We stayed at the Riu Montego Bay (RMB) from 7/6 - 7/13 and overall had a very nice time. Staff were attentive, the rooms better than adequate, the pool area terrific, and the beach was fine. Food offerings were both abundant and varied, and the recreation staff worked tirelessly to provide activities and entertainment for guests who wanted to participate. Many did. The atmosphere at this place is festive and relaxed, so all in all I judged MOST of the experience as solidly good. BUT the but clause is that Riu Montego Bay has an extremely serious internal security problem. Our locked safe in our locked room was broken into, and several high-end electronic devices (two laptops, an iPad, an iPhone, and an iPod) were stolen. We were NOT negligent. We are extremely experienced travelers who have been all over the world. This was the first time either of us were crime victims in a hotel. We were always scrupulous about making sure the balcony, safe, and room doors were locked securely before we'd leave, so it simply is not possible that we failed to lock everything. But when we notified hotel staff, the woman who responded all but accused us of lying. She kept saying that breaking into a locked safe was "not possible" and had "never happened before." She insisted on searching our entire room and luggage to make sure we were not hiding the items we were claiming had been stolen. I am serious. She went through our luggage, all the drawers and the closet, and even looked behind the refrigerator. The next day, we met with the assistant manager and hotel general manager to discuss what had happened, the way it was handled, and our options. Neither was particularly helpful. They said that because of the nature of the alleged crime (first time a locked safe had been compromised), an investigation would have to take place to determine if what we say happened actually did happen. This will naturally take some time, as the Montego Bay police are involved (we filed a report, of course) and because the hotel will conduct its own internal (ahem) investigation. In the meantime, we were urged to follow up with corporate headquarters, in Spain. I am guessing that we will NOT be compensated for our belongings. Hence the use of social media to alert others about the problem at Riu Montego Bay. Let me be clear that we are not the only guests whose belongings were stolen, and, in fact, one of our neighbors reported the inappropriate presence of a "security" person in his room despite the Do Not Disturb sign on his door. He scheduled a meeting for the next day with hotel management. Many guests expressed great concern about a possible internal security breach at the resort. Clearly something unusual is happening with increasing frequency at RMB. Check other reviews, please, and think twice before staying there. Writing this saddens me. We had a lovely time there and would have gone back but for this terrible event and the certainty that a pattern of theft exists at that resort. Coupled with management's unhelpful response to this serious crime, I will never visit another Riu resort.
Just got back mon 7/16 after staying 4 nights, thrs-mon..We were a group of 10 celebrating my Big 4-0 B-Day Bash..for weeks I also monitored all the reviews because I had people coming out for me from all over the US so I kept following up with my girl Tammy at Cheapcarribean.com (who did an amazing job for us) regarding all concerns. Also, I'd like to really thank from the heart Marta (site Owner) for the upgrades she gave me and my wife..they weren't necessary but were a nice gesture and we REALLY appreciated them...thank you again. The 2 main concerns we kept hearing about were stealing and cockroaches...not 1 person in our 10 saw either in 5 days. Listen, a few of us are from Brooklyn, we know roaches.. so I always found it hard to believe I would see 1 in a 4 star resort.. and was glad to be right. Didn't even get bit by 1 mosquito! Stealing, break-ins? Again, we're from Brooklyn, If your dumb enough to leave valuables, out in the open, around strangers for an extended period of time, then you may wake up on the beach at 5am without your cell phone (inside joke)..but keep your stuff in the safe and you'll be fine. Check-in: smooth, took about 5 mins, they gave us welcome drinks while we were in line..you gotta know how to barter when you want something done quick people..go in your pocket..it was about noon so I told the same guy who served us drinks.."I don't want to wait til 2pm for my room..help me out." as I gave him $5, he checked the room to make sure it was clean and ready then he came back in 5 mins.."your all good mon, follow me." Pool: Hot-spot! 9am the dj and dancing girls come out shaking their money-makers, drinks are flowing, and there was plenty of room for our group and other groups, singles, couples, etc..spacing was never an issue. Bartenders were always smiling saying "yea mon, I'm here for you, I'm gonna hook you up." Errol and Junior were always the guys to go heavy on the shots and mixed drinks..throw them a few US every once in a while..Remember, US money is very strong there..1 US dollar is 74 jamaican, so 5 goes a long way for them and they stay loyal to make you happy. Beach: Perfect for relaxing, taking the sun, throwing the football around, taking pics...sure the water is a little murky and feels slimy the deeper you go..Again, we're from Brooklyn, I dealt with Coney Island beach my whole life, nuff said..lol Jerk Chicken Hut is a must! Food: Great! huge variety, you can go from station to station at the buffet..who wants to wait on a waiter when you can fill you plate at your own pace...go up as much as you want..We booked the Restaurants when we checked in, "no problem mon." everyone in my party loved the Asian and Steakhouse rest..really good again. Rooms: Really nice, clean, flat screens, nice bathrooms, 2 sinks makes getting ready easier, and a nice balcony to chill at the end of the night if you want. Sure the beds are a little hard, but have another drink at the fully stocked bar in your room, and you won't feel a thing..lol Shows: we're really not show people but we did catch the Michael Jackson show, they prep all day for it and it showed, they did a really good job. Usually most people check them out killing time between day events and nights events. Ask for Jason, he's the bar manager next to the stage..He's a tall, good kid who can help you out with drinks, vans, and anything else you fancy (wink wink) while on vacation. Finally, don't be afraid to go off the resort..How can you experience jamaica if you don't actually see it? Jason hooked us up with Derron our driver, he's a nice guy who had a mini van and took us to Margaritaville and Pier 1 at night..these 2 spots are safe and a cool mix of locals and tourists...he will either wait for you outside, or you can tell him a time you wanna leave and he will come back..costs a small $10 rt every time...great deal if wanna hang out for 4-5 hrs..Also, make sure you get the jerk chicken on the side of the road on the way back to the resort, that's the real authentic jamaican jerk chicken, small $5..make sure you hold onto your bag or it could wind up on the floor..(another inside joke) That's all I got, overall everyone in my party had a blast and I love them all for coming for me..we would definitely stay here again, great value for the price and great time for a group..Remember people, your on vacation if your gonna let the small thing ruin it, then don't go and stay home. To Marta and Tammy, you will hear from us again, my group wants to make this an annual event..thank you both for your patience and kindness in the whole process..I survived the Big 4-0..lol
We were there from December 8-15. We were met at check-in with Rum Punch, a good way to start your vacation. We got our room right away, 5318. We had a nice view of the ocean, the room was clean. There are double doors off the hallway. You walk through one door and then to your room door. You can shut the first door at night and it keeps out any noise from the hallway from getting through to your room door, very nice feature. Our fridge was stocked with Coke, Dt. Coke, Orange, Soda water, Tonic water and of course Red Stripe beer. The liquor cabinet was stocked with Gin, Vadka, Appleton Rum and something else. It was neet but we never got into it because we always were out of he room when we were drinking. The beach was nice. We found a nice spot at the end where the breeze would keep you cooled off, just one thing, this is where people from outside the resort would sell pot. It wasn't real bothesome and they wouldn't bother you, just something to be aware of. We saw, maybe 3 people from the resort going over to the fence to "talk" to them and then walk away. Just something to keep in mind if you have kids. If you sit anywhere else on the beach I don't think you would even know it was going on, but there was no breeze. The staff was excellent, very friendly. The buffet food was great and many different things to choose from. Eggs, hash browns, cheese, fruit, rolls, muffins, bread, cinnamon rolls - very good, pancakes, french toast,etc. Dinner buffet was just as plentiful. One night they had turkey, another night pork. The individual resturaunts were alright. Nothing special to me. The food was good, just I'm noth a real adventurous diner. Our room was always clean, the maids did a good job. It sounded like the people at the pool all had fun,we stayed on the beach the whole time, going up to the pool just to cool off and get more drinks.The Jerk Chicken hut was great. Chicken was moist and wonderful every time. Just a note when you get ready to leave, make sure you get to the airport AT LEAST 3 hours before your flight. Our JTL person set up our PU time for 12.35 and we got to the airport around 12:50 for a 2:55 flight and just barely made it. There is line after line after line and a LOT of people in each of those lines. Hopefully this helps you with your decision of where to stay. We totally loved our stay, just a couple things to keep in mind as noted above.
We didn't have a whole week there, so we stayed at the hotel the entire vacation, except for a snorkeling trip then a stop at Margaritaville Snorkeling was beautiful and Margaritaville is fun, but way overpriced and touristy. At Riu, the service was excellent and the staff was very friendly. We read negative reviews about this resort, but found that if you're looking for a relaxing vacation in the sun, this is an excellent choice. If you are looking for a five star hotel with a chocolate on your pillow every night, this is not the place for you. There are ample chairs by the pool and on the beach, and always towels available. The pool was a fun place to be during the day - caribean music playing, the bartenders were fun. We met some great, fun people. Make sure you do the pool and beach aerobics! Don't miss jerk chicken on the beach - it is delicious!! The evening entertainment was great! I even won a little cash on a slot machine in the game room!! The ocean at the hotel is murkey (which we had read in previous reviews), so we swam in the pool. If we had more time, we probably would have visited one of the better beaches. The food was good, mostly buffet style (which I personally like) - lots of fresh salad and fruits, and a large variety of food. Also, reservations at the 3 dinner restaurants - Japanese, Steakhouse, Italian - fill up very fast so be sure to make your dinner reservations the day you arrive! Also, there is a fridge in the room with water, soda and beer which is replenished every other day free of charge. There is a liquor dispenser also in the room with vodka, rum, gin and whiskey. Bring your own shampoo, soap, etc. - they only provide bar soap. We had a wonderful time and met some great people! We'd go back in a heartbeat!!
I will start this review by saying we had a great time in Jamaica at Riu Montego Bay and I would go back. That being said, there were some things lacking at this resort. I am going to break the review down into categories. 1. VALUE This vacation was an excellent value. It was about 1900.00 for my husband and myself during peak season and was all inclusive. Honestly, we cannot rent a hotel room at Virginia Beach in the US for that price, nevermind food and drinks. In our minds, this was a great value. 2. SERVICE The maid service was awesome - our room was fresh and clean each night and she did not come too early in the morning The bartenders were AWESOME. Great fruity cocktails and not watered down. Also, they made very good cosmos. The spa service left something to be desired. My husband and I got a massage on the beach our last night there. We were supposed to get champange on the beach afterward and it never came. When I called to complain, they really did not seem to care. However, the massage was great!!! The taxi drivers were also very good!!! Very professional and knowledgable about the area. Their rates are very fair as well. 3. ROOM The room was very comfortable. The bed was a little hard, but that is being picky. Over all, we were very pleased. 4. POOL and BEACHES Beautiful, plenty of chairs, lots of beach activities to engage in. The pool bar was great and the swim up bar was very cool. There was NO HOT TUB and that could be a problem for some. 5. DINING This is the area where the resort falls short. The buffets are fine and there are PLENTY of options for breakfast and lunch. The sit-down dinners are NOT good. We ate at the steakhouse and it was terrible. It is not the chef, it is the cuts of meat they had to choose from. You could tell it was the same product as the buffet, just served by a waitress. These restaurants should be brought to a more upscale level. However, my husband and I are kind of food snobs. If you are not looking for fine dining, the restaurants are fine. However, there are a couple of really nice restaurants in Montego Bay, so we went off the reservation a couple of nights. 6. BEER and WINE Maybe I missed this is the fine print, but I assumed we would have a variety of beer and wine to choose from. We didn't. They had red stripe and red stripe light on tap and some kind of generic red and white wine. That was it. The red stripe was great - it is a great beer!!! The wine, on the other hand, was terrible. I love wine, and was disappointed when I could not drink the wine at the resort. I would have appreciated choosing my own wine and having it poured out of a bottle rather than a carafe. However, the cocktails were so good, it more than made up for poor wine selection. 7. ATMOSPHERE and OVERALL The atmosphere at the riu was CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. Rooms, bathrooms, restaurants, grounds, and beaches. They take great pride in keeping the resort looking nice and that goes a long way with me. This trip was so nice and the Riu was a great value.
My boyfriend and I were at the Riu Montego Bay May 3-7. When we originally began trying to choose a resort we were overwhelmed. For every amazing review, there seemed to be an equally negative one as well. In the end, we went with the Riu Montego Bay because of its proximity to the airport. Once we got to Jamaica we wanted to hit the pools and beach as soon as possible. By the time we made our way through the long line at customs and waited for the hotel shuttle (which we totally recommend booking!) I was glad we didn’t have to waste any more of our day traveling to the resort (the Riu is only 2 miles from the airport, yes planes went over head, but it did not affect our quality of stay at all!). When my boyfriend and I got to the hotel, the check-in wait was a little long and they did not have our room ready (his biggest complaint). They told us to go grab a drink and some food. We went up to the sports bar and met a fabulous bar tender and other couples who raved about the resort and stayed there for a few hours. After we finally got our room though, we were not disappointed. We had a standard room with no upgrades. While the view was not fabulous from the porch, it did not matter to us because we did not plan on spending too much time in our room. The room was very clean with a fully stocked mini-bar. We also had the maid service make-up the room everyday and it was always very nice. I will say that we met a handful of people who had “horror stories” about the hotel (bugs, lousy service, dirt), but I can honestly say that we had none of those problems and completely recommend the accommodations and the friendly staff. We did take one excursion to Negril, and booked it with the people sitting at the front of the hotel. It was very cheap compared to taking a taxi-cab at the front of the hotel. In the end, we were glad because we got to go the beautiful and pristine 7 mile beach, shop, and then jump off some cliffs. When we finally saw our beach at the Riu, it didn’t even compare to the famous beach in Negril. We spent basically all of our time at the pool versus the beach because of seaweed and some questionable critters washed up on shore, but we did use the beach for volleyball and to get some delicious jerk chicken (the best place to get food in the entire resort!). We were completely content at the pool and with the swim-up pool bar. We also participated with the energetic entertainment staff in pool games, water polo, and even a drinking game. Those events were some of my absolute favorite moments of the trip. I will say the nightlife was not very “happening;” it took us until the last night to even find the dance club. In the end, that was completely okay because we had so much fun during the day that we didn’t feel like we were missing anything by turning in at 11pm. Some overall tips we received from reading other reviews but completely agree with: Make dinner reservations as soon as you get there (besides the buffet which was just okay, we were only able to try the Asian and Steak House, the Steak House was our favorite); While there were plenty of lounge chairs around the pool, if you wanted good ones in the shade or anything particular put your towels down first thing when it opens (no one ever touched any of our stuff we left there); taking or buying some sort of mug to get larger drinks and to keep them cold is a good idea (HOWEVER, we did feel like some bartenders were a little reluctant to fill up our mugs once we purchased them, also giving us weaker drinks despite our tips); take lots of one dollar bills (we only took about $30 and had to go get change for more); We did not have to exchange any money and were able to pay and get change in all U.S. currency at the resort and when we shopped in Negril; Although the resort says there is a dress code for dinner many people did not even come close to following it which made my boyfriend not very happy since he obliged with the slacks policy. As someone who spent hours reading reviews to plan our trip, I had to write a longer review for other people like myself trying to get all the facts before committing to a vacation spot!
RIU MONTEGO BAY – 7 days October Stay This review is based on my 6 experiences in Montego Bay at 5 different all-inclusive resorts. I have stayed at 3 star and 5 star and based on these adventures I feel I am able to properly review the Riu for you. The island of Jamaica is a wonderful place as long as you choose the right resort unfortunately the Riu Montego Bay was not it. STAFFING – The staff is courteous however that Jamaican friendliness is lacking for the majority of the staff at the Riu Montego Bay. It felt that the staff was afraid to be themselves for fear of some type of reprimand. Of course there were a couple of exceptions with the wait staff and the gardening crew but by and large the staff is afraid to be themselves. They are clearly trained to not speak unless spoken to I found this to be an awkward environment to immerse myself in. The only department that went directly against this statement is the pool entertainment staff who were loud, abrasive, and I often saw them harassing or imitating the guests. This too made for an awkward environment. ROOMS – The rooms are spotless. There is a full bar and a mixer refrigerator in the room. If you are there to drink this may be a great feature for you, as I had not seen this in any of my other resort stays. The maid service could often be forgetful regarding towel fulfillment but with a phone call to the desk they would arrive quickly. I did find the lay out of the resort to be difficult for those that were in buildings 4 or 5, there was a lot of walking involved to enjoy any of the food services, entertainment or the pool. FOOD – The food was not good to put it plain and simple. The buffets had no variety from day to day. The lack of tasty Jamaican cuisine was surprising; I travel to Jamaica for the food. Breakfast is the best meal of the day so eat up from 7am – 1030am. Lunch 12pm – 4pm is a repeat of the evening prior. The jerk hut on the beach was hit or miss and the buffet in the evening, 630pm – 1030pm, was lacking in flavor and variety. The restaurants were also buffet style, Asian, Italian and a Steakhouse. After our first experience at the Asian restaurant and speaking with other guests we did not waste our time booking other reservations. There are large time frames between meals and your only options are a cooler in the sport bar with assorted premade and prepackaged sandwiches and cut fruit. The only glimmer of culinary caring would be in the bread and pastries that were excellent. BAR – There are bars all over the property and the drinks flow from sun up to well after sun down. The pool bar is disgusting, dirty, stinks and is full of flies. The drinks are primarily made from frozen mix machines with added spirits. I would advise any drink with fruit punch or pineapple juice keep away from the frozen drinks. Red Stripe Beer is in abundance. Bring your own cup as the cups are thimble size and getting up and down to stay hydrated is a waste of your vacation. POOL/BEACH – The pool is circular separated with a walkway into both sides. One side is the pool bar and the other is for volleyball and pool aerobics. In the middle the pool entertainment sets up around noon and blares rap and dance music until around 3pm. They also play games with the bar pool guests which can be loud and not relaxing to the other side of the pool. The pool is in need of repair but the water is well maintained and clean. The Beach is large but is lacking in any type of shade with the exception of a few trees that are staked out very early in the morning. There are no cabanas or umbrellas of any sort. The water itself is dirty and full of sea grass that is indicative of sewage run off. You cannot put your feet down without oozing sludge through your toes. There is no snorkeling in this resort without paying to be boated out to the reefs – very disappointing. OVERALL – I would not recommend this resort to anyone regardless of your budget. With enough research you can find a better resort for the same price. We met guests from Holland, The UK, Canada and the USA and all of us had a similar experience.
Just got back from Riu Montego Bay a few days ago. I love Jamaica and had a great time! I hate to complain but I think this hotel could have been alot better if the rooms were a lil more comfy (the bed was very hard) and if the rooms did not have a musty smell. Me and my boyfriend stayed there for 5 nights. The first time I entered our room a strong, stuffy and musty smell hit us in the face. It smelled like old wet socks and I could not breathe in the room because it was so stuffy. We went to a friends room also and the same smell was there. Anyways, went back to the front desk to ask Kerrianne if we can switch rooms (she was very nice and helpful throughout our stay), she told me that all the rooms allow smoking and maybe the previous guest was smoking in there. She said someone would come to spray the room sop it could smell better but no one ever came. Stayed there for the nite on the hard bed. In the afternoon we came back to the room and noticed that the refrigerator was broken and leaking water was all over the floor. We noticed earlier that morning the ceiling over the shower was hanging down and was about to collapse and called maintenance but they never came to fix that either. We immediately were fed up and went to the front desk and demamded our room be changed. They gave us keys to the new room which was also had the same musty smell and hard bed. Anyway, the good things about the resort was the food. There were many choices and everything was tasty. They even served traditional dishes everyday which was a good break from the American egg and pancake breakfast. They sereved ackee and saltfish, dumplins, corn meal porridge, curry goat and chicken, oxtails (they were hard tho) and on Jamaican nite they had rum cake as desert. The waiter service was also good at times. The Japansese restaurant was lousy. They ran out of differtent dishes and we had to wait for them to make more (very uncoordinated). We did not even bother with our reservation at the stakehouse because the menu was unappealing. The beach and pool were nice. Not the best beach but we traveled around to some better beaches. Our next stay will be in Negril because the beaches there are nicer and there is more to do in that town. Ricks Cafe and the cliff divers in Negril were entertaining. There were alot of topless and compelety nude people swimming in the water and diving off the cliffs. Even at Riu's beach, there were some topless old women sunbathing everyday. This is a family resort and there were alot of children there but no one stopped the nudies. The nightly entertainment and club was ok. The Michael Jackson tribute show was the best! The guy who performed as Michael Jackson was on point with all his moves. He was really good and the show was very entertaining. The dancers and Michael changed costumes for each song. They did, Billy Jean, Bad, Thriller and some other songs and dances. It was great! Grand Bahia is still my favorite hotel in Jamaica. It is comfy and clean. I would not go back to Riu in Montego Bay only because the bed was uncomfortable and the rooms all smell funny. Other than that it was nice. My boyfriend stayed at the Riu in Ocho Rios and said it was nicer and had no issues. Shout out to the 80 yearl old lady who was getting her freak on on the dance floor and by the pool. She danced better than us young people and had so much energy. She provided entertainment for us all.
We just got back last week!! Had a great great time!! We are from a small town in Missouri ...just regular people who aren't used to exotic food and drink. We thought the food was very very good. The dining hall for breakfast and dinner had everything you could ever imagine to eat. I will say that Jamacia does not make a good hamburger or hotdog. I still am perplexed at what goes into what they call "hamburger"...but that is all I have to complain about with the food. For lunch you eat in another food bar restaruant. TONS AND TONS of choices!! Delicious!! Jerk Chicken on the beach!!! To die for! The pool is clean and I liked that the bar side was split from the "family" area. Not crowded AT all.!! Always had fresh towels. My 6 year old spend 6 days in the pool literally!! The rooms were very nice. Tile floors - which was great because of all the sand and the humidity. Our room did not smell at all as other's have written about. We were always cool and comfy. You have to remember you are on a tropical island!! It's going to be hot and muggy at times. The beds were not the most comfortable..but I slept fine. PLEASE remember to put all of your important belonings in the safe before you leave the room. My sons wallet disappeared the day before we left because he put it in the front pouch of his suitcase instead of the safe. The staff was mostly very friendly. Not over friendly..but very nice. They did seem slow in getting things if you needed them..but hey...they have a ton of people to take care of. The beach. - The beach was beautiful to look at...not so nice to swim in . Completely sunk in the mud and seaweed. Didn't bother us because we don't like to swim in the ocean anyway. It was very nice to just sit in a chair and look at. Take a day trip to Negril and walk along the 7 miles beach there and swim if you want a GREAT beach. The shows at night were entertaining. The performers really work hard to put on a good show. It's not broadway remember..but young Jamaicans. Overall - we loved the trip!! I've been to one other all-inclusive in my life...so I really don't have anything to compare the RIU too other than it. But, it was much more expensive and I thought the RIU was almost as nice. Oh..if you want to eat at the reservation restaurants.....as soon as you check in, go to the reservation table and sign up! They fill quickly. Hope this helps!
As we arrived from the airport which was only a 10 minute drive !! we were pleasantly surprised as we checked in. Lobby was impressive and we were greeted with a rum punch, always a plus. The staff all provided great service our entire time there. Food was the best we have experienced at an all inclusive. You have to try the Jerk Chicken which they cook on the beach. This is a must !! Rooms were clean and well maintained as well as the Mini Bar in your room !! First time we have had this feature included in our package. Pool had swim up bar and had many different areas to it. Due to the amount of people there it wasn't as clean as I hoped but overall was fine. Beach had no surf due to being in the Bay. This to me was the biggest disappointment. There was daily entertainment, corny at times but enjoyable overall. Had a small selection of slot machines and we won a few hundred $$$ on them, helps pay for other items such as Island novelties. Excursions were the best part of the trip. We like to see the Island itself and the culture and people and not just staying at the Resort. Dunns River Falls was a blast, as well as the snorkeling and Cataman ride which was one whole package. Rik's Cafe was also fun with the Cliff diving and Sunset which was spectacular. Only issue with excursions is that it is a long day on a bus !!! If you are looking for couples only this is not the place. Lots of families and College students winter break.Overall we enjoyed the Resort and would like to try another Rui Resort to see if there was any difference besides location. No regrets and would recommend to all !!