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“Third Visit in a Year”
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Made my third visit to Club Ambiance since february 2011 so I knew what to expect and was hoping that things had not changed and all my expectations were met in full. We used Paul Williams for a private transfer from the airport and this is worth the little extra rather than waiting for the bus to fill up and stop at other resorts. we had a full 5 days of beautiful weather and as returning guests were warmly welcomed by all the staff as they do remember you and are happy to see you returing. If you need to relax you can fully and if you want to get active the staff have something going on all day long and with a laugh and a smile. I enjoyed the food but had to leave Monday when they have the pan-fried snapper with mango salsa which I go crazy for!!!!! For the price you can not beat Club Ambiance and not having screaming kids around is worth a lot more than I paid. Did not excursions this year but will plan some for my next visit which will not be too far in the future. As so many have said, do not expect a fancy resort but a warm welcome and friendly staff that give a feel for the "real" Jamaica. Go and enjoy.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank klemi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 March 2012

First off let me say the lady from Minnesota making the review on March 4 "2nd stay at Club Ambiance" is right on the money!

My wife and I were there for the first time at the same time as Ms. Minnesota. We could not have had a nicer time. For ten days the weather was perfect, I am one who usually likes to get out to see and do things. I had planned to take the Martha Brea raft trip, maybe do Dunn's River Falls again and maybe even a trip to the Blue Mountains or Negril. So much for planning. Our first morning we laid on the beach, sometimes in the sun and sometimes in the shade. That is all it took. With the exception of one morning when we went to Ocho Rios, we spent the entire time on the beach. The food was good, the drinks were superb and the staff was great!

Fay, our maid was a real delight. She sometimes sings while working and has a beautiful voice. She kept our room spotless and left us a very nice note of thanks on our last day there. I requested and she immediately brought a coffee pot with all the fixings for the room. I later felt guilty at not using it as often as I had planned, but the pot brewed coffee on island time (45 minutes for four cups). Not Fay's fault, just my impatience.

Melanie at the main bar was always smiling and makes a pretty good Purple Rain drink, and her lime daquari is MMMMMgood! Phillip always seemed to be having a good time along with a great attitude. The other bartenders were pleasent also but I dealt with Melanie and Phillip the most.

Sharon, the lady in charge of the dining room wait staff is a real gem. She keeps her people hopping yet does not hesitate to pitch in and help out. There is an air of confidence and competance about her, yet she is so friendly. She is a real people person.

Lisa at the omelet station is a real sweetheart, always smiling and her eggs and omelets are outstanding!

As has been written, the resort is in need of some TLC but I could see where there have been recent improvements. Some new tile here, a coat of paint there. What makes this place special is the staff and the atmosphere. I got the feeling this is the real Jamaica with its friendly people and spicy hot food. Will we return? You betcha...in a heartbeat! I am already planning a trip for next February. Maybe we will get that raft trip in then. Naw...the beach is calling!

Room Tip: We had an upper room near the pool. It was quiet except one night due to a party across the street...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Fixitman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

Just got back from a week at Club Ambiance. This was the third all-inclusive trip my boyfriend and I have taken and it was our favorite. The other two resorts we stayed at were 4 and 5 stars. Club Ambiance is definitely a three star, but what they lack in fanciness, they make up for in experience. The standard rooms and buildings were a bit run down, but after the first day we hardly noticed. The food was fine – I am a pretty picky eater and have a gluten allergy but I always found something to eat. The drinks were good and strong.

As many of the other reviewers have mentioned, the staff is great. After a few days the bartenders and entertainment staff knew our names. Unlike larger resorts, there are always activities going on and people actually participate. We did kayak races, dance classes, played volleyball, went fishing, and played random games. The other visitors were also really friendly, which was a nice change from larger resorts as well.

If you are looking for a few relaxing days on the beach with nice people and good drinks, this place is for you. If you are looking for a large fancy hotel with several restaurants, it’s not for you. All in all, we had a great time and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Anya K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Arrived into Jamaica around noon, nice time to arrive as customs was not too busy and finished within 15 minutes. After finding our bus, we left and after about 1/2 hour, stopped at a bar for those that wanted to get a cold beer. Another 1/2 hour and we arrived at Runaway Bay and made our stop to Club Ambiance.
When you first arrive on the property, if you were expecting a beautiful complex, you might be a little nervous as it doesn't look like much. This is a smaller resort, only about 90 rooms, but I say small in size, but large in service!

Front Desk---Service is very good. As this is our 2nd time to Club Ambiance, we purchased our trip through Cheap Caribbean, we upgraded for a better room, a couple of days before we arrived we emailed them, asking them if we could get a room that over looked the ocean. We wanted room #15. Front desk staff is very helpful, and kind. They welcomed us home with drink from the bar. Couple of items to help you...all rooms have a in room safe, but they do charge $3.00 per day for the lock, we have always rented this, for the small fee, you will have peace of mind for your valuables. They have a couple of computers for usage by the guests; there is a small charge to use these. Wi-Fi is also offered and we paid $50, to have it for the week. I wish I could remember all the names of the front desk staff, I will mention Dwight as he is very nice!
Rooms--- We were so excited to get room #H-15 right upstairs from the front desk. In my opinion, this has the very best view and the best room as well. It has a large king-sized four poster bed, with a TV mounted in it, another TV in the 'living room' part of the room. Large walk-in closet that is bigger than mine at home. The bathroom has two showers; one is shower and the other is tub with shower, both shower areas have windows that overlook the ocean. Most people don't spend a lot of time in their rooms, but we sure were spoiled to have such an amazing room. If you plan to upgrade your room, as we did try and get a honey room suite, rooms I would suggest are 1, 2, 8, 10, 14, 15. Rooms 6 and 7 are nice rooms, but they overlook the patio/show area and can be a little louder at night. 13 is nice, has a big palm tree in front of balcony, but when you walk up the stairs from the front of the hotel, people walk right past your balcony, just a strange set up, in my opinion. The maids do a great job at cleaning your room daily. Deon was our maid and she was so nice!
Hotel- it’s a smaller hotel with 90 rooms, you don’t have to do a lot of walking to get anywhere, if that is a concern for you. Grounds are well kept. The hotel is older, but they keep it looking clean.
Beach---this is one area that I am disappointed in, but it’s not something they can change. There is not much of a beach, if you are a person that likes to walk up and down the beach, you won’t be able to here. Rocks would stop you on both sides of the hotel. There is a lot of reef, makes swimming difficult. You have a small swimming area surrounded by rocks, for me, I don’t like this, so I would go on the afternoon bike ride and go to the public beach. That is where I got my ocean fix. I can live with the beach as it is, because there is plenty of sun and water, that I just make do with what I have. There are plenty of chairs for you to lay out on, hammocks to rest on under the shade. There is a nude beach, not real secluded, but it is there for you to use.
Bars—they have two main bars, one is called Legends and it is on the pier. It is nice to sit out there in the evening around the bar, listening to waves as they crash up on the rocks. Last year there were lots of chairs around the bar. This year they had a lot less, apparently some were not in good shape, so they broke them down. I hope they replace them, because you couldn’t seat very many people. The other bar is centrally located. Both bars serve some amazing drinks, and the bartenders will try and make anything you want. I have to say the bartenders are AMAZING. They have all been there a long time, and know how to treat the guests. By the end of the week, you will feel part of their family. Nigel, Bernie, JR, Philip, Melanie, Kari, and the rest are simply the best!! (Sorry if I didn’t mention them all, because they are all great)
Food—you have one main restaurant that serves three meals per day, and also there is another restaurant by the bar that makes burgers, wraps and fries during the day. Breakfast is pretty much the same every day, although they do add some things to make it different. Lisa the omelet chef will make you some awesome omelets, she can also make you pancakes or eggs as you want them. I always told Lisa that I wanted to take her home with me. She has a warm smile, and such a sweet lady! I never ate lunch there; suppers were different each night, very good food. Sometimes they will have meals outside by the entertainment, and we enjoyed eating out under the stars. One chef, Joseph was very, very nice. We enjoyed meeting him and learning about his job and life. The waiters and waitresses are very helpful. You get to know these lovely people, and the more you talk to them, the more you will feel like you are a part of the family. We loved Stephan (Steph) and Jillian, Julia. One day we were going on a tour and we asked if the kitchen could make us some sandwiches to take a long with us, and they made several sandwiches for us.
Entertainment—Storm, Gary and Omar are part of the entertainment crew and they do some fun things throughout the day to get guests involved. I highly recommend joining them with some of the different activities as you will get to meet many of the other guests and also have a lot of fun. Nightly shows are put on; sometimes the house band will play, other times they bring in some singers and dancers. Some evenings the guest become part of the show and those are pretty entertaining. One evening is a talent show for the guest and staff, so plan to bring your talent and showcase it. And remember in Jamaica if it’s nice you can always do it twice, like Philip from the bar when he sings!
There is a hot tub and we loved to use this in the evening, just to look at the stars! Other things, there is a gym for you to work out. Massages on the beach in a little hut are a nice treat! Shuffle board, pool tables, ping pong tables, volleyball, library area for you to get reading materials, (if you have any extra books in English to donate, please bring some along as they are limited in those) There is a small gift shop on site. I believe there is a salon as well that does hair and nails, spoke with one lady and she had her nails (toenails too) painted for $8.00!
**some additional info; we used taxis and had no problem with them; they will take you to several different places and spend the day showing you around for minimal cost. I would strongly urge everyone to take some time and get a cab to take you out to eat at a Restaurant called Scotchies. They have the most incredible jerk chicken and pork. It is an outdoor restaurant that is so beautiful, go during the day for lunch; it is so cool to see how they cook it! They have several small huts for you to sit down and enjoy, and the landscaping is breathtaking!! Don’t forget a bunch of one dollar bills so you can tip everyone.

We had the privilege of meeting the head engineer, his name is Lennsworth, he really is an awesome person, he really cares about his guests, and if you are lucky enough to meet him, he will thank you so much for choosing Club Ambiance and Jamaica.
I covered quite a bit, but there are always things that others want to know more about and I would be more than happy to answer your questions if for you. I always like to add the following disclaimer to my posts....
I look at the glass half full not half empty, I will be honest with you but you have to remember what I might think is the best, you might not think the same. Tell me what your expectations are and I will tell you if I 'think'' it will be a good match.
In conclusion, this is a 3 star hotel, not a 5 star. This is our 2nd year here, and we enjoyed our stay very much, I have to say the staff will make you feel like you are a part of the Club Ambiance family. I am sad when I leave, not just because I am going to back to winter, but also because I am leaving my friends!!
I promised that I would make a shout out to the Wilsons…hope you were able to upgrade and move into our room when we left!!

Room Tip: Read my review about rooms.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank AimIN4oneMil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We had the time of our lives here. It's not Club Med or Sandals for someone who doesn't want a big resort this place was great. It only has 90 rooms and you can walk everywhere. Beach was small but nice. Food was excellent. After the first day all the employees new our names.
Very polite and helpful workers. We would go back again in a hearbeat.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Kathi53
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: RM710 - RM1,338 (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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