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“Excellent”

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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed 31 December 2013

Stayed here 14 to 26 Dec 13. The hotel has only been open 1 week so every thing is in perfect condition and with no children it should stay this way. The room is modern, light and spacious, large flat screen tv, safe, fridge stocked with beer, soft drinks and water, spirit dispenser also in room. plenty of storage space with deep draws and large wardrobe. we asked for extra hangers which were supplied within a few minutes. There is maid service twice daily if you need extra towels no problem. Reception staff were always helpful and friendly especially Florence. The buffet was very good chefs were very helpful explaining what things were. The snack bar is open 24 hours, we had lunch in there most days the food was perfect and the service from Denoy and Samantha first class.
We only used one al-a-cart restaurant which was the steak house, again first class service from Jermaine (football specialist) even though there was a power cut for most of the time we were in there the chefs still managed to prepare a perfect meal. (could not see that happening in uk).
The bars were well stocked with local and international drinks and a variety of hot drinks
There was waiter/waitress service at all bars and the service from Natasha around the pool and beach was excellent.
The evening entertainment was at the Riu next door just a few minutes away this was just the usual in-house shows that we have seen many times before, perhaps a few professional acts would help
also it is very busy and a long wait for drinks.
The animation team at the palace were ok but there is a lot of room for improvement, you can always go next door but do you want to.
The beach is small and the sand is gritty, the sea is warm and great for swimming there is a sharp drop about 5m in but there are signs to warn of this and as there are no children so it should not be a problem.
There are plenty of security guards (say hi to Fitzgerald a sound guy) all staff bags are searched when leaving
All the staff at this hotel are well trained and very friendly from gardener to front desk everyone speaks to you. Its just a shame that Riu feels it needs to bring in non Jamacian management as there are staff at the hotel that feel they will only get so far up the ladder.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Leicesterman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Just got in from a seven day stay at the Riu Palace. Attended destination wedding and celebrated daughter's 30th birthday. Daughter was treated like a celebrity by staff and guests alike. Service quality varied dependent on team. Extraordinary food service team led by Richard Mattews,Latoya James,Carlington Grant and Kajelia Spence. Super attentive, responsive, and accomodating manager leadership. Richard and Latoya, the Gordon family wish you the very best !!!! Food was generally delicious with plenty of variety. Breakfast and lunch my favorite meals. Kadeem conjures up fresh natural juices and shakes every morning. Looked forward to my watermelon juice every day. Shenekia Rose very efficiently managed the "sweet station. grilling french toast, chocolate chip pancakes on daily basis. Egg white omelets deftly prepared and turned over by Kasheema Scarlet with plenty of chopped onions, peppers, bacon bits, diced ham, cheese. Waiters/Waitresses provided terrific service with plenty of courtesy and smiles. Of special note: Ryan, Rashea, and "Tina" . Fresh grilled jerk chicken some of the best I've tasted thanks to Kemoy Perry who made sure my serving of wings were always "very well done" and chopped to my liking. Great smile and ever steady while also grilling hamburgers, franks, fries, onion rings etc. Special shout out to Tyron the "Star Search" and waiting to be discovered singing waiter in the Crystal "fusion" restaurant. His singing "blew us away" as he delivered daughter's birthday cake to our table. Keisha Edwards (room service), literally made us feel like family: a true "gem" she is. Can't leave out the outstanding environmental services team: Chantoy and Thelma thank you for your dedicated hard work. Last by not least, Riu Palace entertainment team and pool bar service: Damian, Richey, and Natasha who were relentless in their efforts to serve and satisfy all guests. Special gratitude for making my daughter's birthday her most memorable. (Her words, not mine)!!!!!

Opportunities for improvement:: Reception/Registration was slow. Staff appeared stressed and untrained. One hour later,( only two persons ahead of us on line), escorted to a room with double bed accommodation and broken ceiling fan) after reserving king bed. When finally situated, electrical wiring did not allow lights to go out without affecting TV reception. Spent two nights with lights on, and third with all electricity off. 3rd day, maintenance service arrived partially corrected electrical wiring, stating problem related to faulty wiring during construction. Lighting not fully corrected throughout stay. WiFi down for hours. Elevators and/or elevator lighting not operational. Slow service correction. Staff not equally informed or transparent when providing information/answers to questions. Leak in room, not fully fixed after several attempts to correct. Also related to poor construction. Can't blame staff for lack of trying.

Beach water is cloudy, not clear as advertised, with dangerous drops for non-swimmers. Clean pools with daily tested cool water makes up for lack of beachfront.

Overall rating: 4 The staff largely make up for operational inefficiencies and "growing pains". Thank you Riu team!!!! You really made the trip for me and my family!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rebecca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington, Delaware
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013 via mobile

We are at the hotel now half way through our 1 week stay. I brought my family (7) and have 3 rooms. We are in an ocean front suite (2019).

The good: Adults only the way to go. Just go next door to Rui hotel - crazy. Hotel is new and very modern, very nice. We have a hot tub on the balcony - nice for relaxing in the afternoon/evening. Buffett food is good, wide variety. Two pools one swim-up bar, good service. Nice chairs built into the pools. Beach small but fine. Security visible. Free wifi. Nice and quiet - very relaxing.

The not so good: At the end of the airport runway jets taking off. Service needs work. Room service good, but have to ask several times for most anything else (eg extra towels, restock minibar). The evening shows are at the Rui hotel next door. You have to get there early to get a seat - not ideal. That hotel is much larger with families and crowed. Checkin was slow.

The bad: Restaurants. There are 3 restaurants at this hotel and supposely more at the Rui next door, but try to get in! The 3 are not open every night so even harder to get in. You have to go in person at 8am the day before to try for a reservation. We are celebrating our 31st anniversary and a 1st wedding anniversary for son an daughter in law. I went to the front deck and spoke with the Operations director who was very helpful and got us in.

Bottom line: I would come back. Think they will work out the bugs - just opened 6 Dec. This is a nice place and can't think of a better place to bring my family.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank donb642
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
owens1966
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

So myself and my partner have stayed in some amazing hotels all over the world... Hong Kong, Dubai, New York as well as staying in various Riu hotels and Riu Palace all over the world... Mexico, Tunisia, Cape Verde etc... I was a little dubious about booking a brand new hotel but this was not a problem.

We arrived on the 12th travelling with Thompson. The first thing you notice about Jamaica when you arrive is the people... very friendly. Private transfers to the hotel which took just 20 minutes.

Reception staff were fantatsic and check in was a breeze. Allocated to room 2062 which was perfect, ocean front and smack bang in the middle.

The room was the new style Riu look which i love. Minimalistic, white, square lines, really beautiful. Loved the room, fridge, coffee maching, shower, flat screen tv etc.

What has made this holiday for me were the staff, clearly the best staff had been transferred over from the the Riu next door. Keisha Edwards in the restuarant during the evening was possibly the best waitress we have ever had... remembering everything we liked, food and drink wise after just one night.. Well impressed... Fabien in the main bar was lovely as were the security team, all the staff on the beach etc... They treated you like kings. That is what a holiday is all about.

Went on a few trips, hired a car with another great couple who we met from England and got to see a lot of Jamaica, again the people were superb.

A highlight for me was the food... A fussy vegetarian my partner wanted to eat at the steak house in the hotel, the manager of the hotel brought out the head chef especially to see if he could make me something special. Again service which exceeded my expectations.

I was surprised at some of the guests saying it was too quiet or complaining about the weather... OMG get a life... If you want busy then go and stay in the Riu next door (It was a little like spring break from morning until evening) but the great thing is you could use their facilities if you wished - we opted not to.

Overall, The week I had here was the best holiday i have had so far. I will be going back... To the manager and your team, you should be very, very proud.

We did not want to leave. Well done.

Room Tip: Choose ocean front, ok you pay that little bit extra but waking up looking onto the beach and out to...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank owens1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moline, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 December 2013

The only thing the hotel is lacking is night entertainment.....100% to the waiter's, pool bar service is excellent as well the chill out is great....Please step up the room service a little bit more. p.s. need more tables for breakfast and lunch...KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK STAFF....

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Matthew T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2013

I have nearly finished my stay at Riu Palace Jamaica with family and as far as I'm concerned the review by the "20-35 year old" is just ludicrous. (And to note, would you prefer the bellboy to leave your suitcases OUTSIDE your room??? Also as a fellow Jamaican, my gran brought flip flops AND slippers to manage the "cold" floor tiles of yours)

Anyway....

The staff continue to work hard and provide excellent service and smiles 24 hours! My sister and I have a very good relationship with many of the staff members from front desk to bars to restaurants to the Riu Manager!!!

The food is excellent including the additional restaurants you can book in to. A fine selection, including Caribbean food which is what we hoped for the most being of Jamaican descent.

As we go back to lie on the beach for the last few days of our 2 week holiday, our family highly recommend booking at the Riu Palace Jamaica and plan to bring the extended family here once we touch down in London on Thursday!

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff who have made our holiday the best experience! See you next year!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank S_MH_Stone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chennai (Madras), India
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2013

My husband and I had our concerns about choosing this resort, so soon after the opening. We stayed at the Riu Montego Bay just about a year after it had opened and there were a number of glitches.

I would have to say that we got swayed by the images we viewed online and as well by the fact the resort would be aiming to provide impeccable service to ensure it would receive favourable reviews. Additionally, considering they are attached to the other Riu, we could only hope they learnt some valuable lessons from that opening.

I'm writing my review while I'm still here, so I may update it at the end of my vacation.

My review will be complete. I will provide the good, bad, and ugly... Only because constructive critique can be used to help improve the resort for future guests.

The Good:
- The pictures did not lie. The rooms are gorgeous. Nicely decorated and tres modern. They are a little too sterile and modern for my liking, compared to the likes of the rooms at Secrets St. James for example. Nonetheless, beautifully designed and clean!!
- The service at the bars and restaurants is impeccable!! I'm in love with the staff!! They just know how much to serve you and it is not overwhelming! They are efficient, and super nice!!! Great resourcing on the part of the resort management
- The WIFI service reaches out to the beach and is strong. I work in I.T., so I am very impressed with the strength. I can stream movies and radio without interruption!
- The resort itself is beautifully designed! From the lobby (first impressions) to the grounds! First class in my books.
- Small touch, but a noticeable one for me... Great iron, and board provided in the rooms... Plus, they include the water cup so you can fill the iron!! That last piece there is what I'd call attention to detail! Hopefully other guests respect that kind of touch and don't misplace those water cups!!
- The beach, albeit small is nice! Lots and lots of chairs and towels!!! Also love that you don't need a card!! Just provide room number and... Voila... You can get a towel, or two, or even three!!
- My favourite Sous Chef is here!!! Met him at Riu Ochi and fell in love with his amazing spirit and demeanour!! Great job on bringing in the talent!
- Love being able to hit the Riu next door for the shows and even to just get a change of scenery. It's just a hot minute walk!
- The fitness centre is brand new, which is awesome! Great treadmills, bike and elliptical. They chose a good multi function workout machine, so you can train legs, back, chest, triceps and biceps. Plus.... The have dumb-bells!!! From 10 - 50 lbs. Suggest investing in a rack to store them! Now Riu Management, please please keep up the maintenance with the gym!!! So many resorts don't. Set yourself apart and keep it current and maintained!! I'm an athlete, so I appreciate the facilities very very much!!!
- The good on the food... For the most part, I can find 'clean' eats. Wish there was more, but I found a way to keep it as healthy as possible with a 'treat' here and there. There is a good amount of grilled options so for me, the selection is sufficient. While it is all you can eat... All you can eat is not a good thing!!!... So people, appreciate the options they provide... More options just means you will gain more weight. I've heard a number of people complaining about the options not being a lot... In my head I'm thinking the resort is doing them a favor!!! There is enough food options to keep you well nourished for the week or two! Feel blessed and don't complain!!

The bad:
- One evening we came back to our rooms and there was no running water -- the bad of it is that front desk knew nothing about it when I called to report it nor the next day when I followed up with them. Not good from my stand-point. That is a bare essential and a basic expectation, so those on the front-line should be prepared with details to update the guests with. "I don't know", is not a good response... Plus we did not get any follow-up.
- Room service... Could use some work. We've had to call twice, once shortly after we arrived in our room, for more hangers and a second time for fresh bath towels. To this day, we have not received extra hangers. W.r.t bath towels, I had to call a second time to repeat the request. Hopefully, if we need anything further before we leave, the service will be more timely.
- The fuse in the fitness centre has blown 3 times since I've been here. Might need to adjust what is connected to that particular fuse... The bad is... One of the times I went to alert front desk, I ended up having to walk there a second time after we waited 10 mins for someone to show up... only to find they were still awaiting maintenance to come. For something that takes 30secs to resolve, that simply is just one of those guest reports that should be handled quickly. Save the avoidable complaints. To completely avoid it... perhaps fix the fuse issue... Not cool to be running on a treadmill when that happens... Just sayin'!!
- Power outage as I'm typing up this review... Apparently the generator is not big enough to support the resort. Not a big issue for me... and perhaps understandable! What happens next is truly what is important. Riu Management, will you be resizing the generator?

The ugly:
- I complimented the WIFI in 'The Good'... That said, there was a WIFI outage that lasted almost two full days!! What challenged me the most was that the front-line folks were not prepared to answer the guests complaints. As I mentioned earlier I'm in I.T., and I have to say that this Incident was not well managed. I'm going out on a limb here... New hotel, new wifi infrastructure?? So, what was the problem? Bandwidth? Capacity? Failed infrastructure? I probed and found out that the support is out of Spain, but that is pretty much all the front desk could tell me. There was a lot of "might be's", "not sure's", and basically lack of knowledge to what the issue was. The I.T., folks needed to provide the resort with guest-speak so they could manage to the expectations of guests. This to me, has been the only 'ugly' so far. I simply was not impressed with how this incident was managed. Especially for a service that I personally felt is the best I've experienced in a resort setting.

All said, I would strongly recommend this resort and I have my even completed my vacation here!! Great job Riu!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nkechi1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Address: | Mahoe Bay. Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint James Parish > Montego Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 63 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica 4.5*
Number of rooms: 289
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 4-storey hotel with a total of 238 guest rooms is located directly on the beach next to the hotel Riu Montego Bay * The vibrant city of Montego Bay is 4.5 km away * The guests of Riu Palace Jamaica may use the facilities in Riu Montego Bay, except breakfast and dinner meal * Airport Sangster International Airport Montego Bay (MBJ) 2.7 km approx. * Main building 4 floors - 238 rooms * Annexed building 3 floors - 51 rooms * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard ... more   less 
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