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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Ranked #4 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 17, 2014 via mobile

This was my 2nd stay at a Riu chain, the 1st being the Riu Palace Bavaro in Punta Cana. I must say this trip to Jamaica and my stay at the Riu was the best vacation I ever had. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable. If you are looking for adults only this is the place. Separated by a bridge from the Riu Montego Bay (the family resort), you can still wander to that side for the nightly talent shows, and events,and the jerk chicken hut, but the folks from the family side cant can't come over to the
adult side. The food is great, offering a wide variety weather its at the buffet or one of the specialty restaurants. Im not sure when I will be going back to Jamaica, but I won't think of staying anywhere but the Riu Palace Montego Bay.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,819 - 1,825 of 2,237 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2014

Went to Jamaica for 5 days at the beginning of June. Very quaint chic hotel. Tub is literally in the room beside the bed. So not really any privacy. Otherwise, the food was the best I have had at any all inclusive resort. The staff was delightful and addressed us personally by name. Definitely would visit another RIU property! Had a great time!

Room Tip: Hotel is shaped in a "U", there are no bad rooms.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

This is our 7th year of vacationing in Jamaica and our first year at the Riu Hotel chain. I will start off with what we liked and then delve into what we feel needs improvement.

The Good

The resort is close to the airport so it is a quick ride from the airport as opposed to the hour plus it usually takes to get to Negril.

The hotel and rooms are very modern looking and kept very clean which is great!

Audley (sp) the server from the morning and afternoon buffet restaurant was great and deserves special recognition for his up beat attitude and all around happy demeanor.

Richard the bartender from the swimup bar was also great and very friendly!

The Average

The beach...My wife and I are indeed beach snobs and are just pampered by the sandy white beaches and crystal clear water we normally see in Negril. The beach at the resort was rocky and the water was as clear as mud. If I want to see water like that ill go to Lake Lanier. It is also very short so dont expect taking long strolls unless you go to the other hotel next door.

The food....We read in many of the tripadvisor comments that the food was exceptional but we found it to be very average. Ill be the first to tell you that I am not a food snob by any means but we have been to other All inclusives and the food was much better in those places.

The Steakhouse - First off...they have a very limited seating space and it is first come first serve. This restaurant really should be by reservation since they have limited space. The food presentation was great but it fails when it comes to taste. The Surf and Turf should change its name to small and tough. The Steak was not juicy but tough and needed alot of A1 sauce which I never normally use since a steak should really stand on its own. The Lobster was overdone/dry and very small (4 bites max). My wife ddid enjoy the ribs though and our friend also enjoyed the chicken so if you do go I would recommend trying those. Also the Steakhouse is held outside so it can get very humid so wear light clothing.

Zen - Asian restaurant was decent but for some reason didnt have alot of flavor. I got the fish which was tasty but was the size of two sushi rolls so I was a bit hungry after the fact. My wife had the Beef with noodles and it was decent but very greasy as it is served on a skillet. The dessert was pretty good but who doesnt like fried ice cream...lol

Montego Bay - The buffet restaurant was where we did eat most nights as they had a decent selection of foods each night. It would be nice if they changed around the menu in the buffet a little as you found many of the same dinner items in the same place night after night. Still...as many of the previous posters on this site have mentioned it was the best of the choices we had available to us.

Krystal and Italian Restaurants - The schedule they gave us wasnt correct so the night we chose to go to either they were closed. The hotel rotates all of the restaurants except the buffet for being open and close.

The Drinks
The drinks are GREAT! BUT....they have a limited selection and you have to ask for triple shots of anything you want mixed to actually taste the alcohol. Also..if you want top shelf than ask for it by name or you will get the cheapo liquor. Im not a big drinker but when you have to triple shot anything to taste the liquor then it becomes a bit annoying.

The Activities
So this is where it gets annoying...To do any of the watersports you have to go to the Riu Hotel next door and essentially get harrased to tip them for providing the watersports of your choice. The gym in the hotel is slightly larger than a broom closet so you will have to again go to the other hotel and even then youll have to fight for a cardio machine as out of the 6 that were there 3 were broken.

The Entertainment Staff
This is where the resort really lacks in experience. My suggestion would be to bring in some veterans of their Negril hotel to get the hotel going. The staff was friendly enough but they tried to cram all of the entertainment and games into two hours (10-12)and then disappear for the remainder of the day or not even make an appearance at all. This is an "Adults Only" resort so have fun with the people and hang out. Also....pool music was very annopying! I couldnt tell if it was a reggae cd or a music station but it would repeat the same songs for 4-5 hours straight. NOT COOL!

Smiles
This is a thing or rarity among the staff as many have their heads down or just plain dont look happy. A smile on a face makes you feel welcome and frown makes you feel like a burden.

This is the first time I have ever posted on TripAdvisor but I felt a need this time around. The hotel has great potential and I am sure as time passes it will be right up there with the big dogs but it needs time.

Room Tip: The Wifi is very spotty.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Samuel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Had a great time at the Riu Palace Jamaica. When we arrived we found out our ocean front room had only a king sized bed in it, instead of the double beds we requested. But the bed was very roomy and that was the only complaint we had. The food was excellent and the service superb. We really liked the swim up bar and our bartender Richard took excellent care of us. We stayed in the adults only part of this huge resort and I am glad we made that choice.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank scrabblequeen98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

My husband and I had a wonderful time at the Riu Palace! The resort is small which is nice because you make friends quickly and feel right at home instantly. The food was delicious, the rooms were comfy, the pool was awesome. The staff is what makes this place so great though, they are there to make your stay fun and they do. Our server Romairo Whyte took excellent care of us during our meals, Natoya Brown was a lovely fashion assistant in the gift shop and the entertainment crew was AWESOME! Nikki, Tweety, Lorenzo, the FunMeister and the whole crew (I am so sorry I cannot remember all your names) all of you really made our stay that much more fun and my God you can dance! We loved the theme nights every night, our only suggestion would be to post a schedule, perhaps in the elevators, so that we know what's happening each day at both resorts so we don't miss out.

Room Tip: There are 10 rooms that have ocean front balconies with Jacuzzi tubs, if you can afford to upgrade t...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank GretchensTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014 via mobile

Just returned from the Riu Palace Jamaica and I have to admit it definitely does the Riu name proud.
The rooms are lovely, of a good size and most rooms even come with a jacuzzi bath and ocean view. The food is lovely and plenty of variety. The a la carte restaurants are really good and you don't even have to make a reservation to dine there.
Overall the staff are lovely, apart from one which kind of tarnished the holiday. Being a small boutique holiday, adults only complex I didn't expect to be interrogated around the pool area (some of the questions were quite personal) and made me feel really uncomfy at times. I respect that they are trying to be friendly and getting to know the guests but when it's clearly making the guests uncomfy move on.
Overall I did enjoy the holiday and I would recommend the complex and it definitely lives up to its 5* reputation for its rooms, food, and location.

Stayed: June 2014
1  Thank travelerdarcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

A friend and I traveled to Jamaica for a Girl's get away in June. The property is still really new and nice. The accommodations were nice. Please know that the double beds in the rooms are small, and I do not think more than one person can sleep comfortably in the bed. The room was clean, but there were a few issues, the light over one bed did not work, and actually wouldn't turn off. Not a big deal, just a minor issue.

The food was great to me, I enjoyed every restaurant, with the exception of the Italian restaurant, it wasn't awful, just not as good as other restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the buffet, and aqua lounge food was. The drinks were good, and plentiful.

The beach was nice and clean. I will say that I enjoy the sun, but would have liked to see beach umbrellas just to get out of the sun some. I think that would have made my review excellent. There are cabanas that you can use, but you don't get the feel of laying on the recliner and looking at the beach.

The staff was excellent. I loved Crystal and her attentiveness!! Everyone was awesome! I do think that the beach staff uniforms need to be examined. There is no need for the men on the beach staff to wear pants while serving drinks, and the women should not be in pantyhose. That was ridiculous, and made me feel bad for them!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank RP1496
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 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range: $356 - $642 (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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