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“Mostly great, food disappointment” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Norman Manley Blvd | Bloody Bay Beach, Negril, Jamaica   |  
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Ranked #30 of 91 hotels in Negril
Scotland
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Mostly great, food disappointment”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2011

This is the fourth time we have stayed in this hotel, and as usual had a great time. We were offered room upgrade to ocean front, but turned this down as we like to get the sun in the morning, and after being upgraded last year and didn't get the sun until afternoon, we asked if we could have a room in block 4, as we know from previous experience that these rooms get the sun for most of the day. However, we still had a great view of the ocean even although so not facing. Unless you get a jacuzzi room the ocean front rooms are exactly the same as the rest anyway!!
Most of the staff have been working here for years, and they always remember you. Latoyah in the morning was excellent and always ensured we had the same table, as was Winston in the evening. Didn't really do lunch apart from the jerk chicken hut so can't really comment on lunch service. However, I have to say I was very disappointed with the quality of the food this year. The salad bar was quite poor most days, and most of the meat or beef dishes were always cooked a bit too long, and on a couple of occasions it was impossible to cut up. Breakfast was a hit or a miss with some days not having bacon or sausages, and as a previous reviewer said, the egg plates were almost empty.
I was also disappointed with the standard of dress in the evenings. It used to be that the hotel insisted people dressed a bit for dinner, but it looked like many people came in stil dressed in beach wear. During the day this is fine, but in the evening, it would be nice if people made an effort!
The first week we were there it was really quiet, which was just what we wanted. Peace and quiet, no hassle to get to food stations, no queues for drinks, nice quiet spots on the beach, but the second week got really busy, and as a previous reviewer said, some guests don't like to queue, and also like to be heard!!!
I know this sounds a bit negative, but only because we have been used to things being different in prevuous years. The hotel is still beautiful, the staff are excellent (treat them as you would want to be treated yourself, surely that's not difficult), the rooms were lovely and cleaned every day with plenty of fresh towels, fridge sticked regularly, even a couple of days when we didn't need re-stocked we came into find extra water and cold drinks. The reception staff were very helpful, and on the couple of occasions we had a problem, it was fixed almost immediately!!
I also didn't feel the need to tip all the time as we got excellent service regardless. However, I would recommend giving the staff something at the end of your stay, as they really do their best to make sure you have a good holiday. And they will recognise you if you have been before, and will go out of their way to let you know they do remember you.
All in all a really peacefuly relaxing holiday, and I will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Rooms in block four with a garden view facing the Couples hotel next door seem to get the sun all da...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

My major complaint is with the food at this hotel. Worst food of all the all-inclusive resorts we have stayed at. The buffets were awful. Most of the serving dishes/trays were empty most of the time. They were VERY VERY slow at refilling them. At the salad bar they would bring out enough lettuce for about 4 people then they were out again. Everytime I went up for lettuce they were out. At breakfast they were always out of the eggs. All that was up there was 2 poched eggs floating around in gross looking milky water. A bowl of broken up nacho chips with watered down cheese. By the time I went back up for a chocolate chip cookie........Yep, they were gone. Then the Alacarte restaurants had 2 seating times, 6:30 and 9pm. Well 9 is a little late but that's all we could get into. We went to the steak house. Nobody in our group could eat the steak it was like shoe leather. I ordered the shrimp and steak and when my plate came it had 3 shrimp tails on the the plate along with 3 other small shrimp about the size of a nickle. It was like someone else bit off the shrimp and they put the tails on my plate. That really turned my stomach. The waitress at the steak house was not friendly at all. When we told her we were still looking over the menu and not ready to order yet she made a disgusting look and sigh and walked away.
A roach greated us at the front desk checking in. My husband stepped on it. Then one of our other friends had a roach on their ceiling when they woke up. They sprayed it with bug spray and it ran on the ceiling then fell on his pillow.
You couldn't taste ANY alcohol in the drinks at the pool. Then we ordered Mojito's at the swim up bar and they didn't have any mint. The pool was nice. The beach was nice. They never replenished our fridge in the room with drinks. We were planning on going on vacation with my husband's family this coming March but when the said they were staying at a RIU we said, "no way are we going and staying at a RIU."
The only great thing this hotel had going for it was the location. Great location on 7 mile beach.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

Hello i am writing in response to the report about the bar manager taking advantage. This is a geat hotel!!..My stays here have always been great and pleasant...Now i can say this for a fact...If the guest only got rum cream and just the regular appleton rum and not the Reserve or the Appleton X which is the more expensive two. Then the guest paying $160.00 was waaayyy to much for rum cream and appleton rum!!. I love this hotel the food and the service that i have gotten there!!!..

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
2 reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

My Partner and I recently stayed at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay for the second time; all I can say is do not believe the negative reports about this hotel.

On arrival, we were recognised by the Front Desk staff and the greeting we received was like we were family. Cloyd on front desk is an absolute star, nothing is ever too much trouble, he should be looked at as he could be a fantastic customer service manager, we were also recognised by the hotel Director (Steve Padley) who also welcomed us back like we were family.

Check in was fast and easy and our bags were taken to our room within 5 minutes of being there, we were upgraded to a Jacuzzi Suite in Building 1 and all I can say is FANTASTIC.

The Dining rooms were always clean and the food was good, if you can’t find something to eat you shouldn’t be there. The specialty restaurants have to be booked in the morning and yes there is a queue but no more than a 10 minute wait.

The beach is awesome; white sand and clear blue sea, the beach vendors are entertaining and a polite “no thank you” is returned with “No Problem Mon have a nice day”. If you treat people with respect it is returned.

The only down side to this hotel is, I’m sorry but I do have to say it, the American guests who are rude and arrogant, they do not believe in queuing or saying please or thank you. One group of silly women even complained that there was fish in the sea!!!!! I thought that is where they are supposed to live.

The pool is crowded most days by drunken loud American and Canadian guests so we stuck to the beach, not all Americans were bad though we met some nice polite people it’s just the few that give all a bad name.

The entertainment team work long hours and produce good shows. No they are not Las Vegas style but then again if that’s what you want, go to Las Vegas not Jamaica, they are all hard working and don’t deserve the negative reports.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winsford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

We are going to this hotel for the 10th time next week and I am replying to the reviewer who had some bottles got for them by the assistant bar manageress,saying they could have bought them cheaper at the airport and maybe she had taken them from the hotel.We have been going to this hotel for 7 years and know that this lady is very honest and caring and would have gone to the shop to save them time.Being a retired police officer I would not write this unless I was very sure.
I hope this will put the record straight with regard to this matter

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

I just returned from the Riu Tropical Palace in Negril and like this resort very much. The specialty restaurants are very good, but the buffet is not the best for dinner. If you love a great beach, this is the resort for you and the dive shop is excellent. Riu's have a fixed time for dinner...6:30pm or 9:00 pm, so not crazy about that aspect. The rooms are junior suites, but the bathrooms are very small. Service is top notch in all areas. The resort does attract a lot of Europeans, so topless is seen quite often on the beach and at the pool.

Room Tip: Always pay for an ocean front, otherwise you could end up very close to the road and the noise would...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

Having visited the RPTB on several occasions it came as no surprise to find that things are still great. It is reasonable to say that due to the fact that the hotel was quite due to the limited number of guests the food was not up to the normal excellent standard however this did not cause any real problems. Also unlike all my other visits the beach was not as good but again this was down to the weather conditions out at sea and as we know the hotel has no control over such events. Allowing for these two minor inconvenient I have to say that everything else as perfect and made even better when we made new friends with a very special couple from the UK. As before the staff are the main reason why you should visit the RPTB, they are without doubt the best staff you will ever come across, I have read many reviews who complain about the staff and I am of the opion that certain guest should take a look at themselves before condemning any of the local staff. Nothing is too much trouble for them and even when guests are rude they still manage to smile when carrying out their duties. I would say never listen to negative comments as these are only made by negative minded people, try it out for yourself you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay

Address: Norman Manley Blvd | Bloody Bay Beach, Negril, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#18 Family Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Renovated in summer 2008 * Located in Negril, on Jamaica's west coast * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 1-storey main building and 2-storey buildings * Victorian-style architecture * Surrounded by 47,000 m2 / 56,500 sq. yards of lush gardens * 7.5 km / 4.7 miles from Negril West End * 6 km / 3.8 miles from various shops * 80 km / 48 miles from Montego Bay airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Tropical Bay Hotel Negril
Riu Tropical Bay Jamaica
Riu Palace Tropical Bay Negril
Riu Tropical Bay Negril Jamaica
Negril Riu Tropical Bay Hotel
Riu Jamaica
Riu Tropical Jamaica

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