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“Do not be put off by bad reviews, this place is paradise!” 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 #30 of 90 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Do not be put off by bad reviews, this place is paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Our holiday was amazing. There's always some low points but you're on holiday, relax!! On arrival at the airport there are locals waiting to try and help you with your bags into your bus/taxi! They do expect tips and can be quite in your face about it, but as simple as a Jamaican dollar is all they want. Our journey to the hotel was fab, the bus not so much but the driver told us all about the scenery and the history of the island. Upon arrival at the Riu Palace we were greeted with drinks and a smile- what more can you ask for? And we were upgraded. However there had just been a storm and everything looked grey, my boyfriend and I were pretty worried we had chosen the wrong place. However after we woke up the next morning and the skies had cleared - OH MY GOD. The view. I can honestly tell you, you won't find a beach/view like that anywhere else! It was fab!!!

And it just got better, the staff every morning for breakfast were so kind and helpful. Remembering you each day - by our second week our usual drinks were already on way to a table by the time we had got to the door! The food was brilliant. Couldn't fault it and out of all the people we met, there was no illness/tummy upsets etc! The evening meals were great too! Expect to have to wear formal clothes to the a la carte restaurants - we did see one guy being told to change! But the a la carte restaurants were amazing! Don't think I could fault any except for that the Italian didn't really have much choice, but the choice it had was yummy!! Lunch was also great, jerk chicken stand was amazing!! However take a trip outwith your hotel and get the taxi to stop at a road side jerk stand - our taxi man was apprehensive about us wanting to do this but you will not taste real jerk chicken until you do!! It was amazing and the locals were so welcoming!!

The staff - I cannot fault. Service with a smile! Everything about the hotel is "no problem" and anything really wasn't a problem to them. The towel man at the pool was ace, he invited us out to a local football game - so friendly!! The pool bar staff were also great!! Completely up for a laugh and good fun! And the same for the night time entertainment!! Some nights it got repetitive but when it did we headed over to the other Riu hotel just down the road and went to the "night club" the for a change of scenery! Which was fun!!

The excursions are great but be aware there are excursions to be bought not just from your rep! We went to ricks cafe and snorkelling on an excursion by the people who worked at the hotel but not for the hotel or Thomson and it was a great day!! All I would say about that trip though is eat before or take food! The food at ricks is pricey and spicey!!!! But a MUST do!

We also went to bob Marleys grave which was very interesting! Lots of facts to be known and things to see! Plus everyone sings bob over there so you feel you must! We found it funny that there was a peephole in the wall of the sit of his grave, locals would try to sell you weed through it!! Another great thing to do is dunns river falls! Only downside was coming out and all the locals want to grab you to try and look at there stalls to buy something! We were warned to not pick up anything and you are told you just keep walking!!

Lastly, our rooms were spotless!!! Not one insect in sight, the cleaners were fab and our mini fridge and bar was filled up on a daily basis!! the 24hour room service was so quick and efficient and the hotel manager, who was from England constantly made sure you were having a great time. Oh and there was NEVER a problem with sun loungers. The beach is cleaned every morning and the place is seriously paradise!!

This is honestly the best holiday I have had, I am so very eager to return and I would definitely not stay anywhere else! But reading reviews is hard to comprehend how great an experience you will have, we read reviews and thought "oh sh**" but if you go with an open mind you will be extremely extremely happy with your choice!

I would recommends his hotel to anyone who's going (and have done). ENJOY your time and tell Jordian the pool bar waitress we say hi from Scotland x

Room Tip: Rooms higher up facing the sea have the most amazing 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (808)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
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  • Russian first
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English first
Red Deer, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Hi, We have just returned from the Riu Palace on Bloody Bay. Jan 4-11 2013. A true 5 star and not to be confused with the dilapidated Riu Club down the beach.

We booked through Sunwing for the first time for this vacation package and were pleasantly surprised with the cute perks on flight from Edmonton-Regina to Jamaica. Sunwing only offers OceanView rooms and we were thankful for the perfect view overlooking Bloody Bay.

We decided to book a private taxi to arrive at the resort before the bus, but unfortunately our driver was very slow and the Sunwing transfer arrived before us, but the cold drinks we prebooked to be included in our taxi ride may have been worth the extra arrival time.

If your looking for non-hotel excursions message me for Singh's number, he is a taxi driver with Riu Club that we ran into, and EXCELLENT, safe, with a clean modern taxivan.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Our check in was fast and pleasant. Great service from all the employees.

The room was clean, comfortable and hubby loved the stocked bar. You can request to change the bottles to accommodate your preferences.

Provided toiletries were basic hotel variety.

Beds were the usual caribbean/european hard with thin pillows. (note beds are 2 double beds pushed together, we didn't mind the separation and slept fine)

Housekeeping, bar and turndown service was excellent with requests accommodated immediately.

Food was excellent all inclusive variety. Jerk chicken on the beach yummy, can't go wrong with any of the restaurants. Order the french kiss at any bar but the upstairs piano bar made the best and has the best coffee, cappuccinos & lemon drop martinis.

** This is THE best beach on Bloody Bay. Period. Lots of chairs to be found on beach and at the pool. Towel service excellent, entertainment crew just the right mix of daytime fun. Grounds are meticulous, zero bugs etc.

Peddlers on the beach are just there....pleasant and ignored easily. They rarely veer off the beaten track to approach you and security wanders often. Note that weed is offered - often, and is just part of the culture.

Night time entertainment is wonderful. Do go catch the shows, the effort they put in is amazing for the guests.

Souvenirs can be found if you walk down to the beach vendors and a better haggle rate than shopping at touristy shops in Negril. Note the airport also has everything you would want as well and an excellent variety of shops.

LOWLIGHTS:

There really isn't many. We did walk down to the Riu Club resort and have to say we are not sure who does the ratings as it is considered a 5 star as well...it is RUN DOWN, dirty, etc etc etc. As seasoned travellers we would consider the club a 3.5 star at best, be warned and spend the extra if you are coming that far - Book and stay at the Palace.

One day they sprayed insecticide/pesticide and should have warned the guests the day before and posted signs the day of. If you were not on the beach and at the pool or wandering the resort, it was surprising and overwhelming for a short amount of time. A little unsettling.

They could improve the desserts at the a La Carte restaurants, most had no taste. (ie tiramisu at the italian)

Some morning buffet servers were quite slow with coffee/drink requests.

Skip the bbq lobster on the beach. We did go to try one after reading reviews and regret the money spent, though we haggled for a good deal. It wasn't as tasty as we were expecting, rather order the lobster at the steakhouse, that was excellent and the buffet offers it occasionally as well.

Overall a wonderful experience at the Riu Palace. We will be back to this perfect sized resort, no question. This resort/location is in our top 3 Caribbean destinations.

Room Tip: We were in 3214, perfect view and we laughed that the closest bathroom off the beach and pool was ou...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Jamaica - no problem. The employees of the Riu Palace Tropical Bay are incredible and do everything they can to make sure you have a stress-free and worry-free time while you are at their hotel. They work incredibly hard, have great attitudes and really go out of their way to provide great service. We had a group of 18 people at the hotel, ranging in age from 14 to 84 and we all had a great time. The rooms were spacious and delightful, the beach is the best I have ever seen and the pool area is great fun, providing plenty of activities throughout the day.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite which was very spacious.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

The beach is what we went for to Jamaica and specifically Negril. The hotel was comfy not too big and not too small. Rooms were like any Riu and food was not bad. Did not get to check out A la Carte. Pool was okay, I usually love the pool area but I was not feeling it much so I didn't go there. The beach was beautiful and crystal clear water. Not many fish so it was nice. Waves were only 2/7 days. Entertainment was good in the evenings. loved negril's shopping places. times square shopping is good and downtown. the farther u go is cheaper. the flea market is a big rip off, do not go there even if the driver from the travel companies send you there. many souvineirs for a good price plus good rumcream. also good shopping like authentic/fake louisvuitton and coach. locals are nice and felt safe while out of the resort. Enjoy!! Jamaica mon

Room Tip: section 5 was near the beach and had partial ocean view. loved the location
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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.
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I traveled to Negril for the first time in late December, 2012, for 2 weeks. I purposefully chose to stay at an all inclusive the first 3 nights to "get my feet wet" before heading to a boutique hotel and a West End b&b. I had a wonderful time at the Riu Palace. I specifically asked for a high level oceanfront room in building 4. The view was fabulous. The buffet was very good- food was hot and plentiful. On Jamaican night I tried quite a few of the Jamaican dishes and loved them. The rooms are definitely too dark for my liking-- a few more lights would be helpful. The pool was small, but was sufficient. The best things about this Riu are the staff and the beach. The staff were fabulous-- they were very friendly and always remember your name. The beach was gorgeous, the soft white sand and turquoise water was magnificent. I enjoyed the entertainment and the two bars by the stage were hopping. I didn't have any problems getting beach towels every day and I didn't get bit by any sand fleas. The staff are constantly cleaning the premises and tending the gardens. Beds are hard, but I think that's common in all the Riu's. Personally, I wouldn't stay at any all inclusive for more than a few days simply because I enjoy immersing myself in the culture and having several options for dining. However, if you are an "AI person" I would highly recommend the Riu. I stayed at the Riu Cancun years ago, and although nice, the staff and food didn't compare. By the way, I traveled solo and enjoyed meeting dozens of people from around the world.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

This riu place is located on bloody bay. Approx, 1 hour cab drive from airport which is $ 100 each way per carload plus tip We were there on new years eve night and they couldnt have done a nicer job (was at sandals in montego bay 2 years ago and it was lousy) They staggered everyone at a time you chose to eat in the main dining room We chose 8:30 pm They had lobster, very large mussesls (kiwi mussels?) large cocktail shrimp, sushi, pastas, different beefs including carving stations, large salad bar, etc... All the food was prepared very well After dinner went outside to the bar area had cocktails and enjoyed a show and music. A little before 12am headed down to the beach and watched bags filled with helium and balloons set a flame going up in the sky from another resort on the bay. At 12am they turned on music and lights on the beach and had a beach party there with a bon fire. They also opened a bar on the beach so you could get cocktails. Yvonne was our chamber maid and she was fantastic. We left her a little something every now and then and were very pleasantly surprised to find hand written thank you notes! I posted mostly about nye because when I research every year no one mentioned that special nite and what the resort offers. Again they do a great job

Room Tip: There really seems to be no bad rooms because the resort is not as large as some other rius we have...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
merseyside
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

First time to jamaica,maybe the last ,was not really impressed totally with the day time entertainment.
It was like an 18-30 holiday ,the pool was so small you cannot swim or dive properly ,as the depth was shallow, and was always being used for games and water aerobics.
The continual get up and join in ethic is not everyones idea of a peaceful holiday,some people like a snooze others a read ,was dissapointed really.
Thats all the moaning anyway ,the food was very good ,staff friendly and always smiling ,plenty of drink ,and mostly branded names,the small bar in the room is always stocked up when used.
The wine and champagne was readily available at lunch and dinner.
You can eat at the buffet restaurant if you prefer ,but give the speciality restaurants a try,you just need to book a few days in advance.
The shows put on at evening time were generally above good and everyone works hard to entertain .
The hotel is alot better than its sister hotel down the beach,
Riu has new owners and i think there are changes in process,the hotel looks tired in places ,and according to friends it has dropped in standards.
Lots of friendly Americans and Canadians,make it a fun place ,but no return visit for me the world is a big place.

Room Tip: Try to book your room overlooking the bay ,some really nice sunsets to appreciate.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#15 Family Hotel in Negril
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#18 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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