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“5 Star Luxury”

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 June 2009

My wife and I travelled to the Riu Palace for a week after a last minute booking through First Choice from Birmingham airport UK. We paid £740 each all in.

Having stayed at Riu's in Dom Rep and Cancun we expected the usual high standard, and we got it. As the hotel was a Palace in stead of the ClubHotels we were used to there was all inclusive room service and a few other extras.

The ariport was a knightmare, queing for security as the hostage crisis had only just finished. The transfer took 3 hours due to Montego Bay traffic, although only one and a half on the return. Again, on return the airport was a knightmare, lots of waiting around, took about 3 hours to get into departures, not much time for shopping at all.

The staff were by far the friendliest I have encountered, the bar staff especially, they actually looked like they enjoyed their jobs and your company. There was a massive choice of drinks, anything you can imagine, it was available.

The beach was great, very tidy, and great sunset views, never short of loungers.

Food in the buffet was so good we only ate a la carte once. Usual Riu stuff, plenty of premium foods, steak, shrimp etc. Massive variety. Champagne available for breakfast.

Rooms the best I've been in. Minibar well stocked with water, Red Stripe and mixers for the Rum, Whisky and Vodka on wall optics.

The hotel in general was very tidy.

You can walk down the beach both ways, one way is the Riu Negril, in which you can use all the facilities, however, they can not use the Palace.

There were activities on throughout the day, incuding beach volleyball, football etc.

Evening entertainment was watchable, the African and Grease nights were good.

All in all the best accomodation I've stayed at.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank cabba69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,683 - 3,689 of 5,370 reviews

Reviewed 27 June 2009

We just returned home from another trip to the RIU Tropical Bay. It was a little different this time. We were able to get into three of the four restaurants for dinner-we had great meals. We also joined in activities such as ocean aerobics, pool games, beach party at night, all the shows, ping pong and the spa. We did a snorkeling excursion, wouldn't recommend that at all. Both times we did excursions snorkeling the water were too rough.

Places to go out: Margartaville, Rick's Cafe for the sunset, the Jungle (nightclub) and also the nightclub in the other RIU down the street is included in our price so we went there too. Again, we loved the people.

We are definitely going back. This time to their sister hotel the RIU Club down the street. Also, this trip we needed bug spray but still, all-in-all, so much fun!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank TravelinChik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2009

I did way too much research and Trip Advisor stalking before I left....The place is amazing. The rooms are immaculate...the beach is breathtaking...the food was aplentyt...the restaurants were great (we only ate at Krystal and the Steakhouse) the staff is amazing, as well as most of the Jamaican people.
We were first in a back building (2), and it didn't have a "king" bed....they moved us to 6301 the next day which was a GREAT location. The room in building 2 was nothing to complain about either, but we were on our honeymoon and Sandra (the BEST) at the front desk got us moved.
We did the Sunset Cruise to Rick's through Wild Thing...this is my only minor complaint. The staff was a little uninterested.
We went to YS Falls (AMMMMMMAZING) with Talk of the Town tours....I don't have enough words to express how great they are...Our driver was Deon...SO worth the personalization.
Feel free to send any questions....and YES...bring a cheap raft and an insulated large cup!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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6  Thank jchudak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2009

My daughter and ten year old granddaughter join me at the end of the school year for a vacation. Each year we select an new spot on the ocean and go snorkeling. We do endless research to ensure we have a good time and the trip is memorable. We stayed in a Riu on Paradise Island, Bahama and were pleased so we gave it a second try in Negril. Believe me when I say there is a difference in a Riu Club and a Riu Palace. Nothing all that wrong with the Club, but the Palace was so far above the club it was funny.

The people at the Palace make the vacation truely amazing. Friendly, happy and helpful in any way, even the groundkeepers were awesome. Be nice and say thank you and those folks will bend over backwards to make your stay a great one. It amazed me at the number of people who don't tip or bother with being pleasant.

The room was nice, AC worked great, no way you could go hungry and the water clear and enjoyable. Take bug spray for after dark. I'l admit the dinner appointment process needs revision and the gourmet restaurant food made me laugh out loud. The look on my gardndaughters face was priceless, but she at least tasted it.

Our flight was cancelled and the hotel was gracious about lestting us have atwo extra nights, even called and made reservations at the Riu Club in Montego Bay for us since it was close to the airport.

The Club was like walking in to a different world. It was nice, but the people working there couldn't be bothered, didn't smile and toips didn't get a thank you. The maid who cleaned our room was very pleasant, but the rest were a disappointment.

Negril and the Palace is the way to go. Jamcaica was beautiful, Famous Vincent was the best snorkel guide we've ever had...give him a call if you go!

Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
4  Thank LOLTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2009

Our trip was originally from June 5-June 11th but due to bad weather in Dallas, was extended two more days. We left the Riu TB and went into Montego Bay and stayed at the Riu there to be closer to the airport (more on that later!)

We hired Talk of the Town to transport us from the airport in to Negril and the trip took us 3 hours due to construction, rain and the fact that Sienna had a bit of a problem talking and driving at the same time! :) Check in was a breeze and we were placed on the second floor in building 3 with a beautiful view of the ocean between the palm trees. I think some rooms on the second floor would definately have obstructed views because of the trees...ours did not. Our housekeeper, Sandria, was awesome and made us towel art every day...we left her a $3 tip every day, also (there were 3 of us in the room).
My 10 year old daughter and I played sand volleyball everyday at 10am and 4pm. Everybody was very comfortable with her playing after they saw that she could actually hold her own and could pass and serve the ball over the net from the back line!! It was such a blast! The water was amazing. You can walk all the way out to the rope and still see the bottom. We found very few shells, which was disappointing (but hit the jackpot when we went in to Montego Bay!) The SeaDoo riders are very irritating...the vendors do not hassle you. A simple "no thank you" works very well. Unfortunately, my daughter and I got to witness a drug deal right in front of us on the beach...didn't bother the man and his girlfriend and they were obviously American, from up North from their accents. Sat less than 10 ft from us and did the deal then smoked 2 joints in front of us. I chose to use it as a learning tool for my daughter of what not to do and how not to act in front of others....EVER.
The food was good. There is always something that you can find to eat. How anybody can say the food here is bad, is amazing. With that amount of food, how can you not possibly find something to fill your stomach. Krystle, for us, was outrageously bad. The only thing good was the chocolate dessert. The pumpkin soup was disgusting. The Steakhouse was good. Unfortunately, we did not get to eat in the Italian restaurant. Breakfast was awesome and the omelet bar cook ROCKED!
The entertainment staff made our stay. Neil is precious and Max and Ninja kept us laughing. My daughter would go in search of Neil every day. Thanks to all of them. The Grease soundtrack was horrible but the music and dancing was very good. The Michael Jackson look-alike show was the same...the sound system made the shows very hard to sit through. Reggae night was the best!!! My daughter danced her little feet off!
We booked a snorkeling tour with Famous Vincent. We took a taxi to the Burger King in town and met him at the dock behind there. There were only 6 people total on the tour and it was amazing. Vincent swam down and brought up humongous starfish, sea cucumbers, sea urchins... The cell number that folks have here on TripAdvisor is not a recent number....Call the Rockhouse Restaurant. They have his current number! This is the only was to go snorkeling....Do NOT go on one of the big boats with alot of people!
When our flight was canceled, the TB was going to charge us $398 for another night but the Riu Montego Bay (not a Palace) was only $210 and was closer to the airport. We chose to move closer to the airport. Once we checked in...we wound up needing 2 nights...we realized why we picked Negril. The beach had almost no shade and you could only walk a few feet out in the water before you hit seagrass! Yuck :( There were hundreds of people at the immaculate pool..because they couldn't, or wouldn't, go in the water! The service was non-existent.. It was if they could care less if you were there or not. We will never stay in anything less than a Palace again!!!!
If you have any questions, please feel free to message me.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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5  Thank jpress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

After much research, I chose the RTB as an all-inclusive option for this years vacation in hopes that the Bloody Bay area would be a little milder that a stay on 7 mile beach with my 2 teenage sons and their friends. As a travel agent, i have stayed at many all - inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, and RTB is pretty much on par with most of them. I just think that Negril is one of those destinations that is not done justice by staying all- inclusive.
I requested many times prior to my stay that my rooms connect. We were given rooms near each other, but not next door. This could not be changed until the next day. We chose to stay put instead of packing up. I also requested rooms in buildings 3 or 4, but we were booked in building 2, not a horrible walk, but I certainly understand the preference of staying in 3 or 4.
Another issue , if you have teens staying in a room alone is the in-room liquor dispenser. I had to ask about 4 times before the bottles were actually removed from their room and this didn't happen till about 24 hours after we checked in
The food was pretty good, I've had better, and also had worse.
Drinks were better than average in my opinion. We especially liked the lobby bar, nice atmosphere without that "all inclusive feeling"
We only at at the buffet. i did get reservations for the Steak house and the Japanese restaurant, then realized that my husband and the boys all had shorts, no pants, so it was buffet everynight for us.
I think that is the dumbest rule of all ! We do not go on a caribbean vaca to dress in pants on muggy 85 degree nights!

The beach was very nice, but the kids were a little disappointed that it was more of a "bay " beach, no wave action at all. They survived... and used the jet skis constantly to make the beach exciting.
Kayaks , paddleboats are available. In order to use snorkel equipment, you need to leave a 25.00 cash deposit and get it back when you return equipment.

The kids did the discover scuba with Scuba Caribe and all went well...they were very professional. A few of us also did the Chukka Canopy Zip Line tour. They will tell you that it's a 45 minute drive from the RIU, not so...more like 1 1/2 -at least.
I think they tend to give you a much shorter travel time for excursions in order not to deter you from taking the trip. I was told that I would be at Bob Marley's house (Ocho Rios) in 1 1/2 hour - all the way in St Anns ! More like 3 hours one way ! Thank god I knew better before booking that one.
All in all ..I love jamaica. I've been there 4 times. I think that the RIU is fine for those that like the all - inclusive experience, but I felt more like I was in jamaica when we continued our vacation for the last two nights at Tensing Pen (on the cliffs) ....heavenly

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank tracyPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2009

The service was excellent. Food was very good! We ate at Krystal Fusion and the steak house. Krystal was a little different, but still good. The chocolate dessert at Krystal was excellent! The rest of the time we ate at the buffet. Hotel was very clean. Rooms very big and always cleaned. We didn't have any problems. Everyone went out of their way to help. There was lots of activities throughout the day. Water aerobics, kayaking, etc. Would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone and would stay again!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank tennessee80
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

Address: Norman Manley Blvd | Bloody Bay Beach, Negril, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Westmoreland Parish > Negril
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
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#15 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £206 - £475 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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