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“Good Time, but not Great.”

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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #26 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Let me start by saying that my husband and I are in our mid 30's and have visited the Dominican Republic twice and the Rivera Maya once. After visiting Jamaica I can say that I do not think that we will be returning - I found the constant hounding for tips to be a bit much (from the people selling items on the beach to the resort sponsored night time entertainment of a fire dancer).
Here is my break down of the good/bad

Good:
- the dancers are great - they are full of energy and dance ALL day long...their energy level is amazing!
- the cleaning service is fantastic! I was amazed at how well they were able to keep the room clean and sand free
- the food - there is a wide variety of food and the fruit is of course delicious. the meat carving stations are great too.
-the pool with the waterfall was super clean
- there are a ton of chairs on the beach
- we found the BEST driver in Negril - James (James Clarke Tours) - he was outstanding!!! Give him a call ((876) 460-2333 or 443-9887) if you want to leave the resort. He is trust worthy & a good driver. He showed us all around Negril including Rick's Cafe, Blue Hole Mineral Springs, road side fruit stands that will serve you fresh coconuts...you ask for it and James will find it! He has a van that can fit up to 10 people - but he was happy to just take my husband and I around the area for a price much better than the ones listed on the taxi service stand.
- you can get a very good deal on massages at the salon - ask for Venetia - she was great!

Bad
- sand flea...I wore bug spray most of the time and still came home with over 60 bites!!!
- if someone does something for you - they want a tip. Please understand that I have no problem tipping for services (bartenders, servers, cleaning people, etc) and I know that Jamaicans don't have a lot of money - but if I am on a hotel property (all inclusive) I do not think I should have to tip for every little thing (i.e. "I helped you get out of your paddle boat, you should help me out for that", taxi desk service woman at the resort stating she was out of minutes on her phone, but could call if we gave her $2)....it gets a bit ridiculous.
- be advised that the non-motorized sports are free (paddle boats, kayaks, snorkels/googles) - although we spoke to a couple who was charged for it because the asked someone on the beach for it and did not go up to the building.
- snorkeling requires a $25 deposit for each pair of goggles/snorkel you use - also be advised that snorkels are not always available because they use them up when the boats go out on snorkeling trips - so you may want to pack your own
- the pool with the bar was pretty dirty - lots of thing floating around, I have never had that issue at other resorts with pool bars


Overall we had a good time, but probably will not return to Jamaica or a Riu property - we were just not that impressed. Please feel free to message me with any questions.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank suseng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 12, 2013

My partner and I stayed here the first two weeks in May. We had an exceptionally nice time, and found it very good value for money. The room was exceptionally spacious, and kept very clean by the maid. The whole resort was kept immaculate; constantly cleaners, gardeners and ground staff working to keep the place looking its best. Staff were all very friendly and helpful. There was always a good selection of food on offer and of good quality. We never experienced any problems getting tables in the evening in the "speciality" restaurants which so many people seem to complain of. There is always room for improvement no matter where you go, but our overall experience was exceptionally good, and we did not experience anything that in any way tainted our holiday or would prevent us from going back to Jamaica or this resort.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Jon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2013

I took my daughter for her high school graduation, 6/7-6/10/13. The property is well maintained with clean beaches, the rooms are spacious, & the food is as good as any all-inclusive I have experienced. Eat the jerk chicken & sauce on the beach, it is the best food available & it is delicious! Make sure to book your restaurant reservation as soon as you arrive, it must be done 2 days in advance & is very limited (even when I went which was a slow season). The entertainment staff are increadibly talented & do their jobs very well! Try out the beach & water aerobics, paddle boat & kayak. I recommend taking the kayak out to the fish nursery so you can get up close (you will get stuck in the paddle boats). If you plan to snorkle on property, get the equipment early & take money with you for the $25 deposit otherwise the equipent will not be available. Walk to the end of seven mile beach to experience the couples resort & nude only beach area. Seeing the other properties & beach will make you thrilled that you chose Riu. Please don't rent the jet skis; they are horrible for the nursery/reef, make the water rough, & diminish the visual beauty experienced by others on the water. Jamaican's are very hospitable; both my daughter & I received multiple wedding proposals & invitations to partake in marijuana, but a simple "no thank you" is well received. If you have your hair braided by the vendors make sure to put sunscreen on your head afterward. The locals are very willing to answer questions about the local economy, education system, & any thing else you can think of. Please tip when receiving salon services as the employees work long hours at commission ONLY, 10% of the sale. Hotel gift shop prices are about $5-$10 higher than the downtown shops & the beach vendors are about $5-$10 higher than the hotel gift shop (however, you can & should negotiate prices with the downtown stores & beach vendors, but can not at the gift shop.) You can get a taxi, round-trip, for $10 a person to the downtown stores & I recommend going in the morning when it is the least crowded.

NOT SO OBVIOUS THINGS TO PACK:
~floaty (against the rules to put chairs in the water & you can buy one at the gift shop (cheap plastic) for $12), plus if you leave one behind a beach vendor will use it to rent out to other tourists.
~insulated mug (cups are tiny there & this will keep you from having to go back to the bar as often whether it is for water or alcohol)
~sun screen (you will burn even if you are fully covered in it)
~beach bag
~bug spray (this will protect you from the sun flies & mosquitos, wear it even while on the beach & especially after it rains/sprinkles)

Happy travels & God bless!

Room Tip: My room was 1061 which was on the first floor, building closest to the office. No complaints &...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Trace B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

I have to disagree with some of the previous reviewers about several things. The staff are all excellent and we always got offered drinks in the restaurant as soon as we sat down, coffee or tea at breakfast with hot milk. The blended drinks and cocktails were great with fresh fruit smoothies and milkshakes as well as slushies and daiquiris amongst many other options.
We had a sailing lesson so that we could take out the catamaran, it cost us 20 dollars each and really just one of us should have gone as there was not much to the lesson but it was great taking a catamaran out every afternoon.
The pool with the swim up bar was cleaned every morning and did get dirty throughout the day but that was poor behaviour from guests who were smoking in the pool and spilling drinks. There were always beds available around the pool and loads on the beach.
The best parts of the entertainment for me were the band who played at the bar before the show started and the steel drummers. The steel drumming group was ruined for me by one of the entertainment team shouting and singing down a microphone throughout their performance to the extent that I could hear their music properly but they were amazing and I would live to see them again without the interruptions.
Our room was always clean and we had a great view of the sea from the balcony.
I am vegetarian and sometimes the options were a little limited but my husband said that all the meat was cooked beautifully and there was always lots of fresh fruit and salad available.
Overall we had a relaxing week with good food and drink and sunny weather which is exactly what we wanted.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank mrs_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

To begin, this was our 5th trip to Riu Negril. The last trip was 4 years ago. When this resort opened several years ago, we went 4 straight years, the prices were fantastic and the resort was as well for the price. Then 4 years ago, for some reason they raised the prices about $300 PP for a week. That adds up for a family. At the time we thought that was too pricey for the resort and found what is now our favorite resort, The Barceló Maya Tropical in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico (amazing place, GO THERE). Wanting to go back to Jamaica, we checked and this year the prices were back down to where they used to be and we booked immediately. We will be back to the Riviera Maya again next year.

Although the resort is still a very nice resort, it has definitely changed since the last time we were there 4 years ago.

We found the employees very respectful and helpful. We needed to change rooms twice because the lock and then the AC was faulty. No Problem.

The beach is the sad part. Although there are areas where it is still nice, there has been a ton of erosion and it is in bad need of sand replenishment. This was just done in the Riviera Maya, Mexico due to erosion and what a difference it makes. The riu Negril has let the beach itself go. One of the ping pong tables on the beach requires you to be at least 8 feet tall to use it due to the erosion.

If you walk just past the Riu boundries, the beach is great the entire length and is a very nice 20 minute or so walk to the other side of the bay.

The pools are nice although the condition of the water in the pool bar area is very bad. the filter was not working properly. 2 pools, one crystal clear, the other left some people disgusted.

The nightly entertainment is also something that has changed for the worse. Maybe because it is such a smaller resort, they refuse to pay for decent entertainment? It is too bad because all they need is a steel drum band or other small live band. You would think there would be a ton of options regarding reggae bands. Anyway, not good at night. I'm sorry, but the entertainment was something you would have for a third grade audience, not for adults seeking a Jamaican feel in the evening.

BRING LOTS A BUG SPRAY!

Rick's Café is a great place to go for an hour or so, but catch the sunset at Xtabi. Hit Ricks, then an hour before sunset, go to Xtabi on the way back towards Riu Negril. There are caves to explore, a fantastic setting for the sunset, go swimming, snorkeling, beer is cheaper. A great place to check out.

All in all, a great trip. We are just a little bit disappointed that this resort has made no effort to keep the beach in better shape. And sadly, when compared to the resort we have just stayed at in Mexico, it is nowhere near as nice.

Riviera Maya, here we come again!

Room Tip: Building #1
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank JRJ45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

I stayed here in May for 2 weeks with a family group of 20!! It was my fifth stay at Jamaica in various other hotels and this has been the best one!! We enjoyed every min of the hol, the entertainment staff are fantastic and all the other staff at the hotel are great! Nevertheless there were a couple of bar staff who wasn't so friendly, it was obvious they hated their job! Also tea and coffee facilities are desperately needed in the room, that's the only criticism. The food is beautiful so much variety!! Also the kids club was lovely, the children loved the teacher! I will be staying here again and will recommend to others!

Room Tip: If possible ask for a room in the first block. It's the closest to main hotel.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Cheza100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Sorry for the delay, but life gets buzy. We stayed at Club Riu the beginning of April. We had stayed2 years ago at the Palace , I must say the the Club is so much more fun.
The Anamation staff where the best that we have ever encountered, and we travel twice a year.
My only complaint is no coffee in the rooms.Everything else was great. We will be back in Nov. again this year. Keep up the good work.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank robynbarrett1
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: $226 - $415 (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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