on February 22, 2005
The newest addition to the Negril hotel scene is the RIU Club Hotel Negril. The Italian theme blends nicely into the tropical environment, and the Jamaicans added their own twist on classical architecture by spicing it up with purples and other bright colors.
We chose this hotel for several reasons.
The price: We bought it as part of an Air Jamaica all-inclusive package, and the price came in around $250/night each for two people.
The location: The RIU ClubHotel is the first hotel as you come into the hotel strip on the beach in Negril. While not on the famous Seven Mile Beach, the beach is larger and private.
The amenities: The hotel was attractive because of it’s all-inclusive format. All meals were included, as well as all drinks, all activities, etc. There was a private beach and two large pools, and most water sports were included as well.
Facility sharing at RIU Tropical Bay: We bought the trip with this in mind, but honestly, we never made it to the Tropical Bay resort (within walking distance, maybe 10 minutes down the beach).
Here are some tips/tricks that we learned while we were staying here.
Nudity: While not Hedonism, I think it’s important to know that there was some topless sunbathing going on, both on the beach and at the pool. I just thought parents of small children (and other prudish Americans) might want to know this.
Meals: Eating at this hotel is an adventure, which is why I’ve dedicated a whole journal entry to this. Basics: Get up early (7-ish) and stand in line for reservations for the three restaurants. The buffet is a good alternative and always seemed to have something that everyone would like.
Room location: Prior to arrival, we’d had some tips on which building to request. (There are four.) Buildings 1 and 2 are closest to the main areas, but we were in building 3 and really didn’t mind the walk (we could work off some of our meals). Building 4, however, is near the end fence for the property, so I would say this is the least desirable building.
Sitting at the pool or beach: Pool chairs seemed a bit harder to come by than beach chairs. We never had trouble sitting on the beach, but poolside was more of a challenge. I say pick your location, grab a seat no later than 9am, and camp out with your stuff.
Activities: There is always something going on here. Might I recommend the ocean aerobics and the reggae dance lessons? Each night there exists some kind of entertainment – a reggae band, a theatrical show, and each Sunday night, a bonfire.
This hotel was a great decision on our part. I would give it a 9 out of 10 and recommend it to most everyone. Those I wouldn’t recommend staying here are the spring breakers who would want to be in the center of the action on Seven Mile Beach.
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