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“The BEST beach...”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 85 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Jackson, WY
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“The BEST beach...”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

I must tell you, if you are looking for a pristine stretch of beach with clear turquoise water, stay on Bloody Bay. This beach was AMAZING. We actually took a catamaran cruise that left from the Sandals Resort, and I was SO glad I booked the Riu, that beach was crummy.

Now, the resort...Riu Palace Tropical Bay was great. It is about an hour ride from Montego Bay, but could be a tad shorter if you had private transport. Rooms very clean although a tad tired - however nothing to complain about. We had an ocean view junior suite with king bed - an actual king bed, not the 2 doubles I have heard others have had. Beverages were always well stocked, but the first night we were without bottled water. I later ordered one from room service and it seemed that after they saw the Wata (name brand of the water!) bottle in the room we were never without it again. Room service menu limited but very fast. Room safe worked well. I may not want to stay in building 5 again, as the doors to the rooms face the busy road and I felt it was a bit noisy, however my husband thought it was fine. The room was cool with the AC and ceiling fan, however, if I were visiting in the heat of the summer, I'm not sure it would be cool "enough", we thought perhaps it was adjusted during lower temps. Also, and this is silly, but I know there are others like me out there, there is no white noise, or noise at all (aside from the traffic) - so take something if you normally fall asleep to a fan or whatever. They were having a bit of trouble with the water in that building on and off, but it didn't seem to impact us. The ATM at the hotel gives you american money, and is located in the casino. There is a $6 service fee.

Although we would get up to stake our claim on beach chairs, we never bothered to stand in line for the restaurant reservations. I only heard mixed reviews on the restaurants, so we just stuck to the buffets, which we felt were very good, but the Jerk Shack is a MUST, and they have bbq sauce if the Jerk is too much for you. Drink service on the beach was sporadic, but I think it is usually because they just didn't have that many servers for a pretty big stretch, but seriously, it was pretty darn easy to get our butts over to the bar and get our own. Speaking of drinks, they are good! They have a drink of the day which is usually a fruity delight. The cups are on the small side, so most everyone had their own thermal mugs - don't feel weird bringing one. Also, bring your floats! That was the best - the bay is so calm and lovely you can float all day...The pool was always lively, and the 3:00 (ish) games are fun. I got, and saw others with bites - sand fleas I suspect, so take a bit of anti-itch cream.

Now, the best part...the staff and general public of Jamaica. The Staff at the Riu was awesome. We loved their smiles, dancing, singing, and service. They had a wonderful sense of humor, and we enjoyed talking to them about their island lives. They are tireless, hard workers who make next to nothing - so a tip now and then goes a long, long way. We had a great time with the staff of the Office of Nature, Margarittaville, Island Routes Catamaran tour, and Mr. Party. Do not miss the Steel Drum Band when they are at the resort - AMAZING, and overall the entertainment was good - the entertainment staff try very hard to get folks involved and have fun. The beach vendors are funny - you can go parasailing, buy coffee, sugar cane, listen to the musicians, or buy weed. (Ha ha, but true...) just say no thanks mon and they are on their way. You can also walk a short distance down to the other Riu and check out the vendors along the way.
We loved Jamaica, and would return to the Tropical Bay. Respect mon.

Room Tip: Building 5 seemed a bit noisy to me from the traffic on the main road.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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11 Thank JHMely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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BIRMINGHAM, AL
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014

Spent 4 days at the RIU Palace Tropical bay. Celebrated out 10 year anniversary here and had a wonderful time. I am very picky but I thought the food was very good. We celebrated our anniversary at Krystal and had a wonderful evening. Everyone there made us feel special and we had a fabulous meal.
Just a couple of negatives but nothing that would prevents us from going back. The bed was hard and I am used to a higher thread count sheet. The vendors walking the beach were annoying but I got used to them quickly and then they became less annoying.
Overall great mini-vacation!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank JPDAVIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Iowa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Riu Palace Tropical Bay was AWESOME!!! We had a wonderful time there and would go back again!! Service was way beyond other places that we`ve been. They really make accomodations wonderful!! We had an incident the 2nd night we were there, the upstairs room above us, their toilet overflowed and ran into our room on the 2nd floor. They put us on the bottom floor in a luxury suite! It was a very nice room, but the next day I went back up to our room on the 2nd floor and requested our room back! The maid was there cleaning it and said it was perfectly dried out and nothing appeared wrong. We went back to our room and enjoyed the rest of our stay! The views from the 2nd floor are spectacular!!!!!!!! We were in the 3rd building and it was very quiet!!! We stayed in room 3114 and would recommend it to everyone!!!! AWESOME views of the ocean!!!!! And QUIET!!! The only thing I did not like about this resort was the fact that kids are allowed. We were on a vacation and everytime I saw kids, I missed mine!! It would be an AWESOME NO KIDS resort!! But seemed very accommodating to those having kids with them! The food was good! We traveled with 2 other couples and they all agreed food was good! The Steakhouse is very hard to get into, I recommend getting reservations for it the day you get there. We were never able to go. Did have reservations for one of the other restaurants under the main lobby and did not like it at all!!!! But the main buffet every morning and night had lots to choose from and even has certain nights the make food from certain countries. One night we had Mexican which was a favorite for our group!!!! The one thing I`d like to brag about the most is the beach!!!! OMG!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!! LOVED THE BEACH HERE!!!!!!! Beautiful, clean and full of sea life!!! Got to see 2stingrays early in the morning and lots of starfish towards the end of our trip! Fish everyday!! Be sure to feed the fish while you are swimming! They love the breadcrumbs! You`ll have tons of them around you!!! Lots of people walking along the beach are offered smokes (marijuana) Very irritating, but that's what you get in another country! Wished the weren't so bothersome, but just tell them no and they go away! But it would've been nice to have a peaceful walk hand in hand with my husband :( Lots of vendors on the beach also. The shop in the resort also has nice things to take home, but I do recommend going to Time Square for any tshirts or other things you want to take home with you, they had a very nice variety! Low prices also. Cab fares are reasonable, Rick`s Café definitely fun and Margaritaville was fun too, but not what I expected! Kind of run down! But we had fun on the inflatables out in the water! Definitely a fun vacation!

Room Tip: The third building was VERY quiet and I would highly recommend it! We stayed in room 3114! Thought...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
10 Thank ValjH70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014

First trip to Jamaica. Read reviews and picked Hotel Riu Palace. Met several couples that visit Jamaica once or twice per year and they said this is the best beach, best resort. I agree. Every staff member was happy and glad to help. All inclusive was the best idea. I kept my phone and wallet in our room safe the whole trip. I tipped on our last day, but I really didn't see other people tipping during the stay. Walked the beach every morning; water aerobics at 10:00 am; jumped on the Hobie Cat and sailed the bay whenever the wind picked up; read and napped on the beach; glass was never empty; took snorkel trip to Rick's; live shows every night. Mostly couples. Hour and a half bus ride to hotel was fun (funny driver and cooler of Red Stripe) and scenic. Room was not too far from dining and pool. Downside - Mattress was too firm for me. You will not be disappointed. Ya mon.

Room Tip: Stay close to dining area because you make a lot of trips. Make sure door does not face adjacent hi...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ron P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

My company had a work outing to Negril and chose this resort! This was my first time in Jamaica, and my first time at an all-inclusive resort, so because I don't have a lot to compare my experience with, I will just talk about what a lovely place this is! However, I will begin with the negatives.

1. No snacks. As a very active person, I need to fuel myself after running/ swimming around. The only snacks were at the gift store and they were a bit pricey. You do have a refrigerator full of Red Stripe, which is awesome, but a bag of trail mix would have been perfect. :)

2. Mosquitos in the rooms. Obviously you can't do anything about them being outside- I actually don't even remember bugs being a problem outside. Only in the rooms, which I thought was weird.

3. Water wouldn't be on at times/ Toilets wouldn't always flush. During the day, I think they would turn one temperature off at a time, which isn't a huge deal considering you probably won't spend much time in your room. But one cold shower is one cold shower.

Ok, now for the positives!

1. Staff was SUPER friendly. Everyone was great- from the front desk, to the waitresses and bartenders, to the cleaning staff, everyone was great!

2. Entertainment! Every day there was a group of locals who would always have some type of games/ contests to energize the vacationers! So much fun!

3. BEAUTIFUL views. Just breathtaking. See for yourself as my words won't do justice.

4. Meals were delicious. Breakfast and lunch buffet as well as nice restaurants.

5. Clean rooms! Balconies for every room!

6. Unlimited supplies of bottled water.

7. Pools are great!

One last thing, I was the only single person in my group- everyone of my coworkers is married, and this was a great place for couples! Very romantic. If you're single, or even a couple of single girls or guys looking for a vacation, I don't think I would recommend this place. Most people are here with their significant others.

Overall, I'm VERY impressed!

Room Tip: My room wasn't ocean view, I think it was called the "junior suite," but I still had a...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kathryn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Our first all-inclusive resort stay, as we have taken numerous cruises. Didn't know how we would like it, but we really would go back here again. The beach with its clean sand and palm trees was absolutely beautiful! It was really long so accomodated everyone just fine. We took the Hobie Cat sailboat out twice, found starfish just off the shore, watched the sun set, and listened to the gently rolling waves. Had an outstanding couples massage in the cabana. Loved loved loved the food at the Negril restaurant (what choices!), but won't recommend the Steakhouse. Went to the Chukka zip line, Negril Golf Course and Rick's Cafe (and jumped!) Very nice stay.

Room Tip: No elevators. Ocean view upper level is awesome (unit 6 at the far west end).
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gladebrook
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2014

I am handicapped, so if you are handipped, please book the rooms on the first floor..easy to get to - and they have plenty of ramps..there is NO ELEVATOR ..very good buffets, the Krystal restaurand is the best..up town..like steak tartar,,beet soup which is lovely...we did have cold water the first three days..but I'm not a complainer..Staff was A_ONE - Bar were fun - floor shows, except for the last one (Jamaica Days) wasn't what I could listen too..so took out drinks for the beach. They will allow you to take a covered drink to your room if you want to relax in or have a show you want to see...fresh big beach towels everyday..take less - tip the waiters/waitresses..

Room Tip: There are plus+ steps to walk up and down, so if you don't like carrying cases up and down steps...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank gladebrook
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
#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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