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“Great beach disappointed in entertaiment” 3 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 #28 of 90 Hotels in Negril
Buffalo, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great beach disappointed in entertaiment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Tropical Palace for our Honeymoon August 20-28th. Upon arrival we were greeted with a drink and a smile. Check in was smooth and Sheena at the front desk gave us a free upgrade to a honeymoon suite.

Room- Room wa great! We had an oceanview honeymoon suite that spacious. Loved the balcony overlooking the ocean. Room was cleaned daily. At first it had a musty smell that bothered me but we got used to it.

Beach- Beautiful beach. Comparable to Grand Turk and Honduras. One of the best beaches I've seen. No problem getting chairs or towels. The locals selling stuff got a little annoying but other then that the beach was great.

Buffett- Great variety and choices. Always found something to eat. Great Service
Japenese Restaurant- Our favorite place to eat. We were able get reservations twice. Highly recommend it.
Steakhouse- Horrible. I've had better steak at outback and PondTheresa. Truly not a steakhouse as steak was overcooked and tough to chew.
Italian Restaurant- Great atmosphere and selection, Good food
Krystal- We didnt like one course from Krystal. We skipped desert walked out early and went to the buffett. My husband and I are not picky or fancy eaters just didnt like anything we were served.
Jerk Chicken Stand- Best Jerk Chicken Ever! Disappointed it was only opened 4 days during our stay.

Drinks/Bar Staff- Drinks were great! Pleniful and bartenders always made sure we had a drink. Pool Bar was fun.

The reason for the average score was the entertainment. Entertainment was Awful. Not alot to do and the shows were very repitive and not really entertaining. There wasn't alot going on during the day and alot the programs that were scheduled were canceled. My husband and I were very disappointed in the lack and quality of entertainment.

If I can offer one suggestion please tip the hard working staff. They really are great and a dollar goes along way for them. Service was excellent throughout our stay. We tipped daily due to good service.

Overall it was a great honeymoon but I wouldn't stay at the tropical palace again due to lack of entertainment. Our next trip will be cruise in which we know there will be varied entertainment options.

Room Tip: Entertainment - 0
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3,482 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (711)
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English first
Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012 via mobile

Pay attention to the themes conveyed by all the reviewers on this site. I would say I am like most middle age travelers, age 45+, seeking beautiful beach, luxurious accommodations, good food, clean beach, bright blue water. This what you get at this RIU resort:

1). Definitely a beautiful, clean, beach with spectacular blue water.
2). A top notch buffet for both dinner and breakfast (they really go all out on the buffet). Kudos to the management for the buffet. Great job.
3). Very friendly and courteous Jamaican staff
4). Management that really does care about making guests happy (they willingly moved us twice to get the room right).
5). As has been stated many times, the Jerk hut makes some tender flavorful chicken. Ate it every day.

Okay, the downside:

1). The theme restaurants were hit and miss in terms of "gourmet". The Asian inspired restaurant was cafeteria grade. The sushi was primarily cooked shrimp and smoked salmon. For those of you who think you might get fresh, authentic, sashimi grade fish from blue Caribbean waters, it "ain't" happening. The steakhouse was probably the best of the four restaurants because face it, if you have a good cut of meat, and generally good cooking skills, you can produce a good dish.

2). The mosquitoes ate me up at night. They do their best to spray the mosquitoes but I sustained numerous bites during my stay and by numerous I mean 20+.

3). The "salespeople" on the beach are numerous and they visit frequently. I understand that the Jamaican people need to make a buck, but it does get tiresome.

4). People smoking in the pool is nasty. I get that smoking policies are much more liberal in public facilities in Jamaica, but ashes in the pool is not my idea of a good time.

So, as you can read from the reviews, this resort pleases many and falls short for others. If you want a truly upscale resort, pay a little extra, don't try to snag a good deal. In the end, you usually get what you pay for.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

My wife and I needed a nice quiet trip the first week of September and we decided on Jamaica. After hearing (and reading) so many great reviews we booked a room in Tropical Bay Riu. To keep my review in perspective all we did was eat, sleep and lounge on the beach (didn’t even leave the resort) which was exactly what we were looking for. I decided to break down this review into the good bad and ugly.
The good
The beach was amazing. I have never set foot in such amazing water in my life, it was crystal clear and warm during the day and at night. The beach was kept extremely clean, the sand was gorguese and the view was breathtaking. We stayed in building 4 and it was a nice central location close to the food, beach and pool. The staff was very friendly and helpful. I have mixed reviews about the food; I read many bad reviews about the food in the buffet, but as you are in one of the cheapest 5 star resorts in the vicinity, I do not think you should expect to be fed from a 5 Michelin star chef. The truth is that the food in the buffet, the beach hut and the lunch buffet was pretty good depending on what you got. We had no problem finding something we liked every time we ate (I loved the beef patties, curry goat, jerk chicken and fruits). The pool was nice, very clean and had a swim up bar in it. The bartenders were all very friendly and were eager to please. Lastly, although it was extremely expensive relative to the per capita GDP of the country, the skidoo was my favorite amenity there.
The bad
Even with the security on the beach, be prepared to be harassed every 5 minutes from someone trying to sell you something, sell you an amenity or sing you a song for money. EVERYONE will offer you drugs including hotel staff. One vendor at the beach selling lobster sounded like a pharmacy with all the drugs he offered me (barbiturates cocaine weed etc). If you so much as talk to a person, be prepared to have them ask you for a tip (we did the parasailing which involved having one person talk to us on the beach, passed us off to a small boat and then to a big boat. Each of them told me to tip them more and not tip the others
The a la carte restaurants sucked. All of them so don't bother. We made reservations for seconds when we first booked them and ended up eating at the buffet instead. Some of the food in the buffet was horrible. Especially Mexican night! I understand you want to have a variety of foods so your guests do not get bored, but many of us go to Jamaica to eat that authentic Jamaican food. The buffet should ALWAYS offer the foods Jamaica is known for (they only had curry goat one night we were there, oxtail twice and mangoes only for 1 dinner) Also, midweek the selection was very limited and some of the fruits were WAY overripe. The shows were mediocre, and when they ended at midnight, there is nothing to do at the hotel other than hang out in the lounge. This was not a big thing for myself because we went for r&r but it would be boring for many people who like to dance while they are drunk. Lastly, the drinks were all watered down, which is ok because we tend to drink more in these all inclusive situations so it saves many people stomachs being pumped. If you want full strength alcohol, you should stick to the lobby bar where it is not watered down.
The ugly
While we were there, Javed the guy who refills the bar saw my code to the safe. After reviewing who came into my room (after I insisted the police be called) they had a look who entered my room and it was evident he was there when he should not have been. He took $500 out of appx. $1000 but since I had not touched my money since going to Jamaica I noticed right away (I kept my tip money on me). The initial security guard did not do anything when I reported it but the second time I complained to Marion one of the managers there and then action was finally taken. It was very awkward as they had me, the police and the guy who stole my money in the same room. What really got to me is that there was no follow up from anyone when I got back including the hotel and Riu head office. I could have rationalized all the events but to have a hotel’s customer service not even call you back after you sent 2 emails and 3 phone calls in my opinion is ridiculous. For this reason and this reason only, I will never stay at another Riu again. I believe in this competitive marketplace today it is their loss because I am usually brand loyal and would have stayed at their other hotels as well in my world travels. In this industry, customer service is everything.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

Stayed at the Riu Palace Negril in June. What a lovely place.on the whole it was a fantastic holiday. We loved the hotel but a few wee niggles let it down. Prior to going to this hotel I read some reviews about running out of towels & difficulty booking the speciality restaurants. I emailed the hotel and was assured there was nothing to worry about. We didn't have any problem booking the restaurants where I must say the food and service was amazing. The main buffet restaurant was ok. I felt that they failed to replenish food when it ran out and gave you less of a selection. A few times we struggled to find something we liked to eat.
Drinks are all premium brands & huge measures. The staff found it funny when we asked for smaller measures.
Entertainment is ok but there was a great atmosphere with all the holidaymakers.
Rooms are lovely. We had no complaints with either the beds or any smell in the room.
Nice pool. Usually able to get a lounger. Few days before we came home & as the hotel was getting busier, guests must have been tipping the staff at the pool hut to reserve loungers for them (I watched them from my balcony set all the towels out). There were problems getting pool towels. 8am in the morning & they had no towels to give out.......shocking.... This is a palace hotel after all. Glad I read the reviews and took my own with me.
That said, the majority of the staff are amazing and I would recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Block 2 is a great location.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

This hotel ticks all the boxes, location, service, food and facltes. The entertainment although good and well performed did get a little repetitive towards the end of the holiday with some of it more geared up for the America guests. Can't fault the staff, all very friendly and helpfull. The drinks choice was very varied and if asked they were happy to use branded spirits, even the free bar in the room. Totaly enjoyed the experience, the only thing I personaly misted, was being able to walk and see the local area in the evenings, which we were advised against doing, plus it was several miles into Negril. Taxi's can be expensive, so either barter them down, or book them prior from the reception (1 way and/or return) if you wish to go anywhere, such as Rick's Cafe, (20 mins drive away). Free collection if you contact Rick's cafe yourself.
Transfer time from Montigo Bay (by taxi) about 1 hour dependant on traffic. Rick's Cafe, about 20 mins by taxi, Dolphin Cove about 35mins by Taxi and Dunnes Fall about 2hrs 45mins by small coach (which included several rest stops).
Daytime gave you chance to use on site pedal boats, kayaks and sail boats free of charge with fees charged for the jet skies and diving fasilities. Off site (down the beach) locals also provided things such as glass bottomed boat tips, snorkelling at reefs etc. but you need to agree a price with them prior, better if there is a group of you to get the price down. Eight of us went snorkelling for two hours on the reef for only $15 each, we could have stayed longer if we hadn,t needed to get back. Note there are plenty of locals touting for buisiness along the beach, cigars, bags, shell and hair braiding, aswell as illegal contraband, but they are not permitted to leave the shoreline and once they know you are not interested are quite happy to leave you alone. We got quite a good banter going with several of them from day to day with no hazzle and they are generally very pleasant, even funny.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same, just the view being different, we were lucky and were upgraded to a sea view...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012


This was my second trip to this hotel. Went 2 years ago for my honeymoon and everything was just as amazing as I remember it!

The staff is so wonderful, the food was beyond amazing (esp the jerk chicken hut on the beach), the buffets were excellent as well.

Rooms were clean and beds were comfy. It did get a little humid in the room at times but nothing to complain about!

It did rain everyday (as was to be expected being the rainy season) but it sis not get in the way of our beach time. We got a good 5 hours at the beach everyday!

The beach is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It was so warm (like a bathtub) and so calm. I would suggest bringing a water bed so that you can lounge in the ocean and snorkel gear as the hotel charges $31 USD for it.

All in all AMAZING!!! Zero complaints and cannot wait to go back!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 3216. Privacy on the balcony, sooo close to the beach!
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  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

I have never been compelled to write a review until now but this was the vacation from hell. Staff stole money and electronic items from my room on two separate occasions and this was dealt with as a commen occurrence by security, they simply had no interest. My money and blackberry should not be considered a tip. No air conditiioning for 5 days rubbed salt into the very hot wounds but what hurt the most was the lack of interest in any issue or problem. I paid over $10000 for this so called holiday and it wasn't worth $1000. The pool is awful, as is the entertainment. If you do not tip you don't get served. The food is varied but mediocre and in my humble opinion this is a hell hole and I can only warn you away, if you ignore good luck and I truly wish you a better experience than I.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#13 Family Hotel in Negril
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#21 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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