Riu Ocho Rios Reviews – Jamaica Hotels – Riu Ocho Rios

A mixed review. Went for grandson’s wedding. Planned to stay an extra week after wedding.

As long as your needs fit into a box, you are okay, but once you have a problem you are on your own. See below: "The Problem".

Room Number:

Room Block:
Junior Suites

Well managed.

Junior suite with balcony and ocean view. We were always short of towels. Water poured from a ceiling grill twice. Phone never worked properly, necessitating trips to the desk when we needed anything. Key cards only worked intermittently. All minor inconveniences (except the phone), unexpected in five-star. No room service – also odd for five-star. Despite "all-inclusive" a bottle of champagne(which turned out to be sparkling wine) cost $15 and had to be picked up by ourselves.

Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent service and cuisine. Varied menu, abundant food all perfectly cooked and seasoned.

Beach is gorgeous, with both full sun and tree shade. Pools are very well maintained, short on towels at times. Grounds are beautifully kept.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Plelnty to do. Exercise groups, Jamaican dance classes. Evening entertainment ranged from good to spectacular.

Other Comments:
The wedding. It rained – no fault of the hotel, and they did pull together a wedding site on an ocean terrace quite quickly. The clergyman did a great job. The wedding dinner: The guests arrived on time, then were made to wait twenty-five minutes outside in their pretty shoes in the puddles. No apparent reason. The reception: This had been planned for the beach but because of the rain it was transferred to one of the covered bars. Guests once again arrived on time, to a dark bar with no staff in sight. Bridesmaid’s call to front desk brought the response "It’s not my fault". Soon someone arrived with the cake and a barman who began setting up, while the guests once again waited outside in the puddles and a fine rain.

The Problem: My husband has angina, a pre-existing condition controlled by meds. Though medically cleared for travel, while in Jamaica he began to suffer attacks of increasing frequency and severity and the meds weren’t working. Our travel insurance covered everything except a pre-existing condition, so we decided to cut short our stay and go home immediately for medical care. From that point on we felt abandoned and exploited. I had a four-hour margin to get on that day’s flight. Our tour rep (when she arrived a precious half-hour late) told us there were no flights available to Vancouver. She also told us it would cost $900 to fly, even though we had paid for round trip. No refunds from Sunquest. She seemed unable to help us at all, but she did give me some phone numbers to call the airlines myself. She also said we would have to see a Jamaican doctor for a "Fit to Fly" certificate. The phone in our room was still not working. After several failed tries I went to the front desk for help. After explaining my problem I was told 1-800 numbers do not work in Jamaica. (Why couldn’t the operator have told me that – I had told her I was calling a toll-free #.) I explained my situation and asked for her help. She said "I can’t do anything?" "You can’t help me?" I asked, amazed. "No." That was it. "No." Two guests offered to give us their return seats home, and to stay in our prepaid room for our remaining week and then take our seats home. We were told we could not exchange seats, and if they stayed in our prepaid room, they would have to pay the hotel the full price – again! No refunds! Another guest told me that I could purchase a calling card from the hotel (why couldn’t the front desk have told me that?). I did, and back in the room, surprise! The phone worked! I ended up calling Alberta, Canada to arrange my flight home, and learned that there were several seats available on that day’s flight, which the tour rep had said was full. Next, the doctor. We paid US$160 for the "Fit to Fly" certificate, and US$30 to the nurse for doing nothing. Back at the front desk to check out, with only a short time to catch the shuttle bus,they tried to charge me for all times I had been given a failed outside line. Considering the nearly $5,000 I was forfeiting to get my husband home I refused to pay, but they insisted on $2.00 for the one successful connection. while dealing with the Sunquest desk that morning, three couples with problems of their own said they would never book with Sunquest again, and I concur. And the words "RIU Ocho Rios" will always invoke feelings of abandonment and exploitation.

All is lovely as long as your needs fit into their box. Otherwise you are on your own.

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