Full Review: RIU Club Hotel All Inclusive Resort Negril, Jamaica
The first time we stayed together at Riu Negril for 10 nights in August of 2015, we had a wonderful experience. At this time, our trip fell right before the hotel was about to close down for 3-4 months for remodeling. We were not aware of this at the time we booked but this did not impact the quality of our stay. In fact, we returned 8 months later for 23 nights at at the newly renovated facility.
If you are looking to book a stay here, have any doubts or questions or just want some experienced advice, heres our review: The Full Length Version
Things We Loved:
• The Staff
From the time you step foot into the lobby at Club Riu, you will be pleasantly greeted by at least one staff member willing to help you with all your needs.
Our favorite thing about this resort is the layout and landscaping. Not many hotels can we say the same for. This property is very lush and green with paved brick walkways. The architectural design structure features Greco-Roman type columns and statues making you feel as though if you’re not only on vacation but staying at your very own colosseum with the greats.
Self serve Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet with reservation options at sit and dine restaurants. Everything you need is here and readily available. For drinks, you have 5 separate bars available including one open 24hrs and a swim up bar in the main pool.
Overall quality and selection of food is quite impressive. There is a bit of something for everyone, carnivores and vegetarians alike. The presentation of the food is always a picturesque moment. All dining room waitstaff is very attentive and pleasant.
• Entertainment & Nightly Shows
Each night at Club Riu there is a different featured entertainment of some sort. One night features a beach party with bonfire – another is a live steel drum band performance. They host one coconut party a week, you won’t want to miss it. During the day, there is usually a party of some sorts going on at the main pool but there is plenty of quiet areas if you’re looking to just relax. Also, keep an eye out for Paul, the singing bartender – he hosts a nice karaoke show while mixing up your favorite drinks.
• Casual But Classy
Attire is not strict. Everyone is free to dress how and if they want (although some form of clothing IS required). Most guest keep it low key during the day but tend to step up a bit more formal at night. Men are required to wear shirts with sleeves (no tanks or beach tops) at dinner time.
Things You Should Know:
Unlike most travel sites state online, this property is technically NOT located on 7-Mile beach. This hotel is one of a just a few that rest in a cove called Bloody Bay. While still beautiful and a lovely resort setting as a whole, please keep in mind that to reach the actual beach strip (where Margaritaville and all the tiki sand bars are located) you’re in for a little bit of a lengthy walk.
Entertainment is on a weekly rotation so after 7 days, all shows and parties start over. Again, if you plan on only coming for 5-7 days, this won’t be an issue. During our longer stay, we spent quite some time venturing around the island and taking tours which you can easily book near the front desk area, so the repeat didn’t bother us much. We already knew we this factor and returned based on the comfortable atmosphere we felt from the year before.
There is plenty of security on the property however, this is a big factor at this resort. Many hotels prohibit the use of 420 or smoking is asked to be kept off the premises but this is not the case here. We were approached numerous times and asked if we want to purchase some “product“. As stated before, this place is known for partying, no exceptions. The security did not do much to keep the locals from walking up and down the shoreline or pulling up in boats to sell you their freshly picked goods.
•Might not be for children or families
If you are coming here, keep in mind that this is a Club type of hotel. Main forms of entrainment include drinks, sun, food and relaxation. They do have a small area designated for the little ones but this might not be enough to entertain older tween or teenage children.
• Modernized with outdated features
Air conditioning is not very cold, especially is occupancy is high due to an older water cooling system that runs the whole building (the independent thermostats in the room do not work). Same with the hot water. Sometimes more luke warm or lacking water pressure. Outdoor lounge chairs are basic and could use an upgrade.
• Not within reasonable walking distance for off the property exploring
The Riu Club is the very first hotel resort on the right side when driving into Negril from Green Island. Time Square and downtown district are a good 10-15 minute drive. If you are coming to stay strictly on the property, this may or may not be a factor for you. There are also many tours available for booking if you are feeling adventurous. Stick to the tours with transportation and security vs going out to venture alone.
And there you have it – Riu Club, Negril Jamaica.