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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 80 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 March 2012

This was my husband's and my second trip to RIU Tropical Bay, Negril and our 7th trip to Jamaica. We stayed in room 3206 for 10 fabulous days. We would have rather stayed in the room directly above us (3rd floor)-simply because the balcony was a bit more private, but our room and balcony was great as well. The resort is very beautiful, clean and well attended. The only issue we had was the toilet not wanting to flush, but I think this is a common problem in resorts by the sea. We called the front desk and they sent someone to fix it (although not straight away). Had to do this 3 time.
The beach is absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen anything as beautiful. I am usually not one to get into water (especially when there are other living creatures in it), but this water is so clear and warm one can't help themselves. We even took floating chairs with drink holders this year and other than a few bumps on the rear from some fish we had a great time. There are vendors that walk the beach constantly, including the infamous "Cigar, Cigarrette. It's gonna be hot ,hot ,hot..." guy. They usually don't bother you unless you look directly at them or wave your hands about as a signal to them. There seemed to be a lot of musicians this year, but almost all of them are extremely talented. They will even take requests. Just tip them a few dollars. If you don't want them to bother you just pretend you are sleeping until they pass. :)
The food was good. If you are looking for a gourmet experience, this is probably not the place for you. The buffet offered a great variety and you can even have a salad at breakfast if you want! Hubby frequented the Jerk hut. The Jerk chicken was also really good. Don't forget they do have room service. The raspberry cheesecake is excellent!
The drinks were great and you can take your own mug/cup/thermos and they will fill it up so you can make less trips to the bar and just chill on the beach.
I can't say too much about the pools because we spent all our time on the beach. They did look clean and had lots of people in them.
We took a trip into Negril using Dudley's Big Ship Tours and Transportation. He also took us to and from the airport. I highly recommend him and Peter-who works with him. Peter gave us a nice tour of Negril where we visited a small local bar called, "The Red Dragon". If you go, don't forget to take a license plate from your state. We grabbed a drink and some of the best jerk pork I have ever eaten.
We also toured a lighthouse and went to Rick's Cafe. I didn't care much for Rick's. I felt like we had been thrown into the middle of an MTV special when we walked through the gate. The sunsets at the resort were just as beautiful and the service was WAY better than at Rick's. Unless you are 18, going through midlife crisis or want to fight to get any change back I do not recommend this place.
Even though this is an adult's only resort, they had their share of tired, frustrated parents with small children. It was fine, though, because the resort is quite large and everyone had their own space, so no screams, cries and wails were heard for too long. The children could barely be heard as well. :D
For Transportation we used Dudley's Big Ship Tours and Transportation. Once again we highly recommend Dudly and Peter. Dudley kept in email contact with my husband a few weeks before we even left. He picked us up at the airport with an extremely AC cooled van. He also brought along a cooler full of red stripe (free) and loaned us a phone AND went with us to the Digicel store so we could purchase minutes (much cheaper than using Verizon!!). He also told us interesting info along the way so it was like getting a tour and transport to resort in one. Peter gave us a great tour around Negril. We even found out that one of his daughters lives not far from us! Dudley also drove us back to the airport for our departure. When I say that both of these men were kind and put me at ease within a minute of meeting them-I truly mean it. I felt like I had known them for some time-kind of like meeting back with a cousin or family member. I even noticed when we were back at the airport, Dudley made sure we had someone to help us with our suitcases and waited in his car, watching, until we were safely inside!! To me that's just good old Southern Hospitality! We will definetly be using them again. If you are interested here is Dudley's email: duds24@hotmail.com
We had a wonderful time in JA again. The people are kind and very open and friendly. I do think that you must remember that you are in a different country and things and people are NOT going to be the same as what you are used to. If they were it wouldn't be a vacation.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Islandwoman40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,889 - 2,893 of 5,370 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2012

We've stayed at the the RIU in Aruba & it was great but this RIU had the best customer service, fun, and clean beach i've ever seen! The entertainment staff was great at saying hi every day and making sure we always had something to do or a show to watch. The food was not all that good but there is a delicious jerk chicken shack on the beach of the resort where you can get lunch. We asked the front desk, upon check in, for buildings 3 or 4 which we learned were in the best location from trip advisor and they made it happen. A lot of the ocean front rooms are blocked by trees but rooms 4314 & 4315 are 2 that are not and it is worth the money to wake up to that view every morning! The bartenders were great, specifically Kennel, Sharon, and Richard!!!! They always entertained us & took good care of us. The overall experience was amazing, not the food. The nightly shows are pretty good! There was one based around the history and culture of Jamaica with great dancing and a Michael Jackson show that we loved! There is also a great Reggae band performance one night. Definitely get the Miami Vice drink there- combo of straw daqu & pina colada! Yummy!!! Water in the Sea there is turquoise & it is hard to find a place where you can't see to the bottom-so clean & gorgeous!!!

Room Tip: A lot of rooms have 2 double beds pushed together, it's fine, the rooms are super clean and bett...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank tanvi k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

My wife and I staid at Riu Jamaica from March 21 to March 25, 2012.
Being a person who usually looks at the empty half of a glass, I could not find anything to complain about at that place. They just got it all right.
Rooms are in great shape, super clean, tastefully designed, with nothing that would be old looking. Very specious. Most importantly, every thing in the room was working: TV, shower, toilet, lights – everything. Very comfortable beds.
Beach is great and clean! Less than a minute walk from the room. Water is clear and calm most of the time and gets deeper very gradually which would be a great advantage if we came there with kids.
The beach is not overcrowded at all. Plenty of shaded space and you have no need to get up at 6AM to reserve yourself a spat.
Their water activities kept us busy every day.
Food is very good in the buffet and the buffet is super specius and nicely decorated. You simply do not run into other people like in other places when you go to eat.
Special restaurants are definitely worth to visit.
And the best part - the employees. We did not meet people like these in any other place we visited. We fell in love with every one of them. Seriously, they make you feel so welcomed, and you can feel that they do it not just for you tips. And believe me, we tipped happily until we ran out of cash.
We are definitely coming back with kids again.

Room Tip: We paid extra 200 for a water front room. Think it was worth it.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Ben B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Our family just returned from a fabulous trip to Jamaica.The hotel is located on a beautiful sandy beach on the Bloody Bay.My husband ,myself and three grown children spent many hours waisting away again at the beach and pool. The rooms were clean and the beds hard. There was always plenty of food but none of it that great to eat. We did like the chicken on the beach and the Steakhouse and Italian Restaurants.The staff was friendly and helpful.
We loved the Wildthing Catamaran Tour. We went on the boat, snorkled on a reef, rode horses and had lunch. It was expensive but worth every penny.
Our airport transfers and touring was all done through Big Ships Transportation and Tours.The owner Dudley Warren is fabulous. He met us at the airport in his bus with cold beers.. We later used him on our own tour. He took us in his van to Jimmy Buffet's,shopping , to see where the locals live. and to Ricks Cafe.Dudley is knowledgable of the people and history of Jamaica.

Room Tip: Get a room not near the central part of the hotel or near the road.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank joan r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

This was our 1st time to Jamaica and we chose Negril because research showed it had the better beaches of the island. The beach was awesome and the best we have ever seen. The Riu Palace also has the best portion of the beach and I don’t think you can find a better stretch on the seven miles of sand.

Had an ocean front suite for a room and it was great. It has a Jacuzzi tub and canopy bed. The bed was an actual king bed but was a little firm however we slept well. We do highly recommend an ocean front room and go with the suite if you can afford it. The suites are all ocean front rooms on the corners of the buildings and you can’t go wrong with the location of these rooms. Some online websites show the suites as ocean view which is incorrect, they are ocean front.

Drinks are awesome, top quality and not watered down. Ask for them how you would like them and they will oblige. Breakfast buffet was good and had cooking stations so you can get fresh omelets, eggs, pancakes and French toast. Very fresh and large selection of breads and fruits as well as many other choices. Lunch at the jerk hut is awesome, don’t miss it. We went to the dinner buffet once and it had a large selection but was average at best for dinner buffet quality however we only went once and they change selection on different nights. The food was fresh and plentiful it just didn’t match our pallets that night. Went to the alacartes on the other nights and loved the Steak House and Japanese restaurants the best. You can make reservations for 3 nights and then need to use them before making more. We went to the lobby at 8:00 am on 2 days and did not have to wait in line to make reservations. We did end up at the 9:00 pm sittings on 3 out of 4 nights but did not have an issue with this. I recommend eating at all of these restaurants. We also used room service twice and it was delivered in less than 15 minutes each time.

Shopping – while on the beach a few people will come by selling goods and ganja. I simple “no thanks” and they will not bother you. A few will stop to play music which we enjoyed. Down the beach between the 2 Riu resorts there are several stands with stuff for sale and they are more aggressive with the ganja and more however it was easily manageable. They won’t waste their time if they no they won’t make the sale. There is a seldom but occasional walking patrol of by to police. If you hit this beach shopping area behind the police patrol you will not be offered anything other than legal goods. Went shopping at the board walk as well and it was more of the same. We actually found the best shopping at the airport on the way out as the quality was consistent and they were not pushy. Prices seamed comparable to what we had incurred in Negril.

Tipping is not required but is a good thing to do. We always tipped $1 to $5 depending on the service. We took a pile of $2 bills and they were a big hit. Service was always great and did not seam any lower for those who did not tip. Staff was all great, nice and pleasant.

I would recommend the Riu Palace and feel it is a best value for Negril based on the rate I received through US Air.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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11  Thank Paul W
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
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
#13 Spa Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#15 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price Range: ₹ 17,914 - ₹ 41,235 (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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