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RIU Hotels & Resorts Launches Its First Water Park in Jamaica



WHY IT RATES: Riu Ocho Rios recently went through a complete renovation, and now offers new pools, rooms, dining options and more. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor

RIU Hotels & Resorts has presented the completely renovated Hotel Riu Ocho Rios, a spectacular resort in Jamaica located on the beautiful beach of Mammee Bay that first opened in 2005.

The work consisted of the full refurbishment of all the rooms, restaurant, bars and communal areas, in addition to the extension of its facilities and services. The full range of entertainment options and the bars and restaurants form part of the prestigious All-Inclusive by RIU 24 Hour service.

The biggest innovation in this renovation is the introduction of the first RIU water park in Jamaica. This attraction has already been a big success among the chain’s guests in Mexico (Los Cabos, Costa Mujeres and Mazatlán) and the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana).

Throughout this renovation, care has been taken over every little detail in relation to entertainment, starting with the creation of the first Splash Water World in the country. The park is in the hotel’s new extended area. This is also the location of the conference room and the children’s area, which has been totally redesigned and now includes a children’s pool with slides.

In addition, the RiuLand kids’ club now has an indoor playground that will delight little ones with its slides, mazes and ball pool. Everything is designed to offer maximum enjoyment to families, who will also be able to visit a bar in this new area.

With this in mind, as well as refurbishing the existing rooms, new family rooms have also been built in the hotel’s extension, bringing the total number of rooms to 901. All of them include free WiFi, and the décor follows the new style that RIU is introducing across its refurbished and new hotels.

The pool area has also been totally overhauled and, with this change, the Riu Ocho Rios now has five pools, two of which have swim-up bars.

What’s more, the teenagers’ club Riu4U complements the offer for young people, while the new RiuFit area is designed so that guests don’t have to drop their sports and fitness routines during their holidays. The inclusion of a DJ performance booth in the beach area is another innovation that will make sure guests have a great time.

The hotel’s range of dining options still aims to satisfy even the most demanding palates, and guests are provided with a varied portfolio of restaurants. The main restaurants and the Asian, Italian and steakhouse themed restaurants have been joined by a new fusion food restaurant, the ‘Kulinarium.’

They all now have fresh décor, and the same goes for the now fully refurbished bars. In addition, the hotel now offers another lunch option in the pool zone: the Jamaican jerk barbecue station, ‘Pepe’s Food.’

RIU Hotels opened its first hotel in Jamaica in 2001, and it now has six resorts there, adding up to more than 3,000 rooms. Two are located in Negril, three in Montego Bay and one in Ocho Rios. For next year, RIU is already planning the renovation of Riu Montego Bay, which will mean that all of its hotels in the country are either completely refurbished or recently built.

For further information, please contact a travel agent or visit

SOURCE: RIU Hotels & Resorts press release.

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Marriott Waives Cancellation Fees in Response to Outbreak



Marriott International has released a statement today regarding its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak that has been affecting the travel industry worldwide.

“We are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization’s statements regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and following guidelines from these agencies and the local health departments,” the statement reads.

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The brand emphasizes that the “wellbeing of our guests and associates is of paramount importance.” Marriott hotels and resorts have been waiving cancellation fees for bookings through March 15, 2020, for guests with reservations in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and Taiwan.

In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Asia and Europe, Marriott has begun to waive the cancellation fees for guests with reservations in South Korea, Japan and the Italian Lombardy and Veneto regions on Wednesday, February 26. Fees will be waived through March 15, 2020.

Marriott will also waive cancellation fees for guests in all aforementioned locations traveling outbound to other Marriott destinations globally for hotel stays through March 15, 2020.

There have been over 80,000 confirmed infections of the coronavirus worldwide. Over 70,000 cases have been confirmed in China, where the current strain is believed to have originated. Many cruises, flights and vacations to Asian countries have been canceled in response to the rapid spread of the virus.

Italy has recently become another focal point of the outbreak, with over 800 confirmed cases within a short timeframe.

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