Riu Montego Bay Reviews

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Riu Montego Bay  

Mahoe Bay, Montego Bay, Jamaica

"Nice resort, close to airport, predicable good time"
Posted by: John on Mar 10, 2013
see all reviews

Riu Montego Bay Reviews
Riu Montego Bay Pictures and Information
Riu Montego Bay Montego Bay Jamaica

of 35 Hotels in Montego Bay

User rating 3.5

Based on 9 reviews

Riu Montego Bay Information

Located in the north-west of the island, constructed directly on the beach of Mahoe Bay, this Resort offers a wide range of services including the "All Inclusive" system, in which guests' convenience and enjoyment is paramount.

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Riu Montego Bay Reviews

Riu Montego Bay Review: 3.5 of 5 9 reviews
Very good
By Occasion...
Leisure (6)
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Family and Kids (4)
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1 - 9 of 9

"I would go back to the RIU Montego Bay any day"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sandy and John  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
557 people found this review helpful

Beach Party in Paradise, Jamaica
RIU Montego Bay
Feb 21, 09 – Feb 28, 09

Holiday booked through CAA Travel
This was a package vacation developed in conjunction with 3 local radio stations. There were over 200 people booked for the package, which gave the CAA team some leverage with resort management. The CAA team pre-booked our off-resort excursions, prior to our leaving Canada. I really liked this option. CAA had an “escort” on site during the week, as did Sunquest Travel. This was a terrific package and I would highly recommend CAA as a travel supplier

Flew Skyservice out of Toronto, excellent as always. We were delayed out of Toronto due to the late arrival of our plane to Toronto and the need for de-icing.

The experience at the airport was a little tedious; there were only a couple immigration people on duty. However we arrived late in the evening and our flight was late getting in so one excuse could be that there is not normally as many planes coming in at that time. It is a weak excuse, because they know well in advance when flights are going to be late At the resort, all the rooms were set-up and packages created. It should have been a really slick and quick check-in. It was not because there was little organization and flow.

A simple “Lean” project to create a queue with a document collection (document provided by Sunquest), distribution of room packages and wrist banding stations would save significant time for the resort and “end of travel day” tension for the traveler

The room is pretty basic accommodations. Having said that it is nice, clean and cheerfully painted. Each room has a deck/balcony with chairs and a table; these are covered to give protection from rain or sun. The grounds are quite nice. As per usual, don’t drink the tap water in the rooms. There is a mini-fridge in each room and they provide you with four bottles of liqueur (gin, vodka, rum & brandy), assorted soft drinks, 6 Red Stripe Beer and a large bottle of purified water for drinking.

Bathroom was functional with lots of hot water and we had enough pressure to just about take skin off.
The room was kept very clean daily. A friend of ours had a ground floor room that had an odor, which seemed musty when you first walked in, however when you concentrated on it, there was a hint of chemical in the back of the nose. I think it was actually the smell of new oil based paint, curing.
We have seen reviews where people indicate that the resort or parts of the resort are not kept clean. We did not see any indication of this. In fact, we did see a lady cleaning the handrail of our building with a toothbrush, in order to get into small places.

One interesting thing is that they don’t count the ground floor as the first floor. We were in room 2214, which meant building 2, second floor, Room 14. We were actually on the 3rd floor of the building with 20XX and 21XX below us, and 23XX above us in a building with 4 floors. We had a little sliver of an ocean view.
The self-programmable room safe works really well and is big enough for a Laptop Computer.

RIU Staff
We found all of the local people of Jamaica we met, to be really friendly. There were a lot of tourists who I would not want to invite to my house.
Why is it that while on vacation people believe they have the right to drop plates and glasses on the beach or wherever they finish using them.
While I am on my “soap-box”, I would also like to single out the smokers who drop cigarette butts on the beach, do you know that it takes decades for a filter to break down? So 20 years from know your little gift to Jamaica may still be there to greet your kids or grandkids. Not much of a legacy!
I do have one concern with the Bar Staff. I spent some time last week observing the way the various bar teams worked. Each bar has a supervisor/manager and as required additional bar staff. There were a couple of teams that would absolutely ignore a customer who did not tip them. They would make themselves busy at the other end of the bar or avoid looking at them and take someone who had just walked up (often those who got preferential service were on a first name basis with the bartender). Now I also believe in tipping good service and will select a number of those I believe as strong performers to tip. However, I think that if RIU allows this culture to continue, it will expand beyond the couple of teams I observed, and become a real problem for an all-inclusive resort

Main Building
The main building is nicely done, in fact beautiful. All of the buildings and grounds were well above par in my opinion. It probably did not hurt that the resort is less than a year old, however over the week it was clear to me that they were already into a preventative maintenance mode One thing that appealed to me was how the buildings tended to slip out of sight when you were not paying attention to them. I think it is the design and colours used. The buildings are mauve with white trim and they seemed to blend really well with the sky, ocean, plants and trees

Main Dining Room
Food is a very personal thing, so please understand that this is just our opinion. However, we found the food to be quite good.
We had breakfast and dinner in Rose Hall most days and there was always a lot of selection. While I didn’t try, I am sure I could fill my plate with something completely different each day for a week at both meals. There was just one thing that I had all week that I would not select again. It was an item on the breakfast buffet, had never tried it before and while I didn’t care for it, I’m sure others might.
Service in the Dining Room was good; I didn’t find the dining room staff as engaging as we have seen at other resorts, however they did what was needed very efficiently.

Lunches were down by the beach, or in the Mahoe Bay Grill. I quickly became addicted to the Jerk Chicken, which is served to perfection from a little hut on the beach.

The Mahoe Bay Grill is by the pool and beach and is a buffet, of mid-day selections.
We had dinner one night in the Steak House and one at “Little Italy” Italian restaurant. The food was good, though really no better than the main buffet. A number of reviewers have commented on the fact that both of these offer an appetizer/dessert buffet table, with table service for main course only. The main course offerings are a little different than in the main buffet, however the Steak House is the only real value in my opinion, because of the various preferences (Rare, Medium & Well Done) for steaks that apply less to other foods.
Note: I really liked that RIU Montego Bay served drinks in re-usable plastic glasses, rather than the one use plastic glasses used at many resorts. Imagine the amount of landfill avoided.

The swim-up bar is massive, with in water booths.
One thing that is really missing is a beach bar and washrooms. While the beach is not extremely large, it is large enough that a beach bar and washrooms should be installed.
We saw a “designers sketch” of the resort, which may include a beach bar that has not yet been built. It may make sense to have this as a low season project

One of the best free-form pools I have seen, with lots of room, lounge chairs and shade.
The shade is created by arbors, which have been very well designed to allow shade during certain times of day and sun during others. You can for example, sit in one area and have sun most of the morning and shade all afternoon, or the opposite.
Some people have reported missing tiles. This is correct, it would appear that the adhesive is not holding, given that the resort is less than a year old. I don’t believe that the missing tiles effects the usefulness of the pool at all. If I owned the pool I would be going after the supplier, however can sure understand why they might wait to the slow season to fix the pool. Who wants to go during a week when the pool is shut down?

Relatively small, beautiful fine sand, great for swimming and hardly any waves. The water was a bit cloudy and there are some soft spots in the water, as have been reported by others. I think this is because the beach is man-made and new. If it were “woman-made”, they might have used some slightly coarser sand in the water to create a tighter pack (don’t women always say they do it right the first time). There are also weeds, which float in and don’t make it to shore, because of the lack of waves. However, I prefer the weeds to the plastic glasses and plates I found in the water, left by thoughtless tourists.
This is an exceptional beach for young children (you still have to always be with them for safety), because there is no under-tow and a very gradual slope (Note: there is a tidal drop of about 8 inches, approx. 16 inches into the water)

Sand Fleas/Mosquitoes
Yes, they do live here and we did get some bites, mostly because we were too lazy to put on Skin-so-soft or repellant. I know some people are more bothered than others, so if you are, use a repellant. I did see someone on the property with a sprayer one day so assume they try to keep them down.

Insulated Mug
We always travel with our own insulated mug (20 ounce) with lid. It keeps drinks cold longer, reduces the odds of sand and bugs getting into your beverage and greatly reduces the number of plastic glasses used. I estimate that the average couple could reduce plastic glass use by 150 glasses per week (@ 10 per day) So I would recommend that you take one with you.

Check out was a breeze, we had to leave our room by 12 noon, however they have a luggage storage room and change room, which we used to catch our bus at 18:45 hrs.
Some people complained about the jets passing overhead, I did not find it a problem.
I don’t know exactly what some folks are expecting from a 5 Star, I don’t know if this is actually a 5 Star. I would go back to the RIU Montego Bay any day.

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"We all enjoyed this resort"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Warren  on Apr 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2009
515 people found this review helpful

Arrival: April 2009
We stayed at Hotel Riu Montego Bay, a 5 star 680 room all inclusive resort. The two children stayed free, what a deal through cheapcarribean.com. Sailed through customs. While waiting for the rest of the passengers to board the bus, the baggage handler let us know that he could hook us up with ganga (we declined his offer). The hotel is a couple of miles from the airport. It opened in August 2008, is located next to a Sandals resort, has two and three story buildings. Very smooth check in (a rum drink helped); greeted by Closet of Tropical Tours who was most helpful then and at our departure. Our first room-second floor with a light fixture dangling into the sink. Called the main desk. We were told to make ourselves comfortable, that we could change and leave the bags, and that we would be moved and upgraded to a first floor (which is what we wanted) ocean view room. Rooms-double sinks, great water pressure and hot water; minibar stocked with Red Stripe , Coke, and mixers. Four bottles of local alcohol (rum, vodka, gin, and whiskey) that are in a cabinet, upside down with pourers. What a great ocean view. Rooms have balconies.

The huge pool had a swim up bar, concrete tables and chairs near the bar (along with seats at the bar), and a hot tub. There were specialty restaurants and a children's dinner and movie (we didn't use either). We enjoyed the buffet. Lots of choices of meats, poultry, and seafood. And of course fruits and desserts. The boys enjoyed the pizza. There were unusual local fruits and entrees, such as a green vegetable called callalloo, akee (a fruit) and saltfish (the national dish-for breakfast), jerked chicken, star apple, papaya, and mango. I bought guinep (a grape-like fruit) from a street vendor (the local tourist police helped me with the transaction). There was a small shopping center a short walk off the compound that had a grocery store (the best place to buy rum and coffee to bring home). In the evening there were vendors on the sidewalk one day and entertainment on stage-music and some elicited viewer participation (volunteers).

The service was wonderful, the food great (hot was hot and cold was cold and enough variety for all). Rooms were cleaned well and the A/C and hot water worked fine. The personnel working in the restaurant worked very hard. The bartenders seemed to enjoy their job-lively, entertaining, and didn't ignore individuals (including the boys). One day we went on a zipline through Chukka Tours: 6 lines, up to 35 mph, and a rappel straight down from one stand to another (wasn't so bad afterwards). That is a great adventure and shouldn't be missed. We all enjoyed this resort. Would go back again.

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"Nice stay at the RIU Montego"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 4.5 of 5

Posted by:  Kristen  on Oct 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Oct, 2009
564 people found this review helpful

Arrival: June 2009
This hotel had very friendly staff, and its bartenders were extremely friendly!The hotel had a nice, large pool area and thanks to a tip from an agency at the internet, we found that scuba diving is great near the resort with reasonable rates. We tried to make same day / next day restaurant reservations but we were unable to get in to any of the restaurants throughout our stay, buffet was OK tough, try the jerk chicken on the beach. The room we had was very spacious, and overall the hotel was very clean.

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"would not recommend this one"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Phil & Annette  on Mar 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
557 people found this review helpful

First visit to Jamaica, there for a wedding with a party of 20.
Arrived about noon on Monday, we were told our room would be ready in about an hour, checked again after 2 hours and still no room. Finally got into our room after 3 hours, but no big deal, we had a chance to relax, have a few drinks, and a bite to eat.
We asked if we could have our luggage sent up right away, as I noticed that it was still in the lobby were we were told to leave it.
Waited a while before calling about our luggage, and was told it was on its way up. Waited a while longer and still no luggage. Finally made a trip to the lobby and found it had not moved from where we had left it. I picked it up myself and started heading back to the room. When asked by the bellman “can I help”, I told him no thanks, I needed it sometime today.
Others in our party, also did not receive theirs after waiting several hours, and had to get it themselves.
Needless to say, our first impression of the service here was not good. However, this soon changed as we did receive excellent, friendly service from the restaurant, bar, & housekeeping staff.
Tuesday morning, the morning of our first full day here, we went to make dinner reservations and where told that there was nothing available for the entire week!
We did have a private seating in the steak house, for the wedding dinner, (extra money was paid for this) and the food was good (not great). Other than that, I can only tell you about the food in the buffet restaurant. We did not starve, but the food here was mediocre at best, and always cold. Did not see any vegetables for the first couple of days. Not what I would expect from a 5 star resort, although, we have had worse food in Cuba.
Best food was the jerk chicken on the beach, it was excellent!
There is a 24 hr. sports bar that has vending machine style food and microwave, if your into that (gross).
Entertainment was pretty good, better then most resorts we’ve been to. Best night was the beach party, the house band singer is very good.
The “un-kept” beach is the absolute worst we have ever been on. It’s covered in seaweed that is seldom raked up. Beer bottles, glasses, and garbage from the previous day can also be found here. You would think that because it is a man-made beach and not so great to begin with, that they would want to keep it as nice as possible. Water is weedy & murky, not the crystal clear Caribbean waters that we’re used to.
Walking on the beach is limited because of the barbed wire fencing at either end of the property. I have never seen this anywhere else in our travels, I guess this is just the way it is in this part of Jamaica. (probably unsafe to venture off the property on your own). Heard from many people that Negril is a much better part of Jamaica. We have been to way nicer resorts, so would not recommend this one.
Don’t think we would go to another Riu.

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"Terrible Front Desk -Nasty Food"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  v  on Aug 2, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
578 people found this review helpful

The tour bus operator was totally not friendly and definitely needs some training in tourist etiquette and conversation. My first impression upon arrival - totally unfriendly, hostile place for tourists. We arrived at the resort earlier than expected and greeted with a cocktail - felt pretty good until we were told room would not be ready until 2:30 (@ 2 hours). The reception desk seemed to be totally chaotic even though there were hardly any customers there. We stood waiting for some time while what was obviously a "trainee", was practicing on us, unsuccessfully. He never explained anything about the resort other than shoving a map which he had marked up with undeciperable symbols - toatally confusing. He was unable to answer simple questions like, "what were the lunch hours and where could we rest while waiting for the rooms"? The resort has no brochures, coupons or knowledgeable employees - they spent a lot of our time looking too busy and rushed to answer simple questions. It should have been a really professional and smooth check-in. There was little organization,flow or courtesy extended. This place needs a lot of work on attitudes and professionalism. After 2 hours had passed, the room was still not ready - we had to keep going back to the reception desk, waiting until someone would stop being pseudo- busy only to be told nothing was ready over and over.

When we finally got to a room, some 4+ hours after arrival, it was just a pretty basic room facing another building- totally disappointing considering we had paid for an oceanview room. Sice there was no room directory, had to try several numbers before we connected to the front desk. They were of no help because the travel agent had sent in the wrong room reservation. So we spent the next few hours trying to correct this debacle with our travel agent and the resort - that whole scenario is a complete novel, to say the least. However, we persisted and we finally got the correct oceanview room with, no apologies from the resort- they just gave us the key and we moved our own bags to the correct room.

Restaurants and Bars:
RIU Staff - The experience with their staff was nothing special. Most were polite and courteous but did not stand out, with the exception of one dining hall employee (Morris) who greeted us with a smile everyday that we stayed there. Thank you Morris. We also enjoyed the bartenders at the lobby bar - very friendly and accomodating. We found the Concierge area lacking and totally unconcerned with the guest needs. We were never able to secure a reservation to any of the other restaurants, no matter what time we checked. It felt truly personal until we conferred with other guests who were experiencing the same treatment, again with no apologies from the concierge or management. It would have been nice if they had attempted to make accomodations for all their guests since the food in the main dining hall was bland, mostly the same unappetizing menu everyday. I actually lost weight during my stay there and resorted to eating the snacks I had brought from home.

Other Comments:
I could go on and on about all the negatives but there were hardly any positives. All in all, the resort is truly beautiful but I will never stay at a RIU nor recommend this place to anyone I care about. If you are inclined to stay there, pass on the all-inclusive if possible - its definitely not worth the money. Oh yeah, the beds are terrible - hard and uncomfortable even in their best rooms!

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"Needs tweeking to be great."

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Patrick  on Jun 5, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jun, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
530 people found this review helpful

This was my first visit to Jamaica and the RIU resort. The bus driver from JTL picked up a friend on his way to the hotel who assisted with unloading luggage. Overall we enjoyed our trip but some improvement is needed to get an A+ rating from me. The staff for the most part were friendly, but a few showed the stresses of their personal life on their faces. There were all hard working and diligent in their duties. I would much prefer to hear more island music especially in the disco. Thank you for a wonderful time

Room Number:

Room Block:

We were initially told that the rooms were not ready but it probably was not occupied so we were processed and given a key. My luggage was held hostaged by the bell hop who insisted we wait for the other guess in our group. we went ahead to our room after asking around for directions to our building #2. When we finally found the room or luggage were not there as the bell hop promised. I met him near the spa with the other members of our group. Instead of giving us our bags he walked pass our building to drop the other guess first before he returned to our building. We spent more than an hour to get our bags just so he could get a tip which aggervated me.

The room smelled musty either from the ventilation or a previous smoker. We had to turn on the fan and open the door to air out the room. The remote control for the TV may need batteries. Other than that the room was comfortable.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was great especially in the Italian resturant. Lunch on the beach with the new cook on his first day was great. Breakfast was enjoyable; some background music could eliminate some of the noise from clanging dishes and utensiles by the clean up crew.

Very clean, nice pool, well kept grounds

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The young people did the best job they could with entertainment at nights. It was amusing at times but could use better coordination with nore diversity and less vulgarity. The acts seems repetitive and I was bored by the third night. Guess should have access to waiters while the are enjoying the show.

Other Comments:
The immediate vicinity of the hotel's entrance could do with an upgrade. Curb appeal is lacking around the outside of the resort. We went to the falls and had to stop several times to pick up passengers at other hotels, stops at craft markets (which was very depressing) and resturant prolonged our trip. We just wanted to go to the falls. Smaller mini vans could be used to personalize the trip and avoid all other distractions. I personally don't like being asked to show my appreciation; it seems like begging to me.

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"Good vacation but few things can be adjusted."

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Alla  on Apr 28, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Apr, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
466 people found this review helpful

I came to Riu Montago bay with my family on April 22 -27 of 2012. Overall its a good hotel. Its great for kids and everyone else. The pool was very warm and the bar at the poolside was great. If you are not somuch of beach going person then pool would be great. (Strongly reccomend!). However, going to the beach I would not recoomend to anyone. Its not sandy underwater,and there are some squid in it. If you are interested in going to the beach. I would sudjest taking a trip to the beach. Also when it comes to tips, we saw that some staff member would carry someones back not nearlly close to the room and already asking for a tip. There is also a Disorganization when it comes to the trips. So having some patience would be recommended. Other then that, its a good destination.

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"Long week in Jamaica"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 1.0 of 5

Posted by:  John  on Aug 29, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
395 people found this review helpful

I spend the longest boring week in Riu Montego Bay Jamaica. Small Beach, nasty staff, everyone begs you for money, tour guide tells you to tip everyone, depressing tours. Nothing to do at the small resort. Night Shows boring and not happening every night. 7 days is too long to spend at this boring resort.

was ok but not organized.

rooms were ok

Restaurants and Bars:
restaurants and bars were ok

beach too short, dirty, boring, not easy to walk on

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
not too many

Other Comments:
never coming back again

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"Nice resort, close to airport, predicable good time"

Riu Montego Bay
User Rating:  Riu Montego Bay Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  John  on Mar 10, 2013  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2013 | Leisure | Family and Kids
383 people found this review helpful

Hi there. Just got back from one week's stay at the RIU Monego Bay, and have to say we were not disappointed. If you enjoy relaxing beach holidays, the Riu fills the bill nicely. The grounds are well landscaped, staff in general are very friendly, the room was spacious, clean, and nicely located relative to the beach. The beach itself serves the purpose nicely, not very long for beach walkers, but soft sand, plenty of shady trees, and the normal beachfront activities, volleyball, horseshoes, kayaks,small sailboats, etc.
The all inclusive buffet gets a bit boring after 4-5 days, but three specialty restaurants breaks up the boredom nicely.
If you don't like the sound of planes taking off and landing, then the RIU is not for you. I didn't mind personally, but I can see where some might find it annoying. If you can book the Riu for a good rate, do it. I promise you will enjoy the resort. Please email gpeter52@yahoo.com if you have any specific questions. thank you

Room Number:

Room Block:
building #5

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