We had a great week at this resort! The bus ride to the resort is an interesting drive. Took a really long time to get through airport then about an hour and a half to get to resort. Once there everything was great. Check in took about 2 minutes and we were in our room within 5 minutes of showing up!
Rooms are nice but nothing too special. The pushed together beds were a bit weird and they are quite hard but not too bad. Had a couple people stop by to welcome us and show us the room. Also had two courtesy calls from front desk during the week to make sure all was well, which it was. We even had a housekeeping manager ask if all was well during a dinner service. Nice to know they care. Our one tiny concern was addressed the next day. (no spoon to stir coffee in room, spoon showed up next day during cleaning) We were in building 4 which was nice and close to everything. Being on the ground floor is a bonus too.
The grounds are always clean and well maintained. I had no problems with bugs but my wife has a handful of bug bites on her arms and legs. The resort isn't too big but big enough to not be cramped.
The beach is the star of the show! We were at the beach every day. It is so close that I see no point hanging out in the pool. I can hang out in a pool at home, I don't have an amazing beach at home! The beach is cleaned every day so there is no debris anywhere. There are plenty of loungers, we never had a problem getting a pair together. The water is so warm and you can wade out about 100ft in the water and still be able to touch bottom.
The service and food are great! We never had any trouble finding something to eat. There is so much good food that you want to try something new every time. We ate at Krystal, Hakuchi, and the Steakhouse. They were all delicious, but Krystal was our least favourite. The food didn't have a lot of flavour and the servers didn't seem very happy to be there. Steakhouse was our favourite.
The entertainment guys and girls do a great job. They keep it very light and fun all day long and the shows are pretty good. Our favourite show by far was the Silver Birds steel drum band. They are amazing and energetic. They do classic and current songs very well!
We went on a few excursions that weren't too far away. We wanted to check out the Dunns River Falls but didn't want to spend the almost 6 hours on the bus to do it and kill a whole day. We decided to go to Chukka to go ATVing. It is only about 45 mins away. It was fun but we both have ATV experience so found it a little too slow being led in a single file line up and down the mountain side etc. I think it would be more fun for beginners. The guides do a great job and take some nice pictures that you can buy from them later. ($$$!) We did go on a sunset catamaran trip that takes you snorkeling and then to Rick's cafe to check out some cliff divers. We had more fun snorkeling than at Rick's Cafe. Rick's is pricey and very busy. We were also rushed at Rick's because the boat want's to leave in time to get everyone home before dark.
We also "rented" a Jetski from a local on the beach. If you decide to get one from a local, don't jump at the first offer, it gets cheaper every day as you say "no thank you" many times! We ended up paying $80USD for an hour.
As for the locals, they are all very nice people but the "vendors" on the beach are plentiful and are very pushy. They will generally leave you alone when told "no thank you" but will be back within the hour to ask again, EVERY DAY. Most want to sell you services or products to start but then it quickly turns to drugs. We were asked hundreds of times if we wanted drugs. That would be my ONE complaint about this trip. If you decide to hang out at the beach, it is better to stay up the beach a bit so you aren't constantly bugged by "vendors"! They all have a saying that they repeat over and over, all day. It does start to get annoying and you have to leave for a while. There are a couple guys that are just yelling to sell cigarettes and cigars from morning till sunset. It gets old fast. They must have some sort of agreement with the "lifeguards" or security because they don't like approaching your lounger, they ask you to come to them to make the deal. It is also the same group of vendors every day. There are MAN|Y vendor sites down the beach that do not come to the resort's beach at all. They stay where they are, just on the other side of the property marker rope. I would have been much happier to go see them, rather than to listen to constant repetition of "do you smoke", or "do you party" hundreds of times while trying to relax at the beach.
Overall, we had a great vacation and the only negative was the constant vendor attention at the beach. I would definitely go back to this resort!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 24-hour All Inclusive Riu Palace Tropical Bay Hotel opens year round and is located on Jamaica's west coast in the tourist area of Negril on the island's longest and most beautiful Bloody Bay beach. RIU Palace is the most elegant category in the RIU hotel chain, with hotels that meet the highest standards in terms of luxury, excellence and sophistication, creating a unique experience. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Sangster Montego Bay Airport MBJ (80 km) and Negril (6 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 416 cozily furnished rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers many amenities. Relax in our spa area or get in shape at the gym. 2 outdoor pools and 1 children's pool. Day and evening entertainment. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet restaurant, Italian and Japanese, Fusion restaurants and Steakhouse, as well as 4 bars. ... 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