If you can get past the delayed flights, the tiring customs lines, and the long transfer from the airport, Negril is a beautiful place. It becomes very easy to adapt the "no problem mon" attitude and just kick back and relax.
The RIU Club Hotel Negril is an all-inclusive resort on a private beach in Negril. The first question that almost everyone has about an all-inclusive is "How’s the food?" So here’s the skinny on the RIU.
The RIU Club Hotel has a buffet (Green Island) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In addition, there are three "restaurants" on the property–-the Steakhouse, Sir Andrew, and Ridiccio. The Steakhouse is just that, a steak dinner. Sir Andrew’s menu features a lot of seafood, with standard chicken and beef choices, and Ridiccio is a Brazilian menu.
The process of getting reservations for these restaurants was a new concept to me. At 8am every morning, a table is set up outside the Green Island buffet, and people stand in line to make reservations. This is cutthroat business, as people start lining up as early as 6:30am (though I think you could get by with 7:15 or 7:30). There are two seating times for each–-7pm and 9pm. The 7pm times go first, and Sir Andrew is the most popular restaurant, usually running out of seating early on.
We only had the opportunity to eat at the Steakhouse, so that’s the only first-hand knowledge I have. However, in conversations with my fellow line-standers, Sir Andrew’s food is the best of the three restaurants. As for me, I thought the Steakhouse was very good, so if Sir Andrew is better, then it must be REALLY good.
At the Steakhouse, you are given a menu of several different courses. You assume you’re going to have to pick one item from each course, but in fact, you get EVERYTHING that’s on the menu. Starters are a salad, fried "delicacies" (cheese, onion rings, eggrolls), and soup. The main course consists of a steak cooked to order, corn on the cob, a baked potato, and some veggies. Dessert is Alaskan cake.
Outside the realm of these restaurants exists the standard buffet. I am a very picky eater, and I was always able to find several things I liked. The breakfast buffet is your standard breakfast buffet–-hashbrowns, eggs (you can order them to your liking, get an omelets, or eat the pre-cooked scrambled eggs), bacon, sausage, cereal, and milk (about six different choices), fruit, cheese, waffles, pancakes, donuts, muffins, etc.
For lunch, the Steakhouse restaurant turns into a snack bar and features hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit, cheese, salad, french fries, etc.
Dinner is pretty standard, although they did have Mediterranean night one night during our stay. There was chicken, beef, pork, potatoes (mashed, scalloped, etc.), seafood, fruit, salads, etc. There was a huge selection.
Be on your toes; people can get pretty snarky when it comes to that last waffle or that last bit of cheese. It’s more like a full-contact sport than dinner. However, the staff is wonderful. They keep your old plates clear, serve you water or wine, and make sure you can find everything. Our favorite waiter was Andre, and he looked for us each morning at breakfast to find out our activities the previous day. My only caution is if you sit outside--those tables come at a premium. We had just been served coffee one morning for breakfast, we got up for round two at the buffet, and we came back to find our table cleared and someone else sitting there!
I’d rate the food at the RIU a strong 8 out of 10.