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“Lovely but doesn't really seem like a 5 star”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Columbus, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Lovely but doesn't really seem like a 5 star”
Reviewed 23 March 2011

Beautiful hotel but doesn't seem like a five star. Two adults and one 11 year old in a room with one bed booked as a Junior Suite for 3. No, there was no great savings for the child. Desk staff less than helpful. It was little things like unregulated water temperature, everyone wanting a tip, no snacks or food available in the late afternoon. Loved the beach, I just feel it didn't quite live up to Riu Palace expectations.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Busygirl028
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Surrey, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2011

the riu palace in negril is a top notch place to stay. the beach has to be one of the best in the world! the water is calm, warm and very clear. no seaweed, rocks or shells. im not really a beach lover but i spent at least 2 hours each day enjoying the water!! the hotel has a varied and delicious buffet for each meal. the jerk chicken on the beach is great and the drinks are plentiful. the staff is very friendly and helpful. the entertainment is very lively and is on par with what ive seen on the better cruise ships. in fact i would say better!! forget any complaints you might read about this hotel. sure, the beds are a little firm( i took foam) with me as i have a bit of arthritis and was concerned they might be too hard. the king bed is the only thing negative as they actually are two beds pushed together. no big deal!! we took the black river sidetrip and found it well worth the money. crocodiles come right up to the boat!! we also took the shopping and ricks cafe trip and it also was worth the 25.00 . the horseback riding trip was a little dissapointing. the horses were certainly jamaican in nature!! the brochure shows riders trotting along the beach and in the water on the horses. as i mentioned, i have a bit of arthritis and i am a young senior but once i am on the horse i can actually ride quite well as i have owned my own horses. they certainly need a table or stand for older . inexperienced or young rider to use when mounting or dismounting. the guide was very informative and nice but you couldnt ride side by side so both of us could hear him. it was a very slow ride and when we finally reached the beach, the horse had to be pulled into the water. not so much as a trot. i certainly cannot recommend this adventure unless your happy with just a very very slow walk for 2 hours. very enjoyable trip to half moon beach . very secluded and natural. great lobster dinner and lovely hosts tanya and john. about 30.00 cab ride from the riu. take your bathing suit, eat lobster. play with the friendly dogs and enjoy the sunset. the jamaican people are lovely and most are glad to see the tourists.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Val S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Falls, New York
Level 4 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2011

Stayed at the Riu Tropical Bay March 14 - 19th. The resort was everything we expected and more. The rooms were beautiful, we were upgraded to an Oceanfront Jr. Suite (room 1108) because our room was not ready on the day we arrived; it was clean, comfortable and beautiful. The liquor cabinet and refrigerator were re-filled every day and met all out our expectations. The beach was clean, not overly crowded and relaxing but the water was a little on the cool side! The food at the jerk hut on the beach was fabulous, ate there 2x during the week. The service was the best, all folks working at the resort work hard and were friendly and accomodating. Although we did not eat at any of the speciality restraunts, the buffet was out of this world; more selections than you can imagine. There were theme nights and the food was hot, plentiful and fresh. No complaints. The shows at night were fun and we enjoyed the entertainment staff. The drinks were good, although if you'd prefer a "stronger" drink, you'd have to ask for more rum, vodka, etc. We booked a 5 hour shopping trip to downtown Negril, visited 3 shopping centers and Rick's Cafe; 20.00 per person. Fun to see the downtown area, but nothing great. Bus ride from the airport to the resort was a little scary, they drive very aggressively, and took about 2 hours. Did give us the opportunity to see the area though. We very much enjoyed our stay and if anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank readytotravel52008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatoon, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2011

My partner and I stayed at the Riu Palace for two weeks. The only fault I could point out would be some ants that showed up in our bathroom . When I complained to the staff they sent someone up with a can of spray to dispatch the little pests and all was good again.
The sleep quality would have been excellent except for a couple of nights when US college students on spring break moved into the next room and partied loudly. Not exactly the fault of the hotel! I will have to remember to avoid that week in the future.
We did experience trouble getting into the a-la-carte restaurants as others said we would. I told management about this, don't know that they will make any changes. We didn't want to get up at 6:30 AM to sit in line till 8:00 AM that badly, only did that once. The food in the buffet restaurant was excellent anyway so we ate there. Always had great selection, one night there was lobster, another roast duck, and much more to suit the taste of pretty much anyone except those who just must find something to bit_h about.
I would return there in an instant and would certainly recommend it to a friend.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank GandT2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

We stayed at the Riu Palace from Mar 5-12/11.
I've been to the Caribbean several times, always at higher end hotels. This one is right up there.
The thing that struck me the most was the service. EVERYONE was friendly and pleasant...always with a friendly greeting and smile. We found the hotel to be very, very well run. Yes, we didn't always have the full contingent of towels in our room at all times, but sooner or later they were always replenished....and with a smile.
The grounds and hotel are beautiful and beautifully maintained. The food was good, with a good selection at the buffet. We ate at 3 of the a la carte restaurants. Krystal was quite good, the italian was fine, and the steak house quite good. My only complaint of the steakhouse is the poor lighting. Its housed in the open air restaurant close to the beach which is very lovely during the day. At night, unfortunately it is overhead lighting that completely lacks ambiance...all they need is some table top lighting, even candles on the table for a very romantic setting.
As is the story with most all inclusives booking your a la carte restaurant is a major pain. You have to line up at 6:30 in the morning and there are no guarantees.
The beach is quite nice...not up to Veradero or Punta Cana standards but very lovely nonetheless. No complaints there. It takes about an hour to walk to each end of Bloody Bay and back.
We had a small incident that required the services of the hotel nurse ($40) and she was friendly and knowledgeable. (The doctor is $200).
The Half Moon Bay catamaran trip is quite good. The snorkeling was good....saw many more fish than in Cuba last year.
As everyone says on here....the Jerk Chicken shack on the beach was good....never even bothered to go to the buffet for an official lunch.
Be prepared to be serenaded on the beach. There are a few musicians who are quite good (Kevin - black guitar) and Donavan (palm tree scene on his guitar). These two take there music quite seriously and are true performers...make sure you tip them and help them launch their music careers....Jamaica needs some new music stars!
We had massages on the beach that were wonderful....sigh.
The wine is terrible in Jamaica, but what the ----. The Red Stripe is good and cold!
This isn't a "party hotel". If you're looking for great night life apparently the Riu Negril's is more lively....not as nice a hotel though.
Yes, the "king" bed was 2 double beds, but just ask them to tie them together (they will) and they'll remake the bed as one bed....its fine. The beds are firm and comfortable.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank juliebu2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london, ontario
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Riu Tropical Bay from Feb 28th-March 7th. This was our second time to Jamaica and we had previously stayed at the Grand Palladium in Montego Bay in July 2010.

This resort was fantastic and we couldn't have been happier. The staff are amazing and so down to earth and will go out of their way to make sure you are happy.
The rooms were great - the only complaint I had was the bed and how hard it was (as well as the mosquito bites) but other than that, it was another perfect vacation.

The beach was the most beautiful beach I've seen (and I travel a lot). Crystal clear blue water for miles. There were two pools with a pool bar at one of them which weren't big at all. But with the size of the beach, I can't imagine why anyone would spend their time at the pool.
I would recommend taking a lot a bubba keg as your drinks will last you much longer than in the plastic cups they provide.
There are no umbrella's on the beach so it was hard to find shade, esp in the afternoons when the sun was really hot. I found that people would wake up early and mark their place with towels to get the shady spots.

The food was also great. We ate at 3 out of the 4 a la carte restaurants there. The Italian had to be the best out of them all, and then followed by Krystal. Every night at the Buffet they had a different menu. The selection of food they had was incredible so you'll definately find something you like.

The sunset in the evening was incredible to watch. Around 6:30pm you'll see lots of people just relaxing on the beach and ready with their cameras to take pictures/videos of the sunset. You definately dont want to miss it - beautiful.

Entertainment was also incredible every night and jam packed. Make sure you go early enough to get good seats/table as it filled up quick and they get the guests involved and that was always a great laugh to watch.

Overall it was a fantastic stay and we are going back in November.
And as for the negative reviews - remember that some people have nothing better to do than to complain about the smallest things. Take it from me, you wont regret this place!!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank valleygirl001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pomfret
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2011

This is a great place. We stayed a week and I can't think of ONE thing to complain about. The weather was lovely- sunny with that wonderful Jamaican breeze. Absolutely FABULOUS sunsets! The room was nice with a perfect view. The mattresses were firm but no big problem. Yes, the king beds are 2 full size pushed together. That didn't really ruin anything for us- it is odd though. We slept well with our slider open, the breeze and the sound of the ocean every night. The beach was absolutely GORGEOUS! There were locals roaming the beach who were a bit annoying- but you get used to them and they are not the least bit pushy if you ignore them.
The service was fantastic. Every single member of the staff was always friendly and checking to see if you needed anything. I broke a bottle of nail polish on our patio and within 10 minutes someone was there to clean it up with a "no problem"
The ala carte restaurants were good. We went to all 4 and loved them all. (the steakhouse was the least favorite) Yes, they had a weird system to get 'reservations' but apparently this works for them. It was REALLY not a hardship to stand in that line. We met some nice people to chat with.The buffet was good too with plenty to choose from. I loved bkfst outside with the egret. But the BEST thing- the jerk chicken hut. Sooo goood.
I got a facial at the spa and I heard the massages were heavenly.
This was such a relaxing week, we would go back there in a second!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank srrrn
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 Tropical Bay

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Address: Norman Manley Blvd | Bloody Bay Beach, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#14 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 416
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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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Tropical Bay Hotel Negril
Riu Tropical Bay Jamaica
Riu Palace Tropical Bay Negril
Riu Tropical Bay Negril Jamaica
Negril Riu Tropical Bay Hotel
Riu Jamaica
Riu Tropical Jamaica

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