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“fantastic” 5 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
Plainfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

Beautiful resort on bloody bay. Fantatstic staff, great amenities and food. Everyone we encoutered was friendly and helpful. Our room was nice and clean and the mini bar was well stocked daily. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank schjul
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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Dallas, Tx
Level Contributor
76 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

This was the most EXCITING VACATION EVER! The RIU PALACE TROPICAL BAY was extremely clean! THE STAFF was friendly, knowledgabe, accomadating, and proffessional. I plan on making this an annual vacation. The RIU has a variety of entertainment for Everyone! We had many of choices for dining.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank CharMac09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

My niece (15 yrs) and I returned from the Riu Palace Tropical Bay on March 13, 2013. My niece and I have been going to Jamaica for the past 3 years for March Break and that has been the best hotel that we have stayed at. It is located in Negril on Bloody Bay. There are 2 Riu hotels and the Palace was the best of the two. It was more expensive than the other Riu but well worth it. The beach is clean and spectacular...much cleaner than 7 mile beach. No one bothered you on the beach which can happen. The beach on this bay is long enough to have a nice walk from one end to the other (about 1/2 hr). As well, being a guest at the Riu Palace, you were entitled to go to the other Riu and enjoy their services, food, bars (though they guest at the other Riu could not come to Riu Palace and do same). There are 5 hotels on this Bay....one of which is half nude...but no problem....The staff at the Riu Palace were tremendous and and helpful...cudos to the Recreational Team...the best!!! They got you motivated every day without botherining you and they did it in a way that made you want to get up from lying there and move about...I am almost 61 and did not have the energy..and thank goodness they got me out of my chair as I would have gained so much weight from all the food and the drinks...!!!! ps the bar at the stage made fantastic martini's!!! The restaurants were okay but I am from a city of restaurants...so ... it was okay. The buffet had everything...and I was so glad to see that they incorporated Jamaican foodfare into the buffet. They also had a Barbeque on the beach with fish and jerk chicken/goat/pork...wonderful!!!! If you are in Jamaica...eat Jamaican..well worth it.

The entertainment in the evening was lacking...though we had a great time as we meet fantastic people and joined in with the Rec staff and laughed and had a good time...I did hot get back to my room until midnight every night and my niece stayed out longer...folks walked her home every night (due to her age)...very safe. As well, it's also the guests that make a good time and we scored on that one. May folks from a
round the world!!! yes!!!

Our room was large and clean...very comfortable...fantastic towels and also at the end of the night, staff turned down our beds....now that is "top drawer". I upgraded to a oceanfront room and had the best Sunsets on our balcony...WELL WORTH IT! All the rooms had a bar with a fully stocked fridge of beer (red strip and Heiniken)...pop, water, mixes and 4 bottles of liquor, Vodka, wiskey, rum and ?? cannot remember the other.

The only draw back in the booze category...is the wine. The only one one type of wine from one vinyard...a merlot and a white pinot gris...Too bad...as I am a wine drinker and Riu being a Private Spanish hotel, I would have thought that there would be a better selection of wine...even if I had to purchase it I would have.

The Riu may not be a 5 star but we gave it a 5 Star!!!!!

I have no complaints whatsoever and hand the best time and we are planning to make this hotel our destination again next year for March Break...we love Jamaica!

I want to say "THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL THE STAFF AT THE RIU PALACE TROPICAL BAY" for making our holiday so delightful and fun!!!

Cheers to all of you!

Room Tip: We were in Building 4 - wonderful
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank TorontoCitygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

I stayed at this hotel and spa with my wife and teen aged daughters from March 10 - 18 2013. I arranged my own ground transfer from Montego Bay airport to and from the hotel with Reggae Tours which is an excellent firm. Reliable, excellent drivers and vehicles and reasonable prices. The private transport is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to the hotel. Avoid buying the outrageously high priced drinks at the airport. If you travel with Reggae Tours they will supply with cold drinks like Jamaica's Red Stripe Beer for the trip.

The hotel is located near the center of Bloody Bay. It has multiple 3 storey buildings with junior suites. Some front onto the beach while others overlook gardens. All have balconies or patios and from these even the garden view rooms have a partial view of the beach and the bay. Negril is at the western tip of the island and is famous for its sunsets. Almost all rooms appear to have a good view of the sunset. We were in rooms 2211 and 2212 and these faced directly west over the gardens to the beach and the bay beyond.

The rooms were well maintained and clean. However there were some signs of wear and tear. the bath tub had been chipped and had a touch up repair done. The furniture was a little tired looking. The room safe caused some frustration the first couple of days ( close the door gently so you don't dislodge the batteries inside the safe ). There are some biting insects that come out at dusk ( the hotel is built on the edge of a forest ) so keep your screen door to your balcony closed. I did not like the way the hotel sprayed pesticide to keep the bugs down. However these were minor issues.

The cleaning staff cleaned the hotel very well. There was never a shortage of hot water for showers. The groundskeepers kept the beach clean and raked it thoroughly every morning. The beach lounge chairs were cleaned frequently ( there are a lot of birds on the property who have been well fed by guests and bird poop can be an issue on the beach chairs). There are large trees on the beach providing shade. The sun is very strong in Negril. Most days there were few clouds. The sun reflects off of the sand and the water. You can get sun burned even if you spend most of the day in the shade. A hat is a must and pack lots of sun screen. Buying sun screen in Jamaica is expensive as are most items for sale at the hotel.

Negril enjoys steady breezes and Bloody Bay is well protected. We experienced one red flag day out of eight. The rest of the days were green flag days. In the bay the sea swells were 3 feet or a metre or less. This is not a surfer's beach but it is ideal for novice sailors, for jet skiing
and parasailing. The hotel has 3 small catamaran sailboats. They also have several sea kayaks. They only had one working wind surfing board and the hotel needs to repair or replace the half dozen damaged boards they own.

Jet Skis are offered for rent by an independent operator at 60 US or Canadian Dollars for the first half hour. The price comes down if you rent for longer and price can be negotiated on a slow day. But the bay is not very large and since you are not allowed to leave the bay a half hour rental was enough for me. The machines are good. High output Yamaha Waverunners and they are quick.

The parasailing boat "Petty Cash" was the boat my daughters and I parasailed with. The boat looked a bit old and dodgy when I first saw it on the bay. But after watching the captain and crew lift a few people I was satisfied that they were very competent operators. The price was $70.00 CDN for the first person but $190.00 CDN for three persons. I didn't try to get any more of a discount. I think I could have gotten a better discount if I tried. The captain uses his parasailing customers to market his service flying people close to the beach near all the resorts on the Bay. He eased up on his throttle to have my daughters drift gently down to within 30 feet or just under 10 metres above the water so they could tell other people how much fun they were having. So I suggest that you go early because you may get a better discount if you are first up for the day.

The parasailing rides were long compared to other rides I've had elsewhere. After touring the beaches the captain took us up to the maximum altitude which is when we enjoyed spectacular views of the mountains to the east and the forests and sugar cane fields. The cane harvest was underway and we could see the smoke from multiple fires in the cane fields. To the south we could see the seven mile beach Negril is famous for and the town and the nearby cliffs where Rick's Cafe is.

Bloody Bay has very clear water with multiple reefs. From the parasail you can a lot of stingrays in the bay as well as other fish. The rays will sometimes swim close to shore. I had one swim by me when I was standing in shallow water about 50 yards off of the beach in about 4-5 feet of water. The ray passed within 10 feet of me.

The beach and the sea bottom near the beach have a very fine off white or beige coloured sand that does not get too hot even when the sun has been shining on it up to mid afternoon. There are very few shells or stones on the beach or near the shore and you can walk around on the beach and in the water without shoes. However the paving stones on the walkways and the pool deck get very hot and I wore sandals when I went to the pool bar.

The pools are smaller than what I seen at other resorts but I had no desire to use them when I had the beach. The pool area was noisy with loud music playing and with pool sports like water volleyball and the partying at the swim up bar. It was very popular with teenagers and spring breakers. I only went there for lunch in the pool side restaurant at lunch and to get drinks at the beach bar. Wait staff were bringing drinks out to guests on the beach but the pool bar was a short walk from anywhere on the beach. This is not a huge property and everything is easy to walk to.

The types of alcoholic beverages available at the bars is limited but there is a full selection of tropical drinks and cold draft beer. Wine is limited to white, sparkling white and red. It was drinkable everyday table wine but the white was cold and there unlimited quantities available. The sparkling wine was available most mornings for Mimosa Cocktails for brunch along with Bloody Mary drinks that were on the buffet.

There are several a la carte restaurants. We liked the fusion restaurant Krystal. We were not as happy with the Japanese restaurant. The wasabi and the ginger weren't fresh and the sushi and sashimi were ok but not as fresh as I like. The Udon noodles was the best thing on the menu of that restaurant.

We didn't try the steakhouse. However there was grilled steak in the buffet at both lunch and dinner. Good pizza, pasta bar, really excellent salad bars and fresh fruits, fresh made juices and smoothies at breakfast, freshly made eggs, pancakes, and many other food options at the buffett at every meal. There was something for everyone catering to guests from the USA and Canada, the UK ( full english breakfast except for fried mushrooms ), Europe and South America. Special items each evening such as Lobster, Roast Beef, Rack of Lamb, Roast Pork as well as burgers, fries, fried fish, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, soups and many other choices. All very well prepared and made fresh. There were also many choices of appetizers, desserts ( ice cream and sundae bar ) as well as vegan options and organic.

For me the best was the Jamaican food especially the jerk chicken, the many pumpkin recipes and the many vegetable dishes like Okra stir fry and the steamed mixed veggies. Make sure you get to the jerk chicken grill on the beach at lunch time early before they run out of the chicken.

The ladies informed me that the spa was good and reasonably priced. The spa staff were very friendly and capable. The entertainment staff were also very good at their jobs. Diving excursions are arranged at pool side and departure was from beach at the north end of the property. Very convenient and easy to get to and from the dive boat.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. They appeared to be very happy to be working at this hotel. I think that this hotel is very well managed and I frequently saw senior managers at dinner time helping to seat guests and at the same time talk to their guests to ensure that they were enjoying their stay. I spoke to one of the top managers every day we were in the resort. I was very impressed about this managers keen interest in his guests.

The hotel had good bands performing every evening from 8:30 to about midnight. There were dancers putting on a show most nights as well. Guests did a lot of dancing before and after the show. One night there was a spectacular show with limbo, folk and reggae dancing and a fire breather and juggler. This was performed by a professional group that works the hotel circuit.

My family really enjoyed their stay here. Jamaica has a very relaxed vibe. We went off of the property and I always felt safe. I believe that Jamaica is much safer than Mexico or the Dominican Republic. People did try to sell us things including marijuana ( I was told that marijuana usage is not legal in most of Jamaica but the laws aren't enforced if tourists are discreet ) I didn't buy any marijuana although guys tried to sell it to me at least a couple of times every day. I certainly could smell it at some point most days but it was usually only briefly and I smelled cigarette smoke far more often. Most importantly to me though was that the people trying to sell stuff were polite, friendly and didn't harass you if I told them I was not interested in buying their goods.

I recommend this hotel and Jamaica in general. The climate is very nice. The sea is warm, the country is lush and green and the people are very friendly and welcoming not to mention very good looking. This is a great place to vacation especially if you want to stay where there is a truly great beach.

Room Tip: Before I booked with this hotel I read another Trip advisor's review in which she reported that...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
26 Thank GBrider1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2013

Our 6 day vacation at Riu Palace Tropical Bay was wonderful from beginning to end. At check in we were greeted with drinks, checked in with ease, and they were able to move our friends so they were next to us, instead of another a building.
The food was great, plenty of variety at both the lunch buffet and supper buffet. We ate at 3 different restaurants, the Japanese, Italian and Steak House. All had great food and it was nice to try different things. We also ordered room service twice and within 20 minutes they were at your door with the food both times.
The beach was the best on the bay, you can walk out 20 feet and see fish swimming all around you. They keep it very clean and the sand is raked daily. We walked both directions down the beach and didn't see a better area. Of course, you had the people walking up and down the beach selling stuff, but none of them were a nuisance to us, most were very friendly. If you ignored them they didn't bother you, or a simple "no thanks" kept them on their way.
Overall, the place was beautiful and kept very clean. The staff were very willing to assist and were much easier to understand then our trips to Mexico. We can't think of a single complaint and if we were coming back to Jamaica, we would not hesitate to return to Riu Tropical Bay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Tinak91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surprise, Arizona
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed at The Tropical Bay from 3/7 - 3-13. We were married at the resort in 03 when it was new! While it shows some sign of age it was still wonderful. Not one complaint. Weather was perfect, Service was great. Shout out to Ev at the front desk, Andrew at the pool bar, also all the great people that we met. A few mentions in particular(you'll know who you are): Atom Bomb, Coors Light Perfume and the Rabbit. We can't wait to visit again. Thank you everyone..

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FinPhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

Our grandson got married here on March 9. Everything about this all inclusive resort was wonderful! The thing that stands out to me, besides the beauty of the place, was the way the workers treat the guests. They are so friendly, helpful, and happy. We would go back in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We had an ocean front ground floor with a king bed. The bed was huge-two big mattresses made up as o...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mary B
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 Family Hotel in Negril
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#15 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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