Riu Ocho Rios Hotel

, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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Riu Ocho Rios Hotel

5 star

Rooms: 846

Mammee Bay - Ocho Rios - 4442 - Jamaica Hotel Website | | (1)876 972 22 00
3495 Traveller

Reviews - Riu Ocho Rios Hotel

Loved It!
Submitted by: Patti in 28/07/08
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
We went on a long girls weekend and LOVED IT. The staff was great from the minute we got off the bus, friendly, helpful and very playful. For the most part, the food was pretty good as well, the "reservation" line up is a little odd, but we didn't have any trouble getting in the restaurants we wanted when we wanted. The beach was beautiful and cleaned up everyday. However...THE BEDS stink, but it's not like we spent that much time in them anyway so who cares.
Beautiful Rooms
Submitted by: CHRISTINE in 27/04/08
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
Rooms were awesome and cleaned daily. Service in room was wonderful and accomadating. Food was terrible and the same everyday. Rarely seafood on the buffet.
Sir Richard was good but service took forever to get a drink. Top shelf vodka was Smirnof and i found that not top shelf at all. Only beer available was red strip which I find disgusting and perhaps others liked it but to have only one choice at an all inclusive
Beach was very dirty. For the most part the service was good as long as you were tipping, even though my package included tips. Very slippery floors in the halls and around the hotel.
Totally chilled out
Submitted by: Jack in 26/09/06
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
1st time in Jamaica but been in carribean before - Grand Cayman - but it still came as a bit of a shock to see the state of the roads on the way from the airport. The resort was amazing right from the first moment we arrived at reception. The staff are genuinely friendly and extremely helpful. Our room had a fantastic view over the swimming pools and out to the sea. Rooms cleaned daily and bottles of Rum, Brandy, Gin and Bacardi replenished every 2nd day as was the beer and soft drinks in the fridge. Food choice was excellent with differant speciality resturants - Japanese, steakhouse, italian, as well as the Sir Richard which is the best but hardest to get in to. Shame about the booking procedure where you have to be an early starter to get in the queue if you want the Sir Richard. Plenty to do if you want energetic days on the beach but you are left alone to chill out if that is what you want. Entertainment at night was great fun and the bar staff - particularly Jason Black, George and Oran were excellent and always seemed to know when my glass was getting empty! We met 3 other couples from England with their kids- who we barely saw from one day to the next, they were able to keep entertained themselves and with the hotel staff - and we all had such a great time that we have booked already for next year - only this time there are 15 of us going. Great value for money and excellent facilities and staff.
Submitted by: Diana in 10/08/06
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
The hotel was beautiful and the service great. The specialty restaurants however left allot to be desired. Who wants to get up at 6:30a.m.to be in the lobby at 7:00a.m. To try and get a reservation. My last day I waited in line starting at 4:30am and managed to get the last 9:00pm reservation. I wouldn't go back because of their messed up system.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Riu Ocho Rios Hotel

Had a BLAST at Riu

from skibunnii
We went to the Riu Ochos Rios the week of November 6-11, 2005. The resort had only been open for a few weeks and we were really impressed. The place was BEAUTIFUL! Our room was fantastic. We stayed in a junior suite so we had jets in the tub, a little extra living area, and a larger balcony. All of the staff were very friendly and helpful. Because of the devastation in Cancun, this resort filled up very quickly. This is unusal for a resort and they usually get a good month to "break things in" such as training staff and finishing up details. There were a few kinks but my husband and I expected this and it was fine. At times, the check in desk was busy but no big deal. The drinks were great in my opinion. I expected watered down drinks but that was not the case.I considered them to be strong!!! Maybe I'm just a weenie. The food was good. We ate at the main St.Anns buffet several times and it was good with the white tablecloths, servers bringing you wine and the whole nine yars. We made reservations at Tushima, the Japanese restaurant and it was delicious. I would definitely go back to this resort. We enjoyed the 2 hour drive from the airport because we got to see the beautiful landscape but you also see living conditions of the people of the area. We had a great time. RELAX YOU ARE ON VACATION!! NO PROBLEM MON!

Disappointed At The Rui!!

from Much_Needed_Vacation
We have just returned from the Riu Ocho Rios and I have to say I dispise the hurricane that ruined our trip to mexico. This was our first trip to Jamaica and it would take a hell of a deal to return. You can't beat the service and pride of Mexico.

We arrived at the resort after about a 3 hour ride to Ocho Rios from the airport. The driver stopped 2 times on our journey for bathroom breaks and scenery although I think he was just stopping to say hello to some of his friends. The roads are terrible and they should look into getting Hummers for transport.

Once we arrived at the resort we were greeted by a friendly bellman he directed us to the front desk. Check in as quick and not a lot of info was given. We had been traveling for hours and we were hungry and tired and we weren't given any info on where to eat. Once we received our room key, which was an actual key on a huge keychain with our room number, we also received safe lock and another key and 2 cards for towels which if you lost these cards you had to pay $20.00 each. The bellman helped us to our room and once we got there we were a little disappointed with it. The room was small with nothing else but a bed, dresser, little table with 2 chairs, and nightstands. The bellman was quickly showing us our room, on the fifth floor, and immenities including the liquor dispenser which had Jamaican rum, cheap vodka, cheap brandy, and cheap gin. The bellman said to "be sure you keep your safe locked because when we say NO PROBLEM, THAT'S [--], WE CAN STEAL ANYTHING"!! I was a litle nervous about this, but I appreciated his honesty. I tipped although tipping wasn't necessary.

We dropped off the bags and headed for the food. We walked, and walked, and walked and the resort is large and found a buffet that was nearing the end and the food was pretty limited. We ate a little and walked, walked, walked back to our room. We got in the elevator and as it headed upward, about the 3rd floor, the elevator suddenly slipped and would drop about 6 inches. When it first happens it scares the crap out of you, but through the week we were there, we got used to it.

After our nap, we got dressed and headed down to eat and make reservations for the restaurants. We had to wait about 45 minutes to make reservations and when we did, we had to wait 5 days just to eat at a sitdown. We had to eat a sub-par buffet for 5 days.

The food again wasn't great...the meat was tough, the salads weren't very chilled, the trays that held the food were often empty and if you didn't wait for replenishment, you were out of luck because the other guests at the resort (also waiting) would take it as the amount of replenishment was no were near sufficient.

The liquor seemed to me to be a little on the cheap side. The bartenders worked their butts off and the amount of people requiring drinks were in large masses and the wait time for a drink would be 5 to 15 minutes (i suggest get more then one). In the evenings they had 2 bars open (3 if you include the indoor sports bar) and that's were most guests were at. The bars seemed small for the amount of people that were and there was no wait staff anywere to get you a drink or even offer you one.

The pools and the beack were very nice and large in size but again, there was no wait staff and you had to walk either to the pool bar or they had a small beach bar.

The housekeeping was terrible. We had called for extra pillows and after about 4 hours and 3 phone calls, they finally arrived. The rooms were cleaned at the staff leisure and twice we didn't have maid service. One time we had maid service, and they didn't leave towels, wash clothes, and they took our one and only ashtray.

I would say the one thing that really upset us was the waiting. We would get a drink and wait for the waitress to bring it (at the pizzeria), waiting in line for drinks, waiting for food to arrive. We ate at the gourmet restaurant and the food was good. This was the only restaurant that you were about to sit at for your entire meal. During dinner, we had salad, without bread, we got our soup, no bread. The entray came and i had to ask for bread. The bread came 10 minutes later without butter. We asked for butter and waited 10 minutes for butter.

I guess I could go on and on about things but i guess make up your own mind. The other sit down dinners we had ended up still incorporated some buffet. The steakhouse we had to go to a buffet for soup, salad, and desert. The entray was served, and the food was nothing special. The steak was a tenderlion and the meat was tough. The Asian restaurant was really an Old China Buffet and everything was buffet there.

When we were leaving, our travel rep had our transfer time, but I had to ask every single transfer driver if they were our transport as nobody announces anything.

Overall, I would say they were overbooked or understaffed or both. It wasn't a total wash, we still were in paradise and we met some really great people, but the other accomadations were really a concern. They would have to make some major corrections before we return. Viva la Mexico!!!

Nice resort, needs to work out growing pains

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just got back as well. Accomodations and facilities were amazing which makes up for the long line-ups for food and sometimes lack of food. We had been shifted to this resort since Mexico was out due to the hurricane. The resort was suppose to not open until the end of November so any negative reviews you read are due to the fact that they were understaffed and not 100% ready for the large crowds.

Rooms: We had an oceanview suite in the VIP section which was amazing. Don't know about the other section but definitely go deluxe if you can. It also gives you access to the Japanese restaurant which is off limits to the regular section. Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom was well used and the rooms were large and spacious.

Beach: Very lovely. No problems getting chairs and on some days, the water was so calm there were no waves.

Pool: When we got there, hardly anyone was at the resort but several days later, it was difficult to find chairs and the line-ups to the swim-up bar was very long.

Restaurant: reservations were annoying and they weren't very accomodating even if you just show up and had empty tables. Friends complained and they said they will now have 3 seatings instead of 2 to accomodate everyone.

Entertainment: it's no lion king. They tried but again, mediocre.

overall: our wonderful accomodations and location made up for the operational woes. We think it can only get better and the problems it had was most likely due to not being fully prepared. I would still recommend the place.

Complete Failure at every level of management

from A TripAdvisor Member
Everything was a joke except for the natural beauty of the property.

Management was hardened enough about the inadequacy of the resort, that they had obviously been coached to lie about everything...I mean everything...their way of taking advantage of the hurricane transplants was to open too early and make it look like they were completely unaware of the obvious inadequacies. THEY TOOK THE MONEY AND PISSED ON THE JAMAICAN CULTURE BY RUINING THE VACATIONS OF MANY FIRST TIME VISITORS TO THE ISLAND.

3 of 5 couples that were there with us didn't get the room they requested (king bed, ocean view, etc.). Management would have nothing of fixing the problem, only to make sure that you realize that they did not make a mistake in booking....all I can say is stay at the front desk (along with the huge crowd of others angry about similar shortcomings). You will hear more lies from managment that you can imagine. You will hear them lie to all newcomers about problems that get explained away in the most imaginative fiction that you can dream of.

STAY IN THE LOBBY arguing until they fix the problem because solutions will be granted only after they realize that you will not go away...and suddenly you will find yourself being given what they have told you that you couldn't have for hours upon hours.

I don't have the time or energy to detail everyting but here is a bullet list of pathetic shortcomings:

1) Management's obvious dishonesty

2) Cattle call buffet's always depleted

3) Can't get reservations to the 'decent' restaurants

4) NO Irons/Ironing boards (available)

5) NO hair dryers (bare wires in bathroom)

6) Coin toss room service

7) No in room drink refresh without trip to lobby to gripe


9) Slow bar service (alcohol or non-alcohol)

10) No follow thru on any request from front desk from wake up calls to linen requests

11) No real Jamaican culture (friendliness, etc.)

Nice Vacation

from heshi411
My husband and I just returned from riu ocho rios and had a nice time. This was our first trip to Jamaica so we didn't have any real high expectations. We figured we would just go with an open mind and enjoy ourselves to the fullest. The first day was a bit of a nightmare. Immigration was horrible at Montego Bay Airport, the drive to Ocho Rios was long and bumpy. However, once we arrived and took one look at the place we were overwhelmed at the beautiful resort! The lobby is breathtaking. The room and view were amazingly clean and spacious and our balcony overlooked the beach (which is huge) and the east pool. The east pool is larger and has more children while the pool on the other side of the resort is where we spent most of our time since it was the "party spot". We met alot of great people, both tourists and locals alike. The staff is very accomodating and friendly, always going out of their way to make sure you are having a good time. The shows are good. We liked the Michael Jackson show on Thursday nights. Food is OK. The resort was fully booked and there were no spots for us to eat in the ala carts, which was annoying but we tried to make the best of it anyway. Buffets are nice but by the last day I wasn't fitting in my clothes as well. Overall it was a relaxing trip. A few little kinks that they need to work out but it is a new resort and they were really overloaded due to the hurricane in Cancun and everyone switching to Jamaica. Here are a few photos. I would say, if you are the easy going type this place is deffinately worth the money. You will have a nice time. I would go back but probably not for a while as we want to go check out Negril next time.

just stating the facts

from jjbozz
I will try to be as factual as possible and give an honest and unbiased report. I do realize this resort has just opened so I will be as fair as possible.

We are four couples, mid-fifties and seasoned travelers. We were displaced from Secrets Excellence in Mexico and decided to try the Riu. We have traveled to Jamaica on three other occasions.

We had no idea of the resort's layout. It is a huge resort for this island. Lovely facility and beautiful beach and pool areas. You enter into an opened air lobby that extends to your right and left and directly ahead is a view of the beach. This area is elevated and houses a main bar area, the entertainment theater, two novelty shops, the Mandaylay, Sir Richard, Piccolo Italia, Mamee Bay and St Anne's restaurants. If your are facing the beach, on your right would be most of the restaurants with steps leading down to the beach and at the far end a huge pool area with another restaurant called Plantation House that offers breakfast and lunch buffets. Behind the pool area is a horseshoe shaped building which houses mostly standard rooms. These room are set very far back, especially at the center of the horseshoe. The few suites that are housed in this building are superior and presidential.

To the left of the lobby past the bar and theater and through the open air steakhouse, Mamee Bay, lies the second building and pool area. Again this building is horseshoe in shape and houses all suites. This building is not as set back as the other. There is also two restaurants in this area, Tushima, where only suite holders can dine or so they say and Mamee Bay, which serves buffet lunch and Steak dinners (not very good).

You are required to wear wrist bands, blue for the standard roomers and white for the suite holders. Why, you may ask and I would anwser, I don't know. We have never been required to wear wrist bands at any all inclusive we have gone to.

When we arrived after the two hour bus ride we were told our rooms were not ready. It was 3:30. We went to have some lunch and returned at 4:30 It seemed the front desk had some difficulties finding a room for us because they called over the front desk manager and he took an inordinate amount of time leafing through papers. We had upgraded to a jr. suite they showed us to a standard room. We immediatley walked the mile walk back to the main lobby and the front desk manager pulled our vouchers and told us we did not book a jr suite it was only a request for a jr suite. Thankfully, I still had one of the vouchers in my possession that stated very clearly that I did indeed pay for the upgrade of a jr suite. Well, they would not move us that eveing, if we stayed in that room category they would not guarantee us our money back, so we asked to speak to the GM who was not available.

We were tired and so we spoke to one of the host managers who said she would set up an appt. with the GM the next morning. Well that never happped. Spoke to another host mgr and she found us a very nice suite in the same building our friends were in. This sounds like it was easy and pleasant but believe me it wasn't. So we moved again on day two. But, boy it wasn't easy to get what we paid for.

Returned to our new room at 6pm and found AC was not working. Called front desk and said they would send someone. At 8:30, before we left for dinner, called again and they said they were on it. Returned from dinner at midnight still no one had come. Called desk again and had to get a little out of control before someone came at 12:30 and worked til 2:00 and still could not fix it. Slept that night in a hot humid room.

Found ourselves back in lobby on day 3 after much hasseling and time and aggravation and most of our day spent again in the main lobby. We were moved again to the all suite side. This was three days of our 8 day vacation. But, wait it gets better. LOL

They informed us on the day we checked in it was their policy that a guest can only dine three times in one of their restaurants. The other nights you would eat at the St ann's buffet and the pizza and pasta place. No one had ever told us. Could find no literature that documented that. We tried to get around that as best we could but, more aggravation.

No top shelf liquor, only smirnoff vodka again we had never experienced this.

Food was fair. St Ann's buffet for dinner the worst. Lines of people waiting for food to be replenished at all the buffets. Lunches were not the best. Mystery meat burgers no lettuce for salads on one of the days only had cabbage. Breakfast was fine but again long waits Food just was not replenished quickly enough for the amount of people to serve. Only one person making omlettes for a hotel that has 876 rooms and when we were there 2000 guests.

If you are eating at any of the outdoor buffets try to get there as soon as the put the food out when it if the freshest otherwise it sits and flys land on the food and not very appetizing.

Specialty restaurants were very small for a resort of this size. When you tried to make reservations you were in line a long time to do this, they were always booked. When we left the resort on the 12th guests were complaining there was no availability unitl the 16th in any of the restaurants. There are two seating available 7pm and 9pm. Yet when you walked the property and glanced inside they were always only half full. Other guests told us if you tip the maitre d he will make room and that's what we did and guess what we ate where we wanted to most nights. Sir Richard's is by far the best and we found that at the earlier seatings the food was much better in all of the dining rooms. I think they must cook all food ahead of time so at the later seatings the food is dried out and not as good.

Now I could continue to go on and on but all the other problems were nusiance problems because the facility is new. I will say the staff is very friendly and the entertainment group is extremely likabe. The evening entertainment was very good.

This would not be my choice or my traveling friends choice to spend a vacation. Management is not very nice or accommodating and not willing to help they just try to wear you down and hope your problems just go way they will yes you to death and not follow through until you get like the ugly american we cherish our vacation time too much to contend with that baloney

Great resort - highly recommend

from AgentSusan
I have just returned from the Riu Ocho Rios. I have been a travel agent for over 30 years and have seen MANY resorts and this is one of the nicest I have seen.
Always keep in mind that everyone has different expections, past experiences and likes and dislikes so take every review with a grain of salt.
It is amazing to me that a brand new resort that is this big is already so organized and ready for business. Sure there were a few things here and there but overall it is a wonderful place.
I would recommend it most to families, couples or groups travelling together - I didn't see a lot of single people - at least not yet. It is a BIG resort - I understand what someone else said about no heart and soul - because it is so big and there are so many guests AND staff that it is hard to get to know others - especially the staff. If you are a couple looking for a quiet, more intimate type of setting then you may want to choose another resort - Sandals or Couples for example. There were a lot of families and lot of kids so if you're trying to get away from the kids for a week - go somewhere else. The staff we did interact with were very helpful and friendly.
Also keep in mind that a LOT of the guests here this week were people that were SUPPOSED to be in Cancun or the Mayan Riviera so some were already upset about that and the resort took on more guests than they expected.

FOOD - good on all accounts -the buffet - St. Anns IS busy but the food is good - open for Breakfast and dinner - get a table first then take turns going up for your food. They have outside tables on the patio which lets you enjoy the warm Caribbean breeze. The Italian restaurant is open for continental breakfast 10.30 am-12 noon and then stays open for Salad bar, Pizza and Pasta till midnight. Buffet lunch is available at two restaurants - each one near a pool area. You need reservations at the others for dinner -reservations are done in the lobby between 10am - 12 noon and then again 6-7 pm- you can reserve all of your reservations for the rest of the week.Go there the first chance you get after you arrive. I have to admit that this process is still unorganized and time consuming. The hotel needs to streamline this better.
The Chinese restaurant is fabulous (buffet). The steak house is OK - you order your entree and do buffet for your appetizers. The gourmet restaurant - Sir Richard's is totally a la carte and superb - don't miss it. There is also a Japanese restaurant for guests staying in the suites only so didn't get there. All of the restaurants your reserve have 2 sittings - early 7 pm or late around 9 pm. All restaurants are very clean - I did not hear of one single person being sick the week we were there. The tap water in your room is NOT drinkable, however the water served with your meals and from the dispenser machines in the restaurants IS. Ice cubes in your drinks is fine. Specialty restaurants require men to wear long pants for dinner. No tank tops.

ROOMS - We were in a standard - very nice - King bed, table and chairs, lots of dresser drawers, fridge stocked with soft drinks, water and beer, liquor dispenser - vodka, rum, brandy and gin. Balcony with rack to hang clothes. Bathroom with tub and shower and hairdryer. Satellite TV. In room safe. Apparently the suites also have irons/ironing boards. There is a folder on the dresser giving you details about the hotel, how to use the phone etc. We were in the 300 building - all rooms have partial oceanview. This is the building closest to the spa/kids centre.If you are in this building, I would recommend that you ask for a room on the side AWAY from the road coming into the resort - closest to the Sandals resort which is right next door- we were on the road side and it was very noisy with traffic, construction, trucks coming in etc.If you are in the 200 building, also ask for a room furthest away from the centre of the resort. There was another building with rooms overtop the buffet restaurant but it wasn't completely finished - would not recommend this building due to proximity to restaurants and pool area (noisy). The 300 building has standard rooms and junior suites. I believe the 200 building is all suites

POOLS - two of them on each side of the resort - both huge with swim up bars, volleyball, aquafit. Most families and kids were at the pool near the kids centre, the other one seemed to be geared more to adults. Lots of chairs. Towels provided.

BEACH - nice but not very long if you like to walk the beach. Palm trees on the beach for those who want shade. Beach grill serving BBQ lunch. Beach volleyball, aerobics in the ocean or on the beach depending on the waves (King Kong the aerobics instructor is great). Water is clear unless it is windy but quite a few rocks in the water you have to manoever around. Lots of chairs. Beach bar. Horseshoes, bocce ball. Watersports - para sailing, paddle boats, jet skis, snorkeling - some at an extra charge.

ENTERTAINMENT - Good - we did hear reggae music on a couple of evenings. Steel drums, dance shows - it was typically Caribbean. Beach parties. It is very entertaining and they try real hard - remember, this is not Las Vegas.

BARS - too many to count! I think the earliest is the pool and beach bar at 10 am and the Sports Bar is open 24 hours - they offer 24 hours snacks. The Casino is in the Sports Bar - very small - about 20 slot machines. Pina coladas very good - also try their "Miami Vice" and "Blue Ocean" drinks. Ask for a "Bob Marley" shooter in the poolbar.

DISCO - opens after the evening show - lots of fun, high energy, good music.

WEDDINGS - we saw at least 6 weddings - all tastefully done - most popular seemed to be the sunset wedding which started about 5 pm on the beach. Real variety on options - some very simple - others had a steel drum band. Some had their dinner receptions in a closed off area of one of the restaurants. This aspect seemed to be very organized.

SPA/GYM - good equipment, air conditioned - spa treatments at extra cost.

OTHER STUFF - 2 gift shops on site selling clothes, jewellery, gift items, toiletries, cigarettes, snacks. Prices actually quite reasonable. They also bring in craft vendors 3 times a week to sell their merchandise - a chance to barter!

Internet cafe is now open - $ 9.00 for 30 mins - buy your time at the gift shop closest to the reception area.

Take US $ - accepted throughout the resort and also in town. There is NO ATM at the resort yet so have extra cash or travellers cheques.

Local tours - arrange with your local rep - Sunquest, Apple Vacations etc - have desks in the lobby everyday to accommodate you.

You can get a taxi into the town of Ocho Rios for shopping - it takes about 10-15 mins to get there and is $ 30 US round trip for 2 people - just tell them when you want to come back and they will come back and get you.

The airport transfer is 2 hours - they are in the middle of constructing a new road and some roads were damaged by a lot of rains this fall so be patient - most of the drivers give you a guided tour along the way and they do make a rest stop so enjoy it! Make it part of your experience.

They have doctor's office on site if required.

Weather was great - most rain we did get was overnight or early morning.

Also note - If you book on the internet, ensure you have proper documentation. If you book with a travel agent, it is THEIR responsibility to ensure you have proper identification BEFORE you get to the airport. Passports for everyone is your best form of ID.
The Jamaican customs officials on arrival and departure were the friendliest I've encountered anywhere.

Overall - unless you want a quite, intimate resort - do not hesitate to go to the Riu Ocho Rios!

needs some fine tuning

from A TripAdvisor Member
Riu is a great Hotel,however since they have only been open two weeks there are a few problems they must work on.
The breakfast line is worse then the chow line in the Army.The food is good but in many cases they need to do more then the over used frase "Ya Man No problem" this might be the down fall of the Hotel if someone does not give some of those folks some direction.
The maid service, no need to hang the sign clean up my room cuse it will be cleaned at the same time it was cleaned the day before.
If you can get into the other Resturants like the Steakhouse,Sir Richards was good.
The beach is great plenty of chairs.The staff gives you the feeling they know what they are doing but they seemed over their heads.

Not great-no service or warmth or Jamaican flavor

from bugsbunny
Just got back-here are our thoughts, from people who have been to Jamaica many times and have stayed at many places ie Sandals, Beaches, Grand Lido Negril and villas.
OVERALL: The resort is pretty and has nice pools and beach area and the rooms and restaurants are nicely decorated. But there is no heart or soul and it is as Jamaican as Las Vegas. Too European-no Caribbean warmth. No information forthcoming from anybody about anything. Front desk etc. is not helpful. No service. Only people who are friendly and say hello when they pass you are the Jamaican maids,waiters and bellmen. Even getting over the opening jitters won't bring warmth and service to this place.I would not rush back here when there are so many wonderful places in Jamaica to stay.
ROOMS: Oceanview upgrade means if you hang over the side of the balcony, you will see a slice of ocean to your left. Our room had wires coming out of the bathroom wall where the hair dryer should go. After 2 complaints, the next day the hair dryer was put in. If you have children, the room would be too small-we had king bed, there was no sofa bed etc.-you would have to upgrade and I don't know if suites can accomodate them. Minibar is only replenished every second day and only Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, soda water and beer and liquor. Maid service didn't show up the second day until 6pm and then didn't replace all the towels and facecloths. No-name shampoo comes in a little metallic paper packet, not proper bottles for 5 star hotel and no conditioner or lotion. No references on telephone or any book to tell you how to reach front desk, operator etc. Room has no peep-hole and keys have room number on them-not great for security. When you get into the room, seems like no electricity since lights don't turn on-nobody tells you (including bellmen) that there is a master switch near the door that you need to turn on first. Glass door to balcony not soundproof-1 night, group took party at 2-2:30am from disco to the pool area and woke us up and others and kept us up-nobody at the hotel seemed to care.
RESTAURANTS: Buffet and pizza parlour don't need reservations and you may spend your whole vacation there. We arrived on Thurs. and were not told immediately to make dinner reservations and when we asked, we were told you could only make them 10-12 and 6-7. When we went at 6pm (long lineup), we were told that we couldn't make a reservation at any a la carte restaurant (each has 2 sittings) until Mon. night. He told me I could eat at the buffet or pizza joint (for 4 nights!). When I told the man (spanish, not jamaican) that this was unacceptable, he didn't care. Main buffet has lots of seats but nobody tells you where to go or what to do. YOu don't get a table first, you stand in a long line to get food and then try to find a table and if both of you get up to get something, the table is cleared and someone else may be sitting there when you get back. The buffet setup is too small for a restaurant and hotel of that size. Also, the food is not replenished quickly so you stand in a long line and when you get there, all you see is a bunch of empty trays. Set up isn't smart-soup was near the coffee and nowhere near the rest of the food. Food quality was ok. Sir Richard's was a delicious dinner.
POOLS/BEACH: nice pools and beach, nice chairs and towels. Nobody brings drinks-you have to walk around the pool(or swim) to the pool bar and stand waiting for a turn.
CHILDREN'S PROGRAM: I checked this out even though we didn't bring kids this time. Small building with small swingset and whirlpool size pool. I saw 3 little ones in the pool by themselves with no adults and the 2 staff were in the building not really paying any attention to the kids. Only activities I saw announced was rock painting and t-shirt painting.I wouldn't leave my kids here.
ENTERTAINMENT: No Jamaican flavor-band played no reggae or Bob Marley and had Michael Jackson night and beach party. Entertainment at pool and evening was geared to drinking and silly games (ie Jackson impersonator, Mr. Riu, Miss Riu contest, drink beer and do pushups at pool-felt like I was at a Club Med.

Enjoyed the Riu Ocho Rios

from ModelAttorney
The Riu is a gorgeous property that still is working through it's "shake down" period. We just returned and were impressed with the beautiful beach, the ocean view from our fifth floor ocean front room (#2503)and the helpful staff. We would go back again.

Despite our late arrival in the early A.M. (Air Jamaica's fault) we were quickly checked-in. Although others had problems with rooms not yet completed and nearby on-going construction, our room was great. The property is very large, but has a comfortable, cozy feeling.The open-air lobby never felt crowded and we always had our pick of lounge chairs on the beach.

Unfortunately, the food is just average and needs improvement. Buffet breakfast was best. We ate at Sir Richards and the Steakhouse, but neither is special, so don't worry if you can't get in. Try the jerk chicken at the beach shack. Also, a $1 tip for drinks, meals, maid service etc. is appreciated by the staff and helps you stand out from the rest in terms of service.

Top Local Tips for Ocho Rios

Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour A great trip if you dont mind a long bus ride there and back. The scenery is amazing and the experience is out of this world. Make sure to take home some of their home grown coffee.

taxis you can go barter with taxi drivers right outside the loby

Horseback Riding 1-876-583-4088 Eddie, Amazing guide, healthy horses and happy people


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  • Address: Mammee Bay - Ocho Rios - 4442 - Jamaica
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