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“Better than expected (based on reviews), good value”

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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #26 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2014

I was in multiple RIU hotels before (Mexico, Dominica), including twice in RIU Negril Tropical Bay (next door). ClubHotel RIU Negril was typical RIU hotel what you would expect for the price you pay from RIU property. I think people write bad reviews on this property because they expect more than they pay for. I would say that based on reviews I was expecting less, but I was very happy with my family vacation. Here are few facts from my stay:
- I wrote email to hotel before departure requesting 2nd or 3rd building. Upon arrival I found that I got a room in building 4. Front desk then was helpful in changing my room to building 3. Building 3 is exactly 5min walk to lobby and few more minutes to main buffet. So don't bother writing email to hotel before leaving.
- Most of the rooms (not all!) has double doors - you enter from one door into small corridor that has 2 another doors into rooms. You can still hear when drunk people shout, but you cannot hear walking or casual conversation. Sound isolation in rooms was very good. We could not hear anything even from our balcony door/window.
- Drinks were so/so. They did not have any lime, so Mohitos were made just with mint and lime juice, not limes.Otherwise standard RIU drinks with cheaper alcohol.
- To book restaurants we waited in lines about 15min arriving both time around 8 or 8:10am. But other days we saw line for booking much bigger.
- We liked Sir Andrew restaurant, but Steakhouse was probably one of the worst restaurants we ever been too (over many years). Service was slow and my food (ribs) was not edible. My food was actually room temperature. At this restaurant you can pick just main course and soup/salad/desert is same for everybody. I would highly recommend to skip this restaurant.
- Based on reviews I was very confused of what to expect from beach. Basically in front of the pools sand is nice but when you go into ocean up to waste (20-30m or 60-90feet) you enter grassy area or sand feels like a swamp. In front of building 3-4 there is a sign telling not to swim and sand looks more like "construction sand" with pebbles. Grass in that area is much closer to the shore, and one person who swam there complained about jelly fish.
- Best beach chairs closest to the water under trees are reserved around 6-6:30am. Then other shaded areas are taken by about 8am. But you can probably find shaded area at the back at almost any time of the day. There were plenty of beach chairs all day.
- Food in buffet was standard RIU food, some days better choice than other. All week we ate jerk chicken for lunch on the beach - best meal of the day. For some reason I never get tired of it. And I am not a big chicken fan, but chicken was very juicy and jerk sauce was perfect.
- Never had problems with vendors, even our chairs were 2m/6feet from the water - that is were they walk by. They have no problems with "NO" for an answer. We saw other people answering "Not today", "Not now", "Later" and of course vendors bother them more.
- We realized that comparing to Mexico, in Negril you get "more vacation". In Mexico (Maya Riviera) at this time of the year you are comfortable on the beach from about 8:30am to about 4pm. Before 8:30am it is cold, and after 4pm it is windy and starts to get colder. In Negril, I actually one morning went for a swim at 6:30am - it was so comfortable. And we would stay each day up to 5-5:30pm and you can easily stay till 6:30 - it was so worm. And water temperature in the ocean was also very comfortable. So really in Negril you get more beach time during winter months. We liked weather in Negril (specifically Blody Bay) much more comparing to Mexico Maya Riviera.

Overall we had great vacation, would go back, but would consider paying a bit more to go to RIU Tropical Bay Palace just because beach over there is better.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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5  Thank Vidas M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,885 - 1,891 of 5,610 reviews

Reviewed 15 March 2014

Before going I was a little hesitant based on some poor reviews regarding food and sand flea's. I am a picky but savvy traveler, at the same time I understand third world accommodations. My party of three was very impressed with the food and had no issues with sand flea's. Also I'd like to express my thoughts on the entertainment staff. They are some of the best in the world at pulling you in to games, dancing, or whatever. We let loose and had a great time. Although I don't like to go to the same place twice, I will be back.

Room Tip: Try to be in building 1 or 2, otherwise its a hike to the lobby area.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank awasley1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

we have just returned from one of the best holidays we have ever had 14.03.14 Everything about this hotel was fantastic,, loads of choice food wise and all the staff are great and are willing to help whatever the problem. We had room 1129 this had a nice garden view and was lovelly and clean. No matter how hard I try I cannot fault this hotel in anyway.

Room Tip: ask for a room in block 1 or 2 not so far to walk
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank doreen d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

We had a great time. Some people go on holiday to complain. Food good,entertainment not everyone's cup of tea but live music is great. Just enjoy. No complaints - you are on holiday STOP MOANING about nothing.

Stayed: March 2014
11  Thank rain789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

This was my first stay in Jamaica and I will return- to Jamaica and this resort. Here's what you need to know! Airport - Margaretaville at the exit, grab the Red Strip ($6-US) and off you go - on the left hand side of the road-yikes! It’s about 1 1/2 hours to the resort - unless you hit rush hour (yes - there is a rush hour!) then it’s more like 2 hours. The upside is you get to see some of Montego Bay and the gorgeous country side (through a bus window but what the heck- you’re in Jamaica!). Check in was super organized, about 20 of us got off the bus and we were all checked in and on why to room in about 6 minutes flat. There are 4 3 story buildings; building 1 closest to lobby and eating areas and building 4 the furthest away. Building 4 is about a 5 minute 'stroll' from the lobby. I've read post that indicate it’s about a 20 minute walk- that is nuts! 10 minutes will get you from building 4 all the way to the furthest end of the resort (which happens to be the breakfast/supper buffet area). The walk way is bricked so it’s easy going - for walking, strollers, wheel chairs. We stayed at building 2 on the third floor which gave us a side view of the Ocean. The room was very clean and well maintained. The fridge is stocked every two days unless you run out that the restock is a phone call away. The housekeeping folks are always on the go - thank you Melissa for taking good care of us! All the buildings face the beach and you can walk out of the building, across the walkway and hit the sand- great! Building 1 is closest to the action therefore it is the noisiest and the noise seriously decreases as you make your way across the beach toward building 4. There are two pools and the noise level here can be very intense - due to the entertainment factor (again near building 1). The jerk hut (yum!) and beach bar are close to each other and closest to building 1. The beach loungers are a bit worn but still very useable and we always managed to find a good place to sit regardless of the time of day; trees on the beach provide a lot of natural shade- awesome! There are a couple of ala cartes but that’s not my thing so can't comment - other than there seemed to be a line up for reservations every morning. The buffet meals were fantastic - lots of options including a "Jamaica' station. The staff are very attentive and the food replenished quickly. There were slight line-ups at peak times but it moved very quickly. The beach and water is absolutely fantastic. There's a fish sanctuary right there so you get to see stingrays, crab, sea urchins and a wide variety of little fish. You can wade in this area; a no swimming sign is posted but a lot of snorkelling was going on so not sure what the deal is there. Bring a blow-up floaty devise cause the swim area as pretty big. You can get them at the resort store but the selection was very limited. You can walk from the Riu all the way over to the Grand Lido - a 30 minute beach stroll one way. As soon as you leave the Riu beach section you hit the vendors- they are not at all pushy and a simple 'Respect knuckle butt' is all that’s needed. Most of the tiem they were content to just have a chat with us - great story tellers! The guys were offered the 'herbal smoke' but they were not pushy at all. I've read comments about the horrible and continuous smell- not so. Just continue on down the beach to the Grand Lido for a great leg stretch! Rick’s café is just a short bus ride away – maybe 30 minutes. Great atmosphere and, of course, cliff jumpers – crazy! The sunset was cut short by a giant cloud but I thought it was pretty amazing. By the way – the best view of the sunset is from the beach vendor area – you can’t actually see the sun hit the water from the Riu grounds but the vendor area provides a fantastic view. The vendors are all packed up by them so it pretty quiet. Overall, this place is fantastic; great customer service, great food, great entertainment and great Jamaican experience!

Room Tip: Buidling 1 is close to the action and noisey, building 4 totally quiet. I particularly liked buidli...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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9  Thank Jess W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

We travelled with Apple Vacations on the Apple square deal option. We did not know for sure what Hotel we would be at, just that it was a 5 star resort. ( we had a pretty good idea it would be this Hotel however.)
We were happy overall, but a couple of things need improving...
Lining up in the morning to get a restaurant reservation 2 nights later was a major pain in the you know what and was my biggest complaint. If you were not in line before 8am, you essentially had no chance of dining in the any of the a-la carte restaurants.
The food was generally very good and always in ample supply. The beach grill, open everyday at lunchtime, serves up very tasty barbecued jerk chicken which was one my favorites.
The beach was nice...absolutely no surf (very calm water,) and very quiet, disturbed every 15 minutes or so by the locals selling their wares or whatever service they happened to be offering. Solo guitar acts and 2 piece bands also walked up and down working for tips, taking requests of very familiar Jamaican tunes. In my opinion it kind of added to the atmosphere.
Take the catamaran to Rick's cafe one day on the sunset cruise...Superb value and was one of the highlights.
We also did the Appleton Rum tour and visited Y S Falls. This was a long day...but you definitely get a better sense of island life. The bus ride was a bit harried but the tour guide was excellent.
All in all, I like the vibe of Negril...Very relaxed, which has the effect of relaxing its visitors...which is kind of the point. I would go back someday, but I difinately would like to see more of what the Carribean offers.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

I'm slow to respond, but had a great time here with my wife in May. Only thing that could have improved the trip would have been more variety of food options at off peak times. Other than that, everything was fine.

Every staff member that we encountered was friendly and offered to help us! Room was adequate and quiet, with the beach just a few steps away!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Joshua R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about ClubHotel Riu Negril

Address: Bloody Bay Beach | Norman Manley Boulevard, 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in Negril
#20 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#20 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#37 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: £168 - £356 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — ClubHotel Riu Negril 3.5*
Number of rooms: 420
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Newly renovated in November 2015 * Located on Jamaica's west coast in Negril * Located on the beach front * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * Main building and four 2-story annexes * Surrounded by 45,000 m2 / 56,000 sq. Yards of lush gardens * 9 km / 5.5 Miles from Negril's West End * 7 km / 4.4 Miles from various shops * 80 km / 48 miles from Montego Bay airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Diners ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Hotel Negril
Rio Negril
Riu Negril Jamaica
Riu Resort All Inclusive Negril

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