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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 January 2008

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.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank eshanks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,358 - 4,364 of 6,374 reviews

Reviewed 24 January 2008

I stayed at the Riu Palace from October 14th to October 21, 2007. It looks like you can see the ocean from all the rooms. I found the food was excellent but the drinks could be better. The room we had was clean and large. The maid service was great. I tried all the restaurants (Japanese, Italian, Steak house and Buffet and have no complaints.

Our only problem was either the door would not lock or we couldn't open the door to our room. We had to wait about 1 hour for them to fix it. This happened twice. Finally on the third day they got it fixed properly.

Also, most of the time the beach was really good but there are times when the sand blows constantly all over you all day. You have sand in your hair, mouth, bathing suit etc.

Aside from a few minor things that went wrong, I would definitely go back to this resort and recommend it to my clients and friends.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled on business
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5  Thank fernsweets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2008

Riu Palace Aruba was amazing! We stayed from December 21-December 28. We have also been to Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Riu Cancun in Cancun, Mexico. This was our favourite. The staff couldn't be more friendly. It wasn't like Mexico where you had to worry about the food and water. In Aruba, you could drink the water from the tap and eat the food! This was our first time in Aruba. We loved it! It always had a little breeze which was so nice. At the hotel there are 3 buildings. Building A and B had 10 floors and Building C had 8 floors. I was in building B on the ninth floor. Building A is the main building. In Building A and B all the rooms have partial views if you are not on floor 9 or 10. However, Building C was terrible. All the rooms had partial views. When they were building the hotel building C was already there. It was the Grand Aruba hotel. Then, it closed. The inside of it is hideos! There are stains on the carpets, it smells and it looks gross. They only did somthing to the outside. If you looked at a picture of the hotel you would think all of the buildings were the same. Remember, there not. At Riu Palace Aruba there were lots of children. The hotel was nice and clean. Like I said before, the staff could not be more friendly. The only thing I did not like about this hotel was the Japenese Restaurant. The food was terrible and there was nothing for the kids to eat. I would recomend this hotel for couples, honeymoons, vacations and just about any vacation. If you are looking for a beautifal vacation in Aruba, Riu Palace Aruba is for you. For more information go to: http://www.riu.com/en/hotel-riu-palace-aruba-palm-beach.html

Thank You

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
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10  Thank 1234j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2008

Our family of 4, including 2 teenagers, spent 7 days at the Riu Palace Aruba. We loved the island of Aruba, but we would not choose the Riu for our next trip. There are better, more centrally located hotels to choose from in Aruba. Vacations are designed for relaxing. Unfortunately, staying at the Riu is not.

Negative #1 There are no beach attendants.
If you want to sit under a cabana, you have to get to the beach by 7:30am, even during a non-holiday week, which was surprising . Then you must scale a 7-8 feet tall stack of beach chairs to get your own chairs down and drag them across the sand to a cabana. And this is all before your first cup of coffee.

Negative # 2 Dinner reservations.
We always book all-inclusive hotels and were very disappointed in the Riu's policies. Each day, you must get down to the lobby by 8:45am or so to get on the line for dinner sign up. At the Riu, you must sign up in person, each and every day. You cannot phone the concierge for a reservation (there is no concierge) or book dinner reservations for your entire stay at once. You only have a 3 hour window to do this each day, from 9am to 12pm. If you forget or arrive after 12pm, you must go to the buffet. In truth, the food at the Riu isn't all that good. We went to local restaurants a few times just so we could order from a menu that offered more than 3 choices.

On the positive side, the staff was very nice and helpful. They did put egg crate pads on our mattresses so they were more comfortable to sleep on. The pool area is beautiful and clean and not too crowded.

Stayed: January 2008
5  Thank travelgirlRye_NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2008

Wonderful brand new resort that exceeded expectations. The resort is beautiful with great service and all-inclusive food. The room service was great for breakfast on the balcony. Only draw back is that there are so many good restaurants on the island that you want to do both. Be sure and get down to the beach early in the morning as the cabanas are taken quick!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank NYC58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2008

This was our third visit to Aruba but our first at an all-inclusive. We had three rooms on the 10th floor of the hotel. The rooms were large and clean, the view from the balcony was very impressive. The beds were hard and noises from the hallways filtered into the rooms. The room staff kept the bar stocked and made towel animals daily.
The food was the area in which we were the most disappointed. We tried two of the restaurants which required reservations and found the service to be leisurely at best and the food to be so-so. The buffet was definitely the way to go.
We did visit the casino on a few occasions but were surprised to see that there seemed to be no winners on the slots. I would stick to the gaming tables. Overall the hotel was a 'thumbs up", keeping in mind that it is still relatively new and has to work out some of the kinks!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled on business
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3  Thank CruisingAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2008

Stayed week of Jan 6 to Jan 13, simply put, it was a horrible experience! Without getting into too many details; Front Desk - lacking in hospitality, No Bellman, no system for your luggage when you arrive, it just sits in the hallway with no check baggage tags. Food - the worst - sick with FOOD POISONING 2 out of the 6 days I was there. Lacking in service, lacking in cleanliness, sheets and spreads musty and moldy. Save yourself the expense, the place needs a great amount of work, and the service needs to be revamped. RIU - is synonmous with Horrible and Dirty. Go someplace other than the RIU, a grass hut for that matter.

Feel free to contact me for more details:gchristie@vzw.blackberry.net

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank NewYorkGerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Aruba

Address: J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 79 | Palm Beach - Oranjestad - Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba (Formerly Aruba Grand Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: £321 - £622 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Aruba 4*
Number of rooms: 450
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

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