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ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Ranked #8 of 35 Hotels in Ocho Rios
Reviewed 26 May 2009

This review is a little late but as they say . . better late than never. I traveled with 3 girlfriends to the Riu in Ocho Rios last year. I'll be simple and quick since I agree with a lot of the reviews already on here.

We loved it and debated going back again this year. We have decided to go to the Riu in Punta Cana this year and hope to have just as good as an experience. The staff was wonderful. Not sure if Kenny is still working the swim up bar but he was one of the best parts of the Riu. The room was everything we needed but it wasn't the Westin. We never had trouble sleeping though. The jerk chicken hut is a best! You must go there. We went everyday for lunch.

Some people may be disappointed to know that there were only Red Stripe and Red Stripe Light as far as beer choices. We were not but some other people might have been.

Some of the things I would recommend . . . definitely get reservations of the Japanese restaurant. I can't speak to the other restaurants but it was great for a change from the buffett. Bring a big cup if you are a drinker! They serve you in small cups which requires too much going back and forth to the bar . . . who is on vacation for the exercise? Hang around the pool on the non suites side if you are a people watcher and want to enjoy the activities. It was so much fun and the Riu Activities group always had us entertained. Definitely don't overpack with heels and dressy clothes . . . we stayed in our bathing suits during the day and soft cool dresses, shorts and tops at night. We never got out of our flip flops during our stay.

Remember that this is classified a 5 star resort for Jamaica standards . . not American standards. Don't go expecting the Ritz Carlton! Enjoy yourself and if you leave the resort . . make sure you go with a JUTA approved taxi driver.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with friends
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8  Thank AmyBryant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,636 - 6,642 of 8,847 reviews

Reviewed 20 May 2009

I'm a little late with this one. I stayed here with a group of 22 people in January 2009. The ride from Montego Bay was fine. I don;t care for stopping along the way but people seem to enjoy it and what the heck, you are on holidays.

Hotel check in was very organized. Very impressed. Not all rooms were ready for the group as we were early but we had them very quickly. The Jr Suites were beautiful. That section of the resort is my choice. The kids activites are on the hotel side so that may be important to you. I thought the Jr Suite section was the place for adults.

The beach was beautiful. No, you can't walk for miles but it was really great and long enough for nice walks. Private beach. There were some locals that hung around the edge of the beach trying to sell thier drugs. This is a turn off but ignore them if you walk by them to leave the beach area to go further. The hotel needs to have someone on these guys more though but they are avoidable.

We saw a few weddings when we were there. Lovely wedding gazebo on the beach. They do a great job!

Restaurants. Nothing but great things to say. Tried them all and they were all wonderful. The buffet is fantastic with so much choice. The ala cartes had to be booked the day before when we were there.

Entertainment: Ok, pretty standard stuff. Great band after the shows though. Rather dance to that than the disco.

There was a beach party one night and it was fun to watch some of the more traditional Jamaican entertainment.

Staff: Wonderful. Very impressive.

All in all I can recommend this hotel for anyone. It is a large resort but never feels that way. Has lots to offer!

  • Stayed: January 2009
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10  Thank Travellinfool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2009

We have visited this hotel since it was built and it's GREAT!! The staff is wonderful and the food was awesome. The jerk chicken on the beach was the "bomb". We will continue to visit every year. The rooms were nice and clean and did NOT smell like mold to us. The only problem we had was the electricity went out for maybe 45 mins to an hour one day but we were issued vouchers to return back within a year (which was great).

I can not see myself staying at another hotel in Jamaica other than the RIU!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with friends
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5  Thank tatianiadove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2009

I'm not sure if the people with the poor reviews stayed at the same hotel that I did. I really enjoyed my stay at the RUI ocho rios. I stayed in building A I believe which is the closest building to the registration desk. I loved my room it over looked one of the pools and it didn't smell like mold at all. It was very humid during my stay so the sheets seemed a little damp at night but it really was a minor issue for me because I slept with the sliding door open (I love to smell the ocean air).
I didn't eat at any of the restaurants that required reservations because I didn't come to Jamaica to eat chinese, japanese or steak - I came for Jamaican food. I found the buffet to be great because I could taste as many things as I wanted! The staff at the buffet will be happy to get you drinks or anything else that you might need once you're seating as well.
I also ate off the resort at Scotchie's which is walking distance or a 10 USD (RT) cab ride. They have hands down the best jerk chicken I've ever tasted and I'm a huge fan of caribbean food. I also ate my birthday dinner at Spring Garden on a recommendation from Gairy of Lee's Taxi and Tours.
The one thing that added tremendous value to our trip was Lee's Taxi and Tours. We used them to and from the airport as well as for tours after reading rave reviews here at the forums. They are worth their weight in gold - we had the pleasure of working with Gairy and Michael and I'd recommend them both (Gairy was our favorite though). If you use them you will feel as though you came to Jamaica to visit friends - that is how helpful they are.
Overall I was very very pleased with the RUI and can't wait to not only try them in other locations but to return to RUI Ocho Rios.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Brooklyntcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2009

I'll make it short, the food was not good except for the jerk chicken at lunch but had to wait in a line up, how crazy is that!!! The hotel was clean and grounds are kept nice, the rooms really smelled of mold, the rooms were cleaned late afternoon, and gave face cloths later on for some reason instead ofbthe same time as the towels, asked for toilet paper and wounldnt give me two roles only one and had to wait till the maid did the rooms to get the second role duh!!
As for riu hotels , my sis has been to negril and Mexico and raved how they were twice as nice as ocho. The food, hospitality ECT... So if u want to go to jamica without disappointment go to negril !!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JoeyTimmins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2009

I wasnt going to write a review but after seeing that last one i felt obligated to share my completely different experience. Me along with one of my closest friend decided to take a much needs girls only vacay to Jamaica 5nights 6 days May 8-13, after reading review upon review over and over we decided on the RIU as it was all inclusive and close to many of the attractions. We arrived there at about 6pm and as soon as we stepped out the cab you are hit with a breeze only open air and an ocean could provide. We got up to the check in and before we had the chance to give our names we were greeted by Jermaine with drinks in hand he must have known that we were drained from traveling and simply said "Yea Mon ill double the shot" (haha). Check in was no more than 10mins, between the front desk explaining the hotell where everything was located giving us our room key, lock for safe and bands for the hotel.

THE ROOM
The room was goregous nice size TV great bathroom (I would recommend that the put a light over the shower as it is a little dark once the curtains are closed). The fridge it stocked with Coca Cola, 2 large bottles of "Wata" (water) some seltzer, organge soda and red stripe. I've noticed that a lot of people complained that that is the only beer they had in the fridge, but Red Stripe to Jamaica is like Budweiser to Americans so it should be expected. Our room was cleaned perfectly everyday we'd leave a tip for if we remembered by regardless she always left extra towels and soda. Theres a liquor dispenser right above the fridge with your basics, Rum, Vodka, Brandy and something else. Beds were a little tough but after bouncing around all day you dont even realize it. And it is a little muggy at times but remember its 90degrees looking at the ocean you'll feel dampness. Another complaint was the room key day 3 of our trip was a nightmare with it, between me and my friend getting new room keys because they didnt work was insane and then the phone went out. After going downstairs because the phone didnt work they said they would send a tech to come and fix it someone was there within 5mins changed the batteries and it worked again...for about 10mins. At this point we frustrated so we went back downstairs and asked to speak with a manager and explained the story of why we had to walk downstairs over and over (because the phone didnt work) and kindly handed him the 14keys we had accumulated over the past hour. He followed us to our room tried his "Master Key Card" and when he saw it didnt work he asked us to pack our bags and within 10mins we were moved to a suite. PROBLEM SOLVED :)

POOL
I see that someone complained about the "entertainment" at the pool. There was definitely entertainement music playing people meeting people the bartender Devon randomly pouring shots from the bottle directly to whoever wanted it...thats is why it is called "The Party Pool". For those who would prefer a more quiet pool the RIU has TWO POOLS. So if it gets to be too much for some you can always walk over to the other side. Its perfect for all types of people. If you do choose to go to the party pool and you see Devon ask him to make you a "Bubble Gum Drink" its heaven...

FOOD
This would have to be my only complaint as far as making reservations for the speciality restaurants. They say you can reserve from 8am-4pm, such is not the case. I happened to be partying all night with some of the natives and didnt get back to the hotel till about 4:30am I went upstairs to my room and went back downstairs at about 5:30am to find out where we lined up at for reservations he showed me where and said I should be back down by 6:30am as the line is long by 7am. He did me a favor and let me throw a towel on the chair since I had been there and told me he'd watch my spot since I was first down there. I went back down at about 6:30am and there were about 5 people there. I sat down and by 7:05am the line was massive. So if you want reservations I'd suggest get up early bring a book and enjoy the breeze cause if you aren't down there by 7:15am the latest you probably wont get a reservation. The best restaurant to get would be Sir Richard, John, or Asian. The buffet is what it is nothing special there something there that'll you'll like. Breakfast though is great omelet station is the best part of it.

ENTERTAINMENT
There are tons of things to do after the pools closes and youre tired of the beach, they have nightly shows which are actually good - it has a club inside the hotel (im not sure how that is cause we didnt go) nd they have shuttles to all the nightspots and back to the hotel - show your RIU wristband and you get in free

Overall this is a great place to go relax and enjoy a different world and lifestyle go with an open mind if you go down there picking at every little thing youre not going to enjoy yourself and you'll find something wrong with every single thing. Needless to say we already booked another trip back to the RIU for 10days now for July and we cannot wait!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled with friends
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5  Thank ImFancyNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2009

We just returned yesterday from Riu Ocho Rios Hotel, Jamaica. Stayed 05/09/09-05/17/09
Overall it was a pleasant trip. I consulted Trip Advisor before choosing this hotel and would like to share my experience and maybe it will help someone else.
Lets get this out of the way, this resort is definitely not 5 star and not even 4 star. It is decent 3 star hotel and you should expect service and food accordingly otherwise you will be disappointed.
Hotel Transfers:
We used JamaicaTours operator for our transfer and we were happy with it. It takes about 1h45min if you drive direct from airport to the hotel non-stop or it takes about 2h30min if there are other people on the bus and driver has to drop them off along the route.
Hotel Exterior:
Good - Hotel looks very nice and it is fairly new. Lobby, bar areas, restaurant facilities clean and colorful. Grounds are beautiful and well taken care of on daily basis by gardeners. Bad - Elevators need air conditioning installed as it feels like inferno inside them.
Check-In:
Check-in was smooth and efficient. We were assign room on 4th floor. Views from every room at least partially ocean views so no sense in upgrading if you were thinking about it.
Room:
Good - Rooms are nice and big with seating areas. LCD TV in a room a big plus and cable programming is sufficient. If you think that cable television is not your highest priority on vacation you should think again as periodically it rains in Jamaica all day long and there is nothing else to do in the resort during the day. Bad – Housekeeping is very slow in getting your room clean. If you back from the beach before 4:30pm your room is not clean yet and then you will face a choice in 30 minutes to leave you room until it is clean or tell housekeeping that you are all set for today. Since it got cloudy around 2:00pm almost every day and we came back by 3:00pm to take a shower our room got clean only twice in 7 days.
Food:
We not picky eaters at all but food at this resort with exception for few items is not even worth mentioning. Service has much room to improve. Only once we were offered by or waiter to go get us wine and beer and we left him nice tip for it, otherwise you will have to get up and go get yourself beer and glass of wine for your companion. Management of RIU in Jamaica should take a trip to RIU in Mexico to learn how to run successful restaurant service. I am trying to be objective, and keep a lot of disappointment inside.
Breakfast – Typical breakfast, eggs, French toast, pancakes, omelet and so on. No complains about breakfast and it is usually hard to mess up.
Lunch – This is where it gets interesting. Hotel has Chicken Jerk Hut on the beach where chicken is grilled in traditional Jamaican style. It is absolutely delicious and very popular. Now, wouldn’t it make sense to capitalize on this unique opportunity and make something good out of it? But no, due to poor or rather lack of supervision from hotel management only one person is scheduled to work at this station. This Hut is extremely popular and line stretches for 30 to 45 minutes and I wonder why not put 2 or 3 people to speed up the process of grilling. No, no one from management cares about it. Selection of food during lunch at restaurants usually very poor and we only used these restaurants as places to sit and eat Chicken Jerk that we got from Hut at the beach.
Dinner - Saturday night is Caribbean night and you can try traditional dishes like jerk chicken, curry goat, roasted pig and so on. Try to eat as much as you can that night as the rest of the week is so boring with food that I am having trouble remember what was served. Usually it is hard and dried up beef stakes, fried fish, spaghetti with ketchup or as they call it marina sauce. We usually tried to get filled up with chicken jerk during lunch and came to dinner to browse through selection and maybe try some salad and have desert.
Entertainment:
This is one are that this hotel excelled at. Nightly entertainment is very popular and excellent. Every night there is different show and actors really try and do great job. Wonderful job, keep up great work!!!
Beach:
Beach is very nice but it is short. On one side there is a wall separating Sandals and on the other it ends with private villas. So if you like to take a stroll along the beach I would not suggest it. Other than that, beach is nice and clean with plenty of beach chairs and shade from palm trees. There are locals who will ask you if you would like to buy some weed but if you say no it is enough for them and they leave you alone. No pressure.
Pools:
I took a lesson in Scuba Diving and had to spend about 45min with instructor in the pool for training. If only everyone could see what I saw on the bottom of the pool there would not be a single person in the water. I saw patches of human hair, cigarette butts and plastic straws and so on. So my suggestion is use the beach and stay away from pools. I was keeping an eye on three large gentlemen who sat in the water at the swim-in bar playing cards and drinking beer for over an hour and not a single one of them got up to use bathroom once. So make your own conclusions.

Overall it is beautifully constructed facility but with poor management. It could be so much better if only they improve their guest services and hire a better chef. This is our third stay at RIU Hotels (Dominican, Mexico and Jamaica) and I think we will be switching to Iberostar Hotels. Maybe we will have better luck there.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank Alex382
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: £162 - £286 (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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