ClubHotel Riu Negril
28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Loved the ClubHotel Riu Negril!!!
"My husband and I just came back from 4 days at the ClubHotel Riu Negril! We had a fabulous time. Like some of the other reviews have said, you do have to choose your food, but since there is alot to choose from, you will be ok. I ate mostly seafood and veggies everyday and the Jamaican food when available. We tipped alot because one must remember that Jamaica is an extremely poor country and as 1 reviewer has said, alot of the living conditions that the staff live under, we couldn't even imagine. We tipped in both JA and US dollars, gave away shampoos and pencils and pens and the staff was extremely appreciative for everything. I am certain that this extra money goes along way. This was my first stay at an all-inclusive, although I have been to the Caribbean many times. I loved it. Building 1 is the best building to be in, because it is a long walk between restaurants and rooms in other buildings. The rooms are beautiful. Very clean, and we found it stocked with towels. The aerobics on the beach and in the pool are amazing. The entertainment staff goes over and above. We did go off the property a few times to other restaurants, and into Mobay and had a good time each time. Do use taxis across the street as they are more reasonable, and you can work deals if you use the same driver every time you go out. No people hassle you to buy stuff at Riu Negril's beach, which I really liked. The water at the beach is not very nice. Go to the Tropical Bay to swim and enjoy nice water. The desk staff can be less than helpful. Do bring lots of small bills because these are needed when you tip and if you go off the property. Definitely do bring bug repellant and sun screen. I used bug repellant and still have several bites that are itching like the dickens 4 days after our return. All in all, a wonderful time. We would definitely go back."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of November 2004
An honest review...
"Before we went on this trip, we hadn't researched this resort much but when we got there - Wow! The hotel is gorgeous and the rooms are great.
We got a room in Block 1 - which I would recommend, it is the closest building to everything. There are four buildings which get progressively farther away from everything. The rooms are very nice and clean, but our air conditioning didn't work all that well. Always leave the fan on! Other people did have good air conditioning though, so you take your chances. There is a fully stocked fridge and four 40 ouncer bottles of booze upside down with taps on them. We didn't have any problems having them restocked everyday either. Do not leave any food, bottle caps, empty or half empty bottles lying around though - it attracts these little bugs a little smaller than fruit flies. If you leave a tip for the maid, they make a neat towel shape with a flower on your bed.
Make sure you bring bug spray and sun screen - and I am not kidding when I say this. I am covered in bites - like mosquito bites but you don't see whatever it is that is biting you and everyone we talked to had the same thing. I am still covered in them and it is a little hard to sleep when you are this itchy. I also burned pretty badly the first day we were there so make sure you use the sun screen. The sun was out everyday full force and it is very hot and humid. But it did rain most of the days in the late afternoon, but no big deal - just get your sun earlier. Girls - your hair is hopeless there so bring hair ties. Also make sure you bring Gravol and Immodium, as I am sure every traveller knows - there are a lot of trips to the bathroom.
The staff is great! Everyone is very nice and accomodating. We found that if you made friends with one of the bar tenders (Michael and Yanieke were awesome) they will be fantastic. We tipped a couple of dollars (American $) because they were so nice and making us all kinds of drinks to try. The entertainment staff is fun as well, but if you don't want to participate you do have to argue nicely with them. There is always things to do in the day time, events and such, night time - there is the show at 9:45 every night, then the disco is open until 2am. We found the shows and the disco very geared towards the non-english speaking guests - Spanish or Italians mostly. The disco played mostly Spanish music, which kinda sucked because you don't go to Jamaica to listen to that you want to hear Reggae. But there is a huge range of nationalities there, just for some reason it was very geared towards the Europeans, which Canadians, Americans and English did not appreciate. The week we were there, the main bar played the same song over and over and over - non stop - which drove most people nuts, but the last day we were there they changed it finally.
We went on a snorkelling/horse back riding trip - a lot of fun and the reef is gorgeous. The non-motorized water sports are included on the resort, you just pay a deposit and get it back when you return the stuff. We went out snorkelling almost everyday too and it is alright.... the water can get really cloudy, and there is no pretty reef or anything - but we saw more on the beach at our resort than we did on the snorkelling trip. On the beach at the resort, we saw a blow fish, sting rays galore, big crabs, and we saw none of this on the trip. We didn't get to either of the falls but everyone that did said it was well worth it.
The restaurants are fantastic. The food is fantastic. Doesn't matter which one you eat at. If you want to eat in the ones that you have to make reservations for, you have to get up and make the reservation between 0800-0830, and it is no big deal, couple of minutes in line and there ya go. We ate at the steak house twice with a reservation. The food there was great, but I am a picky meat eater and my steak wasn't cooked enough even after I sent it back - but most people like it that way. You can't wear bathing suits in the restaurants - well they have to be well covered up anyways, which was fine.
Don't buy much on the resort. The gift shops are way overpriced than stuff in town is - especially booze, wait for duty free on the way out - its really cheap. We were told not to leave the resort at night - but I know people did, so I am not sure about that. There are shuttles that go to Margaritaville and The Jungle - free shuttle and free admission, but drinks you pay for.
I did read some other reviews and I am posting this in all honesty. If you are a complainer - then you will find something wrong with anywhere you go, there wasn't much to complain about really. If you want a very nice resort, then this is it. The staff is great - tip if you think they deserve it, they are very appreciative. Overall it was a great trip and we were very very impressed."
- Travel date: Mon 8th of November 2004
Great hotel but please don't tip all the time!
"Probably one of the best value for money all-inclusives in the Caribbean. Accomodation, food, and facilities are all good as you would expect from a RIU hotel. Nightime entertainment team work really hard and provide good shows by Caribbean standards, some of the criticisms that have been made are over the top. If you want Las Vegas - go there!
There was a good mix of nationalities so nobody should feel out of place.
Some Spanish and Italian guests seemed to have a problem understanding the No Smoking Signs but complied when asked to stop.
Only issue for me was the people tipping bar staff for every round. This caused a 2 tier service at times and even became competive on one occasion. Fine, tip the good guys when you leave but whats the point of an all inclusive if it ain't"!
Hotel also had quite a few corporate events when we there but no big deal.
Apart from that like most all inclusives it is like living in a bubble so do make the effort to get out and try and meet the people who respond really well to being shown respect and are no trouble at all."
- Travel date: Fri 5th of November 2004
"All those with bad reviews need to give your heads a shake!"
"I am only writing this review because someone needs to set some of these people straight as to what a "real vacation" is in the Carribbean...First to start by saying that I am a travel agent in Manitoba, Canada, and have been on many All Inclusive vacations down south to 3, 4, 5, and 5+ star rated resorts. I deal with them ALL on a daily basis. If you want to complain about an excellent 5 star complex like the Riu Negril, maybe you should dish out the difference and go for a Sandals, Beaches or a Grand Lido resort instead. Spending a ton of $$ would than give you more right to complain.
The Rui Negril, like all Riu's offers a 5 star quality(with lots of restaurants, amenities, variety, activity, great all inclusive offers, staff, beautiful property..) at a 4 sometimes 3 star price. This specific resort is brand new, and with my experience knowone can say that they spent very much(in comparison to what would usually be spent on a similar resort) on any of these above listed vacations for that reason alone. Keeping in mind that the staff are all still working out all the kinks, the deals this resort is offering it is well worth the small dilemmas that might arise in its first year opening. The food was excellent, which most seem to agree with.This is extremely important when your in another country. Also, the grounds are beautiful even despite the hurricanes.(remember this is a way of life for these people, they have hurricane season yearly) Though the local Jamaican people are certainly not that friendly, this has nothing to do with the staff at this resort. They are very accomodating..slower...but accomodating. No worse than what you would find at any place else. In one review one lady commented that most staff were "high" majority of the time!? First of all did she really know this?? And even if it was true(I don't doubt it) YOU ARE IN JAMAICA!!! The rooms were very clean, and I found that if you leave a little something extra(makeup, toys, colouring books, crayons, etc ) on the pillow each morning for them, they seem to do an even better job.(I sure had my room cleaned every morning)
Overall, this is the 4th Riu I have been at(Puerto Plata, Cancun, Cuba, and Jamaica) and is one of my favourites.(although they are all very similar) I find most people complain more about the destination than the property, and what they all have to realize, is that this is a 3rd world country. The culture and lyfestyle is all around different. The people only react to the fact that their local lands and beautiful beaches are being over run by rich, and sometimes rude tourists. If any of these people went outside the gates of this "not so 5 star resort" you would have seen poverty which can only be compared to some places featured on World Vision shows. Imagine coming to a place like the Riu Negril and dealing with tourists like yourselves everyday, and than going home to a house made of tin and leaves. How would you treat us? Please do not be fooled this is a beautiful resort. if you are complaining about it, think again about what you spent($$) to come here and see what that would buy you the next time..apparently you can compare this to a 2 star, but if you've never been to one, I would hate to read the comments on that one."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of November 2004
"we have been to negril 12 times. 7 times in the west end and 5 at the incluisve sence 1978. club negril was very nice.The beach was great the water not as nice as tropical bay which we stayed at last year.Good food and good bartender.took cab to treasure beach 100 dollars very nice trip had lunch at jakes.Courtney is a excellant cab driver. We had a great time and will return."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of October 2004
"Just got back from Negril 10/23 - 10/30.
Weather was beautiful went with husband and two small children ages 6 mos and 2 1/2 years.
For those interested in activities for children. Children had a ball there is a miniclub located right next two the childrens pool. There is a small play area with sand, swings, slides, climbing wall. The hotel is beautiful. Food is okay depending on your palate. We only ate in the buffet restuarants because it is easier with the children. The staff is attentive and after the first day called my children by name. The miniclub has activities and puts on a show each evening with the children. The club is geared towards children 4 and up. Also takes the children to lunch. The children's pool is great for under 4 otherwise I would recommend the main pools which are 4 ft deep.
Not for the picky eater. Food is okay. Jamaican foods were best and if you are used to carribean foods you will have no problem. However children may have problems finding something to eat. Pasta is served everyday in the buffet restaurants as well as pizza, fries, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
Service was good we checked in at 11AM instead of 3PM as expected room was clean, whenever we asked for something it was granted.
Could be better. The entertainment schedule in the room did not match what was being offered each evening. Couldn't sit through the comedy show it was horrible. Dancers were boring.
Make sure to bring plenty insect repellant. I suffered many bites as well as others. You will get bit in the Green Island Restaurant which is indoors. Ants also bite. I have over 30 bites. Bring lots of sunblock as the sun is very powerful but there is a breeze to keep it from getting too hot.
Try to get a room in building 1 or 2 which is closest to all the action. There is a bar right outside building 2 that is open from 10 - 6.
Beach is a little rocky but was used by many with no complaints.
I would recommend this hotel during low season.
If you have any questions/concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at }mail to:[email protected]"
- Travel date: Sat 30th of October 2004
for the brits an honest review
"I booked this holiday 4 days before ivan hit! and very nearly cancelled, so glad we did'nt.
The hotel is fantastic rooms are very well kept and comfortable. The food is excellent, we tried the three a la carte restaurants but preferred the buffett the choice was amazing ( previous reviewer claimed to loose 8 lbs, I must have picked thm up plus 1.5lbs ) the main choices are continuously replenished throughout the evening, fresh pizza, pasta meals with your choice of extras, hugh choice of fresh fish and the dessert well!!.
Lots of comments regarding the beach. The island has suffered a hurricain so it does take a while to recover. They are working very hard and discretely to raise the level of the sand and replace the damaged palm trees but it takes time. there are no blatantly obvious signs of extensive damage, not as many trees as in the pictures but enough for every one to have some shade if they wish and boy do you need it. We were ther for 2 weeks 12 ~ 23 october 2 thunder storms and one cloudy afternoon the rest of the time is was brilliant sunshine we were expecting much more rain given it is the wet season. Comments about the sand flies, yes they are a problem do take some strong repellent or just watch the sun set from the pool bar cos its fantastic.
I was glad to see a report from a US citizen solving the problem of the now famous WASH CLOTH situation, just take your own, we did not have any problem with these or towels, think this might just be an american fascination. Talking of Americans
the other fascination seems to be tipping. We brits when using an all inc hotel would not consider this to be an issue untill the end of the holiday only then give tips to the staff, we watched with interest the tipping game that they play and believe me they do not get any better or quicker service than the rest of the guests. This is a big hole that the americans have dug for themselvs.
Back to the hotel if you have booked it and are a bit unsure as we were after reading many travel books on the island, reading many reports on the net no worries mon, it is fab the staff are wonderful smiley happy people, will help you all they can they are constantly cleaning, washing, polishing painting even though the hotel has only been open 7 months the colour was a bit of a shock but hey its the carabiean. The entetainment crew work extrenly hard for you ok the evening entertainment could be improved upon but there is enough booze to keep it sweet. Personnely the only thing we would have asked for would be a enclosed beach bar for the evenings just for adults.
Talking of beach bars mind where you put your elbows when ordering.
It was a fantastic holiday for us better than we could have imagined the only problem now is to find a hotel on another island that can equal this one, maybe the answer is to go back. No problem mon.
N.B. if you like a cup of tea ( being british ) first thing in the morning pack your travel kettle, unless you like to start your day with Gin or Vodka or Brandy or Rum or Beer......."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of October 2004
Just returned from a piece of paradise with one flaw
"We just returned October 27th from a 6 day trip to Club Riu Negril. Six glorious days of sunshine, not a drop of rain. Let me start by saying that this hotel is absolutely beautiful. If anyone can find fault with this resort, they are just looking to be picky. When we arrived, and pulled up to the hotel, I had to take a double take- it looks like a magnificent photo hanging up, and all of sudden you realize, that's not a photo, that is the real thing, a beautiful ocean between glorious palm trees. I will try and give you as much info as possible, the staff is extaordinary. They went above and beyond to make this trip as wonderful as they could. We were given a beachfront room, in building 2 (fine for those concerned) Don't get a room beyond Building 1 or 2. (Very far from the rest of the resort) We celebrated our birthday and they sent a bottle of rum and a fruit platter to our room. We had a dinner in Sir Andrews and they sent a birthday cake to the table. (Very Thoughtful) Took a trip to Times Square (Shopping Center) fine, for tourist items, but next time I would take a trip to the town of Negril (The Circle) and do my shopping there. After that, onto Margaritaville, very fun, yes a tourist trap based on the drinks and food, but you could make a day trip out of it, since they have a beach with chairs, a water trampoline out in the ocean for fun and lots of great music and entertainment. The best part of our trip was Negril's best kept secret, a place in Negril's West End, about 20 minutes from the resort (cab fare$20 roundtrip, Called IXTABI. This place is heaven on earth. You have to see this to beleive it. The best place for sunset, it is truly unbeleiveable. You sit out on a cliff and watch the sunset, drink some Red Stripe, listen to reggae, and enjoy a superb Lobster Dinner. This is all while you are perched on a cliff, watching nature's beauty take place right in front of you. You can also go during the day and hang out, jump off the cliffs (15 feet high) and enjoy the good life. Please go there, ask for OMAR and tell him M&M sent you from the States. He is a wonderful person, and will really take care of you. Back to the resort, the pool was great, the beach is absolutely fine, the drinks are great, the food is average. Whatever did not go during lunch, was made into a salad of some sort by dinner. Anyone, can find something to enjoy. (remember this is a Vacation!) Lastly, and sadly the only negative to this trip was the amount of Europeans, that vacation there. They compensate for 90% of the guests in the hotel. I have to say, they are the rudest, most obnoxious, and selfish people you will ever meet. They shove, walk right in front of you, and think they rule the resort. With that said, i am sad to say that I would not go back to a Riu property because we found out while there, that they specifically attract and draw the Europeans, since they have a lot of resorts in Europe. Now, for those who have already booked, go and have a wonderful time, don't let anyone rain on your parade. For those still shopping, look to find a place that does NOT Have a 90% European infiltration. Overall, aside from this last info, we had a great time. For those leaving soon, have a blast!! Yeah, Mon!"
- Travel date: Wed 27th of October 2004
"My husband and I were on our honeymoon at the end of September and we loved everything about this hotel, especially the entertainment staff. They do everything to try and make your stay memorable. The hotel is just beautiful and the food there is great.
We went scuba diving one day, which we purchased from the aquatic department right there at the hotel on the beach. It was only $25USD per person and we were gone for about 2 hours. I highly recommend this. Especially if your not going to really leave the hotel to go for walks (don't recommend) the boat takes you on a tour of the coast line - very nice!!
I highly recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of October 2004
"well what can i say. Only one word for this hotel absolute heaven. the best place i have ever stayed and will go back again."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of October 2004
Excellent value for the buck!!!
"Just returned from amazing vacation last night!
The hotel is - much to my pleasant surprise - right on the beach (smile) ... you walk along the beach to get to restaurants, lobby, bars, pools ... it is AMAZING to see the landscape of the cove with its clean water and horizon over and over during various times of the day!
Great selection of drinks and meals, Restaurant Sir Andrews (best of the 3 choices), friendly staff and all inclusive water sports (except for sea doo, of course) all added to a very active and relaxing vacation. Hey, we learned how to windsurf ($20/lesson) with a great help from Sheldon & Ceyan (the equipment - sea kayaks, hobby cat sail boat, snorkeling gear and windsurfing - is already included in price, so no rental fees!!!)
- for a little extra $ get a room with occenfront view - you'll have a paradise right in front of you at all times of a day
- bulding #1 & 3 has only 2 double beds (combined together, so it feels like a king), 2 & 4 has 1 king size bed ... keep in mind, building #1 is too close to kids centre and hotel ammentities, so if you are a light sleeper, get into bulding #2 or #3
- get a room on 2nd or 3rd floor (for complete privacy)
- bring REPELANT to avoid the sun fleece (they bit before sunset and after sunrise) ... if bitten, get an oitment from the gift shop
- wear water shoes at all times ($15 at the gift shop) ... avoid the painfull experience from stepping on a sea orchin (as I learned)
- love jerk chicken??? ... served at 12 pm every day on the beach ... yummyyyy!!!
- excursions ... compare the hotel prices with services offered by locals (usually much cheaper) ... ex. snorkeling with hotel is $50/person, locals will take you for $15 if 4 people are booked or 420/2 people ... you can negotiate.
The incredible holiday with priceless memories!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 21st of December 2012
Theives allowed on property
"While staying at this "gated, secure" resort, our room was burglarized in the middle of the night - with us in the room asleep!! They entered through the second floor balcony! 8 to 9 rooms, in different buildings were burglarized in ONE night. The hotels response has been PATHETIC! They will not cover the items stolen claiming it was not a "forced entry". The hotel manager never even talked to us about the theft! DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2012