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Our family (all 6 of us) embarked on a whirlwind trip to Jamaica for a 6 day
getaway over the winter break. Granted 6
days is hardly enough time to take in the many varied sights, sounds, tastes
and thrills of this tropical paradise, but given the fact that we had to plan
our activities to coincide with the winter school break as many parents with
school aged children have to, we did our utmost to make sure we incorporated as
many experiences as possible in the short amount of time we had.
Our family consists of my wife and myself, our adult
daughter who is 22 years old, our teenage son who is 16 years old, our 9 year
old daughter and our 7 year old son. In
planning what may be our last trip where we all travel together, we wanted to
make sure that we found a resort that not only offered A-1 accommodations, but
amenities and activates on the property that is engaging, enjoyable and
entertaining for ALL of us.
We had the opportunity to stay at the RIU Hotels and Resorts
and boy, what an experience it was! We
split our time between the RIU in Montego Bay and the RIU in Ocho Rios and we
received first class service at BOTH properties.
Upon our arrival at the RIU Montego Bay on January 02, 2017,
we were welcomed with a cold refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade while
engaging with the attendant at the front desk who helped make the process a
breeze. The staff was knowledgeable,
courteous and was willing to accommodate our request. We arrived several hours earlier than the
regular check-in time and no problem.
Our luggage was marked and brought up to our room once it was ready. In the interim, we made our way to the Mobae
Café where we enjoyed a lunch and started to unwind enjoy the scenery and the
beautiful weather from the 2nd floor patio. I was especially fond of the Red Strip on
After lunch and when our suitcase arrived, we changed and
hit the beach, which was a mere 50 feet across a white sandy beach from the
building housing our double room (again, family of 6) for a dip in the
turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Although (or maybe because) we were in the section of the
property designated for families, there was plenty to do. From the kids club which entertained the
younger ones in the clubhouse with crafts, activities, games and water fun in
the shallow pool and poolside games.
Adjacent to the shallow pool, was the deeper pool with the customary
swim up bar; which helped lift everyone’s spirits. If lounging poolside soaking up the rays of
the Jamaican golden sun is not to your taste, then how about poolside entertainment
presented by the RIU staff or a relaxing massage at the Renova Spa? Work up a sweat with an aerobic workout in a RIU
Fit class or a game of beach volleyball? If you’re into watersports then there
are activities galore from paddle boats, to wind surfing, to SCUBA diving
(there is a certification course that’s offered to help to get you familiar
with breathing with the equipment before you can be taken out into the
ocean). There are also Catamarans tours
that takes you further out into to waters of the Caribbean Sea where it stops
and the adventurous have opportunity to go snorkeling and see up close, the
many and varied species of fish and coral that inhabit the waters of the
Caribbean up close.
The activities don’t end there, in addition to the Café’s,
Grills, and Bars abound, the space is transformed at night for a-la-carte
dining where depending on your taste (Steak, Chinese and Italian), you can
enjoy fine dining before adjourning to the main stage and for nightly
entertainment consisting of dancing, bands, choreography and more artfully
presented by the entrainment staff of the RIU on a rotating basis to keep
things fresh. The entertainment team
goes all out to make sure that the energy level is high and the guest truly
enjoy themselves. If that wasn’t enough,
the dancefloor opens up and the resident DJ spins the latest hits until the wee
hours of the night/morning to help you dance the night away.
On this trip, we were able to take advantage of much of the
properties on site amenities; however, we also wanted to venture out and
experience more of the local culture. Thanks
to the on-site travel consultant, we were able to arrange several outside
excursions effortlessly. From the RIU
Montego Bay we arranged an excursion to Montpelier in the hills of St. James
parish where we engaged in a thrilling Zip Lining adventure through the trees
and about 3,000 feet about sea level.
Wow….what a rush!
From the resort, we arranged for a taxi (Neville was our
driver) who took us to local open air seaside restaurant in nearby Hopewell
where we enjoyed the most delicious and mouthwatering Escovitch fish
dinner. We selected the fish (a Red
Snapper) which was freshly caught and it was cooked to perfection on the spot
with locally grown herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and tasted in a
Our stay at the RIU Montego Bay came to an end on January 4th,
2017 but resumed at the RIU Ocho Rios later that day. As we drove onto the property in Ocho Rios
with it majestic palm trees lining the long drive to the main building from the
gate on both sides, we know we were entering into a world of tranquility. The grounds, full of lush greenery, and
meticulously manicured lawns and gardens was quite stunning by day but by night
it is illuminated for romantic walks and picturesque backgrounds straight from
a postcard. Written By Roger Grubb, Husband and Father of 4.