My husband and I were at the Riu Palace from January 16-23rd. We had been to the Riu Tropical Bay in Negril last year-and he was crazy about Riu Hotels! We took the DePalm tour bus from the airport, our hotel was the second stop. Downtown traffic would also have held up a cab, so it really didn’t take very long. We got in at about 1:30 pm, and of course, our room wasn’t ready. I said to the guy at the desk, who along with all the desk people-couldn’t have been nicer-“I want a room with a sit out on balcony”. He told me not to worry-I would have one. We went downstairs to grab lunch from the lavish lunch buffet. Then I went down to the beach, ‘cause I couldn’t wait to get my feet in the water, while hubby checked the place out. We went back up to the desk in about an hour, and were given Room 411 in the main building. I did not pay the extra price on booking the trip for an Oceanview room, but we looked directly into it-over the pool. The room was huge! Two HARD (which I knew was gonna be) double beds pushed together, but made up separately, a giant bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and a fabulous pressure shower, and double sinks, and down two steps , a lovely sitting area with a sofa and chairs, out to a balcony which held two chairs and a table, walled off from the neighboring room. Needless to say-we were quite impressed! From what I understand, the building with the French balconies on the right side facing the beach, are the time share people. That building also houses the gym, spa and towel place.
We are beach people. We never had a problem getting chairs at the beach daily. Yes, somehow all the palapas were taken first thing in the morning. Well, there were towels on the chairs under them. About 70% of them never had people in them all day.
Last year, I felt I had found my perfect beach in Negril. This is nothing against the resort- but by the second day I was so disgusted with the wind and the sand blowing on me 24/7, I couldn’t take laying on the beach any more. I imagine a lot of people felt the same, because by 2 pm, the beach was usually empty. I’d try to lay on the chair reading, and the sand would be pelting me. It hurt! I’d look like Mr. sandman going into the water. The sand even blew at you in the water. It was unreal. I didn’t remember it being like that 10 years ago-I think I appreciated the breeze then! Again-this was Aruba-nothing the Riu could have done. But the sunsets…Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Water sports were not free. Usually, hotels have windsurfing, sunfish and kayaks free. There was a pier next to the hotel with whatever you wanted to do-boat trips, water skiing, parasailing, jet ski ,scuba, etc. We didn’t use any of this.
The pool was fabulous. Huge-never run into people or kids swimming around. The swim up bar was great-bartenders very attentive. We drank a lot of Blue Corals and Miami Vices. Yummmm! Large and small groups of people were always gathered by the pool bar in the water. There were cement lounge chairs right in the water to lay on for reading or relaxing, and little tables with stools to sit it while having a drink. And a separate up top pool for whatever reason! The Jacuzzi felt good, but was the same water temperature. There was a very small child’s pool close to the time share building.
My husband went to book dinner three times. Twice he was there late, but had no trouble, and once he was second in line. We rented a car from Thrifty car Rentals in the lobby, and booked the Atlantis Submarine Adventure from Marina in the lobby. We rented a Jeep, rather than follow the Jeep tour, and had the car for 24 hrs. for about $120 including insurance. We had a great time driving the rocky beaches, to the lighthouse, the Church, the natural Bridge, and to Baby Beach. We also had the car the next morning to get us in town for the Submarine trip. Usually we go snorkeling to see all the underwater life, but hubby was feeling lazy. The view was wonderful-trip lasted about 2 hrs.
I like all – inclusives because I like “stuff” going on all the time. Every other resort we have gone to has hourly Bingo, volleyball, beach soccer, beach aerobics, dance contests, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment all evening. The Riu in Jamaica had activities going on all the time. This hotel had Bingo at 3 pm. Three nights they had a show. The first one The Salsa show-I had to leave after about 4 numbers that were all alike. One night they had the International Show, which we came in at the end-looked like the Mummers Parade! Don’t think we made it to the third one. Several nights in the lounge, there was a three piece band from 8-11. They were very personable and entertaining. Two nights we walked about 5 minutes down the street and went to The Sopranos Piano Bar. Nice fun place with a nice crowd having a good time! We felt safe walking the streets late at night to get there.
Sunday was the big football games. It was a lot of fun watching people from all over, wearing their team shirts rooting for their favorite teams in the Sports Bar. The sports bar is right off the main bar off the lobby-so don’t miss it. You could get munchies there all day.
The Restaurants: We did not go to the Japanese one because nothing appealed to us from their menu. and they did not hibachi cook at tableside. We also didn’t go to the Gourmet one, as nothing on their menu we liked. We are not into gourmet food with fancy sauces, but I am sure it was lovely. We went to the Nautilus one night and had twin lobster tails and a filet, which we didn’t get charged any extra for- I was shocked, but pleased! Our appetizers automatically were a chicken Caesar salad and a plate of cold seafood appetizers-crab legs, shrimp, mussels, etc. We did go to the Italian place twice. One night I had the seafood in a white alfredo type sauce, and one night the shrimp and risotto-both excellent! They had a cold and hot antipasto bar first-and there was seafood over red sauced linguini to die for! Also a great lasagna, and pretty much everything to fill up on was yummy! The Don Nicholas buffet had an assortment of foods every night. Hubby usually hit the pasta bar, and one night I grabbed shrimp from the seafood side, and the girl at the pasta bar added some mussels, a lot of garlic and sautéed it all up for me with rigatoni-like I had died and gone to heaven! Huge salad bars, fresh fruits, meats, fishes, anything and everything-didn’t have one thing we didn’t enjoy. Lunches, the same thing -plenty to choose from. The breakfast buffet-whatever you needed-omelet station, fresh fruits, veggies, anything…it was there! Nobody could possibly complain!! Well, maybe about the coffee LOL. But we discovered you could ask for cappuccino-much better for after dinner with dessert!
My husband treated me to a massage at the spa. Ruth gave an incredible deep tissue massage! Prices a bit steep-$120 for 50 minutes-but -hey-you;re on vacation!
The employees, despite the fact none could understand or speak English, were all very nice. My major complaint was that at meals, in the buffet or the special restaurants, you could not get a cocktail. They had all kinds of wine, Aruban beer and pepsi products. We always had to stop at the lobby bar and pick up a drink to take with us to dinner. We had never encountered this at any other resorts. That, along with the lack of entertainment, and the nasty sand blowing winds will pretty much guarantee my not coming back to Aruba for a while.
- 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, Diners ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Palace Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Riu Aruba
- Riu Palace Aruba Resort
- Hotel Riu Palace Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach