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“Great resort at a great price!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #21 of 84 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great resort at a great price!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2004

This is my 3rd trip to Jamaica, but my first trip to Negril. We were pleasantly surprised with this resort. I was a little worried because of all the poor reviews I read before I went. I took 21 people for Christmas so I had 8 rooms I could check out. There wasn't a single bug in any of our rooms. The only problems were in my 3rd floor suite, no water from 5-8pm, one rooms air didn't work until the 3rd day, and the sand fleas at and after sunset on the beach. Be sure to take some OFF ($10 in gift shop) or plan on staying off the beach after dark.

The resort is adjacent to Couples and one resort North of the Grand Lido. The RIU had the nicest, cleanest beach because of the location.
The other resorts had larger waves and the little sea weed there was washed up on their beaches.

The food selection and quality was great, the pool was cool and cloudy, the rooms were comfortable, the beach was beautiful, the ocean was warm and clear, and the staff was friendly. My travel agent screwed up and didn't book a handicapped accessible room for the Grandparents, but it was quickly corrected by the front desk and everything was great.

People writing reviews complained about the entertainment, but it was pretty good. It isn't Las Vegas, but then again if you want Vegas quality entertainment, go to Vegas!

The resort was only 1/2 full for the first 4 days of our trip and it was wonderful. The last day it was 100% full and there was a noticeable difference at the breakfast buffet, but I would still return to the RIU even if it is 100% full.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank krhayden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2004

I returned from my second visit to the Riu on December 15th, and let me say I have found my own special piece of PARADISE. The resort is beautiful, the staff is very friendly, the beaches are also very very nice. The entertainment was a little better this year compared to last year and we could tell they had been working very hard to improve it.
During our stay the dinner buffet changed from timed seating to open seating and times which was a good decision made less restrictions. We didn't make it to either ala carte restaurant so I have no comments on those. But the bars were great although the pool bar was under construction the bar was still a fun place to hang out at in the evening. Pete at the pool bar in the evening, Suave at the main bar in the evening, Clive at the main bar during the day and Pryce in disco are all great. The room was nice and the Ocean view was great. The only problem we encountered were the sandflies which is nothing a little Off can't resolve, and that's no fault of the Riu. We met some wonderful people also from the Midwest and we all plan on returning. We had such a wonderful time we are making arrangements to return this summer and the Riu is definitely our choice of resorts.

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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2004

Went to Riu for 7 nights with my husband in early Dec 2003. The Riu is a very nice place; however, isn't a 5 star resort. The swim up bar was under construction for 6 of our 7 nights. I understand this was an unexpected repair, but the noise was very annoying. The food was okay.
Buffet style mostly. I expected more seafood. Lots of "peel & eat" shrimp, but too messy & too much work for a lil shrimp. There was the option of a "fancier", sit down restaurant, but you had to make reservations for that at 9 am on the day you wanted to eat there. We were able to dine there twice. The menu was the same both times, but the food was very good. The jerk shack on the beach, a lunch time option, was delicious. Be sure to try the chicken & the sausage! The pizzeria was also very good. Thats the best place to eat for a quick & non-buffet dinner. The service was great. The staff there was always helpful & nice. I did notice that although this is an all-inclusive resort, some people were tipping. I found this offensive. If I am not tipping & someone else is, who do you think will get better service? I didn't notice a difference in the service between the tippers & non-tippers, but the staff did seem to hang around a few extra minutes to see if you would tip them. Made it kind of uncomfortable. The reviewers who suggested to bring bigger insulated cups & candles...THANK YOU! The drinks they make are in very small plastic cups, we call them "kiddie size". And the rooms REEK! We stayed on the 3rd floor & had no bugs, but our room smelled really bad. I know its the humidity that makes them so musty, so the candles are a great idea.
They do sell candles at the resort if you dont bring any. We saw no bugs in our room. But after the rain there was quite a few crawling on the sidewalks that looked like centipedes. They were heading for the 1st floor rooms, so I was glad to be on the 3rd floor. The entertainment was fair. No broadway show thats for sure. The bands were good. The music that is played during the day, on the beach & near the pool, definately needs to be updated or changed. We heard the same music over & over again all day, everyday. We walked along the beach in both directions & found the Riu to have, by far, the cleanest beach.
The resort itself was also very well maintained. There was always someone cleaning or polishing something. Another problem we had was the shower. The water pressure was fantastic, but the temperature was awful! We couldn't keep the water warm. We would be taking a shower & suddenly the water became scalding hot! Be careful of that! Also, be aware that the bathroom windows are tinted, but at night you are still able to see inside them. We hung our beach towels by hangers on them to prevent any peeping. Another thing is the amount of children at the resort. I do understand this isnt an adults only resort, but there were about 15-20 children running wild & taking up the entire pool. And since only one pool was available, I did find this to be annoying. I have children & by no means am against bringing them on vacation, but I hardly saw a parent with these kids. Overall, I did enjoy my stay at Riu, but I wouldn't go back. Too many problems for me & by no means a 5 star resort.

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8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2003

I just got back from RIU.I took my two childrin(well kind of),there 18 and 21.We went Dec 3 through the 10th.From the time we got off the bus we were treated like kings and Queens.From the manager Steve, to the porters I couldn't see how anyone could have had any complaints at all.Oh and we never saw any bugs of any sort on the first floor,witch we had two rooms #s1120 and 1122.I cind of figure some people can't be made happy no matter how hard a resort tries. RIU was the best vacation I ever took myself and friends too.!!!!!

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2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2003

I went with my 21 year old brother and mother to Riu Tropical Bay. I had a great time and was impressed by the friendly attentive staff and the attention given to each guests individual needs. The food was above average at the buffet, and the reserved dining was excelent. If you enjoy Red Stripe you are in luck, if not you will need to stick to mixed drinks. The disco was a bit on the weak side and seemed to cater to teen agers and the 20 something employees dancing with them. The beach was great, but the pool was full of children. It seemed as if the resort could not decide if it wanted to be for adults or children, and tended to lag somewhere in the middle. The staff was what made the trip a sucess and I would consider returning.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2003

The resort is very nice; the food was excellent, the staff was super helpful and friendly. The guests at the resort are 80 % European. The menus are written in 6 different languages. That was a little much for me. The pool bar was being renovated when we where there. :-( Don't lie on the beach or you end up covered with sand flea bites. Bring air freshener for your room. The mildew smell is overwhelming. I think it is coming from the A/C. Watch out for the guys with the shirts and ties and walkie-talkies. If you start to have too much fun, they send someone to stop it. Make sure you visit the jerk chicken shack on the beach for lunch!! Don't waste your time going to Rick's Cafe. They had some premium liquors, but that Red Stripe Beer is the worst, and that's all they serve for beer. Stop at the pool bar and ask Kirk-Patrick (K-P) to make you a fruity drink. He is the best and friendliest bartender there. All in all we had a good time, but if they would just step everything up a notch, the place would be a legit 5-apple resort.
There is a reason they are 500 dollars a week less then the resorts next to them.

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Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arcadia, Florida
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2003

My wife and I along with anoth couple went to Riu last summer and
overall it was most enjoyable. The rooms are about average as newer
hotels go and the ala-carte restaurants were excellent. The problems
came when you tried to get reservations to the ala-cartes. They have a
very odd way to operate all the restaurants which seems to be based
upon that of cruise ships. They make it nearly imposible to get into
the really nice restaurant and the other ala-carte is only so-so. The
main buffet requests that you be there at assigned times and sit at
assigned seats. This just doesn't work when you are on vacation and
engaged in other activities. The main beach buffet was as good as
you'll encounter anywhere.
The real draw to the hotel is the nearly perfect beach. I was the only one of the 4 of us with past experience in Negril and had been telling the others about the splendid beaches. Without exageration, you can wade out perhaps 50 yards and still be standing in water only up to your chest. The wave action is nearly non-existant and as a result, the water is as clear as a pool. I had told my wife that you could go out to this depth and look down and see your toes. She did one better and saw our toes reflected in the lenses of my sun-glasses.
The beach is topless if you wish and nudity is not uncommon near the ends. You are only one resort away from Grand Lido which has some of Negril's best shopping. Two more resorts down the beach is Hedonism 11. It is well worth trying for a day trip. The cost is similar to Riu and while there may be some wild goings on, overall the service there is vastly better than Riu as are the meals. The side trips are well worth the time and expense particularly the Black River and YS Falls.
Overall, while the beach is splendid, the hotel has issues which in my opinion make it less desirable than some others in the area and does not compare
to any of the top hotels in the Maya Riviera.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CaribbeanDetective
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 Tropical Bay

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Address: Norman Manley Blvd | Bloody Bay Beach, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#13 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 416
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

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