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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
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Reviews (5,670)
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Reviewed 5 December 2013

Stayed in this hotel from Nov 16-19.

Getting there: You have to arrive in the Montego Bay airport which could run you 1-2 hr drive depending on driver and traffic. Check in: Friendly front desk staff who work hard to make check in run smoothly.

Room: Decent room on ground floor, which i would recommend if you dont like stairs. Bar fridge was always stocked as well as the liquor. Room was clean and cleaning staff was always friendly. Bed is a little hard, but not complaining, I was still able to sleep ok.

Beach: Absolutely gorgeous! For quite a busy time, we were always able to find seating. Beach hut was great for bbq chicken, pork, hot dogs/sausages. There are vendors that walk up and down the beach all day as well as singer/guitarists, who can be a little annoying to those that were sitting closer to the beach and on the other hand, entertaining to those who enjoyed some of the great voices. Only suggestion to hotel is to have a beach bar because if you want drinks, you have to walk back to the pool bar, which isnt far.

Pool: Pool was great, clean and the bar was right there.

Food: Great selection, however, every time I go to Jamaica, I always wish there was more local food, but thats just my personal preference. Breakfast, lunch and dinner always had a variety of food.

Entertainment: There was a house band there one night and they were great. The lead singer had a really nice voice. The steel bird steel pan group was the best for me. They performed as one of the night shows. I loved it! They were very talented, entertaining and I coudlnt stop talking about them for my 10 days that I was in Jamaica.

Negril Town: I would not suggest going to the open outdoor market as they can be quite harassful. They dont mean harm, but everyone and I mean every vendor there wants you to look in their store. After two shops, we left. We did shop in the Time Square plaza for souvenirs. I would have to say that things there were much cheaper than Montego Bay or Port Antonio and definitely cheaper than the airport.

Suggestions:
-Take a bubba jug to refill at the bar, holds more and less trips to the bar.
-You can exchange Canadian or US money at Cambia (or Cambio -cant remember - in Negril town) where the exchange rate is much better. Do not change at the airport or hotel,
-If you are taking a taxi into town. Go outside the hotel and negotiate for maybe $15-30, maybe even less depending on your negotiating skills and the town is not far. The hotel taxi rate could vary from $40 +. We had 5 adults and 3 kids in a van and they wanted to charge us $70. We negotiated $30 for a driver outside the hotel who took us to the Cambio plaza, then the Time Square plaza and waited for us to bring us back.
-Take mosquito repellent - you'll need it.

Overall: Hotel was kept clean, staff was always friendly. This was a quieter hotel, but if you felt to party, you could always go to into Negril.

Any questions, please dont hesitate to message me.

Room Tip: Stay on ground level if you dont feel like taking stairs every day. If you went down the ramp to the left (facing the pool area), we were the 1st building to the left and it was quite a short walk to beach and pool.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank allenacj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

You might wonder about my title. I thought it appropriate since we were without electricity for hours. Two afternoons for over two hours each. Once at 8PM for five minutes and once from 4:30 AM until 6:00AM. The last was the worst since my husband needs a bi-pap breathing machine to sleep. No electricity means no sleep. The room got hot with no AC.

Pros:
They serve top shelf brand liquor and are generous in their servings. The bar tenders where all very friendly and couldn't do enough to please. The service around the pool and on the beach was a nice extra.
The beds were very comfortable and the room was spotless.
The beach is gorgeous, but you do have to walk out quite a ways to get over your waist.
They did have lots of loungers and they all had a pad on them. The pads are a great touch.
Cons:
We started out bad at check in. We were "guaranteed" an upgrade that they would not honor. This was bad enough but they also ignored our request, made when the reservation was made, to have a ground floor room. We knew they had no elevators and it is a three story resort. My husband has two artificial knees and I have an artificial hip, we don't do steps. They finally found a ground floor room. This was a help, however caution to those who are not athletic, the lobby is upstairs or up ramp from the ground floor.
Although some of the food was good, it was very repetitive. What you saw for dinner would show up at breakfast and/or lunch the next day. The thing I did like is they served "patties", which are like meat turnovers, every lunch. I read a lot of raves for the Jerk Chicken. Personally, I tried it once and that was enough. I make better at home.
The theme restaurants are a joke. They all have a standard appetizer with no choice. Then you have a choice of four entrees and two desserts. Italian - no parmesan or pasta entrees. Japanese- no green tea available even though it is on the menu. Steak House - lobster was either grilled or broiled and dried out. It should have been steamed. The rib eye was all grizzle and fat, as well as over cooked. Dinner at the steak house took 2 hours and 10 minutes. The attitude of the wait staff in all the specialty restaurants was that the customers should be happy with what they got, as if it were a freebie extra. At the rates you pay, you are paying dearly for the privilege of being insulted.
There were unruly, undisciplined children everywhere. The pool was a loud playground for them. I fault the parents for allowing these brats to have temper tantrums in restaurants and spoiling others dinners.
There was no poolside entertainment, unless you think water aerobics are fun to watch.

All in all I would go elsewhere! This is the fifth all inclusive we have been to, and the only one that I was counting the days until we could leave.

Room Tip: Ground Floor
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank CostaRicaMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Arrival:
It takes about 1.5 hours from Montego Bay Airport. Pleasant trip and first chance to see real Jamaica. The welcome was started with a Rum drink and smile. Michael was excellent and answered all our questions. Gave clear instructions to our room. On our way there a staff member saw we looked a little confused and since it was obvious we were newly arrived guided us to our room and showed us all the amenities in our room. Thanks Paul.

Rooms: I had a standard room, 3rd floor, with Garden view. From the balcony I had a great view of the beach. Everything was functioning very well. It was two doubles pushed together to make a King. Beds are hard but surprisingly I slept like a dream and felt great each morning.

The room smelt bad and after reading reviews I was worried. The next day the house cleaning had it smelling great and recommending leaving the balcony ajar ( There is a security device to make it safe) so that air can circulate in the room when we are not there. Then in the evening we close it and the AC comes on. Awesome. No problems after.

The mini bar is actually four bottles of booze (Run, Vodka, Brandy & Whiskey) Yeah mon! Room is very clean and kept that way.

Internet is wifi and free in your room. Nice touch.

Beach and Resort:
Most beautiful beach I have seen, it is part of seven mile bay. There are lots of trees to hide under to get away from the sun. I would have like umbrellas or shelter. The resort is in Bloody Bay and therefore is sheltered. So it takes really active weather to make it unenjoyable.

The swimming area is large and even in 6 feet of water it was clear and you could see the bottom. Saw a sunfish.

There are two types of people who will bother you on the beach. The locals trying sell wares, seadoo rides or parasailing. A curt Non and you will be left alone. The second type is the hotel staff, They are always welcome, security saying hello, entertainment staff telling the program for the day or best of all the bar staff taking orders!

Buffet & Bar:
We never went to the restaurants because we enjoyed the buffet so much. Lots of choice, theme nights. Fresh and hot. There is always Jamaican food available plus the theme for the night.
BBQ on the beach, offering Jerk Chicken at lunch

Bar is well stocked and premium brands. You will never go thirsty at this resort.

Staff:
The best part of this resort! The staff are very happy and it shows. They are so friendly with a fist bump or handshake.
The buffet staff will welcome you their section and each night after that will have your favorite spot ready for you with your drink ready! Wow. Attention to detail. I (this is embarassing) was picking my teeth with a straw and 2 seconds later our waiter had toothpicks for me.
No matter where you walk, someone will ask you how you are doing and stop and wait for an answer, not just walking and passing hello.
You can actively see the management on the resort working with the staff, not just issuing orders. I was impressed.

Overall:
Wow, I will be back! All the issues I saw in other reviews must because people didn't take the time to talk or ask someone. Musty smell - Fixed by cleaning staff - Food Questions - Answered by chef

Room Tip: Garden View is cheaper and you can still see and hear the ocean - Villa 6 is the furtherest away and quietest and still only 3 mins from middle of resort
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Lucannus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

We arrived in the saturday around 1 pm. We ate at the buffet and I had food poisining that first night. It got so bad that I had to call the doctor. Within the first 24 hours, i had a medical bill of more than 400$ and was sick. What a stay it would be. The food at the hotel was incredibly bad, wether it was the buffet or the restaurants. It´s not a 5 star hotel. The hotel did not even check on me after that episode to make sure I was ok even though the front desk called for the doctor. I was so sick that I had to book a flight back home early. A nightmare!

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
6  Thank BDLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013 via mobile

Just came back from a very good overall vacation. Very long bus ride in. The rooms and view from the room are beautiful. The bed was somewhat of a disappointment for a hotel in this class. The beach was beautiful with the exception of a few days of heavy sea weed. Never went hungry with a food selection that had something for everyone

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank Danica7877
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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