Riu Montego Bay - a Review
The Riu brand of all inclusive resorts is one of the more popular choices of the many Spanish owned resort chains operating throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, and Riu Montego Bay is one of the more popular choices in Jamaica. As a large hotel & resort brand operating across much of the globe, Riu offers a good value and is certainly a good option for many - but does that mean it's the right choice for you?
EZTravelPad will try to help you make that decision with some insight, photos, video and more....so read on
Recently spending a few nights at the resort gave me a good chance to get a pretty good feel for the pluses and minuses of the resort and traveling with several other travel agents also lent some additional perspective and insight
With nearly 700 rooms in a fairly small amount of acreage, the space to guest ratio is fair - comparable to direct competitors but far from spacious compared to some brands pricing just a bit higher so competition for beach and pool chairs starts early in the day....
For so many the all inclusive resort vacation is all about the party and if that is your main focus then this might be a good option for you - especially if you and your group are aged in your 20's. The party at the main pool's siwm up bar was definitely on full tilt from 10a-6p daily due in large part to the design of the pool & swim up bar. With in-pool "booths" and tables and jacuzzis and bar stools the architect created a fantastic space for enjoying the pool and the bar
As many resort designs include several sections of room blocks located individually across the resort grounds Riu was no exception but falling a bit short when it came to tying everything together. Many competitors will have covered walkways which offer shelter from the frequent tropical rains that will pop up anytime day or night - your umbrella is the only option for staying dry when walking from room to restaurant - some covered walkways would be a good thing
Rooms are comfortable with decent space, modest furnishings and extra firm mattresses. Bathrooms are spacious yet a huge design flaw in my thinking was that the small bathtubs were very hard to maneuver in since the tubs are rounded as opposed to flat - tough to turn, even stand while taking a shower - good space but poor tubs = fail for me on that aspect
It's interesting how perceptions are so individual. For example I am generally fairly critical of food quality and selection wherever I travel. I appreciate good food quality and selection - and good service. Interstingly, I found the food selection and quality to be pretty good considering the cost of the resort overall - compared to some competitors I felt they did a good job in this area, but many others that I was traveling with felt the food was less than impressive - and so it goes for opinions....
The main restaurant buffet consistently offers a wide range of offerings prepared reasonably well - the a la carte options (both the Italian "Little Italy" and the Asian "Kalu") that I experienced were more than adequate yet certainly not overly impressive from a culinary standpoint
One of the attractive features of this moderately priced resort is it's close proximity to the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Being located close to the airport definitely helps to maximize your resort time but it can be a mixed blessing though - being located directly in the flight path means that frequent low flying jets will bring a stop to the conversation for a few seconds several times per day
The beach at Riu Mo Bay is not bad. A bit of seaweed washes us, and sand that is less than powdery is a bit of a drag but overall the space is good and the view at sunset is very good. Few peddlers exist since this is a private beach for guests only, but the occasional salesperson will find their way onto the beach and attempt to sell some things.
Overall I found the service to be ok - certainly nothing close to the level of service at some of the higher priced options. Staff was generally polite but not really friendly with few exceptions. It seemed they were going through the motions and doing their jobs but not really loving it so we all found the overall level of service and training of staff to be fair - could definitely use some improvement
Some people only require cold beers and sodas to enjoy themselves - others have a more discriminating palate. I found the limited beverage selection to be disappointing and the wine selection was nearly undrinkable. That said, blended drinks and simple mixed cocktails are hard to ruin so there are options...
Due to the family friendly nature of the resort, if a Destination Wedding is something that you are considering and keeping the budget as low as possible is a top consideration then this is a good choice since people of all ages can enjoy the resort
Check out this video for more...
Overall I would say that for a certain set of clientele this is a good option - and for others not so much. It's not so much about price, but finding the right fit and that is exactly what a good travel consultant should be doing for you - finding the best fit for you!
When it comes time for your next all inclusive trip find a travel advisor like EZTravelPad to help insure that you make the best choice possible - after all, wasting money is not fun but wasting life's most precious commodity (yout TIME) is a shame!!