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“Perfect Resort...Almost”

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Hotel Riu Palace Jamaica
Ranked #4 of 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 August 2014

This is truly an awesome resort! My wife and I stayed from Aug 2 to Aug 8, 2014. We had a very relaxing vacation. The service is professional, friendly and competent. Everyone always had a smile and asked us how we were doing. I we seemed unhappy about something they always tried to make it right.

The grounds were impeccably cleaned and well maintained. One quiet afternoon I was amazed to see a cleaner thoroughly cleaning the cushions on the outdoor furniture chairs. The beach was always clean and the room was in very good shape and well maintained.

The food was delicious. The buffet was always plentiful with much variety. There were always a few Jamaican choices available but always plenty of American and European gourmet fare. Here's my first criticism: They have four sit down restaurants. The premier one is a Steakhouse, that had "super-premium" food. The problem: You had to line up at least one-hour prior to opening to be one of the 32 people to get in!! This is no way to treat people at an all-inclusive resort. Have reservations. Give us a card that allows us one meal during our stay. Something fair! Don't reward the people willing to stand in line everyday! I'm so annoyed I take a rating point away.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,775 - 1,781 of 2,236 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2014

We stayed at Riu Palace Jamaica from 7/29-8/3 and had an excellent time! The resort is about 10 min away from the airport, so a nice quick trip. We were greeted with champagne, and our room was ready for us upon arrival (this was around noon). It is a smaller property with two pools, four restaurants, and a buffet. There was a swim-up bar at one of the pools, and then the Aqua Bar (24 hr) at the beach, and a lobby bar. I just have to add that the lobby and lobby bar are enclosed, so the air conditioning was excellent. Service was great all around!

Rooms
The rooms were nice in size. We were in room 1070, which was a second level room facing the brush area. There is a safe and a mini bar. The fridge was stocked daily with water, pop, and red stripe. There was also a liquor dispenser on the wall. The room does lack some privacy in the bathroom area (as many all inclusives do). A little more lighting around the sink area for make-up use would have been nice, but not a big deal. We also thought the room service was good, as our rooms were also cleaned mid morning. Most of the all inclusive resorts we have stayed at in the past have had a “musty” smell, but this was the first resort that did not.

Pools/Beach
As I mentioned before there are two pools. One pool has the swim-up bar and has more of the “action” with music and entertainment. The other pool is more chill, but that is where the pool volleyball is played. There were plenty of loungers around the pool. This was the first resort where I never had to “save a seat”. That was so nice! The swim-up bar service was great, as I never had to wait long for a drink (which were made perfect for my tasting). I loved the “Bob Marley” and the “Jamaican Smile” drinks. The pool entertainment was ok, and we really liked how you didn’t feel pressured to participate.

The beach was small, but very clean! We never saw seaweed or junk on the beach. The water does get deep pretty fast, but it was very refreshing since it was really hot out! There were lots of loungers on the beach too, along with beds, and hammocks. It is a very relaxing feel. The beach service was also amazing, as you never had to wait long for a drink! Someone was also right there asking you if you wanted something. Great service!

You will hear/see planes descending while at the beach/pool, but oddly enough, we really didn’t seem to notice it.

Food
Overall, I felt the food was ok compared to other resorts I have been too. I’m not a huge buffet person (which is the option for breakfast and lunch), but I did find something I liked each day. I loved the jerk chicken at the beach hut at the Riu next door. Yum! I would get that, and bring it over to have with my César salad. The restaurants for dinner do not require reservations. We ate at the Steak House, Krystal, and Italian, and never had to wait in line. There is a long pants dress code for men at the restaurants besides the steakhouse (and buffet). We did “seafood” night at the buffet one night and really enjoyed it. I did order lunch at the Aqua Bar one day which was tasty too. We never ordered room service so cannot comment on that.

Nightlife
There was usually a band playing at the lobby bar until around 11:00ish or so. The Aqua Bar usually had something going on like karaoke, manager’s party, etc, but also ended by the 11:00ish time. We went to the Riu next door to watch some shows and to hit up the sports bar a few times. It was a zoo over there, and was so glad to spend the extra money to be at the Palace.

Excursions
We did have a pre-arranged cab driver take us to Negril for a day, and we had a blast at 7 mile beach and Rick’s Café. Thank you Lindsay McFarlane from SNL Jamaica Tours for such a great experience of Jamaica!

We also had the resort get a cab for us to do some shopping. Other than that, we just stuck around the resort, and have great ideas of what we want to do next time!

Overall
I felt this resort desired a 5/5 based on excellent service. This was my 6th all inclusive, and I have not experienced service like this. Everything was “no problem mon”, and you never were without someone asking you if you needed anything. Kamiron, Fabien, and Richard definitely deserve a shout out for their hard work at the bar (along with many others but can’t think of the names)! I would definitely recommend Riu Palace Jamaica!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ANLMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2014

This resort goes above and beyond for all of their guest! Everything Is absolutely great! The service is beyond exceptional. The staff is like none other I've ever experiences! They were so great I made sure to sit in the same sections each morning. We made sure to sit in the sections of Nadine and Romario each day! If you need your pictures taken, Flex does an awesome job. He took some of the best pictures of my wife and I. Being that this was all inclusive, we were at the bar a lot and all of the bartender were great! If I had time to write more I would but the staff is like no other!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank JayMan911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I booked this last minute trip on a Friday and we flew to Jamaica on a Sunday. The location was picked based on TA ratings and we were not disappointed!! The location was perfect, the staff was superior, and the setting was amazing.

Riu Palace is only a 10 minute cab ride from Sangster Airport. I recommend grabbing a taxi at a fee of only $20 US to be there as quick as you can. Check in was simple and very easy. Within 10 minutes of arrival, we had a room and only 60 minutes from landing, we were sitting on the beautiful beach with a drink in our hands!

The rooms are very well appointed and were very clean. The property overall in fact is very well maintained and I saw multiple staff members cleaning the pool, cleaning tiles, sweeping, and doing everything they could to make our stay as wonderful as promised! Riu Palace is the best all inclusive I have been to so far! Xavier and staff are second to none!

My only constructive criticism as an all inclusive traveller is the desire to have the restuarants be allowed to take reservations. It's a first come, first serve system which as a planner doesn't allow us to plan our day and dinner time to maximize the afternoon and evening. We felt a little trapped trying to plan which restaurant we wanted to try along with what was open and not eating 2 hours past the time we desired. Only other call out is all restaurants require long pants. Funny thing is tshirts with sleeves is the only requirement. So, if you wanted to attend in a Homer Simpson tshirt with jeans for example, you're good, If you have pressed linen shorts with a pressed polo shirt, you're not. Just a heads up to you.

Overall, an A+ resort! I would highly recommend and strongly suggest the Riu Palace Monetgo Bay if you want an adult only, upscale, relaxing, and pristine vacation. Would I go back? Tomorrow if I could!!

Room Tip: Small resort so even garden view rooms are quiet.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank JMorr413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

Very contemporary cold like a prison cell hotel. Drinks sucks. Food horrible. No clock in the room, beach is full of seagrass, yuck. Stuff with big attitude. Riu used to be nice chain not long ago, what happened? Spare your money.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
10  Thank Dalia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

I just returned from a trip to the new adults only Riu Palace Jamaica in Montego Bay.
This hotel is only 10 minutes from the airport and is located next to the Riu Montego Bay.
The Palace is a fairly small hotel with only 238 rooms built in a U shape. I just loved
how easy it was to get around the resort. It took us 3 minutes to get from our room to any
part of the hotel.

The room was very nice with a jacuzzi tub and large balcony. We had a view of the main pool and a partial view of the ocean. Room service was in early and did a wonderful job. The mini bar
service does offer Miller Lite in case you need a break from the traditional Red Stripe beer.
The balcony looks over the main area of the hotel so they are definitely not as private as other hotels. I liked being able to see what was happening and we actually watched 2 different shows from the comfort of our balcony.

I thought the food was great. NO RESERVATIONS required for dinner. This is a huge change on the normal Riu Palace dining process and we were able to dine where and when we wanted
each evening. I thought Krystal was the best but I truly enjoyed each of them. The main buffet
is where you will eat for breakfast and lunch. The buffet offered everything and the service
was very good. The room service menu is very limited and they do have food in the Aqua (sports) Bar available 24 hours a day.

The hotel has 2 pools. One pool has a swim up bar and both have pool waiter service. The beach here is beautiful and the water was always calm and inviting. This is not a long stretch of beach that you can walk along but more of a little pocket that you can swim and snorkel in. Bring your floatable and lounge in the ocean. The water is so calm and much more refreshing then the pool water.

This hotel is pretty active at night and can be a little loud due to the size and layout. If you like small hotels that are easy to manage and a nice calm ocean this is the place for you. I have been to many Riu hotels and this one ranks right at the top for me. You do see some airplanes come by 4-5 times per day but it did not bother me a bit, I actually enjoyed seeing them.

Room Tip: higher floor away from the 24 hour Aqua bar
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank 5Paq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

My wife and I traveled with a group of friends to Montego Bay for the Reggae Sumfest. We stayed at this resort from July 14th to July 19th. A year ago, we traveled to Punta Cana and stayed at the Riu Palace Punta Cana. We had a great time, but the resort was underwhelming. We weren't planning to stay at another Riu in Jamaica, but when we saw that this was a newer resort and completely different in style from the usual Riu resorts, we decided to go with Riu again. Our choice was a great one. The property was beautiful, well-maintained. Every staff member was hospitable and courteous.The best part of the resort: the FOOD. My wife and I only ate at the buffet. The resort has private dining options and our friends tried a couple of the restaurants, but they all remarked that the buffet had the best food, hands down. Every day they had Jamaican dishes available, and they also had food us Americans are use to eating. My wife especially loved the fruit because of how fresh it was.

What keeps me from giving this property a 5-star rating, though, is the beach. THE BEACH!!! I knew beforehand, from reading Tripadvisor reviews, that the beach would be disappointing. The reviews were spot on. If you are a true beach lover, you won't like staying at this resort. I think that if I didn't already have plans made for the trip, my vacation would have been a lot more disheartening. The beach is man-made (though they do a great job cleaning the seaweed from the beach floor) and small, less than the size of a football field. If you do stay here, make plans to go to Doctors Cave Beach in MoBay or plan a day trip (with Joe Cool Taxi) to Negril and visit Seven Mile Beach.

To recap,

PROS: Beautiful resort; the FOOD and drinks; staff (MoMo, Oral, Lorenzo, Jason, Romero, Lisa Hype, the professional photographer, lobby staff, cleaning staff); Caribic Vacations (located on the sister RIU resort next door and probably has the best prices for a catamaran cruise in MoBay)

CONS: Small beach, room service food options were depressing

PS: best drinks - Bob Marley (with an extra shot of rum) and Jamaican (Miami) Vice

Room Tip: No tips for choosing a good room. But you definitely want to ask for a true queen or king bed becaus...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank cheekydemeanor
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

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 64 Hotels in Montego Bay
Price Range: £259 - £483 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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