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“Relaxing Holiday” 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 #31 of 88 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Relaxing Holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

Stayed at the Riu Tropical Bay from 12-26th September. Booked through Thomson's who organised a Taxi Transfer as part of the the package, came out of Arrivals found Thomson rep & was taken to Taxi Point & loaded in small van (me, wife & other guset bound for Same hotel). Transfer took just over an hour. Warmly greeted by reception Staff who got us checked in quickly & efficiently with a nice cool drink & arranged porters to take suitcases to room. The Room (Junior Suite) was spacious with twin queen size beds (inc small couch + couple of chairs) between the room & bathroom was wardrobe area which also housed the fridge, Optics & Coffeemaker. The bathroom had twin sinks & a shower over a small bath. There was slight damp smell on entering the room, but after aircon had been on a while it disappeared. Housekeeping does a great job of keeping the room spick & span. The resort is quite compact as it only has about 400 hundred rooms, it is in typical Riu layout in that from reception you come down the main stairs into a courtyard enclosed by the speciality restaurants, theatre & the main buffet . Down at far end are the Twin pools, 1 with Wet bar & beyond this onto the beach. Is this a Palace standard hotel like the Riu Mexico Palace at Playacar? the answer is not quite, is it a step up from the typical Riu Club ? Definitely.
Buffet was spacious, good selection of foods, all staff very friendly.
Krystal Fusion restaurant clean modern & serving probably the most discordant Tapas I have ever tasted (peanut crisp, Tuna with smoked foam, Gazpacho soup made with Betroot. The steak was overcooked & slighty tough. Staff were slow & not big on smiles.
The Japanese restaurant was clean, modern & the food was ok (served standard sushi selection to each table, 6 or so choices of main course.
The Italian didn't quite pull off homely, but good selection, well cooked. Staff were friendly & smiling except one.
The steakhouse was decent, food ok. Most of the staff friendly, but they need to sort out the muddle between kitchen & waiters. (food wasn't very hot, Chilled white wine / Cava was warm.
If you wanted to go to Speciality restaurant you had to go to the desk about 8AM in the morning & you could only book up to 1 day in advance.
The pools were kind of small but we managed to find a couple of beds everyday as we were down about 9am, did go on the beach a couple of times & suffered a lot bites around my lower legs / ankles as result.
Was a bit surprised to find that the Club hotel adjacent was about a mile away, during day you could walk along the beach with right insect repellant, but at night you were advised to take a taxi by the staff.
The enetrtainment & waiting staff worked hard & were friendly , they never passed by without a Hi / fist bump or "respect mon".
Entertainment team work hard from early in the morning till the show finishes at night.
So to sum up.
Good quality 4 star hotel, very clean, decent restaurants, small pools & probably the friendliest staff I have met anywhere in the world. you arrive a customer & within days you feel part of the family.

Room Tip: if you have particular requirements i suggest you e-mail the week before you travel & let them k...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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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
West Seneca, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Had a great time last week at the Riu with my husband, mother, step-father and mother-in-law.

Took about an 1 1/2 hours to get to the hotel, but the driver was quite funny and let us stop for a drink/bathroom break on the way.

Check in & rooms: We were supposed to get a handicapped room for the parents, but none were available, so we were upgraded to an ocean front room, that was close to all of the amenities (building 4). We loved the rooms and they were close enough to everyones' liking. Anytime we had a problem with the room, it was resolved by the staff. The rooms were kept very clean and the refrigerators were always stocked with Red Stripe, soda and water.

Food: Buffet and servers were fantastic. We only ate at the reservation restaurants twice: Krystal Fusion and Japanese. The only thing I don't like is you have to get up at 8am to make reservations for the restaurants and can only make a reservation for the day after - not sure why they have it set up like this.
All the food was great - no complaints there!

Beach: Beautiful beach. There were no huts, but enough trees to sit under (just be careful of the red ants, they bite!). The ocean had many fish, sting rays and jelly fish in it (folks got stung, but it didn't hurt too too bad). Servers came around regularly asking if anyone wanted any drinks.

Workers: The workers couldn't have been nicer to us. Out last 2 nights there, they set up flowers at our table as a special gong away. Be sure to bring alot of ones for tips, as it is a pretty poor country.

Trip: We took a trip to the Black River and hopped on a boat to see the crocs. After that, we went over to YS Falls - took a dip in the falls and then the spring waterpool. It was nice, but a long day: 8-4.

Definitely will recommend this place to others!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013 via mobile

We went to Riu Palace Tropical Bay to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary and had a fantastic time. The rooms were comfortable with a decent bathroom. The view from our room was fantastic. It was an ocean view room not ocean "front" but still very nice. The food at the buffet was so good we ate there quite a bit. Junior was our server (outside seating) and he went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction. He would ask what time we would be back the next night and have the table decorated in fresh flowers. One
night some of the flowers spelled out "ya mon"- cute! The jerk chicken hut on the beach served fantastic chicken for lunch. We took the sunset cruise to Rick's Cafe to see the cliff divers. It was enjoyable except there was supposed to be snorkeling involved but only 3 of us went in the water & they called us back 10 minutes later. The snorkeling was fantastic so we booked a private snorkeling tour the next day for an hour. Our guide Eastman picked us up in a little boat and took us out to a reef where there was an old cannon and anchor supposedly from a shipwreck. Very enjoyable and we were not rushed by any means. Eastman said, "No hurries, slow down. You're on a Jamaican hour!" On the way back he pointed out some of the more popular places on Seven Mile Beach & also told us a lot of island culture. RIU Palace Tropical Bay is located on Bloody Bay (named for whaling that was done there long ago not some pirate slaughter) right around the bend from the famous Seven Mile Beach. Because of this location it was much quieter. The beach vendors that were there were not pushy or too numerous. A short taxi ride would take you to all the activities and sights on 7 Mile Beach if that was your desire. The beach was phenomenally clean and clear. We will definitely return!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

My husband and I travelled between Sept 20th and Sept 27th, 2013. The bus ride from the airport was fine and cold Red Stripes were waiting for us on the bus, which was very welcome. We stopped along the way for a bathroom / drink break - which was 15 minutes before our hotel arrival. Upon arrival, the front desk staff were fabulous. Our first room keys were given. Unfortunately, they placed us in a standard room which was unacceptable, given we booked Junior Suite. Michael at the front desk was so amazing. He quickly fixed that up for us and off we went.

Rooms: Very clean, 2 double beds pushed together, but extremely comfortable. Cleaning services were perfect and turn down service was a nice touch. Air conditioner worked ok. We were in room 5121, close to everything.

Food: Awesome buffet. Something for everyone. If you can't find something suitable, then you have issues. Lunch buffet was the best. I keep telling all my friends that you can definitely gain weight, the food was so good. Dinners at Steak, Krysal and Japanese were wonderful. My favorite by far was the steak dinner and Japanese. Simply amazing. Krystal unfortunately did not have their a/c on, which perhaps contributed to it not being my favorite.

Beach: Best beach we've ever been at, and we are seasoned travellers. Clear water, no waves, hot hot hot. There were friendly sting rays as well who visited, so make sure to take your camera along.

Pool: We went to the pool area only once (because the beach was just too lovely). It was nice. They are a bit small so don't expect anything grandiose. The water was also too hot for my liking, but clean and enjoyable none-the less.

People: Just wonderful. Polite and always helpful. Again a huge shout out to Michael at the front desk. Always helpful (even with connecting our Wi-Fi). Loved all the people from cleaning services, waiters / waitresses etc. Always made you feel comfortable and took every opportunity to ensure you were having a fabulous holiday.

Excursions: We booked deep sea fishing through Stanley's. Very nice individuals and a great morning all around. Ricks Café / Shopping at Time Square & local markets - That was an ok adventure. The shopping was not the greatest, but it was nice to see locals and get to know them better.

Resort overall: It was overall an excellent first trip to Jamaica and I loved everything about this place. Yes, it could use some minor enhancements, such as more lush gardens/flowers around the resort and perhaps some new paint on the outside buildings. But these are definitely not things that would stop me from recommending this resort to any of my family / friends.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

What a wonderful time. Staff went out of there way to take care of us. Food was super . Entertainment was great always busy . Beach is the best. So clean every where. Not so big that you can't find things or have to walk a mile. Our kind of vacation. We will go back!!!!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

I am writing this review a bit late, me and my boyfriend stayed here in May 2011! (I have only just joined).

We had planned to stay at the Riu down the road but decided to stay here instead and we were not disappointed! We had a room overlooking the pool area, which is what my boyfriend had requested as he likes to see what's going on (I would have preferred a sea view but oh well).The room was big and spacious, the bathroom was the right size and clean, although I didn't much like the bathroom/slash shower as I thought it was a bit outdated.

The staff were friendly...especially Marlene and Perry.

The beach is not the greatest, with ants, cigarette butts etc but then I know Jamaica is not renowned for the best beaches in the world! It's nice to have some of the locals come up and sing for you when you're lounging on the beach, but not so nice when they want money for it!

The evening entertainment was fantastic, something different on every night. Especially enjoyed the steel band night. The piano guy in the lobby was AMAZING! Played for hours and it was so nice just to sit there and have a drink at the beginning of your evening and listen to him.

The pool was lovely and not too busy. Had no troubles finding a sunlounger!

The activities during the day were also fantastic and they gave away upgrades etc which was fantastic!

The restaurants were lovely and we ate in all of them except the Japanese one. Didn't like having to queue up to make a reservation though as I am just a bit fussy like that! The best part of the day was waiting for the Beach Hut to open where they served jerk chicken and rice. That was delicious!

It was a lovey holiday, one I shall never forget (hence me writing this two years later) and my boyfriend and I would definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

The Riu Palace Tropical Bay made my first trip to Jamaica one of my BEST vacations ever! The staff was amazing and very catering. The food was a nice blend of 'authentic' Jamaican cuisine, mixed with European accents... the jerk chicken hut was especially outstanding. And although the room was typical, 4 star, Caribbean decor, it was clean, comfortable and with all the amenities. If I had any complaints it would be that the buildings could use some outside renovations (Ohh.. and the bugs. Yikes! ) But it's to be expected at a beach front property in the tropics. The grounds, beach and view more than make up for it. Have a rum punch for me, they're excellent. Enjoy!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#23 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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