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“Great stay, the in room liquor dispenser was over the top.”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #21 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great stay, the in room liquor dispenser was over the top.”
Reviewed December 30, 2010

This hotel was quite luxurious, our room looked out over the pool and dining area, and we still had a good view of the ocean. Even though the hotel staff laughed when we asked how far it was to walk into town (they said it couldn't be done - had never been done in fact!), it only took us a couple hours to walk along the beach from the town centre. We stopped along the way and had some drinks, found some conch shells, met some locals. Fabulous walk, just wear a shirt and bring sunscreen with you!

The food was good, if not great. With a vegetarian on board, everyone was happy and found lots to eat. The fruit was not very ripe/fresh, and it rarely is in the big resorts (much of it is imported and not from Jamaica at all). The limited selection of Jamaican food was very good, only wish there was more choices of local food.

The beach is beautiful. Careful of the fruit bats who might get in your hair as they swoop around the trees at the beach when the sun goes down.

We weren't expecting the in-room liquor dispenser cabinet, this was over the top mon. An alcoholic's nightmare I would think. However, having high end rum, scotch, brandy and vodka (ok I hate vodka) at our disposal was pretty nice, especially for nightcaps.

There was also a turndown service, where the maid comes in and basically turns your covers down. I don't get it. But then again I'm not high end. The turn down service wore old quickly and we cut that off after a couple of days.

Wifi in the lobby bar area only, which is a bad idea on two counts. One, I would like to have the convenience of checking my mail quickly in my own room. Two, the bar area is filled with people knee deep in their laptops and/or smart phones. Often there were kids sitting in there all day shouting at their laptops while videoconferencing. I'm all for technology, but it makes for a bit of a crap atmosphere at the bar with it's grand piano. It's more like an internet cafe for children and their often drunk parents. Rant over. I was happy to have wifi and even happier to sip a rum cream while doing it, internet cafe atmosphere or not.

No ping pong table. It was a sad day for us when we were told it was "out of order". After a quick sulk fest, we moved on to something else.

All in all, it was a great place to stay. Whatever you do, get out and see the real Jamaica. Visit the countryside, walk the beach in town, smile at people and you will be smiled to. Ya mon, have fun!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank cleverclever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2010

Family of 4 stayed at the palace from Dec20 to Dec 27. I will not go into the standard info as to how good the resort is you will read all that anyways. I will try to give a little info about other things. Food this is not 24 hours from 10 pm to 7 am you are limited to vending machine type snacks, Booze flows freely but seems watered down at times. The walk along the beach to the riu club house is nice make sure you try the rock lobster there are 2 along the beach we went to the one closer to the riu palace it will cost you about 20 US per lobster. The girls booked a Swedish massage and loved every minute of it, just a note they do get very close to all your parts, this will cost you 67US each for 50 minutes. My 2 daughters went para-sailing and loved it this will cost you 100US for both and 10 extra if you want to be in the boat to take extra pics although they will do that for you, The girls were up for 15 min. The next booking was an evening catamaran snorkeling trip toRicks cafe cliff diving
can't remember the cost somewhere around 60US each. Booze and pizza included. Girls actually got to touch the fish while snorkeling, to get to the cliff diving you need to swim to shore. Well worth the trip. 2 hour trip to two malls and the market cost 10US each the first mall was sunshine village and was the better then times square, and stuff was cheaper. The market made us feel as if we were fresh meat. We are very used to the Jamaican pleaders but this place made us feel un easy. Cabs from the hotel are way over priced ie: for the 4 of us to go toRicks and back 60US walk off the resort and 10 cabs will be on you in a min, cost to ricks and back 20-30US total. Do not exchange money at the airport you will only get 75 to 1US the hotel will give you 82 to 1US the real exchange at this time is 85 to 1US, US dollar is accepted everywhere and so is Travers checks. change will be give back in Jamaican dollar. Make sure you bring a bunch of 1 dollar bills as tipping everyone is standard. Hopefully some of these tips will help you and above all remember you are on vacation so relax on enjoy, and if you trip was to short then you had a good time.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Pat_TT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2010

I just got back from my trip to the Riu Tropical Palace in Negril with my Mom, Dad and sister (she is 24, I am 28). The hotel itself was beautiful, the beach was very nice, staff is excellent, and the entertainment was great!

FOOD: I believe there were 4 different restaurants (Italian, Steakhouse, Japanese, and Tapas inspired) along with a buffet which has TONS of different food. One GOOD tip: You make reservations two days in advance, and you HAVE to do it between 7am and 8am if you want to get a good reservation at the places that interest you. They only have 6:30pm and 9pm reservations for each restaurant. They say to get there between 8 and 10am, but my Dad did that and could only get a 9pm reservation for the next day. I believe they take reservations on Tuesday mornings (for Tuesday night and Wednesday night), and then Thursday mornings (for Thursday night and Friday night)...I was not there on the weekend. The buffet was nice, so if you don't get into a restaurant, it's not a big loss.

ROOM: Make sure to CLOSE YOUR BATHROOM DOOR! We had some mosquitos in our room and on our first night I got about 10 bites on my right arm and after a week they are still there. The mosquitos hang out in the bathroom, once we shut the door at night we didn't have as much of an issue. IF you do get bites, don't pick at them, they blister in the sun (I am dealing with that now). Other than that, the rooms are nice! Beds are a bit hard, but after being in the sun all day and having some beverages, sleeping on them isn't an issue.

BEACH: The beach was very nice, water was beautiful, and always comfortable to be in. No one really hassels you to buy anything, and there is an area roped off so no one can come in and try to get you to rent things (i.e. Jet Ski's). Sometimes they will have vendors on the beach for you to buy things, so if you don't want to take the time to shop, there is stuff there you can buy, which is nice. Also, they cook jerk chicken (A MUST HAVE) on the beach every day for lunch, and it's DELICIOUS!! By far the best food I had while I was there.

POOL: Very nice, didn't go in there too much because there were a lot of kids in there, but I usually layed out by the pool every day and had a nice time.

TRAVELING: The drive from the Montego Bay airport to the hotel is about 2 hours. I knwo some people said shorter, but it was 2 hours for us. It didn't suck too bad, being able to drive through the different towns and see how the people there live was very interesting. Also, it's about $10/person to go ANYWHERE outside of the hotel. If you booked your trip through Apple (or something similiar) make sure to book your taxis through them, because the hotel charges $15/person MINIMUM!

EXTRA: My sister, Dad and I went snorkeling on the last day, they do a trip everyday at 10am, SO WORTH IT! You get to go to 2 reefs, and spend 45 min at each reef. It's about a 2 hour trip total, and it was so cool! I have been snorkeling before, this was definitely worth doing! We did shop one day as well, it was cool. They took us to three different places, and we got about 45 min at each place. I felt safe, and we had some fun dealing with the locals. Also...my sister and my Dad did the Dolphin Cove thing, and they enjoyed it, but wouldn't do it again. It was about $130/person and you spend about 20-30 min with a dolphin and got a belly ride...I guess the ride there was a bit hectic too, the driving in Jamaica is interesting!

All in all the trip was VERY nice. I did a traidition family vacation, so I didn't stay out too late any of the nights, but every day was enjoyable, and the hotel was definitely great! The staff is great, everyeone is very nice and helpful, and the entertainment at night was very enjoyable and worth staying up for! I would definitely recommend this hotel if you are going to Jamaica!

PS: Get a Banana Daqueri, VERY GOOD!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank HendrixR13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago,il
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2010

Dec 19-23 resort was busy but staff was very accomodating. Arrived late to resort due to delays in Atlanta but staff helped get our vacation off to a good start. Front desk arranged for us to get a reservation at steak house since we had such a late arrival and could not have waited in line. Buffet food and room service were decent quality. Buffet area very clean and hot foods were served hot and cold foods cold. Plenty of beach chairs and pool lounges available. Walked down beach for fresh lobster at the advice of Scuba Caribe staff and it was great. We felt very safe and did not get approached to purchase anything while on beach or resort except "Cigars and Cigarettes" beach walker who was seen occassionally. Souvenir huts were set up on beach on the way to the Club Riu resort and vendors would ask you to look while walking by but were not aggressive. Never heard of shooting incident described earlier from other guests or staff. Andrew at the pool bar is the best. Building #3 is very convenient and located near beach and main building. Housekeeping kept room clean and brought towels, coffee, and supplies daily. Wake up call was provided as requested. A second call was made shortly after the first. Any questions, please ask. While not the Ritz, this is a nice property.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank willsma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2010

We visited Dec 20 to 25th, only booking 10 days prior. A travel agent friend said we would not be happy with a RIU vacation as it was not on par with our usual vacation experiences. This faltering economy dictated more financially prudent choices for this last minute vacation, and after speaking with a colleague who said the beach was beautiful we gave it a chance and were happy we did. The hotel's general manager, Natalie, is a hands on forceful presence who leads a staff of welcoming, "can-do" hotel workers. The buildings are pretty and only rise to 3 stories, which minimizes the feel of a 400 room hotel. The dark wood bars and restaurants have an elegant air. The outdoor seating permits a birds eye ocean view. Other than a spa booking, it is hard to spend any additional money. The hours for dining are quite extensive, the food at the buffet has an enormous amount of choices, and yet the station chefs were always quite willing to customize the preparation of a dish whenever we requested it. What a pleasure to have ample chairs set out by beach and pool, so it was never necessary to have an early morning foray just to put down a book to reserve a chair. Two negatives. In order to reserve the specialty restaurants, you had to get on line prior to 8am every other day.
This is ridiculous, as a vital part of vacation is not having an early morning wake up call. We did inquire why, and will not bother to list their reason as it would make as little sense to you as it did to us. The other negative, they contract out their water sports. Non-motorized were free. However only 1 or 2 small sailboats were available, and the windsurfing instructor was never available at any time during our stay (we were told he was taking out glass bottom boat rides). Also, the business office is contracted out through the gift shop and there is no printer available for guests anywhere in the hotel . In order to get boarding passes we had to make very special arrangements through the front desk. The biggest problem however was caused by booking through Delta Airlines vacation desk. This trip was for my husband and I and our 23 year old daughter. Based on their advice and description of the ocean front suite (highest $ category) having a separately enclosed living room, we booked it. Not only was it one big room, but it had a bathroom with only 3 walls, there being a jacuzzi between the king bed and the rest of the open bathroom. An absolutely inappropriate room for us, and no Delta vacation person on site to deal with this problem during a time when the hotel was at capacity. Despite all these issues, it was very good value, with a beautiful long beach, gentle waters, and gentle folk attending to you.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank SheriSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2010

We stayed at Riu Palace in December 3-10, 2010. We booked a roundtrip transfer from airport to hotel through Orbitz for a reasonable $44 pp. The trip by Jamaica Tours was very nice- we enjoyed the sceneries, the driver was friendly and helpful; the buses arrived on time, no delays. The one -way trip is about 1h 20-30 min. We particularly liked the bus on our way back-very comfortable.

Our room was ready upon arrival, and was upgraded to ocean view, which was really a nice touch. The receptionists at the front desk were courteous and helpful during the whole stay.

The room was spacey with two big beds pushed together, flat screen TV, sitting area with the loveseat and small table; eating table with chairs, terrace, and big bathroom with two sinks, bathtub and shower. We were not satisfied with our room cleaning- three days in a row they did not leave ANY towels for us (and "yes", we left tips every day). We were told by the housekeepers that they did not receive enough towels from laundry. We had to request towels through the front desk, and the towels were always available. The toiletries and coffee supply were not replaced , the bed was made very sloppy, no cover laid on the bed, instead piled on the sofa. Once the houselady asked if we want our sheets to be changed in the morning!?.. Finally after a couple of ineffective requests to the housekeeper, we complained to the housekeeping supervisor, which, of course, you do not want to do while on vacation. For the remaining two days of our stay the room was cleaned very thoroughly: plenty of towels, the trash bin was cleaned, the bed was made thoroughly , on top we had two beautiful towel swans with flowers. That was the only unpleasant experience at Riu.

The hotel and the premises are clean; The hotel stretches along the beach, so you are practically next to the sea and can enjoy the ocean view all day long.

The food at Negril buffet is good to very good. At some nights it was exceptional. As to the restaurants we liked Kristol and Steakhouse. We also liked the room service which we ordered in the morning- never late, friendly, helpful. the staff at the buffets are very friendly and always ready to assist.

The live piano music at the lobby bar at nights was vey enjoyable. We also loved Reggae music nights.

The beach is clean, the waters are shallow, no rough waves even at windy weather, enough space on the sun and in the shadows.

I liked the spa at the hotel, particularly the Renova massage -combination of shiatsu, Swedish, deep tissue and loom massages for 80min.

Overall, it was a pleasant stay with lots of nice memories.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank happyny_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2010

I stayed in this hotel from November 26 to December 3 2010 with my husband and 5 year old son.
1. Check in - we arrived at the hotel at 10:00am, the normal check in is at 3:00, but the room was ready for us when we arrived. It took 15 min, the receptionist was professional and friendly
2. Room - we stayed in room 5117, building 5, ground floor. Spacious, two double beds pushed together and a pullout sofa. Bathroom has two sinks, bathtub, shower.
Inroom bar with rum, vodka, brandy and whiskey. Rooms are equipped with hair dryer, iron, iron board, flat screen tv , safe , magnifying mirror, toiletries. Air Conditioning worked fine, no bugs in room, clean, hard beds
3. Service - excellent, best there is, friendly, polite, professional, always smiling, go the distance to make you feel relaxed and welcome, no one expects tips, but please do once in a while, they deserve it
4. Maids / Bar restock - excellent, clean towels every day, 5 red stripe every day, small and big bottles of water, diet coke, regular coke, sprite and tonic water in the fridge
5. Food - although not everything is good, everyone should be able to find something. We did not eat at specialty restaurants so can't comment on that, but in the buffet, the best night was on Friday, this is the seafood night, buffet has grilled lobster, shrimp, oysters, squid, fish, clams, mussels etc any seafood you can imagine. Every day for breakfast lunch and dinner, there is also an area set up with Jamaican specialties (salt fish, ackee, callalo, patties, rice and beans etc ). Jerk hut is excellent, breakfast good, lots of fruit, desert not so good, if you are cheese lover, you'll be nicely surprised,
6. Drinks - excellent, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic, my son loved the freshly blended fruit smoothies, My husband enjoyed rum and coke and I liked my mojitoes, hummingbirds, tequila sunrises etc..they do have generic brand alcohol and top shelf, if you want top shelf please ask for it specifically (all flavors of Absolut, Johnny walker, jim beam, finlandia, bacardi, capitan morgan, appleton rums and many more are available)
7. Entertainment - bad
8. Hotel grounds - nice
9. Swimming pools - small, warm water
10. Beach - amazing, clean sand, crystal clear, warm water, no waves, beautiful sunset, shallow depth, you can find starfish, crabs, shells on the beach, you can feed beautiful sparkly fish that will swim up to your hand, perfect beach for small kids
11. Higglers - respectful, "no thank you" and a smile got the job done, friendly guys, loved Donovan, one of the musicians walking the beach
Overall, it was a very relaxing family getaway. If you are single, looking for entertainment, this is not the hotel for you. If you are looking for top notch food, nice swimming pool, comfortable beds, this is not a hotel for you. If you are a beach person, want to get away from crazy life back home and just relax, watch the sunset, read a book while sipping a red stripe, this is a place to stay at. If you have more questions, please send me a message

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank jolajarek
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
#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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