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“Moving in the wrong direction”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed 7 May 2014

This was my 4th trip to CA.Each time the price has gone up and the value has gone down. It is pretty obvious that the current owners have no interest in any sort of major changes to the facility. I don't mind it as is but the value factor that once was a selling point is long gone.

Considering I had left Canada at the end of March the hotel was around half full upon my arrival.When I departed there were a total of 22 people in house.

I could list endless things that were annoying but the food quality stood heads above any other issue. Breakfast was your best bet and things were fairly bleak after that.

The staff are still great but I am certain that they don't benefit from the higher rates. In fact they suffer since with a lower house count less staff are required.

If they (management) think they can have 80% occupancy with blocks dedicated to the "lifestye" crowd,well good luck with that.

My girlfriend said "guess you will have to find a new favourite place". I think that is true for me and sadly the same for many others.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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5  Thank bonzoboxer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubAmbianceJamaica, Public Relations Manager at Club Ambiance, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2014

Dear Guest,

We appreciate you sending us your review, and was very happy you choose to visit us for the forth
time.

Our staff really do makes this place with their impeccable services. Our food are always applauded for its great taste and we happy that you were able to commend us in that area.

We would love to accommodate you both again in the near future.

Thank you.

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165 - 171 of 1,382 reviews

Reviewed 6 May 2014

This was my second visit to the resort.
And I am pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed on my return.
I like this hotel as it is small, Adults' Only and the great staff.

It's the staff that makes this place great. They are warm, friendly and work hard to make the guests stay memorable.

I stayed in room 6b, one of the club rooms. It was gorgeous. Large King Size bed, sitting area, with fridge and coffee making facilities and a great balcony with sea views. I previously stayed at the Jewel and this hotel room was better.

The meals are buffet style and are nice. And the beach, is not really a beach, it is man made coves, which I found disappointing, as I love, a long stretch of beach.

The only disappointing factor that I find with this hotel, is the lack of attention , given to it by the Hotel Owner.

The hotel is tired and needs renovation.

If the Owner invested more time and money into the hotel and its staff, this hotel, would be one of the best hotel's on the Island.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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6  Thank Bettyboop809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubAmbianceJamaica, Public Relations Manager at Club Ambiance, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Dear guest,

We appreciate you taking the time to review our Resort.
Our staff do make this place with their warm and friendly hospitality.

We make it our utmost best to fulfill most if not all our guest expectation.
Renovating for us is ongoing, we do hope that on your next return most if not all your concerns will be addressed.

Thank you

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

The staff was great the room was a little dirty they need to upgrade the entire building it could be a 5 star I would go back it was quiet romantic the staff was very nice I can't say enought the front dest was awesome she was beautiful too

  • Stayed: April 2014
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1  Thank Twills33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Club Ambiance needs to close, they are going to spoil your vacation. i have traveled hotels in Jamaica and this one is a nightmare, the staff in the dinning area was so rude, as if they were prejudice against black people, we were in the dining area first, struggling to help ourselves with breakfast only to hear the workers complaining about their job, i had to ask for water because the waitresses were not paying us any mind, only to see a white couple come in and they were all over them i had to ask for a refund and check into another hotel next door, not only that the place is run down its like a hotel museum of how a hotel use to look like, the workers are very unhappy and it shows the decor is krap like i said old they need to do a total do over this place was recommended but a big disappointment and up to date the manager have not called me, i know i work too hard for my money for somebody to disrespect me, leave Club Ambiance alone, enjoy what you work hard for try the one next door its the Jewel of the Bay they treat people like royalty......

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank winwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubAmbianceJamaica, Public Relations Manager at Club Ambiance, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2014

Dear Guest,

We thank you for sending us your review. First I must apologize for any expectations you had, that were not fulfilled at our Resort. I must also hasting to say that we have not trained our staff to be prejudice in any form, all our guest are important to us. We trained them to be professionals in delivering quality services, and we sure will table this with management.

We are constantly maintaining and renovating our resort, in all areas when necessary.
We do hope that you will try us again some day.

Thanks once more.

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

Because my trip to Jamaica was a spur of the moment adventure I stayed in two hotels. This was one of them.

What I loved about Ambiance:
* Super super super friendly staff. Seriously they are like a family over there and treat you like such.
* The wait staff and kitchen staff were willing to go the extra mile if you had dietary issues and even tried to get us lobsters last minute. It didn't work out, but they tried and could have just said no. (We ordered very late on last day)
* They referred cabs we could trust and got good deals with. In fact one time one of the staff members drove us somewhere for free on his break. Shout out to Gibbs and pal!
* They are so good to the feline staff members (Jamaica like a lot of places has a lot of cats and a lot of hotels take care of them because they keep the vermin away). All the cats were taken care of in fact they were feeding a litter of kittens when they couldn't locate the mom with droppers and such. Very caring staff.
* Very small resort so you get a chance to really bond with the other guests and staff members.
*Entertainment was great! A lot of guest acts and I got to sing an old school dancehall hit with the band!! So fun! Also the dance teachers were awesome. I can’t remember their names but they were fantastic.
* Not too many frills which I love in a place like Jamaica where I would rather be off site then stuck at the hotel the whole time. Great place to chill and rest your head, but you don't need to spend all day there.
* Dolly in the gift shop will treat you like family from your first purchase. She was so nice to us and helped us figure out where to go and what things should cost. She also went the extra mile to find a specific souvenir for a friend.
* Pretty and clean and simple.

What I didn't like about Ambiance:
* Way too expensive. The cost was close to the 3-5 star place we also stayed at. The difference wasn't great enough.
* Some rooms need a renovation. We had to switch rooms and I never do that. Both rooms had broken fixtures and such. If this was a $70 a night place I wouldn't even complain, but for the cost they have to do better. The sliding door in our first room was broken, the shower had no water pressure in the second room and the handles of things kept falling off, etc.
* The food was good, but not 24 hour access.
* Beach was man-made coves and that was pretty, but not my cup of tea I like ocean access.
* Turns out it is an adults ONLY [notice emphasis on ONLY] place (probably why all the other guests were so nice! Wink Wink! I don't mind adults ONLY places, but it’s not the experience I am looking for so it was a little awkward for my group.)

NOTE TO CLUB AMBIANCE:
If Club Ambiance got rid of the all inclusive aspect and the adults ONLY aspect I think they could be a better, more crowded hotel. Sadly in the high season they had like only 20% capacity where as other hotels in the area were booked solid (and I know this bc my friend was not impressed with CA when we arrived and we called everyone in the area; all we found was 3 days somewhere else) (*see other review).

I think they should change the dining hall to a restaurant and the bars to cash bars. I also think they should become a family place. Here is why: If they got rid of the food and drink being included they could lower the room rates. As far as adults ONLY is concerned I think Hedonism has cornered the market on that.
Lastly because it is such an intimate place families with very small children can feel safe always being able to see their kids and the man-made coves (which I didn't love, but...) are perfect for little ones. The water isn't even two feet deep and it is not at all choppy or strong current. So this is very safe calm ocean water that is perfect for little ones and nervous parents. Slap a couple of Elmo and Dora the explorer decals in the Ocean Club room and make it a play room for the kids when the parents want to go to the club or scuba. I think this place has a lot of potential and if it was much cheaper in price I would stay here every time I visit Jamaica. I am on a budget and I felt the other place was a better value, but this place was way more fun, and inviting.

In closing I gave them three stars because I loved it so much, but I need readers to know compared to other all inclusive spots this is a 1 star if any and you will not enjoy your stay here if you are used to places like sandals and club med! If you like a more down to earth spot just to lay your head in between tours this is your spot, but sadly not at the price I paid.

Room Tip: Rooms by the pool are best in my opinion. Quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank travelkat2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubAmbianceJamaica, Public Relations Manager at Club Ambiance, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

We thank you for taking the time out to share experience with us.
We appreciate what u love about our resort and we also acknowledge the don't likes.

We are a smaller hotel in size comparing with others, but we make up for it with quality service, friendly staff, good food and good entertainment etc.
In regards to our rooms, we are currently still in the renovation process. Hopefully in a few months all rooms concerns will be address.

We appreciate your pointers on how you would like to see the Resort. And as we always listen to our guest voice and try to fulfill their expectation. It will be brought to management. Not saying the result wont be the same, but at least i will be your voice.

Thanks again, and have high hope in accommodating you again.

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Reviewed 18 April 2014

We have been going to Club Ambiance since 2003; generally twice a year for Christmas break and Spring break. We truly love the quaintness of this smaller resort, enjoy the staff and love the fact that it is adults only. Throughout the years we have met many, many couples with whom we often meet again back at C.A. and enjoy another vacation together :). We always run into other repeaters who we've met before as well.

First of all, this resort is NOT for the pretentious! It has 3 or 4 stars for the home-town-like feel and because the staff knows your name...it's more personal, if you will. It is more self-service, which, for most who go to C.A. is great because you go up to the bar & visit with the awesome staff. There is NOT room service....so what! The meals are served buffet style, most of which are fantastic. You will NOT be waited on hand & foot. For example; it is odd to see someone at C.A. demand beach service for drinks. It has really never happened. The charm is that you head up to the bar yourself and strike up conversations with those you see on the way, as well and with the staff. If you need someone to fetch drinks for you and wait on you, you might want to consider going somewhere else. So, the higher ratings are because you feel great when you're there - everyone feels like they belong no matter how much money one makes, no matter what one look like or how one looks in a swimsuit. No one is ignored or left out. Everyone is welcome to be who they are.

What we don't love is the fact that new owners have made a decision to change the format of the resort to "lifestyle couples" at particular dates throughout the year.

For years, there have been far more positives that have always outweighed any negatives. There was never any confusion about the resort; until the last year when new ownership & management took over. I had the opportunity to speak with Sid, the new operations manager. I spoke frankly with him about the facts and rumors about the changes Club Ambiance has made and is planning on making. I felt as if I was talking to a wall....Sid isn't the friendliest and is hell-bent on finding a "happy medium" of having the resort be the Club Ambiance we know and love and adding "life-style couple" dates to the calendar. I suggested that they not try to fix what isn't broken, due to the fact that the majority of repeaters and new guests are adults getting away on holiday; not to mention that less than 4% of the population considers themselves to be "life-style couples."

That being said, in speaking with Gilbert Blackwood (the general manager), who is fantastic by the way, I found that the bookings have decreased immensely due to the new "marketing strategies" directed toward lifestyle couples. We have never seen the place as empty as it was. I was disappointed to see that. In the past we would have to book a year in advance! (Don't you want that again Sid????)
I'm certainly not against the fact that some resort cater to the swingers of the world....I think it's great. However, I will speak for myself as a multiple repeater of Club Ambiance; I think it would be best if C.A. stay the way it was. It was always full, it always had repeaters as well as new guests, and it worked. Please keep it the way it was and leave the lifestyle couples to the xxxl resorts that can accommodate larger groups. I do feel you will begin to fill up again.

I also think that it may be a good idea for owner(s) & management to reach out to the repeaters - the guests who have stayed there in the past - let them know you want them back!!
**We will continue to stay at Ambiance if and only if the owner/management leaves the resort the way it has always been and does NOT change the format to "lifestyle couples" (that means "swingers")

I still had a great time and of the staff that is left since new ownership, it was so great to see them again. There were some people moaning about this and that but there always are, aren't there? I think C.A. is a great place. My husband & I are hoping that we'll continue to travel there. It has been a home away from home for us for many years....we'd hate to see a great, quaint & really fun resort go to waste!!
Give it a try @ Club Ambiance....and speak your truth while you're there....you're bound to meet some great people and have a fantastic time :)

Room Tip: Honeymoon suites are great :) Fabulous view of the ocean. If you like it quiet, don't stay in...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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15  Thank megly4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Club Ambiance is an older small adults only resort. If you are looking for a 5-star with a la carte restaurants, big entertainment shows and luxury amenities, then this is not the resort for you. However, if you are looking for a quiet, relaxed holiday, then this people-friendly hotel is the one to choose. All the wait staff in the restaurant, the cooks,and the bartenders are great and they love to interact with the guests and make you feel at home. The food is buffet -- good but not a lot of choice but that means you won't get fat! They do have a separate grill that serves hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries and wraps in the afternoon. As noted, the beach area is small but you can always find a lounger at the beach and the pool. There are tours available (either thru your rep or the hotel facility) to take you to all the tourist sites on the island. The management takes pride in its service and will go the extra to ensure you have a trouble-free stay. They are constantly trying to update the facility and make improvements whenever they can. We have been coming here a lot and always had a good time at Club Ambiance, They make us feel welcome and special and we will continue to return. Thanks again!!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank princessjpb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubAmbianceJamaica, Public Relations Manager at Club Ambiance, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2014

We extend many thanks to you giving us your review.
We are known for our extraordinary staff and their quality services extended to our guest. And so, we do appreciate you acknowledge our service.

We are happy that you always have a good time here at our Resort, in spite of minor concerns, which we do appreciate as a constructive criticism.
As you mentioned, we are constantly updating and improving our facilities, so as to make your stay as comfortable as expected.
Looking forward in seeing you again for another relax vacation.

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Additional Information about 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: £130 - £246 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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