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“Wonderful vacation” 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 #28 of 90 Hotels in Negril
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Our 6 day vacation at Riu Palace Tropical Bay was wonderful from beginning to end. At check in we were greeted with drinks, checked in with ease, and they were able to move our friends so they were next to us, instead of another a building.
The food was great, plenty of variety at both the lunch buffet and supper buffet. We ate at 3 different restaurants, the Japanese, Italian and Steak House. All had great food and it was nice to try different things. We also ordered room service twice and within 20 minutes they were at your door with the food both times.
The beach was the best on the bay, you can walk out 20 feet and see fish swimming all around you. They keep it very clean and the sand is raked daily. We walked both directions down the beach and didn't see a better area. Of course, you had the people walking up and down the beach selling stuff, but none of them were a nuisance to us, most were very friendly. If you ignored them they didn't bother you, or a simple "no thanks" kept them on their way.
Overall, the place was beautiful and kept very clean. The staff were very willing to assist and were much easier to understand then our trips to Mexico. We can't think of a single complaint and if we were coming back to Jamaica, we would not hesitate to return to Riu Tropical Bay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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3,480 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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Surprise, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed at The Tropical Bay from 3/7 - 3-13. We were married at the resort in 03 when it was new! While it shows some sign of age it was still wonderful. Not one complaint. Weather was perfect, Service was great. Shout out to Ev at the front desk, Andrew at the pool bar, also all the great people that we met. A few mentions in particular(you'll know who you are): Atom Bomb, Coors Light Perfume and the Rabbit. We can't wait to visit again. Thank you everyone..

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Our grandson got married here on March 9. Everything about this all inclusive resort was wonderful! The thing that stands out to me, besides the beauty of the place, was the way the workers treat the guests. They are so friendly, helpful, and happy. We would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We had an ocean front ground floor with a king bed. The bed was huge-two big mattresses made up as o...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Vernon, Indiana
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

My family of four enjoyed our stay. Food was very diverse with opportunity to participate in
'upscale' dining if you chose (Men, take pants) My two daughters 20/18 both enjoyed the stay as
well. There was a show every night and the beach was maintained very clean. We felt secure.

We would have liked to be able to bill to our room for on-site excursion agencies instead of
having to keep cash or a credit card on us.

Take bug repellent for the beach - once the sun goes down the mesquitos come out - small can at gift show $11

Room Tip: We booked this trip thru travelocity - might want to consider going direct to make sure you get the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

Some background - we've stayed in Cabo, the Mayan Riviera, and the Dominican Republic in all-inclusives, so we are pretty familar with all-inclusives. Our all-inclusive in Cabo was also a Riu property. We aren't foodies and don't drink, so we usually eat in the buffet and don't care about the alcohol situation. What we do like is a clean room, good service, and a good beach.

We arrived in mid afternoon after a moderately harrowing ride in a very small van from Montego Bay airport. As I had read online here, the front of the RPTB is not as grand a many other resorts. Since this was our first trip to Jamaica, we found out by walking Bloody Bay and Seven Mile beach that you aren't going to find too many of the Mexican or Dominican-style "mega marble" all-inclusives. The general architecture and vibe is less formal and a bit more rustic.

The RPTB lobby is nice and we were greeted with a rapid checkin, offer of a cold drink, and a bellhop to our room. The room was clean and nice, although a bit less fancy that we have had in other locations. As others have said, the accommodations were two double beds pushed together with a large headboard to create the illusion of one bed, even though it was actually two.

We were surprised that the room layout was similar to the one at the Riu in Cabo, where each pair of rooms share an entry alcove. Unfortunately since the floors are tile, when the adjacent room door (spring loaded) shuts, it is a very loud "slam" that jars you if you are unlucky to have your neighbors going in/out earlier than you do. We were asleep at 7am and many mornings the slams started, waking us up. We aren't a big fan of this design at all.

The hotel is well maintained and the grounds are nice, but not nearly as lush or nice as some Iberostars and the Majestics in Punta Cana. Much of this review will compare to Punta Cana, which is one of our favorite AI beach locations.

We received almost universally great service during our entire stay. The staff were friendly and accommodating. Chad in the dinner buffet was great and was good at walking around with a wine bottle balanced on his head! The buffet was generally quite good; plenty of choices and good offerings for my wife who is vegetarian. We found this buffet to be better by quite a bit than the buffet at the Riu Santa Fe in Cabo San Lucas, MX.

The weather was unfortunately rainy when we arrived, and quite windy for a couple of days after that, so the supposedly normally calm beach was quite rough for at least half of our week. After that it calmed quite a bit but the locals told us it was still rougher than normal. We wished we could have seen it in its "typical" calm mode. We found the beach to be really nice in certain ways, and not in others. In general, the beach in Punta Cana is much longer, the sand is whiter and of more uniform grain. The sand near the RPTB is more of a mix of medium and fine sand/dirt, which means that more actual dirt clings to your feet and it just feels dirtier rather than the Punta Cana sand which just sheets off of you. There is also more debris in the sand near the hotel, with not only the sea grass, but lots of leaves, etc. This is partly due to the significant number of trees on/near the beach, something that doesn't happen so much in Punta Cana. So there are really no palapas, as the trees serve that purpose. Unlike many AI's, there isn't a problem getting loungers at almost any time of the day, which is a big plus.

We found the ocean's water color also more turquoise in Punta Cana than at Bloody Bay, but the water in Bloody Bay is shallow much further out, so even if there are some waves they are actually pretty small and you can walk past them to a smoother area. We did walk both directions of Bloody Bay beach to the ends of the bay. On the left is the Couples resort which I know is highly rated, but doesn't look like much from the beach. On the right is a stretch of beach where there are many vendors and it was interesting to take a look at their wares. They were generally nice and polite and you just had to say no thanks politely if you didn't want to buy anything.

Beyond the vendors is the other Riu. We took a look at their grounds and it is a noticeably larger hotel than the RPTB. The crowd is also a bit younger. Although I've read that the beach is nicer at the RPTB, because of the waves we had, it was much calmer at the ClubHotel Riu. At the far end of that Riu is an area where the water was dead calm and you could just walk into the water up to thigh length and the fish would congregate around you. I suspect that they are used to being fed. I had an underwater video camera and got much video of the fish, even where they would swim right up to the camera to inspect the lens!

The RPTB pools, as others have said, are fairly small. There is a drinking scene at one of them. Every day at 3pm the entertainment team has some sort of pool event/game and we watched a few of them; they were mildly entertaining. Lots of heavy Americans in the bar pool and usually little motion. It reminded me of Wall-E a bit with all of the heavies not moving.

We did take a tour into Negril for some shopping and beach walking on 7 mile beach. Due to the rough seas the days earlier, the beach grass was a mess and some of the people staying at smaller botique hotels had their beach ruined for a couple of days as the hotels tried to clean up huge mounds of sea grass.

All in all we had a good time and my wife actually thinks she might prefer to come back here than Punta Cana. The Riu Place is a moderately-sized AI that doesn't look so grand compared with mega-resorts, but service and food are good and the rooms are good (with exception of morning noise). Every island/country has its strong and weak points and we enjoyed the Jamaican people who were almost universally very nice and warm.

Compared to other AI locations we've stayed, we would rate them like this:

Negril:
- more expensive
- fewer mega-resorts
- not as nice sand
- calmer water (normally)
- fairly good cultural activities

Punta Cana
- best value
- large, nice mega-resorts
- beautiful sand and turquoise water
- closer to the airport
- more international crowd, better people watching
- water is fairly rough compared to Jamaica
- not that many cultural things to do; best if you like to stay on resort or walk miles of beach

Mayan Riviera
- costs between Dominican and Jamaica
- AI mega-resorts
- Turquoise water, great beaches and sand (depending upon resort and weather)
- Outstanding cultural activities and excursions - the best

Room Tip: We stayed in Building 4 on the 3rd floor and had a partial ocean view (view of pool). Buy a partial...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wheatland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

First time in Jamaica and found it to be truly one of the nicest beaches we have been at. Perfect for walks on the beach calm water, blue sky and white sand. Once we got over our first night not getting our ocean front room (over booked) we settled in. Our ocean front room the next night was beautiful... quiet and the view was fantastic. We found the staff, service, entertainment and food excellent at this resort. We did not find the locals pushy. Although we were approached often when we simply said no thank you they would reply. No problem man.

We did not take the tour 5 hours on the bus to see the falls on the other side. Did not want to waste time and took in every moment on the beach. We took the sailboats out which were included it was great as Bloody Bay perfect to sail around.

I would recommend this hotel.
.

Room Tip: Make sure you get ocean from at either section 6 or 1 they are the most quiet.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BLACKBURN ENGLAND
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Our daughter got marred there on 4th March and the the name of the hotel summed it all up..A Tropical Palace. The write up and pics of the hotel in the brochure didn't do justice to what we found on our arrival, The hotel and grounds are superb and the staff were so polite and friendly. They couldn't do enough for us to ensure the holiday and wedding went without a hitch. Clear blue skies, blue seas, fine white sand, PLENTY of sun and amazing sunsets made it a memorable 2 weeks stay.
The buffet areas offer a wide and varying range of excellent food ( inc local dishes ) 3 times a day every day whilst it is advisable to book eary for the specialised restaurants on site. There is plenty of daytime entertainment poolside if you dont want to sit on the beach all day and the entertainment staff encourage participation without being pushy. Night time entertainment was varied..from dancers, local reggae groups and guest participation.. to a beach party...superb. The room service was excellent with rooms cleaned spotless every day and the mini bars and fridge replenished. Nearby are water sports facilities..jet ski, parasailing, kayaking etc at the Scubacaribe beach office. Be aware though that motorised watersports are extra and at the same place you can book some of the available daytrips...take our advice and go on some.
A walk up the beach to the other Riu Club hotel takes just 10 mins and you pass the local beach market stalls so be prepared to haggle for the right price...start low.
Overall we couldn't fault the place or location. An ideal place to stay whether you are getting married or just to spend a holiday away from things. We would definately return and recommend this hotel

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 10
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:
#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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