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Reviewed 30 March 2017

Ok there is lots to say about this hotel so it is much easier if I break it down:

The Rooms:
1. Don't stay here unless you're going to book a room in the deluxe / superior areas - the standard rooms are not worth it! They are old, dated, stuffy, dark and far!!!
2. Once you've paid for a better room, request a room on the first or second floors - yes the lifts work on the complex but they are slow. You might be in a hurry and trust me, you don't want to be too high up. I recommend older people or those who do not like to walk, keep this in mind the most.
3. The deluxe rooms are very spacious, even though they are doubles, the beds can sleep 3 people comfortably. They also have a mini seating area.
4. The rooms are cleaned well on a daily basis however the towels could do with being changed generally as they all seem old.
5. No matter what room you get, keep the balcony mesh door closed during the day but open the main glass balcony door - you'll need to air out the room.
6. This applies to anyone brave enough or wild enough to stay in a standard room, bring your ear plugs if you want to sleep in the mornings! Or get out early. The staff / guests talk loudly, you will hear everything as if they are in your room.
7. The wifi is free for 2 devices only per room (no matter what side of the hotel you stay in), the difference is that with a standard room wifi is strictly within the room, with a deluxe room the wifi can be used in the hotel generally. This is a problem for couples and families who share one room - most of us have at least 2 devices each!!!
8. You get a standard bath in a standard room with white towels, you get a jacuzzi bath in a deluxe room with brown towels - weird really.
9. With a deluxe room you get a ridiculous, ton of metal as a safe key which you have to carry around with you as they seem not to have stepped into the modern world by providing electronic safes - or maybe they've added that to build your arm muscles!!! Good luck with the undesired weight training - argue about this if it happens to you please, otherwise these things will never change.
10. Cleanliness is better in the deluxe area.

The Food:
1. There is a good choice of restaurants although any that need to be booked come on a first come first served basis. So you have to be dressed and queue for some time at the specific restaurant door to put your name down once the doors open, then you have to go back that same night at your allotted time - this is all very silly and time consuming! I can't remember the name of the Japanese / Oriental one but you can skip that!
2. The general restaurants serve a great selection, however the food quality is not the greatest. There is always a shortage of anything that's very good - the jerk chicken from the beach hut and the patties! The ice cream is good too as a side note. Coming from a Jamaican background - I would say that the Jamaican cuisine from this hotel is not a genuine reflection of the usually fresh, well flavored and seasoned cultural food the island or people from it can produce. The best restaurant to eat from though is the 'Plantation'.

The Hotel:
1. It's stupidly big, I think there's 856 rooms there or something like that so if you go as a family and all of your rooms are spread across the resort, it will take a long time for you to meet each other - this happened to us!
2. The staff work ridiculously hard, yes it is nice to tip them but this is not essential as some other reviews might indicate. I can say though that most of them deserve every penny and they are friendly beyond measure.
3. If you're going out and about, try to use the same taxi driver once you get familiar with one and you know the rates match your pocket. If you want to go down town to Ocho Rios, use the hotel free shuttle - not many will tell you about this but it saves you a lot in the long run!
4. If you are lucky enough to have a Jamaican passport :-) - take it with you! You'll be able to pay a local rate for pretty much everything including tourist attractions.
5. Use the hotel gym, it's basic but does what it needs to - actually most people won't need to from all the walking involved with this hotel!
6. Don't bother with the hairdressers unless you'd like to something basic - in my experience they are no good with ethnic hair (I had an extremely bad experience and it's a long story which still gets me mad when I talk about it).....just go down town to a local salon.
7. To me, the staff are friendly and fun but the daytime hotel activities are boring and could do with a revamp. Same goes for the evening entertainment apart from the Michael Jackson night and the all white party - which are worth it. The deluxe side pool is the better one to me, in terms of it being brighter and more central to what's happening.
8. Do use the spa facilities if you can, just inquire about booking in advance.
9. Try to book the water sports stuff too.
10. This place is best for young (or young at heart) families on a budget.

Anything else required, send me a message....

Room Tip: Stay on the deluxe side
  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank SKG13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Ocho Rios, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2017

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us such honest and detailed feedback.

As a service-oriented hotel chain, it makes us very proud that you like our staff and the work they are doing.The ethos of our staff training requires a helpful, friendly and very obliging service at any time.

We were pleased to read that you were satisfied with our selection of restaurants and that you especially liked our Plantation Restaurant. We can assure you that we strive to improve our service daily in order to offer all our guests in house and future clients a pleasant stay.

We would like to apologize that you sometimes felt disturbed by noise on the hallways.

We can assure you that all our rooms are built considering the legal requirements regarding insolation.

Your comments help us improve and we take them very seriously, therefore, we have reported your views to the relevant departments.

We hope you will choose to visit us again, and give us a chance to demonstrate the high standards of guest service that are typical at our resorts.

With our best wishes we remain,

ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2017

We stayed in this resort for a week all inclusive vacation. The food was amazing, especially if you like local Jamaican food like oxtail, jerk chicken and saltfish. The beach was beautiful and plenty of chairs. Pool was a little busy and you did need to get up very early to land a spot for the day. Hotel rooms were clean and well maintained daily. We loved our stay here.

Room Tip: Pick a building close to main pool otherwise it a long daily walk!
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank snookies1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
12
Reviewed 26 March 2017 via mobile

This was a graduation trip for my son and a couple of his friends - another Mom and I were on the trip with them. Overall resort was fine - food was good and service was good however I felt everyone had their hands out for a tip! This is different than other all-Inclusive that we've stayed at where part of what u pay for is not having to bring your wallet everywhere! One of our fave quotes was the watersports guys telling our boys to "bring something for the boys!". The reef was great for snorkeling but bring your own gear because it's a pain to use the resort gear (can only use for an hour!) and they don't provide fins. Compared to other all inclusive, there was not a lot of catamarans or kayaks for the size of resort - no paddleboards.
Recommend trip to Dunn's falls - rent the water shoes!

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Ocho Rios, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2017

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for choosing RIU Hotels and Resorts for your holidays and for taking the time to give us your constructive and valued feedback.

Firstly, we are pleased to read that overall you enjoyed your stay with us.

On the other hand, we were very surprised to read your comments about our staff. Service is one of our key values and our staff is constantly trained in order to offer the highest of standards. We would like to say that tipping is completely optional and the quality of our service does not depend on it. We will send your comments to management in case these standards have not been fulfilled at some point.

Regarding your comments and suggestions about the watersport equipment, we will share your comments with the corresponding departments in order to make adjustments, if necessary.

We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back again soon.

With our best wishes we remain,

ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2017

Pros. I loved the pool area and the beach was nice as well. The place is very clean. The staff is top notch. The entertainers work very hard and do a fantastic job. The place could be a 4 or even 5 star with some upgrades. Easy to over dress, the place is casual and comfortable. A few Cons. Only one towel is issued by the pool per person. This is ridiculous for long lounge chairs. There is no pool service for drinks. Getting up and down for drinks with only one bar in a large area is a problem. he bed we had was lousy. Old dead mattress and box spring. Very uncomfortable! The shower was very weak and the tubs are small and tight. Breakfast and dinner were fine at the buffet but lunches were lousy but eatable.

Room Tip: Hotel has 5 floors. fifth floor rooms have walls for balconies. Get 4th floor room.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank JohnnySands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiuHotelsandResorts, Online Reputation Manager at Hotel Riu Ocho Rios, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2017

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for choosing RIU Hotels and Resorts for your holidays and for taking the time to give us your constructive and valued feedback. As a service minded hotel chain, it is disappointing to hear that you encountered inconveniences in our property as mentioned in your review and that it caused your holiday to be less enjoyable.

First of all, we are pleased to hear that you were satisfied with our friendly and helpful service. They take their roles in our industry very seriously and try, every day, to provide that quality customer service that our guests expect. We would also like to thank you for bringing up your satisfaction regarding our beach and the cleanliness of our resort.

Regarding the issues you described in your room, we are deeply disappointed to find that our team did not turn around this situation to your complete satisfaction. We would have liked to have been informed about all your inconveniences during your stay so we could have helped you to enjoy a pleasant stay.

Regarding your comments and suggestions about the service by the pool, we will share your comments with the corresponding departments in order to make adjustments, if necessary.

We look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back again soon.

With our best wishes we remain,

ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios
Online Reputation Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2017 via mobile

Just got back from our 6 day vacation in Jamaica. We stayed at this resort on the deluxe side...so worth it, so nice! I loved it here. Super clean, incredibly nice staff. There were a few that seemed flat and not happy to be working there but I guess you'll have that anywhere. Chose not to let those ones bother me. This side was way more quiet than the other side. Nothing wrong with either side just my preference for a more relaxed tone. There was way less people on the beach on this side as well. Could always get a lounger at the pool or the beach. Again, just my preference...to each their own. The buffet was pretty typical for Riu. We ate there for breakfast each day, very good with pretty much whatever you wanted. The restaurants at dinner were outstanding. Served some of the best meals I have ever had at Tushima and Sir Richards. The jerk hut on the beach was super delicious as well.

The night shows were entertaining.

We never wanted for anything. I normally am anxious to get back home when coming to the end of previous vacations but not this one, I wasn't ready to leave:)

Stayed: March 2017, travelled as a couple
6  Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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