Historical Traveller Reviews of ClubHotel Riu Negril
from A TripAdvisor Member
Ok folks here is the scoop. If you like cheap vacations this is a place to go. You will get what you pay for (I certainly did).
-bad food (just like a college cafeteria), please don't listen to other folks, I will give Las Vegas buffes 5 star rating comare to this @#$%
-drinks are pretty crapy .... stay with the Red Stripe
- shows are very very bad; take a walk along the ocean instead
Best Hotel I Have Ever Been To!
from A TripAdvisor Member
I have been to almost all the hotels in negril and RIU is the most beautiful.
The staff were very friendly, the food was great, there were more that enough TOWELS.
The only thing was the beach, it's not as nice as the other 7 miles of powder white sand that ends just before Riu.
In July my boyfriend and I went with FORTY family and friends for a wedding. Everyone had a great time.
Some complain about the beach, but we just went to another beach. The hotel manager was great if we needed anything extra.
We are all heading back in 2005 for another wedding at Riu.
Good TImes at the Riu Negril
from A TripAdvisor Member
I will provide my response to some of the previous comments
Travel to Jamaica on Charter Airlines such as Air Transat: You will not have adequate legroom, adequate legroom does not exist on a charter. A suggestion: Upgrade to first class on the charter or fly on a scheduled airline that will probably not have sufficient legroom either.
Staff: We had an incident on the first evening when one of the waiters was upset that we had sat down in his section (it was close to closing time) He had a hissy fit, which is unacceptable, however, the Maitre D apologized, etc. For the rest of our stay, all staff were efficient. We were evacuated early due to Hurricane Ivan, the staff worked diligently throughout all of that.
Tipping: It appears that the Jamaicans are more aggressive re tipping than people from other Caribbean destinations. This is a turnoff, however, we were never harassed by waiters/bartenders for tips. Don’t tip if you don’t want to, but $1 USD goes a long way. I suggest that you tip up front and you will receive good service throughout your holiday. Some people go to an all inclusive, eat 3 plus meals a day, have numerous drinks throughout the day, have their beds made for a week – and don’t leave ANY tips. Can you get service like this at home? I felt sorry for the Riu bellboys who had to drag heavy luggage up flights of stairs without an elevator…I hope they install service elevators s oon.
Food: Who can complain about lobster, crab and shrimp tempura buffets. Greasy breakfasts—well bacon and sausages are usually greasy.
Beach: Not as much of a horror as one would expect from the reviews. There is some seaweed and it is not up to the standard of Tahiti. But Jamaica is not Tahiti.
Activities Team: Works long and hard hours. (Hey, why don’t ya think of slipping them a tip as well?) The nightly entertainment was good. The dancers work their tails off. Remember, you are not paying BIG USD per ticket to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas!
5 Star Rating: This is a 5 star rating in Jamaica – not New York City. Jamaica is not a first world country.
Towels: We also had an issue with the towels that was quite annoying. We “complained” at the front desk and asked the maid about this. This is due to problems with having enough clean towels for the hotel, which is not acceptable. FYI, outside of North America, many countries do not use face cloths.
Buses: Definitely not first class, however, you are not in Tokyo.
Beverages: The wine was NOT awful, it was standard Italian. I did not have one watered down drink. If you want more liquor in your drinks, which is premium brand liquor, Ask! From the comments posted, it doesn’t seem like anyone has a problem in demanding what they want. And when you ask, hey, why don’t ya try asking nicely. I dunno fresh mangos in a blender usually makes a lovely mango daiquiri.
Accommodations: Rooms were clean. No VCRs or DVDs? Well no, it is probably not likely you would have VCRs and DVDs at this resort. And try something novel, why not go outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air?
Reserving for a la carte restaurants: Yes, reservations are taken early. This seems to be common practice at many resorts. I am not sure why this is done so early. It may be a bit of a nuisance for those who like to sleep in but you do NOT have to be there at 6 am. Reservations are taken at 8 am.
A la Carte Restaurants: Good, the steak is excellent. Fish dishes at Sir Andrews very good.
Overall, I thought this resort was very good value.
Relax, it's Jamaica, Mon!
I dont know what these people think. Hello to the guy before. If you read the description in any brochure. The Riu Negril is NOT for honeymooners, plus it is a brand new property. Let the staff get some experience, they will do better.
I thought it was great. Great pool, food, and beach. The drinks are somewhat watered down. But you get that anywhere. This was my third trip and I loved Negril and the Rius. I have formerely stayed at the RIU Tropical bay, next door to the RIU Negril.
Riu Negril is great for kids or family or single. NOT honeymooners or weddings.
The Jamaicans ARE the NICEST people in the Caribbean. VERY hard working and honest.
The worst Riu resort i ever stayed at.
from A TripAdvisor Member
I just spent the week of Aug. 30 to Sept 6. at the riu negril for my honeymoon i must say that it was the worst riu resort that me and my wife have ever stayed at. In the week i was there i only got a full set of towels in our room once, i either get 2 hand towels no bath towels or face towels or 1 hand and 1 bath towel or just no towels at all, i would call front desk to complain they would say no problem we will be right up with them 2 hours later im still waiting for them to bring me my towels Id call again and then they would come. One night at 12:30 in the morning I woke up because the couple staying next door to us decided to have an argument and and I heard the guy give his wife a beating and she was crying so i called front desk to complane and the said they would send someone up to see about the problem all i know it was 2:00 am and they were still yelling at each other and no one from front desk came up. the guy could have killed the and the hotel acted like they didnt care. On my second last day we went for dinner at the buffet restaurant after dinner i went to go see what they had for desert and one of the female waiters said to me you dont need desert you are fat enough already and i said what did you say and she repeated, i just got furious and walked away before i lost it and i told my wife what happened, so my wife walked up to her and said to here that what she said to me was very rude, and waitress just laughed in my wifes face, so we reported her to the manager and didnt even care he didnt even sorry for what happened, thats how rude the jamaican people are. Before we left we went to go talk to the hotel manager and tell him of all the problems we had while we were there and he didnt care he just said if you didnt like the hotel to write a letter of complaint when we got home because he didnt care about what we were saying. And turned his back to us and walked away, what kind of manager is that. At the airport in jamaica they weighted our luggage they told me that i was 10 pounds over weight and i freaked out because what i had in the luggage was what i cam to jamaica with because all the gifts i bought were in my hand hand bag, and i told her dont tell me that 2 wet bathing suits are 10 pounds so she said i was over and i had to pay $49 dollars canadian so i gave her $50 dollars and she said i have no change to give you so i got screwed by the airport to. But the funniest thing about the airport was that because of seen that i made freaking our caught the managers attention, so as i was in the waiting area to get on the plane he approaced me and asked me what happened at check in counter and i told him and he said that is funny because her invoice book was blank and i had a recept for $49 dollars so the girl pocketed the money that i gave her for extra weight, so he took my receipt and got a photo copy of it and gave me back my original, as i was waiting to board the plane the check in girl came up to me and asked for the recept back and i said no and she said ill give you your money back if you give me the recept and she gave me a $100 dollar bill and i said i have no change, so said ill be back in a couple of minutes, she never came. So i asked to talk to the guy that had a copy of the receipt he came to me and i told him what she had done he called her over i got my money back from her and from what i could tell when i was getting on the plane i looked like she was going to lose her job. So this was my honeymoon from hell what a way to remember my honeymoon. In my opinion the riu negril is not a 5 star resort maybe on a good day a 2 star. Ill never ever go to jamaica again it was the worst place i have ever been, and the rudest people that i have ever met at any resort i have ever stayed at.
So take my advise stay away from the riu negril in jamaica because it aint what it appears to be.
Confused Holiday maker
from A TripAdvisor Member
After reading some of these reviews my husband and I aren't sure whether we stayed at the same hotel as some of these people! The hotel is fantastic- the food was excellent especially Sir Andrew's and the Steakhouse ( do not have to book a table at 6am!!) The staff cannot do enough to help you- all you have to do is ask. We didn't have any towels on one day so we rang reception and they were brought to our room 5 mins later! Need I say anymore- this is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in!!
No problem, mon?!
from A TripAdvisor Member
We, my husband and I, just got back from ClubHotel RIU Negril. Beautiful resort. Clean rooms, good food, and friendly food servers.
Now here go the 'buts.' The drinks are just crappy! They couldn't make a glass of ice water without screwing it up (probably because the bartenders were high most of the time).
The room service was also very poor. Almost every night, we came back to the room at about 5pm to rest before dinner after a long day on the beach. The room was not serviced yet. Here we are trying to unwind from the sun all day, and the maid comes at 5:30-6pm to clean the room. Totally unacceptable. I think they do this in hopes you will say don't bother cleaning it. Also beware, they never have any bath towels. We even tried tipping her $5 to show up earlier with towels, and she shows up at 5:45pm the next day with no towels. They are slow and pathetic.
Except for the food service, the rest of the hotel staff is incompetent. Maximo the manager is brain-dead at best. When we asked about evacuation for hurricane Ivan, he looked puzzled and said it won't hit. That was Wednesday. Today, Friday, Jamaica is getting pounded. Thank God my husband had the foresight to schedule a flight out on Thursday, or we'd be stuck in that hell hole. Air Jamaica Vacations was irresponsible in giving their clients any advise on this matter either, so beware of them.
In summary, the resort is nice, but no nicer than a florida beach. Palm trees and blue water also exsist in florida. Jamaicans smoke way too much pot, so expect a 'no problem mon' attitude even if half your head is hanging off. Conclusion, third rate service in a third world country. This rating comes from Russians! Never again Jamaica!
not a five star -- and watered down liquor!!!!
from A TripAdvisor Member
To begin with -- this is a beautiful looking resort. Very large, very well maintained, lots of staff around, although they are definately not always helpful. Just try to get someone, anyone, to give you change without making a purchase! I finally stated that NO ONE will get a tip at all unless I get some change -- that brought someone running. So then what -- tip him too? Ticked me right off. They seem to cut back on the air conditioning at night and right about check out time the air conditioning is also shut down -- I was unfortunately not finished packing until about 12:20 and it was sweltering. I know, I know, check out time is 12:00 -- I mean really, is this what you would call five star? Not me. There is no pool side beverage service, though one pool does have a swim up bar, but nothing at the other one. The staff seldom made any attempt to seat you or assist you until you were already loaded up trying to juggle back to your table. I will say that the maitre'd was always on duty, and often shooing the help to make themselves useful. Food was fair -- only fair. Breakfast was greasy and soggy every day but one. The "Sir Andrew" and "Shadows" the two specialty restaurants you have to line up for by 8:00 a.m. each day are NOT WORTH IT. It is mass prepared -- no options. Potatoes come with sour cream whether or not you like it. Steak was very rare and had been ordered medium and medium well. Sir Andrew was the biggest disappointment -- the steak was spoiled and not edible. The food was never hot. The drinks were always watered down -- always. The wine was awful. Really a disappointment.
This was my third trip to the carribean -- I don't believe I would every go back to Jamaica. I hated the shopping -- by far the worst attempts at price gouging I have encountered. I have nothing against someone wanting to make a living from the tourist industry, but nothing ever had a price on it. You would see one item in a shop and be told its price was $90. and go to the next and get a price of $30. It made me not buy. The Riu Club Hotel is at the far west of Negril and it is a compound holiday - nothing to go to and not enough at the hotel. It rained every afternoon and they didn't have much if anything going on the help pass the rainy time. A movie or even bingo possibly? Jeez.
The rooms do not have vcrs or dvds or clocks. It is tough to get enough towels. I think they should be at best a 3 star.
The trip was via AirTransat. I may as well continue my rant -- we were packed in like sardines. I will never willingly travel with them again. I am only 5'6" and my legs were rammed into the seat in front of me. It was the worst. Also, Sunquest somehow messed up on the return buses to the airport and we had to wait an hour after the first bus was filled and left. We stood out in the heat and were never offered a cold drink -- no one tried to do anything for us. We just stood in the heat and waited. Then, along came a bus that should have been condemmed. Seriously -- the bus had zero shocks so it swayed to and fro and there was some serious queasiness. Many seatbacks were broken. There were diesel fumes leaking into the cabin -- and half of the lights and air vents were gaping holes. I could go on, but you get it by now.
from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at the Riu Negril with my boyfriend from August 21 to 28 (we are both in are 20s). This resort was beautiful! The food was amazing and plentiful, the rooms were very spacious and nicely decorated and the service was incredible. The staff was so friendly and accomodating. There have been a lot of complaints about the beach at Riu Negril in previous reviews, but honestly, it was still beautiful. Yes, it is a little narrow and the sand is not snow-white, but it was still very nice and very well kept. And if you want, you can take a 5 minute walk down the public beach to Riu Tropical, which has a slightly nicer beach. In my opinion, they were both beautiful. Someone wrote that you cannot see the sunset from Riu Negril because of the curve of the bay. That is not true. The sunset is incredible from the resort - it's just that you don't see the sun set directly over the water because there are trees in the way, but you still see the sunset and it is quite something. And don't be afraid of walking that stretch of public beach to Riu Tropical...there are locals that will try to call you over to look at their stuff, but if you just say 'no thank you', they will leave you alone. The locals really weren't pushy at all, and we visited a lot of different places in Jamaica. I strongly recommend seeing Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios for a day trip and rafting on the Martha Brae River. That was the best day trip, but it does take a full day (Ocho Rios is 3 hours away). In my opinion, it was well worth it. We also went sailing, snorkeling and horseback riding and went to the YS Falls, which are another one of Jamaica's beautiful falls. Just one piece of advice, bring lots of small bills so that you can tip your guides on the day trips - they deserve it and really appreciate it!
Overall, Riu Negril is an amazing resort, and I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone looking for a nice, relaxing and beautiful vacation!
Great Resort!! A Few Short Comings Though
from A TripAdvisor Member
I just got back from Riu Negril Club hotel for my honeymoon. Stayed August 21st-25th. I am just going to state the bad things first since there aren't many. The most dissappointing thing is the lack of wash clothes. The first day we were there we had only 2 wash clothes, 2 small towels and 1 regular sized towel for me and my wife. The rest of the stay we had no wash cloths at all. We had to wash our faces and bath with small towels. Hence, it might be good to pack along some extra wash clothes. I forgot to pack a bottle opener for the soda and beers in the fridge, but luckily the second day of the vacation they installed an opener on the wall. For men it is a pain to eat sometimes. The first night I went to eat at one of the restaurants, "Green Island". My wife and I asked; who we later found to be the manager of the restaurant; if what we had on was appropiate. He said yes and we went on to dinner. The next night we went the manager and another person were at the door. The other person stopped me and said I couldn't come in with my type of shirt. I was wearing a muscle shirt which is what type of shirt I wore the previous night. I told him that the manager who was standing there said that my type of shirt was okay to wear. The manager then tried to say that he didnt tell me that and act liked he never saw me in his life. I am guessing that maybe the other guy was his boss. Hence, men it may be good to pack some shirts with sleeves on them. The cable line up could be better. It had HBO and Showtime along with others but it was lacking some channels that I like to watch such as BET and MTV. The thing that really bugged me though is that they had ESPN but it had no sound for some reason. If you are a beach water person you will be disappointed. It is not nearly as clear as Doctors Cave in Montego Bay or any that you might have seen. However the landscaping is beautiful and the pools are great. There are topless women so be ware if you are bringing kids. Most of the food is delicious and there is plenty of it. You may find something that isnt to your liking but it is rare. You might want to bring a mug or your own cup for the meal because their glasses are small and you will have to keep getting up to get refills. The drinks are superb. The bartenders by the pools are hilarious and very eager to serve. The entertainment is okay. Could be better. All in all I truly had a wonderful time. Everyone is very friendly from the guests to the staff. Cant' wait to go back.
Top Local Tips for Negril
I felt compelled to tip generously, not to get better service as much as just because there is alot of need. These people rely on tourists for their income and their government takes alot of taxes from their wages.Yes, its an all inclusive and everything is paid for up front but tipping makes sense. Its just by chance that you're not in their shoes
tip for parents traveling with chidlren
bring a carriage, a walk behind the buildings will certainly put anyone to sleep.
get to montego bay airport to riu
if you want to get fast and cheaper contact one of the many private taxis outside and bargainfor the price. we paid $50 for 2 persons. from riu to the airport instead to pay $80 to the hotel , contact one private cab outside and bargain again.