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“Confused by the poor reviews”

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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Confused by the poor reviews”
Reviewed 20 November 2011

We travelled from the UK in September 2011 for 2 weeks. We upgraded to a Superior Junior Suite view and as it was a special birthday of my husband's, I emailed the hotel beforehand to let them know. We feel we got one of the better rooms in the hotel ... 14th floor on the corner, fabulous views of the ocean, Atlantis, beach and pool. We also received complimentary champagne from the porter and the maid which we thought was a lovely touch and much appreciated!
Cannot fault the rooms, clean and tidy and none of the problems which others have mentioned.
We have been on many all-inclusive holidays and weren't disappointed with the food and drink (all branded). The buffet restaurant has plenty of choice during the day and evening with theme nights etc. My only issue with the restaurant during the day is that birds do wander in and if the staff have not had chance to clean the tables, the birds will help themselves. Not very hygienic!
You do have to book between 8-9 each morning for the speciality restaurants but this is no real hardship and you will only be queing for 10 mins. We could also book for the following night too. The Steakhouse was our favourite, definitely recommended as well as Krystle. Not so keen on the gourmet restaurant and didn't try the Japanese so can't comment. Strict dress code so long trousers for men.
Entertainment is a bit disappointing and also directed towards the American guests. Repeats after a week so quite predictable for UK guests who are likely to be there for 2 weeks.
Quite a few bars to choose from but as others have said, smoking is allowed in the sports bar and lobby bar which does get to you after a while, if you are a non-smoker. Poor service from the lobby bar and pool side bar. Wi-fi in the lobby area so many use iPads, laptops etc.
Pool area is ok but cigarette butts around so could have been cleaner but I blame dirty guests for this. Beach was clean-ish, plenty of sunbeds but there is a $25 charge for umbrellas. Very competitive watersports people, lots of sellers that approach frequently.
Location is great ... 15 minutes walk gets you to the Paradise Shopping Village and to the ferry terminal to take you across to Nassau ($6 return) - well worth a visit. Guys on the boat give you information about the area and point out the stars homes. Nassau is a great town, few bars and restaurants to visit and we took a horse and carriage ride which is appox $20.
Atlantis next door is well worth a look round, including the casino. The whole hotel is impressive. Day pass for the waterpark and aquarium is very expensive - $120 - but worth the experience.
We found all staff and everyone we met (Riu staff, Atlantis staff, Paradise Island and Nassau) so friendly.
Overall we recommend this hotel. Travelling from the UK we found the Bahamas very expensive to get to as it is quite 'exclusive' so I feel the hotel is not reflective of the money paid however apart from a few minor issues mentioned above, we really enjoyed our trip to the Bahamas and the Riu Palace.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a Superior Junior Suite. The higher, the better, Odd numbers give a view of the ocean, be...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Nicola S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2011

Me and my boyfriend went there for 1 week. The room is so so. The balcony is pretty tiny and ...dusty.The buffets were pretty good. We tried most of their restaurants, except the Grill/Steak House. We liked “Krystal” the most. “Sir Alexander” was pretty good too. “Tengoku” had great service and nice view by the window but was not impressed with the food there.

It’s good place to stay and inexpensive compares to other 4 or 5 stars hotels there . Close to the Atlantis resort and right on the beautiful beach.

The only thing I would complain is the reservation for their specialty restaurants. It’s really no fun when you have to get up early to make a reservation in one of 4 restaurants while you are on vacation. Besides, there’s no guarantee you could get the restaurant you want the most.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank aribobo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2011

I had higher expectations as I've been in five or six in the chain. My introduction was walking into the lobby to stumble into a yelling match between the front desk clerk and a patron. She was livid. Apparently no hot water for four days in a row and despite repeated complaints she had not received attention to the problem. She turned to me vehemently and hissed through her teeth "First night? Leave now if you're smart". Anyway, we stayed and the long and short of it not a good representation of this chain of hotels. Mold, and I don't mean a small amount, in the bathrooms and on the curtains to the balcony, in the lobby and other areas of the building. Despite not being a fan of the hotel Paradise Island, Bahamas is stunningly beautiful and totally made up for what the hotel was lacking. The staff at the Rui were awesome. It's clear the chain needs to invest in upgrading this sad hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jann2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germantown, MD
Level Contributor
221 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 304 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2011

We had previously stayed at the RIU Palace las Americas in Cancun several years ago. One of my fondest memories is resting on the lounge chair facing the ocean and having the nice pool side waiter checking constantly to see if we wanted another free drink. I was looking forward to staying at RIU Paradise and being pampered again. To my deep disappointment, there was not a waiter by the pool the entire four days Memorial Day weekend. My husband and I had to take turns going to the pool-side bar to get a small drink refill. Some enterprising people had brought their own larger cups, but we used the normal plastic smaller cups and had to wait our turn to get a drink. Instead of lounging in my chair, my strongest memory of this RIU is standing by the pool side bar and waiting for one of the two bartenders to take my order. There was one bartender also at the swim-up bar. The mojitos and rum punch was good.

There was one rectangular pool with steps down (no beautiful pools like RIU Palace) and the water was very cloudy our entire visit and just got cloudier as the weekend went on. The pools at RIU Palace in Cancun were always clear and people were drinking their drinks in the pool too, so I don't understand how another RIU can be so bad. I just hoped we didn't get a cut and go in the pool and get an infection.

There were lounge chairs with limited umbrellas (get there first thing in the morning) and a few palm trees for shade but not much atmosphere. We ended going down the long flight of stairs and PAYING for a lounge chair and umbrella on the beach. Maybe we only paid for the umbrella but I remember handing the guy a $20 for all day use and around 4 pm they starting taking them away. There were vendors selling braids, necklaces, bags, and even drinks (why buy a drink from bottles carried around in a cardboard box when free drinks are upstairs?), etc. and other reviewers were right, a simple "no, thank you" was fine.

The beauty of the beach was diminshed by the all day roar of the jet skis and boats from morning to night. There was never just the quiet of the ocean waves. Parasailing and banana boat rides were also out front for a fee. No palm trees on the beach.

Check-in:
At RIU Palace in Cancun, someone met us at the door and asked us to be seated or to help ourselves to the free drinks at the bar while he checked us in. He brought us our keys while we relaxed in the chairs. At Paradise Island, we had to stand in a line to check-in ourselves.

Room:
The first room we got had a view overlooking the air conditioning units and we couldn't hear the ocean over the sound of the units. it had a little view of the ocean. It was a pretty room done in purples and a nice size. I went back to the Front Desk to ask for another room. They were gracious about it and warned me about the noise in a diferent room from the pool. I took the key and looked at it. It overlooked the pool, bar, and had a better view of the ocean. We could hear the pool music but that was more fun than air conditioning units. At a certain time the pool bar closes anyways. With our balcony door shut, the music didn't bother us and it was nice to sit on the balcony and listen the music. The room was done in reds and looked older and smaller, but we still took it. The room had a better stocked liquor and mixers than Cancun. There were bottles of vodka, rum, gin, tequila hanging upside down with taps. In the refrigerator, there were some sodas (there weren't any when we stayed in Cancun other than maybe tonic water)

Buffet
- Breakfast buffet was really good. They had about 5 different types of eggs - sunny side up, hard boiled, scrambled, made-to-order omelettes, etc. They had freshly made assorted juices - orange, watermelon, cantalope, mixed fruit, etc. Breakfast meats plus the European cold cuts, smoked salmon, cream cheese, pastries, muffins, and sugar donuts.
- If you sit outside on the patio to enjoy the view, the sea gulls are aggressive. Someone has to stay at the table when the other person goes to the buffet or else someone feathered will help his/herself to your food, even the scrambled eggs. On different days, I watched as one seagull enjoyed breakfast from someone's brand new plate of food when the person had left to get something. Another day, a lady actually got attacked and repeatedly dive bombed by a seagull while she was sitting there eating. After you finish your food, the birds will help themselves as well. If birds bother you, you can sit inside the restaurant.

- Lunch buffet was fine - chicken, fish, hamburgers, hot dogs, okay pizza, big salad bar, veggies, french fries but after two or three days it got a bit tired. There was different chicken or fish flavors but overall still the same thing. There was ice cream that you can scoop out and desserts.

- Dinner buffet - we stopped by on Mexican night and they had a huge, huge pans of rice. Fajitas, etc. An ice bucket of beer. Wine can be poured by the waiter. Desserts.

- For the Specialty restaurants, it was annoying and stressful to make reservations. The day we arrived at 1:00 pm, we could not eat in any of them, because we had not been there at 8:00 am that day to make a reservation so we had to eat at the buffet that night. I was very worried when the front desk person said people make reservations for 2 days in advance, since I did not want two or more days of buffet.

Tips: That night when you are stuck going to the buffet, go to the restaurants to
1. read the menu to decide where you want to eat for when you can make reservations. Figure out where you want to go an have your top 4 choices for the 2 nights of reservations in case the restaurant is full.
2. see if their are last minute no-shows and maybe you could get in. We tried and after 45 minutes, we didn't get in.
3. Bring PANTS!! The specialty restaurants require pants. You think this is obvious but my husband only brought shorts. The front desk does have pants they can let the men borrow for one or two days for free, believe it or not. He is very tall and thin. They had a pair.

- I got up at 7:15 the next morning to get in line early (very annoying during my vacation, why isn't there a kiosk?). No one could tell me exactly where to go to make reservations other than wait in the lobby until the door opens. After seeing several people enter a closed door behind the bar, I went in to find many people waiting in the lounge to make reservations. Finally, someone came to take reservations.

It is stressful waiting in line and listening to the people in front of you name their two restaurants as you stand their hoping, and hoping, the restaurants you want won't be full. The day before, people have already made their reservations for the day you are trying to make reservations, so there may be a limited number of seats left.

- I was able to make reservations at Sir Alexander (gourmet) and Fusions (Crystal).
I got the duck at Sir Alexander, and it was delicious. The restaurant and an old world charm to it. Eat your bread, since it takes a long time between courses.

Fusions had a lovely glass placemat with different colors on it and a lighted wall that changed colors - green, blue, pink, purple. The food was pretty, and modern but I felt a little hungry still after leaving. I had asked for two different appetizers, and the waiter conveniently forgot and never came back until it was entree time. The food was good though.

After being somewhat spoiled by Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise wait staff and restaurants, the time to wait between courses and the lack of the waiter checking back to even pour more water made the dinners somewhat less enjoyable.

We never went to the lounge for the evening entertainment - comedy, music, etc. Instead, we walked before and after dinner to the Atlantis resort. You can walk either on the beach or come out of the hotel, and turn right, cut through the next hotel and make you way inside through the hotel halls to the Atlantis. We probably spend 1.5 hour each evening before dinner walking the Atlantis grounds and hotel and then several hours after dinner, walking around the casino and shops. We saw Michael Jordan with some friends (he watched and paid for them) play craps. They had eaten at the Japanese restaurant at the casino.

Tip: Atlantis pool ground (no slides or rafts) are open and free (no guards) around 4:00 pm, so you can walk around for several hours enjoying seeing the sharks, baby hammerhead, baby stingrays, and myriad of sea life. If you want to use the pools and rides, you can buy a pass in one of the hotels owned by Atlantis, like the one to the right of RIU, for a super expensive prices, like $125 per person.

There is a sports bar with computers, video games, and a refrigerator if you want to heat up a late night hamburger or hot dog in the microwave or eat some fresh fruit.

Based on my prior experience with RIU Palace las Americas in Cancun, I was disappointed in this RIU and was wondering if RIU had just gone down hill or maybe just this one wasn't up to par. However, compared to a $400 or $500/night Atlantis hotel room plus the expensive food and drinks (the food and drinks would add up if you had to pay for them at the Atlantis. say $40 for lunch for two at a pool-side bar and around $9/drink. The Chinese restaurant at the Atlantis had meals in the $20's and up), I think the RIU Paradise Island is a better value especially when you can walk to the Atlantis. I do not think this RIU wwould be good for families though. The kids would enjoy the slides and inner tube and fun at Atlantis more, but you would need to be really rich to stay and eat there.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GodLovesYou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

We stayed at the Riu for a conference that was happening at the Atlantis. We were impressed with the rooms. Clean and spacious with a lovely view of the sea. Naturally we were so happy to be at an all inclusive close by. Firstly it must be the smallest Riu ever built with one small pool. The lobby could not hold all the guests and was a smoking lobby with a tiny bar at the end. It was "tres" over crowded esp in the pool area. Whether or not you smoked, you were definitely going to get a healthy dose second hand smoke during this trip. There were flies everywhere and I do mean everywhere, on your food, on your drink, in the dining halls. It was borderline unsanitary. And to accompany the flies, were the pigeons whose familiarity was extremely unnerving and scary. Great!! The buffet was not horrible. The food was fresh and well made esp in the am and the pm when the flies would retire. The a la carte restaurants left MUCH to be desired much like the staff's customer service skills. We relaxed and made the best of it but I doubt I would ever go back. No sir!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cloudib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Paradise Island hotels

Gravenhurst, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2011

We had a great time, the food was great and lots of it. The specialty restaurants for the evening meals were great. The staff was very friendly and accommodating.
Close to Atlantis, where you can shop, win or lose money, I happened to win some,
We would return again. Great value
Great job staff.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Muskoka1039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
180 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2011

I volunteered to be overbooked here from Breezes... It is undoubtably a 5* hotel. I had a room on the 14th floor with a great view. Check-in was seamless, staff very friendly.

The rooms were luxurious with mini-bar and set of optics, all stocked daily.

The lobby bar was great, they make great Mojitos and even blended me an iced coffee when I asked in the morning. Used the Buffet the first evening, great choice of food polished off with chocolate dipped strawberries and marshmallows in a chocolate fountain!! Yummy!!

Free Wifi in the lobby area, and fitness room was immaculate, the machines were working, but no free weights... can't have everything in Paradise!!

Used the Japanese restaurant on the 2nd evening and food and service were faultless. I was adopted by 4 lovely canadians who made my stay here more fun.

On the down side: The Beach was clean but no way as good as Cable Beach, the pool area was shaded by the hotel unfortunately and the sunbeds were rammed in making it difficult to move.

Room Tip: I can't imagine there are any bad rooms in this hotel
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FionaMKent
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 Paradise Island

Property: Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Address: 6307 Casino Drive | Paradise Island - Bahamas, 6307, New Providence Island
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Bahamas > New Providence Island > Paradise Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island 4*
Number of rooms: 379
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on Paradise Island (the Bahamas), 3 km/1.8 Miles from Nassau * 100 m/328 ft from "Atlantis", the largest casino in the Caribbean * 14-story building * On the beachfront * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 3 km/1.8 Miles to downtown Nassau * 200 m/656 ft from various shops * 25 km/15.5 Miles from the airport * 200 m/656 ft from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Discover ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Paradise Island Hotel Paradise Island
Riu Hotel Paradise Island
Paradise Island Sheraton
Paradise Island Riu Hotel
Riu Paradise Island Bahamas
Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island Bahamas

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