What a great experience. I'm going to have trouble putting all of my thoughts into one review, and I'll bet $100 nobody reads the whole thing, but I'll start with getting the basics out of the way. I stayed here for a week with my girlfriend, parents, and aunt and uncle. I chose this resort because it's close to Sangster Int'l Airport in Montego Bay, and it really offers a lot in it's all-inclusive plan. Staying at the Riu Palace (their top-level resort here) also gives you almost full access to their adjacent properties, the Riu Reggae (mid-level) and the Riu Montego Bay (base-level). Riu Palace and Riu Reggae are adults only, while Riu Montego Bay allows kids. I say "almost full access" because you can use all amenities, buffets, beaches, pools, spas, etc. at the other resorts, but you cannot dine at their à la carte restaurants. That's not a big deal, as Riu Palace has it's own. RESORT The resort itself is beautiful. It's got a very modern theme to it, with a lot of matte white, orange, and purple colors and abstract sculptures. If you like more old school, wood designs, the Riu Montego Bay definitely had more of that (at least in the lobby and restaurants). There's a pretty large man-made beach along with three pools, two pool bars, five restaurants, and two bars. I'll get into the dining and drinking later on in my review. The Aqua bar is where the night activities and shows took place, but Vogue also has a stage and had live music most, if not all, nights. I'll get into that more in the Dining / Drinking section, but I will say that if you want bigger shows, both Riu Reggae and Riu Montego Bay have big stages and you have access to those shows. Next door at Riu Reggae, they have watersports that are included. I did small catamaran sailing (I want one now), paddleboarding (tried and failed), and pedalboat. They're fun and allow you to see the beauty of the island from a ways out in the water. ROOM My girlfriend and I got a garden room and were more than happy. Our room was west-facing, so every evening when we would come in from the beach / pool to get ready for dinner, the room would be beautifully bright with orange sunset light. I'm really glad that we got a room like that, and I'd actually consider asking for a west-facing room if we went again. The room is typical of what I've seen in lots of other Jamaica resorts, where it's almost completely open as one room except for the shower and a small room for the toilet. The bathtub is large with jets and right next to the bed, which seems to be a pretty common layout amongst tropical resorts. The room carries the same modern design as the rest of the resort, with matte white furniture and purple / orange accents. It's a loud modern that may not appeal to everyone, but personally I want to redecorate my apartment after seeing it. The room has a keypad safe, a minibar that gets restocked daily, and an alcohol dispenser on the wall. As it is all-inclusive, there are no extra charges for any of that. I asked to double check and make sure. The rooms also all have balconies with two chairs, a small table, and a bathing suit / towel drying bar. STAFF Staff here are friendly, and as I would at any tropical resort I recommend tipping. I know that it says tips are included, but it's nice and you'll probably get better treatment if you leave a few dollars here and there. Doesn't have to be every time you get a drink, but after paying what you're paying to stay here, a few more dollars can't hurt. There's an entertainment team here that will host events and games throughout the day and night (their hours are 9AM to 11PM every day), and they'll come talk and hang out with you as well. They're all nice, and although I know they're working for the money as we all do, when they talk to you they actually pay attention and care about the conversation. That being said, I'm sure they hear the same stories and jokes 100 times a week from tourists, and I would get tired of it fast, but they don't show any sign of being sick of it. Some standouts that I remember were: Melony at the lunch / dinner buffet, Dr. Fun Fun, Barbie, JoJo, and Kyash from the entertainment team, and Omaine, our favorite bartender at the Hanover pool swim-up bar. DINING For restaurants, there are four à la carte and one buffet. They are the steakhouse, Zen (Japanese / Asian), Krystal (Fusion?), L'Acquedotto (Italian), and the buffet which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. L'Acquedotto works in a unique way to the other restaurants, where they have a mini-buffet of appetizers that you take before your main course, which is brought to you like the other restaurants. Most of the restaurants start by serving you a platter to share. For example, at Zen it's a sushi plate, at the steakhouse it's scallops, octopus, and calamari, etc. That's followed by an appetizer, entree, and dessert. I wasn't overly impressed with the steakhouse, but it wasn't bad by any means. I very much enjoyed the duck at Krystal, and that may very well be my second favorite meal. I'd have to say that my favorite restaurant was L'Acquedotto, but my favorite overall dish was the Shitaake Crusted Filet from Zen. The buffet is clean and boasts quite a large selection. For every meal, you will definitely find some things you like and you'll see most of the foods you expect, with some unexpected treats thrown in. For lunch, it's usually some Jamaican specialties like curried goat and Jamaican patties. The breakfast and lunch menus change slightly every day while keeping the staples, and the dinner buffet has themed nights I believe three nights a week. DRINKING For bars, they have a 24 hour open air bar alongside the beach called the Aqua Chillout Bar, a lobby bar (Vogue), and two swim-up pool bars (Hanover and Lime). The Aqua bar is where the night activities and shows took place, but Vogue also has a stage and had live music most, if not all, nights. The shows at Aqua are a bit more low-key and are run by the resort's entertainment team, usually hosting events such as a retro music night, all-white dress night, etc. Aqua also has a 24-hour snack buffet and a pool table. Also, as I mentioned earlier, you have a minibar and an alcohol dispenser in your room that are both restocked frequently. OVERALL EXPERIENCE My overall experience was fantastic. Out of all the resorts I've been to in Jamaica, I think if I wanted to return to one it would be here. That being said, it would be with the knowledge that I took in on this trip. These are my opinions, but here's what I'd do differently. I'd go to the big shows at the other resorts as opposed to the smaller ones at Palace. The resorts are directly next to each other and you can walk to them via the beach or the road in front. I'd probably forego wandering around off resort. We heard about a shopping complex across the street and decided to check it out - it was probably the worst experience of the trip for me. As soon as you step off resort, you're like a piggy bank being swarmed by people trying to offer you things for sale, taxi rides, shop discounts, and on and on and on. Save yourself the trouble. Every store is always 50% off everything, every store always has 5 shirts for $20, and every store is always full of knockoff junk. If you want something, just go to the gift shop in the hotel lobby. Prices aren't that bad. My last piece of advice would be to treat every day like your last day on the resort. It's so cliche and everyone probably says it, but the last three days or so I would be so excited as the sun rose and a new day dawned, and so down as the sun set and I realized that another day was over. You don't get to stay here forever, just keep reminding yourself of that. To wrap it all up, I'd say that if I COULD stay here forever, I might just do it.
First time coming to Jamaica. My husband and I stayed at the resort for some much needed rest. The pictures you see online do not lie. The hotel is immaculate. The staff is constantly staying on top of keeping things clean. Even the bars by the beach had no sand on the ground ever! The staff is incredibly attentive and friendly. We travel to all the islands and always like to stay in hotels that can guarantee good hygiene, service, and comfort. We definitely got this there. Food was great. With plenty to choose from. Rooms are spacious and modern. Showers are great with plenty of hot water and great water pressure. Might matter to some. Definitely recommend staying here. Especially for couples or a laid back vacation.
This Rui Palace resort was amazing. Wow!! New, clean, modern. The staff were friendly, professional, very willing to go the extra mile to make your stay memorable. Few minor glitches in the room, that were fixed in a timely manner. Jacuzzi tub is awesome. Soak and watch tv at same time Free wifi was great. Beach is nice, small but be warned the water gets deep very quickly. Dangerous if you can't swim. They do have pool noodles where you get the towels that were great to float in the ocean. Pools are great. Restaurant's all top notch, even buffet food was tasty. Great selection and and varieties of food. Loved the porridge and smoothies at breakfast. Salads and onion rings at lunch. You can have a very quiet relaxing vacation or participate in the Palace Palace activities. (Bocchi ball, horseshoes, ping pong, pool vollyball, aerobics). You can also walk 2 min next door to particpate in all the water sports, beach vollyball, more areobics Overall one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Woukd definitely go back again!!!
My husband and I just returned from our 3 night babymoon at Riu Palace, and had an incredible time! We are having our first baby in April, and wanted a relaxing, romantic, and ADULTS ONLY trip. Amstar was easy to find at the airport, and quickly whisked us to the hotel. It is the 2nd stop from the airport so u arrive there in about 10 minutes. Don't forget to tip these guys, it's not included. Check in was just a few moments, and although our room was not ready yet, they took our bags and invited us to have lunch at the LARGE buffet while we waited. The friendly staff took care of our every need, and greeted us very warmly. They really get to know the guests, and are genuinely kind, and attentive. Make sure you have the Jerk Chicken when you arrive! The chef is very nice and a great cook! Be adventurous and try the local cuisine... Don't just come here for pizza it's not what they are known for, but they do have boring American food too, which is good for picky eaters. After lunch we were taken to the room which was beautiful, and spotless. The mini fridge is stocked with water, and sodas, and their is a liquor dispenser in the room too which is all included. They took special care to give us a very quiet room so I could get rest. Room service is also included 24 hours, as well as extra towels, or blankets etc.. That service is also incredibly fast. I noticed that the maid staff seems to be cleaning around the clock, either the rooms, or the hallways. This hotel is VERY CLEAN. Also very good powerful AC in the room. The beach is very clean, which soft white sand. There are PLENTY of beach chairs, and clean towels for the guests. Also ample shade or sun whichever you prefer. There are also 3 gorgeous, and clean pools with two swim up bars, if that's more your speed. We did a little of each. Also the friendly wait staff is constantly patrolling the grounds delivering whatever drinks you need, I was impressed with how fast the service was. Tipping is included, but when you do tip the service is even better. They do appreciate it! There is a daily schedule of activities which are open to anyone to join in such as fitness, or games, but they are not invasive or annoying if you're looking to just relax and not be bothered like we were. They also have areas to play pool, ping pong, and other small games which we enjoyed. Next door at reggae (a short walk) you can rent paddle boats, kayaks, wind surf, or paddle board all included in your stay no extra cost. The palace definitely was a more mature crowd, which we LOVED, but Reggae resort also has activities and seems to be a little bit more of a party atmosphere if that's what you seek. Riu Montego Bay is the other neighboring resort, where families go. Very big and crowded, but worth adventuring over there if you feel like it esp in the evening. Dinner you have the choice of either buffet (massive and excellent,) or 4 other specialty restaurants. Everything was great but we really enjoyed the buffet. It was on-par with Caesars palace in Vegas! All in all the stay was excellent, the staff really makes an effort to be friendly, and make sure you have an excellent time, and the experience was just what we were looking for. Exceeded my expectations in every way! Thank you so much Riu Palace, we will definitely be recommending you to everyone.
Everything was great i really enjoyed myself ! ! ! There was only one problem that needs to be fixed at the hotel. you have to make a reservation for the restaurants and all of them was booked for Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the one that was available only had 8pm and not enough seats for six people and by the time we checked in on Thursday Everything was booked and you cant make a reservation before you get there you have to do it upon arrival.
First time in Jamaica and first time at a Riu hotel. The driver from the airport took my boyfriend and I to the Riu Montego Bay and I looked around it was a bit crowded and noisy ( which isn't a con ) but it didn't look like the pictures online when I spoke to a nice lady at the front desk she quickly realized I was in the wrong hotel and had a driver taken me right next door to the Riu Palace Adult only resort. It was BEAUTIFUL service was beyond perfect and the room which was the regular not fancy standard room and I'm glad I booked it because it was still amazing. Huge bed and super comfy and the beach was cleaned and the pools were always clean and beautiful. My boyfriend and I are a young couple (23&25 years old) yet we made so many friends with older couples ( they were olderrrrrr yet young at heart) we partied at Pacha night club ( hotel next to us) I must say the staff made this stay amazing for us . THANK YOU TO AUDLEY WHO SERVED US EVERY NIGHT WITH A BEAUTIFUL DECORATED TABLE ( without having to ask him) and trevata and Lisa and Fabian and JOJO and Ortethia all these hard working staff who went above and beyond . CONS: nothing. Don't make reservations at the restaurants you don't need to . The buffet is amazing with so much variety food was a 10! The only restaurant I enjoyed was the steak house because I ate a amazing lobster tail but I wasn't full and ended up going next door to the buffet with my friend AUDLEY. ATTENTION MAKE SURE YOU CARRY SINGLES AND TIP THESE HARD WORKING PEOPLE !!!! I travel all the time to all inclusive resorts and I make sure I tip it's well worth it. So sad to see people not give at least a few singles to someone who have been going back and forth making you drinks. Another shout out to the CHEFS who do an amazing job. Thank You RIU palace
I was told by 2 other couples this was a good resort. Upon arriving, they gave us a room far one sided next to a new resort being built. Not even seconds the workers doing construction were hollering at my wife. We ask for a new room. We had to wait over 2 hrs for a new room. We had to take our own bags to our room, no big deal just seem a bit rude. The rooms are beautiful and comfortable. Shower is big. Bed comfortable. Tv many channels. Balcony was nice not much of a view (Better than seeing construction going on). Ac was cold no issues, fridge always stocked. Now for food and drinks, drinks are watered down, or iced down. Barely any top shelf. Food, the first day we tried making reservations and the steakhouse was booked for the whole week! Disappointing. Buffet, breakfast can't mess that up amazing. Lunch was alright, dinner was disappointing. Don't get me started on the "24hr" bar with a snack bar, horrible, stale food ,kitchen closed. Room service food horrible. The staff could be friendlier, 1 out of 3 would be really polite and nice. We had the same waiter for breakfast and lunch he was the greatest. We did manage to get dinner at the Italian restaurant, waitress was so rude! No eye contact and didn't want to be there. It was hard to get a waitress on the beach almost never to be seen. We checked out the sister resort next door not much better. Beach was great, pools are great. Overall, we had more fun outside the resort. It was the staff that could of made it more enjoyable, use to other resorts being so attentive and working for their tips.
I stayed at Riu Place Jamaica 10/27-11/04/2015. It was amazing well appointed. Great staff. well maintained hotel. PROS: Attentive, fun staff. Modern updated rooms. Small resort, that didn't overwhelming. Easy access to shopping and close to the airport. Two pool options, one a bit more lively than the other. 24 hour bar. 24 hour room service. Full size bottles in the minibar, (not that we used then). CONS: No on site spa- had to go to the sister resort next door. No nightclub, it too was at the sister resort, I would think the adults only resort would have a dance club. Food- it was good, but not great. Meals are a big part of a vacation, at least for me. I found that I was happy with the meals about 75% of the time. The room service menu is limited to a couple of salads and sandwiches, not impressive at all. But overall I met some great people and had a great trip. The resort was fantastic and would stay here again in an instant.
This resort is done in modern decor. The room was large with a king size bed, couch, desk, dresser and closet. The layout could be a plus or minus; the sink, jetted tub and shower are all visible from the rest of the room. There is a flat screen tv and temperature controls. The balcony was nice size with chairs and a table. Could be quite romantic with a partner, might not like it as much on a girls trip. There are two beautiful pools and a fantastic beach. My only complaint would be that there were no "no smoking" areas and being allergic to smoke I had to continually move; out of our stay only one day was so crowded that finding another seat was difficult. There is a bar on each side of the beach. One stays open 24/7 and offers typical bar food such as nachos, hot dogs, fries, ranch wraps. The other includes the swim up bar. The spa had massages available on the beach which we did and enjoyed. The price was comparable to what we would have paid at home for a one hour massage. All other spa services are next door at the sister resort. The water sports are also a short walk next door. There is a building with staff to sign you up for the activities and get equipment. We kayaked one day and went on the paid snorkeling excursion another. The staff were very helpful and nice for both. There are also staff members rotating around the beach and pool that bring the drinks to you. The food options are a buffet, the specialty restaurants, and the 24/7 bar. The buffet was large, but we found the food to be mostly bland. There are two things you need to know about the specialty restaurants. First, not all 4 are open every night, a fact we did not find out until the last night there. So if you are there a limited number of nights and really want to eat at the specialty restaurants you will need to make getting it set up a priority. Second, you can only make reservations between 8 and 4 and only for the same day. We arrived between 8 and 8:30 to find a line of 10 people or so and to be told that the restaurants were totally booked. When I questioned how that was possible when the resort was obviously not fully booked and we were not going to get to eat at a single specialty in a 5 night stay the staff member informed me that she "couldn't make everyone happy". Not the response I'm looking for on a vacation of this type and cost. On the last day we happened to get a reservation for the steak grill because someone canceled. We were however dismayed to find that during the dinner approximately a third of the seats were never occupied. If you are set on a restaurant and have been unable to get a reservation you might show up at the seating time and be able to get a spot of a no show. The food in the steak and grill was better than the buffet. I had the steak and lobster choice. It would not be a must do if I returned though. Overall we enjoyed the resort and would consider going back to it again.
I planned this trip as a quick get away for our anniversary. The hotel is very close to the airport which is both a plus and a negative. You get to experience your vacation soon after landing but you also have to listen to airport noise during the day when you are trying to relax at the pool and beach. The food in the restaurants is excellent but the portions are extremely small. You don't need reservations and it is first come first served. Restaurants aren't open every night so if you want to experience all of them during your story it takes some planning. The buffet is quite good. I like to look for shells and beach glass - I was disappointed because there was vbasically none. They clean the beach every morning and remove a lot of what washes up. There is also a reef which I think limits what washes up. The beach is small and man made basically. This resort sits between Reggae and Montego Bay. You can walk between them, but still it isn't much of a stroll. The beach at Reggae has corse sand that hurts your feet. The Casino next door at Montego Bay consists of 10-15 slot machines and a video Black Jack machine. I did win $20 on the slots. The spa is in the Montego Bay hotel and the service was great. You don't register a credit card when you check in so you have to either bring your card with you or carry the cash...I did not like that. So used to just charging thins to my room. Even the late checkout...had to leave my room to go downstairs to pay. It was either $50 or $60. Drinks were fantastic. Loved Red Stripe light as we can't get that in the US. The bar in the room was stocked with Miller lite...really? Stock the local stuff. Service was outstanding. Entertainment was hit or miss. Could have gone next door but wasn't interested in the show that was on that night. We did the Mytic Lagoon excursion. It was very cool but get seat along the outside of the boat otherwise you won't be able to see. Also get in the water to really see the micro-organisms sparkle against your skin. We hired a driver to show us the town. Went to a local patty joint and the were fantastic. Try one of each. Don't smoke weed but if you want to buy it you have plenty of opportunity. The corner between the hotels I called ganja corner. I could smell it but didn't see anyone. On my second trip over I saw a head pop up from behind the fence. The guy asked if I wanted to buy some ganja...when I said no he ducked back down. Lol. It was a great quick trip but I was disappointed in the decor and the airport noise. I wish it was more rustic and not so man made. The staff was amazing and definitely one of the best parts of the vacation.