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“Great place for all. Would return myself.”

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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #26 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Service is fantastic. Rooms are clean and the beach is great. The entertainment is decent. Plenty of staff to serve you well and plenty of food and drink locations. The sit-down reservation dinners are superb,and all other buffets are more than adequate in food quality. Never had a bad meal on site while I stayed at Riu. Downtown negril is a waste of time, unless you want to be perceived as thurston Howell iii walking through Harlem. The panhandlers in town are the worse,the guys on the beach are rather bothersome at times but relax after a couple "no thanks mon"s. deltoy at the front desk was extra accomidating, and roydel at the "palace" bar was extremely helpful with tourism info and logistics. I strongly suggest a boat ride with howard & Ben on the beach just outside of the resort property. They have the nicest boat and it has a roof which is a luxury at times. They are very safe and honest as well as act like a go between for locals,panhandlers etc if you decide to hit shore elsewhere. They will show you the best time for the money, by far. They bave a white boat with a blue roof on the south end of the beach. Tell them kevin and Nat sent you......

  • Stayed: October 2012
    • Value
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5  Thank RastaM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,694 - 2,700 of 5,775 reviews

Reviewed October 3, 2012

Just returned from this hotel having been more than pleased with absolutely everything ,We went with trepidation following some downside remarks which you can totally ignore , the staff were fantastic .the food was excellent,and the fun non ending .The sea is blue , the sand is white,the area is safe and beautiful... john and christina scott.

Room Tip: try and hire a top front line room
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank 186254Johnscott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Having stayed a 5 different riu hotels , 2 in jamaica and I can say that this is the worst - very disappointing
My partner and I lasted one day and then transferred to the riu Ocho rios that we had stayed at before which is in a different class in many ways
Firstly, I am unashamed to say that it's all about the beach for me if I am going to fly 4,500 miles to the Caribbean
The beach at this resort is poor. The sand is very gravelly, not soft, grey not white and when you wade out into the sea you feel a clay like mud between your toes rather than soft sand. I was very disappointed as even the rep talked about how we were on the gorgeous 7 mile stretch of negril. We weren't, this hotel in on the sheltered, swampy end of negril in a cove.
I also felt that the hotel was tired looking, quiet shabby in places, again not what I expect from a platinum hotel and for the price I paid. There was a very strange quiet atmosphere also around the place which just did not feel right. After 24 hours we asked the Thomson rep to move and she sorted it out brilliantly for us. Well done Thomson but she did not seemed surprised that we wanted to move , maybe we were not the first.
Speaking to the taxi driver he said this beach is man made and used to be a swamp which is also why there are loads of sand flies everywhere and I recent storms the sand had been washed away and left the rocks underneath.
I guess the differing views on the resort that are here are down to what you look for in a Caribbean holiday. For me the beach is the cornerstone of my break and where I like to spend all my time. Th beach was also very narrow and if you walk less than 100 metres down the cove ( to the bit riu don't own i guess) there are piles and piles of litter and general rubbish
I really would not recommend this hotel, especially for the price, the poor beach and the dated decor.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
6  Thank CardiffCazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

The Riu Negril Hotel in our opinion is NOT a 5 star Hotel and should NOT be described as platinum standard.

The hotel building is extremely old fashioned both inside and out, as are the bedrooms and hotel facilities.

The outside of the hotel is painted a hideous shade of lilac. Definitely not as described or pictured in our brochure. We found it a HUGE disappointment in many ways.

The Hotel & Staff

Some staff (including managers) were very aggressive in their verbal manner, inappropriate and rude in their behaviour towards us.

This hotel and the majority of its staff are NOT at all what we would expect of a 5 star hotel. We had a very disappointing/stressful stay at this hotel.

1) Waste paper bins in the lobby were frequently overflowing.

2) The toilets in the hotel lobby frequently had no toilet paper.

3) Furniture in rooms and the hotel was old and dated.

4) Some staff members were rude and acted inappropriately and aggressively towards us.

5) There was a lack of managers to address any of our issues.

6) Some staff with bad attitudes towards their jobs, their responsibilities and us as paying guests staying in this hotel.

8) Inappropriate sexual comments were made by some male staff members to my self and my daughter.



Bed rooms

Old fashioned with very dated decor. There was an over powering smell of damp in each room we were shown. We found filthy bathrooms with black mould and mildew growing up the tiles. The wardrobes in all 4 of these rooms were damp smelling and infested with cockroaches and ants. One room had a broken window. We saw 4 rooms before finally settling in our 5th room. That was not perfect either and was in block 4 which is a good 10 minutes walk to reception, the pool etc.

Room Facilities

T.V was not tuned in. We reported this and it took 4 days to fix.

House keeping - inconsistent and very sporadic, they didn't change the bed linen the entire time we stayed here.

Fridge NEVER got restocked without us having to telephone several times to reception - WATER is a basic requirement for any foreign traveller. We had to argue and demand water daily.

Toilet paper ran out and was not replaced for 3 days.

Towels - they would take dirty towels away and then not replace with new ones. It took us 4 days to get clean towels.

The A/C in the room was very noisy and not near cold enough for the climate. This never got repaired by maintenance despite us complaining about it EVERY day.

It was a constant and stressful battle to get any basic house keeping carried out in our room.


Reception Staff

In general - Unhelpful. We didn’t find one staff member with had the ability to deal with our problems swiftly, politely or professionally. There was a distinct and definite lack of common courtesy and manners towards us.

Some reception staff members rolled their eyes during serious complaints, answered back, slouched about, swore, or refused to go and get a manager (maybe because, as we discovered there weren’t managers employed for some sections) and even laughed in our faces when we reported a very serious incident. This is not acceptable.

Entertainment

Mediocre. The entertainment is on a loop. Over the 2 week period we were there we saw and heard the same songs and acts over and over again!

The animation team - Only 3 members stood out from the crowd, Spotlight, Tiger and Kenneil. These guys were very sweet young men with lots of enthusiasm and great dancing skills.

The Hotel Pools

There are 2 swimming pools - Both are grubby.

Both pools need serious maintenance work and cleaning to bring them up to 5 star standards.

The bar pool

The worst pool by far. Grey scum floating on the surface of the water. There are also lots of dead flies on the surface of the water at the bar pool.

Both pools have lots of broken tiles or missing tiles in and around the pool (mind your feet).

We never saw any staff cleaning or skimming the surface of either swimming pool during our stay here.

Bar Staff

No complaints. These guys had a sense of humour, work ethic.There's a singing bar manager in the lobby bar too. Thumbs up for him. Also a barman named Ruen, very good fun.

The Hotel Beach

We found during out stay that the beach was littered with plastic drinking cups and plastic bottles, disused car/van tyres.

The sand was very poor quality and felt like mud/clay like under foot (not pleasant). The beach is not very well maintained at the bottom end near building 3 and 4.

Locals and peddlers live and operate their business on the boundary of the private hotel beach. If you walk along the length of the hotel beach on an evening don't be surprised if you are suddenly accompanied by a group of local pedlars.

Hotel Beach Security - Ineffective.

7 Mile beach

Beautiful. Definitely worth visiting. We ate at the Treehouse a few times. This is a small wooden shack on the beach. They make great food. We bought 2 freshly caught lobsters from a fisherman on the beach for 15 American $ for the 2. The chef from the Tree house cooked them for us for 5 American $- Best food we had while we were in Jamaica!

There's also a huge, floating trampoline in the sea to jump on. It was nice to get away from the crap hotel and their rubbish beach. Security guards on the beach are slightly better than at the hotel beach but we still experienced the occasional one or two asking us to buy them a beer or leave them a tip.

Peddlers

Peddlers both male and female peddlers are everywhere in Negril day and night.

We were assured that peddlers were not allowed on to the hotel's private beach. This is NOT true. We were hassled on the private hotel beach day in and day out. It is irritating.

Sadly it's the same on 7 mile beach - Peddlers everywhere.

OTHER FACILITIES

The Hotel Gym.

Terrible. It’s very basic with limited old equipment that is in a state of disrepair. It all needs ripping out and replacing with new, safe, up to date equipment.

WI FI

This was meant to be free. They began charging for it but after complaints changed the rules again and allowed each guest (I.P address) a FREE 90 minutes per day. Once you began using the 90 minutes you had to use it.

Buffet Food

Lots of choice, but nothing special. The majority of the food was very bland in taste. Desserts were disappointing – looked colourful but tasted of nothing.

Table waiting staff – We found the staff to be miserable. Some were slow to help or provide table service.

Steak House - Forget it. You have to book this in advance. We were disappointed. They give you a menu, and then proceed to serve you everything on it (seriously). We found the food to be tasteless. Nothing is cooked in front of you as suggested in the brochure. The entire eating experience and atmosphere in here was drab and hurried.

Sir Andrews - Better. Food was good. The staff made more effort to interact with us. This was the best eating experience we had in the Riu Negril hotel. (Has to be booked 2 days in advance in the lobby).

The Brazilian (called Luigi's for some reason!) - Rubbish. Mediocre, bland food and no atmosphere about the place.

Airport

Montego Bay airport - Dreadful experience. Our entire luggage was turned out and searched through in front of everyone, without a care for what was in our cases.

When we arrived in England and collected our cases 2 out of 3 suitcases had been broken in to. The locks had been cut off with bolt cutters and the zippers were broken clean off too. Many expensive items were stolen.

Keep anything that's of valuable to you, with you on the plane. Don't chance putting it in your case.

In house Riu Taxi Service

We didn’t like the attitudes of these taxi drivers or their overly inflated prices. After a bad experience with one driver (who proudly told us and showed us he carried a knife and a gun). We decided it was probably safer and cheaper to use the red plated taxis outside the hotel instead.

The in house taxi firm quoted us 30 America $ for a return trip to 7 mile beach - rip off!!!. Walk out of the hotel across the street and hail a red plated taxi.

Example of public red plated taxi costs

It cost us (3 people) only 100 Jamaican Dollars (JD) per person to travel to 7 mile beach (a 10 minute journey). This was a one way trip.

We travelled by public red plate taxi all the way to Rick's Café. We paid 600 JD there (200 JD per person). We arranged for the driver to collect us 3 hours later. He arrived on time and took us safely back to the hotel for another 600JD – bargain.

Public taxis are plentiful, but use cars with red number plates: these are registered and properly insured. Agree on a price for the ride before you get into the taxi, as they do not carry meters. Stand firm on your price. Find out from reception or other travellers what the going rate is for the journey you want to make. You will be paying per head not on distance.

Tipping

The majority of staff and locals made it very clear that they expected to be tipped for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they do for you. Even breathing it seems.

We didn't enjoy being hassled and bullied into tipping people ALL the time. Especially by managers, security guards and people who we thought would not be asking for tips. A tip is earned by giving an outstanding service. It should NOT be demanded or expected.

Thompson Tours & Our Thompson representative

Our Thompson representative was a lady called Christine Dickson. She was a huge disappointment and a let us down immensely.

Christine refused to help us and other guests who made complaints sort out problems we were experiencing with The Riu Negril hotel staff and our room.

Half Moon Bay - Dangerous, Disappointing trip.

This trip is NOT as described by Thomsons or our Thompson's rep. Christine Dickson.

We felt that the trip was hurried, unprofessionally conducted, with dangerous, old, ineffective equipment.

Life preservers did not work
Snorkelling goggles were scratched
Flippers were NOT available in all sizes for all guests.
Some guests were unable to snorkel because of insufficient snorkelling equipment.

This was a pre booked trip. Thomsons and 'Wild Thing' will have been aware of numbers of guests in advance. There was no excuse for a badly prepared, dangerous trip like this!

The ‘freshly caught lobster’ for your lunch is in fact FROZEN LOBSTER - Don't waste your 10 American $ per head paying for this. It’s disappointing to say the least.

We did all receive a refund for this trip eventually after complaining.

Scuba Caribe - Situated in The hotel grounds

AVOID - This in our opinion is an unscrupulous company with some ill mannered, immoral staff members who won't think twice about attempting to extort money from you.

Our complaints regarding Scuba Caribe and two of its employees Myron Wilson a scuba diving instructor who has a foul mouth and a bad, unprofessional attitude and his inept assistant manger Nakeisha Shaw have been escalated to Thomsons and to Scuba Caribe’s head office.


Top Tips

Avoid Half Moon Bay Trip

Avoid Scuba Caribe

Use public red plated taxis for a fairer price and better deal

Do visit 7 mile beach

There are jellyfish and sea urchins in the sea - Invest in some water shoes to protect your feet.

Don't engage with the peddlers unless you really want to buy something.

Use insect repellent - We used 'Tropical Jungle' repellent which we bought in England. It worked for us. The sand flies and mosquitoes seem to prefer females to men. There are lots of sand flies and mosquitoes on the beach. And on an evening around the bar and the stage area you will also get bitten without repellent.

Take a mixture of American $ and Jamaican $

Keep your valuables with you at all times.

Do not trust people you've known for only a matter of days.

Use your common sense and keep your wits about you in strange places or you will suffer the consequences of being foolish.

Don't do anything you wouldn't do in your own country.


Photograph/video or record any staff behaviour or meetings with reps if you’re experiencing problems. Sadly this was something we had to resort to doing. This has been a huge help to us in our complaints. No one can deny their behaviour/attitude if you have it recorded as evidence.

Room Tip: Avoid this hotel
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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12  Thank TinkEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2012

So glad we didnt stay where we orginally booked. !! St james Montego Bay. Just before we landed we almost flew over it! . It took about 1hr to transfer but great way to see the island with no other hotel stop offs

We were amazed by all the marble in the reception area leading to the caribbean sea. You are allocated rooms on arrival unless you have upgraded already, we hadnt so our allocated room 110 was over looking a tennis court. We asked reception very nicely and were upgraded to room 212 side sea view. Advice to us Brits they allocate the first block close to all the ammenties because they know we dont like walking anywhere. now thats knowing your clients. The rooms are good size plenty of wardrobe space, yes the furniture is dark wood but its clean. I love the optics & well stocked mini bar (Redstripe) and branded fizzy drinks loads of water, just ask at reception if stocks are low they will replace even on your last day. Beds are big and comfy with plenty of good pillows,I had no sleepless nights. the bathroom is again clean double sinks, bath and shower plenty of towels everyday.

The beach is just outside your room cleaned every morning by some cheerful Gardener. We stayed peak season we had no trouble finding a sunbed so really dont kick your loved one out of bed at 6am to lay the towels NO NEED!! the sand is paradise white sand the sea is Carribean blue calm & crystal clear. We walked along the beach at sunset down to the nature reserve where we saw the land crabs heading off to bed. The locals will walk along the edge of the beach selling items but they are not allowed to walk over to you. so if you dont want to be hasselled just sit back from the waters edge. But the guy seling reggae CDs has some good tunes we bought 2 wish we had bought more, better than what you buy at HMV . Beach bar best ever, its a full blown cocktail bar you have got to try a "Mudslide" tip: take some plastic pint pots everybody does as the they serve drinks in small cups.

Food: Breakfast served in the main resturant you can also eat on the terrace over looking the sea. large pots of coffee and tea with a breakfast buffett of cerals, fresh bread, pastries, cold meats, smoothie bar, fruit and full hot buffett, plenty of choice.

Lunch: served at the beach grill massive open air resturante with everything going from fresh salad, fresh fish, pasta dishes pizza station, burgers.. But I would recommend the jerk chicken hut on the beach

Evening meal: the buffets again offers the fussy eater something. we tried to steak house was excellent. but wish we had tried the others. They also have themed nights every night. we tried diffrent things everything we enjoyed. all the food is hot and cooked through the chefs take pride in thier work ,I thanked them it really made there day.

My advice is dont listen to the bad reviews. If something your not happy with just ask nicely they will do there best to change it. Remember you booked here for the sunshine and to spend time with your loved ones, not to find petty faults like a hole in a beach towel. Unless you like moaning and finding faults then my suggestion is stay somewhere else where I am sure you will find loads to moan about. We are going back cant wait to see the staff again as most the guys have worked there over 5yrs. Even the staff think its a good place to be work or play!

Room Tip: ask for side seaview when checking in
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank 911lisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

The property, room, food, staff and beach were all amazing! We just returned from a 2 week getaway and we really had an awesome time. We stayed in oceanfront room 3033 on the first level and loved it. The room was perfect with ceramic tile floors, granite countertops and a stocked bar. WiFi is free for 90 minutes a day in the reception area or you can pay $50/wk for room access. Yeah there's a phone and a tv but who uses that stuff while on vaca? The room is just for sleep and you know what, right? :) We did use the safe in the closet regularly to keep cash and valuables, not that we needed to, just being safe. :) Yes, it's an all-inclusive resort but they really appreciate tips. We took almost $150 in ones with us and we tipped all day every day. The housekeepers, the reception folks, the bar staff, the food service staff and anyone else that hooked us up in any way, including the groundskeepers. We 'negotiated' to pay $80 for a cab from the airport and we used 'Blossom Clarke' and she was great. We called her the day before we left and she took us back to the airport for another $80. Remember, almost everything is negotiable so be sure to barter. We snorkeled almost every day and saw tons of fish species. We found tons of fish right there at the resort including a sand diver, lobster, rays, lion fish, porcupine fish and an eel. We never went out with the resort boats but we did hire one of the locals named 'Smuffy' and he was great. For only $20 each he took us out for 2 hours to various spots including reefs, caves and small islands. We did take our own gear but he has gear if needed. There we saw other varieties of fish but we actually saw really cool stuff right there at the resort. Check out our pics. Take a couple bread rolls or hard boiled eggs from the dining area with you snorkeling, the fish will LOVE it. On Sunday evening the Bar Mgr, Paul, will sing, yes sing as he tends bar. He has an amazing voice and hopefully he gets discovered. Look him up on YouTube and enjoy. We were told he can only sing a couple nights a week because he was stealing the audience away from the dinner shows. :) We did attend the dinner show every evening and the entertainment staff is very tallented and fun. The dining areas had plenty of variety each day and the restaraunts were nice. In 2 weeks we saw just a few little kids and that made us so happy. Yes, school was in session which really helped. We went on a few excursions and they were all decent. Black River/YS Falls, Shopping, Rick's Cafe and Jeep Safari. We could go on and on about the sweet vacation this was. Enjoy!!!

Room Tip: We requested an ocean view at check in and they hooked us up. However, I don't think there reall...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank tochal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Overall, the staff everywhere on the resort were very attentive. This level of service for the value was not only very appreciated but it was equally surprising. Although the rooms could be improved in their decor the grounds, the beach, the lobby and bars were all very good. The food had it's up's & down's each day and the upscale restaurants could be improved. Our experience in getting reservations for the upscale restaurants was difficult. Our location in Negril was very good and close by taxi to town which was quite helpful to go on a little outing.

Tried the WaveRunners operated by locals and felt comfortable with a good deal & safe with newer machines. We also went Scuba Diving which was incredible along with a Catamaran Booze Cruise which we highly recommend.

We felt safe, we were treated well and the vacation for all 6 of us was a pleasant one.

June/July 2011

Room Tip: Check in & grab restaurant reservations.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank ageller7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Negril

Address: Bloody Bay Beach | Norman Manley Boulevard, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#37 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $227 - $414 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Negril 3.5*
Number of rooms: 420
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The All Inclusive ClubHotel Riu Negril open all year round, is located on Jamaica's west coast in the famous holiday area of Negril on the islands longest and most beautiful beach, is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. The location is ideal due to its proximity to Negril (6km) and Sangster International Airport Montego Bay (MBJ) is approx. 80 km away. The Riu Palace Tropical Bay hotel lies on the same beach about 1.5 km away. The hotel has 420 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax with a massage at our Renova Spa or get in shape at our gym. 3 outdoor pools, 1 children’s pool. For the youngest guests, there is the RiuLand Kids Club (for children from 4 to 7 years & 8 to 12 years old) and for adults, day and evening entertainment and many water sport activities. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main buffet as well as Gourmet, Italian, Asian cuisine and Steakhouse, 5 bars situated in various areas of the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Hotel Negril
Rio Negril
Riu Negril Jamaica
Riu Resort All Inclusive Negril

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