Just returned from Riu Palace and can’t wait to go back. My husband and I have spent 10 years traveling to AIs in the Caribbean, we have been to Bahamas, Antigua, DR, Cancun – for us there is no place better than Jamaica, specifically Negril. This was our first stay in Bloody Bay, we were a little worried it wasn’t going to compare to 7 miles beach down the road but we were very pleasantly surprised. Riu Palace beach is absolutely one of the best I have ever been to. Pristine. Beautiful water, power fine sand that is raked every morning, plenty of beach chairs and shade. And they have wait staff that come down to the beach to take/fill drink orders – Sandals didn’t even do that for us.
The second best part of this resort is the staff, they were very kind, friendly and courteous. From check in, to bell hop, all of the food service people, even the maid greeted us with a smile and “Good morning” every single day. We did our fair share of tipping, but I really do not believe that got us any better service than other guests. I have found that if you are kind and courteous to the Jamaican people, they will treat you the same. Look them in the eye, say “hello, please, thank you”, even a quick fist bump “Respect” and by day two they will all know your name, what you are drinking and be more than happy to go out of their way for you. Even though they are very poor, they have a lot of pride.
The entertainment staff was a lot of fun, they get people involved in little games & stuff. It’s not too much, where it becomes annoying – we’ve been to other resorts where I wanted to steal the microphone and hide it. They had a time schedule of events and kind of moved back and forth from the beach to the pool. But I have to say the swim up bartender named Andrew was awesome! He took care of us all week and helped make our vacation great – huge shout out to him!
The pools are a bit small, but with a beach like that it didn’t bother me at all. Originally I booked the cheapest room, our first night was in building 5 – the room was nice, but the road behind the room was loud. We upgraded to building #3 for $28 per night and did not regret it at all. Our view was amazing. And like others have mentioned, there is a lack of public restrooms so being so close to the beach/pool came in handy.
We ate at all the restaurants, the food was pretty good and I am a picky eater. We didn’t care for the French restaurant much, but you have to try them all. We enjoyed the buffet too. You have to make reservations for the restaurants, for me was no big deal. I have seen where other people complained; I never had to wait behind more than 1 person and was always able to get a 6:30 reservation for the restaurant I wanted. I have been to other AIs where no reservations were required, but you might wait outside the restaurant for 2 hours before you get seated. I’d rather make the reservation early in the day and skip being irritated later.
We walked the beach down to visit the other Riu. Be ready for the local vendors. Again if you are courteous, look at their stands and kindly say no thank you, they will leave you alone. I was really glad we picked the Palace. The Club had a LOT of kids and just seemed older and a bit run down.
If you are looking for a laid back beach vacation, with a nice balance between casual and elegant, then I would highly recommend Riu Palace.
- 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