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“It what it is...make the best of it” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Club Ambiance

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Club Ambiance
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Burlington, New Jersey
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“It what it is...make the best of it”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2012

I stayed at Club Ambiance for 5 days in July 2012. Although I had read the many mixed reviews for this "resort" I decided to stay there based on it being small, low-key (as opposed to a large resort), and allowing a "true Jamaican experience" (as mentioned by some reviewers). This was a solo trip for me and I had many things planned aside from spending time at the resort.

The size of the resort was nice, however I wouldn't consider it reflective of a true Jamaican experience. During my stay, the resort had very few guests...very scarce. If I had to put a number i would gather maybe 30 on any given day while I was there. The perks to that was there was no waiting at meal times, for bar service, and there was always space (and beach loungers) on the beaches.

Meals:
The meals were readily available in the main dining area however the selection was minimal. Each meal consisted of 3 to 4 side dishes, 2 meat selections, fruit, salad and dessert. The grill area was also available. Breakfast also included hot cereal daily. Although some foods prepared/served had cultural influence, I was surprised that they did not serve more native foods and fruits. I was appalled at the late night snack, the one night that I did go to check it out...it was fried chicken wings and french fries that were kept warm by a chafing dish. "YUCK". Being a vegetarian, chicken was not an option and luke-warm french fries did not look appealing. Late night snack is self serve and I did not notice any dining room staff "available" in the dark (no lights on) dining room.

Despite the lack of variety with the meals, the food was delicious and I will say that I received some preferential treatment with regards to my last few meals as they were specially prepared for me and delivered to my table. Kudos to that!

Houskeeping:
Housekeeping services started downhill but redeemed itself by the time I departed. Day 1 towels were retrieved early in the morning but returned after 4 pm. I had NO room service that day as when the attendant came at 4:20 p.m. I was already back in bed taking a nap. OK. Day 2 towels were retrieved early, attendant arrived around 2 pm or so. I left however upon my return I noticed that my linen had not been changed despite a noticeable juice stain on the sheet. I also noticed the the spread had some "dirt" markings. Subsequent days were much better. Early service, clean bed linen and bleach mopped floors!

Hot water was an issue for me...didn't have any for my first two days. At moments, I didn't have any water at all.

Rooms:

Many reviewers stated the rooms could use updating...I will say that they could use better maintenance. Due to the water being very close, there was rust evident in many areas of the room. My room and bathroom ceiling had water spots, the bathroom was clean however the facet knobs were loose in the bathtub/shower. My room was clean but there are very visible signs that maintenance is lacking or slacking. (Side note: this was an upgraded room (honeymoon suite).

Other tidbits:

I was disappointed to find that the resort does not have water activities available. I planned to spend my last day based at the resort kayaking, etc and when I went to inquire about them I was informed that the resort does not have a license for them. At most, I would expect them to update there website. There were no kayaks, pedalos, or anything water related. Hammocks were also non existent. Didn't ask for an explanation on that.

Despite what seems to be a bad experience, the staff made up for it tremendously. They were very friendly and accommodating. Their positive attitudes overshadowed the "mishaps" , thus allowing me to have an otherwise enjoyable stay. The resort is what it is...no frills but can be enjoyable if you're looking to relax and not looking for mega resort vacation style. Per their website, they make no claim to be more than that however they forgot to update the unavailability of water activities (kayaks, pedalos, etc) and hammocks.

Room Tip: upgrade your room to the deluxe (honeymoon suite)...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank MzDymplz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
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English first
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2012

I travel a LOT but my reviews jump around and punctuation/grammer are not great but you get the gist.

I purchased this on a Groupon and I made a mistake by not checking out more reviews. Where to start. First, usualy only 1 bar is open, and 1 beer is served and it's on tap. maybe a total of 20 people were at the resort at any one given time which sounds great, but it just shows how bad this place is. We were dropped off at the front on the side of the road and had to drag our lugguage from the road across a cratered parking lot. We were told our room wasn't read and we waited because we were early (we paid for 4 days but only used 3) We paid for the "upgraded" or "honeymoon room" which there was nothing special about it (especialy for an extra $150). No ice machines, no bottled water, and if you wanted water in your room you had to go to the bar outside and use their cooler to fill a container.
The food (this is all inclusive) was almost un-eatable. usualy about 4 steamer pans and most of it was (chinese style) mixed foods instead of single items. there was no "a la carte" either. and there really is no "restraunt" like they advertise and how on a bar b que night do you run out of Jerk Chicken in Jamaica??? (we never even got to try any lol and with only 20-30 total guests that didn't make sense. the building is old and run down, the dive shop is a 4x4 shack that i never saw open or even a way to get to it.
Gift shop was never open the entire stay and the front desk had no idea if or when it would open. The "excursion" desk was a joke, opened when ever she got there and guess what??? you usualy need 4 or more people to go on an excursion so we were out of luck because there were no other people doing any, so $75 worth of taxi rides just to see a few things around.
Spa, looked open but never saw anyone until the last day as they walked around trying to sell a massage for a discount off the regular $95 price for an hour. and the Hot tub was green and not open the entire trip in an Adults only resort. We had 2 other couples we met there ask us what we thought of the place and they gave us their opinions that paralleled with ours. If i can say 1 positive thing it is the staff, they were very friendly. that's it nothing else was good. the beds are also as cheap as it gets, hard and you can feel the spirngs (and we are thin people) lol...

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Old Forge, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2012

i arrived in Jamaica to hotel only to be told they had no room for me and there werent any guest their . There were maybe 40 people at the resort .
After finally getting room TOWELS WERE A Luxury .... no beach towels no personal towels and we were told it was because they only had 1 washer and dryer .
Every day we had to go to the front desk to request towels only to have them tied to our room door ,by the 3rd day we didnt find it funny any more .
Food was ok .
place needs a complete make over and updating .
Oh and at check out they want you to bring your remote back .........why i dont know .....
and when you request a wake up they say ok and dont because the night shift guy is sleeping !

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AnissaS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2012

I met up with my friends at CA. We stayed from 6/30/12-7/6/12. I usually like to start my reviews or criticism with the positives. I won't this time around; I'll mix in the bad with the good. When I arrived I was taken aback by the Jamaican flag that was waving tall on the roof. It was shredded and washed out and looked like it went to a war and barely survived, whereas the American flag was in pristine condition. That was the first thing that rattled me. I was greeted with a fruit punch and warm smiles. The receptionist that greeted us was Ms. Bailey.
Let’s move on to the room. I was not impressed at all! But I was sorta prepared for that because of the pictures that were posted from my fellow reviewers. I didn't like that the television was one of those old tv where its huge in the back and the screen roundish. Also, there were less than 10 channels and that should NOT classify as cable (it was advertised that they had cable). Also, guess what? The channel reception was bad. There was a constant buzzing noise and static on every channel. I could care less about the tv because I love to read and had no intention of turning it on. However, I took my mother with me to meet up with my friends. I thought it would be a cool early bday gift as she has never been to a hotel much less a resort. She loves to watch her news and her favorite channel is CNN. Turns out that channel had the most static. I went to the front desk and Ms. Baily offered us to move to a second room and that one had a flat screen television. :-) BUT it was less than a 19in but whatever. The channels still had static but not as bad as before and my mom settled for that. Why don't all the rooms have flat screen televisions? According to one of the staff they don't have enough for all the rooms. Ummm, ok. My mom is very weird and walked with her own sheets for the both of us. She immediately stripped the bed. OMG the 3rd layer of sheets were absolutely stained and disgusting. I mean COME ON! This is a resort once a sheet is stained toss it. Don't wash it and re use it. Time to take a shower, the bathroom was gorgeous! I have a thing for tiles and the peach (yes peach) tiles with the beige shower curtain gave the bathroom a good feel. I drew back the curtain and I received the shock of my life. *Deep sigh* The tub was filthy and full of grime. I quickly ran down the stairs to complain. Ms. Baily informed me that housekeeping was closed for the day and no one was around to clean it. At this point I was tired from the drive up (I drove from Kingston to the resort), sweaty and stank of bug repellent and just wanted a bath. I said you know what, just give me some ajax and a scrub pad and I'll do it my bloody self. She was horrified as she should've been because no guest should clean their own bathroom! I didn't care and just wanted a bath. She refused to give me any cleaning items (which was good). I asked to speak to a manager. Neither the manager nor the GM was on duty at that hour but the next person of authority was Damian the entertainment manager. He listened to my complaints intently and was very calm, cool and collected and offered me yet another room. I asked to see them before I said yes. The first one smelled so moldy (like the gym). I mean come on, if a room isn't occupied how about letting some air in? The second room he showed me was room # 5 and the sign that says 'room five' was written with a red marker on a paper and stuck on the wall. Moving on, the room was outdated but the bathroom was clean. I didn't like the feel of it and turned it down. I started to plead for cleaning supplies and he finally broke down and gave me some soap and I used that with one of their washcloth and cleaned the tube. I spoke to the manager the following morning and he offered to upgrade me to a deluxe room. The view was even more gorgeous but even the view wasn't enough to change rooms. Other than the filthy bathroom the room was ok. A housekeeper came in the morning to clean and she pulled out soap, I said uh huh, you don't have any Ajax? She did and used it instead. So what does that tell us ladies and gentlemen? This means that they just use regular liquid soap to clean the tub. This is how you get fungus! Sigh.
Moving on, the dining areas both inside and outside were acceptable. Very nice. The staff was very warm and the food was great. However, there could've been more variety of choices of Jamaican dishes. That was a turn off. Where were the liver and kidney, for breakfast? I was born and raised in Jamaica (I currently live in NY) so I know what I'm talking about. It was just ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, festival and porridge. Don't get me wrong, any American breakfast you wanted they had, but being a Jamaican I was disappointed. Overall, whatever they served on any day were DELISH. If you wanted an afternoon snack then you had Mr. Whitter who was on the grill and can whip up a juicy burger or anything else for that matter, but my favorite was just the burger patty with a grilled cheese sandwich. He was very warm, respectful and accommodating. The bar...just forget it the drinks were super strong just the way I like it! :-) Shout out to Omar and Julius that whipped up wicked drinks.

Ok folks that were my horrible experiences. Oh did I mention the roach I killed on the wall and all the ANTS! Just because we are in the Caribbean does NOT mean ants are acceptable!

The best part was the staff. They were so warm and friendly. I can't stop saying that. They made me overlook the room. I put it in my head that this is just a place to lay my head at night. The entertainment was entertaining. Damian did a great job at that. My favorite night was when they had the Ms. Club Ambiance competition. My friend won! AWESOMENESS! But Storm (she's on the entertainment committee) and Damian were engaging and made the night a BLAST. My second favorite day was Jamaica day. Damian was the Dj and killed it (this means its a good thing)!! I was relaxing on the beach and couldn't help whining in my chair. Then they had a dance class where Omar and Storm taught us some of the popular dances that are used in the clubs for certain dancehall songs. Some I knew and learned the others. They had a mixology class and I think it was the same day. I don't remember the name of the instructor but the drinks where great and Storm and Omar where her assistants and they made it even more fun.
So like I said, the staff where amazing and did a fabulous job. They made me overlook the out dated rooms, the ants, the roach, dirty bathroom, and the missing hammock (I had given my mom a card with a woman relaxing on the beach in a hammock for Mothers Day and she commented that she would like that to be her one day. So I wanted to take a picture of my mom in it and make a postcard from it). Why was the hammock missing? It was ripped up for over year so they took it down. SO BUY A NEW ONE! Bloody hell.

I would totally go back if they revamped the place all because of the STAFF! High five to everyone.
Bless!

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank S D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2012

Well to start off in a positive light, I would like to say that my overall review does not reflect on the staff of Club Ambiance, the scenery and the the quiet location gives the hotel its name. Upon arrival to the resort 6/30, I was truly taken aback by the view. It was totally unexpected and in some aspects did not reflect what was advertised on the internet. As we were greeted at the front desk, we were instructed of charges for the following(security safety box) which I never encountered before at an all inclusive. As a Jamaican I was appalled by the conditions of the country's flag, I cant leave that out it needs to reflect the pride and honor of the people and the country!!!!! Change it!!!!!(falling apart and in shreds)Anyway,we were escorted to our room which for starters needs a definite upgrade beginning at the front door which looks like its practically coming off of the hinges and needs a good paint job. Our welcoming committee of ants greeted us as well. As the days went on we discovered imperfections throughout our room, the shower head required a definite change(which was serviced immediately), the telephone losing reception as you spoke to your party having to lean your head ever so often. As I became weary of the neck exercise I reported a change(quickly changed). Hammocks are no longer on the property as well as a pool table on the beach
(pictures can be deceiving). The food selections are definitely in need of an upgrade, as well as the gym which I couldnt go to due to the unhealthy conditions (moldy) they need to change carpeting or consider rubber tiling throughout the gym and a ventilation system which circulates the air. I must reiterate if it had not been for the staff that showed considerable professionalism and made us feel at home we would have left the very same day. WIth that being said, Club Ambiance can be taken into consideration for a quick weekend getaway for travelers or visitors on a very tight budget. It is not worth the costs of what is advertised. Definite upgrade needed, Hopefully the new management will take into consideration all that has been said. Thank you to the following staff who were quick, efficient, and friendly-(some names unmentioned, but remains applicable to most) Ms. Bailey and Veta-Ann Patton (front desk), Omar on the grill, Kemore Kelly and Fay(housekeeping), Richard Higgins and Julious (barkeepers) Omar and Storm (entertainment), Sherica Nevis (tourist advisor)

Room Tip: Beach or pool side upper level
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Tricia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Ambiance

Property: 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 (per night): ₹ 10,743 - ₹ 19,389
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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