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“The 22nd Anniversary Trip!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“The 22nd Anniversary Trip!”
Reviewed 2 July 2012

The RIU Palace Tropical Bay was very cool. We'd stayed here when it the RIU Tropical Bay 5 years ago. This trip was split between a friends Mo'Bay home, Rooms on the Beach Negril and the RIU Palace...We checked out of Rooms and arrived about 11:30a at the RIU on 6/28/12. Imagine our surprise when our original bellman from 2004, Perry greeted us with hugs and smiles...A Few seconds later, we received a a cool welcome fruit punch and a upgrade at check in....Yes, it was good to get back to the "new" RIU! We paid for a garden side room and taken to an oceanfront... We are always surprised when we open the fridge full of Red Stripe,Pepsi and look up to see the 5th's of Apppleton Rum, Brandy, Vodka and Whiskey,lol. The Jerk Hut on the beach was yummmmeeee! The Steakhouse was good, The Japanese restaurant was OK, but our fave was the variety of choices at the "Negril Buffet"! The only issue we had was our safe at RIU Palace. The safe kept showing error messages. I called the front desk and Michael, the manager on duty showed up each time within 15-20 minutes to reset it. No to me, that is customer service!!!! What a nice romantic place!!! We walked on the beach from RIU Palace to Club RIU. Saw many , many more kids at Club RIU and a younger clientele than at the Palace....I was surprised by the lack of higglers/hagglers on the beach, as I enjoy those "one on one" interactions.

Room Tip: Stay way from building 2..Bad smell...We requested at the desk, not to be put in bldg. 2...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank Smokinbbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
Reviewed 2 July 2012

Our family has stayed a few years ago at this RIU, & has stayed at RIUs in other countries. We have had good trips, until now! This Negril property is aging and they are not maintaining and repairing rooms well! We will not go back. We had 2 oceanfront rooms&had problems with a broken ceiling fan, which when we FINALLY physically got a maintenance man to show up at the room, he said can't fix it because the metal string broke off! Then our below average cooling AC unit stopped working in both rooms! We were moved from the 3rd floor to 1st floor& had cool rooms, but basically the rooms were mosquito infested! Then the room phone stopped working (maybe too many calls to the front desk about maintenance issues?!ha!) And also the TV remote control didn't work, and no one fixed/or replaced it!.... The beaches were fabulous, but sadly this property has not been well kept.

  • Stayed June 2012
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Helpful?
Thank TravellingMFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kentucky
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2012

This was our 9th visit to a Riu property and was very disappointed. This property has a lot of potential but is not a palace. We were on our 25th anniversary and were hoping for a 5 star resort which this was not. the best things about this resort is the beautiful beach but it is ruined by all the drug dealers selling drugs on which goes on all day. There is no security on the beach for this resort. The resort next to us had full time beach security and we had none. We were approached to buy drugs to prostitutes as we were trying to relax. Crazy. The food was very good which was a plus. We were there a week and while there we often had to wait hours for clean towels at the pool hut. they often said there was a problem with the dryers. Also disappointed with the waitresses as they never came around at the pool or beach unless we were giving a tip.Also the second day I had to call to have our room made up. Another problem was ants everywhere. there was also a loud noise coming from the mechanical room that I could hear all day everyday. I have always loved going to Riu properties but this was such a disappointment. One day I asked to speak to manager, but they said he was on break.Don't know if I will go back to a RIu property.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank KentuckyBooklady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heath Hayes
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2012

Within this review i hope to put to bed some of the silly reviews on here and establish convidence in booking this hotel if you are looking for a Jamaican getaway.

I like to think of myself as an average type English bloke that enjoys the simple things in life and doesn't expect the sun when the moon will do. Me and my wife changed our original booking to this hotel after cancelling the other Riu on this strip, The Rui Club. We did this after reading reviews of the hotel after booking and subsequently suffering sleepless nights because of it. We stayed from the 11th June and checked out on 25th June 2012.

I will start my review at arrival to the hotel and end it with our checking out. As this is the order you do things.

Check in/Room
Check in was nice and smooth after a long flight and 90 minute transfer to the hotel. We were promptly told by the hotel staff to leave our cases and that "we are not there to work" and so just to relax and let them take care of it. After receiving our wristbands and welcome pack we were directed to our room with a kind smile and friendly handshake. We were in room 3318 on the top floor of the block. This we didn't mind as we don't have children and are relatively fit. It will also help burn some extra calories each day. The room is the same as i have stayed in when travelling to other Carribean resorts. Spacious, comfortble, clean and fresh. We had two double beds that were pushed together. I fail to see how people can complain about something like this. What is the big deal people???? Plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and lots of hangers so no real need to double clothes up. There is also a full size iron and ironing board so no need to take a travel iron. A nice size bathroom with his and her sinks, a bath and over bath shower. Again, absolutley no problem with this. The mini bar/fridge was stocked up with plenty of water, Red stripe, Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. This was also replenished daily. There is also optics over the mini bar/coffee making facilities but neither me nor my wife used these as we're not big spirit drinkers. The room does have a digital alarm clock but this lost on average 5 mins an hour so we didn't rely on it. Using our iPhones as alarm clocks seemed to suffice. The cases were with us within 10 minutes. The sweat dripping down the brow of the porter showed he was working hard enough and he walked away with a crisp $5. Money well spent i feel. After unpacking we went for a quick strole/explore and then had dinner. This got us to about 8pm and as the jet lag was kicking in we decided to go to bed. This would be where my only concern would be if you did have young children. Our block over looked the lunch restaurant and entertainment area. A band plays every night until about 10:30pm, pausing for approx 1 hour between 9-10 for the nightly show. The music, although not loud, carried slightly with the bass. This kept us awake on this particular night but please bear in mind that this was 8:30 at night and every night after this was no problem as we normally retired after the show had finished. The band are only on for a short time after this and they are quieter than before the show. I am only mentioning this if you have young children or like to be in bed early as you may find it can be a slight nuisance, please do not take this as a negative or detremental comment.

Pool/Facilities/Food
The pool is again the same sort of thing I have experienced at other hotels. Wet! The water was always clean and only suffered a very slightly murky look late on, but i doubt anything can be done about this as the amount of sunscreen it sucks up is probably more than it can deal with and you really had to look hard to notice it. It didn't put us off put it like that.
We sat ourselves on the left hand side of the pool bar as you look at the pool from the lobby. Dont ask me why but my wife, being the sun worshipper that she is decided this was the optimum location for maximum sun catching. We found there were always loungers available and never saw the need to reserve one, although this happened alot we were never inconvienced by it. The pool was always clean and litter free. The bar staff friendly, helpful and always ready to have a laugh and a joke with you. Big shout out to Andrew. Some advice here. If you like peace and quiet you may want select sun loungers by the other pool as certain nationalities tend to be loud. VERY LOUD. Even when talking to people sat directly next to them. And please, if you need to say something to someone who is a bit of distance to you then go to them, the entire hotel doesn't need to know or probably care what you need to tell them. I wish this was just a select few but unfortunately not. We didn't make use of any facilities such as the spa or water activities so couldn't comment on them. The beach was clean and the sea was beautiful. There is a little seaweed in it, nothing that bothered myself or wife as we understand that this is where seaweed comes from! We walked up the beach a couple of times and although there are some vendors on the beach we found a simple "no" was sufficient for them and we never ever felt harrassed. The hotel allows sellers to come in on some nights to sell stuff.
Onto the food. The food is the very best it can be. I find it hard to put a meal together for two of us at home so when you think how many thousands of people this hotel feeds everyday i fail to see how anyone can complain about the food. If you dont like the food i would suggest that says more about you than the food. Breakfast is anything and everything, lunch the same and dinner was always wonderful, and my wife would consider me a "fussy" eater. We dined at 3 of the 4 al a carte restaurants during our stay. Those being the steakhouse, the Italian and the Fusion restaurant. With the exeption of the Italian (which was still wonderful) we found them absolutely delightful. The fusion by far was the best and mouthwatering at that. The steak was better here than the steakhouse and the lamb my wife had took her to a new level of pleasure that i can only aspire to take her to again. We found it so nice that we dined there twice. We didn't have a problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants as we were there for a fortnight (2 weeks for my American cousins). The only reason i could possibly mark the Italian was that it didn't have the premium restaurant feel the others gave. And a minor cockroach incident left my wife feeling a little ill. Not the restarants fault. My only gripe with the restaurants would be the dress code. I have been to many resorts that have the "gentleman must wear long trousers and sleeved shirt when dining in an al a carte restaurant" code before and have never had a problem with it. But i did witness many guests entering the restaurants with shorts on and not being turned away. Other than the Fusion restaurant which did turn a rather surly looking chap away, thank god. Now if you have a dress code it needs to be enforced. I just feel that if have to put on long trousers (not always the best item of clothing in a hot climate) then others should too! This was told to us at our welcome meeting, when booking the restaurants and on the booking slip they give you when booking. I can only assume that certain patrons cannot read or feel that they are far too superior to adhere to a dress code.

Trips out
My wife and I booked the Catamaran sunset cruise/Ricks cafe tour and the Black river and YS falls trip. The catamaran unfortunately developed a problem and was put into dry dock so we never experienced this first hand but i am glad in a way. It was approx $55 each ( i would need to check that so dont hold me to it) and was really no more than a "booze cruise" and stop off at Ricks cafe. I dont like or enjoy this style of drinking and would suspect it more appeals to the younger generation, although my wife and i are only just in our 30's. We did however get to ricks cafe via a taxi booked through our rep. $15 each return. Picking you up at 4:15pm and getting you to Rick's about 4:45pm. They collect you outside at 7:00pm and this I felt was more than enough time there. It was a fantastic place to go and couldn't recommend it highly enough. The divers are great and the normal Joe public jumpers are good fun to watch too!!!
The YS falls trip was truly beautiful and more than met our expectations. The river cruise was informative and a real taste of nature. Seeing the crocs was amazing. At the falls you get to swim in the natural falls and try out a rope swing. A young Jamaican guide took us under his wing and took my camera and took some truly beautiful snaps. For his trouble i tipped him $10. I am not a believer in tipping but I was expecting this from reports we heard from other guests but at no point did the young man ask for or hint at one. There are signs up asking visitors to report any request for a tip and the entrance. I really would go if you fancy seeing beauty in its most natural form. We were tempted with the Dunns river falls but with a 6 hour round trip we didn't feel we could stomach that length of a commute. We had some friends we made whilst at the resort go and they were very glad they went but i couldn't comment any further than that.

Entertainment/Staff
The staff really work very hard to make sure you are comfortable during your stay. The nightly entertainment was the weakest I've known in a carribean resort but that is in no way slur against it. They have to appeal to all ages and so I would imagine find this difficult. The circus show we had was the best ive ever seen and the Michael Jackson night was also amazing. There are a couple of staff members that didn't seem to happy to be there but 99% were 1st class. You only have to go into any shop back in England to see just how miserable employees really can be. Can you say that you smile 100% of the time in your job. I know i dont.

Checkout
A sad day for most is the day that reality hits and you have to pack your bags and head home. We unfortunately suffered a delay with our flight home (aircraft fault). Our room had to be vacated at 12:00pm and our revised collection time was 4:15pm. The hotel allowed us to keep our wrist bands on so we could get drinks and food which was very decent of them and then come 4:00pm we waved a sad goodbye to the Riu Palace.

I hope this review helps you make a decision on your stay in Jamaica. I know its been a bit of a read (I am exhausted from all the typing) but i hope i have covered all the main bases that people will have concerns about. My wife and I like to think that we get what we pay for in any purchase we make and feel that this resort really went beyond our expectations. As the title says, do not hesitate.
One word of advice. If you're looking to buy some booze to take home wait until you get to the airport as we found the price was double in the hotel gift shop than the duty free shopping. Surely the massive difference in price can't be because of duty free?????

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank Goughy69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwalk, Connecticut
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2012

I just returned from a 5 night stay at RIU Tropical Palace in Negril. Negril is my favorite spot in Jamaica, the beach is amazing. I had been to Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away in Negril and was trying this new resort with two other couples.

Couples resorts are more expensive, but WAY WORTH it. I would definitely not go back to this resort and pay an extra $400 and stay at Couples. No kids, clean pool, GREAT service, no tipping allowed and much, much more.

Couples offers free catamaran sunset cruise a few times a week. Our group paid $50 each to do this same trip through the resort. It was not very well organized and the drink cups were the smallest I've ever seen(maybe a half cup?).

Half the group got scuba certified and they all raved on what a great experience it was. The draw back was that we called ahead of time to get the details on when the class and pool class were and how much etc and spoke to someone to reserve space, but when we arrived the person who we spoke with no one had ever heard of, there were no reservations(they don't take any reservations unless you prepay, which the person who no one knew never talked about). It was a strange situation, but it worked out in the end and now that they are certified its for life!

The moment we arrived we went straight to the dinner reservations table because I had read so many Tripadvisor comments about getting in soon and getting it out of the way. The only resrvation they could give us was for Friday night(we arrived Tuesday) at 9 p.m. at the Italian restaurant. We were totally bummed. I wanted to try the steakhouse one night and then the Italian and the others, but the only option for 5 days was the Italian restaurant. We sucked it up and really enjoyed the buffet, but it was pretty mediocre with a European style salad bar, but it did the trick. I would give it probably 3 stars because you could always find something to fill you up, but it wasn't anything to write home about. When Friday night came we went to the Italian restaurant - GROSS!!!! Fish fillet filled with bones, wine that tasted like vinegar....and there was nothing Italian about the meal. The only thing that made it "Italian" were the framed pictures of wine bottles from Italy. NOT WORTH THE WAIT!

Pros: Located on Negril beach, rooms air conditioned, great scuba program(Thanks David!), quick rooms service(club sandwhiches, chips with dip, etc), fridge refilled everynight with new red stripe!

Cons: No dinner reservations available, dirty pool, cocktail list short, having to tip everywhere you go for decent service

Room Tip: Ocean view is a must and not that much more expensive.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Alock115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2012

My husband and I traveled with four others. We spent 2 nights at the Rui Tropical Bay and hopped over to Montego Bay's Iberostar. When we arrived they couldn't find our reservations, but we had a copy with us. It took a while but they finally gave us a room. My husband and I were given a room with double beds on the 3rd floor, which is a hike because they don't have elevators. We paid for a king suite ocean front. I called the front dest and was told the resort was sold out. I was very upset, this was our 15th wedding anniversary trip. I hiked back to the front desk and Mya was so sweet and told me to give her a few hours and she found us King Suite Ocean front. We spent some time at the pool and I booked a spa treatment.
After serveral hours we moved to the other side of the resort 2nd floor but great suite.
We could not get reservations for any of the restaurants which mad everyone mad. They buffett food was ok and we made the best of it.

My spa treatment was with Dwight...OMG he was great. I was not sure about a man giving me a massage but Dwight was so professional and I good the best massage ever!

We caught a show after dinner one night all I can say is they tried. We cruise every year so the shows on the ships have spoiled us.

Over all we will not return.

Room Tip: Get a group level or take your hiking boots.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cina3445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2012

I use Tripadvisor on most of my family trips so I wanted to place a review and help others if possible. I travelled late June 2012 with my wife and two boys, 19 and 15.

This is a great resort, in an great location. The grounds and beach are first class. The staff are very welcoming and friendly, which is more than you get in some other Carribean islands, and the rooms were fine.

Recommend/Pros:-

If you like a tranquil beach this is hard to beat. About a mile of clean soft white sand gently shelving into the water, great for walks, swimming, floating.
Rocky Tours for airport transfers, on time, courteous, safe, and value for money.
Rick's Cafe, went by taxi so could go and leave when we wanted. Those cliff jumpers are cazy, quite a spectacle, and great setting for late afternoon drinks.
Captain Stanley Deep Sea fishing, great boat, friendly Captain and first mate.
All inclusive was great, though bring plenty of small bills for tips as it really helps encourage great service. Great selection of premium drinks/cocktails included.
Jerk chicken shack was great for lunch.
Hotel enteratainment staff were great and very funny. Certainly got the pool are going in the afternoons and evenings.
Evening entertainment program and live music was good to have something to do in the evenings, though quality was just so-so.
No problem getting a sunbed at pool or on the beach.


Cons:-

Family didn't feel safe outside resort setting. If you plan to visit local shops, attractions etc., be prepared to feel uneasy.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank r d
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
#13 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#14 Family 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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