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“I loved Club Ambiance!!”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Gatineau, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“I loved Club Ambiance!!”
Reviewed 10 February 2010

Wow…where to start…I LOVED CLUB AMBIANCE!!!!! We spent the week of January 30th to February 5th 2010 in Jamaica and stayed at Club Ambiance (the adults only resort). My amazing family bought me the trip for Christmas and we all went down for the week and had the time of our lives. I have been to all inclusive resorts in the past including resorts in Mexico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic but have never had so much fun the way we did in Jamaica at Club Ambiance.

We checked in to the resort at about 3am on Saturday, January 30th. I don’t think any of us were sure what to think upon our arrival as it was dark and the hotel isn’t shiny and new the way some resorts are, however we remained open minded. Check in was smooth. We received our room keys (my sister and I in room 51 and my Mom and Stepdad in room 52) and we also obtained our safe keys. Our luggage was carried up to our rooms and the bellman gave us a quick tour of our rooms and showed us how to use the safe.

The rooms were basic, nothing fancy but very clean which is all that matters (and kept immaculate by our housekeeper Fay who was such a lovely lady). It was nice because our rooms were side by side, so it was fun hopping back and forth from one balcony to another when my sister and I needed anything from our parent’s room and vice versa. When we arrived it was very dark, but we saw that from the balcony we had a view of the pool and what looked to be mountains or hills in the distance past the pool. We awoke the next morning to discover we actually had a beautiful view of the ocean and hadn’t even known it.

The main buffet/dining room served excellent food. None of us had any complaints about the food at the resort. It was delicious. For breakfast, fresh fruit was always served, along with the usual bacon, scrambled eggs, French toast, potatoes and usually a couple of Jamaican breakfast dishes. Lisa was the cook at the omelette station almost every morning we were there and her omelettes always tasted incredible. We didn’t eat lunch in the dining room very often as we usually just went to the little BBQ restaurant set up outside. The burgers, hot dogs and wraps there were delicious. We usually spent dinner either in the dining room or outside if the resort was having a BBQ night. Dinner was always scrumptious with fresh salads put out, plenty of buffet items to choose from and the young cooks Omar, Colin, and Denroy were always happy to serve with a smile. We got the opportunity to meet the Executive Chef Dudley McFarlane and let him know how much we enjoyed the food at the resort. We didn’t end up eating at the seafood restaurant as it was 20USD/person and most people that ate there said the service was great but that the food was nothing overly special.

We spent the majority of our days by the pool, at the pool bar and at the Legend bar. Mellonie was often our bartender at the pool bar and is such a sweetheart. Mellonie, like most of the staff, learned our names the first day we were there and never forgot them. This was very impressive. Some of the staff we didn’t even remember meeting and they knew our names…lol.

We spent a lot of time around the pool. We never had any problems finding a lounge chair around the pool at any time during the day. The pool, grounds around the pool and beach were always kept immaculate by the pool staff (Mark, Sean, Tony, and Theon). It seemed like the pool staff was constantly cleaning the pool, picking up leaves in and around the pool and tidying up the beach. The pool staff also assisted with other water activities such as snorkelling, and pedal boat rentals.

We usually spent our early evenings at the Legend Bar where we were served by our absolute favourite bartender Marvin. Marvin was such a pleasure to talk to and always had a smile on his face. Marvin’s drinks always tasted fantastic and he was always on the ball, even when working incredibly long hours. We became such great friends with Marvin that we have now become Pen Pals with him…lol. We also loved the other bartenders such as Philip and Junior.

The Entertainment staff (Maria, Dexter and Omar) always had plenty of activities planned for each day. They kept everyone busy with things such as dance classes, volleyball games, pool Olympics, shuffle golf and mixology classes (be careful with this one…the drinks keep getting stronger and stronger…lol). Maria, Dexter and Omar work incredibly long hours. You would see them usually very early every morning and they would still be working and entertaining at the Disco every night until about midnight. I have no idea how they managed to work such long hours and still be so kind and friendly right up until the very end of the night. They were awesome. We loved Omar!!

We planned two excursions with our lovely Sunwing rep Sandra. Sandra was incredibly professional and so much fun to deal with all at the same time, and her customer service skills were phenomenal. Sandra and my Mom got to talking about cooking and recipes and she even ended up bringing my Mom a recipe book for her to have from home. We were very impressed with her. She booked us all for the Shopping Tour and booked my Mom and Stepdad for the Ziplining/Bobsledding tour.

We went on the Shopping Tour which included 3 shopping stops, a drive up to Fern Gully, a tour of the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens and a walk up the Dunn’s River Falls. The first stop of the shopping tour was a little scary as the shops were quite run down and the shop owners were very pushy about wanting you to come in to their individual shops to see their merchandise (almost every shop had the exact same or similar merchandise as their competition). The second shopping stop was more pleasant. We stopped at a store called Gem Palace which sold plenty of souvenirs, Blue Mountain coffee and liquor. The third shopping stop was similar to the second stop selling a lot of the same items. The fern gully and botanical gardens were both very pretty, but we really enjoyed the Dunn’s River Falls the most. It was a lot of fun! My sister and I didn’t do the ziplining and bobsledding tour, but my Mom and Stepdad said they had a blast doing it!

One thing that I truly appreciated about Jamaica was that everyone spoke English. Not that I have anything against people who don’t speak English, but I have a severe peanut allergy and have always found it quite difficult communicating with the employees at resorts in places like Cuba, Mexico and Dominican when asking “are there peanuts in this?”. I did not have this problem in Jamaica. That set my mind at ease quite a bit. Another thing I truly appreciated about Jamaica was that the water was drinkable. My family and I had no problems drinking water straight from the tap and none of us got sick. And the third thing that I really appreciated was that the power outlets were the same as Canada, so I had no problems whatsoever using my own hair dryer and charging my camera batter when it died.

Overall, we loved Jamaica and we adored Club Ambiance. This resort is in no way swanky, fancy or extravagant, but the staff undeniably makes this resort to be the hidden gem of Jamaica. You’ll be sad to leave at the end of your stay at Club Ambiance because it feels like leaving a little piece of home behind...

  • Stayed February 2010
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Helpful?
5 Thank Morawjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
detroit
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 February 2010

We were looking for a relaxing vacation and we got one. The staff were friendly and helpful. The room was large and very clean with a great view. We enjoyed the variety of the menu and the nightly entertainment along with the special rum punch. You can not go wrong with this location. We will go back because Club Ambiance is no problem mon.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank elguano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brampton, ON, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2010

Wow, where to begin!
I knew what to expect thanks to the great reviews here on TA.
The resort is nice enough for me! What gives this resort the "Ambiance" is the staff.
Being that the resort is small enough, you get the opportunity to chat with the staff daily.
You are served by the same folks daily, and that is what I loved about it. You were able to have conversation with some depth! The staff remembered what you preferred for your meals and yours drinks. Theron, was great, we played several games of shuffleboard together. Sean at the pool, fixed up many of my cuts and bruises. Barney, well I can't say enough about him. He brought me aloe-vera and Noni juice from home. Junior was my dance partner at the disco!!! Just great folks all around.
That is what I miss most, is the people. We took walks off the grounds, down to the public beach and checked out Breezes along the way. At no time, was I concerned with safety.
The climate was perfect,
No bugs at all.
We did several excursions, and the best was the catamaran and the tubing on the White River.
If I have to give one thing that I was disappointed about, it would be the lack of a beach.
Nowhere to swim in the ocean for leisure.
However, it is a great snorkeling spot. We snorkeled several times a day. Just loved that.
I wish I was still there, I miss Jamaica terribly, and I feel that I need to be there for good.
If you have any questions, please ask.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank cheerslinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hanna, Alberta
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2010

My husband and I stayed at this resort for 2 weeks (Jan. 22 - Feb 5). We arrived around 9pm and a bit disappointed as the shuttle dropped us off on the side of the road. I was almost in tears upon check-in as I wasn't sure what we got ourselves into. My husband was prepared to change resort the following day. The next day, we took a walk around the resort and decided to stay. We weren't happy with our first room but was relocated immediately to an oceanview room. The resort was small but they only have 90 rooms and were never full. There's always lots of beach chairs and pool chairs available .

Food - Not too much selections but plenty enough not to go hungry. Desserts were superb.

Activities - you'll never be bored as the entertainment staff always have planned activities for guests to participate in. Kayak, pedal boats, and snorkelling are always available and we were never refused to use them. We utilized this on several occations. We enjoyed the evening entertainment as well.

Drinks - we're not big drinkers so we didn't have any issue with this.

Staff - amazing, very accommodating, and always have smiles on their faces. They remembered our names after 2 days and they remembered what we prefer to drink or even our table preferences.

Hot tub was hot. No problem with water temperature in the room. Towels were changed on time. Our room was always clean. A/C worked well. We were told it's okay to drink tap water and never had any problem with it. We didn't hear of anybody getting sick from it either. Since it's a small resort, we found it easy to meet friends and it seemed like everybody knows everybody.

In the end, we paid 3 star price for a 5 star service.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sandseekers1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2010

Wow, where to even begin. My friends and I go a vacation every year together (3 of us girls) and this year Club Ambiance beats all vacations that we have taken. We had such a great time and the staff was absolutely wonderful! There was always a variety of good food to eat, our rooms were cleaned daily and fresh linens were replaced every mid morning. If we needed anything the front desk arranged it and it was taken care of right away. We spent most of our time by the pool and Sean the pool attendant was great, he was always bringing us drinks and stopping for a little conversation once in a while, we had some good laughs with him. The drinks are amazingly good and strong...the bar tenders were phenomenal! Marvin makes some of the best drinks I have ever tasted; he was always there with a smile and outstanding customer service. He made our evenings so much fun; he was always laughing with us and making us feel right at home. There was never a time where we had to wait to get a drink. Marvin, Phillip, & Barney were all wonderful bar tenders. The entertainment staff was wonderful as well. Dexter, Maria, and Omar made the evenings very enjoyable for my friends and I. There is always something fun going on with the Entertainment staff, hats off to all the hard work they do every day for the guests. Although Dexter is pretty new he did an awesome job during the talent show night entertaining all the guests, we really enjoyed it. All of the staff that we were able to talk to were wonderful people and always willing to go out of their way to make your stay at Club Ambiance a good one. My friends and I are definitely going back to Club Ambiance next year for vacation, we enjoyed ourselves 100% and look forward to seeing all the very friendly staff again next year! I have to add one more thing. We decided to go shopping in Ocho's Rio's one morning and we got a taxi drivers name Moodie from some friends we met at the resort and If anyone is wanting to go any place and feel safe I would definitely recommend Moodie's Transportation, he did a wonderful job and we got our shopping done and had a great time. My friends and I look forward to returning to Club Ambiance soon!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LivinItUpOnVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2010

My wife and I had visited Club Ambiance some years age and enjoyed our stay there.The refurbished and expanded Club Ambiance can now only be described as a top class resort.Our room was large and well furnished and kept spotless throughout our stay.All towles were changed daily and other linen regularly.Hot water seemed limitless and the pluming was faultless.All staff members strived to make our stay particularly enjoyable. The food was good and you could only have yourself to blame if you could not find a varied meal from the selection of foods on offer. Many of the dishes had strong caribean flavours but that is what we went to Jamaica to enjoy. Normally chicken, fish and some form of alternative meat dish would be on every menue.Maria and the other entertainment staff worked tirelessly while Dave Rickets and the resident band provided very worth while entertainment in the evenings.Several evenings each week show time would feature visiting acts of very good quality. We spent a very enjoyable three weeks staying in this resort and were sorry to leave.We are already thinking about returning next year. We have no hesitation in recomending this gem of a resort. Ian 7 Lilian

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 February 2010

Club Ambiance is an older resort, but it is very clean, and has everything you need. Marvin and Phillip are WONDERFUL bar tenders! Sean and Anthony were GREAT by the pool, they got you anything you wanted, The whole staff at this resort was very helpful and friendly. I am definetly going back!!!!! If you need to go anywhere make sure you call Moodie, he is the greatest!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MyLadyMinnesota
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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