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...
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Expedia, LoveHolidays, Hotels.com, Priceline, Traveltool, S.L.U., TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Club Ambiance reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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