We just returned from our stay in Jamaica from June 16-21st. We had an amazing time! The resort was a great place for the money.
Customs was a breeze, transfer to hotel took about 1 1/2 hours. We were greeted with a drink and directed to the buffet while they got our room ready. We immediately went to the reservation desk to sign up for dinner reservations. We were able to get reservations at the Italian, Steakhouse and Japanese restaurants. Do not delay - the seatings will fill up fast!
Beach: Very nice, as all reviewers have said. We snorkeled quite a bit right off the beach. We'd bring out bread to draw the fish to us. Saw many starfish and a few rays. We took a snorkeling excursion that the resort offers (Scube Caribe) and enjoyed it a lot. We saw many fish and rays and just had a great time! Bring a float for the beach so you can just drift and be lazy. Venders were around, but after they ask you once, they pretty much leave you alone. The beach is nice and long- so great for a long walk. We walked down to Beaches resorts but never made it over to the other Riu- we were so happy where we were we didn't feel the need to hang out over there.
Food: We were very impressed with the food. We found that we both love Jamaican food, especially the jerk chicken. The buffet was always good and something for everyone. Fruit is great, dessert is so-so. They do make good cheesecake- I ate a lot of that! We loved all the restaurants we ate at. You will not go away hungry! Japanese and Steakhouse were my favs. The Steakhouse is very romantic right near the beach.
Entertainment: They really try hard to make sure everyone is having a good time and getting involved. Loved the water aerobics and beach volleyball. Beach party at night was fun, and other evening entertainment was generally pretty good. Just watch out if you bring small kids- some of the dancers are pretty scantilly clad at times.
Service: Amazing. We tipped occassionally, but never felt we had to tip to get good service. There was always someone cleaning up or ready to get you a drink. Most times, I'd barely sit down and someone was asking if I wanted a drink.
Room: I am very picky about beds and was scared I wouldn't sleep well. The bed we had was fine. A little firm, but I slept great. The room was comfortable, very clean and functional. PLenty of towels are provided and I really liked the turn down service.
Pools: I got in one time- the beach and ocean were my home while we were there. They seemed clean and plenty of people hung out there.
Layout: We stayed in room 2306. We were only steps from the beach and a short walk to the lobby and buffet. It was nice and quiet where we were too (3rd floor - we didn't mind- we liked th exercise). I loved the fact that we didn't have to walk very far to go anywhere we wanted too.
Tours: We went to YS Fall and the Black River. Black RIver was really neat and tour was good. YS fall was amazingly pretty and our guide was great- taking pics and showing how to jump in at certain spots- try the rope swing- very fun! Be ready to tip your guide- they do a great job and deserve a little money for their effort. Getting to the falls and Black River is exhausting! Those roads are horrible and bumpy and it takes like 1 1/2 to 2 hours each way. I don't regret going, but man- I wish they'd fix some of those potholes! Our driver did the best she could... We took a catamaran tour to Rick's Cafe. It was too choppy for the divers to jump in, so we ended up cruising to a cove near some caves and jumped in there and did a little snorkeling. Very pretty ride and watching the sunset on the way back was great. Although the clouds moved in before the sun went all the way down.
All in All: We really loved Jamaica and the people there and the Riu was just the right fit for us. Our only downpoint was 4 1/2 hours of rain on Sunday afternoon, but that is up to God, not the resort, and is apparently unusual even for the rainy season. The rest of the time was generally dry with patchy sun. This will be remembered as one of our best vacations. We hope to return to Jamaica in the near future!
- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Tropical Bay Hotel Negril
- Riu Tropical Bay
- Riu Tropical Bay Jamaica
- Riu Palace Tropical Bay Negril
- Riu Tropical Bay Negril
- Riu Tropical Bay Negril Jamaica
- Negril Riu Tropical Bay Hotel
- Riu Palace Tropical Bay Hotel
- Riu Jamaica
- Riu Tropical Jamaica
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Renovated in summer 2008 * Located in Negril, on Jamaica's west coast * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 1-storey main building and 2-storey buildings * Victorian-style architecture * Surrounded by 47,000 m2 / 56,500 sq. yards of lush gardens * 7.5 km / 4.7 miles from Negril West End * 6 km / 3.8 miles from various shops * 80 km / 48 miles from Montego Bay airport ... more less
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