No longer worth every dime.
Our room was musty, the bathroom toliet was not operating correctly and as a result, we woke up to our hotel room floor soaking wet.
The Steakhouse wait time was ridiculous and the food was awful. Don't bother ordering room service everything is pre made and served cold.
I wrote a letter addressing several other issues last week but no one has acknowledged receiving my email as of yet.
Don't waste your money on this place. I will be returning to Negril in 2017 but I will not be "wasting my time or dime at this resort."
I went with my sister in law to Negril for some sun + relax and we realy enjoyed our stay. But I have to say that this was the fisrt time that we had so much rain during the day time. For the first 3 days, every afternoon it rained and not just for 15 minutes as usualy seen elsewhere. After, for the rest of our stay, it got better. One of the best thing about this hotel was the GREAT FOOD !!! Everything was delicious. We were in bloc no.6 and the room was very nice and also close to everything. I can't finish my review without telling you to be carefull if you buy a catamaran outing. We were told by the guy that works at the hotel for sunwing that if the weather wasn't good, the captain would turn around or cancel the trip. Well nothing of the kind happened. We were in the middle of the ocean with pooring rain, thunder and lightning and they told us that we had 30 minutes to go snorkling !!!! Crazy people !!! And when we got back to the hotel, the same guy that sold us the trip, was sorry but not refund possible. So be ware berfore you buy anything.
Let me first say that if I had listened to the negative reviews about this place, I would have missed out! We were a group of couples/friends that visited from 7/6-7/10. The only time it rained was during our ride in from the airport and during check in. It did not rain the entire time we were there. The check in process was smooth and we received rum punch shots while we waited. I requested to be near our friends and they made that happen.
The room was clean--no stains on the furniture (inside or out). I did notice that one of the bathroom sink faucets was loose as well as the bathroom door knob. Also, the tub was a little much to get in and out of (especially after a few drinks)! Other than that, everything was fine. I took the advice of bringing a small magnet to hold down the shower curtain. The safe came in very handy and we had no problems with it. Our room was cleaned before we returned from breakfast each day by a nice lady. We left her a couple of dollars each day.
We also tipped our bartenders, but never felt obligated to do so. All staff members we encountered were very pleasant. Weed is available if you want it and I donât mean just from the beach vendors! People were definitely smoking on their balconies. We mainly ate at the buffet for all our meals and that was fine. I tried to stick to Jamaican dishes as we were in Jamaica, right?! Not bad but did need some seasoning. This was to be expected since we were at an All Inclusive and they have to consider everyone. No problem mon! One night we ate at the âItalianâ restaurant, but went straight to the buffet after that! I was a bit disappointed that Ackee and saltfish were on the menu for Saturday, but it was never served. That dish is a must when visiting Jamaica.
The pools looked nice enough, but we stuck with the beach, which was beautiful. We used the big umbrellas from the room closets for the beach. Since we spent most of our time in the water, umbrellas werenât a necessity. Vendors werenât an issue for me as I know how to ignore people. Management should really consider revamping nightly entertainment. Don't get me wrong, the entertainment staff was great, but sometimes you just want to dance the night away. This resort is not for that. We still made our own fun though (smiles)!! Overall, we had a great stay and met some nice people.
**Forgot to mention that we booked a zip lining excursion through the Chukka desk. Driver was awesome and informative. Zip lining was VERY AWESOME!
We also visited a local night club called The Jungle on "ladies night" and it was indeed...very interesting watching the pimp and prostitutes interact with tourists LOL. We took a hotel taxi, but were not charged full price and our drivers even waited for us at the club. Fun experience!
We could not fault the staff all friendly and helpful if you needed help. Food plentiful but a bit repetitive same thing for lunch every day ! Even the specialist restaurants had a very small menu . If your there for two weeks it gets very boring . The beach is lovely , the bay is calm and relaxing , plenty of sun loungers around the resort but umbrellas are limited and non on the beach only trees for shade.
Now the downside only one lot of toilets by the restaurants, which is supposed to cater for the beach, pools and restaurants, which as its a fairly long walk from the beach and pool over hot tiling people do not seem to use them !! Hence the very hot and dirty water in the main pool which has a bar lots of drinking going on but not many people vacating to use the toilets ! This is very alarming. There is constant noise from music playing by the pool. It is so set up for Americans and Canadians .
Would we go again NO .would we go to another riu as we were told they are all the same build and vibe so again the answer would be NO
Overall this hotel is great! We stayed from July 3-10 for a friends wedding
Arrival: Its about 90 mins from the airport, we grabbed a few beers for the trip and they stopped halfway at a small bar for us to stock up again.
Check In: Check in was about the easiest and friendliest I have ever had, you are greeted with a drink and the receptionists are pros, they gave us a quick rundown of everything we need to know and were on our way to our room in 3 minutes.
Room: The room is decent, what you would expect, not too flashy but still very nice. Our friends in the room above us had to change their room a few times, first due to a strong sewage smell (which seemed to be a problem for alot of rooms) and then again because nothing in their room worked (TV, AC, Safe). Our room occasionally had a slight sewage smell in the mornings but we were never in the room anyway. Rooms came with mini fridge (Water, Tonic Water, Coke, Sprite and Beers that were restocked daily). They also came with a liquor dispenser with 4 liquors (Ours had Jamaican Brandy, Scotch, Rum and Smirnoff Vodka).
Beach/Pools: Beach was fantastic! By far the best beech at any resort I have ever been too. Usually we dont spend as much time in the ocean but we did here because it was amazing sand and turquoise water with colourful fish, starfish and the occasional sting ray (They seemed familiar with humans and kept their distance but very very cool to see). Sometimes Jellyfish would come in at night, but we only heard of a couple people getting stung (2 in our group).The Pools were ok, not very big or deep so they got hot fast. One had a swim up bar (Andrew at the Swim Up bar is the best, made us tons of shots and sang songs/drinking chants for them all) and one a volleyball net, the one with volleyball stayed cooler cause less people were in it.
Food: The main Buffet (Breakfast/Dinner) was outstanding! Never a shortage of Bacon, which has been an issue at other resorts Ive been too. Tons of selection of already made foods and cooking stations. The staff was very attentive and nice. The lunch buffet is at the Steakhouse (they close down the main buffet for lunch) and it was ok, not nearly as good as the main buffet and the food here left our group feeling a bit off on occasion.
A la Carts: We tried all of them during our stay, you can book 2 days in advance for either a 6:30pm or 8:30pm reservation (we only ever got 8:30 because 6:30 filled fast). The Japanese restaurant was ok, food was decent but our main server was very short with us and fairly rude, which left us with mixed feelings about that place. The Fusion restaurant was by far our favourite, many choices and they were all outstanding (especially the Lobster Risotto). We had the steakhouse booked for the wedding dinner and it was pretty good, the lobster looked good but both people at our table who ate it got sick. The New York Steak was enormous and very good, there seems to be some sort of big problem at this place at night though as most people were complaining of bug bites all meal. The Italian place was our least favourite, decent appetizer buffet but the main course and desert were not great.
Entertainment: The Animation staff were very good, very friendly and encouraging in getting involved in games, the crazy games around the pool were always very fun to participate in and watch. They also put on a decent show at night, nothing spectacular but what we have come to expect while on vacation. After the show though there isnât much going on and the bars close down leaving only the lobby bar open the rest of the night. Some of our group went to the other riu at night and said its a great party â DJ, Band and video dance party at their âSports Barâ.
Activities: Lots of stuff to do at this resort, especially on the water. You can take out paddleboards, hobby cats and kayaks all for free. The animation staff would also get a few other games going like Bean Bag Toss and Horseshoes.
Shops/vendors: If you smoke weed this is the place for you! Literally every person sells it or can run to someone to get it (alot say they are the farmer but I doubted it, make sure you check it out before you pay, they sell some seedy stuff to tourists). They walk up and down the beach offering pretty much anything you could need but will take no for an answer. There are many shops between The Riu Palace and Riu Negril, I highly recommend checking them out. You can get a handmade souvenir (they are usually making them as you walk by), beers, fresh from the ocean lobster and Fresh from the farm Aloe.
Other Riu: We went to this one once (to get a beer after walking through all the shops) and even though the pool looks nice we did not like it (the palace wrist bands mean you can go to this resort but they cannot come to ours). The pool was filthy and reeked of sewage and there were way too many unsupervised kids running around and jumping in and splashing the pool bar... we left this place quick!
Excursions: Some of the excursions seemed a bit pricey, our friends did the catamaran tour to Ricks Cafe for $60 USD a person and they loved it. Open bar on the trip, they also stopped at some caves and went snorkling then to Rickâs Cafe. We just hired a cab from the resort to Ricks Cafe that was $11 USD a person and it was worth it, even though we found out when we got there that Ricks will pick you up and drop you off for free from any location in Negril. But either way it was an amazing place, jump from the low or high ledges all you want for free. You can also watch the divers go from their perch. Its free to get in, you just pay for your beers but the prices are fair (5 Red Stripes and 5 Shooters in a Bucket for $25USD). If you have the chance go here! It was raining and still a blast and one of the coolest places we have ever swam. A huge thunderstorm hit while we were there and we got to watch some insane lightning strikes in the ocean from the bar.
Wedding: It was our friends wedding and they seemed to like it all. I think the wedding coordinator let them down as they were not happy with her at the end. The wedding was on the beach under and arch, they gave us a private room in the steakhouse for dinner and lit a bonfire on the beach for the reception as well as setting up a great bar and speakers for dancing.
One of the wedding party guests did have $600USD and her IPod stolen from her room because she did not lock it in the safe, and last we heard management really didnt care at all about it.
All in all it was a great trip other than a few minor issues, which were mainly plumbing. The toilets had some trouble flushing and the showers would go hot/cold alot. We lost power for a bit after a huge storm but that is understandable.
Shout out to Fudge, that maniac can move! FUDGE FUDGE FUDGE FUDGE