RIU Reggae Hotel...European levity meets Jamaican culture
Latara Boodie, Hospitality Jamaica Writer
With vibrant tropical hues against contemporary architecture, the RIU Reggae Hotel brings the essence of European levity unto the beachfront of Jamaican culture.
RIU Reggae was opened on November 19, 2016, and is a gem within the RIU Hotels franchise. It is the only combination of the RIU Palace and the RIU Club/Classic selection in Jamaica.
"RIU Hotels created a new concept which most would consider a hybrid. This has been doing very well in other countries, so why not bring it to Jamaica," said assistant general manager Lidonel Bent. "With each destination like this one, we have used a name specific to the country. The RIU Reggae is unique to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and is a name that will not be forgotten," said Bent.
The reggae theme of the hotel can be felt through the activities, meals, drinks, and the top-of-the-line staff employed at RIU Reggae, which is over 90 per cent Jamaican. The theme has allowed the hotel to consistently have an over 70 per cent per cent occupancy rate since opening.
The RIU Reggae is an adult-only hotel. The age of its occupants range from mid 20s to mid-50s. "There are only adults at this hotel, and you can really feel the vibe of it mainly through the activities provided. However, we are not a raunchy hotel. The activities here are still PG-16," said Bent.
Being an all-inclusive hotel, there are several features that would suit anyone wishing to visit the RIU Reggae. However, the top features offered by the hotel include its five gourmet restaurants, which offer a wide range of culinary delights such as Jamaican, Asian, Italian and European cuisine. "You do not have to make a reservation. It is first come first serve. Everyone can get an opportunity to enjoy the different themed food that we have here," explained Bent.
Hospitality Jamaica's top pick is the Asian Restaurant, which comprises of a large buffet of various Asian dishes. Lidonel Bent recommends the jerk chicken and the oxtail, which we agree are very tasty options.
The hotel also has three swimming pools, four bars, the Renova Spa, and is less than five minutes from the Sangster International airport in Montego Bay. A guest at the RIU Reggae will have open access to the RIU Club Montego Bay Hotel to enjoy more entertainment and extended features. "RIU Club Montego Bay is our sister property, which is just walking distance from RIU Reggae and we have an internal road for safety purposes," said Bent.
The top activities at RIU Reggae are, beach/pool volleyball and the hamster ball.
The main aspect of the hotel that sets it apart from the rest is the amicable staff, who are warm and welcoming. "Each staff member is carefully handpicked for their ability to socialise with our guests who come from all over the world. It is good to employ people that love what they do and represent the company well," said Bent.
At the moment, the rate for the summer is US$134 per person per night in double occupancy. However, RIU Reggae offers triple occupancy, which charges the third person only US$114 per night.
RIU Reggae Hotel is actively involved in communities in Montego Bay. It is a part of the Spanish Jamaica Foundation. The hotel also sponsors the local football clubs in the area and is one of the main sponsors of a community primary school in Green Island and a clinic in Negril. "We know the community needs a lot of help, and we at RIU Reggae go as far as we can possibly go. Social responsibility is a theme that is very important within our company, and we have a specific department that is in charge of managing it," said Bent.
- Staff are very friendly and team oriented
- Strong WI-FI signal throughout the property
- Lively and vibrant feel
Areas to work on
- More adult theme night entertainment
- Better selection of reggae music throughout the day.