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“Wonderful food! Beautiful beach. Wish I'd stayed longer.” 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 #28 of 90 Hotels in Negril
Charlotte, NC
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Wonderful food! Beautiful beach. Wish I'd stayed longer.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

We were greeted with a drink. Check in didn't take too long. Decor in rooms was just ok. Kind of dark. I stayed in the 7000 building which was farther from the beach. I stayed at the resort for a friend's wedding. Only staying three nights was not enough. Didn't get to try any of the restaurants. Typically buffets are just ok. I found this one to be excellent. Many, many choices and everything I ate was delicious, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Room service choices were very little, but what they do have is quite tasty. And OH YES, the jerk chicken stand on the beach is a must! Yum! The evening entertainment was fun although I didn't watch much. Alcohol in the rooms was great. Bartenders were great. The beach is beautiful. Weather in November was amazing and hot. Upgrade to a seaview room if it's important to you. Didn't matter for me. Don't forget bug spray! Also the ride from the airport was a lot longer than I expected. We had prearranged shuttles and it took about two hours including stops to pick up or drop off others. The air con didn't work well in several friend's rooms. I'd stay here again but first I'd check reviews at other nearby resorts. It was great but not the best ever. The food and the beach were the highlights.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
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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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AL
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

This was afabulous family vacation. Hotel is beautiful but showing signs of wear. Riu constant had maintenance going on, but not so that it intruded on our vacay. Grounds keepers worked non stop. Shirley was our house keeper and she was fabulous. She gave us all hugs our last day. Andre was our breakfast server and after day one he knew what we liked. Location is more than amazing. My only complaint is there was a beach entertainment employee who tried to steal my diamond ring. At the end of activities everyone puts their hand in the circle. I felt my ring being tugged. I realized who it was and looked him in the eye and asked if he was trying to take my ring. He ignored me. I had had one drink and didnt want to accuse anyone of tryinf to steal so I put my other hand in and he tried to slip my sterling silver band off. Great hotel, just be aware of surroundings.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Oak, MI
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Beach: Negril beaches are amazing. The Riu Palace is on Bloody Bay, which is smaller than 7 Mile Beach but a good walk from end to end. The hotel is centrally located in Bloody Bay and had the best beach out of all the resorts (Couples Negril was nice too). There were always enough chairs and "early morning chair reserving" was pretty minimal. I personally need shade 90% of the time, which is possible if you simply move with the shadows. Half of the guests prefer to bake in the sun most of the time - so it's a good mix.

Rooms: We stayed in Building 1 near the Water Sports complex with an Ocean View Jr. Suite. The room was beautiful and well maintained. We were on the ground floor and could only hear chairs, etc. being moved around upstairs from time to time. It was really hard to hear anything from the rooms on either side. Overall, very quiet here! Maid service was exceptional.

Common Areas: All common areas were centrally located, which was really nice. You are never far away from anything, even though we were at the far end of the property. We previously stayed at Couples Swept Away (prior to our baby), which was incredible but my one complaint was the layout being quite spread out as far as the common areas.

Food: Buffet was great - SO many different things to choose from and great service! Krystal was hands-down the best restaurant. Italian was a close second. Japanese was good but not great. We did not eat at the Steak House but other reviews say it is great. We avoided Fusion because of numerous bad reviews here. Lunches were available right on the beach from the BBQ shack - great chicken with hot Jerk or BBQ sauce. Otherwise sit-down lunches were just off the beach and buffet style.

Staff: I would put their staff on par with Couples Swept Away and rate both at 5/5. Respect to Sheena (Front Desk), Nadine (Maid), Uniqua (Server - Krystal) and Julienne (Server - Buffet) for making us feel at home. Apologies if I butchered any spellings mon.. The Director of the Resort was also very present especially in the evening - making sure everything was running perfectly.

Staying with an Infant: the couple on our bus transfer told us we were really brave for traveling with a 7-month infant. True but the Riu staff really does a nice job accommodating. We had a crib in the room, were able to wash bottles and designated one of the sinks as a soaker sink, offered a high chair at every meal, etc. If you are traveling with an infant, I would highly recommend an Ocean View on the ground floor. We were able to put our chairs close by and put our little girl down for naps with the screen door open enough to hear when she cried. If we knew how close the rooms were to the beach, we should have brought our monitor system. Babysitting is not formally done but was coordinated with the front desk. We were told the rates were $10-15/hr depending on who was babysitting. We had 3 different sitters and all charged $15, which is a lot more than we expected. Other resorts with a more formal program (i.e. Tyrall Resort offer babysitting for only $6/hr) were way more reasonable, so we couldn't afford to get a sitter on each day. This would be the biggest downside to the trip because it sounded like they had a more formal program.

Overall: I would give the Riu Palace a 4.5 rating if possible. It is very clean, location is great and it is a good value. Comparing it to other AI properties in Negril (Couples Swept Away) and other tropical destinations, this was definitely a really nice place to be. CSA had incredible food and Riu Palace had great food. CSA had a skinnier beach though and wasn't laid out as nicely; however, the buildings were gorgeous at CSA. If we were traveling as a couple, I would choose CSA. If we were traveling with family, I would choose Riu Palace - but again you can't go wrong at either property. Ya mon!

  • Stayed November 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Had a great time at RPTB, the servers and entertainment staff were fantastic. They work so hard and are so friendly and helpful.

The food was delicious as my scale could attest to when I got home. We loved the Krystal so much that we went back a second night and is was as good as the first time. The Japanese was good but a there was a lot of food and we were at the 9pm seating so weren’t able to enjoy it as much. The Steakhouse was your typical steakhouse and the food was good. We didn’t bother with the Italian. The buffet has plenty of options so there is something for everyone and the Jerk hut on the beach is the best.

After the show it is pretty quiet as the disco is over at the Riu Negril. The lobby bar is open 24hrs but most people just went back to the rooms. The Riu Negril is great, we spent a day there and caught up with staff that were still there from 3 years ago. It is a nice walk down the beach to check it out.

We did have a few issues with the front desk and our room. We didn’t let it spoil it for us though as we loved everything else.

We were lucky to get in our room right away even arriving early but the hotel wasn’t busy. We went to our room to find a flood on the floor between the room and the bathroom with a wet towel in front of the fridge and the door open. We called down and they came and hooked it up right away. We also had a terrible smell in our room one night when we got back after the show and called down as it smelled like backed up sewage and we were on the second floor. Someone came smelled it and said they would be back with some air freshener, he never came back and when we woke up it was gone. However that night when we got back from the show there was no water at all, we couldn’t even flush the toilet. We decided not to call and hoped that we would have it the next morning and we did. Not sure if one had anything to do with the other…..

My suggestion if you need to deal with the front desk in person or on the phone, is write down the name date and time you spoke with that person. If you don’t then you are out of luck if you try do deal with someone else and get the same answer. I can understand a miscommunication once but 5 times??? We were basically made to feel like we were making it up…. Also if you need a receipt for anything, get it at the time you do the transaction as they are unable to give you one if you go back after the fact if you forget for some reason. We even gave our information to Nicole at the front desk to email us a receipt for the charge to our card and a month later still nothing……

Again, not saying this will happen to everyone…. If you have stayed at other Riu Palaces then you may be a bit disappointed with this one but you will still have a good time.

  • Stayed October 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

We just returned from Riu Palace Tropical Bay where we had the best vacation in a long time. Starting the MINUTE we arrived on property, we felt welcome and WELL SERVED. Dwight, at the reception desk, was the absolute epitome of service not only upon arrival, but the entire duration of our stay. I noted the names of other accommodating employees, but there are too many to mention individually. Suffice it to say that we were never disappointed in any of the hotel staff. This is an all inclusive hotel so tipping is not necessary, however, we made sure that good service was appreciated. We noticed many people NOT tipping, but we believe that you get what you pay for and good service should be rewarded. I should note also, that even the maintenance people were friendly and welcoming and we were not tipping them. EVERYONE was wonderful. THE FOOD was pretty good, overall. We ate at the buffets (breakfast and dinner) and we also ate at three of the other restaurants. The buffets had anything and everything a person might want. We don't go on vacation to eat as much as we can, so we never expect gourmet food, but what we got was enjoyable and satisfying. The experience of the service and the presentation of the food was excellent at the a la carte restaurants--couldn't ask for better. I have to add that there is a hut on the beach that serves jerk-chicken everyday between 11-3. It was amazing. If that is all we had to eat all day, we would have been just as pleased. THE BEACH is amazing. It is CLEAN, there were plenty of places to relax, and the water is clear and lovely. Other all-inclusives charge extra for water sports, but this one did not. (with exception of jet-skis) We took advantage of all there was available to do. THE PROPERTY, including the room, was impeccably kept. Everywhere we were, we witnessed staff cleaning, painting or landscaping. As we walked along the beach, this did not appear to be the case with other properties. This hotel literally sparkled. Without hesitation, I highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for great vacation in Jamaica. We will definitely go back.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the beach front, ocean view room very much. I would highly recommend making sure you cou...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Ontario
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

RIU Palace Tropical Bay is an awesome resort with great food & service.

After a 4 hour flight & average 1.5 hours in 3 lines at the airport, the 1.5 hour drive by bus is a pain with stops at 2 other resorts. Makes for a VERY long day. The Mobay Lounge with an express pass at least lets you skip the lineups & wait in a lounge until your bus is ready. But they really need to upgrade the local airport to International or build a Super Highway since the area is becoming more popular.

Once at the Resort, there is no air conditioning in the lobby or most common areas (like the newer resorts), but it is in all the restaurants. But check-in is fast & efficient. (Thanks Elaine)

Pools are not that impressive (small), one with bar & other for volleyball, etc. Washrooms are a distance away (near the lobby stairs) so you KNOW why the bar pool is a couple degrees warmer.

That said, the pool does NOT need to be impressive because the beach is one of the best we have been to. We spent 99% of the time on the beach by choice and were sad to leave.
There is a very long beach of white sand with very calm waters (due to the small size of the bay blocking waves & currents). You can walk out about 100 metres with a gradual slope (no sandbars) before it is at your neck.
When you add the Beach Service supplied by the Palace staff, you never thirst.
Add a Jerk Chicken Shack right on the Beach, and you don't go hungry either.

Grounds are extremely well maintained, as are the rooms and buildings.
Food & Service was great! It was an all round good experience.
Thanks to Andranike (Niki) who made our experience in the restaurants very relaxed & enjoyable.
To bartender Kemar & Natalee (drinks fairy), to name just two, the staff add character and make you feel at home.

For us, it ranks in the top 3 we have enjoyed. We will be returning the first week of April.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Racine, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Ya Mon! This was our destination for my niece's wedding. Couldn't have enjoyed myself more. Special memories include: the catamaran trip that included a swim through caves, Rick's cafe and diving (Hi, Ferrari!!), hair braiding down the beach (Hi Crystal!), entertainment at the pool, entertainment at night, strolling minstrels at the beach, the beach, the view, artistically displayed food, fruit stand where they cut your fruit to order, jerk chicken, iron man contest, could probably go on… Check the rules for reservations to restaurants upon arrival, seating is limited. Also, some of us needed help connecting to wifi, but once connected, there were no connectivity issues within the resort. Most of the time the staff were super responsive. The resort had plenty to do and eat and drink. I even picked up a dress for the wedding because I left mine at home. Hoping to get back there soon. The all-inclusive aspect was wonderful. relax, take your shoes off, have a drink, no problem

Room Tip: loved the ocean view
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 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.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#17 Top resorts 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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