12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Proud of my country
"Love the location of the property , the friendliness of the staff especially folks in the dinning room, the well kept grounds, the room were clean, excellent water pressure. However there are room for improvement in a few areas, very poor WiFi, getting to the third floor with luggage a bit difficult without an elevator, no electrical outlet in bathroom , make all rooms no smoking it is a bit scary hearing the the smoke detectors going off at regular intervals. Was very proud of the treatment which was extended to us we also had the pleasure of meeting the manager. MP"
- Travel date: Mon 8th of August 2016
Great Place if you're on the island to explere...
"This was my 3rd time staying at Rooms. I'ts not a 5 star hotel so don't go there expecting luxary.. The rooms are standard size, clean, but the beds are terrible! The ground are well kept, There are sucurity guards at the gate but hell if I know what they do..You go out they ask you " Excuse me, what's your room number?" You come in, same question.. Loll...
The hotel is located in the middle of all the action..Dunss River Falls is a stone throw away, The Ruins Resturant is within walking distance and so is Magaritaville bar and club..
Sand Castle serves delicious local and American breakfast.. I had Ackee & Saltfish with Fried Dumpling..Yummy... :-)
I had no interest in crafts but the craft market is located just as you exit the hotel gate..
There is a square that comes alive at nights where you can find all the Jerk Chicken, Pork etc you can eat..."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of March 2009
dont believe the hype!
"It is true, this hotel isnt pefect, and it is not a 5 star resort. But you ARENT PAYING FOR A 5 STAR RESORT! You get more than what you pay for with "rooms". The rooms are cute and have great views. The pool is nice, and the beach is beautiful. They rake it everyday. The pina coladas are amazing. The location is perfect, with the backside of the hotel facing the beach, and the front side directly in the heart of downtown ocho rios. The only downside is the hotel tacks on an extra 25% on their food. That sucks. But the food is good (we liked the club and the cajun chicken sandwiches). The service is quality, and the maid came everyday. We had a blast. Also, the security is wonderful. You need hotel keys to get into every door, their are safes in every room, and their are security guards all over the place. We would definently stay at rooms again. Also go to margaritaville wed. nights!"
- Travel date: Mon 21st of March 2005
Rooms On The Beach; Doomed On The Beach
"Rooms On The Beach; Doomed On The Beach
First let me say that the setting of âRoomsâ is in the heart of the Urban/Industrial zone of Ocho Rios. The setting is on a wave less beach with a view of the working bay complete with large looming rusted out views of the nearby bauxite transfer facility. Furthermore, the only real ocean views are severely inhibited by the numerous cruise ships that dock there daily. Even when there are the few rare times that a ship is not there the view is still inhibited by the cruise ship pier itself.
Overall the beach is not bad however the swimming area is largely a seaweed zone and the cordoned off swimming area is knee deep at best. The beach & hotel grounds are meticulously maintained by workers to ensure cleanliness. The beach itself is accessible to locals who âactâ as tour guides or water sport personnel only to find out later that they are there to basically walk with you to someplace you already know youâre going only to expect a tip when you get there; very maddening and avoid a character who calls himself Don-Juan.
Next, the hotel is a refurbished (for lack of a better word) hotel. It is clean and the rooms are nice however as noted in other reviews the hot/cold water situation is annoying; runs hot & cold and can be dangerous to the point of getting burned. Also we had a Jr Suite which costs more but is no different then any other room. Our room looked out over the pool and again as noted in earlier reviews can be quite noisy!
The staff was excellent! They learned our names and were attentive to our needs. Security was very good. The hotel grounds are patrolled 24/7 by numerous private security and made us feel at ease.
The restaurant Fusion was O.K..; a bit pricey and the food was mediocre at best but it was sufficient especially if you didnât want to go into Ocho Rios and brave the locals and their constant attempts at trying to get a âtipâ from us for one reason or another. I did go to the local farmers market to buy fresh fruit and ended up paying 8 dollars US for a peeled and chunked pineapple when the price was supposed to be originally 4.50 US; the woman said I must have misunderstood her,,, yea right.
Next, if you do venture off the property as you should use Lancelot as your driver; he is rife with knowledge & history of Jamaica and will ensure a fair price & prompt service to your destinations.
Finally, Shaw Park Garden & Dunnâs River Falls are a few of the tours that are highly recommended. Local restaurants like The Ruins (highly recommend) Almond Tree and Evitaâs are all worthwhile and the food was excellent!!! We also ordered out and ate at Mr. Humphreys. They serve pizza & subs and I had one of the best steak subs ever at Mr. Humphreys.
All in All Ocho Rios is a nice place to visit with much to see & do. I do not recommend Rooms unless youâre in a large tour group or family that wants low budget accommodations and doesnât mind a Room with less then a view which is what a room anywhere in the Caribbean is what itâs all about; itâs why most of us vacation in the Caribbean anyways."
- Travel date: Sun 20th of March 2005
Consider Before You Go . . .
"My husband and I just returned from a 5 night stay at Rooms, March 2005. We had an okay time, overall, but have some comments that may help future travelers. The hotel itself was decent, but nothing luxurious, which is consistent with the price. I would compare it to a low-end Days Inn, in the states. The beds were comfortable, but the bathrooms left a lot to be desired. The fixtures on both the tub and sink were missing pieces, particularly the markings of Hot and Cold. The shower ran ice cold and then burning hot. One morning I turned on the shower and the shower head itself fell off the wall completely. While others have noted that the hotel is "new", please note that the name of the hotel is new, but the property itself is old, and the tub, showers, fixtures, flooring, and furniture in the room show the wear. There are NO outlets in the bathroom. My husband had to shave by plugging his razor into an outlet behind the bed. We thought this was very odd! Our cable worked fine, and the maid service was wonderful. There are no clocks in the room. The pool was small and not more than 3.5 feet at its deepest. Too small and shallow for laps or much true "swimming". It was also very cold. There is a small swim up bar. The pool/bar blasts music all day long, so loud that we often moved down to the beach to get away from the noise. The beach was well kept, but please note that the beach itself is on a lagoon of sorts, cut off from the main ocean by the cruise ships which are docked. There are no waves at all, so if boogy boarding or surfing is your thing, forget about it. The ocean is roped off, so that you cannot get too deep, probably 4 feet at its deepest point. The beach itself was well-kept, nice chairs, and trees for shade. You cannot walk very far in either direction because of construction at the hotel next door and a rock barrier in the other direction. I hoped to run on the beach for exercise, which was not possible because of this. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful for the most part. The onsite restaurant was good, but a small menu. The continental breakfast offered danishes, croissants, and toast. Nothing "healthy". The hotel is within walking distance of most everything, but we took taxis everywhere after being harassed on the street for a few days. We must have been offered marijuana 20 times. The taxis parked at the hotel are great, and we strongly recommend both "Captain Kirk" and "Lancelot". Expect a 2 hour 45 minute ride from the Montego Bay airport."
- Travel date: Thu 17th of March 2005
The Good, Bad and the Sunny
"The hotel was remodeled and is in good shape! It is clean and decent. Has suitable exercise room. Resturant is average and reasonably priced. The EP plan included Continential breakfeast but is nothing to get excited about, the juice machine didn't work and how much bread can one person eat?
The cable service was out in our room as well as some others and it stayed out (a.k.a. no TV). But the view was better than TV anyway so nothing missed there....
Now when you leave the guard will ask your room number and when you return they will ask your room number. Some of the guards are in disguise on the property. When the cruise ship leaves you might have better luck finding a needle in a hay stack than you would trying to find a tourist in town on the streets. Any guesses as to why this all is?
If you do walk the street you will be approached by "many one people", with more than just "one love" in life. We walked them at day but stayed in hotel at night.
The Beach there is small and not as nice as in Negril. But it is clean and well kept.
I enjoy visiting Jamaica and I love the Jamaica people, they make you feel at home but having to give my room number when leaving made me wonder about things...."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of March 2005
Not quite what I was expecting
"My husband and I just got back from a 4 day/3 night stay at Rooms on the Beach. I had booked the vacation before reading the other reviews here on trip advisor. Despite reading some negative reviews, I decided we would still give it a try. How bad could it be, really?
Upon arrival, despite our reservation, we were unable to have a beach front room w/balcony. They said they would "upgrade" us to a Jr Suite, and the next morning when someone checked out we could have the room we originally reserved. The Jr Suite room overlooked the pool, and was pretty noisy. The room itself was decorated nicely. Our cable didn't work, even after I called someone in to "fix" it.
The next morning they claimed nobody had checked out of any beach front rooms. They kept asking me to come back in 30 minutes and check to see if a room was available. Finally at about 4pm they had a beach front room available for us. We had to move all of our bags ourselves. This new beachfront room was IDENTICAL to the supposedly upgraded Jr Suite room. The only difference was that the Jr Suite had a loveseat, and the beachfront room had two chairs and a small table. I'm not sure what the difference in price is, but the only thing you'll get in a jr suite is a loveseat.
The television in the beachfront room seemed to work, with some channels being so fuzzy you couldn't see them. The beds were pretty comfortable, but had no box spring which I found a little odd. There are no alarm clocks in the room, only a cd player. The hot water situation was the worst I've ever experienced in any hotel. It was cold as ice one moment and then painfully hot the next, and this is all without the bathroom sink running and without flushing a toilet. Unlike the room overlooking the pool, the beachfront room was very quiet. We didn't hear any of the noise from the pool bar.
The continental breakfast is mediocre at best. On more than one occasion the power went out on the coffee/juice machines, due to a problem with the breaker. The food at the onsite restaurant was pretty good, but the service was lacking. Expect to add on 25% to your total bill, this is a "service charge" and gratuity.
The beach is very nice. I would've liked a better view, as I didn't know the hotel was located right where the cruise ships docked. The "tour desk" at the hotel overcharges for local attractions and activities. It's much cheaper if you just take your own taxi and pay when you get there. Speaking of taxis, take only taxis on the hotel premises. We used "Captain Kirk" who was just amazing.
I'd have to say the only thing I really liked about Rooms was that it wasn't a resort. I feel like on a resort you aren't getting to experience what it's really like in Jamaica. I can sit by a pool in the U.S. and I can have an omelette for breakfast in the U.S. and I can play a round of golf in the U.S. Because of the other problems we experienced, we won't be staying at Rooms again when we return to Jamaica this summer."
- Travel date: Fri 4th of March 2005
Had an Awesome time
"My mother and I arrived at Rooms on 2/23 for our 5 night stay. It was a last minute trip and we chose the cheapest route. Rooms was perfect.
It was directly on the beach and located in the center of Ocho within a close proximity to everything (including restaurants, fast food, craft markets, water sports, clubs, and shops). The guest rooms were clean and comfortable the service was great (as it is a new resort owning up to competition) The beach and hotel are guarded with 24 hour security who also double as bell hops and photographers!
We (being two females) would walk to the craft markets and shops duing daylight hours, and take a 6$ cab ride (12 roundtrip) out to dinner and the clubs. We were hassled a bit at times, but nothing to write home about. The staff at Rooms were ALL pleasant and catering.
The european breakfast, which was included consisted of some breads and jellies, tea, coffee, and juice. Satisfying. You could purchase a light lunch which was satisfactory and dinner also at Fusion (the hotel restaurant). We chose to eat out to sample some tastes of Jamaica. Musts include the Ruins (Asian food, outdoor dining, amidst a waterfall), Bibibips (Jamaican seafood...try the red snapper. lovely outdoor restaurant on the water), and the Almond Tree (great food, beautiful restaurant.... mainly seafood) We also ate at Margaritaville, which was just ok. Save it for drinks and dancing especially on Wednesday nights.
We took a personal tour lead by "Shorty" who was resonably priced and brought us to the hot spots as he grew up in Ocho. We visited fern gully, the tropical rainforest, and Dunns River Falls (not impressed...overly priced and comercialized). Our also stopped at Ocho Rios Jerk Centre which was a great local joint. I believe the tour cost us approximately 30$ US a person for a 4 hour tour.
Be prepared for a 1 1/2-2 hour drive to Ocho from the Montego Bay Airprort, and take the 20$ US a person (oneway) bus/shuttle to Rooms, it surpasses the 90$ US cab rides we were offered. The drive was long, but managable. Ask you driver lots of questions about the area. (Jamaicans love telling Americans/tourists about their lovely weather and grounds!)
We would return in a heartbeat to Ocho and stay at Rooms.
Hope you enjoy!"
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of March 2005
Loved Ocho Rios
"I'll start by saying that I have visited Ocho Rios before. In fact I stayed at this property before it was called Rooms on the Beach. I love the area, the climate, and the people. This is the first time that we have taken the kids, a daughter age 15 and a son age 8. The whole family had the time of thier life.
The hotel was recently renovated so the rooms are brand new. We had two balcony rooms on the third floor overlooking the beach. If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort this is probably not the place for you. It is right in the middle of town on a public beach. That's in fact what we all loved about it. The beach was immaculate and was groomed every morning. You could set your clock by the position of the clean-up crew. We all got to know the people who worked on the beach from security personnel, clean-up men, ice cream man, etc. The hotel is literally right on the beach and you can sit out of your balcony and talk to the locals. the beach is half shade and half sun at almost all times of the day so you choose the right atmosphere for you. Absolutely beautiful palm and almond trees shade large areas.
The people in Jamaica are very poor so you have to be adept at negotiation and have some street smarts. However, they are very courteous and will walk away if you firmly say no (no problem mon). The craft market is right next to the hotel and hasn't changed in 25 years. My kids got the biggest kick out of haggling with the merchants to buy small items from $1-5.
The harbor often docks cruise ships and the entire atmosphere in town changes when a ship is in port. I would recommend shopping after a couple days without a ship the locals get little business and they will come way down in price. Ships were in port during the week but not on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
They recently opened a large shopping center (Island Village) right near the cruise ship dock so many of the boat people don't even get into town. If you would rather shop like at shops with set prices the Island Village is for you. We didn't really care for the place however.
Almost everything you could want is within walking distance of the hotel but there are plenty of cab drivers to take you wherever you wish to go and they prearrange the pick-up. It can be a little expensive with the tip so we minimized cab drives unless the place was quite a way away.
I love Jamaican food and your better off trying to eat local food instead of American which generally isn't too good. We liked Tradewinds (one block from the hotel, great jerk chickem wraps), the Ruins, Almond Tree. Evitas has a good view and OK Italian food but I can get that in New York.
There are a wide variety of half day or day trips that you can take. We took a catamaran cruise to Dunns River Falls that was a lot of fun. the best rip we took was river tubing on the white river in the mountains. My kids will be talking about that for some time to come. They also have plenty of water sports right on the beach. My daughter para-sailed and jet-skied.
All in all it was a wonderful trip. I recommend the hotel and we loved Jamaica."
- Travel date: Wed 2nd of March 2005
Rooms On The Beach Review
"We just got back from Rooms (spent 8 days there) and was very happy with the hotel. The rooms are immaculate and decorated to the hilt.
* Very friendly staff.
* Very nice rooms.
* Very nice beach.
* In room safe.
* Great jerk chicken for lunch in the hotel resturant.
* Nice cab drivers who will show you around. Ask for Grant (he's stationed at hotel and tell him Howard and Deanne recommended him)
* Very cold swimming pool.
* Quirky shower (hot, then cold)
* Right in heart of Ochos Rios. Take a cab or if walking, be firm with people who approach you. Just say NO Thanks!!!
Would recommend a third floor room with a balcony."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of February 2005
Great place to stay for less!
"My husband and I stayed at R.O.B. from 2/12/05-2/19/05. We didnât know what to expect as there are some negative experiences posted on this website. The hotel was newly remodeled so everything was in good shape and grounds were kept clean. The day before our arrival I called the hotel to ensure we received a room on the first floor as there are no elevators. I donât recommend a room by the bar/pool area as they play LOUD music until at least 1:00 am. We stayed in room #1103 which had the most comfortable king size bed I have slept in at a hotel. I heard from others their beds were terrible to the point they had to sleep on the floor as they could not change rooms. The restaurant at the hotel was a bit expensive for food that doesnât taste good. For 2 people you can expect to pay $35US. Check-in/out was never a problem. The complementary breakfast didnât contain anything other than breads. The hotel is located in a pier area so huge cruise ships dock there, sometimes even 2 ships. There is no good view of the ocean from this hotel so if you are looking for a nice scenic view you will not get it. I didnât find the craft markets to be overly crowded from the ships. The property was well secured with security guards. Beach area was a bit small and had some construction noise from the hotel next door but overall was fine. No cost to use the beach. The location of the hotel is prime as everyone from other resorts were far away from the shopping area and had to take taxis to what we had within walking distance. The weather during the week we were there was not the greatest it was overcast/cloudy all week long with passing showers everyday.
I did not expect the restaurants to be as expensive as they were. We paid for a taxi $20US to take us to Evitaâs only to pay an additional $50US for spaghetti and water. We ate at Momâs, Mr. Humpheryâs, Bibibips and Island Grill. We stopped in to view the menus of Tradewinds, Ruins and Little Pub which were not worth the money to eat at. Even Burger King was nasty as the meat tastes different. The main reason we disliked our trip was the foodâ¦it was all gross!
The bus ride to the hotel was an adventure itself. I suggest sitting at the front of the bus as the whole 2 hour ride is full of bumps and curves. Also keep in mind in Jamaica they drive on the left side and the steering wheels are on the right side of all vehicles.
We did 4 tours and enjoyed everyone of them. I suggest 4 wheeling in the mountains, dolphin cove, jeep safari and snorkling/dunns river falls. The falls are pretty difficult to climb up as I fell and got bruised up pretty bad. The tour guides donât help at all and expect a tip at the end. I was disappointed in the snorkeling as they only take you out about 200 feet from the shore where there are no exotic fish in sight.
I suggest bringing a lot of American Dollars as everyone wants a tip. I got sick of tipping everyone that wanted to touch my bags to go 5 steps. I also warn everyone that because Jamaica is a poor country they are all looking for American money. Beware of the people that sit outside the hotel waiting for tourist to walk out of the hotel area. There are men that will approach you trying to get you to follow him as he claims he will show you around the area. He took us in alley ways and showed us fruits/flowers/churches/houses. Then after he trapped us in someones house with no direction where to go, he asked us for $40US. I told him we only had $25US and he then verbally told us how to get back. We learned from this mistake quickly. Also others on our tour bus told us when they got in a taxi they agreed to pay $60US for a tour in the mountains. Then when they got deep in the mountains the driver said it was $150US and if they didnât pay it they had to get out of the taxi. They are all hard up for money so I would just be aware and only use the taxiâs right inside the hotel as they are under contract with the tour companies.
We booked our trip thru a local travel agent for $750 per person for 7 nights and felt it was well worth what we paid for. I do suggest staying at this hotel if you are a not so picky traveler."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of February 2005
"My husband and I just returned from ROB, we stayed there for 8 days. I want to start out saying, that I was a little leary about staying there after some of the reviews that I had read......the people who said bad stuff and degraded it, must have expected it to be the Ritz Carlton or the Marriott. This hotel was FABULOUS! We knew what to expect knowing that it was not all inclusive and we just loved it. I can't say enough about the people who work there, from the front desk, security, cab drivers and the wait staff, they were excellent and always met our needs in a timely manner. The continental breakfast was ok, at least you got something in your belly before the day started. The hotel menu was very nice and had a variety of things to choose from, and the drinks at the bar were awesome! Be sure you hear the BOOTIE song when you're down at the bar. (You'll maybe even hear it more than once!) We had a 3rd floor balcony room, which was very nice. It was nice to have a safe in the room, and we had maid service clean our room every day, which was very nice! The view was awesome! The cruise ships were only there 4-5 days out of our 8 and the view was not obstructed too much. The water was nice and calm when the ships were there, stirred up after they left. For never being on a beach outside of the US before, the ROB beach area was AWESOME! It was long and very nice to be able to walk from one end to the other. The beaches were not crowded which was nice. They kept the beach area raked every day, and it was very, very clean. Overall, we had a wonderful experience. I would stay at ROM again and highly recommend it to everyone if you want to stay somewhere less expensive. Jamaica was FABULOUS!!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 18th of February 2005