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“My experience of Riu Negril - Definitely visiting Jamaica again”

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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #27 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
Level Contributor
56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“My experience of Riu Negril - Definitely visiting Jamaica again”
Reviewed August 27, 2014

I stayed at the Riu Negril in August 2014 and had an incredible time... Where to start...

If you are looking for a relaxed holiday, with both entertainment for either couples or families, then this is definitely for you.
We stayed for a week and did a number of excursions which included the Black River, YS Falls, Appleton Rum Factory, Ricks Cafe, Snorkelling and Zip-lining.
We book most of the excursions away from our travel rep as we found the excursions cheaper elsewhere.

BEACH: The hotel in bloody bay has an exquisite beach that is worth spending some time on whether you would just like to relax or to join in a game or two of volleyball.

SHOPPING: We visited Times Square shopping centre as well as the stores locals had set up near the hotel. You are able to haggle which is quite fun to do - I must say. However what was pleasant was that both my girlfriend and myself did not experience any annoyance from the local shop sellers to buy things, though they may invite you into their shops.

SINGING BARTENDER (Paul): Many individuals who have written reviews on trip advisor have already mentioned Paul, Riu's own singing bartender. He really is an asset to the team, he has a true passion for singing and you are able to hear him sing between 7pm and 10pm in the evenings. - Occasionally I would get a drink and just sit and listen to him sing.

A LA CARTE Restaurants: Both my girlfriend and I spent the majority of the evenings making the most of the a la carte restaurants (St Andrews - Gourmet, Luigi's - italian, and the Steakhouse). The steak at the steakhouse was delightful. There a a generous amount of starters that come for your dinner so try not to overload! St Andrews restaurant was also very nice, the seafood starter was my favourite dish. In the italian I tried both the Pork and the Beef main - I recommend both of these too. (The main buffet is also a nice and popular choice for many, though out of personal choice, I enjoyed venturing to the A La Cartes)

SPA - The spa is also relaxing. We were fortunate to be given a discount from the spa therapists who walk around the pools. I was sunburnt and before my massage therapy they applied aloe vera to my neck and shoulders. We also had the back head and shoulder 40 minute massage (as a couple). The therapists were very professional. My massaging experience was limited by my own doing ( I was sunburnt ) so I had to have a sensitive massage.

Check in and Check out: Check in was fast and a member of the hotel staff was quick at bringing our bags to the room. Check out was slightly slower however we managed to queue jump as our coach arrived and we had to go.

ENTERTAINMENT:
The entertainment team at the hotel are incredible, they work extremely hard! This includes (Spotlight, Angel eyes, Shadrick, Fire and the rest of whom I may have missed)! They do give you an insight into the Jamaican way of life and they do their upmost to ensure that you have a positive holiday. The entertainment team are both great at working with children to adults and run a variety of activities and accommodate for changes in the weather! 5* entertainment team!

ROOMS - Absolutely lovely, we had, Gin, Rum, Vodka and Whisky in bottles in our room which we could drink and they would be replaces. Beers, cokes, Fanta, water and other drinks were also provided in the room fridge. We stayed in Block 1.. Block 2 would have also been fine. Blocks 3 and 4 is quite a walk from the restaurants and main reception area and pools.

The hotel looks well maintained and staff clean the pools, paths and beach daily and continue to do so throughout the day.

Should you be concerned about weed? No the locals may offer it to you there... if you choose to 'play with fire' and want to smoke it, it is at your own risk. If the locals offer it to you, which you are likely to experience at least once, quite simply say, no thanks :)

If you are thinking between the riu negril and riu tropical, if I were you... choose the negril!

RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Speak to the bar staff and the individuals who take you on their excursions about their culture
- It would be great if the hotel gave feedback to each of the reviews holiday makers leave on trip advisor
- Let go on holiday and go with the Jamaican motif 'no problem' - Jamaicans are, from my experience, very friendly.
- Try and make use of a la carte restaurants and definitely try the jerk chicken which is available down the shack along the beach from 12 midday or occasionally at the main buffet.
- Search for the best prices for excursions, Thomson did seem pricey.

Room Tip: Choose either block 1 or 2. :)
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank -Psycho-Dynamic-
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2014

I’m a bit apprehensive writing this review because I’m a big fan of RIU resorts in different countries. The RIU Negril had a lot of qualities going in its favor but still some others that did not.

Pros:
- The service/ people were friendly; everyone greeted us with good mornings, the bartenders were always attentive to us; even when we weren’t sitting next to the bar, he sent drinks over.
- Food was good/flavorful (try the Jerk Pork Chop at the buffet carving station)
- The room was serviced everyday early, towels and mini bar replenished.
- Full day of entertainment. 10 am – 11-pm and the night club til 2am. Live music, games, friendly entertainers (Shout out to Angel Eyes and Spot light). Even on a rainy day they did their best to accommodate.
- Rooms seem far but it’s a good thing because you don’t hear the crowds or entertainment. Besides a little walking is good after all you can eat food and drinks
- Love that there were little huts on the beach for shopping. It’s in a great location close to Margaritaville, Jungle night Club, and not too far off form Rick’s Café (Don’t take the cabs from the hotels, CRAZY expensive. A lot of the clubs have free shuttles on special party nights, wait for those) Shout out to Don Fresh Lobster- They have everything you need there and they are friendly. Spent at least an hour a day chatting with the guys there.

Cons:
- The facility was run down a bit and outdated maintenance is needed.
- The hallways/ and bar/ pool area had this weird mop smell.
- The pool bar pool needs to be cleaned better or they need a new filter system. My favorite part of vacation is hanging out by the pool bar and I just couldn’t do it. We went to the other pool which was a bit better.
- Although the food was great it was sometimes annoying that if the buffet was closing @ 10 by 9am they weren’t bringing out any more food and started putting away dishes. This was particularly a problem on Sunday when I guess most people decided to sleep in late and got to breakfast after 9am and there was a battle to get in line for food.
- The late night snack bar need improvement on its food selection. There’s a really unenthusiastic chef on night duty that sort of gives you the feeling that he didn’t want you to bother him.

Like I’ve seen in some of the other reviews, it’s what you make of your trip. You have to remember that you are traveling to a poverty stricken country and that they do their best to service the tourist. I would defiantly return to Negril but I think that I would want to try another place. TIP- the side of Margaritaville has the BEST beach, no seaweed and great sunset.

Room Tip: AC's no that great but it did just enough, keep the balcony closed
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Katherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Jamaica
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2014

I have vacationed at the Riu Resorts in Jamaica four times. Ocho Rios location is my favorite but they were booked so I ended up at the Negril Location. Firstly, we had to park in the street because the parking lot was full..... No problem, I was still optimistic that I would have a great time. There were a few other glitches with the room but nothing I would stress about. However, the worst experience happened to me on my second night. At about mid night, my daughter, who is asthmatic, started to wheeze. I immediately gave her The Ventolin puff which I always carry with me. Much to my alarm, after two puffs the medicine finished and she was still wheezing. I called the front desk and asked if there was a nurse on the property, he replied yes but it would cost me US$40 to access her services, he's asked if I was willing to pay that amount and I told him yes. Shortly afterwards, the nurse called my room and told me that she could not treat my daughter and I had to take her to a doctor. I told her that i had been taking care of my daughter's condition for seven years and and I am fully capable of controlling a little wheezing, all I needed was some Ventolin. She said she could not administer Ventolin as it was a prescription drug. fair enough, I then enquired whether she had any histatussin, which is a drug that is sold over the counter and would have ease my daughter's discomfort until morning. She said she had the drug but refused to give me any! After my husband and I called the front desk and cussed up a storm, she agreed to give me one dose for $40!!! She was still charging the full cost of treatment even though she did nothing!! The whole bottle only cost about $5! I could not believe it, my husband had to leave the property to find an all night gas station to purchase the histatussin. What is the point of having a nurse on the compound if she is unable to assist you when you are ill?? Never again!!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Debbie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2014

I recently stayed at this hotel and I was not impressed at all. The staff was not friendly or courteous, they were all just doing their jobs. The room was ok. However when I arrived I waited an additional 30 mins before I was told what room I was in because it was not ready yet. When I finally got to the room the sheets were dirty, the phone was not working, and warm air was coming from the air conditioning unit, I had to trek back to the front desk to report those things. The maintenance guy came and fixed the AC and phone. I waited 2.5 hours and made 2 phone calls to the front desk before housekeeping came to change the sheets.

The staff at dinner were all gloomy. They all had the same drab facial expressions. The food was unappealing and most of it was tasteless, and the menu never changed. I stayed for 3 nights and the menu stayed the same the entire time. It seemed as if leftovers form lunch at Shadows restaurant were being served at dinner in the main dining room. The drinks were extremely weak as well and the bartenders were very sullen looking. Maybe Riu isn't the nicest place to work?

All in all, I was VERY disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jamerican I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2014 via mobile

Travelled as a party of 7 for our wedding.
Arranged everything beforehand via email with DIonne. Very professional service. Booked hair etc prior to leaving and also picked flowers, music location etc. We had a meeting when we arrived to go over final details so was stress free.
Free just married t shirt, and photo album as a gift.
Spent every day around the pool with swim up bar, fast friendly service, nice list of cocktails.
Food was varied, plenty of choice for all tastes and always hot. Jerk chicken stand on the beach is a must! Amazing!
Beach was lovely, plenty of sunbeds, water sports.
Entertainment was ok, repeated for the second week of our stay.
Rooms were large, cleaned every day, mini bar stocked daily, and optics.
Manager took us to the craft marker, worth a visit!
Went on afternoon cruise to ricks cafe, shopping and snorkelling.
Would definitely return!

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank nic21wales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brick, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2014

Would not return. Billions of little kids. No place in either pool to stand without
Getting kicked and jumped on. Most staff were friendly but there was no shortage of staff that u could tell were there for the job and felt bothered to to have to deal with u. Pool bar very crowded and had musty smell. Room was OK. AC in room sucked. The WiFi here is rediculas, 90 consecutive minutes in the lobby per day for free. Anything else is a charge, $50 for the week and only 1 device at a time. We complained to our travel agent and we were upgraded to the RIU tropical palace for free - nicer resort, nicer beach, free WiFi but same mix of staff types.

Room Tip: Pick a better resort
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank joe f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2014

We've just spent 10 fabulous days at the Riu Negril - I read Tripadvisor reviews before we went and was a little nervous as to what to expect.

The hotel is spotless, food fabulous - plenty of choice and variety, staff amazing - every single one of them there to make your holiday great, room wonderful (we were in 3014 and the children 3016), nothing was too much trouble - I needed more hangers, my husband preferred whiskey to vodka, the hair dryer didn't work - all of these addressed instantly.

The beach is spotless with staff raking it before 7am, the pool area too. The facilities excellent and up to date.

The entertainment team just amazing - we are not big into entertainment but now wished we'd seen all the acts as the ones we saw were breathtaking, such effort put in by the team. Not to be missed!

We really can't fault any aspect of the hotel. Do take a trip with Captain Phil and his glass bottom boat down 7 mile beach and to Ricks cafe - he's fab, strike a deal with him (we got him down to $30 but gave him $35 each as it was so good), the other beach sellers are happy for you to say no thanks - just be polite and friendly and they are too. My daughter stood on a sea urchin and the beach seller spotted her foot - she got the life guard to dig out the spikes which I had tried unsuccessfully to do. They really do care and are not pushy.

The bay is lovely - very safe to walk around and full of fabulous fish. We took lilos and snorkelling gear but the hotel has snorkelling stuff for free - you pay a deposit which you get back, but the beach sellers want $40 for a lilo! And take beach shoes for in the water - the coral is shallow in places.

Read the reviews and take all the good as being what we had - I really can't see how people can fault this hotel. We ate in the three bookable restaurants - again no problems booking, they were all very nice - the buffet is fab but good to have other restaurant variety too.

It is due for improvements - a new pool is planned and was due to shut the day we left but then the Jamaican tourist board extended this - I'm fairly 'picky' and feel the tourist board must have very high standards.

90 minutes free wifi in the lobby was great and enough to keep all happy but off the Internet to enjoy the holiday and hotel facilities!

We all felt we would love to return to the Riu Negril - just hope the money tree keeps growing!

Room Tip: This is not a noisy hotel and I originally asked for block 1 or 2 based on tripadvisor reviews. We w...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank HellyR1
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

Property: 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:
#14 Spa Hotel in Negril
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#37 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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