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“A good time was had”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Orlando, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“A good time was had”
Reviewed 7 May 2013

Very nice place. Simple, friendly, relaxing...no kids. Actually not too many adults either, as the place was pretty empty, but that contributed to its charm and relaxed atmosphere. I think they were in the process of changing ownership. Excellent, all-inclusive.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (182)
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English first
Arab, Alabama
1 review
Reviewed 5 May 2013

Stayed for 17 days inApril 2013. The staff was friendly, but not always accommodating. Rooms very outdated, moldy bathroom, no hot water for 3 days before I demanded a room change. Took 5 hours to clean new room.
Beaches both lack depth and size. The water is only 3 feet deep and you cannot swim only float. Beyond the man made rock break is only more 3 foot water and rock.
The alcohol selection is poor, only name brand is Appletons rum. No fruit with drinks.
Food was for the most part pretty bad. Hamburgers and hot dogs were even terrible. They had some great roast beef and small steaks with gravy that would have been delicious if not turned into shoe leather. The breakfast was great and on most days my only meal.
Entertainment staff was great, but the same band and same games got really old.
Location is 30 minutes west of Ocho Rios and cost is $40 or so to get there. Locally their is not much of anything to do or see closer than Ocho, other than public beach and a grocery store.
I did learn to scuba in the pool and enjoyed it greatly. The pool is nice, but closes at 5 which I thought was stupid.
Overall, I enjoyed the r&r. I will probably never return, but I am more apt to always go somewhere new rather than returning to same places. Not just resort, but location also.
I did meet lots of very nice guests there and a few not so nice, made friends for life with some.

Room Tip: Pool side gives best views and keeps you from listening to entertainment all night.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Sixth time to Jamaica, first for this resort. Let me start out by saying we had a great time, met some very nice people, enjoyed ourselves, despite the problems encountered.
Our problems started shortly after purchasing the Groupon. I called the resort in November and booked with our credit card. The very next day our card was used 5 times in Barcelona. Credit card company caught this and removed charges and sent new card. The person I talked to at the resort no longer works there. Coincidence??
About 3 weeks before our trip, I emailed to confirm our reservation and give them the flight number and time of arrival so we could get transportation to the resort. Didn't get a reply, so I called and left a message and once again emailed with all information and told them that I want to pay cash for the transportation to and from airport. I received an email confirming all of this from Club Ambiance.
Upon arriving in Jamaica and having them yell out to all of their drivers, there was no one to pick us up from the Club. We decided not to argue with the first person we seen and paid him a total of $100.00 to transport us to the resort. I mentioned this to the receptionist when we arrived and was told there's nothing they can do. We decided not to pursue it any longer.
When we went to the desk to arrange our ride back to the airport, I once again told them about the situation and showed her a copy of the email they had sent confiming our travel plans. She then told me that the person that replied should have given me a location to go to upon arrival at the airport. Bottom line is we paid for their mistake.
Now for the review of the resort. The staff was outstanding and the food was better than expected. There were a lot of empty rooms, which was ok with us. What we hadn't expected was the little bugs crawling all over and the dingy room that had more caulking than a new house. The maids kept what they could clean looking good but it just wasn't expected, and we didn't expect too much. Our room was above the parking lot and street, and was very noisy. Trucks would come by often. Don't even think about getting any sleep from Friday noon until 6:00 am Saturday morning because of the music from the club across the street.
Next trip to Jamaica we will spend the extra money to go back to Sandals or Couples. My advice is too carry a can of bug spray, ear plugs.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TandLR_4951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. John's
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2013

We’re a bit late in writing this review, but here goes anyway. This has been our fourth visit since 2009 and for the first time, we walked back in feeling as though we hadn’t left before. We were going to our home away from home. To make things simple, I’ll describe the pros and cons (as we saw them) by categories.

FOOD
Pros: The quality has improved over last year (quite possibly because Chef Mama is back).
Cons: No pineapple and less fresh fruit for breakfast. The menu was limited compared to last year (no oxtail this year) and we missed Ackee one Wednesday.

SERVICE
Pros: Same excellent service as we have gotten in the past. All staff were attentive and friendly. We didn’t get the room we had requested, but we were upgraded to what could possibly be the nicest room in the resort. There was a wedding while we were there and the dining room staff made the outside dining area fit for a king and and his queen - it was beautiful.
Cons: Some tension between the staff and new general manager.

BAR
Pros: Most of the same friendly staff as before - made us feel like we were coming home to our local bar. While not bar staff, the entertainment staff did a great job considering they didn't have many guests to work with.
Cons: The drink board has been removed. There are no longer any limes and bananas were absent. And, the wine now comes in juice-boxes instead of bottles. I spent most of my time trying to get one with a straw - didn’t work.

ROOMS
Pros: Housekeeping did a wonderful job in keeping our room clean. The towels were changed early in the day.
Cons: The water temperature was erratic and sometime there was no hot water.

GROUNDS
Pros: There has been a lot of maintenance since our last trip and everything is looking much nicer. The privacy screen has been removed from the clothing optional beach which really opens it up.
Cons: The hot tub had sand in it, which shouldn’t have been there. A sign outside of the hot tub states the maximum temperature for usage, but the floating thermometer was no longer available. The hot tub seemed to be excessively hot, even for a hot tub.

There have been changes, both good and bad. The new owners have scheduled to change Club Ambiance into a lifestyles resort as of May 1 this year. We have been assured that public displays of affection will not be tolerated in the public areas and that clothing will be required in certain areas of the resort. We will go back next year to see how that plays out.

The new general manager doesn’t seem too approachable. I said “good morning” to him three times during my stay and was ignored completely each time. Given that the only things that have really changed since our last visit are the owners and general manager, I can reasonably attribute a lot of the negative changes to that fact. That being said, the new owners have undertaken a lot of maintenance on the resort so she is not looking as old and tired.

We had a great time, met some wonderful new people and met up with some old friends. We have heard that many of the repeat guests say the will not be returning when the resort changes to lifestyles. We like the staff too much not to give it another try next year.

My only suggestion to the new owners is that you should listen to your repeat guests - they are your bread and butter.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chattanooga, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 April 2013

The good:
Clean
Nice staff
Strong drinks
Plenty of food

The bad:
Very dead and quiet
Bland food
Middle of nowhere
Disorganized

Ok so we won't be going again, but here is how you improve CA first wireless in all the rooms better cable channels. Rotate the food menu daily (I skipped at least one meal sometimes 2 a day because I just couldn't eat that tasteless junk same food everyday). It's in the middle of nowhere so cab rides are expensive if up you want to go shopping or anywhere else $60 round trip for my wife and I, that adds up after a while I would rather stay somewhere close to the action and pay for my meals than stay there again. Also print out your email correspondence and travel confirmations bc I booked a flight for 5 nights after I got there and they tried to say I only paid for a four night trip so I pulled out all my paper work and showed them per emails from their staff that I did in fact pay for all 5 nights, don't know if this is a regular hussle or a simple misunderstanding but becareful.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KenJ115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northern, N.B
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2013

2nd year back, it was a wonderful week, saw old friends, met new friends. Would love to return again if certain changes do not take place. Or if it is still open, just wondering how it can keep existing with so few people there. But truly love it here and the Staff is amazing, just sad to see some are gone and the remaining ones hrs are only here and there. April 19 to 26,2013.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank freezin!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2013

This was my first stay at Club Ambiance third visit to Jamaica. I chose the hotel based on a friends recommendation that stayed there in 2009. She had so many wonderful things to say about her experience that I decided to check it out. Since I was already familiar with the hotel I did not expect nor did I want a 5star level of luxury. I wanted an authentic Jamaican experience as close as I can possibly get staying on a resort. I want a quiet small clean resort with a few accommodations bars, pool, etc. & Ambiance offers that. I’ll start with the positives the front desk staff was always friendly helpful and accommodating. I don’t remember their individual names but every single person treated me very well. All of the staff was very nice just like I’ve read in other reviews. The bartenders, cooks, waiters, grounds people, life guards, entertainment staff, housekeeping, everyone I have only highest compliments. What I would like to see improve if possible or rather what I found disappointing was the food. Not a lot of variety as much as I’m use to. The breads pastries and deserts seemed to be store bought not actually prepared and baked on the resort which is what I’m use to. They were stored in this little warmer which made them moist and soggy. I can’t help but to compare Ambiance to my previous stays at other hotels in the area and they always had a lot of choices on the food buffet. When I first arrived I was offered pizza that had been sitting for awhile it was very unappetizing. To the chefs credit he did offer to fix fresh pizza for me but I just ate the stale pizza because I was starving. That pizza was part of their late lunch offering and even when it was fresh was never good. The late grill on occasion served burgers and fries which was ok. Some jerk chicken and salad might be a nice addition but that’s just my suggestion. Breakfast was very repetitive the fish was ok. I actually missed a few meals because I ate off the resort but I knew I wasn’t missing anything by day three. I looked at the beach stuck my feet in the water but never actually went in. There’s a lot of seaweed and what looks like coral and rocks which is good for scuba diving and such but since I wasn’t interested in that I didn’t venture out. Plus the water was very shallow and the way the beaches are situated against the current makes the waters very calm…too calm I like to see hear and feel the ocean waves. I spent most of my time at the public beach Flavours up the road. The entertainment staff offered games in the mid day much like the games that are played at the retirement community where I work. “Bingo” and “Guess that Song” but from the average age of the guests staying there I think those games might have been just right. There were a few younger couples and people my age but the majority of the guests were seniors. Nothing wrong with that though it’s nice to have a mixed crowd but I expected younger more high energy excitement that was not present at the resort at all. I’m hoping and giving the benefit of the doubt that maybe because there weren’t that many of us guests staying there that maybe they didn’t roll out all of their tricks sparkles and fireworks for just us. Maybe if the resort was full then the entertainment would be booming the food would be banging and the energy would be more exciting. It’s good to chill but sometimes if felt like I was sleepwalking while I was there. All in all I would give Ambiance another chance to wow me but this time it did not.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Taneesha Cultur... C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Ambiance

Property: Club Ambiance
Address: Main Road | Saint Ann, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Ambiance 3*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shuttle Bus service attract an extra charge. Airport Transportation attract an extra charge. Free internet service only in lobby area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Resort All Inclusive Ambiance
Club Ambiance Jamaica/Runaway Bay, Caribbean
Club Ambience Jamaica

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