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“One Happy Hotel!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 June 2014

The Riu Palace is a spectacular looking Hotel in old colonial style. It has 3 blocks, we stayed in a junior suite on the 7th floor in the main building, the views were lovely. The bed was very hard but you can request a topper. The towels were changed and the fridge was restocked daily. There is a flat screen TV and wifi in your room. The Palace is well positioned for shopping and eating out, we ate in an Indian Restaurant called The tandoor 3 times and every time was excellent. There is a good bus service to take you to Orangestad $2.30, the shops seem to close at 6 and not open on Sunday.
Ronald B has written a very comprehensive review which makes very good reading.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a Junior Suite 7th floor main building, the view is wonderful!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank GIFFYT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2014

This is not the first time we have chosen a riu hotel as we had been to the one in costa rica which is amazing so we were hoping for a repeat. Overall the hotel is good, the staff were very helpful and happy, we were in C block that there has been a lot of complaints about but we were more than happy here especially as it is also furthest away from the building works next door. we were on the 7th floor and had a half decent view, the room was clean and a fair size, really liked the walk-in wardrobe area. the facilitys in the room were very good, fridge which is supposed to be stocked with cold drinks daily, but we had ours filled only 3 times in two weeks, this wasnt a major issue for us as drinks are available everywhere and we had not complained for it to be rectified. the food quality and choice was excellent especially the ala carte steak house, which we dined at on several occasions for steak and lobster. The down sides of our holiday were that the pool area is to small and most sunbeds are once again booked up with peoples towels by 9am.even though this again is not hotel policy.mainly americans here and the pool area seemed to be just like a frat party, with overly loud music played through a poor quality speaker system, plenty of room on the beach but you will get sandblasted by the wind and on occasion this stings. no hassle on the beach from vendors and plenty of watersports to choose from. So why am I unhappy with the destination, There just isnt enough to do on the island, if you are a sun worshipper and nothing else this is great but although I like the sun I like to be active, we took advantage of the trips on offer but they are quite lame. we also took a trip in to the capital which is great for designer shopping. Our thomson rep was lovely and helpful and I did feel quite sorry for her with a 7 hour delay home and everyone complaining, but she kept us informed and we were allowed to stay at the hotel instead of the small hot airport.
If you like riu hotels go to costa rica, its amazing with a great location, we will book a Riu hotel for our next holiday but will research the location more next time

Room Tip: block c as its further from the building works
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank furminger69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I can honestly say this was one of the best hotels I have stayed in around the world!! The room was huge with beautiful views, the beds were amazing with remote control memory foam mattress & 42" flat screen TV!! However amazing the room is, most time spent on the beautiful beach!! It was breathe taking - to be able to look at this beach let alone sunbathe on there for 2weeks, I felt the luckiest girl ever!! The sunlounger boys were phenomenon with their morning service bringing the sunloungers to me every morning & placing in my chosen position!! (Surprisingly as they didn't even expect tips!!) All the restaurants were always fully 'overstocked' with food, from breakfast through to lunch, then evening meal with snacks constantly available in the sports bar, I can now certainly understand how I put on a few pounds!!! The waiter service was outstanding, it's true you can never be overstaffed in a bar!! Always there to take your order! To sum this holiday up I can turkey say 'absolutely fabulous!' Myself & my mum had an amazing time & will definitely be returning back within the near future! Well done Riu Aruba Palace!!

  • Stayed: May 2014
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5  Thank Minniekiss81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

This was our fourth trip to Aruba, having stayed twice at the nearby Occidental and once at the Tamarin (Eagle Beach). The Riu building is very impressive but our general experience was very disappointing. We were on the second floor but had three separate leaks in our room which required maintenance to be called out.. The bed was not only hard but exceptionally creaky = after three nights of poor sleep we asked reception if someone could look at it - apparently there was a good deal of tightening of screws required which did improve it. The room looked really tired and in need of renovation - not what we have been accustomed to in other four and five star hotels and no where near the standard of the other hotels we have experienced in Aruba.

I have to say that the staff were excellent and we couldn't fault the service given by both bar and restaurant staff.

The main buffet restaurant was very poor, lacking both presentation and variety for the main course. There was a good variety of salads and sweets but the main courses offered were repetitive night after night. We were a little excited to see a lamb curry on offer as a change, but no sign of rice to accompany it! The same happened when chilli con carne was on the menu, and yet rice was randomly offered on other nights when there was no obvious dish to accompany it.

Aruba is a lovely Island and overall we enjoyed our holiday but I do think that the Riu enterprise should look into the management of this particular hotel and bring it to the standard expected for future visitors.

Room Tip: Beware - there is building work going on right next door to the hotel. Make sure you book a room aw...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Having paid a lot more than other holiday makers who booked 3 months before their holiday this did dishearten us. Our first impression of the hotel WOW but when they put us in C block having seen the reviews we were thinking OMG we have paid a lot more and we have ended up in C block. Within 5 minutes being in the room we found a dirty sock under the bed cover (sheets were clean) and the bath had a lot of grit and black rubber marks in it, fridge door full of ice and would not shut. Once reported this was soon rectified. Works were being carried out in a hotel next door this did not affect us too much however when sitting out having breakfast in the main restaurant the rubble shoots where alongside and did cause dust sometimes as there was no screen erected between both hotels.

The food in the main on restaurant and themed restaurants was fantastic clean towels everyday and elsewhere was very clean. We attended a wedding whilst there it was absolutely fabulous could not fault this. Beach and holiday was paradise and we would certainly go back to Aruba however, after paying a lot more and even questioned the price before we left Thomson did not offer to upgrade us in anyway that was disappointing. Another couple in our party did move from Block C a day later to B block.

Room Tip: Whatever block have above 5th floor for the views and close to the beach
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank DAVID P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Check the weather out on the internet, not just temperatures, rain and sunshine hours. If I had checked beforehand I would have noticed May is the islands windiest month and in particular Palm Beach Aruba. Every day was windy, I think the hotel structure is conducive to production of a wind tunnel effect. The Riu Palace is an impressive building which glistens white in the bright Arubian sunlight. Be aware the flight time to Aruba is 9.5 hours. I have posted some pictures on my site explaining the times of the restaurants and a map of the site. This hotel has 10 floors split over 3 blocks A, B & C. There are 2 lifts in block A and the button L in the lift is Lobby (this is Reception, the Sports Bar, Bon Bini Lounge Bar, Casino and Casino Bar and a small Shop. It is in the Lobby (L Button), that you can make your reservation for one of the four specialised restaurants from 08:00 each morning. The Rep meetings welcome and farewell, booking of hire cars and guest services all take place at this level.
Below the Lobby level in the lift is floor 1. This takes you out to the pool and beach separated by the Poolside Bar. Also at this level is the Don Nicholas Restaurant which has outside and inside dining, buffet service meals with drinks served at your table. There are also three of the speciality restaurants at level 1, Krystal (Fusion), Sayuri (Japanese) and the Milano (Italian) Staying on level 1, Block B, you have Nautilus (Steakhouse). All the specialised restaurants are served courses over 2 sittings 18:30 pm or 21:00 pm bookings are available daily on a first come first booked basis. Level 1 Block C, contains the Jacuzzi and fitness and wellness services.
All blocks have Ice Machines located at various levels so you can collect ice for your room minibar.
SERVICE:
Staff throughout the hotel were generally helpful although you will need to ensure that they understand what you require when asking for their services. I asked reception for some face flannels and 2 hours later a maintenance man arrived to fix the shower.
VALUE:
This is a 24 hour all inclusive hotel! Wi-Fi is free at the hotel and when you check in the username and password are printed on the envelope you receive. Wi-Fi is strongest in reception “L” Lobby. The Wi-Fi reception is considerably weaker the further your room is from Block A, or the higher your room. On check in you also receive 1 card per person for beach beach towels which can be redeemed at a hut adjacent to the Poolside Bar on Level 1. You can change the towels as many times as you want. Loss of the card will cost you $20 USD. Loss of your All Inclusive Bracelet will cost you $100 USD.
SLEEP QUALITY:
A high percentage of North and South Americans use this hotel as the island is easy for them to get to and has a good reputation. However my experience has been that as they are on a shorter break than the Europeans they tend to stay awake and are up much longer to maximise their holiday time. As the drink flows and is also available freely in their rooms, it can make your stay noisy on many occasions, as the hotel welcomes more guests throughout the holiday season.
CLEANLINESS:
This hotel is 7 years old and is looking dated. It would benefit from improving the décor as the rooms are starting to let it down. Damp results in cleaning staff shutting balcony doors to reduce dampness. Cleaners try to keep guest rooms nice and succeed most of the time, Dampness is also responsible for the daily removal of used towels and flannels.
If you are thinking of taking your own face flannels or towels, make sure they are any colour but white. White flannels or towels will go missing when damp items are removed by the maid, we lost two my wife purchased prior to our holiday.
You are not allowed to hang clothing from your room balcony.
LOCATION:
Well located for local shops and restaurants. A taxi to Orangestad (Downtown), will cost you around $11. You can get a bus outside the hotel and all busses go to Orangestad, ask your rep about the price. A hop on and off Tram runs in Orangestad and is free to use. It can be found near the bus terminal.
ROOMS:
Do not place your electronic room key card next to your phone or it will require re-programming at reception. I had a Junior Suite which was quite large. It had a TV which had 36 channels starting with channel 2 (Riu Advertisements) The bathroom had a hairdryer and two sinks set in a marble worktop facing a large ornate mirror. The bat was a Jacuzzi style with a shower above. Water temperature was fairly good and water from the taps is drinkable. The room had loads of storage an alarm clock and iron and an ironing board. You must keep the balcony doors closed for the air conditioning to remain operative. The air con being on, is the only way to prevent dampness and to avoid strange musty smells.
BEVERAGE SELECTION:
With the 24 hour all inclusive package all local and branded drinks are included. You have a locked cabinet with a glass front displaying four bottles of spirits with optics dispensers and a fridge containing beer water and mixers. Your drinks are topped up daily. You also have a coffee percolator and packs with filter coffee, powdered milk and sweetener. If you like tea it is available in the restaurants and the Sports Bar and is dependent on the servers’ knowledge and experience. You may need to ask for the tea bag, hot water, milk and sweetener and prepare the brew yourself. The Sports Bar is also where you can obtain food 24 hours a day, mainly snacks such as sandwiches, fruit, hotdogs Nachos and cheese, and cake etc.
Additional water can be obtained if required at reception (L Level), normally provided in 1 litre bottles.
FOOD:
The Don Nicholas Buffet restaurant (Level 1), repeats the same things each week, so if you are on a two week holiday expect to have a Groundhog Day experience. The food is very good, it tastes wonderful and is served with a smile. Gentlemen are asked to wear long trousers for the dinner service (18:30 Level 1), at the Don Nicholas restaurant and shirts. It is enforced spasmodically by door staff and you will find out of every 5 male gusts 3 are wearing shorts.
Breakfast has a large selection of cooked and continental style breakfast items. Eggs, bacon and pancakes feature strongly and have an American influence. Forget baked beans, meaty sausages and rashers of back bacon. Bacon comes streaky and crisp, eggs are scrambled, fried, poached, boiled, omelettes with all fillings under the sun, cooked fresh with what you want and how you like them. Pancakes, maple syrup……. Thermos flasks of coffee are delivered by the staff on your arrival at breakfast and plates are cleared quickly by staff after use. Tea can be requested, you have individual metal teapots containing hot water and sometimes the tea bag is in the pot, other times you add the tea bag yourself. Whenever you ask for tea you get a pot of hot milk unless you request otherwise. Some occasions you have to ask for tea with milk, or you get just the tea.
You can use the Don Nicholas for Lunch and the buffet selection is very good with plenty of variety to suit all tastes. At this restaurant you have both inside and outside seating.
The other lunchtime restaurant is the Nautilus (Level 1) opposite the Poolside Bar. It has a good selection and cooks fresh meats, it is popular for people using sun loungers. However you cannot dine without a vest or shirt on and women cannot dine in bathing suits or bikinis. They must cover up with a dress or other attire which hides their costume. I stopped using the Nautilus as birds were getting in frequently and started walking over the food. I actually saw a bird enter the cold meats, sandwiches, and pie compartment and deposited its bodily waste on the sandwiches.
SUMMARY:
The Riu Palace is well situated and has good transport links. There are plenty of bars and restaurants locally. Shops are open in the mornings and again from 16:00 and sell a variety of Arubian craft items and locally produced island products. The Riu is starting to decline due to outdated décor and dampness. The bits on show, the exterior and the customer interface areas are kept nice. Rooms are starting to suffer and are in need or refurbishment and modernisation. The staff are wonderful and are the best asset to this hotel. The Riu Palace hotel currently holds a five star rating. I think this is also outdated, I thinks all in all I would rate it at 3.5 to possibly 4 stars but unless training and décor are improved clientele will go elsewhere. You cannot rest on your laurels and past success you must strive for change and continual improvement and cutting edge staff development. Would I return to the Riu Palace Hotel? Hmmmmmm………. Maybe!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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16  Thank Ronald B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We stayed here for a week in May 2014. The view from building A is absolutely gorgeous!!! BUT the hotel itself is in need of major, major, major upgrades!!! The bed is very flat with outdated bedding, our room had a musty smell, and the floor was covered with sheddings from the mop. The shower leaked water onto the floor to the point we used 4 large towels to absorb water, and the water still ran over!! The flat-screen tv in our room was taken from the former Westin (some rooms still have the tube tv) and had black duct tape on the base to cover the holes...simply tacky! Although I did not see bugs in my room, I saw the exterminator on my floor, which was such a turn off. The housekeeper stole my silk pillow case and replaced it with a funky one. The manager suggested that she sent my case to laundry, which did not make sense either. I was finally reimbursed after two days of arguing with the manager. I was very thankful that it was just a pillow case, but the fact that she stole anything from me was distrubing to me.

The all-inclusive was a definite attraction and huge savings, but the taste of food was questionable. The restaurants looked stunning, but the food had extremely poor quality!! The best restaurant is Krystal and Sayuri is just awful!! The buffet had a decent variety, but could use a little work. The meat was often dry or tough. The Sports Bar could definitely use a face lift too!!

The pool and beach are fabulous and very well kept!! We met some great people at the hotel, and we all shared the same complaints!! We will definitely return to Aruba, but will not stay at the Riu Palace again. The former Westin is being renovated right now so we would consider staying at that location.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank DrSaun
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:
#5 Casino Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#11 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 Top resorts 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: £328 - £616 (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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