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“Very Nice Beach”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #21 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Very Nice Beach”
Reviewed March 17, 2014

I just got back yesterday from this resort where I stayed for a week.

One thing this place has that has to be noted right away is the excellent beach. Nice clean almost white sands with no sharp sea shells. The water is warm and a nice turquoise colours. One day we took a walk down to the other Riu which is not a "palace" and that beach definitely was not as nice and was more crowded.


That went really well. There was 8 in the party I was travelling with and we ended up getting our own small bus from the airport. It only cost $20 each.
We got there before the big bus with all the other people arriving that day and as a result we had virtually no wait. The front desk clerk was great and there was a nice lady serving us rum juice drinks.


When we arrived in our room, we were happy to see the fully stocked bar (2 rums, 1 brandy and 1 vodka bottle) and fridge ( 5 red Stripe, Coke, Sprite and water).

It took us a couple of days to empty the fridge but with one call to the front desk, we had it replenished while we ate supper.

The rooms were clean and spacious. I only saw a lizard once and it was just outside our room and not inside. The balcony had a nice beach view and was a nice place to smoke.

The only complaint I have about the room is the shower. It's nice looking but not very practical and the safety bar that you hang on to was very loose and a potential safety hazard. We called to have it fixed and it never got done.

We did not bother with the restaurants that require a reservation. We stuck with the buffet the entire time there. We had no problem with that as there was a good selection of things to eat and the food was good for the most part.

Breakfast is also served at the buffet and it's a large selection of continental items as well as bacon, sausage and eggs done just about any way you can imagine.

Lunch buffet was probably the worse of them all. I ended up going to the beach hut where the jerk stand is and getting that for lunch on most days. It's really good; do not miss out!


Service is good but if you want better than good you need to tip. You do not have to give all that much; a buck here a buck there. One night my partner and I hung out at a bar for a little while and I gave her $5 after the second drink and did not tip anymore for the rest of the night. My beer refils were coming before I finished. You will get quicker service if you tip; it's like anywhere else. Bring lot's of $5 and $1 bills if you can.

If you are thinking of going here, I would recommend it. This may not be the best place for small children though. The Riu Negril down the beach is probably a better option for families.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank seanto1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vaughan, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 16, 2014

The beach is great! Clean calm water good kept sand not a sufficient quantity if shade trees or umbrellas. As for the rooms they give the appearance of clean, the furniture is ok but the drawers were falling apart. The view of the ocean from your suite was great.

However, The resort did not have the appearance as implied a “Palace” it’s more in tune with a good hotel the a-la-cart restaurants the one we tried were excellent in food, food presentation and service.
The one thing that got me was the lack of restroom, there is one set in the main building and none near the pool or the beach if you had to go you would need to run to your suite or walk to the ones in the main building a good walk in both cases. If a may add, the bathrooms were all clean since there is a woman constantly cleaning both the men and women bathrooms while the men were in it.
As for us returning to the same resort we probably would only for the excellent beach because all the others services are not any better than others.
Grade: In a scale of one to ten I would give it about a 6.

A word of wise, if you are traveling to Jamaica on a weekend, I strongly recommend that you buy the Club Mobay package.
This is the second time in Jamaica for us and both time the line was worst then other, we arrived at the MB airport at 11:00 am for our flight at 2:30 pm the line was disorganize and confusing and almost three hours letter we made it thought security almost missing our flight.
Jamaica is a great place but getting there is a different story.

Room Tip: All suites a rooms and comfortable and roomy most if not all have a balcony equipped with two chairs
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank Capt_Tony2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

I'll start out by saying every vacation I've ever been on, I was ready to come home by the end. Not at this resort! I stayed 6 days with my girl friend for spring break and we are both 24. I wanted to be with other Americans and Canadians and that's exactly what this place caters to. I had low expectations as I'm an extremely pessimistic person, and I was blown away!

Reception staff were very welcoming and quick, as they should be ;) I ordered a junior suite ocean view with a king bed and got just that, room 5109 (ground floor). I've heard about the two beds pushed together nonsense but never heard about this happening to anyone I met. The room was very clean, well stocked with hard alcohol, roughly 8 red stripes, coke, sprite, ginger ale, soda water and giant water bottles. Restocked every day!

The only bad thing about this place was the noise of all the busy workers starting at about 8:30 am to clean. That could be because of the location of my room, but who knows, I didn't care that much. Who like burning daylight!! The beer man comes between 9 am and 6pm to stock the bar in your room. If you're lucky enough to see him, give him a tip and he'll always make sure to keep up with your desires for any extra alcohol or other goodies ;)

The bars were all fully stocked and ready to please. They had a lot of top shelf alcohols and specialties from back in the states which surprised me, but do take note: no energy drinks are available on the compound. The lobby bar was always fun and had many types of people frequenting it. I didn't find out till later in the stay that there was a food station to the right of the lobby bar at night full of pizza, chips and cheese, burgers and hot dogs! Sooo good for us late partygoers. The bars down by the entertainment stages were fun, but generally received business only during the shows and became pretty busy. Nothing a good tip won't fix. These closed by midnight. And finally the pool bar. It has two levels, one in the pool itself that you could swim up to, or one above it for people making their way to the beach. My girlfriend and I generally got out into the pool by noon every day and stayed pretty close to the swim up bar to make sure we were fully hydrated by means of delicious specialty drinks and red stripe lights. This was my all time favorite I've ever experienced. Andrew and tinker bell at this bar delivered excellent service all day long with a simple 10 dollar tip. Which brings me to tips.

Tipping is not required, but goes along way if you're a lush like we were. We tipped around 5 dollars a day to room maids, 25 total for all the bars, 5 to the dinner server at the buffet and specialty restaurants, and about another 5 for various other things. These people only make around 100 usd per week and tips go along way! The final night I tipped a 100 dollar bill to my buffet server 'Caple' for his amazing consistent service. He just rubbed me the right way and made me feel like a king.

The beach was simple, yet very elegant and clean. Servers came out to take orders for drinks, but were slow so go get your own or bring a big mug from home to keep you satisfied. There were always plenty of chairs all throughout the day so don't worry about reserving them unless you have a very large group. The water is to die for and contain only small star fish further out and the occasional group of fish that are harmless. No signs if jelly fish that week.

We booked the trip through Apple Vacations and they are always good. The apple rep at the resort checked in with us multiple times, and took care of booking our excursions. We ended up doing the all day Black river falls/YS Falls/ Appleton Rum factory tour which we absolutely loved. Though, the tour bus we were on was equivalent to an American greyhound bus, the roads were horrible which made us cancel our second all day excursion. Plus the resort was so nice and we were paying a lot of money for all inclusive, so why have all the extra structure and stress of constant touring.

Overall, this was the place to be for us. I will go back as often as I can and the Riu Tropical Palace in Negril will be our first choice for years to come!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
14 Thank Kjhenke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2014

If you are going to go to Jamaica on a weekend, I strongly suggest you purchase the Club Mobay package. This is the first time I didn't and what a mistake that was. When my son and I arrived at 2:30pm on a Saturday. The line for customs started in the jetway. 2 1/2hrs later we made it through the first customs line. If I booked the Club Mobay pkg, I would have been out of there in a half hour total. Coming home, the same deal with the lines. I don't want to sound like a commercial of Club Mobay but weekend arrivals and departures are crazy at Sangster Int'l .
The transportation was a little confusing this time around. We went to the proper desk for our bus. They took the papers and left us hanging on our own. I grabbed a guy outside and he got us on the right bus. We shared the bus with guests going to The Riu Tropical Bay and Club Riu. There were a few Club Riu guest, mostly women, that were drunk and couldn't control their mouths. I have a 15 year old kid with me and they are talking about sex toys and getting some and I am like , do you see I have a kid with me. They apologized and a few minutes later, went right back to it. Falling out of their seats and burping etc. not cool. After a 45 min ride, they finally got off at Club Riu and we were off, about a 2 minute ride to our Hotel.
We pulled up and it was much different then the Club. (we stayed at the Club Riu Negril in the past). Very nice, elegant and peaceful. I was surprised that no one came to get our bags from the bus but no biggie. Check in was a breeze. The people at the front desk were so nice and I had a rum punch in my hand before I could say thank you. The only thing that took away from our first impression was when the bell hop took our bags to the room, another employee came along for the walk. When we got to the room, I tipped the bell man and the other employee says, "What about me?" I guess the look on my face said it all and it was about face and out of my room.
The room was everything I anticipated but was surprised at the small television. The bed was so comfortable and the room was extremely clean. I just wish there was a way to regulate the air-conditioning a little better. It was either too cold or too warm. The bathroom was spacious and has great towels. The thing that comes to mind is how does a handicapped person, get into the tub. There is a very high step to get into the tub. Housekeeping does a great job and they can't do enough for you.
When you book the Palace, you get to use the facilities at the Club Riu also. The Club Riu is like a city compared to the Palace. I did go to the Club for lunch a few times. They have Bbq on the beach that is so Delicious. The food at the Palace is ok. The dining staff are top notch. I can't say enough about the service. The food isn't as tasty as the Club. Go figure. I paid over $5,000.oo for the week, including air, and I had to go to the other resort for lunch. If you go, the steak house is really good. It's not Mortons or Peter Lugars but it is a delicious diner. I had the surf and Turf, cooked to perfection. You have to make reservations 2 days in advance and get up at 800am to do so. Speaking of getting up early, you have to get up and reserve your beach chair at around the same time. Shade is very limited on the beach. I got up at 730a,strolled down to get 2 lounges, put my claim to them and went back to get ready for the day. They need more trees on the beach.
The hotel had a lot of families and older guests.You had the music in the background but not ear splitting. I wish there was something more for the kids to do but maybe in the future as more and more families go there.
I thought it odd that each bar you went to and asked for a "Jamaican me crazy" , it was made differently by each bartender. I also thought ,especially at the pool bar, they were light on the liquor. I am a light weight when it comes to drinking and I didn't have a buzz the whole the week.
All in all my son and I had a very nice time. The beach was one of the nicest i have ever been on. There is construction scheduled to start soon, on the beach, between The Palace and The club. I don't know how that will effect the present beach. If you ask me if I would go back, yes but not on a week like presidents week when you have to pay top dollar. The vacation package was not worth over $5,000.00 but that is the price you pay for nonstop out of Newark. I look at the packages now and for 2 people it's under 4,000.00 with air and I could deal with that. Remember, in Jamaica, you get what you pay for.
There is one thing that they don't tell you. Walk over to the Club and keep walking. There is a snorkeling area. It's called the fish sanctuary .You walk in and the fish are everywhere. There is no need to spend $50.00pp to go to the reef. You see more fish at the Sanctuary then the excursion. If I were you, I would bring my own snorkel gear. it's hard to get reserve them at the resort as they give it to the excursion people first.

Room Tip: buildings 3 ,4 and 5 have the best location for access to everything
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank Mikeyups
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bartlett, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2014

We stayed at this resort 3 nights. We had a beachfront room and it was worth the upgrade, building 3, third floor, the view was spectacular including the sunset from the balcony, it was next to the main buildings, including the lobby, restaurants, bars, and pool, perfect location for us. There are 4 theme restaurants which we did not try because people line up at 8 am to reserve and we don’t get up that early. We ate all our meals at the buffet which we loved, great variety and all very good.
The pool area was not very big but we did not use the pool, we were there for the ocean which was very clean and beautiful.
The room furniture needs updating but it was very clean. Room service was ok, menu was limited, service was fast, mostly snacks like chips and dip or sandwiches.
Overall is a very nice resort, clean, excellent service, it was so good, I’ll say it again, excellent service by entire staff, we would visit again.

Room Tip: Building 3 is next to the main building, pool, bar, good choice if walking a lot is a challenge. Ou...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank grillasmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014

There are great things about this hotel and some really much needed areas of improvement. We stayed at the Rui in Ochos last time and this was no comparison to it. We were there for 9 days in February.
PROs: Beautiful beach and location. Always a well stocked bar that comes in handy when you have day trips. There are 'some' really great staff. There is always lots of food and done quite well. You do get the luxury of using the other Rui down the beach and their services and for us this was a bonus for the below reasons.
CONS: Two double beds pushed together does not make any sense and is uncomfortable. We stayed 9 days and the sheets were NEVER changed. The night before we left to go home the bed had appeared to attack me as I was covered in huge bites I did not have before I went to sleep. The maids will make one soft knock and immediately enter your room. One day while lounging on the balcony with my bathing suit not tied up(we had a very private view btw.) I heard a knock and immediately got up to have three men already in my room telling me they were security and needed to install an internet box right then. So a note to all we learned quick, when your in your room ALWAYS have the 'do not disturb' sign out because boy were we ever getting disturbed by this. They have only one pool for a resort this size and the ONLY bathroom is quite a walk.We did an excursion by the SCUBA shop to go snorkeling. What a nightmare. There were 2 staff who did not have a clue what they were doing and 21 passengers. The water was way too rough to be in and with 21 people in a small area where you got kicked by others just trying to find space in difficult conditions. One staff is with you and ours not knowing this area at all had us 'gather together', not realizing it was over a shallow coral reef where several of us were gashed by it in the legs. I had the gash the rest of the trip. There are two sights and for the second swim only 6 people got off the boat as everyone else was very upset by how this was done and the safety concerns. As others on the boat we have snorkeled a great deal and had never seen anything like this where someone so easily could have got hurt. We also went para-sailing that was organized by a SCUBA shop staff that was quite the scam. We were told by the staff's 'friend' that a tip had to be given before getting on the boat and he did not even go with us? Then the boat staff also expected to be generously tipped. Of course we would have stopped all this if it had not been my actual Birthday and my husband so wanted me to have this experience. Also, who wants to tick off the men that are flying you very high in the sky? Let's just say I wasn't "Happy" about the staff who set this up as the whole experience was very much 'scammy', I won't elaborate more. There are 1/3 of staff who are awesome (who doesn't just love 'Drinkerbell' and her wonderful personality). A 1/3 have a job to do and smiling or being warm is apparently not in the job description and another 1/3 are outright rude and condescending. Unfortunately I think we somehow dealt more with the last 1/3. After a ' too much sun' day I ventured to dinner to grab some fruit to lay in bed with (I was green). I was stopped by a staff at the door who told me I could not do this and was rude about it. I sat down and was about to just leave my plate when a lovely staff stopped by my table to ask if i was enjoying my meal. I explained what had happened and he wisked my plate away and wrapped it and walked me right out the door past the 'nasty staff lady' and apologized for how I was treated. Just one of many examples, but I won't go on. In Ochos Rui we felt like we were on a second honeymoon the staff were absolutely amazing! So not the same here. Also the peddlers are allowed on the property which kills enjoying the beautiful beach at night. We tried to walk it once and had two different people approach us out of the dark, trying to sell drugs, and it was scarey not even being able to see their face because there are no lights along the beach. In Ochos, no outsiders are permitted on the beach and you feel so free and safe, it's amazing. Room service is not a bonus here as there are very few selections and they are made up way ahead of time and were tasteless. This is not a 5 star beyond a doubt. We did however very much like the Rui down the beach and it would have cost us less. I used to work as a 'secret guest' and was fortunate to visit real 5 star resorts such as Napa California, Arizona etc. I do know service and this hotel does not ensure it. My report on this hotel would have been unpleasant to write. We will not return here and would not recommend it if you want to feel your much deserved vacation you earned was well worth the effort you made to get it.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Maddie246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Maine
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

Let me just start by saying this resort is great the only people that complain are way to high maintenance and probably will always have complaints no matter what your on vacation just relax!!!
Start off with checkin quickest checkin I have ever dealt with greeted with a drink and brought right to the desk are room was ready right away! Now the room we were in building 6 in 6120 furthest away on property room view was horrible dirt a fence and neighboring hotel. I sent my husband to the desk to change and without any question they switched us the next day. Originally we had to fulls pushed together and we got switched to 5155 had a beautiful garden ocean view and a king bed only complaint is we were on bottom floor and the people above us must have smoked like a chimney every night we came back out room was full of cigarette smoke.... Room is just average nothing special has the liquor dispenser great tip the people who stoke your fridge they will make sure it's FULL of red stripe!!
Restaurants the resort has the weirdest system that I didn't care for but the buffet was great! Two sitting times only 630 and 9. Which u can stand in line in the morning usually u can make reservations for that night if she has anything available and the next night. We never had a problem making a reservation she always had something available We made reservations for both and missed them all 630 my husband and I were still sitting on the beach watching the sunset and by 9 I've already ate dinner and that's when the show starts so you would miss the entertainment!!
Entertainment staff!!! You all r amazing!!! My husband and I won 8 bottles of rum from different games they play all day. Riu Olympics,cricket,horseshoes,bean bag toss, volleyball, so much fun! Get involved! One day on the beach they made lobster and did different games. The jerk chicken hut during lunch is AMAZING!!!
Staff no complaints they r all so nice!! Smiling ready to help no waiting the best staff I have ever dealt with!! Talk to them get to know them!
Beach is stunning!!! No rocks clear calm really no where to snorkel make sure u bring a float and lots of sunblock! There were always chairs no need to get up super early!! Drink service on the beach is great!
Pool was ok 2 very small pools one very empty the other has swim up bar. I'm not a pool person but we spent our later afternoon up there played pool volleyball and they played some fun music!
Kids. Not a place for kids. There r no activities for them and really I didn't even see any there.
Locals they will ask u to buy stuff just say no thank u. We actually got to talk to and get to know a lot of them! King Luis don't b scared of him he's harmless!! Johnny b good what's up jon says Hi!
Walk to your left there r tons of shops
Excursions stunna and Mr. Happy have great prices we did a catamaran cruise snorkeling caves of pirates carribean and ricks cafe where we jumped!!
Nightly entertainment so much fun we were brought up on stage hubby killed it did 21 push-ups w me on his back he had to do a little dance. Other nights they have bands come in or music to dance to!! Your not in Vegas! One night they did a beach party. Another day at sunset they did Martinis and margaritas on the beach yummy!!!
The resort is very small compared to other places I have been but that is not a bad thing drinks were strong food was great people r so friendly go have fun!!!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
4 Thank Debeaute
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
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
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#15 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#15 On the Beach 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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