Welcome


 

Club Ambiance is located on the north coast of Jamaica in Runaway Bay, about an hour drive from Montego Bay Airport.  For those of you not familiar with Jamaica, the north side of the island is known for cooling breezes during the day (those same trade winds that brought Columbus to Jamaica in 1494). These breezes keep the temperature down. In the evening, the breezes subside, so you get those famous warm, tropical nights.

From the entranceway, the resort doesn’t look like most resorts we represent.  It looks more like you’re pulling into the driveway at a standard US-type motel, but our first impression was wrong.  Once you walk through the lobby, the image changes.  Club Ambiance is a well laid-out resort, right on the ocean, with everything you’d want in a resort that is clothing-optional and lifestyle-friendly. 

The resort has a bit of a history.  It was developed by an American in the 1970’s and was a very popular resort from the 70s through the 90s.  The owner, an elderly gentleman, put the resort up for sale a few years ago, and about a year ago it was purchased by a very successful Jamaican businessman.  With that purchase, the format of the resort changed to a clothing-optional and lifestyle-friendly format.

When the new owner took over, he brought in a new management team, including one of the senior people from SuperClubs (the previous owners of Hedonism II and the Breezes resorts).  That new management team set about to improve the resort and attend to some needed maintenance.  Since the ownership change, landscaping has been redone, all areas of the resort have been or will be repainted, and improvements have been made in the room amenities, staffing, entertainment and food service.

The rooms we viewed (the resort has 90 rooms) were fresh-looking with rattan-type furniture and tropical print curtains and bedspreads.  Standard amenities were included like coffee makers, irons and ironing boards, and hair dryers.  We really liked that each room has a mini-fridge and a balcony or patio, so you can sit outside to enjoy the ocean and pool views.  The resort was built in the 70s, and the rooms reflect that, but the rooms were clean, comfortable and functional.  We also liked that each room had a desk for those of us who still have to do a little work while traveling.

The resort is beach front and the beach area is divided into three small coves.  One cove is a “prude beach,” one is a “clothing-optional beach” and one is a “nude beach.”  Obviously you have to be nude to be on the nude beach.  The large swimming pool is clothing-optional, as is the large hot tub (holds about 20 people).  However, proper attire is required in the restaurants and, if you’re naked, carry a towel to put on any chair you might sit in.

You have three bars to choose from—the pool bar, the central bar by the entertainment and meeting area, and the pier bar, perched right out in the ocean where you can watch the fish swim by while enjoying your cocktail.  In the evening, on certain nights, the pier bar has karaoke. 

The food was good, with a distinctly Jamaican flair.  However, it is difficult to judge the food overall as we only stayed one night.  We were told the food changes each evening with themed menus. We would have liked to have seen more variety, but then we were there in low season with very low occupancy and, like any resort, you’re going to find more food choices when there are more people at the resort. 

The resort features a large indoor restaurant and an outdoor covered grill with a large open-air seating area that also doubles as the entertainment center.  In one corner is a small stage where the house band plays nightly and the entertainment staff put on shows of varying sorts.  For late night entertainment, the resort has a large disco.  For groups, the big conference center off the lobby turns into a playroom.

One nice feature of Club Ambiance is the amount of indoor space, which really helps on those days when it rains.  The nightly entertainment is brought inside to an indoor entertainment center when the weather is not cooperating.   Also, this entertainment area is the perfect place to play pool, card games or relax with a book, for those so inclined.

As we mentioned, the resort is located in Runaway Bay, a popular tourist spot in Jamaica.  Just ten miles west of Ocho Rios, Runaway Bay's stunning beaches see far fewer footprints than its neighbors. It's also removed from the cruise ship herds and pushy vendors. Although you may be perfectly happy not to wander far from the resort, there are a few nearby attractions nonetheless. Bob Marley's childhood home and mausoleum is in nearby Nine Mile. Jamaican history is on view at the Seville Great House and at the Columbus Park Museum.  There are lots of excursions in the area for those of you who want to get off property.

Club Ambiance is a new entry into the lifestyle market.  As such, occupancy rates, particularly in summer, will be lower than at more established resorts.  However, we expect that when groups are at the resort, and as the occupancy rate increases, Club Ambiance will provide an excellent lifestyle, clothing-optional experience. 

If you read Trip Advisor, as we did, you will find that some people compare this resort to many of the brand new, lavish resorts being built by big, international corporations.  They note that the resort is a little older and doesn’t have some of the amenities you’ll find at the newer resorts, but we look at it this way - those resorts often have from 500 to 1,000 rooms, they are often designed for families, restaurants are often so large it feels more like you’re eating in a school cafeteria, and the experience is sanitized, plastic and commercial.

You really have to compare Club Ambiance to resorts that are clothing-optional and allow lifestyle-type activities.  Heck, we’d pay a premium just to go to a resort that doesn’t allow kids.  Club Ambiance, while perhaps a little dated, is adults-only, allows nudity, allows lifestyle-type activities, is small enough to be intimate, has good food, has excellent service and, based on other resorts we represent, is reasonably priced.  With new owners, and its current management, we are convinced the experience at Club Ambiance can only get better and better.

Keep your eyes on our group tour page. We intend to schedule at number of group tours to Club Ambiance.  We should also mention that while most of Club Ambiance's customers are couples, the resort does allow singles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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