It was about 1.5 hour drive from MBJ airport. A little crazy driving, but better than how others made it sound. We were greeted in Lobby with Rum Punch. Got checked in and had help with our bags to our room. (We had A LOT of stuff due to 12 days in Jamaica for our wedding and honeymoon) We were told to meet the amstar rep at 915am then next day (we didn't make it, but wonder if we would have gotten the 5 min tour so we knew where everything was).
Rooms: We had a Junior Suite Ocean Front in building 6. It and Bldg 1, were the farthest from Buffet/food/bar. From the balcony we had a GREATview of the beach. It was two doubles pushed together to make a King, but the bedding is made separately, so if you want some snuggle time, untuck or get a King. There are liquor bottles above mini bar, water, coke, diet coke and 4 red stripes in fridge which is restocked daily. The bottled water was very handy.
Our room didn't smell, but a few guests did have "sewer" like smell issues and relocated rooms once something was available. Our guests (31 ppl in 15 rooms) were spread out throughout the resort. Didn't see much of anyone who wasn't in our building as they ended up at the other end of the beach. Which is fine, but would have liked to have our bridal party close by. Especially the Maid of Honor and Mother of the bride. It was not convenient on the wedding day to have them at the opposite end of the resort.
Bathroom was clean and good size with Double Sinks. Toilet was hard to flush even for me, but our 4 year old couldn't press the button in middle top of tank to flush. Shower is narrow and curtain clings to you. Easier to shower with the curtain open.
Housekeeping was great. Even if we left our Do Not Disturb sign out until late afternoon,they still got us taken care of.
Our room was quite and away from the Evening activities which was fine.
Free secure wifi on resort - worked great!
Beach and Resort:
The Beach was phenomenal! Soft sand and miles of it. Not super wavy, bay is calm and can see the bottom all they way out to the roped off area. Plenty of shade available if desired. Some guests found several starfish and there are small fish swimming fairly shallow. Also had water aerobics in the ocean.
There are local selling sarongs, purses, Cigarettes. Just tell them no thanks and they move on. The jetski rental and parasailing were a little more persistent. The Pool Bar and jerk chicken is a good jaunt from Building 6 beach area.
The pool was very nice as well. Swim up bar in one pool. Built in lounge chairs in the pool as well. The other pool had volleyball and water polo when the Activity/Entertainment staff tried to rally people to play.
Buffet & Bar:
The buffet for Breakfast and Dinner had very extensive offerings. Eggs, hashbrowns, made to order omlettes, pancakes, fruit. Pizza, Pasta and themed food for the night. Tacos. It was probably the best buffet we've seen in the caribbean. We did eat at the Italian restaurant one night. It was good, late reservations however. The appetizers we better than the meal in our opnion. They also accommodated a very large group of 16. The jerk chicken hut was delicious, but had to get there quick, they ran out a few times. Also a lunch buffet in the steakhouse which had lots to offer and was good too.
All of the bars were great! No Disco at this resort though.
Entertainment: We only went to 1 show and it was pretty fun. My youngest brother was picked to do a dance off. He is the last person to do this, but he did a great job! He had the loudest cheering section. The prize was rum and since he was underage, he couldn't win, but he was the best. It was hilarious and we all still talk about it!
We did have our 4 year old son with us and 2 teenagers (16, 17), but can only think of 3 other kids we saw the whole time. This resort is kid friendly, not kid focused. So for those who may want an adults only trip, this resort really did feel like adults. For the most part everyone seemed 30+. There weren't those crazy 20 year olds acting like idiots.
The staff were great! They helped get us a list of guests/room # so we could pass out our welcome bags. The buffet staff will welcome you their section and each night after that will have your favorite spot ready for you. This may be tip related. We did feel more obligated to tip at this resort than at others mainly because we saw several others tip as well.
We booked our trip through Lauren at VIP Vacations. She got us a great group rate! A few months before the wedding she told us that everyone was being upgraded from Garden View to Junior suite Ocean View AND the rates had dropped as well. My husband and I paid for a Junior Suite Ocean Front, but ended up getting an upgrade, so we downgraded to the Ocean View to be able to get the Ocean Front as an upgrade and got about $1000 refunded to us for our stay. Our first guests arrive a day before us and were dropped off at the wrong RIU, they had to pay to get a ride to the right resort. That I believe was an issue with the Transfer company. The beach ceremony took place in between building 4 and 6 on the beach by the gazebo. We were able to watch a few weddings before our big day. Sophie was great and answered all of our questions. Our wedding was incredible! After the vows, the CD wouldn't play our songs to walk out on, but they quickly found One Love to play instead. It wasn't All you need is Love, but it was something. Our dinner was in the Steakhouse. There are like 3-4 arms of the steakhouse so even though it was termed Semi-private, it felt like we were at our own reception. There is a pre-fix menu which was delicious. Had a 2 tiered white frosted cake which was plenty. The Maid of Honor and Best man were able to give their speeches with no issue. There wasn't a first dance at the reception, but there was beach entertainment after and we did dance there. It was all perfect! I had a hard time finding reviews by other newlyweds who were married at the resort, so if you have any questions. ASK! The resort says 18 green chairs are included. We needed 24 chairs. The day of the wedding all the chair were white folding chairs, it was perfect. (and what I wanted, but didn't think it was worth paying for since they are literally in use for 15 min). The ceremony was quick, and the officiant was great. You do say your I Do's, then you and your witnesses step to a table to sign marriage certificates,then you come back to the altar and are presented which was a little odd. But you are in Jamaica mon, who cares! I was slightly worried about 3 weddings in one day at this resort, but I never even knew another ceremony had or was going to occur. We did the 2pm ceremony. It got a little hot for pictures after, but I felt like the 4pm wedding would be pressed for time to get pics done before the sun went down. And we were still able to do more pics at sunset.
RIU Palace Tropical Bay was amazing! They made our wedding day so special! I will add that we went to Ocho for our Honeymoon and really wanted to come back to Negril for the beach and calm waters.
- 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