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“Fabulous Resort”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #19 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 18, 2014

This resort was wonderful. The staff was fantastic, the food, amenities all were great. The beds were a bit hard which is why I can't go all the way to 5 stars (an awesome bed is important to me). The buffet was much better than I was expecting - do not miss Jamaican Night there! The quality and variety of foods was top notch as was the service. The other 4 restaurants on property were also quite good but the Fusion and Japanese ones were far and above the best - you have to get up early to get those reservations but they are SO worth it!
The water sports were great and the scuba shop was wonderful - hat off to Lorna, the dive shop manager for making our diving trip memorable. She set us up on a great dive and didn't take the easy route by just putting us with the beginners. Much appreciated!

Room Tip: I don't know the other building numbers but we were in bldg. #7 - closest to the road and the ro...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank IrishLori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 17, 2014 via mobile

We went for our Son's wedding. The room 6218 was very nice & clean. The service, the staff, the food & shows were all excellent for us. The beach amazing that's where we spent most of our time. All our expectations & requests were met-love & respect

Stayed: July 2014
1  Thank njules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

The room we were assigned was missing basic amenities such as lampshade and a working bar. Wthout rm service dishes were stacking in the halls to cater to the insect issue.We had to pay extra for an "upgrade" to have these items. Even with the upgrade, the service was horrible.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Shanita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

Upon arrival to the hotel we were greeted at the front desk with rum punch and boy did we need it after travelling for amost 7 hours! We checked in and got help from the bell hop with our suitcases. We got to our building only to realise that the resort did not have an elevator!!! I felt so bad for the bell hop because we had four huge suitcases and our carry ons. My husband help the poor fellow and they had to carry the luggages all the way up to the 3rd floor, they were breathless afterwards! This really makes it very difficult on the bell hops, so make sure to tip them well. When we opened the door to our room I was immediately hit with a strong pungent smell of mildew and they had given us 2 Beds, when I had requested a King bed.The odor was terrible and I could not stay in that room for 2 Weeks and also have my wedding dress absorbing that odor! I called the front desk and requested a room transfer, they granted us the room transfer and we had to go back to the front desk for our new room keys. We then had to assist the bell hop again with our luggages down the stairs, then all the way to the other end of the resort and then back up another 2 sets of stairs. Upon arrival to our new room the odor was much fainter and we had a King bed with a very nice view. The mini bar in the room was great. Housekeeping was wonderful and we would always come back to our room and be greeted by Chocolate covered strawberries and towel shaped hearts or swans and it was beautiful and very sweet.
The Jerk Hut was the first place we ate at and it was just as I remembered it tasting. The buffet was great! It had a huge selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The waiting staff were all very friendly. We tried a few other restaurants and they were all good. If you want to have dinner at any other restaurants besides the Negril Buffet you will have to make reservations at least 2 days prior. They have two pools which were a bit smaller than expected. One of the pools had the standard swim up bar and the bar tender Jamal was great! The beach was amazing!! The water was super clean, clear and blue and the local vendors on the beach supplied us with all of our souvneirs. I had my hair done at the Spa for my wedding and they did a great job! They also gave my husband and I a lovely massage. It rains almost everyday in Jamaica and I was very happy that it didn't rain on our big day! Our wedding went off without a hitch and it was perfect! We had our reception at the Bloody Bay steak house and the food was great. Parasailing is a must! It was absolutely amazing! Overall our stay at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay was very good. I stay with the Riu Chain all the time and everything was to standard.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank Kathyna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014

Great resort. Rooms are well kept, keep the fan on though to help with the humidity. Grounds are clean and laid out well. Food was absolutely phenomenal. Lots of choices and flavour was never disappointing. All the staff were great. If you like hanging out in the pools you might find them overcrowded. I personally spent all my time on the beach which is absolutely beautiful. Lots of room on the beach, water was calm and the beach was clean. My only complaint would be the hustlers that went up and down the beach selling stuff of all sorts. They don`t approach your lounge chair but they make sure their presence is known by all on the beach. I understand that the resort doesn`t own the beach but the activity that they goes on including what they are offering isn`t in the resorts best interest to have going on there. It didn`t bother me so much but could have been much different if I had my children with me and the resort should recognize that as well. The shows at night were awesome. Overall, I have to say that this was an exceptional holiday.

Room Tip: I wasn`t near the road but I wouldn`t want to be. That would be the only thing I would maybe suggest...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank GeoffGottfried
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014

This hotel is great. Staff is super friendly and helpful, Bars and pools great, Food great, service amazing. Very clean. Family friendly. Love love love this resort. This is a great hotel for families or couples. Very nice and helpful staff

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2014

OK so this is a palace and as such the standard is pretty high, there were a lot of good points but unfortunately a number of points that could so easily be rectified to make this place amazing.

First the positive stuff:

The beach and sea is probably one of the nicest I have visited, the sand is lovely and soft white with no stones. The water is very shallow and very warm with very little in the way of wave movement, except when a speed boat passed beyond the buoys. I don't usually go in the sea much but I was in here several times a day it was so lovely.

The food in the A 'la carte restaurants was very good. I thought the Italian was the best, the beef in there was of extremely high quality and very tasty. When we were there the menus were changed over so we tried both menus in the Crystal fusion restaurant. The old menu was the same the world over so I was glad of the change, the new menu had some nice things and we both enjoyed our meal the second visit. Dave raved over the Japanese but I can't comment as I don't like Japanese food, the steakhouse was the weakest in my opinion.

The staff were for the most part extremely friendly and happy to help, sure they are hoping for tips but we tip at the end of the holiday and found that we still got great service without tipping every day (with the exception of the miserable girl taking drinks orders around the pool). Special mention has to go to the older chap that serves in the main bar at night, it got so he brought Dave's drinks without even having to ask what he wanted, in a large hotel, that is extremely good service.

We never, ever struggled to find a sun lounger, don't know if it was because the hotel wasn't full (it didn't seem empty) but there were always plenty to go around.

Now for the negatives:

The minibus that picked us up was pretty ropey, cracked vinyl seats etc, I really expected better than that from a Palace.

We were on the third floor and there are no lifts, treking up and down steps a few times a day in that heat is very draining. You take it for granted that there will be lifts, especially in a Palace but there were none.

The only air conditioning was in the restaurants. An air conditioned bar would be very welcome at night, there are fans but they are not effective so I was forever having to fan myself of an evening.

There is a piano in the main bar which appears to be played early evening only, a couple of tourists had a play which were very good but they were told they were not allowed. I think the piano could have been played later into the evening as this was a pleasant change from the screaming in the main entertainment area.....

The entertainment, every night at the start of the show, without fail, the compare would shout "make some noise if your from America, make some noise if your from England..... etc, etc" Now I can understand he is wanting to get the crown engaged but honestly, the same thing night after night is extremely tedious. The evening shows were dire to say the least, there were no outside entertainment with the exception of the steel band. All shows were put on by the entertainment team and they were all pretty lame, for the most part dancing in different costumes seemed to be the only thing on offer.

The entertainment team during the day were no better, I have been to many Riu hotels and this is by far the worst I have come across. Riu staff at other hotels come round to your beds to ask if you want to play, here they shout at you if you are in the pool to join in so you feel pressured to join. We played a game on the beach and the Riu entertainer made us all stand around for half an hour without once having a go at the game until the first pair had got to 30 points, then it was the turn of the next pair. People were not surprisingly walking off in disgust. You weren't allowed to be an individual, you had to play in a pair. Another game we played it was the first to 30 points, this time we were allowed to play a turn each but of course, the first person to play got to 30 points first because they had an extra go. I know its only for fun but they sucked all the fun out of it by not bothering to run the games properly or fairly.

The pool games were no better, again I can see the main riu guy was trying to get the tourist involved but he constantly said go on three but he did one, two stopped and did one, two then stopped again, same thing over and over, its not funny and its not clever. I know I sound a misery but I can assure you I love playing games on holiday but this person was enough to put you off.

There are parasols around the pool but they are mesh so they stop neither the sun nor the rain - what is the point?!!!!! These need changing to effective sun shades.

The pool bar doesn't open until 10am, by that time, in that heat, you are pretty desperate for a drink, a water cooler or something would be useful until the bar opened.

The area around the pool edge is flaking away, its obvious an attempt has been made to rectify some of it but a poor job has been done and nothing else was done whilst we were there.

There are no toilets near the pool, the closest ones are near the main reception which is a good way off from the pool so I am guessing most people just pee in the pool. There needs to be a toilet block near the pool area.

There are no bars or shops close by, just a line of hotels.

Hawkers walk along the beach selling you stuff, to be honest they don't bother you too much but just so you are aware.

We did a few trips whilst we were here, Southern tour which takes all day (its a long way on bad roads but the waterfalls and surrounding area were lovely) and included a boat trip on the black river which was very good and a tour of the Appleton rum factory. Because the tour operator failed to pick us up the first time we booked, we got a free trip to Rick's café where they do the cliff jumping. That was an entertaining trip but check for yourself, I understand somebody died there in May by jumping in at the wrong angle (and the food and drink is ridiculously dear).

We did take a walk to the other Riu down the beach and to be fair, the palace is much nicer (as it should be) but there are too many negatives that could easily be resolved for me to give it more than a 3.

Room Tip: If you don't like climbing stairs in the heat, ask for a low room, there are no elevators at all...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank SunshineSoozy
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

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
#7 Family Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#14 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $285 - $567 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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