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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
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Reviews (5,056)
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Reviewed 27 May 2013

My mother and I travelled here April 21-28, and myself, being half-Bahamian, I was really excited to go back to the Bahamas, and actually stay at a resort for the first time.
The check-in was easy, and we applauded the hotel, as our flight came in super late, and they kept the buffet open for us at 1am.
The pool area is always packed, so if you want a seat, you're going to have to get up early and save one. My mom and I were always getting up at 6:30 am to get the best seats by the pool. We laid at the beach one day, but decided by the pool is better. We were not bothered by the locals, as you tell them no once, they won't ask you again, plus a lot of them knew my father, so I guess I had somewhat of an advantage.

The food was okay. We enjoyed the buffet more than any other restaurant. I was excited for Tengoku, but it ended up being crappy. We actually went from that restaurant to the buffet. The Steakhouse was alright, nothing spectacular either. We heard a lot of good things about Krystal, but didn't end up going.

The entertainment was blah. They had planned bingo and games everyday, that always got cancelled cause nobody would play them. The band at night was alright, but it seemed it was the same thing every night, other than the magic show that my mother couldn't stand, so we left early.

The night we went to the Steakhouse, our room was robbed. My mother left the safe open (stupidly), and some member of the hotel entered our room, and stole all of the money in my wallet. The hotel tried to claim that we left our front door wide open, although the hotel doors slam behind you, which is also what the security said. The manager is a stuck up, who offered no sympathies, but basically blamed us for leaving the door open. The assistant manager wanted to meet again the next day, and my mother decided to go, and the same thing was said. No sorries, or anything. My grandmother said we should have called the cops, and they would have given my money back right away to avoid a scene in the hotel. It was clearly somebody who wanted in, and out fast, as they only stole my money, but not my mothers, or the nice iPad sitting on the table in the room.The manager needs to take a class in sensitivity training, as he had a 20 year old crying in front of him, and he just blamed us for what happened. My grandmother plans to go to the newspapers in Nassau to show what happens to tourists, even ones that are Bahamian, in the Bahamas.

Love the Bahamas, and enjoyed catching up with family, the resort was alright, definitely not a 5 star.. Stayed in nicer hotels in Mexico and Jamaica. Should not be charging the price they are for this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for an odd numbered, high room. The even rooms face the building roofs, and it's not too pretty.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Lekeisha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2013

The Riu Paradise is everything you want if you are looking for an all Inclusive Holiday stay. This is a fantastic place to stay for your holiday or special occasion. If you dont enjoy all the great food you can eat and all the booze you can consume, this may not be the place for you. Otherwise, this is fantastic. I didnt give it a 5 star rating because it is a 4 star stay. I believe it is very difficult to rate a hotel with 5 stars. So this is a high rating in my books. Rooms are very nice, large and spacious with the Riu standard stocked bar in your room. (see additional comments for room choices) Nassau has two seasons and two temperatures. Hot and Hotter ! It did rain while we were there, but a rainy day on Paradise Island is better than the hottest day in wherever you are from. Plus the rain passes very quickly. Booze is Booze. If you are like my wife and I, You will drink too much on the first few days and then carefully choose alcohol the rest of your stay. lol. (well not really. you'll likely drink too much again like we did) There are many negative comments on here about everything from front desk to housecleaning, to food and beaches. If you are extremely hard to please, go to the Atlantis where you can find out first hand what value means. If you have plenty of money, why are you coming here in the first place? Most ppl writing negative comments probably come off as miserable to everyone they speak with. (k rant over) Food is Fantastic. The breakfast has your choice from pastries to eggs anyway, to pancakes, french toast, fruit forever, bacon, sausage and on and on. What is missing here? lunch - Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, shepards Pie, chilli, pasta, fruit and ice cream, etc etc. Dinner - every night a different theme. Cant remember them all but Italian, Greek, Bahamian etc - we had Beef Wellington one night (hello?) and it was amazing. Lamb, mutton, stews, chops, pastas, noodles, etc etc. The food is great. Evening sign up menus?! Get your lazy [--] out of bed and go down and make a reservation for the specialty dining. Again, if you dont like getting up early, go to the Atlantis where you can make a reservation by phone at anytime and have your dining experience on site for under $300.00 for two. I like the way its set up. I also like that you have to wear long pants to attend. Its a Really Nice Dining experience ! Personally, I dont want to see someone with far too much showing sitting down in shorts and a tee shirt at a fine dining restaurant with my wife and I. And of course, I cant stress this enough. Tip, Tip, Tip !! These servers do what all servers do across the world, rely on tips to survive. The front desk has lots of change, so you need to carry ones on you at all times. We tipped a couple bucks for each drink we were served. We tipped at every sitting of meals we had. Buck a head in the smorg dining areas. The fine dining was quite different. We only attended two, Japanese and Gourmet, mostly because we were quite fine with the awesome smorgasbord food served every day. The Japanese has great sushi for apps. We had the chicken meal and salads. It was nice but Im not really a sushi guy. The Gourmet was fantastic, very elegant, and great food. We had French Onion Soup, which was prepared different than you are used too. quite nice, Fillet Steak and Duck AlÓrange (sp) I have never had duck, so this is a good place to try it. The steak was great and the duck was also excellant. Many reviews on here about the Duck, so if you want to try something different, good time to do so. if you are comparing, probably not a bad idea to input your thoughts on the Duck. Creme Broule' - Yeh, that was good. I'm thinking the dinner would cost $50.00 a plate plus app, dessert and wine. $180.00?? Tip accoringly, Its not all inclusive tipping !! Now moving on to the beaches - The sun is quite a bit cooler near the Riu because you have your all inclusive water and alcoholic beverages. Ha ! Sadly the Atlantis Beach House looks down on the Riu and frankly is probably kicking their own butts. I would be. Lets hear Atlantis Beach house peeps on here. The staff were awesome. Say hello to Lenny, Chevy and Eddie the bartenders - haha - theyre awesome fun . Thats my take - Have a great time. :)

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank x-davcon-x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2013

My husband and I were long overdue for a vacation and we were not disappointed. When we checked into the hotel, I was a little skeptical since it looked small and a bit older than the RIU's we had stayed at in Mexico. I later learned this hotel was previously a Sheraton and was purchased by the RIU chain. I can attest that there is no better beach front location than this hotel (including the Atlantis which is right next door.) We had booked a Jr. Suite Superior view and were assigned room 728. It had a lovely view of the beach and water (facing east), but the balcony was a bit small and it was difficult for me to stay out there very long in the morning since the sun was blinding. Also, when on the balcony, you do hear the noise of the hotel air conditioners. We spent 2 nights in this room and then upgraded (for $100 per night extra) to an "Oceanfront" room. It was the best decision we made all trip! There is only one Oceanfront room per floor (the room numbers end in "32") and we were in room 632.. The room was HUGE and the balcony was just as large as the room! We had incredible views in both directions and had 4 chairs and a table on our balcony. That way, we had both sun and shade. How nice it was to have Room Service deliver our breakfast and eat out on our incredible balcony! We also had a large bathroom with both a large walk-in-shower and a separate tub with a shower. The tubs ARE slippery so we only used the walk-in shower. Also, previous reviewers are correct, the water pressure is OK, but not great and during the shower, the water temperature fluctuates to very cold or hot. It does self adjust in a minute or two, but I found it a bit annoying. (It happened in both our rooms). One piece of advice regarding room location: the elevators are in the middle of each floor and the rooms directly across from the elevators end in "07", "09" and "11." So, if you want to avoid the noise of the elevators and people talking while waiting, DO NOT get a room that ends in the above numbers.

Taxis into Nassau's shopping district (Bay Street) cost $11 (plus tip) from the hotel and $12 from town back to the hotel. There is a $1 toll charge on the bridge when returning to Paradise Island. Also, a taxi from the airport to the hotel costs $32 plus tip. This was cheaper than the arranged bus tranportion through the travel agency and much quicker!

The beach was lovely but it drops off quickly and gets deep. Only 10-12 steps off the shore line, the water was over my head. (I am 5'4"). Some days the water was very calm, but we had 2 extremely windy days and the water was very turbulent. The lifeguards wouldn't let anyone swim during that time. Even 2 days later, when people were back in the water, you could feel the strong currents and unfortunately, on Friday, May 17, it appears someone may have been swept out into the ocean. My husband saw a woman (tourist) running up and down the beach frantically because someone from her group was missing. Shortly thereafter, a helicopter continually flew up and down our beach, aided by a marine police boat. I do not know if the person was found, but they continued searching until it got dark, This really frightened me because from our balcony, we saw some large stingrays in the shallow water and one day, a shark was spotted not too far off. So, stay close to shore and heed the warnings of the flag colors and the lifeguards.

Beach umbrellas cost $25 for the day's rental (they collect them at 5 pm), but you can negotiate a half day price if you arrive later in the day. Beach towels are due back by 6 pm and the pool closes at that time. Jet ski rentals are advertised at $70 for 30 mins. or $130 for an hour, but they sometimes offer early morning or late afternoon "deals." I also think you can negotiate the price at any time.

The entertainment was average, but that depended largely on crowd participation. We went to the comedy club ("Joker's Wild") at the Atlantis one night ($20 per ticket) and thoroughly enjoyed it. There were 3 comedians and the last one was by far the best! We also went to the casino at the Atlantis and played some slots, but don't waste your money. We hardly saw anyone win anything in the 9 days we were there. Very tight machines! I do recommend taking a stroll around the marina at the Atlantis to see the yachts harbored there. They are amazing. One of the boats belonged to the rapper "Usher" (his name is in lights on the side of the boat).
Also, after 6 pm, you can walk through the indoor aquarium at the Atlantis for free. Before that time, it costs $40 to do this (or so I was told).

The food at the RIU was quite good. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection at the buffet. We ate in 2 of the speciality restaurants (the Steakhouse and the "Gourmet" restaurant). I wasn't impressed by the Steakhouse, but the Gourmet restaurant was pretty good. (I am from Chicago and really LOVE my steak). After that, we opted for the buffet. The best dinner was on Wed. night ("Greek" night). My husband is Greek so we are quite familiar with the food and found it to be very good.

All in all, a very relaxing vacation at a lovely site. We will return again.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, Oceanfront rooms are well worth it. (See my review for details). Avoid rooms ending in 07, 09 or 11 as they are directly across from the elevators.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank SallyBToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

So, we were at the hotel the same night the fire alarm went off at 3:30ish in the morning. Not thousands of people evacuated, only 2 floors. A faulty alarm, no big deal, just something the hotel needs to look after. We found the staff VERY accommodating and the food was wonderful. The rooms clean and beds comfy! It was mentioned "all-inclusive" stops at the bottom of hotel steps, so not a big surprise to have to rent umbrellas etc.
We would certainly go back! The island has lots to discover and Atlantis is right next door.

Room Tip: Oceanview, junior suite above 4or5 floors
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank cook775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

Our experience was very good,we will go back,the place is a good getaway.one thing not safe is the bathtub was very slippery need a towel inside for safety.the food is excellent the service very good employees are very helpfully in our needs. The rooms are big ,clean with tv,a/c the higher floors have the best view the beach front are the best rooms.I like the porch is good to relax and smell the ocean and get in sun at any time very close to the beach just walk a few steps go down to the sand an water,lots of water activities and excursions to different places to visit and shop.

Room Tip: Went on vacation with my husband to Bahamas to get away from hard Winter looking for nice beach warm water and relax. The hotel was the best in everything needed for a good vacation,excellent service food beverage and accommodation,right on the beach,chairs,umbrellas,towels and lots of water activities available,peaceful place clean many tours to different beaches and places to explore. We would to back for the next winter.The rooms are large beach front are the best,the higher floors have the best view, A/C Television and porch with chairs to relax and smell the ocean and the sun.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank rosagourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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