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“Nice Hotel, Great Beach.... Horrible Food!”

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Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Ranked #18 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
1 review
“Nice Hotel, Great Beach.... Horrible Food!”
Reviewed 15 November 2009

We just got back from a week long stay at the Riu Aruba. If you go to this hotel you must request building A 9th or 10th floor only. Building A, the main building is the newest and nicest of the three towers. Please note only 9th and 10th floors of building A have nice large balconies. Building C is not renovated and has tiny balconies without chairs. Building B is partially renovated with very small balconies. We stayed in room 902, Junior Suite Ocean view and it looked exactly as pictured on the website, our view was incredible! The room was nice, but this is a no frills hotel. If you want turn down service, fresh towels or soap you must call to request it... The bed is huge, but as hard as a rock, you should request a mattress pad as soon as you check in! The beach and pool are incredible, we were able to get a palapa every day after about 2-3pm, the sun is so strong people start to leave the beach after lunch.

Breakfast is at Don Felipe's buffet which was fine. For lunch you have an option of two buffets, the Nautilus and Don Felipe. We preferred Don Felipe as it seamed cleaner.

We tried two of the four all inclusive restaurants. After each meals we were both extremely nauseas! The dinner food is horrible, eat at your own risk!! The restaurants are very quiet and do not play music in the background, I never noticed how awkward a meal in a restaurant is without music! At the all inclusive restaurants the choices are slim and it is almost impossible for a veg to have a meal. They will serve wine only with dinner, it is not possible to order a mixed drink. After both horrible meals at the hotel we decided it was not worth another ruined night and decided to eat dinner out for the remainder of our trip. Across the street is about a mile long strip of restaurants, shops and bars catered to tourists.

Aruba is a beautiful island, unbeatable beaches and weather.... i look forward to going back, but will not stay at this hotel again!!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank CSTNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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CT
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 14 November 2009

Just fantastic! Great beach.....service was unmatched.........staff was amazing

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank HarvardPenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison WI
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2009

My wife & I just got back from a week's stay at the RIU Palace and we were both impressed with the RIU. The property is very nice, the pools and beach were not overcrowded, the staff was friendly, the food was very good(we both are now on diets because of enjoying too much of the yummies). We've stayed at Sandals resorts(4) and the Royal Hideaway in Mexico (AI) and although every resort has it's specialties, the RIU Palace is at the same level as all the other "luxury AI's" I've mentioned. If I had to nitpick on a couple of issues I guess the drinks were "weak" as compared to what we're used to, and the bed was firmer than we expected although my wife slept "like a rock". We also liked the ease of travel by using Chicago-Midway to ATL to Aruba as we had no problems with connections or finding the DePalm reps for our hotel transfers. Much easier than our arrivals in Jamaica or Mexico.(NICE) Simply put, the vacation was very enjoyable, the RIU exceeded our expectations, looking out over the ocean/beach from our suite/balcony and anticipating another beautiful day was everything we were hoping for, add in the tasty food, friendly service, and sunny 90 degree days(and a few cold drinks) and what more could you want? We're already trying to figure out when we can return!!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BadgerFan78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

I went to Aruba for the 3rd time this year and stayed at the Riu Palace for my honeymoon. We stayed 2 weeks and loved every day we were there. Oct 26-Nov 8
The hotel was great - very clean, great food, right on the beach, best pool, great drinks.....
The only problem we had was how hard th beds are - after 1 week we called down for a pillow top and it was all we needed. Also keep your balcony doors closed or your room gets quite damp and sticky at night.
This is the best area to stay at in Aruba because of the entertainment, shops, and food only 5 min down the road. You can walk there every night and see something new each time. We also took the local bus into Oranjastad a few times for food and shopping - so safe you feel right at home.
We rented a jeep one day and drove all over the island - eagle beach, california light house, baby beach ( a must go place the ocean is only a few feet deep for miles - eat the grouper fish sandwich on the beach too!)
We also did the Natural Pool Jeep Adventure which i totally recommond for thrill seekers - not anyone who will be scared of very bumpy off roading.
We also did the kyack tour which was nice but the weather was soso that day and the snorkerling could have been better.
Music at the pool was the best - live band or great top 40's.
Wind in Aruba might seem strong at times, but without it you would roast!
Spa was ok - we went to the Westin for a better rate!
We had issues with our keys to the room - the magnetic strip would deactivated if it was anywhere near mt camera so we had to keep them apart.
Anyways nothing bad to say about this place - go there with peace of mind you will have the best trip!
p.s if you have kids go to the holiday in not RIU! mostly couples who don't want babies around!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank V1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bishop's Stortford
Level Contributor
79 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2009

We (husband and I) stayed at the Riu Palace, Aruba for a week beginning 16th September. I always mean to type up my reviews immediately I get home but I always seem to be busy and never get round to them until we've been back some time!

We stayed in Building "C" and I can honestly say that the only bad thing about our room was the view we had from our balcony which looked out onto a very bare garden and disgarded umbrella bases. If it had been at a higher level it wouldn't have mattered as we probably would have seen the sea/beach. I would have normally complained at the beginning about the rotten view but because we were only staying for a week and would only be sitting on the balcony for an hour a night I didn't bother - wish I had because when I told the staff at the end of our stay, when I asked for a bit more time in our room before checking out, they said they would have moved us if we had told them! The room itself was of a good size with everything working perfectly and the mini bar always being full with water, soft drinks and alcohol. We always had clean towels and couldn't fault the room and cleanliness. I had seen the reviews about the hard beds but as we discovered switches at the side of the beds and asked reception what they were for and were told they were "air for the beds" we inflated this a bit more and they were very comfortable.

We ate in the buffet restaurant, the steakhouse twice, the gourmet and the Italian. We had no trouble booking for the speciality restaurants and all were good with the steakhouse food being extremely good even though it didn't have the same ambience as the other restaurants.

The service from all the staff was EXCELLENT and you didn't have to tip to get that service. We gave some tips out to staff who had served us a lot, at the end of our stay, and obviously they didn't know they were going to get anything, so I can only assume that everybody is served the same way.

The hotel is large and it is impossible to get a sunbed with shade unless you get up early in the morning both around the pool area and on the beach. However there were always plenty of sunbeds on the beach and as there were plenty of palm trees you could always get shade from them. We had no trouble getting beach towels. Just wish however the people wouldn't put towels on sunbeds under shade which they were not going to use all day - it is always tempting to throw them off - but I'm too much of a coward!

The location itself is lovely with a great long stretch of beach which meant you cuold have nice long walks. The wind did blow up at times but this wasn't a real problem.

We didn't see any of the entertainment as we always ate late so cannot comment on it.

What must be born in mind is that Aruba is not like other Caribbean islands. I believe it has catered for the Americans for a long time and it is very much like the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico (I know Mexico is counted as Caribbean but if you've been to Barbados, Antigua etc. you would know what I meant). That being said if you want a relaxing beach holiday with good food and service then this is for you. You might get bored if you stayed on Aruba for 2 weeks but it's quite a nice way to be bored! We visited Oranjestad by bus but there really isn't a great deal to see but it's always nice to have a bus ride out.

Hope my comments are of use to you and if you want to ask me anything; don't hesitate to contact me.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank BAN49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
belfast
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2009

I don't normally write reviews but at a loose end I just wrote a slating review of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu and thought I would even it up will indicating how much I enjoyed my two week stay here this summer. The hotel is excellent in terms of (i) rooms (ii) the provision of all-inclusive meals and drinks and (iii) general ambience. The nightly entertainments could do with a bit of work but having met up with a nice crowd in the convivial terrace bar of an evening the entertainment didn't really bother us after a while. I would highly recommend this hotel and aruba in general for that matter.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank belfast-connection
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2009

Had two fabulous weeks at the Riu with my two sons (aged 21 and 24) and my friend and his family. Upon arriving at reception after our 9.5 hour flight we were greeted by our tour rep and friendly staff with refreshing drinks and our luggage taken care of efficiently while we checked in. Our first impression of the hotel on arrival was the splendour and beauty of the place with it's towers, huge marble halls and corridors and beautiful rooms and most of all it's location on Palm Beach. All rooms, inside bars and restaurants are all pleasantly air conditioned which was very welcome (and necessary) in the humid heat of Aruba. My only small critisism of the rooms is that the beds are very firm and some of our group found them too hard. The room maids were very good in making sure that we were happy with everything and they made sure we were supplied with more than adequate towels, flannels and toiletries on a daily basis. The staff throughout the hotel were very friendly and made every effort to make our stay happy. The food and drink throughout the hotel were excellent and in abundance. The a'la carte retaurants were particularly good although they had to be booked in the morning from 9am as seating is limited and If you arrived much after 9am they would usually be fully booked already. The main buffet restaurant was also superb with just about anything you could possibly want available and in epic proportions. There are 4 bars in the hotel including the entertainment lounge where there is something on stage every night. Our favourite was Barry's located on the upstairs balcony outside the entertainment lounge.
The pool and pool bar is the centre of attraction during the day with music and fun activities throughout the day however, after a few days the music got a bit repetative and occassionally too loud (especially with a hangover!!) but the beach was better if you wanted a bit of quiet relaxation. The sea is an absolutley gorgeous colour and is so warm. Loved the pool swim up bar and submerged bar area!
My only real negative observation about the hotel was that the best sunbeds and beach pergola's were always "reserved" with towels from very early in the morning despite notices stating that "reservations" are not allowed. There are some good bars/clubs and restaurants within 5 to 10 minutes walk of the hotel or a 15 minute cab ride into Oranjestad town, but can be a bit pricey. Overall though, a fantastic island and hotel and we would definitely go again.
Bob from London

  • Stayed October 2009
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank McDaddyLondon
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

Property: 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
#12 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#16 Romantic Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#18 Family Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Aruba 4.5*
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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