We really enjoyed our vacation to Negril. I don't have a lot to say about the hotel itself. We liked it and the staff there was very friendly and seemed like they really wanted to help you or wait on you. I only mention that because i don't get that feeling at most other resorts. We were impressed with that. If you are going to Negril, with children, the Riu Palace is a good choice. It is a large resort with a good amount of dining and activity choices, its reasonably priced, has a nice, but not large pool, and a nice beach with calm waters. We never had a problem getting a beach or pool chair. We stayed 5 nights in a suite. It was ocean front. There were a lot of trees in front of balcony. We could only see the water through a small break in the trees. The room itself was clean and large. The bed wasn't the best.
Nighttime entertainment was typical for a large all inclusive resort. We were happy to have it as there isn't really a lot of other nighttime activities that can be done with children.
We ate dinner 2 nights at the buffet, one night at the Italian restaurant, and 2 nights off site. You do need to make your dinner reservations at least a ay in advance. We never did that. Without reservations you can go to the restaurants at one of the two seatings and check for cancellations. There don't really seem to be any, but you may get lucky. The italian restaurant was better than many all inclusive resorts. The staff was very friendly and went above and beyond for us. Not only did they set up a table for us without a reservation, but when our son started to get tired while dining they offered to send our meals and dessert to our room. Breakfast in the buffet was good with multiple stations for fresh cooked food. We only at lunch at the hotel a couple times, both at the jerk hut on the beach. It was good.
Off site dining is very accessible by cab. The driver quotes you a round trip price, and either comes back to get you a certain time or you can call him, either from your cell phone, or often times the restaurant will call for you. The roads by 7mi beach are wide enough to safely walk down. There Is a lot of local food and shops along the stretch. The road in the west end is very narrow, with very little room to walk. We highly recommend getting off the resort for great local food. Cab prices are $20 round trip to downtown negril/7 mile beach area or $30 round trip to the west end. You can also walk down the beach towards the other riu. You can stop at the Office of Nature for a lobster and beer. A little further down are shops set up on the beach and an even more local bar for a drink and a lobster. During the day the walk was not a problem, but it was getting dark on our way back and I did not feel comfortable.
We did two excursions that we recommend. We took a glass bottom boat to the reef for snorkeling. The captains name was Robert and his boat is anchored in front of the office of nature. It was $20 per person and took about 2 hours. The other excursion was the catamaran cruise that the resort sells. It is a 6 hour or so trip that stops on seven mike beach fora quick swim or some shopping, then goes on to the rock house for snorkeling(not many fish) and then ends up at ricks. You have to jump at ricks. The jump is high enough for you to have second thoughts all the way down. Make sure to keep your legs straight and enter the water straight, or you'll end up in pain with a really nasty bruise on the back of your thighs and underside of your upper arms.
Lastly we used reggae tours for private transfers from MBJ. The price was reasonable, and the driver was knowledgeable and friendly.
- 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