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“Great RIU Experience plagued by growing pains”

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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 9, 2013

The first impression of this ultra-luxe, ultra-modern resort was spectacular. We checked in opening night after traveling from Miami; the front desk staff were all warm, friendly, familiar faces from the sister resort so we immediately felt comfortable. However, it was obvious that it was opening night as it took longer than usual to check in and we were even given a room that was already occupied; still impressed with the property and a glimpse of the room, we were not the least bit turned off as the staff quickly handled that situation and we were in our room, oohhing and ahhing at the modern decor.

We paid for an ocean view upgrade that we realized at sunrise was not worth the extra bucks as the garden view in our opinion is a much better view. To get an ocean view, you must step onto the balcony and lean over to see the ocean(not sure this is safe). Most of the view is of thick brush. The upgrade to ocean front would have been a better value for the buck.

The food was great and the wait staff are so friendly! We encountered Keisha(I think thats the right spelling) every day of our stay and she took care of our every need. The service is top notch and its obvious staff have been very well trained. We have stayed at all the other RIUs in Jamaica and you can see a huge difference in the service.

It was extremely quiet and peaceful; for couples with no kids, this is it! We thoroughly enjoyed the no-crying zone and was reminded of it after our walk to the other property-it was so full, you were stepping over people on the beach. There is however a downside to peace an quiet-no entertainment but we did take a short stroll to the other property in the evenings to enjoy the shows.

All-in-all, we had a fantastic stay and have already booked our next stay!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Kathy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 7, 2013 via mobile

We just checked in on opening day, having been at Royalton White Sands for 5 days prior. What a DIFFERENCE!! Royalton has been open for a month when we got there (see my review on TA), and yet over here at The Palace, on day ONE, everything exceeded our expectations and beat Royalton hands down!

Check-in was a breeze, no waiting, everyone knew what they were doing. All the staff are so excited to have their first guests, you can just tell! The service is hands-down bar none. Everyone is genuine, everyone is there to make your trip great, and managers are everywhere quality controlling. This place is running so smoothly, you'd never think it just opened on Dec. 6th!

We're in an Oceanfront suite, it's SPACIOUS, ultra modern and loaded with a rockstar bathroom! The property is much smaller than you'd imagine. The Palace is essentially a large new wing directly attached to Riu Montego Bay. Guests of The Palace can use all amenities and services at Riu MB, however Riu MB guests can not enter this resort. The entire Palace is BREATHTAKING! From the moment you arrive in the lobby, the wow factor sets in, and really doesn't stop. This place is super sexy and the design finishes are gorgeous. This is the new Riu styling that the chain is putting into all their properties. It's a sophisticated and long overdue rebrand, and they've done it right!!

The beach is small, but beautifully manicured! This resort is allegedly located on the best spot of this bay. There are small break walls separating our beach from next door. In the water, there is a very steep drop close to shore, so you can't wade out too far before the ground disappears. It's great for snorkeling, and there is a large designated swimming area. Really doesn't bother me. There are two gorgeous pools if you'd rather. Plenty of sun and beach chairs, cabanas and hammocks! Booze & food is essentially 24/7 including room service. Yes, phones work and room service has lots of nice options. AC & wifi work GREAT all over resort. I also saw the Jacuzzi Suites, definitely worth the extra $$! They are just stunning and are located oceanfront.

The a la carte restaurants open this coming week. But for now, the buffet is going full speed. I hate buffets, and I must say... I'm SO impressed! It's first-class food, served in small portions and refreshed constantly by the chefs at each station. The selection and service is incredible. Kind of like a Vegas buffet, endless options! All the staff at the restaurant: waiters, chefs, hostesses, all pros! They make you feel special. Once the a la cartes open, they will add even more amazing options, as the menus are now on display at each restaurant for all to see what's coming. Steakhouse, Japanese, Italian, Fusion Gourmet. Each it's own sexy looking venue, can't wait to try them out!

PLEASE NOTE: Riu Palace Jamaica is beside Riu Montego Bay which is beside Sandals. Sandals private island is visible from our shore. We are DIRECTLY under the flight path! Planes fly overhead constantly. It's honestly a little annoying, but not real a huge problem considering the rest of this place! Not a deal-breaker in my personal (picky) opinion. ;) The planes actually become a spectacle to everyone watching.

I believe The Palace is currently only at 40% capacity so they can get up to speed slowly. Very smart! It's slower paced, but still a party here! Mostly younger/middle aged couples. There are some older couples too, and it looks like they're having a great time as well. Seems to me like they finished the top floor (3rd floor) first and are working their way down to ground level suites. There is NO construction noise or bother what-so-ever. Everything is done! Yes, they are finishing minimal decorations and dressing rooms, but housekeeping was out in full force today readying a whole bunch of new rooms. I've heard not one complaint from anyone... pretty crazy for a brand new resort!

This place is great. Hands down, it sets a new precedent for 5 STAR service here in Jamaica. I couldn't recommend it more! People from the next door Riu are even transferring over here to get away from the kids and crowd over there.

If you're on your way here, you're in for a really great treat! Enjoy it! (Pics to follow...)

  • Stayed: December 2013
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30  Thank Watstar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This resort was above my expectation. Of the four RIUs in Jamaica I feel this is by far the best. I suppose the palace vs club level has something to do with this, but the price was really not much greater. Bloody Bay is one of the best beaches in the islands and the resort sits directly in the middle. The staff was outstanding and grounds well kept. Lots of locals on the beach peddleing their wares, but are harmless. Enjoyed a walk down the beach to the Office of Nature for a lobster and Red Stripe. The resort is a great place in a great spot.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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10  Thank Drysdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This hotel exceeded our already high expectations. It came highly recommended and was even better than we had been advised. The room was fabulous, housekeeping superb, mini bar even bettered the patio with Jacuzzi was a great touch - even the hammock.
The food was quite frankly some of the best I have ever eaten, with breakfast and lunch being buffet style mostly although not if you wanted a la carte, but evening meals were all a la carte with a huge choice of food - steak house , Italian pizzeria, Chinese , spice.
All the bars offered a huge choice of cocktails and drinks and all staff offered great service. Cuba entertainment was impressive with some great acts and singers .
Overall the holiday was the best ever and I would without question recommend this hotel to everyone.

Room Tip: "Corner suites are large and sunny"
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Marcio J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: December 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Wilma G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank michel c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Google Translation

Room Tip: Wij hadden kamer 3017 met half zeezicht rustig en ok geen meerprijs
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  • Stayed: November 2017, traveled as a couple
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Thank Reisduivel
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 Jamaica

Address: | Mahoe Bay. Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range: $344 - $649 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica 4.5*
Number of rooms: 289
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 4-storey hotel with a total of 238 guest rooms is located directly on the beach next to the hotel Riu Montego Bay * The vibrant city of Montego Bay is 4.5 km away * The guests of Riu Palace Jamaica may use the facilities in Riu Montego Bay, except breakfast and dinner meal * Airport Sangster International Airport Montego Bay (MBJ) 2.7 km approx. * Main building 4 floors - 238 rooms * Annexed building 3 floors - 51 rooms * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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