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“Paradise”

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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Ranked #4 of 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise”
Reviewed August 25, 2014

A special thank you to Romairo, Ryan, and Christina! Impeccable service, lots of laughs, and new friends of mine!! I can't wait to visit Jamaica again, as well as visit the Riu Palaces all over the world!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JulieBRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 25, 2014

We were slightly optimistic but completely prepared to be let down by the Riu Palace Jamaica. It never happened. First of all...if you go to Montego Bay restaurant, you MUST request Sanjay.....he is the man!!! And his partner in mixology is Chevaughn. The rum punch they made for me was absolutely the best I have ever had in life. Period. Don't the haters fool you. Go to Riu Palace Jamaica before the word gets out.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank clascique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SE USA
Level Contributor
110 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2014

This was our 5th different Riu Palace we have stayed at and the 1st all Adult property we have stayed at.

The resort is smaller than usual with only 236 rooms in basically a 3 story horseshoe shaped facility. If you looking for a property that is going to keep you busy 24 hours a day with activities..... this is not your place. Because of its size, the RIU is very quite most of the time and perfect if you are looking for a very relaxed vacation. There were a few organized activities if you wanted to participate. Also some aerobic classes on the beach and in the swim up bar pool. As many have mentioned in previous reviews, if you want the shows and enjoy a more party group atmosphere you can always walk next door to the family friendly RIU. There is a small patch and bridge to cross and you can be there in 2 minutes.

ROOMS: AC worked great and our room was kept spotless. Shower presser was fantastic. Had to ask for extra towels a few times but that was the only thing we had to ask for. The fridge in the room is kept stocked with sprite, coke, waters, club soda, tonic and redstripe beer. If you want miller light leave a note and they will bring that also. The infamous bottles of booze on the wall were standard and very cheap booze. We didn't touch it. Kind of upsetting because at the rate paid you would expect a bit better quality.

BARS: There are 3 Bars on the property. A swim up Pool bar, a 24 hour bar/snack bar and a lobby bar. The pool bar was great if you wanted to swim up and grab a drink......... didn't do that to often because the water was VERY warm. The lobby bar was great when you wanted to have a nice drink in an air conditioned environment. The snack bar area bar was nice because its shaded and you can also order food certain times of the day, and there are sandwiches, hot dogs, wings etc.... also available 24 hours. You can get drink service from just about anywhere on the property, so its no problem just pulling up a chair on the beach...... they staff will be there very quickly to take your order.

FOOD: The food over all was very very good. Breakfast is buffet (Montego Bay Restaurant) with just about every choice you could want. Enough variety that during our 5 night stay we never grew tired of it. They must have had 8 different kinds of eggs and that does not count the omelette station. Lunch was also in the Montego Bay Restaurant and offered as great selection of food including local favorites. Dinner was interesting because they do not take reservations for the specialty at this property. Its pretty much first come first serve. They are trying this system because most RIU's you have to make your reservations by 9 or 10 am and folks that slept in or forgot were complaining. We saw that allot at the other RIU's so I suppose its worth a try. Now they get some upset folks that don't get in line early enough, but according to the management, much less complaints then the reservation type system. Out of the 4 specialty (Japanese, Italian, Fusion, and Steak) the get in line time is greater for the Steakhouse.... get there at least an hour early and the others about 45 minutes early. Having your full party dressed up and present to get in line is not really that fun in the heat. That's really my only complaint about the fist come first serve is standing in the heat for an hour...... if I wanted that I would go to Disney World. The other draw back is that they really don't tell you how many tables will be open until you get there...... so its a gamble even if you get there early. The majority of the guests choose the Montego Bay buffet for dinner. All restaurants had fantastic food as well as service. The dinner buffet was actually better at times because of its choices and un-like the steak house.............. it has AC.

BEACH and POOLS: The beach is not your normal ocean beach with waves ect.... its a man made cove with rock piling barricades on both sides. The water does roll in and out a but, but don't expect an ocean type atmosphere. Plenty of lounge chars and also shaded cabanas and hammocks. The water is nice and blue but not really as clear as you would like. The cove water was MUCH cooler than the pools so it always felt great just relaxing and standing with a drink in your hand. The cove water is also VERY VERY salty keeping you afloat very easily. Again, drink service on the beach was exceptional..... even if your in the water they will take your order and bring it to you. 2 pools. 1 quite pool and 1 pool bar pool. Plenty of seating around the pools and also 2 very long covered areas with lounge chairs so you could sit in the shade if you wanted to tone down the sun a bit. Pool water was very warm...... but that's the Caribbean.

ACTIVITIES: Typical fun and games around the pool bar pool and also kayak, paddle boats and catamaran Hobe Cats available next door at the RIU. Live entertainment in the lobby lounge some nights and also some fun themed nights at the snackbar bar. There are plenty of tour operators in the lobby if you want to venture out and explore.

Overall: Great for couples and groups looking for a facility that offers excellent service and is smaller than most resorts. The kitchen, grounds and rooms were spotless. Pools were clean also. The staff was fantastic and really go out of there way to make sure you are enjoying your stay. Very close to the airport (10 minutes $20 cab) to once you get off the plane from your long flight..... (and after you clear customs) its not long for you to be enjoying your time at the resort.

TIPS: 1. Go over the the Riu next door for lunch at the Jerk Chicken hut on the beach. Its the best Jerk Chicken you will ever have in your lifetime. If you don't go there I will be very upset.

2. Take plenty of dollar bills and please tip. The staff never asks for nor do they expect tips but its the right thing to do. Its Jamaica and they don't make much $$ .......... the service they provide is worthy.

3. If you like to sail or want to learn they will teach you on the catamarans. Take a $20 lesson and then your on your own with your special someone cruising the open water.

4. Bring and insulated tervis tumbler or mug with you so your drinks stay nice and cold on the beach. The little plastic cups they use offer little sun protection and the ice melts quickly. The bartenders will gladly fill them up.

Tip for RIU:

1. Open the inside Montego dining room for lunch instead of just having outside seating as an option. Its the middle of the day and an AC lunch would be a nice break.

2. Your a premium resort......... stock up on the premium liquors. You did not have a decent bourbon or tequila. Gin, Vodka and Rum brands were fine.......... but you really need to step up on the bourbon and tequila............ especially when you feature a Tequila article in your RIU magazine (:

3. Surprised that in the Steak house you could not get Steak AND Lobster. One or the other but you could not get both.......... that was very cheap and unexpected surprise.

Room Tip: If you don't choose an ocean or courtyard view you will be looking at either the walls of the RI...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Bosco125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
55 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2014

This is the 6th time we stayed at a RIU resort in the Mexico/Caribbean area, and as always we were very happy with our stay. The Riu Palace is a notch above its sister property (in price and quality), and it's well worth the extra dollar you pay for it. Checking in and out is a breeze. The staff are efficient. The rooms are clean, spotless, fresh smelling and very well designed. The servers are all very attentive, you don't have to fight for attention or wait long for drinks. (Clive, our beach/poolside server, remembers our drinks and brings them without asking for it). It is an adult-only resort. It has a very relaxing atmosphere, plenty of beach chairs anytime, and is not too crowded yet you can still socialize with other guests. If you want "crowd', fun and buzzing atmosphere, you can always walk to the neighboring Riu, use its facilities and enjoy its night time entertainment.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rita1375
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2014

Well I really don't know where to start, we have travelled the world and this truthfully has to be the most amazing holiday ever.
The hotel itself is spotlessly clean and nothing is too much trouble for any of the staff ( I will come back to individuals later) the rooms are very comfortable and everything you require is to hand. We had a sea view suite and I would strongly recommend booking the view is fantastic!!
Food is always a worry when you go away but I have to say nothing to worry about here not one single day of a "funny tummy" all restaurants were fantastic the Montego Bay buffet was brilliant always lots of choice and again nothing was too much trouble for the chefs on hand to cook your food to your liking! We were waited on every night by Arlene who was amazing it's not often you look as forward to seeing your waitress as eating your food!!
Pool areas are great, one was very quiet which was great for us and the pool bar a little more rowdy but even then we are not ones for joining in but the entertainment team are that good they make you want to take part without feeling hasselled ( even managed to win 2 bottles of rum which is a first for me!!)
Right the best bit The People.. Starting with Abraham who greets you when you arrive what a wonderful man always happy and smiling and would do anything for you. Then Taneil ( sorry about the spelling) on the front desk you are wonderful and we can't wait to see you again.
Tracey Ann in the gift shop thank you for being a wonderful person. Now the ENT team we love you all so very much you made our holiday perfect and you are one of the reasons we are returning,Mo Mo you are fabulous and we love you,do not change anything we have videos of you that remind us daily what we are missing, Lorenzo, Jo Jo, Fun fun great guys thank you, Lisa, Alex and Giovani we love you we miss you don't ever leave it wouldn't be the same without you!!!!!
Waiter Clive and Waitress Natasha are brilliant they looked after us for 2 weeks and never faulted ( and didn't expect tips either!)
And finally Laura the manager you had some challenges while we were there and you dealt with them fantastically nothing stopped you from putting the guests first well done you!!! What's even better is that the hotel manager was on holiday while we were there and you would never of known, that is the sign of a great team, if I could bring you all to the UK I would!!
Thank you thank you thank you and see you all soon!!!
Kirsty and Gail xxxxx

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Kirlicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 23, 2014

We absolutely loved our visit to Riu Palace Montego Bay Jamaica! The only negative was that it had to end.

You are getting two resorts in one since your accommodations include full access to the neighboring all-ages sister resort and its much more expansive beachfront and included water sports, while allowing you to retreat to the serenity of the adults-only grounds when you are ready to absorb the day's memories amid world class options of culinary adventures.

There are several fine restaurants at the resort of various themes. Reservations are no longer required, but show up a bit earlier than the 6:30pm opening if you want to ensure a seat, especially for the steak house. If you don't mind the more open-air ambiance, the buffet is absolutely your best bet. The finest offerings of the restaurants open that evening are made available in the buffet with plenty of seats to be had, whether inside in air conditioned comfort or at tables outside closer to the alluring ocean waves.

The rooms are wonderfully styled in shades of royal purple and sparkling white. Every surface seems to gleam with such a refreshing feeling befitting this newly designed resort, barely half a year in existence. The main lobby is pure eye candy with astonishing orange accents which seem to have captured each sunset, while providing a perfectly air conditioned chill from the heat and humidity of the beach beyond.

But what really puts the Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica over the top is the exemplary service and embracing personalities of the staff and management. It feels as though everyone you meet fully accepts you as a friend and companion. They make it especially difficult to return home to our own realities.

So if you are wise enough to choose this resort for your next vacation, please seek out the following people in particular:

Arlene was our waitress in the buffet area nearly every night of our stay. Her joyful greetings and impeccably professional and respectful demeanor made us feel as though we had made a lifelong friend. Ask her about her dog and cat, and whether the tips we offered to keep her pets in line have continued to pant out. We are happy to have a souvenir photo posing with Arlene on our final night at Montego Bay.

Melissa was extremely attentive and caring as the managing hostess so many evenings at the buffet. She exudes such a feeling of high class befitting your fine establishment.

Obrian at the lunchtime buffet generously and thoughtfully provided much appreciated advice and guidance just before our excursion to Negril on the afternoon of August 9. He was instrumental in allaying certain concerns we expressed over the pending trip, enabling us to travel in confidence while looking forward to our return to the Riu Palace in the evening. We made a point of contacting him before we returned home to personally express our extreme gratitude.

Romairo is a wonderful waiter at the buffet, very attentive and quite engaging.

"Candi" at the bar was a joy in sharing conversation over the expertly crafted "Bob Marley" iced drinks. She was refreshingly honest and fascinating, offering revealing accounts of life throughout all aspects of Jamaica. We wish we had managed to continue our dialogue with her before our stay came to a close.

Sonja was efficient and cheerful in making the rounds to our room, keeping all provisions fully stocked and wonderfully presented. We regret that we did not encounter her more often as we were so often elsewhere on the resort.

And please also convey our gratitude in a more general sense to the entire staff of Riu Palace Jamaica at Montego Bay. Without exception everyone on hand proved to be absolutely wonderful in every encounter we were fortunate enough to have experienced, including the front desk personnel, the security "Peace Officers" keeping order along the beach, to the saleswoman at the gift shop, the groundskeepers, and the painters on the second floor.

The resort is in pristine shape even beyond expectations for its recent grand opening in December 2013. The vibrant colors of luminous orange and purple, by coincidence the favorite colors of mine and my wife respectively, were pure eye candy to behold. Everything looked so clean, bright and glossy, especially as the ambient light in the lobbies reflected off every surface. As we returned from our Tuesday excursion to Ocho Rios and Nine Mile, the other passengers on the bus from competing resorts gasped in wonder at the glow of the main lobby of Riu Palace, exclaiming that it looked like the finest Las Vegas casinos and asking us what it was like to stay at our Riu Palace. The adults only environment offered such a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, particularly in the evenings in the dining areas, the bars, and the serenity of the beach. Yet the ability to also participate at the larger sister complex next door was an entirely appreciated perk and a major factor in our selection of the Riu Palace for our vacation.

We are hard pressed to consider a trip to any other facility or any other world location. We certainly hope to return to Riu Palace Montego Bay as soon as possible.

Room Tip: Choose a Garden View Suites facing the sunrise in the East. The light-blocking draperies will enable...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TC_in_NE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
georgia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2014

Our stay at the Riu Palace Jamaica was wonderful. I can't say enough about the staff. They go above and beyond. The rooms are very large and clean. Food is great, plenty of options. A very intimate hotel but you can walk next door to the RIU Montego Bay if you want something more lively. You can eat and drink at both.

Room Tip: All rooms are junior suites. We were on the second floor and didn't have any problems with noise...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jen31088
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

Property: 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 61 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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