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“Riu Palace Tropical Bay Fantastic stay” 5 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 #31 of 89 Hotels in Negril
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Cheshire United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Riu Palace Tropical Bay Fantastic stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

Beware British customer of Thomson and Firstchoice, if you make any changes to your booking after signing, they will charge you £50 each, even if you upgrade and spend more money on the holiday.

This holiday was booked through Firstchoice, and at the time of booking both the brochure and the shop told me there would be private transfers to the hotel and when returning to the airport as this is an a la carte property. This does not happen, all the passenger going to the Riu Palace Tropical Bay where bundled in to 18 seat mini buses and told this is how we do it in Jamaica, the guy getting these mini buses is very intimidating and in your face there was no Thomson or firstchoice rep to be seen.

When you return and contact Thonsons, firstchoice customer (what a joke) service they just tell you its in the terms and conditions and as you have signed for your holiday they will not do anything about it.

The Holiday

We where greeted by Elaine and Andrew at reception who checked us in and both where, courteous, polite and informative, a cool welcome drink was offered as we checked in and was most welcome after a one and a half hour transfer. We where given tags with our room number on and told to put them on our luggage, Elaine and Andrew gave us directions to our room but we took a short walk to poolside, then on to our room, our luggage was in our room when we arrived.

The room was spacious, clean and tidy, the fridge and optics where stocked, the bathroom had plenty of towels and toiletries every thing worked in the room.. The room was cleaned daily by Yvonne. During our stay we never had to ask for any item in the room to be restocked, most evenings around 6. 30 pm house keeping knocked on the door asking if we wanted any towels or toiletries. There are not lifts / elevators in this resort and the rooms go up to the 3rd floor, so if you have walking difficulties ask for a room on the ground floor, getting around the resort there are ramps.

The food through out our stay was excellent and plenty full we always had lots to choose, the jerk chicken from the beach B.B.Q. hut is especially good. Booking any of the specialist restaurants was simple; at 8am until 4pm every day you went to a member of staff who was sitting at a table in the lobby and you could book 2 days in advance for 6.30pm or 9pm sittings. Tables are some times empty we found out because guest either do not turn up, forgotten or double booked an other restaurant, so please do not blame the girl at the restaurant booking table its not her fault you can not get a table. We made booking for all the restraints and the food excellent and pleased us. The only problem we had was in the Japanese (nothing to do with the food) the A.C. was not working it was very hot, they left the doors open, this meant that the noise from the entertainment was defining and you could hardly hear each other speaking, the staff where very surly and never smiled or made eye contact.

The pool was clean and kept tidy by Leon and the pool staff, sun lounges where available through the day. The beach was clean, there where lots of sun lounges and shaded areas for you to sit.

The entertainment team work tirelessly through the day and in to the evening, and are so friendly and always smiling they are always ready to have a good laugh with you.

Getting out and about is difficult as there is no public transport service, you have to rely on taxies and they can be expensive 20 U.S. one way to Negril.

The only problem we encountered, was guests smoking in the lobby and not considering no smoking guests

Room Tip: Book a sea view room on top floor as there are trees on the beach
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (879)
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English first
Amsterdam, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

We stayed 8 nights total in Negril...the first 2 at the Westender (secluded but beautiful and excellent value for the money, the 2nd at the Charella which pretty much sucked, and the last 3 nights at Riu). Trying to save some money, we splurged on Riu for the last 3 nights at around $500/night...well worth it. We didn't have to leave the resort for a thing. Checked in, greeted friendly with champagne and had a full bar in our room, not to mention staff just outside asking us if we need anything at all to make our vacation more pleasant....I will always look for inclusives from this point on when vacationing. We tried the Italian restaurant, the Steak place and another one of the 4 offered for free if you book them in advance...very pleased with all of them overall...especially the italian place.

Totally secluded security watched beach...no panhandlers, which after 5 previous nights of dealing with it, i had had enough! No panhandlers here...you feel like upper class, everyone is attentive and offering you service. I did tip, but it really wasn't even necessary. Always found a great spot at the beach, always music/entertainment...we used paddle boats for free and scuba dived for my first time ever for very reasonable $40 for nearly 3 hours of enjoyment.

Food was really pretty good...read some negative reviews before our trip and after so my expectations weren't high...but it was pretty good...variety and I tried a lot of different things (fish, squid, great steaks). Not sure why the negative feedback on food...it's not a 5 star restaurant ya know. ROom was amazing...clean, beautiful, partial ocean view, amazing bathroom, great tub/shower and amenities...FULL BAR! I took a pic of the hanging liqour and fridge full of Red Stripes and wine, seltzer, waters, sodas...we ordered breakfast one morning, completely free room service just a small tip. Well worth the money. I'm sold on all inclusives now!

Room Tip: All inclusive is the way to Go!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

This was our 4th trip to Jamaica and 2nd to Negril. And it just confirmed that Negril's beaches are the best!
Riu Palace is a good resort, though we still prefer Couples or Sandals. We went to Riu this time because we were with kids (12 and 15 years old). The pros:
- Not as crowded as big mega-resourts, but still a lot of activities for kids
- Excellent beach
- Clean rooms of a decent size (2 adults + 2 kids can sleep in a junior suite).
Some cons:
- The way how reservation system for restaurants works (need to stay in line every other day)
- Snorkeling is not included (normally it is at other resorts, but at Riu it is extra $30 per person).
Few other comments. Pools are very nice, but some might find them a bit small for such resort.
Night entertainment was very good on nights when there were visiting bands/dancers. It was OK on nights when shows were done by local resort crew.
Though sunset catamaran cruise requires extra charge, it is highly recommended.
One last comment - we got an early flight and arrived to Montego Bay at 11 AM. Came out it was too early - the transportation company representative was very nice, but we had to wait almost 2 hours until they filled the bus with more people. And, opposite to some other resorts, Riu does not have a lounge in the airport. So, if you have a flight arriving early, check if you can arrange private transportation (or at least semi-private in a small van).

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

Quick check in. Mess up with my keys, but fixed promptly. My room was very clean, only problem was my t.v. didn't work. I'm sure they would have fixed it but I wasn't there to watch t.v. and didn't feel like bothering with it. The food was amazing! The jerk chicken hut is highly recommended for lunch. You will never go hungry or thirsty, 24 hr. everything. The staff was super friendly, Marlene is an awesome bartender. The two other problems were the hustlers on the beach were numerous but a simple "no thanks" sufficed. The other was the mosquitos, take some bug spray! Otherwise it was a great vacation, great room, great food, great staff, stiff drinks, and awesome weather! Enjoy!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

Ok...I'm shooting straight from the hip (as my granny would say) So place these tips, suggestions etc in your smartphone so you won't say she didn't tell us.

I just returned yesterday and I'm very picky. I've vacationed in Jamaica over 10 times so I know good vs bad. I'll make it simple for you.

1 The resort is very clean
2 They greet you with a drink
3 Go to jerk chicken hut (the best dang on meal of the day right on the beach) but its only open for lunch
4 Sit in the same areas and tip your waiters a couple of dollars every day...they will remember you and have good conversation for you. Our waiters would bring our drinks as soon as they saw us coming without us asking. #cool right
5 Rooms are stocked with rum, vodka, red striped beer, sodas & water #cool right
6 They have plenty of entertainment & adult drinking games & nightly shows. I also saw the staff babysitting small kids in groups. (that was nice I'm sure for a small fee)
7 Grab a bartender and tip them a couple of dollars to pay attention to you and bring you drinks to the beach so you can relax. The plastic cups are small so bring insulated mugs they will fill them for you and you will have less trips back and forth
8 Go to Ricks Cafe. The hotel offers round trip for $15 ea around 3:30p ea day and will bring you back around 6pm after sunset. It's about a 20 min ride (take a red stripe with you to pass the time)
9 Tip tip tip ($2-$5) they are appreciative and wil be attentive. My husband got sick one night and threw up (21 shots at the bar and yes he was scolded the next morning) well I called a maid to clean up, which she did a great job, and I tipped her good for helping me. From that night on she came to our room every night to bring extra towels or anything we needed. #cool right
10 Stay in oceanfront....it's worth it
11 Bring our floaters and rafts. They will inflate them for free
12 If you smoke they sell cigarettes on the beach
13 Variety of tv channels

1 The ride from the airport is over an hour and will cost additional but very scenic (grab a red stripe beer & beef patty at the airport for the ride)
2 Make specialty restaurant reservations immediately upon checking in
3 Don't stay in bldg #2 unless you smell the room 1st. (sorry Mr General Manager) We were moved twice it smelled soooo bad we couldn't stand in there 5 mins. They finally upgraded us for free from an ocean view to an ocean front! (that was perfect)
4 Airport & hotel souvenirs are more expensive. Walk down the beach a bit and you can bargain shop with vendors. (ask if they have change in your country money before making transaction or you will get stuck with Jamaician money)
5 You can only get wifi in the reception/common area
6 Bring mosquito repellent...they are vacationing in the rooms with you. I was bit something terrible on my nose of all places but I am in the islands so I should expect it, huh.

If you smoke weed/trees/joints etc...they have that for you too on the beach. Only in Jamroc have I seen someone selling me a t-shirt and smoking cannibus at the same time. Lol

The Riu Palace is better than the Riu Negril but you can take advantage and visit the other one if you liked.

Get off the resort and go to Margaritaville or visit 7 mile beach...it's fun there too

Fly nonstop if you can...

Overall..........I would stay again in a heartbeat! Thank you Riu Palace

Room Tip: #1 No elevators...if you don't like climbing stairs request bottom floor #2 Don't stay in r...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

Dear All,

if you travel alot and stay at all Inklusive resorts you will not be amazed by RIU. It is a simple not too fancy resorts with a great Staff and the most amazing beach!
To keep it short:
**Food was not amazing, not enough sea food and the reservation of restaurant was a pain. Not a great imitation of restaurant but ok.
**Check-in was a bit stressful after a long flight . . . make sure you receive what you asked for and check the room before you commit to it.
**it is totally safe no problems with animals or anyone disturbing.
**Service was excellent everyone is very calm makes you feel good.
*****Entertainment team was the best, the shows that they have are wonderful totally worthy just perfect. Mike, K.O, Crystal were wonderful!!! The rest of course also:)

Over all it was a great experience an amazing trip and very relaxing i will be back!!!!!!!!


Room Tip: Closer to the Lobby is the best option!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

This is my second trip to Negril, first time staying on Bloody Bay. I was there in February 2012 with 4 girlfriends. Based on the reviews, I knew this hotel wasn't going to be party central but the accomodations and grounds were exactly what we were looking for. This property was a higher quality than the larger Riu down the beach.

-the bay offers a more intimate feel; however, there is still enough beach for a long walk (I think it took us about 15-20 minutes to walk the length of the beach).
-the hotel was very clean, the staff were amazing (and there was plenty of them- no fewer than 4 ppl at front desk at all times, good number of bar staff at pool bar...etc.)
-food was delicious (I have many food restrictions and I never once went hungry)
-the beachfront was lovely...we were able to get chairs every morning, towels were never an issue.
-we got great advice on places to go at night (live music on 7 mile beach was exactly what we were looking for).
-a la carte restaurants were great
-gym was sufficient

-nightlife is a little dull; however, we took a shuttle to the other Riu to see a show one night and to hang out at their disco
-the hotel is built along the main road (like all the other hotels in Negril); our building was a little further inside the property but you could still hear the cars going by when sitting on the balcony
-there are no umbrellas on the beach...I would rotate around a small palm all day to get some shade. Beautiful but not so functional.
-standing in line in the early morning to sign up for a la carte meals is super annoying. Luckily we had a couple ladies in our party that didn't mind waking up early for this task. Unfortunately that seems to be how Riu runs all of their hotels.

-if it's in your budget, and you want to get off the resort for an afternoon/evening, I would suggest going to Rick's Cafe mid to late afternoon. The catamaran tours are there before sunset and as a result there is a good number of people for socializing, watching the locals dive from ridiculous heights and a chance to jump yourself. The food at the cafe is okay, but the upstairs area is quite lovely for some drinks. Sunset was very nice here.
- I also highly recommend going for dinner at Negril's Rockhouse resort (also on the cliff side of Negril). The sunset view was spectacular, the restaurant/hotel is gorgeous and the food was delicious. I don't eat dessert and I LOVED the coconut cream pie. I think I had the synting...delicious. Definitely our favourite meal while in Negril. I think we probably spent around $60/person including cocktails, appetizers, mains, dessert. Alternatively, I hear they do a great brunch...and you can go swimming off the cliffs during the day.

One last point about Jamaica in general, I don't really understand what tourists expect in terms of vendors on the beach. Yes, there are folks selling jewellery, shells, clothing...etc, but if you're not interested just smile, be polite and say no thank you. I really don't think this is such a big deal. This is something that is present in any developing country...if you can't stand this, then perhaps Jamaica isn't for you. Or maybe you should consider a resort that is further away from the town centre...perhaps something along the highway between Montego Bay and Negril?

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#16 Family Hotel in Negril
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#22 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 416
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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