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Riu Ocho Rios Reviews

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Customer Rating 482 Reviews
Value
 
4.2
Service
 
4.1
Beaches & Pools
 
4.5
Dining Options
 
3.8
Room Comfort
 
3.9
4.1 out of 5
"Ochos rios was a good deal overall . The staff were very friendly and there was an abundance of activities to do. I recommend booking all your activities when you get there and not via internet." – assonmeface
478 out of 574 (83%) customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Mystic Mountain, Ocho Rios Ochos Rios Jamaica - Riu Pool Hotel Lobby Jet Skiing I Love Jamaica... Swimup Pool Bar View from room From Top Floor Jamicans love life early morning at Riu Bob Marley Tour Pool with swim up bar entry circle view from the balcony Beautiful Dolphins cove ATV Excursion Beach spotless lobby The view from our Beach Amazing Clear Blue Water View from our room open air lobby view from the beach View from our balcony ( View from my room View of the water and a cruise ship in Ocho Rios from a window at the top of stairway of west wing View from the room One view from our room Ochos Rios Jamaica - Riu Beach View of the beach Riu Ocho Rios Beach Party Dunn River Falls Entrance Beach at the RIU, Ocho Rios Pool at the RIU, Ocho Rios Dunns river Rui Pool at night

All Riu Ocho Rios Customer Reviews

1-10 of 482 reviews. Sort by
March 13, 2012
Wonderful Resort - Stayed March 2012

I would like to give a really resourceful and in depth review because I found that reading through the reviews before I went was SO helpful. So here it goes... Airport & Transfers -The airport in Montego Bay is about 1:20 minutes from the hotel. We booked airport transfer through Jamaican Tours (JTL) and just be warned it will take about 2 hours. As much as we enjoyed the commentary and ride through Jamaica - the "pit stop" was unnecessary and we just wanted to get there (it makes a couple stops along the way to drop people off). And they only gave us one time to leave the hotel on the way back home and that was 8:30am even thought our flight was late afternoon. So we were really bummed about that. Resort & Checking In -The resort is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the open floor plan of the lobby and lounge areas. We couldn't have been more pleased with the grounds and cleanliness. The girl at the front desk was absolutely delightful and so enthusiastic. Definitely ask for a room upgrade, they gave it to us - no questions asked. Our Room -We got upgraded to a suite and it was very lovely, overlooking the side of the resort (almost beachfront). We found that our entire floor smelled very musty and moldy though. We thought maybe it was just the floor but it was also in our room. We decided that since it was the whole floor it wouldn't do much good to complain - especially in such a damp, humid environment. The rooms and furniture were very nice though (with dark wood and ceramic tile). The bed was a bit hard but to be expected when traveling. The Food/Entertainment -This was our first all inclusive (even though we are still seasoned travelers) and we were surprised that the food was pretty good. You always hear that all inclusives leave nothing to be desired but it was fine and moderate in comparison to higher end restaurants you'd have to pay for. We did make reservations the first night we got there and only got two (Sir John and Mandalay Asian food). The first was really nice and the food was great but the Asian restaurant was nothing special and just another buffet (but the change of scenery and taste was nice). We also really enjoyed the Beach BBQ they had set up everyday outside for lunch. The entertainment was good. You can tell they recruit some really great dancers and entertainers and then some so-so ones. The people who were really entertaining kept the shows interesting and fun to watch. Since we are a "younger" couple - it was nice to have something to do every night, rather than just sitting around at the bar so I'm glad they had this entertainment. We enjoyed the Beach Bonfire Party and Steel Drum shows the best! Excursions -We did 3 main excursions that we booked while we were there... The Ziplinging/Tubing and shopping through JTL Tours and then the Boat Tour/Snorkeling/Dunns River Fall Tour through the Scuba Hut right on the beach through the resort. For the ziplining/tubing trip - they said it would only be a few hours but be forewarned, between travel to and from and the entire excursion itself - it ended up being six hours long. It was fun but definitely a bit long. It was good for a rainy day though. Be sure to bring some cash for tipping/convenient store and an extra pair of clothes for ziplining. For the shopping tour - do yourself a favor and pay the $10/pp through JTL for transport but DO NOT stay at the Taj Mahal shopping plaza they drop you off at. It was in no way cultural in terms of being authentic Jamaican. Go outside of the "compound". To the left about a 1/4 mile down is the Village shopping area and Margaritaville and to the right about a 1/2 mile down is the market and authentic Jamaican stores. A much better experience all around! They give you plenty of time too! For the Boat Tour with snorkeling and to Dunns River Falls - it was fun and the tour guides definitely do a great job of keeping it lively and fun. The waterfall climb was not quite what we expected (its definitely more of a tourist trap and you have to make a line with the whole group holding hands and they stop you along the way for pictures and videos). I would much rather have had a more adventurous tour of climbing up by ourselves (since we're both active people). The snorkeling was nice but the water was a bit murky that day from storming so nothing too exciting. It was a nice trip for a few hours in the morning though. Would definitely recommend this one versus a lot of the others since it was the most inexpensive though. Conclusion For our first trip to Jamaica at an all inclusive (and after talking to friends who've been to Negril and Montego Bay) - we definitely feel that we made the best choice by staying at the Riu in Ochos Rios. We had a lot of fun and the staff was wonderful. I will say it is a great place for people of all ages too - kids, young couples, singles, large groups and older folks. We made friends with everyone!! Wish we could have stayed longer. I wouldn't recommend going any less than 6 days!! Take Note: If you go on the excursions or off the resort - be sure to bring DOLLAR BILLS for tips. There are so many guides to tip and rather than just handing out a bigger bill to one of them, I felt more comfortable giving some to each person. They DO EXPECT to be tipped however. In the resort, not one employee ever made mention of tips though (which was nice, although we did still tip here and there for hours of hard work).

Hotel Lobby Dunn River Falls Entrance
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Overall Rating: 5
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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Top 25 Contributor
From: Philadelphia, PA
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

January 25, 2013
Great Experience!

I took my Mom to Riu Ocho Rios for her 60th Birthday and had an amazing time. The resort itself was a lot of fun - high energy, everyone congregated in the 'show' area in the evening (to the point where it was difficult to get a seat!), and the performers tried very hard to entertain everyone throughout the day and during the evening performances. The rooms itself were mediocre - they were clean, and well maintained; however, the beds were pretty hard and it was obvious the rooms hadn't been updated in awhile. But, of course being on vacation in Jamaica, you aren't going to spend much time in your room anyway! The food was average... I've stayed in several all-inclusive resorts before and the buffets were on par with other resorts I've stayed at. On the other hand, I would say the specialty restaurants were below average compared to other all-inclusive resorts. There were 3 specialty restaurants included with the standard package: Steakhouse (decent), Asian (pretty good) and gourmet (below average). Interestingly the Steakhouse still had a salad buffet (vs. full table service) and the Asian restaurant was completely self-serve (buffet style). Helpful Tips: 1). Make your reservations for the specialty restaurants the day you arrive for all future days you will be there. They book up quickly and it may take a day or two to get into the popular ones. 2). Book excursions the day you arrive as well (if not in advance of arriving). We did the Cool Runnings Catamaran/Snorkeling/Dunn's Waterfall climb and that was excellent. We also did the River Tubing/Zip Line tour which was fun as well. 3). If you do want seats for the evening show, which starts around 9 PM, I would recommend getting there closer to 8 PM to pick seats. Fortunately, all the bars surround the show area, so you can still get drinks even if you are waiting. Overall, a good experience, but probably not 'upscale' enough for someone who is used to staying at high-end hotels. But it is a fun, family-friendly atmosphere that people will enjoy.


18 of 18 found this helpful
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
2.0
Room Comfort
 
2.0
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From: Chicago, IL
Age: 25-34
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

December 14, 2015
Did not meet our expectations

My boyfriend and I decided on the Riu Ocho Rios after contemplating other resorts and spending over a month doing our research. We wanted something that was within our budget, appealed to us (via pictures) and had good reviews. The best part of the trip was the friendliness of the staff- everyone was extremely polite and friendly, and willing to fulfill your ever request. When we first arrived to our room, we noticed that it had a musty smell to it. The side of the boxspring to the bed had a disgusting yellow stain on it (it looked like someone urinated on the side), which was left exposed, not covered by a sheet or bed skirt. The door knob to the bathroom was broken, and came out of the door upon a simple pull (my boyfriend locked himself in the bathroom the 2nd night because of this). I will commend the front desk on having this addressed within an hour of us bringing it to their attention. There was mold surrounding the grout of the bath tub, there was no light around the tub/shower so you are basically left to shower in the dark. There were 2 elevators in our building, one was out of order our whole stay, the other one marked up w/graffiti and broken buttons. The ice machine was out of order on our floor, which we found out when I sent my boyfriend for ice, and he came back to tell me that it was empty and full of bugs and spider webs-we did bring this to the front desks attention as well, but nothing had been done. If your goal is to get an amazing tan while on vacation, this place may not be the resort for you. There was too much shade! Trees everywhere, and if you are trying to get a tan there are very few spots to lay- and good luck, chairs fill up quick. Even the beach is very shaded, which was extremely disappointing. The cement around the pool was chipping, so if you step on it, you may scratch yourself. The tiles in the pool were coming off and looked extremely unattractive and trashy.The food was decent, the crepes they offered in the afternoon were delicious as well as the jerk hut on the beach. We ate at the Gourmet restaurant on one of the nights, unsure what was gourmet about it. The dining room we were in was small, with a handful of tables, and only two other parties dining in there with us. There was no overhead music, which made this dining experience almost awkward, having to listen to the other tables conversations. If you're trying to get drunk or even a buzz, then bring your own alcohol. No matter how much you drink, you're going to feel full before you feel anything else. All in all, this resort was rated 4 stars, but I am not sure why. The upkeep of this resort was poor and needed a lot of attention.

Did not meet our expectations Did not meet our expectations
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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Buffalo, NY
Age: 25-34
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

May 30, 2013
Good Resort - Great Fun

Just returned from a girl's trip to Jamaica - our stay at Riu Ocho Rios was good but not great. There were a few things that stopped just short of excellence yet it was tolerable - especially for the value and location of the resort. The Resort: The place is beautiful! Right on a beautiful strip of beach, the open air lobby and seating areas are great and the pools are excellent. We stayed in an Ocean view Junior Suite which was lovely - we could see both the mountains and the ocean from our balcony. The resort is clean and although as some have written before, you could from time to time sense a musty smell, it was almost to be expected because of the climate in the area. I rarely smelled it in my room. Overall, I loved the look and feel of the resort and it's location. My Room: I did enjoy the junior suite - my sister and I were sharing and I never felt crowded. Hot water is dependent on the time of day you take a shower. They advertise free wi-fi in the junior suites but it was slow and inconsistent at best. But who's in Jamaica to surf the net? We worked through it. One of our issues during our stay is that we asked consistently for more wash cloths and out of 6 days, may have received them once or twice. We were limited to only two wash cloths each day. Sometimes, after being on the beach, we would come back to the room to shower and change for the next part of our day and the wash cloths were missing. We then found out they send them out for cleaning and sometimes do not get them back until after 4 p.m. We had towels, but not wash cloths. This is an issue we worked around yet it shouldn't be a guest issue - the resort should have enough wash cloths on hand to replace them each time the room is made up. They obviously have enough towels because those were consistently switched out. When we would ask room attendant about it, they were very hesistant to commit to give us additional wash cloths or bringing them by a certain time. Again, although a minor inconvenience, this is a process and inventory issue of which guests shouldn't have to even be aware exists - it should be fixed. Service & Food: The service and food were inconsistent. The service, not just in the restaurants but throughout the resort, varied - some people were very accomodating and served in excellence and some treated you as if you were an inconvenience. The food was good at times and others things were burned or overcooked. The Riu would take this resort to the next level if everyone were on the same page with the type of service provided and how the food was prepared. Pool Bars: We frequented the pool and bar on the suite side of the resort and we always had a BALL!!! The pool was not crowded and the bartenders made it a blast. Loved it! I am not a big drinker so I was fine with the strength of my drinks at all of the bars but if you want more liquor, just ask - they will add to it. Entertainment: The entertainment staff worked hard to entertain but the shows fell short. It was much more fun when they were interacting with the guest during the pre-shows, etc. The hit of the week for me was the Steel Drum band - EXCELLENT. Other than that, the shows were just okay. Love the entertainment staff but the shows - not so much. We did plenty of stuff away from the resort as well - went to a local beach party, to a Jamaican dance hall, to Margaritaville, on a few tours, shopping in town, zip lining, etc. So we made our own fun wherever we went :) I would stay here again but since this was my first trip directly to Jamaica (have been a couple of times on a cruise but that doesn't compare) - I would likely check out a few other resorts so that I could have a comparison. Overall for the price and location - it's worth checking out the Riu Ocho Rios.

open air lobby view from the beach
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Ohio
Age: 45-54
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

August 3, 2015
Paradise

I would recommend Riu Ocho Rios to everyone. Before we went I read MANY reviews on different resorts and also inquired about the popularity of the top 3 resorts from many people. From all that I spoke with Riu Ocho Rios was named from everyone I questioned. It was a terrific choice. I would highly recommend the catamaran cruise, which includes snorkeling and Dunn's River Falls. We also enjoyed time in the ocean on a paddle boat, the beautiful pools, nightly shows, many daily activities and shopping. Be prepared to be catered to and have a wonderful time with your loved ones. Enloy!


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
4.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: McMinnville Oregon
Age: 45-54

January 20, 2016

If you are looking for a relaxing time, this resort will do the trick. However, the rooms and service was average. The worst part is the beach space is small and they always over book. We were not able to get beach chairs at all during the trip. We got up at 7:00am and they were still all taken. If you like sitting by the pool area only this resort will work. Also, booked the dining options the night we got there and still could only book for two of the four nights. The only reservations we were able to book was at 9:00pm. The drinks and food was decent, but no premium/ top shelf just the basic's. The room was average and they did clean and give us fresh towels daily. I would also say this resort is more for an older crowd between 55-65. The 2 hour commute from the airport was a little hard as well when you have been flying all day.


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Overall Rating: 3
Value
 
3.0
Service
 
3.0
Beaches & Pools
 
3.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Maryland
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

October 19, 2015
Great time

Resort is beautiful, well maintained, and not overcrowded. Located centrally to most of the island making doing excursions easy. Food and drink were good and what you should expect from a resort catering to many different nationalities. Don't bother with the restaurants, it's still a buffet with only your main course being served, and it took over two hours for dinner. Don't miss the Jerk Hut on the beach! It was all top shelf alcohol and a heavy pour. Staff is very friendly and accommodating as well as engaging. They had entertainment all day and night making it feel like you're on a cruise. Night club was a joke, with the dj playing on 30 second clips of songs and it was always empty, take a cab into town and go to a bar if you want activity. Room only comes with soap, make sure you bring toiletries. Had an amazing view ask for a room in the main building you get the beach, pool and mountains. I would go back in a heartbeat!

Great time Great time
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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Jersey shore
Age: 35-44
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

May 4, 2012
Wonderful vacation!!

We stayed at the RIU April 18-25 2012 and had a spectacular time. The staff was helpful and polite. The service in the bars and dining room was also very good. The beach was clean and there were always beach chairs to be found in the sun or shade. The pool was also beautiful and we frequented the pool bar. The chairs by the pool were a bit more limited, but we always managed to find a spot. We got upgraded to a Junior Suite and it was a very nice rooom, but did have a musty smell present and as other reviewers have noted, the beds are hard and the pillows are small and flat. The food at the buffet was ok and we always found something we could eat and certaintly never went hungry. The Jerk Chicken shack for lunch was great. We ate it for lunch every day. The omlette station was a great choice for breakfast. There were also many local fresh fruits available and I enjoyed trying many fruits that I have never had before. We took the catamaran ride to the falls and it was spectacular. We took the sailboat ride there, climbed the falls then snorkled for a hour or so. We saw some great fish, a sea snake, and moray eels! We would definitely go back!!!


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
4.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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From: Bethel, CT
Age: 35-44
Travel: 1-2 trips/year

October 27, 2012
Great place with downfalls

We stayed at the RIU Ocho Rios, which is considered one of the nicest in Jamaica, even better than the RIU in Montego Bay. That's why we went to Ocho Rios. It was 1-1/2 hrs from the airport, which wasn't so bad because the driver talks a lot and you stop at a bar, of course. Most of the good activities are in Ocho Rios not Montego Bay anyway. First time at a RIU resort, probably the last. Let me start with the beach. It is one of the nicest I've ever been to. Very well kept and clean. I couldn't believe there are no waves here, the water is smooth as silk. The beach was perfect and huge. Jamaica is not the place to snorkel if you want to see plenty of colorful fish and corals. It was drab. The pools are beautiful too but a couple of days it was very cloudy. I reserved an ocean-front (not view) but got a pool & ocean view on the 5th floor. That would have been fine except our balcony had a concrete wall, not a railing, so when you sat down you saw a wall. Also the room smelled musty. We were able to change rooms the next day to an ocean front with a railing but that room smelled musty/moldy too. I even sprayed Lysol over everything and it didn't help. We dealt with it. When I read 24 hour service I assumed it was 24-hour room service. Wrong. They have NO room service at all. OK, but at least put a coffee maker in the room, there wasn't one. For me that was an inconvenience. The mini-bar is stocked only every other day. They give you 2 small & 2 big bottles of water. If you want more you'd swear you were asking for blood. There was also 6 bottles of beer, diet & regular coke and orange soda. There was an alcohol dispenser also with rum, gin vodka. They advertise local and premium alcoholic beverages but they only have local, and the Red Stripe Beer (which was good) is only on tap, no cans or bottles except in your room. The food was not as good as other all-inclusive resorts I've been to. Not much of a selection from day to day. 2 restaurant are only for the people who have suites. They advertise that other guests can go there if they pay extra. That was not the case, we could not eat there, period. The gourmet restaurant is for people who eat unusual things like whole octopus etc. Not for me. The steak house was probably the best we had and that wasn't outstanding. I'm not a very picky eater but that basically left the buffets for every meal. If I don't go to another buffet for 5 years it will be too soon. The Jerk chicken on the beach was juicy and delicious one day and dried out the next. At least I didn't gain any weight on this trip. The staff was outstanding. They'd do anything for you. Some bartenders were great and others were not so. Some drinks were so strong I couldn't drink it and others I wondered if there was any alcohol in it at all. The entertainment at night was just so-so. And if you think you're going to a real casino, think again. The casino was probably 20'x25' with maybe 20 slot machines, most of which didn't work. We were told there was a "big" casino in town, so one night we hired someone to take us there. Big mistake. This one was maybe 20'x60' with no one but locals. The guard at the front door used a metal detector on everyone who entered looking for guns. The should have been our first clue. Most of those slot machine didn't work either. We called our driver after maybe 10 minutes and luckily he was still there picking up 100 pcs of KFC for someone at our resort. While we were waiting in his van it was scary with several locals looking in and trying to talk to us. Then we saw the pickup truck with the police in the back with automatic machine guns. Time to go home! Only go on supervised tours, not out on your own. We took the catamaran boat with snorkeling and to Dunns River Falls. That was exciting, but you need to be in some decent shape to do it. I'm 52, in decent shape and had no real problem. Not for older over 60 or younger than 14. A lot of climbing on rocks with the water flowing over you. Don't worry if you're afraid of heights, you only look in front of you so you don't slip. If your not used to climbing a lot of stairs you will feel it in your legs the next day. they say it's 960' high but I doubt it. One disappointing thing about the falls is that it's not all natural. You can see where concrete was poured in almost all of the areas in the falls. But that's OK we still had fun. We also went on the 4x4's tour. Boring and expensive ($85) for what we did. We never went over 15 mph. In Cancun and Dominican Republic we went all balls out. Not here, even after asking to go faster. I'm not saying it was a bad vacation at all. We all enjoyed our selves. We will probably go back to Jamaica and stay in Negril, but probably not at a RIU resort. Other chains we've stayed at were a notch above RIU and I guess I'm just spoiled but it's those little thing that count like bottled water available everywhere, 24-hr room service, coffee maker in room, more restaurants, canned or bottle beer. (I hate tap beer) All in all the RIU Ocho Rios is very nice and probably worth what you pay for, but they need some updating to do. No key cards, real keys for your door and you have to ask for a lock for your safe. TV's are old, no flat panels here. As for toiletries they provide bar soap and that's it. Oh well, like I said we still had a good time and a nice vacation. One thing I will be sure to do is ask about "all of those little things".


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
4.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
3.0
Room Comfort
 
3.0
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Top 250 Contributor
From: Orland Park, IL
Age: 45-54
Travel: 3-6 trips/year

October 14, 2015
Glad we chose here

We arrived early (in the day). Did not know room would not be ready until 3pm. It was ready by 3pm. Expansive white sand beach area with more than enough lounge chairs. Same for pool area. Superior amount of shading palm trees. Our room was across from adjacent hotel's warehouse area. Activity there would go on well into the night every night. We could hear this through underneath our room entrance door. Bed was better than we've had in a long time because it was firm throughout, with no sags. Pillows however, were too soft. Toiletries lacked shampoo and lotion. Fortunately we had brought our own. No mosquitoes, no sickness, and water was fine. Nearside elevator was non-operational the first two days (we were on top floor). Housekeeper, restaurant staff, and activity personnel were excellent. Excellent relaxing vibe throughout, though helped by staying at time of year when there are many less families due to kids in school. No computer access for those without smart phones. Main nightly stage event started too late at 9:30, in our opinion. Supposed nightly live music at 7:30 didn't happen most nights. Many people (sometimes flagrantly) broke the 'no smoking' rule. As one can see, a mixed bag, but overall very good. Would return in a heartbeat. We know nothing is perfect, and no one should expect it to be, but specifics are worthwhile to state and know. We would want someone telling us the details we just stated.


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Overall Rating: 4
Value
 
5.0
Service
 
5.0
Beaches & Pools
 
5.0
Dining Options
 
4.0
Room Comfort
 
4.0
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From: Novato, CA
Age: 55-64
Travel: 1-2 trips/year