New Page 1




Reviews Views Date of last review
10 14983 Sat April 30, 2011
Recommended By Ave price per week Average Rating
100% of reviewers $585.00 9.4
ocho1.jpg

ocho4jpg1.jpg ocho51.jpg ocho61.jpg

Description: ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
P.O.Box 4442
Mammee Bay - St.Ann
Ocho Rios - Jamaica
Tel. +18769722200 Fax. +1 876 972 2203
E-Mail: clubhotel.ochorios@riu.com




Location/General information

This brand new property is located on a breathtaking beach, surrounded by Ocho Rios' famous rainforests and spectacular waterfalls.
Deluxe accommodation includes 846 beautifully decorated rooms and Junior Suites, all equipped with mini-bar and liquor dispenser. Junior suites feature hydro-massage bathtubs for superior comfort and relaxation. Enjoy the best of both worlds: Unwind with outstanding international fine dining, pamper yourself at our Spa or revel in the Caribbean sunshine and authentic tropical atmosphere and entertainment.
Riu Ocho Rios will satisfy all your Caribbean desires to the utmost.



* Inaugurated winter 2005
* 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 to a shopping centre
* 105 km / 65 miles to Montego Bay airport
* 600 m / 1,970 ft. from a bus stop
* Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa, Diners



More Riu Ocho Rios Information






Margie44

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 17
Review Date: Wed October 4, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great food, drink, employees, accommodations!!
Cons: slow elevators

Smile! Loved the place; can't wait to go back!~ Absolutely beautiful!

 
Suntime
Official Riu Bambuer

Registered: December 2005
Posts: 171
Review Date: Wed October 18, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Cut and Pasted
We just got back from our vacation at the Riu - Ocho Rios, Jamaica and let me just say that our stay was fabulous.


I read several reviews of the hotel, looked at the pictures and while some reviews were less than desirable I felt good about going anyway. That was the best decision we made!


**FIRST THINGS FIRST...THEY CHANGED THE PROCESS FOR RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS...YOU CAN NOW RESERVE A TABLE AT ANY RESTAURANT BETWEEN 10AM - 12PM AND 5PM - 6PM AT THE LOBBY BAR...NO MORE EARLY MORNING RESERVATIONS AND LONG LINES! READ ON...


*STAFF: The staff was professional and always had smiles to brighten your already amazingly bright day


*ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment crew was FABULOUS. They work so hard - handling the daily activities and then performing in the evening. THe DANCE PERFORMANCES ARE AMAZING!


*ROOMS/LOCATION: Our Junior Suite was impeccable and cleaned on a daily basis with fresh towels everyday. From an environmental standpoint, you can use your towels for more than one day to preserve the environment, but if you want fresh towels everyday, you can have that. The suites are wonderful and on the quieter side of the hotel. So, if you want more quiet and seclusion - opt for a junior or full suite.


*MINIBAR: We didn't use the mini bar because there are 12 bars strewn all over the main floor - Unless you’re an alcoholic and trapped in your room, you really don't need to use the mini bar. However, they do provide water and sodas in addition to the liquor.


*RESTAURANTS: We ate most of our meals at the St. Ann's restaurant and enjoyed every morsel of food we put on our plates. We missed one reservation at the Sir Richard restaurant but we didn't feel cheated. We canceled the other reservation for the Asian restaurant because we didn't want to have a schedule!


*SPA: The SPA was fabulous. My husband and I had a couples massage. He fell asleep during his Deep Tissue massage, and I was rubbed to perfection during my Swedish massage.


*POOLS: There are 2 huge pools and both have swim up bars with several Jacuzzi sections in each. The lounge areas are wonderful with meandering walkways lots of new lounge chairs and umbrellas as well as pergolas for additional shade.


POOL COMPLAINT - The pools are closed at 6pm for overnight "shock treatment". I understand the need to keep the pool clean and safe, but they could leave the pool open a bit longer - it's always nice to have a night swim under the stars!


*BEACH: Wonderful is not a good enough word to describe the beach. It's a long beach with coconut trees dotting the area and an abundance of lounge chairs. Not crowded at all.


*BEACH VENDORS: The vendors were very polite, if you didn't want anything all you had to do was say no and they moved on. They had 1 or 2 people on beach security which I thought was un necessary, but if you easily threatened then the security would/should put you at ease.


KIDS ACTIVITIES: There is a separate area for kids to go and play, paint, swings on the swing set, and watch kids cartoons. You can sign your kids up and leave them there for the day, but the kids I saw were bored and one was crying because he wanted to stay with his parents. My daughter painted a rock (which she treasures) and my son drew a picture for me. Then they played on the swings until we were ready to leave the area.


Each night they have a program that the kids participate in at the main stage. Also, they had a movie night for the kids but my daughter didn't want to go. I didn't mind - since she's only 4 and very shy.


Overall, this hotel, staff, entertainment, and restaurants are EXCELLENT. I would recommend EVERYONE I know to visit the hotel. We plan to visit this hotel next year and bring more people with us!

 
Suntime
Official Riu Bambuer

Registered: December 2005
Posts: 171
Review Date: Fri November 24, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

We just returned from two weeks at Riu Ocho Rios where we went with 24 people for our Wedding.


The most important part to anyone getting married is, don’t worry, Chandlyn the wedding coordinator takes care of everything for you. She will have a 30-45 min meeting with you when you get there to go over colours of flowers, bouquet style and numbers. Once you have got your date and confirmation through Laura Robles, Sales Coordinator, Weddings By Riu
America's Division Email: weddings01{at}riu.com replace {at} by @ www.riu.com the only things you need to ask about before you go, are the steel band if you want it and the Pacha (disco) for the two hours from supper until 11, when it opens. It’s nice to have your first dance with friends and family not to mention Garter and bouquet toss.
We went with the free package as the bouquet choices, wedding arch and photo package we wanted wasn’t offered in any of the packages. We did get the room upgrade from the Jr. Suite to the full Suite which was amazing. The room is huge. 3 -4 times the size of the Jr. Suite and is right on the ocean at the ends of the “horseshoe” shape. I asked what the up charge was to go from the full Suite to the top floor Two storey Suite with a Jacuzzi on the balcony and it was $150 per couple per day.
If I was you I would book the Jr. Suite and beg for the upgrade. She is very accommodating and helpful. As the cheapest wedding package costs $470, which includes the $200 for the minister and license and $150 for the photographers base cost, the extra $120 to guarantee the upgrade to the full suite would have been worth it.
What we bought.
We had arranged the steel band and the Pacha(disco) before we went down and those are the only things you need worry about unless you want a specific colour of Rose in your bouquet. We wanted Burgundy and settled for deep red as they have to bring them in from Montego Bay the day of the wedding. When you meet Chandlyn the first day you go over where you want the ceremony, what flowers, what arch, the cake, (we had 24 and Didn't upgrade, only 6 people ate it) champagne extras, (we bought bottles at duty free on the way down and red wine too) what time you want dinner and that’s about it. Everything else is just there on your day, all taken care of.
Flowers were $670 for “beautiful beach” , $30 for Bouquets and $6 for boutonnières and a $40 bag of petals for the flower girl. We bought boutonnières for everyone and small bouquets for the girls in the wedding party. We also upgraded the bouquet for my wife.
The Flowers, arch, Disco and Steel band cost $80,652.00 Jamaican and the photography and DVD was $27,549.00 plus the extra 200 pictures we bought were $21,000.00 for a total of about $130,000 for the "FREE" wedding. A Canadian dollar = 55 Jamaican dollars so all in it cost about $2300CDN, expensive when you have "free wedding" in the brain but compared to anything you can do up here it is cheap. A meal and the hall for 24 people would have cost me over $2400, forget the beautiful pictures with those flowers and being at the beach. The setting was incredible and the steel band gave it the Caribbean feel, not to mention the applause of everyone on the beach when you are pronounced man and wife in The No Problem Island of Jamaica.
They now have a Gazebo on the beach which was being built while we were there and the first wedding held in it was last Friday.


The hotel:
Yes it takes just under 2 hrs but it isn’t a back road bumpy ride. It is just that far to the resort until they finish the construction which they started in Ocho Rios and and are building back to the Airport. Sit back and enjoy the scenery.
On arrival you are greeted in a huge reception area with a drink and a very speedy process through the line as they have all the room keys and safe locks and bracelets arranged to be easily handed out. The reception area is the best and biggest I have seen, with 200-300 feet of couches and tables to sit and enjoy a drink on the balcony over the beach. A great place to wait for and meet others before dinner.


Restaurants:


Ala carte;
Tushima: Japanese restaurant. Does not compare to what you have in big cities, but for an All Inclusive it was very good. Great Saki too


Sir Richard: Amazing! Oysters, Lamb, Steak, Crab bisque, Crepe Suzettes


Mamee Bay: Steak 1 ½” thick cooked to order… It’s delicious.


Mandalay: Chinese Buffet… This place is good too.


Buffet: Very good. Kept everyone fed. Even the picky kids. 24 people and everyone went back for at least two plates


For lunch, try the Jerk Hut at least once, the chicken is very good. But beware of the dark sauce. Great but HOT


24 Hour Sports Bar: There is a mini casino, video games, pool tables, air hockey and internet. It’s nice to get sports highlights when you are away. If you’re hungry at 2am, get a sandwich and a drink before bed. There also the very popular popcorn machines.


Beach:
NEVER a challenge to get a lounge chair at anytime of the day. Nice snorkeling off the east end of the beach. And yes, surprising as it sounds, seaweed does wash up on the beach, (it isn’t a pool. It’s an Ocean) but it is raked and gone each morning before most ever get to breakfast.


SCUBA CARIBE:
Talk to GINA if you’re looking into doing any water activities. She’s very nice and she will get you the best deal. She even went to town and bought us Decongestant as they didn’t have it in the hotel store. We took a private catamaran out to the Dunn River Falls and then snorkeling and then the sunset cruise. Of course there were 24 of us, but I’m sure she’ll work something out. The Dunn River Falls is an absolute must!!!! You HAVE to climb these falls. And get the DVD in the end. It’s only $40 US, but it’s worth it. Buy one copy and make copies for everyone when you get home.
We also went Deep Sea fishing and Snorkeling next to James Bond beach. Awesome time! If you want to rent snorkel gear, it’s a $25 US deposit which you will get back after you return the mask and fins. Also book to go snorkeling with their group, it’s $15 US. Advice; Get what ever you agree on written on the receipt so there are no disagreements later.


Hotel Stores: NOT the over priced goods you usually see in the these places. T Shirts from $15, Suntan lotion from $8. Warning if you like a cigar. The only thing way over priced were the cigars. $10 for a small one to $20 for a regular sized one. Gina helped me here again by getting me some from town and brought me back Change.


A great side trip off the resort is a Jerk Restaurant 5 mins east of the entrance called Scotchies. A taxi there and back cost us $15 for 6 people. There you get a real Jamaican taste. But again, beware of the hot sauce. It makes the resort hot sauce seem like cool drink by comparison.


We also went to The Ruins by the falls for dinner one night. A Chinese chef trained in Montreal creates delicious Chinese lobster dishes. Get the Conch soup for Two to start.


The only slight I can give this resort is there are only 4 public bathrooms for an 800+ room hotel with none on the beach. The only air conditioned ones are behind the Tushima restaurant and the one at the Plantation. Good to know when trying spicy jerk sauces and Jamaican patties. :o)


ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND THIS RESORT. The best vacation ever.

 
woodie

Registered: June 2006
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sun November 26, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

We travelled to the RIU Ocho Rios Sunday 22nd October for a 2 week family holiday. We are 32,28,4 and 8 years old.


Transfer
As we were travelling independently (much cheaper than Thompson!) we arranged for a taxi transfer to RIU. This cost $180 for the round trip but was well worth it. Our driver was waiting with a card with our name, carried our bags to his air conditioned car. He bought the kids drinks and sweets to keep them happy following the long flight and the 1.5 hour drive to the hotel was basically a tour guided excursion across the North Coast. He stopped, pointed out facts, bought us local fruit form road side sellers to try out, absolutely wonderful, I highly recommend him, Dean Cawley at Maxi Tours Montego Bay. (www.maxitoursmontegobay.com)


Check In
Usual fast service, we were upgraded to a junior suite. We had notified them of our preferences a week before hand along with our RIU class details.


Room
Great size, with two double beds, extra bed in lounge area for kids, sofa, ubiquitous RIU mini bar and dispensers (ice machine just along corridor). Bathroom with double sinks and classy whirlpool bath. Loads of wardrobe space and a good quality iron and iron board. Good sized balcony with wonderful view straight over the infinity pool and out to the turquoise Caribbean sea.


Hotel
It’s pretty massive! Two great pool areas both with swim up bars and access to the beach via a few steps. Pools on suite side of hotel is quieter than the other side. We spent most time on the regular side as this is where the entertainment team work and is also location of the mini-club. The stage area is identical to all other RIUs and is located centrally between the two sides of the hotel.


Beach
Not bad at all. Not quite white sand (ala PDC) but very nice. Quite nice snorkelling just 10 metres off the beach where this is a mini-reef actually inside the roped off swimming zone, this is perfect for kids getting their first taste of snorkelling.


Food
Main Buffet – is pretty good – very similar to other RIU buffets. Also have choice of Italian buffet (OK when you want a quick slice of pizza), steak house (probably best steak I’ve had in the Caribbean, Asian (very nice indeed) and a Japanese and a Gourmet restaurant (didn’t visit as kids didn’t like the menu).
Favourite was the Jerk Chicken hut on the beach, where they bbq’ed chickens for lunch the Jamaican way, add the spicy home made Jerk sauce if you dare! Drinks from bars were fantastic. Appleton rum was great, as was the rum cream liqueur (like Bailey’s with rum), bar staff were great, cocktails looked and tasted fantastic, even the pina-coladas were funked up by swirling dark rum through the slush drink. Some bar-tenders had the full Tom Cruise skills and made it fun just getting a drink.


Entertainment
The staff were all very good. Especially enjoyable beach party with reggae, dancehall, soca music, limbo and fire breathing. There is real funky vibe about the place, music was fantastic, far better than dom rep/mexico and more “contemporary”. Shows were classic RIU shows, Michael Jackson etc. very well presented. Macarena is an incredibly friendly dancer who has come on secondment from the punta cana RIUs, she was always making a fuss of our boys. Kids club was OK, Boom Boom and Nya at kids club really look after your little ones and you have no worries, the hotel does not attract many kids though so organised games were understandably difficult to arrange.


Excursions: We booked using the JUTA taxi service in the lobby which was the simplest and quickest way, the first driver we used gave us his number and then we used him again and knocked down the price. This way you decide when you want to do things. We used the days when it was cloudy to get out and about, looked at the sky in the morning and made our move.


Dunn’s River Falls – About 5 miles away and breathtaking. We went on a slightly damp day and it was deserted. We paid a guide to carry our stuff and take photos as well as give us verbal instructions on where to climb. It was great we felt like we were the only ones on the falls and avoided the processional way large groups normally climb. Suffice to say my 8 year old was mile fastest climbing and left me in his wake. Our 4 year old got tired after reaching the big plateau so the guide took him the rest of the way up the walkway.


Dolphn Cove – Nice experience, pulled along by dorsal fin and foot pushed into the air, bit pricey though.


Nine Mile – Very Spiritual experience to sit on Bob Marley’s bed and visit his resting place. Rasta tour guide was hilarious. The drive through villages into the hills was amazing too. Driver brought us back through Fern Gully for an extra experience to boot.


Overall
Really enjoyed the place, it lives up to the normal RIU high standards and has this more contemporary vibe to boot. I think this has now overtaken the Riu Bambu as our favourite.

 
Jntasker

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 21
Review Date: Sun December 17, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: everything
Cons: none

This was are 8th Riu and i cant say anough about the staff or the hotel. I will say that it pays to be a Riu gold card member. We paid for a standerd room and they gave us the best sweet in the resort. We were treated like roulty the whole 2 weeks we were there . So if you dont have your Riu card yet please get one you are a somebody lol

 
nbsunseeker

Registered: October 2006
Posts: 5
Review Date: Wed December 20, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Staff and atmosphere
Cons:

Myself and 2 coworkers visited this resort in November. I cant say enough good things about it! Food was much better than any of the other all-inclusives that I have been to, beach was clean, staff were very friendly, and the entertainment crew were so nice, they always made sure that we were enjoying ourselves! I enjoyed my stay so much that I am already planning to go back in February.

 
missy-lou

Registered: May 2007
Posts: 1
Review Date: Wed May 2, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: everything
Cons: none

everything from the food selection (at the buffet alone!) to the landscaping around the beautiful pools to the awesome beach & most especially the fantastically friendly staff. i truly felt like i was leaving family behind when i left. went 2 years in a row & would go again soon but this year i am going to the palace punta cana instead & hope for the same Riu greatness there

 
Jerzzygirl

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 147
Review Date: Wed October 17, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $585.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Perfect
Cons:

Posted: Yesterday, at 10:31 pm Post subject: Just back from our wedding at the Riu


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Everyone were back and Everything was great!! I couldn’t wait to share with you all our experience. It was perfect, and I couldn’t have asked for more!! We arrived around 3pm and I told them at the front desk we booked the Royal package and I was looking forward to our upgrade. Suzzane, I believe she is 1 of the managers, put us in room 1261 and my children were across the hall in a Jr. suite 1260. Our Full suite was PERFECT in everyway. It had the most wonderful balcony over looking the ocean and the pool. It had a huge bed, a walk in closet, a Jacuzzi right next to the bed, a sitting area, and a huge bathroom. I could not get over this room. It was really nice. I will work on getting our pictures up tomorrow. Our guests were all in Jr. suites 1229, 1230, 1231, 1243, 1245. My travel agent emailed the hotel for me to request rooms close together. They all had great rooms, and fantastic views. Everyone loved there rooms and were happy to be in the JR suites. They LOVED hanging out on our balcony though, since it had the BEST view of all. Wait till you see the pics You will know what I mean.
I emailed Chandlyn before we left to make an appointment with her and she told me 9am. She was ready right on time and she was WONDERFUL to work with. She is so nice and anything we wanted she arranged. She went step by step and asked us what we wanted and our total package , Royal, steel drums, extra flowers for our girls, cocktail hour with hor dourves, 2 guest day passes came to 1209.00 US. After our meeting she told us to go to the photo shop to talk to them and this is where I got a little upset. The photo shop is no longer offering ANY free pictures with the Royal package. They changed to 10 free pics with the purchase of 24. Well I was upset that I wasn’t going to receive my 6 or 8 free pics with my package. The cheapest picture package was 240.00 and I wasn’t happy with that. My aunt took me back to speak to Chandlyn who then went with us to the photo shop, because she had NO idea that they changed the royal package offer. Well Chandlyn made everything better. She changed my package to the free package, told me I would still get everything in the royal package except the spa offer and she would give me back 475.00!!!!!! This way I could buy the photo shop package I wanted. The “free” wedding now was 200.00 for fees, 250.00 steel drums, 48.00 for flowers for my 2 daughters and 2 groomsmen, 136.00 for the cocktail hour, and 100.00 for the 2 guest passes. For a total price of 734.00!!!! I gave her 1209.00 cash earlier that day so she just gave me back the difference and I bought that “free” picture package for 150.00 that includes 10 pictures. I bought 2 more @ 8.00 each and they gave me the 198 pictures on a cd to look at, at home and I could order them online. They told me that the 198 proof pictures just cant be printed. I have not looked at the cd yet to see the quality, but I will let you know. I could not thank Chandlyn enough because she saved us a nice amount of money for offering us that. Onto the wedding day.
In the morning we spent time in the pool and on the beach and at 11am I had an appointment to get an Up-do. She did my hair just how I wanted, put in my vail, and Tiara. It cost 75.00 with tip. For being a bride I got 10% off. They were all so nice. At noon I went to the pool bar for a drink, then off to my room to get dressed with my daughters. The wedding was supposed to be at 2pm. Chandlyns assistant did not get me until about 2:10. I just walked down the steps of my room and out onto the beach. We had reverend Anderson and he was so nice, and did such a nice ceremony. He pronounced us man and wife in “ this no problem, island of Jamaica” everyone laughed and it was great! We then had him read our sand ceremony vows at the table set up right next to the gazebo. That was beautiful, and the look on my childrens faces say it all. We are a family, and we are 1. It was perfect!! Then we started to get annoyed, After the traditional greeting our guests. The band is still playing we are having cocktails served, food served the photgrapher wanted to take us away from this, Ok I will give them a few mins but we just wanted to party with our guests and enjoy our party. So we rushed him away. 198 pics in the end though and that’s damn plenty!! LOL After the hour that the band played was over we had the food brought up to our room to party alittle more on the balcony, and rest for a few . Then we were all off to the Blue mountain lobby bar. It was fine for us and we stayed about an hour and 15 mins then off to dinner. The table was set very pretty with flowers and candles. They had provided some I provided the rest. White table clothes and white napkins. Very, very pretty and secluded from another wedding dinner and other dining guests. The dinner was delicious and guess what… so was the cake!! I did NOT get the rum cake I got the plain. Everyone loved it!! Our plan was to go to the beach party for our after dinner party but for some reason it was switched to sat night and here it was Friday. So we just went back to the outdoor lobby bar and drank and danced and had an awesome time. My day was perfect just as I had envisioned and I was in 7th heaven…
The next morning we received breakfast in bed. It was alittle of everything off the buffet. Way to much food for just the 2 of us we called the kids to see if they wanted to join us but they were down at the beach all ready.
Everything else….. For the most part our week at the Riu was better this time then our 1st time last year. The food has improved lots and lots. There was always something on the buffet or menu that we found to enjoy. We ate and ate…and drank and drank… The bars are so much fun, the people are so much fun, and the workers are fantastic. Not 1 employee mis treated me or my family and we did not throw lots of money around. We tipped here and there. But regardless we were treated with respect! They were so friendly. The smell of the rooms are funny, so the air fresheners came in handy, they were in our welcomebags that we handed out. There were some ants in the rooms. We asked the maid for bug spray and she left it in the room. Not a big problem at all!! I only asked for the spray because my youngest daughter was getting worried and I didn’t want her to have any reason to say she didn’t want to stay in her own room and try to get me to let her stay in my room…. But it’s the tropics, there are ants all over OUTSIDE, some are bound to get into the rooms. I am happy that I only saw ants… Oh and lots and lots of mosquitoes outside at night. They bothered my daughter not me, guess cause she is so sweet. I also put those “OFF” wipes in the welcome bags so again they were useful. The dollar tree store by me had a box so I split them between all the bags. If you get a chance get a group of your family and friends together to go to margaritaville in island village. It was a blast!! My guests LOVED it. It was 8.00 per person for the shuttle ride. Make sure you specify Island village or they will drop you off at the flee market down the street,Not a very nice place. But Island village is a must for anyone that wants to shop and go to margaritaville. Fun Fun Fun!!! And VERY safe!! Sorry this is so long, any questions just ask. And I will post the link for my pictures as soon as I get them up!! 1 Word sum up. PERFECT!!!

 
Smiles123
Riu Bambuer Benefactor

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 248
Review Date: Sat March 8, 2008 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent views from balcony, beautiful grounds, helpful staff & great weather
Cons: Specialty/gourmet restaurant phone reservation system needs to be reviewed in order that all guests can at least get one booking during a week stay

February 2008


My husband and I returned from our first Jamaican vacation at the RIU Ocho Rios on February 18. As with every vacation that we go on, I had read many mixed reviews on Tripadvisor and Debbie’s Caribbean Resort Reviews, but, knowing RIU’s reputation and having stayed at the RIU’s in Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Playa del Carmen and Los Cabos, I felt confident we had made a good choice.


We were mostly not disappointed.


FLIGHT
Our late afternoon Skyservice flight was delayed leaving Toronto and accordingly we did not arrive at Montego Bay International Airport until late at night. When we arrived at the airport it took approximately 45 minutes to get through customs and get on the bus and approximately another 45 minutes before we were on our way. Our driver was quick, efficient, pleasant and a very informative tour guide, albeit near midnight and you could barely make out the landmarks. The highway was in excellent shape, the construction having just been completed.


CHECK-IN
– was pretty painless. When we arrived, as other reviews mentioned, we went through the lobby, received our welcome drink and were given our bracelets. After we handed our hotel voucher to one girl at a table set up in the middle of the lobby, we then went to a couple of different tables and were presented with an envelope, our room keys, safe key and lock, our towel cards and some orientation literature.


ROOM
We had booked a junior suite and, per a previous email request I had sent to the hotel, we received a third floor room (Rm. 1352), in the Deluxe Wing (Bldg. 1) side of the hotel and central to everything.


The mini fridge and liquor dispenser had not been restocked when we arrived. We left $5 in the mini fridge the first morning with a request to keep it stocked with beer, cola and water as well as replenishing the liquor dispenser. This was done during the day and during the week whatever we seemed short of was replenished in a day or two. The housekeeping staff was amazing. Our maid, Boblyn, was very observant of our comings and goings and if she didn’t see us one day she would point that out the next day. We left her $2 every day and our room was spotless all week. On our last day, we gave her an extra tip and thanked her for looking after us so well. She was very appreciative of this.


FOOD
**FIRST THINGS FIRST – THE PROCESS FOR RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS IS THAT YOU HAVE TO CALL BETWEEN 9:00a.m. AND 5:00 p.m. TO BOOK YOUR RESERVATIONS.**
There was no limit as to the number of reservations you could book – not like other RIU’s we’ve been to where you were only allowed a maximum of 2 reservations per one week stay - at least the other guests got an opportunity to book as well. The first two days we sat on the phone for a couple of hours trying to get through and when we did, only to find the day and/or the restaurant we wanted were not available. We were also told that only half of the allotted seating was made available for the advanced reservations and the balance for same day. After two days of not being able to get a reservation at any specialty/gourmet restaurants, we decided that was enough time wasted and spent the rest of our vacation around the pool or at the beach.


That being said, I must add that the resort was at 100% capacity the week we were there and although we didn’t get to the specialty/gourmet restaurants, we had no difficulty finding something to eat. For breakfast and lunches, we enjoyed either the buffet at St. Ann’s, Mammee Bay or the Plantation and dinner was at St. Ann’s buffet as Mammee Bay became the Steak house restaurant for dinner. The food was fine but we didn’t find it as fabulous as other RIU’s we’ve been to. Unlike other RIU’s we’ve been to, there were no theme nights (Italian, International, Jamaican etc.) at the buffet’s to spice things up a bit.


BARS
The bartenders were great especially at the Sports Bar and the swim up bars. The best Miami Vice was at the Sports Bar and the Dirty Monkeys were not as great as other RIU’s we’ve been to. Word of advice, bring a large insulated mug from home. This will keep your frozen drink frozen and will prevent you from having to go back to the bar several times. You can order anything … just name it … if they can’t make it, they will ask you how and then do it for you.


GROUNDS
The entire hotel was immaculate, spotless, well manicured and clean, and I have never seen so many people cleaning, pruning – the staff were constantly cleaning everywhere and anything. Beware … the floors can get a bit slippery with the humidity … so be careful.


POOLS/BEACH
There are two beautiful pools – one on each side of the resort each with their own Jacuzzi and pool bar/swim up bar – which were always clean – and for the littlest members of the group there is the Miniclub which has its own pool. The resort seems to be divided into the activity side which played the louder music and has the list of daily activities you can do and the quieter side (Deluxe Wing) (which is where we were) which was perfect for reading a book. Each side had its own towel cabana. There were plenty of loungers around but you needed to get out by about 7:30-7:45 am to get an umbrella. The lounge chairs can fill up, so if you have a spot that you like, place a towel and some personal items on your favorite chair in the morning on the way to breakfast. Very nice beach with white to golden sand, beach chairs, volleyball and the local selling their wares. If you were so inclined there was nice snorkelling off the east end of the beach. Seaweed does wash up on the beach and it is raked and gone each morning.


ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT
We were aware of the activities offered daily. We did not participate and we were not hassled to do so. The nightly shows were very entertaining. Don’t miss them. On the night of the Tropical Show we thought we recognized one of the RIU dancers from the RIU Bambu in the Dominican. As it turned out we were right and Ernesto had only transferred to the RIU Ocho Rios that week. There is a 24 hour sports bar with a small casino, electronic games, internet stations, pool etc. This is also where you can get a snack (sandwiches, popcorn, nachos) around the clock.


EXCURSIONS
Something that you must do when in Ocho Rios, is go to the Dunn’s River Falls. We went on the Cool Runnings tour and highly recommend it. It was a bus trip to the dock where we boarded the catamaran “Cool Runnings”, a short sail to the Crystal Reef for about a ½ hour of snorkelling. Then a quick sail to Dunn’s River for the exhilarating climb up the casacading waterfalls. Then back on the catamaran and at that point they opened the bar and headed out to sea. The rum and beer were flowing.


OVERALL
We will be staying here again or we will try the new RIU that is opening up in the fall of this year (2008) in Montego Bay. It was a great vacation and very enjoyable, the food was good and the staff tried very hard. Remember … you’re on vacation, so relax, have fun, enjoy the locals.

 
1968birchwood

Registered: April 2011
Posts: 6
Review Date: Sat April 30, 2011 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Yeah man
Cons: Some staff can be a bit agressive for tips

Have stayed here twice.on thewhole really enjoyed the facilities , food drink and especially the jerk hut.

 


Powered by: ReviewPost PHP
Copyright 2003 All Enthusiast, Inc.

New Page 1




Locations of visitors to this page

Riu Quoting System
FULL SCREEN BOOKING

(CLICK HERE)

Our New Affiliate Bookings


<