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Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay
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Reviews (5,628)
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Reviewed 16 May 2012

May 7th -May 14th

I Just want to start off by saying this is the 4th Riu ive been to, 2nd Riu ive been to in Jamaica.

This Riu Does not Compare to other Rius and is certainly not a Palace.

Check In: I arrived at 11am and the room was not ready i checked back at the front desk every half hour and was told to come back after 2pm , after 2 pm we checked back again and we were told the room was available but not cleaned at this point we were already sitting around for 3 hrs so we wanted to get our bags to the room anyway. I booked an oceanview Junior Suite , the balcony over looked the lunchroom. so i went back to the front desk and asked to have the room switched to make a long story short we cvhenged our rooms 6xs and did not get what we paid for in addition to that after so many hours our going back and forth we were so fed up that every oceanview room they showed us had a tree or something blocking the ocean there was no oceanviews unless you had a jacuzzi suite and even that was a partial view . My BF paid for us to go to an ocean front room it was on the 3rd floor and had a tree in the way also but it was more of an oceanview then the other 5 rooms. so 4 hours and 250.00 latter we had a room and a decent view. aggravated much on the first day ? ugh yeah

Pool: Never went in it once its small and dirty and with a beach like that who needs a pool

Food: Breakfast was always great , Lunch Sucked always!, dinner buffet was OK , sepcialty rest. are much better ! Room Service is very limited , and there are times in which there is no food available aside from 5 items on the rtoom sevrice menu this is when they transition from breakfast to lunch from lunch to dinner.
( right down the beach there is a man who will cook you fresh lobster on his grill for about 30.00 per person ) best meal there!

Beach: This is what made the trip amazing the beach is amazing the sunsets are epic and the water is still AND BATH WARM ( beach peddlers are annoying but a simple no thank you and they are on there way , the beach & sunsets made this vacation without that this place is a dump !

Location: amazing ! but next time def staying on 7 mile beach instead

Service : Service was good always with a smile and always on time.

Room: always cleaned daily & some nights had turn down service , fridge always restocked , a.c. worked good , flat screen t.v. , Alarm clocks were always going off and time was always wrong.

* note * bring bug spray : the mosquitos are ridiculous especially at the beach at night i have 36 bites to be exact lol !

*note * Bring floats, snorkles , and lots of SPF they dont provide this and they can be bought but its very exspensive in the shops on the resort

Jacuzzi: is part of the pool and is NOT HOT !

This resort is not a typical RIU let alone a RIU PALACE , I LOVE JAMAICA this is my 5th trip to the island however i will not be going back to the resort EVER ! BUT i will def return to NEGRIL !

Not worth the money you can stay else where for less money and eat real JAMAICAN FOOD

** JAMAICA ESPECIALLY NEGRIL is SAFE !! *** Go out and see the island do not stay on the resort , go to the other beaches, eat in town , walk around and have fun , talk to people and enjoy the real jamaica !!!

Ricks Cafe : This is a must ! Cliff Diving is amazing me and my bf both did it ! Def worth it ! it is scary but its a great experience !

Mayfield Falls: 1.5 miles of trekking through the river/falls this is quite a drive from the resort but well worth it amazing time & experience !

Jungle Night club: It is HUGE ! and nice but too commercial is you as me

American Pie Night club: This is a real Local Party ! def a great time wayyy better than JUNGLE

I Love JAMAICA always have & always will ! but the resort SUCKED ! Spend your $$$ elsewhere =) you wont regret it !! yeah mon !!!! 1 love <3

Room Tip: No oceanview is an ocenaview!!! do not be fooled ! if its not a honeymoon /jacuzzi suite every room has a tree in the way of your view ... best block is the 1000 block 1st floor and has the best view for sunsets ... i was in the 4000 block paid extra and had a huge tree in the way of everything !
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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12  Thank BklynluvJa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

I know this was a long time ago April 2010 but thought I should do a review (Note- I didn't travel June 2011 but this was the oldest one I could choose since April 10 wasn't an option)- it was my first All Incl hol & our honeymoon so maybe I'm biased but we thought it was fantastic! Would definately stay at a Riu again, Jamaicans very cheerful although couldn't help thinking they preferred Americans probably coz they tip everything! Couldn't fault room, hotel, food etc and even had Champagne breakfast every morn! If you like your food you'll love this for choice & variety. If I wanted to be picky (which I don't) they didn't fix our optic in our room and refill one of the bottles but this didn't matter as you could have anything you wanted at the pool, bar, restaurant etc and take it to your room. Never done a review before so hope this has helped.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lisa5544
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

We had a terrific stay at Riu Palace and the staff was wonderful. We conacted the resort by email and Elaine at the front desk took great care of us! She arranged a taxi ride to and from the resort that met us at the airport. Jackson was a great taxi driver and person! Very safe. You can also take a bus from the airport and back that is cheaper. Taxis are $100 each way for up to four people and the bus is $25 each way per person. We loved getting recommendations from Jackson (that's his last name) and that made our stay so much more enjoyable.

Food at the resort is OK. But it's hot and there's plenty of it. People traveling Gluten-free will find plenty of food to choose from and the chefs are very helpful. The restaurants that you had to reserve were better. The website doesn't say this, but men need to bring a pair of pants in order to enter two of the reserved restaurants. Sleeved shirts are mentioned on the website, but nothing about pants.

We took the snorkeling excursion that the hotel offered and it was a superb time! Swimming the reefs and seeing such beautiful fish, sea cucumbers, sea stars, cannons, etc. was incredible. We definately recommend it!

Anyone who isn't a 20 something who wants to jump off a cliff and drink yourself silly will probably not find Rick's worth going to. We went with a shopping and Rick's tour and hired a taxi to take us back early because it was hot, sunny and it took over an hour to get our order taken at the restaurant. If you do go to Ricks wear a bathing suit because you'll be going at sunset and the sun is brutal there. You may just want to get wet and then order a lot of drinks so that you're not waiting for a waitress. :)

The zipline tour (booked at the hotel) and river tubing package was awesome! We loved getting to explore the jungle, the turquoise colored, limestone river and waterfall. The tour guides were very easy to get along with and made lots of jokes. We had a great time!

I hope that this review helps others. We LOVED the resort. It was clean, well maintained, beautiful (the pictures online do NOT do it justice), relaxing, entertaining and beyond expectations! We visited some of the other resorts in the area as the tours picked up people and they were not nearly as nice. The Grand Paladium was in poor shape, not a nice beach and so large that you needed a golf cart to get from your room to the lobby. This resort was heaven and we will definately recdommend it to everyone.

Room Tip: Ocean view is better than ocean front because the sun doesn't shine directly into the windows of ocean front rooms all afternoon. :)
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

I am just going to throw some stuff out not in order.

Front desk people were great. The internet went out with 3 days left. You only can get wireless internet in the lobby bar area. They said someone was on the way to fix it and 3 days later nothing. Not their fault.

Rooms. We had a lower Ocean view 1007 right in front of the scuba craribe place. Noisy in the morning from them talking but we were up at 8-8:30 so no issues. We did have 2 twin beds butted up to each other. We also had issues with hand towels and wash clothes. I always just went back out the door and asked the maids for some and we got them. I think they are short on the because they never had any on their carts.Rooms were always cleaned when we got back from the beach and we always had turn down service when we came back from dinner, show and drinks.

Food. Dinner buffet always had the same favs and a new ones to add each night. They had a theme night at the buffet each night. When you find a good waiter stick with them and sit in the same area each night and they will get to know what you want and how much and when then you never have to ask. Food was good could of been hotter for something’s. They had grilled Lobster tails the last night we were there which was a Friday night. Didn't lack any cheese has so much. Jerk shack is a must for lunch. Right there on the beach. Don't get there to late it goes quick. It's from 12-3. We ate at the Krystals it was ok. Got the Lamb and it was tough and my wife got the Beef with Mushroom sauce and she said it was great. We also did the Italian and it was better then what the menu says. Starters you get a cold and a hot bar. You go to the back where the hot bar is and they had an awesome spread. I rather have eaten the hot bar than anything else. If you have a chance do the Italian.

Pool. Went there one day so we can relax in the shade and not to deal with Vendors from the beach. You can find chairs anytime of the day with and Umbrella. One pool was murky because it was the pool everyone used so it has sun block in it that's what gives it the murky and the other pool is for volleyball. Never seen anyone playing so I just don't know why they just didn't take down the net. The one day we were the the waitress service was lacking. Out of all the places I have been for service for drinks this is maybe the worst one. We been to Cancun 4 times. DRx2, PVx2. We stayed at the RIU in Cancun and this one in Negril can't touch that one by a mile. I recommend you bring a big thermos cup and they will fill it with ever you wanted that's the way to go.

Beach. One of the best beaches. Had plenty of shade trees. Crystal blue water and clean. We walked down to the other RIU and their beach was dirty and not so nicely laid out as the Palace. The other RIU had bigger pools to but MANY kids. This RIU had some but not many and not party annoying kids. The first few days no service on the beach and then the last 3 they would hound us if we wanted a drink which was great. No shells on the beach and clean. Good tip, come out around 5 and get in the ocean and that's when all the Star fish come out of the sand and you can pick up hundreds of them. Most are small and no bigger than your hand. You can get snorkel equip. from Scuba Caribe place for a $25 deposit. It's worth it if they haven't rented them all out. On a good sunny day you can see everything underwater for 100 yards. We seen many fish just swimming around and they are more afraid of you then you are of them so no worries. We seen some stingrays also not to big but on the first day we seen one the size of a small car. That was cool but like I said they won't hurt you. The worst part of the beach is the Vendors. They sell everything from Purses, Smokes, Weed, dresses, Etc. They stay close to the water because they can't come any closer. We were told that every beach in Negril is not a private beach. There are security guards on the beach and they never do anything it's because every beach in Negril is Public but they can't come up to you or they can get arrested. Just wave your hand and say no thanks.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good place to stay it's here. Good people good Price. Is searched for months before I decided here. I was happy with my choice in the end. We always regret not staying at a RIU after we stay at other places.

OhYea, Bring a float for the beach no waves just from the jet skies. Get the ones with all the bubbles in it and not the tube ones.. Easy to roll up and more comofortable. People were asking for our floats all week. They liked ours better then theirs. Now book your trip and stop looking!!!

Room Tip: Spa Was way over prices never tried it.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank jcnyky75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We usually stay at the Clubhouse in Ocho Rios but wanted to try Negril this year. So glad we did!! We had the most amazing time! We use Dudley's Big Ship Tours for airport transportation - fantastic!- beat the buses and was given a free upgrade from oceanview to oceanfront just for asking. Thanks Andrew! We were in building 1, at the end which was just want I wanted - quietness! We stayed at the beach right in front of our room - it was so private. We always had towels, turn down service and our room was wonderful - rm1111. I could have done without the young partiers next door, but once they were asked not to play very loud music at 6:30 am, all was good. We enjoyed the food at the buffet. In the am, sit outside in Damon's section and in the pm, sit in Kemor's. Both are wonderful! Steak House and Italian restaurant were good - didn't go to the other's. Enjoyed the piano bar in the evenings. Take the snorkel trips! On Friday, they took us to a pirate boat wreak. The cannon and anchor are still there. I had the most wonderful trip. I don't understand how anyone could not like this resort. Again, I grew up in the hospitality business and am happy to tip those that help me. Maybe that is way we never went without. I thoughly enjoyed have cocktail service at every bar. Tony and Grant's staff were wonderful. I don't think we will ever go back to Ocho Rios after this trip. I am sold! I will say, don't go here is you are with a younger crowd, you will be bored. I wanted an relaxed vacation and this is want I got.

Room Tip: no elevators. If you have walking problems (I do), chose the first floor. Buildings 3 and 4 are closet to everything - but nosier. Building 1 is very private and still has good views.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jazzycatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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