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“Everything we wanted” 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 #29 of 91 hotels in Negril
Walnut Creek, California, United States
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Everything we wanted”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

It was just my teenage son and myself for a week exploring Negril. Perfect beach and swimming and walking, rentals of everything, Catamaran tour was great, Jerk Chicken on the beach, lots of alcohol in the rooms that my son was sneaking when I was in the shower, soccer on the beach, five good restaurants.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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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Newport Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

Had a very nice time here. Food was good,beach and sea very clean,water clear.Staff did everything to make you happy.Didn,t like my initial room, they changed me immediatly.Rooms are delux,great minibar. Steeldrum band for nights entertainment was excellent,great energy. would go back.

Room Tip: I prefered to be in the middle, close to pool and restaurant on the 1st floor (2nd floor to American...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

Went on a two week holiday with my partner and have just returned from the Riu Palace. It is on the best part of bloody bay beach with hotels either side of it. The staff were tremendously hard trying to keep all guests pleased which is a bit of a thankless task.The room was a junior suite which was cleaned every day, with fresh towels and sweets put on our pillows every night, The first gripe is that the two pools are totally inadequate for the size of the hotel and that is why we spent our time at the beach. The pool bar does get a bit rowdy later on with fellow guests. The sunloungers on the beach are plentiful but whilst walking on the beach one day, another hotel had white rubber mats on theirs and could be used as a flotation aid in the sea. Great idea that I took up with the "director" of the hotel when I bumped into him one day. The hotel also needs a beach bar too. Even though staff came around now and again, it would be more beneficial. The beach sellers do become a pain with their wares, but a polite and firm no does the trick. Entertainment in the evening ranges from bingo at 6pm to various shows per night. I have seen better but also a lot worse. Take or leave it. The food is plentiful and varied with breakfast being the best by far. Four speciality restaurants, ranging from Italian, Japanese, Steakhouse and Continental fusion (Krystal), varied in quality from the food and service. Being in Jamaica, the service was laid back to say the least but friendly nevertheless.None of the restaurants had back ground music and you could hear the rattle of pots and pans in the kitchen and over hearing the conversations of fellow diners. I think the word I used to the Director was *soulless*.. Definitely be on the beach for the setting of the sun. Without cloud it was one of the best I had ever seen and have your camera ready. The spa was pricey on its treatments,so had a massage further up the beach for a fraction of the price. Gym facilities were great. Well used on an all- inclusive package. If you are going on excursions, have it in mind that you are on the west tip o Jamaica and the road infrastructure and driving is not great so you are out of the way but Negril is worth a view. Overall a good stay, in a good hotel, great location with the small things missing to make this a 5 star hotel.

Room Tip: Get a sea view room.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Dallas, PA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

Because we had had a very pleasant experience during two other visits, we booked the RIU Palace Tropical Bay Jamaica for a pre-winter get away. As some friends joined us on this trip on our recommendation, we were really pleased that they liked the resort as much as we did. .
The setting and views are drop dead gorgeous. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food is good. The beach is beautiful with silky white sand and dotted with trees for shade. The bay is great for swimming as it has a sandy bottom that is very gradual with very gentle waves. Unlike other resorts that you need to stay within, you can get a good walk on the beach from one end of the bay to the other.
The gardens and landscaping are kept very nicely. There's always a nice mix of families with children, young couples and older folks.
The buffet offers so many choices that you don't know what to try first. We found the buffet food to be very good. They mix it up with different themes and offerings every day. We ate in all of the restaurants except the Italian Restaurant and enjoyed them very much. Being able to eat in the restaurants lent a special touch. The staff in the buffet and the restaurants were very attentive and nice.
You can take the Margaritaville Bus or a taxi (we took Tony Taxi) to the 7 mile beach to walk up and down a bit and enjoy the hotels, restaurants and bars that spill out onto the beach. Across the street from about in the middle of the 7 mile beach is a shopping area called Times Square - we were dropped off there, did a little shopping, and then walked down the beach to Margaritaville. There are always lots of taxis waiting outside for the return to your hotel.
Watching the sunset at Rick's Cafe is a must for any visitor to Negril. Sit in the shallow pool, have a drink, and watch the divers and the sunset. Nothing better - except perhaps a walk right down the street to have a drink at Ivan's - a bar/restaurant perched on the side of a cliff with interesting and beautiful pathways and sitting areas leading down to the sea.
The RIU resort is an older property which was upgraded about 5 or so years ago. We find the rooms to be spacious, nicely appointed, and very clean. We feel that it is a very good value for the money. All of the common areas are very clean and well cared for.
The resort draws guests from all over the world. It is interesting to see so many different nationalities represented and languages being spoken. We found our fellow guests to be very polite and friendly.
Of special mention are the employees - from the maids to the management, we had a really good experience with every staff person that we came in contact with. The staff works very hard, are very friendly and nice, and are very concerned about your comfort and enjoyment. Of special mention is Neil, who is on the entertainment staff. He is funny and hard working and makes sure that everyone is having a good time.
Now for the negatives. Take some bug spray. Not everyone is bothered with bug bites on the beach, but I sure was and I saw a few other people with some bites. I couldn't even see the little tiny things that were biting - but every time I go there, I come back with some bites. This time I got smart and bought bug spray and that really cut down on the bites. I must note that I am particularly susceptible to bites - two other people in our party didn't experience any bites.
The only complaint that I have about any of the food is that the coffee could have been better and the fruit could have been better - some of it was kind of under ripe and not all that tasty. There was no pineapple which one would look forward to on a tropical island.
In closing, I would say that if you are used to staying at the Ritz and eating in Michelin Star restaurants, you had better keep looking. But, in my book, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this resort a 10 for value and service.

Room Tip: We had a ground floor room in the 1000 building which was close to the beach and very convenient.
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  • Stayed November 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
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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AL
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 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.

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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:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#16 Family Hotel in Negril
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#18 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*
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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