Riu Ocho Rios Hotel Review

Riu Hotel Review Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Poolside Riu, Ocho Rios

In dire need to relax, I was glad to arrive at Hotel Riu in Ocho Rios since that would force me to sit still. However, my excitement quickly took a turn upon arrival.

Here’s my candid hotel review of my stay at Riu in Jamaica:


Outdated rooms – Ugh, I heard good things about Riu but my room looked like it was left in the 90s. The gaudy floral patterns on the comforter and curtains was not a good look. The huge wooden dressers were dated just like the bedding. Some of the rooms had tube televisions but mine had a flat screen which looked out-of-place in the multi-century decor.

WiFi – not only was the WiFi connection shoddy, it wasn’t free in the rooms! The public WiFi areas that had free WiFi had horrible reception rendering it useless. There goes my day at the beach watching YouTube.Ocho Rios Room Key • Cultured Black Pearl

Room key – forget about the cute key cards that modern-day hotels use, this room key was reminiscent of a school hall pass. How is this acceptable in 2016?

you’re reading a guest blog post by N.Y.E.D.

Activities – what activities? The resort needs to do a better job of hosting activities for guests. After all, this is an all-inclusive resort. Expected much more in this regard.

Restaurants – for an all-inclusive resort, 3 out of 5 of the restaurants should not require reservations. It was impossible to get into any of them during our 4-day stay. After going back and forth with management we were able to dine at the steakhouse only to find it…wait for it…empty! What gives? Why did we have to fight for a reservation in an empty restaurant.

Hot tub – um, no. While I’m not a fan of soaking in hot tub stew the bodily fluids of others, it would have been nice to have the option. For March the weather was a bit chilly and many guests sought a hot tub.

Room service – um, no. It was in the same place as the hot tub.

so, what’s good?

Riu Ocho Rios Hotel Grounds

Food – it was excellent with great variety for all dietary restrictions. Easily found fresh veggies (favorite was the steamed callaloo), fresh fruit, veggie juices and a nice breakfast buffet. Most of the bars made fresh fruit cocktails too by request.

Staff – everyone was polite and welcoming. They went above and beyond to help.

Spa – very nice and relaxing although small. They have a dry heat sauna which was free of charge for guests. Being in there for 20 minutes before my massage was amazing. There’s a small gym with 3 treadmills, 2 bikes, and weight machines.


As I said earlier, the resort and rooms are dated and could use some renovations. At least I was forced to relax by the pool and beach as there wasn’t anything else to do all while trying to keep up with my life-sized room key!

Have you stayed at hotel Riu in Ocho Rios? What did you think?

About the Author

Even though she currently resides in Atlanta, the NYC born and raised N.Y.E.D. is still an adventurous, thrill-seeking budget traveler. When she’s not managing projects for her IT clients, she’s planning her next escape to relaxation. That may be sipping all natural cocktails on the beach or hiking a volcano. She loves sharing her travel and food experiences with those looking for healthy eating experiences as well as luxury trips for a great price.  You will always get a fun location history story from her too.

Hotel Riu Ocho Rios

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