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“Not much impressed...”

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ClubHotel Riu Negril
Ranked #26 of 85 Hotels in Negril
New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not much impressed...”
Reviewed 29 March 2009

March 19 - 27.
Before to buy package I read many reviews. There were many good review, few bad. So, I made a choice... To my surprise, it appeared that more truth was in the bad reviews. It's unusual, but it is so...

ADMISSION was quick, we got good oceanview room in the building #2 on second floor. It was some not fresh smell in the room, but it dissappeared on the second day after room was cleaned.

ROOM was good, no lack of towels. Every day we were met with different towels art that was really pleasant. Air conditioner, practically, did not function. We called to admission about this, they sent technician 3 times. Technician got airconditioner able to make a working noise, but it was not able to cool air in the room. So we were all right with ceiling fan and open balcony door.
Shower was OK except time from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM when it was not hot water. Bed was king size, one half of it was good, and another was bad.

FOOD was good.

BEACH is my main concern. It's not a sand on a beach, it's hard soil covered with tiny gravium that is like sand paper for bare feet. In addition, there is a lot of trees' roots getting out, so you need to watch out in order do not hurt feet. It'd be better do not walk with bare feet. Water looks clean, but has sulfur smell in some areas, but not everywhere. The bottom looks sandy about a shore, but when you walk you raise some clay clouds. When you walking deeper it appears that bottom is muddy like at swamp. Also, there is small sea weeds islands. The swimming area is shallow. And there is no waves at all. For snorkelling it's needed to go to riffs. I found some very poor riffs about massage booth, saw some very few fishes, stars, but it's not place for snorkeling.
if you get BEACH TOWELS at morning you cannot exchange it during the same day, only on next day, and only one time. I found it unusual.

SPORT. Voleyball court is terrible - it is not plain, not sandy, with hard soil covered with small graviums. I played 3 times, got my feet hurt so that I could not even walk up to the end of my stay. In contrary to the other resorts you seldom hear calls to play volleyball, and people did not play much, but , anyway, the court is very bad.
There is available kayaks, sail catamarans, water bikes. The problem is there is not guard. I went on kayak a little bit far, and on the my way back it's got windy. The wind was from shore, and it was so strong that I could not overcome it so instead to move to shore I was moved backward by wind. Big waves appeared, and I got overturned. I got on kayak, but the padle appeared outside about 3 feet away. I tried to get it rowing with hands, but wind moved me in different direction, and the padle got lost. I began to call for help, but nobody watched me from shore. I was riscued accidentally by people who was on water bike. I was not scared, but I thought about probability to get into open sea. The matter is, there is not guard, there is not any riscue boat, and during the storm nobody was concerned with situation. The storm was for about 15 minutes.

INTERNET is expensive in the Club, but it's possible to get it for free (I mean wireless) at Riu Palace Admission area.

ENTERTAINMENT is not bad.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yansha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kentucky
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2009

I stayed at the Riu Clubhotel March 15-21 2009
I couldn't have asked for a better experience in Jamaica! Upon arrival we were greeted with rum punch and an upgraded ocean front room. The room was spacious, very clean, with a fully stocked mini bar and a great ocean view in building 2. The beach and pool were great, plenty of chairs and bars at both that served great drinks! The jerk chicken hut on the beach is a must, they usually start cooking around noon.
We rented jet skis on the beach $40 for 30minutes, ask for Leon he will give you the best deal! We also did the sunset cruise through the hotel which was a great experience, they take you snorkeling, to a bat cave, and finally stop at ricks for a couple hours, and finally take you back to the hotel as the sunsets..it was somewhere around $50 a person..it was much better than the other sunset cruises offered because they take the boat right up to Ricks so you don't have to swim to the restaurant like most other trips.
The buffet offers a good variety of food and was always enjoyable, we went Sir Andrews and had good food, the Brazilian restaurant wasn't anything too impressive..service is a little slow at these restaurants but not a huge deal. The entertainment was pretty decent the few night I went, they had a steel drum show and reggae music another night . The staff goes above and beyond to make sure you are having a great time, they work long hours and do a great job keeping the resort clean.
The rooms were cleaned daily and the mini bar stocked every other day, the room stayed cool, the water in the shower was never really that warm but not too cold either, especially after a long day at the beach.
Also one day I went off the resort for shopping in the town of Negril which was less than a 10minute taxi ride and to a restaurant for lobster in the cliffs called Xtaba which was fun! I found if u go across the street from the resort to get a taxi you can get a better deal than what the hotel offers. We had a great driver named Toney his number is [-] he was a great driver and waited for us while we shopped and ate, he charged us somewhere around $30 for the whole trip.

Overall this resort is everything I could ask for and more...great beach, service, food, and rooms. A very relaxing trip.....I will defiantly be back again!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Knmwildcat13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2009

Stayed at the Riu Negril Feb 23-March 2, 2009. This trip was booked through an Apple Vacation Square Deal Negril. We didn’t find out which hotel we were going to be staying at until we arrived at the airport in Chicago.
We feel that we couldn’t have chosen a better hotel ourselves. The Riu Negril was totally awesome. There were so many positives I don’t know where to begin.
The Riu Negril is on Bloody Bay. Beautiful clear, warm water. Very little in the line of waves, so bring an air mattress or inner tube to float with. Huge swimming area. The beach area for lounging is also huge. There are many palm trees which offer natural shade. There are plenty of beach chairs so never a need to hurry down and save a chair in the morning. You could find a chair anytime of the day. (We didn’t sit by the pool so I can’t say whether or not it was the same case. It looked like that was a save situation if you had a favorite spot). No vendors on the beach at the hotel. One guy would walk through selling cigarettes or cigars, but just kept walking and never really approached anyone. As you walked toward Grand Lido on the beach there were other vendor huts but a simple “no thank you” and they did not bother you. The beach was a good “walking beach” nice and even and beautiful sand. An occasional shell here and there, but no need for water shoes. The Riu was at the end of the beach and you could walk all the way to Grand Lido. In my opinion we had the nicest of the beaches. The further down you went the fewer trees there were so if you need shade on the beach you were out of luck.
Food: The food was very good. There was such a variety on the buffet that there was always something that would please the fussiest eater. I think the best food was the jerk chicken and pork as well as the bbq’d chicken served at the Jerk Hut on the beach. It was supurb. It is not served every so make sure you find out what days they are doing this on the beach. You don’t want to miss it. Steakhouse had excellent steak and we also ate at Sir Andrew where we also had a great meal. I had the grouper and it was awesome. The only thing I could complain about is the reservation system. Stand in line every other day for about an hour and then you can only make one reservation for one of the nights. We solved that by booking with two other couples who were also traveling alone. It worked out great plus we enjoyed their company. The only restaurant men are required to wear long pants in is Sir Andrew.
Entertainment: We only watched one show. The best entertainment by far was when Paul, the bartender at the lobby bar sang. It was awesome. One night he set up on his own in the lobby after he was done working. He sang to a packed lobby of people who enjoyed his music for listening and dancing..
Rooms: We were in building 3 which was a way from the lobby but not a problem the walk did us good. We were on the ocean side with a very slight view of the ocean. We spent all the daylight hours on the beach so the view didn’t matter. Plenty of hangers in the closet. Double sink in the bathroom. Tub is very slippery so be careful. I keep those little shoe mitts that hotels in the states have in the rooms to clean shoes/boots with and lay them on the bottom of the tub. It helps keep a footing. Carrying them also works great for when a maid forgets a facecloth. This is something the maids at the Riu were champions at. They just couldn’t figure out the hand towel count and the face cloth count so be prepared. We left a tip daily and that didn’t help. There are small bottles of shampoo and bath gel provided along with soap.
The bus transfer to the Riu is long. They stop for a bathroom break and you can buy a beer there. This is a waste of time, another 20 min. and you’d be at the resort.
The room keys are the regular metal key attached to a key chain the size of a license plate. We took our own little key rings along and transferred the key to that for the week. A second key is available at the front desk at no charge.
The safe lock is a key kind also available at no charge
Transportation: Taxis are plentiful and available at the Taxi stand in the hotel. Prices are listed on the front of the taxi podium. We shared a taxi with another couple and went to Negril for a shopping trip followed by a visit to Rick’s Café for the cliff diving. It is a must see. Negril is small and all the shops have the same stuff and the same prices so you need not spend much time in town. Get to Ricks by 4:15pm if you want a good place to stand, after that the busses arrive and it is packed. We paid $10 each RT to shop and go to Ricks. If you want to shop, just wait until you go to the airport when you depart, there are plenty of shops where you can purchase tobacco, coffee, spices, shirts. Even a Harley Davidson store for those who ride.
The mini bar is stocked every other day. Water is provided. Two large bottles. It doesn’t last the two days. So we would fill our thermal mugs with water from the bar on our way to the room.
There was no noise from the road behind the blocks of rooms. Probably if you were trying to sleep in the daytime it would be disturbing, but at night it was quiet.
As stated in other reviews, there was definitely a lack of bathrooms around the beach area. There was one in Shadows restaurant and the other was off the lobby so it was quite a hike. The bathrooms were always clean.
There is one bar right on the beach.
The sunsets were awesome.
Check in was a nightmare, they are not organized at all. We were fortunate to have a room assigned right away. Some were not so fortunate. As for check out-it was one of the smoothest, quickest we ever experienced.
Cleanliness of the hotel and grounds: Excellent, they never stop cleaning and grooming
Staff helpful and friendly: By far the absolute best, The Jamaican people know how to make you feel welcome.
We have traveled to many destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean staying at Riu’s and other resorts. I rate this as one of the best destinations and one of the best resorts. I don’t’ know what the people who wrote the negative reports expected, this resort is top knotch and no one need worry about anything at the Riu, just relax and enjoy.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank bsunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BOLTON, CANADA
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2009

Stayed at the Riu Negril at the end of the beach! AWESOME!
There were the four of us friends that went January 22-30th, 2009...the weather was amazing the grounds, food and staff were great! the beach was clean and soft!
The alcohol you get in the rooms was always filled and topped up, which is always great! haha We did a day trip on the Sunset Cruise along the coastline of Negril along the way we saw some dolphins which was amazing, as well as we got to jump off the boat and swim into one of the caves to check out some bats, then continued on over to Ricks Cafe for an hour, watched the divers! crazy crazy! had some food, which by the way some of the reviews state the food was horrible we all thought is was great! the portions are a little small but great taste! on our way back to the resort we caught the sunset and saw a flying fish (first time ever for all of us!)...the days following we took another excursion over to the island which is about 10 minutes by boat, they apparently filmed some of Gilligans Island there (for those of you our age!), we saw eels, pelicans, live coral, sea crabs, sea cucumber, starfish and so much more it was cool.
I would recommend this resort for singles and couples or large groups!
Oh yah Crazy Devon we will find that dollar for ya in CANADA and send it to you! ;-)

Helpful?
7 Thank Rascalz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2009

This was a girls vacation. 4 of us.
This hotel was the best!! The staff, bartenders and entertainers some of the best we have ever seen, The food excellent!! One entertainer we especially liked was Superman. He is very talented in so many areas. Great fun to watch and look at at!!!!
We wish him and his wife the very best. They are moving to Italy. He'll be missed.
They are all wonderful and very good at everything they do. Multi-talented

I don't want to forget little Paul. bar aka singer. He has a beautiful voice and sang at night. Everyone was very friendly and made you feel welcome.

Downtown shopping was ok but you have to watch what they charge you. Some but not all will rip you off. A couple of us had a problem with them wanting to over charge so be on your toes. They will barter.
Over all we enjoyed our stay at the Riu Clubhouse. All 4 of us said we would go back.
We did a Cateraman trip with ScubaCaribe on the beach. They were so much fun.
Rick's Cafe was a dissappointment to me. I heard so much about it I guess I expected to much. Shop there was expensive. Bar or shop wouldn't give back change so they ripped you there. The diving was fun to watch.
The casino very small. Need to update machines.
Sophie took excellent care of our rooms. Always cleaned and fresh towels .
Nice rooms and big bathroom.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bernie4455
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2009

I really enjoyed this hotel, the activities offered were great for my husband and 12-year-old son, and myself. The animation staff were really entertaining. All other staff were very helpful and very friendly. As it was my first trip to Jamaica, I was pleasantly surprised at the friendliness and sense of humor of the staff and local people. The dancing that seemed to break out everywhere was a real treat! Definitely different that Cuba and Dominican, so a cultural experience.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BananaMan9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2009

We just got back from a 2 week vacation at the Riu Negril and will not go back. Upon arrival we were one of the lucky ones (or so we thought) that were given a room right away, check in was fast and friendly great first impression. Room was lovely, beach was nice on our 2nd night pre dinner the vendors were at the hotel (2x a week different vendors same stuff more or less) my kids wanted a souvenir my husband went to the room to get cash out of our LOCKED safe and the money was gone. I immediately went up thinking he didn't look in my money pouch in the safe, but the money was gone...$200US. Long story short management, security and police were called but nothing was really done, they did upgrade us to an ocean view room really just for my kids’ sake as they were scared. Management also admitted that there had been other reports, as he called it but insisted it was impossible because we had the only key, clearly this isn't the case. While in his office the book on his desk indicated that 3 other rooms(side by side) had complained of the same thing the week before, and having read others on the site this clearly happens here. From our experience we’re assuming they target a few rooms so most people aren't affected otherwise imagine the uproar. A few days later we saw the police again they told us that there had been another robbery that a room had been broken into as the sliding door had been left opened. We travel every year and nothing like this has ever happened to us before, sorry seeing the police due to robberies is not my choice for a hotel. We did make the best of it and overall had a good vacation however even without the theft wouldn’t rate this a 5*.

Room: Our first room didn't smell and the A/C worked fine however the 2nd room the air seemed to go off in the middle of the night we would wake up at 4am boiling and although we were on the third floor we were afraid of opening the sliding door because of the thefts, also we would wake up to the most horrible smell in the washroom every morning. We closed the vent and it did seem to help, once the air started up again the smell would go away, but not pleasant while trying to brush our teeth. So I guess it just depends on what room you get and it would explain why some people experience a problem with the A/C and smell and others don't. Also, it seemed the hotel couldn't handle full capacity 2nd week was March break and the one night we only had cold water, another barely any pressure and the following no water we called front desk and they said they were experiencing a problem and would have maintenance look into it, the problem was solved and didn’t occur again.

Food: Good not great but good, we did have grilled lobster which was good, the steakhouse was very good, didn't like Sir Andrews and it took forever and didn't care for the food, buffet was better. Lunch seemed to be the same food cooked the same way every day. We ate at the jerk hut almost every day. Dinners were better. Sat and Sun jerk hut is closed and the lunch place would be very crowded especially on the 2nd week. Again our experience 5* hotels usually have more food options, Luigi’s is useless pizza but that’s at the buffet every day.

Fitness Room: SUCKED, I understand that maybe not everyone wants to excercise on vacations HOWEVER, this place advertises itself as a 5* and that's what we paid for the gym didn't have airconditioning the equipment is very old and rusty very poor quality.

Beach: Very calm waters which we loved, great snorkelling, starfish, lobsters, sea urchins sting rays etc this is what saved the trip, the kids loved snorkelling and we appreciated the safety of the calm waters. The water was pretty clear the first week but the 2nd week murky I guess more people stirring up the sand? Only 2 washrooms one inside the lunch place Shadows which would be closest to the beach and the other was the lobby washroom closer to the pools very odd, no wonder the swim up bar got so bad they had to drain it...YUCK seriously some people. Also there was the worst smell you'd get at the beach bar and swim bar that smelled like rotting garbage, not always but it was horrible. As for the sand fleas I guess it all depends they loved my youngest daughter and I yet my husband and eldest only got the odd bite. We would leave the beach at 4pm everyday and still get bites. 2nd week it would get overcast everyday at noon, the clouds came later (3-4pm) on the 1st week not sure if this is common for this place or not. They ran out of beach towels a few times as well, again not typical of a 5* hotel.

We certainly made the best of it and overall had a good vacation but this place is NOT a 5* and with the thefts they clearly have security issues that need to be seriously addressed. We took our keys (room & safe) off of the plastic key chain w room key printed on it off and put it on our camera case...HELLO how stupid to have the room key on a key chain that advertises what room your staying in. This was our first Riu not sure if this one is an indication of what they’re all like but we will not be returning anytime soon. If you haven't booked I would seriously look into another chain if you have good luck on not being one of the weekly suckers to get robbed!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chicalaca1
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

Property: 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:
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#37 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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