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“Nice for an all-inclusive”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
46 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Nice for an all-inclusive”
Reviewed 25 April 2014

I spent 5 days in Negril at the Riu Tropical Bay last May. If you are looking for an all inclusive option, it is very nice. The rooms and facilities are all clean and nice. The food is pretty good; we had the buffet for breakfast every morning and there were tons of options - anything from cereal to smoothies to eggs to pancakes and lots of fresh fruit. The restaurants require reservations several days in advance, especially on the weekends. The foo din the restaurants is pretty good, but our favorite was the beach stand near the pool where they cooked chicken, plantains, and I believe cabbage. It was delicious!
The room came stocked with Red Stripe in the fridge (yum) and a liquor dispenser on the wall, including rum (the best!), vodka, gin, and whiskey. The liquor is replenished each day, which is nice. There are also some mixers in the fridge. Our room did not have a beach view, but it only took a minute to get to the beach. We had three people staying in a room with a bed and a couch, and we were very comfortable. The rooms are plenty spacious and the bathroom is very nice.
We went on a snorkel excursion during our stay, which was a lot of fun other than the bit of rain. We also went on a sunset cruise back from Senor Frog's, and had a ton of fun dancing and drinking with the crew! There are tons of activities to do at the resort, but I recommend getting away from it for a day if you can. The only negative to this resort, for me anyway, was that it wasn't near many things in town. We took a taxi one day to go somewhere in town, though it wasn't the nicest/safest area.
The best part was the beach, of course. The water is perfectly clear, and we spent hours just floating in the warm water. Overall, very nice place. This is the best option for people looking to stay at the resort and do activities that are offered there.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank ALeeBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto, Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Worst resort that I have ever been to. Went with family and friends, 20 of us. Staff was unpleasant and not helpful. Cockroaches in food at buffet. DISGUSTING!!! Will never return!! Waste of $1600. Beautiful beaches but would never stay here again! Very unhappy!

Room Tip: DONT STAY HERE!!! worst experience ever!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We traveled in December, before Christmas, to save some money. First trip to Jamaica, fist stay in an all inclusive. Taxi ride from airport to hotel was... interesting. You really don't understand how poor Jamaica is until you go. Once past the cities and to the resort area all is beautiful and well manicured. Be kind to the staff and they will be very friendly to you. Tip everyone 1-2 dollars for their services. Bring 100 one dollar bills as it is impossible to get change once you are at the resort. Rooms were clean, well kept and everything worked as normal. I hope you don't stay in your room very long.

THE BEACH! THE BEACH! Have I mentioned THE BEACH! The water is so smooth, like a lake. Largest waves were around 6 inches tall. The water was always warm, 70 degrees +. Guess what. The sea was blue. No, really, really blue. The sand was so soft and raked/cleaned every morning. If you go early, before 10 am, you can get a beach chair and table. Then prepare to relax all day. Sometimes a server will bring you drinks, but I recommend getting up and getting your own. I did not go to the rest of seven mile beach, but we did walk around bloody bay. This is the best beach in bloody bay. The other resorts have small beaches and the other RIU resort has a rocky beach. No beach in bloody bay has the view this one does. Perfect sunsets. We had our pictures taken on the beach during the day and during a sunset by the resort photographer. Amazing photos and friendly service.

There are peddlers wanting you to buy everything. Be firm and say, No thank you. They will move on. After a few days they won't approach you anymore. If you do want to have them play you song or buy something, still be firm. Tell them what you want and when you get it, say that is all you want. Don't let being a little rude be the reason why a peddler talked to you for a half an hour instead of you enjoying the beach.

Excursions: We went with the hotel water sports shack for all of our excursions. You can haggle with them. You should try it, its funny to watch the young ladies act surprised, even though they know the price can change. They will smile and if you are friendly they will drop the price. We went on the Wild Thing snorkeling trip and we went to the Wild Thing Rick's Cafe snorkeling trip. Only go on the Wild Thing Rick's Cafe trip. The other is a waste of time and money. You go to the same spots but without drinks. Service at Rick's Cafe is horrible. So be prepared to wait and or isolate a waiter and make them take your order. Waiting at a table or at the bar doesn't work. If you are American they will ignore you. I dove off the cliff, it was fun. One older guy on our trip hit the water wrong and was knocked out. The life guards dove in and saved his life. Crazy, Crazy Crazy. He was older and drunk so... But he lived and was on the boat ride home with us. By the way, DO NOT TIP the bums standing next to the boat dock/ladder at Rick's Cafe. They do not dive. They collect tips for themselves. If you want to tip a diver, wait until one dives then find him afterwards and give him a buck or two.

The food: very good. Go to the steak house as many times as possible. It has the best food and is the only area outdoor next to the ocean. The Japanese place is okay but lackluster, we have much better places in Cleveland, Ohio. The Italian place was bad, if you are used to decent Italian just avoid it. The modern cuisine was interesting and okay. The buffet is always a safe bet. You must make reservations for your dining everyday, except for the buffet which is always open. Go to the front desk lobby booking station as soon as they open, 8 or 9 am. Or go earlier than that. Lines form & spots fill quickly. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner buffet is severed daily and good for a quick bite. Many options, but some lack flavor.

THE BEST FOOD? Go to the jerk chicken shack everyday for lunch. The chicken is amazing and grilled right there for you. Eat it on the beach. It's amazing. Did I mention how amazing it is? The sides they serve with it are more traditional Jamaican and amazing. (That word again.) Besides the steak house, this was our favorite.

The bad.
You are on a tropical island, so it may rain once a day for an hour or so. There is also wildlife. We found one lizard and two cockroaches in our room. No big deal as we didn't spend much time there. Do not over drink from your room's bottle service. You may be tempted, but try not to. You will regret it later. Also the peddlers, as addressed above.

The pools. They are bad. They look great, but do not go in. They are not heated. They are cold. Colder than the ocean. There is no hot tub. The guests that sit at the pool bar will drive you away. A majority of the time there are old crusty men, a bunch of fraternity brothers or other weirdos. We are young, mid twenties. We like to party. We would check the pool bar everyday hoping for some mellow or inviting company. We never saw anyone at the pool bar who we thought would not pee in the water. The one time there were a few young couples there we decided to go for it, the water was so cold that we only had half of our drinks at the bar and got the hell out.

The nightly shows or entertainment were bad. Some were cute and cheesy, but as the week went along they were terrible. The beach front dance party was fun. The rest were filled with colorful dancing or terrible performances. No one is on the beach at night, even though its not cold out. The slot machine room is also bad. Perhaps next time we will take a taxi out to Jimmy Buffets or another place. We were told to not leave the resort at night but looking back going to a touristy bar would have been fun.

WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE to book this trip on cheapcaribbean.com. We could have saved a thousand dollars had we waited. We booked our trip in September and by October/November the prices fell. So figure out when you are leaving. Schedule it with your work and then wait to book, but be careful to check the website for availability. Don't cut it too close.

Overall great first trip for a young couple. The place is above average for US hotels, we will have to go back to other all inclusive resorts to determine how this stacks up. Note that it was not excellent, just very good. I could imagine better pools, better food, better entertainment, better rooms. However, for what we paid it was nice. We would definitely go back.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank nathanfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We just returned from our vacation at RTP Negril and without a doubt it was one of the best trips we have taken as a family. All of the staff were amazing. Everything from our room cleaning, breakfast/lunch/dinner service, entertainment and waitstaff was phenomenal. We were treated like gold the entire trip.
We spent most of our time at the beach vs. the pool because the beach is a 10/10. We found massive startfish, Conch, and tonnes of fish in the shallow waters with our masks. The white sand and hot sun is like a paradise.
We would highly recommend this place for others families looking to stay here and we will be back again next year!! See you in 2015 Jamaica!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bracknell
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

A two week holiday at this resort in Jamaica Fabulous accommodation brilliant staff and great food, the resort was very clean and the suite we had was well equipped with a well stocked mini bar and optics in the room that were replenished every day, the beach was golden sand with loads of sunbeds available, just a short walk to the pool bar from the beach for drinks available from 10 am, also drink service on the beach throughout the day, again the staff on the beach were brilliant and very helpful, lots of restaurants to choose from the steak house and the Italian are very good, the buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch is very good too, Dunn's river falls is a must and Ricks Cafe for the sunset is recommended we will certainly return to this resort in the future.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Hayden R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

I have been a regular visitor to this hotel for the past ten years it was on our first visit and up to about 2010 called the Riu Tropical bay after a upgrade it became the Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay I have just returned from I am sorry to say our last visit we will not be returning as the whole ambiance has change from our first visit It used to be full of great entertainment staff that were full of fun and off the wall keeping you on your toes all day with their wacky antics I think the management have told them to tone things down because it is now a palace but its clientèle are of all ages from young babies to senior citizens (one of our part was a youthful 80 year old ) and like to be involved with various activates I am NOT knocking the staff they are as ever the nicest people you could ever wish to meet and bend over backwards to help you they are always smiling and having a laugh The day time programme used to have a band in the afternoon dancing on the beach the chef would do a ice carving demonstrating his skills a very large paella would be cooked on the beach a cocktail mixing session took place also the housekeepers showed how they made the animals left on the beds using the towels all this added to our enjoyment during our stay this has all been lost The food in the buffet style restaurant although very good seems to have been cut back in the amount of options no carved melons on the counters adding to the décor it just seems as they have had major cut backs in the budget even though it now cost more to stay here The location is a world beater on a beautiful bay with the clear Caribbean sea 5 star Rooms are spacious well equipped with flat screen TV. Bar with optics, fridge with water soft drinks and beer replenished daily coffee maker also a maid daily to service room and air conditioning balcony with furniture A first.time guest would not notice the changes but we have so therefore it is with great regret off our list of destinations .

Room Tip: ask for room in block 3 facing sea e.g. 3112 ground floor or 1st floor 32112 2nd floor3312
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pamo124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Just returned from our honeymoon at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay. We really don't have anything negative to say about the property. The service was great, the staff was very very very friendly. When you tip you get lots of attention from the staff but I believe they were nice even when you did not tip. The remote control did not work for the TV but we didn't care because we were barely in the room. The beach is amazing. It is beautiful and very clean. The pools are small but the hotel was not crowded so it was fine. Wait until you get to Jamaica to book your tours as they are much cheaper when you book at the destination. We recommend Dunn's River Falls, Margaritaville and Rick's Cafe tours. The food at the specialty restaurants was not that good. We liked the Steak House and the buffet at the Italian. Take bug repellent for the mosquitos. You will need it! We love Jamaica and will definitely be back (will try Ocho Rios next time).

Room Tip: Ask for rooms near the beach and pool.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank inlovewithd
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 Family Hotel in Negril
#14 On the Beach 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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