Why We Keep Returning To The Hotel Riu Negril Jamaica

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Most hotels once you check out you’ll probably never be back. But that’s not the case with the Riu Negril Jamaica. There are very few hotels in the world that we’ve been back to. Actually, now that I think about it there are only 4 other hotels.

We’ve checked back into Hotel Riu Negril twice but Hannah’s parents, on the other hand, our 2017 trip was their 14th time staying at the Hotel Riu Negril. In order for us to return to the same hotel it has to be special, here are 9 reasons why we’ll keep returning to the Hotel Riu Negril Jamaica.

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9 Reasons We’ll Go Back | Hotel Riu Negril Jamaica

Swim-up bar

Not going to lie my favorite spot at the Hotel Riu Negril is at a bar stool submerged in the pool. I could easily spend half my day making friends at the swim-up bar with a strawberry daiquiri in hand. You are guaranteed to meet a fun and rowdy bunch here.

The beach at the Riu Negril Resort


It wouldn’t be a Jamaica vacation without a beach. There is a huge beach with tons of beach chairs and a good amount of palm trees to seek shade under. You can walk the beach from Hotel Riu Negril and after about 10 minutes you’ll reach Riu Tropical Palace.

Further down the beach is Couples Negril and Royalton Negril Resort but then you’ll run into the end of the beach, there is no way to walk to Seven Mile beach. Trust us we’ve tried…You’ll have to jump in a taxi for about $10. It’s a great place for a week-long Jamaica honeymoon.

sunset over the Riu Negril


Negril is our favorite place in the world to watch the sunset. Head to the beach bar to grab a drink and watch the FREE and epic daily show (the sunset). Make sure to stick around a few minutes after the sun literally sets, sometimes the sunset puts on a pretty awesome aftershow of colors.

Overall site photo of the Riu Negril Hotel


Negril is the perfect beach escape close to home. Traveling to Jamaica is super easy and there are more and more direct flights than ever. Even direct flights from our hometown Milwaukee to Montego Bay and then a 1.5 hours shuttle to Negril. You’ll be checking into the Hotel Riu Negril in no time.

On our recent trip, our flight from Orlando (MCO) on JetBlue was only $99 one way and $235 one way back to Milwaukee.  We love the beaches in Koh Lipe Thailand or Summer Island Maldives but each of those destinations requires over 24 hours of traveling. We suggest searching on Skyscanner for cheap flights to Jamaica.


The entertainment is nonstop at the Riu. During the day there is water aerobics, pool games, dance lessons, and much more. Every night on the stage there is a rotating schedule so you’ll never see the same thing twice.

If you need a day off the resort consider heading to the Pelican Bar which is the coolest bar in the world in the middle of the ocean. You need to take a boat to get here, it’s awesome. On the way consider visiting the famous Dunn’s River Falls to cool off.

Riu chef cooks Jerk Chicken at the Riu Club Negril
Jerk Hut

Every day at noon the guy’s in the jerk hut serve up the best jerk chicken in Negril. We have tried jerk chicken at several restaurants in Negril and none are as good as the Riu’s jerk hut. There are two types of jerk sauce, we love the spicy one!

Don’t be afraid to order your chicken “no chop”, that way they don’t chop it up. If you prefer white or dark meat just ask. Our next favorite jerk place is Three Dives Jerk Chicken in the west end, we suggest heading here just before sunset.

Unlimited Minibar In-room

The perk of unlimited alcohol continues in your room/ Each room not only has the refrigerator stocked with beer & soda but full bottles of liquor. It’s nice to mix a drink in your room and sit on the balcony listening to the waves crashing at night.

Friendly Staff

The staff at the Riu really are what makes it extra special. Many of the bartenders will know your name by the end of the second day. My parents are on a first-name basis with about just about someone at every bar & restaurant on the property. They love going to Hotel Riu Negril not only for the vacation but to see their friends.

Resort and beach photo of the Riu Negril

No Beach Vendors

If you just want to take a nap on the beach and not have someone tapping you on the shoulder to look at their sunglasses or towels you can! Even though all beaches in Jamaica are public, you won’t be bothered by beach vendors. You’ll be thankful for this when you head to Seven Mile Beach and realize how many beach vendors there are there.

When you do run into the beach vendors be polite and we highly suggest the patty man selling Jamaican patties his bicycle and the ice cream man. Make sure to check out our complete list of things to do in Negril Jamaica.

The main pool at the Riu Negril surrounded by huts


There isn’t just one pool at the Hotel Riu Negril but three.  Four if you got the massive pool in front of the beach. There is always somewhere to jump in and cool down.

Rui Club vs Riu Palace in Negril Jamaica

There are actually two Riu hotels in Negril, the Hotel Riu Negril, and Riu Tropical Palace. They are very similar but there are some differences. Both hotels are on the same beach and right next to each other. On our last trip, we were offered a free upgrade to Riu Tropical Palace. The Riu Tropical Palace is slightly more expensive when writing this article it was roughly $50 extra a night. That extra money gets you top-shelf alcohol and free room service.

If you stay at the Riu Tropical Palace you can use all facilities at Hotel Riu Negril, but not the other way around.  Hotel Riu is family-friendly and has a children’s pool whereas Riu Tropical Palace is more suited for couples. If you’re planning a honeymoon in Jamaica we would suggest Riu Tropical Palace.

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Have you stayed at the Hotel Club Riu? We know we’ll be back!

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Thanks to Riu Negril and Visit Jamaica for hosting us, as always all opinions are our own. 

18 thoughts on “Why We Keep Returning To The Hotel Riu Negril Jamaica”

  1. Spent the week before Christmas at RIU and we had a blast. My 19 and 20 yr old also had lots fun, pools were great, beach relaxing, and lots of activities kayaks, beach volleyball and great entertainment. The entertainment staff and friendly and fun, they are there during the day and also put on the evening show. Jerk chicken hut was delicious and hotel lobby bar made the best drinks.

    • Most all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica will have a photographer and you can schedule a couples photoshoot on the property. You’ll see the photographers walking around at sunset and at the specialty restaurants all the time. I’d stop by the front desk and ask about scheduling one. Have a blast in Jamaica.

  2. Got married in 2014 at the Riu Club in Negril going back in June and leaning toward the Palace. I love a Riu. Does the palace give you 24 hour room service? Cant find this information on Apple.

  3. I love the hotel but cant stand the hustlers on the beach especially the ones that work on captain phils glass bottom boat. People beware!!!

    • Some people like them, some people don’t. Some of those guys are good to talk with and it’s a chance to see a bit of life on the island, but others can be too pushy.

  4. Does the patty man come along on Bloody Bay as well? I loved the patty’s when I stayed on 7-mile beach a few years ago. Heading to RIU Negril in September 🙂

    • We have never seen him on this part of the beach (he might not be allowed), but you should be able to find someone selling Patties if you walk down the beach in Bloody Bay.

  5. Heading back on the 29th for the 3rd time to the Riu Negril and 5th time to Jamaica. The ultimate vacation location in my opinion with amazing people, beaches, sites, food and always find something new that amazes me.


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