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“Usual Riu Standard”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #21 of 81 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Usual Riu Standard”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Firstly we must give a big thank you to Andrew at reception and Riu for giving us a free upgrade to a Sea View apartment in celebration of our 39th. Wedding Anniversary. Our apartment was huge with a great view. Room 4110 is on the ground floor and is one of the larger apartments. Air-con, free mini bar which included Red Stripe Lager, Bottled Water, Tonic Water, Soda Water,Coke,Sprite,4 optics, Toilet, Shower/Bath, 2 Sinks, lounge area, free Wi-Fi and flat screen TV. Our cleaner was Carlene and the room was cleaned every day, as was the bar, also fresh towels daily. Beds were turned down at around 7 o’clock. Carlene gave us towel art every day so we rewarded her for her efforts. I would definitely recommend tipping, little and often but the staff are just as friendly whether you give or not. We can’t praise the staff enough. Everyone was so friendly. We can’t remember all your names but a great big thank you to Tony (Trevor McDonald), Sharon, Dave and Melissa at the Bar Cubano (the one with the Piano) to Jermaine, Aldayne, Aaron and D.Shane at the Restaurant.
We didn't do any of the Trips but we hired Michael of Michaels Taxi Service for the day at a cost of 200 usd. If you speak to Tony at the Bar Cubano he will arrange a meeting with Michael to discuss what you would like to do. We wanted to see the less touristy side of Jamaica so he took us into the interior, through local villages and impressive scenery. We stopped at one point and he cut us some fresh sugar cane, lovely, we then stopped off at a road side seller and had fresh coconut juice followed by the flesh and mango. We ended up at Black River and had a Boat Trip to see the Crocodiles. Michael then took us to a Fish Restaurant at a secluded beach where we treated him to a meal. We finally landed up at Ricks Bar to see the Cliff Jumpers, which is a must do but be aware as Red Stripe is 5 usd. a throw.
There are 4 Bars, Bar Cubano (24hrs.)Reggae (10.00 – 24.00) Plaza (18.00 – 24.00) and The Sun (10.00 – 18.00). If you’re on the Beach the Staff walk around on a regular basis taking orders.
Breakfast at the Negril (buffet) is from 07.00 – 10.30 or at the Bloody Bay (continental) is from 10.30 – 11.30.
Lunch is in the Bloody Bay from 12.00 – 15.00 and is buffet style but you can also have the Jerk Chicken which you can get from the Hut by the entrance of the Bloody Bay.
Snacks from the Bloody Bay 15.00 – 17.00 but you also have 24hr.Room Service.
Dinner at the Negril 18.30 – 22.00 and is a International Buffet.
There is also 4 Specialist Restaurants that you have to book in advance. The booking desk is in the main reception area and is open from 08.00.There are 2 sittings at all 4 restaurants, first sitting is at 18.00,second sitting is at 21.00.
KRISTAL – Fusion Gourmet.
RIMINI – Italian.
HAKUCHI – Japanese.
BLOODY BAY – Steak House.
We tried the Krystal, Hakuchi and the Bloody Bay Steak House and found them acceptable but we did prefer the Negril International Buffet.
The beach consists of both soft and hard packed sand and the sea is warm and crystal clear but watch out for the Stingrays as they do come right up to the beach and range from small up to about 5ft.in size. There are also the odd sea urchin and jelly fish. The beach sellers are not pushy and a polite no is all you need but trust me there are some good buys so don’t discredit them. Some of them are right characters. If you want to do some fishing then speak to Dennis on his boat “Flying Bird” and you can have 3hrs. for 70 usd. his fishing tackle is a bit archaic but works fine and I caught plenty of fish. The second time I used him I took my own. You will constantly be asked if you want cannabis so just get used to it. Apart from the sellers you will also have the Parasailing and Glass Bottom Boat touts.
The Animation Team work hard to keep you entertained with the usual Water Polo, Beach Volleyball etc. We never got to see any of the Evening Entertainment as I suffer badly with Jet Lag and so 21.30hrs to me is 03.30hrs and my body is sending me to bed.
There are plenty of trips on offer but just be aware that Dunns River Falls is 3hrs. away.
Take only USD. with you as this is the main currency. Mosquitoes are a problem. The grounds are sprayed regularly and we tried various repellents but still got bitten. Be aware also that July is the Wet Season and it rained on all but 3 days of our 2 week holiday but it usually only rains for about an hour or two.
The holiday was booked with First Choice/Thomson and so our return flight was on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and was the most comfortable flight to date. We flew Premier Class and is well worth the extra cost. We also recommend the Club Moby for departure which you can purchase from your Holiday Rep. for £21.00 pp. this gives you Air Con, free Drinks, Snacks, TV, unlimited Wi-Fi, and more.
To sum up, Great Staff, Great Food, Great Hotel, Great Time. This is our third Riu Hotel and will not be our last. Jamaica, we love you. Irie.

Room Tip: If you can afford the extra cost get a Sea View.Room 4110 is on the ground floor and is one of the b...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Bigalseamills
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,313)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We had our wedding here. Lots of family came. Some had to change rooms for a/c, plumbing, or electric problems. We had no problems with our room. Our wedding coordinator quit/left her job so nobody had any idea of our wedding. The first day I had to talk to multiple people about our wedding, but the show did go on. For the lone hour it lasted, the sun managed to shine and it was gorgeous. Just keep in mind that there will be people swimming in the water behind you. Photoshop...

After the wedding fiasco. Mostly everything was nice. We did go during their rainy season, but managed to get some sun 50% of the time. The staff were great and it's nice they speak English. The food isnt so bad. Better than Mexican resorts in my opinion. Jerk chicken shack for lunch I might add.

The water and beach in Negril is the best Ive been to so far (compared to Tulum, Cancun, and Cozumel Mexico). Very clear. We stayed mostly at the resort the entire time, but managed to take a really cool boat ride to Rick's. Maybe it was because family came, but I had a good time.

Room Tip: The ocean view was really nice.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Clayton S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheboro, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Pros
BEST BEACH IN ALL OF THE CARRIBEAN! The water was fantastic! Super clear, long beach for lots of walking, white sand, no seaweed!
Very friendly staff. All seemed extremely happy to be there
The food was good. My husband prefers simple foods so he liked all the choices. The Italian restaurant was great but don't eat all day because you will be very full. Japanese was also very good. They don't give you a lot of sushi though, and you can't order more or order your own. They bring you a prepared tray.
The Jerk chicken and other meats grilled on the beach are fantastic. My husband loved this.

Cons
The beach service is basically non existent even if you tip them. The beer comes in very small cups and its not very cold- continue to read to learn how to fix that
The bed is hard as a rock- continue to read to learn how to fix that
You had to be in line at 8am to get a dinner reservation, any later than 8am and you wont get one. And even if you are there at 8am you can only get a reservation for the next day. So your first two days you will prob be stuck eating at the buffet.
The people selling on the beach. It was ok for the first day or two then they got really annoying and they are somewhat aggressive with just walking up to you and talking whether you like it or not, the music people are also very similar.

What you need to do
Pack a flexible cooler or bag that can carry ice. Tip the room service man to bring you extra beer to the room. Pack that beer in the bag and go to the ice machine. That way you can have a cooler of good beer on the beach. Make sure you take a coozie because they do not sell them anywhere and you will want that for your beer.
As for the bed if you ask the front desk for padding they will bring you big thick padding with good sheets. Also ask for lots of pillows. The best was ssssoooo much more comfortable after we did this.
Upgrade to their best room. Junior sweet with the tub in the middle of the room. SSSOOO worth it, better shower, better tub, better balcony and more room.

Room Tip: junior sweet at building 4 or 5 those have the best view
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank drsink61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2014

Just got back from a week's vacation with our 2 daughters. It is appropriately rated a 4 star. Our room was oceanfront and a great location to pool and restaurants. The staff is terrific. They are friendly and interact with guests all day long. The beach is perfect, except for the locals constantly trying to sell you cigarettes and bracelets.

My only suggestion is the pool area needs a little concrete work which they started to fix on our last day. The beds are firm for my liking, but 2 doubles pushed together does not make a comfortable king. It could use some new bedding but other than that, I have no complaints. Our maid was terrific and even came at night to restock fridge and give us new towels. It is the Caribbean so of course there are mosquitoes! Just wear Off at night when going out for dinner. The specialty restaurants were great! I think Krystal was my favorite. Even the buffet had a huge selection for everyone's palate.

Make sure to do water aerobics in the ocean at 10 with Hotdog and Chicken. They make it lots of fun. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Milgon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

It was our first time in Jamaica so my boyfriend and I weren't sure what to expect but we were more than impressed! The staff was absolutely wonderful and did everything they could to make sure we had a great experience. I have the rooms a 4 only because the beds weren't great. They were really hard and were two twins pushed together. My only other complaint would be the beach, I understand that it's public but constantly being hassled by people trying to sell you drugs, jewelry, etc was very overwhelming. I came for a relaxing experience and wish the hotel staff would be more on top of things and keep the salesmen moving along instead of constantly bothering their guests.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amberchandler123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014

This was our first and best holiday experience in the Caribbean. Jamaica is a truly beautiful island with so much to see and do. The excursions were fabulous, really quite quirky, river walking, horse riding by the sea (all of our horses swam, what an unforgettable memory). The people were friendly and so obviously there to help you enjoy your visit and this started with the excellent hotel staff. The service was professional at all times yet friendly it made you look forward to going down for breakfast/dinner. The different restaurants meant that the boys could go and eat earlier with the friends they had made, and their favourite was the Italian restaurant. There was entertainment for the children and adults alike but it wasn't intrusive, it was there if you wanted it. The rooms were of a very high standard, comfortable and with fabulous beach views. The beach was great, always clean, with no jelly fish!! Something we have since experienced in other Caribbean destinations. It was a great hotel that contributed massively to making our family holiday to Jamaica a wonderful and unforgettable holiday experience.

Room Tip: We had rooms overlooking the beach and on hot afternoons could watch the wedding parties. Sunset at...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Catherine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

We stayed in rooms 6114, 6115, and 6116. Here is our review! Mosquitoes - lived outside door and infested our room=45min of mosquito killing so you can sleep. Had to leave tip and request that mosquitoes be sprayed for and they only sprayed that one time we payed for it.
Do not change sheets unless you force them too.
Beds are two full beds pushed together and made separately and advertised as a king sized bed. The beds will roll apart. The beds are also hard as a rock.
Will not change out towels after their morning rounds.
Do not restock the fridge everyday. But the real sugar sodas are amazing.
Water went out for the entire resort the 5th morning. We were told it would be back on when we got back to our room, it actually took hours. When the water did come back on, it was filthy.
The toilet flushing apparatus broke several times and we had to fix it ourselves. Maintenance does not respond quickly.
No ice machines. Even if you call the front desk they will say there are ice machines in every building, but they have all been taken out.
Moldy, stinky curtains. They reaked.
The room on the 6th night smelled awful. We could not figure out what the smell was. That next morning the room smelled like death. We complained twice that morning and no one came to the room to take care of it. Housekeeping even ignored it. The third time we were assured that it would be taken care of by the end of the afternoon. They think the issue is piping, we think it is a dead mouse. The smell was mostly taken care of by the end of the afternoon. We decided to live with the stink since it was our last night and they would not give us a new room.
Our sister's room had live animals running around it at night.
Sunscreen is 24 dollars in the resort shops.
Room service and late night food are not impressive. Overall food and service are good. Japanese restaurant is amazing!
Entertainment is limited to pool, beach, short show at night, small slots casino, and small beach or pool games throughout the day.
We had a 9 o'clock reservation at the steakhouse. They brought out tiny appetizers about 30 minutes in and our actual food an hour later. We did not eat until 1030. NONE of the steaks were cooked correctly. Drinks were not timely refilled. Extra glasses were not removed until halfway through the meal. The server left the restaurant before we did.
Excursions are more driving less excursion. Takes over an hour to get to any of the sites. Roads are unfinished so it is a bumpy ride.
You share a border with the nude beach!
Jamaica itself is a wonderful vacation spot, just not at the tropical palace riu.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brittany M
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 Family Hotel in Negril
#14 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#16 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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