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“Wonderful vacation!!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay

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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
Ranked #20 of 84 Hotels in Negril
Certificate of Excellence
De Pere, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Wonderful vacation!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Just returned from our family vacation at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay and had a wonderful time! We traveled with our two children age 10 and 15.

We were impressed from the moment of check in. The staff is amazingly helpful and quickly attended to any need or question we had. Quick and efficient check in and were quickly brought to our room. We were in building 4, room 4311, oceanfront view. Yes, there are trees that partially block your view of the ocean but it is still worth it. Plenty of room for the four of us. Rooms are well maintained and room service was perfect. If we needed anything they were quick to bring it to us. We did not use the safe as we travel with our own but I did hear another guest say theirs was broken into. Room service was within 10 minutes and they even deliver at odd times to accommodate flights etc. The only downfall of the room was the very hard mattress. They do need to upgrade the mattresses. We had two double beds and asked to have them tied together, which was quickly done. One night our neighbor was enjoying a bit of the local smoke and our room smelled. A staff person quickly asked if we would like to change rooms and started to get us a new room. We declined and just aired the room out for a bit but was greatly impressed at the concern and the handling of the situation.

The beach was amazing! Beautiful and warm. Always chairs available and a little bit of ocean life. A few resident sting rays, fish and crabs. Not much to see snorkeling but it was wonderful. Lots of locals selling their wares on the beach but everyone is very respectful and a no thank you is always respected and they walk away. We had noted a lot of people complaining that the bar and restroom were too far from the beach but we did not find this a problem. This is a smaller resort and everything is pretty close. Pools were adequate and most often chairs available there also. Really had no issues with either the pool or the beach. Warning to traveling with kids. We love to walk the beach but if you go to the left too far the kids will get a lesson as there is a nude beach there. Great conversation opportunities on drugs and the nude beach ;) Not issues if you just talk to your kids.

Food is good. Buffet is better than most all inclusive resorts we have been to. There was always something for everyone. We had no problems whatsoever making reservations at the restaurants. We went to the steak house and the Italian. Both were good. If you are expecting five star fine dining you won't get it but no issues really and it was good. The resort wine they serve we did not care for however the staff was wonderful to go get anything we wanted from the bar. Chad would even deliver it on his head! Thanks Chad for the wonderful entertainment!

Entertainment at night was good and the staff worked really hard. If you engaged in the entertainment you were rewarded with a lot of laughs. This resort was not a party resort and after the entertainment most of the resort was pretty quiet which suited our family vacation perfectly. On some nights they had locals that brought in their goods to sell. This was great to get your souvenirs. We even mentioned that we were looking for something in particular which he did not have however two nights later he came back with it and for a great price!

We opted to get our own transfer from the airport after reading reviews on TripAdvisor and we very happy we did. We contacted Dudley Warren from Big Fish Tours from others reviews and were very pleased. The trip was great and we didn't have to wait for a bus to get to the resort. We did transfers with Dudley to and from the airport and after meeting him we also had him pick us up for an excursion. We did one other excursion booked through the hotel and wished we would have called Dudley to take us instead. Contact Dudley for any travel needs in Jamaica, it was worth it! He can be reached at duds24@hotmail.com Dudley even sent an email to see if we got home safe!!! Thanks for a great trip Dudley!!!

For excursions we went to Rick's Cafe and a nearby lighthouse. We did this with Dudley and he stopped at some local points for us and also Margaritaville. We liked being able to see local things we would not normally get to see. Rick's Cafe and Margaritaville was fun. Lighthouse was beautiful and the little shop Dudley took us too had fabulous breads and little "pies". We also went to see the crocodiles and YS falls. Both very nice.

We had a wonderful vacation and would definitely go back again!

Room Tip: We were in building 4 and it was the perfect location.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Mrsmmz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,183)
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

We had a great time at this resort. Third time to Jamaica, MB and Ochos Rios, our other destinations. Would only return to Negril now. We are usually devoted "pool people" but the beach here has us spending several days on it. Our room on the third floor of building 3 had an great view of the sunset, spent every evening with a drink on our balcony. Were treated very well by all the employees and met some wonderful people from Canada and Wisonsin. If you need a dependable cab driver by all means call Gary at [--] He was dependable and reasonable

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mike D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnt Green, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

Lovely time, hotel on beach. Much better part of the bay than the other rui. Food very nice, entertainment not so good though. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JOwens6060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MD
Level Contributor
109 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

This is my second trip the the Riu Tropical Bay which is now a "Palace" and my third trip to Jamaica. This hotel has been renovated, but the renovations were limited. I expected this hotel to appear much newer than the last time I was here. I think the renovations were mostly to the lobby area and pool.

Nevertheless, the resort was very clean and the beach still has one of the nicest bays around. The water does not have a drop of seaweed and you can float forever. We pack a float, inflate it for the week and just leave it at the resort when we are through. I recommend this as the resort does not have floats.

The dining room service is superior and the food is inconsistent. Some items are terrific and some miss the mark by quite a bit. They don't seem to use garlic, so Italian food falls quite flat. The seafood stews and plantains are terrific and lobster night is great. There were no lines or waiting.

We traveled during the last week of February and the weather was in the 80's most of the time with showers on and off. Only one shower was strong enough to send everyone running for cover during the day.

I give them 4 stars for the service, cleanliness and beach, but 3 stars when it comes to the condition of the furniture in the rooms and dining room. Things are starting to look a little worn. If you are looking for a tranquil vacation, ask for one of the rooms away from the pool area. If you prefer a beach chair under shade, then you need to stake your claim early in the morning with your towel. The coffee is fabulous, but bring your own chocolate!

Room Tip: For quiet - a room away from the pool. I like the second floor. With children you might want to ha...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank sharonatoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarksburg, WV
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Islandwoman40
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
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
#11 Luxury Hotel in Negril
#12 Spa Hotel in Negril
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Negril
#14 Family Hotel in Negril
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Negril
#21 Romantic Hotel in Negril
Price range (per night): ₹ 18,342 - ₹ 38,782
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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