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“Real Jamaica”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Hi
We stayed as a couple at Club Ambiance the first week of Feb. I have been checking the reviews and just can't let the previous review be the only one on for almost two weeks. We were there the same time as they were and really had a much better experience! This is a small resort that doesn't have the food menu that the large resorts have but there was always something good to eat if you looked at all. There was a great book in the room that explained how everything worked and was very helpful but you had to read it. Maybe the previous person didn't have one in their room or didn't look at it. Our a/c froze us out if you set it low. You had to control it with a remote mounted on wall by bed. The disco entrance was by the gift shop. Our shower worked great and had lots of pressure and hot water. They said the safe was not included in the literature when we booked. I figured the $21 for the week was a tip for the hotel because at the price we booked the resort didn't make much on us.. We enjoyed going to the nude beach to suntan and didn't think it was obtrusive at all. Nothing kinky just suntanning! This is an adults only resort and we enjoyed it immensely. Others on the plane back mentioned all the screaming kids at their resorts. Great if you are taking kids but not great if you just want a nice laid back vacation. The weather was not great when we were there. Windy and cloudy but the sun broke out everyday and we managed to get all the tan we needed. Last day was glorious. Did not see any seaweed?? We loved seeing the little crabs on the rocks. They didn't bother you and tried to hide from you. This is the ocean!!
We thought the drinks were fantastic but if you are super fussy about brands etc I suppose they would not satisfy. They have their house brands and only Red Stripe beer. I loved it!!
The thing about towels is not true. We never took ours back until check out and never got charged. People lounging topless and smoking OH NO what is the world coming to@!! Sorry Houston this is not an attack on your review. We just had such a different experience that I just had to report on our trip. Don't be afraid to stay here. I am sure Sandals is nicer but compare prices. This was a great place for the price!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Gerry G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 February 2012

This was our 3rd time to Jamaica and our 1st time at CA. We had previusly stayed at the RIU in Ocho....huge contrast to CA.
We arrived after a great ride from the airport on JTL. We got to the resort around 3:00p.m. Check in was fast and shortly after we were in our room. We booked a Deluxe room and we were very happy with it, it was really big with a great patio and a great view. The room had a sofa, loveseat, desk and chair and a fridge.
I had done alot of research into CA so I was very aware that it is a small place, it was very different than what we were used to, but in a good way!!! After a couple of days we were lovin it. We really liked how the beaches were laid out, and that there is plenty of shade if you want to get out of the sun. The water is calm and beautiful.
The food was really good....I thought for a small place they really try to appeal to all people with the choices to pick from...I can honestly say I never left any meal hungry, thats for sure!!! I especially liked breakfast with the fresh fruits and french toast and potatoes as well as eggs, an omelet station and always a jamaican dish or two, also fresh breakfast muffins...yum!!
Our housekeeper was great, always stopped by to see what we needed and quickly took care of any requests.
The two best things about Club Ambiance was....NO KIDS and 24 hour coffee. I love coffee so that was a big plus...even at other resorts we havent been able to get coffee when we wanted so the coffee was great.
After 5 nites here we had to leave to go meet up with family in Negril, where we stayed at the RIU there for a few more days before we left the island. Immediately we missed the peace and quiet of CA and found ourselves wishing we were back on their beach instead of milling around thru 1000 or more other people looking for loungers or trying to find a table at dinner, etc.
The layout of Club Ambiance is really nice too, everything is close and to get anywhere on the resort from your room takes no time, as compared to the bigger resorts.
I would have to say that we would definitely return to CA. Hopefully soon!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank SarahWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

Just got back from Club Ambiance this week and I was very disappointed in the resort. I had read all the reviews and was so excited about going. This was our fourth time to Jamaica but we normally stay at Sandals Inn. However, due to work, we had to do our spring vacation in February and Sandals was booked. We like the smaller more personal resorts over the big sprawling ones so we thought Club Ambiance would be a good choice. The user reviews were great and they seemed to have a large number of repeat guests which is a good sign. To start with, I felt like we got very little info when we checked in regarding where and when to eat, activities, and layout of the resort. We were pretty much on our own and had to learn as we went or ask other guests. I never did figure out where the disco was. We were in room 5 which I thought was a pretty nice room but there was only a shower and that's a big negative with me. The air was running but never did get the room as cold as I like it. One huge plus was the big oscillating fan in the room which we weren't expecting. We sleep with a fan year around so I was estatic to see it. With it running, the room was comfortable. Other than the shower and air, the room was very pleasant. We walked out our patio door and the big bar was only about 50 yards away. If you want to use the safe in your room, you have to pay like $3 a day upfront to get the lock and key. I thought the resort layout was very nice. There were a lot of lounge chairs with tables. Other than the nude one, there were two other beaches but the only thing separating the nude beach from one is a lattice wall. They share the same water. Then you have the concrete pier that has the Legends bar at the end and on the other side is another beach. The water here is about 2-3 ft deep. The water on the other beach (by the nude one) is only about a foot deep. Not really useful for anything. Each beach is surrounded by rock walls and there were small brown crabs crawling all over the rocks. Twenty or thirty of them and it gave me the creeps. The water is not as nice as what we were used to in Montego Bay. Lots and lots of seaweed. I realize these things are not the fault of the resort but they are things that are important to me. I love the clear torquoise water and there was not any at this resort. So the quality of the beach was bad. One of the other things I did not like about Club Ambiance is that there is not food available 24/7. Breakfast was served from 7-10, lunch 12-2, and dinner 7-9. The beach bar was open from like 11 till 5. So there were a couple of hours at different times of the day that you had no access to food. The buffet did not have a lot of choices so I lived on cucumbers, lol. They did serve a late night snack at 11pm which I thought was the best food they served. The bars only served Pepsi. I don't personally drink rum and coke but my husband does and he said that rum and Pepsi was not the same. I am not a water drinker but I think I drank more water than anything because I don't care for Pepsi. The first drink I ordered was a Miami Vice but they put blue Curaco in it so it wasn't good. I did order one dirty banana, which was good, but the bartender said I could only have one because they were out of bananas.
My husband and I felt out of place most of the time we were there. It seemed like there were a lot of clicks and if you hadn't been there before, you were on the outside looking in. I did not find the staff or other guests to be friendly. We encountered one staff member that actually talked to us and asked us if we were enjoying ourselves. I found this to be so odd after reading the reviews of other guests. We usually make friends right away when we go. We have staff that we are friends with from our very first trip to Jamaica. This place was not like that at all.
They give you a card when you check in to get one towel each day for the pool/beach. They never told us where to go and get them. I was told by another guest (so I can't say how true it is) that if your towel is not turned in by 5, they will charge you $25. Like I said, I can not personally speak to the validity of this. I got in the pool one time and thought it was nice and clean. There was people lounging topless at the pool. There was also people smoking pot around the bar at night so there doesn't seem to be a lot of rules.
We were booked for 6 nights but due to a medical emergency, had to leave after three. Unfortunately, I wasn't that sad to leave. I did not hate this resort but it definitely wasn't what we were used to and we won't go back. I think a lot of it depends on what you are used to and we were treated like family at Sandals Inn. Club Ambiance fell short of our expectations based on the type of vacation we were used to getting from Sandals and Jamaica. Some of the reviews complained about the appearance and decor but I saw absolutely no problem with the way the resort looked. I think location is a major factor as far as the quality of the beaches and water and the farther away from Montego Bay you get, the rockier the beaches are. You will definitely find the best beaches from Montego Bay toward Negril. Hope this helps someone.

Room Tip: I think the rooms around the pool are the most coveted. They would be quieter. Not all rooms have...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank garnetfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

My wife and I are just back home from our fourth holiday at Club Ambiance in Jamaica.WE are both retired but very active and find that the atmosphere at Club Ambiance for us is ideal,While as some writers say the general decor and appearance of this little resort looks a little tired and could use a bit of attention this does not in any way detract from the quality of the staff and there attention to your care as guests which is second to none.The whole resort is kept immaculate and our room was always spotless with new towels etc every day over our three week stay.If you want to be active Damion Campbell the entertainments manager and his staff always seem to have some enjoyable diversion going on.Evening entertainment is available every day. Dave Rickets resident band is always on hand with music and dancing until eleven o'clock when the live entertainment stops. But if you desire you can carry on in the indoor disco. The resident band are so talented that you could be fooled into thinking you are listening or watching a good TV show. At least twice a week for "Show Time" the entertainment manager brings in entertainers from the Jamaican entertainment circuit such as you see at all the other resorts. If you are interested in skin diving the reef in front of the resort is teaming with fish and diving boats from other near by resorts frequently bring divers to enjoy the marine life right in front of Club Ambiance.Even the rock protection barriers in front of the Clubs sheltered bathing beaches are populated with a wide variety of fish which my wife likes to feed by hand in the relatively shallow sheltered water. WE can only recommend this little resort to others and hope that they find it as delightful as we do.We are already planning on going back there again next year all being well. Ian & Lilian Mc Donald

Room Tip: The hotel is small and nearly always nearly full so I do not think that they have much chance of gra...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Ian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2012

We have been to Jamaica many times and have stayed at the Sandals Resorts. However, they have priced themselfs out of the market as far as we were concerned. We decided to try Club Ambiance. The rooms & locaion of the rooms to the ocean, were as good if not better than Sandals. In almost all cases you either were on the second floor with ocean view, or on ground level around the pool. No swimming at night, and we never saw any routy parties, so pool side should have been great. We stayed on the second floor and had a great view.There are only a handful of rooms that are on the lower level that are not by the pool and do not have ocean view. The food is buffet style, so if you are looking to get waite on hand and foot, this isn't the place for you. However, the food is good, and the selection varies daily. You can order steak, lobster.or steak and lobster, but it costs an extra $20.00 US per person. The entertainment was OK. On the bright side, the house band and singer were great.That guy can really sing, from the Beatles to Raggie. They had games on the beach, shuffleboard tournaments, pool games etc, but there was not a lot of participation in them. The First day we were there we were going to try the water arobics, but nobody showed up so we just swam a little to get our excercise. The staff was great, but I am sold on the Jamacian people. Most live in poor conditions, but are always friendly, and very neat and clean. The kids should be an inspiration for all. The one big draw back were the drinks,(alcoholic). If you like what I call the umbrella drinks fine,but if you want anything eles you are pretty much out of luck. They have one type of Scotch (Teachers) one type of whiskey (Canadian Club) one type Vodka (no idea what type but its terrible) and no drinks like Martinis,manhattens,old fashoned etc. The beer selection is Red Stripe and Red Stripe only, not even Red Stripe Light. This may not be their fault, maybe the goverment doesn't allow any other type sold. Even in the airport the only other choice was Heinekin. The beach was a man made beach with the ocean just on the other side of the buildup. It was small, but its a small resort, so no complaints. There is snokeling availbable right off the beach, but we didn't do it so no idea if it was good or bad.
Having saved almost $3,000.00 over the Sandals price, we definately got our moneys worth. I would and probably will go back, but next time I am packing some of my own booze. I can only drink so much Red Stripe and umbrella drinks. The resort has so much to offer its a shame that they don't have a better bar, and maybe one other restaurant that would provide you with a sit down off the menu dinner. A lot of resorts have them, You have to make reservations at some, but its nice to have a little variety. The resort has so much going for it that it would take so little to elevate it from a very good to excellent place to vacation.

Room Tip: If you get a room on the west side of the main buiding make sure it is second floor or your view wil...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Terry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Ambiance

Address: Main Road | Saint Ann, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: RM714 - RM1,347 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Ambiance 3*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shuttle Bus service attract an extra charge. Airport Transportation attract an extra charge. Free internet service only in lobby area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Ambiance Hotel Runaway Bay
Resort All Inclusive Ambiance
Club Ambiance Jamaica/Runaway Bay
Club Ambience Jamaica

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