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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #27 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 11, 2013

This is my 12 visit to Jamaica and this time I stayed in the ClubHotel Riu Negril hotel in September 2013. First I'll start with the good. The hotel itself was really beautiful, the food delicious and on the whole the staff were good. On the negative side which spoilt our stay, there was a cockroach in our hotel room and but worst of all my friend and I booked an excursion through one of the tour operators Tropical tours located in the hotel foyer and paid for the hotel both using her credit card. This was the only time she used her card in Jamaica. However, two days later she received a phone call from her bank in England who informed her that someone in Jamaica had tried to use her card details to buy a car in Jamaica. We went to the hotel manager Alberto Toribio to complain but we were told that he was at breakfast and would be with us after he finished eating. Half an hour later he turned up and wasn't interested at all. He claimed that the tour operators were nothing to do with the hotel despite them being located in their foyer. He was rude and refused to deal with the situation saying that the Rui's payment systems were secure so it had to be the tour company that we booked the excursion through, and as such it was nothing to do with them. Therefore I said that if the hotel believes that the tour operators have nothing to do with them they should not be on their premises and that there should a sign clearly stating that if you use our credit or debit cards it is at your own risk. Whilst we were in the foyer people were still using this tour operator and I asked him if he would warn them, however he promptly said that if I warned anyone he would kick me off the premises. I refused to go as a paying client and asked why he was threatening me when my friend and I were complaining about a theft when he was not saying anything to the tour operator. He then threatened to call the police, so I said that would be very welcome as I would explain to the police what had happened. He then walked away and said that he would look into the matter. This situation spoilt what was otherwise a wonderful holiday. So my warning to everyone is to make sure you use cash when booking excursions at the Riu Hotel's so that your credit card details aren't stolen as well.

I also travelled around the island by the Knutsford Express and it was excellent, comfy, tidy, clean and excellent value for money and the staff were wonderful. They also have a toilet on board which was really clean. Hopefully they will continue to expand their business and have more coaches as they were brilliant and I loved the films on the coach. The Knutford Express puts our National Express to shame.

I also went on the excursion to Dolphin Cove in Lucea and it was really small compared to the one in Ochio so I would advise to go to the Ochio Dolphin Cove if possible. Photos are also £20 per photo so it's quite pricey.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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10  Thank Paula S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

Before departing for our trip I had read some disappointing reviews and was kind of nervous to stay at the Riu. Despite the negative reviews we had a great time!! There were 20 of us in our party for our week stay.

The rooms were very nice and clean with your own private balcony, the food was great and plenty of it, and the staff was always friendly and very entertaining everyday with games or activities around the pool and beach geared to any age- some to adults and some for children.

There are complimentary kayak, paddle boats, and sailboats available at any time and also -for a negotiable price- jet ski's, a catamaran, and a glass bottom boat.

The only negative I found was the people trying to sell you things on the beach (not affiliated with Riu) even when we said no they kept on insisting.

We are very happy that the Riu accommodated our large party and we were very happy that we chose to stay there and can't wait to go back again!!

  • Stayed: November 2013
    • Value
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5  Thank Lcalabrese4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

Spent 16 nights there. Arrived back on Tuesday.
There are highs and lows about this hotel.
Highs; beach front views... Beautiful location on the private beach. 4 restaurants to dine in, three pools, friendly staff. 3 bars and a pool bar.
Free usage of the sauna and spa. Free water activities...tennis courts.Nail parlour, hair salon.
Lows: no separate wc in room, no separate shower,free wifi only accessible in the hotel lobby.. For 90minutes. Shops too expensive, no room service, tiny gym.rats seen in restaurant and on the grounds.
Entertainment at times not appropriate for children. Harassed by sellers on the beach.
Cold food. The rooms decor was too dated.. No flat screen tv.
Felt more like a 3/4 star not a 5 star.

Stayed: November 2013
3  Thank DanaMarie73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

I have always found Riu hotels to be a good quality in the Caribbean and not overly expensive and this hotel demonstrates the brand well. The food is good, plentiful and varied in the buffet plus you have 3-4 theme restaurants and we eat in each of these as well. For the price of this holiday I don't think you can fault this hotel. Love the morning beach aerobics and a walk up the beach you will find the sea is even clearer than at the hotel. Make sure you take a trip to the local shopping centre to buy your gifts it is much cheaper than the hotel gift shop and I guess everyone has to go to riks cafe to see the cliff divers.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Swa25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

My mom and I had a great mother-daughter trip in Jamaica at the RIU Club Negril. It was my first time to the Negril area but, it was my mom’s first time to Jamaica in general, and we can't wait to go back!!! This review may be long, but I want to provide details!

Flight/Arrival/Check-In:
We flew from Toronto with Sunwing, flight took off about 30 mins late, otherwise no issues. Sunwing provides lots of snacks/drinks on board and a small free meal as well. Arrival was very smooth at the Montego Bay airport but, it took a little while to get our luggage. There was a person waiting with a clipboard asking which hotel we were staying at, and they told us which bus number to go to, as the parking lot was filled with coach buses. We had to walk around a bit to find our actual bus though, as there weren’t many people directing in the parking lot, and we carried our own luggage which was fine. However, once we sat on the bus, we ended up waiting there for another 40 mins or so, because I think they were waiting for another flight to come in. Finally, the added passengers boarded the bus and we were off! Make sure you use the bathroom before boarding the bus as it is a long ride to the hotel. We made a stop at Grand Palladium and people were able to get off there to use their bathrooms, but still, that was after about an hour of driving. Including this one stop, it took about 2 hours from the airport to the hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, they had a separate table set up for our check-in. We got our room number and the lady asked if we were okay with stairs as my mother is in her 60’s and they had put us on the 3rd (highest) floor and there are no elevators. We asked for a switch to the 2nd floor and this was accommodated right away, no issues. Our Sunwing rep was waiting in the lobby and also helped us ask for this switch. The bellman brought our bags up, no problem.

Room:
We had a room in building 1 on the 2nd floor. This is a great location as it is the closest building to the main beach, pool, restaurants, lobby, etc. and we did not hear any noise at night, it was perfect. Yes, the décor in the room is old fashioned but, it had ample space and everything we needed. We were also facing the ocean and had a partial view that was blocked by some beautiful mango trees, we wanted to reach out and pick one right off the branch lol. We hardly spent time in the room anyway. It was a good size, decent storage/closet space (in the closet, there is an electronic safe that you can set your own code for), big bathroom with double sinks and a tub/shower combo (not a Jacuzzi tub). There were two beds pushed together, but they were made up with their own sheets so, we each had our own blanket, etc. The bed/mattress quality felt fine. I’ve stayed at the RIU Palace in Aruba and the beds are hard there, I had to request a topper. But, I felt fine here. There was a mini bar fridge in the room which was stocked every other day with water, pop, and beer. You can also ask for extra water bottles at the front desk if needed. There were of course, the trademark RIU liquor dispensers in the room which were great to use! If you want to use wi-fi internet in the rooms you have to purchase a pin code from the front desk for a certain amount of minutes; however, everyone gets 90 free mins of wi-fi in the lobby every day, per device. It is 90 continuous minutes though, so once you log on in the lobby, use up your minutes because if you leave for lunch/dinner, and then come back, your mins will be expired by then. But it is per device, so if you have say, an iPad and an iPhone then you’re in luck, you’ll get double the free mins because you can use 90 on each. The maids kept our room extremely clean (the entire hotel was very well kept). Our towels were changed daily and we got lovely towel art everyday as well.

Food:
The food was spectacular! No complaints whatsoever! We tried 2 of the a la cartes, the steakhouse and Sir Andrew. We preferred the steakhouse but they were both great, and the service was impeccable! Yes, you do have to make reservations in the morning, 2 days in advance, but I didn’t have to wait in any long line-ups as the desk is open all day, from 9am-4pm. There are only two times/sittings available, 6:30/7:00pm and 9pm.

The buffet was also amazing! My mom even said that she preferred eating at the buffet due to the amazing selections! Breakfast at the main buffet consisted of every variety of egg, including a make-your-own omlette station, breads, cheeses, french toast, pastries, fruit, fresh fruit juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, yogurts, cereals, bacon, hot dogs, other meats/veggies, etc. Lunch was served either at the Italian a-la carte or the steakhouse a-la carte (the steakhouse lunch buffet was bigger and this is where most people ate lunch as it is close to the beach/pool area. There was always so much variety, fish, chicken, steak, potatoes, fries, pastas, veggies, breads, cheeses, hamburgers, hot dogs, endless snacks, etc. Dinner at the main buffet was also fantastic and they did themes on some nights. The buffet staff also offered great service. There is also a late night buffet after the dinner service ends, and it is located at the Italian a-la carte.
The drinks were very good, we did not have any complaints. We actually liked the Banana Mama and the Copacabana – both were listed as non-alcoholic drinks on the bar menu, but we just asked the bartender to add whatever liquor we wanted and they were yummy!

Pool/Beach:
There are two pools, one with a swim-up bar and the other is where they played the water games. We did not use the pools at all as we preferred to be on the beach, but the pool areas looked lovely. If you want a seat at the pool though, you should probably go and reserve it early as that area always seemed crowded. As for the beach, we had no issues finding chairs at any time of day, there were plenty! The beach is gorgeous. Yes, it is not 7 mile beach and you are in a bay, but the water is still that gorgeous aqua colour and the sand is a nice creamy beige colour, not pure white.

There are beach vendors who walk by and ask if you want them to play you a song on their guitar, if you want braids in your hair, cigarettes, souvenirs, etc. If you just say a polite ‘no thanks’, and keep walking, you’ll be fine.

There is a free shuttle bus to Margaritaville that runs to and from the resort all day. We took advantage of this and it was very enjoyable. Margaritaville is located on 7 mile beach and it was gorgeous! The sand was soft and the water was a clear blue! It can get crowded at times, but we just asked a staff member to find us two lounge chairs, and after a few minutes of waiting, we were set for the day! You don’t have to buy any food or drinks, you can just go and enjoy the beach for free. The food/drinks seemed a tad on the pricey side too. The souvenirs in their gift shop were definitely over priced!

Entertainment:
The entertainment at this hotel was excellent! The team is fantastic, friendly, and so energetic. The shows were awesome, especially the steel band performance – amazing!!! The team did activities by the pool and on the beach all day. There is also a beach bbq party during the week.

Excursions:
We did the Black River crocodile safari and YS Falls trip which included a tour of the Appleton Rum Factory (don’t buy anything at the rum factory, prices are cheaper at airport duty free). This was spectacular but, our driver was a little crazy! Other than a bumpy and swervy ride, it was a fantastic trip. YS Falls was very neat, similar to Dunn’s River, but you don’t actually climb the rocks, there is a nice staircase built into the rocks/cliffs on the side, so this was much better for my mother lol.

We also did a catamaran snorkeling cruise to Rick’s Café. This was a fun experience! The snorkeling was great and the guides on the boat were very friendly and fun. Rick’s Café is really cool. We got to watch the divers, and yes they ask for tips. There are a couple of small cliffs to dive from, many people utilized them, including children. There was also a semi-high cliff at about 20-25 feet and then the highest cliff for tourists, at about 35-40 feet – which I jumped from!!! Yes, I jumped off the highest cliff! So proud of myself… although I stuck my right arm out instead of doing a proper pencil dive, so it was sore for about 2 weeks after lol, no bruising though, but I do know others have reported that they suffered serious bruises and pain, so please beware. Also, there are these guys in the water and I’m not sure if they work for Rick’s, but they are just trying to scam tourists! When you land in the water after your cliff dive, they tell you “come over here for a cave tour, come over here” etc. and they get you to swim over to them and they take you through these caves, underwater, etc. I read about this from another review and I couldn’t believe it was happening for real. At the end of this so-called tour, they ask you for money of course, some kind of tip, etc. This is apparently dangerous as you have to be a good swimmer, and it is not a licensed tourist attraction. So, if you jump at Rick’s, just swim back towards the ladder and get out, ignore those people waving you over to the so-called cave tour. Also, the food/drinks are way overpriced at Rick’s. If you take the catamaran tour like we did, drinks are included so just get your fill on the boat lol. On the way back to the resort, the catamaran provided everyone with an awesome view of the Negril sunset with plenty of time for photos!

Check-Out/Departure:
Our flight was on time and everything went smoothly with our check-out and drive to the airport. Things at the airport went well, no complaints. We bought a few souvenirs there as well as duty free was reasonably priced.

Note: People will ask for tips off the resort, such as the tour guides, bus drivers, random locals who were doing dives at Rick’s, etc. so be prepared. The resort was great though, no demands for tips and we were treated superbly whether we tipped or not, excellent service!

Overall, we had an awesome time in Jamaica and we will go back one day!!! :)

Room Tip: Buildings 1 and 2 are closer to the main lobby, buffet, pool, beach, etc. Buildings 3 and 4 are a bi...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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18  Thank trini_traveller08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Before departing, as always, I read over the reviews for this resort. I must say I was extremely disappointed in my experience. However, I may not have experienced this resort at its best.

Upon arriving I immediately noticed how busy it was, and guests walking through the gate with bags and children. I was informed that it was a Jamaican holiday "Heroes Day" and the hotels are busy with local families during the entire holiday weekend. Well, my 4 night vacation (birthday present to me) started Saturday so the weekend was shot. Checking in was chaotic and I was never provided any information on the amenities at the hotel. I was given an envelope which included the do's and don't and told to read it.

The food constantly ran out, the pool bar became a "public" pool with kids splashing and floating devices. The bar was extremely busy because it also serviced children, who occupied most of the seating.The beer was warm and tasted like the tap may have been dirty. The bar was always messy and running out of something, glasses, etc.

However, the beach bar, which is in the middle of nowhere without seats, served cold beer.
The staff was not very responsive nor "pleasant." Although on their behalf, the staff's attitudes could have been in response to the number of guests and demands.

The first 3 days I barely ate because there were so many people and the wait for the staff to replenish the food, which wasn't very good, was too much. There was no order, just people surrounding the food stations grabbing as food became available.

Entertainment was mediocre. As a indicator of disturbing incidents, on my last day the housekeeper called at 9:00 to ask what time I was departing (checkout is 12:00) and if I was leaving a little something for her :( Of course, I had plan to leave a tip. However, I have never experienced staff requesting a tip.

I could go on and on, however, I believe the take away here is I was very disappointed in this RIU property. RIU should consider informing travel agents or posting on its website when an event/dates could impact a guest's vacation experience and plan better for high occupancy periods. It should also rethink its policy on children ordering drinks at the pool bar when another pool is available to them.

Room Tip: The property is very large so if you have a problem walking or want to be near the main facility you...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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5  Thank LesTraveler1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Visited Jamaica with my boyfriend and family, first time to the Caribbean for me. Nothing short of amazing! Apart from the odd bit of rain! The hotel offers everything you could want. We had a lovely clean room, no problems with the food, and the weekend entertainment was some of the best we have ever seen. There is an amazing singer Paul in the lobby bar, who sings whilst he serves you.

The hotel staff and local Jamaican people are lovely. We used John Wayne, tours (Johnwaynewam@hotmail.co.uk) for our airport transfer and also for trips (to Ricks Cafe, Dunns River and shopping). Although his prices were very cheap, John was lovely, and we were treated like royalty, nothing was too much trouble for him. Highly recommended.

The beach is really close, and the sea beautiful and warm. But there are a lot of sand flies and mosquitoes at night. Take plenty of bug spray, better safe than sorry!

There is nothing negative to say about this hotel, we cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank Fiona P
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
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#37 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: $208 - $462 (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):
* Newly renovated in November 2015 * Located on Jamaica's west coast in Negril * Located on the beach front * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Main building and four 2-story annexes * Surrounded by 45,000 m2 / 56,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 9 km / 5.5 Miles from Negril's West End * 7 km / 4.4 Miles from various shops * 80 km / 48 miles from Montego Bay airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners ... 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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