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My Wife and I booked to go for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in 2006 for what was to be a holiday of a lifetime - and have been back every year since. Having read many of the previous reviews all I can advise to the people who seemed not to enjoy the experience is to take time on the flight to Jamaica to chill-out, slow down and get in the right frame of mind to enjoy all that Jamaica has to offer. Make sure you have plenty of small denomination US $ to use as tips - from the baggage guy at the Airport, bus driver on your transfer to hotel, baggage guy at the hotel, right through to the guides on any excursions you choose - get used to it!!! These folk are paid a pittance (if anything) and rely on tips to boost their income. When you arrive at the hotel - the bus journey is a necessary pain (and the driver will stop if you need relief anywhere - just give some notice) - you are guided to a table to get your welcome pack, wrist-band and room safe lock and given a welcoming rum-punch. You get to your room and cases arrive within minutes (tip expected). Rooms are all well presented and clean - there can be a musty smell occaisionally due to air con and guests not opening the verandah doors to allow fresh air in!! Views are stunning, over the beach (cleaned daily) a few yards away and one of the 2 main pools depending on where your room is. Food and entertainment is on a 2 weekly rotation, so I can understand when some reviews say it is repetitive. Yes, it may be, but it is of a high standard and the food in particular caters for all tastes - from Pizza, pasta and chips (fries), to A La Carte presentations at the specialist Restaurants. We travelled on our last visit with family friends who had 3 kids aged 3, 12 and 15 and all were entertained - as were the adults - on a daily basis by the bar and pool staff as well as members of the entertainment staff. Kids club available and not just a kop-out for parents - kids are involved in games, adventures and beach visits. Bar staff in particular made the holiday for me - Big George at the main bar is the Daddy of the evening shift and Kimoy at the pool bar in the quieter end is the main man during the day - great entertainment and just full of fun. Many Americans tend to tip $1 each time they "order" drinks at the bar ( don't they know how to say please??) but I speak to George and Kimoy and tip them both at the start of the holiday to keep the drinks coming - works every year.
We travelled to Jamaica in January 2011 for our wedding and took 16 guest with us. All I can say is the hotel was amazing! its was spotlessly clean and the cleaners were around all day ensure the high standards were maintained. The food was beautiful and such a wide selection to choose from. The breakfast was deffinatly my favourite. Pools were very clean and lots of entertainment in the one pool all day and the 2nd pool was much quieter and relaxed. The beach is privatly patrolled so the locals are not aloud to come up to you unless you are at the sea line.The wedding day was perfect and the wedding planners were very helpfull, had such an amazing day. the only downfall for us was we had the sand ceremony as part of the wedding package but upon our return through customs they tipped it all up to ensure we were not carrying anythiong through and recked it so would not recommend this if you want your sand to stay nice and pritty.Would like to say a very special thank you to Kevin who worked in the buffet restaurant, he made our evenings run very smootly and always ensure the whole group could sit together at meal times. Also Jermain McBean who welcomes the guest into the hotel! he such an amazing person and so full of life. I can honestly say we will never forget him or our experience at the hotel, it was deffinatly the best holiday/wedding/honeymoon i could ever of wish for and anyone who is thinking of going to this hotel will be overwelmed by the very high standards.
Visited hotel august 2010. I went with my mother and my 2 sons and was amazed! When we stepped of the plane the heat instantly hit us and we had too remove our jumpers and even then it was boiling hot! The flight was superb, the pilots had such skill that we hardly noticed we had landed, the views on the decent where incredible incluing a storm over cuba! The inflight meals and service from the flight attendants was satisfactory and was a pleasant journey. We quickly checked in through customs and soon found ourselves suitcases in hand queuing too get on the coach. This was the only dissapointing part of our holiday, 2 hours on a hot coach without air con and no pitstops. Our first impressions of the hotel where better than expected, pulling up too the gates the coach was inspected for foreign objects (Bombs) and the gate lifted so we could proceed. we then drove down a 170metre road lined with palm trees either side and dead infront of us was a massive hotel! We collected our suitcases off the coach, tiping the driver.. expect too do this on any excursion. we lifted our bags up 4 steps and a well dressed Bell Captian collected them from us and we where asked too collect our All inclusive wrist bands from the check in desk, we recieved our key too our room and made our way up the elevator. The next day we where awoken by a storm at 6am so we went down stairs too the restaurant. walking through the lobby fully awake we only now started too take in how amazing this place was! the lobby was like a palace and it was overlooking an imaculate golden beach. Food was served all day and it was alot bettert than expected. We later proceeded to the swimming pool but first you have too get your towel.. and boy is that a battle! if your not there early then they would have most likely ran out. The pools where satisfactory and had nice swim-up bars where non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages where served. Near mid-day the bartenders would host drinking compotitions etc.. On the beach they had a lovely little shed named the Jerk Hut they served chicken and rice here all freshly cooked before your eyes.. this was our favourite meal of the day and we tipped the chefs a regularly. There is also Sailing,Kayaking,Pedaloing and diving offered on the beach, all except the diving are free. Be sure too book Cool runnings trip Duns River falls as the mini bus driver Marlon Brando kept us in histerics the entire journey. Greatly recommended holiday for familys couples!
Found hotel very clean, good choice of food, staff very helpfull, location perfect for Dunns river and the Blue mountains trips,take the cool running trip for the falls as is agood way to see the coastline. Local shops nearby and taxis a plenty for access to other attractions. We were delighted to have been upgraded to a junior suite on arrival which was in the quite end of the hotel overlooking the pool and sandy beech. Try out the jerk hut on the beech at dinner for the jerk chicken & pork which is very tasty. Plenty of orgnised activties entertainment, but no quite bar to relax in as all bars are near to to entertainment area. DO recomend this hotel who is visiting for the first time and we will be returning again
My husband who is a Jamaican took me and our son who incidentally was celebrating his first birthday, to the Clubhotel Riu Ocho Rios, and it was magnificent, by far the best holiday I have ever had. The people were as my husband said they would be, friendly and helpful and lots of fun. The food was out of this world, so much to choose from,and everything was so tasty, especially the Jerk Chicken. Be prepared to gain weight when you get there, as I have found out. So much to do.
I was so impressed by the helpfulness of the staff with regards to our son. The menu did not cater for a child his age, but the Chef and other staff made sure that he was provided for during our entire stay. Nothing was too difficult for them to do for him. So I have to Big Up all the catering staff at this resort especially Ivan and Andrew not to mention Barman Oneal, I could go on mentioning names forever as everyone was so helpful and caring.
Cant wait to go back. We are now planning our next trip, which we are hoping will be very soon. Clubhotel Riu Ocho Rios The BEST
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