My fiancé and I stayed at the Riu Palace Aruba from May 6-May 13, 2012. I had spent time reading the tripadvisor reviews of this hotel prior to our departure. Our flight to Aruba from Toronto went smoothly and when we arrived to our hotel after being shuttled over (15-20min ride) we were told our rooms were not ready and should be ready at about 3pm. We went down to the main buffet restaurant and had a nice lunch and then went back to the lobby to find out that our room was ready early and that we were getting upgraded to a Junior Suite.
Our room was in building B on the 6th floor. We faced the Westin hotel and had a partial view of the Ocean. It wasn’t a great view and we didn’t have chairs on the balcony, but we didn’t mind so much as we were glad to get the extra space in our room (couch and sitting area). The room was clean and a little outdated, but it didn’t bother us. After all we weren’t there to spend time in the room. The maids did a great job and always came in the evening for turndown service and to bring us extra towels and refill our minifridge as necessary. I would say that the service we received at this resort was really good and I’ve been to many resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico.
BEACH & POOL
Because Aruba is a more expensive destination then some islands in the Caribbean (Such as Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic) I always figure the beach would be the nicest – however that was not just so. While the beach was pretty and the sand was white and soft – the water was cloudy and after walking in about waist deep, the nice sand turned to a muddy sulphur-smelling substance that felt really gross on my feet. I was not a big fan of it at all! Other than that as I’m sure you have read already, wake up at 5:30am if you want a hut, or just find a palm tree to hide under if you don’t feel like waking up. We played beach volleyball everyday and had a great time. Pool was nice, we didn’t spend too much time there, but did go into the infinity pool for a little bit every day.
Aruba is known for having good weather and no much rain (especially in the month of May). However we had rain everyday. Sometimes it would rain for 1 ½ hours and the clear up and other times it would rain longer(but usually at night or in the morning). The wind was pretty tame when we first got there and pick up quite a bit just as we were leaving, but you need the wind, otherwise the heat is too much!
FOOD & DRINKS
We were happy with the food. We ate at two of the speciality restaurants, Japanese and Italian. The Japanese was so-so and the Italian was good. The buffet (Don Nicholas) was good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lots of variety, could always find something – did end up eating the same things over again. The drinks were good – the bartender could make whatever you wanted. I feel as though the drinks are watered down or something, because I didn’t even get a buzz at anytime.
We rented a car for a day (about $50 for a car or double that if you want a Jeep). We drove around the island and went to Baby Beach which was my favourite place on the whole island. So beautiful and nice if you like to snorkel. We also went to see the Natural Bridge – it was ok, and the California lighthouse. It was nice t just drive around and see how people in Aruba live.
We also did a snorkelling trip from 9am until noon. It was on a catamaran called Sunshine and it was booked through the watersports guy right on our beach. We had only one other couple on the catamaran so it was nice and peaceful. We were taken to two locations and given equipment, light food and drinks. The cost was $45/person. Totally worth it – I even saw a sea turtle!!
The so-called entertainment was horrible!! I have stayed at Riu’s on three other islands and this was the worst entertainment by far! Shows were half an hour long and not well rehearsed. After 10:30pm there is nothing happening on the resort. You may want to walk down the strip where all the bars, restaurants and shops are for some entertainment in the evening.
There is definitely room for improvement at the Riu, but it was nice and we had a good time.
- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Riu Palace Aruba
- Riu Palace Aruba Hotel
- Riu Aruba
- Riu Palace Aruba Resort
- Hotel Riu Palace Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- > * Opened: summer 2007> * Situated in Palm Beach on the island of Aruba> * Two 10-story buildings, one 8-story building> * Located on the beach> * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach> * 4 km / 2.48 miles from Oranjestad> * 700 m / 2296.7 ft. from various shops> * 10 km / 6.21 miles from the airport> * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners ... more less
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