. Good entertainment staff, always with a smile and totally relaxed (it's Jamaica, there's never a problem).

Tours: we did YS falls/Black River (loved it) and we also did an afternoon tour to Ocho Rios and Dunn's River Falls.

The hotel is set in a peaceful place and even if you venture yourself outside the hotel (on the beach) you end up by finding small shops where you can buy cute things and reasonably priced.

Oh, a piece of advice: of course they offer you Marijuana all the time at the beach, it's Jamaica, it's Rastafarian Culture. But they never hassle you and a simple "No, thank you" will be more than enough. Don't let this keep you away from going to a great country with genuinely nice people.

(by the way....the Sandals next door....give me a break, it's absolutely nothing compared to Riu Ocho Rios).

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank shethinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2009

We had a great holiday, after queing from 7am in the morning we booked in our room number the steak restaurant for 9pm for our last night celebration of such a great holiday. We returned to our room at 1am to find it was still locked as we had left it but my mobile phone had been taken and after searching everywhere we looked in our locked safe to discover all our cash (£100, $160) had been stolen. We called security who then searched all our personal possessions to make sure we had not misplaced our phone and cash they tell me that it the hotel policy to do this okay we can deal with that. I insisted they call the police who also searched our possessions and interviewed my husband and I for 2 hours seperately it was an intergation and they were very rude and I was very upset at the way we had been treated I asked for a drink and told the policeman I was feeling ill he ignored me i told him i was diabetic he still ignored me.
I told the policeman I was disgusted with the way we were being treated like criminals after spending thousands of pounds on this holiday a couple of hundred pounds a mobile phone was nothing in comparison. The next morning we were leaving at 12 noon, No manager contacted us I had to wait 30 minutes before seeing an assistant manager who seemed to know nothing and started taking down more details, Thomson agent was not really interested either. I have come home with bad memories from this holiday instead of great ones I will never go back to Jamaica and I have freinds there who were very upset and have found out on the interenet so many other people who have been through the same with RIU Hotels in Jamaica.
Carol and Tom Green Rainham Essex

  • Stayed: March 2009
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6  Thank carolgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2009

Visitors to this hotel will definitely not be disappointed. All of the positive things I read on this site beforehand were true and I can't understand how anyone wouldn't love it. The hotel is beautiful. It's in excellent shape, very well maintain and very clean. I was there for my wedding and was very pleased to learn when my group of 16 was checking in to learn that they had put us all on the same floor in building 3. It was a great building to be in since it was very close to the restaurants and the pool we spent most of our time at. Our first room was very nice. But the room we got upgraded to because of our wedding on the 3rd day we were there was phenomenal. It is the nicest room I will probably ever stay in. We had a balcony with an ocean view, a walk-in closest, jacuzzi tub, HUGE shower and bathroom, flat screen tv and nice king size bed. This room really impressed us.

The restaurants are another area we really enjoyed. In addition to the 2 lunch buffets, and 1 dinner buffet, there are also 5 a la carte restaurants. As other guests said, it is a bit of a hassle to get up early to reserve. Luckily we had some early risers in our group. But with our up grade came some gold bracelets that got us into 2 more a la cartes and these you didn't have to be up as early for to book. We enjoyed all the a la cartes. Portions a Mammee Bay were a bit small. The Asian buffet, Mandalay was your typical Chinese food for the most part, but good; the Japanese we really enjoyed twice, and teh Sir John and Sir Richard have the same menu, also enjoyed these.

We alternated our time on the beach and at the pool. We used the free kayaks and pedal boats once each. They seemed to be pretty available when we were there. The hotel wasn't very full, which was suprising since we were there over spring break. The beach was very clean and well taken care of. You can walk down quite a ways on the one side, but can't get past the neighbouring resort, Sandals, on the other side. It was very easy to get a beach chair and to find shade both on the beach and at the pool. No need to get up early to reserve.

The drink selection was quite good. Lots to choose from. But we got pretty tired of all the slushing drinks after 2 weeks which are very sugary and fill you up.

We only did 2 excusions - zip lining through Chukka Cove and Dunn's River Falls. We thought we'd try and save a few dollars by not going through Sunquest or any of the other tour operators at the hotel. We'll that didn't really pan out. We used a guy that we meet through Winsome, the massage person in the hut at the end of the beach. We actually ended up paying $88, $4 more than the Sunquest price by going through him, I'm assuming because we didn't get the group discount then. He did give us a better price on Dunn's River, which I definitely recommend. I won't recommend the zip lining as we didn't feel it was worth the money.

This was our feeling about quite a few of the tours. It seemed they were priced to extract the max. amount of money out of tourist, but didn't necessary give you good value. This is definitely not a cheap vacation location, if that is what someone is looking for.

We went into town twice and found that walking away from the hotel we could get a better cab price for the 10 minute trip into Ocho Rios than the $30US that the hotel charged.

Now on to the wedding - the wedding coordinators took good care of us, but I found that I was greatful for having done my homework beforehand as they don't tell you all of the options available to you. We had our wedding at the Lagoon gazebo which I would definitely recommend as it more private than the beach gazebo. I didn't want anyone at my wedding wearing a speedo! Our wedding was at 2pm, which was the last offical time you could get married in a day, but we found out this wasn't true as there was people getting married after 2. There really is 2-3 weddings a day, so I would recommend talking with the photo shop and wedding coordinator sooner rather than later to make sure that you get what you want on that day. We brought an ipod down and had our songs programmed on there so we could have the music we wanted which worked well. The lagoon is kind of a funny location to get married because there is a bridge in front of it that puts distance between you and your guests, but we just stood in front of the gazebo, rather than it so that our guests could still hear us. We had our champagne after the ceremony and then on to pictures. I helped to have a shot list and someone in charge of getting family members in front of the camera. We stopped our pictures after about an hour and then resumed 2 hours later as it was very windy on the beach that day and my hair was becoming a mess and my dress was blowing all over the place. Luckily the photographer was very accomodating.

We had a lovely wedding meal in Mammee Bay, followed by our cake and then went down to the beach gazebo for our dancing. We booked this through the wedding coordinators and they were nice enought to through in some tiki torches so that we could have some light down there. We brought our own ipod and docking station from home.

Sorry for the rambling review. In summary, we have an awesome time at this resort. It's beautiful, there's lots to do, lots of places to relax if that's what you want to do. We had wonderful weather and I wouldn't change a minute of our trip.

  • Stayed: March 2009
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7  Thank lwiebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2009

So very beautiful! This was last year that I went; I'm a little late with this but memories are still pretty fresh. It was my first trip to the Caribbean and the prettiest place I've ever stayed in my life. I had to call my mother because I was so excited!

Rooms: Very pretty, tile and granite. We had one of the best rooms in the entire resort - an ocean front room. If you can, get one of those even if it's extra. It is so amazing being so close to the ocean from your room. Try to at least get an ocean view room if not ocean front room because this place is so huge it's possible to get on the side where you don't see the ocean at all and since those rooms are farther away it's quite a walk from everything (beach, restaurants). Of the three places I've been, this is the only one that actually had ocean front rooms. It sits very close to the water.

Transfers: One negative is that it's quite a long drive from the airport, about 2 hours so if you hate a long bus ride this will make you irritated to say the least.

Food: The food was very good. There was a buffet style restaurant which I believe was open until midnight. Great selection and open all day. We ate there a lot because it was rather hard to get a reservation for the specialty restaurants, which was irritating. The phone line to make reservations is always busy and you can almost never get a reservation for the same night; usually one or two days ahead of time. You need to do this early, by 8:00 a.m. or so. We only lucked out once and got a reservation at the steak house one night. All other meals we ate at the buffet I mentioned except breakfast. Breakfast was buffet style at the Sir George (something like that, can't exactly remember the name) for breakfast. The breakfast there is amazing, awesome, huge selection, no reservations, no complaints.

Service/staff: Communicating with the staff is easy, as they speak English. They practically walk around cleaning up after you; in other words, the service was excellent and it was very clean.

General: As I mentioned, this is right on the ocean front, not set back like other places, so no matter where you go at the resort it is so relaxing listening to the ocean and the whole place has the open air concept thing going on. They also didn't have a bunch of college kids or teenage groups like I've seen at some other places. However, the shows at night can get pretty loud and the noise carries to the rooms. So, basically no sleeping until after 11:00 p.m.

Pools: Pools are nice, but you also have to get up early to "reserve" a chair. You will not get one after 9:00 a.m. or so. There are two pools so it's never really croweded.

Be prepared to be offered "ganja" at the beach. These people hang out on jet skis just past the resort property line in the water and are not associated with the resort.

Overall, I would recommend it. If it's your first time in the Caribbean you'll be impressed.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Getmeoutofindiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2009

My fiance and I tried going into the hotel yesterday when security made it their point of duty to let us know we could not afford it. He let in 15 other visitors, but turned us away because he thought as Jamaicans we could not afford it! How dare they? Our honeymoon was supposed to be there but we are looking elsewhere. They may be great to guests, but are awful to their own countrymen! Need to hear more, call me @ [--]

Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
3  Thank nickystace
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
#6 Romantic Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 Spa Hotel in Ocho Rios
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios
Price Range: £183 - £284 (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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