Review of Riu Tropical Palace, Negril, Jamaica. 14 days encompassing last week of Sept 2011 - 1st week of Oct 2011.
Located in Bloody Bay, Negril, next to 7 mile beach (apparently best sandy beach in Jamaica, don't agree - Bloody Bay better). Shared mini bus taxi from airport to resort, approx travel time 1 1/2 hours along what can best be described as a poor A class Road in places. There is another Riu Hotel (Negril Club which houses Nightclub you can use) that can be walked to either by road or beach, approx 10 mins. Went there for a nosey, didn't like that one, more for younger generation. Tropical Palace has best beach, is quieter (except for when americans arrive), generally age group is late 30's upward. Little to no things for children (go to Negril Club if that's what you require)
Hotel was only 1/3 full due to time of year being hurricane season, benefits were no queing in restaurants or bars, deals on trips/excursions at resort and staff more attentive as not running about as much if full. Spotlessly clean, entertainment on every night normally ceasing at around 2300, by then you've had more than enough rum believe me, however if not there is a 24 hr bar open, free wifi located here also.
Food - Buffet and 4 specialised restaurants (Steakhouse, Italian, Japanese, A la Carte), food in all excellent. Only nause was having to get up at 0800 to book speciality restaurant if you wanted to, however speak nicely to some of staff later and possible to book if you had too many rums night before due to hotel occupancy level at time of stay.
Weather - throughout stay mornings were clear with cloud build from about 1530 - 1700, normally rained then for about 5 - 30 mins max then cleared up as if didn't happen (Jamaican's call it liquid sunshine) seriously not a problem, by time it starts and get out pool it's time to get back in, most people didn't even get out such is confidence it was going to cease imminently and it normally did.
Excursions - we booked prior to going, however due to time of year there were deals on in the resort which we weren't aware of and would have saved some money on, lot of excursions are however toward Ocho Rios area, which means a 2 1/2 - 3 hour mini bus ride to get there and same back, some are a bit closer but not many. Need to factor that in as leave early in day, 0800 to 0830 in most cases. We managed to see various other hotels and locations out and about and to be honest I won't want to go anywhere else on the island, Sandals did not impress me whatsoever although Hedonism from the boat did (obvious reasons).
Beach and gardens- Clear water and soft sand, there are hawkers/sellers walking along beach, but a polite no suffices and they move on their way. Various water sports available for free (certain require deposit) and some watersports involve a cost. Good for diving if your into that, personally wife and I achieve our licenses here and continued diving after. Gardens and grounds are well looked after and maintained.
Rooms - Clean and a fair size, TV, Phone, Safe, Coffeemaker, Fridge, Minibar (restocked daily for free), ensuite, Only annoyance was bed, it wasn't a kingsize but 2 x 4Ft double beds together, did ask for move but would have lost view of sea and ended up in apartment block next to road.
Staff brilliant, always cheerful and attentive, again this may have been influenced by hotel occupancy level, however saying that most Jamaicans met where of same cheerful disposition.
Americans did treat staff badly on occasion, especially those from south USA, still a bit of a racist thing going on there, which did annoy when witnessed. Americans from southern states do go to Caribean frequently, (their equivalent of Spain for UK I imagine due to proximity)
Flight - ok, went for extra leg room but couple in front continually put seat back infringing this making flight more uncomfortable than it needed to be despite being asked not to or even not as much as a form of compromise.
Money - US Dollars is accepted/preferred currency, in shops prices are quoted in US Dollars first, Hotel will cash travellers cheques but only into Jamaican Dollars. There is an ATM in hotel dispensing US Dollars and 2 further one's approx 500m from hotel one in US Dollars and one in Jamaican Dollars.
Ricks Cafe (Excursion) will give you change in Jamaican Dollars at a not so good exchange rate which I swear changes the more you drink there so just take Jamaican if going.
Am I going back, Yeh mon
- 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