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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #17 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This will be a quick review not full of details but honest quick thoughts. I always said that I would never stay at a RIU resort as I am a fan of adult only resorts but due to circumstances beyond my control I was moved to the RIU as my hotel was overbooked from 7/22-7/25 of 2014. I must say that it exceeded my expectations and when I go on a family vacation in the future I would stay at the RIU. While the hotel could use some updating in the rooms and facilities I must say that the place was clean and the staff were super friendly. There was a double bed in my room and while one was ok the other needed to be thrown away. The food wasn't the best but it wasn't bad and the choc chip pancakes for breakfast were my favorite. The drinks were very good and the strip is located outside of the hotel so you can walk freely and enjoy the sights. Aruba is a place I will visit again.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Brinks94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,664 - 1,670 of 6,168 reviews

Reviewed 10 August 2014

Second trip to Aruba, First time at the Riu. This time was for our wedding anniversary and was just my wife and I - no children.

Overall we did have a great time but we had low expectations going in! As long as you are not expecting the Ritz you will be okay.


-Pool layout is probably the best in the high rise hotel area. Nice swim up bar to it with a walk up bar on the pool deck level. Bartenders are hard working and eager to please (and do not make watered down drinks!). There is no dedicated children's pool so sometimes it got annoying to have young children kicking and splashing you in the swim up bar area (yes we have children, but we away without ours!). Didn't really think it was appropriate for the children to be around the bar anyway.

-HOWEVER, the Riu needs more staff dedicated to keeping the pool area clean during the day. Like you may have read in other reviews, the dixie cups and straws blow around when the drink is finished and in most cases wind up blowing into the pool from the strong Aruba wind gusts. I have to admit, it skeeves me out a little when you see all this trash (cups, straws, mint leaves from mojitos, etc.) floating around in the pool. Toward the end of the week we did see a worker going around the pool cleaning up cups and trash, but only saw him once that day. They need constant attention out there.

-Beach is beautiful and have huts available (the sand on majority of the beach is full of shells, so be prepared). We didn't sit out on the beach, we spent all week inside the pool area but did walk out to go swimming in the ocean.

-Room we stayed in was pretty nice and had ocean view with balcony in Tower A. Be prepared for moldy smell and high humidity/dampness in your room. All of our clothes were damp throughout the week (even the ones hanging in our closet). Our room was booked as a King but when we got there we discovered it was two full beds pushed together. I can only say that our mattresses were horrible and felt like we were laying on plywood. TIP: the hotel has foam mattress toppers available but do not advertise this. We found this out from another guest and had these added to our bed and they make a BIG difference. They do have a refrigerator in the room which they keep stocked with bottle water, soda, beer, etc. Nice to have the bottled water available and the guy that stocked it gave us plenty.

-Door Locks & Key cards. Good luck, that is all I can say. The Riu installed new locks and have had lots of issues with them (although they will not admit it in most cases). We returned from our anniversary dinner at 11pm and had to make three trips down to front desk and back because our door would not unlock. After the third time, they sent maintenance men to try and figure it out. An hour later they finally got it fixed, but what a way to kill the night!!

-Be prepared to be out between 7 - 7:30 am if you want to lay claim to pool chairs. If you wait much later you will be disappointed!! TIP: Bring towel clips or spring clips from Home Depot to clamp your beach towel down with so it doesn't blow away while you are away from the chair. If you lose your towel they can charge you $20.

-Dinner Reservations. Be prepared to get in line in the lobby EVERY morning to get a dinner reservation for that evening. The reservation desk is only open from 8-11am and the good restaurants are not big. I got there around 7:45 (got coffee at Dunkin Donuts on beach after reserving pool chairs) and stood in line. Line starts forming around 7:30 or so. I would recommend the highest end restaurant, Krystal to visit. Milano's (Italian) was okay. Be prepared - the restaurants only serve about three different entrees per restaurant, so choices are limited. The Don Nicholas buffet is predictable, but not bad. Room service... Don't waste your time in my opinion - the menu is a joke. There are a ton of great restaurants in walking distance of the hotel, so don't limit yourself to the Riu restaurants your whole time. Riu had a nice bar and seating area just outside the lobby to the left. We went there every night after dinner to have drinks and listen to the music they had playing. Beer drinkers, be aware that Riu only offers is Balashi. Some people were upset that they didn't have Corona or any American light beers available.

-Hotel is a $25 flat fee from Airport. When you are flying out be prepared for long lines, I would follow the 3 hour suggestion they give you, especially if you are flying out on a Saturday.

Good Luck!

Room Tip: Tower A has direct Ocean View and no construction
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank GTech8794
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

We stayed at the Riu Palace in August 2014. This hotel is extremely outdated and not worth the money we spent. They need serious renovations. We were displeased with our stay. Our room had a serious leak, there were broken items In the room, the bed is extremely uncomfortable, and not mention the dirty sheets. The staff isn't that friendly or accommodating. The food and drinks are horrible❗️

The only nice thing we will say is the island is beautiful. We will definitely visit Aruba again but NEVER at the Riu Palace.

Room Tip: Don't book this Hotel‼️‼️
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank evens0711 e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This was our first visit to Aruba, though our eighth to the Caribbean. Being honest we found the trip advisor reviews a little concerning before we set off on the holiday but generally the things that mattered most to us were fine.
The rooms, though in need of the planned refurbishment, were good ( overlooking the pool area with good views of the sea) and clean. We did not experience any bugs or mouldy bathrooms and towels were plentiful. The beds were really comfortable.
The variety and quality of food was excellent. Repetitive yes, but with so many different dishes on offer there was enough variation to ensure that it did not cause an issue unless however, you wanted to try everything, every night ! Decent wines and Sirloin Steak / fillet mignon on offer which is not bad for AI resorts.
The pool area was very clean and we always got sun beds and towels, though the "reserving of sun beds policy" is not enforced by the hotel, and this causes availability issues. The service around the pool bar was excellent. The beach area was stunning and the sun beds are free, which is unusual in our experience.
Looking for negatives -
- There is construction work taking place and it would have been good to know this from Thomson, but it is at the adjacent hotel (owned by RUI though) though we would not have cancelled if we had known.
- The reception staff are slow and unresponsive as stated in numerous reviews. ( RUI management - please deal with this as you do not respond to any reviews for this hotel and you need to ! )
- in rooms with the restricted balconies there are no drying facilities for towels / swimming costumes .
- Entertainment and evening programmes are not of a great quality, and though we did not expect
"Vegas" we probably expected a bit more.
- Minor points - lots of sauces available at breakfast apart from Brown Sauce ! Baked beans would also have been good one or two mornings ( sorry for being sad).

In summary we enjoyed our stay. We would go back.
The hotel is fine and less "sterile" than some of its neighbouring hotels.
It is not 5 star and being honest, we never expected it to be. (I have been reading some of the other reviews).
It has faults but it also has a lot of good points. I have no issue with people who have a negative view. We all see things differently and my family had a very good time, which is what really matters.

Room Tip: Avoid the block next to the adjacent construction site. Choose level 4 and above. Ask for pool / o...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank youdsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed at the Riu for 7 fantastic nights from 22/07/2014 to 29/07/2014. The hotel complex was beyond my expectations and the food was amazing!!
The staff were friendly and very accommodating and very patient considering we had our two kids with us aged 8 & 6 !!
We will definately be returning but for two weeks instead of one.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank adavies73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Just came back from our honeymoon and we already want to go back! The hotel was perfect and everyone was so nice! The food was phenomenal! We went on some excursions which were affordable and we'll worth it! There are outdoor mAlls walking distance from the hotel. We were overall very pleased. Couldn't have asked for a better hotel! Highly recommend!

Room Tip: We were on the 4th floor with partial ocean view as well as overlooking the pool! It was beautiful...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Stefanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

Booked two weeks stay 22/07-05/08 through Thomson holidays UK
Upon arriving at the Riu the first thing you notice (and hear) is the major construction works taking place outside - No notification from Thomsons of this prior to our arrival!! Unsightly and unnecessary at peak season when the hotel is apparently closing for a refit at the end of 2014!! This was to be a major issue all holiday, drilling 24/7, dust everywhere, unable to eat outside at the buffet restaurant. To mask this they played music around the pool and on an evening at ear bleeding volumes!! Unable to barely have a conversation with the person sat next to you never mind anyone else at your table...
Pool area: large area but not enough sunbeds for the amount of guests. Week one we were able to get beds but by week 2 towels had to be down by 6am!!!
Pool like an oil slick of suncream, sand and plastic cups and straws
Beach: beautiful but as other reviews say you need to be up early if you stand a chance at getting a hut. Avoid the beach to the left you will be deafened by the sound of drilling all day!!
Rooms a reasonable size but as mentioned in all the other comments they smell moldy and are in desperate need of updating and repairing however was clean. Our aircom unit sounded like it was about to take off by the noise it made. Great view of pool/ beach.
Food: food was enjoyable but a little repetative which is to be expected after two weeks. Service ok but staff tend to fuss the Yanks as they are big tippers which put me off a little as they expected a tip for the poor service they gave us Brits!!
Tried only one of the restaurants because I count be bothered to que again - Krysal. Was ok but half empty....
Finally The Entertainment!! Having stayed at numerous Rius in the Caribean and Europe this is by far the worst entertainment I have every experienced. Same dance show every night boring boring boring!! Was informed by a fellow guest that this year they appear to have cancelled all the entertainment and have no programme as per the norm - thank god we had good company!!
Overall the hotel looks beautiful from a distance and has a prime beach front spot but it's seriously needs bring up to scratch to justify the price!!! 3T at best not 5T!!


  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank KerryLou23
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 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
#18 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: £311 - £639 (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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