Ricks Cafe, Negril Jamaica

Located on the west coast of Jamaica in the coastal resort of Negril is the world famous ‘Ricks Cafe’ 

In case you haven’t heard of Ricks, this bar is perched on the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Seas… And is famous for its cliff jumpers and fabulous sunsets!

Believe it or not this voted 1000 places to see before you die brings in the tourists from around the world to jump from its 30 foot highest point. 

  
  
We had a long three hour transfer from Ocho Rios to make it over to Negril, which we paid approx. $40 US per person for, return. (Based on 9 people travelling) It is a killer journey & I am not sure I would recommend this to anyone not looking to spend a day out, we spent more time in a non airconditioned van than we did at ricks… 

Once we arrived the first thing we did was strip off & make our way to the jump platforms before it was to dark! I’m to chicken to even attempt the 30fts but did manage a 10 ft jump after a lot of persuasion 😉 There are professional lifeguards standing by and only allow jumps to happen while the sea is calm enough. You are expected to tip, even though they advertise it is a free attraction & there are a lot of people offering to do crazy jumps for something extra.

Ricks is everything you would expect from a Caribbean beach bar, it had a live band rocking the reggae beats, a fully stocked bar, and a food menu for those planning on spending a few hours.

 
My only complaint from the day was the service from the staff, for a culture renown for their happy, laid back attitude  I thought the staff were short tempered and came across very rude. When a service charge is automatically included you feel compelled to tip even if the service behind it wasn’t worth it. Often when I am on holiday I can forgive slow service as I’m as easy go lucky, but when all reviews bring this up I think it’s time the managers have a training session on customer service! 

That being said we still dined in the restaurant & the food was pretty good, although expensiv. You aren’t allowed to order side dishes at the advertised price ifyou aren’t having a main course & they charge a supplement for those who aren’t. I thought drinks were reasonably priced at approximately $10 + service for a cocktail, like their famous rum punch.

  

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Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica. A Hotel Review

Arriving into Montego Bay airport all I could think about was getting to the hotel and having a nice cold drink by the pool! Unfortunately Ocho Rios is an approx. journey of 1.5 hours from the airport. Having booked my trip components separately I didn’t have the standard package transfer to take me back to my hotel, so instead I pre booked this through Resort Hopper. I’ve used the company before and was impressed by their service so decided to give them a try!

  
We arrived at the hotel on our first night, nearly three hours after touch down and nothing looked more appealing then driving through the hotels gated entrance! Check in was smooth and easy, however any room requests we had made had gone completely unnoticed and even were not able to provide us with the room type we had confirmed.

Rooms at the Ocho Rios are cutesy and slightly retro with floral and dark wood furnishing (old school Sandals style) The rooms themselves are of a great size, and considering most are for a maxium of three adults or a family of 4 there does need to be plenty of room. My favourite thing about a 24 hour Riu hotel is the free mini bar within the room! Restocked every other day of your stay they fill the fridge with soft drinks and beer for your pleasure… The better part? The in room bar with full on optics! Now I’m not a massive drinker but the option to have a pre dinner drink is awesome, or even something cold to end the night on, without having to worry about where you were going to purchase it!

The Riu Ocho Rios has 5 restaurants open to all guests and an extra for those staying in deluxe rooms… There is the main buffet dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Piccola Italian restaurant serving evening meals until 2am. The Mandalay Asian restaurant serving dinner and finally the Grill steakhouse open for evening meals only. Only the Saint Ann buffet and Italian restaurants are available to dine as and when you chose, with the A La Carte’s having to be pre booked with set dining times. These can be booked daily from the restaurant mangers desk located in the reception area.

I have to say, food at the hotel is very much of a muchness. The food is of good quality and choice however after a few nights in the buffet restaurant without mixing things up can become a little repetitive, luckily with more than 1 dinning facility to chose from you will not lack choice at the hotel! The meals do vary day to day but those who aren’t into trying new things will become very bored of the pizza and chip combo within a day or two. The tuna steaks I had were some of the best I’ve had the pleasure to try!… Plus for something with a local kick give the jerk shack located on the beach a try for lunch, it is perfect! BBQ’d to keep the skin crispy but the meat juicy and with choices of sauce you can keep the temperatures down for those who don’t like things to spicy!

  
Entertainment at the hotel is part of the package and every evening the stage is brought to life by local entertainers and employees, I don’t tend to watch the evening shows while I am travelling. I much prefer something a little more low key. Cards with drinks on the balcony is more my style than the Michael Jackson show. But credit where credit is due all I heard from other guests was how much I’m missing out on the shows.

The hotel itself is located twenty minutes west of the main town of Ocho Rios & Dunns river falls, both easily accessible from the hotel either within a local taxi or by boat from the beach shack located within the hotel grounds (more on this later) the only thing within walking distance of the hotel is the restaurant next door, the Bamboo Blu. Somewhere we ended up dining more than once as the food and service was the best I received bar none outside of the hotel, Deffinatley worth the walk over, even if just for a change of scenery!

  
The hotel grounds are very well kept, with plenty to walk around I’m not sure I saw the whole complex while I was here! Painted all different shades of purple the hotel is no eye sore in the background and really is very pretty.

Other features of the hotel are Spa facilities, Dive shack, Kids area and kids club and a gym.