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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #26 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto Onrario
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“beware”
Reviewed January 22, 2006

The all inclusive Rui at Negril is fairly new and still in great condition but is poorly run. We paid extra for an ocean view room. When we arrived it was just before Christmas and the resort was not busy. When we were taken to our rooms they were filthy, smelled and had little ants running everywhere. They offered us different rooms which were either extremely far from everything or worse than the first. The staff did not move quickly and this exercise took hours. As it was getting late and we were extremely tired we suggested we take a dirty room for the first night and explore alternatives the next day. When we checked the bed the linens were dirty and the mattress cover had human excrement on it. They took the linens and mattress from another room and switched. I feel sorry for the people that got the other room. We then prepared for bed and went to use the toilet for the first time. When we lifted the seat a stench came out and we saw that the toilet had been plugged with bowel movements. Completely disgusting. We were then told there was no one to fix it until the next morning. We were so exhausted we agreed to keep the room provided they gave as the keys to the next room so we could use that washroom. For the first night we kept the bathroom door shut and traveled to a different room to shower etc. We arrived at 6:00pm and it was approxitmately 2:00 am by time we went to bed. Fortunately a friend who had been there told us there was a bug problem so we brought bug spray and sprayed our room and balconey and that solved the bug problem. The next day we finally found and met with the manager who brought the head of housekeeping who told us all the rooms they showed us had not been prepared for guests. The rooms were thoroughly cleaned that day and it was not a problem for the rest of the trip. The first few days were very pleasant but after Christmas the resort filled and it changed dramatically. They did not have enough beach towels and people either got up early to get towels and reserve beach chairs failing which they had to line up for hours or do without. Meals raised similar problems. You had to line up for 2-3 hourss to make a reservation at the specialty restaurants sometimes waiting for hours and then being told they were full and come back tomorrow. Jerk chicken at the beach for lunch was delicious and plentiful the first few days but then people lined up for hours only to be told they had run out. When it was busy you could not get clean linens for your table if you arrived after 7:00 for dinner. At breakfast they had one person making omlettes so if you wanted one you had to line up for a half hour. The only other problem was the sand bugs. You do not notice them at first but a few days later the red bumps appear and they are incredibly itchy. We were not too bad ( 50-60 bites each) but others were far worse than us. The food at the buffet was tasty and fresh and the staff are friendly provided you do not ask them for any help. It was a little disturbing to be sitting by the pool and hearing people screaming and complaining because they waited in line for food, towels or dinner reservations only to be disappointed. We enjoyed the sailing and paddle boat activities. The gym was OK the first few days but when it got busy most of the equipment was broken so all you could do was some free weights. If you want to stay at a resort that has been recently built and do not mind waiting in line for food or towels and are prepared to complain and wait for a clean room then you should enjoy this resort.

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20 Thank hbbTorontoOnrario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2006

Just returned from Riu Negril (Jan 10-17)and wanted to comment on this hotel since just like many others I was reading this web site before my trip. Before I start here are some of the WARNINGS:

-If you are a spoiled person who is used to eating caviar, staying in Ritz and do not like children DO NOT go to this hotel. You will not like it and then will write a bad review here.

For the rest of you fun loving people out there here are my comments:

Tips- When booking an All-inclusive package your gratuities are included. This is one of the benefits of paying a higher price for this type of a package and if you go to a resort in Mexico or Dominican Republic it would be just like that. However in Jamaica things work a little different and you just have to go along with it. You start feeling it the moment you get off the plane and the "mandatory" porters charge you $1 per bag to take you from the building to your bus. Your friendly bus driver is more than happy to get tips. In fact when we got to the hotel we were told that our room was in the back of the building but a friendly tip moved us up to an ocean front room. By no means is this policy enforced by Riu but this is something to remember and like I said just go along with it and don't let little things spoil your vacation.

Rooms- The rooms are pretty spacious and you have all the amenities you need to make your stay comfortable. All of the rooms have a balcony with a table, chairs and a small drying rack for your swim wear. Inside you have your standard size bed, night tables, dresser and TV(local and satellite channels from US like Disney, ABC, NBC, etc...). There is a fridge with the soft drinks and beer which they restock every two days and a liquor dispenser in case the bars are not enough. In the bathroom you have your tub with a shower, a double sink and a hair drier. The water from the sink is not drinkable but they provide you with plenty of spring water. The closet is pretty spacious and you also have a safe for your valuables. Housekeeping was pretty good and they even make funny animals out of the towels on your bed something usually seen on a cruise ship.

Food- There is a main buffet restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Overall food is pretty good in this RIU. Breakfast buffet features everything you can possibly want and a very good selection of juices. Lunch is served in a different open air buffet but a much better alternative is the jerked chicken made right on the beach every day except Monday. For dinner if you are tired with buffet you have a choice of three restaurants Brazilian, Steak House and Sir. Andrews. These require same day reservations at 10 in the morning. The line forms early and can be pretty long but you can get reservations for steak or Brazilian fairly easy. Sir Andrews is a bit harder. This resort accommodates a lot of weddings and they usually use Sir. Andrews for their reception. Just keep trying and you will get in. Read my above section in tips and you may get in faster. The food in this resort is pretty good so I suggest to try all three. The good thing about this Riu is that this is a 24hr all-inclusive (not all resorts are) which means that at all other times when the restaurants are closed there is a pizza snack bar where you can get a slice even at 3 in the morning.

Pool- There are two good size pools. One with a swim up bar and a jacuzzi (obviously more popular). The other is less crowded so it's more perfect to enjoy your laps. There is also a small kiddies pool but most kids prefer the big pools. There are plenty of chairs around both pools. Towels are available but it's true that they do run out of them early and then you have to wait "30 minutes" for them to clean the dirty ones and bring them out again. This is nothing to start crying about. Just pick up your towels on your way to the breakfast, don't wait too long for them to be all gone and to avoid the hassle every day keep the towels in your room (dry them on the balcony).

Beach- This is one of the better beaches I've been on. The amount of trees create plenty of shade and there are plenty of chairs. The beach stretches all along the property of the resort but the swim area is designated only to a part of the beach. The rest is a fish sanctuary so you can still enjoy the sand but you can't swim there. This is a perfect part of the beach to those who look for a place to read or just to relax in a quite setting. The water is not as clear as in some other parts of the Caribbean but the swimming area is cleared of all the sea weed and since the resort is in the bay there are almost no waves which makes swimming a pleasure in this resort.

Bars- There are plenty of bars around the resort and the drinks are good. Liquor selection is good with choices from both local and imported companies, but everyone in Jamaica knows that there are only two choices you need Red Stripe or Appleton.

Grounds- The grounds are beautiful and very well kept. The resort is not wide but very long. There is a main building and then the four annex buildings where all the rooms are stretch through the length of the resort. The beach stretches the entire length as well so no matter what building you are in the beach is right in front of you. If you are in building 1 you are located closest to all of the activities but it is also the noisiest. If you want in quieter then ask to be in building 2 or 3. Building 4 is going to require the most walking so if you come with kids or older people this might be too far for you.

Activities- day time night time there is always something going on in this resort. Beach party, night club, shows, and water sports. The staff does a good job of making things fun.

Overall we had a great time in Riu Negril. It was a good return on our investment.

Stayed January 2006
Helpful?
18 Thank newyork_travelguru75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2006

First the bad bits, 'cos that's more interesting.

1. The swim-up bar. Great idea. The trouble is, I quickly realised I was waist-deep in "ick". It literally smelled like a sewer, with (sorry about this) sticking plasters and chewing gum floating past. NOOO!!

2. The entertainment is mind-numbingly bad - apart from the occasional live band, and the beach party, which is pretty enjoyable. Of course that could have been from the very strong aroma of the local "herbs".

3. The system of queueing to reserve places in the a la carte restaurants is bizarre. You didn't pay all that dough to queue up that early, or any other time. Especially when you see people trying to reserve twenty places for their mates.

AND - they aren't worth it. The Sir Andrew is OK but you wouldn't bother a second time.

4. The local brand drinks are of "happy shopper" standard, and the mixers are borderline toxic. Also, they are sometimes made so weak you will be flourescent from the syrup mixer before you get a buzz.

HOWEVER - if you ask for "Smirnoff" instead of "vodka" you will get it. Also, ask for Red Stripe and not just "beer" because the standard stuff is disgusting.

The wine tastes like the type you would buy from a post office a minute before closing time.

5. Don't get married here. Instead of having a private area at the end of the beach, which would be beautiful, you are right in the middle, with all the herberts in swimming costumes free to walk right up and rubberneck at you. And it's noisy

6. Talking of noise, the staff start screaming at each other from about 9 a.m. onwards and the noise does carry in these concrete buildings. If you don't mind a walk get into building 4. Building 1 will be unbelievably loud, especially if you are near the East Europeans who shout all the time and play their screechy music. And you have got to get ocean view as the road is a race track for wrecks.

The good stuff - I would actually go again as long as I could get ocean view on building 4 which is what we had.

The staff are great and there is a lot of comedy.

Ganja is on sale but don't buy it if you don't want it. DO NOT try to smuggle it home because security at the airports is insanely heavy on the way back.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank spencertheartist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2006

A little bit of information about our trip. Flight fine, 10hrs to Montego Bay however as others have mentioned, absolute chaos in airport, queued 1/2hr at passport control, 1hr for baggage, no signposting for our luggage carousel (just had to spot others from our flight) then further 1/2hr to get out of customs (what we would want to import to Jamaica I’d never know!) Into a welcoming air conditioned coach for an 1 1/2 journey to Negril. Just as expected, a poor country with many corrugated iron shacks for houses. We have seen this before in Dom. Rep. so no surprises there. As we drew up to the hotel, the entrance was spectacular and well worth the wait. Being only 1 1/2yrs old, the hotel lobby was clean and impressive with a beautiful display of fresh flowers. We were greeted with melon cocktails, quickly sorted with room/safe keys and wrist bands then off to find our rooms, Given block 2, third floor with ocean views (emailed prior to trip to ask for this but during 1st week of our stay the hotel only ½ full so maybe able to accommodate?) Room was spacious with mahogany furniture. Air conditioned, satellite t.v, 4 optics with local brands, fizzy drinks in fridge and good bathroom with powerful shower. No problems with towels which other e-mailers encountered, always fresh delivered daily, didn’t need own towels. Left tip for maids 1st day then Xmas day and on leaving which probably helped. Take lots of $1 notes for plenty of tipping. Weather-1st week sunny and 29oc, 2nd week cloudy but still warm.
FOOD
Absolutely excellent, could not fault this, 1st class. 4 restaurants, 1) Green Island room-buffet breakfast beyond your wildest dreams, tastes to suit everyone. Closed for lunch then open for evening buffet with themed nights, by far the best restaurant. 2) Luigi’s pizza restaurant, open for snacks most of day-found this was best place at lunch as quieter. 3)Steakhouse, its evening name or Shadows during day-steaks wonderful at night but ask for very well done to get a medium cooked steak! Shadows for lunch, no problem mon (everyone says this!) or 4) St Andrews al a carte-2 choices starter/dessert and 4 choices main, a bit of a let down after the selection in Green Island. Just tried this restaurant once. Have to queue every morning at 10am next to lobby to book Steakhouse or St Andrews for that evening.
DRINKS
Mostly local brands but spotted Gordon’s gin or Tia Maria if asked specifically. Loved trying all the cocktails, strawberry daiquiri or brandy Alexander my favourites. Sometimes mixers from siphon a bit flat. Served with brown plastic beakers on beach, put you off drinking a bit so stuck to water in day after novelty of free drinking wore off! 1 beach bar to use, fizzy help yourself siphons covered in wasps, Jamaicans didn’t bat an eyelid!
ENTERTAINMENT
Not the best I’ve seen but will do for kids! Dancers tried their hardest and were seen busy practising each morning. We enjoyed a relaxing lounge in the lobby bar in the evenings catching up with friends we met. (Hi Eddy and Cathy) Each Sunday a beach party with bonfire would entertain us. During the day there was a host of activities on the programme, aerobics in the sea, games, pool aerobics, volleyball etc. Kayaking and sailing fun (if you don’t know how to sail a 2 man catamaran, small lesson required costing approx £20) Jet skis pester you up and down beach, barter, we got ours for $30 per ski for 1/2hr.
TRIPS
Definitely recommend catamaran trips (organised through rep) Morning trip on Wild thing, a large catamaran, free drinks, lunch on private beach, good music and snorkelling-great fun. Sunset cruise-heads along coastline to Ricks Café-amazing divers from cliffs and higher jumping from the trees! Swam from catamaran to café, bought drinks in ours cossies, listened to a reggae band on stage and swam back to catamaran to sail home in the sunset. Lastly Dunns River Falls (had to do this one), long day (takes 3hrs to get there), stopped halfway to enjoy the Martha Brae river rafting then onto the waterfalls. Great fun, worth it but long journey home (riding in a rickety bus). Tried parasailing for 1st time-absolutely brilliant.
BEACH
Little bit disappointed, thought Dom. Rep. beach at Bavaro much more impressive. Lots of greenery growing in water, cloudy when entering sea, does clear further out and crystal clear when out sailing. Bitten badly on legs/arms by sand flies (I think this was the cause very itchy and looked like mosquito bites?) ok when using sun cream with repellent but forgot sometimes!
On the whole good holiday. Jamaica is a happening place 'mon', if you like the lifestyle (offered ganja/weed at every corner!) however thinking of trying somewhere different next year-maybe the Indian Ocean? Don’t be put off, I recommend a trip here as my comments may differ so much from your experiences. Riu hotels very good.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank JaneDermo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 19, 2006

Our family of six have returned from the RIU NEGRIL & for you folks who are reading all these negative reviews I have one thing to say. We loved it. No problems at all. In fact we were prepared for the worst after reading all the terrible reviews. The staff were wonderful, friendly and did not expect tips. Yes I did tip them on the occassion but that was a personal choice. The service was instant in most situations and ALL of our needs were taken care of. I brought my 2 small children and had no concerns about the food or water. The bar tender provided me with a nice box of cold milk each night. All sealed and ready to bring back to the room at night.
We ate and drank everything and we are a very picky bunch. All this talk about bugs (???) we were amazed at the lack of them! I brought bug spray and had no need for it at all.
Our room was lovely & we were in block one which is the closest to the hotel. I brought two small children and no noise at all. Some reviews say block four is quiet but a fair walk & I think block one is the best for kids! I would have asked for block one if I was put in four.
The childrens area was small but quaint. We did not use this area or services at all. We loved the beach and wanted to stay with our kids.
The jerk hut was wonderful on the beach and service was very fast. The hotel offered constant entertainment. Great pools, great food, drinks were lovely and only complaint we had was lack of beach towels but noticed people would use their towel for an hour and then get a fresh one - this to me was unfair & perhaps reason why they ran short. The beach was great for the kids. Clean, water was very nice and no sharp shells or objects. The water was cloudy in the bay but this did not concern us at all. You MUST take the glass bottom out & witness the reef. We snorkled and I enjoyed this very much. My 7 year old went as well and loved it.
The hotel is lovely and after walking down the beach and seeing the other hotels. This hotel in my opinion is certainly the best!!!! We arrived in Montego Bay early morning and about a one hour drive in to Negril. I will say that probably best to arrive in the day light and leave in the day light so you can enjoy the ride and see the landscape and sights. They do drive a bit crazy in Jamaica and nothing like North America.
Again NO PROBLEMS Man & would return again.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Haven, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2006

We were originally supposed to be at the Royal Decameron, Montego Bay (which I had done a ton of research on before we left). When we got to the RDMB on Friday, guest services wanted to talk to us and offered us this upgrade to Riu Negril - it was myself and another girl friend on this vacation, so I was a little bit leary of what they were offering us: A five star hotel for the price of a 3 star? Well, I said what the heck and we did it!

We were in Jamaica for a long weekend to get away from the cold and awful Michigan weather, so this was perfect. We stayed pretty low-key and just ate, drank and got some much needed sun! Being two females travelling alone, we did run into some interesting Jamaican men...but nothing at all threatening. One lifeguard was particularly fond of my friend but a simple no, I don't think so was just fine.

The one complaint that I would have to agree with is the smell in our room was awful...like must or mold. But, scary enough...you do get used to it after awhile. I was happy for the fact that unlike Cancun, our room did not get full of condensation and we were able to keep the screen door open and the ceiling fan on. We didn't have to rely on the air conditioning and were able to get a lot of fresh air.

We were taken care of as far as transportation to and from MB and back to the airport...I would like to go back and actually stay at the Royal Decameron Montego Bay at some point!!

And, I still cannot figure out why they gave us the upgrade...

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank turtlejean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
85 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2006

I was hesitant to write this but after staying at this hotel in November 05, I just don't understand the negative reviews. We had a great time and nothing went wrong at the hotel at least. Food was really good for an all inclusive. We also had dinner at the steakhouse, excellent. I had shrimp and my husband had steak, both were huge portions and tasty. We never had to wait for anything. Towels were always available as were chairs at the pool with the swim up bar. Drinks were sometimes weak but I just tipped the bartender a buck or two and told him to make sure it wasn't a virgin drink-no problem. The shows were good, remember you are at an AI in the caribbean and not in Vegas paying $100. a seat. They worked their hearts out. Our housekeeper was the same all week and she loved the little gifts along w/tip we gave her. She stocked our bar without ever being asked to. The only problem we had our entire trip was our transfer company. They were late both times. The hotel went out of their way to help us with that and they didn't have to. Oh and don't forget to take the free trip to Margaritaville they offer. We had a blast. No bugs whatsoever. I wasted valuable space packing all that bug spray. Never used it. Great trip.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
22 Thank Christine W
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:
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#19 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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