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Hotel Riu Palace Paradise Island
Ranked #12 of 14 Hotels in Paradise Island
Reviewed 27 December 2006

I booked this trip as a Christmas gift for a friend who has helped us out a lot over the last year and after booking it started reading the reviews on this site. I instantly felt sick as I wanted this trip to be special for my friend. I have come to the conclusion that either the people writing the negative reviews were expecting too much from a Caribbean resort or were from the competition.

We arrived mid-afternoon to be greeted by a ton of staff handing out rum punch, room keys and wrist bands. For those who complained about the wrist bands; at the Radisson Cable Beach you had to carry around a little card. Try keeping track of that for a week and you will appreciate the bands.

The room was a little tired but I had been told by the travel agent that the furniture was a little outdated but who cares, I wanted to be on the beach outside. There were a ton of towels, two reasonable comfortable double beds and every room has a view of the water. There was a safe that we were able to input our own code into for our valuables. The room was clean and even though we had requested a smoking room there was not even a hint of smoke smell in the room. My only complaint was the sink drain dripped a little onto the floor but nothing a small towel did not solve.

We found the beach and were greeted by a very happy and helpful employee who put out some chairs for us. The beach was great but ask the attendents for the best place to set up your chair as there is a shadow on the beach until around lunch time. The pool was a little on the cold side but once in and sitting at the swim up bar you get use to it.

We loved the buffet and each night they had a different theme. My favourite was Greek night MMMMM. We only ate in the steakhouse and it was pretty good but still I have to agree with others, the buffet was better. The staff in the restaurants and at the bar were VERY helpful and friendly. I tipped the bar staff after every couple of drinks and they were very grateful. I tipped the restaurant staff after every meal. Try to remember that if we were forced to live off what they make we would never have had the chance to see Paradise Island.

Getting to downtown is very easy (we went by water taxi) and the Riu front desk staff were helpful in guiding us to the pick up location. The straw market is a must see if you have not been to Nassau before but be prepared to get hot and for the crowds. It you like jewellry you will be in for a treat as the the whole of downtown is lined with fine stores.

All in all it was a great trip and both my friend and I were very happy with the hotel. I am on the site again today seeing if I can book the same hotel for my birthday.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with friends
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17  Thank OakvilleTraveller99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,920 - 3,926 of 4,798 reviews

Reviewed 26 December 2006

I know I am a little late with this review, but after reading so many of them I figured I would throw my two cents in. We got married at the Hotel Riu in March of 2006, we were a little sceptical about the hotel after reading the reviews, and having a party of 50 people coming down, but I will say without a shadow of doubt that this was an unbelievable place.

We arrived at the hotel on March 15th, a little nervous to see what the place actually looked like and what the rooms were going to be like. We got to the hotel to find some of guests from California were already there and enjoying thmeselves at the Bar in the lobby. we checked in which was a breeze, although not happy with the room we orginially got we decided to upgrade to a bigger room, for a fee of course, but let me tell you we could not have been any happier to do so. the room was huge!! with a great view of the ocean.

The Staff at the hotel are fantastic, although slow at things, but hey we are on our vacation so we were used to the pace in the islands, Us being from NYC it takes us a little time to remember that things are done at a slower pace.

After settling in we decided to go for a drink and a bite to eat at the buffet, and let me tell you we have been to a couple of other all-inclusives, and by far the Riu has the best food we have seen. The buffet had everything for anybody, and everyday they would make one or two different dishes. After seeing what they had we were happy that everybody in our party would be able to find something to eat. We ate at all three sitdown places, and although good we prefered the buffet dinner. The sushi place was ok, nothing really exciting, if you are really into sushi I would just by pass this place. We had rehearsal Dinner in the steak house, which included all 50 of our guests. The steaks were good and the service was great. As far as the Gourmet from what i remember is was good.

As our guests slowly trickled in over the next few days, everyone seemed extremely happy with the rooms and the hotel, and if they weren't they never told us.

We didn't really spend that much time around the pool, being beach people we basically got to the beach around 8:30 everyday and stayed there all day long. The beach has got to be the best beach on paradise island, it's big with plenty of chairs, never seen them run out. I think it's better then the beach in front of the Atlantis. the only thing that i can say needs some help is where the bar is located, if you are on the beach you have to go all the way back up to the pool area to get a drink, although it's only about 100 steps away, they should think about opening up something on the beach, but the drinks are great, and strong, and plus sometimes it's good to get up and take a walk...

So saturday came and we were getting married on the beach in front of the riu, and let me tell you it could not have been any more perfect the weather was unbelievable and it was everything that we hope and dreamed it would be. Everybody who was around the pool was now looking down on us on the beach and my wife and I exchanged vows. If you are looking for a place to get married this is the place,(if you are interested in seeing some pictures email me directly at ppinti@gmail.com). Although we did not have our reception at the hotel, we had it at an italian place in Nassau called Lucianos, which I think is the best restuarant in Nassau, and we strongly recommend to go and check out this place!!

we would hands down recommend the riu to anyone who wants to go to a place a really relax!!

Hope this helps
Pete

  • Stayed: March 2006
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13  Thank NYbeachbum59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2006

The hotel is nicely kept on the outside and lobby. There are no garbage cans to be seen in the lobby which made it difficult to throw things away. I did learn the difference between “all-inclusive” and “24 hr all-inclusive”. This hotel is “all inclusive”. The hotel has 1 lobby bar, 3 restaurants, a poolside bar, and a nightclub bar. The hotel does not publish the hours for any of the bars and restaurants and they are not all opened at the same time. This would be a nice handout for each room. We had to write down the hours ourselves. The 2 nice restaurants required reservations, which can only be made between 8:30 and 9:00 am by standing in a very long line in the lobby. This is also the only time most excursions leave the hotel (golf, snorkel, day trips). Luckily we were able to make reservations for 1 day. I did not like the idea of having to stand in a line to make a reservation while on vacation. The front desk should have been able to coordinate this.

Every day I was told that the phones work and that you can call the U.S. by dialing 7 and then the area code and number. We did not get it to work nor did we meet anyone on vacation there who did. This turned out to be a good thing. The hotel has a spa that did not work. Every day the Spa said the Jacuzzi would be fixed “today”. It was still not fixed on the day we left after our 5-day visit. The hotel does not heat the pool. The weather was 80-83 every day and the pool must have been 50degrees. We were very disappointed we couldn’t go swimming b/c it was too cold.

The hotel has excellent food! The lobby bar is always full and the wait for a drink takes a very long time b/c it is always crowded. The hotel should keep the nightclub bar open to help with the overflow so people don’t have to wait so long. The hotel nice restaurant had excellent food and atmosphere but needed several light fixture covers and basic maintenance and upkeep. On the even floors they have ice machines. The only ice machine that worked while we stayed there was on floor #2. None of the others worked.

Our room had lots of issues, which we reported and did not get anything resolved. The room has unlimited rum and vodka and beer. The refrigerator in our room did not work after lots of requests for repairs. The lampshades were broken and the carpet was not in good shape. The room looked like it had seen many years of spring break visitors. The view was not very good. I was disappointed b/c we paid extra for an ocean front view. It would have been nice to have a coffee machine in our room. The hotel does not have these.

Overall, the hotel was nice and had great food. The cold pool was a big let down since we were escaping to a “warmer” paradise in the middle of November. The run down room was not that big of a deal since we grabbed ice a couple of times every day to have cold drinks.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank batonrouge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2006

We had an awesome time on our honeymoon from 12/10 to 12/17. Special thanks to Donald, Sherlanka, Desmond, and one server in the Gourmet restaurant whose name I didn't get--he was the best, short, soft-spoken, and so helpful!!!

When we arrived, we got a cold glass of freshly-made fruit punch and were on our way up to our room in under 10 mins. When we first checked in, we had a room over the air-vents (6th floor, even numbers), I let Sherlanka at the front desk know we were on our honeymoon, and she upgraded us to a pool-view room and had champagne and a fruit plate in our new room the following day.

The food was always good, a little too salty sometimes, but there was always something decent and always some veggies for healthy eaters. ;) I was a little disappointed that the main choice for lunch and dinner was hot dogs and hamburgers, but hubby didn't seem to mind LOL!

We ate at all 3 of the Specialty Restaurants, our favorite was the Steakhouse, then the Japanese, and we weren't all that impresed with the Gourmet.

We highly recommend the Robinson Crusoe tour, the weather wasn't so great for us, but it was still better than the beach or our room!!!. There was a buffet, unlimited wine and lemonade, snorkeling, and plenty of hammocks to take a quick nap after all that swimming! We also went para-sailing and rented jet-skis for 1/2 hour and zoomed along the coast for $40 bucks each (after haggling of course).

The Straw Market was a bargainer's paradise and we got some really great deals. Sure some of the stuff was made in china, but it said BAHAMAS, and nowadays, what isn't made in china???

The bottom line is we had a great time and will definitely go back to the RIU!!!!

Your vacation is what you make of it... remember that when you get upset about the cold pool or the slow elevator or anything else!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank MrsChiqquie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2006

My husband and I stayed at the RIU Sun Dec 10 through Thurs Dec 14. And I must say that all of the negative reviews this property has been given are an injustice.
Our room, on the 5th floor overlooking the pool (#529), was clean, spacious, had a lovely king size bed and fit all our needs. It was kept spotlessly clean by an excellent Maid, who brought us an abundance of clean towels every day. Our mini fridge was restocked daily.
There were people cleaning, and painting evrywhere you went, all with the intent to keep the hotel looking clean and nice.

We ate from the buffett each morning and noon, as well as one night for dinner. We also ate in the steakhouse two nights and the food was great in each case. Note: not once did I "line up" for restaurant reservations. All I did is wait till after 9:30 and then walked right up and made a reservations. Now this may not work if the hotel is full, but we avoid traveling during peak periods.

Service was excellent on all levels. Everyday we were asked by various staff members if we were enjoying our stay, and did we need anything. And I'm not talking about "managers" doing a PR routine. The servers in the restaurant, the bar staff, and even the young lady in the internet room; all of them enquired if we had everything we needed and if we were enjoying our stay.

As for it's location: Yes, it is "next door" to Atlantis - but not really. You can walk out the front door of RIU and into one wing of Atlantis, but you are a good 15 minute walk (inside) to the casino, and we never actually found our way to the dig/aquarium. The new towers of Atlantis where all the beautiful people supposedly stay are a long way from RIU.

The beach is very difficult to walk on, and yes the pool was too cold to swim in, but there were lots and lots of chairs available around the pool deck as well as on the beach, so sunning yourself was always possible.

I won't write anything about the flight or the airport, as they are both minor annoyances that really don't have any effect on the entire trip.

As a final note, I really was skeptical about this hotel after reading all the reviews and was seriously doubting our wisdom of booking this trip, (rather than our usual cruise), but after the first day I was only sorry that we hadn't booked an entire week!

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Barbara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2006

I had heard the RIU hotels were really great. When we arrived the lobby was beautiful. The room on the other hand was a disappointment. On the bi-fold closet doors a knob was completely missing. The toilet had a ring in it and the grout on the shower tile had mildew in it.
The food was great and the bartenders were generous, though.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mike_in_Michigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2006

My wife and I along with another couple from Toronto decided to get a quick 3 night getaway to a sunny destination. Due to the short timeframe, we insisted on a direct non-stop flight that would be no more than 3 hours. We found a package deal through WestJet Vacations which lodged us at the Riu.
On the plus side, we had a nice spacious, if somewhat tired room with a beautiful view of the ocean. That was a major plus. Also, the beach is nice, although fairly densely packed, and the sun did not shine directly on the beach in the late afternoon.
The food was OK. Not a big deal for buffet breakfast and lunch, but the dinners were mediocre. I hated the idea of lining up at 9 AM for an hour simply to book one of their mediocre restaurants. One evening, we bagged the free (sorry, included) dinner and splurged at the high-end restaurant at the Ocean Club, down the beach from the Riu.
The biggest complaint I have is the relatively downmarket crowd at the hotel. Since drinks are included you get an interesting mix of college kids looking to drink all day, to fat people who like to eat all day at buffets. I'm not trying to be a snob, and truly had no particular issues with the hotel, but the demographics on the hotel guests was a little scary.
We did visit the Atlantis to gamble and have fun each night, so it did not deter us from having fun. But Nassau and Paradise Island is so Americanized, you would not even know you were in the Bahamas. it has totally lost any exotic flavour it might ever have had. The Bahamians have sold their souls to the devil, or rather IHOP, McDonalds, and the other American fast food chains. Pity.

  • Stayed: November 2006, travelled with friends
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9  Thank flunie
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

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:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Luxury Hotel in Paradise Island
#9 Spa Hotel in Paradise Island
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Paradise Island
Price Range: £270 - £493 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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